GGPC Recommends

Good Gaming Laptop – HP Omen GTX 1050 AX!

If you’re on the hunt for a well priced, somewhat classy, gaming laptop that’s good – definitely check out the latest HP Omen AX which packs the excellent 4GB GTX 1050 Graphics + intel i7-7700HQ combo into a very tidy 15″ package ūüôā

The current configuration for this one (AX246TX is the exact model) available now in New Zealand sports a 1TB Hard Drive and also 256GB of extremely fast NVMe M.2 Storage along with 16GB of 2400MHz DDR4 ram to ensure smooth performance while you’re multitasking. Although it’s quite thin the Bang & Olufsen dual speakers can still pump out some glorious audio and the built-in wide vision webcam allows you to keep everyone in frame when video calling¬†friends or family.

It’s got all the extras we look for in a modern laptop too, essentials like an HDMI output for gaming on the big TV are there but they’ve also made sure to include handy tech like Bluetooth 4.2 and dual band AC wireless which is great to see. The keyboard is full sized with a num-pad and glows with a¬†red LED backlight that shines right through the letters for clean even look that’s pretty perfecto and to top it all off the 1920×1080 IPS screen is anti-glare ūüôā There is also another version of this laptop (exact model is 5-AX238TX) and it’s got a beautiful 3840×2160 display paired with a GTX 1050Ti.

It’s going to be a lot of fun comparing this one to our recent tests with the Sabre 15 below as the internal specs here are the same, keep your eyes on our¬†PC Gaming Blog and our GGPC YouTube Channel for the latest!

Good Gaming PC Case – CM MasterBox Lite 5 Dark Mirror

Another great Cooler Master chassis called the MasterBox Lite 5 has just landed in New Zealand and we couldn’t resist opening it up to see what improvements they’ve made over the already excellent MasterBox 5 Dark Mirror¬†which we fell in love with just a few months back ūüôā

Starting off with the packaging it’s pretty standard stuff coming in a nice brown box with handles which, once opened, reveals a foam packed chassis inside, you can faintly see the transparency of the dark mirror front panel within the protective bag.

Removing the outer protective packaging we can see that the two dark mirror areas have a secondary protective layer on them also, with the window panel the screw holes are also fitted with rubber protectors and there is a subtle pattern¬†along the edges. We had a bit of a funny moment during our first build when we were re-attaching this panel (upside down it turned out) and it we couldn’t quite align it – so yep turn it around if that happens to you, just letting y’all know!

Inside we find a handy little instruction booklet, warranty card and an assortment of essential screws and handy zip ties full cable management, the little brown box inside however has something really very cool – two optional colour plates for the front panel are included with the chassis!

Swapping out the coloured trims is an easy process with screws and clips holding everything in place¬†but the best bit is Cooler Master¬†didn’t stop there, those fine folks know the community has awesome ideas of their own so with that in mind, they’ve made 3D printing schematics for both¬†the top and bottom trim available right away and you can download the files for 3D Printing your own MasterBox Lite 5 parts here¬†\o/ Fun times ahead!

Looking at the main body now we find an included 120mm fan pre-mounted on the rear exhaust which sports a nice all-black 3-pin cable to keep things looking good. Along the top we don’t have any mounting holes for fans but the front is savvy for mounting an additional 3x 120mm intakes or a massive radiator for a killer¬†water cooled system.

Everything has a clean black coating, even the dual USB ports are dark grey instead of the usual blue and they’ve made things great for system builder by adding the common little details like the good tool-less drive trays (the ones with the sliders) and also the not-so-common ones¬†like the power supply bracket which is just wonderful to see.

Build wise we’ve¬†dived right in and created a nice red/black themed Ryzen 5 + GTX 1060 system to test it all out for ourselves, with the PSU shield now extending all the way to the front and the brilliant worked done by CM design with¬†those additional cable management slots along the right of the motherboard¬†we were able to make a nice and tidy Gaming PC¬†in this chassis extremely quickly, it’s a absolute pleasure to build with!

We can’t wait to do more builds (as I write this we’ve already done some¬†quick GTX 1050Ti, GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 builds with a range of different Ryzen) and we even setup the cameras during our first build so we’ll be adding a quick timelapse to this blog soon enough but anyways – onto the best bit – Cooler Master have created an exceptionally good chassis here, not only does it look amazing and sport those neat little trim mods that are super easy to tweak but everything is just right on the inside and on that note we happily give this case our GGPC Recommends Award ¬†– The MasterBox Lite 5 is GOOD!¬†

 

Good Gaming Laptop – Aero 15 GTX 1060!

Update: Aero 15 Laptops are available for order in NZ now!

These new ones have a slightly bigger screen size, but by opting for a class-leading 15‚ÄĚ 5mm bezel display the new Aero 15 offers you greater display real estate without increasing chassis size allowing them to keep their¬†signature, super slimness ūüôā

Little tweaks¬†to the design, like placement on the webcam and mics within the hinge keep things very slim indeed, and nice touches like the carbon fiber detailing on the back along with the way the RGB led shines through the dual cooling fans is just beautiful ūüôā¬†When comparing with¬†the previous Aero 14¬†the rear cooling vents on the Aero 15 have been extended and air blown out from two positions on¬†the back of the laptop while gaming,¬†and to go¬†even further, a Thunderbolt 3 port has been added for a premium ultra-fast transfer speed at 40Gbps and the ability to connect external graphics enclosures (we tested this by adding a GTX 1080Ti), or run with twin 5K external displays… truly a mobile powerhouse without limits!

Specifications¬†wise it’s packing the latest 7th gen Intel Core i7-7700HQ, a 6GB GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card along with 16GB of DDR4 ram and a super quick PCIe M.2 for storage. They’ve also done wonderful things to the keys on these new version and the new Aero 15 now sports a RGB Fusion¬†chicklet keyboard with the best keys we’ve even seen – vibrant but with¬†little light leakage!

In-game the Aero15 is excellent, far above expectations. The GTX 1060 inside was able to keep our framerates high in a range of games and when we tested the i7-7700HQ with a little CS:GO we were pleasantly surprised to see the CPU usage keeping around 50% even while using the built in Nvidia Shadowplay Game Capture tools. You can manually set fans speeds via the control center but leaving them set to auto is just fine, the laptop will pulse up the speed as needed when you’re gaming – we did a quick test to see at what point the CPU begins to throttle itself and the mark is 89 degrees, at this point the fans kick in and the CPU changes¬†from its 3.8GHz boost to 3.2GHz (base is 2.8GHz) to keep things cooler, during these moments we noticed no bumps or jumps in game ūüôā

We’ve continued adding to our GTX 1060 Laptop Test YouTube Playlist¬†and as you can see in the¬†latest Witcher 3 Novigrad gameplay test below – things are looking very good indeed!

Now that we’ve had a really good play with the new GTX 1060 Aero we happily give this super slim and powerful little laptop our GGPC Recommends Award – the Aero 15 is GOOD!

We’ve got more new laptops incoming, keep your eyes on the GGPC Computers Blog for the latest!

Good Gaming PC Case – CM MasterBox 5 Dark Mirror

We’ve been treated to so many good chassis lately and today we’re looking specifically at a very reasonably priced computer case from those fine folks at Cooler Master – a¬†white MasterBox 5 with a dark mirror front panel ūüôā

Starting things off, this isn’t the first in the MasterBox 5 series and there are also options if you wanted to grab this one¬†in black, or with mesh instead of tinting on the front – that’s really what Cooler Master has been all about lately as well, options!

This chassis provides a really good base to start just about any kind of build in,¬†an included power supply shield will help keep¬†things super tidy inside.¬†There are mounting holes all over the place which allow¬†for multiple positions when fitting¬†storage devices, the movable hot swap HDD caddy has a clip hinge with the CM logo on each drive bay as well. This case is ready for various sizes of motherboard, from the tiny ITX though to large ATX like we’ve used below in our little AMD test system.

The chassis does include¬†2x black CM 120mm fans which are mounted in the front, with these fitted the mirror effect for the front panel is pretty good at reflecting whatever your PC¬†is facing – this panel is actually a deep tint so if you decide to put LED fans into the position you’ll cancel out the mirror somewhat and a things will light up the front, you can check this out in our RGB¬†MasterBox 5 build shown at the bottom of this blog ūüôā¬†The top of the case provide quick access to dual USB 3.0 (which aren’t coloured blue, we like this) and also audio jacks with the power button having a white LED light behind it.¬†The side window panel is massive so when it came time to add in the little extra lighting we mounted this on the front aiming backwards, that way if you’ve got the PC on your desk at eye-level you won’t have a blazing LED shining directly into your eyes ūüėõ

GGPC MasterBox 5 Dark Mirror Custom Build

Even though the chassis is inexpensive compared to others of similar looks and quality (it’s under $150 NZD at the time of writing this) it’s so tidy looking you really can put in the highest end components and things won’t be off balance. There is space for X99 motherboards and dual graphics card builds, you can rear mount your radiator or even front mount a 240mm liquid cooling kit in a push/pull configuration and it¬†even fits the absolutely massive air cooling units like the MasterAir Maker 8¬†– crazy cool!

GGPC CM MasterBox 5 Dark Mirror Multiple Custom Builds

We like this chassis so much we’ve decided to use it for our own top selling build – the GGPC Hero GTX 1050 Gaming PC \o/ With this build being a part of our latest series of custom rigs you can tweak the components and the new visual tool will show you what your system design looks like as you choose/change components.¬†You won‚Äôt need to be a hardware guru to design a system, we only provide options which are compatible with each other.¬†The tool works by providing a range of fully functional base builds from which you can customise your system upwards, adding additional graphics power or digital storage depending on your needs. You‚Äôll be happily swapping out components¬†to get the perfect look with no worries ūüôā

We’re looking forward to doing more Custom Gaming PC builds with this chassis,¬†with such flexible mounting options and killer looks it’s hard not to love this case (or the others in the series) but among the current range this white dark mirror version is certainly a favourite of ours ūüôā On that note we happily give this fine Cooler Master chassis our GGPC recommends award – the MasterBox 5 Dark Mirror Case is GOOD!

 

GGPC Recommends Cooler Master MasterBox 5 Dark Mirror Gaming PC Case

 

 

Good Gaming Mouse – Getting into grips with the MasterMouse Pro L

Cooler Master MasterMouse NZ

UPDATE: The Cooler Master MasterMouse Pro L is available in New Zealand now!

Another awesome piece of gaming gear from Computex is here!

Arm yourself with the MasterMouse Pro L and customise your grip with modular top and¬†side covers. ¬†This new kind of gaming mouse reminds us a bit of the James Donkey 007 and includes 2x¬†unique top covers combined with two pairs of magnetic side panels. This allows for several grip configurations so you can make a mouse that works best for you and the games you are wanting to play ūüôā Another cool bit is that Cooler Master have made 3D Print models for the MasterMouse Pro L available freely if you would like to make¬†things for yourself, just like they did with the recently announced MasterPulse Headset.

Nearly every inch of the MasterMouse Pro L’s body is covered in a matte UV coating – this is highly durable and won’t peel, wear, or tarnish. Both of the main buttons are equipped with Omron switches guaranteed to last 20 million clicks¬†and the cable has been built to endure even the most dedicated gamer ūüėõ We shall see CM… Challenge accepted!

The MasterMouse Pro L offers 8 programmable buttons that can be easily expanded up to 14+1 switch button thanks to the Storm Tactix function. Assign the Storm Tactix button based on your preference and press it to enable your secondary button functions. There is also a DPI switch which is found on the bottom right side of the mouse but even this can be reassigned to any other button, great news for the snipers among us who are looking to switch DPI levels on-the-fly.

On the inside you’ll find a PixArt PMW3360 optical sensor delivering¬†up to 12000 DPI with no interpolation and no acceleration and a 32-bit ARM processor which allows you to record¬†and play back complex macros, as well as save all of your settings for use on any computer without software, 512KB on-board memory allows¬†you to take your macros with you wherever you go ūüôā

If you do jump into the software package you’re in for a treat and can customize DPI levels, illumination, button functions and advanced sensor settings (lift of distance, angle snapping, angle turnability, sensitivity) within, you can also tweak the RGB lighting on the mouse wheel together with the back beam and then for both front sides – and then save up to five separate illumination profiles with multiple effects options and switch between them at will \o/

Cooler Master MasterMouse Software

Lucky for us we were able to get hands on with this one¬†a little early and it’s very impressive! On that note we happily give this new breed of Cooler Master gaming mouse our GGPC recommends award – The MASTER MOUSE IS GOOD!

GGPC Good Gaming Mouse Cooler Master

Keep your eyes on the GGPC Computers Blog for more of the latest and best in Gaming Gear!

Good Gaming PC Case – The Segotep SG-K7 RGB!

Throughout 2016 we were¬†treated to a range of outstanding new chassis as manufacturers embraced both tempered glass and RGB lighting in their chassis lineups ūüôā Of all these new cases though one has really stood out, from a manufacturer known as Segotep who also made our orignal GGPC Shaman chassis known as Warship. This new case is a massive leap ahead in quality and looks a lot like¬†the InWin 805 but with slightly different front IO placement, a big PSU shield and comes pre-fitted with 4x 120mm RGB fans.

GGPC Segotep SGK7 BoxGood looks aside there are a lot of other things Segotep got right with the SGK7, firstly the way it’s all packaged up is excellent¬†with a sturdy double box and no polystyrene to be found ūüôā The foam padding holds everything securely¬†and both sides of all the glass panels (two sides and front) are shrink wrapped for extra protection. The RGB fans are fitted 3x in the front and 1x in the back and come pre-connected to an included hub so you can control the colours and effects easily via the front IO. It also contains a decent manual for new builders which we really appreciate, and even a cleaning cloth which is a must for any glass build as they do tend to become fingerprint magnets ūüėõ

GGPC Segotep Custom Gaming PC BuildThere’s no better way to get to know a chassis than building a gaming PC in one so for this blog we designed one that’s using the new B250m motherboard from Gigabyte and fitted the new i5-7500 taking a little time to wrap the cable up on the included CPU cooler so it looks nice. Another good thing about the new motherboards is we get to use 2400MHz ram this time around – the previous 2133MHz limitations are removed giving us access to¬†a much larger variety of kits at the faster speed which is great for us¬†as we¬†like to try out new parts whenever possible – the new G.Skill Trident RGB is coming in 2400MHz so we’re¬†extremely happy about this little change up!

Putting it all together was a quick process and once we successfully did a little boot test I¬†thought I’d spend a moment doing something with the Segotep SGK7 I haven’t really seen any other chassis do – adding a custom RGB name plate!

GGPC Segotep RGB Custom Name PlateTo do this you need to remove the front glass panel so you can access some screws, once those are out a little clear plastic panel (with the default Segotep sticker on it) can be removed.¬†When we peeled off the sticker it left a little residue which we¬†quickly cleaned off with some meths, using the old sticker as a sizing template I began hunting around for something the right size to use. We¬†then simply¬†printed GGPC on a piece of paper with black around it, the LED glow is powerful enough to shine through the paper but if you take a little time to cut out the name it really blasts through – just put your gamertag on the plastic backer and screw it back in you won’t need any glue etc – it’s that easy ūüôā

We’ve not seen a chassis this good available for so little before especially in New Zealand and on that note, now that we‚Äôve built a Good Gaming PC in this chassis we are happy to give it a well¬†deserved recommendation to anyone looking for a top chassis at a great price ‚Äď The Segotep SG-K7¬†is GOOD!

GGPC Segotep SGK7 Good Gaming Case

Good Gaming Mouse – The BEST in Logitech G Wireless

GGPC Wireless Mice are AWESOME

Wireless mice have come a long way and right now Logitech G have the two best options for gamers¬†with the very affordable¬†Logitech G403 Prodigy and premium¬†Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum¬†available ūüôā

To be perfectly clear, wireless mice were not always this good – and getting them to this point sure took a while… ¬†finally the latest wireless ones are as fast as their wired friends, and also have very nice lightweight feel to them \o/

The battery life for both is also really excellent, spanning over several days of heavy gaming without the need to charge but for a wireless mouse to beat out the wired competition it must be able to be charged conveniently as well, even in the middle of a game. For this there are¬†no fancy external docks needed instead a USB cable connects to the front of the mouse turning it into a wired mouse while it charges – so no problem at all ūüôā Logitech Gaming Software¬†can be used to customise the RGB LED lighting on both to further increase the time between charges, though we’d kinda miss having everything glowing away in perfect sync.

Speed wise they really are fast – fast enough to take on professional eSports scene and in the recent ESL finals between SK Gaming and Cloud9 player Autimatic used a G403 and after his team won he got also got given the MVP award as well ūüôā

We’ve been using both the G403 and G900 since launch earlier this year and happily recommend them, the G403 has a price that’s pretty hard to resist but if you go with the larger G900 you’ll get more buttons and also that slick ambidextrous design making it perfect for lefties.

 

 

 

Good Motherboard – The Asus H110M-A/M.2

The H110M-A-M/2 from those fine folks at Asus is a motherboard quite unlike any other we’ve seen, small enough to fit in those little mATX chassis and¬†packing an M.2 slot for adding some ultra fast NVMe storage into the mix!

GGPC M2 slot on an H110 motherboard

As motherboards go this one is rather nice looking, especially for the price ūüėõ Everything is built onto¬†a black PCB that’s got a pretty wild design drawn in white going on around the CPU (the socket can even fit a mighty i7-6700 processor), beneath this is the additional M.2 slot that makes this motherboard pretty special ūüôā Usually features like M.2¬†are reserved for more expensive motherboards but Asus have continued¬†H110M series tradition and given us slots for the things we¬†need and¬†that’s awesome!

MVI_4329.MOV.00_01_06_16.Still002

Graphics wise you’ve got enough space to fit a massive dual slot card which still leaves enough space below to add something like an AC wireless and bluetooth card for added convenience, even though¬†this H110 has only 2x DDR4 ram slot you can actually fit up to 32GB of 2133MHz memory in it, you could even use 2400MHz or above as the mobo will automatically adjust the clock speed to suit.

Overall this is an excellent value motherboard and with that M.2 slot it sets itself apart from the pack, we’re playing with some really small high performance gaming PC with this lil mobo currently and our experiences so far have been excellent, certainly worthy of the GGPC Recommends Award and on that note – the Asus H110M-A/M.2 motherboard is GOOD!¬†

GGPC Award H110MAM2 Motherboard

 

Good Gaming Gear – Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam

GGPC C922 Game Stream WebcamIf you’ve looked into webcams for YouTube channels or Twitch streaming before you’ve likely seen a fair few people out there recommending the Logitech C920, it was (and still is) a great option for capturing video while still being pretty affordable.

Now Logitech are bringing a new Webcam into the mix with a feature set that’s designed to meet the demands of serious streamers everywhere, the C922 Pro Stream makes it easy to produce clear, professional content. You can stream and record video in your choice of sharp, true-to-life 1080p at 30fps or a fluid 720p at 60fps to match the speed of your game. Uploads are fast and smooth thanks to built-in advanced H.264 video compression, freeing up processing power and network bandwidth to keep your game smooth while you broadcast.

It’s even packing a¬†digital dynamic background replacement powered by Personify, so you can easily integrate your live image into the game on Twitch or YouTube without a complicated green screen setup.¬†Automatic low-light correction and premium autofocus through a full HD glass lens adjusts to your movements and environment, so you have a consistent broadcast even in the dim, fluctuating light gamers regularly experience.

C922 Game Stream WebcamThe C922 Pro Stream could well be the perfect all-in-one choice for getting into streaming and although getting yourself a dedicated directional microphone is definitely going to make things even better the C922 does have built-in dual omni-directional noise cancelling microphones to capture stereo audio from every angle which is pretty good.

It also includes a fully adjustable tabletop tripod lets you record from the most flattering angle for your stream ūüėõ

Logitech have also teamed up with gaming broadcast software XSplit and a complimentary 3-month XSplit Premium license for Windows is included so you can easily start streaming and recording your PC games with professional-grade tools and features right out of the box.

The Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam is available now¬†and below is a quick test with the Personify feature, this and all the other goodness¬†it brings with it this one’s¬†sure to go down well with gamers around the world! ¬†On that note we happily give it our GGPC recommends award – the Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam is GOOD!

Good Gaming Keyboard – The Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum

UPDATE: This amazing keyboard is available in NZ now!

Not to be confused with the previous Orion Spark the new Logitech G Orion Spectrum is what happens when a company listens to customer feedback and adjusts to make their products even better.  An awesome version of the G910 from Logitech is incoming РThe G910 Orion Spectrum!

With a darker look, RGB logo and those ultra fast Romer-G mechanical switches to give you incredible responsiveness, this sleek RGB Mechanical keyboard actuates your presses faster than standard mechanical switches.  This faster actuation gives you faster response for the winning edge in battles where every move you make matters.

A small detail in the keycaps has been adjusted to be smoother allowing for easier finger travel between them during the more complex maneuvers we all attempt while in the heat of battle.

As with the original Orion Spark the Spectrum allows for some pretty extreme customisation via the Logitech Gaming software, you can tweak keyboards lighting effects and mark individual keys by colour to keep track of spells and game commands. ¬†Each key‚Äôs backlight can be customised from a palette of 16.8 million colors. The key letters are entirely illuminated for a beautiful, evenly-lit glow with minimal light leakage ūüôā ¬†You can also download¬†ARX Control app for your smartphone (here are links for Android and Apple) which introduces some second-screen capabilities. ¬†Use your smart phone or tablet screen to display in-game info, vital system statistics and more. ¬†The keyboard‚Äôs adjustable smart dock positions your phone perfectly at the top of the keyboard.

We’ve really put this keyboard through some extremely enjoyable game testing and happily give it our full recommendation – the Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum is GOOD!

This keyboard is outstanding top to bottom, in-game integration for lighting effects is simply outstanding – check out the video below as we test this with Counter Strike: Global Offensive using the key lighting to signal the number of rounds left in our clip.