Overdrive: Germany's Team Is Chosen

More Overclocking With LN2

The German regional of Tom’s Hardware’s Overdrive overclocking competition came to a close late last month (see the news post Overclocking Competition: Germany Edges Past USA 8-2 for a breakdown of the scores).

The three members of the team "Benchbros" were declared the winners after a 10 hour competition. The crew, made up of David Schöppe, Manuel Wiesner, and Andreas Bock, produced record results in eight of the ten categories, achieving a clock speed of 5.9 GHz on the Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 and an MSI P45 motherboard. The winning team prepared for the task even before the event. The consensus was that the trio reached the limitations of its P45-based motherboard and processor, though the hand-selected Kingston memory modules running at DDR3-2000 didn’t even come close to their limits.

The MacSafe team chose an unusual strategy—something we didn’t see in the US—cooling the graphics card via copper sheeting, which was affixed to a self-made pot. This picture story chronicles their challenges in building a custom cooling solution for the competition.

Studying Circuit Diagrams

Jürgen Augstein from MacSafe concentrated hard, trying to make the modifications to the MSI P45D3 Platinum motherboard. The necessary layout documentation was provided beforehand.

Working Under Pressure

Division of labor at the MacSafe team: Jürgen Augstein on the left and Dominikus Baur on the right. The duo employed a very creative approach and constructed most of its mods within a short period of time.

More Work, More Pressure

Everything needed to go smoothly. With only 10 hours to mod and benchmark, there wasn’t much room for error.

Tools Of The Trade

Tools everywhere you look: the Dremel came in handy. The creative MacSafe team had to get in a number of time-intensive shopping errands in order to finalize its build.

Creative Engineering

Built-to-order: here the copper sheet for cooling the graphics card is being cut to size. Copper is an excellent heat conductor and transfers the extreme cold from the CPU pot filled with liquid nitrogen to the graphics chip. The risk of this strategy is that humidity in the air may condense on the components, causing a short.

Attention To Details

Manufacturing the copper cooling sheet took up too much of the MacSafe team’s time, so they only had a few minutes left for running the actual benchmarks.

Just Add Sub-Zero Temps

Nitrogen canisters at the ready: time to get going, assuming the CPU and graphics chip cooler are ready for LN2.

Joined At The Hip

This build is certainly inventive. In this shot we see the CPU pot and copper sheeting, used to draw heat from the graphics processor. Again, we didn’t witness anything like this during our local competition. Linking the two components was certainly an interesting thought, though.

Custom Engineering

The coupling of the processor and the graphics chip for cooling required a lot of work. At the end of the day, there was no time left for successful overclocking attempts. Perhaps this would have gone over more successfully had the competitors had more time for testing.

Here in the States, our overclockers took the GTX 280s apart completely in order to cool them with custom copper pots.

Too Much Prep, Not Enough Benchmarking

Although it’s ready for competition, this custom cooling solution involving copper wrapped around the GeForce GTX 280 simply took too long to manufacture.

  • overclocking the cpu with nitro and special coolers , for a few hours is for competition records, but what about for real life use?

    who got a good water cooler, overclocked cpu and a good motherboard for an affordable price , and less power (greener) ?

    the challenge now for example , to run a server cpu ie xeon , or even core 2 extreme on a motherboard , and achieve high clock and use less power than what 2 cpus on a server motherboard use ....

    i can not turn my office or home into gas station or rock singer entrance scene with all that white gas or smoke

    strange ... all these overclockers have not made their own designed cooling system ... for example pre made refrigerator like cooler

    for gaming , video editing , 3d designing ( including autocad ) and other demanding applications, a question like whicjh one is better ? 42inch expensive monitor or 2x22 inch affordable monitors? same for cpu for the same use, which one better multi cpu or highly overclocked single cpu ? cost vs performance? and which one simple and possible to build

  • nukemaster
    SyncMaster 245T's(sure looks like it, but the check cable screen looks wrong)? guess you guys had some $$$ to spare :p
  • a little info on the actual benchmark results please