The year of 2014 has been an interesting one for all of us here at HWBOT. We have seen many world records fall and we have witnessed many changes that have come to the way that HWBOT works, along with new benchmarks and members alike. On the other hand, some benchmarks have also been removed from the site due to bug related issues whereby our moderating team could no longer verify whether a tweak was used or if it was a bugged run. Our only choice was to remove them so that there was no way to gain points for an illegal run. It annoyed many fond overclockers, but it was ultimately a choice which had to be made.
Over the past three years, since 2011, we’ve seen a 207% increase in active overclockers on the site. There are 15,000 overclockers actively submitting their results to HWBOT.org and the number is still on the increase. Not only have we seen a large increase in active overclockers, but we’ve also seen an outburst of new countries and regions joining in. At the present moment, there are 143 countries (73% of the world!) participating, which means that there are only 52 left until every country in the world is in some way involved with overclocking at HWBOT.
As the number of active users continues to rise, there’s no doubt an increase in the amount of submissions as people strive to beat one another. You may well be astonished to know that there were over 242,000 submissions made during 2014, which accounts for an average of 16 submissions per active user. There’s one benchmark which stands out like a sore thumb in terms of submissions, and that is the Intel XTU benchmark. Since its addition to HWBOT in June 2013, it has received mixed views from both new and old overclockers alike. However, the fact is, it’s a click and run benchmark which is something which entices new people to join due to its simplicity. Over 93,000 XTU submissions were made during the year of 2014. It accounts for 38.4% of all submissions that year, a significant number for just one benchmark. Intel XTU has a runtime of 30 seconds, which means that if were to put the yearly total into a daily number, it would equate to over 32 days.
Along with the large number of submissions and members comes a large number of teams, 441 active teams to be precise. Overclock.net (currently 4th in the overall rankings) is one of the largest teams on HWBOT and as a result, they submitted over 7600 results to the site. 59 teams competed in this years’ Team Cup and between them they submitted over 1700 results, which works out to an average of just under 29 results per team.
Results which appear on the front page often gather a lot of attention, but some gain more than others due to the particular overclocker who submitted them. They are all famous in their own right, and during 2014, Ian or “8 Pack” as most of us know him, was one of the most popular overclockers on the planet. His 3DMark Fire Strike run, which earns him a third place global now (it was first when he originally submitted it) saw over 11,000 impressions from members and visitors to the site from across the globe.
Overclocking is an extremely competitive e-sport, and here at HWBOT we are always trying to develop new ideas which come from both our staff and the community itself. In recent years, we, the overclockers, have begun receiving more and more support from the manufacturers themselves. As a result, there have been more competitions than ever before as we are joining forces with some of the big brands such as ASUS, GIGABYTE, G.SKILL, HyperX and many more. Throughout the year, 97 competitions were held which is more than double what we had in 2013. Over 18,000 submissions were accounted for during the competitions which came from over 3700 (+285%) overclockers. It’s no wonder that there were so many competitors when you take a look at the total prize pool available over the year. Taking only the cash prizes into consideration, and none of the hardware giveaways which were frequent from many of our supporters, the total prize pool added up to a staggering $82,500 USD, which is the biggest ever in overclocking history!
Whilst we do not have any specific data to hand regarding the cost of overclocking to our community, we do have some other very interesting numbers to hand. We are gathering information from overclockers around the world to help us to formulate the costs involved with our sport, but that will have to wait until next year. You’ll just have to wait to see that report. We think it’s going to be an extremely interesting one.
You may think that there are only a handful of parts that are used frequently because that’s all you see in highly scored submissions. There were however over 8500 unique bits of hardware used during 2014. Each type of CPU has its own use and benchmark at which it is best suited for, but that’s a conversation for another day. You may be shocked to find out that there were 1857 unique CPUs used over the course of the year, which includes an array of mobile phone processors too (think of HWBOT Prime) and not just the desktop/server processors.
3D benchmarks, such as 3DMark, make up for a large number of our submissions here at HWBOT, so it is no surprise that there were 990 unique GPUs utilised over the course of 2014. CPU benchmarking often requires far less time to tweak as the tweaks which you can apply to benchmarks apply almost universally to any CPU that you’re using, whereas most GPU generations have different preferences on the tweaks. It is therefore understandable that less GPUs were used, but 990 is still nothing to be ashamed of.
CPUs and GPUs are obviously two of the most fundamental bits of kit you need when you’re benching, but there are also two others which you cannot do without. We are talking about the motherboards and of course the power supplies. The number in each of those categories astonished me personally. In terms of motherboards, our records indicate that 2925 motherboards had been used for all sorts of submissions. An overclocking rig is nothing without a decent power supply, and although not every single result had a monster unit, there were still 543 power supplies utilised in order to make the results happen.
It’s always a little disappointing when you can’t make it to a live event, even if it is just to spectate the pros doing what they do best. That’s no longer such an issue due to the wonderful thing that we take for granted – the Internet. Over 37,000 hours of overclocking were watched, which equates to 1542 consecutive days, or 4.2 years in total. Surely that must mean that there is a big audience in order for that to happen; right? Of course! At least 448,000 unique viewers tuned into one of twenty livestreams during 2014.
This pretty much sums up our year at HWBOT. We have seen great things happen throughout 2014 and we have absolutely no doubt that we will see plenty more in 2015.