Here at HWBOT we try our best to deliver a fair and enjoyable playing field for all those who participate in the rankings and competition. To be able to provide this kind of service we have tried to design some submission and general rules to help remove any doubts about whether something is allowed or not. Based on continued experience these rules will be updated, expanded and completed as time goes by. Please check back for any updates.
- 1. General Submission Guidelines
- 1.1. League Participation Rules
- 1.2. Unreleased/NDA Hardware
- 1.3. Adding Hardware to the HWBOT Hardware Database
- 1.4. Mixed Multi-HW Benchmark Submission Guidelines
- 1.5. Lucid Virtu MVP
- 1.6. Windows 8 Restrictions
- 2. Benchmark Verification
- 2.1. General Verification Rules
- 2.2. Specific Verification Rules
- 3. HWBOT Judiciary
- 3.1. HWBOT Penal Code
- 3.1.A. Penal Type
- 3.1.B. Offenses and Penalty
- 3.2. Additional notes to Cheats and Tweaks
- 3.2.A. Drivers
- 3.2.B. Mipmap
- 3.2.C. Ramdisk
- 3.2.D. Hardware Unlocking
- 3.2.E. Hardware Sharing
- 4. Ethics
- 5. Privacy Statement
1. General Submission Guidelines
You can submit to the HWBOT using two methods, either use the website’s submit score functionality, or you use the automated submission functionality for benchmarks such as Heaven DX9/DX11 and Aquamark3. The HWBOT submit page helps you along to let you know what qualifies for validation (CPU-Z online link, information required in the screenshot, applications specific rules, etc) and also allows you to directly attach a screenshot to your score. Although this is pretty straightforward, we want to explicitly mention that you can only submit scores that you obtained. It is disallowed to have your hardware benched by someone else and submit the score to your account.
1.1 – League Participation Rules
There are five different Overclocker Leagues at HWBOT, each targeting a different user group. By default, anyone can choose what League to compete in, with a few exceptions. For your convenience, here’s a list of requirements for each HWBOT League.
- Elite: access to industry support
- Extreme: hobbyist extreme overclocker
- Enthusiast: ambient cooling, registered >1y
- Novice: ambient cooling, registered >3m
- Rookie: ambient cooling, registered <3m
To define industry support, it’s quite simple. If you have the contacts to get modifications, hardware, software or any other form of overclocking support from a hardware vendor, you must be part of the Elite. To give some practical examples:
You’re Elite If …
- you get a personalized version of overclocking software (eg. Afterburner Extreme) on a regular basis
- you get (engineering grade) hardware for alpha/beta testing overclocking capabilities
- can request motherboard bios versions with special overclocking features
- you have access to special publicly unavailable XOC or coldslow VGA bioses
- you receive hardware for the sole purpose of overclocking
- you get invited to private overclocking events organized/sponsored by industry
You’re Not Elite If …
- you receive hardware for reviews, which you afterwards use for your overclocking
- your friend gives you a version of afterburner extreme
- you find coldslow bioses on the internet and use them
- you win hardware in an overclocking competition
- you qualify for an overclocking competition via an open or public qualifier
1.2 – Unreleased/NDA Hardware
As the result of a recent on-going discussion at the Hwbot staff quarters, the HWBot crew has decided that as of the 1st of October (2009) unreleased technology, which is in other words still under NDA, will no longer be applicable for points but will be given a “no-boints” status. This means that hardware categories for upcoming new products will still be added to the database (e.g: HD 5870), that people will still be allowed to submit results of this new technology, that those results will still be ranked and visible to everyone in the World Records Page, but none of those scores will be awarded any points until the products are available in shops.
1.3 – Adding Hardware to the HWBOT Hardware Database
– to be added –
1.4 – Mixed Multi-HW Benchmark Submission Guidelines
– to be added-
1.5 – Lucid Virtu MVP
Since March 19, 2012, HWBOT does not allow any submission with Virtu MVP enabled. For more information: http://hwbot.org/news/7071_about_hwbot_rankspoints_and_virtu_mvp, http://hwbot.org/forum/showthread.php?t=40742.
1.6 – Windows 8 Restrictions
Due to severe validity problems with the Windows8 real time clock (“RTC”), not all benchmarks results achieved with Windows8 can be trusted. The main problem lies with the RTC being affected when over- or underclocking under the operating system. The operating system uses the RTC as reference clock, and benchmarks use it to reference (benchmark) time. Refer to our original coverage article for more detailed information. The restrictions for Windows 8 due to the RTC bug can be found below.
- All new Windows 8 Benchmark Results will be blocked, including for on-going competitions
- Existing Windows 8 based benchmark submissions will be blocked if seemingly out of line or world record or top score.
- Existing Windows 8 based benchmark submissions will not be blocked or removed if they don’t meet the requirements above
- Existing Windows 8 based benchmark submissions will not be blocked or removed if they were made on an AMD system (New ones will be clocked)
Exceptions to the Windows 8 rule:
- non-overclockable notebooks may be used in combination with Windows 8
- 3DMark and PCMark runs on Windows 8 if an ORB Link is included, and SystemInfo 4.20 (unofficial download) is used.
- Intel XTU from v184.108.40.206 and up
2. Benchmark Submission Verification
As you probably understand, claiming a certain benchmark score is nothing without having the proper verification to back your claim up. At HWBOT, the verification plays a bigger role than on, for instance, your overclocking forum. Why? First of all, our competition contains more than 35,000 overclockers from all over the world, which means that most likely you will not know most of the people who you are competing against. The biggest problem of the unknown is … the fear of the unknown, or better put: because you don’t know the person behind the nickname, there’s no trust between you and that person. This implicates that chaotic entries with messy validation will probably be considered illegal rather than legal, although the opposite is true in most cases.
Therefore, we have set a certain amount of rules of verification. Please understand that these rules have been evaluated and discussed more than once. Furthermore, they are meant to serve YOU, not the HWBOT moderators; in other words: the rules are there to make the game more enjoyable for you. Not sticking to the rules may result in a score being blocked or, in worst case scenario, you account being suspended.
2.1. General verification rules
Underneath you will find the links to all the different benchmarks, which contain the specific rules for each benchmark. Read them through and you’ll find them to be very easy to remember. In fact, most of you will only have to pay attention to one or two rules, because the other rules are so obvious. In general:
- For Futuremark benchmarks (3DMark/PCMark): top 20 global (HOF) requires a valid FM ORB verification link
- For CPU-Z: only valid verification links
- All benchmarks require a validation screenshot, unless specified otherwise
- Photographs of screens are not accepted as valid alternative for screenshots
Screenshots are, next to the links, another method of providing the required verification. Please make sure your screenshot is as clear as possible! In general, this is required:
- CPU-Z CPU information tab
- CPU-Z Memory information tab
- GPU-Z videocard information tab (3DMark/PCMark/Aquamark)
- For SuperPi/Pifast: entire calculation has to be visible
- For 3DMark/PCMark: benchmark settings have to be visible as well as the subtest scores
HWBOT moderators may apply a not suspicious exception when moderating scores which do not earn global points. When a submission has minor mistakes or incomplete verification, it does not mean by definition it has to be blocked by a moderator. If these submissions are not suspicious in any way, and do not receive global points, the moderator has the right to approve them. This rule is to prevent users reporting each and every submission which have minor mistakes, in order to get a better rank for their own submission. Reporting submissions which are not suspicious but have minor mistakes is against the fair play spirit, and abuse of the reporting functionality will be acted upon.
2.2. Specific Verification Rules
For more specific information and sample screenshots, please visit the benchmark info pages on HWBOT:
3. HWBOT Judiciary
here comes a little introduction to the HWBOT Judiciary system
3.1 – HWBOT Penal Code
Here comes a little text explaining why we need a penal code.
A – Penalty Types
|Penalty Type||Penalty Time||Penalty Restriction||HWBoint Removal||Banned From HW Categories|
|1st Degree User Block||2 weeks||Submit function disabled||Temporary||N/A|
|2nd Degree User Block||4 weeks||Submit function disabled||Temporary||N/A|
|3rd Degree User Block||2 months||Submit function disabled||Temporary||N/A|
|1st Degree User Ban||3 months||Login function disabled||Permanent||Yes|
|2nd Degree User Ban||6 months||Login function disabled||Permanent||Yes|
|3rd Degree User Ban||1 year||Login function disabled||Permanent||Yes|
|Eternal ban||End of Days||All function disabled||Permanent||Yes|
- 1 violation = 1st degree, 2 violations = 2nd degree, 3 violation = 3rd degree
- # violation is defined by violation event – one event can include multiple results
B – Offenses and Penalty
|Submit in wrong category||Moderator action (block result)||User submits a benchmark submission to the wrong hardware or benchmark category|
|Insufficient verification||Moderator action (block result)||User does not provide sufficient verification along with the submitted result|
|Incorrect information in submission detail||Moderator action (edit result)||User does not provide correct information in the benchmark submission details|
|Repeatedly make same submission error||Warning||User repeatedly makes the same submission error|
|Inappropriate attachment||Warning||User attaches an inappropriate screenshot or photograph to a benchmark submission|
|Hardware/score sharing||User Block||User does not follow the hardware sharing rules|
|Use illegal tweak/cheat||User Block||User applies illegal tweak or cheat to boost the benchmark score|
|Score theft||User ban||User submits benchmark results that he does not own|
|Score edit||User ban||User edits or adds ad hoc the mandatory information in a benchmark verification screenshot (update: Jan 17, 2013)|
|Benchmark hack||User ban||User applies benchmark hack in order to boost performance|
|Submit somene else’s result||User ban||User submitting benchmark results you did not obtain yourself, either in private or in group session. Regardless of monetary contribution was present|
3.2 – Additional Notes to Tweaks and Cheats
A big part of the benchmarking process is setting up your operating system to be as fast as possible in the benchmark you want to run. Stripping down to the bare minimum, messing with the registry settings or changing the video card drivers from ‘quality’ to ‘performance’, these are all more than legit tweaks. A tweak is what can be considered as a manual change in system settings to increase the performance, which in the end affects your benchmark result positively. Not all tweaks are to be used in 24/7 setups as they might decrease performance for your daily applications or even limit you in what you can do.
However, where there’s competition, there are cheaters! HWBot will not allow people to cheat their way to higher scores leaving less honor and/or points for those who play fair. Therefor, we try to be as clear and strict as possible when it comes to cheaters: we block the score instantly. Depending on the cheat used and the motivation behind the cheat, we can also ban the member.
The specific rules for each benchmark are detailed on the benchmark application rules pages we linked to before.
A – Drivers
Unlike Futuremark, HWBOT chooses to allow people to use whatever driver they feel is best for their videocard, be it an official version of the videocard driver. Pre-modified performance drivers, such as Starstorms, are not allowed for the simple reason that the HWbot crew is unable to be certain that there are no cheats implemented in those drivers. There is one exception: the Omega Ati drivers. These are allowed because they give the user the opportunity to unlock for instance pipelines on their video card.
Official drivers causing a benchmark not to render correctly are not accepted at HWBOT. Incorrect rendering is defined as clear visual indications that parts of the benchmark are either not visible or in someway improperly rendered. The main effect of this incorrect rendering is an out of line performance increase due to this rendering flaw. Do note that this rule will not be actively applied to hardware and drivers released prior the year 2010. Also, the HWBOT staff will not be actively testing out different combinations of drivers, hardware and operating systems to ensure propper rendering. We hope that the overclocking community will be able to help us with this list and find problematic drivers.
B – Mipmap
This cheat is a very simple one to explain: a certain Nvidia video card tweaking utility (for obvious reasons not mentioned by name) allow people to enable a very high level of detail value, making the benchmark run either without details or even without image of any kind. The 3D benchmark becomes unrecognizable and in addition, the FPS rate is not visible anymore. Since in certain benchmarks, the 3D image contains only two or three colors, Futuremark and HWbot decided not to support this feature as a legit tweaking method. Note that the usual LOD tweaking, which requires a lot of time to find the sweet spot, is allowed.
C – Ramdisk
In most benchmarks, a ramdisk makes no difference at all or at least hardly any. In one type of benchmark, however, it means the world: the harddisk benchmarks, found in for instance the PCMark benchmark series. Since Futuremark designed the harddisk drive tests to be run from an actual harddisk drive, we only allow hardware harddisk drives to be used in this benchmark. What do we consider as a hardware-based harddisk drive:
- The harddisk drive can be touched physically; if you drive is 32GB, you must be able to physically remove the 32GB from your system
- It is possible to install an operating system on the harddisk without the need of another harddisk drive or software. In other words, one must be able to plug the unformatted harddisk in a new setup and, without external help, install a fully working operating system.
- The harddrive is not dependent from any form of software to be used; in other words: when removing the supporting software, the drive must still be working correctly. This excludes the official driver software for RAID configuration.
- The harddisk drive does not actively address the RAM (mounted onto your motherboard); the harddrive must be able to run regardless of any amount of RAM available.
Are accepted for physical storage medium tested in storage medium benchmarks and/or subtests of a benchmark:
- Normal platter harddisk drivers
- Iram / Acard ram drives (DIMM as storage medium, not system memory)
- Solid-state disk (SSD), using flash memory as storage medium
Are not accepted as alternative for physical storage medium for storage medium benchmarks and/or subtests of a benchmark:
- Software ramdisks
- MFT software
D – Hardware Unlocking
Again this is a subject where we have to trust on the honesty of the submitter; if you have a CPU with unlocked multiplier, please only submit results under the hardware category of its original model. Don’t emulate other models to gain HWboints, if you are caught you will get penalized or even banned. The same goes for video cards which are modified either with a flashed BIOS or modded software, post your scores in the category of the original hardware.
It is allowed to unlock extra cores and cache if your processor allows that. Again, you do have to submit your result to the category of the original hardware.
E – Hardware Sharing
This in a delicate subject as we have to trust on the honesty of those participating at the HWbot that they are indeed using their own hardware and not sharing a golden sample CPU or VGA card. Let’s start with what is allowed to be shared: everything except:
- VGA may not be shared for VGA benchmarks.
- CPU may not be shared for CPU benchmarks.
- Special cases, like what to do with joint bench sessions and manufacturer hardware is explained in the picture below.
While the rules are quite simple and straightforward, enforcing them isn’t. If you are having a joint benchmark session, provide as much proof and information as possible when you submit a new HWBot score, which shows you were using your own hardware for the benchmark in question, a photo with a paper showing your nickname and the product serial number is good way to do this.
Since HWBOT does not tolerate the sale of benchmark scores, the act of both selling or buying benchmark scores and uploading them to this database is not allowed. In addition, we strongly believe that no overclocker who is involved in this kind of business should be allowed to be part of the community.
HWBOT is not perfect, neither are the result moderators, nor is any overclocker or benchmarker. Please accept that people can make mistakes and understand that human errors are solved easiest by friendly human interaction. If a certain score seems fishy, you can use the report function to inform the owner of the result and the result moderators. In most cases, there’s only a very minor mistake and the solution to the problem will only take one or two minutes. In some cases, however, there’s more to tell and discuss: that’s what the hwbot forums are for. In the forums you’ll find a vast number of very active crew members trying to respond as quickly as possible (often within half a day) and/or other members who are willing to discuss the issue. As this is a public forum, we would like everyone to behave in a respectful way; flaming, forum wars, personal issues … all those can be discussed via mail or PM, but not in our forums.
If a score is reported or blocked and you don’t understand why, please contact one of the result moderators or crew members for an answer. It’s very important to do this in a polite manner, not only because that’s the way human interaction goes most fluently, but also because scientific research has shown evidence that you’re more likely to be helped quickly if you are polite to the person who you’re asking a favor from. It’s in fact pretty simple to understand: if we receive a friendly email, we will be in a friendly mood even before we read the email. Note that we are always open for discussion regarding every aspect of HWBOT: a lot of new ideas and features come forward from a thread on the forums.
At HWBOT, we are all for sharing information such as tweaks, voltage modifications and many more. However, we do understand that certain tweaks are rather kept silent because it gives a small advantage over the competition, which can come in handy when competing for that special golden cup. If questions are raised about a certain score or a series of scores, we strongly suggest trying to clear the air as fast as possible; not because of HWBOT or any other member, but to prevent you from getting a bad name in the community (even if you don’t deserve it!). From past experience, we know that when serious questions are raised regarding the legitimacy of a score or overclocker, it’s always best to choose the honorable path by for instance explaining a few tricks or even removing the questioned score from HWBOT.
If you are uncertain about the validity of a tweak/cheat, you can always contact one of the crew members. The tweak/cheat will be tested and discussed and you will receive an answer categorized as legit/not legit. If you don’t want the tweak to be leaked, no problem: we guarantee that the tweak will only be shared with those who took part in the evaluation.
5. Privacy Statement
HWBOT provides to you, the user a world-wide competition for benchers, automatically updating rankings in off-site forums & statistical information about the performance and overclockablity of specific hardware components. We at HWBOT strive to provide you the most up-to-date, complete & accurate online resource of hardware performance and benchmarking statistics. While we make every effort to assure the accuracy of the information available on the HWBOT site and forums rankings, we are not perfect. Because HWBOT is highly dependent on data submitted to us by others and the interaction of different forum software, user tags, internet connectivity and server load(s), there is the potential for incomplete or erroneous information.
FOR THE REASONS OUTLINED ABOVE, THIS SERVICE IS PROVIDED TO YOU “AS IS”. HWBOT DOES NOT TAKE ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR DIFFICULTIES YOU MAY ENCOUNTER WITH OUR SERVICE. FURTHERMORE, THE SERVICE IS OFFERED TO YOU WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY. FURTHERMORE, HWBOT DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL LOSS OR LIABILITY RELATED TO YOUR USE OF THE HWBOT WEBSITE.
HWBoints (point calculation) is developed by Mtzki and is courtesy of HWBOT. All rules governing submission, account maintenance & forum conduct are designed to preserve the quality of the HWBOT competition & data. Every user is expected to read, understand and follow the rules to the best of his or her ability. In addition every user is responsible for the results in their profile, users who fail to maintain validation for results may expect to see their results removed from public view in the event validation is no longer available. Furthermore each team moderator is responsible for the submissions of their team members on HWBOT. Moderators are expected to monitor, review and correct any submissions originating from their team when necessary.
HWBOT does not allow personal attacks, flamewars or similar discussions in the forums. Users who disregard these rules will be sanctioned accordingly with any associated material potentially being edited and/or deleted. HWBOT reserves the right to take any relevant action in relation to aforementioned.