Vendor Roundup: Alienware, MSI, AData, Oculus Rift Virtual Reality, FSP Group
Alienware had the largest booth by far in the exhibit hall this year as people played mini tournaments with Smite, which is a free-to-play massive multiplayer "battleground between gods". According to Hi-Rez Studios website, players choose from a selection of mythical gods, join session-based arena combat, and use custom powers and team tactics against other player-controlled gods and non-player controlled minions. Alienware brought their X51 mini gaming desktop systems that sported 3rd gen Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz processors, 16GBs of DDR3-1600 memory, NVIDIA GTX 555 1GB graphics cards, and slot-loading Blu-Ray players. These systems start at $699 at Alienware.com.
MSI and PC Perspective were giving gamers a taste of 3+1 2D Surround gaming on Skyrim using just one MSI GeForce GTX 680 graphics card combined with an ASUS P8P67 motherboard, Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz processor, and 8GBs of DDR3-1600 memory.
MSI also brought their Z77A-GD80 and Z77 Big Bang MPower motherboards to show Quakecon attendees how they are utilizing Intel's Ivy Bridge and Z77 chipset technologies. The Z77A-GD80 is equipped an UEFI BIOS, four SATA 6GB/s ports, three PCI-E slots, and Intel's Thunderbolt interface that delivers 10 Gbps Full-Duplex transfer rates. The Z77 Big Bang MPower board features a 16-phase CPU VRM, which is stronger than the Z77A-GD80. The VRM also includes multiple diagnostic LEDs and voltage measurement points. It also gives users 802.11 b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth connectivity options. This board was originally introduced at Computex in June, but is currently not available to consumers.
AData set up a full racing station with Dirt 3 to show the power available with their XPG SX900 256GB solid state drive in tandem with a high-end Ivy Bridge system. The SX900 is outfitted with a Sandforce SF-2281 controller, SATA3 interface, and native TRIM support. This SSD currently retails for around $209 with free shipping from Newegg.
Oculus Rift was also on hand with a small booth to show prototypes of their virtual reality headsets. Their headsets are designed specifically for gaming and feature stereoscopic 3D and a wide 110-degree field of view. Their reps mentioned that a 110-degree view gives the appearance of surrounding the user's natural field of view. To accomplish this, it uses two screens, a 640×800 display for each eye, that combine for the illusion of a panoramic 1280×800 display.
FSP Group had several of their Aurum 92 and Aurum Pro power supplies on hand. The Aurum 92 power supplies are available in 450, 550, and 650W versions while the Aurum Pro PSUs are available in 850, 1000, and 1,200W versions. Both of these PSU product lines support SLI and CrossfireX graphics configurations and can be purchased in silver and gold rated flavors that are 80 percent efficient.