Live Overclocking and the Bin
Bin, or the quality of hardware, has always played a factor in overclocking. Higher quality chips require less voltage and will often overclock higher than chips of a lesser quality. A real world example is buying memory modules for your PC. Memory modules are available in a variety of different speeds from 800Mhz up to 3000Mhz and just about any speed in between. The chips that make up these modules are identical. The only exception is that some chips perform better than others and the module manufacturer will pre-test them looking for these qualities. Higher quality chips will go into one bucket while lower quality chips will go into another. These buckets, or bins, are the first stop in a long line of tests before a module is produced. The same is true for processors and GPUs and is one reason why overclocking is still relevant today.
Live Overclocking competitions exploit this and while efforts are taken to ensure that everyone gets equal hardware there is no guarantee. I have seen several cases where good overclockers often lose because the chip they got was bad.
My solution is actually quite simple and is to simply remove “bin” from the equation and focus live overclocking on the skill of the overclocker and less on the hardware. To accomplish this overclockers would be given a set of challenges and will get points if they can complete the challenge in the allotted timeframe.
There are many sports that follow a similar format and a good example is Professional Golf. Golf is an individual competition with minor and major tournaments, worldwide ranking, and localized ladder ranking. Golf is also challenge based where the player is awarded points based on their skill and how they handle risk/reward situations. For instance good players can challenge a course and get a good score while others may struggle to break even.
The secret here is practice, knowing your gear and knowing the course. This will be an important thing to remember as it will directly relate to the future of overclocking.