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Tagged: hardware (x)

Sennheiser GSP 550 7.1 Surround Sound PC Gaming Headset USB Interface $249.95 USD

I've been a Sennheiser fan for a long time. My current set that I'm comparing these against is an HD 518 (through a seperate headphone amp). I usually advocate that those who care about sound quality get a good set of stero headphones like the 518s and use a standalone USB mic. I was excited when I heard Sennheiser was getting into the gaming industry a few years ago, but had no real need to replace my current setup.

Description

Closed-back, around-the-ear, 7.1 surround headset with boom microphone, inline DAC, volume control on right ear, PC USB interface. Detatchable cord from DAC to phones (proprietary, and permantly attached at the DAC end), standard USB A/micro from DAC to PC.

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Republic of Gamers (ROG) releases the ultimate 27-inch WQHD gaming monitor with exclusive gaming features, design touches, and NVIDIA® G-SYNC™ technology

ASUS today at CES announced a new monitor that's 27 inches of 2560x1440 and 120Hz goodness, plus it comes with the new NVIDIA G-Sync technology built in. This is now the ultimate PC gaming monitor, but it comes with a premium price too... $800

Looks good...

ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q Premium Gaming Monitor

This sounds great, but I would like to see a 24 inch version as 27 is just a tad too big for my desk, especially with multiple monitors. Of course, I'd like to see it come down in price too, but I'm sure that will happen with time.

The full release:

Las Vegas, USA (6th January, 2014) — ASUS today announced the ROG Swift PG278Q 27-inch gaming monitor. The Swift PG278Q features a WQHD (2560 x 1440) resolution, fast 120+ Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time and a full range of ergonomic adjustments. It also features ASUS GamePlus and NVIDIA® G-SYNC™ technologies that are designed to deliver the ultimate gaming experience.

Experience Immersive Gaming and Outstanding Visuals

Say goodbye to motion blur and lag with 120+ Hz refresh rate and 1ms response times for a competitive advantage in all your games, thanks to smoother gameplay and on-screen responsiveness.  The ROG Swift PG278Q also features GamePlus, an exclusive ASUS feature.

GamePlus is an OSD overlay that enables crosshair and timer functions to be displayed on the monitor. Gamers can select from four different crosshair types to suit the gaming environment, while the timer function allows players to track elapsed time in real-time strategy games. These tools allow gamers to practice and improve their gaming skills.

The ROG Swift PG278Q provides an array of options that include DisplayPort 1.2 for native WQHD output, dual USB 3.0 ports, VESA wall mount capability and a versatile stand with full tilt, swivel, pivot, and height adjustment for an ideal viewing position while playing the latest game titles.

The smart cable management feature rids your desktop of tangled wires, while the super narrow 6mm bezel ensures the ROG Swift PG278Q is an ideal choice for seamless multi-display gaming setups. Another nod to gamers and improving the user experience is a 5-way joystick that allows the user to easily navigate the OSD and make quick monitor adjustments.

The World’s First and Fastest WQHD Monitor powered by NVIDIA G-SYNC™

The ROG Swift PG278Q is also the world’s first WQHD monitor powered by NVIDIA® G-SYNC™ technology. NVIDIA® G-SYNC™, a breakthrough in display technology, synchronizes the display’s refresh rates to the GPU. The ROG Swift PG278Q eliminates screen tearing, minimizes stutter and input lag to deliver the smoothest gaming experience possible. With G-SYNC™ technology objects look sharper and more vibrant, while gameplay is more fluid and responsive.

SPECIFICATIONS
ROG Swift PG278Q

  •  Display: 27-inch WQHD 2560 × 1440 (16:9)
  • Narrow 6mm bezel designed for multi-monitor setups
  • Pixel Pitch: 0.233mm
  • Brightness: 350cd/m²
  • Display Colors: 16.7M
  • Refresh Rate: Over 120 Hz
  • Response Time: 1ms (GTG)
  • Connectivity: 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 2 x USB 3.0 ports
  • Stand Adjustments: tilt (+20° ~ -5°), swivel (+60° ~ -60°), pivot (90° clockwise), height adjustment (0 ~ 120mm)
  • VESA-wall mountable (100 × 100mm)
  • Special ASUS Features: GamePlus and 5-way joystick OSD navigation

1Specifications and product availability are all subject to change without notice and may differ from country to country. Actual performance may vary depending on applications, usage, environment and other factors. For more details about the products mentioned in this press release, please visit http://press.asus.com

###

About ASUS
ASUS is a worldwide top-three consumer notebook vendor and maker of the world’s best-selling, most award-winning, motherboards. A leading enterprise in the new digital era, ASUS designs and manufactures products that perfectly meet the needs of today’s digital home and office, with a broad portfolio that includes motherboards, graphics cards, optical drives, displays, desktop and all-in-one PCs, notebooks, netbooks, servers, multimedia devices, wireless solutions, networking devices, tablets and smartphones. Driven by innovation and committed to quality, ASUS won 4,168 awards in 2012 and is widely credited with revolutionizing the PC industry with its Eee PC™. ASUS has more than 12,500 employees around the globe with a world-class R&D team of 3,800 engineers. Company revenue for 2012 was approximately US$14 billion.

Mad Catz unveils it's first Next-Gen fightstick, the Killer Instinct branded Tournament Edition 2.

Mad Catz is coming to your home in 2013 only on Xbox One! The Mad Catz Killer Instinct Tournament Edition 2 is here! LED lighting, internal access and authentic arcade parts are just the tip of the ice berg! 

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Review

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D-Link Wireless AC Gaming Router (DGL-5500)

By: BatRastered Sep 27, 2013 | 8 Comments

Pretty much all gaming is online gaming these days. You need a router that can handle it. D-Link sent us their top-of-the-line gaming unit for review.

The D-Link Wireless AC Gaming Router (DGL-5500) is not the prettiest thing in the world, but it gets the job done.

D-Link DGL-5500 gaming router

The router is a weird teardrop cylinder shape that stands vertically. I'm not sure how the internal antennae is oriented, I'm guessing it's also vertical. I much prefer external antennae arrays. Maybe I just like playing with the positioning, but I feel I can cover dead zones better that way. We set this unit up in a one bedroom apartment, however so coverage was not an issue at all. Just be aware that if you are in a multi-story house, you may need to position this router more carefully. I'd like to give a quick shout-out to D-Link for including a power button on the unit. I'm glad this is now a feature, I've always hated having to unplug my router to reset it when something went wrong. 

Setup was super easy, as you can see in our unboxing video, the unit came with a pre-set random password and both WiFI bands turned on. This beats having a default password that everybody who buys that brand knows. We wanted a custom setup, however, and plugged into one of the LAN ports to access the units dashboard. A quick run through the setup wizard and we were up and running with a custom SSID name and passwords.

We replaced an old linksys router with this bad boy and it made a noticeable difference. Of course, it should, being a generation ahead of the older router. We were able to watch 3 different HD streams at once on 3 different devices with no problems. The device has a trademarked feature called "StreamBoost" that's responsible for making this run as smoothly as possible. Though to be honest, I feel like the amount of bandwidth you have from your ISP is going to make a much larger difference if you are having bandwidth related issues. Still, the "application aware" traffic shaping is a plus for this unit.

The DGL-5500 is a simultaneous dual band WiFi router which means it broadcasts at both 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz at the same time. I highly recommend going with the 5GHz band if your devices support it. It's both faster and (currently) less congested. In my neighborhood, I'm the only 5Ghz station around, while there are about 20 2.4GHz WiFi stations at any given time. Actually, you know what? Stick with your 2.4... Yeah, it's ok, I like having all this spectrum to myself. :)

This router also supports the draft version (like a beta) of the wireless AC* standard. I don't have any devices that yet support this, so I couldn't test it out, but it reportedly offers gigabit class speeds wirelessly. If it's anything like the jump from wireless G to wireless N, I'm super excited. As it's still draft stage, it may be a while before you start seeing laptops and tablets with built in AC chipsets, however. 

Overall, a nice unit with some good future-proof features and easy setup. It should be noted that if you're not interested in AC, there are definitely cheaper units out there (including lesser models from D-Link).

*I'd like to take a moment to publicly shame the body that came up with the "AC" designation however. WTF were they thinking? It sounds like it has something to do with electricity more than WiFi, it's confusing enough that there's an AC adapter in the box for power and if you search amazon for an "AC adapter" your going to have a bad time. They could've called it GB for gigabit or X for eXtreme (the kids love that, right?). Really anything other than AC would be better for the marketing team. I feel almost as bad for that name as I do for the "Xbox One". 

Apparently I'm S.O.L. and this shit is impossible to find or make.

I started gaming more with my PC lately. I'm pretty happy with my existing keyboard for office use... programming, writing stories, etc. But I kind of want a full-on mechanical keyboard with the tactile feedback and precision that it comes with. However, I've gotten used to the split layout of the Microsoft Natural keyboard 4000, seen here.

MS Natural keyboard 4000

Great for typing, not such a good gaming board. I went looking for the unicorn, a mix of mechanical function and ergonomic form. Here's what I found.

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Community Blog

derkasan

25 WTF Fight Sticks

By: derkasan Oct 15, 2012 | 3 Comments

We've all seen pictures of awesome fight sticks; now it's time to see some of the worst.

The Internet is home to some of the most awesome fightstick mods out there. However, there are a number of downright goofy sticks out there as well. Some are official, some are homemade, but all of these monstrosities are bound to make to make you say "WTF?!"

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Review

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PhysX on Borderlands 2 with an NVIDIA GeForce

By: BatRastered Sep 18, 2012 | 3 Comments

We played a couple hours of Borderlands 2 on PC while waiting for our Loot Chest editions to show up. We checked it out with PhysX turned on to see the difference. How does it compare to the console experience? Exclusive video.

We first saw the PhysX demo that NVIDIA released on youtube about a month ago. I have to say, we were blown away with that video, but needed to see it for ourselves.

PhysX with and without

When building GoukiJones' rendering machine last year, we included a GeForce GTX 560ti (then $249). The good news is that card is still up to date enough to play Borderlands 2 on high detail with PhysX enabled (on GoukiJones' 16x10 monitor). The better news is you can now get a GTX 660 for about $230 that will outperform the 560ti while using less power.

We were given a steam code by NVIDIA for a copy of Borderlands 2 so we could test the PhysX engine vs the console versions we usually play here at the Gouki.com offices. Thanks guys!

Seeing the extra elemental sparks fly looks really cool and the bodies fall to the ground realistically while bits and pieces of their armor pop off and wheel away in all directions. Though what really changes are the various cloth awnings, tarps, banners, and flags that inhabit the world of Pandora. Instead of being solid objects that don't move at all, they now come to life, blowing in the wind, reacting to your movements and gunshots, and generally behaving like you'd expect in the real world. It's not vital to game play, but it certainly makes the environment feel more alive.

Many other, smaller things stood out to me as well... from the snow melting on the screen to the goop (for lack of a better word) that sticks around after the exploding barrels are dealt with to the blood that pours from your own body after your shield is gone and you take a hit, PhysX makes for a more believable experience. I love how the little bits and pieces stick around in the environment during the gunfight. It littered the ground after one boss battle.

I used a Razer Onza tournament edition to control the game, it worked really well and just as I expected coming from the Xbox. This made the transition pretty smooth and I felt right at home on Pandora. One of the big differences from the consoles is just the huge amount of customizations you can do to the video settings, changing the FOV and customizing the level of detail and hud and just about anything else you could want.

This test proved one thing to me at least, the consoles are really overdue for a refresh. At this rate, last year's GPUs are doing some amazing things that I would consider "next-gen" if I saw it on my TV... and with Valve's announcement of "Big Picture" mode for Steam, and the rapid decline in prices of last year's GPU tech, putting together a gaming PC for the living room for less than the launch price of typical console ($350-450) seems within reach. Hopefully more and more games support the controller out of the box too, as I'm horrible with a keyboard/mouse when it comes to gaming.

Community Blog

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3DS xl System overview

By: Daisymare Sep 2, 2012 | 3 Comments

90% bigger screen, nicer design, better feel in hand but what's not perfect with this new version of the 3DS? Well there are a couple issues I've noticed but I'm not sure if they matter to the hardcore gamer.

Pros

  • Bigger screens
  • Nice feel in the hands
  • Awesome for playing DS games
  • Quick and responsive
  • Price is good
  • Controls are good and touch screen is nice.

Cons

  • 3D isn't as good as I'd like on the bigger screen
  • 3D video recording is blurry and hard to look at
  • 3D photos are hit and miss
  • Built in games suck 
  • Size and weight wears on the wrists.
  • Doesn't come with any 3DS games
  • Wi-Fi doesn't seem to connect with the net.

If you don't have a DS or a 3DS then I recommend this system but I don't think it's that much better than the others.

Buy It.

Below is a detailed editorial of my impressions of the system. Yes most of this is known on the standard 3DS so you may not get much insight on the system other than the physical layout and feel in the hand.

Physical body of the system:

First off, the system design and shape is pretty good with rounded corners that fit nice in the hand though the size and weight of it can be fatiguing to your wrists.

 

 

The color choices are okay, sort of like an homage to the old pokemon blue and red. It sort of makes me think of a male female color palette though.

Once you open the system you are treated to a nice layout with direction tab, analog nub, X,Y,B,A buttons and Select, Home, Start buttons at the bottom of the touch screen. The power button and lights in the lower Right corner of the control face. The R and L buttons are where they should be, volume on the left and Wi-Fi & SD card slot on the right.

On the display screen panel you have two weak speakers which I feel are not useful unless you’re in a very quiet place on the right is the 3D slider switch and the two cameras are on the back. 

They changed the charger plug again making it look more like a large compact USB port. I’m wondering if they are planning to do other things with it.

 

 

The new stylus is nice and easy to use and fits nicely in the system.

It has a mic on the lower right of the touch screen and possibly one on the back of the display screen next to the two cameras

 

Firmware OS & built in Apps:

 

The OS boots up nice and quick and all the controls from the touch screen to the directional pad and buttons respond nicely.

Everything in the OS and the built in Apps run in 3D as expected and has the same Apps as in the normal 3DS. That said there are a few issues I’m having with this version of the 3DS that I didn’t see in the regular one.

The display screen is beautiful in 2D but the 3D is a little off. I think the larger the display the harder it is for your eyes to adjust. You have to hold the system farther away to get a similar 3D effect to the standard 3DS thus making the screen look smaller anyway. In 2D mode however, this system is a joy. I’m playing Chrono Trigger right now and having a blast.

The Camera App is fun and the camera itself takes okay pictures though in 3D it’s really hit or miss as to how 3D it will look. 3D video is pretty useless and hurts my eyes. You can do some fun things with it though. Running the video backwards and changing the audio pitch. All of which I believe is in the original version.

The Sound App has a few fun little Bird mimicking functions and lets you record hours of audio on your SD card. You can edit the audio by slowing it down speeding it up and changing pitch. It also has a couple of effects settings for parakeet and others.

There’s the Mii Maker, Mii Plaza for StreetPass, the eShop and other crap.

It comes with a video sample called Dinosaur Office that is cool to watch but is short and pointless.

I couldn’t get it to connect to my Wi-Fi so I couldn’t use Nintendo Zone or Download Play. I don’t know why it wont connect either. It says that it connects but then just gives errors.

The AR games look cool but like with the camera App the 3D is spotty especially when you’re moving the system around.

Face Raiders and the same issues as above.

I find it funny that the 3DS xl Operations manual is heavier than the system itself. At 314 pages long it’s a freaking novel of an instruction manual.

 

 

I haven’t yet had a chance to try an actual 3DS game on it because it doesn’t come with any.

NVIDIA looks to bring the next gen power of their Kepler chips to the mainstream with the $300-ish 660ti

The new GeForce 660ti retails for about $300 and will run any modern game at 1920x1080 on high settings with PhysX enabled according to our contact at NVIDIA. There aren't a ton of games that make good use of PhysX but Borderlands 2 is one... that demo is the first PC demo to make me feel like I'm missing out on something by playing the game on a console. And guess what? For a limited time buy a 660ti on Amazon and get Borderlands 2 for free. That's a great combo right there!

Click the source link for the full press release.

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Review

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Razer Onza will only give you a tiny boost

By: BatRastered Jan 16, 2012 | 4 Comments | Updated: Jan 16, 2012

Tighten up your analog sticks, remap that back button, and jump into Battlefield 3 with the Razer Onza Tournament Edition controller for the Xbox 360 if you want to gain a (very small) advantage over your competition.

Presenting, the Razer Onza Tournament Edition

Razer Onza Unboxed

It's no secret that the D-Pad on the standard Xbox controller is a joke. Many first person shooters make use of the D-Pad for weapon selection or item usage. Specifically in BF3, you use it to pull out your class specific items (like ammo boxes, repair kits, health packs, etc.). This would typically have the wrong one coming out on me at least once per round.

I recently upgraded to the special edition Xbox controller (the silver one with the twisty D-pad). It was a nice improvement. The analog sticks on it had a different feel too, and I liked that as well. However, I've seen 3 of these controllers now, and all of them start getting cracks on the part where the battery pack snaps in within a few weeks. Unhappy with the poor construction of this, I thought I'd give the Onza a try. Erik Estrada loves it.

The Onza completely removes the D-pad for four directional buttons. This is a nice improvement if you are playing FPS and using it only for item/weapon selection. The D-pad would be completely useless for actually controlling something (like SF4 for instance). The sticks feel nice and seem a little bit taller in your hands, most notably however, the tournament edition has some ridges underneath that let you twist the sticks to adjust the tension on them. This is a nice feature, though I don't have them set very tight. The Onza also includes two extra "multi-function" buttons on the shoulders of the controller that can be remapped.

Onza LFMB Close UP

This is useful as some games have actions that require you to take your thumb off of the sticks in order to do (jumping, spotting targets, reloading and such in BF3 for example). Placing two of these actions on the MFB's can save you precious time in a fire fight, though it does take some getting used to. Mapping a button to the MFB is really simple, there are two buttons and a light up read-out on the back. Simply press either button and the command that it's corresponding MFB is assigned will light up. Hold down the button and press the command you want to chose and you are done. There are some limitations though, neither MFB can be remapped to any D-Pad functions and each MFB can only be mapped to the stick press on its own side (you can't map RMFB to the left stick click for instance).

Onza Back Panel

The face buttons, A, B, X, and Y have really shallow travel and click almost instantly. You could really out-peck someone on these. Razer calls them "Hyper response buttons" and on the tournament edition they are backlit. This doesn't really come in handy on BF3, but I could see it on any game that had a quick-time "press b really fast" event or something similar.

Lastly, there is the issue of the cord. Jimmy don't like cords. But as Estrada said, "at least it's a nice cord". Yes, it is that. At 15 feet, you shouldn't be stretching this thing in any but the largest rooms. It's also got a nice braided jacket and standard Xbox quick-release anti-trip mechanism on the end closest to your console. The Jimmys of the internet think having a cord is faster than wireless. I've seen no proof of that, but it's not slower either. Responsiveness feels basically the same. A definite plus is the controller is lighter and you don't have to worry about your battery dying in the middle of a match, though that's not much of a plus for me as the rechargeable batteries last days and I always have a spare ready to go. Tournaments won't allow you to use a wireless controller anyway, so you might as well use this if you're pro... don't know how they feel about controllers with extra buttons though. And if you really love BF3, there's an edition with BF3 graphics on it.

Overall, a nice piece of technology, but you'll want to try it out first, as it feels different and 50 bucks is a lot for a wired controller... and of course if you hate cords, you should stay away.

Still holding off on a new video card for your PC. Would a free copy of Arkham City and $20 get you to go for it?

This is one of the best deals I've seen in a while. Not only is the 560ti a great card for $250, but you get a $20 rebate and a free copy of the latest Batman game when it comes out.

This card is overclocked out of the box and includes a lifetime warranty.

Don't miss out Jimmy! This card is going into GoukiJones' new video editing machine, he'll probably be giving that Batman code away since he'll be pwnn that Xbox version, so stay tuned for that!

The 6850 is one of the best deals going already, throw in a free copy of one of this year's hottest PC titles and you've got deals Jimmy!

Need a new video card to play Star Wars: The Old Republic? Me too, yeah I know it doesn't have a release date yet, but the system requirements are out and the Radeon HD 6850 will run it nicely. It's also one of the best graphics cards value for the money. Now, if you buy this video card on Amazon before September 30th you will also get a code emailed to you for a free Steam copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Stolen!

A way better deal than Dirt 3 they used to include.

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