Intel's 5GHz, Minus 40 Degrees Celsius Superchilled Test RigS

Last week, PC Pro challenged its readers to see whose rig could render a 3D graphics benchmark the quickest. An Intel engineer took the prize using a test rig overclocked to nearly 5GHz and cooled to -40 degrees Celsius.

So, maybe that's cheating a little bit. The rig's phase-cooled, thanks to the huge freezer box on the right side of the above photo. You're not reading that thermometer wrong—it's running at minus 40 degrees Celsius.

Steve, the Intel engineer in question, giddily supplied some specs for the machine, which ran the benchmark in 50 seconds:

The system is built as follows:
Chassis – Dimastech test rig
Processor – Intel Core I7 980x retail CPU
Memory – Corsair Dominator GT memory ( 2250 CAS 8 ) running at 2046 at CAS 7
Motherboard – EVGA Classified X4 E762 motherbaord
Power supply – 2 x Corsair 950w Single Rail Power supply (1 for system, the other for graphics card) automatically switched
Graphics card – 1 x EVGA GTX480
CPU cooling – Asetek Lightspeed refrigerated cooling system with a running temperature range of -40 to -32oC at 18oC ambient temperature
Storage – Seagate 160GB Sata drive (16mb cache)

Construction – Custom built for performance, not for looks!

And if you're not quite impressed, they're planning on getting it both cooler and faster:

I would expect that as we cool the processor further down to extreme cold temperatures (-180C) with Liquid nitrogen cooling, we would see stable runs on this benchmark in the 5.7-6.0ghz range.
We'll be doing some extreme overclocking around the end of august and I'll add this benchmark to the list to see if we can provide an even more impressive result.

More information and photos of the powerhouse over at PC Pro UK. [Slashdot]