HWBOT Pro OC 2014 Round 1: The Recap

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HWBOT Pro OC 2014 Round 1: The Recap

Author: Timothée Pineau

About a week ago we closed the curtains on the first round of the Pro OC Season 2. After a two-week battle between the best ten teams in Round 1 who could continue the competition after elimination we proclaim the winner OCUKPro from United Kingdom, a team formed by top overclockers 8 Pack and Hivizman. Before we move on to the second round, let’s look back at what happened in the past three months. Here we go!

A lot happened, actually. Of course the competition had to end with a serious round of sand-slushing. We won’t dig in to the issue of sandbagging again but for those who want to read more, check out the article on this topic in Issue 29 of TheOverclocker. To really grasp the intensity of the competition, let’s first remind ourselves what the essentials of the Pro OC competition are.

Pro OC Teams

Pro OC is a bit different from the rest of the competitive overclocking at HWBOT as the competition is based on (small) overclocking teams. For the first round of the 2014 season, 16 teams stepped up featuring 56 Pro OCers. The upper limit for the teams is five members and it seems most of the teams are making full use of this limitation. For some five isn’t even enough and they form sister teams. For example, Kingpincooling has two teams.

But of course there are always people who want to play differently. Some people prefer to play by their own rules and figure there is no need for five people to form a team. In the first round of the 2014 Season we notice that 8 Pack went this way. He made all submissions for the OCUKPro team by himself and given his team has won the first round, he is obviously this round’s MVP. Well done!

Pro OC Stages

The Pro OC Season counts three rounds and each of these rounds feature 5 stages. Each stage features its own challenge. The challenge is defined by the benchmark choice and the hardware limitations. Round 1 of the 2014 Season featured the following benchmarks:

  • Catzilla 720p – 1GPU
  • HWBOT Prime 8c
  • Heaven DX11 – 1GPU
  • Cinebench R15 quad core
  • Cheapazchips 3D: Radeon R7 240 3DM11-P

Stage 1: Catzilla 720P – 1xGPU

In the first stage of Round 1 the Pro OC teams faced the new graphics benchmark Catzilla. Using the 720P preset and armed with a single GPU graphics card, 8 Pack stormed the first stage and acquired his first trophee of the season. With 41,525 points he managed to outrun Rbuass and Dancop by a couple of hundred points. The top-3 managed to beat the 41k mark, everyone else had to settle with 40k or lower.

Looking at the stage results, we see that the United Overclockers team had quite a lot of submissions on backlog. They were active throughout the competition and would have secured the top spot if it wasn’t for 8 Pack’s final and last submission. It was quite funny to see Rbuass scoring exactly the same as Dancop close to the end of the competition, but Rbuass’ persistence drop him past Dancop to the second place.

Great competition!

Stage 2: HWBOT Prime 8c

The HWBOT Prime competition stage feature a hardware limit to 8 CPU cores or below. At the beginning we saw some overclockers trying out various systems to find the most optimal choice – even Skulltrail! – but in the end most settle for the Core i7 4930K and Core i7 4960X CPUs. Both processors are unlocked hexa-cores, but that is something you most definitely already know.

Just like in the first stage, 8 Pack’s OCUKPro team stayed in control of the competition. This time around it was not the United Overclockers who took second place, but KPC Pro OC #2 – one of the two Kingpincooling sister teams. Team Germany, again Dancop, finished third.

The sand-slushing was part of this stage too as Team Germany lead the stage for quite a while, but eventually 8 Pack submitted the winning score only four days later in the competition … on the very last day. Congratulations to all!

Stage 3: Heaven DX11 – 1xGPU

The second stage of the competition featured the Unigine Heaven benchmark and again a single GPU configuration. What was playground for Nvidia in Stage 1, was the backyard for AMD in this stage. In an interesting change of events, 8 Pack did not manage to secure the top spot in this round as he only finished third.

Two teams managed to surpass the mark of 5400 points: Kronos Pro OC by Phil and Team Germany by Dancop. OCUKPro finished third with 5336.97 marks. Everyone else finished below 5200 points. We want to particularly highlight the performance of the OCN Pro team by finishing on a solid 5th place in this stage. Well done guys!

Stage4: Cinebench R15 Quad Core

For Cinebench we can simply state that things went back to normal as we find the regulars at the top of the table. OCUKPro took #1, United Overclockers #2 and Team Germany for the third time this round finished #3. Nothing special, in other words.

As we could also expect, the top-10 all finished north of the 1200 mark as pretty much everyone clocked above 5.9GHz with 8 Pack riding out a 6.3G chip. It’s hard to draw more conclusions in this stage – it pretty much lived up to everything we were expecting from it.

Stage5: Cheapazchips 3D – Radeon R7 240

Perhaps the most interesting of all Round 1 stages was the last one, featuring the low-end Radeon R7 240 graphics cards. In this stage the teams had to overclock an undefined amount of R7 240 cards and they could make use of anything they want. Over-modding was the keyword and two teams even went as far as powering one card with three (3!) Evga Epower power boards. That is incredible!

Twelve of the sixteen teams opted in on this stage and they did not disappoint. The guys from Kronos Pro OC definitely set the bar in this stage. They managed to outscore 8Pack by a couple of points, sporting one of those triple ePower’d systems. Phil’s final submission on the 29th of April shook things up and most definitely must have surprised 8Pack. Phil scored 8977 points, twenty more than the UK boys.

A notable mention goes out to the Overclocking Knights for finishing third in this stage. BenchBros, Pt1t and Pepinorang gathered in Paris during the final weeks of Round 1, put together a rather interesting system with LN2 pots not mounted but held by rubber bands and scored a solid 7988 points. Well done!

Conclusive lines

And with that we wrap up our quick recap of Round 1 of the Pro OC 2014. There’s little left to say other than that we are looking forward to the start of Round 2 in a couple of weeks from now. The break is long enough for you to meditate on the results of this round and place your bets for the next round. If you haven’t read it yet, make sure to go over here to read our latest article about ProOC and what pro overclockers can do to be more professional.

Who do you think will crack OCUKPro’s impenetrable Fort of Win and grab the crown in Round 2? Thanks for reading and see you in a couple of weeks!

Pro OC 2014 Round 1 Overview

The current Pro OC standings include the results of Rounds 2 and 3 of last season plus Round 1 of the 2014 season.

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