Enermax Ostrog ADV Case to be Unveiled at Pax East

Enermax might not be the most recognizable hardware manufacturer in western territories but they’ve quickly assembled a huge product line including power supplies, chassis fans, liquid coolers and affordable cases. Many of these products have received positive reviews and the company has continued to expand their current offerings. Curing CES this year, Enermax unveiled the Ostrog ADV chassis sporting a visually stunning illuminated design with 262 LED diodes. The chassis also comes with two synchronized Enermax T.B Vegas fans in the front section featuring six unique LED lighting transitions. As you can imagine, this creates a really distinctive appearance and I’m interested to see how well it works with other components.

In terms of features, the Ostrog ADV has a quick release mechanism for the top and front panel as well as screwless 5.25″ bay kits. The chassis supports up to 280mm radiators and should offer pretty decent flexibility. Next up is the front panel which contains a fan controller, LED display mode selection, two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0 and HD audio connectivity. The Ostrog ADV case is currently scheduled to be shown off during Pax East and should be available for sale sometime soon. Unfortunately, there’s no word regarding the price but I’m guessing it will remain relatively affordable given the company’s current target market. Of course, when samples are provided to the press, we will be giving you our detailed thoughts.

If you’d like to see more information on this particular product, Enermax has a brief video showcases the case’s main selling points.

Image courtesy of realhardtechx

Fallout 4 DX11 Mod Aims to Improve Lighting System

Fallout 4 has been a big hit, especially on PC where the modding community has been ripping the game to shreds and building it back up again, better than ever each time. It’s already a great looking game, but that’s never enough for the PC community and we always look to push things to the next level. Modder ‘SirGreenThumb’ has just released his latest mod, a new DX11 adjustment that aims to improve Fallout 4’s lighting system.

TrueLighting is basically a method that corrects the washed out look of the default settings, adding greater realism without actually changing any core aspects of the game or the original artists intended visions; it’s just better in general.

” I tried to keep daytime looking its original brightness without being washed out, while darkening and lengthening the night to create a more realistic night time. Similar to an ENB preset but this plugin utilizes the Fallout 4 DirectX 11. “ said SirGreenThumb.

Here are the key features of this mod:

  • It tones down bloom and eye adapt overall to more reasonable levels.
  • It calibrates certain lights for more realism.
  • It calibrates image space settings for indoor areas for a less washed out look. (still under development, some areas have not been calibrated).
  • It calibrates the image space settings for an unprecedented night time look, as well as less washed out look for daytime while keeping daytime bright.
  • It calibrates night time directional ambient to achieve a realistically dark night without darkening other lights.
  • It calibrates image space settings for dawn and dusk transitions for a seamless day/night transitions.
  • it calibrates image space settings for all time frames, weather patterns and areas for more realism.
  • It alters brightness for sun, moon, stars, upper sky, lower sky, horizon, clouds, and effects lighting for more realism.
  • It alters cloud layers, clouds transparency, fog, mist, sun glare, and moon glare for more realism.

Want to check out the mod for yourself? Hit up the download page here.

Phanteks Reveal RGB LED Motherboard to Chassis Adaptor

Does it bother you that your new RGB equipped motherboard is flashing on colour, but your chassis is showing something completely different? Then worry no more, as the latest accessory from Phanteks looks to solve all your colour synchronisation problems with one simple addition; the Phanteks RGB LED Adapter (PC-CB_RGB4P).

“With the current trend of motherboard’s customizable RGB LED lighting control, Phanteks today announced the Phanteks’ RGB LED Adapter for compatible motherboards that features RGB headers.” – Phanteks

Their new RGB LED adapter is a pretty simple solution to the problem, as it’s really just a cable that links the chassis lighting to that of your motherboards. The RGB adapter is compatible with the Aura (certified by Asus) series of boards, but will also work with any other RGB motherboard that includes a 4-PIN RGB header in the 12v GRB format. Simply attach this cable to the header, hook it into the compatible Phanteks chassis lighting and all your RGB delights from your motherboard will extend through the chassis lighting, helping you create a more unified effect. This also means that you’ll be able to control your chassis lighting from within your motherboards customization software.

The RGB LED Adapter is currently compatible with  the Phanteks Enthoo Luxe, Mini XL and P400. Of course, it’s expected that more models will be supported in the near future as and when they launch.

To make the deal even sweeter, you can get a free RGB LED Adapter if you purchase a compatible Phanteks chassis and motherboards that feature the RGB header before March 1st. Don’t worry though, as with prices of just 2.90EUR / £2, it’s not going to be expensive to pick one up yourself.

Do you have an RGB equipped motherboard in your chassis and do you like the idea of synchronizing the lighting between this and your chassis? Let us know in the comments section below.

NZXT HUE+ Advanced PC Illumination Kit Review

Introduction


Tired of not having enough customisation when it comes to your chassis’ lighting sceme? Sure you can buy a few LED strips, but they’re often fixed with a single colour and changing them can be as complex as buying a whole new kit and re-installing it all, just to go from blue to red. The same goes for LED fans, they’re often single colour, many can’t be turned on or off and their colours are fixed. NZXT have the solution with their HUE+ RGB lighting kit, as it gives you control over each lighting strip/zone within your system right from your desktop, allowing you to endlessly customise it as often as you like and with minimal effort!

“HUE+ lets you light up your system like never before. It is a digitally controlled lighting solution that combines intuitive software and versatile routing options to give you unprecedented PC illumination possibilities.”

The new HUE+ uses the latest  NZXT CAM software, which comes equipped with 8-preset effects, as well as extensive customisation options to create your own. There are two channels on the lighting engine, each capable of supporting four LED strips, which can be configured to run separate effects; you get four LED strips included in the box.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ittFz72CnA

The packaging is nicely designed, showing how the HUE+ can display full RGB lighting to the interior of your system.

Around the back, there’s a quick rundown of some of the features you’ll find in the CUE software; it all looks pretty straightforward, so let’s take a closer look.

There’s a nicely detailed user manual included, which folds out and has lots of large pictures to help explain each step of the installation. It’s certainly worth reading too, as you wouldn’t want to wire all the lights in backwards and them not operate properly, if at all.

In the box, you’ll find four RGB lighting strips with modular connectors on each end.

While the strips do have 3M adhesive on the back, you can also take advantage of the four strong magnets that are placed on each strip, allowing you to quickly snap the strips into place, but also quickly remove or move them as needed; so long as your case is metal of course, 3M is needed for plastic panels.

All the cables you’re likely to need are included, such as extensions for linking together multiple light strips, a Molex to DC jack for the controller, USB motherboard header to MicroUSB for the CUE software and HUE+ to communicate with each other, and some cable ties to keep it neat and tidy.

The actual controller is quite compact, fitting into a 2.5″ hard drive form factor, albeit a little taller. There’s an angular top to give it a bit of style, with a strip of lighting in the top; even if it is on show inside your system, it should still look great.

Around the back, there are four ports, DC 5V, USB and two lighting channels. It’s all pretty self-explanatory and setup should be nice and easy.

The 2.5″ form factor is no accident either, as you’ll find four screw holes on the base to mount it to a hard drive bracket. This is handy for NZXT chassis such as the H440, which has an on-show 2.5″ mount below the motherboard.

Setting up the HUE+ is pretty easy overall, there are only four ports on the back and it’s pretty obvious where all the required cables go. The power cable and USB cable are essential to the operation of the device, but it’s up to you how you use the light strips. You can use any number of the four LED strips included, and with two channels you can set up to four strips to each one; to keep things nice and simple, I’ll be using two LED strips per channel.

Razer Mamba 16,000 DPI Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


Razer, one of the biggest and most recognisable gaming brands on the market, are back once again with their latest version of the popular Mamba mouse. The Mamba comes equipped with a range of extreme features that are said to put it far above the competition, making it ideal for competitive gaming, but also just as versatile for day-to-day at home use and work.

“Boasting the world’s most precise 16,000 DPI gaming mouse sensor, the Razer Mamba provides you with unsurpassable accuracy, so you’ll have an even greater edge over your competition. With its ability to track 1 DPI increments and a lift-off cut-off distance as precise as 0.1 mm, the Razer Mamba helps you to react instantly while you skillfully maneuver your way to victory.”

The 16,000 DPI sensor is going to provide some interesting benefits for gaming, as you’ll be able to swap DPI and quickly navigate even the largest RTS/MOBA maps with extreme precision. Being able to tune in your own DPI settings in 1DPI increments is also pretty special, as it frees you from the constraints of some mice, which only allow you to pick various levels, such as 200/400/800/1600/etc. Not content with a fully customizable sensor, the mouse buttons can also be tuned using an included tool, allowing you to pick from a lighter response, or a more distinctive click, and everything in-between.

Still not enough features? How about extensive RGB lighting customisation, or the choice to switch between wireless and wired modes with a 1ms response time? Plus the cable means you can use it in wireless mode, but continue using it while it is changing, so there’s no excuse to stop playing.

The packaging is nice and simple, with a great image of the Mamba on the front, as well as a few specs on the side detailing the adjustable switches and the charging system.

Around the back, an image showing off the charging dock, which also comes with RGB lighting effects.

The box opens out to reveal a quote from Razer, as well as a steel tin presentation box.

The box is the perfect safe house for the Mamba, helping you protect your investment when ever you need to store the mouse between uses.

In the box, you’ll find the usual documentation, the charging dock, a black braided cable and, of course, the Mamba mouse.

NZXT Unleashes The Hue+ PC Lighting Solution

Custom PC builds are becoming more popular as consumers construct their own rigs and create a visual showpiece. Various cases like the H440 incorporate a side panel window to display the beauty of a clean, professional looking system. The first NZXT Hue offered RGB lighting via a huge LED strip and front panel for controls.

It became a suitable choice for system builders due to the competitive price, reliable LED strips and clean cabling. Furthermore, the 2-year warranty added peace-of-mind as cheaper LED strips are prone to having dead LEDs. NZXT has just announced the Hue+ which is a digital lighting solution and offers unprecedented customization and 8 preset lighting effects.

Johnny Hou, NZXT’s founder and CEO discussed the product announcement and proclaimed:

“Lighting can truly bring your system to a new visual dimension, that’s why most of our cases provide windowed-panels. With a smart, easy-to use digital interface such as CAM, available for everyone as a free app, HUE+ offers unmatched control and customization for users seeking to bring their PC to the next level,”

Using the Hue+’s CAM software, you can adjust a wide array of attributes including colour, speed and lighting transitions. Additionally, the lighting can respond to system temperatures and even react to the audio output during music or an intense game. This huge selection of modes on the Hue+ provides the end-user with an unbelievable array of options.

The Hue+ is available to pre-order now from participating retailers and has a recommended retail price of £39.99 + VAT.

Tesoro Lobera Spectrum RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Tesoro may not be the biggest gaming brand on the market, but they’ve proven time and time again that they can deliver competitive products, that are uniquely designed and for a competitive price; more than enough to get me interested! A few months back, I reviewed the gorgeous Tesoro Lobera Supreme mechanical keyboard, and it was fantastic, so I’m happy to see another Lobera keyboard sitting on my test bench this week.

The new version of the Lobera comes with one key feature, RGB lighting. Colour customisation is all the rage this year, with many manufacturers offering revisions and new models featuring RGB LED keys; the Lobera Spectrum RGB I have in the office today uses Kailh RGB Black Mechanical Switches. As you can see from the image below, it comes with a choice of red, black, blue and brown switches.

“Lobera Spectrum is a top-notch programmable gaming keyboard with advanced backlighting features. It has a number of stunning illumination modes including audiomode which makes the LEDs flash to the beat. Its highly customizable illumination processor even lets set individual key colors and turn the backlighting on and off for each key. Mechanical key design creates solid tactile feel and rapid response for extreme gamers. High speed USB 2.0 hub with audio jacks offers easy connection for user’s favourite portable peripherals. 5 profiles, up to 300 macro keys can be defined by the user. Tesoro Lobera Spectrum is the ultimate choice for gamers.”

In the box, you’ll find a small collection of documents in a cardboard wallet, as well as a USB power cable; this cable provides the rear-USB ports with additional power.

The keyboard is hard wired with a thick braided cable.

The cable is a little cumbersome, but that’s because it provides USB and audio pass-through to the back of the keyboard; handy for quickly connecting your headsets and peripherals without having to go behind your computer.

The chassis of the keyboard is a little oversized, giving you a built-in wrist rest and also giving the keyboard a funky industrial-type design.

The chassis is plastic, but it has been nicely textured to give it some added flair.

The key caps are of a good quality and feature bold laser-etched letting; perfect for letting all that RGB light through!

Under the keycaps, you can see we’ve got the Kailh Black switches, with the RGB LEDs. The chassis of the keyboard is white, which will help better reflect the lighting for a cool under-glow effect. Also, there was no key-cap pulling tool included in the box, fortunately I had my own, but all mechanical keyboard should come with on as standard in my opinion.

The 6-key and N-key rollover can be switched over directly from the keyboard using FN-Shift and either the Ins or Del keys.

A full-size number pad, fairly standard stuff, but you’ll be glad to hear that every key on the keyboard is mechanical.

The arrow keys feature LED lighting controls.

Built-in profiles allow you to toggle through lighting modes and more.

Windows lock, always a welcome feature on a gaming keyboard.

As well as basic multimedia controls, which are great for listening to music while gaming.

Down the left and right sides, there’s an LED light strip, allowing you to further customise the look of your keyboard.

Around the back, you can see the cable is mounted off to the right. This is better than central mountings, as that often causes the cable to conflict with your monitor stand.

A small warning label is pre-installed.

Behind which you’ll find the USB and audio pass-through ports.

Siri Can Now Play a Helpful Role in Controlling Your Smart Homes

Apple seems to be focusing on making you upgrade your homes as well as your gadgets this year. After it first announced a release date for the first smart home devices, the company is now focusing on getting their personal assistant, Siri, to help you out inside your smart homes.

What this means is that Apple made Siri compatible with certified products to give you the ability to control appliances via voice commands. This is a good thing given that most if not all manufacturers are now interested in joining the Internet of Things. Why? Well, everything nowadays is made or will be made with a microchip and yes, that includes your fridge, doors, lighting and so on.

Also, if you think Apple is the only one focusing on smart homes, think again! Google just announced it is also working on its own piece of code that will help you control things in your smart homes, having Microsoft and Samsung promoting their own solutions too. In addition, the list of manufacturers is most likely to get bigger by the end of the year, but it will also depend on how comfortable you are with having microchips in your appliances. What we do know is that your toaster will not try to kill you.

If you are interested in purchasing some smart devices to upgrade your home, Lutron Electronics and Insteon are two manufacturers now selling wireless hubs that allow you to control the lighting inside your house. Other manufacturers have also placed their products up for pre-order and are working on other home solutions, so you can now browse and save some cash for future home improvements.

Thank you Phys.org for providing us with this information

Unity 5 Now Supports Stunning EISKO Character Physically-Based Shading

EISKO has announced the release of a new addition for Unity 5, a Character Physically-Based Shaders (CPBS) package on the Unity Asset Store, which give developers access to high performance tools for creating realistic and lifelike human characters with skin that reacts to environmental lighting.

The new CPBS package gives rendered human skin a realistic translucent quality for soft light reflection, seamlessly blends facial expression transition, and mimics skin elasticity, all at 60fps. Also included in the package is a dedicated eye shader with fully customisable iris and sclera controls, plus shaders for teeth, clothing, and eyelashes.

The PCBS can account for diffuse, specular intensity and roughness, displacement, and high-frequency normal maps, allowing integration of microstructure details, tessellation, and screen-based SSS and ambient occlusion, all fully compatible with Unity 5’s new global animation.

Source: Dark Side of Gaming

Valve Is Going to Give Half-Life 2: Update for Free on Steam

The Half-Life 2: Update is a Valve-endorsed and fan-created mod which will be available shortly on Steam. Romanian modder, Filip Victor, has been a key asset in the mod’s creation, having stepped in to release the last version of graphics update for the game.

The update is said to weigh in at 7GB and comes with a few visual improvements, including enhanced lighting effects, better detailed environmental textures, while also fixing a lot of bugs present in the original PC release.

Valve has also stated at GDC that it was experimenting with Half-Life in virtual reality. It would be nice to see the feature come in another update (or at least another sequel), but don’t get your hopes up just yet. Valve has yet to make any official statement on whether it will add official support for VR technology in any Half-Life title.

Half-Life 2: Update is said to arrive on Steam on March 27th, so if it’s still not available, it will be shortly.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information

Geomerics Showcases Exquisite Global Illumination Effects of Enlighten 3

UK lighting software makers Geomerics has revealed two new videos that showcase Enlighten 3, its high-quality dynamic global illumination engine. Video one shows off the software’s digital transparency capabilities within Unreal Engine 4, while the second video previews Forge, a lighting editor “which puts the full power of Enlighten into the hands of the artists.”

The results are stunning, so be sure to check out the videos below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TLPedv_h8vY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nbCbgBJ5rhI

Source: Dark Side of Gaming

COUGAR Announces 600K Gaming Keyboard

Cougar got a lot of praise for their almost over-the-top aluminium structured 700K keyboard. But it was too much for some people, those who don’t want to have to install software to use extra functions and don’t need all sorts of extra keys. Those people have been heard and Cougar is now releasing the 600K keyboard that basically is a slimmed down to basics model, but it still maintains an edge over budget keyboards.

The Cougar 600K is an N-Key Rollover mechanical keyboard and will be available with all four types of Cherry MX Switches. There is no need to install drivers or set it up to start using it due to the pure approach to functionality. Connect it and your good to go.

“We knew that there were people who simply weren’t interested in the plethora of functions offered by high end keyboards but at the same time didn’t want to settle for a lower end one. For all those people, who just want a pure, high quality mechanical keyboard in a durable and elegant design, we created the COUGAR 600K,” said Lio Huang, Marketing Dept. III Director, COUGAR.

What it lacks in software features, it got as hardware features – something the “bigger” keyboards could learn a thing or two from. The hard turn-off of the Windows key is well-known and present, but the K600 also has allows for adjustment of the repeat rate of the keys, has lighting control for the WASD and Direction keys. Default multimedia keys are also present. For added convienience it also features a USB pass-through port.

No word on pricing, availability or other features yet, but we will keep you updated as the information emerges.

Thanks to TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of TechPowerUp

Corsair Respond to Claims of K70 RGB Lighting Not Performing as Advertised

It was recently brought to my attention that some users are unhappy with their Corsair K70 RGB keyboards. I recently reviewed this keyboard and absolutely loved it, but one thing that slipped through the net is that the keyboard can’t display the 16.8 million colours that are advertised, whoops! This is obviously hard to detect, but if you could display 256 levels of colour per each channel, R, G and B you would have 256 * 256 * 256 = 16,777,216 colours. A transition effect such as a slow-moving rainbow pattern on the keyboard should result in you a smooth transition between colours. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case, as one Corsair forum user discovered.

“Testing each color was a matter of clearing every key (turning their background color to off) then making a simple fade from 255 of that color (0 on the other channels) to 0, running it over 10 seconds and counting the unique steps of brightness it produced. If a light could produce a full 256 levels of brightness I shouldn’t be able to count them in real-time. I could.

Testing each channel produced the same results: 8 steps of brightness each. 8 * 8 * 8 = 512 colors. That leaves us a whole 16,776,704 colors short of the advertised color range.”

Further users have been testing this out and come to the same conclusion on the forums. We reached out to our friends at Corsair for further details and you can read their reply below.

During development of the keyboard and prior to the release of the RGB keyboard, we came across an issue regarding the possible color combinations. In an effort to get the product out to our customers as committed, we made the tough decision to resolve the issue in a future software release as we believe our customers would enjoy the product as-is.

Here are the specifics that detail the issue:

Due to USB stack size and performance issues, we had to reduce MCU processing overhead in the best and quickest manner. The LED controller gives us greater than 8 bits of color depth but we use the 8 bits that give us what we believe to be the best color granularity. Our controller architecture provides for over 100 million color combinations out of which we select 16.8 million to display. We devised a color palette scheme to encode and compress the RGB color data and the data to select and control the “current sources” that drive the LED array. An unfortunate side effect is that it prevented us from utilizing the full color depth available from the LED controller.

We are in the process of making the necessary improvements so that we can send the uncompressed RGB data to the keyboard. Additionally, we are optimizing the data protocol and LED driver/display algorithms through the display control firmware to handle the uncompressed data, and to more efficiently program the “current sources” that drive the LED array. This should give our most “resourceful” customers an easy way to identify the data and be able to easily send standard RGB 8 bit values.

This enhancement had already been planned and will be implemented in a few weeks by the release of a software update, which will be announced and be made available to download.

Unfortunately for consumers who really care about the fine details, it feels a bit like Corsair rushed the product, or simply didn’t expect people to notice. The good news is that they’re fixing the issue and a patch is on the way, which will finally unlock the full potential of this incredible keyboard.

Thank you Corsair Forums for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Corsair Forums.

DeepCool Reveal Pangu SW-RD Mid-Tower Chassis

DeepCool are on a roll recently, they’ve already had great success with their DeadSilence series of products that have brought the company back into the spotlight and now they’re back again with a chassis that comes with a spotlight of its own. The new Pangu SW-RD ATX mid-tower chassis is their latest desktop case and while it’s nothing particularly innovative in itself, it does come with an interesting accessory.

The chassis is well equipped with three 5.25″ drive bays, six 3.5″ / 2.5″ drive trays in 3+3 detachable cages. The chassis supports standard ATX , Micro-ATX and Mini-ITx motherboards, and there are 7 expansion slots. Cooling comes from a 120mm rear, 2 x 120mm front, 120mm bottom and 2 x 120mm fan mounts; the rear 120mm fan comes pre-installed. The front panel features a pair of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, as well as HD audio connections.

There is room for a 165mm tall CPU cooler and graphics cards of up to 310mm with drive bays installed and up to 400mm with the drive bays removed.

The interesting aspect of the Pangu is the lighting system; it comes equipped with multi-colour LED lighting via two RGB strips, a 4-pin molex power adaptor and a remote control. The remote control allows you to pick the colour of your lighting with ease, great for those who love to toy around with their lighting effects on a regular basis.

No details on price or availability just yet, but given their track record I would expect Aerocool to offer great value for money and that it will be available before the end of the year.

Thank you Aerocool for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Aerocool.

Corsair Release the Link Commander Mini

Corsair have just released their new Commander mini, which gives you the ability to control multiple lights, fans and other Corsair devices via the systems intuitive software interface. If you’re like me and you have a couple of water coolers with extra fans, LED strip lighting and more, then you’ll know it can be tricky controlling it all from fan controllers, lighting controller, water cooling software, motherboard fan controllers and more, so having a unified system is no bad thing at all.

Equipped with four Corsair Link Digital ports, six fan connectors, four temperature probe inputs and a Corsair Link LED lighting strip port, the Commander Mini is the perfect add on to any Corsair heavy system build.

Corsair Link gives ultimate PC control
Corsair Link marks an end to the days of case fans, component fans and case lighting that must be managed manually with hardware switches and dials, while simultaneously offering more advanced control and expansion options than motherboard BIOS settings. Everything is configurable from the PC’s desktop via the Corsair Link Dashboard software interface.

Precise Monitoring
Users can see how a system is operating at a glance with an unprecedented level of detail. Coolant temperature, ambient temperature (at multiple points), and the speed of case fans and fans built-in to compatible system components can be monitored, all via the Corsair Link Dashboard software.

A New Level of Control
Corsair Link gives PC users the power to manage fan speeds individually, set up customized cooling profiles, or program fans to respond to changes in ambient or component temperature. Lighting can be programmed to relay critical system information or to change the look of the system to provide an instant visual indicator of the selected cooling profile, or just for fun.

Expandable Eco-System
The Commander Mini fan controllers work with virtually any standard PC case fan, and the included temperature sensors can be placed nearly anywhere in a PC case. Expand your control by adding compatible peripherals, including Corsair i-Series liquid CPU coolers, i-Series power supplies, and DRAM cooling systems which feature the Corsair Link Digital logo.

Pricing, Availability, and Warranty
The Commander Mini is available immediately on the Corsair website for $59.99 USD. It is backed with a two year warranty.

Thank you Corsair for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Corsair.

Razer Peripherals Chroma Range Adds Full Spectrum Colour Customisation

Razer are preparing to launch their new Chroma series of peripherals, although I use the term “new” with a pinch of salt as these new peripherals are in fact their current range with a new lighting kit installed. The new Chroma series allows full-spectrum colour customisation lighting on a range of Razer peripherals such as the DeathAdder gaming mouse, BlackWidow ultimate Keyboard and the Kraken 7.1 gaming headset.

The lighting can be tweaked on a per-device basis, or even synchronized via the Razer Synapse software, allowing colour flow and change effects between your devices to match, perfect for those who like to customise their desktop appearance, but also like to keep everything nice and uniform. This also means your keyboard won’t be flicking from red to yellow while your mouse is going blue to green.

“Our new range of peripherals that feature Chroma customizable backlighting is another step towards full personal customization and to interconnect our gaming tech,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. “Chroma represents more than just multicolor, it opens up limitless personalization options for gamers to play with and we even have a Chroma Software Developer Kit for game developers to integrate their games to provide even more customization in the future.”

  • Spectrum cycling: Slowly cycles through the entire spectrum of colours for a subtle yet visually stunning look.
  • Breathing: Gently pulses in a colour of choice every 7 seconds, replicating the steady breathing pattern that is distinct to all Razer mice.
  • Static: Pick any colour from the selection of 16.8 million options to illuminate the ear cups on your Kraken 7.1, the scroll wheel and Razer logo on your DeathAdder or each individual key on your BlackWidow Ultimate Chroma
  • Custom (For BlackWidow Ultimate Chroma only): Effortlessly set the colour for each individual key on your Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Chroma through Razer Synapse with your mouse cursor, and create your own kaleidoscope of colours that is unique to you.
  • Custom – Preloaded Templates (For BlackWidow Ultimate Chroma only): Preloaded custom lighting templates optimized for FPS, MOBA, MMO and RTS games that give you the unfair advantage regardless of which game you’re playing.
  • Reactive (For BlackWidow Ultimate Chroma only): Lights up upon actuation and stays lit in short, medium, or fast mode for a trailing effect, that makes the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Chroma brighter the faster a user types.
  • Wave (For BlackWidow Ultimate Chroma only): Animates all colours in a continuous wave of rainbow lights, for a truly energetic and vibrant display of constantly changing colours.

The Chroma SDK will allow game developers to take advantage of the multitude of lighting options available for Chroma-enabled devices. For example, custom lighting alerts can be created that flash red when a player is killed or when a base is under attack. The Chroma-enabled Razer peripherals will be available starting September 2014.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp.

NVIDIA Show Unreal Engine 4 and its Lighting Effects

At GTC 2014, Nvidia wanted to show the true capabilities of their recently announced Titan Z GPU by showing off Unreal Engine 4 and what it has to offer in terms of lighting effects. After showing a short piece of rendered gameplay and stripping it down, you can see how lighting plays a very big factor in building the complete picture. Without the lighting effects included in Unreal Engine 4, it looks like a half-finished product. Adding the lighting back in, will give you the finished product as you see above, opposed to the picture below.

We also have a video below showing off Unreal Engine 4 where you can see the potential of the engine 4 for yourself.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhziHYlM7Bo[/youtube]

iRocks Spirit Cocoon Illuminated Mouse Review

Introduction


Gaming mice are great at stealing all the glory, they’re often packed with high-end features and functions that put regular desktop mice to shame. Of course all is not lost for the humble desktop mouse, for not everyone needs 19 buttons, 1000 macros and ultra high DPI laser sensors, many people just want a mouse that looks great, feel nice to use and performs reliably. Enter the i-rocks Spirit Cocoon, a fairly standard looking mouse if I ever saw one, apart from the fact that it is finished in a chrome effect of course, and while it is for all intents and purposes a regular mouse, it does have a trick up its sleeve, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

If I’m honest I’d never even heard of i-rocks before, this mouse landed on my desk as a bit of a surprise and it also came with a fair amount of enthusiasm from i-rocks that there was more here than meets the eye. Naturally I had to investigate what could be so interesting about this mouse, and while I suspected it was the chrome plating it’s really got more to do with got some very funky lighting effects that will leave you in a trance.

  • Interface: USB
  • Adjustable Resolution: 450 / 900 / 1800 / 3500 dpi
  • Adjustable Report Rate: 125 / 250 / 500 / 1000 Hz
  • 3D backlight ON/OFF and Lock Switch
  • Power Consumption: Max 100 mA (without backlight) / Max 150 mA (with backlight)
  • Dimension: 103 x 60 x 39 mm
  • Cable Length: 180 cm

As you can see, the Spirit Cocoon comes neatly boxed in a clear presentation box, unfortunately there is a plastic dome over the mouse that ruins attempts to photograph it well, but it does give you a relatively clear view of the general shape and its chrome finish.

On the underside we have a quick run down of the specifications (see above).

In the box you’ll find a super fluffy and soft protective pouch, a quick installation guide and the mouse, which comes hard-wired with a braided USB cable.