PAX East - Gamers and Geeks Gather 'Round The Tech
Last weekend gamers from all walks of life converged on Boston to strap in, lock-n-load, boot-up and get their frag on at the PAX East 2010 gamers conference. On hand were a number of large, big name hardware OEMs and game publishers, showing their wares to the game-crazed masses and members of the press that attended the show. From consoles to hand-helds and PC gaming, this show had just about something for everybody. Hailing from the northeast latitude ourselves, of course we decided to trot on down to Beantown to catch the buzz and see the sights. Sensory overload would have been an understatement, and though we didn't stick around for the all-night frag fests taking place at Boston's Hynes Convention Center (we had killer seats at the afternoon Bruins game, sorry...), we did get a chance to grab some footage of some of the more interesting tech demos on display at PAX. Rather than rattle our gums to much on the subject, we'll let pictures and video tell the story for the most part, though we'll butt in as required of course...
Be sure to catch the Easter Egg from AMD right around the 5 minute mark in this video...
To be honest we were sort of stumped that Mark from AMD was so forthcoming with details as he demo'ed the new 6-core, yes six-core, Phenom II X6 processor. After all, we're on NDA as you're reading this, so hopefully this isn't one of those, "if I told ya, I'd have to kill ya" moments. If it is, unfortunately, you're all dead and so are we... and maybe Mark too.
AMD ATI Eyefinity 6 and The Forthcoming
6-Core Phenom II?
EVGA had a few nice surprises up their collective sleeves as well. Here you can see a nicely pimped-out Maingear SHIFT PC with its vertically mounted motherboard orientation and dual EVGA GeForce GTX 480 cards running in SLI. Water-cooled and wired tight, this EVGA-equipped killer gaming rig, also was infused with EVGA's Graphics Tuning software for pushing the boundaries (or your luck?) with the GeForce GTX 480. Of course, if you're running the water-cooled EVGA GeForce GTX 480 FTW card (bottom row), you wouldn't have to worry nearly as much. Our buddy Joe from EVGA tells us their water-cooled GTX 480 runs around 50ºC under load; a far cry from the 95ºC temps we've seen in live action with stock cards. Finally, if you simply just need more cores, Scotty, there's the upcoming James T. Kirk enterprise-class EVGA Classified SR-2 motherboard to consider. Yep, that's dual-sockets with Xeon 5600s--12 cores, 24 threads--it's a spaceship of a motherboard indeed.
Mobile Gaming with Origin's EON and The Alienware M11x
And of course, mostly-mobile to ultra-portable gaming notebooks of various and sundry flavors were on hand. We're specifically fond of the tasty morsel now known as the Alienware M11x (right) and we're lining up our evaluation of that little bad boy in the next few days actually. Finally, Origin PC has been bending our ear so much lately about their new line of gamer-targeted notebooks, that we had to get up close an personal with their new EON. This is the bodacious EON18 but there's an EON15 on tap too and we plan to put that through its paces as well at some point.
Patriot's 256GB Sandforce-based Inferno and Zotac's Z-Box
Finally, we wound things down with our buds from Patriot memory and Zotac. Patriot was of course pimping their new line of Disco Inferno SSDs (ok, we made the Disco part up), that are weighing in at a stout 256GB capacity and driven by the ever-snappy line of Sandforce SSD controllers. We'll see what we can do about lining that up in the days ahead as well. And last but not least Zotac was showing the kind of gaming capability that can be had in their svelte, NVIDIA-Ion enabled Z-Box. Home theater PC? Sure, drop in a USB DVD drive and you're there; or better yet, just stream it.
That's it for our nickle tour of PAX East! Thanks to the fellas over at Penny Arcade for letting us in and allowing us to cut the line waiting at the entrance on Saturday. We didn't have enough eight-sided dice on hand to muster that kind of queue for very long, though we're glad we took the time to grab our press credentials and check out this very well organized gaming geek extravaganza.