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i34 event coverage

Welcome to i34

The i-series is the UK's premier LAN gaming event, hosted by LAN gaming and server providing experts MultiplayUK three times a year. Previously the events have been held at Newbury Racecourse and bit-tech have covered plenty of i-series there in the past, but as the demand for tickets has increased, Multiplay have opted for a new venue for the i-series at Stoneleigh park in Warwickshire. This time around it’s playing host to Multiplay's summer gaming spectacular, i34. The new venue is an enormous complex (as well as a working farm) with space for over 2000 caffeine fuelled gamers and its own gaming and hardware exhibition in Mfestival.

This is a big, not to mention bold step up for Multiplay, with the scale of the event massively increased in comparison to previous i-series events. Just looking through our previous coverage of i25, i26, i27. i29 and i31 you can see how these LANs have evolved from hardcore amateur gaming meet up into a fusion of casual, amateur and professional gaming, hardware exhibition and social gathering on par with a summer music festival (although with less mud and more cat5).

bit-tech went along to check out the exhibition, play some games, ride a mechanical bull and suck at Rockband, so join us as we go on a photo safari of i-34 and if you're/were in attendance, share your photos and opinions with us in the forums!

Mfestival

The scale and amount of the industry exhibition here at i34 dwarfs anything we've previously seen at an i-series, with literally dozens of exhibitors forming a veritable who's who of the UK PC hardware and gaming industry. Some of them brought along some simply phenomenal hardware setups!

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Benchtec were in attendance with a couple of awesome three level cascade setups on the MSI and Foxconn stands, as well as showing off some liquid nitrogen cooling as well. These cascade setups were the real highlight though, representing hours of work to deliver reliable extreme sub-zero cooling!

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Another highlight was this amazing Skulltrail setup from Armari, which uses coolant ripped from an old Cray supercomputer to fanlessly cool the whole system - sort of like the vegetable oil baths you might have seen, but a hundred times more awesome! The central compartment is even able to automatically drain into the side enclosures for easy maintenance and motherboard access.

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Cyberpower and Cooler Master had some very funky cases on show, with some simply incredible paint jobs and colour combinations on the PC's used by its pro-gaming team, Team Cooler Master. The hardware highlight was the beautiful water cooling setup in this Cooler Master Cosmos S. With dual, colour coordinated loops cooling an SLI Skulltrail setup, this was one of the best watercooling setups at the show.