Over the weekend, members of the New Zealand PC World crew attended a workshop about extreme overclocking with liquid nitrogen.
The event was hosted on Auckland's North Shore at technology retailer Playtech, with experts from Gigabyte hosting. Missed out? That's a bummer, but we've got some pictures of the event so you can live vicariously through us.
The maximum clock speed we saw was 6108MHz on a high-end Ivy Bridge processor, the Intel i7-3770K.
For the record, there are much safer, much more practical and less crazy ways of overclocking your system. We don't recommend you try this at home.
At the start of the day, one of Gigabyte's representatives pulled out a handful of flowers and had a volunteer dip it into a bottle of liquid nitrogen to prove that it was A) real, and B) extremely dangerous. "Dip your finger in there for more than a second, and you'll lose it," said Dean Smith (left), one of the world's top overclockers, and a Kiwi to boot. The liquid nitrogen was -190 degrees celsius.
Unsurprisingly, the head of the flower fell off the stalk. At that point, Gigabyte's Dino Strkljevic flagrantly ignored his own advice and grabbed it out using bare hands. He was quick about it, though!
Smith gets the whole test rig sorted and ready for benchmarking.
Three giant cans of liquid nitrogen should be enough for a full days' overclocking work.
Here's the Gigabyte motherboard with all of the components attached and ready to go - just waiting on someone to pour the liquid nitrogen, and someone to run the benchmark.
Remember to wear gloves and goggles, kids!
So meta: PC Worlder takes a photo of a fellow PC Worlder as he takes a picture of a PC. PCWorldception!
PC World's hardware guru, Paul Urquhart, pours liquid nitrogen into the makeshift cooler and monitors the temperature.
If the CPU gets too cold, the whole system will crash. Sometimes it's necessary to warm it up again, and the quickest way of doing that is with a blowtorch. We suspect it's also the most fun way.
The fans attached to the cooler are there to blow the gas away from the components, so no condensation settles on them. Even so, the motherboard is greased with Vaseline to protect it, just in case.
Aaahhhh! Paul's had a wee accident. How are we supposed to get him to write for us now? Oh, good, it's his left hand.
Strangely, his finger seems to have reappeared when he's running benchmarks. Weird.