Well after two weeks of action the Vox Eminor team has been crowned the HyperX CS:GO Cup champions! Well in summary this is how it panned out as we progressed through the bracket:
Voxeminor vs Xplicit - 16-2
Voxeminor vs Supremacy - 16-2
Voxeminor vs Noxious Gaming - 16-8
Voxeminor vs Team Immunity - 16-3
Grand final - Voxeminor vs Avant Garde - 16-7
Click here to see the full bracket on challonge
It was a really fun tournament, after a bit of a shaky start with teams dropping out the tournament was rebooted with a new format and soon enough the matches got underway. With scheduled times we turned around the attendance rate to 99% and had some great matches along the way. Lordo was there of course with some fantastic streaming as usual.
Big ups to Kingston for putting up the prize pool and Chris from Mwave for helping to coordinate it all. The guys had a blast and we would love to see you back in the CS community soon.
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!
No really, we are! After a long regular season online the team had qualified for the CGPL national championships in Melbourne. But before that we did get a bit of a warm up with the large scale 32 team one day tournament and after some good games the team had won the tournament cleanly without a single loss!
Once we had that tournament in the bag the boys made their way down to Melbourne for the CGPL lan finals where they had to defeat 7 other teams to retain their title as the Australian CS champions! Day one went pretty smoothly, the team was seeded #1 for the tournament so they were in group A and after three relatively smooth victories the boys had progressed to day two for the finals series.
Day two was a heap more exciting, the first match of the day the boys had to compete against their very long time rivals at Team Immunity where the team came out Victorious 2-1 after three very very close matches But needless to say after the team got up to take a break they were hungry as they had really seen for the first time that they were not untouchable and it just made them more and more eager for the grand finals.
Grand final time! The boys were pitted against Athletico, the very clear #2 team and a team the boys had seen victory against before but it had been some time before they had encountered eachother! It was a pretty close first map as the team got their rythm back after the break but the second map the boys kicked it into high gear and started steamrolling their way to victory to win the final 2-0 and were crowned the CGPL Season 1 CS:GO champions for 2013!!! Thats now officially 12 months that Vox Eminor has held the title of the #1 CS team in Australia and its an achievement the team is so proud of!
It was a busy month as the team was on a travel leg but we got in some great matches and also got to show off the new Vox colours (see photos)!!
Thanks again to WD and CM Storm for all of your support you have been the heart of this team since we started and its been amazing working alongside your brands.
Western Digital make a router?
That was the question I was left asking myself when a WD MyNET N900 router arrived at the door, least to say I was surprised and most to say I was highly skeptical. After taking it out of the box and connecting it up it started making more sense. Why? Because I was plugging in my other WD network devices like my My Book Duo, WD Live TV, and my powerline AV kit. It wasn't until that moment that I realized that WD has long ago branched into the networking world. For the most part I then felt stupid because all this time I had watched WD attach my storage to my network, transmit it via my power points downstairs and then stream it to my TV.
Skepticism brushed aside and lack of foresight aside I took it out the box and here's a brief rundown of what it is kitted out for:
- 450 + 450 MBPS wireless with its dual band 2.4 and 5ghz transmitter
- 7 Gigabit Ethernet ports with another for your WAN (connection to router) link
- USB2 and USB3 ports so you can add USB connected storage for either personal cloud or sharing, or even share USB printers.
Okay so the features list is very extensive so what I'll try to do is summarize them a bit but for the full details go to: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=710
Okay lets first brush over wireless, it has dual band transmitters as mentioned and it has WPA2/WPA security with spi (state full packet inspection).It has WPS for push button setup for the noob in all of us, added to that you can set it up as a wireless hotspot for guest accounts. Added to that it has multiple signal amplifiers to ensure the best signal strength even in the larger homes. I tested this too and while my bigpond router gives pretty weak coverage downstairs I had full coverage throughout my home with a full signal.
DSL/CABLE/NBN is somewhat irrelevant as the router is not a modem so you plug your existing connection in via the integrated wan port and then connect all your devices to it. But on that note if you connect a My book Live to the router you can also setup your router as a personal cloud host so with the WD Files or Photos apps you can access your storage through your N900 from your mobile or tablet from anywhere in the world.
QOS is probably the next mention here, a big part of the form and function of this router is QOS, but not just any QOS it also has fast track plus technology which analyses your traffic and ensures it allocates bandwidth accordingly so no matter if you're playing games, watching a stream, downloading files or doing all 3 at the same time it prioritizes traffic as you need it to ensure you can do any or all 3 of the above without it adversely affecting either. This adds a new dimension to the uni student groups sharing house...we have all heard it before...important match is on and bob is in the next room watching....... but anyway the router eliminates that by ensuring enough bandwidth is available for each type of connection running through it without one or the other taking it all.
Okay last but not least it also has some nice monitoring tools which let you analyze the traffic flowing through the router so you can isolate where problems are coming from. This also allows you to monitor what devices are connected so you can see if someone is trying to steal your interwebs.
I have now been using my router for almost 2 months and I have been happy with it, the flawless wireless is a gimme but also the fact that I can download and stream at the same time whether its twitch or YouTube means I can download what I want when I want and not have to walk away while it's doing it. The same goes for gaming, it's pretty handy to be able to game while downloading without crippling the download to ensure it doesn't lag you out in game.
Where to buy? I did a bit of hunting but the WD AU Store has the router at $249.00 I know this is dearer than your stock standard internet router but when you look at the features it's not a cheap router it's a high end traffic prioritization device.
With the growing storage needs of both gamers and general PC users alike WD has come to the table with a new offering for the masses. A hard drive that mixes the waters of storage vs performance with their newest offering the 4tb WD Black hard drive. Previously if you wanted the performance end drive you had to make a sacrifice, albeit you only had 2tb to run on which for a lot is enough but for just as many not. Now that WD has broken out of the 2TB range for its performance range drives there is a true option for single drive systems.
I'm a gamer at heart of course and I always turned my nose up at using a 3TB WD Green power drive for storage. Not for any real reason to be completely honest but I'm something of a tech minimalist and I find it irritating to have to choose a storage destination. I just want to offload everything I download or create on the C drive and not have to worry about copying things off to another drive or having to think about where I am about to save something.
This new drive has given me a freedom of choice, the choice to not choose and just click save and forget. Is there compromises? Not at all, it's a black drive so whether I want to play games, play music, play movies, or even create my own movies I now have a drive with the speed and space to do all of those tasks from the single point. Naturally I'm a SSD junkie, who isn't but for a lot of us that just isn't in the price cap where we get 500gb for a small fortune and still have to keep swapping things around to keep the drive free, not to mention we spend a fortune on a large enough SSD and then have to buy another drive anyway. I think I have found a new winner, a drive fast enough and with enough space that I can forgo my SSD drive altogether in the quest for laziness.
Ok so with the jibber jabber out of the way let's take a look inside the casing and see what makes this baby tick. Naturally the first port of call is the RPM's and nothing unusual there we have 7200 horses under the bonnet. 6GB/s sata interface...but what hasn't now days but a healthy 64MB of cache..interesting...I think there was something inside me that wanted to see 128mb, I'm not sure why there is probably some nuclear physicist erkyl type guy at WD that would throw a tantrum and go NO U CANT PUT 128MB CACHE THERE WILL BE QUANTUM EXPLOSION. Aside from that you have a 34dBA average noise output during seek which is the same as its 2TB variant.
Where to Buy
Naturally we need a price so you can pick one of these drives up at scorptec for $385 which isn't bad for a 4TB performance drive! I'm sure there are other places but Google dictated that scorptec responded first so good luck to them! :-)
Ok the nerdy stuff aside lets go nerdier and show the HDTune benchmark result:
Well as you all know I'm no spring chicken and while I am also an IT guy I never put much thought into cooling my gaming computer. I'm one of those if its blowing smoke there has to be something wrong kind of people who see cooling as something of an afterthought. So naturally I am terrified of watercooling with the solid belief that if it attempted to watercool on my own there is a fair chance I'm going to blow my PC up in a cloud of steam with my badly installed water pipes. CoolerMaster sent over a watercooling kit, the Seidon 120m and immediately I grimaced thinking oh god this is going to be an expensive review but as things progressed I discovered you don't need to be fit for mythbusters to enjoy the cool and quiet benefits of a watercooled computer. So I strapped on my tool belt (I don't actually have one I thought that just sounded impressive) and after doing a couple of benchmarks I decided to kit myself up with my new watercooler and see what happened.
Naturally first up I better give the low down on my computer, it's nothing special just an i7 2600K with an AMD Radeon HD6870, it quite happily plays CS:GO for me which is all I need so first up I loaded into speedfan and took a stock operating temp screenshot. Then I loaded into CS:GO, loaded up on bots, jumped into spec mode and I left my pc for 30 minutes to get a general heat up reading for how my stock Intel cooler was faring under 30 minutes of in game load. The screenies are below, the first is the baseline, this is just the computer on idle, then followed by a screenshot of my CPU temperature after 30 minutes in game on CS:GO.
After 30 minutes of CS:GO
Last but not least here is my installed water cooling system, I was pretty impressed with how easy it was, I'm happy with the kit because it's a peace of mind install you can't really get wrong. Everything was installed with ease and the pre set fittings on the hoses meant I didn't have to worry about anything it's all pre-prepared for me and ready for install.
Okay so we have our cooler installed now here are the speedfan temp readings for the idle system:
Relaunching into CS:GO and after 30 minutes game time here is the speedfan temp reading:
As you can see there was an immediate cooling benefit to be had with a general 10% drop overall and of course my computer now runs a lot quieter as I basically have 1 less fan running with the CPU coolers fan out of the picture! Naturally the radiator has its own fan, but as it is rear case mounted it has taken the place of the fan that was already installed there and at 1383 RPM its running at almost a 3rd of the speed of the old CPU fan.
Okay so now we have done our temp readings I'll show a few photos of the installation, there is one missing and it's the bracket, if you're not doing a new system build you do need to remove your motherboard to install the base bracket on the bottom that the unit bolts on to!
Here is the kit:
The only real building involved is screwing down the pump mounting plates to the pump which I have demonstrated below. Just a note, the pump system has got thermal paste on it so of course I managed to get it all over myself connecting the mounting brackets. A good idea here would be to get some more so if you are as clumsy as I am you have some extra to keep a nice even spread of thermal paste on the copper plate before you place it down on the CPU:
And here it is, all installed and ready to go:
It was a pretty quick install which took around 10 minutes and is completed in 7 steps:
1: remove motherboard and install the mounting bracket underneath, secure with double sided nuts
2: reinstall motherboard into the case
3: attach the brackets that suit your socket type to the water pump
4: apply thermal paste to the copper plate of the pump and secure with spring loaded screws
5: attach the radiator to the rear fan mounting with screws provided
6: attach the fan to the radiator (have the flow coming into the case so your drawing air from outside the case through the radiator).
7: connect the pump and fan power cables to power sockets on the motherboard
Overall it was pretty fun really, you don't have to worry about soaking your computer as the pipe fittings are factory done and with the few steps above you have it installed and running. Naturally you also get the cooling and noise benefits and it looks pretty damn cool as well.
Where to buy? No idea! this one is pretty new so I couldn't find a local stockist but I would say stay tuned :)
Well Friday came and it was raining down in Melbourne but nonetheless the Voxeminor team was inbound looking forward to a fun day of CS:GO down at Latrobe uni at Respawn lan. With a long drive ahead and some merchandise to pickup I somehow managed to cram 5 computers into my car and get on the road to Melbourne.
Meanwhile the boys were boarding flights....or so we thought where the Sydney crew managed to miss their flight, we won't mention names but they pulled some topguN moves and caused some Havoc but eventually got on another flight and managed to arrive as late as the westies. Kudos of course to azr who unhappily sat there at the airport waiting while the other guys got themselves sorted but soon enough the team was in town and getting ready to roll out.
Much later after picking up some nice new CM Storm Quickfire Rapid keyboards which were so kindly delivered to me by the team @ Rectron on the side of a highway at 12:30pm I arrived to find the boys bedding in for the night. We exchanged some keyboards and some hoodies and t-shirts which also arrived the day before the lan but with that in mind we hit the sack and wondered what would be waiting for us at the lan the next day.
First lan in the bag and off to a good start for CS:GO
With Joel at the helm when we arrived everything was looking fine till the usual LAN shenanigans kicked in and while we had our pc's setup to go the boys headed downstairs for a nap while Joel wrestled the servers and the network into submission. iM gold was there, with a notable missing face in Destiny who couldn't make it down but Obez sat in for a game until Nameci arrived to save the day.
Otherwise we had all sorts of mixed bag teams, who Vox on one side of the bracket and iM gold on the other took to with reckless abandon closing out the group stages with 16-0 and 16-1 scores floating down the table. The teams on the day were good sports regardless and put up a good fight but it was pretty blindingly obvious and a little disappointing they were the closest we were going to see to a proper match after a 4-5 hour late start.
The only notable match of the day was the final, it was a decent enough game with iM gold taking the first map 16-14 but went down in the next 2 maps 16-2. Tony came around and handed out some new SteelSeries CS:GO headsets for the boys, hands were shook and we packed up with a day's LAN experience and some fun to boot.
All in all it was a good weekend, the usual LAN problems prevailed but it's a gimme at a BYOC but it really was disappointing to not see any more real teams. Interstates weren't really on the cards but we expected a lot more of the Melbourne CS faithful to make an appearance for the weekend and make a good show of our first CS:GO LAN tournament.
Big thanks of course to Team Immunity and SteelSeries for putting on the tournament it was a pretty fun day and it was good to head down to my first Respawn LAN to see what this BYOC thing is all about.
Well after the closure of the CS:S roster the Vox Eminor team has been undergoing a bit of a focus re-alignment. With the last of our active teams closed I took a look at what direction we had taken and where the team would go in the future. After looking at and then discarding many ideas I really kept looking back at the CS community and felt like we still had something to give yet!
With Team Legion emerging I felt we had the opportunity to get back into the scene and after some talks with the Team Legion lads, we felt our goals were pretty much aligned and its with great pleasure we were able to come to an agreement and welcome them to Vox Eminor.
The team will be shifting focus solely to CS and this team will be the Vox Eminor brand, we have a swathe of upcoming tournaments including the Pantheon Esports Inaugural, the Gametech ODC, Respawn LAN, and possible ESL cups right around the corner we will get straight to work putting our line-up in order and setting ourselves up for the future. So without further adieu the Vox Eminor CS:GO team will consist of the following:
Luke "Havoc" Paton
Azad "topguN" Orami
Chad "spunj" Burchill
Aaron "AZR" Ward
Iain "Snyper" Turner
Mohammed "MoeyCQ" Tizani
We are happy to welcome the new 5, some old and some new and also welcome Moey to the line-up as our faithful 6th!
With our roster now secured we look towards the future, we are in no rush but over time we will be providing updates not just on the team, but the rebranding of Vox Eminor to suit our new purpose! Naturally you can keep up to date with the team through the following outlets which we will be updating as we go.