Since 2018, Overclockers UK has partnered with the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team to provide state-of-the-art PCs to power its racing simulators and engineering stations.   

In this blog post, we’re showcasing our fantastic partnership with the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team, highlighting how our racing sim PCs power their performance.  

Founding Partnership  

Located on the campus of the Formula 1 operations in Brackley, its purpose-built Esports HQ houses simulator rigs for the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team drivers to participate in virtual events and enhance their skills — and race craft — behind the wheel.  

In parallel to the real world, online sim racing demands dynamic, innovative, and performance-driven partners to accelerate success on the racetrack. Now entering its sixth year, the alliance with Overclockers UK has played an integral and creative role in the Mercedes-AMG’s esports programme, offering best-in-class hardware and unrivalled expertise. 

Driving Performance  

At the heart of the Brackley esports training HQ are five simulator rigs configured by Overclockers UK to provide quality, performance, and reliability. They meet the demands of professional online racing, utilising components for the CPU (7950X3D) and GPU (AMD 7900 XTX), while also offering a futuristic aesthetic thanks to their digital pink LEDs frames.  

“It’s extremely important we use powerful hardware because the more information you process per second, the more consistent — and ultimately faster — you are on the racetrack,” says Esports Driver James Baldwin, who joined the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team at the end of 2022.  

“Since I’ve been a part of this team, competing with Overclockers UK hardware has been a noticeable upgrade for me,” adds Baldwin. “Sim racing is very CPU and GPU intensive, but the latency and frame rates mean I’m able to see apexes clearer and that smoother, immersive driving experience is really important for improving performance.”  

As well as utilising the rigs at the Brackley HQ, Baldwin also gets up to speed on his own simulator setup at home, which is built to exactly the same specifications as in the training HQ. Not only are the high-end components used by the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team available commercially (including the B650E-E motherboard and 16-core AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D processor), but Overclockers UK also offer different specifications for low and mid-end solutions. 

Processing Continuity  

At the beginning of last year, the esports team competed in the Virtual Le Mans Series, which included a round at the Circuit de la Sarthe for the legendary 24-hour endurance race. With James Baldwin joining Daniel Juncadella, Bono Huis, and Graham Carroll, the round-the-clock marathon placed a premium on human stamina — and hardware reliability. 

“We know that before we acquire any hardware from Overclockers UK, it has been stress-tested to the absolute limit,” says Alex Richards, Performance Manager for the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team. “During the Virtual Le Mans 24 Hours race we encountered zero technical issues with any of our components and no disconnects with the server, not only in regards to the simulators but while also running our engineering systems that are handling real-time data, live strategy, and communications. It’s a testament to Overclockers UK’s quality that we maintained that reliability throughout the full 24 hours of competition.” 

Creative Solutions  

A critical aspect of sim racing is managing temperatures — and not just those of the virtual tyres. With CPU and GPU processors working at maximum performance, as well as motors that can generate as much as 25Nm in force-feedback through the steering wheel, Overclockers UK incorporate the be quiet! Silent Loop 2 360 High-Performance water cooler to keep temperatures low — in addition to the air-conditioned environment inside the esports training HQ.  

“We have absolute trust that the systems provided by Overclockers UK handle the pressure and thermal loads we put them through,” continues Performance Manager Alex Richards. “But it’s not only in managing equipment, as through our DNA as a racing sports team, we are always looking to push the limits of technology. 

“Overclockers UK understand our requirements and works with us creatively to find the next level of performance. With the help of their expertise, we are constantly testing our equipment to find solutions by identifying the products we need to improve our configurations. We can roll out changes within a week or two because we combine Formula 1 methodology with a dynamic and innovative partner in Overclockers UK who are easy to work with and have the same winning mentality.” 

Virtual (Nearly) Reality 

In the short time Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team Driver James Baldwin has been racing virtually, there has been a notable improvement in simulator realism, with advances in technology developing at a rapid pace. 

“If you take the best PC on the market in 2021 — it’s now out-of-date from a sim racing perspective,” says Baldwin. “The technology is moving so fast and game platforms, whether they are F1 Esports, Rennsport, or the Virtual Le Mans Series, are getting more intensive, produce greater amounts of telemetry data — throttle, steering, braking inputs — and have an ever-higher realism.” 

For Baldwin, the improvements in processing speeds, memory and graphics meant he was able to transition easily from simulator to the real-world racetrack when he made his debut in British GT recently. 

“Within five laps of making my debut in sportscars, I was on the pace and that was purely down to preparing on the simulator. With tracks that are laser scanned so that all the bumps and crests in the road are accurate, plus the angles of the turns and tyre and car models are so realistic, sim racing has a level of transferability that no other esports has. That’s thanks to the excellent performance provided by partners such as Overclockers UK.” 

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