How an iPad just set a Geekbench record

Liquid nitrogen cooling the 2024 iPad Pro.

Apple’s M4 chip is already setting records thanks to the help of an unconventional cooling method: liquid nitrogen. Apple’s latest ARM-based chip made its debut on the 2024 iPad Pro tablets earlier this month, which outperforms its predecessors and rival high-end desktop processors in terms of raw performance.

As reported on by Tom’s Hardware, the team at Geekerwan carried out the experiment using a Kingpin Cooling T-Rex Rev 4 CPU LN2 pot and slapping it to the back of the iPad Pro. When subjected to extreme cooling using liquid nitrogen, the M4 chip managed to go past the 4000-point barrier in Geekbench 6’s single-core benchmark. This achievement places it well ahead of some of the most powerful chips on the market, including Apple’s own M3 Max and the M2 Ultra.

Notably, the M4 chip comes in two versions: a 10-core configuration with four performance cores and six efficiency cores, available in the 1TB and 2TB models with 16GB of unified memory, and a nine-core configuration with three performance cores and six efficiency cores, found in the 256GB and 512GB models with 8GB of unified memory.

A slide from Apple's May 7, 2024 event showing the M4 chip and its internal cores, broken into performance cores and efficiency cores.

Although the M4’s performance cores already run at a robust 4.40GHz, the liquid nitrogen overclocking only increased the performance cores to 4.41GHz (an additional 10MHz). This slight boost was sufficient to surpass the 4000-point milestone in Geekbench 6.

Commonly used in high-end overclocking endeavors, liquid nitrogen can drastically reduce the temperature of a CPU. The extreme cooling minimizes thermal throttling and allows the chip to maintain higher clock speeds without overheating, thus unlocking its full performance potential. While the liquid nitrogen cooling setup is not feasible for everyday users, this benchmark result underscores the M4 chip’s potential. Consumers can expect exceptional performance in the upcoming iPad Pro, making it an ideal choice for demanding applications, from professional-grade software to high-end gaming.