RWLabs Visits PAX Prime 2012
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Introduction to PAX Prime and ASUS
At the end of every summer the freaks and geeks convene in Downtown Seattle at PAX Prime to win swag and get a glimpse at upcoming console games. In the hallowed halls of this event companies show off their latest games, but tucked into a corner of the convention center behind all the glowing lights of the game booths we found hardware!
It was Dennis Pang from ASUS that put it best, by saying companies like his and others are here because “PAX Prime is a celebration of everything gaming” and companies such as ASUS, Zotac, Gigabyte, Cooler Master and Nvidia are all build with gaming and performance as their foundation.
Since PAX Prime is dedicated more to gaming it is unlike CES in the way that most companies don’t really show off anything too new, or use it as a platform to launch new products. So, most of the hardware we viewed is currently on the market, but we still got to see some killer hardware from some of the major players in the industry.
Since we started by covering ASUS first that is where we will start.
ASUS had one of the largest booths for any hardware company we saw and they were showing off a diverse product array and hosting competitions. The biggest attraction at their booth though was a driving simulator connected to a high-end system and being displayed across three larger monitors.
The racing simulator was connected to a high-end system built with all Corsair and ASUS hardware. The system was attached directly to the structure of the mock race car and was more than enough to run DiRT 3 above 60FPS at 5760x1080.
ASUS was also showing off a custom built computer from Falcon Northwest. The whole system was in a chassis only 13” tall and 4” wide, but despite the small size managed to fit in a self-contained water cooling unit, a GTX 660 Ti graphics card and a high-end ASUS motherboard. One interesting feature of the case was that it has a solid granite base that makes the case the case extremely sturdy.
ASUS also partnered with a local computer supplier, Puget Systems. They managed to put together a high-end computer using an Nvidia GTX graphics card running Batman Arkham City in Surround. The exterior of the case was all Antec, as they built the system in a custom gun metal Antec P183.
On display was also Vulcan ANC active-noise-cancelling pro gaming headset. The headset working surprisingly well and actually cancelled out most of the background noise. This is no small feat considering there were thousands of people in the convention hall. The sound quality was actually pretty good as well.
ASUS was also showing off their latest gaming notebooks. The products shown have a higher price tag than some other notebooks on the market, but they were easily able to handle current games as they rocked a Kepler based mobile graphics processor and Ivy Bridge processors.
Asus has also gotten into the tablet market, and they had a few models on hand. The product we were shown was the ASUS Transformer, which has a modular design that allows it to be connected to either a keyboard, or used as a tablet. Regardless of the mode the tablet is being used in the touch screen is active, so there is seamless switching between the tablet and keyboard modes.
At their booth ASUS was also running contests and giving away killer swag to the winners. One contest pitted the attendee’s computer building skills against each other, as they had to put together a system in the fastest time.
Another contest was based around Street Fighter skills. In this contest gamers challenged each other in Street Fighter until a winner is declared. As with the computer building contest, to the winner goes the spoils and in this case it was killer hardware courtesy of ASUS.