Overdrive: Worldwide Overclocking Finals Kick Off

Paris, December 13, 2008: The Tom's Hardware overclocking championship called Overdrive is finally hitting its peak! Today and tomorrow, five teams from France, Germany, Italy, Taiwan and the United States will be battling for maximum benchmark scores and supremacy on the latest state of the art Core i7 systems. Our first prize is a $5,000 gift certificate, which the winners can redeem in their home country. To our knowledge, this is the first overclocking event that is based on Core i7, and clock speeds of 5+ GHz are expected.

Five Countries

Overdrive began with overclocking trials in the United States on November 8 and 9, continued in Germany on November 21 and Taiwan on November 22 and 23 and we concluded the trials in France and Italy on November 29 and 30. Up to five teams competed in each country, and the winners were flown to our Paris HQ for today's and tomorrow's grand finals. All the teams brought their overclocking tools needed to modify hardware. Some of them brought family members to witness the fun with them.


All the Overdrive trials were based on the same components, which makes it possible to compare the overclocking results and bechmarks  reached in our five countries. the US team was the strongest in SuperPI 32M, while Taiwan and Germany dominated the 3DMark benchmarks. France was string in SuperPI 1M and wPrime, while Italy missed a top ranking. However, the gap is very little and Italy made the second or third place in various benchmarks. Since we switch to Core i7 and X58 platforms now, the playing field is even. Although all the teams already got some experience with the new platforms, there should not be a significant advantage for anyone.

Benchmark USA Taiwan Germany France Italy
SuperPi 1.5 1M 8,018 s 7,737 s 7,984 s 7,691 s 7,768 s
SuperPi 1.5 32M 9 min 21,958 s 9 min 32,379s 10 min 01,438s 10 min 17,947s 11 min 19,142s
wPrime 1.55 32M 12,985 s 12,605 s 12,890 s 12,450 s 12,760 s
wPrime 1.55 1024M 429,141 s 408,002 s 421,390 s 406,458 s 419,749 s
PiFast 4.1 16,94 s 16,24 s 16,92 s 16,29 s 16,86 s
AquaMark 2003 222816 points 224313 points 207632 points 225675 points 211925 points
3DMark 01 81190 points 82924 points 81658 points 81929 points 78938 points
3DMark 03 70110 points 69710 points 73560 points 67777 points 69399 points
3DMark 05 33993 points 31399 points 34081 points 31632 points 30602 points
3DMark 06 22460 points 22715 points 22 468 points 20847 points 21249 points

Sponsors: MSI, FSP/Fortron, Samsung, Kingston, Logitech

Five global key players supported us in this event, providing the necessary hardware and technical support. MSI provided P45 motherboards, FSP supplied Everest 1010 1,000 W high-end power supplies, Samsung made sure the teams got Spinpoint F 1-TB hard drive and Super Writemaster DVD burners. Kingston added specially screened and hand-selected HyperX DDR3 DIMMs, which are capable of reaching speeds way beyond DDR3-2000. And lastly, Kingston provides G11 gaming keyboards and G5 Laser mice.

We posted a article dedicated to the components used for overdrive: The Hardware Behind Overdrive. However, two details need to be updated, as our finals are based on Core i7 platforms rather than the Core 2 Duo. We're now using MSI X58 Eclipse boards and Core i7 Extreme processors to provide the best possible basis for the overclockers.

Who will win?

This question cannot be answered, as luck is always involved. Although it wasn't possible to provide more than one processor or graphics card, we made sure that there are two boards for the overclocking teams. This way, they have a replacement if they should fry the platform, or if the platform doesn't perform well enough. Good luck to all the teams!

Check out our entire Overdrive coverage on our Overclocking micro site!

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  • mi1ez
    Kingston provided Logitech mice?

    That was nice of them!