The new AMD Ryzen 7 series CPU will be with us very soon and details have released for the three new options in this lineup 🙂 They are the high end part of a new range incoming which will also include the Ryzen 3 and 5 series.
These new beasts are set to become available on March 3rd in New Zealand and are all looking pretty tempting with 8 cores and some nice benchmarks released by AMD, you can check out the basic specs for each below.
At GGPC we can’t wait to get into testing these new CPU out in game, but there’s also something else which is looking pretty cool for system builders looking to use this new series – some of the versions include an RGB cooler! We’ve seen three versions coming with cooling solutions so far, one is called the Wraith MAX which looks to be very similar to our current square Wraith series (not a bad thing, it’s a great quiet cooler option) – the other two are named Wraith SPIRE (70mm and 80mm fan versions)which look awesome with a circular shape and the best bit is… ALL versions look to have a RGB lighting ring around the top!
Currently the SPIRE is included with this Ryzen 7 1700 CPU processor model, it sports a round aluminium heatsink with spirally projecting fins to keep things cool 🙂
We’ll confirm all the details as we get into testing but one things for sure, with these new RGB Coolers the Gaming PC builds are going to look GOOD!
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 🙂 Of all these new cases though one has really stood out, from a manufacturer known as Segotepwho 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.
Good 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 🙂 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 😛
There’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!
To 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 🙂
We’ve not seen a chassis this good available for so little before especially in New Zealand and on that note, now that we’ve 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 – The Segotep SG-K7 is GOOD!
When the GTX 10 series laptops first appeared late last year we were blown away in our tests with the new GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 variants, both in terms of performance but also with how close these portable solutions were to their desktop brethren. With the GTX 1060 Gaming Laptop power efficiency had become so good that when running on battery it was almost as powerful as when it was connected to mains power – as you’ll see below in our long test with Battlefield one it was very close but still required a little settings tweak when switching between the two.
In a perfect world a gaming laptop will allow you to switch between powered and battery modes with no tweaking of settings required allowing us to truly game on the go.
And that’s why we’ve been excitedly awaiting the new GTX 1050 gaming laptop release, and today a pretty cool looking new one just got announced!
The new Sabre 15 Gaming Laptop in coming our way \o/ Featuring the new Kaby Lake Intel Core i7 processor and equipped with either the newly announced GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB or the GTX 1050 2GB we’ll be putting both versions though some GGPC gaming tests to see exactly what these machines can do! We’ve recently updated our GTX 1050 Desktop playlist with new tests with a range of titles to compare with and it’s going to be blast finding out what these new gaming laptops can do.
Future tests aside (for now) the new Sabre series is looking really good, they’ve taken away the orange trim in favour of a clean all black look and the keyboard has been improved and is now fitted with 2.2mm travel scissor type keys, for that extra feel and precision 🙂 There will be options for a either a red LED or a glorious RGB backlit keyboard with 16.8 million colours to choose from.
Just announced – the new MasterMouse S is coming to New Zealand soon \o/ A small and elegant gaming mouse that aims to provide a secure and satisfying grip.
The body of the mouse sports five buttons (not including the dpi switch), one of which is a secondary function button that will allow us to map another command to the other four buttons – we like this layout as it’s easy to use and allows for some pretty handy hotkeys to be activated directly from the mouse, simply mapping health and mana potions to a single button and having the shifter let you activate either is pretty sweet but things get really cool when you map a steady fire macro as the alternate left click function, unloading a whole clip accurately at range is a killer. They actually call this shifter button the “Storm TactiX” which does sound a bit cooler than the shift term we like to use 😛 It’s located just under the base of your thumb for very easy access.
The MasterMouse S has onboard memory, so we can save our macros within five profiles, with everything being saved on the mouse. These profiles can also save unique settings to each with two RGB illumination zones, there is one along the rim of the mouse wheel and one at the rear edge and both be customised with the usual spectrum of 16.7 million colours as well as a range of effects that can be assigned to each of the zones independently.
All of the lighting settings, button functions, macros, DPI levels and various sensor settings can be tweaked easily via Cooler Master’s Portal software which is the new unified software package for all things CM 🙂
Aside from all this good stuff we get all the other usual premium bits like a matte UV coating that is easy to clean and resistant to finger smudges, main buttons equipped with those glorious Omron switches which can take a beating and a nice patterned PVC cable which at 1.8 meters long is pretty savvy for a little lounge room gaming.
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 – The 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’s 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 🙂 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’s 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.
Logitech have absolutely nailed it with their latest design – the G403 Prodigy Wireless Gaming Mouse is an exceptional piece of gaming gear with a very comfortable shape and smooth movements that performs well above its price point. Logitech have created a lightweight, ergonomically designed body with rubber grips on the left and right sides to give you added control while the body molds to your hand for long-lasting comfort during gameplay 🙂
The Prodigy G403 brings together supreme comfort, quality, and durability in a wireless mouse that’s built for speed, accuracy and endurance. With a 1ms report rate, G403 is up to 8x faster than standard mice, when the mouse is moved or clicked, the response is near-instantaneous allowing us to be more accurate than ever been before. The G403 Prodigy features the world’s most advanced gaming mouse sensor, used by eSports pros worldwide and it is exceptionally precise and consistent so you can respond quicker and enjoy more accurate targeting. With a lightweight construction and included 10g removable weight, you have options when it comes to tuning the mouse to your preferences. Advanced buttons use metal springs to help keep the left and right mouse buttons primed to click, reducing the force needed to click and delivering exceptional click feel, response, and consistency.
Battery life wise the mouse holds its charge well and we were able to game with no interruptions for a full night, should the gaming session last so long that you do need to charge simple connect the cable to front of the mouse and continue gaming on 🙂 This charging cable can also be used as a USB wireless dongle extension thanks to a handy adaptor included in the box.
Logitech G403 Prodigy Gaming Mouse can be fully configured using Logitech Gaming Software to quickly match to your preferences. As with other recent gear from Logitech G you can use this software to choose from a palette of up to 16.8 million colours and brightness levels(both the logo and a laser strip on the mouse wheel) to match your favorite team, personal style, system or environment. Advanced users can configure the 6 programmable buttons to simplify in-game actions via the Logitech Gaming Software and quickly execute complex tasks, you can then save your settings to the memory on the mouse and use your settings on any PC without needing additional software or requiring a log in to use them. With onboard memory, you can take your settings with you wherever you go. On-the-fly DPI shifting that lets you program and switch between up to 5 sensitivity settings, from pixel-precise targeting (200 DPI) for sniping, to lightning-fast maneuvers (up to 12000 DPI) for fast and accurate 180-degree turns.
It’s not often we see a mouse this good, and after a long weekend gaming with it we happily give this mouse our GGPC Recommends Award – The Logitech G403 Prodigy Wireless Gaming Mouse is GOOD!
We first caught a glimpse of the Zalman Gaming Keyboard at the recent Computex 2016 Expo and it captured our attention immediately, so good were the first impressions of this keyboard that we returned for another go with it the next day.
What made the the Zalman Keyboard stand out?
– No drivers or software needed
– Solid build with a nice key layout
– Excellent features (especially the built in microphone, macro recording including mouse clicks and lighting options)
To begin with, the ZM-K900M has the ability to customise everything directly from the keyboard and will store your choices via the keyboards internal memory. This means that you can create a macro and save when connected to any computer without having to install dedicated software. It doesn’t end with gaming macro either, you can customize everything on the K900m from the keyboard and when you connect it to another system all your perfectly tuned settings will be ready to enjoy right away – no sync, no hassle.
For those of us that use macro while online gaming we can also quickly adjust the speed of the macros and utilize loop and timing as needed, this helps ensure our commands will work even if we end up in a match with a less than ideal internet connection.
The keyboard itself has some of the cleanest RGB lighting we’ve seen, it’s well constructed with very little flex when trying to bend, there are non-slip rubber feet on the kickstands and a cable management channel underneath allows you to direct the braided cable (which is also really high quality) out the left or right of the keyboard to suit your setup. The switches used are called Kailh and feel just like Cherry MX blue with quick press and satisfying click. The keyboard’s built in microphone adds a further layer of effects not often seen and with the EQ feature your RGB lighting can be used to provide some excellent visuals while you type, game or listen to your favourite tunes.
How is it in action?
Having no software makes this one very different from the other gaming keyboards we’ve used recently, usually we would talk about how what game configs were pre-available for download but seeing as this keyboard is really about doing it yourself for yourself we thought we would jump into a game to see what’s involved and how it really works.
When it comes time to customise things and create your perfect layout we recommend starting out by making our keyboard a uniform colour, we choose a deep blue as this would make it easy for the goto keys to stand out (to do this push Fn+DEL and then select your chosen colour from the RGB rainbow that has appeared on the keyboard).
We then highlighted the WASD keys in a vibrant white so they could always be found easily should our fingers wander away, this is done by first pushing Fn+7 to enter colour mode, then press Fn+= to enter key select mode, from here simply click the any of the keys you want to be a certain colour, then tap Fn to bring up the rainbow and select your preference. We continued to customise our 1,2,3,4 weapon keys in other colours so they would also stand out and finishing off the look with our interact, sprint, reload and melee keys. (on a side note, if you change your mind about the base colour and want to change your surrounding keys while leaving your custom ones set you can push Fn+INS to do this)
Happy with our basic layout it’s time to make some macros!
We wanted to create something that uses both mouse and keyboard presses to complete so we’ve streamlined the motion of switching to C4, throwing a charge and then switching back to our primary weapon. We then created a quick detonate charge macro and finally made a switch to pistol, unload the clip, and then return to primary weapon – this is possible on the ZM-K900M because its macro can include mouse clicks!
Making these was actually very easy, there are a bunch of ready to program macro keys around the middle of the keyboard so for our C4 macro we started out by pressing and holding FN+O for 3 seconds then release at which time the keyboard began recording which is signaled by a little blinking light at the top left – from here it was as simple as pushing 4 (for C4) then left mouse click (deploy a charge) and finally 1 (to switch back to primary) – we continued through in the same fashion to make our other macros – so much fun but it sort of feels like cheating!
We’ve done something a little different to show off how well the live macro recording works with timings 🙂 We thought it would be fun if we jumped on a Gaming PC and went for a little drive in Dirt Rally while recording, then restarted the race and had the keyboard macro do the driving for us – surprisingly it worked!
Although this one’s a bit harder to master than something with dedicated software that’s what sets this Zalman Z-Machine Gaming Keyboard apart from the rest, and with some very unique and excellent features we are happy to add this fine keyboard to our GGPC recommends list – the ZM-K900M Gaming Keyboard is GOOD!
Cooler Master have got another new gaming keyboard – well actually this one’s a combo!
Introducing the new Cooler Master Masterkeys Lite 🙂 Unlike the above gaming keyboards which use the Cherry MX this new value keyboard is packing CM’s own mem-chanical switch which not only feels great but also conforms to the Cherry MX standard shape so we can add aftermarket custom key caps very easily, it’s still early days for the Maker Hub but we’ll be keeping an eye on this for 3D printable models to appear, until then Thingiverse certainly has more than enough to keep us modding!
While the Masterkeys Lite Keyboard might not be quite as bright as its big brothers this keyboard still produces that clean RGB LED glow we’re in love with. They’ve added something really interesting to the kickstands by running a grippy texture along the back so when you’ve got the keyboard laying flat it still sticks to your desk like glue.
Even though the target is value this keyboard is still very well built and you can change the LED lighting to suit you setup quickly and easily from the keyboard itself without additional software or drivers needed, simple must haves like disabling the windows key (which is printed with a Cooler Master logo on this keyboard) can be done easily by pushing Fn+F12 and you’ll also find a host of media and lighting controls can be accessed in the same way.
The included mouse is a nice shape has an LED indicator that flashes in several colours as you change though the DPi settings lighting up the scroll wheel and also a thin strip at the base of the mouse, you can make this glow constant and even cycle to a RGB breathing mode by clicking the DPi shift + scroll wheel simultaneously – awesome stuff Cooler Master!
The version we have to play with has a L on the box as well which leads us to believe a second 10keyless version might be on the way which is always nice (UPDATE: Yep, there’s a new S version), in any case this is certainly the best entry level combo we’ve had the pleasure of using in a long time (since the Cooler Master Devastator II actually) and we’re happy to give this new value gaming combo our GGPC recommends badge – the Masterkeys Lite is GOOD!