DreamHack is the world’s largest computer festival with a five figure visitor count. For a couple of years now, we’ve been overclocking live in front of all these people. We usually break world records doing so, this year was no exception

I started writing on a news post about the overclocking at DreamHack Summer 2008, which just kept growing longer and longer and longer. All of a sudden I realized that maybe this is a bit too much to put on a single page so I had to split it into a couple of pages and make an article of it instead of just a news post. I knew that the news post would be long, it’s just how it gets when you write about something you’re really passionate about. I just didn’t think it would become this long…

So I’m not really surprised this became an article instead of just a shorter news article. Extreme overclocking by itself is an delicate artform, and in my opinion, a form of competition much like Formula 1. When doing it live in front of 10,000 people it becomes something untangible.

You have to experience it, you have to see it with your own eyes. If you’re lucky you will get a chance to do it yourself, and if you do, you should know that you are a part of a highly priviliged group of people. Overclocking in a closed and controlled environment is one thing, doing it live, at DreamHack, as part demonstration, part world record attempt, you have to take so many more things into consideration.


We at NordicHardware, and by that I especially mean Robert ’crotale’ Kihlberg (NH) and Marcus ’Kinc’ Hultin (now ASUS), have been doing this since 2005 and even though we have close to four years of experience, it’s still a huge challenge.

NordicHardware chose to pass on sponsoring this year’s DreamHack Summer event and instead go for the Winter event, which meant that we did not have a booth at DreamHack, unfortunately this also meant that we did not have our very affordable hardware support for those who needed it. We will be back though, you can count on it.

You could still feel our presence though. NordicHardware CPU and memory editor, overclocking guru, three time SCPC champion, and more, Robert ’crotale’ Kihlberg and former graphics editor Marcus ’Kinc’ Hultin had a section of their own over at ASUS’ booth where they performed live overclocking for any of the 10,000 people to come and watch. They weren’t doing this just for the fun of it, but to break stuff, records hopefully.


As usual, anything but a world record is a disappointment. There have been events where we have had to return near empty-handed, but that was not going to happen this time.

Guess what’s inside…

ASUS security

ASUS had made sure there were plenty of hardware for Marcus and Robert to play with. Most importanty NVIDIA’s latest graphics cards GeForce GTX 280 in the form of ASUS’ own ASUS ENGTX280 TOP. Two of these installed on an ASUS Striker II Extreme should be enough to break at least one or two records, even if the nForce chipsets are known to break even the best at the worst possible time.

The nForce chipset worked well though and already during the first day of DreamHack, crotale and Kinc had broken the records of all four 3DMark Vantage presets. Since there were three more days of DreamHack to go, they continued to bench and started to prepare for a second round of benching on Sunday.


It’s a shame we can’t show you how much work there is behind the insulation of the graphics cards and the motherboard, because that’s where most of the work is needed before going subzero. The PhysX card has been taped a bit so that the metal cooler doesn’t short-circuit anything. The volt-mods of course take their share of time as well, but if you have a steady hand and know what you’re doing, it’s not a very time-consuming job.

Alas, I had to return home later this day and couldn’t stay for the real action. Anders at ASUS was forced to fill in for me and hold the camera.

This is what they were able to reach after many, many hours of benching. Excuse the ASUS banner, like I said on the previous page, Anders took the pictures:


High Preset:
Processor Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 (C1)5600MHz
Motherboard ASUS Striker II Extreme
Memory Corsair Dominator DDR3 7-6-6-18 1T
Graphics cards ASUS ENGTX280 TOP
Graphics card clocks 900/1900/1308MHz
Futuremark ORB link

Performance Preset:
Processor Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 C1)5670MHz
Motherboard ASUS Striker II Extreme
Memory Corsair Dominator DDR3
Graphics cards 3x ASUS ENGTX280 TOP
Graphics card clocks 972/1944/1255MHz
Futuremark ORB link

The results in Extreme and Entry wasn’t published part because of driver issues and part ORB not accepting them.

This is it from us for now. We have some more news about the events at DreamHack coming.


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