Top overclocking and benchmark community HWBot has banned Windows 8, after the possibility of cheats using a fault in the OS’ real-time clock (RTC).
HWBot is one of the world’s most prominent databases of benchmark and overclocking records. Dedicated users submit their benchmark scores and, after moderation, are awarded points and trophies depending on how well they do. For non-enthusiasts, the extensive list of hardware combinations is an easy way of estimating how well a rig setup will run.
The ban of Microsoft’s flagship operating system Windows 8 comes after a fault in its RTC was discovered. The RTC, which keeps super-accurate time inside the computer even when the power has been turned off, is normally used to measure benchmarks thanks to its reliable accuracy.
According to HWBot, however, the Windows 8 RTC is unreliable. Microsoft’s attempts to accommodate a wider range of devices have resulted in several changes to the way time is kept by the RTC. HWBot’s ban comes a result of the effect of overclocking a CPU on the RTC, with the RTC losing time as underclocking increases. What this means is that the benchmark gives the computer a proportionally higher performance score because it seems as though the computer performs more in the allotted benchmarking time (when really the time is shorter). For more detailed stats, see this article at Extreme Tech.
The ban has also disqualified all previous records attained using Windows 8, though one of HWBot’s moderators has suggested that the decision to completely eradicate Windows 8 records is still under discussion. Whether Microsoft can or will release a patch to solve the issue is unconfirmed yet, but for the time being Windows 7 will continue its dominance as the most popular operating system in the world.