An overclocker by the name of JCornell has purportedly gotten his hands on a Sandy Bridge CPU and overclocked the bejeezus out of it. The CPU in question, a Core i7-2600K, appears to have a peak turbo speed of 3.4GHz. JCornell takes the chip up to an impressive 5.5GHz, which is good enough to shorten its SuperPi calculation time from just over 10 seconds to a little less than 7.5.
According to SemiAccurate, the overclock was done with air cooling and less than 1.4V, making Sandy Bridge’s potential all the more intriguing. Of course, you’ll need a K-series CPU with an unlocked upper multiplier to get one of Intel’s upcoming CPUs running at higher than stock speeds. Sandy Bridge prevents motherboards from increasing the base clock speed to push the CPU clock, leaving K-series chips as the only option for overclockers.
Enterprising motherboard makers have found ways around Intel’s overclocking roadblocks in the past, but none have been successful with Sandy Bridge—at least not yet. History tells us that someone will eventually find a way to circumvent the locked base clock, though. Until that happens, we can only hope that K-series Sandy Bridge CPUs maintain the reasonable prices we’ve seen from Lynnfield-derived members of the same family.