AX:GS - Event Coverage
Posted on 24th Nov 2009 at 10:58 by Ben Hardwidge with 12 comments
If you were one of the attendees at the Asus Xtreme General Summit earlier this year, then you’ll currently be penning your thoughts about the event and your hardware prizes over two blogs every week. We’re currently reading through the third week’s blog entries, and we’ll be posting the highlights soon, and we’ve also put the posting guidelines for the final week’s blogs up on the forums.
In the meantime, each week we’re posting our favourite blog from the previous round in the bit-tech Blogs section, so here’s Skiddywinks’ winning blog from the second week:
AX:GS - Event Coverage
"That can't be it, surely", I remember thinking to myself. It really was a sight to behold. The Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury Hotel stood before me, and it was intimidating. I felt like such a peasant in my jeans, t-shirt and years-old biking backpack. The people entering there were wearing suits and carrying briefcases. They looked important.
Still, it was the right place, and having been lucky enough to win a trip to Asus' Xtreme Global Summit, I would have gone in even if was naked. That's a lie. But I had been looking forward to this since I heard I was going. Nothing was going to stop me.
The lobby was huge, and everything looked very modern and expensive. It was like being in another world. I made my way over to a receptionist to get directions. After being taken a few feet to my left and having my destination explained to me by the very helpful receptionist, I set off towards the signing-up table. I logged that I was here, signed away and received my nametag. Now I felt special. The nametag featured my real name, as it did with everybody. Several people, myself included, therefore decided to write our bit-tech usernames on the tags to help identify ourselves to the other winners.
Asus had decided to book two conference rooms next to each other in order to host the event. The rooms had the middle wall separated to combine them into one big room. There wasn't a great turn-out when I checked the first time, but I was (intentionally) quite early, so I took up the promised free food. I just assumed Asus would have put together a few bits to pick at (I was expecting some sarnies and a brew!), but it turned out that Asus had bagged us a free buffet meal from the hotel's restaurant. Score!
I helped myself to smoked salmon and some chicken, along with some roast potatoes and some other sides. It was good - fresh orange juice as well. I met up with some other competition winners (they weren't too hard to spot, as they looked a lot like me) and had a good chat. All in all, it was a great welcome and I was very much looking forward to the day.
We then heard that the event was going to start, and made our way to the event room. We had a few minutes to look around before the presentation started, so I decided to take some pictures and have a good peek at everything. There were a lot of interesting things on show, and of particular interest to me was the Sabretooth 55i. I’d never seen this board before, and I think no one else had at the time. It seemed familiar though, and reminded me of a concept that Asus released a while back.
It listed some funky sounding features:
• CeraM!X Heatsink Coating Tech
• CoolMem! Fan Frame
• E.S.P. [Efficient Switching Power Design]
• TUF Cap. & MOSFET (certified by military-standard)
I also noticed a fan positioned to blow air lengthways along the RAM, rather than down on it like other third-party RAM coolers. It looked swish and well implemented, so I’ll be interested to see how it pans out in terms of actual cooling performance.
I also took some pictures of the setups we would be using for overclocking in the competition, as well as the prizes. It looked like we had a great day ahead of us.
We then took our seats in preparation for the presentation. The precise details of the event elude me, but the guys from Asus talked about their design philosophies, the OC Station and how it actually started as a prototype years ago, and they even gave us an interesting look at old-school overclocking. Finally, they gave us a talk on how to overclock the P55 platform, which included rough ideas of voltages, as well as the new terminology for those of us who were used to LGA775 offerings and, to a lesser extent, those used to Core i7 setups.
We were told that the format of the event would involve three competitions; overclocking (in teams; more on the scoring in a minute), fastest lap on GRID (the lap used for benching cards no less) and fastest completion time on Trials HD (the last level in the demo).
Points would be awarded on an individual basis for the two games, whereas the teams would get points in the overclocking competition, with the team’s score also being each member’s individual score. We would be ranked in order of score, and then be asked to collect whatever we wanted when it came to our turn to choose.
I would like to make the overclocking the focus of the second half of this coverage, so that neatly brings an end to the first part. I have put a few photos in the text of this blog, but I will put a few more at the bottom, so please scroll down to see a few more shots of the event.