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About this blog

This will be where I post my blog / vlogs once I figure out what that is and how I want to do it. Enjoy anything I do from reviews, food, gaming and more!

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iamApropos

Whats Up Y'all!!?

 

For those of you who don’t know, my name is Paul and for nearly 4 years I've been iamApropos online. To recap a little, in 2007 I became permanently disabled from an aneurysm leaving me with multiple disabilities that changed my life.  For years I had to learn to cope with my new limitations and tried to find something I could do to help people and feel productive. Nearly 4 years ago I started helping people build gaming computers by utilizing skype as I walked people through building their first computers all while broadcasting it onto twitch and uploading it onto youtube.   I quickly learned that I enjoyed broadcasting game play and entertaining people more than helping people build computers.  I had a vision of bringing others together who suffer from social anxiety, depression, or any disabilities that may limit the ability to have a social life.  Gaming helped me get through the most difficult times I've had in my life and helped me cope with my disability and I wanted to help others the same way by bringing them together in a community of gamers.

 

Over the last year and a half my health has been degrading permanently as I knew it was going to and its caused me to struggle with my priorities as iamApropos and leader of the AteamGC as well as being a husband, son, brother and nephew.

 

With a sad heart and much deliberation I announce I'm officially retiring as iamApropos.

Not everyone is going to understand why and some won't care but if you'll allow me to explain. I've been struggling for over a year now with my health and living situation as well as depression.  in the last 6 months my health, as most of you know, has degraded changing my living dynamic, changing what I can and can't do.  The battle I've been fighting with is whether or not I can continue as iamApropos.  My love for this community and passion for bringing people together battles with my new inability to have the mental, emotional, and physical strength to do live broadcasts or stress about administering the community. The problem I have is complex as it involves family, health and more.   Because of the degrading health I'm having less and less ability to focus or have the strength needed to do much of daily life let alone anything else.

 

I've had to sit down and seriously contemplate my situation. Because of my new limitations, if I do something that takes my energy, strength or focus and depletes it, I'm then unable to do anything else. So because of this I've had to seriously look at what I should prioritize with the limited strength and energy I have.  If I keep stressing about being iamApropos, broadcasting, administering the community I then have to sacrifice my time and responsibilities as a husband, nephew, brother and son. This has me devastated...

Do I continue doing iamApropos and the AteamGC and have no energy, strength or focus for my family? Or do I use my new limited strength, energy and focus on supporting my wife and family?  I do consider a lot of you my online family but after weighing all my options the latter of using my energy to support my wife and family seems to be the only reasonable and responsible option I currently have and the only option that makes sense to helping me be truly happy instead of feeling like I'm neglecting my wife and family.

 

If I keep stressing over things I can no longer do I end up creating a situation I cant fix which spirals me into deep depression as I feel obligated to broadcast and lead the AteamGC. This stress further adds to depleting my limited energy, focus and strength which prevents me from being able to do the things I need to do for my wife and family which I've been neglecting for years now.

 

I absolutely love the adventure I've had over the last three and a half years.  You all have helped make it amazing over this time and the friends I've made being iamApropos are priceless to me.  But my smiles, laughs and happy appearance on the outside have been lies to try and force myself to be happy while I suffer from massive depression and force myself to struggle through trying to continue doing this feeling like I'm neglecting my wife and family focusing on my own selfish desires to be an online entertainer and community leader.

 

I know some will feel like I'm abandoning them or taking advantage of something or other and I cant apologize enough if I've caused anyone to feel this way. Truly you may never understand how much you all mean to me and how much you've impacted my life. I can honestly say I wouldn't have been able to survive the last three and a half years if it wasn't for each and everyone of you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you've done for me and for this community.  

 

I've spent the last month dreadfully miserable contemplating suicide on multiple occasions. I've had at least 6 emotional break downs completely losing my ability to stay positive and supportive to my family.  I've neglected family responsibilities trying to force myself to do things I no longer can do because I didn't want to let go of iamApropos and the AteamGC.  But reasonably and responsibly for my family, my wife, and for my own peace of mind I need to make a drastic change and re evaluate what I'm doing and what will bring me true joy. Tried telling myself "just hold on and stop stressing about broadcasting or administrating the community until you feel better."  But sadly I cant, and the more I cant the more it stresses me out and that causes my depression to worsen which sends me down a dark hole that causes me to spend even more time away. More time away from not just the community but my wife and family near by.

 

I've turned off my gamewisp subscriptions as I did my patreon. I will be leaving the community in the hands of the current admin group, no one person is going to be left in charge and I encourage you to work together with the administrators. They'll be starting a community gamewisp to help cover community expenses.

 

I'm truly sorry that I've let this go on for so long giving unfounded hope that I may be able to keep doing iamApropos however I hoped, maybe blindly, and wished I didn't have to make this decision. I've been holding on for so long trying to excuse myself and by doing so I feel I've hurt some of you and I truly hope deep down you understand at least a little of what I'm going through and why I've felt this is the only decision I can come up with in order to find happiness in the miserable state I'm in. For now I can no longer torture myself by stressing over all the responsibilities that come with being iamApropos and leading the community while seeing myself neglect my wife and my family.

 

***The community members still waiting on their plushie abombs, and still want them, can expect them to be shipped by the end of August as they are finished.***

 

Again I thank all of you for everything you've done and for all the support you've shown me over the years and I'm sorry for any problems I've caused by this decision. I wish nothing but the best for all of you and hope you find peace, happiness, and joy in what ever you do.  

 

With my heart heavy and this being my last post as iamApropos I'll leave you with a final -

 

Now that's what's up!!! ~ Paul

iamApropos

Community Hype

During my streams I greatly appreciate everyone who comes to chat and actively participates with the community.  Community hype is my way of showing my appreciation and love for the community.  Most broadcasters do not allow anyone to self promote during their streams in fact most broadcasters will ban you if you promote anything about yourself or any content you might be creating on the internet.  I know for a fact that if it wasn't for the community that actively participates and supports me and my online content I'd wouldn't have a reason to continue. 

 

What is community hype?

At a specific time during the stream I allow active viewers to promote their social media and or online content.

 

When is community hype?

I will announce exactly when community hype starts and only during this time of the stream will self promoting be allowed. 

 

What can I post during community hype?

If you create content on the internet dealing with computers and or gaming you are welcome to post your social media links.  Do NOT spam repeatedly the same link.  I encourage you to provide a small description of your content along with the link. 
 

Who is allowed to post and what type of links are allowed during community hype?

EVERYONE! 

 

Type of links allowed: 

Online content creation pages and social media such as Youtube, Twitch, facebook,  twitter, hitbox.

 

Type of links not allowed:

Personal donation and or fund raiser, patreon, paypal, merchandise etailer shops are not allowed. Alternative community websites are also not allowed. If it isn't a content creation page or social media page it most likely isn't allowed.

 

Community hype is about bringing awareness to the online content you create and to help the community grow. Together we can help change the normal selfish attitude most communities have so we can grow a giving and thriving community and hopefully attract many more people with similar desires.

Please do not abuse this privilege or take advantage of my kindness because that will end up ruining it for everyone. 

Thank you everyone who actively support the community and I can't wait to see you next stream!

Now Thats Whats Up!!! ~ iamApropos

iamApropos

Whats up y'all!!?

When I think of the AteamGC I try to find more ways for us to unite together and be able to connect with each other easier especially it will benefit the majority for the greater good of the AteamGC.

Gamevox is great and it has served us well. It will also always be there as I am sponsored with it for life.  However after comparing it to Discord there are a lot of limitations with Gamevox.

Discord allows more of our community to connect with each other.  I have carefully considered the Pros and Cons of moving from Gamevox to Discord and the Pros far out weigh any of the Cons.

So by carefully considering the benefit of the majority within the AteamGC I have decided to fully move us to Discord:

http://www.discord.me/AteamGC

To connect using the above link -

1. make sure you have a verified email on your discord account.

2. First connection using that link needs to be done via a browser.

After you've connected first via a browser you can proceed to connect using Browser / Mobile / Desktop app.

Be sure to read the rules carefully and abide by them as Admins / Moderators will start strictly enforcing the rules to keep the peace.

When we need Gamevox as a group it'll be available however starting July 1st 2016 it will be password locked.

If you have issues with discord / connectivity ect.. please let the admins know as most issues have easy fixes.

I appreciate everyones support and understanding that this move isn't based on anything negative but rather to encourage bringing more of our community members together. In the last 2 weeks we've seen far more people joining Discord and being active than we'd ever seen in discord.

If you have any questions please feel free to discuss this move here:

http://iamapropos.com/index.php?/forums/topic/176-ateamgc-moves-to-discord/

 

Now That's What's Up!!!

iamApropos

Whats up y'all!!?
I've been a broadcaster / internet entertainer for going on 4 years.  Over this time period I've learned a lot about what it takes to not only build, grow, maintain and succeed but I've also learned a lot of the does and don'ts.  You might be thinking to yourself "but Paul you never became partnered" and this is true.  I know why I'm not partnered and I can sum it up to inconsistency and inability to keep a steady broadcast schedule.  This will be one of the points I'll cover, schedule and maintaining consistency with it. I wont claim to know everything nor will everything I say be apropos to everyone. I'll cover a few overall key points from schedule, interaction, entertainment and more.

Is it okay to become a broadcaster in the hopes to building a career out of it? of course but with the amount of competition in the market you'll have to work really hard and need a lot of help getting there. Setting the right expectation of growth, success and having a road map on how to reach your goals as a broadcaster are some ways to keep you focused through the ups, downs and plateaus of growing your channel and brand. Building a solid foundation for your channel is key but more than that is needed. There are people who are just broadcasting for the fun of it and aren't really worried about growing a channel / making a business out of being a broadcaster but I feel my experiences may help even them.  

There are literally millions of people broadcasting on multiple different platforms every month.  Twitch being the big elephant in the room with beam, hitbox, and youtube among others sites being in the mix.  Don't be fooled thinking you are only competing with those broadcasting on your specific site. Every single broadcaster is competing against each other no matter which site you decide to call home. In my opinion by selecting a site that has lower population of viewership you will fight a harder up hill battle trying to grow your channel but you do so with greater functionality and quality for your show. Just like real-estate location is key unless you are okay with taking the long slow approach and are able to handle the growing pains in exchange for better support and functionality / quality. 

If you don't have a reason why you are a broadcaster / online entertainer than your viewers wont have a reason to watch you.  Everyone has something special about themselves but not everyone is cut out to be a gaming broadcaster.  Just like not everyone is cut out to be a singer but some of us still enjoy singing from time to time doesn't mean we are the next Adele.

Contemplate that there are thousands upon thousands of people broadcasting game play in which they just flip a switch and start playing a video game.  They have no theme, they have no reason why they are doing it, and they have no idea how they are going to entertain those who are watching aside from just watching them play a video game.

No energy, no excitement, and hardly any interaction will result in hardly any viewers. Broadcasters need to be excited that people might come and watch. Show passion for what you are doing and that people are taking time out of their lives to come watch you do it. But you cant force something that isn't natural for you and that is when you have to be realistic and determine whether or not this is something that you can do, that you'll be good at naturally. For the most part nobody wants to watch Eeyore play video games they'd rather watch Tigger. You can have the best setup in audio and video equipment available but you cant purchase or easily learn to naturally be charismatic, passionate or entertaining.

Most people aren't going to watch someone just play video games unless that person is extremely, and yes I mean EXTREMELY good at the game or they have a lot of charisma, energy and commentary.  There are very few people who have both extremely good game play and can be entertaining.  For most people if they aren't the first then they need to be the later. Ask yourself, what is going to make my broadcast stand out amidst all the other million broadcasters just staring at their game barely ever saying anything to chat?  You can go to twitch and find the most broadcasted game and scroll to the bottom of the list and find literally hundreds of people doing just that so stand out and make a difference!

Tools of the trade to help you succeed as an online entertainer gaming broadcaster that can work on any website you choose to deliver your show to.

 Pick a realistic schedule you can keep so people can plan ahead to watch you.

 Get some generic buttons for the bottom of your show for your social media, build specs, rules and information needed for viewers.

 *(Do not only throw up a donation button and call it good it'll be taken in poor taste)

 Decide on what your shows theme will be.  example is @BroBQhttp://www.twitch.tv/BroBQ his theme is meat BBQ sizzling meat.

 Figure out your alert interactions for follows, hosts, raids, tips aka donations. Example is how I react to every follow while I'm live.

 "Thank you for that follow welcome to the ateam gaming community, that is what we call ourselves around here and they are going to DROP ABOMBS IN CHAT to welcome you to the  community!"

 Use a bot to help with announcements a good starter bot is Nightbot or Branebot.

 Do not focus on follower count because the only thing that matters are those who are watching when you are live. Follower count is pointless in my opinion.

 Do not watch the viewer count when you are live you should focus on gaming commentary and interacting with those typing in chat. Just because nobody is chatting doesn't mean they  aren't watching / lurking.

The quicker you can set a consistent schedule for your broadcast the better. People want to know ahead of time when you'll be live so they can plan for it.  I've learned this the hard way because of my limitations I cant keep my schedule most of the time but I do have one so people know the possible times I'll be live.  Someone to look at as a great example for this is http://www.twitch.tv/LibrizziLoL among other things his schedule is stable and consistent.

A good bit of advice that http://www.twitter.com/PrettyPh3nom gave on getting use to constantly commentating during your show when chat is dead is to use your bot. Give your bot timers to say things to you. Have your bot ask you vague questions about what you are doing or why you are doing it.   This will get you use to constantly talking about what it is you are doing and why you are doing it in game.  This is what some call the "Big Caster Mode" because if you go watch big casters such as Gassy Mexican or Man vs Game when they have upwards of 1k+ viewers and their chat is flying by. Those casters are barely interacting with chat but they are constantly commentating on what is going on, what they are doing and why they are doing it along with their alert interactions.

One of the biggest don'ts is do not go into other communities and poach to build your community. No matter how much you may shout out that other community nobody will consider it cross promotion, rather they'll consider it poaching and you'll burn bridges causing animosity between you and other broadcasters. If you do visit other communities become part of them and enjoy what they have built. Trust me they'll notice you are a broadcaster without you having to say a word or shamelessly self promoting. You'll be more respected for this than the temporary small growth poaching and shameless self promoting may bring. Gaining the respect and trust of other broadcasters and their communities can pay off tremendously in the long run by raids and shout outs. To top it off you'll make friends and valued alliances.

While growing your channel interaction with chat is paramount.  Seconds to viewers is equal to minutes and the longer you go without responding to chat the more those precious seconds turn into new viewers walking away from your channel and never returning.  I've found that practicing looking at chat every 10-15 seconds is the perfect time to be able to grab key things from chat and begin bantering. Once you've began bantering on one comment keep checking to see if you can pick up another topic to discuss to continue the flow once you've finished the first topic.

Use this time growing your channel to practice and hone your skills as a broadcaster.  Practice commentary and get accustomed to talking when there is nobody to talk to. Take this time to become the broadcaster / entertainer you want everyone to watch and start broadcasting as if nobody is there but yet thousands are watching and wanting to see what you do next and hear what you say next.  Give people a reason as to why they should watch your show and make them feel like they are part of something special when they are in your chat.  Don't for a second think just because nobody is chatting that they aren't watching and listening and learn to cherish the lurker because sometimes they are more valuable than anyone typing in chat.
Strive to improve what you do as a broadcaster every time you go live and dont be afraid to ask other broadcasters for advice because most of us know how difficult the road is to becoming an online gaming broadcast entertainer.

Another great read on this topic is by @KodeTen here: http://iamapropos.com/index.php?/forums/topic/126-kodetens-living-notebook-streaming-tips-tactics/

I love entertaining people with my gaming broadcasts and I hope to help others by sharing my experiences.

Now That's What's Up!!!

iamApropos

I'm starting this off with the last booth I was able to visit while I was attending PAX South 2016. I wanted you all to see what I experienced because what CybertronPC had on display left me breathless and their enthusiasm as well as their passion for their company and products inspired me.

So what I'm going to do is show off some of the pictures we took at the booth to give you a teaser of what we saw and hopefully follow up soon with the video showing off each product a little better.

Here is the CLX systems we saw at the PAX South 2016 CybertronPC booth:

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Pictures and video dont do these amazing looking systems justice as seeing them in person was quite the experience.
I can't thank CybertronPC enough for taking the time to talk with me and allow me to show off their amazing products with all of you.

If you'd like more information about these systems go here:

http://www.cybertronpc.com/CLX
Follow Cybertron PC on twitter:
https://twitter.com/CybertronPC

 

Stay tuned for my video experience at the PAX South 2016 Cybertron booth!

Now That's What's Up!!! ~ Paul 





 

My coverage of PAX South 2016 was made possible thanks to Monoprice

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http://www.monoprice.com

iamApropos

iamApropos live broadcast schedule and information on the Ateam Gaming Community

The tentative stream schedule (Central Time Zone):
This will be updated from time to time on the websites calendar too
  • Thursday 7-10pm -
  • Thursdays show is a solo queue show in which iamApropos plays some form of Call of Duty or single player game. 
 
  • Friday 7-10pm  -  
  • T.G.I.F. Gaming with Friends Friday!!!  You are welcome to come play games with iamApropos while the actions live on twitch!
    Random during the day streams may occur while:  "While Wifey is at college away the husband will play - GAMES!"

 

  • Saturday 7-10pm  
  • Sloshed Saturday is an adult oriented show in which those of 21+ age who wish to participate may join iamApropos in GameVox and play video games during the live show.
 
  • Sunday 7-10pm
  • Sunday Funday with my honey Kaaipucca and the #AteamGC laid back live show in which wifey picks the games we play together!

 

(Schedule and theme may change at any given time so please keep up to date by following on twitter @iamApropos)

 

What is the Ateam Gaming Community?

My online name being iamApropos based on the word Apropos and that I named my community, OUR community the A-team!

 

Why does everyone spam ABOMB in chat?

Since we are the "A"team Gaming Community "dropping Abombs in chat" is a way to show A little excitement! get it A little teehee

It has also become our community icon as well as plushies are made in the abomb shape for community members.

Ways in which Abomb is acceptable:

When welcoming a new follower of the stream / member into the Ateam Gaming Community

If something really awesome is announced.

When someone orders a Treat from Treatstream.

When donations happen.

If you want to express your excitement and give props to something really cool that just happened in the game being played.

If you are visiting another streamer on behalf of the community let them know we send our Abombs!

These are great examples of when dropping Abombs might be acceptable.  By the way you could also type KAPOW all caps along side your Abombs to show even more enthusiasm and excitement!

We have custom community chat icons available all you have to do is download http://www.frankerfacez.com and it'll allow you to use them!

 

What is Community Hype?

Community Hype is my way of giving back to the Ateam Gaming Community by giving a specific time during my stream in which I allow and encourage self promotion.  Here is an explanation of Community Hype and its rules on how to participate: 

~ Now That's What's Up!!!

 

Paul - iamApropos

iamApropos

PAX South 2016 Day 1

What's up y'all!!?

As most of you may have known I was not planning to attend PAX South at all. I had arrangements to actually be out of the country that ended up not working out last minute so I started planning a meet up instead. Just a few days before PAX South I received a phone call letting me know that I was being given not just 2 badges but two Exhibitor badges for my wife and I. To top it off I was given the privilege to give away 3 single day passes one for each day on behalf of Monoprice and @Steve_OMG.  

Thanks to Monoprice for making this years coverage of PAX South possible.

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This years event is going to be completely different than last year. I don't have an area or booth to gather people nor do I have specific plan to do so.  We have a planned meet n greet Saturday at 12:30pm at the RiverCenter food court so I figured that'd be where we get a group together.   What I plan for Friday is to go around get an idea of the floor plan meet up with some people do maybe a couple of interviews and test the sound recording.  if sound doesn't turn out as planned I'll end up doing broll and voice over post production.  I really don't know if there is a right way to approach a convention like this so I'm flying by the seat of my pants and just going to enjoy myself as much as I can.   
I'm preparing for this event by taking lots of vitamin C and other suppliments to hopefully prevent the CON CRUD that typically happens when attending events.  I've also packed my camcorder, cybershot hand camera, wifes tablet for possible periscoping, my tablet for personal selfies some ear buds and breath mints.  

Today I want to show the Twitch booth specifically, especially after seeing it being put together yesterday behind the scenes which I couldn't show off.   Being able to go and look around the day before the event opens felt like I was breaking the rules because most people would never get to see or do that.  I'm very honored that I get to experience this event in a way I never thought I would be able to and I'm happy I get to share most of it with all of you.

If you see me at any event:

1. come say hi

2. don't be afraid to hug me, I prefer hugs, I LOVE HUGS!!!

3. if I'm wearing my back pack inquire about any #AteamGC swag

4. Make sure we take a selfie together!!

5. Don't forget the hugs!

Hope to see you there and if not I hope you enjoy my coverage of PAX South 2016!

Now That's What's Up!!! ~ iamApropos

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*Wish you were here Steve!

iamApropos

*** ANNOUNCEMENT ***

To go along with our motto "Stop Gaming Alone" we are going to start a once a month community game night VLAN.

What is a VLAN?  

A VLAN = Virtual Local Area Network. What we refer to when we talk about a VLAN is basically a gathering of gamers in order to play video games together.

When is the Monthly Community Game Night VLAN?

So everyone can plan ahead for these monthly community game night VLAN's we are going to start scheduling them to be held the 2nd Saturday of every month.

January 9th 2016 being our first official community game night VLAN.

How does the Community Game Night VLAN work?

The forum post will allow people to sign up to indicate who and how many people plan to attend.  Also on the same forum post you can reply and indicate which games you'd like to play during this event so that we can add it to the list in order to allow everyone to download the games ahead of time.

How long will each Community Game Night VLAN last?
We'll plan for the event to last 12 hours from 12pm CST until 12am CST

Who are able to participate?

This event is not limited to only the Ateam Gaming Community.  We welcome anyone to join the event and stop gaming alone!

Where will everyone meet?

We will be utilizing the Ateam Gaming Community Gamevox for this event (details provided on the forum post linked bellow)


How do I sign up for this event?

All you need to do is go to the following link reply providing your following names, Gamevox, Steam, Origin and possibly Uplay.  Suggest games you'd like to play and include "I plan on attending the event" 
***Do not reply to this blog you need to click the link bellow.***

Sign up here: 

 

iamApropos

Favorite games of 2015

What's Up Y'all!!?
This was a fantastic year to be a PC gamer.  So many new games were released for many different genres. Sometimes its really hard to pick favorites because each game has their own special appeal.  I'm going to be discussing the games that I enjoyed the most in 2015. My go to genre is typically first person shooter games I'll be referring to as FPS; however from time to time I do enjoy a good role playing game (RPG) and or strategy game.  I'm going to cover my favorite games as well as my most disappointing game of the year.  When I play a game for the first time I try to play at least 50+ hours to give it the best chance I can. That differs a little when it comes to a FPS game as I tend to give those approximately 100+ hours before giving it a final judgement.  
Games that launched in 2015 I was able to play:

Evolve - Feb

Sniper Elite 3 - March

Battlefield Hardline - March

GTA V - April

Mortal Combat X - April

Witcher 3 - May

Batman Arkham Knight - June

Heroes of the Storm - June

Rocket League - July

World of Warships - September

Mad Max - September

Call of Duty Black ops 3 - November

Star Wars Battlefront - November

Fallout 4 - November

 

First I'm going to cover a couple different games.  

I watched Evolve being played when I was with AMD at the Logitech booth attending PAX South Jan 2015. Simply put this is an arena game in which you are either a monster which evolves with unique skills and is either being hunted or hunting a party of other players. Or you are in the party of other players ranging from damage dealers, trappers, healers and so on who are hunting down the single player evolving monster.  It looked fantastic and I got excited when I was gifted a copy later in the year.  At first I had a lot of fun playing the game but after a while I got kind of bored with how repetitive it felt.  After about 20+ hours it just felt like I was doing the same thing over and over. This may be ironic since I have a love for CoD FPS games but for some reason it was enough for me not to be able to really dig more into Evolve. 

Mortal Combat X brought back so many childhood memories and was the first game I grabbed an Xbox controller to play the game on my PC.  Finishers and combos made muscle memory long forgotten come back to life.  I really enjoyed the nostalgia of the game and the new look and feel of this version.  After many years of playing this type of game I feel I've out grown its replay value and lost interest after only a short few hours of game play.

Heroes of the Storm - Blizzards MOBA using its main characters from their games as the playable characters.  I have fun from time to time jumping into this game and playing my favorite Blizzard characters however unique it is I just can't find enough enjoyment from it or uniqueness to have me really playing it often enough to keep it on my system.

 

Now my go to game genre First Person Shooters and one of which is my most disappointed game of the year:

Sniper Elite 3 ~ came out and I was excited because the bullet time slow motion shots have always been incredibly detailed and graphic which made trying to get the right shots in fun and rewarding.  I love being able to sneak around and find my own way of completing missions.  I truly had a great time in the single player and dabbled a little in multiplayer too.  Multiplayer was fun but every match I played just turned into a big Team Death Match - Free for all craziness.  With the limitations of this game that play style just didn't appeal to me.

Battlefield Hardline ~ For a few years now I've been hosting a live show on Fridays in which I welcome people to come play a Massive Multiplayer First Person shooter game with me. At the beginning of the year I was anticipating to be the next game I played on Fridays.  Sure the Criminals vs Cops theme was intriguing and during beta I loved being able to melee take down enemies.  What still is an okay game just did not live up to what I wanted and needed in a Battlefield titled game for it to replace Battlefield 4 for my new Friday game.

Call of Duty Black Ops 3 ~  Now as some of you may know CoD is my go to game but for the last couple of years Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer studios have failed to release a CoD that was worth playing and I feel I wasted my money on Ghost and Advanced Warfare.  But my excitement came when I found out that Treyarch was doing Black Ops 3.  I really enjoyed the first 2 and anticipated that they'd do a good job with this one.   So far for the most part this has been my favorite FPS of 2015:

BO3-Reveal.thumb.jpg.95293ebb89d06766321

 

However even though this is my favorite FPS of 2015 it has some MAJOR flaws that need to be ironed out on PC.  in Black ops 2 they had a ping limiter that allowed you to lower it which would restrict your connection to lobbies to that ping range.  In this version of the game they no longer have this. The problem is that randomly match making, for what ever reason, throws me instantly into European or even Oceanic lobbies giving me a 150+ ping.  This not only is unplayable but is a huge complaint I hear from nearly everyone I've talked to who plays the game on PC.  I for one choose to not play the game when this happens and would rather not play it at all if I don't have some way of restricting my lobby connection to my own region.   I jump into the game from time to time and if it puts me in a NA lobby I'll play a few matches but the second it instantly puts me into a EU or Oceanic lobby I log out and play something else.   That being said as I mentioned before this is still my favorite FPS of 2015.

 

Star Wars Battlefront ~ I'm a huge Star Wars fan.  I love the movies, I loved the previous Battlefront games and I really hoped they would have done this game correctly.  Once again when I found out this game was going to have 40 player massive 20vs20 game mode I got excited and hoped this would be a game I could use for my Friday night live show.  With such a large multiplayer combat I assumed it would include a way for large amounts of people to play together and or against each other.  Since it was a Star Wars game and Star Wars fans love the story and really enjoy Immersively getting involved within that plot I was expecting some form of single player mode in which we could enjoy the sounds, the visuals and live by going through the story with the amazing graphics this game was touting.  I'm not going to get too into the explanations that the developers gave as to why these things were not going to be part of this game but I will say it is my main complaint.   I can get past the lack of gun play and the lack of any story line but the inability to easily game with more than 8 of my friends with or against each other in a game that has 20vs20 player battles just turns me off completely.  This game has the sounds and the visuals and what feels to me as the cheap casual jump in and shoot a blaster, use an AT-AT or AT-ST, or Pilot an X-wing - Tie Fighter - Y Wing or more without any further depth.  I can only handle about max maybe an hour before I'm bored and the sounds. But after an hour or so the sights of Star Wars no longer keep my excitement or attention.  No space battles, No single player, No Galactic Conquest, Not moddable and compared to Battlefront 2, 32 vs 32 they lowered it to 20 vs 20 and restricted how many of you and your friends can play together.  The game feels like a developer was more interested in making money off the Star Wars brand than providing a game that Star Wars fans would truly enjoy and it most definitely does not deserve the $59 price tag.  The game looks great, Sounds great but is My biggest game disappointment for 2015:
logo.thumb.png.d20ad68deed155df7e4b2be1b

 

Getting on with the RPG's of the year I really enjoyed all of the ones I played and was hooked more by a few than others even though they were all pretty fantastic.  The 4 I'm going to focus on were my favorites. Mad Max is a great game and you don't need to watch the movie to enjoy the game at all.  Witcher 3 is absolutely beautiful and will punish even the highest end gaming systems.  Fallout 4 was such an anticipated game and even with the fast amount of glitches / bugs within the game it is still quite an excellent experience.  GTA V could easily have been my favorite with how well the story was told throughout the game experience in single player.  I love being able to customize cars, drive around different area's and see how well they match real world locations.
I will say between these 4 they each have their own unique pros and cons and they each have their own completely different stories, worlds and gaming experience but so far my favorite has been:
header.thumb.jpg.1fd8fd55291d18a0f056fce

 

The game starts out hooking me into the story and really getting me involved with the world and whats going on.  I found myself wanting to jump in for a small gaming session only to wind up 3-4 hours later without realizing the time had slipped away.

 

My game of the year has given me hours of fun, has brought the Ateam Gaming Community together at least once a week. Has caused chants of "Si Se Puede" as well as quotes like "Get **** on!" and even started a Karp Cult.  It is simplistic in design and allows for anyone to jump in have a great time and enjoy gaming together.  Its easy to get into but very difficult to master however because of this it allows for all walks of player types within the game to enjoy it together.

If you haven't guessed what game I chose for my game of the year 2015:

Logo-Website-141021-Rocket-League2.thumb

 

 

It really was a great year to be a gamer either on PC or console and I really had a great time experiencing most of these games with you.  

In this blog I've covered my favorite games of 2015 and my most disappointing game of 2015. I'd love to hear what your favorite games of 2015 were and what your most disappointing games of 2015 were and you can share that with the community here: 


Now That's What's Up!!! ~ iamApropos

iamApropos

With the weather getting colder and people needing to find ways to stay warm we've launched an Ateam Gaming Community black zip up hoodie with white logo!

We only have 5 days left on the campaign and we need 8 more reserved to get them printed so hurry up and reserve yours while you still can.

https://teespring.com/ateamhoodie

2016 ushering in a new year for our community I've decided to focus on neutrality when it comes to a step further than our 2015 motto referring to hardware neutrality.  We don't care which color brand or which site you broadcast on we don't care where you play video games or if you are an artist, we welcome everyone to join us in growing a positive community uniting people from all walks of life!  White being a neutral color we've kept the blue green and red bar on the back logo to build on last years motto as we continue to grow together!

AteamHoodie2.thumb.PNG.41ef99689dabe3be7

if you get or have an AteamGC shirt or hoodie the community would love to see it so go share your pictures here: 
http://iamapropos.com/index.php?/forums/topic/66-ia-ateamgc-tshirt-showcase/ 

For those of you still interested in the black shirt with white logo you can still reserve yours here:

https://teespring.com/ateamgcwhite

Just click "I still want one!"

I look forward to see you next stream and interacting with you on social media and on the forums!

Now That's What's Up!!!

iamApropos

Select 5.1 Channel Home Theater Satellite Speakers & Subwoofer

I used a Pioneer 700W 5.1 channel Home Theater Receiver when testing these speakers.  Arranging the speakers around the room was easy as the satellites are very small.  

(Monoprice provided this product free for review purposes.)

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I tested the speakers with playing games, music and movies.  With the subwoofer I used the single dedicated mono LFW input.  When the system first kicked on I was instantly impressed with how clear and bright the satellite speakers were as well as how much punch the subwoofer produced.  

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Speaker Specifications:

  • 30 watts maximum input power
  • 3" paper cone woofer with rubber surround
  • 0.5" PEI tweeter
  • 90Hz ~ 20kHz frequency response
  • 8 ohms nominal impedance

Subwoofer Specifications:

  • Built-in 200-watt power amplifier
  • Ported cabinet with forward firing driver
  • 8" paper cone woofer with rubber surround
  • 40Hz ~ 1.3kHz frequency response
  • 46 ~ 250 Hz variable low pass crossover

Playing music for the first day included genres of classic rock, 1940's and 50's swing / jitterbug, Blues, Country, R&B, Rap, EDM and Pop.   I had a difficult time trying to find a setting on the subwoofer because some music such as Country and Pop the bass was too much and was overbearing making other frequencies muddy yet with other music such as EDM and RAP it was hard hitting and provided a good punch.  

20151018_140532.thumb.jpg.bbf837470ed080  20151018_140626.thumb.jpg.c71b317f00045f

 

Gaming the bass from the subwoofer was intense and gave extra depth to the experience. The satellite speakers provided amazing clarity and soundstage giving me situational awareness I didn't expect.

Movie night gave a good chance to show what these speakers can do.  Played Top Gun to get the feel of the surround as the jets flew across and over head.   The bass from the subwoofer gave depth to the sound of action movies however it once again needed adjusting for less dramatic movies.   I found that as long as the center channel was pointed directly at the listener and the surrounding speakers were placed correctly the sound stage for most movies was shockingly open, spacious, and had you kind of wanting to look around at the different noises happening around the room.  

Aside from needing to adjust the subwoofer volume / frequency for each application of audio whether it be gaming, music, movies as well as not maxing out the volume on the subwoofer I couldn't find many things to complain about these speakers.  The Satellites provide a bright clear high that isn't harsh or glaring as well as a steady firm mid range in which the subwoofer picks up the lower end of the mid range and all of the bass.  The bass of the Subwoofer can be overbearing at times but with tweaking it hits hard with a great punch and full depth of sound.

 

Pro:

Satellite speakers are small and easy to conceal.

None descriptive making it easy to blend with nearly any decor

Threaded mount on satellite speakers give extra options for speaker placement

Multiple different jacks for connecting audio to the subwoofer.

Con:

Subwoofer bass can muddle and or drown out audio.

Difficult to find a good balance setting for the subwoofer between music, movies, gaming as the bass for one thing may be overbearing for another.

Maxing out the frequency range and volume on the subwoofer caused artifacts with bass heavy audio.

 
You can find these speakers here:
 
If you'd like to discuss this review or have any questions about the speakers please join the conversation on the forums here:
 
Here are the photos of the connections on the speakers and the clearance of the subwoofer:

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iamApropos

Over on instagram I saw some photos that Janettwokay had posted of what her daughter made:

 

as you can see this looks amazing so I had to give it a try!

I started this journey by going to the Central Market here in San Antonio. Locally this market has the biggest selection of cheese and fresh baked breads so I figured it'd be the best place to choose the ingredients I'd need to make this cheesy garlic deliciousness. 

With so many cheeses to choose from the selection was difficult but I decided to go simple as its my first time trying this recipe. I ended up getting some fresh mozzarella and mild cheddar I felt the blend would give some contrasting flavors along with the garlic I was going to add.  

Picking out the loaf of bread was probably the most difficult part of this selection process because Central market has so many different

types to choose from. Sourdough, durum sourdough, french loaf, italian loaf and many more. I think you can understand my dilemma.  After discussing with the baker what I was planning to do with the loaf I was directed into choosing the popular Sourdough loaf as it is sturdy enough to handle the slices I'm preparing to do.

 

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I felt grating my cheese was the best option as I can get smaller bits of grated cheese deeper into the cuts of the bread.  I ended up regretting that as I'll cover later.

 

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You want to cut rows approximately half an inch to an inch apart in both directions.  This provides you with crisscrossing rows in which you'll stuff your cheese into.

 

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When I mentioned before I ended up regretting that I shredded the cheese well here you can kind of see why.  If I would have used thin slices of cheese instead I would have been able to wedge them between the rows far easier than trying to squish shredded cheese into the rows.  Even with that minor problem it still went fairly well.  Slowly but surely I started from one end of the loaf and gently opened each row and fit as much cheese in as possible.

 

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I melted 1/4 cup butter with minced garlic and drizzled that on top of each row of cheese.  Preheat the oven to 350f, wrap the loaf up with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes.

 

20151118_181607.thumb.jpg.13ab2e0ee24479

Pull apart Garlic Cheesy Sourdough Loaf!

20151118_181820.thumb.jpg.eff159ee94166a

This stuff is perfect for a gathering where you can put this in the middle of a table and hand everyone little plates to tear off chunks as everyone socializes.  You could make a garlic mayo sauce or even a sriracha mayo dipping sauce to go with this but as it is this pull apart garlic cheesy sourdough loaf is amazing!  

If you plan on trying this recipe or have any questions about any step to this recipe feel free to join the conversation on our forums here:
http://iamapropos.com/index.php?/forums/topic/87-pull-apart-garlic-cheesy-sourdough-loaf/

Enjoy and I look forward to sharing my next blog with you soon!

 

 

 

 

iamApropos

Sapphire Nitro R7 370 Radeon Graphics Card.  I'm calling it "The Step Up". Just like my previous article about the Sapphire Nitro R7 360 Radeon graphics card I'll be approaching this review differently.  I wont be focusing on raw performance rather I'll be discussing my experience, how I used the card and which games I was able to play at settings that allowed for smooth game play.  Your mileage may vary but hopefully I'll provide a good understanding of what you can expect from this piece of hardware.  I'll also be sharing some tips I was able to get from discussing gaming and graphics cards during my interview I had with Ed Crisler from Sapphire Technologies. 

Specs of the system used for this review:

Monitor: BenQ XL2411 24'' 144hz

CPU: AMD FX 9590 Stock Speeds

MB: ASUS ROG Crosshair V Formula Z

Memory: 16gb (2x8gb) 1600mhz

SSD: Samsung 840 240gb

PSU: Fractal Design Newton 1000w

Latest AMD Catalyst Drivers: 15.201.1151-150821a-188665E

 

Methodology of testing:

I tested each game by using Automated graphics settings when available and ran through roughly an hour or 2 of gaming.  When available I'd run the games benchmark and see if the game was playable.  More often than not the benchmark would indicate playable frame rates yet settings would need to be adjusted slightly to make it smooth.  Just like the previous review of the R7 360 this Sapphire Nitro R7 370 Radeon graphics card is focused towards 1080p 60hz users.  Also I used this card for two weeks while I did my live gaming broadcasts on twitch.

One thing I wanted to point out is the SPI - Sapphire Performance Index.  Sapphire uses this to index the performance of their cards and this specific card is SPI 2 "The SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 has a SPI rating of 2 and offers accessible gaming, allows 1080p performance with reduce detail levels while maintaining a good gaming experience."

 

The Specs:

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

Dimensions:

2 Slot 8.31x4.38x1.42 (Inch)

211.12x111.15.36 (mm)

1024 Stream Processors

985 MHz

256 bit Memory Bus

4096 MB GDDR5

Power Consumption: 150W

PCI-Express 3.0

Output:

1 x DVI-I

1 x DVI-D

1 x HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

Dual-X Fans

System Requirement:

500 Watt power supply suggested

1 x 6-pin AUX Power Connecter

2 x 6-pin AUX Power Connected is required for CrossFireX 

 

Closer Look:

DSC00053.thumb.JPG.8d3092beeb3c1ef16734f

Packaging comes with driver CD (Recommended to download most recent drivers instead of using the CD), VGA to DVI adapter and manual.

DSC00054.thumb.JPG.abd7d8ee4d0c5748c2877

That NITRO color scheme is very appealing and some what neutral for most builds.
DSC00057.thumb.JPG.dc259ba9b88224a4b9bdb

Showing the 6pin AUX power conneciton.
DSC00058.thumb.JPG.fe300312d257422b168a3
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Game Play

I went ahead and used the same game line up from testing the Sapphire Nitro R7 360.  This'll allow me to indicate some of the differences in settings that "The Step Up" R7 370 will give and still maintain smooth game play.  Free to play games first so lets get started.

League of Legends:

Just like previous testing revealed League of Legends is more CPU dependent than GPU but maxing out the settings with the system I'm using:

Screen02.thumb.png.1faae5e40d85c5cb3c1c9

The game play at maxed settings was enjoyable

Screen03.thumb.png.edafaf399029d491e278c

Even during massive group team battles I never saw stuttering and never noticed the any major frame drops.

 

 

World of Warships:

I've become slightly addicted to this game as I've used this Sapphire Nitro R7 370 Radeon graphics card to go from tier 3 to tier 5 over the last couple weeks.

worldofwarships_2015_10_07_17_33_31_487.

Being able to max out the settings and have it be very smooth game play the difference now is that with the R7 360 close combat showed a noticeable difference in frame dips but with this Sapphire Nitro R7 370 Radeon graphics card you'll see in the next picture some difference.

worldofwarships_2015_10_07_17_31_34_315.

In this combat situation taking shells, on fire, and water exploding next to the ship the game play stayed smooth and the frame rate hardly ever dipped drastic enough to be noticeable. 

 

 

Guild Wars 2

With HoT being launched I felt this would be a great game to re test as you can see the settings now can be put on High with some set to medium, turning shadows to none and Character Model Limit to Medium as well as Character Model Quality to Medium.

Gw2_2015_10_07_18_46_01_260.thumb.png.f0

The next shot is me running around doing events and quests:

Gw2_2015_10_07_18_40_39_451.thumb.png.d7

Doing events around maps this game ran with these settings was enjoyable however places such as Lions Arch or big action packed battles I did notice stuttering and couldn't find any setting that would improve upon that.  Even running this card at the same settings I ran the R7 360 those dips still happened however R7 370 still played smoother at higher settings during all other game play.

 

 

We've Covered a few of the same Free to play games as I did last time so now lets see if there was any difference in some of the similar AAA titles including the beta of Star Wars Battlefront.

 

Battlefield 4

This game has some of the best visuals and I still love jumping in and watching as destruction happens to buildings around me. Here are the settings the R7 370 allowed me to play smoothly:

bf4_2015_10_07_17_48_14_645.thumb.png.8e

As you can see the Auto setting turns on the High presets, giving me a little more detail and visual enjoyment.

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The explosion is C4 blowing up a car which typically would cause major noticeable frame changes yet as the destruction unfolded around me the game still played smooth and I didn't notice any major dips in performance.

 

 

Battlefield Hardline:

Going down the Battlefield list here are the lettings Auto put the game at:

bfh_2015_10_22_13_30_20_331.thumb.png.b4

Once again just like with BF4 I the preset for AUTO has moved the settings to High again giving some extra visual goodness to the game.

Next screen cap is of some action happening as I was a gunner in a helicopter taking small arms fire:

bfh_2015_10_22_13_29_29_111.thumb.png.80

I ended up getting so immersed into the game that I didn't want to stop playing!

 

 

Dragon Age Inquisition:

I once again used the automatic settings and this is what it was set to:

DragonAgeInquisition_2015_10_22_13_57_48

Seeing a trend that using the Auto setting with the Sapphire NITRO R7 370 puts the settings on High with Tessellation on Medium.  A game play shot reveals some great visuals and the game play was once again overall smooth.

DragonAgeInquisition_2015_10_22_14_00_55

The game looked great though I'd recommend running the game without shadows or tessellation to encourage smoother game play as well as fewer dips in performance.

 

 

Dirt Rally:

Checking out this great rally game again Auto presets are once again what I used:

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I ran the benchmark in this game to give myself an idea of how it should perform in game races:

drt_2015_10_22_13_49_36_297.thumb.png.04

Just comparing the benchmark between the R7 360 and this R7 370 the MAX was lower though the minimum and average were significantly higher.   What I experienced was a visually more appealing game with the higher settings and very smooth game play during races.

 

 

Shadows of Morder:

Now the auto settings are again what I used and this time I was able to play with Tessellation turned on:

ShadowOfMordor_2015_10_07_19_47_37_270.t

There is definitely some noticeable performance improvements going with the R7 370 and this time the benchmark was indicative of the game play:

ShadowOfMordor_2015_10_07_19_53_20_677.t

Though the numbers indicate lower performance with higher settings and more graphic settings enabled if you recall I wasn't able to play the game with Tessellation turned on with the R7 360 however with the R7 370 I can enable Tessellation and have higher graphics settings and still have a very smooth gaming experience with greater noticeable visuals.

 

 

Witcher 3:

This game is very difficult to run and even with this R7 370 I still needed to run the game at low settings however frame rate was higher and some what more stable:

witcher3_2015_10_07_19_33_30_664.thumb.p

Make sure that Hair works is disabled and shadows are low or turned off will help tremendously in your ability to play this game with the Sapphire NITRO R7 370.

 

 

Star Wars Battlefront Beta:

I've been so hyped about this game and so ready to play it that I had to take the time and include this for those of you whom maybe interested.  Knowing this was beta and performance may change on launch this can give you a good indication of what to expect.

starwarsbattlefront_2015_10_08_09_49_49_

Auto preset put the settings at Medium and I played all modes available but Hoth seemed to be the most visually aggressive:

starwarsbattlefront_2015_10_08_09_50_30_

Running around as a storm trooper the game played wonderfully smooth even with thermal detonators were exploding near me. 

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Jumping into an AT-ST to rain down terror and destruction to the rebels the R7 370 never skipped a beat. Next I had to get into the air.

starwarsbattlefront_2015_10_08_10_02_22_

Flying around in a Tie Fighter with no major performance dips.  Had to test a few other air vehicles before moving on:

starwarsbattlefront_2015_10_09_08_47_14_

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Then I went back to the ground units for further testing:

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If the Star Wars Battlefront beta was any indication of performance then rest assured the Sapphire NITRO R7 370 will be able to handle the game wonderfully!

 

I encourage you to check out the live interview discussion with Sapphire Technologies very own Ed Crisler. We discuss these graphics cards, gaming, and give tips on how to improve your gaming experience:

 

 

 

Conclusion:

After having my eyes opened by the R7 360 I was excited to test I was excited to see what this R7 370 had to offer.  Going through just the short list of games I provided in this article doesn't do it justice as I played many others and had a great time doing so.  I call this "The Step Up" graphics card because it bring that extra raw performance with higher graphics settings step up from the R7 360.  Sapphire doesn't over hype the card and in fact with their Sapphire Index Rating they nailed it on the head giving it a rating of 2:

"The SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 has a SPI rating of 2 and offers accessible gaming, allow 1080p performance with reduced detail levels while maintaining a good gaming experience."

Being that I stream live on twitch it is a necesity that I'm able to use more than one monitor easily and that is an added bonus this card features as it has DVI-I and DVI-D allowing me to easily connect both monitors I have.  I was able to live broadcast for 2 weeks with this graphics card and I'm almost ashamed to say it but nearly didn't miss my main GPU.

Thank you Sapphire Technologies for providing this card for review and if you enjoyed this review!

Join the community on the forms to discuss this article and or if you have any questions leave them on the forums here:

Now That's What's Up!!!

 

 

 

 

iamApropos

Sapphire Nitro R7 360 Radeon Graphics Card is what I'll be covering in this article.  Not too many years ago if you were looking for a budget oriented graphics card you had to be aware of which games you could and or couldn't play. I'll be approaching this review a little differently in the sense that I'll be covering which settings I used to be able to make games playable for me.  Your mileage may vary but this will give someone a general idea of what they can look forward to when gaming with this graphics card.  I ranged the game selection from MOBA league of Legends to triple A titles such as Witcher 3.  I'll be including screen shots of settings I used as well as one of either the benchmark results or action screen shot during game play.

The system I used to test:

Monitor: BenQ XL2411 24'' 144hz

CPU: AMD FX 9590 Stock Speeds

MB: ASUS ROG Crosshair V formula Z

Memory: 16gb (2x8gb) 1600mhz

SSD: Samsung 840 240gb SSD

PSU: Fractal Design 1000W Newton

Using the latest AMD Catalyst drivers: 15.7.1

How I tested each game was by using Automated settings for graphics when available and ran about an hour of gaming in each game.  When a game had a built in Benchmark I'd test the benchmark at medium or high and then do game play and found sometimes the benchmark would indicate game play would be good yet actual game play under those settings wasn't smooth and needed to be adjusted.  My thinking behind this card is that its focused towards 1080p 60hz gaming so that is what I tried to keep in mind when trying to find optimal settings for smooth game play at 60 FPS or lower.  Some of the games I tested I wasn't able to reach 60+ frame rate however with some settings changed I was able to maintain a consistent frame rates that made gaming enjoyable for me.

The Specs:

Sapphire Nitro R7 360 Radeon ITX Compact PCI Express 3.0 Dual Slot Single Fan Graphics Card.

FreeSync Capable

Dimensions 8.31(L) x 4.38(H)

2GB DDR5 Vram

Core Clock 1060Mhz

768 Stream Processors

500 Watt or higher power supply is suggested

1 x 6-pin AUX Power connector

2 x 6-pin AUX Power connector is required for Crossfire

External Connectors -

1 x DVI Output

1 x HDMI Output

1 x Display Port Output

Closer look:
DSC00032.thumb.JPG.2345c80af4b49e5f49f94DSC00033.thumb.JPG.3cbc26e045346ba043727DSC00034.thumb.JPG.dd6ab49d6fa67a2b8929aDSC00036.thumb.JPG.be7127ef1eb6d76153fadDSC00040.thumb.JPG.87e15d6ccabebbdd962db


Game Play
With too many games available to test here are a handful of popular free to play and triple A titles I tested.
Keep in mind your mileage may vary as your system may differ from mine. I'll go through the Free to Play games first.

League of Legends

A very popular online game, here is the screen shot of my settings:

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The next screen shot is mid battle while playing an ARAM All Random All Mid:

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During a battle like this in ARAM the Sapphire Nitro R7 360 was at 90%+ usage and the frame rate barely ever dropped under 170.  Do understand League of legends is more CPU dependent so depending on which CPU you pair with this graphics card your performance may vary.

 

 

Dirty Bomb:
Fast action First Person Shooter Dirty Bomb! Here is the screen shot of the settings I found that allowed me to play the game smoothly:

ShooterGame-Win32-Shipping_2015_09_26_10

The next shot even though it is of me a split second after I died it'll indicate that at the settings I used the game hovers just around 60 frames per second and game play was very smooth:

ShooterGame-Win32-Shipping_2015_09_26_10

 

 

World of Warships:

I've recently been getting into this game so I figured I should let everyone know how well this Sapphire Nitro R7 360 handles it.  

Here is the settings screen shot:

worldofwarships_2015_09_26_14_16_33_100.

The next screen shot shows off one of the games Aircraft Carriers while under attack:
worldofwarships_2015_09_26_14_25_59_401.

The settings I chose allowed for great game play and only very seldom did frame rate dip bellow 45 when massive close combat and explosions happened.  It seems no matter what settings I chose, turned down or off, I couldn't find any way to prevent frame dips during close combat or heavy nearby explosions.

 

Guild Wars 2:

This game just recently went free to play and is preparing to launch an expansion so I figured I'd throw it in the list as well.
Here are the settings I found the game to be most playable at:

Gw2_2015_09_28_18_23_38_818.thumb.png.5d

Lions Arch is one of the places in Guild Wars 2 that typically gives any computer a difficult time with Frame Rate.

In the next screen shot I ran around doing some events as well:

Gw2_2015_09_28_18_26_33_712.thumb.png.f4

I was able to maintain smooth enough frame rate with good enough graphics settings to enjoy Guild Wars 2 leveling about doing events and taking in the beauty of the game.
At the settings I used the frame rate stayed around 55-60fps and very seldom fluctuated lower than that unless giant battles took place that make even higher end systems have problems.

 

Now that we've covered a handful of Free to Play games lets look at some of the AAA titles that you maybe wondering how this little Sapphire Nitro R7 360 graphics card will fair.

I'll start with one of my favorites and then go into more recently released games.

 

Battlefield 4:

I really love the look of this game and enjoy playing the multiplayer so here are the settings I used that made it enjoyable to play multiplayer for me:

 

bf4_2015_09_29_14_15_47_861.thumb.png.bb

 

This next screen shot is just after jumping out of a helicopter and emptying my weapons clip into an enemy:

bf4_2015_09_29_14_23_08_274.thumb.png.db

I tried playing Battlefield 4 with higher graphic video settings but it became choppy and made game play not as enjoyable. When using the settings I've shown I was able to get lost into game play and found myself needing to cut my testing time so I could get more games tested.


 

Battlefield Hardline:

This is the most recent Battlefield release and I find it quite fun to play cops n robbers!

Here are the settings I use for this game:

bfh_2015_09_29_12_19_22_124.thumb.png.78

Jumping into Battlefield Hardline with these settings allowed me the smooth game play I need to enjoy this game.  Once again found myself respawning as I wanted just another couple minutes of play time before moving to the next game.  The frame rate with these settings stayed upwards of 60FPS only dipping slightly during heavy battles and explosions.

 

 

Dragon Age Inquisition:
When this game launched it was one of my absolute favorites and I could spend countless hours playing it so I figured I needed to add this to the review.

I found using the automatic selection is what I needed to use in order to play the game smoothly:

DragonAgeInquisition_2015_09_29_13_19_38

 

As I continued testing different games such as this one the Sapphire Nitro R7 360 kept surprising me:
DragonAgeInquisition_2015_09_29_13_27_19

With the automatic settings selected the frame rate was smooth enough for me to get lost in Dragon Age Inquisition!

 

 

Dirt Rally:

Some of you may really enjoy racing games and Dirt Rally being the latest release I had to add it.

Auto presets is what I needed to use in order to enjoy Dirt Rally because when I went in and tried to change individual settings the game play became un playable to me.

DirtRallyAutoSettings.thumb.png.4a37af48

The benchmark as you can see shows a really high average frame rate but also very low minimum. When I used the same settings and went into actual game play I did not ever notice the minimum dips in frame rate.  If they did happen it was so quick I didn't catch it.

 

 

Shadows of Mordor:

For those of you that love this genre and I being one of them I had to add this game to my list.

When I chose Auto Config for video settings the game bench marked well enough which made me think it should be playable in actual game play however it wasn't.  All I needed to change in order to make it playable was disable Tesselation:

ShadowOfMordor_2015_09_26_12_07_02_823.t

 

Once I disabled Tessellation the benchmark improved as well did the game play:

ShadowOfMordor_2015_09_26_12_08_24_959.t

What happened when disabling tessellation was it kept the frame rate from drastically dropping during battle scenes. I could probably have turned off or lowered something else but I liked the way the game looked and played at these settings.

 

 

Witcher 3:

Last but not least this game has been known for how amazing it looks and how difficult it is to run. I tried it on Medium graphics settings first and it was absolutely unplayable for me.

However it was very playable and enjoyable when I switched it to low settings with hair works off:

witcher3_2015_09_28_20_07_23_703.thumb.p

Even on low settings I found the game absolutely beautiful and caught myself getting swept away into wanting to spend hours enjoying the game:

witcher3_2015_09_28_20_32_51_049.thumb.p

With low settings and hair works off the frame rate was the lowest of all the games I tested averaging around 30-35fps however as I mentioned before it was playable.

 

 

Conclusion:

As I hinted at in the beginning of this article there use to be a time when you had to worry about which games a budget oriented card wasn't going to be able to play.  Those times are gone.  I spent many hours playing a wide range of games using this Sapphire R7 360 and even though I had to turn down settings to medium or lower in some instances, I was still able to find settings that would allow me to play the game and get sucked into game play rather than trying to look for graphic details.  I could have tested countless other games and or hand picked only games that only showed performing with high frame rate.  What I wanted to show was how surprised I was that not only did this graphics card handle any free to play game I wanted to play but it allowed me to step into nearly any AAA title game.  The small form factor of this card will allow someone to build a budget oriented gaming system and enjoy gaming without any frills or gimmicks usually associated with "gaming" products.  This card has opened my eyes and I hope it has yours too. If you're looking for a small form factor budget oriented 1080p graphics card to push your 60hz monitor than this may be the card you want to look at.

Thank you to Sapphire for providing this card for review and look forward to my next article reviewing the Sapphire Nitro R7 370 Radeon Graphics Card.

Let me know what you thought of this review by joining the discussion on our forums here: 

iamApropos

What's Up Y'all!!?

On July 6th 2015 I announced a community challenge on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/iamapropos/the-now-thats-whats-up-community-challenge/943438099048346

In which Ateam Gaming Community members could enter a chance to win their very own iamApropos plushie Abomb.
All they had to do was record themselves saying "This is (insert twitch name) Now That's What's Up!!!" email the appropriate details and hope to be chosen.

The plushies are hand made by my family so they take a long time to produce.  The rarity of these plushies are why I do not have them for sale plus I want people who can't afford to purchase them to have a chance at getting one.  This in my opinion allows everyone equal oppurtunity to win their very own iamApropos plushie abomb.  There are a few set backs because all expenditures are out of my own pocket and or helped funded by donations I have had to limit most physical giveaways to North America unless upon entering participates explicitly imply they will cover shipping costs.

Some who entered didn't provide the needed "This is (Insert Name)" though their recording is appreciated it can't be used. Others had profanity in their recording and because of that it can't be used either.  Sadly I didn't for see needing to imply more rules than needed but I'll make sure to do so next time.   

Back to the challenge at hand.  I've already started picking the 4 finalist and will begin using their recordings immediately as well as letting everyone know on social media who the finalist are. The first finalist to be chosen is Nic aka @coconutMNKY on twitter with this entry:
https://soundcloud.com/coconutmnky/coconutmnky-ntwuiamapropos?in=paul-h-iamapropos/sets/now-thats-whats-up

I still need to choose 3 more finalist and then begin figuring out which one of the 4 will win the grande prize coveted rare hand made iamApropos Plushie Abomb!

Do not worry if you missed out on this challenge and you want to have a chance at getting your hands on your own plushie abomb. There are many different ways to obtain one.

One easy way to be considered to win a plushie abomb is by actively watching my live shows on http://www.twitch.tv/iamApropos being prepared to blow up chat with KAPOW Abomb KAPOW any time called to action to do so.

Finding me at a public live event such as PAX South and or any other live event I may be attending just make sure you are following me on twitter http://www.twitter.com/iamApropos for updates on where when and how you may be able to meet me in person and get your hands on a plushie abomb!  Keep your eye on the calender here on the website for more updates too!

If you have any questions about this topic please join the discussion on the forums here: http://iamapropos.com/index.php?/forums/topic/7-now-thats-whats-up-community-challenge/


Now That's What's Up!!! - Paul ~ iamApropos

iamApropos

What's Up Y'all!!?

New people to my twitch chat or just to our community may have absolutely no idea what Abomb means to us.  Lets start by looking at my online name iamApropos the root word in the name is apropos which is an French derived English word that means: 

a. with reference to; concerning.

b. very appropriate to a particular situation.

Now I use to shake figerative pompoms while I supported people in their chat or on youtube comments but one day while I was streaming I saw chat just going crazy when I began to get a lot of new followers aka a follower train.  This reminded me of when someone would get a lot of text messages or phone calls and people would say "My cell is blowing up" So I began to say blow chat up and it just evolved into blowing it up with Apropos Bombs ABOMBS!  This become such a great way for chat to show their excitement for what is going on in the stream as well as welcoming new members to the community that it spilled over to other places on the internet.  We'd see members from the AteamGC in someone elses chat and we'd KAPOW Abomb KAPOW each other to show excitement that we were there together.
My wife came up with the idea to take it a step further and came up with the idea of making me a Plushie iamApropos Abomb that I can use to shake around on screen during my stream welcoming new members who follow or to show excitement if something awesome happened.  

So now you know KAPOW Abomb KAPOW is a way to blow up comments / chat or show excitement in a tweet with other AteamGC members.  
You may ask yourself "Well how do I get my hands on a plushie abomb?" 
Since they are hand made by my family they are very rare and very time consuming to make therefor I do not have them for sale. However for a chance to win one all you need to do is actively watch my live stream.  That is if I'm live otherwise just be active with me on social media and hangout / utilize our gamevox voice server and you never know you may be surprised one day with a DM asking for your mailing address.

If you have any questions about Abomb's or our use of the Abomb icons which we have available by using http://www.frankerfacez.com please feel free to email me at iamApropos@gmail.com
For now prepare your Abomb's and next time you see each other online blow it up!


Now That's What's Up!!! - Paul ~ iamApropos

iamApropos

Meet and Greets

What's Up Y'all!!?
Some of you may not know how much I love the #AteamGC Ateam Gaming Community.  Y'all have really changed my life and have motivated me to do more than I ever thought was possible.  When times have gotten rough for me you've all been extremely supportive and I really can't be more appreciative.    
Today for example @MaxCFM came all the way to San Antonio just to have lunch with me.  He's always been very supportive and extremely friendly.   I was worried that my health was going to prevent me from being able to meet with him.  Thankfully I was able to pull it together and it truly was an honor and deeply humbling to meet such a wonderful person.  
Thank you for lunch and for the privilege of being able to call you a friend Max!
Even though he didn't need to bring me anything, we traded gifts and this is a video of me unboxing what he surprised me with during our lunch: https://youtu.be/T9N0GyvDvqk

I honestly hope I get the chance to meet more of you in person and can't wait until we see each other on social media or in chat on youtube or twitch dropping those #AbombKAPOW !

Now That's What's Up!!! Paul - iamApropos

20150802_142050.jpg

iamApropos

What's up y'all!!?  

Well I've not really had much time to sit down and work on the website so today I figured I better sit down and give it a minute or two.   First off I want to thank everyone involved in helping make this come to life especially MAXCFM and Jksoftware.  

I want this website to be a centralized location for anyone who follows me to have all of my content at their finger tips from twitch to youtube, social media to my blogs / vlogs.

As well I want this website to be a place for our community to come together, share what they love, from their own online content and lives.  As time goes on I'll be encouraging everyone to use this site and make it their home.   Once its fully operational I'm planning to work along with some wonderful community members to do an event and maybe even some giveaways as a kick off of the new site.
 

As you can see I'm constantly planning for the communities future and building a foundation for things to come.

Now That's What's Up!! ~ Paul - iamApropos

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