Yesterday roughly 600 people headed to Eddie Deen’s Ranch in downtown Dallas, Texas to attend the AMD and HardOCP FX GamExperience. The FX GamExperience was a a free event that showcased the AMD gaming technologies available for PC gamers and to make it really special over $50,000 worth of prizes were given away from 21 sponsors during the eight hour event! The doors opened at 10am, but the line wrapped around the parking lot and and over 400 people came through the doors during the first hour they were open!
While waiting in line is never fun, once the doors opened the first person in line found out that he instantly won a processor, video card, power supply, gaming headset, DDR3 memory kit, USB Flash drive and some t-shirts! Not a bad haul for spending a couple hours outside in fairly decent winter weather!
Inside gamers were dazzled by constant raffle drawings and sponsor presentations on the main stage for the entire day. Other than being able to win video cards and processors directly from AMD the attendees could also win swag from the sponsors of the event.
The list of sponsors included Antec, ArcSoft, ASRock, ASUS, Corsair, Diamond Multimedia, Ergotech, Gigabyte, MAGIX, Maingear, MSI, Optoma, Patriot Memory, Sapphire, Western Digital, Zotac and more.
Also shown at FX GamExperience was the Firefall beta PC game title. Firefall is a team-based shooter, a mash-up of FPS and MMO that looked pretty cool and we did spend some time playing it. The most interesting thing about Firefall is that it is free!
Firefall features both a large, open-world cooperative campaign that can be shared with hundreds of other players as well as a competitive multiplayer component that incorporates things like ladders, tournaments, clans and leagues. Players can loot equipment and level up in order to fight better. It looks like the general feedback was positive.
Blacklight: Retribution was also being shown off at the show and this game title might end up being the most visually impressive free-to-play DirectX 11 game for 2012 when it launches later this year. Employees from the company were also at the event and taking feedback from the gamers initial impressions of this first person shooter. The event also had a Battlefield 3 gaming tournament taking place that attendees could sign up for in order to win even more prizes.
On each side of the main stage were two gigantic AMD Eyefinity demo systems that were each running three Optoma HD 1080P projectors. The projector screens each 10 feet wide, so with three of them the gamers were fragging away on a 30 feet wide by 6 feet tall display that allowed for an immersive gaming experience. Most of the time the setups were running Battlefield 3 at a resolution of 5760×1080!
During the event each sponsor that was present took part in breakout sessions and workshops with attendees. This gave gamers and enthusiasts a chance to talk directly with the companies they love to provide feedback and get questions answered. It’s not every day you get to talk with the companies behind the products you buy and events like this give you that ability.
In the vendor area there were a dozen companies that had tables setup showing off their latest AMD hardware. AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB video cards were seen every where and were also used in all the PCs in the tournament area and demo machines. ASUS was at the event and was using their AMD 990FX chipset boards to do an overclocking contest with an AMD FX-8150 Bulldozer processor. They also were showing how to overclock with extreme cooling (LN2) and that is always a crowd favorite.
Once you start pouring LN2 it usually gathers a large group of on-lookers and for good reason.
This is the third event put on by the joint cooperation between AMD and Hard|OCP. The event appears to be doing very well as it has more than doubled in size each time an event is held. This time the event had just over a thousand people register to attend the FX GamExperience! If you live down in Dallas, Texas keep an eye out for the next one as it is certainly a show you need to check out.
In closing we’d like to leave you with a picture of the two people behind this event. Terry Makedon (AMD’s famous CatalystMaker) and Kyle Bennett (Hard|OCP founder) both spent a ton of time getting the event together and without them it wouldn’t have happened. These two have been backing gamers for years and it doesn’t appear they plan on slowing down any time soon.