VR World

What Counts as an Overclocking World Record? HWBOT Wants to Clarify

HWBOT, an organization and oversight body which is the closest thing competitive overclocking has to the Olympics’ International Olympic Committee, has changed its definitions of what constitutes a world record because of vendors trying to game the system and hype dubious world records.

According to Pieter-Jan Plaisier, HWBOT’s COO, vendors were submitting too many questionable and problematic “world records” to his organization’s database — which is seen as the most important index for overclocking enthusiasts. Plaisier cites an example of a vendor submitting a so-called “world record” 3D Mark Ice Storm benchmark score on a air cooled GTX 750 as an impetus for the change to a more formal structure.

As Plaisier explains, there would be two big problems with such a benchmark claiming to be a world record. First, a midrange card such as the GTX 750 couldn’t possibly post the highest score ever achieved by the specific benchmark suite in question. Second, whether it’s air cooled or not couldn’t possibly be verified without being physically in front of the card.

“You’ll see that the benchmark choices are not [matching with the hardware],” Plaisier said to VR World.  “3D Mark Ice Storm is designed for low-end mobile devices, so achieving even a first place in this category doesn’t say anything about the quality of your graphics card.”

As such, HWBOT has now created formal definitions for its award categories: World Record, Global First Place and Hardware First Place. The definitions read like legalese and are posted below:

World Record; A World Record is defined as the best score ever achieved in a specific benchmark application as verified at HWBOT.org by its benchmark rules and regulations at the moment of submitting the benchmark result. A benchmark result is applicable for the World Record terminology only if the benchmark application has HWBOT World Record or Global points enabled. A World Record can be identified by the title of World Record on the benchmark result submission page at HWBOT, three golden tiles on the benchmark submission page, or its inclusion on the official HWBOT World Record table as published at HWBOT*.

Global First Place; A Global First Place is defined as the highest or best benchmark score achieved in a specific global category of a benchmark application ranking as defined by the HWBOT ranking structure, typically but not exclusively by a system’s effective calculation core count, and verified by its benchmark rules and regulations at the moment of submitting the benchmark result. A benchmark result is applicable for the Global First Place terminology only if the benchmark application has HWBOT Global points enabled. A Global First Place can be identified by the title of Global First Place on the benchmark result submission page at HWBOT, two golden tiles on the benchmark submission page, or its inclusion on the official HWBOT Global First Place table as published at HWBOT*

Hardware First Place; A Hardware First Place is defined as the highest or best benchmark score achieved in a specific hardware category of a benchmark application ranking as defined by the HWBOT ranking structure, typically but not exclusively by a system’s effective calculation core count and the specific hardware item, and verified by its benchmark rules and regulations at the moment of submitting the benchmark result. A benchmark result is applicable for the Hardware First Place only if the benchmark application has Hardware points enabled. A Hardware First Place can be identified by the title of Hardware First Place on the benchmark result submission page at HWBOT, or one golden tile on the benchmark submission page.

Plaisier sees the rise of these dubious benchmarks as part of a PR ploy by manufacturers to hype their products.

“The industry is treating these overclocking world records as something that is something that’s very easy to achieve and they don’t respect the hard work that goes into world record,” he said. “They try to claim as many records as possible just to beef up the PR of their product. But they don’t take into account if it’s a real world record.”

While Plaisier won’t name names as to which companies are the worst offenders for dubious overclocking world records, he says it’s obvious by looking through press releases from vendors.

“In most cases it’s not really a world record. It’s a first place within a certain category,”  he said.

He noted that the all of the vendors have signalled that they intend to cooperate with these rule changes, with the major players agreeing “pretty quickly” that something had to be done.

Plaisier also admits that the rise of dubious world records is partially HWBOT’s fault, but the organization is now being much more strict and hopes this will mitigate the problem.

“HWBOT has been at fault for ignoring this issue for the past few years. We haven’t really defined what we regard as a world record,” he said.

“If someone wants to work with HWBOT, they will have to comply with this specific nomenclature.”