Introducing the Apprentice League - Stepping Stone for Aspiring Extreme Overclockers

The Apprentice League forms the bridge between the extreme and ambient overclocking community by creating a platform for beginning sub-zero overclockers. In the near future we will roll out the new Apprentice League among other features.

Over the past couple of years we have seen the community of extreme overclockers evolve in a spectacular way. Where ten years ago it was not uncommon to see even top extreme overclockers be challenged by a system with both CPU and GPU cooled with liquid nitrogen, nowadays it's common practice. The level of competition increased dramatically as the top overclockers have no problem handling complex overclocking challenges such as finding the sweet-spot of temperature, frequency and stability with a specific memory IC. The increase in skill level has one important side-effect: it makes joining this core group of overclockers a lot more difficult.

The story is simple and often shared at overclocking gatherings. If you are an overclocker from the Enthusiast League who wants to take their hobby to the next level - Extreme - the only option is to use Liquid Nitrogen. The cooling substance allows for perfect temperature control for any hardware and is thus a perfect choice to really max out your components. Liquid Nitrogen is, however, not so easy to come by and often the price rates are too high for first-time users. As the substance cannot be stored for a long time, the cost of (competitive) extreme overclocking increases significantly. Other cooling options such as Dry Ice or Single Stage Phase Change are much easier to use, but not very effective in the Extreme League.

To support Enthusiast overclockers who want to experiment with sub-zero cooling, but who are not willing to invest in liquid nitrogen or are simply not interested in it, we have the Apprentice League. An overclocker using cooling such as TEC/Peltier/Chiller, Single Stage and Dry Ice is automatically promoted to the Apprentice League. Enthusiast overclockers who use stock, air, all-in-one or regular water cooling remain in their current league and Apprentice members who jump up to Cascade, Liquid Nitrogen or (why not) Liquid Helium promote to the Extreme League.

On our UAT test server (link) we have currently deployed the Apprentice League feature. Macsbeach98 from Australia and overclocking for Classicplatforms.com is likely to be the first ever King of the Apprentice League! In addition to the introduction of the new league, we also look forward to Rookie Rumble style competitions targeted to the Apprentice overclockers organized by the CCTF.


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Argentina Alan_Alberino says:

Nice feature, it would be nice to see it with points updated at UAT page...

Australia sskmercer says:

Definitely like this idea and I think some of my team mates will also take advantage of this new league. It will make the step up not so daunting to extreme as it can be now.

United States xxbassplayerxx says:

Seems a little odd to include dry ice in this league, IMO. That requires a pot and almost all of the same equipment as LN2. Beyond that, there are plenty of platforms that can be close to maxed out with dry ice. Chilled water, TEC, and single stage should be included here. Dice should be relegated to the Extreme League.

Noxinite says:

I like where this is going so far :)

United States Splave says:

xxbassplayerxx said: Seems a little odd to include dry ice in this league, IMO. That requires a pot and almost all of the same equipment as LN2. Beyond that, there are plenty of platforms that can be close to maxed out with dry ice.

Chilled water, TEC, and single stage should be included here. Dice should be relegated to the Extreme League.


I think because DICE can be had at some grocery stores and doesnt require a $$$ Dewar

United States Bones says:

Splave said: I think because DICE can be had at some grocery stores and doesnt require a $$$ Dewar


I agree with the added fact DICE just isn't capable of the same cooling as LN2. In nearly every category you can look at shows LN2 users at the top with DICE being below all LN2 users period 99% of the time.

There are exceptions but those are rare.

Not everyone has access to getting a dewar either, depends on where you are (Availability) and your situation ($$).

Canada WhiteWulfe says:

Just because it isn't "as capable" doesn't mean it should be taken out of extreme. It's still more than capable in a number of scenarios. Not everyone has access to an inexpensive dewar, not to mention reasonably priced liquid nitrogen, but we still slug it out as good as we can.

Australia zeropluszero says:

Ln2 really is the big step guys. I wholeheartedly put dice in apprentice class.

Belgium leeghoofd says:

zeropluszero said: Ln2 really is the big step guys. I wholeheartedly put dice in apprentice class.
I start to worry about you Matt... you are saying something positive about the BOT... Dino your kid is going mad!!!

United States xxbassplayerxx says:

Perhaps we should have a Super-duper Extreme class for LHe! It really is the next big step!

Australia zeropluszero says:

Leeghoofd said: I start to worry about you Matt... you are saying something positive about the BOT... Dino your kid is going mad!!!

I'm in the hwbot cctf group, so I was discussing this ahead of it going live.

Canada WhiteWulfe says:

My biggest question though is this: Why go with a naming scheme that seems like a step DOWN from enthusiast? You go Rookie, Novice, Enthusiast.... Then Apprentice? Why such a downwards step in the name?

United States sunset1 says:

well my commercial chiller runs at 5c so 40f - 60f under load its cold water not sub zero and putting it with -90c dice seems asinine to me. The top guys are all ln2 or colder why not include anything cold while you are at it. Chillers are like ice water period. 40-60f basically. i dont prep my board to run my chiller i get a cool room and bench. if its 50-60f i can run my chiller with no condensation if i used a heat plate exchanger even higher.

United States sunset1 says:

i think you guys are confusing chillers with phase coolers

Belgium Massman says:

Splave said: I think because DICE can be had at some grocery stores and doesnt require a $$$ Dewar


Correct.

Dry ice isn't that much more difficult to set up than a single stage phase change. You also need to take care of insulation and proper mounting, but once you have that figured out it's run as you go.

WhiteWulfe said: My biggest question though is this: Why go with a naming scheme that seems like a step DOWN from enthusiast? You go Rookie, Novice, Enthusiast.... Then Apprentice? Why such a downwards step in the name?


We haven't launched the League yet, so the name could still change. What would you call it?

Bulgaria I.nfraR.ed says:

Why not have Cascade league, DICE league, SS league, Chiller league?
Every cooling listed has advantage to the other one, it will never be "fair".

In my view this is unnecessary. Creating even more clutter.

By the way, dry ice is more expensive than LN2 here and you can lend a dewar if you don't have your own.
Everything else needed is almost the same as LN2 - you still need a pot.

United States GtiJason says:

Massman said: Correct.

We haven't launched the League yet, so the name could still change. What would you call it?


Naming is the easy part (not important) ie Sub-Zero enthusiast/entry level and Sub-Zero Extreme..... I see the more important question being how to distinguish the two. Really difficult to tell if someone is running actually Dice or using Lin but at something like -90 to -110. I say extreme is anything cold enough to freeze so keep it how it is and allow slush buckets and water chillers to be used in Enthusiast

United States sunset1 says:

Massman i have been seriously thinking of changing Leauges because i ran ln2 about 10 times then only ran icewater or custom loop i got a chiller to make things easier as i have been ill and wnated a simpler way to bench There are a lot of people running chillers.

How can it possibly be fair to put chillers ( cold water ) with 90c sub zero scores. Tonight I almost bought dumos ln2 pot and mem pots because its the only way to be competitive under the new rules .. but I for one REFUSE to be pushed into running dice ( not just dry ice but acetone vapors with mapp gas torch nice combo for indoor benchibng for some ) ( or ln2 which i cant afford or have easy access to ) be competitive. Im just getting back into benching after a long time down from many surgeries on my leg.

It seems to me that at a time when board and card manufacturers are turning its back on sub zero benching we should be embracing chiller technologies and others instead of making a one size fits all category. temperature should be the deciding factor in grouping benchers ... if i guy has a outdoor temp of -25 thats subzero .. My current tapwater temp is 11c if i run straight water thru my loop should i have to compete against dice ?

I dont have the answers but this part of the quick fix makes no sense to me. With respect to all. mark chickey aka sunset1

United States xxbassplayerxx says:

As mentioned by Infra, dice is no "easier" than LN2. It isn't required that you own a dewar (many people rent) and pricing is all over the place. It's cheaper for me to fill my dewar than to get an "equivalent" amount of dry ice. After all, it requires everything needed for LN2 except the optional dewar. Even going further, what advantage does adding another league have? It adds complication. Are people who have made it far enough into the hobby to have a single stage or chiller actually upset that they can't compete against LN2??

Indonesia speed.fastest says:

I think cooler should be set by temperature. Like this :
1. Up to Absolute Zero (Extreme & Elite).
2. Up to Absolute Zero (Up to 3 Submission) (Apprentice).
3. Up to Ambient (Enthusiast).
It's only my view as i only have 1 LN2 Submission that i got from Local Extreme Competetion in my Country. All tools i use is from friend. And i think LN2 is not harder than i tought :p
H2O Ice in my G3258 submission is harder than LN2 that i try. Lol :D

United States MaddMutt says:

I like the separation BUT this will put more work on HWBOT. The DIV Competitions would be split in 1/2. An example would be like Div IV, you would have Div IV A and B. I'm currently competing in the DIV IV Competition and will be using DICE for my final scores.
Even if I have a perfect setup, my CPU Freq will never go over 7GHz Unless I have some Magic Powder. From what I have seen from submissions from the Top/Elite Overclockers. Theses guys would be needing to have a VERY BAD day to not be able to hit 7GHz+ on an AMD FX-8xxx CPU using LN2.

If you want this to grow as a sport, you have to give the player the possibility of winning. Also in a sport, the crowds like a nail biter finish/win. The ones that the crowds don't show up for or leave shortly after the start, are the blowouts/instant win. Just like your front page, the difference between 1st and 4th is like 0.200 of a SECOND. The other way would be like : 1st scored 5.000 sec, 2nd was close behind with a score of 8.50 sec, 3rd scored 12.00 sec, and 4th place with a score of 20.00 sec was xxxx. Everybody loves to be #1 but in this game, finishing in the TOP 5 is an extreme achievement. Nobody below the Top/Elite likes to look at who they are competing against and instantly know that they will not finish higher than 15th place.

Thank You For Your Time
In Reading My Comments
MM

United States Mr.Scott says:

speed.fastest said: I think cooler should be set by temperature. Like this :
1. Up to Absolute Zero (Extreme & Elite).
2. Up to Absolute Zero (Up to 3 Submission) (Apprentice).
3. Up to Ambient (Enthusiast).
It's only my view as i only have 1 LN2 Submission that i got from Local Extreme Competetion in my Country. All tools i use is from friend. And i think LN2 is not harder than i tought :p
H2O Ice in my G3258 submission is harder than LN2 that i try. Lol :D


Won't work. No way to positively prove temp used.

Aleslammer says:

I have no problem with another division the more the merrier. I’m not keen on the use of apprentice I’m probably safe in saying that there are few using the cooling methods covered by the proposal that have the skills to compete nicely in the extreme/elite area if they choose. The use of the word makes it harder to explain to non-benching friends that it is a cooling limit as the word implies a learning level with expectation of moving to journeyman, being a long-term apprentice in the trades is not a good thing.

Canada WhiteWulfe says:

Massman said: We haven't launched the League yet, so the name could still change. What would you call it?


I haven't had much luck coming up with any suggestions that seem to fit the current naming scheme, but man does "Apprentice" reek of being less skilled than a Novice or Enthusiast, despite significantly greater risks being taken. With the various "ambient cooling" leagues (Novice, Rookie, Enthusiast) you aren't really pressed for time, because you can always re-run later, or take your tweaks slower. With any form of subzero, since you're fighting condensation plus a potentially limited supply of whatever you're using (in my case, dry ice) you have to come into things with pre-existing knowledge, or at least really good luck with adapting on the fly (or guessing, that can work sometimes too).

Apprentice implies a lack of knowledge and skill sets. Why are those who put just as much time, dedication, and money into having the required gear as the LN2 guys (same cooling pots, same insulation requirements although arguably more since the vapours don't freeze everything they touch)... The only difference is liquid nitrogen guys require a dewar to store the product they use - an expense that can arguably be considered equivalent because if you're really serious about keeping your dry ice (and as my teammates would say, insane) you buy a container specifically designed to hold dry ice, which can be as much as a used dewar.

United States Mr.Scott says:

Journeyman would be more appropriate.

A journeyman is an individual who has completed an apprenticeship and is fully educated in a trade or craft, but not yet a master. To become a master, a journeyman has to submit a master work piece to a guild for evaluation and be admitted to the guild as a master.

Canada WhiteWulfe says:

Mr.Scott said: Journeyman would be more appropriate.


Love the sound of this, as it seems to provide a nice balance between Enthusiast and Extreme, doubly so given that a number of people will wind up remaining in this particular league either for all time (well, until leagues change again) or for several years.

Germany QAI says:

Mr.Scott said: Journeyman would be more appropriate.


Perfect :)

United States sunset1 says:

I also agree the name is perfect. Great idea Mr.Scott

now it seems i am now listed as apprentice is that temporary? i never formally asked to be changed. Especially considering id be no better off as I'm already competing against ln2 and dice in extreme with 5c water temps on my chiller. hopefully this is a glitch of some sort while i make up my mind. mark aka sunset1

United States sunset1 says:

well we might as well leave it where it is .. points are gone but i never had many anyway.. I just should have been asked first. have a great weekend everyone. mark aka sunset1

Belgium Massman says:

sunset1 said: Now it seems i am now listed as apprentice is that temporary? i never formally asked to be changed. Especially considering id be no better off as I'm already competing against ln2 and dice in extreme with 5c water temps on my chiller. hopefully this is a glitch of some sort while i make up my mind. mark aka sunset1


You want to change to which League?

Apprentice is water chiller to dry ice. Extreme is cascade and liquid nitrogen.

sunset1 said: well we might as well leave it where it is .. points are gone but i never had many anyway.. I just should have been asked first. have a great weekend everyone. mark aka sunset1


Points are gone? The Apprentice League doesn't change anything to the points.

Australia KaRtA says:

So:

Mechanical water chiller = Apprentice
Bucket of Salted Ice = Enthusiast

??????

I'll add one more thing being an enthusiast. The previous competition I competed in had a minimum CPU temp of 20 degrees, for me this was difficult as it appears my CPU Temp Sensor is faulty and shows idle temps 4-5 degrees below my actual air and water temp.

This is a concern to be brought up, as it can affect the results from competitors who's temp sensors maybe the opposite (ie, higher than the ambient/cooling temp). Not sure how you fix it, but there has got to be a consistent way to divide enthusiasts from the sub-zero club.

For me, Zero = Zero, so anything which will provide a temperature below that should be a different league. Have enthusiasts limit at 1deg, as soon as Idle is below that, should be a league change IMO.

United States sunset1 says:

I was extreme now im apprentice. I used to have ln2 subs i was at farmington meet. and before that moparman came to my house a few times and we did some ln2 subs. Later i went down to farmington to bench with him. i had ln2 subs posted. As well as the farmington meet that i attended. Sorry for posting this here as im sure there was a better place to ask about this... Frankly its hard to have a title taken away from you that you earned. However that being said, now that I am in apprentice leage while the name sucks it more appropriately reflects the benching that i do these days. So i will just leave it for now till i decide to compete against ln2 again. The thing is there is no way to guarantee what temps are being used as mr.scott said. but its much harder to differentiate between dice and ln2 with cpus with cold bugs.. a lot easier than between water or chilers with 5c -20c water temp at idle vs ln2 or dice. As i don't wish to create any more controversy i will accept the apprentice league and move forward. Thanks for reading. Mark aka sunset1

Belgium Massman says:

I understand the sentiment - I wouldn't like to have titles stripped either. Can you link me to a submission with LN2 cooling? I looked through the database and found only subs with dry ice cooling?

United States xxbassplayerxx says:

Why aren't cascades in the apprentice league? There was a pretty hard line drawn at -70 for dice. Why not -100 or -120 for dual and triple stage cascades? The line seems completely arbitrary.

Christian Ney says:

Just an idea that crossed my mind:
What about splitting each ranking (hardware and global) by cooling used and therefore a member will be ranked in every league he use the cooling of?

Here is an example in case:
User A has 100 submissions with air cooling. All those submissions are ranked in the air cooling ranking and the user gets a overall ranking of 47/10'000 in the air cooling league. He is not ranked in the other leagues.

One day user A makes a submission with LN2 cooling. His submission will be ranked in the LN2 cooling ranking and the user will then also be ranked in the LN2 cooling league (2'656/3'860). His ranking in the air cooling league is unchanged.

In the end one can compete in every league at once. The WW ranking shouldn't change.

For users only using one type of cooling nothing will change but for users using several types of cooling this might be interesting.

EDIT: Of course this allows to have up to 11 (if we have 11 different cooling options) submissions ranked in one ranking (only the highest score will be showed in the overall, to view others one has to filter by cooling)

Cooling:
Air (Stock)
Air (Custom)
Water (Stock/AIO)
Water (Custom)
Water (Extreme/Cold)
TEC / Peltier
Dry Ice
Single Stage Phase Change
Cascade Phase Change
Liquid Nitrogen
Liquid Helium

EDIT2: Maybe 11 leagues is a bit much (lets have an overall ranking with main "league split" with subfilters):
Air (Stock, Custom)
Water (Stock/AIO, Custom, Extreme/Cold)
TEC/Peltier
Dry Ice
Phase Change (Single Stage, Cascade)
Liquid Gas (Nitrogen, Helium)

EDIT4: About point distribution:
I think we can pretty much keep it like it is now with added "cooling bonus"

Thoughts?

EDIT3: Hum, I think I need to put all this on paper and have a simulation.

websmile says:

At first glance this sounds very good, I will think about this. I guess this does not apply to elite league and elite league members though? It was founded due to other reasons than cooling method used

United States Mr.Scott says:

Christian Ney said: Just an idea that crossed my mind:
What about splitting each ranking (hardware and global) by cooling used and therefore a member will be ranked in every league he use the cooling of?

Here is an example in case:
User A has 100 submissions with air cooling. All those submissions are ranked in the air cooling ranking and the user gets a overall ranking of 47/10'000 in the air cooling league. He is not ranked in the other leagues.

One day user A makes a submission with LN2 cooling. His submission will be ranked in the LN2 cooling ranking and the user will then also be ranked in the LN2 cooling league (2'656/3'860). His ranking in the air cooling league is unchanged.

In the end one can compete in every league at once. The WW ranking shouldn't change.

For users only using one type of cooling nothing will change but for users using several types of cooling this might be interesting.

EDIT: Of course this allows to have up to 11 (if we have 11 different cooling options) submissions ranked in one ranking (only the highest score will be showed in the overall, to view others one has to filter by cooling)

Cooling:
Air (Stock)
Air (Custom)
Water (Stock/AIO)
Water (Custom)
Water (Extreme/Cold)
TEC / Peltier
Dry Ice
Single Stage Phase Change
Cascade Phase Change
Liquid Nitrogen
Liquid Helium

EDIT2: Maybe 11 leagues is a bit much (lets have an overall ranking with main "league split" with subfilters):
Air (Stock, Custom)
Water (Stock/AIO, Custom, Extreme/Cold)
TEC/Peltier
Dry Ice
Phase Change (Single Stage, Cascade)
Liquid Gas (Nitrogen, Helium)

EDIT4: About point distribution:
I think we can pretty much keep it like it is now with added "cooling bonus"

Thoughts?

EDIT3: Hum, I think I need to put all this on paper and have a simulation.


Lots of extra work brah. Think you guys can handle that?
Is it really worth it?

United States xxbassplayerxx says:

I'd be interested as long as you only receive points for the highest ranked score for each category.

France Taloken says:

It also suppose people fill correctly the submission form.
There are plenty of subs set with Standard Stock Cooling, but done with water or extreme cooling.

United States MrBreeze says:

Apparently I'm in the apprentice league for runts, 'apprentice.league.short'. Appropriate I guess :D

BTW totally agree that Journeyman sounds better than Apprentice. Although I kind of liked being in Extreme, frankly…sounds cooler than either. ;)

Canada WhiteWulfe says:

So when is the title being fixed? That "apprentice.league.short" next to my profile picture sticks out like a sore thumb.

Noxinite says:

Also, are people going to be moved to Apprentice if it is known that they use a chiller? Because there isn't a chiller option under cooling currently when making a submission.

United States Mr.Scott says:

Noxinite said: Also, are people going to be moved to Apprentice if it is known that they use a chiller? Because there isn't a chiller option under cooling currently when making a submission.

Define 'chiller'. Also how do you prove that they're using one?
Would ice water be classed as chiller?
Pic below. Chiller? lol
See the problem now?

Noxinite says:

"TEC/Peltier/Chiller, Single Stage and Dry Ice" - From the OP. I know there are arguements over where to draw the line, but I couldn't figure out why chiller was included without being able to select it as a cooling method.

United States xxbassplayerxx says:

Sounds like we're going to spark a witch hunt. nvidiaforever2 to the Apprentice.league.short League!

United States Mr.Scott says:

Noxinite said: "TEC/Peltier/Chiller, Single Stage and Dry Ice" - From the OP.

I know there are arguements over where to draw the line, but I couldn't figure out why chiller was included without being able to select it as a cooling method.


It cannot possibly be included. It needs to be changed. Chiller is water, period.
Actually, water is a deceiving term also. Should be changed to liquid cooling.

Sounds like we're going to spark a witch hunt. nvidiaforever2 to the Apprentice.league.short League!

Many many more than just him. ;)

United States Bones says:

WhiteWulfe said: So when is the title being fixed? That "apprentice.league.short" next to my profile picture sticks out like a sore thumb.


As long as it's not your GF placing you into that category it's all good. :D

Canada WhiteWulfe says:

Bones said: As long as it's not your GF placing you into that category it's all good. :D


I don't have a girlfriend, and I'm pretty sure my husband doesn't complain ~_^ Cute jab though! :P

United States Mr.Scott says:

WhiteWulfe said: I don't have a girlfriend, and I'm pretty sure my husband doesn't complain ~_^ Cute jab though! :P


:eek: Didn't see that coming at all. :)

United States Bones says:

Mr.Scott said: :eek: Didn't see that coming at all. :)


I don't believe any of the other red shirts did either.... :D

Canada Vinster says:

So I guess Journeyman was voted out? Makes the most sense to me. Vin

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