Overclocking the Intel 8600K - Delidded on Air and Water

We've gotten to spend some quality time with our Intel Core i5-8600K Coffee Lake CPU, and of course we have spent our time finding out just how far we could push the processor's clock under both Air Cooling and Water Cooling. We relid and delid as well. The results look to be very promising for the overclocking enthusiast and gamer.


Overclocking on Air with Stock TIM

Our Starting Point

As you might suspect, the first overclocking we did was our on XSPC water cooling loop.

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What you see above is our 8600K at 5GHz (same settings we used for our review). We did this with a meager 1.2v vCore. Stability at these settings was flawless at 64C core temp. And what a great starting place this was. From here we went ahead and pushed forward.

Thermalright True Spirit Direct Air Cooling

After tweaking our UEFI settings a bit, we were able to coax 5.1GHz/3600MHz out of the Core i5-8600K on air at 1.344v vCore. Not only were we able to get it to run, we were able to get it to run at what I am going to consider "fully stable." Multiple hours of Prime95 Small FFTs were very capable.

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Our TIM replacement has netted us a 14C lower die temperature. The ambient room temp varied over our testing time from 73F/23C to 75F/24C.

Since we got such impressive temperature results, I decided to see if we could bump the 8600K clock a bit at the exact same UEFI settings, and I was very happy that we are now computing at 5.2GHz on air!

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Again, keep in mind that used the same settings for 5.2GHz that we did for 5.1GHz, so the only change is the CPU clock and that gave us a small bump in die temperature. For our stock TIM, 5.2GHz was a no-go. I could keep this configuration running for about 4 hours before it would crash with the 8600K an metal TIM. This is not what I would consider a "fully stable" overclock, but I seriously doubt that it would be unstable for normal desktop usages. I did try to push this to 5.3GHz as well and it was simply not in the cards.

Worth keeping in mind that this testing was done on an open test bench. I do think that this result would be achievable in a case that has a very good airflow configured.