Last Sunday, China’s northern city of Mohe experienced its coldest temperatures since 1969, reaching a low of -53C, and Chinese content creator “苏打baka” decided to bring along her entire gaming PC loaded with an Intel Core i9- 13900K CPU and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 to see how it feels to game in subzero temperatures.
Content Creator puts Intel Core i9-13900K and NVIDIA RTX 4090 gaming PC to the test, running in China’s coldest city with temperatures of -53C
The video has a warning “No hardware was damaged while recording this video” in the description and you really need to see it to get a taste of what this content channel is all about.
So to begin with, Baka first put together a test setup with an Intel 2nd/3rd generation CPU running on an H61 motherboard. You may be wondering what’s so interesting about this setup. Well, the CPU ran without any heatsink and since the temperatures were so low, the CPU had an operating temperature of -2 to -1C. Even under AIDA64’s stress test, the CPU registered a temperature of just 1-3C, even after a few minutes under load.
But that’s no fun, the actual build is what this story is about and that used a top-end Intel Core i9-13900K CPU, an ASUS GeForce RTX 4090 ROG STRIX graphics card and a 360mm AIO cooler. It is well known that the Core i9-13900K can reach 90-100C even with good cooling under stress tests. It was first run at moderate ambient temperatures and the CPU initially did thermal throttle as expected, but it’s the next part where it goes crazy. In fact, the temperatures outside got so cold that the pump eventually died and the fluid in the AIO froze, meaning it didn’t work at all.
To take it to the extreme, a Frankenstein of an air cooler with several industrial grade fans. The AIO was replaced with the Noctua NH-P1 passive heatsink and the CPU dropped to 10-15C while the GPU ran at an even lower -40C temperature (-18C Hotspot). The CPU had so much thermal headroom that it easily clocked up to 6.18 GHz. Under load, the GPU never went above 30C.
And what do you do when your PC with 24 Intel cores at 6.18 GHz and the best NVIDIA GPU in the world is operating in sub-zero temperatures? Of course you play Minesweeper..
After testing and spending an entire night in the sub-zero wilderness of Mohe, the PC and cables were completely covered in ice. We’d assume the hardware survived, but this was certainly an interesting experiment. It seems that people living in cold regions can’t use PC gaming hardware as makeshift heaters in the winter, that’s all I could make of this video. Check it out below: