Event Coverage

The ABIT Overclocking Competition

By Dr. Jimmy Tang - 20 Dec 2003

Overclocking = ABIT

Overclocking = ABIT

Yes, we all know that ABIT is in the business of overclocking and they have extended their support for the overclocking community by yet another mile with the overclocking competition held here in Singapore. In fact, the competition just concluded a couple of hours ago and we're back here in the office, working hard to bring you all the updates and pictures, of course.

The competition was jointly organized by HardwareZone, ABIT, Convergent and Kingston (plus of course other sponsors like LG, who supplied the monitors, and APC who supplied all the UPS). ABIT supplied their latest motherboard, which is the yet to be released AN7 motherboard that's based on the nForce2 Ultra 400 chipset. The board is of course decked with features like µGuru and other great overclocking options. We shall not bore you with all those details as we'll be reviewing that motherboard soon. Anyway, the memory modules were from Kingston (KHX4000K2/1G) and the graphics card were also supplied by ABIT (Siluro 5600 DT). Processor was an AMD Socket-A (obviously) and it's their latest and fastest XP 3200+ processor with the Barton (512KB L2 cache) core.

There were basically two categories, an open category where any form of cooling is allowed (but not sub-zero cooling) and an air-cooled category which the name implies, allows cooling by means of air convection. The contestants are allowed to use all kinds of cooling equipment and there's really no limit to how many fans they want to put on their system. For the open category, water cooling seems to be the only method allowed by the contest rules as other forms of cooling like Peltier, liquid nitrogen, dry ice or the likes were not allowed.

Anyway, to judge who's the best overclocker, we made every contestant run a predetermined set of benchmarks, so that the stability of the system is tested, as well as measuring the system's overall speed. The benchmarks chosen for this contest were :-

  • Super Pi
  • Futuremark 3DMark03 build 340
  • Aquamark3
  • Futuremark 3DMark 2001SE (build 330)
  • Prime95

Let's go over to the next few pages to look at the contestant's overclocking rig.

The Contestant's Rig - Part 1

First, let's start off with some of the rigs from the air-cooled category :-

Viper's rig was simple, fans, fans and fans everywhere. From the picture, you can see that his strategy is to cool the CPU, chipset, memory and the power MOSFETs.

Viper posing with his rig.

This has to be one of the simplest setup of all. A couple of fans and that's just about it.

The contestant, robotech, getting all ready to overclock his system.

Krado/rundymc's setup uses three large coolers, one for the CPU, a skived heatsink/fan for the chipset and a large cooler strapped to the graphics card. The ultimate cooler was the large blower fan placed right beside his setup.

Rundymc (left) and Krado (right) were seen tweaking the system minutes before the competition began.

Geosin's super large fan setup was constructed to cool only the CPU. As you can see in the picture above, this fan system consists of several fans stacked together.

Geosin and his ultra huge cooler.

The only air-cooled setup that's fixed inside a casing. Deathgame and VincentV's strategy was to cool the critical components with localized fans and top it up with a large box fan.

This is how the setup looks like with the box fan used as one of the side cover.

VincentV (left) and Deathgame (right).

Stratix and tUx's setup. Besides cooling the usual stuff, they have also stuck a fan on the southbridge.

Stratix (right) and tUx (left) were the youngest contestants in this competition.

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