With a clock speed of 6000MHz -- the magical 6GHz mark -- one Australian has just solidified his position as one of the world's premiere overclockers. It's the XTU World Record, and it belongs to Dino Strkljevic.
Image courtesy of Team Australia Extreme Overclocking
For those unaware, XTU stands for Extreme Tuning Utility. It's a software application developed by Intel that can analyse your system, while allowing users to download and share their overclocking settings through social media and elsewhere. But the real fun in the application, apart from the simplicity with which it can introduce people to overclocking, is the way it facilitates the competitive scene.
A scene that one Australian is now sitting atop of. Well, at least one part of it.
Strkljevic, otherwise known as dinos22, is currently the top overclocker on the XTU leaderboards after pushing an Intel i7-5960X to 6GHz while using to liquid nitrogen, a 16GB DDR4 kit of RAM with timings of 12-14-15-15 and a Gigabyte X99-SOC Champion motherboard. He's currently participating in the Country Cup competition as part of the Australian contingent, and his efforts have taken Australia to the top of the nation rankings as well.
The record remains untouched as of this morning
Strkljevic works as a marketing manager for GIGABYTE, using his years of overclocking experience to help the manufacturer in the development of their motherboards. He's livestreamed overclocking before, recently livestreaming a tutorial on going the entire process on pushing DD4 memory from scratch. It's not the most exciting stuff, and it's awfully long, but you can't fault the thoroughness.
In a chat over Facebook, the Australian champion said he'd been overclocking gear since 2004 and he began competing in tournaments from 2007. He's one of the longest serving overclockers in the Australian scene, but his position at GIGABYTE means he only competes in major or national events these days. "I want to represent my country," Strkljevic wrote.
During our chat, another Team Australia overclocker posted the world record XTU score for 6 CPU cores, and Strkljevic was hopeful about Australia's chances of retaining the world crown. The Aussies won every single stage in the 2014 HWBOT Country Cup -- an unprecedented event -- and while he didn't expect the feat to be repeated when all the final scores are tallied up at the end of this week, he did expect a victory.
What 6GHz looks like
When asked how much money it costs to have the top-end equipment necessary to compete at this leve, Strkljevic replied that it was "impossible to calculate". "Most of these guys purchase boards, CPUs, GPUs and keep them for a few generations in anticipation of these comps," he explained.
"For example, the XTU stage for 8 core is $500 board, $500 memory $200 SSD, $1500 CPU, then you need to use a lot of liquid nitrogen to get good scores, say 200L of LN2 [liquid nitrogen]. Price for LN2 can be between $1.5-6.50/litre."
For those who are curious, the temperature at which the i7-5960X -- a retail CPU, that is -- was a staggeringly icy -135 degrees Celsius.
All 36 countries will be able to continue submitting scores for the competition's five separate stages until Sunday night, and you can keep track of the competition via HWBOT's landing page. Most of the excitement should happen late on the weekend; Australia's victory last year was marked with a flurry of last-second submissions, a tactic that Strkljevic says is being used more broadly across the competition.
Australia's well placed so far, and hopefully they keep that momentum through the weekend. It's not the scene that most would be aware of or understand. But I always like to remind myself of Kerry Packer's famous line about playing marbles for Australia. Representing your nation is an honour, and when we sit atop the most extreme of the master race (for lack of a better phrase) it's worth taking note.