Kryotech Cool K6-2 500by Anand Lal Shimpi on December 23, 1998 8:11 PM EST
- Posted in
The Death & the Rebirth of Overclocking
With Intel's threats of shutting down the ability to overclock completely, it's nice to know that Kryotech is moving in the opposite direction. Overclocking, for those of you that aren't aware, is the process of increasing a CPU's clock frequency beyond its rated speed. There are a number of obstacles that limit the ability of our CPU's to overclock, one of the biggest being heat production, and using Kryotech's system we can virtually eliminate that problem. By cooling the CPU down to -40 degrees Celsius, Kryotech was able to get an AMD K6-2 400 to run at a full 100MHz over its specified clock frequency with the Cool K6-2 system, running at 500MHz.
Why stop at 500MHz? Unfortunately 500MHz seems to be the physical limit for most K6-2 400 processors, even with the extreme cooling from Kryotech's system, that is why 500MHz was all the Cool K6-2 could crank out. AnandTech's testing verified this, as 500MHz would crash randomly upon starting Windows 98, and the system would fail to boot at 550MHz period.
|The Cool K6-2 500 system AnandTech received for testing was a bare bones setup, consisting of the Kryotech cooling unit, a FIC PA-2013 MVP3 based Super7 board (with 1MB of L2 cache), an AMD K6-2 400 running at 500MHz, and a custom designed case to house the entire system.|
|From the outside, the Cool K6-2 looks like an ATX mid-tower system sitting atop of a widened base bearing the Kryotech logo. The base of the system houses the small compressor used in the vapor phase refrigeration process described above, as well as a smart system monitoring technology that immediately shuts off the system if the cooler fails to operate. The cooling unit features an external port for a 1 amp fuse which ships uninstalled that serves as an over-ride just in case the cooler fails to operate.|
|The smart monitoring technology also makes sure that the system itself doesn't boot up until the cooler's temperature reaches -36 degrees Celsius, and at the same time it makes sure that the processor is warmed back up to room temperature after the computer is shut down. If you pull the plug on the system while it is heating the processor back up, the system uses its own internal battery to continue the heating process until it's complete, something which takes around 3 to 4 minutes after the computer is shut off.|
A Tiny Apartment Above
Moving up from the Kryotech base, you have your normal ATX mid-tower case, feature 3 external 5.25", 2 external 3.5" and 1 internal 3.5" drive bay. One of those external drive bays comes shipped occupied with Kryotech's system monitoring LCD panel that provides you with an indication of the cooler's temperature, as well as any errors that may come up during operation if the system should malfunction. The LCD panel would've been better had it been placed in a smaller cutout in the case and it leaves you with 2 usable external 5.25" drive bays, just enough for a DVD/CD-ROM drive and a CDR, but not enough for anything else. Kryotech has no plans for a larger version of the case as of now, and you can't really rip out the cooling unit and stick it in any case, so it looks like this design will be around for at least a little while longer.