Take a look at the Overclocking scene in Germany right now and you will find der8auer to be a truly outstanding and influential overclocker. A winner, a mentor, a professional and an entrepreneur, der8auer is a friendly face known to many simply as Roman. We sit down for a chat about all things OC with one of the true greats of today’s Extreme Overclocking scene.
The Interview Transcript
HWBOT: Hi der8auer. Welcome to the Overclocker in Focus series. Could you please go ahead and introduce yourself.
der8auer: My real name is Roman. My nickname is der8auer. I’m an overlocker from Germany. My main team is PC Games Hardware, because that’s originally where I come from, the place where I started Overclocking so I’m kind of tied to that team I think, mentally.
HWBOT: What is your educational background?
der8auer: Well, first I did an apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering and then I studied Mechanical Engineering and Micro Engineering. That’s also why I started to produce my own containers, because I had a background – how to mill and use that stuff. We learned a lot on how you produce microprocessors, CPUs and all that so I’m quite interested in the industry I think. Also, due to overclocking I got more and more involved in the industry and in the end I got a job offer from Caseking in Germany which is a well known distributor in Europe. And now I’m working almost full time there and in August I’m going to start full time at Caseking in Germany, Berlin.
HWBOT: When did you start overclocking?
der8auer: I think the first time I started overclocking really was like, 2007. I started before, maybe two or three years earlier but I wouldn’t consider that as real overclocking because actually I had no idea what I am doing. I was just adjusting some stuff. I was like ok, maybe it was faster and then blue screen and I was like OK, maybe I will stop.
So in 2007 I got more and more involved in this, I discovered HWBOT. Came across benchmarks and ran them for the first time on my system and I was actually really amazed by the graphics of 3DMark 05 and 3DMark 06. I really liked it. So then in the end I got a 3DMark result and I thought yeah, this is actually quite nice and submitted to HWBOT and then I was like ok… that’s actually not what I expected. I thought my system should be faster.
So I started reading some Overclocking guides on how to push your CPU further and all that, changed from air to water cooling to be able to clock a little bit higher. Yeah, that’s when initially started normal Overclocking.
HWBOT: What has been your greatest achievement?
der8auer: For me the highlight really is when you turn it from a hobby into a job. It’s really what I love to do and in the beginning I always thought it was like yeah, this is a very special hobby and something that you really cannot turn into a job. But then it turns out that you can actually and Caseking gave me the opportunity to do that and for me that was really my highlight so far.
HWBOT: How do you see the overclocking scene today?
der8auer: Well back then Overclocking was kind of new, not really new but still kinda new, especially the extreme Overclocking part in exhibitions like CeBit. Everybody was like wow, what are you doing on LN2 cooling, this is amazing! I think people were more kind of amazed by this and by now, I think a lot of people are used to it and if they see some results on news pages they are like, ok… this is the same thing just different hardware. People got kind of used to it.
Also, though I think the Overclocking Community got a little bit smaller, but the skill level has raised a lot. Back then in 2007 you just needed a CPU container for LN2 and that was it. You could just overclock and there was nothing else you actually needed. Like not really (needing) engineering backgrounds and stuff like that but today you need to have a lot of engineering background as well. Like Electrical Engineering especially if you want to change VRM technology on graphics cards and attach external power boards, there’s nothing you can do without any background knowledge.
HWBOT: Where do you see overclocking in five years from now?
der8auer: Well, I think in the next five years, it’s going to stay where it is now I think. The group will stay small I think, the real elite and extreme overclockers. And I think it will stay kind of special and it will not really grow. I have a feeling about that.
The normal people will stay – the enthusiasts, they will still be interested in overclocking. Also when there is new hardware, I’m sure about that. I kind of have the feeling that extreme overclocking will not really get really big.
I think the amount of overclockers will also roughly stay the same. I think the people who have been enthusiasts in the past will also stay in the future and will be interested in the same but I feel more and more because especially for gamers. The hardware requirements are getting lower and lower, especially for CPUs. You can run the same CPUS today as you bought three years ago and it’s still fine for a high-end system. Only the GPUs are really, really limited, by now if you play really high-end games. I think that affects a lot how it works.
HWBOT: Your advice to someone just getting started?
der8auer: Well for normal overclockers it’s quite easy these days because the hardware manufacturers have implemented a lot of features. You can just go BIOS and use software. It’s very easy if you just read some basic guides, it probably takes you like half an hour or an hour to get used to, as I say, basic overclocking.
Extreme overclocking is a little bit more difficult to really compete on the top. You need a lot of time and also a lot of money, sadly. But you will have to buy high-end hardware, you need the cooling gear and you need all the LN2 so… it’s a hard game to step into and also very competitive. But if you are really willing to step into this, then it just needs a lot of time and patience and everybody can be first. That’s true.
HWBOT: What do you think of Taiwan?
der8auer: Taiwan is an awesome country. I love to be here. Compared to, especially Germany, it’s so different. The culture is completely different and especially the people, when you come here the first time you are really amazed by how friendly they are. It’s sad it’s’ but it’s true – in Germany people are really distanced with each other and it’s not really helpful always. So serious. And when we come here everybody is so open, friendly and everybody’s helping you. It’s really amazing.