MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2011

The MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2011 was held in Las Vegas last week, during CES. It's where nine teams go head to head to find out who the best overclockers are in North and South Amercia. Each team was made up of two participants that had to qualify for this event by first taking part in an online competition. The team that wins in Las Vegas will eventually go on to represent the Americas during the MOA World Finals in Taipei, Taiwan. 

So what is competitive overclocking all about? Well, MSI Masters of Overclocking is an annual competition consisting of several qualifying competition held all over the world. In general, most overclocking contests are very similar. Contestants are provided identical hardware and given time to produce the highest scores or fastest times on predetermined benchmarks. They can bring in their own cooling solutions, which usually consist of copper pots designed for liquid nitrogen benchmarking. Some pots are designed specifically for processors, while others attach to graphics cards. As you can see above, there's usually enough LN2 at the event to last for days. Cash and hardware prizes are handed out at the end and a fun time is had by all.

The components used by each contestant consisted of the following:
  • Intel Core i7 980X Extreme Edition Processor
  • MSI X58 Big Bang X-Power Motherboard
  • MSI GeForce N580GTX Graphics Card
  • Patriot Sector 7 PC3-16000 Memory
  • Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS
  • Antec CP-1000 Power Supply

With 3 hours to bench SuperPi 32M and another 3 hours for 3DMark 11, there was plenty of time to overclock and produce insanely high scores. All of the teams were focused on the task at hand, but only one can win. At the end of the day, team OC Alliance from the United States had the best results and eventually won the competition. The MOA 2011 champions received a check for $1,500 and a trip to Taipei to compete in the world finals. Good luck!