The overclocker Der8auer set a new world record with the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT. In a YouTube video published on Wednesday, the German overclocking legend used a liquid nitrogen cooling device to bring AMD's flagship Big Navi GPU to 3.2 GHz, setting a new world record for the speed of graphics cards. The 6900 XT is already an absurdly fast graphics card with a boost clock of 2.25 GHz, but Der8auer was able to bring the card even beyond its fastest speed with 1 GHz.
The clock rate of the 6900 XT exceeds the artificial clock limit of 3.0 GHz. This is because Der8auer used a PowerColor LiquidDevil Ultimate card with a clock limit of 4 GHz. It uses the updated XTXH variant of the Navi 21 processor in the 6900 XT, thus increasing the frequency limit of the previous version.
The LiquidDevil Ultimate uses GPUs in groups – meaning silicon that has been checked for high overclocking potential – and has a 16-phase VRM for great power management. It's a card made for this type of extreme overclocking, so it was inevitable that someone would set a world record.
Although the LiquidDevil Ultimate comes with a pre-installed water block, Der8auer removed the circuit board to attach an LN2 cooling chamber and brought the card to sub-zero temperatures to create an optimal overclocking environment. He also used a custom BIOS like almost all extreme overclockers do, and said it would be released in the wild soon.
It was only for a split second, but Der8uer reached a clock speed of 3,225 MHz on the card before crashing. At the end of the video, he said the card has "tremendous potential, at least for extreme overclocking," and other cards could potentially reach speeds up to 3.5 GHz.
But that is moving into the realm of high-end, heavily binned GPUs, and most gamers and hardware enthusiasts would be happy to get their hands on a 6900 XT in the first place. As with previous world records, this is a reason to celebrate. However, it is in the midst of one of the worst GPU bottlenecks on the market that may not fully recover until 2022.