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MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010 - Super PI

MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010 - Super PI

The UK team, David and Carl proved to be particularly talented team with plenty of tricks up their sleeves. Proving to be a dab hand at soldering and general tinkering, Carl had performed some amazing feats of precision soldering the night before, installing two jumper-activated volt-mods to the graphics card and similar mod to the motherboard too.

MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010  MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010 - Super PI
Incredibly, Carl and other overclockers are able to solder items as small as this chip below the coin. It's barely any bigger than a grain of sand.

The CPU cooling pot was also Carl’s own creation sporting a built-in thermal probe which proved to be spot on to the CPU temperature reported in the BIOS. This proved useful later on as the team encountered a rather annoying cold boot bug meaning if the motherboard was pushed too far whilst benching at -150 degrees C, the board wouldn’t post again till the CPU had been warmed up to around 100 degrees C which takes several minutes and wastes valuable time.

MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010  MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010 - Super PI MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010  MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010 - Super PI
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Insulation methods were the usual mix of artists' putty, neoprene and other types of foam. Many teams also caked the DIMM sockets and RAM in putty to ward off unwelcome moisture from the icy temperatures. To make sure their RAM and surrounding area on the motherboard was kept cool, the UK team opted for two Delta fans which did the job, if annoying everyone in the room when they were switches on.

MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010  MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010 - Super PI MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010  MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010 - Super PI
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Once the UK team let leash with the LN2, they quickly passed the 5GHz mark and went on to push their Core i7 Extreme 980X to 5.458GHz with a vcore in excess of 1.75V - not a bad result at all. As if this wasn’t enough, they were managing to bench their CPU below -180 degrees C with a full pot of LN2 on the boil needing very little maintenance.

MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010  MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010 - Super PI MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010  MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010 - Super PI
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With the first Super PI scores now trickling in, the UK team were in a solid fourth but quickly slipped to 8th as Finland and Sweden took the lead. Unfortunately for Carl and David, they hadn’t been using the correct BIOS version for the motherboard so were forced to start afresh 20 minutes before the end of the Super PI session.

MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010  MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010 - Super PI MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010  MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2010 - Super PI
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At the end of the session, they came in 11th place with a time of 6m 46.218s. In the lead were the Fins with a stonking time of 6m 29.156s thanks to a CPU clock speed of 5.93GHz.