Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and Specifications

Corsair has released a premium version of their VOID headset with the VOID PRO family, which includes wired and wireless option boasting major improvements to the previous designs.

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“We made it better. Building upon the success of CORSAIR’s VOID series of headsets, VOID PRO features various significant enhancements across comfort, sound, mic quality and wireless performance designed to provide an even better gaming experience. VOID PRO resets the bar and delivers best-in-class performance.“

Surely, every major segment of the PC accessory market has reached saturation at this point, with the gaming headset market one of the most crowded. Companies need to offer more than just style and value to differentiate at the high end, with sound quality - including the microphone - now beginning to get some much-needed attention.

At times, aggressive styling and an apparent obsession with low bass seemed to dominate design choices, but a more balanced and accurate sound provides the kind of fidelity that can transform gaming and entertainment into a truly immersive experience. So, can Corsair match the improvements of such competitors as Logitech and provide a more premium sonic experience? We will find out!

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Continue reading our review of the Corsair VOID PRO RGB Wireless SE gaming headset!

Patriot’s Viper V570 RGB, a mouse for bargain hunting gamers

Subject: General Tech | August 15, 2017 - 03:52 PM |
Tagged: patriot, Viper V570 RGB, gaming mouse, RGB

For a $50 mouse, the Patriot Viper V570 RGB has a lot going for it.  There are weights you can use to adjust the heft of your rodent, an Avago 9800 sensor which can be adjusted from 800 to 3200 DPI and eight programmable buttons without counting the right, left and scroll wheel.  Techgage found the materials used in the mouse felt a little lower quality than other mice but not enough to overly concern them, especially considering the price though Patriot did not skimp on the feet.  Check out the full review, including the RGB, over at Techgage.

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"Have just 50 bucks to spend on a new gaming mouse, but feel anxious about the features you may have to give up? With its Viper V570 RGB, Patriot has your back. Despite its modest price, the V570 sports a weight system, RGB lighting (as its name suggests), awesome macro support, and even a solid software solution."

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Tech Talk

Source: Techgage
Manufacturer: BitFenix

Introduction and First Impressions

A large mid-tower design featuring tempered glass side panels and a mix of aluminum and steel exterior construction, the RGB-imbued Shogun is every bit what you would expect a ‘flagship’ enclosure from BitFenix to be. So did it get our seal of approval? Read on to find out!

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The BitFenix Shogun appears at first glance to be a full-tower enclosure, but it is actually using a form-factor that BitFenix calls “super mid-tower”, and it has the seven expansion slots of a mid-tower design. It supports E-ATX motherboards on down, and has some interesting features to help set it apart in a highly competitive enclosure market.

The Shogun’s compatibility with ASUS Aura motherboard lighting effects makes it a good option for the RGB lighting inclined, and there are some nice exterior touches such as the sculpted top and bottom aluminum panels and (of course) those tempered glass sides. The Shogun competes in the premium space, but is still palatable at $149 for what is on the surface a pretty impressive-looking package.

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The open interior and glass side panel invite impressive builds (Image credit: BitFenix)

Continue reading our review of the BitFenix Shogun Super Mid-Tower Enclosure!

Podcast #460 - ASUS Max-Q, Surface vs. iPad, AMD Q2 Results, and more!

Subject: General Tech | July 27, 2017 - 01:34 PM |
Tagged: ZM-K900M, Zephyrus, zalman, XG5, x370, video, usb 3.2, toshiba, Threadripper, Surface Pro, ryzen, ROG, RGB, podcast, max-q, ipad pro, GX501, EKWB, Crosshair VI, crimson relive, asus, AMD4, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #460 - 07/27/17

Join us for ASUS Max-Q, Surface vs. iPad, AMD Q2 Results, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano

Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg, Jim Tanous

Program length: 1:37:41

 
Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
    1. 1:27:00 Allyn: Damn cheap 8TB drives (8TB Helium filled Reds!) ($160)
    2. 1:32:46 Alex: Bullet Bouquets - now with engraving!
  4. Closing/outro
 

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Computex 2017: RIOTORO Announces CR500 Tempered Glass, CR1288 Prism RGB Full-Tower, and CR1088 Mini-Tower Cases

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 29, 2017 - 01:27 AM |
Tagged: riotoro, RGB

We first heard about RIOTORO at the CES before last, where they launched their CR1280 Prism case with its RGB lighting. They’ve since added quite a few models across different product segments.

Now, at Computex, they’re introducing three new models: the CR1288, the CR1088, and the CR500. The first two build upon existing products, while the last occupies a new segment for the company.

I’ll start with the CR1288 Prism, which fills a similar role as their aforementioned CR1280 Prism. It’s unclear whether this will replace that case, or whether they will both co-exist. Either way, RIOTORO claims that it has better cooling, noise reduction, and access for installation than its predecessor. It also looks quite different from the front, with a big, vertical stripe up the center of that side. It retains the CR1280 Prism’s front panel controls.

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The CR1288 Prism Full-Tower

The CR1288 Prism is listed as a Q3 launch with a $159.99 USD expected street price.

Next is the CR1088 “Ultra-Compact Tower Case”. Like the CR1288, this is a redesign of the CR1080, although it’s unclear whether they will co-exist. This case is a little larger than a cubic foot, 15.7” long x 9” wide x 14.1” high, but supports a full-sized ATX motherboards and graphics cards. The design routes air across the typical hot spots, and it separates the power supply and drives (2x 3.5” and 3x 2.5”) into its own compartment, with cable routing for cable management.

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The CR1088 Mini-Tower

The CR1088 is listed as a Q3 launch with an $89.99 USD expected street price.

Last is the CR500, which definitely does not replace any existing model. This is a lower-cost mid-tower with a tempered glass window, a separate compartment (which I’m guessing is for the power supply and drives, like the CR1288), and tool-free installation (with cable management). It’s made out of steel, and can mount up to a 240mm radiator.

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The CR500 Mid-Tower

The CR500 is listed as a Q3 launch with a $79.99 USD expected street price. RIOTORO says that it will have a $69.99 USD introductory price, but it’s unclear what that means (ex: if it’s a pre-order, and from who).

Source: RIOTORO

G.Skills svelte Ripjaws KM570 mechanical keyboard

Subject: General Tech | May 26, 2017 - 04:40 PM |
Tagged: G.Skill, Ripjaws KM570 RGB, gaming keyboard, RGB

G.Skill learned from the feedback offered from users of the KM780R and incorporated it into the KM570.  They've simplified the design and added back the top plate to protect the switches, though they did replace the volume wheel with buttons, a decision The Tech Report were not wholly enthusiastic about.   The keyboard sports two USB plugs, one is for transferring software settings to the keyboard and is not needed unless you are updating your settings.  The lighting has five different brightness settings as well as the all important off setting.  It retails for $120, which is less than much of the competitions offerings; as odd as it is to say.

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"G.Skill's KM570 puts an everything-you-need, nothing-you-don't board in the company's gaming-keyboard quiver. We tried out this distilled gaming board to see whether it has what it takes to stand out in a crowded field."

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Subject: Memory
Manufacturer: Corsair

Show me your true colors

It's no secret that RGB accessories and components have been quite popular in the past few years. One of the most recent introductions in the quest to make everything related to your computer RGB LED customizable is system memory. 

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Today, we're taking a look at Corsair's RGB DDR4 offering, the Vengeance RGB memory kit.

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As you might expect, from the outside the Vengeance RGB DIMMs look mostly like standard memory modules. The heat spreader is full metal and has a matte texture, giving it a nice flat appearance and feel.

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The real magic lies underneath the removable top portion of the heat spreader. Taking this piece off will reveal the lightbar in all its glory. This removable portion of the heat spreader allows you to choose between maximum LED visibility and the more subtle appearance of the "slotted" design. For attention oriented people like me, it's also nice that you can flip the lid of the heat spreader so that the Corsair logo is oriented in the same way when you have 4 DIMMs installed into a motherboard.

Unlike the GEIL EVO X RGB memory that we used in our Ryzen 5 CPU review, the Corsair Vengeance RGB memory does not depend on your motherboard having headers for external RGB strips, but rather is fully controlled through Corsair Link software on your PC.

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With Corsair Link installed on a supported platform (more on that later), it's very easy to customize the look of the Vengeance RGB modules. These LEDs are individually addressable so you can do patterns like Color Pulse and Shift as well as a Rainbow effect. You can also pair together modules into groups so that the effects are synchronized together.

After getting the memory installed and customized to our liking, we decided to run a couple of memory benchmarks on this kit at the stock DDR4-2400 speeds for the Kaby Lake platform, and at DDR4-3000 which this kit is certified for. Although it's worth nothing that Corsair claims this memory is very overclockable. 

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In synthetic memory benchmarks, you can definitely see the expected difference in performance from running at DDR4-3000 vs DDR4-2400. Read/Write/Copy as well as memory bandwidth sees a nice increase. Although, as we have seen over the years, increases in memory bandwidth don't seem to translate to large performance increases in real world applications. 

However, with the advent of AMD's latest Ryzen CPUs, we have seen a new importance on memory speed in relation to certain applications including gaming. While we managed to run Vengeance RGB memory a DDR4-3000 speeds on our ASUS Crosshair VI Hero platform with no issues, you do lose the RGB functionality.

Currently, the Corsair Link software utilizes the Intel Management Engine software to enable support for changing the RGB LEDs over the DDR4 bus. This means that when you install the memory into a Ryzen system, you are unable to customize the LED patterns, with the memory modules staying in their default state of cycling through colors in an unsynchronized method. 

Corsair has said that Ryzen support for RGB customization is coming, and we will be on the lookout for when the updated version of Corsair Link software is available.

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At $160 for the 16GB kit, the Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR-3000 Memory carries about a $30-$40 price premium over similar non RGB-enabled kits. While it may seem a bit ridiculous to spend extra money just to get light up RAM, if you are working on a color scheme with your system and already have things like an RGB Motherboard and GPU, Corsair Vengeance RGB memory could be the final touch you are looking for.

The exhibitionistic Corsair Crystal 460X RGB Compact ATX should not throw rocks

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 5, 2017 - 04:39 PM |
Tagged: tempered glass, RGB, crystal 460X, corsair

Both the front and side panel of Corsair's newest case are constructed of tempered glass, giving you an impressive view of the inside of your computer and the RGB LEDs on the cooling fans at the front.  At 480x234x512mm (18.9x9.2x20.2") it is a little more compact that other ATX compatible cases but still large enough to accept most components including a variety of radiators for watercoolers.  The PSU is located at the bottom, under a cover as are the bay for two 3.5" drives; three SSDs can be installed on the back side of the case.  [H]ard|OCP were quite enamoured with this case's looks and performance, and at $140 it is not overly expensive for a case with that much tempered glass.  That will leave you some money for the white gloves and glass cleaner you will need!

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"What do you do when a window just isn't enough? Corsair believes they have the answer in the Crystal 460X RGB case. The front and side are made of tempered glass giving you the ability to show off your pride and joy. Is it more than just a pretty face? Can the Crystal 460X RGB make a PC enthusiast happy?"

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CASES & COOLING

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5, a $200 base for a solid Ryzen system

Subject: Motherboards | May 5, 2017 - 02:05 PM |
Tagged: amd, ax370-gaming 5, gigabyte, x370, ryzen, aorus, RGB

Gigabyte's AX-370 Gaming 5 has a nice mix of high end features, though not as extensive as on some of the higher priced X370 models we have seen.  While you do get your lighting effects which can be controlled via the RGB Fusion app and a U.2 port in addition to the standard M.2 the VRM components are not as impressive as on some other flagship boards.  Hardware Canucks tested out the features as well as the performance in this review, it was easy to overclock and the Amp-Up onboard audio received a special commendation.

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"Our search to find the best Ryzen motherboard has landed on Gigabyte's AX370-Gaming 5. Not only does this board offer a ton of features but its price of under $199 is pretty appealing too."

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Motherboards

Glowing RAM from G.Skill to match all your other RGBs

Subject: Memory | May 4, 2017 - 02:01 PM |
Tagged: G.Skill, G.Skill Trident Z, 32GB, ddr4-3200, RGB

What is the point of light emanating from all of your components from keyboard to PSU if your RAM doesn't match?  G.Skill realized this is a pressing issue on the minds of enthusiasts everywhere and infected their Trident Z RAM with RGB-itis.  The four modules in this 32GB kit have a total of 16 LEDs which can glow together or separately using the G.Skill control utility, which is still in Beta and caused some minor headaches for Kitguru.  You can see the lights here, as well as some benchmarks if you are more into that kind of thing.

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"Take a really close look and you will see the G.Skill logo is carried on a plastic diffuser that covers the LEDs, instead of the aluminium heat spreader, however that is the only clue that this DDR4 memory packs four RGB LEDs on each module."

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Memory

Source: Kitguru