Next up were Goddy (my host) and I, and we were keen to do some damage and gain points. Sadly, the 2nd session was a repeat of the first, with one overclocker having the worst of luck (that would be me) while the other (Goddy) soared. After running for a while, the hardware I had used just didn’t manage the task I had set it, and started to deteriorate over time. On the other hand, Goddy managed 6.2GHz overclocks, and with his knowledge of tweaking, he ended with a well deserved victory.
Two other overclockers took part in the competition – our very own Neo Sibeko (Gouhan), and a relatively new clocker, Tanka. With Neo’s hardware on LN2 he stood a fighting chance, but at the end of the day the same bad luck that had spited Seth and me got him too, and while his results were higher than most, he just couldn’t dethrone Goddy from the top spot. Tanka was running a water-cooled setup, and for what it’s worth, managed to impress the rest of us with his determination and skill.
At this point I must say the hardware treated us really well, in particular the Gigabyte EP45T-EXTREME boards. One allowed us to get ourselves a 700FSB shot which doesn’t happen every day, while both were rock solid to 650FSB 3D stable without huge tweaking. The Intel chips we had could have been better, managing “only” 6 – 6.2GHz overclocks, and although this was the limiting factor in our scores, I doubt any chip is as easy to take to 6GHz+ as the Intel E8600. RAM sets by Corsair were stellar as usual, managing 2000MHz CL 8-7-7-18 1T without even breaking a sweat, making sure we didn’t have to worry about them too much. Finally, the Nvidia cards. We had to keep the cards on air cooling, so this severely limited us when trying to take them to their potential, but nevertheless we pushed as far as we dared, and then some. It has to be said though, that the 9800GX2 has severe compatibility issues when paired with a Gigabyte motherboard, giving a much lower than expected Aquamark 3 score. This wasn’t much of a problem as we had the GTX285 to clean up Aquamark, but it really was a strange event to see.
Much was learned this time round: for starters, we need more overclockers to take part; there are many others in the country that are capable and we hope to see them compete next year. Next, we learned that we need more than a week and a bit to prepare for a competition like this, so hopefully the organiser of the local competition takes note. Thirdly, we learned that no matter who wins or loses, bad luck ruins sessions. Fourth, skill counts as much as luck, at times even more. And finally, we found out that at the end of the day, the South African overclocking community is a tight-knit group of people who support each other and have first and foremost the best interests of the team at heart. Good luck to Goddy and Zack as they represent South Africa at the GOOC2009 finals in Taipei later this year.