Best of 2003Tue, Dec 30, 2003 - 9:00 AM
Best Computer Case: Aerocool w/ LUBIC series
This is not really a case or an enclosure, but it houses a PC and therefore is a computer case to me! Aerocool started showing the LUBIC series around the time of Quakecon 2003 and is aimed at the enthusiast for sure. The image above shows there plane kit and it looks pretty darn cool. Name another computer case that you can toss out the window that has a chance of safely landing? Exactly!! The LUBIC is a modular concept, so you can really build anything you can think up. If you are looking for something other than just a dull metal casing the Aerocool LUBIC series is the way to go.
Best Innovation: Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) w/ Athlon 64
Back on September 23, 2003 AMD released the Athlon 64 series Processor, which quickly raised the level of what home computers can do. With the release of the new A64 line, AMD has once again put themselves in a position to compete with Intel. There were many concerns that AMD would not survive, but after the launch and success of the Athlon 64 series it was clear that AMD still had some fight left in them and that they are here to stay. With Intel’s Prescott just around the corner, and rumors of an 64 bit Intel processor from them, this could be a very interesting year in the arena of CPU’s.
Best Silent Launch: Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) w/ A64 3000+
Without even a heads up from AMD we got an e-mail from an “inside” source at an online retailer telling us they had some “new” AMD processors in stock ! The majority of the press was not “in-the-know” on this one and it turned out to be one of the most exciting processor launches of the year! With the release of the A64 3000+, AMD brought their new line of 64-bit processors into an affordable price range for enthusiasts and just in time for Christmas! Thanks for the early X-Mas AMD! At the time of writing, the A64 is the best bang for the buck in 64-bit processing and rumored to be beating the Athlon XP 3200+ in terms of performance! (We are still benchmarking). Although in the benchmarks we have seen, it is out-performing the AMD XP 3200+ and the Intel Pentium 4 3.2 processors. Though this release was a silent one, it has sent shockwaves throughout the computing world and earned this title hands down!
Best LAN Party: Quakecon 2003 (Dallas, TX)
Quakecon is the real deal for LAN gamers. Out of all the LAN parties that I have hosted, played at, or just covered, Quakecon is by far the most enjoyable of them all. The fact that thousands of gamers were on hand to enjoy great LAN action, cash prizes, the [H] Workshop, the first playable demo of Doom III, and tons of night life was amazing.
For us the [H]ardware Workshop was one of the main highlights of the weekend and everyone who went said the same after it was finished. Everyone won something and walked away with the truth on where the industry is going and one or more prizes. Not too shabby at all and it would not be possible if Kyle Bennett from [H]ard|OCP didn’t step up and make it happen. Nightlife for those who are over 21 and have connections should be in store for a great night. No matter what in Dallas, TX there is something for everyone!
Quakecon is a place to meet the important people! Key industry leaders from many major hardware and game companies were on hand to meet the gamers as well as the industry leading reviewers. If you want the inside scoop on the industry and to bump elbows with the “community” this is the LAN party to attend!
I hope you enjoyed or look back at some of our favorite events, products, and thoughts of the past year. It honestly was a blast working in the computer industry and I am looking forward to what is in store in 2004! Time to start packing because CES is only a few days away in Las Vegas!