The Scope of CTRL, the new ASUS ROG Strix gaming keyboard with a boss button

Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2019 - 03:05 PM |
Tagged: asus, rog strix scope, gaming keyboard, mechanical keyboard, RGB, input, aura sync

The ROG Strix Scope keyboard, originally announced as the CTRL at CES, has arrived and is ready to be picked up for those who have been waiting.  Enthusiasts can choose between Cherry MX Red, Brown, Blue, Black, Speed Silver or Silent Red switches, all of which are fully RGB'd with 10 Aura Sync patterns already programmed in.

wave.PNG
 

The CTRL key is double wide for easy access and the WASD keycaps have a striking silver colour, which compliments the aluminium body as well as making them easy to spot. The board does come with a keycap puller if you have a burning desire to upgrade or swap them.   It is the Stealth function bound to the F12 key that is far more important for some however, as it functions as a boss button.  With one click it will hide all your running apps and mute all audio, so it looks like you were about to be productive and most definitely not playing a game.  Check out the full PR below.

biggun.PNG

Fremont, California (April 15, 2019) — ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced ROG Strix Scope, the mechanical gaming keyboard with Xccurate Design – an extra-wide Ctrl key for enhanced precision on FPS battlefields.

The Control (Ctrl) key is crucial to success in modern first-person-shooter games. With this in mind the ROG R&D team carefully examined the play style of FPS gamers, applying their findings to create a Ctrl key that’s more than 2X wider than traditional Ctrl keys and a shortened left Windows key that’s designed to be less of a target.

For gamers wanting to switch things up a bit, the all-black look of Strix Scope can be punctuated by four silver-colored caps for the vital WASD key group. Included with Strix Scope, these alternative caps create a striking contrast to the rest of the keys – a standout look that benefits both form and function. A special keycap-puller tool is also bundled for easy removal and customization of the most-used keys.

Strix Scope’s F12 key has its own unique secondary function, doubling as Stealth. This is a one-touch shortcut that hides all running apps and mutes all audio for instant privacy or peace.

All keycaps are designed to take full advantage of the ASUS Aura RGB backlighting that’s built in to Strix Scope, with secondary legends that are carefully placed to also be easily visible. The F5-F12 keys even have front-side illumination, so both media controls and F-key legends are clearly lit. The Quick Toggle Switch allows gamers to flip quickly between these two control modes.

An aluminum faceplate lends Strix Scope everyday resilience and is finished with a striking slash aesthetic for a little touch of style. The keyboard also includes Armoury II, enhanced driver-based software that offers more extensive controls while using less system resources. An intuitive UI makes it easy for gamers to tune Strix Scope to suit the game or gameplay style – enabling them to create profiles, customize colors and lighting effects, map keys, record macros and more. It’s even possible to track hardware stats during gameplay for data analysis. The outstanding design and innovation that went into the creation of Strix Scope has already been recognized and awarded, with the product winning the prestigious 2019 iF Product Design Award in the Computer Accessory category. The iF Product Design Awards spans multiple disciplines and attracts many thousands of entries from dozens of nations every year – so Strix Scope fought off strong international competition to secure its victory.

Cherry MX RGB switches for gamer-delighting feel and response
Strix Scope is constructed with Cherry MX RGB switches to deliver the precise mechanical feel preferred by gamers and enthusiasts alike. These premium-quality switches are manufactured in Germany and are renowned for delivering optimal actuation and responsiveness with every keystroke. The keyboard is fully compatible with Cherry MX Red, Brown, Blue, Black, Silent Red and Speed Silver switches¹, offering gamers the freedom to configure Strix Scope to play exactly the way they like – from smooth, quiet, linear actuation to tactile clicks.

“Gamers have come to love the feel, optimal actuation and responsiveness of mechanical keystrokes”, said Michael Schmid, Head of MX Technology Marketing at Cherry GmbH. “Cherry MX switches are the obvious trusted choice to use in the new high-end ROG Strix Scope keyboard, with a choice of six different switch types. ROG has always gamers in mind and develops products accordingly. For Strix Scope, innovative features like the enlarged Xccurate Design Ctrl key were made with FPS players in mind. This is the kind of attention to detail that Cherry loves – and why we’re excited to celebrate the arrival of Strix Scope."

Aura RGB illumination on every key for infinite lighting possibilities No modern gaming keyboard is complete without eye-catching lighting, so Strix Scope features per-key ASUS Aura RGB LEDs, plus an illuminated ROG logo. Compatibility with the Aura Sync ecosystem makes it easy for gamers to harmonize Strix Scope’s light shows with other Aura Sync-enabled components, both from ASUS and partner manufacturers.

The keyboard also has a built-in memory to store up to six custom illumination profiles, which can be configured to correspond to different applications – providing custom layouts and lighting effects that are tailored for a particular game or activity.

The evolution of ROG Strix Scope
Avid ROG followers may have noted that Strix Scope was previously revealed as Strix CTRL during CES 2019. This product-development codename was subsequently changed and finalized as Strix Scope to clearly express a key battlefield benefit of the extended Xccurate Design Ctrl key.

specs.PNG

 

Source: ASUS

ASUS Republic of Gamers Launches the ROG Strix Helios Enclosure

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 13, 2019 - 10:45 AM |
Tagged: ROG Strix, RGB, mid-tower, Helios, gaming, enclosure, chassis, case, ASUS ROG, asus, aluminum

The Republic of Gamers division of ASUS has launched the ROG Strix Helios, a deluxe EATX enclosure which is the "first ROG mid-tower gaming chassis made for showcase builds with tempered-glass panels, aluminum frame, Aura Sync lighting and an array of cooling options", according to ASUS. This is certainly a striking design, with a sharply angular look from an exterior that combines aluminum and tinted glass.

rog_helios_1.PNG

"Strix Helios is designed for those who want to create a gaming rig that will stand out in any crowd. It boasts three 4mm-thick, smoked, tempered-glass panels fitted in a refined brushed-aluminum frame, plus a stunning display of Aura RGB lighting integrated into the front panel. The LEDs are individually addressable, and can be customized with a palette of millions of colors and a range of preset effects – all easily synced with the vast Aura Sync hardware ecosystem to augment the build."

Key points include (via ASUS):

  • Three 4mm, smoked tempered-glass panels, refined brushed-aluminum frame and integrated front panel Aura Sync RGB lighting
  • Innovative multifunction cover with integrated GPU braces, two-piece PSU shroud and translucent rear cover offer effortless cable management
  • Supports up to EATX motherboards, with ample space for 420mm front / 360mm top radiators and water-cooling pump and reservoir

While we have seen an ASUS ROG case in the past - with custom enclosures part of the ROG Strix GL12 and ROG Huracan G21 systems - this is a standalone product targeting the high-end enthusiast segment.

rog_helios_2.PNG

"Strix Helios has been thoughtfully designed with flexible covers and a comprehensive cable-management system to keep the interior tidy, clean and sharp. An adjustable multifunction cover with GPU braces cleverly hides cabling, provides sturdy support to graphics cards and allows for an SSD or ROG Aura Terminal to be mounted for display. There’s also a two-piece PSU shroud with a front cut-out to enable compatibility with ROG Thor or other OLED-integrated power supplies. In the back, a translucent cable cover conceals unsightly wiring while allowing illuminations from RGB devices to shine through."

ASUS ROG also emphasizes the convenience features of the new enclosure, which offers unique tool-free side panels that have a hinge on the bottom, and a full compliment of dust filters.

"Building with and maintaining a Strix Helios is also made simple. Release buttons at the rear of the chassis allows builders to swing down the side panels for instant, tool-less access to the interior. The panels are bottom-hinged, and will remain supported at an angle until they’re ready to be completely detached. The case also comes with fan and radiator mounts, and removable filters on the top, front and underside for all-round dust protection."

rog_helios_3.PNG

So how much will the new ASUS ROG Strix Helios enclosure set you back? It has an MSRP of $279.99 and is available now at Newegg, "and soon available at other leading retailers" according to ASUS.

Source: ASUS ROG

A Fresh Take on the Dark Base 700

The be quiet! Dark Base 700 White Edition is a limited-edition enclosure of only 3,000 units, and it is not only one of the first white cases from be quiet!, but also joins the Dark Base 900 (rev. 2) in featuring RGB lighting - though as tastefully implemented as one might expect from be quiet!.

dark_base_700_white_main.jpg

So what can you expect from a case that - at first glance - appears to be another white mid-tower with a tempered glass side panel and RGB lighting? Quite a bit more than you might think, unless you have first-hand experience with a be quiet! enclosure. My impressions of their products to this point has shown them to have characteristically superior material selection, build quality, overall fit and finish, and attention to detail. In short, a level of perfectionism must surely exist within this German company, and it is impressive to behold.

While this version might only be available for a brief period of time (as long as the 3000 manufactured may last), that does not mean that one cannot purchase the standard black version, which will be identical to this one other than appearance and costs $20 less. Tastes on these matters vary, but from the moment I spotted this at CES in January I really liked this white version with its bright appearance, crystal-clear glass, and subtle lighting around the edges of the front panel.

dark_base_700_white_front_light_angle.jpg

Features from be quiet!:

  • Motherboard tray and HDD slots with enhanced possibilities for individual requirements
  • Two Silent Wings 3 140mm PWM fans
  • 4-step dual-rail fan controller is switchable between Silence and Performance Mode
  • Ready for radiators up to 360mm
  • PSU shroud, ingenious cable routing and HDD slot covers for a neat interior
  • Fully windowed side panel made of tempered glass
  • Exterior RGB LEDs with six switchable colors and motherboard control option

Continue reading our review of the be quiet! Dark Base 700 White Edition case

A Cooler Master MasterMouse to attach your your MasterCase, young master

Subject: General Tech | March 27, 2019 - 07:20 PM |
Tagged: cooler master, mastermouse, MM830, RGB, PixArt PMW3360, input

If you have fallen in love with the various types of MasterCase which have appeared on the market over the past couple of years, then why not plug in a new MasterMouse to it?  The MM830 was announced some time ago but hadn't made it to the NA market until recently and TechPowerUp grabbed one for review.  That funky design you can see on the side functions somewhat like a D-Pad, with each of those points being a programmable button.  The Cooler Master Portal app allows you to program them as well as one Tactix button, essentially a shift key which allows you to bind a second set of commands to your buttons.

Drop by for a look at how well that works, and a peek at the light show that OLED on the top can produce.

mm830_lr_bl.jpg

"Cooler Master revealed the MM830 about a year ago at CES 2018, and it just became available for purchase. It features a top-of-the-line optical sensor, PBT main buttons, an OLED display, a unique D-pad, and many more interesting features—and it of course has RGB lighting as well."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: TechPowerUp

NZXT Announces the HUE 2 RGB Ambient Lighting Kit V2

Subject: General Tech | March 19, 2019 - 02:34 PM |
Tagged: RGB, nzxt, lighting, HUE 2 Ambient RGB Kit V2, HUE 2, ambient

NZXT has announced the version 2 of the HUE 2 Ambient RGB Lighting Kit, an update which the company says "brings product improvements that make installation easier and help ensure that the included LED strips will be securely attached to your monitor". The lighting kit uses NZXT's CAM software to select between lighting modes - which include an ambient mode that changes the lighting to compliment the images on your monitor.

HUE 2 Ambient RGB Lighting Kit.jpg

"The HUE 2 ecosystem delivers the broadest line of RGB lighting accessories for PC Builders with over 10 different accessories such as the HUE 2 RGB lighting kit, underglow kit, AER RGB 2 fans, and cable combs."

NZXT provides this list of features for the new HUE 2 kit:

HUE 2 Ambient RGB Kit V2 New Features:

  • Stronger Adhesive: Upgraded the 3M LED strip adhesive backing tape to be thicker and stickier. It is more compatible with the different surfaces and textures of monitors on the market.
  • L-Shape Corner Connector: For easier setup, we replaced the 150mm corner connectors to an L-shape corner connector for the top left and bottom right of your monitor.
  • Alcohol Wipes: As your monitor may be dusty or dirty, we added alcohol-based cleaning wipes so you can clean the back of the monitor before adhering the LED strips.

HUE 2 RGB Ambient Lighting Kit Features

  • Available in two configurations, one for 21” to 25”/34”-35” UltraWide monitors and one for 26” to 32” monitors, the HUE 2 RGB Ambient Lighting Kit adds gorgeous lighting to your gaming PC and provides a more immersive in-game experience* by projecting the colors from the edges of your display to your walls.
  • HUE 2 RGB Ambient Lighting controller
  • Faster microprocessor enables incredibly smooth lighting effects and virtually instantaneous response changes to colors on the screen in ambient mode
  • Multiple LED strips in various lengths, along with easy-to-follow configuration and installation instructions for various monitor sizes and aspect ratios
  • AC power adapter
  • All necessary cables
  • Compatible with all HUE 2 accessories and CAM lighting modes

* Ambient lighting modes are available only with the HUE 2 Ambient Lighting controller and require the use of CAM as a registered user, including acceptance of the then-current NZXT Terms of Service.

HUE-2-Ambient-RGB-Lighting-Kit.jpg

The HUE 2 lighting kits are available now in the USA with pricing as follows:

  • HUE 2 Ambient RGB Lighting Kit V2 (21”-25”, 34”-35” UltraWide) - $99.99
  • HUE 2 Ambient RGB Lighting Kit V2 (26”-32”) - $99.99
Source: NZXT

Thar be ARGBs on the Water bearin the flag o' Thermaltake

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 19, 2019 - 01:57 PM |
Tagged: thermaltake, Water 3.0 360 ARGB Sync, watercooler, 360mm radiator, RGB

Thermaltake's Water 3.0 360 ARGB Sync is a watercooler for those who live and breath RGBs, as it is compatible with all the software suites found on motherboards so you can create your own lightshow.  It is compatible with all current sockets from both AMD and Intel, the only compatibility issue you might have is fitting the 360mm radiator into your case.  In Kitguru's testing it even performed well while cooling, but really it's all about the RGBs.

kitguru_thermaltake_water_3.0_360_ARGB_Sync_colour_4.jpg

"There’s a lot to unpack from the name of the Thermaltake Water 3.0 360 ARGB Sync. The ‘360’ obviously refers to its 360mm radiator, and we know ARGB = Addressable RGB lighting. The ‘Sync’ aspect references software compatibility for the Water 3.0 360 with current motherboards ..."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

Source: Kitguru

ASUS's ROG Delta for those who have given up on the headphone jack

Subject: General Tech | March 7, 2019 - 01:46 PM |
Tagged: gaming headphones, asus, ROG, delta usb-c, RGB, ROG Armory, audio

Hopefully the ASUS ROG USB-C RGB headset will survive the lunacy that those in charge of the USB spec have been inflicting upon the world, but for now it will work on your phone or computer.  Kitguru does suggest installing the ROG Armory software to make use of the features offered by the built in DAC.  

Check out the full review and why the reviewer preferred it over their Corsair Void Pro, in the full video review.

Headphone-Close-up.jpg

"Today we are reviewing the high-end ASUS Republic of Gamers Delta USB-C RGB headset. It has a beautifully ergonomic D-shaped ear cup design, and provides detailed, true to life audio with its updated Essence drivers and hi-fi grade ESS quad DAC"

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

 

Source: Kitguru

MSI has a new Cherry ride for your fingers, the Vigor GK6

Subject: General Tech | March 4, 2019 - 06:28 PM |
Tagged: cherry mx red, msi, gaming keyboard, Vigor GK60, input, RGB

MSI's new Vigor GK60 keyboard sports Cherry MX Red switches and has an MSRP of $109.99, but is available for $99.99 for a limited time if you feel the need right now.   As this is 2019 the keyboard is legally required to meet a minimum of RGBs, which the GK60 easily surpasses and for those who are using MSI's Mystic Light for other components, you will see your new keyboard listed in that software.

Click over to TechPowerUp for a closer look at the outsides and insides of this keyboard, the caps and the switches.

keyboard-2.jpg

"2019 brings with it our first MSI keyboard review in the form of the recently announced Vigor GK60. It is a full-size keyboard with Cherry MX Red switches for a solid base for gamers and does not break the bank. The addition of some MSI-specific features and software and hardware control over function and form means this is a keyboard you would want to know more about!"

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: TechPowerUp

Panic at the Frag Harder Disco, Corsair RAMs RGB Domination into the spotlight

Subject: Memory | February 27, 2019 - 05:51 PM |
Tagged: RGB, frag harder disco lights, Dominator Platinum RGB, ddr4, corsair

Sometimes it is sad that the <blink> tag was deprecated, for instance it would be perfect for Corsair's Dominator Platinum RGB kits.  As you can see below there are more than four lights on each module and they are certainly not dim.  If you need to feed your RGB addition you can pick from a variety of kits including two 16GB kits, one running at 3200MHz and one at 4800Mhz, or 64GB of DDR4-3600MHz, up to a 128GB 3600MHz kit.  All feature Frag Harder Disco Lights compatible with Corsair's iCUE software so you can make them dance like Jim did.

Drop by [H]ard|OCP for a look.

1550707766pba7y5znge_1_18_l.jpg

"Corsair is adding a huge 64GB RAM kit that many enthusiast High End Desk Top users might be interested in. We take the new Dominator Platinum RGB DIMMs for a ride on both Intel X299 and AMD X399 systems and see how the clocks shake out. And of course, enough Frag Harder Disco Lights to illuminate your house."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

Memory

Source: [H]ard|OCP
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: ASUS

A Unique Blend of Lighting and Customization

The ROG Strix Flair is a mechanical gaming keyboard from the ASUS Republic of Gamers division that offers Cherry MX RGB switches, customizable lighting with underglow effects, a unique pop-out badge that can be swapped for a custom logo or text, dedicated media keys, USB passthrough, and programmable macro support. All of these features carry a premium price tag, and with a list price of $179.99 (though our Cherry MX Red version has been selling for quite a bit less) it sits in the upper range for gaming keyboards. Is it worth it? That is always the question, and we will try to answer it here.

ROG_Strix_Flare_Lights.jpg

“Flare up your game with ROG Strix Flare – a mechanical gaming keyboard that's got everything you want and more. Feel the satisfaction of every keystroke with world-renowned Cherry MX switches. Enjoy instant access to dedicated media keys on the upper left while gaming. And experience an unparalleled level of personalization with a customizable badge illuminated by Aura Sync RGB lighting. Boast your gaming flair as you dominate the battlefield.”

Features from ASUS ROG:

  • German-made Cherry MX RGB mechanical key switches that deliver satisfying mechanical feel with optimal actuation – The choice of professional gamers and enthusiasts
  • Customizable illuminated badge – Boast your ROG pride or show your flair with a personal or team insignia
  • Dedicated media keys and volume wheel positioned on the left for instant in-game audio control, a USB passthrough for easy connection and a detachable soft-touch wrist rest
  • Individually backlit keys and vibrant underglow powered by Aura Sync RGB lighting technology
  • Map macros on-the-fly to our fully programmable keys, adjust settings with enhanced ROG Armoury II software, and store profiles on the keyboard’s onboard memory

ROG_Strix_Flare_Logo.jpg

The clear insert with the ROG badge can be swapped for additonal customization

Continue reading our review of the ASUS ROG Strix Flare mechanical gaming keyboard