Liquid nitrogen depletes oxygen from the air. So, we had to run oxygen depletion monitors at key points to assure that oxygen levels remained safe and no one passed out or died of suffocation.
Picture 3 of 29
When oxygen levels drop below 19%, it’s time to leave the area. Levels remained around 21% throughout the contest.
Picture 4 of 29
Handling liquid nitrogen can be hazardous to your health. However, experts like our contestants do it with confidence and virtually no injuries. Injuries? If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can get frost bite on you skin or eye damage when the stuff comes shooting out of a valve on the tank.
Picture 5 of 29
Team 411 Overkill Extreme Overclocking (Orange Tom’s Overdrive shirts) and Team OC Forums (Green shirts) relax a bit while Windows Vista loads on their PCs.
Picture 6 of 29
The stock MSI P45D3 Platinum motherboard used by contestants.
Picture 7 of 29
Our 160 liter liquid nitrogen containers each weighed around 400 pounds full and had to be handled with great care. The contents were stored at 22 psi and whenever we moved the tanks or placed them in a warmer environment, they made a spectacular hissing sound as the tanks vented enough to keep pressure at the 22 psi level.
Picture 8 of 29
An OC Forums team member grabs some liquid nitrogen.
Picture 9 of 29
This dewar (tank) of liquid nitrogen is stabilized at 22 psi.
Picture 10 of 29
Valve open and here comes the liquid nitrogen pouring into a thermos that helps retain some of that extreme coolness.
Picture 11 of 29
Chris Angelini, managing editor of Tom’s Hardware USA shows off his black staff tee shirt for the event.
Picture 12 of 29
Time to dump some of that cold stuff on the Intel Core 2 Duo 8600 processor.
Picture 13 of 29
Even high tech extreme overclockers have their favorite good luck charms.
Picture 14 of 29
The guys from Team IronMods ponder a problem with their motherboard. Each team received two complete PCs and were allowed to use either PCs components. If they fried a component, they were penalized 5% for each sizzling part.
Picture 15 of 29
Team 411 Overkill Extreme Overclocking (black shirts) and Team 5G (blue shirts) spent a lot of time preparing their hardware before chasing the benchmark scores Team OC Forums and Team IronMods had already posted.
Picture 16 of 29
Those 160 liter liquid nitrogen tanks in all their glory.
Picture 17 of 29
Picture 18 of 29
Picture 19 of 29
Picture 20 of 29
Picture 21 of 29
Picture 22 of 29
Picture 23 of 29
Picture 24 of 29
Team 5G enveloped almost the entire XFX GTX 280 graphics card in a custom designed cooling jacket.