Over the weekend, Gigabyte launched the first of its many overclocking competition events in the United States. The event has already been going on for some time internationally, but Gigabyte said that this is the first time that it launched something like this for State-side.
The event took place in the greater Los Angeles area around City of Industry, over the Saturday that just passed. According to Gigabyte, the top 10 "power users" in the States were invited to the event, which from our perspective, was a good start to a reoccurring event. When asked how often the competition would take place, Gigabyte indicated that it may think about bringing enthusiasts together a few times a year.
"I think we created a lot of excitement in the overclocking community, and everyone looked like they enjoyed the event. I mean, how can you ignore the two giant tanks of liquid nitrogen that we provided ?" said a Gigabyte rep.
Gigabyte’s VP of Sales and Marketing, Tony Liao, also had a few words to say :
"We greatly appreciate their efforts and see the need to re-energize the overclocking community again by bringing overclockers together at this exciting competition, not only to compete but to allow us to listen to their know-how and needs,” stated Liao.
True to form, Gigabyte provided users with two massive tanks of liquid nitrogen, which definitely made its presence known in the room. All the participants had the necessary gear on hand, including silicon sealant spray, solid copper pots and even air conditioning units. Some brought along custom water cooling rigs for their graphics cards.
The event started early in the day, and several interesting companies were present, including Corsair,
and 3Ware — the RAID company.
The invitees were timed and challenged to a variety of benchmark tests that included SuperPI, Aquamark, and 3DMark06.
The overclocking and benchmarking lasted through a good portion of the day, with some competitors pushing their hardware far enough that even fried a good piece of hardware or two. There was a great deal of socializing going between all competitors, so it was good to see everyone getting along and how much enthusiasm is in the industry.
According to Ross from OCforums.com, "but meeting all of these great overclockers face to face was one of the best parts for me. Even though it was a competition, there was plenty of camaraderie before, during and after the actual event. In the off-hours, most of us hung out together and swapped stories and even an occasional benchmarking tweak."
After several hours of brutal, finger-freezing competition, the top three winners were :
- 1st, Ross from OCforums.com
- 2nd, El<(’)> Maxi from OCforums.com
- 3rd, Fugger from XtremeSystems.org
Ross wins a trip to Taipei, Taiwan, to compete against 20 winners from 20 other regions around the world and was also awarded a Intel X48-chipset based motherboard, a 9600 GT graphics card and 2GB of DD3 (2GHz) memory set from Corsair. Apparently, Ross also won dibs to an early sample of Gigabyte’s next generation motherboard, which we were told could be the platform for Nehalem — although no CPU will be provided.
Tom’s Hardware had the chance to speak to several competitors and the general consensus is that more demand for such competitions are there. We asked Fugger what his opinion was on the hardware and the fact that the competition was exclusively liquid nitrogen :
"The X48 board is very strong and I was really surprised that the 9600GT put up decent numbers for a budget card. The heatasink and overclocking utilities make it a top choice for anyone seeking a great video card in that price range," said Fugger, owner of XtremeSystems.org.
Fugger also added that although it would be interesting to have other categories of competition, like air cooling, it would be too time consuming. "I am sure more guys want to get involved with lesser cooling and the field becomes huge to who is capable, this becomes even more of a logistics nightmare to qualify people to be a good match for the event," he added.
Excitement is definitely brewing in the community, as Tom’s Hardware is also holding its regional and international finals in the coming weeks. We will be offering everyone at our finals to use liquid nitrogen, whether or not they’ve had experience with it in the past. In fact, most if not all of the competitors in Gigabyte’s competition have signed up for ours. So get on in if you haven’t !
Our regional finals will take place in the coming weeks with the regional finals being held in Los Angeles on September 16th, 2008. Finalists in their respective regions will be flown to Paris for world-wide finals.
We’re definitely looking to bring a lot of excitement, liquid nitrogen, and hardware to the event. We’ll have several manufacturers on site to answer everyone’s questions about upcoming hardware releases and other topics. Hope to see you all there !
Update (06/03/08) : Some of you inquired about the actual specs and results of the winners. Gigabyte provided Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 processors for all contestants and Gigabyte’s GA-X48T-DQ6 motherboard. Corsair provided 2GB of DDR3 2000 memory to each and everyone used a Gigabyte GeForce 9600 GT as the standard graphics card.
Mark at XtremeSystems.org won the highest frequency category with a top CPU speed of 5.74GHz (13x440MHz). GPU speeds topped out for him at 904MHz core, 1172MHz memory and 2369MHz for shaders. Although Mark had the highest overclock for his 3DMark06 run with a resulting score of 16,705.