This past weekend, Gigabyte held its third GO OC NA final in Industry, California, and put fourteen of the best overclockers together in the same room and let them loose on Intel’s Core i7-980X processor and Kingston’s HyperX memory. We were there and have all the info, and more pictures than you can shake a memory stick at.
The event kicked off bright and early Saturday morning, and with only a few short words and after the well wishes from our Gigabyte hosts and the co-sponsors Intel, Kingston, and Thermaltake, iBUYPOWER and CyberPower, things quickly jumped into gear.
To keep things even, all overclocking “stations” were numbered, along with a matching, new USB drive. Every contestant would then draw their own seat at the event. For those wondering, the USB thumb drive was required for score submission screenshots and anything else the contestants wanted to save. Gigabyte’s Rita Kuo, North America Marketing Manager, bravely presided over the drawing ceremony.
After everyone had drawn their seat and signed their name to the board, all the heavy gear started showing up. Set up time was a full two hours long, and apparently for good reason. It doesn’t take just skill, luck, and experience to overclock under sub-zero cooling, but also a pretty large case full of gear.
Things seemed ordinary enough with copper LN2 pots, petroleum jelly, and all manner of gas torches and heaters appearing, at least until the unboxing was done. Then the soldering guns, wire, resistors, silicone, neoprene, modeling clay, and a bit of everything else came out. Contestants were free to modify the motherboards as they wished, and many chose to do so.
Unfortunately, Gigabyte shuffled the media out of the room for a presentation just as the setup gear was getting even more interesting, but everyone got back as quickly as possible afterwards. I have followed similar events before, but after attending this one it is safe to say the rough idea I held was an understatement for how much work goes into prepping these boards!
Many of these well-known if even legendary overclockers spent most of the two hours provided setting up their hardware in order to eke out every last hertz. Not to mention also ensure it will survive over four hours of subjection to sub-zero temperatures without condensation shorting out the motherboard, processor socket, or sensitive memory slots.