Belt Buckle Shoot Out: FX vs. Nukem
By Doug “The Hat” Berner
In the last several months the tech world has seen the introduction of not one but two belt buckles. Both of these buckles were worthy of mention and yet got little press. The first because it accompanied the launch of an entirely new breed of CPU from AMD and the second because it accompanied the rebirth of a legend, namely the king himself Duke Nukem.
The Computer Ed labs has been tasked with the job of examining the two and determining which is superior in the world of “Man Buckles” For the purposes of this review a Man Buckle is defined as a belt buckle device which will not only dependably hold up a man’s pants by keeping his belt fastened securely but which makes a statement and could in a pinch be used as a defense device.
Upon first examination we find that both buckles are substantial, hefty in the hand and bold in design. The AMD buckle sports a wicked scorpion on a riveted metal plate motif, while the Duke Nukem buckle touts the nuke symbol that made him such an icon. So both pass the test of making a fashion statement, and the statement is “Here lies danger, proceed with caution”.
One primary focus for a Man Buckle is weight and size. Both matter, don’t fool yourself. The AMD buckle weighs in at an astounding 6 ounces and measures a full 5” X 3 ½”! This is a buckle you really have to hold in your hand to appreciate. By comparison the Nukem buckle, while impressive on its own falls short in this head to head comparison weighing in at just 3 7/8 ounces and measuring just 4” X 3 1/8”. Again while that is no small buckle, in this comparison it clearly finishes second.
Fit and finish are always important in a buckle after all you are wearing this kind of buckle so that people will take notice. Here we find that the AMD buckle step quickly ahead of the Duke Nukem buckle as it sports a polished and much more pleasing finish that the much rougher Nukem buckle. That’s not to say that the Nukem buckle does not reflect that the Duke is a tad rough around the edges but we in the lab all felt that the finish of the AMD buckle was defiantly more desirable.
Another all important component of any Manbuckle is the Chape. That is the wire bale device that the rear end of the belt fastens to. Here we find that the AMD and Nukem buckles, while different in construction and methodology, seem to be equal in size and effectiveness for all practical purposes. Our testing procedures did not allow for a point of failure test where we would normally attach both buckles to straps and apply weight until they failed, comparing the breaking stress each one could endure. However with the tests that we did conduct, we were able to determine that both would be adequate and probably equal in performance.
Moving on now to the prong. As the name might indicate this is the part of the buckle that penetrates the belt via a hole punched in the leather, or in the case of some belts, canvas or I don’t know some unidentified fiber material that is probably made up of chopped up things we have never heard of. Anyway when it comes to your prong, three things stand out most. Its length, its diameter and its shape. Ideally you want a prong with a respectable length, more than long enough to do the job without being so long that you poke yourself in the eye while using it. A heafy girth, thick enough to fill the average hole, without being so big that you have to rule out wearing some belts because their holes are not big enough. Though in fairness I have found that if you simple shove the prong in hard enough and wear it for a while the hole will tend to stretch to accommodate the girth of your prong. Also it is preferable that your prong have a slight curve to it as this helps insure that once fastened the belt is less likely to slip free of the prong.
In this comparison we found and you can clearly see from the photos that while both prongs would be adequate, the AMD takes a clear lead here. The reason is that the prong on the AMD buckle measures a whopping 3/8” while the Nukem buckle’s prong though long enough to get the job done is a full 30% shorter at ¼”. Now the Nukem buckle did have a bit more of a curve to it which as we said is desirable, but in the end it came up lacking in both length and girth. Additionally prong on the AMD buckle benefits from a prominent knob on the tip. This knob in addition to a slight curve seemed to work idealy to insure that once the prong had penetrated the hole in the leather belt we used for testing it did not come free until you applied at least one firm yank. So here the points again go to the AMD for having a clearly superior prong.
Our testing complete we tallied the score and unfortunate for the Duke it was not even close. In nearly every category we used for evaluation the AMD-FX Manbuckle with its highly polished, riveted finish and bad ass scorpion logo was the hand down winner. Sorry Duke, we still love and respect you but I suspect that on you days off you would be proud to sport this AMD buckle around the house.
AMD has defiantly set the bar high for the future of tech related Manbuckles and we here in the Computer Ed tech labs will be looking out for any worthy contenders that may come along but for now they rule the roost.
Be sure to check out our Facebook page for more photos from the Manbuckle Shootout.