You would think that an overclocking championship is all about setting up the system as quickly as possible to be sure you can get first results quickly. While that is true, we found that the approach is different for all the teams. After only two hours, some were still working on hardware modifications, while another team already commenced to pour liquid nitrogen into its processor cooling device. We provided two motherboards and additional graphics cards to facilitate installation and preparation: While the systems are installed on an old graphics card, other team members can mod the GeForce GTX280 card.
The French team had to start 90 minutes later, as Jean-Baptiste Marmot missed his plane yesterday. We'll provide more team to the French team WR in the end to catch up. The guys start with installing the operating system, as they say this takes the most time. Components are also checked on the way, and they started insulating motherboard components for the use with liquid nitrogen.
Typical German virtues drive the German BenchBros overclocking team, as they first make sure that all components are operational. Then they started working on insulation of the GeForce GTX280 graphics card and the motherboard. BenchBros doesn't use insulating foam, but a soft rubber from Faber Castell in Germany. This is typically used to remove pencil writing, but it is perfectly suitable for insulating motherboard components, as it bends like modeling clay, but has a lower humidity ratio.
The MemoryExtreme Team Italy starts with setting up Windows, but they check the hardware at the same time. While they do this, they make some modifications as well, as they don't trust the motherboard voltage readings: The Italians check the correct solder points to read the voltages for important system components such as the processor and the memory. Once this is done, they try how fast they can go with the memory. They say it will be a few more hours until they start working with liquid nitrogen.
The Taiwanese team CBB, headed by Coolaler, seems to be incredibly efficient, as it was already handling liquid nitrogen after only two hours of preparation. While they setup Windows on one motherboard, they make modifications and apply insulation to the second board. At the same time, they setup a liquid cooling solution for the graphics card, which also was up and running.
The American team IronMods starts with testing all components at stock conditions, as they want to be 100% sure that the hardware works properly. A good example for the necessity of this checkup was the X58 heat sink, which didn't sit firmly on the X58 north bridge. This could have prevented the team from reaching best scores, but they found and fixed the issue. Another team member took care of the voltage modding for the graphics card, although the GTC280 is still running on the standard air cooling solution. The last part of the preparation was cutting out templates of insulating foam.