2011 XtremeSystems CES Party

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For 7 years now, XtremeSystems has held a party every year to coincide with the international Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This year was my first attending CES, and I took the opportunity while in town to join Fugger and his gang of miscreants at the XS party to enjoy some good company, warm food, cold drinks, and frozen processors. While this wasn’t an Overclockers.com event, I’m happy to cover it as thanks to Fugger for the hospitality and as thanks from the Overclocking community for a great event.

So why should you be interested? Thanks to Brian@Asus, I’ll let this Republic of Gamers video intro wet your Overclocking appetite.

It’s my understanding that Fugger (aka Charles) has known a lot of people in the industry for quite some time and has dependably put on this event annually which helps to obtain some great manufacturer support. Asus provided a ton of motherboards and graphics cards, while Corsair and Intel provided supporting hardware. MSI and Gigabyte brought a couple bands and secured the venue. Prizes were generously handed out provided by AMD, Danger Den, Futuremark, Intel, Kingpincooling, Kingston, Mountain Mods, Nvidia, Swiftech, Thermaltake, and Western Digital along with pitching in for the entertainment!

Also in attendance were some water cooling fan favorites around here – DangerDen, Swiftech, EK, and the founder of Petra’s Tech Shop. Possibly a once in a lifetime group shot here!

From left to right - Jeremy (DD), Petra (PTS), Eddy (EK), Gabe (Swiftech), and Dennis (DD)

From left to right - Jeremy (DD), Petra (founder of PTS), Eddy (EK), Gabe (Swiftech), and Dennis (DD)

Pardon me for geeking out, but those of you who have been around for a while may remember the guys in that picture from when their businesses were just making a names for themselves. These are some legends in bringing quality water cooling and case modifications to the masses starting from grass roots shops. Jeremy and Gabe mentioned to me how Overclockers.com impacted their businesses in their early years when Joe Citarella reviewed their cooling stuff – a bit of history around here whose significance even I wasn’t familiar with, though I’ve been a daily reader since 2000. A really cool thing to hear in person!

But wait, don’t go away – it wasn’t all geeks like me in attendance! While the mess of cables, thermoses, and parts laying everywhere did plenty to make things look complicated or difficult… Our saving grace Cory arrived in the evening to pour some LN2 and show everyone how to make it look easy!

Thanks Cory!

LN2 benching is serious business, but no one held Cory's smile against her (Picture courtesy DarthBeavis)

Shamino taking a breather while Cory takes over filling the LN2 pots

Shamino taking a breather while Cory takes over filling the LN2 pots

Now I’ll spare you further presentation. Checkout the following pictures, captions, and videos for an overview of what the event was like. First hand, I can tell you it was a blast – thanks to Conumdrum and Gofaster87 for making sure I got there, and thanks to Fugger for putting this together and welcoming all who walked through the doors!

Welcome to the 2011 XS CES party!

Welcome to the 2011 XS CES party!

Venue Layout

These shots should give you your bearings around Pictographics, Fugger’s shop where he graciously hosted the event.

Inside the front door where Shamino, Gautam, Brian y., and Gomeler were hard at work

Inside the front door where Shamino, Gautam, Brian y., and Gomeler were hard at work on Intel platforms

The back room where chew* and nemesis were beating on an AMD platform, and folks were hanging out

The back room where chew* and nemesis were beating on an AMD platform, V2-V3 was doing some Intel work, and many folks were just hanging out

Front and back rooms

View from the front room, across the hallway, including the back room

The side room, Gigabyte and MSI tables setup, with Trouffman from Overclocking-TV and friends chatting with Francois from Intel

Down the hall, Gigabyte and MSI tables setup, with Trouffman from Overclocking-TV and friends chatting with Francois from Intel

Extreme Overclockers

The most extreme setup in attendance was ran in the front room, closest to the 180L LN2 dewars just outside the front door. What does it take to chase down a new 4-GPU world record in 3DMark Vantage – Performance? Aside from the hardware listed below, it takes some serious benchmarking knowledge which Gautam, Shamino, and Brian y. were prepared to deliver. LN2 with some extra GPU voltage helps a lot too, and no one is known to deliver in that department the way Shamino is. The pictures below detail four voltage regulation circuits harvested from GTX 480’s, modified to deliver additional voltage (2.1V) to the GDDR5 on each of four GTX 580’s.

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 980X
  • Motherboard: ASUS Rampage III Extreme
  • RAM: 2X 2048GB ADATA 2200 CL8
  • PSU: Antec TPQ1200W OC X 3
  • VGA: ASUS GTX580 X4 4-way SLI Xpander
  • Cooler: KingPin F1 x1 & TEK9 6.66
  • OS: Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
Brian y. took the courtesy to point out the SB 2011 chip in Francois pocket before things kicked off

Brian y. took the courtesy to point out the SB 2011 chip in Francois pocket before things kicked off

One of the GTX 580's when it arrived and was unboxed (Picture courtesy Brian y.)

One of the GTX 580's when it arrived and was unboxed (Picture courtesy Brian y.)

Shamino preps the R3E, 980X, 4xGTX 580 rig

Shamino preps the R3E, 980X, 4xGTX 580 rig (Picture courtesy Brian@Asus)

Shamino making some final tweaks to his power delivery

Shamino making some final tweaks to his power delivery (Picture courtesy Brian@Asus)

Cable management is leveraged sparingly, so long as its out of the way

Cable management is leveraged sparingly, so long as its out of the way (Picture courtesy Brian@Asus)

How to power this beast? 3x Antec 1200 TPQ power supplies were up to the task

How to power this beast? 3x Antec 1200 TPQ power supplies were up to the task (Picture courtesy Brian@Asus)

One shot of the rig when its all together, but before the cold hits

One shot of the rig when its all together, but before the cold hits

Brian y. got a great shot of Shamino's rig when pulling down temps on the CPU, that's LN2 bubbling and boiling off

Brian y. got a great shot of Shamino's rig when pulling down temps on the CPU, that's LN2 bubbling and boiling off

Extreme benchmarker, or Frankenstein's master? You be the judge.

Extreme benchmarker, or Frankenstein's master? You be the judge.

Fugger lending a hand filling the pots

Fugger lending a hand filling the pots as Brian y. maintains the thermoses (Picture courtesy DarthBeavis)

GTX480 voltage regulation circuits were wired onto each GTX580 board by Shamino, with petroleum jelly providing insulation from condensation

GTX 480 voltage regulation circuits were wired onto each GTX 580 board by Shamino, with petroleum jelly providing insulation from condensation

Closeup of the modified GTX 480 voltage regulation circuit, providing additional voltage to the GTX 580

Closeup of the modified GTX 480 voltage regulation circuit, providing additional voltage to the GTX 580

The GTX580's wired up and running

The GTX 580's are hidden under the GTX 480 voltage circuits delivering extra power. The blue paper towels are catching condensation, which can drip from the GPU cooling pots or the thermos if not wiped dry

Each GTX 580 was run under LN2, and frost build up has a way of spreading under extreme subzero temperatures

Each GTX 580 was run under LN2, and frost build up has a way of spreading under extreme subzero temperatures

With 4 GPU pots and a CPU pot all needing LN2, while the rest of us partied, every thermos was hard at work

With 4 GPU pots and a CPU pot all needing LN2, while the rest of us partied, every thermos was hard at work

4 probes monitored GPU temps, maintained in the range of -80 to -90C on the GTX 580's. The 980X had no cold bug and was run with a full pot without temperature monitoring.

4 probes monitored GPU temps, maintained in the range of -80 to -90C on the GTX 580's. The 980X had no cold bug and was run with a full pot without temperature monitoring.

Gautam at the controls with Shamino keeping things cool

Gautam at the controls with Shamino keeping things cool

From left to right, Planet, Shamino, Gautam, and Brian y.

From left to right, Planet, Shamino, Gautam, and Brian y.

A short clip from Petra of this rig in action:

Hard at work in the corner next to those guys, Gomeler was diligently plodding away on another X58 platform. This guy was a warrior, benching mostly non-stop independently for around 12 hours straight.

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 980X
  • Motherboard: ASUS Rampage III Extreme
  • RAM: Corsair 3x2GB Dominator GT
  • VGA: AMD Radeon 6970 x4
  • Cooler: LN2cooling.com CPU pot
  • OS: Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
Gomeler's R3E, 980X, and 4x 6970 Rig, with DarkBeavis' Starwars case mod to the left for show

Gomeler's R3E, 980X, and 4x 6970 Rig, with DarkBeavis' Starwars case mod to the left for show

Gomeler topping off the LN2

Gomeler topping off the LN2

Breaking 200,000 in 3Dmark03

Breaking 200,000 in 3Dmark03

Gomeler and Planet having a chat (Picture courtesy Brian@Asus)

Gomeler and Planet having a chat (Picture courtesy Brian@Asus)

Referring to hwbot.org, that puts Chris’s run as the 10th place world record for 3DMark03! Nice work!

Putting in work in the back room, chew* and Nemesis were beating on an AMD 1100T rig powering 3 volt-modded GTX 580s. AMD boards don’t natively support NVIDIA SLI, but thanks to the Lucid Hydra chip on Asus’ Crosshair IV Extreme thats not a problem. Despite the guys having to overcome some challenges delivering enough power to the cards, they managed to push the highest AMD 3DMark Vantage – Performance score thus far quite a bit higher, without pushing the graphics clocks as hard as possible. Their full rig specs were as follows:

  • CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1100T
  • Motherboard: Asus Crosshair IV Extreme
  • RAM: Corsair GTX3 2x2GB
  • VGA: 3x Asus GTX 580 volt modded
  • PSU: 2x Corsair AX1200 PSUs
  • Cooler: LN2cooling.com CPU pot, tek9 fat GPU pot, 2x tek9 slim
  • OS: Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
Nemesis preps a GTX 580 for the cold

Nemesis preps a GTX 580 for the cold

Chew installing the GTX 580's with LN2 pots in place, wrapped with shop towels

Chew installing the GTX 580's with LN2 pots in place, wrapped with shop towels

Applying one last wrap of shop towels around the GPU pots to make pouring easier and guard from condensation

Applying one last wrap of shop towels around the GPU pots to make pouring easier and guard from condensation

Installing the CPU cooler (Picture courtesy Brian@Asus)

Installing the CPU cooler (Picture courtesy Brian@Asus)

Chew filling the GPU containers, Nemesis supervising

Chew filling the GPU containers, Nemesis supervising

A nice high quality pouring closeup

A nice high quality pouring closeup

The best 3DMark Vantage - Performance score on AMD, chew already plans to top it soon however

The best 3DMark Vantage - Performance score on AMD, chew already plans to top it soon however

Finally the last benching station also in the back room was that of V2-V3, where he was running Sandy Bridge under water cooling. Sound tame compared to the rest of what you’ve seen? A nice pair of Asus Ares 5970 GPUs added the secret sauce to make things a bit more exotic. ┬áLater on to fit in with the crowd, things were switched out to LN2 on the CPU with 3x Asus 6970s which posted some respectable benching results.

  • CPU: Intel i7-2600K
  • Motherboard: Asus Maximus IV Extreme Sandy Bridge
  • RAM: Corsair Dominator CMGTX4 DDR3
  • VGA1: 2x Asus Ares 5970X2
  • VGA2: 3x Asus 6970
  • PSU: Corsair AX1200 PSUs
  • HDD: Corsair F40 SSD
  • Cooling1: Danger Den Liquid Cooling on CPU
  • Cooling2: LN2 on CPU
  • OS: Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
Suitcases with Ares 5970X2, they get a perfect 10 for presentation

Suitcases with Ares 5970X2, they get a perfect 10 for presentation

V2-V3 installing the Ares

V2-V3 installing the Ares

Ares installed, Danger Den system cooling the i7-2600K

Ares installed, Danger Den system cooling the i7-2600K

V2-V3's 3DMark05 results on LN2 with 3x 6970s

V2-V3's 3DMark05 results on LN2 with 3x 6970s

V2-V3's 3DMark06 results on LN2 with 3x 6970s

V2-V3's 3DMark06 results on LN2 with 3x 6970s

V2-V3's 3DMark11 - Performance results on LN2 with 3x 6970s

V2-V3's 3DMark11 - Performance results on LN2 with 3x 6970s

V2-V3's Unigine Heaven Xtreme Preset (DX11) results on LN2 with 3x 6970s

V2-V3's Unigine Heaven Xtreme Preset (DX11) results on LN2 with 3x 6970s

Social Stuff and Familiar Faces

Now that we’ve covered the overclocking, there’s just a few fun odds and ends left here – bands, case mods, and the beauty contest.

Apocolipstick was the first band to play in the evening

Apocolipstick was the first band to play in the evening

Pain Cylinder, whose lead man operates motherboards.org, played second and rocked some excellent heavy material

Pain Cylinder, whose lead man operates motherboards.org, played second and rocked some excellent heavy material

DarthBeavis had his star wars mod on display on Gomeler's table

DarthBeavis had his star wars mod on display on Gomeler's table

DarthBeavis' Starwars mod from the side

DarthBeavis' Starwars mod from the side

The Starwars mod lit up and looking sleek

The Starwars mod lit up and looking sleek

Conumdrum's Danger Den Monsoon reservoir he took home as a prize

Conumdrum's Danger Den Monsoon reservoir he took home as a prize

Mountain Mods had a couple excellent cases present, but the only pictures I could gather were these lousy coasters!

Mountain Mods had a couple excellent cases present, but the only pictures I could gather were these lousy coasters!

MSI had a product table setup in the side room

MSI had a product table setup in the side room

The phase separator on the end costs about $50 if you call it that, or you can get it for $10 if you call it a muffler. It helps reduce gas/fog and smooths out the flow of liquid LN2

The phase separator on the end costs about $50 if you call it that, or you can get it for $10 if you call it a muffler. It helps reduce gas/fog and smooths out the flow of liquid LN2

V2-V3's glamour shot to compete with Cory. Vote on the beauty contest in our forums!

V2-V3's glamour shot to compete with Cory. Vote on the beauty contest in our forums!

Trouffman library?

Trouffman library?

Trouffman beer!

Trouffman beer!

Jeremy from Danger Den took a moment to detail their new reservoir product, designed to enclose the popular Laing D5/MCP655 pumps. It really looks like a slick product, and includes color options and lighting to match your case aesthetics. Check out the video by Dazmode for Jeremy’s full description and availability.

Video Event Summary

The following video is from Dazmode and features various facets of the event, including a conversation at each benching station, Planet from Corsair blowing LN2 smoke, and it closes with live music from Apocalipstick.

Wrap Up, Additional Info and Media

To wrap things up, I’d like to thank everyone who agreed to share their media with Overclockers.com and help to get this event the exposure it deserves centralized in one place. As details here were researched or gathered via email and PM, corrections and further info is welcome. If interested in additional pictures and details, please reference the following links.

While this article reused a lot of material that was already out there scattered across various sites and buried in forums, thanks for reading and I hope you found it worthwhile and interesting! Thanks again to all the sponsors, everyone I had the pleasure of meeting at the party, and Fugger for making it happen.

I.M.O.G. (Matt Bidinger)

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Discussion
  1. If you talking about the nitrogen tank in pic 2 I think its a beauty. ;) JK. I really need to try to make it to one of these event. I wish I could have made the Vegas event, especially where it was close.
    You covered so many facets of what happened at the party, all the fun stuff and the great overclocking. Got all the players, and all the hardware. You wrote it in a great informal way, which will help others understand how big this really was.
    A small industrial strip mall area far away from the big lights of the strip is where the action really happened.
    Perfect! And no pics of me drunk, thats even better. I'm in a vid, but that's for folks to figure out. And yes, hard liquor was in that clip.
    Thanks Matt, I'll have this link to show to friends. Good job!
    It was a hard choice between the ROG T and the twins, but I have to go with the twins on this one... At least until I am able to get me a ROG Board.