Meet Bill Peppas – World Class Overclocker speaks on Linux

Hello Bill Peppas (aka BenchZowner),

[button color=”orange” link=”http://www.benchzone.com”%5DBenchZone Website[/button]

I think it’s time to introduce you in our readers. Are you ready for a quick interview ?

Okay, Bill Peppas please tell us a bit more about yourself.

Before I start, I think I need to let you know that I’m not good and I don’t feel good speaking about myself.
I find it a bit boring and “head over heels”, I’m the kind of guy saying “Well, there are several people out there with the same or even more knowledge” when people say “damn you’re good”, etc etc. Anyway, my name is Bill Peppas and I am a hardware reviewer, beta tester & extreme overclocker ( tell us something we don’t know :-p )

I might be into computers, working on, modifying and overclocking & studying them for several years, but I’m not a geek ( at least the way most people think of computer guys ).

I like playing basketball, listening to/playing/mixing/remixing music ( I play the piano, synth and drums, and also do some DJing and soft producing ), hanging out with friends talking about various things, I enjoy watching a good movie with my friends, watching good soccer and basketball matches ( love the modern Spanish soccer league, and the NBA & EuroLeague basketball leagues ), going to cafeterias & bars/clubs with my friends, relaxing at the beach listening to ambient music and enjoying a tequila sunrise with my girlfriend, etc etc.

Next question then: How and when did you start overclocking?

To provide you with an answer to this very question I need to flashback to the past, can’t be sure, but I think the first time I overclocked a computer was back in 1993 and the first Pentium processor ( the P5 80500 ), replacing the crystal oscillator in order to push the CPU’s frequency a tad higher in order to make my computer faster ( don’t know why I did it, probably wanted to see if I could do it and how far it would go ).

As you can guess I don’t consider pressing the “Turbo” button overclocking, that’s not what overclocking really was/is.
The first time however that I overclocked my computer for a specific reason was back in 2009 when Epic Games released “Unreal Tournament”.

To enjoy the game in all its majesty we had to overclock our CPUs and GPUs to their limits, trying to gain a few fps to “smoothen” our gameplay.

Do your family members understand your hobby?

Not really, but it’s ok, most people don’t anyway ( unless they too are computer enthusiasts ). My mother couldn’t care less, she barely makes use of a computer or a tablet, my father is getting used to browsing athletic content sites with my sister’s android tablet, and my sister just appreciates the features a working computer has to offer as long as she doesn’t have to do anything with the hardware configuration or the BIOS settings, If she can press the power button and get in Windows she’s happy :-p I do have a few cousins however that like and understand overclocking & extreme overclocking.

Where does your overclocking knowledge come from?

A lot of studying ( electronic & logic circuits, hardware attributes & theory behind operation & configuration ), a lot of trial and error ( the more you do it, the more you learn, and the less trial & error is required for you to achieve your targets in the future ) and a lot of reading & conversations with other overclockers.

If you want to be a successful overclocker or extreme overclocker you need to be very patient, have at least a basic theoretical understanding of how a Processor ( CPU ), the main memory ( RAM ), the graphics card ( VGA ) [ GPU Core & VRAM ] and the motherboard work and “achieve” their operating frequencies.

I used to read physics, electronics, programming books, browse various hardcore computer BBS & forums later on, talk with experienced overclockers, and try modding and overclocking anything I could lay my hands on almost on a daily basis for several years.

What’s your current bench setup?

Actually this time around things are a couple bit different. Usually I have two or even more bench setups, last year for example I had a LGA1366 setup and a LGA1155 setup ( Intel Core i7 980X/990X and Core i7-2600K ), as each processor/platform was the ideal setup for specific benchmarks and the other for the rest. Now I’m only using one platform, but I don’t know if we can call it a setup since I’m switching the motherboard sometimes ( I’m using two motherboards ).

[toggle title=”My current bench setup”]

Motherboard: Asus Maximus V Gene & Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z
Processor: Intel Core i7-3770K
RAM: A-data DDR3-2000X 4GB Dual Channel Kit ( cherry-picked Elpida Hyper MGH-E chips )
VGA: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 2GB
SSDs: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB * 4 & A-data S510 120GB
PSU: Antec TruePower Quattro 1200W
Cooling: K|ngp|n Cooling F1 EE CPU pot & K|ngp|n Cooling Tek-9 3.0 Fatbody GPU pots
Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 957DF CRT monitor ( high refresh rate * free benchmarking hint * :p )
Windows XP ( SuperPi, PiFast, wPrime, 3D Mark2001SE, 3D Mark03, 3D Mark06, AquaMark 3 )
Windows 7 x64 ( 3D Mark05, 3D Mark Vantage, 3D Mark11, Unigine Heaven, PC Mark05, CPU-z )

[/toggle]

What are the specs of the PC you use every day?

[toggle title=”My Every day PC”]

Motherboard: eVGA X58 SLI
CPU: Intel Core i7 990X
RAM: 32GB DDR3-2133 Quad Channel Avexir prototype RAM kit
VGA: MSI GeForce GTX 680 2GB
SPU: Creative Labs SoundBlaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS
SSDs: 2* OCZ Vertex 3 120GB @ RAID 0
DVB-S2 Card: Technisat Skystar HD 2
RAID Controller: Intel RS25AB080 – 8* Samsung F3 1TB HDDs @ RAID-6
PSU: Corsair HX620
CPU Cooling: ThermalRight Ultra-120 Extreme *lapped*
Mouse: Logitech G500 Gaming Mouse

[/toggle]

What is your favorite bench setup up till now?

It really is hard to separate a setup from the rest since I always had awesome setups.
[toggle title=”Favorite Setups”]Asus P5K3 Deluxe & Core 2 Extreme QX6700, Asus P5E64 WS Evolution & Core 2 Duo E8500, Asus Rampage Extreme & Core 2 Duo E-8600, Gigabyte GA-EX48DQ6 & Core 2 Extreme QX9650, DFI LanParty nF4 Ultra SLI-DR & AMD Athlon 64 / Athlon 64 FX series / AMD Opteron 14x & 16x series, Gigabyte GA-P67X-UD7 & Core i5-670, eVGA X58 Classified & Core i7-920/ i7-950 / i7-975X / i7-980X / i7-990X ?[/toggle]

I guess I can pick the eVGA X58 Classified & Intel Core i7-980X combo, as it is the closest thing I’ve benched that acts like it should and is nearly as perfect as the DFI LanParty nF4 Ultra SLI-DR was with the AMD socket 939 Athlon 64, Athlon 64 FX & Opteron processor series ( yes, I really loved that DFI socket939 motherboard! )

http://hwbot.org/community/user/amdnord/Screenshot of breaking World Record using i7 980 Xtreme Edition overclocked at 4132 MHz

I accomplished quite a few amazing scores with the eVGA X58 Classified and the Core i7-980X combo:
Awesome AquaMark 3, 3D Mark03, 3D Mark05, 3D Mark Vantage, 3D Mark11, SuperPi 1M & 32M, wPrime, Memory Clock Frequencies ( triple channel DDR3-2900+ ). Its BIOS structure, operation & stability was awesome, continuous support from eVGA thanks to Peter “Shamino” Tan and Vince “K|ngp|n” Lucido and their BIOS developers and their engineering team. All in all, a GREAT, almost legendary motherboard. eVGA was the DFI for Intel processors for me during the LGA1366 and LGA1156 era.

If you had to choose one, what’s your most memorable session?

Like choosing a favorite setup, choosing a session is very hard too. I’m going to pick the first exciting moment I can remember now. Back in 2010, late August, I purchased my… 10th or 11th Core i7-980X and picked up a friend ( Alex “AMDnord” Exarchos ) filled my LN2 dewar with liquid nitrogen and went to my home to crank it up. The CPU turned out to be a very good piece of extreme overclocker and allowed us to get some very good scores mainly in 3D benchmarks running 3D Mark Vantage at 6.05GHz, AquaMark 3 at 6480MHz and SuperPi 1M at 6550MHz or so. Sadly that CPU didn’t make it through a second LN2 session, it was a 3005F210 batch chip, a batch famous for sporting great clockers but early & very sudden CPU deaths.

Is there anything especially weird in your way of oc’ing? Secret weapons?

Not particularly weird, but my method of motherboard insulation is kinda uncommon:
I use a whole lot of Vaseline around the CPU socket, build up a couple of centimeters of “Vaseline floor and wall”, apply a single layer of a square armaflex ( K-Flex ) foam sheet, some tissue paper on top of it between the armaflex and the CPU pot, and my SECRET WEAPON, TIGHTEN the CPU pot quite a lot, to the “breaking point” right before the motherboard gets warped and the CPU loses contact with some of the socket pins.

using vaseline for socket insulation

Great CPU – Pot contact is a must, especially when you’re benching a CPU with a tight optimum benchmarking temperature band ( threshold ). It really matters as much as the quality of your CPU pot when it comes to controlling the temperatures under heavy load. 1 splash of liquid nitrogen would drop the temperature by 1C in 1 second with the pot secured tightly, while it would take up to 2-2.5s with the pot mounted without excessive pressure ( bolt tightening ).

To give you an example, my best Core i7-950’s operating temperature had to be kept between -122.1C and -123.8C in order to go through the benchmarks at its highest stable operating frequency. Any colder or hotter and it would freeze/crash/error/BSOD.

Having good contact between the CPU/GPU and their pot, and careful insulation of the motherboard/graphics card are key things to extreme overclocking, I pay a whole lot of attention to detail and take my time when performing those tasks.

Overlook something, or leave something out, use less insulation material or leave a tiny gap, and it’ll surely cause you troubles as your benching session progresses ( could be just bluescreens, lower overclocking capabilities, or even death of hardware parts ).

Stay calm and keep yourself cool and emotion-free is another key point, avoid getting frustrated no matter what happens, getting frustrated will most likely make things worse ( unless you stop benching once you get frustrated ).

What would you consider as your best overclocking achievements?

You keep asking me difficult questions! Although it never was a World Record, achieving the 2nd place in 3D Mark2001SE with a 200MHz handicap in CPU frequency, and a whole 150MHz on the GPU front, coming pretty close ( 300pts or so ) to the top score achieved by a very good & experienced overclocker in 3D Mark2001SE is quite a feat if you ask me.

Bill Peppas screenshot breaking the 3DMark01 World Record

I always loved 3D Mark2001SE, and I believe it is one of the hardest ( if not the hardest ) benchmarks one can run as it depends quite a lot on both software & hardware configurations and tweaks. Even the slightest change in RAM timings, disabling an option/hardware capability in the BIOS, or altering the test sequence can make a huge difference and separate a good bencher from a regular bencher who happens to have a better CPU and/or VGA.

Screenshot of Bill Peppas achieving the 2nd best World Performance

I also love tweaking & overclocking RAM, and having the Triple Channel DDR-3 operating frequency world record for like 3 months or 4 with my amazing eVGA X58 Classified and the Core i7-980X along the marvelous Corsair Dominator GTX3 6GB Triple Channel kit only made me eager to take them even further above the DDR3-3000 barrier ( sadly one of the sticks died a couple of months later while it was resting in a box under my desk L ).

Top 3 best overclocking in RAM running at 2.9 GHz frequency

Competing with George “Hipro5” Theologou for Gigabyte’s GOOC ( Gigabyte Open Overclocking Championship ) in 2010 I think ( or 2009 ? my memory’s gone bad over the years ) in 3D Mark2001SE with the GeForce GTX 280, trading blows, exchanging new tricks during the process, etc, surpassing the scores achieved by other great overclockers with Dual-GPU graphics cards with a Single-GPU card put the icing on the cake. Good times!

I had several good moments and scores throughout my benching “career”, unfortunately I have lost most of my screenshots & online result links from the past, everything before 2010 or 2009 is lost forever L

Top 1o performance calculating Super-Pi 32M

Having started overclocking or “benchmarking” as we should be calling the benchmark score hunting overclockers since 1999 with 3D Mark2000, it is safe to assume that I’m forgetting a lot of great moments.

Top 6 performance using AquaMark and i7 2600K running at 5.8 GHz and nVIDIA GTX580

How many parts of hardware did you kill during benching (CPUs, MBs, RAMs, etc)?

I’ve killed quite a few hardware parts the last 12 years, due to my inability to get satisfied with what I could get and my urge to clock things past their limit, knowing that they might lose their “lives” in the process. I never lost a single piece of hardware due to bad insulation, thanks to my patience and almost OCD-like mentality when I am insulating the hardware for sub-zero cooling.

Usually it’s the CPU or the RAM the piece that gives way since I’m pushing crazy high voltages through them once I’ve acquired some decent scores with them and finally give them a last try pushing them harder and most of the time beyond their limits.

Sometimes I win and acquire a few better scores at higher clock frequencies, sometimes I lose the component and waste my liquid nitrogen for nothing, ending up with a dead component and no better scores than those achieved prior to… torturing it.

You can safely assume that I have killed more than 100 kits of DDR1,DDR2,DDR3 memory the last 10 years ( thanks a lot to my sponsors & review samples and my wallet for buying a whole lot of memory kits! ).

How much hardware do you have at home? Who are your sponsors?

Don’t have a figure, but I’ve got pretty much a lot of everything. A lot of CPUs, RAMs, VGAs, motherboards, SSDs, HDDs, cooling equipment, measuring equipment, monitors, sound cards… except computer cases. I have like… 3 or 4 ( and one of them is ancient, an Addtronics 7890A ( I’m surprised I still remember the exact model 😀 ) server tower.

I’m not a fan of cases, they simply make changing parts harder and a “waste” of time, time I could use to entertain myself, go out with friends, see a movie, help somebody in need, etc etc.

Sponsoring-wise, I have Corsair, A-data and Avexir supporting me with awesome cherry-picked memory kits, Antec supporting me with top-notch PSUs, Gigabyte with a few graphics cards and a couple of motherboards until 2011, Intel supplying me with a couple of E.S. processors every once in a while, and the rest come from review samples for my site ( BenchZone ) and from my own spending sprees at retail & online shops.

Given the opportunity, I’d like to spend 2 or 3 lines of text to thank a few special people that I was lucky to meet, co-operate and talk to for a while, Steven Kuo and his RAM projects all over the place ( GeIL, A-data, Avexir, and others ), Joe Chan from OCZ Technology ( great guy, great work and a decent person ), Sascha Krohn and his RAM binning ( CellShock, Foxconn, CoolerMaster ), Vince “K|ngp|n” Lucido for all his help throughout the years and for being a decent person, Francois Piednoel & Daniel S. Snyder from Intel, Jasmine Kuo from A-data, Steffen Eisenstein from Mushkin, Mafalda Cogliani & Korinna Dieck & Maurice de Pauw from Antec, “HiCookie” & Sue Wu from Gigabyte, and last but not least, Cyril Pelupessy from MSI ( R.I.P. my friend )

What tips do you have for our readers? What do they have to consider?

Some of them might sound stupid or pretty simple, but I can guarantee you that most of us have completely ignored some of the basic “rules” at least once in our lifetime.

First and most important little hint:
Study the basic theory behind overclocking, sure you can enter the BIOS and try to raise a few values by a few MHz or Cycles ( T ), but that’s not going to work every time, and you won’t hit the same frequencies you’ll reach after studying the basics and learn how to properly set up most of the BIOS options.

You can copy-paste some settings ( clocks, RAM timings, basic voltages ) from others with the same or similar setups, but that should be your last resort, not your first step, and you can’t expect it to work every time and of course it’s not going to do your hardware any justice, your hardware might be incapable of working at those settings or it might be able to go higher with the same or even less voltage for example.

Whether you’re looking to overclock your 24/7 setup or extreme overclock your benching rig with sub-zero cooling, you NEED to TAKE YOUR TIME.

A 24/7 setup overclock needs to be “bulletproof”, you need to be able to setup your CPU, Motherboard, RAM timings and Voltages in your BIOS setup menu and know how to properly stress test your system to ensure that it is fully stable and you won’t be surprised by a BSOD or crashes/hangs.

Preparation and practice are REQUIRED things, not optional. Especially when it comes to extreme overclocking. You need to realize what is possible and what’s not, and define your targets. You have X amount of liquid nitrogen, Y amount of free time to bench, Z amount of hardware, and a known or unknown amount of variables ( the overclocking capabilities of your hardware, depending on if it’s new or used previously, thus you know its capabilities or limits ).

Trying to run all the benchmarks during a single session most of the times ends up being a “tragedy”. You’ll end up with just a few scores, most of them mediocre or not the best you could’ve achieved with your setup, or with a lot of scores but none of them being any “special”. Running most of the tests is a good idea when you’re testing a new component, a new CPU or VGA for example ( while keeping the rest of your hardware from your commonly used setup, remember, the less the variables of the “experiment”, the more “conclusive” the outcome/s will most likely be ). That way you can have a rough estimate of its capabilities, and the next time you bench you can focus on 2 or 3 benchmarks and squeeze every MHz out of it.

Patience is a virtue, and it does pay out eventually. With patience, practice and the right methodology you can do wonders. Let’s see what you can do for example to obtain the best scores possible in 3D Mark2001SE for example ( most of these stuff apply to other benchmarks too ):

  • Requirement 1: Patience
  • Requirement 2: Setup your benching rig with air or water cooling ( using the components you plan to use with liquid nitrogen eventually ) and use a relatively mid-high stable frequency ( for example 4.5GHz for an Intel Core i7-3770K processor )
  1. Setup your operating system, create an image with Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image just in case
  2. Run the benchmark using the X version of the graphics card’s driver. Take notes of the subtests scores and the final score.
  3. Re-run the benchmark using the Y version of the graphics card’s driver. Take notes again.
  4. Try a decent amount of older and newer drivers, taking notes of the scores again of course.
  5. Once you find the best scoring driver, run the benchmark with it, altering one driver setting at a time to find out which settings help you score higher.
  6.  Once you go through all the graphics card’s driver settings you can try an “add-on” tweaking tool like nVIDIA Inspector ( for nVIDIA graphics cards ) or ATi Tray Tools ( for AMD/ATi mostly and nVIDIA graphics cards )
  7. Start trying some operating system options and tweaks ( disabling pagefile, changing or disabling themes, changing application priority, cores affinity, etc etc ).
  8. Try various test sequences.
  9. and more…

Once you go through this process, you are ready to cool your stuff with liquid nitrogen, find their maximum benchable frequencies and finally “dial in” all the settings and tweaks and hit the best scores you can achieve with your setup.

We all know that everyone has his favorites, but who are your favorite benchmarkers?

Vince “K|ngp|n” Lucido, George “Hipro5” Theologou, Peter “Shamino” Tan, “Fredyama”. Great guys, excellent and dedicated benchmarkers.

Can you earn money with overclocking?

Purely & directly from overclocking ? Nope. You’ll always end up spending more than what you make out of it. What overclocking can do however is, help you get connections in the industry and maybe through personal work, dedication & time find a job at a hardware manufacturer ( usually PR or Tech PR or Tech Support, don’t expect to get into the engineering department without the necessary knowledge and proof as in diplomas ).

What forums do you browse?

I used to frequent more than a couple of websites ( sometimes I’d even register just to help somebody in solving his computer issues or to provide input whenever for example a question arises for one of my reviews or benchmarks, etc etc ), but nowadays my time is really limited when it comes to “internet-ing”, and I barely read a few computer related forums once in a while ( posting just a few times, like 20 posts in total per week or less ).

You can find me on various computer forums using the nickname “BenchZowner” or “billpeppas”. OverclockAholics.com, kingpincooling.com, hwbot.org, thelab.gr, hwbox.gr are the ones that I “follow” nowadays. XtremeSystems.org & overclockers.com is a thing of the past.

Tips for newcomers?

“Follow” some overclocking forums ( e.g. overclockaholics.com, kingpincooling.com, ocaholic.ch, xtremesystems.org ) and some “bright, caring & sharing” overclockers ( e.g. Splave, K|ngp|n, Vivi, Christian Ney, Hazzan, Fredyama, NewBeetle, Hipro5, Stelaras, Crio, K404, miahallen ), read old threads about tweaking from Pedro Rocha & Ricky, macci, oppainter, hipro5, k|ngp|n, Fredyama, TeamJapan, etc.  Get social with the overclocking community and the people on HWbot.org. Some of them are very friendly and very helpful.

Don’t try to “squeeze” every single bit of information from other overclockers, try things on your own, see what you can manage, look into things, if you get stuck ask for some help or even a few hints and pointers. A lot of people are more than willing to help you once they see that you’re really trying and not just another person to see the opportunity to take a shortcut to the “top”.

Like I said before, you need to be patient, cool, and methodic. As long as you follow the basic guidelines described in the previous questions of this section and the guidelines and advices of other benchmarkers on various forums and/or articles/how-to/guides, you’ll be fine.

Feel free to hit me up anytime on MSN ( Windows Live Messenger ), Skype, FaceBook or via e-mail.

Inevitable … you know it, we really have to ask some questions about uX. For instance, why did you joined into Voodoo People Project?

I’ve been lured into joining by the site owner ( that guy is a pita ) [ no! just kidding, you should familiarize yourself with my weird sense of humor and sarcasm :-p ]

For real now, as a computer enthusiast, user, overclocker, gamer, programmer ( lightweight ), I’m interested in a lot of things, and I’m always looking up to new things, adventures, tweaking, optimizing and adapting software & hardware. I’m a very motivation-dependent person, I’m the quite the opposite of lazy, but in order to “perform”, focus and “invest” into something, that something has to challenge and intrigue me.

And expanding my benchmarking suite & adventures is intriguing, and so I joined. Helping other people is something that I pathologically and subconsciously do and enjoy, so… here I am.

What does uX bring to this hobby in your opinion?

New challenges ( and hopefully more and new benchmarks ), more experimentation, and hopefully more and better software for Linux.

Regardless of everyone’s favorite operating system or distribution, we all need the competition to be fierce between Microsoft, Apple & Linux, because the tougher the competition is, the faster the new ideas & technologies find their way to the retail/shelves, and the software houses pay more attention to their software before they release it to the public. A better and more powerful and widespread Linux O/S is a good thing not only for the dedicated or non-dedicated Linux users, but for Windows & MacOS users as well.

Hopefully as the site and the linux benchmarking community grows, more software houses will start to develop new applications or port their current applications to Linux, leading the way for the game and professional application developers to bring their games/apps to Linux as well.

Any thoughts or remarks on uX? Anything you would like to change or add?

I think it’s too soon to come up with changes to be honest. Actually I don’t feel comfortable suggesting any kind of changes or additions at the moment as it’s too soon for me to have a well-thought and orchestrated idea. I’d like to give it some time, see the site getting filled with content and benchmarks, see the community grow and perhaps even develop some simple programs to make hardcore overclocking under Linux environment possible and convenient, and then see what I can add to the mix J

What do you think of Ubuntu/Linux and Overclocking in general?

Sadly, for the time being at least, Microsoft’s Windows are way ahead compared to Linux in regards to overclocking ( daily & extreme ) in terms of overclocking & tweaking tools and partly in stress testing ( stability checking ) utilities as well.

For example, there’s no tool to overclock a GeForce GTX 600 series ( 660 Ti / 670 / 680 / 690 ) graphics card.And I’m not sure, but I think that there’s also no overclocking tool that works with the GeForce GTX 500 series ( almost 2 years old graphics cards ), and neither for AMD’s Radeon HD 7000 series as well.

The only way to overclock any of these cards with Linux is to use a BIOS Editing tool ( don’t know if there’s one for linux available as well, probably you’ll have to resort to using Windows and NiBiToR or RBE [ Radeon BIOS Editor ] ) and modify their clocks through the BIOS ( unless you are a very experienced coder, you won’t be able to change the GPU Core’s voltage, thus you won’t be able to reach the clocks you could in Windows using the programs that allow you to change the GPU Core Voltage such as MSI’s Afterburner, Sapphire’s Trixx, eVGA’s e-Leet, etc etc ).

There’s also no “hardcore” CPU & GPU information and monitoring tool as well. Especially on the graphics cards front, where we really need a tool ( ideally with OSD support ) to monitor the operating clock frequency of the GPU’s Core ( remember, nVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 600 series cards feature a dynamic clock control mechanism named “Turbo Boost” lowering and raising the clock as you game/benchmark ).

Ideally when you’re running benchmarks/tests for a review or benchmarking, you need to be able to see the GPU’s Clock frequency, Temperature, Usage %, Memory Clock, and FPS during the tests ( like you can in Windows using MSI’s Afterburner, AIDA64, Fraps, etc ). Unfortunately there’s no such thing for Linux yet. Even the GeForce and Radeon graphics cards driver support is lacking and so is their “Control Panel” giving us the absolute minimum settings ( compared to what we get with their Windows drivers ). Last but not least, apart from Unigine’s applications ( Heaven, Tropics, etc ), we don’t have any real stress-testing tools to torture our graphics cards ( Furmark for Windows for example ).

On the CPU front, things are much better:
We don’t need any software tools to overclock our CPU, everything is done through the motherboard’s BIOS setup menu.

Monitoring-wise there are a few applications ( most of them are terminal based, without any kind of GUI support ), but most of us really miss CPU-z and its various features and online validation mechanism. We also need a nice temperature monitoring program like AIDA64 or RealTemp or CoreTemp for Linux as well. Things are a little bit inconvenient as we stand.

Stress-testing-wise there are several useful applications to torture our CPUs ( including x.264 of course ), but surely some people will miss the GUI and easy peasy stress testing of “Intel Burn Test”, “LinX”, “Prime95” for Windows O/S.

Breaking hardware, spending thousands of dollars … is there any sense in this hobby?

Purchasing a Turbo, custom camshaft, ecu, air filter, brake discs, spoilers, body kits for your Mitsubishi Lancer to make it even faster, and eventually crashing it, losing money, buying new parts, paying for repairs…

Buying a r/c car, upgrading it, paying for gasoline to take it to the track, crashing it, repairing it, buying a better car eventually… spending money. Buying a fishing rod and why not, a boat to go out in the open sea to fish, buying special hooks, special bait, eventually a carbon rod with a better fishing reel, etc etc.

Almost every single hobby one can have costs money. Some a little bit, some relative a lot, and some a fortune.

It’s up to you to decide what you like, what you can or can’t afford, finding better options, etc etc. As long as you’re having fun, do whatever you like, be it extreme overclocking, be it case modding, be it fishing, be it riding a bike or driving a car on the track, doing jumping jacks naked on the balcony :-p

Why should manufacturers spend more time designing overclocking products?

– They shouldn’t.
– Or… they should.

The should and shouldn’t at the same time. Seriously now, the “art” of overclocking has become mainstream in our days.
Air Cooled, Water Cooled systems are built and overclocked every few seconds. A lot of people are getting into extreme overclocking ( see sub-zero cooling, using phase change cooling units, dry ice, liquid nitrogen, liquid helium, etc ) every day. Just look up HWbot.org’s user database and see how many people are benching with sub-zero capable equipment. Take a look at various computer enthusiasts forums around the globe and try to count how many times the word overclocking gets written every single day.

The market for overclocking-oriented products is growing despite the declining global economy.

A better motherboard in terms of overclocking isn’t necessarily a better motherboard than a non-overclocking-oriented motherboard, but it can be. It depends on the manufacturer’s decisions, ideas and feedback ( along with their price target ).

Lastly, the overclockers and especially the extreme overclockers are the ones to upgrade a lot, purchase a lot of motherboards, CPUs, Graphics cards and RAM kits over a short period of time. A hardcore gamer/computer enthusiast usually upgrades his system ( usually just 1 part or 2 ) every 6 months ( the least ) to 12 months or even a bit. The “average joe” and the “casual users” upgrade even less often.

A quick last question maybe, How would you describe you hobby in three words?

Thrilling, Interesting, Sexy.

Any last remarks?

O Linux support, where art thou?  What I meant to say is: Where’s the proper support of Linux AMD & nVIDIA ?
And you guys, the gifted developers out there ? And you, the Linux foundation, for God’s sake, get a little bit decisive and chose a basic set of commands/utilities/GUI as a “default” set for each distribution of the O/S.

Of course every distribution should be open to user customization and developer customization and so on, but apart from the very core of the O/S, the commonly used and not so commonly used commands need to get unified finally. Sometimes 1 is better than 2 or 3 or 4…

Hope you guys ( and girls maybe ? ) enjoyed reading this interview, and thanks Panos & ubuntuXtreme for having me J

Thank you very much Bill !!! That’s a wow-factor you covered so much stuff. We appreciate sharing your thoughts with us and we are expecting your first benchmarks with nVIDIA GTX 680 based on Ubuntu and Unigine Heaven. Take care 😉

Interview emertX from xtremesystems

Hello Daniel (emertX)

I think it’s time to introduce you in our readers. Are you ready for a quick interview ?

Getting to know each other…

Okay, first question, obviously, please tell us a bit more about yourself.

I’m an industrial engineer and I like overclocking like more than 7 years now. But exclusively with water! No extreme cooling! Furthermore I’m a mod of Hardwareluxx Germany!

Next question then: How and when did you start overclocking?

It’s seven years ago, I tried my first overclocking under water! Over 10 years ago, I overslocked my first Pentium with air.

Do your family members understand your hobby?

Yes and no. Sometimes it’s OK, but in winter, when I take my machine outside @ -10°C they say I’m crazy!

Where does your overclocking knowledge come from?

Trial and error!

A lifetime of benching …

Thank you, let’s move on to the benchmarking experience section of the questions, which is why most people are reading this article for.

What’s your current bench setup?

Asus Maximus V Formula, VTX3D 7970 X-Edition, 3770K, Enermax Maxrevo 1500W, Samsung EcoGreen 30nm@2600MHz Everything watercooled. And the water is cooled by a self-built chiller, which cooles the water to -36°C if I want to!

What are the specs of the PC you use every day?

4,5GHz@CPU / 2400 CL10-11-11-21-1T@MEM / 1200/1800@GPU

What is you favorite bench setup up till now?

This one! (Click on to enlarge the image)

If you had to choose one, what’s your most memorable session?

Last winter. -16°C outside! 😀

Is there anything especially weird in your way of oc’ing? Secret weapons?

The Winter as I said!

What would you consider as your best overclocking achievements?

5970@1100@water / TRI-SLI 580@water@1050/2250 / TRI-CF@Water@1300/1800 / 3770K@water@5175 in 3D11

How many parts of hardware did you kill during benching (CPUs, MBs, RAMs, etc)?

One Hardkill of my X58 Classified during isolation

How much hardware do you have at home? Who are your sponsors?

No sponsors so far! Cause waterclocking is not that popular. Temporarily I just have some oldschool stuff and a kit of G.Skill mem 16GB@2400CL11 laying around.

What tips do you have for our readers? What do they have to consider?

Just watch your temperatures! Nothing more to say…watch your f… temperatures!

Overclocking is sharing

We all know that everyone has his favorites, but who are your favorite benchmarkers?

Just these guys, who are in front of my league in HWBOT!

Can you earn money with overclocking?

No! I would like, but as I said – Watercooling is boring 😦

What forums do you browse?

Hardwareluxx (mod!), xtremesystems, Kingpincooling, Guru3d

Tips for newcomers?
No…

ubuntu Xtreme – uX?

Inevitable … you know it, we really have to ask some questions about uX. For instance, why did you joined into Voodoo People Project?

Cause I was invited!

What does uX bring to this hobby in your opinion?

New ways of overclocking-experience

Any thoughts or remarks on uX? Anything you would like to change or add?

nope…

A view on the future …

What do you think of Ubuntu/Linux and Overclocking in general?

No idea!

Breaking hardware, spending thousands of dollars … is there any sense in this hobby?

No! but tell me a hobby, that is not expensive! It’s a hobby, not my job!

Why should manufacturers spend more time designing overclocking products?

I think it’s enough, you can get on market!

A quick last question maybe, How would you describe you hobby in three words?

Time-Killing, expensive, just crazy!

This is the end – finally, this took quite some time – and we really want to thank you for doing this interview. Take your setup outside and we wish you a lot of success in your future life and benchmark sessions; hope to see you at the top one day!