Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2011
HardOCP and AMD got together a little over a year ago and put together the Eyefinity Challenge. The Eyefinity Challenge was an event focused on gathering data about Eyefinity usage and was an invite only event that was capped at 100 attendees. AMD came to us a couple of months ago and expressed the desire to "do it again" but this time AMD wanted to the event open to the public and zeroed in on giving back to the community and just overall having a fun time. Obviously there was still a lot AMD wares being shown off, but marketing was kept as a secondary goal, and keeping focus on the community resonated very well with all that attended, which turned out to be some of the best marketing AMD probably could have done. I know the HardOCP community that attended had a great time and felt truly appreciated, which they are.
Below we have some pictures to share from the Texas GamExperience. There are more over at the Texas GamExperience FB page, as well as user supplied pictures, video, and feedback in this ongoing HardForum thread. There were two 30 foot Eyefinity screens powered by AMD "Bulldozer" FX processors that ran Dirt 3 for 10 hours straight (with no BSODs in sight). These two stations has driving seats that pitched and bucked around and that combined with 30 foot of 3X 1080P wrapped around your head in Eyefinity was a big hit all day long. The first time I saw a seat go empty it was nearly 7PM. We also put on 3 Team Fortress 2 tournaments. AMD supplied 28 Sapphire Radeon 6850 video cards for prizes! We had 60" 3D displays set up. Tons of Eyefinity stations for the tourney events. Deus Ex: Human Revolution previews. And booths manned with XFX and ASUS employees that were ready to answer serious hardware questions.
We did raffles throughout the day and while I never put a calculator to it, I think we raffled off somewhere in the neighborhood of $30,000 in prizes. Yes, thirty THOUSAND. Many thanks to ASUS, Corsair, MSI, Sapphire, and XFX! All contributed prizes for our guests.
Worth mentioning here in closing is that this was not a "for profit" event. AMD and HardOCP had nothing in this but blood, sweat, and tears...and money. AMD and HardOCP did NOT charge sponsors nor attendees a single cent. In fact, none of the sponsors were even invited! All the sponsors came to us after the event was announced and asked to be part of it. All we asked for was that those companies provide raffle prizes for our guests (and wow did that happen). We tried our best to make this a true "community event" and I think we did quite good at hitting our mark. It was a great event, we all had a ton of fun, and the only thing we are sorry about is that every computer hardware enthusiast in North America could not attend....but we are working on that.