Following several weeks of prodding, tweaking and possibly lovingly caressing your fancy new Asus kit from the AX:GS event
, it’s now time to reveal your first impressions of the hardware you were awarded.
Yes, the first round of AX:GS blogs
is now up in lights, and last week’s posts have been successfully digested by the bit-tech
judges. Before we share the highlights with you, though, we would like to thank you for your patience while we’ve been ironing out the gremlins with our, ahem, gremlin iron. Thankfully, most of the problems have now been sorted out, and most of you have access to the blogging area on the Asus Republic of Gamers website
, but please drop us a line if you encounter any other issues so that we can get them sorted out.
However, we’re also very much aware that not all of you could post your blogs in time for our judging at the end of last week, so we’d like to make it very clear that this will not disqualify you from you entering the competition to win a trip to Taiwan. If you couldn’t get your blogs up last week, then just make sure you get your first week’s blogs up as soon as you can, and you’ll still be in the running for a fantastic trip out to the Far East to meet Asus’ R&D guys.
Back to the blogging marathon, we’ve been enjoying reading some of your inspired epics this week, with the emphasis on the word 'epic'
in the case of capnPedro’s first post
about the AX:GS event itself. We like to think of ourselves as techie wordsmiths here at bit-tech
, but we’ve never read a write-up of an overlocking event in the style of Edgar Allan Poe before, complete with talk of warriors, runes and cloaks.
'I feel I should at this point probably apologise for my terrible writing skills,'
says capnPedro, 'but I wanted to take this in a "different" direction.'
There’s no need to apologise, Capn, feel free to experiment with your writing if you think it will make for a more interesting blog.
Creative prose aside, many of you also made some very interesting observations about your hardware prizes. One area that reared its head a few times was the inclusion of legacy ports on motherboards. French blogger genetix
really liked the inclusion of a COM port header on his P7P55 Deluxe, for example, because he likes 'to do some debugging or programming microcontrollers, and adding a serial-to-USB adaptor makes things a bit more complicated.'
He also notes that the COM port can be useful for modders making an analogue gauge. 'One implementation can be outputting the value over serial (thus using the internal COM port),'
says genetix, 'and have it read by a microcontroller to drive the gauge.'
liked the inclusion of a PS/2 port on the M4A785TD-M Evo motherboard, but conversely feels that EIDE connectors are now surplus to requirements.
While the fad of making your PC’s insides look like an Essex nightclub is now fading out, coloured lights clearly still have a place in the enthusiast’s heart. The LED-backed logo on the Asus Matrix GTX 285, for example, has wowed several of you.
According to Inferno’s blog
, both Inferno and Omituens were overjoyed at the sight of the LEDs. 'At the top of our voices we shouted "IT’S GOT LEDs, AWESOME LED'S,"'
says Inferno, adding that 'suffice to say a large circumference of people around us took a step away and gave us "the look”'
Meanwhile, Skunkmonkey’s blog
, which is also worth reading for the story of his chair-spinning excitement when he found out that he was coming to the AX:GS event, points out that 'the logo is actually an indicator of load on the card
.' He put it to the test with a five minutes of 'folding and hurling Batarangs.'
The glowing LED Asus logo changes colour according to the card's workload.
explains the colour coding of the LED, saying that it 'changes colour depending on how much load the card is under.'
Omnituens points out that the lowest colour is green for safe mode, but that the light is normally blue, which signifies a light load. It then turns red when the card is under full load, but Omnituens also notes that it turns 'an AWESOME purple colour beforehand.'
Omnituens also wins kudos for his comparison of the Matrix GTX285’s box with a sentry gun
, as well as teasing us with the prospect of Crysis results for a whole blog post
before admitting he didn’t have them.
was more interested in Asus’ own cooler on the card, which he says helped to cool the GPU’s temperature to the mid-60s in terms of degrees Celsius. Robbie also particularly liked the card’s BIOS recovery option: 'Flashed your card wrong? (Done that, not cool). Press this little guy and your card is alive and kicking again. This one little feature means you can be ridiculously OTT with your overclocking without having to worry about your investment.'
On the subject of overclocking, another interesting feature that many of you have noted is the TurboV overclocking remote control that comes with the P7P55 Deluxe. Bradders125 has written a blog all about it here
, where you can see all the features, including a clear CMOS button on the back.
Interestingly, despite all the overclocking widgets, Bradders125 says that the 'main button I have used is the power button. It’s just more convenient to place the remote where you want to be able to turn the computer on and off.'
concurs, saying 'I can switch the PC on and off easily (I’m lazy).'
The TurboV remote has a lot of overclocking features, but its Power button is proving to be very popular too.
However, malaroo978 also likes the overclocking features a lot, saying 'I can change the BCLK frequency at the touch of the button.'
He also notes the remote’s useful preset feature for saving your overclocking settings. 'If I need a bit more oomph,'
he says, 'I can simply touch a button and it reverts to a preset overclock, or even an underclock if you’re just surfing in Windows.'
Picking a winner was a tough job this week, as many of you have crafted some witty, well-written blogs that are both entertaining and informative. However, for the sheer amount of information and detail that’s found in his blogs, we felt that Andrew Moore had to be this week’s winner. Andrew started off with a blog
all about the Matrix GTX285, which analysed the cooler, the card’s layout and Asus’ overclocking software.
In his second blog
, Andrew then went on to reveal his findings about the card’s performance, with minimum and average frame rates for both Crysis and GRID at top-end settings, as well as plenty of detail about tweaking the card’s clock speeds and voltages. Andrew previously had a GeForce GTX 295 SLI setup before he took the Asus card home, but he says the Matrix GTX 285 still holds up impressively compared with these dual-GPU graphics cards.
With Asus’ own cooler design and overclocking features, the Matrix GTX 285 appears to have deeply impressed Andrew. He describes the card as an 'absolute masterpiece'
that betters 'an already proven design by a country mile.'
Next week’s blogs
The guideline for next week’s set of blogs is discussing the AX:GS event itself. Tell us all about your experience at the event, and anything that stood out as out of the ordinary, such as overclocking remotely with an Asus Eee PC. We know that a few of you have already blogged about the event this week, but there’s still plenty to talk about. Let us know all about the emotions and excitement, and discuss anything that you learned from it too.
To clarify the situation regarding the blogging guidelines. You need to write a minimum of two blogs per week, each with a minimum of 200 words. Just make sure that at least one of your blogs fits with the weekly guideline on bit-tech
, and the subject matter for your other weekly blog is up to you, as long as it’s relevant to the AX:GS event and your hardware prizes.