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MSI's Overclocking Final: Amsterdam

The Final In Amsterdam

Our arrival in Amsterdam: bikes are everywhere. The winners of the French final, Marmott and Florian 76, are ready to compete. The French final, which we covered for you here at Tom’s, was a prelude to these European finals in Amsterdam, with the world finals to be held by year’s end.

The Final In Amsterdam

Arriving at the hotel: our overclockers get their gear ready. Motherboards, canisters for liquid nitrogen, hair dryers, multimeters and glue guns are checked and re-checked.

The Final In Amsterdam

MSI went all-out to pamper the competitors: restaurants, charming Taiwanese hostesses to cheer the overclockers on, and a posh room to welcome us in.

The Final In Amsterdam

The overclockers had been sent part of the hardware before the competition: an MSI P45D3 motherboard, OCZ memory (DDR3-16000 Platinum), an MSI graphics card (9600GT 512 MB), and an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 processor (3 GHz). As you can see here, some competitors had already modded their cards.

The Final In Amsterdam

The competition venue was marked by an MSI banner. We had to cross a canal to get to it—we are in Amsterdam, after all.

The Final In Amsterdam

MSI planned on most of the overclockers using extreme cooling, so a huge tank of liquid nitrogen (at -196 °C) was on hand to fill the participants’ Thermoses for cooling the processors.

The Final In Amsterdam

In addition to the equipment that had already been sent, the overclockers were provided with an OCZ Vendetta 2 cooler (for the CPU), a mouse and keyboard, and a 750 W power supply (a PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad). The system support provided (in lieu of a computer case) was pretty original: a motherboard PCB (here, a P45 Diamond) without the components.

The Final In Amsterdam

With liquid nitrogen cooling, motherboard insulation is important. Without it, condensation can cause short-circuits. There are three major techniques: varnish, modeling clay, and neoprene foam (as in this picture).

The Final In Amsterdam

Modeling-clay insulation was big in Amsterdam. A little piece of advice for overclockers, though: avoid a well-known brand whose name ends in a familiar Homer Simpson interjection. It’s conductive, and that’s, well, not really a good thing for insulation (ed.—Doh!).

The Final In Amsterdam

Another stereotype bites the dust: the overclocking world is not male-only. We saw female overclockers at work on the Dutch team.

The Final In Amsterdam

Pouring liquid nitrogen into the canister that sits on top of the processor (or the chipset or other component) to cool it.

  • neiroatopelcc
    Wouldn't hurt if you'd included a simple list at the end listing all teams scores in the individual benchmarks, and perhaps the top frequencies achieved. msi is bound to have such lists they could lend you!
    Reply
  • craig hallworth
    Where's the photo of the winner's celebration at the 'cafe'?
    Reply
  • Car6on14
    It would be great if you guys would post a list of events like this with dates and location. If there are that many? I think it would be really interesting to check one out...
    Reply
  • I've bin at the pre-rounds and miserabely failed lol. Something with XP SP3 and a rivatuner which refused to apply my OC. The dutch guy is Snot_aap, a respected overclocked together with his GF, who also applied Dry-ice to the previous contest.

    Great to have something dutch even on Tomshardware =)
    Reply
  • sirrell
    Very nice clock speeds, I agree with Neirotopelcc, need more details..
    Bet you guys were having too much fun to record the details..

    Just hope the world final includes some aussies..
    I'd love to play with liquid nitrogen :)
    AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE OI OI OI...
    Reply
  • Pei-chen
    At least the Greeks beat the Turks. Let’s see how the European does on the world final.
    Reply
  • caamsa
    "The Greeks Don't Want No Freaks"
    Reply
  • kitsilencer
    Like the French finals that you covered, this is nothing more than a glorified photo album. Details please. Apart from knowing how people are taking their machines to the edge, it'd bwe nice to know where the 'edge' is.
    Reply
  • caskachan
    I said it last time whe yous tarted about this thign of overclocking contests....

    wheres the god damn NUMBERS, im sure most of us come here clicing to see what is the NEW world record overclock and what cpu made it and what numbers theya chieved with it.... the way youve presented the information in this and the last times, makes it feel like im not reading a technology site at all

    ill wade trough see if i can find numbers...
    Reply
  • caskachan
    Ok.. so i suppose third place Megahurts and BUS speed can be made public,but not 2nd and 1st place, in order to keep the competition going on?..or what?
    btw stopmakign this in a slide show fashion, the ads are killing this site (load times)
    Reply