Home Windows 8 banned from the world’s top Overclocking site

All existing benchmarks recorded by Windows 8 have been disqualified. This is due to a fault in Windows 8′s real-time clock (RTC), which all benchmarking tools use as a baseline. In an odd turn of events, Windows 8 has been banned from HWBot, one of the world’s top benchmarking and overclocking communities.

It’s a useful site for finding out how your system/components compare against other setups, but also as always with such sites there’s a large number of enthusiast Overclockers who rule the charts. Some people take it very seriously: Andre Yang, one of the world’s best overclockers, currently holds the record for the highest CPU frequency (8709 MHz with an AMD FX-8150) and the highest 3D Mark 11 score (37263, with four Nvidia GTX Titans). HWBot is a massive online database of benchmark records, covering most of the major benchmarking tools, such as 3DMark, PCMark, and SuperPi. Users submit their benchmarks, moderator’s check their results, and then people are awarded points or trophies depending on how they rank. Core i7-4770K in Asus Z87-Pro motherboard, close in almost every modern computer, there’s a real-time clock (RTC) that keeps accurate track of the time even when the computer is turned off. Usually this is done through some kind of package on the main logic board that just sits there, quietly ticking away the seconds. In modern computers, the RTC is often built into the Southbridge. In standalone RTCs, the package usually contains a built-in power source that keeps the RTC going, so that the device still shows the right time after experiencing a power cut or being relocated; in the case of your PC, there’s probably a button battery or super capacitor on the motherboard that keeps the Southbridge powered. (As for why your microwave doesn’t contain an RTC to prevent that the Blinking Clock of Doom, who knows…

For every second that ticks by on your quartz-powered wristwatch, a second ticks by inside your PC. Thus, to generate accurate results, benchmarking tools use the RTC to work out exactly when the benchmark started and finished. This is how most benchmarks have always operated, and it’s how every major benchmark operates today. The RTC, due to its implemented-in-hardware nature, is very useful for providing a baseline for benchmarks. Unlike software, which can be easily meddled with or affected by outside influences, the RTC in your PC as the name suggests is designed to keep pace with real-world time.

According to HWBot, Microsoft made some changes to Windows 8′s timekeeping routines to allow for low-cost devices and embedded systems that don’t always have a conventional PC-compatible RTC. HWBot doesn’t give specific details (presumably we’re talking really low-level kernel stuff here), but it proves its point with some damning empirical evidence. Unfortunately, though, Windows 8′s RTC isn’t reliable.

Hamna Abobaker is a freelance article writer and Designer with over 2 year experience. He is founder of Blogginggate.com