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Tom's Hardware Italy Lands 3DMark Hall of Fame

By - Source: Tom's Hardware IT | B 30 comments

Overclocking, since its beginnings, has always been about achieving more value for your money. One of the best feelings is knowing that you've modified your hardware to deliver more performance than it was originally manufactured to do. These days however, overclocking has transformed into a sport and teams form and compete all over the world.

One such team is our very own Tom's Hardware Italy overclocking team. Today, Futuremark announced that along with four others, Tom's Hardware Italy achieved the coveted Hall of Fame standing, earning a spot in the Top 5.

The team, which is made up of four people, achieved a 3DMark Vantage score of 37354, earning 5th spot in the Top 5 of Futuremark's Hall of Fame thanks to a CPU speed of 5,028 MHz. The following four people make up Tom's Hardware Italy's overclocking team:

Dragonx21 - Giovanni Nieto
Qballe - Marco Ballerini
Hiwa - Hiwa Pouri
Lara87 - Loretta Negrini

The following were the official system specs:

• Intel Core i7 CPU 975 @ 3.33GHz Stepping D0 3849B263; cold bug @ -120C
• Asus P6T Ws Professional 0603 Bios
• 3 x 2 GB Gskill Perfect Storm 7-8-7-20 Hyper 48 Batch
• 2 x Asus Nvidia GeForce 295 GTX @DimasChiller 3°c Water
• Enermax 1250W Revolution
• CPU cooled by Colosso/ZBlock
• Microsoft Windows Vista 32bit SP1, tweaked

BIOS settings that were used:

• Vcore: 1.5125
• Vdimm : 1.66
• Vqpi:1.50
• IOH: 1.40
• Pci-Ex:110
• Everything else set to Auto.

Nieto advised me on the team's achievement and I had the chance to ask him some quick questions. According to Nieto, the most difficult part of the team's overclocking session was dealing with the infamous cold bug associated with Intel Core i7 CPUs. Nieto said that the CPU would lock up at -120C.

The trick is all in the control of keeping the CPU pot at a stable temperature, which was roughly around -100C. This requires a constant watch over the liquid nitrogen in the pot. As the liquid nitrogen evaporates from inside the pot, the pot itself becomes colder. The faster the evaporation, the colder the pot will get. Suffice to say, the team had to keep a close watch on how much liquid nitrogen was in the pot, and control the amount, thereby keeping a stable pot temperature.

I also had the opportunity to ask Nieto some other, overclocking related questions:

How many years have you been overclocking? -
Nieto: Some of us have been overclocking since 14 years old; but we've been benching in team for two years. We decided to make it the official Tom's Hardware Italy overclocking team from in January, 2009.

What was the first CPU you overclocked?
Intel's Pentium 3.
We started to push really hard when the Pentium 4 arrived.

How much is your home PC overclocked?
We use laptop as home computers. Our bench platform however, can't run on air cooling... only LN2.
[We're extremists and] I even used LN2 on my MacBook Air :)

What kind of cooling do you use personally?
LN2 and liquid cooling -- with water cooling for the graphics cards.

What music do you listen to when you're overclocking?
The seducing sounds of cooling fan music.

What do you snack on and drink when overclocking?
Any king of snack, sweets and so on. We drink Fanta and soft drinks.

Do you achieve higher clock speeds when drinking beer?
It's happens sometimes. We even use the LN2 for cooling the beer/Fanta.

Doesn't the beer bottle or can explode with the use of LN2?
It happens yes. You can't cool it too much. Beer has a "cold bug" like the Core i7.

Does the presence of a female help achieve higher clock frequencies?
YESSSS--Lara is really important for us.

Have you ever cooked your system?
Many times unfortunately.

What's the most expensive component you've ever fried?
A Core i7 965 and some QX9650 CPUs...

What is the coldest temperature you've hit?
-190°C.

Do you know any females that overclock?
Lara87... My girlfriend.

Once again, congratulations to the Tom's Hardware Italy overclocking team for their achievement!

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    Naked_n_Happy , May 25, 2009 11:16 PM
    "thanks to a CPU speed of 5.028 MHz"

    I believe there's a typo here, unless massive cooling was used to underclock the CPU.
  • 11 Hide
    mediv42 , May 25, 2009 11:31 PM
    5.028 MHz, my god, thats almost 6 MHz!
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    Naked_n_Happy , May 25, 2009 11:16 PM
    "thanks to a CPU speed of 5.028 MHz"

    I believe there's a typo here, unless massive cooling was used to underclock the CPU.
  • 11 Hide
    mediv42 , May 25, 2009 11:31 PM
    5.028 MHz, my god, thats almost 6 MHz!
  • 8 Hide
    yoyojam55 , May 25, 2009 11:49 PM
    32-bit Vista with 6 GB of ram? WTF?
  • 3 Hide
    Greg_77 , May 25, 2009 11:57 PM
    i7 975? When did that come out?
  • 2 Hide
    truehighroller , May 26, 2009 12:54 AM
    Yeah I think that the fact that it looks like they are using three ati cards in the pics is really funyy too.
  • 2 Hide
    Tindytim , May 26, 2009 12:57 AM
    Greg_77i7 975? When did that come out?

    When Hell froze over, and pigs flew out of the gapping crevice that appeared yesterday.
  • 0 Hide
    eklipz330 , May 26, 2009 1:03 AM
    truehighrollerYeah I think that the fact that it looks like they are using three ati cards in the pics is really funyy too.


    yeah wth? they broke the record with 2xgtx 295...but some of the pics shows ati cards... unless nvidia pulled a switcheroo
  • 0 Hide
    Tindytim , May 26, 2009 1:08 AM
    eklipz330yeah wth? they broke the record with 2xgtx 295...but some of the pics shows ati cards... unless nvidia pulled a switcheroo

    Or unless those images are just examples of the sort of work Tom's Italy does.

    But the top right corner image:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/gallery/IMG_0071,0101-212198-0----jpg-.html

    Shows 2 cards wrapped up for a cooling setup, which was probably the setup for the 3D mark score.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , May 26, 2009 1:14 AM
    Beer has a "cold bug" like the Core i7 LOL!!!
  • 0 Hide
    christop , May 26, 2009 1:46 AM
    Yeah the pics threw me off and the 975 proc but its cool...
  • 0 Hide
    meatwad53186 , May 26, 2009 2:45 AM
    Thats weird that they got ahold of an i7 975 already. And for those of you thinking it's a typo, it's not. Check the CPU-Z pic in the first image on the page.
  • 0 Hide
    IzzyCraft , May 26, 2009 3:06 AM
    TindytimWhen Hell froze over, and pigs flew out of the gapping crevice that appeared yesterday.

    It cost extra you pay them to rename one of their i7's
  • 2 Hide
    truehighroller , May 26, 2009 3:12 AM
    I think it is dumb and that it defeats the purpose of having a hall of fame when only these certain select people get these special not released CPUs. If you gave THIS SETUP to me I would beat there score so who cares seriously. Bad PR IMO and I like TOMS so.. Yes I am jealous a little but, seriously, does this not defeat the purpose of the hall of fame?
  • 0 Hide
    Dekasav , May 26, 2009 3:34 AM
    The i7 975 will be out soon, don't worry about it. Besides, it'll cost ~$1000, are YOU going to buy one just to destroy it?
  • -4 Hide
    truehighroller , May 26, 2009 3:44 AM
    Overclocking doesn't destroy the CPU, or the GPU for that matter if you know what you are doing. To further delve in to the subject the only thing you need to know is to keep stuff cool and to not pump to many volts in to anything.
  • 1 Hide
    enyceckk101 , May 26, 2009 4:57 AM
    Did this beat the AMD 6.5ghz score ? ( just wondering )

    CK
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , May 26, 2009 6:32 AM
    Nice achievement by these people! Keep em going :) 
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 26, 2009 7:45 AM
    Very cool (no pun intended)... But...
    It's not stable... Unless you consider stable a setup where you constantly need to keep a check on the level of liquid nitrogen...
    I would be more enthusiast if this setup could run, say, 36 hours at 100% utilization without any assistance!

    Also, the question "How long have you been overclocking" and the answer "since we were 14yo" is quite funny... Ehm, how old are those kids? :D 
  • 0 Hide
    fooldog01 , May 26, 2009 12:43 PM
    I immediately noticed the pics show a tri SLI setup. I see I wasn't the only one. Whats that all about?
  • 1 Hide
    fooldog01 , May 26, 2009 12:45 PM
    fooldog01I immediately noticed the pics show a tri SLI setup. I see I wasn't the only one. Whats that all about?

    Err, tri Crossfire.
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