On the 27th of June 2005, AMD released their fastest single core processor to date, the Athlon 64 FX-57. Clocked at a whopping 2.8GHz, it is without a doubt the fastest desktop gaming processor on the market today.
It is based on the new 90nm San Diego core and features approximately 114 million transistors. Its thermal rating is 104W and it only requires a low core voltage of 1.35 to 1.40 volts to operate. Its baby brothers based on the Venice core have proven to be champion overclockers already. The Venice cores however have a reduced level 2 cache, whereas the San Diego's have a full 1MB and sometimes a larger level 2 cache can be a limiting factor when it comes to overclocking. However, the larger cache also produces the best results when it comes to benchmarking.
The Athlon 64 FX-57 is an overclocker's dream chip. Unlike regular Athlon 64 processors, it is totally unlocked. This means that the lower as well as the higher range multipliers are available. So for instance, if you are stuck with a motherboard that is not able to achieve a very high Hyper Transport speed, you always have the option of raising the multiplier to increase the clock speed. Even by leaving the Hyper Transport speed at 200MHz, you could raise the multiplier from its default x14 (200 x 14 = 2800 MHz) to say x15 which would give you 3GHz (200x15 = 3000 MHz). And based on numerous reviews online, 3GHz seems to be an average air based overclock for this processor.
Now 3GHz is a very nice clock speed, but there are people who prefer to have a little bit more under their hood than the average Joe. Enter the sub-zero, commercially available extreme cooling solutions i.e. Phase Change cooling.