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See an Nvidia RTX 4090 gaming PC running at subzero temperatures
Chinese content creator runs Intel 13th gen CPU and RTX 4090 in extreme cold
Both the Nvidia RTX 4090 and Intel Core i9-13900K are found in the best gaming PCs, but are known for needing extreme cooling, with the latter reaching up to 100°C with stock settings in our testing. However, Chinese content creator 苏打baka puts that reputation to the test.
In her video, 苏打baka travels up to Mohe, a city in northern China that reaches extreme cold temperatures, with a case full of PC hardware. She starts things off with an old Intel processor, to which she doesn’t even bother to attach a CPU cooler. Even with the CPU left completely naked, it doesn’t break the 0°C barrier.
Next, she builds a gaming PC with the best GPU and best CPU on the market right now, the RTX 4090 and Intel Core i9-13900K, respectively. Even with these high-end parts, the GPU sits at around -30°C and the CPU doesn’t break 20°C. For context, in our upcoming review of the Intel Core i9-13900KS, the CPU regularly hits 100°C under full load.
I strongly recommend you check out the video for yourself because it’s fascinating to watch. You get to see a liquid CPU cooler freeze solid, and a bunch of cables frozen solid in the near-arctic temperatures. At least we know that when the climate apocalypse hits us we’ll be able to play the best PC games.
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Cooling requirements are getting out of hand
This does kind of highlight one of the problems with both AMD and Intel CPUs these days. Both companies are in an arms race to create the fastest processors on the market, as they’re constantly trading blows with each new release. However, while this does mean you can get a CPU that’s orders of magnitude faster than one from five years ago, you’re going to need one heck of a CPU cooler to make it work.
Both CPU makers have built-in algorithms in their chipsets that constantly push power consumption and clock speeds higher as long as there’s cooling headroom. That’s great news for enthusiasts wanting to push their machines to the limit, but it’s not so great for those less interested in overclocking their gaming PC for overclocking’s sake.
The flip side, though, is that overclocking isn’t really necessary for most people anymore. Intel and AMD’s processors are so capable of optimizing themselves that they should last years without showing any real slowdown. The thermal interface in each processor has also evolved, which is why Team Red and Team Blue are comfortable pushing these chips so hard in the first place.
It’s just something to keep in mind looking forward. Intel 14th gen processors are likely going to show the same behavior, at least in the Core i9 segment.