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MSI's Master Overclocking Arena Grand Final


Star Wars-themed overclocking in Taipei
— 6:48 PM on September 17, 2010

As I traveled to Taipei, Taiwan to take in the MSI's Master Overclocking Arena Grand Final, my mind was filled with questions. What kind of speeds would be achieved this weekend? Would there be any glimpses of upcoming hardware? Would my luggage follow me all the way to Taipei or remain back in San Francisco? Would I have a chance to rub shoulders with Darth Vader? The answers may surprise you.

Journalists and overclockers shared the same hotel and transportation, and we entered the hall that hosted the event together. As we arrived, the Stars Wars theme song started blaring, and MSI employees were lined up applauding everyone who entered. If making an entrance like that doesn't put a smile on your face, that says a lot more about you than about MSI... or George Lucas' most beloved franchise.

For whatever reason, the event had a Stars Wars theme throughout. There were fully dressed stormtroopers wandering around, various Princess Leias, R2-D2, and a very credible Darth Vader. In addition, light sabers figured heavily into the décor of the hall—just ask one of my fellow journalists, who stumbled backward and was nearly impaled on one.

As if the ambiance wasn't enough, MSI also provided live entertainment. This took the form of Stars Wars dancing. No, not Star Wars and dancing. Star Wars dancing. Describing the scene wouldn't do it justice, so I invite you to watch the video below, if there is any part of you that has always wanted to see a stormtrooper bust a move.

After taking a few minutes to digest what I had just seen, I left to wander the event and check out the various booths populated by MSI partners like Intel, Kingston, Nvidia, and Western Digital. None of those firms were showing products we haven't seen before, as is common for events like this.  Exotic prototypes and pre-production hotness is usually reserved for major trade shows.

That said, I did spend some extra time at Nvidia's booth taking in a 3D racing game on a triple-monitor setup. After donning the stereoscopic glasses, I took the car for a spin, running it off the road and into a light post pretty much immediately—just a typical day behind the wheel for me. Once I had given the light post a fake phone number and phony insurance information, I was back on the road. The game was so immersive, it took several minutes of annoyed stares and overly loud sighs before I surrendered my place behind the wheel.