Event Report: GIGABYTE Open Overclocking Championship 2010

Author: MAC
Date: October 4, 2010
Product Name: GIGABYTE Open Overclocking Championship 2010
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Schedule / Guidelines


At this year's event, most of the competitors arrived to the hotel the day before the competition. However, quite a few had remained in Taiwan since the MSI's Master Overclock Arena 2010 on September 11th. Previously, jet lag had always been a concern at these type's of events, but since competitors always seem to have the energy to party the night before the competition, fatigue is evidently a non-issue.

As you can see, the competitors were only 'officially' given 1 hour of preparation and setup time, but it was really more like 2 hours since they worked through the opening ceremony and speeches. This was more than enough time for everyone since this year's competition has no 3D benchmarks, and thus there was no need to prep and modify graphics cards which is always a time intensive process. The amount of time allocated to actual benchmarking was 450 minutes, with added time tacked on at the end if needed. Thankfully, there were no power loss issues at this event, so there was no need for a time extension.


For this worldwide final event, Gigabyte provided the following hardware configuration:
For this event, Intel was kind enough to send over 80 chips, which Hicookie binned to ensure that everyone would be on a level playing field, or as near as possible. The 15 best samples were randomly handed out to the competitors, all of which were capable of at least a 6.5Ghz CPU-Z validation.

Aside from the engineering sample processors, the rest of the components were products that you can easily find at your favorite online retailer. The operating system was preloaded on the 'hybrid' HDD, along with the latest NVIDIA Forceware graphics driver and all the necessary benchmarking programs and tweaking tools. Here is the full list of preloaded software:

Since there was no 3D element to this competition, GIGABYTE wisely chose XP SP3 as the operating system, since it is a fair bit faster than Vista or Win 7 in most 2D benchmarking apps. Much like the North American event, the worldwide final used the newer X58A-UD7 revision 2.0 motherboard. GIGABYTE made a custom GOOC 2010 WWF bios for this event, so the competitors didn't have to do any hardware modifications to the motherboards. Click here to check out what modifications were made to this bios.

The rules for this competition were quite simple:
  1. Competitors were not permitted to use their own hardware or software.
  2. GIGABYTE would provide one hardware replacement for each component.
  3. Competitors had to bring their own LN2 pots, soldering irons, hardware modification components, insulation material, multi-meters, digital thermometers, hair dryers, etc.
  4. Competitors had to save their scores and screenshots on a Gigabyte-provided USB thumb drive, no others were allowed on-site.
  5. Competitors were not allowed to use mobile phones or netbooks/notebooks.
  6. Competitors were not allowed to ask any tips from the public or media.
Most importantly though, there was a judge present for every competitor in order to eliminate any opportunities for cheating or simple honest mistakes. The judging roster was composed of Gigabyte employees (Hicookie, Janus Yeh, Rockson, etc) but also renowned overclockers like Benny Lodewijk, Deanzo, Dinos22, and T_M.

  • Score Submission
Points were awarded based on the results of each benchmarking round. The Top 7 places in each of the benching rounds would be awarded points. The competitors had to do a printscreen, save the results on their USB flash drive, raise their hand, and then the judges would record their result. The actual USB flash drives would only be collected once every hour. Naturally, the person with the highest point total at the end of the two rounds would be declared the winner. In case of a tie, the competitor with the highest PiFast result would be declared the winner.

  • Prizes
Since this was the worldwide final, there were some healthy cash prizes for the Top 3 competitors, and they also walked away with some great components.
  • 1st Place: US$ 5,000 cash and more than US$ 2,800 of sponsor products.
  • 2nd Place: US$ 2,000 cash and more than US$ 1,700 of sponsor products.
  • 3rd Place: US$ 1,000 cash and more than US$ 1,600 of sponsor products.

Simple enough? Now on to the competition.

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