The Electronic Sports and Games Summit this year (ESGS 2017) was a great place for gamers and tech enthusiasts to see upcoming titles from hitmakers in the industry in their respective booths. It was also a great avenue for shops and icons in the geek community to share merchandise such as figures, posters, and stickers. However, for a PC enthusiast, ESGS 2017 was a great place to see PC hardware from big brands such as MSI, Zotac and Thermaltake. The companies got various PC modders to showcase their building skills by creating amazing builds out of their hardware, which they showcased to onlookers. Players also checked out new peripherals such as high-end monitors, mice, headsets, and keyboards from AOC, Viewsonic, Hyper X and Redragon.
Our team from What’s A Geek! got to check out some highlights from the hardware booths of this year’s ESGS, and they’re all to stun.
PC Hardware For Days: MSI
MSI perhaps had the biggest booth of all PC hardware featured in ESGS, and quite fitting considering the brand’s offerings this year. The booth contained a venue to play video games on MSI hardware, auctions selling their products, raffles, and a laptop showcase.
What caught the eyes of enthusiasts were displays of motherboards sporting the then-newly-released Z-series Coffeelake chipset. These motherboards had a wide range of designs and specifications depending on your needs. There are those with subtle designs to the most blinged-out RGB. Meanwhile, users can also choose between heavy-duty chipsets and baseline models.
MSI also showcased their custom graphics cards. As seen above is the twin frozr cooler design, complete with its signature black and red dragon aesthetic. Going from right to left:
- The rightmost card is used for people who use 1060s and 1070s.
- Meanwhile, the middle card has specs capable of handling 1080ti cards.
- Interesting enough, the leftmost card design is only found on GTX 1080ti cards, called the Trio X. The Trio X utilizes three fans for cooling, and a double 8pin for power. It sports more neutral colors, which lends itself better to RGB lighting, although it still has the signature MSI dragon scale design.
Perhaps the most attractive feature of the booth was the PC modding showcase. Modder showcased a ton of custom PCs in the booths of hitmakers in the industry. Most of them sport custom watercooling as well, which further increases the eyecandy factor for these builds.
Players have seen the H500P in action, as the highly-anticipated Cooler Master has been used to encase a custom PC. This huge case sports 200mm fans, and it definitely packs a punch for enthusiasts who want to get their hands on a powerful case for heavy-duty gaming.
PC Hardware Galore: Thermaltake, Zotac, FSP
Thermaltake was another big booth in ESGS which showed off not just PC components but also PC peripherals, all geared for gamers. Their display consisted of watercooling components, RGB power supplies, cases with tempered glass, and a heavy focus on their gaming peripherals.
Modding enthusiasts can find a familiar modded PC in the booth that packs a lot of power for even the most demanding games. This PC was in fact the same build used to represent the Philippines in a modding invitational that Thermaltake did a while back.
Zotac, notable for its custom video game cards, also had a booth up in the gaming summit. They had their GTX 10-series cards on display, alongside powerful mini-computers. Perhaps the most impressive feature on their mini-computers, called the Magnus series, is that they packed powerful GTX cards in such tiny spaces. Would you believe these mini-computers come in 7th generation Core i5s, i7x, and 10-series GTX cards? These would be great for minimalist desk setups or for some high-end LAN partying.
They also invited streamer Le Josette to be their special guest and the face of Zotac for ESGS this year. NZXT’s new H700i also demonstrated its beauty by encasing a custom PC.
A relatively unknown brand, FSP, also strut their stuff in their booth. They displayed their case fans, cases, power supplies, and UPS. What caught our attention is its watercooled power supply design, which isn’t something you’d expect from a brand that has yet to make it in the big leagues.
FSP gets plus points for its custom PC feature with a chrome tube-based watercooler. The unique look presents this sophisticated science fiction look, especially since most tubing is usually made out of clear plastic.
Putting Displays on Display
Gamers and tech enthusiasts would understand the value of having a display powerful enough to support amazing hardware, and ESGS knows this. Anyone will have a different preference to a monitor depending on what they’re using it for. You can look at the color reproduction of the monitor, if the difference between certain resolutions is worth the money, how high refresh monitors look like, and other deal-breakers. Thankfully, there are more than enough brands in ESGS 2017 to choose from.
AOC showcased their monitor line up which consisted of a wide range of prices and a wide range of use cases. However, one of their more attractive ESGS offering is a USB-powered monitor. That can be useful if you’re looking for a portable solution or have problems with lack of a power socket. They have cheap IPS monitors for accurate color reproduction on a budget and more gamer centered displays like a 35-inch, curved, 200hz refresh rate monitor.
They also had a CS:GO competition where the competitors got to try out their gaming monitors.
ViewSonic also had their own booth showing off their monitors. They invited people to try out their monitors with shooter games and multiplayer online battle arenas. We tried Overwatch with two monitors side-by-side. One monitor was a 1080p, IPS monitor and the other was a 1080p, 144hz, TN monitor. While IPS brings out better colors, the 144hz made the quick movements look much smoother.
They also showcased a monitor packing 1440p, IPS, 144hz with G-Sync technology. Talk about bringing the best of both worlds, and more.
Peripherals Permeating Your Pupils
Peripherals are essential when we want to make the most out of our hardware. Sometimes, a mouse with 50 buttons can be helpful, and sometimes a mouse with two buttons can do the trick. ESGS brought in the folks who make the keyboard, mice, controllers, and headsets that can improve our tech experience.
Hyper X proves its gaming peripheral potential through its expansion. Hyper X, the gaming branch of the company Kingston, has grown beyond providing high-quality headsets thanks to their new keyboard and mice offerings. Their ESGS booth had a wall of headsets with a table under that showing off their keyboards.
They also had games to play where you can try out their peripherals.
Redragon is famous in the PC community for having some of the most affordable, quality mice and keyboards. They had a booth where they showed off their products and sold their products
Sennheiser, a known audio brand, was also there showing off their own gaming headsets. And another thing that they showcased was their gaming DAC/amp. This DAC/amp has a lot of gaming centered features like digital 7.1 for allegedly better audio positioning and a mic input, which most traditional DAC/amps don’t have. Also accent lighting because gaming.
You could also test their products while playing Rocket League.
ESGS 2017 was a great place to be for PC enthusiasts in general. With all this PC eyecandy it makes us excited to see what they can cook up next year!