Tomorrow will mark the end of The International Dota 2 Championship 2015, the most lucrative e-sport tournament of all time, with the final pool well above $18 million dollars. Sixteen teams came to play—but they’re not using their own computers. Nvidia, the hardware supplier of The International 2015, worked closely with gaming computer manufacturer Maingear to design the computers for the tournament. Maingear designed and built all the rigs for TI5 in their New Jersey facility.
The biggest concern when designing the computers was latency, says Maingear CEO Wallace Santos.
“Everything has to be designed with low-latency in mind,” Santos said. “We can’t use regular hard drives, we can’t use any lower-end GPUs, we need to use the best of everything for these guys. Even though the game is not that demanding, we still need to be 10 steps ahead in terms of performance.”
The cost of the computers actually went over-budget because Maingear wanted to ensure that there would be no chance of underpowering or overheating of the components.
“We went over that [budget] a little bit because we wanted to use server-grade parts for the power supply, for example, with an 80 Plus Platinum rating,” Santos said. The “80 Plus” rating is a voluntary, independent power efficiency grading. The Platinum level is actually second best, falling only behind 80 Plus Titanium.
The computers are based on Maingear’s X-Cube, their high-performance gaming and home entertainment line. Here are the specs:
- Chassis: X-Cube White/Black Windowed Compact Case
- Chassis Lighting: Green LED Light Strip
- Motherboard: EVGA X99 Micro
- Processor: Intel® Core™ i7 5930K 6-core 3.5GHz/3.7GHz Turbo 15MB L3 Cachew/ HyperThreading (12 Threads)
- Processor Cooling: MAINGEAR EPIC 120 Supercooler
- Memory: 32 GB Corsair® Vengeance™ DDR4- 2666 (4x8GB)
- Graphics and GPGPU Accelerator: NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 980 Ti 6GB GDDR5w/ G-Sync
- Power Supply: 1200 Watt Corsair® Professional Digital Series AX1200i 80+ Platinum Certified Modular Power Supply ROHS
- Power Supply Sleeving: Corsair® Power Supply Sleeving – GREEN
- Operating System Drive: 500GB Samsung® 850 EVO
- Ethernet Adapter: On-board Gigabit Ethernet
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit
The computers are all hooked up to Benq XL2420G monitors, which feature a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms GTG for low latency. The Benq monitors feature Nvidia G-Sync, which matches the display refresh rate to the Nvidia GPU. This reduces screen tearing, minimizes display stutter and input lag.