i-Rocks' K70E gaming keyboard, rocking those capacitive switches

Subject: General Tech | April 26, 2018 - 06:37 PM |
Tagged: RGB, K70E, input, i-Rocks, gaming keyboard, capacitive switches

i-Rocks developed their own non-contact electro-capacitive switches for their new K70E keyboard, which will feel more like a membrane keyboard than a mechanical switch but offer you the choice of 2.2 mm (high) or 1.4 mm (low) actuation depths.  There are independent RGBs under each and every key which can display a variety of colours, programmed via their driver.  If you don't like the white fascia, there are various skins you can place over the keyboard and cap fetishists will appreciate the thick ABS plastic construction and doubleshot injected primary legends.  There is a full review typed out at TechPowerUp.

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"The i-Rocks K70E is a high-end keyboard with a feature set boasting configurable capacitive switches and per-key RGB backlighting, with software support backing onboard controls. At the same time, it retains the fun factor by using a transparent top plate and accessory paper skins for a high degree of customization."

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Source: TechPowerUp

Roccat's new headset is perfect to watch the second Star Trek movie

Subject: General Tech | April 24, 2018 - 06:42 PM |
Tagged: roccat, swarm, Khan AIMO, virtual 7.1, RGB, gaming headset, audio

Roccat's new Khan Aimo bears a similar design to the Khan Pro, with a subdued colour scheme, apart from the garish RGB infection.  The pair of 50mm neodymium drivers offer true 2.0 audio however with the help of the Roccat Swarm software these headsets are able to deliver virtual 7.1 sound well enough to satisfy Benchmark Reviews.  The headset's High Resolution Audio badge is apparently well deserved, with incredible good playback thanks  to the  10 – 40000Hz response range and the microphone also earned tacit approval.  Check out the full review here.

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"Roccat has added a splash of intelligent RGB lighting to their new HiRes audio headset and given it a new name: the Khan Aimo. More than just a name change and some lighting, this update of the Khan Pro keeps the HiRes designation but swaps the 3.5mm cable for USB to add some new capabilities."

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Tech Talk

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Corsair
Tagged: RGB, platinum, K95, corsair

The Premiere Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Corsair has long been the company to beat in the world of RGB mechanical gaming keyboards. With the K95 RGB Platinum, they present their flagship: an oversize, fully-programmable, light show of a board with the kind of rapid response competitive gamers crave. But for $199, it’s a steep asking price. Is it worth such a high MSRP? Let’s find out.

Specifications and Design

  • MSRP: $199.99 ($172.99 on Amazon at time of writing)
  • Key Switches: Cherry MX RGB Speed (also available in Cherry MX Brown)
  • Actuation Force: 45g
  • Actuation Distance: 1.2mm (standard 2.0mm)
  • Travel Distance: 3.4mm (standard 4.0mm)
  • Lifespan: 50M
  • Keyboard Backlighting: RGB
  • Macro Keys: 6 dedicated G-keys
  • Report Rate: Up to 1ms
  • Matrix: 100% anti-ghosting with full key rollover on USB
  • On-board Memory: Yes
  • Media Keys: Six dedicated multimedia keys, incl. Volume Up/Down roller
  • Wrist Rest: Full length, detachable, dual-sided with soft touch finish
  • Cable Type: Braided Fiber
  • Dimensions: 465mm x 171mm x 36mm
  • Weight: 1.324kg
  • Warranty: Two years

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The K95 RGB Platinum comes in nice packaging in the standard Corsair black and yellow. We have a nice profile shot of the keyboard on the front and the features highlighted on the back. It’s also one of the few cases where the marketing shots really undersell the keyboard. It looks much better in person, especially in low light.

Inside, the keyboard comes in a dust-preventative plastic sleeve with the wrist rest, ten replacement keycaps (QWER, ASDF, WD), and keycap puller under the keyboard itself.

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Taking a closer look at the keyboard, the first thing that stands out is just how refined it is compared to the previous K95s or popular K70 variants. Compared to the K68 we looked at previously, the K95 is a massive upgrade, featuring a full aluminum top plate, aluminum volume roller, a glossy illuminated Corsair sails logo, and a dedicated control area for profile switching, brightness control, and Windows Lock. It also features a gorgeous LED light bar along the top rim, a USB 3.0 pass-through, and six programmable macro keys along the left side.

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Continue reading our review of the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum keyboard!!

HyperX Reveals Pulsefire Surge RGB Gaming Mouse

Subject: General Tech | April 10, 2018 - 01:33 PM |
Tagged: hyperx, gaming mouse, optical, pixart, RGB, pulsefire

Kingston’s gaming brand HyperX is now shipping a new Pulsefire Surge RGB gaming mouse which represents both an aesthetic and hardware specification upgrade over the previous generation Pulsefire mouse. The Pulsefire Surge RGB measures 120.24 x 40.7 x 62.8mm and weighs 100g (130g including the cable). It is a symmetrical design clad in all black with six programmable buttons and a RGB LED ring that runs around the sides.

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HyperX is using a Pixart 3389 sensor that it rates at up to 16,000 DPI and 50G of acceleration. The mouse further uses Omron switches for the buttons which are rated at 50 million clicks. It connects to the PC with a 1.8-meter (5.9 ft) braided cable over USB 2.0 (1,000 Hz polling rate).

Users can program each of the six the buttons (left, right, click wheel, DPI selector, and two left side buttons) with macros, adjust the five DPI settings that the DPI button will cycle through, adjust sensor performance, and configure the RGB lighting on the LED ring, and HyperX logo) with any of 16.7 million colors and four brightness levels) using their NGenuity software. The Pulsefire Surge RGB has onboard memory that allows up to three of the configured profiles to be saved to the mouse.

The RGB equipped gaming mouse is currently available for $69.99 with a two-year warranty. It weighs a mere 5 grams more than HyperX’s previous gaming mouse but adds a better sensor (Pixart 3310 vs 3389), programmable buttons, and customizable lighting (the Pulsefire FPS was red LED only) so at least on paper it is a decent upgrade. If you don’t need the extra bells and whistles, the older Pulsefire FPS is going for a bit under $25 less now at $45.52 on Amazon. In either case, the pricing doesn’t seem too bad (I remember paying a very pretty penny for my original Razer Mamba... but at least it’s lasted as long as it has! Heh) and hopefully reviews will start popping up soon.

Have you tried gaming with HyperX and NGenuity?

Source: HyperX
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Corsair

Takes a lickin' and keeps on clickin'

Over the years, Corsair has developed a name for itself as one of the premiere manufacturers of mechanical gaming keyboards in the market. One could argue that their K70 series is the leading inspiration for gaming keyboard design to today. Their dominance isn’t just limited to physical design, however. RGB illumination and powerful software programming have also defined their keyboards and set them apart from the competition.

Today, we’re looking at a newer entry in the mechanical keys catalog with the K68 RGB. The K68 is more of a budget-entry, but still packs a suite of premium features to please gaming fans. It’s also water and dust resistant with an IP32 rating. We put that to the test. Without further ado, let’s take a close look.

Specifications and Design

  • MSRP: $119.99
  • Keyboard Size: Standard
  • Key Switches: Cherry MX Red
  • Keyboard Backlighting: RGB
  • Switch Lifespan: 50-million actuations
  • Report Rate: 1000Hz
  • Matrix: Full Key (NKRO), 100% anti-ghosting
  • Water/Dust Resistance: IP32
  • Media Keys: Dedicated
  • Wrist Rest: Yes
  • Cable Type: Tangle-free rubber
  • WIN Lock: Yes
  • Software: CUE Enabled
  • Dimensions: 455mm x 170mm x 39mm
  • Weight: 1.41kg
  • Warranty: Two years

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The K68 arrives in standard Corsair keyboard packaging. The box is rich with feature-highlights and definitely plays up the RGB illumination. This is 2018 and a Corsair product, so that should come as no surprise.

Everything is well packed inside the box. The keyboard ships with the usual plastic dust-sleeves on both the keyboard, cable, and plastic wrist-rest. We also get a pair of small documentation inserts that describe the warranty and unlabeled hotkeys.

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Taking it out of the box, it’s here we get the first indicators of how Corsair managed to cut $50 off the price of the K70 RGB. The cable, rather than coming braided, is standard rubber. Likewise, the included wrist-rest is a more lightweight plastic, felt especially in the more flexible arms attaching it to the keyboard’s body. Neither of these are bad, especially when many gaming keyboards don’t include a wrist-rest at all.

Continue reading our review of the Corsair K68 keyboard!

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Bloody

Bloody Gaming is no newcomer to the world of PC gaming peripherals. As a subsidiary of A4Tech, they’re one of the few peripheral manufacturers to own their own assembly lines. Controlling their own manufacturing allows them to take risks and attempt new approaches the competition may not. Coming from a rich heritage of innovation at A4Tech, it comes as no surprise that Bloody has consistently sought to push the boundaries of the technology we use to game.

At the same time, the brand has taken a uniquely aggressive approach from name to design. Today, we’re looking at the company’s next generation of keyboard with the B975. With this release, we find a more restrained design coupled with the freshly redesigned Light Strike 3 optical switches and full RGB backlighting.

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But is it enough for Bloody to challenge the heavy hitters like Logitech, Razer, and Corsair? Let’s find out.

Check out our full review of the Bloody B975 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard!

G.Skill Overclocks Dual Channel Trident Z RGB Memory to 5,000 MHz On Air Cooling

Subject: Memory | March 29, 2018 - 12:58 AM |
Tagged: Trident Z RGB, RGB, overclocking, G.Skill Trident Z, G.Skill, dual channel, ddr4, 5000 mhz

A bit over a month ago G.Skill launched a new Trident Z RGB kit that offered up 4700 MHz speeds in a 16GB kit using Samsung B-dies. Now, G.Skill has managed to push the kit to 5,000 MHz on air and the prototype kit is getting closer to fruition as a retail product.

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G.Skill managed to overclock its Trident Z RGB 4700 MHz kit by a bit over 300 MHz to hit 5,007.4 MHz in an air cooled system featuring an MSI Z370I Gaming Pro Carbon AC and an Intel Core i7-8700K. The RGB memory kit achieved 5,007.4 MHz with timings of 21-26-26-46 2T (CL, tRCD, tRP, tRAS, CR) and while they did not mention voltage the kit likely required around 1.5V since the base 4700 MHz kit needs 1.45 volts. The 8700K processor was sitting at the default 100 BCLK with a 43x multiplier for a clockspeed of 4.3 GHz. Perhaps more promising is that the overclocked memory was still able to be used in dual channel mode where previous attempts required extreme cooling methods and/or operating in single channel mode.

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Tequila Huang, the Corporate Vice President of G.Skill International,  had the following to say in the press release:

“Previously, the 5GHz memory speed is only achievable in extreme overclocking and in single-channel. We’re excited to share that we’ve been able to achieve the 5GHz memory speed in not only air-cooling conditions, but also in dual-channels. This is a major milestone for us. We will make every effort to bring this specification onto the consumer market, and bring the experience of extreme performance to worldwide users.”

G.Skill is not quite ready to bring a 5,000 MHz RGB memory kit to market, but they are getting closer and hopefully by the time they do memory pricing will have settled down a bit! It is impressive how far memory speeds have come in the last few years, and I am curious where we will go from here.

Also read:

Source: G.Skill

3000MHz of RGB LEDs, ADATA's XPG Spectrix D40 DDR4

Subject: Memory | March 12, 2018 - 03:05 PM |
Tagged: adata, xpg spectrix d40, DDR4-3000, RGB

ADATA's new DDR4-3000 DIMMs have ASUS Aura Sync compatible RGBs, or with their own software you can download to power your lightshow if you aren't running an ASUS board.  The DIMMs each have 5 LEDs which you can program to display a single colour, cycle colours or set a gradient or you can opt for breathing or music modes if you prefer.  We won't bore you with unimportant details such as the default timings of 16-18-18 or that Modders Inc hit 3733 MHz at 18-20-20 timings with a voltage of 1.38 as that has nothing to do with shiny lights.

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"The XPG line of memory modules from ADATA is considered to be its enthusiast line. The XPG SPECTRIX D40 is the first DDR-4 RAM that features RGB LED. The memory starts off with a base speed of 2,666MHz and is offered in speeds up to 4000Mhz. The kit featured in this review is the DDR-4 3,000MHz version."

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Source: Modders Inc

Gamdias's ACHILLES P1-L Gaming Chair shines RGB lights up your ...

Subject: General Tech | March 5, 2018 - 01:34 PM |
Tagged: RGB, gaming chair, gamdias, achilles p1-l

It has finally happened, the RGBs have broken free of your computer and peripherals and have now spread to your chair.  The ACHILLES P1-L is a large sized chair capable of supporting over 400lbs of gamer on its vinyl seat.  At ~$400 it costs somewhat less than other seats and of course, sports RGBs to light up your life.  [H]ard|OCP posted a video covering this chair and its various assets, which you can check out here.

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"Gamdias is a company that is new to us and primarily focuses on keyboards, mice, and headsets. It is getting into the "gaming chair" market in the USA. It's first chair available here is the ACHILLES P1-L. The "L" stands for "large," so maybe we can fit into this one. Complete with footrest and RGB lighting, we show you the build and our first thoughts."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP
Manufacturer: NZXT

Introduction and First Impressions

NZXT has proven to be willing to adapt and innovate in the competitive DIY PC space, introducing their own software control suite (CAM) to control cooling and lighting effects in 2014, and this year launching their first motherboard. We have have seen CAM in action with products like the Kraken AiO liquid CPU coolers, which required the software to fully unlock their potential - both thermally and visually (RGB) speaking, and it's an integral part of the new H700i enclosure.

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“The H700i showcases NZXT’s vision for modern PC building. This premium mid-tower case features a unique CAM Powered Smart Device that digitally drives RGB lighting and fan performance. You can effortlessly control RGB lighting and fans, while Adaptive Noise Reduction optimizes your build’s acoustics through machine learning and ideal fan settings. Includes four integrated Aer F fans and two RGB LED to enhance the aesthetics of your build as seen through the H700i’s stunning tempered glass panel.”

Now that NZXT has brought that CAM software feature-set to enclosures beginning with the H700i mid-tower we have for you today, we will pay close attention to the way the integrated "Smart Device" - a module that controls fans and lighting - fits into the usual thermal/noise equation. OEM systems from the likes of Dell with their Alienware desktops have used similar dedicated hardware for cooling and lighting control, and it's interesting to see this enter the DIY space. How important is software control of cooling and RGB effects to you? That depends, of course, and partly on how easy it is to use.

We will take a close look in and around this new enclosure, and while it’s on the test bench we will see how the stylish H700i stacks up with thermal and noise results vs. some other recent cases - and test the H700i both with and without CAM software optimization to see what sort of difference it makes in practice. Let’s get started!

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Continue reading our review of the NZXT H700i enclosure!!