Getting to know each other…
HWBOT: Okay, first question, obviously, please tell us a bit more about yourself.
4QMan: I’m David, 24 years old and am from Essex in the UK. I’ve been boxing since I was 14, I even got in the top20 of Britain, I just finished working 5 years as a Royal Marines Commando and cannot wait to spend my spare time modifying hardware and/or overclocking.
HWBOT: Next question then: How and when did you start overclocking?
4QMan: I started overclocking when I was a gamer back in 2005 playing BattleField2 and needed the extra FPS. Working on computers and modifying hardware, however, has always been a passion as I’ve been doing this since the AMD 486 days.
HWBOT: Does your work/studies have something to do with computing hardware and/or overclocking?
4QMan: After I left the Marines, I spend a lot of my time learning as much about electronics as possible. Working in the hardware industries would be a dream coming true and I’m absolutely going to try and make that dream come true.
HWBOT: Working in the industry should be great, especially if you have an overclocking background. Now, we all know how the Japanese legends admire Superpi, but what are your favorite benchmarks?
HWBOT: Do your family members understand your hobby?
4QMan: They do now, but only after I never stopped talking about it. My girlfriend has no problems with me benching a few hours, she just picks up her PSP. The only thing what bothers her are the large rotary compressors in the cascade, though.
HWBOT: Where does your overclocking knowledge come from?
4QMan: Knowledge is all about trail and error, but it’s important to learn from other benchers as well. Many people keep their tricks and tweaks for themselves, but within a team or community people often share and help each other. I myself have spend a lot of time reading and testing, but I must say that most of the things I now know comes from my team mates!
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. What’s your current bench setup?
4QMan: I am currently benching hardware of MSI, which I believe still is one of the best manufacturers. With the right amount of beta testing and design, they should be able to even reach the enthusiast market. Along with the MSI X48 board, I’m using a SuperTalent memory kit and Intel’s E8500 or QX9650.
HWBOT: Cooling is an important factor when overclocking, but what types of cooling to you have?
4QMan: Cooling is important for sure!! That’s why I’ve spent hours and hours learning about cooling materials and how to build subzero cooling units. I currently use a 2stage cascade, which ought to be one of the most powerful around the globe, it manages to hold a QX9650 CPU working at 1.9v under -105°C load. My graphics cards are cooled using a large 250L waterbutt, which is located in the garage and holds the cards around 22°C load all (cold) day long. LN2 is more of a treat for me and only to be done on an event or just for one day.
HWBOT: What is you favorite bench setup up till now?
4QMan: My best setup … well this is tricky as I use different hardware every day. The best motherboard I’ve ever used was the Asus P35 P5E, fully modified of course. My favorite processor is the E8500 I’ve lying around here. Memory-wise, I can say without any doubt, the Super Talent DDR3 I got, outstanding!
HWBOT: If you had to choose one, what’s your most memorable session?
4QMan: My most memorable session, hah, that’s an easy question: the LN2 event December 2007 with the entire BenchTec team was without a doubt one of the most fun days of my life. Many people had hardware failure but my P5E was as strong as a ox. I benched 6 hours straight, without a drink or even a quick trip to the toilet. I absolutely had to be pulled away as I used most the LN2.
HWBOT: Is there anything especially weird in your way of oc’ing? Secret weapons?
4QMan: I’m fairly new in the extreme benchmarking scene, so I have not yet developed a secret weapon. For now, all I think of as my strongest weapon is my dedication and eagerness. If I had 1000L of LN2 I’d not sleep until the dewar was empty.
HWBOT: What would you consider as your best overclocking achievements?
4QMan: My best achievement would have to be ATI 3850 single and CF benching. I took every Gold in just one regular Saturday benchday. Agreed, I was exhausted, but in the end, it was well worth the effort.
HWBOT: Do you have a long hardware kill count?
4QMan: Not really, maybe one cpu/motherboard/videocard. If there’s one thing I have learned about extreme benchmarking, it’s that impatience kills hardware. Insulating needs time and preparing a bench session is almost as important as the benches themselves and often is the key to a successful session.
Overclocking is sharing
HWBOT: Let’s keep the kill count like it is! Now, let’s continue talking about the enthusiasts scene. We all know that everyone has his favorites, but who are your favorite overclockers?
4QMan: I feel great respect for S_A_V as he shares his knowledge in all the posts he makes. Next, I have learned a lot from my old pal Blind, who has been a little bit too inactive lately. I always check to see how MickeyMouse is doing as he wears our British flag and of course I have some great team members like Sacha35, who has helped me grow and of who I am sure it will be a force to reckon with soon.
HWBOT: What forums do you browse?
HWBOT: BenchTec hasn’t been around for so long, how did the team start? Is it a team of friends and how close are you?
4QMan: BenchTec has progressed from the legendary UK forum EP-UK. A few members from EP-UK (BazX, Sacha35, K404, MavSG1, Thickbrit and Stocky) have turned BenchTec into a serious force again and should be feared by it’s competitors in the team ranking *Wink*. We are an extremely close team, we have attended LN2 events and had great turnouts as. Watch out, this is only the beginning, we will grow even stronger!
HWBOT: How the enthusiasm within your team?
4QMan: Basically, the enthusiasm in the team couldn’t be any better. We are all very competitive, so we like to challenge both each other and challenge other teams. I’m the current Benchtec team leader and I’m trying to motivate my fellow benchers. Note for the BenchTec members: Close the browser and finish your 3DMark run ;-).
HWBOT: Any tips for newcomers?
4QMan: Tips, this is a easy question. Simply join a community and get started by reading a lot. The reading part is top of the agenda, but when you feel unsure don’t hesitate to ask more experienced benchers. Persistence and dedication is most definitely very another key as well. I live, breathe and sleep overclocking.
HWBOT: How big is the overclocking hobby in your country?
4QMan: Overclocking has been booming in the UK in the past four mounts now, really, the UK has become overclocking crazy. Our community is strong and we have a lot of support from manufactures, which was unthinkable a six months ago.
HWBOT: Would you describe the oc’ing community as friendly or as hostile
4QMan: Hmm, I’d say friendly, but certainly competitive. Certain results can be obtained by many people (with the same drive and dedication), but it really gets to me when very well-known benchers ignore the lesser known out there. I’ve asked some questions at gurus and never got an answer, but I think it’s their loss. This anger is like fuel to me, it just makes me push my hardware even harder. Luckily there are way more people willing to help.
HWBOT: Inevitable … you know it, we really have to ask some questions about HWBOT. For instance, how did you discover HWBOT?
4QMan: Heh, c’mon when overclocking you cannot not discover HWBOT.
HWBOT: What does HWBOT bring to this hobby in your opinion?
4QMan: It’s the home of benchmarking and without it many would simply retire. So HWBOT gives us benchers a reason to continue and compete on many different levels.
HWBOT: Any thoughts or remarks on HWBOT? Anything you would like to change or add?
4QMan: Not really, to be honest, it’s already a great site. Well, if I need to name one, it would come in handy if there existed an even more simple method to have a one-on-one chat with on of the moderators purely to resolve score issues.
A view on the future …
HWBOT: Yes, getting into contact with the moderators is not always easy. You can, however, always send a your questions via mail or PM us in the forums, we’ll do whatever we can to help. Anyway, almost ready, just a few more questions to go. For example, this one: Do you have any near-future plans for hwboints hunting?
4QMan: My plan is to simply carry on and remain focused. I have many ideas and routes to reach my aims, for instance reach the top10 sooner or later. I won’t give too much away yet as nothing is set in stone regarding high-end or low-end hardware for benching.
HWBOT: What would you like to achieve in overclocking?
4QMan: The recognition as being a good bencher would already make me very happy, but I’d like to see me working in the hardware industry someday. Really, I must admire the chaps in the Top20, the dedication is totally unreal and I’d be more than happy to buy them a beer when I meet them.
HWBOT: Breaking hardware, spending thousands of dollars … is there any sense in this hobby?
4QMan: For me, there is sense. I don’t smoke, drink or follow the latest trend of the £100 trainers, but overclocking has allowed me to meet many people and some are now regarded as my closest friends. My old boxing coach always told us “Everyone you meet in life enjoys different things so will achieve greatness In their own way“; I enjoy benching so for me it’s worth it.
HWBOT: Why should manufacturers spend more time designing overclocking products?
4QMan: Quality of the product and advertisement, to name two reasons. As an overclocker, you push all hardware tot the limit and you’ll be one of the first to find out what problems are occurring and generally find the flaws in the products. Solving those problems gives an overall better quality outcome. Marketing-wise, it’s one of the best forms of advertisement. Right down from the enthusiastic market tot he general office computer, once a special has been tested and proved being useful, you can mass-produce and implement in cheaper solutions. More quality products through the price ranges. It’s known that hardware that is loved by the overclocking community automatically become popular in the gaming community as well.
HWBOT: A quick last question maybe, How would you describe you hobby in three words?
4QMan: Fun, stressful but fulfilling
HWBOT: Any last remarks?
4QMan: In my last few words, I’d like to thank HWBOT for the interview and of course thank my team members at BenchTec.co.uk for being so supportive. Now, all my team members should now close this browser and get those benchmarks running as we have another team’s place to take..
HWBOT: This is the end. Thank you very much for this interview, we wish you a very successful benching career and hope we can find you and your team at the absolute top of the rankings soon.