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Gigabyte Overclocking Finals: Specs and Numbers

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 20 comments

Tomorrow, Gigabyte will crown a worldwide overclocking king for 2010. Here's how the company will choose the winner.

For those following Gigabyte’s worldwide overclocking competition for 2010, here’s the hardware configuration, scoring, and rules that will govern tomorrow’s Gigabyte Open Overclocking Championship finals.

Hardware Configuration

CPU: Intel Core i7 980X
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7
VGA: Gigabyte GV-R5450C-512I (running a 19" Envision display set to 1920 x 1080)
Memory: ADATA XPG Plus Series DDR3-1866+ v2.0 6GB Triple Channel Kit
HDD: Seagate Momentus XT S95005620AS
Power Supply: Gigabyte ODIN Pro 1200W (drawing power from a 220V socket)
Keyboard-Mouse: Gigabyte GK-KM6150
OS: Windows XP SP3
Utilities, Tools: Easytune 6, SetFSB, CPUz, CPUTweaker
Graphics Drivers: Catalyst 10.5
Motherboard BIOS: To be determined

The Rationale Behind the Hardware Configuration

As Gigabyte is hosting the event, they’ll showcase as much of their hardware as possible. This explains the choice of motherboard, GPU, power supply, and even the keyboard and mouse. As for the CPU, memory, and hard disk: Intel, ADATA, and Seagate are major sponsors of the finals, so it figures that they should enjoy some face time as well. Gigabyte also maximized the opportunity to promote its new Envision display line.

Windows XP SP3 is an obvious choice for the OS. Its age speaks volumes for its relative reliability compared to Vista and even Windows 7. Last but not least, some may wonder about that HD 5450. Keep in mind that this overclocking competition is about attaining the fastest processor and memory benchmarks possible.

The Numbers That Will Determine the Winner

Ultimately, the winner will be chosen by the numbers generated by four benchmarking software: Pifast, MAXXMEM, Super PI mod 1.5, and Wprime. All fifteen finalists will go through four rounds of judging, where they attempt to generate the highest numbers for the corresponding benchmark before the time for that round runs out. Submission of benchmarks will be accomplished by saving screenshots and output files on a brand-new flash drive provided by the organizers. After each round Gigabyte reps will assign points to the finalists based on their performance with each benchmark. The breakdown:

Benchmark – Points for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th
Pifast – 20, 16, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2
MAXXEM – 20, 16, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2
Super PI mod 1.5 (32M) – 30, 24, 20, 16, 12, 10, 8, 6
Wprime (32M) – 20, 16, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2

At the end of all four rounds, the overclocker with the highest amount of total points will be crowned champion. The benchmarking suite was formulated by Rockson Chiang, Gigabyte’s resident overclocking guru. One more thing: “In case of a tie, contest with the highest Pifast is declared the winner.” Let’s hope we don’t see any equal Pifast scores!

Update: For the actual competition, Gigabyte dropped the four-round configuration. All contestants were given 4 hours and 50 minutes to come up with the highest scores. In other words, the finalists were free to choose how and when to tackle each benchmark within the competition time.

The Rules

Here are the regulations each finalist will have to follow, listed here verbatim:

1. Hardware and software are provided by Gigabyte and official sponsors.
2. No brands other than Gigabyte and approved official sponsors will be allowed.
3. Gigabyte will provide hardware replacement if the original one dies or fails, but one chance only.
4. Contestants are allowed to bring their own equipment for soldering and modification. Modified hardware is allowed, so bring your modding tools.
5. Contestants should bring their own LN2 pots for CPU/GPU/Chipset. (LN2 will be prepared by Gigabyte). Also, any kind of cooling apparatus is allowed.
6. No graphics card modification is allowed, including removing the standard cooling fan.
7. HDDs are pre-installed and configured with windows XP SP3, drivers, benchmark and utilities.
8. No outside software, non-Gigabyte prepared thumb drive, optical device, etc are allowed.
9. Power source for competition is 220V.
10. New USB thumb drives will be provided by Gigabyte to save scores and screen shots.
11. Contestants may bring their own multi-meter or digital temperature meter.
12. Hair dryers will be not be provided, so ask nicely and borrow your girlfriend’s for the event.
13. Contest need to bring their own insulation tool kits. Also paper towels, extra thermo, Dixie CPU, thermal paste, Vaseline, scissors, etc. (Gigabyte will provide a limited supply)

Four new rules were added:

14. No batch files.
15. No mobile phones (to prevent each competitors from receiving tips).
16. CPUTweaker can’t be used with Max/Min.
17. No uninstallation of GPU drivers.

How well would you do under these conditions? See who won the competition here.

Display 20 Comments.
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  • 0 Hide
    trkorecky , September 24, 2010 5:34 PM
    Quote:
    How well would you do under these conditions?


    Depends on the time limit. Might destroy some hardware due to lack of experience with LN2, but I'd definitely give it my all.

    All in all sounds like an awesome contest.
  • 3 Hide
    scook9 , September 24, 2010 6:01 PM
    Surprised they are not using the UD9...and these are some of the benchmarks Toms Hardware needs to run when doing reviews (also good idea to check out the full battery of benches at HWBOT.org)
  • 0 Hide
    Snipergod87 , September 24, 2010 6:13 PM
    At least they are using Cat 10.5 instead of the newer versions
  • 1 Hide
    saint19 , September 24, 2010 6:17 PM
    ^The max in HWBot with an i7-980x is 7GHz or a little more, so, I got 5.6GHz with an i5-655K and phase change but with LN2 u need more skills maybe 6.5GHz a little more.
  • 1 Hide
    HibyPrime , September 24, 2010 6:30 PM
    Quote:
    12. Hair dryers will be not be provided, so ask nicely and borrow your girlfriend’s for the event.


    Considering this is about as geeky a hardware-related competition can get, I found that sentence pretty funny.

    I'd probably do really bad under these conditions, I've only ever really had two systems that were even mildly overclockable (current PH II x3 and an old PIII 550mhz). I'd probably have a lot of fun ruining what looks to be a solid $2000+ worth of hardware though lol
  • -4 Hide
    rpmrush , September 24, 2010 6:34 PM
    This would be fun..They provide the hardware and LN2! Sweet! And u get 1 chance to push it too far! MAX OC here I come! I love voltage tweaking.
  • 3 Hide
    Onus , September 24, 2010 6:52 PM
    All well and good, but yielding meaningless results. I'd like to see an overclocking competition featuring the stock cooler (ok, maybe a $40 air cooler). It's how you tweak each and every minuscule setting that makes the difference, and how well you do translates to the real world, and the results others might expect.
  • -2 Hide
    KingArcher , September 24, 2010 7:49 PM
    Quote:
    Memory: ADATA XPG Plus Series DDR3-1866+ v2.0 6GB Triple Channel Kit
    OS: Windows XP SP3


    Really? I didn't know XP could handle more than 3-4GB /sarcasm
  • 4 Hide
    zak_mckraken , September 24, 2010 8:18 PM
    KingArcherReally? I didn't know XP could handle more than 3-4GB /sarcasm

    XP 64bit does. /not sarcasm.
  • -2 Hide
    iamtheking123 , September 24, 2010 8:51 PM
    jtt283All well and good, but yielding meaningless results. I'd like to see an overclocking competition featuring the stock cooler (ok, maybe a $40 air cooler). It's how you tweak each and every minuscule setting that makes the difference, and how well you do translates to the real world, and the results others might expect.


    Agree. These competitions are just PR for the companies sponsoring them and thus a waste of time. Anyone remember AMD being able to go up to 6 ghz on liquid helium? But oh wait, with NORMAL cooling that people can actually use 24/7, Intel's offerings overclocked 2x better.
  • 2 Hide
    gnesterenko , September 24, 2010 9:00 PM
    Quote:
    5. Contestants should bring their own LN2 pots for CPU/GPU/Chipset. (LN2 will be prepared by Gigabyte). Also, any kind of cooling apparatus is allowed.
    6. No graphics card modification is allowed, including removing the standard cooling fan.


    *facepalm
  • 0 Hide
    scook9 , September 24, 2010 9:44 PM
    jtt283All well and good, but yielding meaningless results. I'd like to see an overclocking competition featuring the stock cooler (ok, maybe a $40 air cooler). It's how you tweak each and every minuscule setting that makes the difference, and how well you do translates to the real world, and the results others might expect.


    They are doing a lot of the same tweaks that they would be with regular air cooling. The point of this is going to extremes....not everyday OC's

    You would not be modding the electronic components on your motherboard for an everyday air cooled OC
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 24, 2010 10:12 PM
    This is an extreme competition, so the conditions are regulated, the hardware provided, and the speeds are beyond what anyone could do at home. This competition is almost the Formula 1 of overclocking. Of course its nothing like the real world. If you want to see home setups, there are plenty online, but this is a hand picked arrangement for teams that do this on a regular basis. These are competitions, so they are pushing the limits on all fronts, not just the clock speeds.. LN2 is about as extreme as you are going to get for cooling.. I'm all for it, its just what these guys do for fun!
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , September 25, 2010 12:46 AM
    Exciting to hear the results!
  • -2 Hide
    dEAne , September 25, 2010 2:37 AM
    wow windows XP can handle that? maybe this is not correct.
  • 7 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , September 25, 2010 3:30 AM
    Quote:
    12. Hair dryers will be not be provided, so ask nicely and borrow your girlfriend’s for the event.

    Really? People in this contest HAVE girlfriends? Well I guess if AMD will tell girls how to attract geeky boyfriends, anything can happen.
  • 0 Hide
    zak_mckraken , September 27, 2010 12:46 PM
    @gnesterenko: I dunno... maybe they expect people pouring LN2 on the cards without modifying them?
  • -1 Hide
    blackened144 , September 27, 2010 1:59 PM
    zak_mckrakenXP 64bit does. /not sarcasm.

    Why would they specify SP3 but not 64bit?
    JOSHSKORNReally? People in this contest HAVE girlfriends? Well I guess if AMD will tell girls how to attract geeky boyfriends, anything can happen.

    Everyone knows that the people competing in this contest will have to borrow their moms hair dryer.
  • 0 Hide
    verbalizer , September 30, 2010 1:32 PM
    wow...! pretty cool.
  • 0 Hide
    AstroTC , November 1, 2010 1:50 AM
    Id like to go to one of these, pardon my geekyness but it sounds fun