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When it comes to the Consumer Electronics Show, most of the attention is usually turned toward all the new technology, gizmos, and toys on display on the trade show floor. We’ve already talked about the hot new online games from Sony Online Entertainment and some of the cool stuff on display at Digital Experience, but there was one event at CES 2008 was of a slightly different breed.

The 11th Annual Build Your Own PC Race for Charity, hosted by TigerDirect, is not an event where hot new products are put on display. Instead, it is a fun charity event wherein top technology journalists gather to see who can build a computer from (almost) scratch in the fastest time possible. They are provided with all the necessary components — graphics card, motherboard, hard drive, and so on — and each station is laid out in exactly the same way, ensuring that the playing field is perfectly even. Each computer must be put together in the same way.

The Race was aired live on TigerTV, in case you couldn’t make it to the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel. Now where the heck is TigerTV on the clicker…

The Objective of the Race

Naturally, everyone involved in the PC building race wants to have the fastest time possible. There is no prize for the winner himself, however, other than bragging rights. This is because the race is wholly for charity. The computers that are built by the racers — each of which is worth between $3,000 and $4,000 — will be donated to the charity of their choice. In addition to this, the top three racers are provided with cheques to the charity of their choosing. All in all, the event has raised over $1.5 million for charity over the course of its 11-year history.

These aren’t cheap computers being shipped off to charity either. In fact, the Systemax state-of-the-art computers are powered by AMD Phenom 64 processors. That’s faster than what most people get to enjoy in their homes! Other sponsors include Acer, Crucial, Thermaltake, Seagate, Microsoft (Vista), Linksys, Lite-On, HP, Argus, Logitech, Lenovo, Transcend, and AVerMedia.

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