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Let’s start at the very beginning, with the preparations. In order for the contest to succeed, it needed to center on hardware proven easy to overclock and able to take punishment from some of the most talented overclockers in the world. After all, a C7 and a budget 200 W power supply with S3 graphics isn’t is very exciting. So, unlike the semi-finals, where Core 2 Duos were used, we shifted focus to today's fastest processor available: the Core i7 Extreme Edition (965). Obviously, an X58-based motherboard was used (MSI's Eclipse), along with a 1,010 W power supply furnished by FSP.
Two 1 TB hard disks were used (one as backup), with 3 GB of Kingston RAM and Windows Vista Ultimate (32-bit) as the OS. Added to that were a Logitech G5 mouse and G15 keyboard, the latter of which wasn’t to everybody’s liking, incidentally, since it was a QWERTZ model (though the Germans didn’t complain at all).
The overclockers arrived all through the day on Friday the 12th, and oddly enough, the one person who didn’t make it that day was a Frenchman: Marmott. Why? He lives in England and missed his flight, and so had to find another means of transportation to the Parisian office.
To welcome the overclockers, we decided to give them a taste of French cuisine, so off we went to a restaurant. The waitress deserves an honorable mention for being a good sport. She didn’t quite understand what overclocking meant, and it seems she had our group figured for a bunch of crazy, if harmless, weirdoes.
The rapport among the different teams was very good and some even realized they’d met before: one member of the Taiwanese team had covered the MSI contest in Taipei, where Florian_76 competed.
Once dinner was over, the participants headed to get some needed rest in preparation for what promised to be two very busy days.