Feeds

Overclockers to fight for global supremacy

Keep an eye on your servers as 'Chimp challenge' hits Folding@home

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Overclocking enthusiasts around the world spent the weekend topping up their coolant tanks and tuning their rigs with unusual fervour, as they prepared to go into battle in the annual Chimp Challenge.

The competition sees overclocking and hardware enthusiast communities assemble special teams, each of which aim to do as much work as possible for Folding@home, the crowdsourced distributed computing medical research project hosted by Stanford's School of Medicine.

While the communities operate Folding@home teams year-round, the Chimp Challenge sees them go all out for supremacy over a ten-day period. Members are encouraged to drop out of their workaday Folding@home teams and instead join monkey-themed teams for the duration of the event. The number of members each community can convert from their normal teams to the challenge is even taken into account in the complex point-scoring system, which looks at the amount of folding each team performs and several other factors before finding a winner.

This year, the flag drops at 7:00PM GMT on Tuesday, 15 May. For the ten subsequent days, eight teams will go all-out to take the coveted “Jaded Monkey” trophy, a somewhat ugly image file that only the winning community is entitled to use. Hardware Canucks currently holds the Jaded Monkey, but will be challenged by teams from Australia, the USA, Russia and multinational outfits like TechPowerup.

A co-captain from Australia's Overclockers (team name Monkey_Bollocks), Leigh Keller (aka leroyxx), said the annual challenge gives hardware enthusiasts an incentive to upgrade their machines, or acquire new ones. Keller himself has just bought a new graphics card (a GeForce GTX-460) for this year's event, and he says that one of his roles as a co-captain is to remind participants to finish upgrades in time for the challenge. “We tell people to give their computer a clean up before the challenge,” he says. “The upgrade before the comp gives you that extra boost."

Leaving it to the last minute is not encouraged: “We don't want them to fiddle with the overclock during the competition,” Keller says.

In fact Keller hopes his team's members don't fiddle their computers at all during the event, as doing so siphons off precious CPU and/or GPU cycles and reduce the amount of computing power each team member can throw at the competition. Keller says competitors therefore resort to their second-best computer, or even a smartphone, to check scores during the ten-day event, in order to ensure their primary PC is at its best.

Some teams, Keller adds, buy in additional computing power or use some machines from work to boost their team's chances. He's not heard of teams making mass buys of cloud computing resources, a practice which ironically delayed this year's event because many teams took advantage of a free HP cloud beta to boost the computing power behind their everyday Folding@home teams. That beta finished a few days ago and the Chimp Challenge was postponed to give teams time to work on their own rigs to make it a more even fight.

Overclockers Australia expects to have around 150 team members in this year's challenge, a team Keller feels will be equalled or bettered by some, but not all, of its rivals. The antipodean crew finished fifth last year and Keller hopes to do better this year, but even if he does not says he is happy to participate in the charitable effort for the challenge and camaraderie.

“A lot of people look forward to this,” he says. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The cloud that goes puff: Seagate Central home NAS woes
4TB of home storage is great, until you wake up to a dead device
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Intel offers ingenious piece of 10TB 3D NAND chippery
The race for next generation flash capacity now on
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.