CES 2010 Coverage
Reviewed by: Bosco
Reviewed on: January 6, 2010
The first day of CES for OverclockersClub was more of a "get to know you" day for those of us who had only spoken via the modern miracles of the Internet or phone, and a rekindling of the relationships for those who were here in years past. Those attending this year are:
We started the day/afternoon (don’t ask why) with a hearty breakfast. Then it was off for an afternoon/evening of gaming and just generally having a great time before the action started with the kick-off party for CES, sponsored by Patriot Memory and Gigabyte.
Here we have a few of the games we enjoyed. This was not about winning or losing, it was about having a good time. However, several of us did win prizes.
Of course, there was some fierce competition on the air hockey table!
Patriot showed its memory line-up that features its Viper and Viper II Series products. Following up that, you have the Valkyrie NAS box, the Patriot Box Office media player and the Gear Box mini NAS. Patriot also showed off its SSD line-up, which includes the new Inferno drives. Flash memory is also something that Patriot is marketing, including its Bolt and Magnum thumb drives.
Last, but not least, we had a great view of the Las Vegas skyline!
Stay tuned for more coverage from CES!
ASUS had an impressive booth at last year's CES, so we had high expectations going in this year. We were not disappointed. From video cards to monitors to motherboards to notebooks, ASUS showed off a little bit of everything. The first thing that caught our eye were the ASUS notebooks setup with NVIDIA 3D Vision. The ASUS G51J 3D Notebook features a 120Hz LCD to provide the 3D Vision support.
The next thing that caught our eye was a concept product from the ASUS Design team called "Waveface", consisting of three products with flexible touchscreen LCDs. The Waveface Ultra is a wristband, but can be laid flat when a full screen is needed. Have it display the time while on your wrist, and be able to access other applications whenever you need to without having to carry around another device. The Waveface Light is essentially a flexible, touchscreen tablet. The Waveface Casa is a large widescreen display that may look like any other LCD TV, but has some interesting features, including Internet connectivity. When not in use, most of the screen is covered behind a flexible cover, leaving only small areas exposed to display useful information, such as the time and date.
ASUS also showed off a slew of LCD monitors, including a few 23.6" 1080p LCDs and ultra-slim models.
Next up were the motherboards. ASUS has always been known for its high quality boards, and there were a ton on display at CES, including the P7P55D-E Premium, "the world's 1st TRUE USB 3.0 + SATA 6GB/s Motherboard." Many of the motherboards were also 32nm 6-Core CPU ready.
Speaking of motherboards, last year ASUS introduced a drive bay BIOS controller, and this year we finally got to see it installed in a PC.
Video cards were also prominently on display at the ASUS booth from both the green and red camps. One setup that stood out was a Republic of Gamers motherboard with four EAH5870s in Crossfire.
One thing we didn't see from ASUS last year was its mice offerings.
ASUS also showed off an external slim BD writer and external slim DVD-RW drive.
Keeping with the small, but functional theme, ASUS showed off its EeeKeyboard PC - a keyboard with an LCD to the right and an Eee PC built in.
Lastly, ASUS showed off a touchscreen netbook and a few wireless routers, including one of the thinnest ones we've seen.
OCZ this year had a lot of goodies to show off, including a lot of its different SSD lines. There were plenty of varied capacities and sizes for every user including 2.5” drives such as the Agility series, Vertex series, and Solid series, to larger drives such as the 3.5” Colossus. There were also the PCI Express based larger capacity drives, and even a mini 1.8” SSD designed for smaller applications such as netbooks. The capacities this year were enormous. Each of the drives offer different levels of performance and storage capacity. That means you should be able to find one to suit your needs and no matter the budget there is a drive for everyone who wants to take their system to the SSD level.
The Z-Drive p88 for one is a modular type design that has a capacity of up to 2TB when the daughter card is used. The p88 can have two layers when the daughter card is added, or remain slim and only take up one expansion slot without it. For server or hard core enthusiast this setup allows unbelievable storage expansion at break neck speeds. Be prepared though, as it will set you back a pretty penny.
Another drive that OCZ was showcasing was an external drive called the Super Speed External SSD, which operates using USB 3.0 and has a capacity of up to 256GB. The external drive offers read speeds of up to 215MB/s and write speeds of up to 175MB/s. When the drive was hooked up and the tests were run using Crystal Disk Mark 2.2 the external drive gained some pretty impressive numbers, including almost making it to 200MB/s with the Sequential Read test.
Finally OCZ had a couple of its newer power supplies on showcase. There was the Silencer MK II, which is a 950 watt power supply with a single 12v rail design. It uses a 135mm thermally controlled fan for cooling and has 100% Japanese made solid capacitors for durability and efficiency. There was also the Fatal1ty series power supply, which offers a modular design at 750 watts. It also uses a single 12v rail design and a thermally controlled 135mm fan with red LEDs to give your case some “bling”.
OCC’s visit to Cooler Master started with a quick look at the company’s newest addition to the heatsink market. The one that caught OCC’s eye was the V-6. This heatsink uses a v-shaped heat pipe arrangement and tilted fins to increase cooling efficiency. We also got to see a new fan that uses a unique design to increase airflow and reduce noise, which should be great for use as a chassis fan.
Cooler Master's power supply line-up was prominently displayed and featured power supplies from 650W and up.
If you want cases, we got cases, from an AMD specific build to the updated CM690 II. A new chassis that was showcased was the USP100. This case comes equipped with a 500 watt PSU and a wide opening in the motherboard tray will allow you to change high end heatsinks without removing the motherboard. There is also a ton of room behind the motherboard tray for cable management. An updated version of the Centurion series was there for the show but is not really targeted at the US market.
On display were a few laptop coolers for the mobile user. The first one we looked at was able to adjust the incline to provide an ergonomic benefit to the end user.
Also on hand were a host of products from Choiix. We looked at a flat speaker prototype for use with notebooks and netbooks. What looked really exciting was the Swapper, a 2.5 inch hard disk enclosure that is portable and can be popped right open to change drives.
On our visit to MSI the first order of business was to get a look at the newest “Big Bang” motherboard named Fuzion. This motherboard is built for use with Intel’s socket 1156 platform and makes use of technology from Lucid called Hydra to allow the use of two video cards from different manufacturers in a multi-GPU solution, providing additional performance scaling. MSI has a working demonstration that included what looked like Twin Frozer equipped NVIDIA card and a Cyclone equipped HD 4890 running in a multi-GPU configuration. This option is only for use with Windows 7. In our conversations we were told the current Lucid driver is version 1.4 and is the break point for the technology, as it has now become fully functional. Futuremark’s 3DMark 06 was the benchmark used to show the technology in action. Also shown off with this motherboard was a handheld controller the “OC dashboard” and the THX certified sound solution.
Following up the Big Bang Fuzion we were able to look through the rest of the motherboard stack that was on display, which included the 890FX solutions for AMD systems as well as the latest H55 and H57 solutions for the recently released Clarksdale processors from Intel. Of course the P55 chipset was represented with the Big Bang Trinergy and P55-GD65.
While the “Lightning” branding has been established on the NVIDIA cards offered by MSI, they have now shown some love to the ATI side with the introduction of the Lightning 5 series, which includes the HD 5870 and HD 5850. What’s different about the HD 5870 is evident right of the bat. Instead of going long with the card it has an increased height and improved Twin Frozer cooling. On top of that you have voltage check points on the back end of the card, so you can use a multimeter to check voltage instead of relying on often unreliable software readings. That’s a pretty big step forward in my book, as the custom engineered cards usually give you that added something. DR.MOS technology is also applied to these cards for added reliability and performance.
The year ahead is looking promising for MSI with the introduction of these components.
Our visit to ATI was like walking into a multi-monitor paradise. There were several different “Eyefinity” setups, which included a three panel setup with 24-inch monitors being fed by an ATI Radeon Mobility HD 5870. This setup was able to play HAWX flawlessly, with no stuttering or lag. Next to this was a six panel setup that brings a new meaning to game immersion. What really took the cake though was the surround monitor setup running Dirt 2. Here we have bosco gloating over beating ccokeman’s score… barely.
Once we got past the “Eyefinity” setups we took a look at ATI’s 3D technology. There was both a tethered and non-tethered solution that used polarized lens.
During our time with ATI we discussed the upcoming releases, which we should be able to look at here pretty soon.
Diamond had the 5xxx series ATI based video card line-up on hand, which included cards from the HD 5750 all the way up to the HD 5970. But video cards are not the only thing that Diamond Multimedia has for the consumer.
A couple things that caught our eye were the Sound Tube USB audio device and Mini Rockers mobile speakers. Since a good portion of the staff of OCC has netbooks that are lacking in the sound quality department, this looks like a way to alleviate the problem. The Mini Rocker speakers are a small portable speaker system that plug into the audio out port on your netbook, notebook or portable device such as an iPod. The Sound Tube is used to boost the output to the listening device, whether it is a pair of headphones or a set of external speakers such as the Mini Rocker speaker system. Look for reviews of both of these devices at OCC shortly. In the short time we had testing them in the Hotel, the Mini Rockers certainly lived up to their name!
When we visited the Nokia booth, the first thing we took a look at was the Nokia Booklet 3G. The booklet 3G comes packed with some nice features including Windows 7, 120GB of storage and up to a 12 hour battery with a 10.1" screen.
Nokia had several touchscreen models on display; the N97 is displayed below.
The main attraction at the Nokia booth was the recently released N900. Nokia's latest offering is powered by an ARM Cortex-A8 600MHz processor and has 1GB of RAM. The rep informed me that this processor is a new iteration of the ARM line and if compared to the previous version its performance is equivalent to about 900MHz, placing it in direct competition with the iPhone 3GS and the latest Android offerings. The N900 features a 3.5" screen with a resolution of 800x400. The pictures do not do the screen justice; the high resolution looked absolutely amazing. What was even more impressive was the phone's ability to display Flash content (full Flash 9.4 support). We used the browser to view Flash ads, a Youtube video, and even Flash games, all of them working flawlessly. A fun fact about the browser is that it is Mozilla based.
The N900 comes with 32GB of storage built in and a microSD slot that can take up to 16GB, giving you a total of 48GB of storage. The N900 supports a variety of video codecs, including H.264, MPEG-4, Xvid, and WMV. It also supports a gamut of audio codecs, MP3, AAC, AAC+, M4A, WAV, and WMA. The phone sports a 5 megapixel camera with dual LED flash and a 3x digital zoom. The camera also supports video recording at 800x400 and up to 25fps. The phone also features an integrated FM transmitter and GPS with A-GPS. It supports Bluetooth stereo headsets and has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Rounding out the hardware is a micro-USB 2.0 port.
The Nokia rep showcased the phone for us and one of the most impressive features was how it coped with multitasking. You can run as many apps as you want (only limited by the amount of memory available). Switching between apps looked cool, with mini thumbnails of each running app. We experienced a game demo and the graphics were impressive, which made sense given the N900's support of PowerVR SGX and OPENGL ES 2.0. We only got to see one multi-touch gesture (making a circle with the finger zooms in and out of the browser) but I'm sure there are some more available. The phone also comes with a stylus, which was really useful when clicking on links in the browser and when playing the Flash game Bejeweled.
The Nokia rep told us that the phone will be available on T-Mobile.
In Win had a nice large booth over in the bottom section of the south hall. It had a large range of cases on display, ranging from the Mini-ATX form factor to the ATX form factor. Its booth did not stop there. In Win also had some of its external hard drive enclosures on display, along with a number of its power supply models.
The first thing that we took a look at was a few of its Mini-ATX cases. The Diva case is one of In Win's Ultra Small Form Factor cases that has its own built-in 120W PSU. The coolest feature of the Diva case was the fact that the power button on the front of the case is made out of a Swarovski Crystal that lights up via a LED. In Win also had the Wavy case on display, which also has a 120W PSU built in and an 80mm fan to cool down the internal components.
The Matrix Tiny Tower case was also on display and features a smart cable management design. It is made out of SECC ECO Steel with a pearly metallic painted plastic panel. The motherboard form factor for this case is also Micro-ATX and allows for a full height PCI-E expansion card.
Next up were the full tower cases. The main one that they were trying to show off was the Maelstrom, which is made out of 1.0-0.8mm SECC Steel to give you a sturdy chassis that is going to be able to hold your E-ATX, ATX, or Micro-ATX motherboards. In Win gives you four fans installed in the case right out of the box (3x 120mm and 1x 220mm), but you can add up to six more (1x 120mm and 5x 220mm). The other case pictured with the Maelstrom on the left hand side is the Fanqua, which can support up to nine drive bays! The Fanqua also supports 3x 120mm fans and a single 220mm fan, and gives you the option of installing either an ATX or a mATX motherboard. The Android case is another one of In Win's new cases that it was showing off, which is also a full tower case that is going to allow for nine external drive bays and three internal bays that are removable.
The next chassis that was on display was the Griffin. In Win had two of these cases displayed, both painted different colors. One had a more modern custom paint job, while the other is a simplistic yellow paint job that still looked good. Some of the features of the Griffin were that the case has high expansion capabilities, as well as hidden I/O expansion slots and gives you support for either an ATX or mATX motherboard. In Win also had another yellow painted Griffin case hooked up so that we could see what she looked like running. The next case that In Win had on display was its Concept case, which was a Micro-ATX gaming chassis that still supports a full-sized graphics card with HD audio connections on the front IO panel.
After all the cases, In Win had its two external hard drive enclosures on display, the AMMO and the Metal Soul. The AMMO enclosure fits a single 2.5" hard drive and comes with RFID encryption technology that will keep your data safe and secure while it is locked up. It is made out of is 0.8mm high tensile strength steel and will support either USB 2.0 or 1.1 standards for data transfer. The Metal Soul enclosure also has its own RFID encryption technology built into the enclosure and supports USB 2.0 and 1.1, however it has an aluminum die cast casing.
Finally we have the power supply section of In Win's booth. In Win had a good number of its "military grade" power supplies displayed from its Commander series and Airborne series. The Commanders range from 650W to 1500W and can offer you enough PCI-E power connectors to support up to Quad-SLI systems. The Commanders are also offer you a modular cable management system, four independent +12 rails, and boast efficiency up to 88%. The Airborne, on the other hand, does not come with the four independent rails and have efficiency ratings of up to 85%.
A-DATA launched a new look for its brand along with the new products it had on display at the show this year, with an updated logo and corporate icon of a hummingbird. As you would expect from a memory manufacturer, there were plenty of RAM modules and flash drives around the booth. That included high density products for both desktops and laptops. Squeezing 4GB onto one SO-DIMM is pretty impressive.
Below you can see some of the company's XPG Plus Series v 2.0 DDR3 memory modules, which are available in speeds up to 2200MHz (CL8). Gaming series DIMMs and SO-DIMMs were also on display.
Also on display were USB 3.0 equipped flash drives and portable HDDs. Adoption of USB 3.0 is something you can expect to see becoming widespread this year as more hardware is released that supports the new standard.
The trend for memory companies expanding to offer power supplies also continues, with A-DATA showing an 825W unit.
SSDs are everywhere this year, with all the major manufacturers including the drives in their line-ups. A-DATA offers models with capacities up to 512GB, with the upcoming 500 series boasting speeds of up to 280/270 MB/s and support for the Windows 7 TRIM command.
While we were visiting the viliv booth, it was promoting its mobile internet device products. These were the "go-everywhere PC" in the form of the N5 and the multi-touch tablet PC S10 Blade. The N5 features a 4.8" Touch Screen, Intel Atom processor and Windows 7 OS, along with a QWERTY keyboard and the S10 Blade features a 10.1" multi-touch screen with a high resolution (1366x768) and swivel display.
The first device that we looked at was the N5, the slogan that they are using to promote it is "Productivity on-the-go – Revolutionized". The N5 has an Intel Atom Z520 (1.33GHz) with Windows 7 Starter, a 4.8" WSVGA (1024x600) touch-screen and viliv has also packed in a 32GB SSD and 1GB of DDR2 533MHz RAM. You are going to be able to connect with people via live internet chat using a 1.3M pixel camera and type using a QWERTY keyboard that has a total of 63 keys, 34 of which are function keys. The N5 weighs a mere 399g (0.88lbs), measures merely 172 x 86 x 25mm and will run for up to 5 hours between charges. One of the cool features of the N5 is the fact that you are always connected to your social network of choice, along with the micro blogging capabilities.
The next device that we were able to see was the S10 Blade, with the slogan "Convertible Multi-touch Tablet." It makes use of the Intel Atom Z530 (1.6GHz) processor with Windows 7 Home Premium and a 10.1" multi-touch LCD (1366x768). You have the option of getting the S10 Blade with either a 32, 64, or 128GB SSD installed, along with 1GB of DDR2 533 RAM. The keyboard features 84 keys including the 34 function keys. They claim you are going to be able to run this piece of hardware for up to 10 hours, or for 7 hours of movie playback. The S10 Blade weighs in at 1.21Kg (2.67lbs) and measures 260 x 185 x 17-26mm. You will be able to stay connected with the integrated 3G HSPA.
The final product that caught our eye was the S5. As with the N5 and S10 Blade, it comes equipped with an Intel Atom processor, the Z520 (1.33GHz), as well as 1GB of DDR2 533MHz RAM. You are going to be able to get either a 60GB HDD or a 16 or 32GB SDD with the unit. The S5 will power on in 3-4 seconds and the battery should allow for up to 5 hours of video playback. There is no physical keyboard with the S5, however the onscreen keyboard does make up for that. It weighs up to 0.95lbs depending on configuration and measures 6 x 3.3 x 0.96 inches.
For NVIDIA, there was a great display of its current and upcoming technology sure to get any enthusiast or gamer drooling. At our first pass of the NVIDIA booth we came across a nice little display of a card NVIDIA is calling the GF100. This is a Fermi based card that supports DirectX 11 for robust graphics. Attached to the card was NVIDIA 3D Vision technology, which allows the user to experience rich graphics that immerse you into the content.
In addition to its desktop graphics, NVIDIA was showcasing some ION based netbooks, nettops, and all-in-one desktops, which bring the power of the ION platform to life. The units were running different game demos and video applications to show the power of the ION integrated graphics solution and how it powers computers to push rich content with little CPU usage, allowing for a great experience, with little to no jitter or issues during play.
NVIDIA also had on display its 3D Vision Surround display, which spans the desktop and programs across multiple displays for a more immersive experience when watching video or playing games. NVIDIA also had the 3D Vision Surround set up with 3D Vision goggles for a true life depth view of the content.
Finally for NVIDIA we were shown side by side comparisons of a new technology that runs on its hardware using CUDA called SimHD, which takes standard definition video and upscales the output to simulate high definition and enhance the clarity of the video. This allows you to view features in the video that you would not normally see with standard definition.
Antec had some great products featured at CES this year and it came as no surprise they had some tricks up their sleeve to get the party started. As we walked through the door they motioned us over to a case that literally had me wanting to see more. This wonder happened to be the new LanBoy Air chassis, which is designed to be one of the most open cases you have ever seen. The panels are of a mesh design, with fans placed strategically to allow for good air flow over the critical components while leaving your inner components open to the “Air”. The modular design of the case allows the user to set up the system as desired based on requirements. To complement the LanBoy Air Antec designed the LanBoard, which is a strap and a base with wheels designed for making transportation of your computer easier for those LAN Parties.
Antec had more cases on show, which contained some of the sweet features that we have wanted for some time now. Two in particular were the DF-30 and the DF-85 that caught our eyes with one neat feature, which were the hot swappable bays for 2.5 inch drives. These allow on the go data transfer without the need for installing the drives or adding an external dock. These cases also feature easy to open fan grills, which allow you to clean the filters and insert hard drives with little effort. The DF-85 also features two hot swappable 3.5 inch bays.
To round off the Antec cases for the 2010 CES show there were a few models on display that were not final designs yet; however some looked promising. There are no specific details on these cases, nor release dates (if any), but the prototypes give us a good idea on some of the paths that Antec is taking to perfect their products for us end users.
Antec, while big on their cases had a lot more to offer however. First they showed an extensive line of notebook coolers, available in a variety of sizes and functions with support for both netbooks and notebooks up to 17 inches. To power your computers they also have several power blocks, which are both powerful and compact depending on the model that the consumer requires.
To wrap up the look at the wonderful Antec products we finished off with their power supplies. Antec has some great designs, which are intended to provide your system with stable and clean power for maximum performance and efficiency. There was the Antec TPQ- 1200 OC, which allows the user to adjust the output of each of the 12 volt rails and also has a capacitor type design in each lead to provide a stable current to your system. They also had other models of power supplies, along with some CPU coolers for us to view.
SilverStone's booth was quite large this year, with a lot of products, ranging from small compact cases designed for HTPCs to their larger cases built for housing the workhorse computer. They had some nice looking power supplies out on display as well.
The first case that we came to was in the middle of their booth, it was from their Fortress series, the FT02. The FT02 is available in four different models, coming in either silver or black and with or without a window. The material that SilverStone decided to use for this chassis was a 4.5mm aluminum unibody frame and a 0.8mm steel body. The motherboard form factors that are supported with the FT02 are SSI CEB, ATX, and Micro ATX. There are three 180mm intake fans operating at 700-1000rpm and a single 120mm top exhaust fan operating at 1200rpm. The dimensions of the FT02 are 212 x 497 x 616mm. One of my favorite features of the FT02 is the fact that you are going to be able to fit just about any sized PSU inside of the case; this includes SilverStone's own ST1500, which comes in at hefty 220mm deep.
Continuing on with the cases, we came up to the section where they were showing off their smaller sized cases, such as the SG02-F, the Sugo SG07, SG04-FH and the LC12. The SG02-F is a micro-ATX chassis that measures 270 x 212 x 393mm, it is made out of SECC for the body and has a plastic & acrylic front panel. The cooling solution inside of the chassis is a single 80mm fan and two 80mm fan slots. The SG07 is a Mini-ITX chassis that is able to fit one of the largest cards currently out on the market, the HD5970 from ATI. As a card like that draws quite a bit of power, the unit comes with a 600W PSU built into it. The chassis has a 180mm fan mounted to the top of the case that is placed directly over the CPU cooler for that little extra cooling on the processor. The bottom of the case has two fans mounted, one for an intake and the other setup as an exhaust. There is also a divider on the bottom of the case to stop cool intake and warm exhaust air mixing. The side panel has an adjustable duct on the GPU side of the case to fit over the intake of the card's cooler, which allows the card to breathe fresh air. The SG04-FH chassis comes in at only 200 x 417 x 347mm and holds two 120mm fans to cool down the internal components you choose to install. It also has a body made from SECC and an all aluminum front panel and handle. The LC12 is a Mini-ITX case that is comes with an all aluminum front panel while giving you a body that is once again made from SECC. The only cooling that the case provides are vents on the top and the side of the chassis, however this case does only measure 184 x 97 x 288mm.
Taking a look at the RAVEN series chassis, we came across the RV01 and the RV02 models that are aimed towards enthusiasts. The RV01 chassis is made up of a 0.8mm SECC body and a plastic outer shell and measures in at 280 x 616 x 660mm. There are two 180mm fans and a single 120mm fan to be found inside of the case. The RV02 has a total of three 180mm fans at the bottom of the case pulling air in at 700-1000rpm along with a 120mm exhaust fan at the top of the case. The case measures in at 212 x 503 x 643mm. You are going to be able to fit the SSI CEB, ATX, and Micro ATX motherboard standards inside of the RV02. The RV02 is only available in black; however you can get it with or without a side window. The body of the chassis is made of 0.8mm steel and has an outer shell made of reinforced plastic. The RV02 has its own dedicated bracket to support a single SSD on the backside of the internal drive bay cage, it also has removable fan filters to help keep the dust outside of the case and allow easy clean-up of any build up that might occur. There are eight expansion slots on the chassis that will allow support for up to four 12” graphics cards. The RV02 is going to allow for power supplies up to 220mm to be installed in the chassis, such as the SilverStone ST1500.
Moving on to the SG04-F case, we were able to see that the body is once again made of SECC and also has an all aluminum front panel, there are 120mm fans inside to keep the air moving through it. The case measures up at 200 x 380 x 347mm. The picture on the right shows us the TJ10, FT01, and the TJ07 models (left to right). The TJ10 supports up to Extended ATX form factor motherboards, has two 120mm fans and has three 120mm fan slots. The front panel and door are made up of aluminum and the body is made of 2.0mm aluminum. The dimensions of the case are 207 x 521 x 644mm. The FT01 will fit up to an ATX motherboard, has two 180mm fans and a single 120mm fan. It is made up of a 3.0-6.0mm aluminum unibody, coming in with 211 x 486 x 494.5mm for the dimensions. The specifications of the TJ07 case includes four 120mm fans and two 92mm fan slots, dimensions of 220 x 560 x 565mm and made is up of a 4.0-8.0mm aluminum unibody frame and a 2.0mm aluminum body. Finally we come to the PS04 which has a front panel made of both mesh and plastic and a steel body. The measurements of the PS04 are 200 x 472 x 471mm with a cooling solution giving you a single 120mm fan installed in the case and a slot for an additional 120mm fan.
When it came down to SilverStone's power supplies, they had their Strider Essential Series on show, with the 400W, 500W and 600W units displayed. The Strider Plus Series is the new line of power supplies that they are promoting right now, so we were able to get a hand-out with the technical specifications of the units. They come in a black and use a silent 135mm fan to cool the components inside, and by silent we really mean 19dBA-36dBA. These units weigh between 2.8kg to 3kg. The MTFB is 100,000 hours at a full load operating at 25C. The maximum DC Output of this series is 750W, 850W and 1000W. The Strider Plus Series operates with 85-88% efficiency and has a single +12V rail. The Nightjar series has two models, the 400W and 450W versions. These are fanless units, meaning the operating temperature is not recommended to exceed 30C. You are also going to be getting a single +12V rail and anywhere from 82-85% efficiency.
This year, the Super Talent booth had some incredible new devices on display, including a USB 3.0 RAIDDrive and PCIe RAIDDrive SSD. They also showcased several of their more traditional flash memory devices, which are also pretty neat.
The USB RAIDDrive is a really cool device that is shaped similarly to a standard USB drive, but a little larger than normal. It is fully compatible with USB 3.0 and 2.0 so if you have a USB 3.0 interface, it will really scream. The slightly larger size at first sounds like an inconvenience but is quickly forgotten when you see the size in which these things come in, from 32GB to 128GB. The device runs in a RAID 0 configuration to get even faster speeds, up to 320MB/sec.
The PCIe RAIDDrive SSDs are also really cool. They are designed to remove the bandwidth limitations that are present on the SATA bus by using the PCIe bus, making the drives three to five times faster. It also utilizes either RAID 0 or 5, providing burst read speeds of up to 1.4GB/sec. The RAIDDrive will ship in three different versions, ES, WS, and GS. The ES drive is for Enterprise Servers and is targeted towards intensive applications and comes with a battery backup to prevent data loss. The WS version is for Workstations and is mostly aimed at people doing video rendering and scientific computing. The final version is their low cost option, using MLC flash chips to lower price while not harming performance too much. It will be interesting to see how these are adopted in the market.
Super Talent is still producing SATA SSDs too, and they were showing off their UltraDrive line this year at CES. These drives come in several different formats, including an enterprise edition, performance edition, and a security/military edition that has optional 256-bit encryption. These all come in a 2.5" form factor and are resistant to shock, vibration, and dust.
Another SSD that Super Talent is showing off is the MasterDrive line. These drives are intended to bring SSDs to a wider audience and they come in 2.5" SATA and 1.8" uSATA. Capacity of the MasterDrives is up to 256GB.
There are still more SSDs from Super Talent, including the DuraDrive line. These are very durable and some have an incredible temperature operating range (-40 to 85 degrees Centigrade). These should be great for military applications or for industries that operate in harsh conditions.
As would be expected, Super Talent also had a lot of traditional flash based memory, including their newest Pico drives and drives with a custom rubber design. They also showed off their SDHC line and MicroSDHC line, both of which come in capacities up to 32GB. It's pretty amazing how much storage they can fit into such a small piece of equipment.
Finally, Super Talent had out several ram modules, the most exciting of which was their overclocking memory. With speeds up to 2200MHz, the Speed Series DDR3 memory screams along with timings as low as 8-8-8-24. The Performance Series is designed for best performance with a Core i7 CPU, even the heatsinks are chrome plated. The Performance Series is available in DDR3-1600, DDR3-1800, and DDR3-2000. Finally, the Gold Series DDR3 is available, which appears to be similar to the Performance series, but with lower clock speeds.
If you pay attention to the news that appears on the front page, you will already know that CoolIT announced several new products here at CES. It was showing these off at its booth in the south hall of the convention center, so we dropped by to take a closer look. The first thing we noticed wasn't one of the products that was launched this week, but the XO2 Concept PC, a CoolIT designed and built system intended to show off the benefits of fully utilizing liquid cooling inside a case. The XO2 system was built around an Intel X58 motherboard with liquid cooled chipset, voltage regulators and Core i7 965XE CPU. It also features a liquid cooled AMD HD 4870 graphics card and CoolIT's new Maestro Controller node for system monitoring and control.
CPU temperatures for the system were being displayed in CoreTemp as topping out under 50c (one core at 51c) after runs of 3DMark, which is quite impressive for such a sleek looking setup.
Moving on to products you will actually be able to buy, we have two new CPU coolers. The first of these is the ECO A.L.C., which is aimed at those looking for high performance cooling at a reasonable price. It is a self-contained unit similar in style to a previous CoolIT product, the Domino A.L.C. (which earned an OCC Silver award when we reviewed it). You should be able to get hold of an ECO A.L.C. right now for $74.99.
The Vantage A.L.C. is another self-contained CPU cooling unit, but one that features CoolIT's new Maestro E.S.P. monitoring and control system, which enables users to manage their cooling effectively through a software interface. The system uses a wireless USB dongle to communicate with a controller node and allows a number of adjustments to be made to settings, such as fan speeds, case lighting or setting alarm triggers for monitored temperatures. For example, you could set fans speeds or RGB lighting colors to change based on temperature zone triggers. The Vantage also comes with a programmable 84 x 48 pixel LCD display, which can be used to display system info or images. You can expect the Vantage A.L.C. to be available in February, though you can pre-order one now should you wish.
Last but by no means least, we have the OMNI A.L.C. Universal GPU cooling solution, which does away with the hassle of buying completely new water blocks when you upgrade your graphics card by providing the option of simply swapping out a base plate, even if you are switching between single and dual-GPU cards. The OMNI is also compatible with CoolIT's Maestro software and hardware control and comes in 120mm or 240mm radiator configurations.
Thermaltake this year had a great display of their products as usual, including some of the top items to date, as well as some new ones that intrigued us. The biggest display that caught our eyes when we entered their suite was the setup on the middle table of two systems showing off the power of their USB 3.0 BlackX docks. During the demonstration they successfully showed us the power of the USB 3.0 interface, with a 1GB file transfer test which yielded an 8 second transfer time for the dock running on USB 3.0 and 34 seconds for the one running at USB 2.0 speeds. A group transfer of 2,184 files took only 22 seconds versus 53 seconds on the USB 2.0 interface. Thermaltake also had some other USB 3.0 enclosures around the test beds to show they are ready for the new standard.
Thermaltake also had some items from their Luxa2 line on display, including their popular H1 phone holders in multiple colors, some other designs and even notebook coolers and stands that are made to look distinct while keeping your equipment cool and secure. Another Luxa2 product which was a pleasure to see is a HTPC case design that adds style to your build.
Wrapping up at the Thermaltake suite we had a look at their power supplies, including the new aesthetically pleasing Toughpower Grand series, which takes the old boxy look of traditional power supplies and makes the design look more futuristic and more in keeping with the cases of today. When looks and power are everything the Grand series makes this happen. On display there were also the Toughpower XT and the TR2 RX series.
As with any Thermaltake event, what would it be without their cases? On display Thermaltake had an NVIDIA inspired case called the Element V, which was designed for the release of Fermi and keeps the traditional black and green NVIDIA color scheme. There was also a case designed for the LAN partier called the V5, which was so sturdy that the Thermaltake representative Ramsom stood on top of it without it breaking or even budging. Now that is a case designed to be travelled with. On display there was also a small form factor LAN case and the massive Level 10, which is a case to be reckoned with. Another surprise that Thermaltake had on display were some server designs, which included two 1U server rack mount cases with hot swappable 2.5 inch and 3.5 inch drive bays and two modular bays that offer standing servers hot swap drive space.
For their cooler designs Thermaltake showed off several solutions including a free standing version of the SpinQ in the guise of the new SpinQ VT. With the coolers Thermaltake also featured the ISCG fans and cooler for video cards.
Powercolor took a stand with their recent products to “Go Green” towards helping the environment while producing fast quality products that will grab end users and inspire envy in others. This year they had several of their products on display, including their Radeon HD 5770, which follows the energy saving Go Green features by adding silent cooling and reducing power consumption. The HD 5770 consumes only 75 watts of power, which it draws completely from the PCI Express slot and has no need for any external power. Even with the lower power draw the card’s clock speeds are not touched or down-clocked, so you get the full performance of the card with less power waste.
In addition to the HD 5770 Powercolor was showing off some of their other graphics cards including their HD 5850, HD 5870 and their massive liquid cooled HD 5970 LCS.
What Mushkin had to offer this year was a move into the thumb drive and SSD market with its Mulholland Drive USB thumb drives and IO series Solid State Drives that support read speeds of 250MB/sec and write speeds of 180MB/sec. Also they have a new Blackline memory kit for P55 based systems with 7-8-7 timings at 1600MHz. Expect to see reviews on all three of these products in the near future.
During our meeting with the guys at Razer we got to sit down and talk about some products you can expect to see launched in the near future. To kick things off, we got an introductory talk from president of Razer USA, Robert Krakoff. He mentioned that although he didn't have any new PC products to show us at CES that we could still expect some new products to get excited about this year.
After that, we got to see a first for Razer in the form of the Onza Professional Gaming Controller for Xbox 360, which provides a number of innovative features that serious gamers can really make use of. This includes Razer's Hyperesponse buttons for faster actuation (think of the kind of response you get from buttons on Razer mice and you should get a good idea of how they feel). More impressive were the tension adjustable analog sticks, which can be set for more or less resistance depending on personal preference (or changed for different types of game for example). You also get a pair of extra shoulder buttons that can be assigned to act as one of the action buttons (say the R3 button) or as an auto-fire button. Check out the video below for a more detailed run through of the controller's features. You can expect the Onza to be available in the US and Europe for $49.99/€44.99 later this year (no exact release date has been set as yet). Of course, as a 360 controller you can expect Windows compatibility should you wish to use it with your PC.
After getting a look at the Onza we were given a demo of a new piece of technology Razer is developing with Sixense Entertainment. The motion sensing and gesture recognition controller will likely initially seem similar to some of the other motion controllers currently being offered or talked about from other companies, but there are some important things that set it apart. The motion sensing is based on a magnetic field, which means that line of sight isn't required for the controller to work. The base station we saw demonstrated was USB powered and had a range of around six feet, though as this is a product that is currently still in development, that may be liable to change.
Applications we saw used included a specially coded version of Left 4 Dead 2, in which the motion control appeared to be precise and accurate (we were told it should track to within a millimeter for positioning and a degree for orientation). Throwing Molotov cocktails or slashing with the katana took on the kind of movements you would expect if you were holding the items in your hands. The lack of need for line of sight meant that the two handheld controllers could be manoeuvred with arms crossed or behind the back without having to worry about losing control of the action. Razer has worked closely with Valve, so you should be able to expect support in games when the controller is launched. We were told the SDK makes adding support to games relatively straight forward and that the kind of output the controller provides comes in the form of simple positioning data, which should be easily adoptable.
The second application we saw demoed saw on screen solids being manipulated, which clearly displayed how accurate the motion sensing was. Rotating and moving objects appeared to be pretty intuitive and it is believed that the controllers could provide an ideal solution for creating and editing user generated content in games. For example it could be used to create customized tracks in a racing game and could also potentially provide games developers with a standardized editing platform so they don't have to spend so much time coding their own content creation tools.
After the product demos, we posed for a picture with the Razer guys and had the chance to check out some of the other products that were on display.
One thing worth noting is the recent release of an updated driver for the company's Naga MMOG mouse, which adds more support for profiles, button assignments and macros. That means more versatility for games like WOW without having to resort to keyboard commands.
Everyone knows who CyberPower is and if you don’t you need to get out of the computer dark age. CyberPower is one of the leading custom PC building companies in the world and seeing what they had to show off it is no wonder that it has reached this status.
Upon entering the CyberPower suite right away you can see the hard work and talent that they use to make their computers the best that they could be. The first system we encountered was made for the AMD Dragon Platform and the amount of detail right down to the wire management was impeccable. CyberPower used a red theme for the case and etched the Dragon on the side to represent the components. On the front of the case you can see a liquid bay with red coolant. This is CyberPower’s Liquid Cooling System, which they install into all of their computers to keep those blazing fast processors tame. We here at OverclockersClub were given one of their LCS sets to test as well as an upcoming air cooler from them, so look forward to that in the near future.
Next we came to another build, which had a great black and blue design with a sleek looking case. The front of the case swings open allowing full access to the components on the inside as well as access to the hot swap hard drive bays in there. Yes I did say hot swap. The kicker on this case is that CyberPower will be selling it by itself and at a price sub $100 for anyone who wants to buy it for their personal build.
Behind us we saw three huge screens that were running a game using multi-display technology. Next to the three monitors were two other builds. One was in the new Cooler Master Obsidian case, which was just massive. Inside the build was some great hardware that would make any gamer or enthusiast scream with happiness.
Finally, what could be a finish without the custom designed cases? CyberPower has cases that you can order with skins to show off your hardware with your own personal style.
Homeplug has been working on solving some of the home networking issues that are present for the type of users that need the lowest latencies that they can possibly get. They came up with their Powerline concept. The IEEE 1901 Powerline Communications Standard (PLC) is the idea of pressing power lines into performing double-duty (as both a provider of current and a carrier of communications signalling) and has been attempted before with varying success for over one hundred years. The basic idea of the PLC is that you are able to plug in a device such as the Belkin Gigabit Powerline HD Starter Kit. With this, you are going to be able to plug one in near your router and the device will send your network signal over the power lines that run in your wall. Then you can connect your computer to the device and be connected to the network in a different room, receiving speeds up to 1000Mbps.
PC Gaming Alliance:
The PC Gaming Alliance (PCGA) is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to promote PC gaming worldwide. The PCGA provides an open forum, where companies can cooperate to develop and promote solutions and activities that drive the PC gaming industry forward. Their booth was showing off the ATI Eyefinity technology using a HD 5xxx series card displaying Dirt 2, a game that uses a few of the DX11 features such as hardware-based Tessellation. That helps improve overall performance and the visual quality of water, crowds and cloth effects; and post processing visual effects such as shadow filtering and depth of field accelerated through DirectCompute 11 (Shader Model 5.0).
When thinking of high end motherboards, ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) is probably not one of the first names that come to mind. That may change in 2010 thanks in part to its 15u Gold Contact motherboards. The metal pins on CPU sockets and memory slots are typically coated with 5u Gold (0.000127mm) on standard motherboards in order to provide protection from rust. However, frequent plugging in and unplugging of components can cause the gold plating to scrape away, leading to an unstable signal transmission. Furthermore, even though the gold plating is supposed to prevent rust, certain environmental conditions can lead to depletion of the gold plated layer, eventually causing oxidation. In order to address these concerns, ECS decided to triple the amount of gold to 15u (0.000381mm) to provide more durability and reliability. For those enthusiasts that are constantly upgrading and/or swapping out parts, this could provide a longer lifespan for your motherboard.
There are four 15u Gold Contact motherboards available - two for Intel and two for AMD. The P55H-A Ultra (not pictured) supports Core i5 and i7 processors (LGA1156 socket) and 4x DDR3 2200 (up to 16GB). The G41T-M2 Gold supports Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Duo, Pentium Dual Core, Celeron Dual Core, and Celeron 400 series processors (LGA775 socket) and 2x DDR2 800 (up to 8GB). For the AMD side, the A785GM-M Ultra and A790GXM-AD3 Gold both support Phenom II processors (Socket AM3) and 4x DDR3 1600 (up to 16GB).
ECS also unveiled a few new boards in its Black Series.
Here are a few new H55 Mini-ITX motherboards from ECS.
ECS also manufactures graphics cards from the NVIDIA camp.
Lastly, we got to see the ECS Vase Nettop PC that had been unveiled over the summer at Computex 2009. It features an Intel Atom 230, NVIDIA ION graphics, 1GB of RAM and a Blu-ray drive. Containing Ethernet and HDMI ports on the bottom that get hidden via the included stand, a power button inside the top, and a wireless keyboard with built-in track pad, this would make the perfect HTPC. And with an elegant look of a Ming Vase, your wife, girlfriend or mother won't mind it in the living room.
Kingston showed us a lot of prototype idea designs for memory, which it is playing with for possible production. One of the most interesting products that Kingston was showing off was a liquid cooled solution for their HyperX line, which significantly reduces the operating temperatures of the modules to allow for higher clock speeds and better stability. It was also showing off different heat spreader designs that it is toying with for possible limited edition sticks in the future. Of course, what display wouldn't also be complete without its current HyperX and HyperX T1 line being showcased as well.
To show off its memory Kingston had two displays set up with different applications running on them. The first setup featured a system running 16GB of Kingston HyperX memory and two Kingston 40GB SSDNow V Series drives rendering an HD picture to show the processing power of the memory. The second setup featured a system running 24GB of memory and pushing eight operating systems running in VMWare Workstation, each with three to four GB of memory on top of the host operating system. This setup utilized 23GB of the memory and flawlessly ran each with no lag time on or between each instance.
Sony's booth this year didn’t really feature much computer hardware, but they did have several new and cool technologies. For instance they had their PSP Go there running several Japanese games. To me it felt a little flimsy compared to the original, but if mobility is your goal then it does seem that the PSP Go is a great option.
A pretty cool game Sony was showing off was called EyePet. This allowed the user to draw a design, then put it in front of the webcam. After the Playstation recognized the drawing, the pet on the screen would draw it for you. The whole game concept somewhat reminds me of a Tamagochi. It will be interesting to see how this game takes off.
The last cool thing we saw at Sony was their 3D camera. With all the 3D televisions that are on display here at CES, it makes sense that someone has to be making the cameras to produce the 3D content. While we weren't able to get much technical information about the camera, it is obvious that it uses two lenses to create the stereoscopic data.
This year Samsung showed off a lot of displays, as well as a few other items, such as memory and notebooks. The entrance to their booth was very impressive, with a huge array of displays and mirrors. They showcased several of their new screens, including incredibly flat televisions and, as the trend is here at CES this year, 3D displays that utilize AMOLED technology (Active Matrix OLED).
Samsung also showed off some of their memory modules, both DDR2 and DDR3. As the graph shows, the DDR3 runs a lot cooler than the DDR2 counterpart, partly thanks to the lower voltage and smaller die size. The RAM displays were pretty impressive, with 12 sticks in the DDR2 setup. They also showed off some of their green memory and SSDs, including a 100GB and 50GB version in a 2.5" form factor.
Other products Samsung had on display included their computer monitors. These monitors showed off several different features, including 120Hz displays and multi-touch displays. They also had a setup with a racing game and three monitors that looked very nice and was rather smooth to play.
Finally, a new technology that Samsung is showing off is their ATSC Mobile Digital TV. This used a USB dongle that can receive over the air TV; however the television signal uses a different compression from standard over the air. This looks like it could be a pretty neat technology in the upcoming years.
Gigabyte was on show this year with a lot of new products, along with some new features for its lines that are designed to improve the performance and longevity of your systems. As soon as we arrived the biggest thing that caught our eyes on the Gigabyte display was the new “333” slogan that it uses to show off the features of its new motherboards. The “333” stands for USB 3.0 for up to 10x USB speeds, USB 3x power which provides 3x the power running through the USB ports to ensure all of your dives have the juice they need, and SATA 3.0 for up to 4x speed using RAID-0.
Gigabyte had on display numerous motherboards running the new “333” design including 790X and 790FX based boards for the AMD Phenom II Processors, and P55, X58, H57 and H55 based motherboards for the latest Intel Processors.
Gigabyte also had several of the boards up and running to show off the SATA 3.0 and USB 3.0 performance on both AMD and Intel platforms. There were two setups running SSDs to measure the speeds of the drives using the interfaces. There was one system that had an OCZ SSD hooked up via the USB 3.0 interface on a Gigabyte P55 motherboard and the speeds topped out at 181MB/s for the sequential read and 132MB/s for the sequential write. There was also another system running two 128GB SATA 3.0 6GB/s SSD drives, which were hooked up in a RAID-0 configuration that obtained a sequential read speed of 262MB/s and a sequential write speed of 215MB/s.
In addition to its motherboards, Gigabyte had on display its video cards and peripherals, which follow the same “Ultra Durable” design that its motherboards have. This includes a 2oz copper PCB and solid Japanese capacitors. Among the cards on display were an HD 5850, an HD 5770 and HD 5750 from ATI, along with a GTX 275 Super OverClock edition card from NVIDIA. There were also a few mice from Gigabyte including a limited edition mouse, a Bluetooth notebook mouse and the new GM-M8000X “Ghost” gaming mouse that will be released soon. Some of the features of “Ghost” are a high performance AVAGO laser sensor, up to 6000DPI tracking resolution, five independent programmable gaming buttons, 8KB Ghost Engine on-board memory that also supports up to 45 on-board customizable settings, and weights for up to 38 grams for added precision.
Finally Gigabyte had a few unique cases on display, two of which have LCD mounts that allow you to turn your system into something of an all-in-one design and save on desk space.
Turtle Beach had a number of headsets on show this year and OCC liked three in particular. First up is the Ear Force XLC for Xbox 360, which is an affordable yet high quality solution for console gamers. Priced at less than thirty dollars, this headset sounded a lot better than we expected it to on appearances. For a diminutive headset it had remarkably deep bass and also light weight and cushioned ear cups, which we felt would remain comfortable for extended gaming sessions.
The next headset we looked at was the Ear Force P21, which while designed for use with the Playstation 3, can also be used with the PC (using an optional RCA to 3.5mm adapter). It features an inline remote with independent volume controls for voice and game signals. Another useful feature is the 'Proprietary Chat Boost', which will automatically increase the voice levels during PSN chat. Like the XLC, the P21 was also very comfortable and surprisingly light too and is priced at $79.95.
The third headset we looked at was the Ear Force Z1, which is aimed at PC 'gamers on the go'. The cushions that sit on your ears are designed to absorb sound and other distractions when gaming, while remaining comfortable and light. The ear cups fold inwards too for portability, while the in-line remote is convenient and allows bass control. The headset is also suitable for use with Skype and Ventrilo and should be available for $29.95, like the XLC.
Something that has been tried and shown before is the ‘gaming glove’. While many of us have remained a little skeptical about how well a product like this can work, Peregrine kept at it and finally finished the product after five years in 2009.
The Peregrine gaming glove works by using eighteen programmable touch points and three activator pads in the glove, which enables the user to utilize over thirty programmable actions. All you have to do to enable these functions is simply touch your fingertips with your thumbs.
To ensure you do not need to remove your glove every time your phone rings, or someone knocks at your door, Peregrine has designed a magnetic break-away pod that removes easily and allows you to leave your computer with no fuss. When you come back to your game, you simply snap it back in to place. Better yet, Peregrine has made sure that the touch points are tough enough to withstand military use, while the glove can be re-calibrated to suit your individual hand size.
Some people will be wondering just how dirty and smelly this glove might get after a long gaming session, and this too has been addressed by Peregrine. The glove itself, which is derived from a golfing glove, has ventilated cool spots in specific key locations to ensure that your hand doesn’t sweat too much, and the glove can be hand washed too – even with the gold-plated contacts built-in to the back of the glove for the pod.
We were very impressed with the Peregrine, but had our concerns about how easy the glove was to use. Trevor Reesnor, who was demonstrating the product, said that it took around ten minutes to learn how to use the glove for most games, but for something like World of Warcraft (which he was playing at the time), it took him around half an hour. If that is the case, then we can expect this gaming peripheral to be hugely popular for WoW and RTS games, particularly with Starcraft 2 hopefully hitting shelves before the summer. The Peregrine also has huge potential for the photo and video editing markets too, while typing with the glove on is meant to be very easy too.
The glove is available in three sizes (small, medium, large) and will retail for $149.99, though a pre-order that lasts until the end of January 2010 has a $20 discount on that price. Pre-orders are being delivered before the end of January, and as a bonus, are being provided with a ‘First-Edition Kit’, which includes changeable face-plates for the magnetic pod and a certificate of authenticity.
The Evil Geniuses gaming team have apparently been using this glove in tournaments and it has had some fantastic feedback. Peregrine are also likely to be developing a version for the console market in the future too, so nobody will be left behind. The video below shows Trevor Reesnor talking to OCC about the glove and showing just how easy it is to use while playing World of Warcraft.
As you would expect from a major industry player such as Intel, it had a large booth in a prominent position in the central hall at the convention center. On display were an array of laptop and desktop computers, many of them based on some of the recently released Core i3, i5 or i7 processors (wafers of which were also on show).
Particularly impressive was a huge touch screen implementation present at the booth. This took the form of two large screens, which displayed graphic representations of cubes that then displayed content from live feeds when touched. This was remarkably responsive, with even a number of people using the screens at the same time not slowing it down. All of this was being run behind the scenes on a Core i7 system.
We also managed to get a go trying out the ‘Avatar’ PC game on a Core i7-965 Extreme Edition Falcon Northwest laptop, which looked superb. The game ran in very high resolutions with absolutely no lag or frame rate issues and was only let down by Jack’s (Silverfox) inability to figure out how to invert the y-axis. Otherwise, we were all very impressed with how well a laptop system, featuring the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280M, was able to cope with such a graphically intensive game. CyberPower also had an equally impressive desktop PC with two BFG GTX295s, running DiRT 2 in 3D, which again was blisteringly quick and only let down by Jack’s poor choice of RWD vehicle on a Rally Cross track.
Intel was also running several presentations to showcase their i3, i5 and i7 processors. Intel used volunteers in the heaving crowds to help perform some CPU intensive tasks, while a large screen showed the crowd exactly what was happening. These tasks involved red-eye removal, CPU stress tests by opening multiple applications, Photosynthing and gaming.
2010 Tiger Direct Build a PC Charity Race:
This year OCC again made a strong presence at the annual Tiger Direct PC Build Race. Frank "CCokeman" Dimmick was the contestant this year and he did a very good job. The contest was to put together a computer following the steps provided, aiming for the fastest time. Last year CCokeman finished in 6th place, however this year he made a stronger stand and took 5th place, putting OCC in the top five finishers. Congrats goes out to him, while below you can find some pictures from the event.
Xtreme Systems Party:
The OCC crew made a pit stop at the XtremeSytems party on Saturday and were treated to a night of bonding while making a few hot laps around the Pole Position indoor Go Kart track. It turns out that the brits can drive, as they posted some of the fastest times in the group. Bosco on the other hand made up for speed with volume, as I think he clocked the most laps of the night by the OCC staff. Later into the night he had plenty of racing with Robert from Corsair and Brent from AMD.
While there was plenty of racing going on there was plenty of action going on at the overclocking demonstrations. Some of the biggest names in the business were on hand to show off their skills, with even a world record being set with a Core i3 processor running in excess of 6.5GHz. Not to be out done, the AMD camp was running some righteous clocks trying to get a pair of HD 5970s running stable at 1050MHz on the core under LN2. EVGA was even on hand showing off a dual socket 1366 board that may or may not see the light of a production day. Oh the potential!
Thanks to Fugger for putting on the event, it was a blast!
What would be CES without the infamous booth babes that shower the show floor, aiming to attract the attention of the passing crowds? This year there are a lot of booth babes for your viewing pleasure (and yes, they did successfully grab peoples’ attention). First off we will show the booth babes by themselves, followed by some pictures that were taken with some staff members. Enjoy.
Booth Babes (Continued):
Booth Babes (Continued):
Booth Babes (Continued):
Booth Babes with Staff:
CES Final Thoughts:
This year was better than the previous and the crew that represented OCC are some of the greatest people I have ever met. Although CES was not a big as last year there will be many memories (you know who you are) that we will share for years to come. I would say my favorite part of the actual show was what CyberPower had on display. The computers that they build are awesome and would be killer machines to have. There is a lot of great technology coming our way and until the next CES I look forward to everything we will see before then.
Las Vegas is an interesting place. Meeting the OCC guys for the first time was equally interesting, which made CES 2010 a somewhat memorable experience. I think the other guys will probably understand when I say that I didn’t know what to expect from the other folks here from OCC and vice versa. The CES convention I’m told is ‘not as big as previous years’, which makes me wonder just how big it used to be, because it was so unbelievably huge this year, I’m astounded that OCC was able to cope with a lower headcount before now.
We were all so busy the whole week with meetings and booths to attend, there wasn’t that much time for rest and play, but we did all manage to chill out a little. It was quite hard though, what with an estimate 20+ miles of walking covered over the last four days alone. It really is that big. The parts of the show that impressed me the most were the new devices from Razer, the Peregrine gaming glove and the ION powered netbooks on the NVIDIA booth. 3D technology was also pretty impressive, though I felt that the technology still has a few kinks to iron out before I am likely to buy in to it.
As the convention comes to a close, I have mixed feelings coming home to the UK. While I cannot wait to get back in to my own bed again and get more than four hours sleep, I’m slightly gutted that I won’t get to spend more time with the rest of the guys here from OCC. Dave will especially miss having his go-kart time being smashed by the Limey Brits, and Andrew will definitely miss having his Sixense baseball distance being quashed by the Limey too. Suffice to say, we do things better over in the UK. Apart from the Vegas party life ... though the less said about that, the better. At least for one or two of the guys in particular ... hope to see you all again next year for CES 2011!
This was my second year now that I've enjoyed the opportunity to come out to Las Vegas with everyone from OCC for CES, and while I didn't get to spend as much time out there as I would like (thanks for ruining all my fun, school), I still had a great time. While the convention this year was definitely smaller than last year, there was no lack of things to see and write about, as you can probably tell from the length of our article. It felt like we were constantly running around from booth to booth gaining new information. In fact, my feet are still sore from it all, so I hope you have found our coverage both extensive and helpful.
Every year I come out here feels unreal. I am one of the youngest members of the OCC team, and getting to meet with people like Robert Krakoff and invited to parties with Executive Vice Presidents, pro gamers, and other website owners seems like something out of a dream. It really goes to show how respected Overclockersclub is in the community. Dave (and the rest of the team) deserves many thanks for working so hard to give us the reputation we have, and I would be remiss if I didn't mention all of our viewers, too.
The team this year was also great. While most of us already knew each other from last year, the people who were coming for the first time quickly joined in the camaraderie we all share. Even if we gave certain members a hard time due to some excessive expenditure, we all had a great time whether we were in the hotel, taking pictures of the hotels on the strip, or on the show floor learning about products. To steal a little humor from “The Hangover,” our wolf pack has grown.
Finally, I would like to thank several people for helping make this trip possible. Obviously Dave deserves major thanks for making it possible for us all to be here, as well as the rest of the team for providing excellent coverage year after year. I also would like to thank my professors, Dr. Khorbotly, Dr. Ward, Dr. Bowers, and Dr. Wang, all from Ohio Northern University, for allowing me to reschedule tests and quizzes to make it possible for me to come out here while keeping up with my school work. Of course, I can't forget all the companies who showed us their latest and greatest technology, as they help us shape our CES coverage into the first class coverage we want. Last but not least, thanks to my parents who helped me finance the flight out to Las Vegas and back, and for always encouraging me to do my best.
This is my second straight year attending CES, and once again, I had a blast. It certainly didn't feel like a full year has passed since the last time, and seeing the OCC staff again, including some for the first time, further made it feel like barely any time passed by. That being said, this year's CES had a somewhat different feel than last year's. Many vendors opted out of setting up booths in the convention hall, instead inviting us to visit them in hotel suites. This was both good and bad. It was good because they were often private sessions with a more intimate feel. The bad part was that it added a lot of travel time, thus taking away time from the actual convention hall. Despite that, I think our coverage was better than ever, thanks in large part to Jack's HD video recording. Hopefully you guys agree.
One of my favorite parts of CES 2010, aside from the booth babes, was the recognition we received. Although the amount of companies that contributed prizes to the OCC Christmas Contest gives you an idea at how much companies like and respect OCC, hearing "Oh my god, I love you guys!" from several people really makes you feel like a part of something special. The absolute best part of CES, however, is the people. As with last year, the OCC staff that attended were all a lot of fun to hang out with. It truly feels like a family. I'd like to thank Dave for allowing me to attend once again and definitely hope I'm back for another go next year. Special thanks to Jack for shooting all those amazing videos, and of course all the companies that were really accommodating, especially Razer for not only meeting with us privately, but also allowing us some hands-on time with their products.
CES 2010 was my first time coming around but I've always wanted to look around at the latest gadgets. I've been to Las Vegas - Nevada before but this was the first time that I was of legal age. The trip was long - 33 hours one way approximately - but in the end was worth it. This was the time when I first met eleven of my coworkers over here at OCC. Starting the New Year with firsts! It was definitely an amazing trip. It was fun getting to know everyone and meeting some other people who came to Las Vegas for CES and parties that revolved around it. The companies and manufacturers at CES were all eager to show off their latest products and demonstrations.
I was amazed at both the amount of people that came to CES as well as the variation of people - they came in from all around the world. Another thing that was interesting was the amount of accommodation that the hotels and CES had for everyone an example - free shuttles to and from CES and the hotels. There were some free press items and some nice giveaways and grab bags. I enjoyed being able to put some faces to the guys at OCC as well as meeting some people of the many manufacturers.
While this was my 2nd time to Las Vegas for OCC, it was my first trip for CES and my first time meeting the staff members. To be honest, I was rather surprised that Dave asked me to be apart of the coverage team. Not only have I been out of the technology loop for quite some time, but I rarely even turn on a PC anymore. In fact, I was the only staff member without a decent camera or a note/netbook; though I did put my iPhone to good use. The staff we had at the show were great. Everyone put a lot of hard work and long hours into their coverage, and the amount of content this year reflects that. A big thanks to Jack (Silverfox) who took it upon himself to become the OCC video reporter, and made our YouTube videos possible.
Aside from meeting the staff, I also had the opportunity to meet several representatives from the industry: ThermalTake, Razer, Gigabyte, Intel, Corsair, PowerColor, Kingston, and many others. Sadly CES has come to and end, and now it's time for us to head home. Many miles have been walked, many drinks have been drunk, and much money has been spent. It was a lot of fun and I'm happy to have been here.
This was the second year that I was able to come down to Las Vegas to cover the CES floor. There weren't quite as many booths as there were last year, which was disappointing, however the number of products that were at the booths this year was impressive. I really did enjoy going to the Xtreme Systems party that they hosted at at the Go-Kart track with their liquid nitrogen overclocking runs on the new i3 processor and the fact that they were able to get the new world record. My favorite part about coming down here was being able to go to the convention center and see some of the new product that was going to be coming out in the next year or so, as well as meeting with the companies that we deal with quite frequently.
Another cool thing that I was able to participate in again was meeting with Robert (the owner of Razer) to discuss the upcoming technologies that they plan on getting out to the consumers soon. I liked the fact that Razer is focusing on the gaming aspect and even expanding into the console gaming a little bit with their Xbox 360 headset and wired controller. I really did enjoy being here this year at CES and meeting with the manufactures so that I could help get this article written up for all of you to enjoy.
This was my second year attending CES with the rest of the guys from OCC, so I largely knew what to expect from the show and from the people I was working with. That translates into a good dose of hard work mixed in with a healthy helping of fun and horseplay. Most of the OCC team got into Las Vegas a little earlier than last year, which meant we had a little time to get (re)accustomed to the slightly surreal surroundings of the hotel and casino. It also meant we could spend some time catching up, or getting to know each other in the case of people who hadn't met before. We ended our first day with a few drinks to honor the passing of Verran. A fitting start to our time here I think.
Since CES kicked off on Thursday, it has been pretty much non-stop here, with a heaving show floor and many of us rushing around doing our best to bring you as much coverage as we could this year. I think we have done a pretty good job of that, though it's likely we won't get to reflect on the work we have done until everyone is back at home again and well rested. As with last year, I have enjoyed the time here immensely. Getting to spend time with the rest of the staff was a blast and I'll have plenty of memories to take away with me (including a few I can't talk about here).
Looking at the show itself, it is impossible to get around and see everything it has to offer, with a mind boggling amount of technology on display. The few demonstrations of 3D implementations we saw last year have turned into an avalanche this year, though I still think the glasses need to be ditched before it will be something everyone wants to experience in the home. However, I was very impressed with the guys at Razer, what with its expansion into the console market with an Xbox 360 controller and its work with Sixence on a motion control system that has real potential for a number of applications. Overall, it was another great year and I hope to return again next January.
While I didn’t get out to the Convention Center floor for much of the show, I found that each time I went out I was like a kid in a candy store. Seeing the big screen panels at resolutions up to 2160p was just amazing, as you felt you could just reach on into the screen. With MSI you have the Big Bang Fuzion motherboard that features Lucid Hydra technology to allow the end user to use both an ATI and NVIDIA video card in a multi-GPU setup. Patriot memory was showing off their latest storage solutions including the Inferno SSDs. We also saw demonstrations that you think you would never see, such as the time we spent with Thermaltake, where the representative actually proved the strength of his chassis design by standing on it. Point made! Speaking with the folks at Gigabyte we were treated to an in depth discussion on the power requirements for USB devices. At Kingston we saw a desktop system with 24GB of system memory in use. Seeing the build quality of the PC systems CyberpowerPC puts together just floored me, with how clean and well put together they were.
One of the highlights for me this year was taking part in the 2010 Tiger Direct PC race for charity. Finishing fifth was a little disappointing but it was an improvement over last year and well, I had some competition I wanted to beat soundly, which I did. Spending the night with the team at Xtreme systems party was a phenomenal time. Getting stomped in more than a few races by the UK boys was a great time. There are so many more moments that will live forever in my memory that can’t be discussed because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…maybe! Meeting the manufacturers and seeing the latest products that will be or are already released is always interesting. But more than the technology it’s the meeting of old friends and putting face to names you deal with on a regular basis. This year was tempered with a little sadness with the passing of one of the OCC family, but his family came out to Las Vegas to meet the OCC team. All in all this was a great trip and I am left with many great memories I will cherish for the rest of my days. Till next time……
I have to say this CES was the one that I was looking forward to more then any previous event. First off, spending time with the guys was a blast as always. Getting to meet Jack and Bryan for the first time was awesome. I have known them both for years but never had the chance to meet them until now. I had a blast with the all the guys and this group is one of the best that I have ever had. Every year this gets better and better for us and the crews get stronger and stronger. Its amazing to see their hardwork and dedication.
The loss of Ryan (aka Verran) on Dec 4th 2009 was overwhelming for me personally. So when I was told by Ryan's wife that she and Ryan's parents were coming to Vegas on Jan 8th I knew this would be a special event for everyone involved. Sharing the loss of Ryan with my crew from OCC and Ryan's family was great and fun, but at the same time it brought us all together and for that I was most proud. Ryan's family is one of the most loveable families I have ever met and I was honored that they came to see us. I will see them again in a few weeks for Ryan's memorial but it was nice to see them this past weekend and it will be great to see them again.
As for the show, to be honest I did very little of it. I went to the show for a total of 2 meetings. Every other meeting was at hotels, which was a bonus for me. One thing I did notice right off the bat was the show was smaller. Less booths, less companies and generally pretty crappy to say the least. With rumours floating around about companies getting kicked out of hotels and being charged $10000 extra in fees it will be intresting to see what happens with CES 2011. In a sense it looks like its dying, with hotels overcharging companies and attendees something has got to give one would think. Personally it doesn't matter to me because at the end of the day it would be cheaper for me to fly and see them once a year in LA. Overall, meeting with companies went very well like thats anything new to report, OCC works very well with companies and I never have any issues when it comes to meeting with any of them. There is a lot of new stuff coming out in 2010 so it looks like some things are going back to normal in the industry. There is alot of NDA stuff coming out over the next year so that will be keeping us busy thats for sure. It was great to see old friends and make some new ones. I want to personally thank Jack who took on the roll as our video guy. The time and effort that he put in was unreal but I can tell you everyone appreciated it. Thank you again Jack. Until next year :)
There you have it folks, this year's final thoughts on the OCC staff’s trip to CES 2010. Below is a shot of the team that brought it to you, Tired but still happy…….