The biggest extreme overclocking event this year was held in motherboard capital of Taipei, Taiwan. Sixteen teams representing fourteen countries competed in the fifth Master Overclocking Arena (MOA) held by MSI. Held at the NTU Sports Center in Taipei on the 28th September 2012, this year's MOA event coincided with Typhoon Jelawat, but luckily the extreme weather caused no problems with the competition.
The MOA 2012 Worldwide Grand Final had a strict contest schedule to ensure the event was smooth flowing and on time. After the short opening ceremony where the overclockers were introduced, hardware was randomly selected by pulling out a number from the box that corresponded to a set of motherboards, video cards, processors and RAM.
After all the teams drew their hardware, the contestants were given 90 minutes of preparation time. This time was spent building the machine and installing the heavy CPU pots to contain the icy cold liquid nitrogen (LN2). During this time, testing was also done on the CPU to find its highest clock.
The operating system was already pre-installed on the hard drive along with the applicable tweaking software. The software and hardware used at this event included:
At 10:30 AM, the first stage of overclocking began with the popular SuperPI 32M benchmark. Many teams were still not able to successfully boot into the Windows desktop screen due to various problems, but recovered within the next 30 minutes.
Team Korea was the first team able to get their system to run the SuperPI 32M benchmark and the first official result of the day (CPU @ 5400Mhz, RAM @ 2400MHz, 11-13-11 = 6m14s) was on the scoreboard. The other teams had something to chase now.
12:30 PM came around fast for the overclockers, and final runs were being performed. Benchmarks had to be completed (and verified) before the cutoff time. Team HW GURUS finished first with a blitzing 6m8s result and a good start to their day. Team USA posted a 6m9s run that resulted in a second place and the run was completed one hour before the cutoff time! Video cards were pulled out and prepared for the next stage of competition, 3DMark03. You can see the finals scores here on HWBot.
3DMark03 scores came out faster because the teams knew their max CPU clock speed, and the video cards were also tested before the competition. Scores were flying out from all the teams and verified by the judges before it was on the scoreboard.
After two and half hours, Team USA ended up on top with a score of 163273 with their MSI GeForce GTX 680 Lightning at 1855MHz/1851MHz and their Intel Core i7 3960X at 5400MHz.
Unfortunately for the Australian team (befittingly named Team.AU) and our own in-house TweakTown overclocker Deanzo (Dean Smith), both video cards died, this happened before they could get one run off the third and final stage, 3DMark11.
Liquid nitrogen flowed from the flasks to keep the processor and video cards cool during this three hour stage. Seconds turned into minutes and minutes turned into hours. Leading the scoreboard by a small margin was Team Korea and was closely followed by Team USA and Team Poland. Stage three was won by the boys from XtremeLabs.org, with a score of 15654 marks.
As the counter ticked down to zero, Team Korea were still in the lead by a big margin and calm face expressions personified this fact. As the judge counted down to the end of the event, the consensus was that Korea would be the MOA Grand Final Champions - and they were.
Awards were handed out to the top five teams of the event, with Team Korea taking out the number one spot.
The top 10 teams were:
Overall, MSI's fifth venture into the prestigious MOA overclocking event was a successful one, and one that we enjoyed. The overclockers went there to compete, but many overclockers caught up with old friends and made new ones - and that really, is the spirit of the extreme overclocking community.