Countdown to the Grand Final
Countdown to the Grand Final
The quest to find the best PC tech enthusiast in the region reached its climax with the Grand Final of HardwareZone's Iron Tech 2008. Held at Funan DigitaLife Mall on October 12, the Grand Final gathered the winners from the regional legs of the competition, which had taken place in five countries, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand over the past two months and pitted them against each other for a shot at the top prizes worth up to US$10,000.
What Makes an Iron Tech Champion?
With the best enthusiasts from the region, this final challenge promised to be an action packed test of their PC tech skills and there was certainly plenty of nerve wracking drama. Some of this was due to the unique nature of this competition, which was unlike the typical contests that involved only overclocking a PC. Those of you who have followed the regional competitions so far would know that there were three phases then, each of which tests a particular tech skillset:-
- The Rigging Challenge - Building the PC from scratch in the shortest possible time and of course, it must boot up successfully.
- The Setup Challenge - Setup the OS, drivers, benchmark tools and achieve a stable overclocked state within the time limit.
- The Benchmark Challenge - Contestants' rigs are tested by judges to find out which rig achieves the best results.
As Iron Tech aimed to find the complete PC tech enthusiast, thus besides the usual criteria of performance, additional criteria like the cost and power efficiency of the assembled PC are included. Therefore, the winner of this competition is someone you would want assembling your system, since he can get the best performance for the lowest cost and with the best power efficiency. In short, a tech guru!
These extra factors were added only for the Grand Final of the competition so we have included two more segments:-
- Choosing the Components - Contestants are given a list of components and their retail prices. They are given two different choices for important components like the processor, memory, graphics card and the motherboard, all of which have varying prices.
- Power Consumption Test - The contestants' systems are evaluated on their power draw when running at load. The goal is to have the lowest power draw while not compromising on performance.
With all these new factors thrown in, even those who had participated in other overclocking competitions previously found this element of uncertainty quite daunting. They would need to do some quick cost/benefit analysis when looking at the list of components while at the same time, keeping in mind that a heavily overclocked system may be either expensive or a power hog.
To ensure that all these factors are taken into account, we will be following a weighted formula. Firstly, the performance benchmarks results will be combined with the cost of the PC components chosen to get the price/performance ratio. This will contribute 50% of the final score in our formula. Then, the power draw of the assembled system is taken and it will have a 30% weight in the formula. Next, the time taken to rig the system will account for 10% of the final score and lastly, the time taken to setup and tweak the system will contribute the last 10%. The detailed scores and breakdown will be listed later when we go through the different phases.
Whoever emerges as the top scorer using this formula will be the Iron Tech champion!