Redmax presents the story of his MSI MOA Americas 2012 qualification adventure. Nice and interesting read!
MOA or the Master Overclockers Arena is a MSI sponsored overclocking event designed to bring attention to MSI hardware and give overclockers a chance to gain notoriety in the field. Now I have participated in a few online overclocking competitions before with no real success other than saying I participated. Personally, I look back on those events and feel that my failures were split between hardware selections (the binning process) and skill. Knowing this I set out with a different approach to the MOA qualifier.
I was at a disadvantage going into the competition due to my decision to keep with X79 for all of the benchmarks. Had I used a Z77 or Z68 motherboard my SuperPi 32M score would have been better and I might have had a better chance at getting a higher score in 3DMark 03. All things considered I did extremely well in 3DMark 11 and was within 100 marks of 4th place.
As we know overclocking isn't guaranteed nor are you guaranteed a good GPU even if you pay extra for a Lightning edition video card. What get is a video card designed for overclocking matched with whatever chip MSI decides to slap on there. Extreme overclockers like them because there are no modifications to make and hardware enthusiasts like them because they are custom PCBs and come with a factory overclock.
Assuming I did spend the extra bucks to run both LGA 2011 and LGA 1155 I would have been in the contest for the cost of new hardware, namely a new Z68 or Z77 motherboard. My current 2600K will do 5.7Ghz but I really needed 5.9Ghz to be competitive. (e.g. in the top 1% of golden Sandy Bridge processors). People get golden processors all the time and the majority of them don't even know it. The way I see it, I got lucky once and the chance of getting something worse was greater than getting something better.
All things considered I felt my MOA bid was a strong one, I learned some stuff and was able to grab the attention of some folks who, had otherwise, never paid much attention to me before. Neither of which are a bad thing.