Introduction, PCPer Hardware Workshop
Hardware workshop features system build, case mod contests
The third and final day drew thousands of gamers and curious people to Quakecon’s exhibition hall and Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) area. Some gamers were pretty weary from all-night gaming sessions, while others continued to press on by playing Tribes: Ascend, Rage, Team Fortress 2, and Left 4 Dead 2. Others took time out from gaming to make the rounds to various panel discussions with community managers from Respawn, id Software, Bethesda Softworks, and Insomniac and learn more about first-person gaming from id Software’s Tim Willits and other developers in the gaming industry.
Each day started with Ventrilo’s Rage Quick Drive drawing that gave gamers an opportunity to win $1,000 and tickets for a chance to win a brand-new 2011 Molten Orange Ford F-150 Raptor SVT, complete with the Hennessey VelociRaptor 600 SC upgrade package. Today’s quick drive drawing started with Marty Stratton from id Software crowd surfing at the main stage in the exhibition hall.
The main event of the day was our PC Perspective Hardware Workshop that was sponsored by Corsair, NVIDIA, and OCZ Technology. The first item on the workshop agenda was to let the audience pick the overall winners of our annual case mod contest. There were a lot of great entries, but this custom submerged PC was one of the finalists in the custom built PC category.
Three-time case mod champion Derrick Jackson brought a new mod to the hardware workshop this year dubbed "Blue Men of Genius". The artistic design features little silver men trying to cool down the hardware components that are glowing with red LED lights. The audience loved Jackson’s mod so much that they awarded him first place in the custom built category.
One of our finalists for the case mod category brought an old-school acrylic micro ATX system to the table that was lit up with UV lights. He used multi-colored, UV-coated rocks and a couple bowling trophies on his case mod to get a resounding applause from the workshop audience.
The winner of the case mod category sported a custom watercooling system with a triple radiator setup. The unique aspect of this Corsair case mod was creating a pink coolant for the watercooling liquid that ran throughout the entire WC system. The case was very cleanly organized and all the power supply and data cables were sleeved and tucked away behind the motherboard. They also swapped out all the LEDs in the case for pink ones to match the entire theme they were looking for.
Ryan demo’ed Civilization V on a multi-monitor system that incorporated a Galaxy GeForce MDT x5 graphics card that supported five monitors during the hardware workshop. The GeForce GTX 560 Ti MDT x5 video card comes with six display output connectors – four mini-HDMI, one DVI and one Display port connector.
Tom Petersen, NVIDIA’s director of technical marketing, gave the hardware workshop crowd a quick overview of how NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 chip is incorporated in many Android-based mobile and tablet devices. Petersen also discussed PNY’s new self-contained watercooling system for select XLR8 graphics cards. The watercooling unit can also be purchased to support CPU cooling in tandem with GPU cooling. Lastly, Petersen mentioned NVIDIA’s GeForce Starcraft II Pro/Am tourney that is currently underway via Steam.
Petersen had a bit of fun with Ryan’s head in one of his graphics demos that got a huge laugh from the hardware workshop crowd and many of the staff members at PCPer.
Corsair was the hardware workshop’s largest sponsor this year and provided us three gaming series power supplies, three 8GB DDR3 memory kits, a Graphite 600T case, two Obsidian 650D cases, an H100 liquid cooling unit, two H60 CPU coolers, two Force Series 3 solid state drives, 50 HS1 and HS1A gaming headsets, 5 32GB Flash Voyager USB drives, and 10 SP2100 / SP2500 speaker sets! Thanks so much to Corsair for supporting our event this year.