Cooler Master have just announced the Case Mod World Series 2019. This global case modding competition invites anyone from first-time tinkerers to seasoned veterans to make and submit their creations from May 21st to Oct 10th.
The Cooler Master Case Mod World Series is the longest running and biggest PC modding event in the world. Each year the event unites the worlds best modders with one common goal – to push the limits of PC Design! Celebrating a decade of dedication to the modding community, Cooler Master announces Case Mod World Series 2019 with two different leagues and the largest cash prize in CMWS history, contestants can look forward to a total prize pool worth $24,000 USD. Cooler Master raised the winning pot to recognize the inspiring commitment that modders have shown over the last 10 years. This year’s event also welcomes up-and-coming talent to be a part of this community, and an opportunity to take their modding to the next level.
“Cooler Master World Series 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of a globally active case modding competition coordinated and supported by Cooler Master. In acknowledgement of a decade of amazing case mods created by the global modding community, the 1st Place Best Tower winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize from Cooler Master for constructing what will no doubt be a masterpiece. The ANZ region is well known for being home to some of the world’s top case modders and truly memorable builds, and so we await to see the builds and skills on display by case modders across the ANZ region, from the Apprentice through to the Master.” – says Josh Collins, Cooler Master ANZ Channel Sales and Marketing Manager.
That’s right folks, the world’s biggest modding competition just got bigger!
With two leagues to join, the competition now makes itself more inviting to both first time modders with the new Apprentice League, and to pros with the Master League.
Master League: Dedicated to established and experienced modders who will be crowned the best of #CMWS19. This category will host both technical wonders and artful masterpieces. Winners will craft their way into modding history, marking their name in the world’s largest modding competition.
Apprentice League: Welcomes newcomers and up-and-coming talent looking to take their hobby of modding to the next level. Apprentices will have a different stage to compete in and be given the opportunity to gain the support they need. A total of 5 winners will be chosen from the Apprentice League and each winner will receive $1,000 USD worth of CM store vouchers and a chance to work closely with Cooler Master after the event.
5 Winners: $1000 CM Store Voucher
– CM Sponsorship
– Events invitations
– Workshop invitations
It’s important to note this isn’t a performance competition – so you won’t need to use the latest Intel i9 and RTX 2080Ti for your build to be relevant. Get creative and enjoy yourself, customise a tower build with steampunk pipes and paint if you like, or go for that crazy scratch build idea no-one has done before!
Once that’s done you’ll want to create a build log entry, this is split into two parts depending on if you want to enter a scatch build or a tower mod. A scratch build is basically a computer where you don’t use a chassis as the base for the build, it can include parts of a case though in most instances these aren’t really recognisable 🙂 A tower mod is when you build a PC but alter the appearance of the case into something unique.
At GGPC our first entry into Casemod was in the scratch build category back in 2016, you can check out the GG Terrarium build on PC Part Picker for more information on that one – We’re busy brainstorming ideas for the new 2019 event, so keep an eye on our GGPC Instagram to follow our latest build along, we’ll also update with a PC Part Picker with our new GGPC Casemod once it’s completed!
We’ve been playing a fair few games lately (as always :P) and recently we’ve been diving into as many free to play PC games as we can, this blog will be a sticky one that we constantly update with new games as we play them but for now we’ll start things off with a few unique and rather good games for your PC that will cost you nothing but the data to download them 🙂 (the titles for each are download links, videos are short gameplay tests captured by GGPC NZ)
War Thunder – This one gives us action-packed battles on the ground and in the skies, and now also at sea, it’s crazy how good this game is with beautiful graphics and a massive line-up of tanks, planes and boats for us to use in the PVP battles + recently the game’s creators added a new PVE game mode named Assault which is a blast to play.
We’ve done 3 quick videos to show gameplay from each mode, the tanks, planes and boats are all so unique too which is great for keeping things fresh and interesting. Each mode has a deeper layer of difficulty settings taking the gameplay from Simulation to Arcade to suit players.
The online player matching is top notch and War Thunder is also a good game to enjoy with friends, with easy to follow menus that just make sense.
You could say it’s similar in many ways to World of Tanks and World of Warships but ultimately War Thunder wins the day with a seamless combination of modes and unmatched intensity of aerial dogfights. A truly great game that deserves a download 🙂
Dauntless – Dauntless is a free to play co-op action RPG, it’s so polished and so much fun to play with friends that it will certainly make a fine addition to your gaming library too 🙂 Filled with airships and giant beasts this one is very similar to Monster Hunter although the art style is completely different. Players team up to take down a range of Behemoths, bashing and slicing bits off to collect the parts needed craft and upgrade weapons and equipment with which we then proceed to hunt down larger Behemoths and smash them. Combos are a big part of the game, learning patterns of the monsters another – it all comes together perfectly in what feels like an almost finished, excellent game.
ARGO – A hardcore tactical first-person shooter, jump straight into combat in this official standalone FREE total conversion of Arma 3. This one has us fighting for supremacy in a familiar but new setting – the Mediterranean island of Malden, complete with dense urban areas and wide open plains ideal for snipers you’ll find each location has been built to provide an optimal experience for each game mode 😛 What really makes this one stand out for us here at GGPC so far is the new Combat Patrol CO-OP mode in which you can team up with some friends and fight against AI opponents with both randomized objectives and procedural generation of enemy forces making each session of Combat Patrol unique. Combine this with three competitive game modes and a pretty good looking Scenario Editor with which you can create your own missions with and you’ve got ARGO, it’s a pretty darn impressive free to play wargaming experience 🙂
Paladins – A team-based shooter set in a vibrant fantasy world and features a diverse cast of Champions ranging from sharpshooting humans to mech-riding goblins, mystical elves, jetpack-clad dragons, and bomb golems. Each Champion brings a unique set of abilities to the battlefield and new Champions are regularly added to Paladins, keeping the game exciting. With strategy elements and character customisation through a unique collectable card system, players can amplify and augment a character’s core set of abilities to play exactly how they want to play.
Planetside 2– It’s a very different experience from most first-person shooters because instead of the usual 24v24 firefights – battles in Planetside 2 can typically involve a few hundred players. This war takes place over several continents each of which has a defined landscape, there are 3 factions to choose from each with there own infantry weapons, ground vehicles and aircraft. The scale of the game can be quite daunting at first but for new players if you go Engineer class and get a Sunderer vehicle you’ll rapidly begin leveling up while being a great addition to the war effort, doing this will allow you to quickly amass enough experience points to buy new weapons, vehicle mods or abilities. The game world is large, but getting around is easy thanks to an instant action button on the map screen that will take you into hot spots, you can also hover over locations to see just how many players from each faction are fighting in that specific sector which is excellent. Community wise (NZ players) we highly recommend jumping into this one on a Sunday afternoon, it’s pretty crazy!
Warframe – A team based hack’n’slash shooter with some pretty action-packed moments, heaps of gear and hours of fun 🙂 With a massive range of characters, powers, customisation and mission types to get stuck there’s a lot to do, and as you progress through each planet you’ll unlock even more missions and events to team up with other players in. The player base is very large, so auto-matching a group is hassle-free. The ongoing (and massive) updates introduced new open worlds which are beautiful, the developers are very active too, steaming all kinds of behind the scenes goodness and sometimes even jumping into the game and hunting groups of players by taking control of what is usually, an evil NPC named Stalker. One of the best bits about Warframe is you start out extremely powerful, able to flip and slow-motion dive while shooting enemies to pieces. You play as a Tenno, an agile weapon master who wields the mighty Warframe and commands some awesome powers – Overpowered but unprepared and often forced out of your comfort zone, you must find it in yourself to improvise, not just to save yourself but the fate of all Tenno.
Apex Legends – A recently released 3 player team shooter set in the Titanfall universe. Apex Legends features top-notch graphics and an excellent communication system that allows players to clearly call objectives, item locations and enemy movements without voice chat. Players can choose from a lineup of outlaws, soldiers, misfits, and misanthropes, each with their own set of skills ranging from tanky shield bubbles to evasive grappling hooks. The Apex Games welcome all comers – survive long enough, and they call you a Legend.
Path of Exile – Created by NZ game studio Grinding Gear Games, Path of Exile is an isometric online action RPG is set in the dark fantasy world of Wraeclast. It’s very similar to Diablo, and offers excellent co-op gaming with extremely deep character customisation, the best skill tree we’ve seen in a long long time and even a hardcore mode in which staying alive actually matters 😛 The game is completely free and not at all “pay to win”, the community is excellent and graphics are top notch. All in all, this is our most recommended game right now, crazy good times to be had playing on your own, but in a group with some friends, the game really shines. You are an Exile, struggling to survive as you fight to earn power that will allow you to exact your revenge against those who wronged you!
Mechwarrior Online – A slower paced, tactical online shooter set in the BattleTech Universe. Victory requires a mastery of tactical positioning, teamwork, and firing discipline to prevent overheating and the dreaded shutdown (overload only works so much!). Each battle will reward you with credits depending on performance and these can be spent on new weapons, equipment and mech chassis to full your hangers. For new players, there is a rotation of free to play pre-configured mechs to take into battle and these will give you a good taste of how each weight class performs so you can spend your credits wisely. Once you’ve brought a BattleMech of your very own there is a faction warfare system and if you spend a little time in each jumping from faction to faction you can quickly amass a bunch of personal hangers to store more and more of your own mechs in, this becomes more important with multiple variants of the same frame offering different hardpoints to mount weaponry on and new skills to unlock as you progress. It’s not an easy fight and do not expect to just run in and win, this is a thinking persons shooter for sure.
Battlerite – If you enjoyed League of Legends but just want the team fights, you should check out this one for sure. A PvP arena brawler and the spiritual successor to the critically acclaimed Bloodline Champions. The unique combination of a top-down shooter meeting a fast-paced fighting game and take part in highly competitive, adrenaline-fueled 2v2 and 3v3 battles. Engage in quick and intense action as you take control over one of many Champions, each with unique abilities to master. Welcome to a world where Champions dedicate their lives to the Arena.
EVE Online– The new free to play mode in EVE will allow you gain a lot of skills with no money down 🙂 Leveling up an EVE Online character has always been a little different from most MMORPG, every player in the game controls a clone which they train in new skills over time (even when you’re not logged in) as opposed to the far more common “kill this and fetch that for XP”. As your clone learns more and more you will be able to fly more ships and kit these out with new modules and equipment. When you die you respawn into another clone but depending on when you last did a clone imprint that new clone may or may not have the skills you previously acquired and it’s this investment in time that makes up one of many factors that gives each life in EVE a real feeling of value – there are of course the in-game monetary losses involved with death in EVE, losing your favourite ship certainly hurts! The new alpha clone state will allow you to get some pretty potent ships like the Caracal below, armed with many heavy missile launchers you’ll be a fine addition to fleets around the universe 🙂
Cloud Pirates – Arcade airship based combat awaits you in this science-fiction fantasy battleground game 🙂 Remarkably tactical but also good fun early on for a casual run-and-gun playstyle, as you progress through you’ll gain access a bunch of unique upgrades for your airships, captain and crew which leads to much more challenging matches and modes as you progress. There are numerous visual customization options to tinker which as you go and plenty of airships to choose from each with their own unique handling and firing arcs – snipers, tanks, dps, tackle – there really is a lot!
Dreadnought– This is a medium paced arcade action game which puts you in command of a massive sci-fi battleship, similar in many ways to Fractured Space and Cloud Pirates below but with some really beautiful landscapes to wage war on this is one can be a stunner with settings cranked to high. Customisation for your starship is first class from guns and turrets to coatings and decals and there is a range of configs for each ship class so you’re sure to find one that fits your playstyle perfectly. Massively enjoyable in a group or alone, we’ve been playing this one since early BETA days and it’s still a lot of fun 🙂
Atlus Reactor – A rather refreshing and unique take on turn-based tactical combat. Engage in 4v4 team battles with a short moment between each round to lock in your players’ actions after which all eight players will execute their command lists. Each character has a range of moves available to them that will initiate at different times in the action que depending on the type of move selected, this makes playing Altus Reactor a game of predicting what your opponents might do which just keeps getting better the more familiar you become with the growing roster of freelancers available (numbering 25 as I write this). Once you reach level 10 there is also a “Seasons” XP event in which players can complete challenges and receive some extra bonus loot to customise their characters.
Blade and Soul – A rather fun MMO set in a world of martial arts masters and mythology 🙂 A tale of revenge at its core that will have you exploring a beautiful, cinematic world inspired by the distinct visual style of acclaimed artist Hyung Tae Kim. This one has got detailed character customization tools, offers some brilliant PVP matches and has an excellent action-based combat system. The storyline is very enjoyable, especially the introduction to the game world.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive – You’ve undoubtedly already heard of this one, a team based first person shooter with a range of real-world weapons options, maps, and a passionate community of players. The base game puts terrorists against a counter-terrorist force, with the bad guys trying to plant a bomb and the good guys trying to stop them, and this leads to some amazing engagements, team tactics and replays. There are missions to save hostages too, with the counter-terrorists having to successfully escort them back to the starting point of the map, making things quite intense in the final dash. With CSGO joining the free to play ranks, you can now you can enjoy the FPS shooter without paying a cent. The original Counter-Strike took the gaming industry by surprise when the unlikely MOD became the most played online PC action game in the world almost immediately after its release in August 1999, and since then, it has continued to be one of the most-played games in the world. It’s very popular in eSports circles, and you can run it well without the need for the latest hardware.
DOTA 2–Originating as a fan-made Warcraft 3 modification, Dota was an instant underground hit. After coming to Valve, the original community developers have bridged the gap to a more inclusive audience, so that the rest of the world can experience the same core gameplay, but with a level of polish and depth that’s unmatched.Much like League of Legends,Dota is a competitive game of action and strategy. Players can choose from a roster of over a hundred unique heroes, forming two teams of five players. Radiant heroes then battle their Dire counterparts to control on a beautiful fantasy landscape, battling one another with cunning, stealth, and outright warfare.
League of Legends – A popular take on the multiplayer online battle arena game type that first came about as a mod for Warcraft 3 named DOTA back in 2003… or was it 2002, anyways it was a while ago 🙂 League of Legends released to the public in 2009 and it has since become one of the most played games in the world today with some very cool new heroes to play as and more joining the ranks constantly. It’s quite a wonderful game to play if you’re a gamer that’s short on time with matches lasting from twenty minutes to one hour depending on how well each team performs. The game is both newbie friendly and deep enough to keep a long term player interested, the roster of heroes to play as changes often and there is even a rune loadout enabling you to tweak you heroes slightly using various power-ups you can purchase using currency accrued as you play matches.
Killer Instinct – This one has been made available via the Windows Store so you’ll need a Windows 10 Gaming PC to try it out. It’s the same Killer Instinct we remember playing in movie theatres wayyy back in the 90’s but with some wonderful new graphics to enjoy 🙂 The free version of this one gives players a single character with which you can access all game modes, including online multiplayer!
Fortnite – More than just you vs 99 battle royale with even changing modes available (50v50 is great!) what really sets this one apart from other 3rd person shooters games is the building system, with almost all the objects in the map being able to be smashed apart into useful wood, stone, and metal. These can then be used to build ramps, walls, floors etc to create a defensible building, protect your team, or access a hard to reach the area and flank your opponents. It all takes place in one large map, with a zeppelin battle bus full of opponents (and some friends) all scrambling to grab a whole lot of guns. Construct and destroy environments while engaged in intense PvP combat, explore, or just riding around in golf carts if that’s what you do – with so many players no matter what you’re up to it’s likely you’ll stumble into some crazy fun times along the way!
We’ll continue adding to this list as we test more and more Gaming PC, if you know a great new free game you think we should test out please drop a comment in via our GGPC YouTube channel – we are on the hunt now for a nice driving game!
The latest GTX 1070Ti is available in New Zealand now, and this version from Gigabyte is looking GOOD!
An enthusiast-class graphics card that combines the power of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti GPU with the renowned Gigabyte WINDFORCE 3X cooling, RGB illumination, and top-notch reliability. Paired with 8GB of 256-bit GDDR5 memory, the card is ideal for gaming fanatics looking for serious graphics power to tackle today’s most challenging, graphics-intensive games and VR without breaking a sweat.
WINDFORCE 3X, a triple-fan cooling system from Gigabyte incorporates two composite copper heat-pipes which directly touch to the GPU core. It further utilises a large metal base plate and thermal pads across critical heat-generating components for a total cooling solution. Together with the special fin architecture and the unique blade fans, this graphics card has delivered exceptional cooling performance while maintaining low noise, furthermore, the semi-passive cooling fans allow gamers to enjoy light gaming in complete silence.
Aesthetics-wise, the angular shroud design with orange accents is distinctively Gigabyte and sparks a gaming vibe, this cooler version was first released back in 2016, and it has been featured on higher tier cards like the GTX 1080 with great results, at GGPC this is one of our favourite coolers and thusly featured in many of our custom PC builds.
The metal backplate offers rigidity and protection to the structure while adding a sleek, clean look to the GTX 1070 Ti Graphics Card. This GPU is further styled up with the RGB illuminated logo powered by RGB Fusion giving us the freedom to choose the right theme for each of our gaming rigs via the AORUS Graphics Engine utility software, and then change on a whim🙂
The GTX 1070 Ti Gaming is beefed up with 6+2 power phases to provide better stability with a more efficient power distribution. The use of the highest-grade chokes and capacitors reinforces the already legendary reliability of Gigabytes graphics cards and with the newly updated AORUS Graphics Engine, users can adjust and monitor clock speeds, voltage, fan performance, and more through the intuitive interface to get the best from their gaming hardware – it’s even got an instant performance boost with the one-click overclock function!
We’ve already got our lucky hands on some for testing 😛 Keep your eyes on the GGPC PC Gaming Blog for the latest!
Those fine folks at Bethesda are making their epic game, Fallout 4, free to play via Steam this weekend!
If you’ve someone missed this one (or maybe just experienced it on a console) Fallout 4 is a massive post-apocalyptic role-playing extravaganza that’s quite brilliant, you can play in a bunch of different styles and if you really want to rush it, you could actually complete the main storyline over the weekend 😛
If you’re lucky enough to be packing something like a GTX 1080 in your system you can even use our custom settings below and get crazy good performance at 4K \o/
Res: 3840×2160 Anitaliasing: Off Anisotropic Filtering: 16 Samples Textures: Ultra Shadow Quality: Ultra Shadow Distance: Medium Decal Quality: Ultra Lighting Quality: Medium Godrays Quality: Low Depth of Field: Standard Ambient Occlusion: SSAO Weapon Debris: Off (ON test) Screen Space Reflections: On Wetness: On Rain Occlusion: On Motion Blur: Off Lens Flare: On
UPDATE: Promotion extended, now 1st June 2017 to 31st July 2017.
Asus Republic of Gamers have a sweet new bonus offer available now for those gearing up with selected ROG STRIX series motherboards, it’s BIG, RED and is the leading cause of dry skin in the world – a giant ROG towel \o/
With all the rain lately in NZ this promo really couldn’t have come at a better time, when summer returns it’ll also be great for the beach, it’s certainly easy to spot 🙂
Asus ROG STRIX motherboards have killer looks and an all important feature which allows you to control a host of RGB devices from a single software package – we’ve done some special builds to demonstrate this and we know you’ll agree, when building a PC around Asus AURA RGB things really do look good!
Getting your ROG bonus is pretty easy, once you’ve geared up with your killer new motherboard simply visit the ASUS Redemption Site to fill in your details on the form below.
Not all the motherboards listed in this promotion on the Asus website are available in NZ right now and others have just arrived making them a little hard to find, below are quick links so you can check them out – we’ll add to this as more arrive 🙂
You’ll earn Anniversary Loot Boxes as you play, plus pick up a free box when you log in between May 23 and June 12, 2017.
The new arena maps are smaller and designed for intense action. Eliminate all enemy players to win a round – and, ultimately, win the match. As part of the Anniversary event, the three new maps can be found in the Arcade Mode and support up to 3v3 elimination matches.
Everyone will be able to play Overwatch during the FREE weekend event which is on between May 26th and 29th (Likely 27th and 30th here in NZ)
A lot of us have been playing Overwatch for more than the year, the BETA tests where frequent before its release so thought we’d have a bit of a reminisce about all the good times we’ve had and share some of our favourite videos from a year+ of playing Overwatch with all the sweet sweet graphics cards that have released over that time – and it’s certainly been a treat!
The first test we posted on YouTube for Overwatch was on April 16th 2016 with a GTX960m Gaming Laptop, I do remember playing a lot of Soldier 76 at first as he felt the most familiar – after all Overwatch really did shake things up in the world of Class Shooters and some of the character options like Winston took a lot of getting used to… but soon enough I was running around with Bastion and flying around with Pharah – it was on this day I captured my first POTG as well, it’s an unlisted video but you can check it out here🙂
Overwatch introduced us to some really cool game modes over the last year as well, the gameplay below is from release day and the mode allowed us to use our powers with a 3 second cooldown! I’m not sure how a mode like this would play out today with players having a little more experience using the characters but part of me hopes that they fire this one back up during the birthday celebrations 😛
When Overwatch first started being played a lot there where a lot of comparisons made to Team Fortress 2 and looking back I can kinda see it, especially within the moving objective modes – we game capped the clip below on the 26th of April 2016 \o/
Fast-forward to the 9th of August and competition was getting fierce, players knew the game pretty well now and the objectives became real hot points within matches – the clip below was captured on the release day for the now iconic RX 470which has just been updated to the new RX 570\o/
Before Blizzards own online competitive Overwatch had officially begun there were LAN tournaments you could enter and test you grit against other teams, Ping Zero was the first of these in New Zealand and GGPC had two teams enter the competition – we got smashed! Looking back though, specifically at the guys who won the competition you might recognise a player in the team…
Being in New Zealand our internet connection has it’s ups and downs, and while we could keep on linking great gameplay like the matches above I think i’ll leave this blog with some gamecap of us using our exclusive NZ internet to peek over the wall – we’ll be updating the GGPC PC Gaming Blog with all the details as the event itself unfolds and of course join in on all the fun ourselves from Taipei as we’re just about to head over and check out their brand new Blizzard Gaming Arena \o/
We’re looking forward to another great year ahead!
It’s not often that we see a gaming laptop with such amazing price/performance but the new Sabre 15 GTX 1050 Gaming Laptop brings it all together pretty perfectly, before we dive into the gameplay FPS tests though let’s take a quick look at the specifications.
With a very quick M.2 SSD for loading times along with mass storage for games via the 1TB HDD the Sabre 15 is a versatile and agile gaming laptop, the i7-7700HQ and GTX 1050 combo is backed by an unexpectedly large 16GB of 2400MHz DDR4 ram also.
The frame of the laptop screams gamer with aggressive detailing on the lid and also along the rear cooling vent, and the chiclet keyboard glows with a cool white LED which can adjust manually or automatically via the light sensor. This chassis supports a range of connection options including the USB type-C and twin Mini DisplayPorts along with the must haves like HDMI and USB 3.1, it even sports a discreet 6 in 1 card reader which is pretty handy to have!
Inputs and Outputs…
– 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A port
– 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C port
– 1 x USB 3.0 port
– 1 x USB 2.0 Port
– 1 x Mic-In/Headphone-out
– 2 x Mini DisplayPort
– 1 x HDMI 1.4
– 1 x RJ45 (for LAN insert)
– 6 in 1 Card Reader
– Auto-adjusting Backlit Keyboard
– Webcam and Mic build in.
Jumping into gaming with the Sabre 15 we see the performance align with it’s desktop brothers, and considering this system has a monitor and keyboard built into it the value kicker is that much better – investing in both a gaming keyboard and gaming mouse is advised though as this one can connect to your TV in the lounge via the HDMI for a wonderful console killing experience 🙂
Looking specifically at Overwatch we were able to maintain our 60FPS target even with the texture filtering quality set to EPIC, furthermore we recorded this very heavy battle with the built-in Nvidia Shadowplay Game Capture tools which can now even stream to Twitch, Facebook and more… and our CPU usage spent most of its time in the 30’s and didn’t even cross the 50% usage mark… insanity!
Swinging around to an older game that won’t use much of the graphics card but should put more stress onto our CPU we fired up CS:GO 🙂 Again using the built in Shadowplay Game Capture to record the clip below we where able to hit a whopping 69% peak usage in an online match with both bots and real people playing.
Rounding off the tests with a quick game of League of Legends we set out to get into a large team fight and succeeded 🙂 Even with all the explosions and effects on screen (game settings on MAX) our lowest dip was to 62.4FPS and that was only for a microsecond, crazy cool!
While the performance for this laptop is excellent it’s not quite invincible 😛 for our final test of the night we headed to Novigrad – the largest city in the Witcher 3 and got into a some fights just at daybreak when the lighting effects hit hard 🙂 Even with all the settings turned down for this one hitting our 60FPS target wasn’t quite possible in the city although we did come close with around 45FPS even during our bomb test on a poor chap with shield 🙂 If you’re looking for great performance in Witcher 3 there is also another version of the Sabre 15 with a GTX 1050Ti we’re about to test and also check out our latest GTX 1060 Laptop tests with the Aero 15, it handled the Novigrad run insanely well!
We’ve had a blast testing this one out for ourselves and look forward to playing more games with the Sabre 15, right now we’re on the hunt for a good one to try and use up some more of the that ram… (16GB really is a lot) and we’ll update our GGPC PC Gaming Blog and Gameplay FPS Test YouTube Channel with the latest \o/
These new ones have a slightly bigger screen size, but by opting for a class-leading 15” 5mm bezel display the new Aero 15 offers you greater display real estate without increasing chassis size allowing them to keep their signature, super slimness 🙂
Little tweaks to the design, like placement on the webcam and mics within the hinge keep things very slim indeed, and nice touches like the carbon fiber detailing on the back along with the way the RGB led shines through the dual cooling fans is just beautiful 🙂 When comparing with the previous Aero 14 the rear cooling vents on the Aero 15 have been extended and air blown out from two positions on the back of the laptop while gaming, and to go even further, a Thunderbolt 3 port has been added for a premium ultra-fast transfer speed at 40Gbps and the ability to connect external graphics enclosures (we tested this by adding a GTX 1080Ti), or run with twin 5K external displays… truly a mobile powerhouse without limits!
Specifications wise it’s packing the latest 7th gen Intel Core i7-7700HQ, a 6GB GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card along with 16GB of DDR4 ram and a super quick PCIe M.2 for storage. They’ve also done wonderful things to the keys on these new version and the new Aero 15 now sports a RGB Fusion chicklet keyboard with the best keys we’ve even seen – vibrant but with little light leakage!
In-game the Aero15 is excellent, far above expectations. The GTX 1060 inside was able to keep our framerates high in a range of games and when we tested the i7-7700HQ with a little CS:GO we were pleasantly surprised to see the CPU usage keeping around 50% even while using the built in Nvidia Shadowplay Game Capture tools. You can manually set fans speeds via the control center but leaving them set to auto is just fine, the laptop will pulse up the speed as needed when you’re gaming – we did a quick test to see at what point the CPU begins to throttle itself and the mark is 89 degrees, at this point the fans kick in and the CPU changes from its 3.8GHz boost to 3.2GHz (base is 2.8GHz) to keep things cooler, during these moments we noticed no bumps or jumps in game 🙂
Sydney just hosted a massive gaming event, an Intel Extreme Masters CSGO tournament and it was GOOD!
This tournament goes hand in hand with another cool promotion on now in NZ, IEM Certified Gaming PC \o/ Grabbing a system that’s certified in this way gets you a really sweet golden sticker for your new PC, that holographic certificate guarantees quality that meets only the highest standards from Intel and it also signals a FREE GAMES BONUS!
Looking specifically at the current games in the IEM Certified Gaming PC bundle there are a few “Free to Play” ones, the bonus with these comes in the form of in-game currency that you can use to add a little customisation to your tank, battleship or hero. If you’re wanting to check these out for yourself right away you can find the download links in our GGPC Free to Play PC Games Sticky Blog 🙂
You’ll also get Just Cause 3, Warhammer Vermintide (This one is multi-player Left for Dead style gaming gold) and the space battleship brawler Dreadnought \o/ which we’ve been happily playing since early BETA testing:)
Topping the bonus games list right now is the recently released Halo Wars 2! Real-time strategy Halo style with Spartans, Warthogs and other classic Halo fighting forces. You’ll get the full game with the IEM bundle but there is also a Window 10 Store Halo Wars 2 demo available now you can check out now 🙂
The setup for the event was absolutely first class, from the moment you walked through the doors intel had a range of latest gaming laptops and IEM custom desktops ready to go with games to play and you could even join in on mini competitions in everything from a quick round of 3v3 CSGO to VR Racing time attacks.
The quality of the interactive experiences on offer were what made this opening experience so enjoyable though, it wasn’t just a nice seat for the racing games, intel had flown over VESARO force feedback equipment to give players genuine motion, these racing kits actually move with you and give you a real feeling of acceleration as you push yourself to take poll position and take away some of the prizes which flowed throughout the event.
Once we had made our way through the first gaming zone (pretty tough to do as they had an early access VR spellcasting fighting game right before the stairs to the arena) we got to check out the main event stage which lived up to the hype \o/ Some pretty epic lighting and smoke machines ensured the announcements for each match were exciting and the triple massive screens above would make following the gameplay easy. Behind this main stage a backstage team monitored everything, and further behind this there was another studio setup reminiscent of the Full Circle studio here in NZ – it would be from here that the casters did there sportscenter like commentary of each match.
Although early we could see from behind the stage that the arena was already starting to full up 🙂
The commentators were brilliant and whoever was responsible for switching the player camera to show the best moments of each round was amazing, they deserve a medal and speaking of! Between the two teams 5v5 gaming setups was a MASSIVE round medal, the trophy for the competition.
With the stage set we attempted to find our seats, which although reserved, had been claimed by some very excited chaps, they were kiwis as well who had flown over especially for the Intel Extreme Masters, we all enjoyed the matches together and had a great time debating (was more of a yelling match) who was going to to take the win for each round 🙂
We estimate around 7000 people spectating in the arena and the competition was both fierce and extremely close, with the finals proving themselves to be the best! The rounds swung back and forth with bomb disarms coming down to microseconds and jumping knives being thwarted by deagles 😛
The local area in which the event was held was originally built to host the Olympics and handled the crowd with ease, special mention here to just how nice everyone was, both staff and attendees 🙂 two instances, in particular, stood out though, the first was meeting a chap that had lost his phone so we let him use ours to call it and a someone nice had handed it to the staff already. The second was the aftermath of the event, or lack of, we hung around for a bit after the finals chatting to some of the intel team and when we eventually left the outside wasn’t trashed, a little rubbish here are there but honestly pretty good with that amount of people!
We had a blast and can’t wait for the next big event, full credit to the teams from ESL and Intel for putting this one together so flawlessly – hope to see you at the next one!