Good Gaming Cafe – Pixel Lounge NZ

PC gaming is great fun, and gaming with your friends makes it even better. Online play, gaming headsets and webcams have come a long way but nothing beats being in the same room while you team up to destroy the bad guys (or each other). While we certainly grab our rigs and head over to a mates place, if there are a few of you this can become quite the mission, especially with everyone needing to plug in their monitors and PC in, and then there’s that having everyone connected to same home WiFi thing ūüėõ

Thankfully the internet cafe has evolved into the modern gaming lounge, and the best one in Auckland is Pixel Lounge. It hasn’t been around that long either, but that’s one of its biggest strengths – everything in the cafe is modern, you’ll be able to play comfortably on deluxe Corsair gaming chairs, treating your eyes with ultra fast 240Hz LG monitors while powerful ROG / Ryzen builds push out all the frames you could want ūüôā

Having the best components and gaming gear certainly helps, but the Pixel Lounge team has gone above and beyond to add in all the little things too, making the total experience you’ll have a good one. The environment they’ve created is rather brilliant, with a combination of decals and canvas that line the walls of the primary gaming area, which seats up to 20 players. There is an additional chill out area that has couches, coffee tables and a dining too – making it perfect for taking a quick break to talk tactics while enjoying a cappuccino and some tasty snacks – and I’m very happy to say that this isn’t just a cup of instant either, Pixel Coffee, a real standalone cafe, is right there too!

Casual gaming aside for a little bit, another thing that Pixel Lounge does really well is competitive gaming. If you enjoy a bit of PVP, or you would like to get involved with the New Zealand eSports community and join a local group, then you should look out for events posted on the Pixel Lounge Facebook page – just last week they were hosting the UoA University Rumble finals and it was a good time had by all, with live streaming and plenty of action as the teams smashed each other in League of Legends with tonnes of Riot points up as prizes for the event. You don’t need to be a pro, it’s totally fine if you’re wanting to get involved but would like a little help getting everything together first, the Pixel Lounge team can even coach you along with pro tips and training sessions available should you want them.

Now onto the most important stuff, and it’s going to get pretty technical ūüôā How do they give so many people in one location such a smooth online gaming experience? Well, Pixel Lounge run a pretty ridiculous IT infrastructure. CAT6A network with 10GB switches, very high tier Voyager business fibre & their very own Bootserver.¬†Essentially all the gaming machines boot via the network and only use the internal M.2 as cache, so everyone gets their own fresh image of Windows paired with an 8TB gamedisk. It is seriously cool stuff and keeps everyone’s sessions instanced, with no retained data ūüôā Brilliant!

The Pixel Lounge is located at 342 Great North Road, here is a google maps link to get you there, and once you’re close you really can’t miss the glowing sign pictured below!


Good Gaming PC Case – Phanteks EVOLV SHIFT

Those talented techs at Phanteks have created a new addition to the now iconic EVOLV¬†series with two new chassis joining the range, these latest offerings are known as the EVOLV SHIFT and they’re looking really good! All up there are four versions of these new chassis, with two colour options (the black Evolv Shift looks amazing) and two unique sizes available.

The superb craftsmanship of the Evolv Shift can be seen in every detail, although extremely compact compared to the mid sized chassis we often see, the Shift delivers a versatile space in which we can pack in plenty of powerful components Р and pack them in we did!

For our first build¬†in the smaller Shift¬†chassis, we grabbed the Gigabyte B250N ITX Pheonix motherboard which conveniently has wireless built in, a 2 x 8GB kit of G.Skill Trident Z and a little SFX power supply from Corsair. With the¬†large¬†windows¬†running¬†down¬†both sides and providing such a nice view we opted to replace our¬†intel stock cooler with¬†the¬†Phanteks TC12LS¬†low profile cooler, having used this previously in our CM Pro 6 RGB Sync test build¬†we yet again replaced the standard fan with a very nice RGB one to really light things up, graphics wise even the smallest version of this chassis can fit a full-length (35cm) card inside but it’s important to note that even though we absolutely love the massive Aorus 1080Ti its triple slot form factor was a just a little too large for this one ūüėõ

Building¬†with the Shift is easier than most small cases due to the way they’ve separated it into¬†different areas, the top of the chassis is where you mount your motherboard and a PCIe extender then attaches to another space behind this where you will fit your graphics card – with the smaller Shift, if you go with a dual fan¬†graphics card it can be fitted backplate facing either in or out, with the longer triple fan cards we found the best fit is backplate out¬†– keep that in mind when choosing which card to build with ūüėõ

This leaves a fairly large space in the lower compartment which lets the air flow in and upwards, you could easily fit a 120mm AiO liquid cooling kit in here if you wanted too. While the power supply has its own special output on the base of the build all your outputs from the motherboard and graphics card come out at the top of the case hidden beneath a push-to-release cover panel which serves as the primary airflow output vent, there is a little hole on the rear of this area that cables can be routed through.

You can check out our builds in the Phanteks EVOLV¬†Shift this weekend at the TechXpo in Auckland, we’ll also update with lots of pictures of the builds from the event so keep your eyes on the GGPC PC Gaming Blog¬†and our GGPC Instagram for the latest!

Good Gaming PC – eSports NZ custom builds!


We’re pretty excited to be competing in the upcoming Ping Zero! eSports tournaments¬†and we’ve been working hard on creating some very special gaming PC for our GGPC team players to use throughout the event.

GGPC GTX 1070 Warlock eSports Edition PC!

We’ve made this build quite small by using the Phanteks EVOLV and with this new form factor we had¬†plenty of space on the desk for our¬†weapons of choice – Logitech G Gaming Gear setups for eSports!




Good Gaming Gear – Best of Computex 2016 (so far…)



Every year the best and biggest names in PC Gaming hardware get together in Taipei to show off their upcoming tech¬†in an exhibition known as Computex and this year the team from Good Gaming PC NZ joined¬†the frey to hunt down the coolest components, gaming gear and computer gadgets ūüôā ¬†This event also times itself with a series of rig modding and building competitions held around the world and becomes an ideal meeting spot for custom gaming PC builders to exchange ideas and show off their creations.

We’ve just enjoyed day 2 and it’s a great time to start¬†sharing¬†some awesome finds so far!

First up, best in graphics cards!

There have been two shining stars of the show in this field so far, new tech from Corsair and Phanteks both based around making the most of the new Nvidia GTX 1080 graphics cards that released just as Computex 2016 was about to begin (coincidence, I think not).

If you’re¬†wanting to really make¬†the most of the new graphics power in the GTX1080 Corsair and MSi have gotten together and created a maintenance free liquid cooling solution they call the Sea Hawk that¬†will allow you to push this beast to the limit without fuss ūüôā It’s a very tidy¬†piece of kit that’s¬†ideal for making extremely high performance gaming PC builds¬†easily.




If you’ve wanting to¬†make something with top teir¬†performance and a really¬†custom look¬†things are getting pretty amazing with some exciting new tech from the team at Phanteks. ¬†They’ve created a pretty impressive looking custom waterblock for the GTX 1080 that catches the light perfectly and you’ll be able to customize your new super cool cards with all the RGB goodness you want ūüôā




Next, some very unique chassis!


There have been¬†two that certainly deserve this title and the first is¬†aptly¬†named Dream Box, with this¬†DIY-kit, customization is mandatory ūüôā ¬†Unlike other mod-savvy chassis solutions, the new Dream Box DIY-kit allows you¬†to create¬†things in a way that feels a bit like lego.

The other favourite so far is pretty sweet¬†not only because of the creativity but also because it’s essentially FREE, those fine folks at ThermalTake¬†have created a hub they call the ThermalTake 3D Makers which¬†provides schematics for 3D printing parts to mod your chassis with, right now they are displaying at the show¬†a¬†chassis that’s pretty similar to the popular¬†TT P5 called the Core P1 and say this is going to be available for download – crazy cool!




How about some RGB portable solid state storage?


Avexir have refined their design and are busy showing off a new SSD, this latest drive features similar RGB lighting as the previous version but is much slimmer and also has a very handy USB Type C connection allowing it to be used as a portable hard drive if needed Рawesome!




And to round things off – best in gaming gear!

This one caught us by surprise and we’re off to capture some fresh video of this wonderful keyboard in action first thing tomorrow so we can show you just how cool it is (update: here’s a video) ¬†From the design team at Zalman comes a new gaming keyboard they are calling the Z-Machine, available in a range of great colours this driverless keyboard has features and effects that really need to be seen to be believed.




This is just a little snippet of what we’ve found so far, be sure to keep your eyes on our computers blog and instagram for more excellent gear as we find it!


Good Gaming Case – Phanteks P400 RGB Mid Tower

Inspired by the recent build and video by Ryan and Phil on PCPartPicker¬†we’ve just¬†changed Dark Knight build chassis from the massive¬†Corsair 780T to the new (and thankfully smaller) Phanteks Eclipse P400¬†with the additional¬†full case RGB lighting hooked into the front controller on the chassis, and we’ve taken some pictures along the way!

With super clean looks and a great window for viewing the components inside, this new case series from Phanteks has proven itself popular among PC builders worldwide and it’s a great addition to the Phanteks family – the new Eclipse series comes in grey and black, with a silent P400s version also available in white.
Like most chassis it comes in standard packaging Рwrapped in a bag with polystyrene protection, be a bit more careful than usual when picking up the case as the front panel comes off very easily compared others and we recommend slightly changing your grip to the side just in case.

GGPCFrontPanelAside from the griping issue we really do like clips and how easily they make it¬†to remove the front of the case during the build.¬† Also there are no wires connecting to the front panel so if you’re feeling creative modding this would be very easy indeed.

The top panel of the case is where you’ll find the power button, two USB 3.0 ports and a pair of headset jacks along with LED colour change and reset (on the silenced P400s there is also three speed fan controller).

The case is very roomy inside with no 5 ¬ľ bays,¬†there are 3 cable management velcro ties on the back for easy cable management – for some reason the ones on our chassis were upside down, we have opened an additional 3 chassis including a silent white version and all cable management strips were upside down so not quite sure if this is the standard or just odd ūüôā ¬† The P400 comes with 2 standard black 120mm fans pre-installed on the front and back with room to add upto 3x on the front and an additional 2x 120mm on the top, you could also fit 2x 140mm on the front and top if you prefer. ¬†The back is also equipped with 2x quick release SSD drive bays.


The case supports a variety of motherboard sizes –¬†ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX and even some¬†E-ATX. ¬†A small brown box in the drive bay contains screws, 6x cable ties and a small manual which you’re pretty unlikely to need as the chassis is super easy to build in with tooless HDD bays, magnetic dust filters and plenty of space.


The main reason we’ve decided to use this case is because of the cool way you can connect the LED controller on the front to an additional Phanteks RGB LED strip kit and have the lighting in your build¬†synchronize with the small LED downlight on the front. ¬†The front LED on the chassis is pretty small and shines through a small white plastic piece on the front panel to give you an cleaner effect.
This is done very easily via a connector in the top front corner of the case, you’ll have to use an official Phanteks LED strip as the voltage is important for the colour system and you can check out this RGB LED connection in action on our GGPC Instagram.

Our full system build notes and parts list for tweaking is available now on PC Part Picker to check out as well!

And on that note, now that we’ve built several Good Gaming PC in this chassis we are happy to give it a well¬†deserved recommendation to anyone looking for a new mid sized chassis at a great price – The Phanteks P400 is GOOD!