Today we interview OCTeam.be, the new Belgian overclocking team which recently breached the hard 1000 hwboints barrier in the global overclocking league.
hwbot:Can you tell something about your team?
Team: OC-Team.be is a group effort to bring Belgium overclocking community under one label, delivering world breaking records using whatever hardware they can lay their hands on. While the Belgian community is small, it’s known for a tight cooperation between the members, a small country allows them to meet often to perform sub zero projects with either Liquid Nitrogen, Dry Ice, homemade phase change cooling and more. Originally created by a few loyal forum members from the Telenet (ISP) Gaming community, [M]adshrimps has now stepped up to provide us an international front end to give exposure to their overclocking endeavors as well as reach out the like minded Belgian enthusiasts to help grow their community. Currently we’re still recruiting members (well, we try to warm the fellow forum members to upload their results to hwbot), we hope old time Belgian benchmarks and newcomers alike find a good home within our team. Most of our current members are from the Flemish region on Belgium (Dutch speaking), but of course we hope to convert the southern part of Belgium.
hwbot: How did your team get started?
Team: It all started a few years ago on the local Telenet Games forums when some people got the idea of a united Belgian overclock and benchmark team. We got a lot of reactions, but no one really wanted to take responsibility and the team was canceled more than once. Blind, Jort and Massman started OC-Team.Be again and this time we were determined: OCTB must exist. It took quite a while to turn the idea into reality, but when [M]adshrimps stepped up and helped OCTB, the number of members went up and before we knew, we entered the top20 of the benchmarking teams.
hwbot: When and why did you join the hwbot competition?
Team: I don’t know the exact date, but we figured that the participation in the hwbot league was the only way to start a decent team. This way, the team can easily check out the results and see how they are doing in the rankings. I see that even casual benchers upload their results and add points to the team totals like it’s nothing. Hwbot makes it easy to store all your results and you’re able to check them all in five seconds (depending on how freaky you are).
hwbot: Are there any famous members in your team?
Team: Really famous? I don’t really know for sure. Blind has built up quite a reputation when it comes to benchmarking and Jort has managed to find his way into the cooling area of the scene. I guess there are a few ‘forgotten’ members, oldies like we call them, but they are not that active anymore. I really hope that someday, we’ll have one or two really famous benchers in our line-up, but until now, we’re just not good enough. Honestly, we believe that, due to the lack of famous benchers, we can put the stress on team cooperation and team spirit.
hwbot: Any secret weapons your team uses? Extreme cooling? Sharing of tweaks?
Team: Our only real secret is team spirit. Look closely to our members list: Only one member just above 200 points and only three within the top100! When we talk about cooling, we must mention Jort. He has prepared our little community for more extreme forms of cooling by introducing the nVentiv / Asetek modified single stages. Since Jort started building phase-change units, more and more Belgians are starting to use such cooling and some of us have used dry ice and even lnÂ² (well … lnÂ² only two or three times, mostly with Jort). We hope that there will be more frequent lnÂ² sessions in the future, so some members can fight their way into the top20 of the world. Of course that’s only for the hardcore members, most of us only use air cooling.
hwbot: Any upcoming plans for going up the rankings?
Team: Sure, it’s very easy to see what we have to do: 3dbenching! In all 3d benches, we’re way behind our direct competitors as you can see: not once top20 in all five benches :-(. Mostly because only two or three of our members have been able to bench with a high-end cpu AND high-end gpu at the same time. En plus, you need expensive cooling units to be able to compete with the best and gain a lot of points. The reason why we don’t bench this way is of course funds-related: we have a lot of ‘young’ benchers who aren’t able to spend that kind of money on hardware. That’s why we’re still looking for sponsors, but no sponsors yet, although we are a potential top10 team. :-).
hwbot: How prominent is the overclocking hobby in your country?
Team: Bad, I must say, I can’t see anyone new climb up to the hardcore oc scene (well … maybe one or two) and the older benchers often quit because it’s an expensive hobby. Maybe if we had more time to ‘teach’ how to bench hardcore to our members, but that’s quite difficult. Benching is something you learn by practicing, not by studying. We share tweaks, but the really good scores are the result of the time and effort you put into benching.
hwbot: Are there any other hwbot teams in your country? If so, are there plans to make a united team?
Team: Yes, a few: first we have Overclex, which is a hardware website, and then there is a semi-Belgian team OverClocking-Masters. Most of the French speaking benchers are in their line-up, because it’s easier to communicate in their mother tongue. We would really love to see our Belgian fellows to join our team, but we have the utmost respect for OC-M, so we won’t try to steal their members. If they want to join us, they are more than welcome of course!
hwbot: How prominent is the overclocking hobby in your country?
Team: Benchmarking means little to nothing, I’m afraid. The active benchers are countable on your ten fingers and even that’s optimistic. Maybe if we start doing shows on lanparty‘s, we could encourage people to bench. Overclocking on the other hand is very popular. Extra performance for less money … that’s something every Belgian dreams about.
hwbot: What does hwbot bring to this hobby in your opinion?
Team: It gives us an easy comparison between hardware, users and teams + it offers the specifications and average scores on each benchmark in one. It’s easy to check the rankings before you bench, so you can fine-tune your setup more easily.
hwbot: Anything you would like to change or add in hwbot?
Team: Tons! Yes really. The HWBot website has major potential and it hasn’t yet tapped all its resources, it’s heaven for stats freaks and overclockers a-like. We’re looking forward to more in-depth hardware comparison features; better inner-team competition tracking, a ranking was added but nothing much has been done with that yet. The second revision of hwboints is something that will change the way HWBot is “played” we figure, will be interesting to see where the new algorithm will place our little team. Notification mails! I really like to know where our team is / I am losing points. If I see I’m not nÂ°1 in that specific benchmark anymore, I’ll rebench the hardware so I can get my points back.
Benchmark wise HWBot should get a PR man in charge of introducing the comparison engine and online community to different benchmark companies, those who don’t have the resources or don’t think that there is a need for an online database of results. WPrime is a prime (pun intended) example of how such a cooperation should work. With more easy to run and configure benchmarks which allow automatic submission of results HWBot will only become more popular! Since the HWBot is frequented by a lot of hardcore enthusiasts, an up to date hardware news section with overclocker minded news would do well I’m guessing. And in hindsight overclocking/tweaking guides for the different hardware will make the HWbot site a valuable resource for experienced benchmarks and newcomers alike. To sum things up: HWBot in its current state is quite good, it can be fantastic, get to it Coder(s?)!
hwbot: Does your team concentrate on some specific benchmarks?
Team: Not really, our members produce results based on the local competitions (3dmark / superpi 1M) and not based on the complete benchmark suite of hwbot. If we want to burst into the top10 of the world, we will have to do something about that, but we still have plenty of time.
hwbot: Do you have a message to send to your team members?
Team: Don’t stop tweaking your system! We see too much decent overclockers stop before they even start to go hardcore.
hwbot: Have you done anything special to motivate your team members?
Team: Euhm … not yet … maybe we should plan a meeting or a barbecue so we meet the person behind the overclocker.
hwbot: Thank you for your time!