Overdrive: Overclocking Finals Kick Off

{{Paris, December 13, 2008: The Tom's Hardware Overdrive championship is definitely heating up. Today and tomorrow, five teams from France, Germany, Italy, Taiwan and the United States will be battling for bragging rights on having the fastest benchmarks and highest CPU frequency. Intel's state of the art Core i7 systems will be the new playing field for our competitors.}}

Our first prize is a $5,000 gift certificate, which the winners can redeem in their home country. To our knowledge, this is the first overclocking event that is based on Intel's Core i7 and we're expecting speeds in excess of 5GHz.

Five Countries

The best overclockers gather in Paris for our Overdrive finals.

Overdrive began with overclocking trials in the United States on November 8 and 9, continued in Germany on November 21, Taiwan on November 22 and 23 and concluded the trials in France and Italy on November 29 and 30. Up to five teams competed in each country, and the winners were flown to our Paris headquarters for this weekend's grand finals. All the teams brought their overclocking tools needed to modify hardware. Some of them even brought family members to witness the fun with them.


All the Overdrive trials were based on the same components, which makes it possible to compare the overclocking results and benchmarks reached in our five countries. the US team was the strongest in SuperPI 32M, while Taiwan and Germany dominated the 3DMark benchmarks. France was strong in SuperPI 1M and wPrime, while Italy missed a top ranking.

However, the gap is very little and Italy made the second or third place in various benchmarks. Since we switched to Core i7 and X58 platforms, the playing field is even. Although all the teams already have some experience with the new platforms, the new platform significantly reduces experience bias between the teams..

Swipe to scroll horizontally
SuperPi 1.5 1M8,018 s7,737 s7,984 s7,691 s7,768 s
SuperPi 1.5 32M9 min 21,958 s9 min 32,379s10 min 01,438s10 min 17,947s11 min 19,142s
wPrime 1.55 32M12,985 s12,605 s12,890 s12,450 s12,760 s
wPrime 1.55 1024M429,141 s408,002 s421,390 s406,458 s419,749 s
PiFast 4.116,94 s16,24 s16,92 s16,29 s16,86 s
AquaMark 2003222816 points224313 points207632 points225675 points211925 points
3DMark 0181190 points82924 points81658 points81929 points78938 points
3DMark 0370110 points69710 points73560 points67777 points69399 points
3DMark 0533993 points31399 points34081 points31632 points30602 points
3DMark 0622460 points22715 points22 468 points20847 points21249 points

Sponsors: MSI, FSP/Fortron, Samsung, Kingston, Logitech

Five global key players supported us in this event, providing the necessary hardware and technical support. MSI provided P45 motherboards, FSP supplied Everest 1010 1,000 W power supplies, Samsung made sure the teams got Spinpoint F 1-TB hard drive and Super Writemaster DVD burners. Kingston added specially screened and hand-selected HyperX DDR3 DIMMs, which are capable of reaching speeds way beyond DDR3-2000. And lastly, Logitech provides G11 gaming keyboards and G5 Laser mice.

We posted a article dedicated to the components used for overdrive: The Hardware Behind Overdrive. However, two details need to be updated as our finals are based on Core i7 platforms rather than the Core 2 Duo. We're now using MSI X58 Eclipse boards and Core i7 Extreme processors to provide the best possible platform for the competitors.

At this time, the competition between all teams are extremely close and well rounded. We're extremely excited to see what the teams can do with Intel's new Core i7. More information to come soon! Good luck to all the teams!

Check out our entire Overdrive coverage on our Overclocking micro site!