General Rules

    OFFICIAL HWBOT GENERAL RULES

Here at HWBOT we try our best to deliver a fair and enjoyable playing field for all those who participate in the rankings and competition. To be able to provide this kind of service we have tried to design some submission and general rules to help remove any doubts about whether something is allowed or not. Based on continued experience these rules will be updated, expanded and completed as time goes by. Please check back for any updates.

 

 INDEX

 

1.   General Submission Guidelines

1.1 League Participation Rules

1.2 Unreleased/NDA/Engineering Hardware

1.3 Adding Hardware to the HWBOT Hardware Database

1.4 Lucid Virtu MVP

1.5 Windows 8/10 Restrictions

 

 

2. Benchmarking and submission verification

2.1 General Benchmarking Rules

2.2 General Verification Rules

 

 

3. HWBOT Penal Code

3.1.A Penalty Types

3.1.B Offenses and Penalty

 

 

3.2 Additional notes to Cheats and Tweaks

3.2.A Drivers

3.2.B Mipmap

3.2.C Ramdisk

3.2.D Hardware Unlocking

3.2.E Hardware Sharing

 

 

4. Ethics

 

 

5. Pricacy Statement



 

 

1 – GENERAL SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

You can submit to HWBOT using three methods. Either the submission has to be manually introduced. Now manual submitting is straightforward, due to the website’s submit score functionality. The HWBOT submit page helps you along what is required for proper validation and allows you to attach the required verification screenshot and recommended setup picture.

Other option is to load a generated datafile from specific benchmarks. When loaded at the HWBOT submission page, the latter will prefill the required fields such as score, processor type, memory type,…, and even add the verification screenshot.

Third option is using the automated submission functionality for some benchmarks or Benchmark suites like BenchMate . After saving the score you can straight submit it to HWBOT without even opening a browser. The uploaded data file will prefill your submission with the score, hardware used and the verification screenshot.
Remember you can only submit scores that you achieved. It is disallowed to have your hardware benched by someone else and submit the achieved scores to your account.

For Competitions, only hardware which is retail available at the start of the competition can be used. If a submission uses hardware which is released during the ongoing competition, the moderation team will remove these particular submissions.

 

1.1 – LEAGUE PARTICIPATION RULES

There are five different Overclocker Leagues at HWBOT, each targeting a different user Group defined usually by cooling type. For your convenience, here’s a list of specifications for each HWBOT League.

  • Elite: embraced by the industry, receiving manufacturer hardware/software support
  • Extreme: hobbyist extreme overclocker (Cascade and LN2 cooling)
  • Apprentice: The next generation of subzero overclockers, starting out with chilled water, Single Stage & dry ice
  • Enthusiast: ambient cooling, registered >1y
  • Novice: ambient cooling, registered >3m
  • Rookie: ambient cooling, registered <3m
Take note that if you submit a score with eg a Single Stage setup or by using Dry Ice you will automatically will be moved from e.g. Enthusiast to Apprentice league.
To define industry support, it’s quite simple. If you have industry contacts to get modifications, hardware, software or any other form of overclocking support from a hardware vendor, you are part of the Elite league. Moving from Elite to another league is on specific demand and has to be approved by the HWBOT team.
Some examples to highlight who is and who isn’t part of the Elite league:
You’re Elite If …
  • you get a personalized version of overclocking software (eg. Afterburner Extreme) on a regular basis
  • you have access to (engineering grade) hardware for alpha/beta testing or testing overclocking capabilities
  • can request motherboard bios versions with special overclocking features
  • you have access to special publicly unavailable XOC or cold slow VGA biosses
  • you receive hardware for the sole purpose of overclocking
  • you get invited to private overclocking events organized/sponsored by industry
You’re Not Elite If …
  • you receive hardware for reviews, which you afterwards use for your overclocking
  • you received a version of afterburner extreme from a friend
  • you use cold slow biosses publicly available at the internet
  • you win hardware in an overclocking competition
  • you qualify for an overclocking competition via an open or public qualifier

1.2 – UNRELEASED/NDA/ENGINEERING HARDWARE

Submitting with unreleased hardware or engineering samples (read still under NDA), will not be allowed before the NDA is officially lifted.

 

1.3 – ADDING HARDWARE TO THE HWBOT HARDWARE DATABASE

New Hardware will be automatically added by our Database care takers: Strunkenbold & Antinomy. In case of missing hardware, please post your request at the HWBOT forum. Always provide as much information as possible (manufacturer specs, CPU-Z  and/or GPU-Z links)

1.4 – LUCID VIRTU MVP

Since March 19, 2012, HWBOT does not allow any submission with LUCID Virtu MVP enabled.

 

    1.5 – WINDOWS 8/8.1/10 RESTRICTIONS

    Due to severe validity problems with the Windows 8/8.1/10 real time clock (“RTC”), not all benchmarks results achieved with Windows 8/8.1/10 can be trusted. The main problem lies with the RTC being affected when over- or under clocking under the operating system. The operating system uses the RTC as reference clock, and benchmarks use it to reference (benchmark) time.. The BenchMate benchmarking tool enables users with affected setups to safely use Windows 8/8.1/10 operating systems. This tool verifies the RTC and on top enforces enhanced security for all the benchmarks included in the BenchMate suite.

      

      When can Windows 8/8.1/10 be used for 2D submissions:
      • Intel Processors: - Pre Skylake gen: BenchMate mandatory
                                                                  benchmarks without restriction: GPUPI, X265 & latest Geekbench 
         
                                    - Skylake and newer gen (LGA1151): no restrictions

        

      • AMD Processors: BenchMate mandatory, benchmarks without OS restriction are GPUPI, X265 & latest Geekbench 

        When can Windows 8/8.1/10 be used for 3D submissions:
        • Intel Processors: - Pre Skylake gen: benchmark restriction for UL versions GUPI for GPU has no OS restriction  
                                       - Skylake and newer gen: no restrictions

        • AMD Processors: benchmark restriction for UL versions.  GPUPI for GPU has no OS restriction.   

         

        The above restrictions have been adapted versus previous HWBOT rules with the sole intend to simplify submitting at HWBOT. No longer is any distinction made between platforms with or without busclocking capabilities.

        In case of any confusion or doubt please contact one of the moderators (leeghoofd, bilko, Don_Dan,...).


        2. BENCHMARKING AND SUBMISSION VERIFICATION

        As you probably understand, claiming a certain benchmark score is nothing without having the proper verification.

        At HWBOT, the verification plays a bigger role than on, for instance, your overclocking forum. Why? First of all, our database contains more than 35,000 overclockers from all over the world, which means that most likely you will not know most of the people who you are competing against. The biggest problem of the unknown is … the fear of the unknown, or better put: because you don’t know the person behind the nickname, there’s no trust between you and that person. This implicates that chaotic entries with messy validation will probably be considered illegal rather than legal, although the opposite is true in most cases.

         

        Therefore, we have set a certain amount of rules of verification. Please understand that these rules have been evaluated and discussed more than once. Furthermore, they are meant to serve YOU, not the HWBOT moderators. In other words: the rules are there to level the playground. Not sticking to the rules may result in a score being blocked/deleted or, in worst case scenario, your account being suspended.

        2.1. GENERAL BENCHMARKING RULES:

        At the frontpage you will find the links to all the different benchmarks, which also contain the specific rules for each benchmark. Carefully examine them before doing any benching.

         

        In general:

        • Benchmarks need to be run at default setting or preset. No alteration of resolutions, files within the benchmark or replacing specific software like dlls in the Operating System are allowed. Especially the 3D Benchmark settings need to be visual in the screenshot.

        • Some benchmarks are configurable (selection of CPU instruction set, batch size,…)

        • Specific benchmarks rely on 3rd party software to run: Open CL (GPUPI) or Java code such HWBOT Prime. Newer 3rd party software is allowed to be used for these specific benchmarks.

        • Specific 3D Benchmarks allow change of Level of Detail (LOD) or adjust the Tessellation
        • Specific benchmarks require a validation link ( e.g. for global top 20 scores, checking software version and settings,…), thus don’t forget to save the data file!

        • To participate in official HWBOT competitions, usage of the provided competition background is mandatory. Extra CPU-Z or other software might be required.
        • Competitions don’t allow server or ES hardware, unless specifically mentioned.

        2.2. GENERAL VERIFICATION RULES:

        Benching is one thing, verification is another thing. If you encounter any problems doing so or maybe your score got reported by another user, don’t hesitate to contact a moderator.

        At the front page you will find the links to all the different benchmarks, which contain specific verification rules for each benchmark. Carefully examine them before doing any benching.

         In general:

        • CPU, memory or reference frequency submissions only require a “checked” CPUZ link

        • Full desktop screenshots only, no clipping allowed. Photographs of screens are not accepted.
        • All other benchmarks require a validation screenshot including :
        • Benchmark window with score
        • CPU-Z tabs for CPU & memory for 2D scores
        • CPU-Z tabs for CPU & memory and GPU-Z for 3D scores

        • Competition submissions might even require extra validation (motherboard CPUZ and/or SPD CPUZ tab)

        • Specific benchmarks require additional data to be displayed, a few examples:
                           - SuperPi: all computation loops need to be shown
                           - Pifast: “Computation is OK” message
                           - Subtest results for Futuremark benchmarks

        • Specific benchmarks require a validation/verification link on the developer’s website.

        HWBOT recognises that on LGA1156 and older hardware newer CPU versions can lead to wrong multiplier detection and even BSODs while just opening CPUZ. Therefore scores are allowed on these Legacy platforms with CPUZ version1.59 or CPUZ version 1.77.

        For many UL 3D benchmarks, HWBOT requires a VALID verification link: This means that no LOD (Level of Detail), nor Tesselation Display Driver tuning is allowed. Hardware and Display Driver must be recognized/approved by UL Benchmarks.



        3.1 – HWBOT PENAL CODE

        Common in competitions, users can get pretty wound up and some things can get pretty rapidly out of control. Moderators will keep an eye on the used language in the forum. Before giving any penalties the HWBOT crew will try to communicate with the concerned parties. However to prevent things from escalating a Penalty system is sadly a requirement.

        3.1 A – PENALTY TYPES        
         PENALTY TYPE PENALTY TIME PENALTY RESTRICTION HWBOT REMOVAL BANNED FROM HW CATEGORIES
        Moderator action N/A N/A N/A N/A
        Warning N/A N/A N/A N/A
        1st Degree Block 2 weeks Submit disabled Temporary N/A
        2nd Degree Block 4 weeks Submit disabled Temporary N/A
        3rd Degree Block 2 months Submit disabled Temporary N/A
        1st Degree User Ban 3 months Login disabled Permanent Yes
        2nd Degree User Ban 6 months Login Disabled Permanent Yes
        3rd Degree User Ban 1 year Login Disabled Permanent Yes
        Eternal Ban endless Account Removed Permanent Yes

         

        1 violation = 1st degree, 2 violations = 2nd degree, 3 violation = 3rd degree

        # violation is defined by violation event – one event can include multiple results

         



        B – OFFENSES AND PENALTY

        OFFENSE PENALTY TYPE DESCRIPTION
        Submit in wrong category Moderator action (block result) User submits benchmark in the wrong category
        Insufficient verification Moderator action (block result) User does not provide sufficient verification
        Incorrect information in submission detail Moderator action (edit result) User does not provide  correct information in the submission details
        Repeatedly makes same submission error Warning User repeatedly makes the same submission error
        Inappropriate attachment Warning User attaches inappropriate pictures to a benchmark submission
        Hardware/score sharing User Block User does not follow the sharing rules
        Use illegal tweak/cheat User Block User applies illegal Tweak/cheat to boost the benchmark
        Score theft User Ban User submits scores from another user
        Score edit User Ban User edits or adds the mandatory information in a benchmark verification screenshot
        Benchmark hack User Ban User applies benchmark hack to boost performance
        Submit someones else's result/double account User Ban User submitting results he did not obtain himself, either in private or in group session

         

        3.2 – ADDITIONAL NOTES TO TWEAKS AND CHEATS

        A big part of the benchmarking process is setting up your operating system to be as fast as possible in the benchmark you want to run. Stripping it down to the bare minimum, playing with the registry settings or changing the video card drivers from ‘quality’ to ‘performance’, these are all more than legit tweaks.

        Any software or human interaction altering the perceived speed of the benchmark program, tricking it to believe it ran faster is forbidden.

        A tweak is what can be considered as a manual change in system settings to increase the performance, which in the end affects your benchmark result positively. Other examples are setting page files, disabling power options,.. However this does not imply that changing or injecting certain benchmark specific files of the operating system are allowed. (Example: other Operating System DLLs or Encoders that boost performance)

        Common sense prevails at all times. If one discovers a “Tweak” that boosts performance beyond far higher clocked systems it will be required to contact a moderator first to approve and verify the “Tweak” before any further usage.

        Not all tweaks are to be used in 24/7 setups as they might decrease performance for your daily applications or even limit you in what you can do.

        However, where there’s competition, there are cheaters! HWBOT will not allow people to cheat their way to higher scores, leaving less honour and/or points for those who play fair. Therefore, we try to be as clear and strict as possible when it comes to cheaters: we block the score instantly. Depending on the cheat used and the motivation behind the cheat, we can also ban the concerned member.

        The specific rules for each benchmark are detailed on the benchmark application rules pages.

        3.2 A – VIDEOCARD DRIVERS

        HWBOT allows people to use whatever driver they feel is best for their videocard, be it an official or beta version of the videocard driver. (take note that UL Benchmarks is only Validating submissions within their approved drivers list). Pre-modified performance drivers, such as Starstorms, are not allowed for the simple reason that the HWBOT crew is unable to ensure that there are no cheats implemented in those drivers. There is one exception: the Omega ATI drivers. These are allowed because they give the user the opportunity to unlock for instance pipelines on their video card.

        Official drivers causing a benchmark not to render correctly are not accepted at HWBOT. Incorrect rendering is defined as clear visual indications that parts of the benchmark are either not visible or in some way improperly rendered. The main effect of this incorrect rendering is an out of line performance increase due to this rendering flaw.

        Do note that this rule will not be actively applied to hardware and drivers released prior the year 2010. Also, the HWBOT staff will not be actively testing out different combinations of drivers, hardware and operating systems to ensure proper rendering. We hope that the overclocking community will be able to help us with this list and find/spot problematic drivers.

         

         

        3.2 B – MIPMAP/LOD

        This cheat is a very simple one to explain: a certain Nvidia video card tweaking utility (for obvious reasons not mentioned by name) allows people to enable a very high level of detail value, making the benchmark run either without details or even without image of any kind. The 3D benchmark becomes unrecognizable and in addition, the FPS rate is not visible anymore. Since in certain benchmarks, the 3D image contains only two or three colors, Futuremark and HWBOT decided not to support this feature as a legit tweaking method.

        Note that the usual LOD tweaking, which requires a lot of testing to find the sweet spot, is allowed in certain Benchmarks. Check out the rules if LOD or Tesselation adjustment is allowed for the benchmark you are benching.

         

        3.2 C – RAMDISK

        In most benchmarks, a ramdisk makes no difference at all or at least hardly any. In one type of benchmark, however, it means the world: the hard disk heavy benchmarks, as in for instance the PCMark benchmark series. Since Futuremark/UL designed the hard disk drive tests to be run from an actual hard disk or SSD drive, we allow only physical hard disk drives to be used in this benchmark. What do we consider as a hardware-based hard disk drive:

        • The hard disk drive can be touched physically; if your drive is 240GB, you must be able to physically remove the 240GB from your system
        • The hard drive is not dependent from any form of software to be used; in other words: when removing the supporting software, the drive must still be working correctly. This excludes the official driver software for RAID configuration.
        • The hard disk drive does not actively address the RAM (mounted onto your motherboard); the hard drive must be able to run regardless of any amount of RAM available.

         

        Are accepted for physical storage medium tested in storage medium benchmarks and/or subtests of a benchmark:

        • Platter hard disk drives
        • Iram / Acard ram drives (DIMM as storage medium, not system memory)
        • Solid-state disk (SSD) or NVMEs, using flash memory as storage medium

         

        Are NOT accepted as alternative for physical storage drives for storage medium benchmarks and/or subtests of a benchmark:

        • Software ramdisks
        • MFT software

        3.2 D – HARDWARE UNLOCKING

        Again this is a subject where we have to trust on the honesty of the submitter; if you have a CPU with unlocked multiplier, please only submit results under the hardware category of its original model. It is allowed to unlock extra cores and cache if your processor allows that. Again, you do have to submit your result to the category of the original hardware.

        • Don’t emulate other models to gain HWBoints! If you are caught you will get penalized or even banned.

        The same rule applies for video cards which are modified either with a flashed BIOS or modded software, post your scores in the category of the original hardware (based on the Device ID).

         

        3.2 E – HARDWARE SHARING

        This in a delicate subject as we have to trust on the honesty of those participating at the HWBOT that they are indeed using their own hardware and not sharing a golden sample CPU or VGA card. Let’s start with what is allowed to be shared: everything except:

        • VGA may not be shared for VGA 3D benchmarks.
        • CPU may not be shared for CPU 2D benchmarks.

        • Special cases, like what to do with joint bench sessions and manufacturer hardware. Ensure there are enough pictures and/or video footage of the event.

                                 

          While the rules are quite simple and straightforward, enforcing them isn’t. If you are having a joint benchmark session, provide as much proof and information as possible when you submit a new HWBOT score. Showing you were using your own hardware for the benchmark in question, a photo with a paper showing your nickname and the product serial number is good way to do this. Video proof or plenty of pictures from the attended bench gathering is also a bonus to avoid being accused of hardware sharing.

          Since HWBOT does not tolerate the sale of benchmark scores, usage of double accounts, the act of both selling or buying benchmark scores and uploading them to this database is not allowed. In addition, we strongly believe that no overclocker who is involved in this kind of business should be allowed to be part of the community.




          4. ETHICS

          HWBOT is not perfect, neither are the result moderators, nor is any overclocker or benchmark. Please accept that people can make mistakes and understand that human errors are solved easiest by friendly human interaction. If a certain score seems fishy, you can use the report function to inform the owner and the result moderators. In most cases, there’s only a very minor mistake and the solution to the problem will only take one or two minutes. In some cases, however, there’s more to tell and discuss: that’s what the HWBOT forums are for. In the forums you’ll find a vast number of very active crew members trying to respond as quickly as possible and/or other members who are willing to discuss the issue. As this is a public forum, we would like everyone to behave in a respectful way; flaming, forum wars, personal issues … all those can be discussed via mail or PM, but not in our forums.

          If a score is reported or blocked and you don’t understand why, please contact one of the result moderators or crew members for an answer. It’s very important to do this in a polite manner, not only because that’s the way human interaction goes best, but also because scientific research has shown evidence that you’re more likely to be helped quickly if you are polite to the person who you’re asking assistance from.
          It’s in fact pretty simple to understand: if we receive a friendly email, we will be in a friendly mood when reading the email. Note that we are always open for discussion regarding every aspect of HWBOT: a lot of new ideas and features come forward from a thread on the forums.

          At HWBOT, we are all for sharing information such as tweaks, voltage modifications and many more. However, we do understand that certain tweaks are rather kept silent because it gives a small advantage over the competition, which can come in handy when competing for that special golden cup. If questions are raised about a certain score or a series of scores, we strongly suggest trying to clear the air as fast as possible; not because of HWBOT or any other member, but to prevent you from getting a bad name in the community (even if you don’t deserve it!).
          From past experience, we know that when serious questions are raised regarding the legitimacy of a score or overclocker, it’s always best to choose the honourable path by for instance explaining a few tricks or even removing the questioned score from HWBOT.

          If you are uncertain about the validity of a tweak/cheat, you can always contact one of the crew members. The tweak/cheat will be tested and discussed and you will receive an answer categorized as legit/not legit. If you don’t want the tweak to be leaked, no problem: we guarantee that the tweak will only be shared with those who took part in the evaluation.

          5. PRIVACY STATEMENT

          HWBOT provides to you, the user a world-wide competition for benchers, automatically updating rankings in off-site forums & statistical information about the performance and overclockability of specific hardware components. HWBOT strives to provide you the most up-to-date, complete & accurate online resource of hardware performance and benchmarking statistics. While we make every effort to assure the accuracy of the information available on the HWBOT site & forums rankings, we are not perfect. Because HWBOT is highly dependent on data submitted by the users and the interaction of different forum software, user tags, internet connectivity and server load(s), there is the potential for incomplete or erroneous information.

          FOR THE REASONS OUTLINED ABOVE, THIS SERVICE IS PROVIDED TO YOU “AS IS”. HWBOT DOES NOT TAKE ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR DIFFICULTIES YOU MAY ENCOUNTER WITH OUR SERVICE. FURTHERMORE, THE SERVICE IS OFFERED TO YOU WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY. FURTHERMORE, HWBOT DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL LOSS OR LIABILITY RELATED TO YOUR USE OF THE HWBOT WEBSITE.

          HWBoints (point calculation) was developed by Mtzki and is courtesy of HWBOT. All rules governing submission, account maintenance & forum conduct are designed to preserve the quality of the HWBOT competition & data. Every user is expected to read, understand and follow the rules to the best of his or her ability. In addition every user is responsible for the results in their profile, users who fail to maintain validation for results may expect to see their results removed from public view in the event validation is no longer available. Furthermore each team moderator is responsible for the submissions of their team members on HWBOT. Moderators are expected to monitor, review and correct any submissions originating from their team when necessary.

          HWBOT does not allow personal attacks, flame wars or similar discussions in the forums. Users who disregard these rules will be sanctioned accordingly with any associated material potentially being edited and/or deleted. HWBOT reserves the right to take any relevant action in relation to aforementioned.