bit-tech.net

Do Overclocking Tournaments Work?

Posted on 21st May 2009 at 14:23 by Richard Swinburne with 34 comments

Richard Swinburne
I'm confused.

I admire the people that take part in overclocking tournaments but I fail to understand why so much money is plowed into them by big hardware companies, presumably keen to use the event as a marketing tool.

Gigabyte has its Gigabyte Open Overclocking Championship (GOOC), MSI has MOA, and Asus and DFI have also had a stab at running their own events, and I'm curious to understand if you, the readers, follow them, takes note of what happens and even cares?

I find it strange that motherboard companies are pushing these events, considering that extreme overclocking is mostly limited by CPU quality and essentially the luck of the draw once you are skilled enough to know the process.

This is not to take away from those highly skilled individuals with the niche know-how, and having a bash at it is certainly fun, especially if you win, but from an consumer point of view, what is the relevance?

There's no "you are only allowed air cooling and the overclock must be 24hr stable" rule - instead, you just need to get the system to a point where it can benchmark using any means possible, which is clearly not what you want for your own PC at home or work.

When the tournaments are on it may generate coverage for a day or two, an interesting article to read, but does it make someone want to buy the product? I'm keen to know the relevance between LN2 and my next motherboard purchase.

Gigabyte is holding its GOOC finals during Computex in Taiwan at the start of June and MSI's next MOA is in Beijing in September. Will you be following either when we report on them?

Let us know your thoughts on the subject.

34 Comments

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GFC 21st May 2009, 14:34 Quote
I'd agree with the post. I too admire the overclockers, but i'm just amazed at how just a lucky draw [of the cpu] can determent the outcome of the competition. So really, is there anything more than a lucky cpu draw?
I don't mean to say that overclocking (especially the extreme ones) don't require skill, i just don't understand the competition, when a good pick can determine the outcome [most of the time].
Jamie 21st May 2009, 15:00 Quote
I can definitely say the results of any overclocking tournaments would not influence my purchasing decisions.
adam_bagpuss 21st May 2009, 15:03 Quote
maybe they could all use the same CPU lol one after another.
sear 21st May 2009, 15:29 Quote
It's a silly little thing that helps brand recognition. Probably too much money being poured into it, but it does certainly keep those companies involved in the enthusiast community, and I think that's what matters to them.
wuyanxu 21st May 2009, 15:45 Quote
they should have 24/7 overclock tournament instead of the extreme overclocking that makes sure the CPU is dead afterwards.

each team gets 10 hours to tweak their setup, then the machine is put to test for 7 days, if a machine fails, you are out. the ending team with highest clock speed wins
SlowMotionSuicide 21st May 2009, 15:55 Quote
Precisely.

But then, what is the point with high-end motorsports then, be it Moto-GP, Formula 1's or WRC? Most probably you're not gonna buy a car that dishes out crazy performance for couple of hours maximum and dies afterwards, yet those sports got fans numbering hundreds of thousands.

And yeah, I'll definitely read the articles when they come out, even though they won't affect my next mobo purchase in any way.
isaac12345 21st May 2009, 16:07 Quote
formula 1 goes on for a whole year. such an event lasts only a day or two. these events would be more interesting if the overclockers were given motherboards from different vendors. or if each team was backed by a mobo vendor. that way it will be even more competitive as every company would want its mobo to excel. one could have price categories as well, for example, the teams could have an e8400 and a 100 pound limit on their choice of motherboards. these little things could make the competition more interesting from a consumer point of view.
SiG 21st May 2009, 16:14 Quote
I find it strangely ironic that the 'big hardware companies' promote, run or sponsor these events considering the fact they quite often warn you not to do so because it will void your warranty.
Highland3r 21st May 2009, 16:26 Quote
Consider it this way - you're a novice looking to build your first PC. You do some reasearch online and stumble across 2 sites.
One has the headline "xxx makers of the motherboard powering the worlds fastest PC" and the other says "xxx, makers of motherboards with green stickers". Kinda an extreme (and unrealistic example) but hopefully proves my point. UNLESS you have a love of green stickers, chances are 9/10 people will go for products from the first company?
Flashy banners and claims of 6ghz overclocks may have been achived using methods unsuitable for prolonged running are enough to sway some people.
Some people would much rather pay a few quid more for "racing pedigree" than pay for a reliant robin ripoff.

Does it sway me? Personally no. Does it generate them more custom - more than likely yes. There's NO way in hell they'd pay to organise an event if there was no deemed commercial gain.
thehippoz 21st May 2009, 16:28 Quote
it's nice to know where the ceiling is on certain hardware.. even if it's on ln2- you can get a look at the top without spending a fortune

I like em.. but then again I like to disassemble everything
Von Lazuli 21st May 2009, 16:55 Quote
Well, you could consider extreme overclockers as the best test of a motherboard. It is thanks to them that various modifications are performed on motherboards in order to get them to clock higher. Motherboard manufacturers find this information pretty useful.

Look at the EVGA Classified. That thing was designed by an extreme overclocker, Shimano, and it is one of the best boards out there (albeit, only for overclocking...)

But competitions, it comes down to luck on your CPU binning and the tiniest of little tweaks. I would love to see a competition of the form that isaac postulates, where teams are backed by motherboard manufacturers. Would force some pretty cool developments.

Laz
Bindibadgi 21st May 2009, 17:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Von Lazuli

Look at the EVGA Classified. That thing was designed by an extreme overclocker, Shimano, and it is one of the best boards out there (albeit, only for overclocking...)

Who here owns a Classified? Who here will benefit from one unless they are extreme cooling?

All that R&D and how many sales?

It might be a big dick swinging marketing machine, but at the same time, where's the "F1 experience for the masses?"
Panther57 21st May 2009, 17:46 Quote
What a topic, OverClocking contests!
These contest's to OverClock for the highest scores through BenckMark programs only show that current equipment is capiable of producing amazing increases that are not stable for daily use of a PC.
As a consumer that has interest in OverClocking, it would seem non-supportave of these contest buy being of agreement that an OverCkolcking Contest from the Manufacturer's would have more of an impact on us OverClockers that want to Get the Best out of our PC's through OverClocking and having a "Stable" condition that will both tune-up and maximize our available speeds, than to watch a group of talented people get statistics that are useless to the everyday user. Not to forget that there is a lot of money in our equipment, warranties to stay within and adjustments that work all day.

They should have two contest's. One as they do, and another to get result's that BenckMark "Stable" long runs like the 24hrs mentioned. And not just speed but what a true OverClock "Tune-up" will do for us like overall Mathmatics and processing speed's, not overall speed. What OverClocked system get's the best out of thier equipment against simular equipped PC's. That way it is not who can afford the best current equipment, but who has fine tuned the best for overall performance.

If I read an article about success that way it would influence my buying decissions, or future upgrades.
slipperyskip 21st May 2009, 17:52 Quote
IMO, a misguided use of a company's increasingly limited promotional budget. Support for case modders and case mod compettions is being slashed and diverted to a narrowly focused niche competition whose end product is a screenshot of a fleeting moment in time. Am I to believe that this is a more effective promotional tool than a photo of a logo emblazoned across a real world application?
Slaymate 21st May 2009, 23:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_bagpuss
maybe they could all use the same CPU lol one after another.

They would also need to all use the same motherboard and memory as they also vary.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Von Lazuli
Look at the EVGA Classified. That thing was designed by an extreme overclocker, Shimano, and it is one of the best boards out there (albeit, only for overclocking...)

That just proves my point. If you'll look at the EVGA Forum you'll see alot of Classified boards that don't OC as well as my standard EVGA X58 mobo and I'm on air.

http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=164340
I have upgraded to a D stepping and DDR3 2000 memory

http://img21.imageshack.us/my.php?image=8968n.jpg

Given the right equipment 85% of the over-clocking community could contend for a World Record or Tournament Win.
TiTON 22nd May 2009, 00:31 Quote
This is weird to see the topic of "Do OC Tourny work" coming from a Mod website. Is Bit-Tech trying to intentionally trying to split the two main PC enthusiast community?

What if an OC website wrote an article, "Do Case Modding Contest Work"? They can start asking stuff.. is it fair that some people have access to CNC, laser cutter, powder coating machine, and HVLP?

I have been involved in both OC'ing contest and Case modding contest. I think PC vendors do a great job of supporting both community. I just think this article is in real bad taste. I have no idea what the goal is for this article?

Rich.. you wrote this about OC'ing contest, "...from an consumer point of view, what is the relevance?"

Hmm.. Now i put the question to you.. if a case modder put a particular PC part in their computer, then is there more relevance to the consumr?

-Ton
TiTON 22nd May 2009, 00:33 Quote
PS - Hey Slay.. whats up buddy.. its been a long time.. i hope things are well with you :)
thehippoz 22nd May 2009, 01:21 Quote
hey titon.. what I never understood is why these guys who do ocing with ln2 just don't hire a hack to skew the marks believably- just to win the contest.. I mean noone at these events would even suspect there was a prize whore in the ranks :D
Slaymate 22nd May 2009, 01:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiTON
PS - Hey Slay.. whats up buddy.. its been a long time.. i hope things are well with you :)

Not much Ton, a little overclocking and case modding here and there :D

I'm always in the market for slightly used sample parts, I'm still using the last ES I got from Cpt.Planet in my office PC :D

I'll install a chat program and catch you in the next few days.
naokaji 22nd May 2009, 01:54 Quote
Let's face it, the mainboard business is rather rough, I mean you could just pick about any board and get a decent 24/7 oc out of it, so advertising is important, unlike lets say toilet paper which is advertised on tv mainboard mainboard manufacturers just chose a different way to push brand recognition.
TiTON 22nd May 2009, 02:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehippoz
hey titon.. what I never understood is why these guys who do ocing with ln2 just don't hire a hack to skew the marks believably- just to win the contest.. I mean noone at these events would even suspect there was a prize whore in the ranks :D

hey thehippoz. well.. there are always those that try to cheat. Many bench mark programs try to create checksums results to validate the score. When you put a dozen benchers in the room with media and HD camera everywhere, its hard to try to photochop results :)

- Ton
bridgesentry 22nd May 2009, 05:22 Quote
Quote:
This is weird to see the topic of "Do OC Tourny work" coming from a Mod website. Is Bit-Tech trying to intentionally trying to split the two main PC enthusiast community?
Why not:D
OC = boring
Moding = amazing
bridgesentry 22nd May 2009, 05:33 Quote
But, there re 2 type of OC out there
+ unplayable (subzero cooling)
+ playable (watercooling)
I love watercooling:o
bridgesentry 22nd May 2009, 05:40 Quote
PS: If I have that much of money, 24/7 nitrozen smoke sure be amazing fun
Highland3r 22nd May 2009, 13:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Who here owns a Classified? Who here will benefit from one unless they are extreme cooling?

All that R&D and how many sales?

It might be a big dick swinging marketing machine, but at the same time, where's the "F1 experience for the masses?"

The classified may only be pro for overclockers, but the sales will most likely filter down to lower boards in the range. Same goes for the tech used in the classified - in a short time no doubt some aspects will be seen on more consumer class boards.
F1 tech doesn't make itself into road cars in 6 months, it's usually a whole design cycle (at least) before watered down tech makes it through.
b5k 22nd May 2009, 16:38 Quote
Le Mans for Overclocking. 3 day event (Fri -> Sunday) and the teams have to provide a stable overclock for a reasonable period of time (10hours?), team with the highest clock wins. Pretty simple. I mean 60 hours is plenty of time...
[PUNK] crompers 22nd May 2009, 17:14 Quote
i see it as a bit of fun, nothing more. besides all it proves is that cpu/ram/mobo combination can bench a certain score under very special conditions.
Panther57 22nd May 2009, 18:38 Quote
Since the current OverClocking Contests do give information for R&D there is a Big Use for them. The Best of the Best getting knowledge and experiences that give answers for advancement.

But, for an OverClocking Contest that tells the everyday user how beats who, I think only the Processors need to be the same models. It would be good to see how different Boards, Memory, Video and other aspects make for a great OverClockable system. Just keep it fair as to equal number of Video Cards, size of memory and any other common items, but it can have multi levels to cover the different classes. Then we could see that if we were to use a specific CPU, what other equipment would I want to have?

Don't you think that would give us real comparisons to use and the fun of doing good aginst others. Yea, winning would be good also...lol
Chocobollz 22nd May 2009, 19:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bridgesentry
Quote:
This is weird to see the topic of "Do OC Tourny work" coming from a Mod website. Is Bit-Tech trying to intentionally trying to split the two main PC enthusiast community?
Why not:D
OC = boring
Moding = amazing

I'd say, it's actually the exact opposite of your opinion.

OC = Makes the most out of your money. Very helpful practices.
Modding = wasting your money, period. Looks surely helps a lot of setting up your mood but you won't be looking at your case when you use your computers.

Well, IMO, I always thought case-modding as an activity which waste your money, time, and resources. It might makes you proud for some time but I would say, not longer than a few weeks, if not days, or minutes? :p

A: "Ahh.. you have a cool case! (like I care)"
B: "Thank you"
And it will be forgotten in like 5 minutes or so lol. So what's the point?

// Just my 2 cents.
tejas 24th May 2009, 11:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highland3r
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Who here owns a Classified? Who here will benefit from one unless they are extreme cooling?

All that R&D and how many sales?

It might be a big dick swinging marketing machine, but at the same time, where's the "F1 experience for the masses?"

The classified may only be pro for overclockers, but the sales will most likely filter down to lower boards in the range. Same goes for the tech used in the classified - in a short time no doubt some aspects will be seen on more consumer class boards.
F1 tech doesn't make itself into road cars in 6 months, it's usually a whole design cycle (at least) before watered down tech makes it through.

@Highland3r lol what a crock of...

What "Tech" exactly do EVGA put in the Classified that is so ground breaking?? The I/O chipset is an Intel X58, the southbridge is an INTEL ICH10, the board meets the INTEL reference design spec. See the pattern emerging?? Seems like Intel did all the engineering and hard work actually; not some motherboard vendor that sticks their sticker on the products.

All they have done is place beefier VRMs and changed the layout which is not cutting edge technology. It is hardly groundbreaking compared to any other X58 motherboard.

I actually think that the OC competitions are a total waste of energy, time and resources. Why the hell do I care if AMD can OC a Phenom II to over 6GHz( I actually own a Phenom II 955), and I certainly couldnt give a toss if this Shamino guy gets a high OC on his X58 motherboard. It really doesnt help me or the majority of others with overclocking.

Now Bit techs guide how to overclock the 720 BE. Now that is mighty helpful! :)
Slaymate 24th May 2009, 16:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tejas
I certainly couldnt give a toss if this Shamino guy gets a high OC on his X58 motherboard. It really doesnt help me or the majority of others with overclocking.

Actually shansmi is extremely helpful to a large number of overclockers. He's created quite a few good overclocking guides. And if you own a EVGA mobo and you go to the EVGA forum looking for overclocking help he will probably be one of the 1st to help you.
naokaji 25th May 2009, 08:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Who here owns a Classified? Who here will benefit from one unless they are extreme cooling?

All that R&D and how many sales?

I think the Classified is a bit in a special category, I mean it costs 404£ or 650$ + shipping (at the only shop that claims to be able to get hold of some of them at some point, the other shops just have no idea if they will ever get any).

At above 400£ and with a horrible small supply it can't sell regardless of advertising effort, but if you look at the "normal" mainboards, let's say something like the Asus P6T Deluxe advertising might stop someone from buying a MSI X58 Pro or a Gigabyte X58-UD5 instead.
Xtrafresh 25th May 2009, 15:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chocobollz
I'd say, it's actually the exact opposite of your opinion.

OC = Makes the most out of your money. Very helpful practices.
Modding = wasting your money, period. Looks surely helps a lot of setting up your mood but you won't be looking at your case when you use your computers.

Well, IMO, I always thought case-modding as an activity which waste your money, time, and resources. It might makes you proud for some time but I would say, not longer than a few weeks, if not days, or minutes? :p

A: "Ahh.. you have a cool case! (like I care)"
B: "Thank you"
And it will be forgotten in like 5 minutes or so lol. So what's the point?

// Just my 2 cents.
The point is exactly the same as why people mow their lawn or buy a pretty kitchen table.
When you upgrade and personify an item to suit your individual taste (taste, not need!), it will be more enjoyable to use.

Modded cases are a nice ePeen enhancer, sure, but my main goals when modding are in the entertainment value for me and others (see worklog in siggeh) and the joy of creating something beautiful.

So, put in those terms, the money that i sink into it (about 100-150 euros a month) is peanuts compared to other hobbies. I'm actually getting great value for money here!

Could you please enlighten me on the value for money when we are talking about overclocking events? I mean, the LN2, the trips around the world, the burned hardware, the boothbabes... it's all pretty damn expensive stuff!
Wait, please refrain from explaining value for money on the boothbabes point, i totally understand that one, but all the other stuff?
thehippoz 25th May 2009, 16:08 Quote
the boothbabes hehe whenever they hold an event in taiwan it's like full metal jacket up in there.. bunch of asian hotties and 50 white guys taking pictures XD yeah that's basically what it comes down to
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