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!!

CORSAIR's water resistant K68 RGB mechanical gaming keyboard

Subject: General Tech | January 30, 2018 - 02:39 PM |
Tagged: mechanical keyboard, corsair K68 RGB, RGB, cherry mx blue, cherry mx red

Hey, Mr. Spillypants, are you going through keyboards like crazy thanks to the variety of liquids you have fed them?  Corsair has a solution with their K68 RGB mechanical keyboard, available with Cherry Red or Blue switches.  It is rated at  IP32 water and dust resistant shielding, which means you won't be able to hurt the keyboard by jabbing it with thick wires and it will not be harmed if water is dripped on it flat or up to a 15° angle. 

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The RGBs are controlled by CORSAIR's Utility Engine to allow you to program a variety of lightshows.  The keyboard is reputed to offer 100% anti-ghosting with full key rollover and the switches are rated for over 50 million key presses so this board will be with you for a while.  Full PR below.

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FREMONT, CA, January 30th, 2018 - CORSAIR, a world leader in PC gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today announced the release of the new CORSAIR K68 RGB water-resistant mechanical gaming keyboard. Equipped with 100% CHERRY MX RGB keyswitches, every key on the K68 RGB is individually backlit and programmable, giving PC gamers virtually unlimited lighting customization in a vivid array of colors. Every keyswitch is also individually shielded from dust and liquid spills to an IP32 protection rating, defending against accidents so that gameplay never has to stop. Loaded with extras, from a removable wrist-rest to dedicated multi-media keys, and fully programmable with CORSAIR Utility Engine Software, the CORSAIR K68 RGB offers ultra-durable RGB gaming.    

Like all CORSAIR mechanical keyboards, the K68 RGB uses only German-made Cherry MX gold-contact keyswitches for the utmost in reliability and consistency. Each switch is rated to over 50 million key presses, ensuring that the 50 millionth key press feels just as good as the first. Available with Cherry MX RGB Red switches, which provide a smooth, quiet and linear action, the K68 RGB’s keys feel instantly familiar, whether you’re typing or gaming.

With stunning RGB lighting embedded into every keyswitch, it’s easy to light up K68 RGB in almost any way you can imagine, from smoothly shifting colors and transitions to dynamic reactive effects. Choose from dozens of pre-programmed presets, thousands of user-made downloadable profiles, or create a unique custom lightshow, all from with the powerful CORSAIR Utility Engine (CUE) software. CUE also offers complete lighting synchronization between compatible CORSAIR mice, headsets and accessories with a single click, making it easy for gamers to make all their gear match. Every key is also fully programmable in CUE, from simple re-maps to complex multi-function macros, giving gamers the crucial edge when they need it the most.

CORSAIR has long been the industry leader in RGB mechanical keyboards, and K68 RGB adds a new dimension with the addition of IP32 water and dust resistant shielding. Each Cherry MX RGB key is surrounded by a rubberized shield that stops liquids and blocks dust, without blocking the RGB lighting from shining brightly beneath. Late night soda slip or snack spill? No problem.

With an affordable MSRP of $119.99, you’d be forgiven that K68 RGB’s features stop there, but instead it’s fully loaded with all the CORSAIR extras gamers have come to expect. A removable full-length wrist rest provides complete comfort, dedicated volume and multi-media controls made audio adjustments instant and a Windows Key Lock Mode prevents those game-breaking interruptions. K68 RGB is also 100% anti-ghosting with full key rollover, ensuring every key press registers faultlessly.

Equipped with the best in CORSAIR lighting, customization and durability, the K68 RGB ensures that whatever happens while you game, you’ll be able to play on.

 

Source: Corsair

CES 2018: ASUS ROG Aura Terminal Provides Color-Aware RGB Backlighting for Your Gaming Monitor

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: RGB, CES 2018, CES, ASUS ROG, ASUS Aura, asus

ASUS today announced the ROG Aura Terminal, a controller that synchronizes your RGB lighting in real time with the content displayed on your monitor.

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Similar to the many products that have long offered synchronized ambient backlighting for televisions, the ROG Aura Terminal connects to your PC's video output and then synchronizes the lighting effects of RGB strips mounted to the rear of your monitor to the colors on the screen, creating a "more immersive gaming environment." The device can also be connected to your PC's existing internal RGB lighting and ASUS's Aura Sync devices to synchronize your gaming setup's other lighting with the on-screen action.

ROG Aura Terminal is a quad-channel addressable RGB controller designed to bring gamers a more immersive gaming environment. Featuring innovative ROG Halo technology, ROG Aura Terminal enables stunning system lighting effects synchronized to in-game action. When LED strips are mounted behind a monitor, ROG Halo instantly determines the colors displayed at the edges of the screen and illuminates the LED strips with matching colors, creating a dynamic halo of lighting around the display for captivating gaming. ROG Aura Terminal can also be mounted inside the PC case and connected to Aura Sync devices to create unified system lighting effects.

The ASUS ROG Aura Terminal is scheduled to be released in the first half of the year, with pricing to be announced at launch.

Source:

Jonsbo Launches Ribbed UMX5 Mid Tower Case With RGB LEDs

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 10, 2017 - 03:06 AM |
Tagged: tempered glass, RGB LED, RGB, mid tower, jonsbo, eatx, atx, aluminum case

Jonsbo, a Shenzhen based case manufacturer founded in 2010 has unleashed a new stylish flagship mid tower called the UMX5. The new case measures 507mm x 224mm x 485mm and is constructed of a steel frame wrapped in anodized aluminum-magnesium alloy and tempered glass. The new case has a ribbed design that runs vertically over the top and front panels. Jonsbo claims that the valleys have been sandblasted to dull their look while the 5.5mm tall wiredrawn peaks/ribs have been polished to enhance the contrast and catch the eye.

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There is a gap of 3.5cm between the bottom of the main chamber of the case and the foot for ventilation and looks (it is under-lit with RGB LEDs of course). The back panel is fairly plain though they have opted for a honeycomb style fan grill for the included 120mm exhaust fan. The side panels steal the show with 5mm thick double sided tempered glass on both sides of the case to show off all of the internals (I am less sold on the idea of the right-side panel being glass as that means I would have to actually cable manage and not just hide it all behind the motherboard tray! Custom sleeved PSU cables that are the exact length needed are going to be essential to making builds in this case look good. The tempered glass does have a bit of a tint to it though so it's not the end fo the world.)

The front 1/3 or so of the left side panel is overlaid by a honeycomb pattern that can be illuminated by a RGB LED. Front I/O includes the usual two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, and two audio jacks as well as a button to change the LEDs color scheme or to turn them off completely.

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Users can set the case LEDs to color change mode where it will cycle through 264 colors, to a single color of red, green, blue, yellow, purple, pink, turquoise, or orange, to a (red only) breathing mode, or set to off.

The UMX5 is designed for ATX motherboards, but it can work with a small number of E-ATX models (305mm x 265mm maximum). Further, the UMX5 mid tower supports CPU coolers up to 166mm tall and graphics cards up to 325mm long. There are four 3.5” hard drive bays with red anodized aluminum sleds as well as room for two 2.5” drives behind the motherboard tray. The PSU sits vertically behind the motherboard tray and hidden towards the front of the case behind a glass cover along with the hard drives.

As far as cooling, there are fan mounting points in the top, bottom, and rear though Jonsbo only includes a single 120mm rear fan. Users can add up to two 120mm fans to the top and two 120mm fans to the bottom. If they are water cooling, they can use up to two 240mm radiators top and bottom and a single 120mm in the rear. If using a thick radiator, you can mount the bottom fans outside of the case in the 35mm ventilation chamber gap.

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Jonsbo’s UMX5 is a decent looking case that will come in either black (with red accents on the HDD trays and around the left side panel) or silver.

The case has an MSRP of 199.99 € (Euro) including 19% VAT (~$200 USD sans VAT). I can’t seem to find it available online anywhere quite yet, but it should hit Europe shortly. It’s not clear how long it will be (if ever) until it hits the US, however.

In general, I like the look of the case, though I wish the red drive trays and side panel could be swapped out for different colors. The silver UMX5 is a bit better in this respect as it does not have the red border on the left side panel (it’s all silver except the drive trays which are red), but the black UMX5 is stuck with the red border which is okay if you are also using red LEDs but just looks odd if you are going with any other color. Beyond that the case is on the pricier side of things, but if the build quality (and cable management) is truly there the modders and enthusiasts will come!

Source: Jonsbo
Manufacturer: SilverStone

The PM01 Gets an Upgrade

SilverStone’s Primera PM01-RGB is an updated version of the PM01 we reviewed last year, and in addition to new RGB lighting effects indicated by the name, the PM01-RGB also features a tempered glass side panel rather than the plastic window of the first version. We will take a look at the matte black version - (glossy black and white are also available) and see how it performs.

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SilverStone fans will likely have noticed that the Primera PM01 had some of the Raven DNA, with a sloping top panel and slightly aggressive style, though somewhat softer than cases like that first RV01 enclosure. The Primera PM01-RGB is a standard ATX mid-tower, and due to a large partition hiding the lower section of the case it is a little smaller internally that it appears from the outside.

While things were a little tight with a liquid cooler installed on the upper mounts with our PM01 last year, the case still held a standard build without issue and offered very good cooling thanks to the large mesh front panel and included intake fans. And it’s this front intake area that provides much of the difference this time around, as it now features RGB lighting for the fans along with an integrated light strip for the side panel, both of which are managed with an onboard LED control (or ASUS Aura Sync with compatible motherboards).

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Continue reading our review of the SilverStone Primera PM01-RGB ATX case!

Manufacturer: Corsair

The Smaller Crystal Series Case

Corsair’s Crystal Series of mid-tower enclosures offer plenty of tempered glass to show off your build and are available with both single-color and full RGB case fans pre-installed. We previously reviewed the RGB version of the larger Crystal 570X, and today we are looking at the RGB version of the more compact Crystal 460X.

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The Crystal cases differ in more than size, as the big 570X is a four-panel design that includes tempered glass on the left side, right side, case front, and top. This smaller Crystal 460X is a two-panel design with tempered glass on the left (component) side and case front, with a standard steel back panel and vented top. There is a cost difference between the two as well, with the $139.99 MSRP of the RGB 460X set $40 below the 570X at $179.99.

The design of the Crystal 460X is reminiscent of the Carbide Clear 400C (see our review here), another compact mid-tower crom Corsair with essentially the same internal layout. The appeal of these tempered glass cases is obviously to show off your build and lighting, and in that department the Crystal 460X stands out against other smaller mid-towers - in the era of tempered glass case side panels - with the matching full glass front panel.

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Continue reading our review of the Corsiar Crystal Series 460X RGB case!

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: HAVIT

Keeping a Low Profile

Havit is a Chinese company with a unique product for the enthusiast PC segment: the thinnest mechanical keyboard on the market at 22.5 mm. Their slim HV-KB395L keyboard offers real mechanical switching via Kailh low-profile blue switches, and full RGB lighting is thrown in for good measure. For a keyboard that retails for $79.99 this is certainly an interesting mix, but how in the world does low-profile mechanical feel? I will attempt to translate that experience into words (by… typing words).

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Specifications:

  • 104-key Mechanical Keyboard
  • Customizable RGB backlighting
  • Kailh PG1350 Low Profile Blue Switch
  • 3mm of total travel, 45g of operating force
  • N-Key Rollover
  • Detachable USB Cable
  • Weight: 0.57 kg
  • Dimensions: 43.6 x 12.6 x 2.25 cm

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First impressions of the keyboard are great, with nice packaging that cradles the keyboard in a carton inside the box. The keyboard itself feels quite premium, with a top panel that is actually metal - unusual for this price-point.

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Continue reading our review of the HAVIT HV-KB395L RGB mechanical keyboard!

FSP's new CMT510 tempered glass enclosure

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 15, 2017 - 03:26 PM |
Tagged: RGB, fsp, CMT510

FSP's new CMT510 is not just a pretty case, it does sports some attractive features.  The front and both side panels are constructed from 4mm thick tempered glass with translucent  Galaxy Dark colouring.  This ensures that your RGBs will show through, not just your own but also the four RGB 120mm fans included with case. 

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The case can handle from mini-ITX to ATX motherboards, with CPU coolers of up to 165mm in height as well as GPUs of up to 400mm in length.  In the front you can swap out the fans with a radiator of up to 360mm, or replace them with 140mm fans if you prefer air cooling.

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As you can see in the picture above, the design offers a lot of space to work in. Your 3.5" drives attach behind the motherboard tray while the 2.5" are installed lying flat on top of the PSU shroud.  Overall you get a fair amount of features for your $100.

PR and movie below the fold.

Source: FSP Group
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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Source: Techgage