Our fifth event was the best yet, with a record-breaking number of stands all showing off lustworthy PC gear. As always, it was quite apparent that everyone who came along had a great time, with almost everyone leaving with free gifts. The biggest winner of the night was Alex Chong who took home the PC PowerPlay Beast PC worth almost $7,000! Over the course of the night our master builder Josh Collins assembled the Beast using the very best components from In Win, AMD, Cooler Master, Aorus, MSI, G.Skill, Razer and Microsoft. This went down rather well, as you can imagine, so we’re looking at doing this at every Upgrade Event, evolving the Beast as technology marches along – so be sure to come to the next one, which will be in Sydney later this year, and you could win the mighty Beast.

Case mods were a highlight, and their illustrious illumination and artisan craftsmanship dazzled the halls. Congratulations to Ethan Cooper, who won Best Case Mod, scoring the most votes from all attendees on the night. Ethan took home a Samsung 960 Evo 1TB SSD along with prizes from Eset including $1,250 in cash.

It’s always a treat for us to meet and chat to readers, young and old. Thanks so much to everyone that came along it was thoroughly enjoyable to hang out and talk tech and hear about what you are most interested in.

AMD attracted a lot of interest in the fabulous new Ryzen CPU, with staff fielding questions from attendees all night long. And of course we built a Ryzen-based PC PowerPlay Beast PC on the night so there was no shortage of Ryzen excitement at Upgrade Australia!

Asus showed off a wide range of gear including its legendary motherboards and monitors. Asus had its Aura Sync technology for all see, showing off a spectrum of RGB disco beyond anything else. MSI, too, dazzled with a huge array of booty, including a never seen before unveiling of a very cool limited edition Camo Squad gaming laptop.

Over at Seagate the company demonstrated its cracking range of high-performance Barracuda, Ironwolf, Skywolf and Firecuda drives. Razer had a great stand with loads of action and excitement, and we know people were keen to get their fingertips on the latest Blackwidow Chroma V2 keyboard, plus the Deathadder Elite and Kraken Pro V2 as well as the OSVR VR HMD.

Aorus had the latest high-performance gear and the legendary Dino was up to his usual tricks, giving the audience a great show. We also had Rectron, which is one of the main distributors to PC shops in Australia and it was fantastic to see people try out new gear they wouldn’t otherwise be able to get their hands on. Rectron had the latest from Antec, Fractal Design, Galax and IG-Touch panel.

In Win laid out its gorgeous range of cases, including the magical Infinity case. A pro-modder for In Win was on hand to give modding demos, too. Cooler Master had its first Upgrade Australia stand and it was a great chance to see and play with the keyboards that are very high on our list of favourites, plus entries from the Cooler Master Case Mod World Series 2017. PLE, as usual, brought something special along and it was a sim racing rig set up with an HTC Vive VR headset. Many tried VR for the first time that night and left with a smile. PLE also talked about its custom PC building services.

Samsung owns the high-performance SSD scene, so it was terrific to have Samsung experts there talking about how its technology achieves such breathtaking performance.

Qnap had a top spread of NAS products for home and business, these guys are at the top of the game and we think everyone needs a NAS. Qnap’s Hybrid Private Cloud was also there. HyperX had a focus on gaming to show off gear including the fantastic Alloy FPS keyboard and Cloud Stinger headphones, plus it was nice to be able to sit down for a while and hit a few rounds of CS: GO.

Another Upgrade Australia, another bunch of PC & Tech Authority and PC PowerPlay readers we met, who came, saw and likely left with freebies. And of course another great opportunity for the leaders in PC tech to lay on an extravaganza for you to all enjoy. Thanks for coming, we hope to see you at the next one so look out for announcements in the magazine and online at www.pcpowerplay.com.au and www.pcauthority.com.au – and subscribe to our free newsletter so you’ll be the first to hear about it.

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