The PCs of PAX East 2018: Gaming Laptops, Mega Desktops & Crazy Mods

Pax East 2018

PAX has increasingly become as much as a showcase for PC components and systems as it is a gaming expo, and many of the major OEMs brought some serious hardware to power PAX East 2018. Here’s a list of some of the cool gaming PCs we saw on the show floor in Boston.

Acer Orion 9000 Shines

Acer didn’t have a booth on the show floor, but it did bring a set of its Predator-branded gaming PCs to its afterparty, including its massively powerful Orion 9000. Available in three configurations, the Orion 9000 maxes out at $7,999 with an Intel Core i9-7980XE processor, 128GB of memory, and dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics in SLI.

Asus: Strix GL12 And Slim Zephyrus M

Asus was out in force at PAX East, and the company lined its gaming stage with ROG Strix GL12 desktop PCs, each loaded with an Intel Core i7-8700K processor, 16GB of DDR4 memory, and a GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card under the hood. It also put its brand-new Zephyrus M thin-and-light gaming laptop and its new 8th generation Intel Coffee Lake-H processor on full display for the first time anywhere.

AVADirect Goes 'PUBG'

Custom PCs were common on the show floor, but AVADirect caught our eye at the Asus booth with a PUBG-themed gaming desktop sporting an Intel Core i9 processor and 64GB of G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-3000 on an ROG Strix X299-E Gaming motherboard. Both the CPU and the ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 Ti graphics card are liquid cooled with a custom loop, and there are weapon and drop crates (as seen in the game) strewn across the bottom of the interior chassis.

Zotac Features BS Mods' Custom Build

Zotac’s booth also had a custom system by BS Mods, featuring an Intel Core i7-7740X (Kaby Lake-X) processor and a Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Arcticstorm mini graphics card with custom liquid cooling for the CPU and GPU. The modified Corsair Crystal Series 570X RGB ATX mid-tower chassis sports Zotac’s signature yellow and white colors, and the hardware certainly lives up to the company’s slogan of “push the limit.”

Cooler Master's Kitchen Sink Setup

Cooler Master loaded up several of its cases with a bunch of its own wares, but a custom-wrapped version of its Mastercase H500 chassis caught our eye with its unique pattern and placement--attached to a gaming chair with a display and lapdesk built into it. The two-tone black-and-white wrapped case houses an AMD Ryzen 7 CPU (cooled by the company’s Masterair MA610P CPU heatsink) in an Asus Prime X370-Pro motherboard with 32GB of G.Skill TridentZ RGB DDR4-3466 and an Asus ROG Strix RX580 graphics card, all powered by a Cooler Master Masterwatt MW750 power supply.

Corsair Crystalline RGB

Corsair teamed up with AMD to pack its booth with a battalion of Ryzen 7 1800X and Radeon RX Vega 64-powered gaming PCs rocking Far Cry 5 demos. Corsair equipped its Crystal Series 570X mid-tower RGB cases with its own RGB memory, power supply, and 240mm CPU liquid cooler, and the red, white, and blue color scheme was an appropriate match for the new AAA shooter.

Cosplay PCs

PAX East is known for its cosplayers, but even some of the hardware dressed up for the occasion. We ran into several Overwatch, Far Cry 5, and Fortnite themed desktop PCs, but few actually resembled a character from the game the way this Mercy-themed Overwatch chassis does. Although we couldn’t find any specifications (or even information on the builder, unfortunately), it doesn’t really matter what’s on this inside in this case.

Dell Shows Off G-Series Gaming Lappies

Dell brought one of each of its new G-series gaming laptops to PAX East 2018. The G3, G,5 and G7 all feature up to an Intel Core i7-8750H and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q graphics, with both 1920 x 1080 and 3840 x 2160 displays in 15.6” or 17.3” sizes, and the G Series is one of Dell’s first products to make it to the Coffee Lake-H party.

EVGA And The Open Air

EVGA came to PAX East 2018 with all of its hard-hitting components, but instead of hiding them away in some of its cases (which were also on display), the company put it all out in an open-air chassis to give them a proper showcase. An EVGA X299 Dark motherboard equipped with an Intel Core i9 processor sports the company’s staple components, including dual GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 graphics cards (attached to each other with the company’s RGB LED HB SLI bridge) and a 240mm CLC CPU cooler. The colorful RGB RAM is a finished production model of ADATA’s Project Jellyfish liquid-cooled memory, but we weren’t given any specifications or pricing for the now-confirmed ADATA endeavor.

Gigabyte Sipping Coffee Lake-H

The Intel Coffee Lake-H train pulled into the station at PAX East 2018, and Gigabyte displayed its new Aero 15X and Aorus X5 and X7 DT gaming laptops with new 8th generation processors inside. The Aero 15X sports GTX 1070 graphics and a Core i7-8750H processor, and the Aorus X5 v8 and X7 DT feature a Core i7-8850H and up to GTX 1080 graphics.

Derek Forrest
Derek Forrest is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes hardware news and reviews gaming desktops and laptops.