Once the handshakes were over, the weaponry was handed out. Since the goal of the contest wasn’t to reach the highest possible clock frequency in absolute terms, but rather to determine the most skilful overclockers, it started with a level playing field : a configuration put together by MSI. This setup included :
- an MSI P45D3 Platinum motherboard
- an Intel Core 2 Quad QX9650 processor, cooled by a Cooler Master Hyper 212
- an NVidia GeForce 9600GT graphics card
- 1 GB of Corsair DDR3
- a Cooler Master Real Power Pro 1000 W power supply
Of course you could argue that, despite the choice of identical components, all teams didn’t have exactly the same chances because of the uncertainties of processor fabrication. Perhaps—but it would be very hard to find a satisfactory solution to that problem.
The performance levels of each team were evaluated using a series of well-known benchmarks : SuperPi (1 M and 32 M), AquaMark 3, 3D Mark 05 and 06, and wPrime (32 M and 1024 M). SetFSB and CPU-Z were used to validate the frequencies achieved.