There was a time, not that long ago, when I wouldn't have believed you if you told me you'd overclocked a graphics card to 3.3GHz. There's still a part of me that finds that concept quite absurd, really, but lo and behold a world-class overclocker has not only managed that feat but also used that newfound performance to score the highest 3DMark has ever seen in its Fire Strike benchmark.
The key ingredient: the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT (opens in new tab).
AMD's top RX 6000-series graphics card is once again showing its metal when it comes to high clock speeds, managing 3,311MHz GPU core clock in overclocker OGS' capable hands. That's over 1GHz faster than the card's reference boost clock. That 3.3GHz clock speed makes my brain melt, and I'm sure also causes plenty else to melt nearby when it's switched on.
That's not all that's been overclocked, however. The card's memory has also been pumped up from 2GHz to 2.4GHz.
With this card, paired alongside an Intel Core i9 12900K (opens in new tab) and loaded into an Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Apex, Greek overclocker OGS has taken the top spot in the Fire Strike Hall of Fame with a score of 63,361 (via Nordic Hardware (opens in new tab)).
That was all under LN2 conditions, too. Though OGS notes that the 3.3GHz clock was impressively maintained throughout the duration of the record-beating Fire Strike run (opens in new tab).
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That's nearly 1,000 points greater than the second-highest score, South Korea's biso biso at 62,389. Their setup is awfully similar, though with a slightly lower GPU core clock of 3,147MHz. That's still mighty quick, of course.
In third place sits famed overclocker K|NGP|N, who opted for an entirely different setup. This includes an Intel Core i9 10980XE alongside four, yes four, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti cards.
So that's one heavily overclocked RX 6900 XT taking down four heavily overclocked GTX 1080 Tis, the best card of its generation, the Pascal class of '17.
In fact eight of the top 10 Hall of Fame entries are using AMD's Radeon RX 6900 XT. The only other exception is in 10th place, where overclocker Rauf opted for twin Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti cards in SLI for their record-pushing run.
So what does this tell us? Overclockers know how to push the right buttons to extract the most performance, that's for sure, but also just how impressive AMD's generation-on-generation gains with RDNA 2 have been, most of all in terms of clock optimisation. We already knew that was the case—AMD's RDNA 2 chips mop the floor with Nvidia's GPUs in raw clock speed—but when you see an overclocker push well into 3GHz territory, it's clear just how much AMD's many methodology, tool, and manufacturing improvements (opens in new tab) have helped it deliver with this generation.
Then OGS went and blew everyone away.