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MICROSOFT: World's top benchmarking and overclocking site bans WINDOWS 8

HWBot, one of the world's top benchmarking and overclocking communities, has banned Windows 8 from its online databse system. The ban is as a result ot a fault in Windows 8's real-time clock (RTC), which all benchmarking tools use as a baseline.

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, moderators check their results, and then people are awarded points or trophies depending on how they rank. It’s a useful site for seeing 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).

In modern computers, the RTC is often built into the southbridge. In standalone RTCs, the package usually contains a built-in power source (a battery) 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 supercapacitor on the motherboard that keeps the southbridge powered.

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. 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.

Unfortunately, though, Windows 8′s RTC isn’t reliable. 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.
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