On the 10th of April 9 European teams compteted in the finals of the Gigabyte Intel P55 OC Challenge. Bjorn3D was there to follow the finals and see who eventually would come out on top and win the whole competition.
Overclocking must be the computer equivalent of Formular One or Nascar for cars. The goal is the same: push the car/computer to its absolute maximum and then a bit more. Just as in racing a lot of companies that create components for the cars, or in this case computers, want to be associated with the people involved and thus it is not strange to see companies like ASUS, Intel, AMD and Gigabyte spending lots of time and money on overclocking events.
We were invited to be a partner for one of these event, the Gigabyte Intel P55 OC Challenge, and then attend the event to find out who the best European P55-overclocker is (on a Gigabyte P55-motherboard).
The rules for qualifying for the competition were pretty straightforward:
- Live in one of the listed European countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Iceland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden or Switzerland)
- Post the lowest scores in Intel burn test and Super Pi
- All types of cooling allowed
- Must be done on a Gigabyte motherboard
Teams of up to 2 persons were allowed and only one team per country could qualify.
The results of the qualification produced 9 teams:
The names in bold were the people who qualified for the final. Jonas Klar from Sweden actually was teamed up with Henry de Kruijf on the Swedish team so he also was qualified.
It is easy to think that overclocking mostly is about changing and tweaking settings in the bios but it of course also involves a lot of tools around the computer. Every team brought their own tools and here are some photos to give you an idea what you need to become a pro-overclocker.
THE RULES FOR THE FINAL
The final had similar rules as the qualification with a few differences. Gigabyte provided the motherboard, memory, videocard and powersupply to the teams. Each team could then download any software and modify the hardware any way they wanted. The hardware that they received were:
- Gigabyte P55A-UD7
- Intel Core i5 670
- Corsair CMGTX1 2400 MHz 9-11-9-27 1.65V DDR3 (2x2GB)
- Corsair HX850W PSU
- Gigabyte Super Over Clocker GTX260
While we were waiting for Gigabyte to get a hose for their huge liquid nitrogen tank so they could start filling up smaller canisters all the teams went on to prepare and build their computers, of course without any cases.
Even though every one of the teams was competing against each other it was cool to see that they still had no problems sharing tools or helping each other.
Since liquid nitrogen is being used to cool the CPU there is a need not only to insulate the rest of the motherboard but also put a canister on the motherboard where the nitrogen is poured. There were many different solutions on how to insulate the motherboard.
The teams had over 4 hours to get the scores for Intel Burn Test and Super pi. That said it was quickly obvious that a lot of the teams simply decided to keep their scores to themselves and not reveal anything. The Swedish team submitted the first score with about 1 ½ hour left and even when only 40 minutes were left we only had seen scores from the Swedish and the Swizz team, both getting their i5 670 up to just under 6 GHz (up from 3.46 GHz).
The competition did take its toll though as several teams had to get new components as their given once broke. The Norwegian team had it especially hard as it took them to the last hour to figure out that their motherboard was faulty and they had to disassemble and reassemble the system again in little time.
After more than 4 hours sweat and frustration the competition was finally ended and as expected right after most of the teams handed in USB-sticks with screenshots of their best runs. During the 4 hours it was quite boring sitting at the side looking at the teams working but as the scores now started to pour in the tension increased as everyone waited for each new score to appear on the scoreboard.
For a long time it looked like the top three would be Finland, Switzerland and Sweden but with the absolute last submitted score Germany managed to surge ahead and take over the 1st place from Finland pushing Sweden out of the top three.
The final results were:
- Germany: Super Pi: 6.599, Intel Burn Test: 120.56/10 => Tot: 18.655 seconds
- Finland: Super Pi: 6.864, Intel Burn Test: 124.71/10 => Tot: 19.335 seconds
- Switzerland: Super Pi: 6.833, Intel Burn Test: 126.19/10 => Tot: 19.452 seconds
- Sweden: Super Pi: 6.926, Intel Burn Test: 129.62 => Tot: 19.888 seconds
- The Netherlands: Super Pi: 7.02, Intel Burn Test: 132.65/10 => Tot: 20.288 seconds
- Denmark: Super Pi: 7.27, Intel Burn Test: 133.97/10 => Tot: 20.667 seconds
- Belgium: Super Pi: 6.973, Intel Burn Test: 143.5/10 => Tot: 21.323 seconds
- Austria: Super Pi: 7.262, Intel Burn Test: 139.78/10 => Tot: 21.341 seconds
- Norway: No results
All teams received a Gigabyte P55A-UD7 motherboard and the top three teams also received a goodie bag with hardware from Gigabyte. The German team also will get the first Gigabyte P55-UD9 motherboard when it is released.
As a person who rarely overclocks it was really cool to see how these professionals did it with the liquid nitrogen. They were constantly pouring new nitrogen and then warming it up again with a hairdryer while keeping an eye on condensation and temperature. It is obvious that this is something you only can do if you have lots and lots of patience and time as most of the 4 hours they competed were spent rebooting from a crashed computer.
Are you interested in overclocking? Why not joing our forum and participate in the Overclocking forum!