As the benchmark community grows bigger and bigger, we believe it’s important that we get to know the person behind the bencher. In these series, we will interview overclockers who have influenced the community in their own way. Next to the benchers, we will continue to interview teams as well. Today, we have MaSell sitting in front of us. MaSell is one of the more experienced overclockers as he has been around for quite some time now. I first noticed him when he showed an incredible overclock with an old Pentium2 233MHz on lnÂ², posting bios at 700MHz at an OC lan in Gdansk, Poland.
HWBOT: Good morning, MaSell, are you up for this interview?
MaSell: Of course I am, start shooting the questions!
HWBOT: Okay, first question, obviously, please tell us a bit more about yourself.
MaSell: My name is Mateusz (Matthew), I’m living in Olsztyn, Poland. I’m almost 20 years old. My hobby is OC … but hey! Everyone knows that, next question please :-).
HWBOT: Okay … you’re right. Next question then: How and when did you start overclocking?
MaSell: Some time ago, I guess 2001 or 2002 I read an article about overclocking in PC magazine. I tried it out on my GF2MX400… and it worked as I hit almost 3000points in 3DMark 2001! Incredible score :-). The first cpu with I overclocked, was my Athlon Thunderbird 1333MHz. I had problems to do it, because of my ECS motherboard which didn’t have any oc options in the bios. In 2003-2004 I flashed a modified bios and overclocked cpu to 1467MHz, entirely stable. This board still works in my friend pc!
HWBOT: Does your work/studies have something to do with computing hardware and/or overclocking?
MaSell: I study IT, but unfortunately that’s only about software, not hardware. Why can’t I study overclocking?
HWBOT: That’s a question many of us ask, I think. We all know Mr. Rocha admires 3DMark01, but what are our favourite benchmarks?
MaSell: SuperPI and 3DMark 2001SE for sure. I know it’s old, but these are still one of the most precious benchmarks around. You can use it to bench from Pentium 75MHz to QX9770, from PCI Riva to Tri Sli 8800Ultra monsters. I really like SPI, this is the mother (or father, who know?) of all benchmarks. If you know how to tweak your operating system for spi, you know how to tweak your OS for other benchmark. So next to Superpi, we have the oldie: 3DMark 2001. Why? It’s not as simple as the 2005 or 2006 editions, where you must only overclock, change some settings in drivers and press benchmark button. To get high 2001 score, you have much more work to do, such as finding the best MHz/timing/drivers setting for every single test.
HWBOT: Do your family members understand your hobby?
MaSell: I think my family understand it. I’m quite sure that they don’t know what exacly I’m doing, but they know that the computer is working faster and that I must cool some componets to do so etc…
HWBOT: Where does your overclocking knowledge come from?
MaSell: When I started with oc for real, I’ve started reading all available articles about overclocking at that time. When I had obtained some theoretical knowledge, I went to my friend, who overclocked his Barton cpu (~2.9GHz stable IIRC) and GeForce 4 Ti using waterchiller. When I saw how to do it in practice I started overclocking for real – first voltage mods, “true” cooling etc. Now I’m mostly learned by myself and from internet forums.
A lifetime of benching …
HWBOT: Thank you, let’s move on to the benchmarking experience section of the questions, which is why most people are reading this article for, I think.
MaSell: Yeah, sure, go ahead, I’m waiting :-)
HWBOT: What’s your current bench setup?
MaSell: This is definitely a difficult question as it’s changing too fast! When you (the interviewer) is reading this (20/11/07), I’m benching an E4400 processor, Asus P5K Vanillia, quite good set of D9GMH memory and GF6600 SLI for some points and cups at HWBOT. *Wink* *Wink*
HWBOT: What types of cooling have you so far?
MaSell: When I started I used boxed cooler, which is quite normal, I think. Then I moved on to a better heatsink and Delta 120 fans, then watercooling, going on to my first waterchiller, two Single Stages, and dry ice and lnÂ² pots. I’ve used a TEC (which I really don’t recommend!), some cascades, dry ice, lnÂ². My daily PC, however, is fully cooled with air coolers. Only for benchmarks, I switch to a strong rotary SS and rotary SLI Unit. When I want some serious oc I use my friend’s cascade or lnÂ², of course.
HWBOT: Benching all these years, you certainly have had a lot of components lying on your table. But what is your favourite setup so far?
MaSell: This is one of the toughest questions, but I think that would be my A64 2800+ Newcastle, Kingston HyperX BH-5, DFI LP nF3 250Gb, Radeon 9700PRO, all powered by Antec 550W PSU setup. This DFI truly rocked, I never have had such stable motherboard! Whatever I would set in the BIOS, it always worked. The radeon is true legend, I like this card so much, together with the BH-5 memory, best ICs ever made me! Man, I really, really liked this setup. Interesting trivia: I still have the 1st spot at HWBOT in SuperPi 1M in the Newcastle 2800+ category!
HWBOT: If you had to choose one, what’s your most memorable session?
MaSell: Another difficult question. Hmmm, I don’t really have a favourite session (so far), but I have pleasant memories of every session with good scores.
HWBOT: Is there anything especially weird in your way of ocing? Secret weapons?
MaSell: Hehe, secret weapon … you said it: it’s secret ;-) . It’s not easy to describe, because all depends on hardware and the benchmarks. But you should always find solutions for the bottlenecks in your system and analyze your memory settings. Memory is very important in PCs, know that! And the most important thing, when you’re overclocking, thinking never hurts!
HWBOT: What would you consider as your best overclocking achievements?
MaSell: I have many achievement, but I’ll point out those I’m really proud of. To start with: my old Celly clocked to 7.9GHz using LN2 cooling and semi-solid pot. I want to thanks N3RO from Portugal for this golden cpu! My next treasure is my BH-5 memory overclocker all the way up to 300MHz CL2-2-2 SPi1M stable. Opteron’s memory controller, 3.9v, chiller air and here we go. I’m also happy … Pentium 2 processor. Yes, I’m not joking, I overclocked this 233MHz cpu to 700MHz using LN2 and a vga pot. Unfortunately, it coldbugged at -120Â°C :P. Only 200% oc, hehe. Maybe in future I will break the overall cpu percentage overclock, only a few MHz can do job. The end with: my lnÂ² cooled laptop … awesome, I should be one of the first to use this kind of cooling on a laptop.
HWBOT: Do you have a long hardware kill count?
MaSell: I killed hardware in past, that’s almost inevitable, but I don’t think it’s as much as other people. For example, last year I only killed a P5W64 mobo (1.8vcore with DI and one mosfet decided it was enough) and few weeks ago one D9 stick. 3.7v+ for DDR2 memory for longer time isn’t good. I know that I will kill it… but the second stick is still doing a great job.
Overclocking is sharing
HWBOT: Not a hardware killer? That’s a positive quality! Now, let’s continue talking about the enthusiasts scene. We all know that everyone has his favorites, but who are your favorite benchmarkers?
MaSell: I don’t have one favorite, but my respect goes to the guys who have been benching for years and still got scores at world class level. Vince (K|ngp|n) is one of my favorites as he breaks 3D worldrecord using his homemade cooling solutions, that’s cool! I like also OPB, which, to me, is a great memory and SPI tweaker, with huge knowledge. The fellows from TeamJapan are great too: super 2D benches and always willing to help.
HWBOT: What forums do you browse?
MaSell: I use polish forums, as I’m Polish, mostly PurePC.pl. Internationally, I browse OCXtreme.org and XtremeSystems.org, very few others.
HWBOT: I noticed how you changed from Team Poland to Team OCX while both are battling for the nÂ°2 spot in the team rankings. Why the change?
MaSell: Very hard to explain for me in English, but I’ll try. Some time ago OCX and XS were fighting for 1st place, but when HWBOT had to update the HWBoints system, the guys from OCX quit HWBOT and the team fell down. I always had big respect for this team, so I was unhappy about that such many great overclockers think that HWBOT is bad and they didn’t add points. When I talked with OPB some time ago about something completely different, he mentioned HWBOT. I offered to help him and change teams to motivate OCX members to return to HWBOT. I became “Team OCX reunite Cpt”, and tried to make this team stronger and stronger. As you can see, it succeeded and I’m very happy about that, because I helped to build up something amazing! About my mates from national team – I will never forget them. We still bench together and I share my knowledge with them. Without my points they don’t dropped in the rankings, as they have the talent to compete at the top!
HWBOT: How the enthusiasm within your team?
MaSell: We jumped from 11th to the top in few days. Enthusiasm? Simple: everybody is happy! We don’t lack the motivation to overclock and try to hit 1st spot! Just come visit our forums and have a look, you’ll see ;-).
HWBOT: Tips for newcomers?
MaSell: Reading, learning and trying. When you have good theoretical base, start to overclock and slowly go foward. Extreme overclocking is not easy as many beginner overclockers think!
HWBOT: How big is the overclocking hobby in your country?
MaSell: The OC scene is huge! As you might know, the Polish national team currently is 2nd in the HWBoints ranking and we have the most results, about 7000! I think this is quite good for such a small country. This is good, because we can do some OC party with all top guys, and in most cases we all know each other personally. We’ve got many beginners with good skills. I bet that, in a few years, they will be able to bench at the highest level. We got also old, experienced overclockers – I’m sure that with proper hardware they can achieved scores like world top guys.We also have a few well-known phase-change builders in Poland, Berkut (XS Legend), Piotres and LukeXE (XS Autocascade King).
HWBOT: Would you describe the oc’ing community as friendly or as hostile
MaSell: I think it’s friendly, but not completely, which is good! OC would be so boring if everybody would fully describe all the tweaks. I think searching for and trying out new tweaks, checking all possible settings is the most exiting thing in overclocking, not the scores themselves.
HWBOT: Inevitable … you know it, we really have to ask some questions about HWBOT. For instance, how did you discover hwbot?
MaSell: Some time ago a guy on the Polish forums introduced HWBOT and told us that we could at least try … and I’m in :-)
HWBOT: What does hwbot bring to this hobby in your opinion?
MaSell: For sure it brings motivation. Most people will never bench so much hardware, but here they can compete to each other and earn points in their category … people like it. HWBOT also is a huge database where you can compare your scores to the ones of many others. HWBOT really is rising to become something like the FutureMark ORB, I’ve heard people claiming the “HWBOT WR” or mention to be “1st at HWBOT“. A good thing is that you don’t have to own high-end hardware to be good, you can use whatever you want. Also you can play for cups and medals. It’s good that every bencher can find something for him-/herself.
HWBOT: Any thoughts or remarks on HWBOT? Anything you would like to change or add?
MaSell: I really want better result moderation, but unfortunately there are too much scores for too little moderators. Sometimes I have to wait week to delete a wrong result, which is quite long.
A view on the future …
HWBOT: Yep, 100k scores is a lot and all the crew members have daily jobs as well. We try to do the best we can, that’s for sure. Anyway, almost ready, just a few more questions to go. For example, this one: Do you have any near-future plans for hwboints hunting?
MaSell: Overtaking Hipro5 is good idea … I’m joking of course :-). I really want to have over 100 cups and medals before 2008 and add some good 3D scores to take some global points and jump in ranks. Also extreme hardware junkie or hardware master would be nice.
HWBOT: What would you like to achieve in overclocking?
MaSell: There are so many goals I’d like to achieve. But my greatest dream is doing 8GHz … twice. I have the cpus to do this, but I’m so unlucky when I try to. Always problems with mobos, cooling or other stupid things. Maybe there’s someone who’s willing to help me? :-)
HWBOT: Breaking hardware, spending thousands of dollars … is there any sense in this hobby?
MaSell: Hobbies often are senseless. Until the moment you really understand what overclocking is all about, you won’t understand it and overclocking and benching particularly will make no sense at all. It’s as simple as that.
HWBOT: Why should manufacturers spend more time designing overclocking products?
MaSell: Nowadays IT is growing very fast. Day after day we got new hardware releases. This is the main reason why some stuff is bugged and not entirely worked out. There’s no time for long testing. A few years ago, the hardware was better, for sure. This is quite the paradox – now we have better technology and and some stuff is just worse than before. But business is business, time is money …
HWBOT: Very wise words, Mateusz. A quick last question maybe, How would you describe you hobby in three words?
MaSell: Oh my god ;-), or Play hard, go pro … no wait, drop the last one, that’s four words.
HWBOT: Too late, it has been written down. This is the end – finally, this took quite some time – and we really want to thank you for doing this interview. We wish you a lot of success in your future life and benchmark sessions; hope to see you at the top one day!