While most manufacturers settled for a booth or hotel suite at the recent Computex trade show, Gigabyte decided to hire a whole floor of the world’s tallest skyscraper, Taipei 101. While it had plenty of products on show, the main purpose of securing this prime real estate was to play host to the 2009 world final of the Gigabyte Open Overclocking Championship (GOOC).
We’ve previously reported from the European final, where the winners of the UK heats, Philip Brown from Midland Computers, and Peter Jones otherwise known as Thickbrit co-founder of the UK's top benchmarking website Benchtec competed against thirteen other overclocking teams from all around Europe for the chance to progress to the world finals. Teams had to overclock common hardware and post results in two tests – Super PI 8M and 3DMark 06.
Left: A big ice sculpture in the lobby; Right: the hardware before the overclocking began in earnest
The European event was won by the Belgian team, comprising Pt1t and Massman, and so they were flown to Taipei, along with winners of similar overclocking events in China, America and the Pan-Asian region, to compete in the world final. Also present were two winners from the 2008 GOOC competition, Freestyle champions, Fugger and Vapor, from the USA, and P45 overclocking champions, Elmor and Sf3d from Sweden.
Winners, American heats – Miahallen and sno.lcn (USA)
Winners, Chinese heats – x800pro and emolok (China)
Winners, European heats – Pt1t and Massman (Belgium)
Winners, Pan-Asia heats – Dinos22 and Deanzo (Australia)
GOOC 2008 Freestyle champions – Fugger and Vapor (USA)
GOOC 2008 P45 overclocking champions – Elmor and Sf3d (Sweden)
The Hardware and the Task Ahead
The finals took place in the middle of Computex 2009, thirty-six floors up Taipei 101, with the city providing a stunning backdrop to the competition. As with the heats, the teams were provided with a stellar line-up of hardware to play with:
Each of the six teams was given the same hardware, and yes, more than one of each piece of kit, to play with. To cool the components, Gigabyte had laid on enough liquid nitrogen to create a mini ice-age. The teams were all allowed to supply their own LN2 pots, and as the rules stated “hair dryers will not be provided, so ask nicely and borrow your girlfriend’s for the event.”