MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2009- European Finals!

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MSI received once more the best overclockers in the world for the european final of the Master Overclocking Arena 2009.

After the outsdanding event of last year, which took place in an old beer factory in Amsterdam, MSI did a great job again for this year’s theme: IT Olympics.
So we were to meet at the Olympic Stadium of Munich for the first big regional final, before the other regional finals (for Asia and North America).

Master Overclocking Arena 2009
Master Overclocking Arena 2009

This year, 17 european teams were invited and the 5 best of them will get a plane ticket for the worldwide final in Beijing at the end of october !

Don’t miss the video at the end of the article !

We will tell you about our journey, step by step, so that you can share with us all the moments we had, either before, during or after the event.
This unforgettable event gave us even more the feeling that the overclocking community is a very strong community, and that friendship and exchange are shared by everyone besides the competition.

Day One – Serious stuff shall begin soon !

After a short night, for most of us, we all meet for the breakfast, some even have trouble to drink they orange juice while others devour the german breakfast the hotel restaurant had provided us with.

All the overclockers are already thinking about the competition, but no one knows what the competition place looks like, even if we all know that it will take place at the Olympic Stadium of Munich. Hipro5 has again brought his personal touch to his T-shirt.

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We finally arrive at the Stadium and what do we see? a red carpet! It is the first time that the overclockers get to walk on a red carpet, just like stars. The MSI staff was waiting for us inside, and each team quickly reaches its assigned table.

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We go to the conference room for the overture ceremony and the presentation of the partners of the event. Sascha Faber from MSI Germany tells us what the day will be like, then he lets the partners talk, beginning with Andreas Dott, technical Marketing manager for Intel. Andreas once again tells us about the key points of the Nehalem architecture (Core i7) but also the problematic of overclocking, wich remains the main topic of the event.
He also presented the future 32nm engraving process of Intel, and the concepts of the different platforms.

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Then Lars Weinard (from Nvidia) presented some innovations in Windows Seven about native integration of calculations done by the graphics cards.

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Once the speeches are over, Joseph Shih (Component Marketing Teamleader) and Andrew Chang (Mainboard Project Manager) take the floor to give us some details about what MSI does for that niche market overclocking is.

Andrew and Joseph then officially present the OC Genie, wich had already been presented at the Computex. It is an automated overclocking system which will be present on future MSI motherboards (P55), one will just have to press a button to have its system automatically overclocked.
We will write a complete article about this technology as soon as Intel NDAs regarding the future Lynnfield processors and theP55 platforms are over.

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The OC Genie is linked to the Direct OC, two other buttons allowing direct tuning (via the hardware) of the base clock of the processor. We won’t talk about the OC Dashboard which still needs a lot of improvements in our opinion, but be sure that we’ll participate in its future development.

Stula (StoolMan) reminds us of the rules of the competition and the benchmarks we will use, and we have to precise that for the fiirst time since the beginning of such competitions, the competitors will have the right to use any mods (hardware or software) during the competition as long as they are not considered as cheats. Which means anyone can use its favorite tweak program, be it either the OCX SPi Tweaker, a personalized RivaTuner addon to tune the voltage of the GPU, or a personal copy wazza increasing the efficiency of SuperPi 32M runs.

However the judges reserve the right to prove that a score is real if any doubt appears on a bench, we’ll see later that this happened for the 3D Mark 03 WR!

The starting shot!

The opening ceremony ends in the middle of the morning, and we all go to the bleaches of the Stadium to take the official photograph, then Jason fired the starting shot with a starting pistol.

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Introduction of the teams!

As usual, let’s introduce every team before we get to the details of the event. Here is an overview of the different teams

France Team

  • Benjamin Bouix – Benji Tshi
  • Brice Durande – Brice28

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Hungary Team

  • Gabor Jo – Jugeen
  • Lörincz Balàzs – Achil3us

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Czech Republic Team

  • Marek Szücs – A2C
  • Dušan Vrabec – dvsk

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Sweden Team

  • Jon Sandström -Elmor
  • Henry de Kruijf – ME4ME

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Netherlands Team

  • Tim felix – Wava
  • Bart van Brenk – Gendo

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Finland Team

  • Petri Korhonen – SF3D
  • Sampsa Kurri – Sampsa

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Norway Team

  • Henning Sagen – hifiking
  • Haakon Jensen – **dp**/dpa

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Swiss Team

  • Roger Tanner – splmann
  • Marc Voser – Besi

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Turkey Team

  • Ahmet Taruz
  • Koray Kuscu

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Ukrain Team

  • Sergii Shulga
  • Oleksandr Lytvyn

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Denmark Team

  • Anders Holt Aagense – Noxon
  • John Nissen – Nanok.

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Italy Team

  • Massimiliano Battini – leghorn
  • Massimiliano Calandrini – giorgioprimo

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Germany Team

  • Arne Mücke – @rne
  • Boris Küntzler – Stummerwinter

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UK Team

  • Richard Bunford –
  • Carl Evans –

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Poland Team

  • Marcin Rywak – Ryba
  • Piotr Maj – Chaos

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Russia Team

  • Ivan Tikhonov – P0lym0rph
  • Dmitri Kadyrov – Dimitriol

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Greece Team

  • George Theologou – Hipro5
  • George Pavlidis – gprhellas

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The competiton – day 1

The competition lasts for two days with the following hardware:

  • MSI Eclipse SLI
  • Intel Core i7 950
  • MSI nvidia GTX 260 Lightning
  • 3*2GB OCZ Blade DDR3
  • PC Power & Cooling 910Watt

The benchmarks are SuperPi 32M, Aquamark and 3DMark 03, each score is worth the same in the final ranking. The ranking is calculated by a system considering a percentage towards a reference score, while we used a point system at GOOC. The reference scores are 485 seconds for the SuperPi 32M, 60 000 Marks for 3DMark03 and 300 000 for AquaMark.

Four big LN2 containers lay outside and the dewars are filled when they are empty.

That first day of the competition unfolds with no major problem and everyone is doing the last tunings, isolations and setting of their configuration. Note that each team had receieved an Eclipse and a graphics card a few days before, allowing almost everyone to prepare the hardware as they needed.

As usual, we can notice that each overclocker has his own technique regarding the isolation of the motherboard, with a huge proportion of clay and toilet paper!

The graphics cards generally get the same treatment as well, that is, some clay with some neoprene on it.

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From the beginning of the afternoon, almost all of the teams get together with their CPU under ln2 cooling, and using air cooling for their graphics card. Each team has to find out what their CPU is capable of and everybody faces one another with Super Pi 32M.

That was quite an eventful first day, everybody trying to know what were the other teams’s frequencies, most of the competitors got close to 5Ghz, 5.1Ghz for the best and 4.9Ghz for all those who had isolation problems.

At the end of the day, some teams actually run 3D benchmarks, such as Norway, greece, Denmark and Poland which almost scored 80 000 points at 3DMark 03.

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Competition – day 2

After a relaxing day and a nice drinking evening, most people wouldn’t have said no to some extra sleep hours but it was time for the last day of the competition.

In the morning, a majority of people keep running SuperPi 32M while the other teams already have the graphics card under ln2 cooling for the 3D benchmarks.

At about 10am, we were announcing on the Twitter OverclockingTV account that Poland team had just blown up the 3D Mark 03 WR, scoring more than 80K points. Our Polish friends had looked for some tweaks, and most of all, they knew what influenced the score most. With more than 5K points ahead of the second team (Greece) the judges asked for the benchmark to be run again in order to validate the score.

As for the Italians, after a first day full of obstacles, things keep going bad on day 2, driving our fellows to despair.

Meanwhile, MSI staff offer us a Q&A session with important people. We then meet Henry Lu (Senior Vice President), Andrew Chang (Mainboard Project Manager), Werner Dao (Country Manager – Germany), Jason Lee (Marketing Manager Component) and Edison Hsieh (Senior Engineer) who’ve been answering our questions for more than an hour.

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The competition goes on for all teams except for the Turkish guys who succeeded in burning out their power supply, when most of the teams changed motherboards!

The day goes on and the German team dismantles and sets up their config for the nth time. The Swiss competitors do likewise and Greece team attempts to get a higher rank thanks to their “secret weapon”… Which is actually their graphics card, completely vmodded. Hipro5 had shared 3 of the 5 vmods before the competition, and had put aside the memory vmod as well as the OVP mod he needed so that the card could work at a GPU frequency close to 1.1Ghz!

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Awarding Ceremony!

MSI held to keep the winners’ names secret until the ceremony, and the obligatory verifications were done on hard disks before the final results were even announced.

A few champagne glasses and fresh drinks, and the awarding ceremony was ready to begin. Jason Lee deals with animation and invites each team to shake hands with the judges, and then presents a plate reading “Certificat MOA 2009”.

The Top 5 winners going to Beijing for the Grand Final is thus composed of:

  1. Team Pologne : Ryba & Chaos
  2. Team Grèce : hipro5 & gprhellas
  3. Team Suède : Elmor & ME4ME
  4. Team Finlande : SF3D & Sampsa
  5. Team Danemark : Noxon & Nanok

Notice that our Polish friends won a $2000 US check, the Greeks won $1000 US and Team Sweden won $500 US.

Here’s a summary of the scores:

Scores from MSI MOA 2009 EU Final
Scores from MSI MOA 2009 EU Final

Download screenshots from every teams.

We’ll end the evening in the Olympic Tower for dinner and the last pictures, as everybody is leaving pretty early the day after.

Video of the event!

Xyala having some spare time, he made up a video compilation of the event! To be viewed and shared!

We would like to thank Alexis Trinh, MSI France, as well as all the people who organized this event, for trusting us regarding the coverage. Thanks to Massman for his ideas and for taking a great deal of the pictures we used.

We would also like to thank our overclocking friends who attended the event. We had a great time with them all, and there was a superb atmoshpere! We hope to meet you all soon, and we already can tell we’ll be at Beijing at the end of August for a new live coverage.

Author : Victorin Monnot


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