Hardware Platform RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Hardware RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Original Xbox Controller “The Duke” Returns this March https://www.gameskinny.com/hkqt9/original-xbox-controller-the-duke-returns-this-march https://www.gameskinny.com/hkqt9/original-xbox-controller-the-duke-returns-this-march Sun, 14 Jan 2018 15:04:12 -0500 Kerry-Lee Copsey

To everyone’s surprise, Microsoft’s infamously clunky controller is making a comeback. “The Duke” will be returning to cramp up your hands this spring, courtesy of Seamus Blackley, the man often cited as the father of the original Xbox.

The re-creation is nearly identical to the original pad in terms of size, shape, and button placement, with a few adjustments and added features. The memory card slots have been removed, a USB cable is now present, and two small bumper buttons have been added to ensure full compatibility with Xbox One, 360, and PC games.

Arguably the most interesting addition to the controller is the OLED screen under the “jewel” which, when pressed, plays the Xbox startup animation. According to Blackley, it’s a feature he wanted to implement in the pad from the start, creating his own prototype before selling the idea to Microsoft.

What are your thoughts on "The Duke?" Will you be picking one up this March? Let us know in the comments below.

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Corsair HS50 Headset Review: Big Bass, Small Price, Few Features https://www.gameskinny.com/4i231/corsair-hs50-headset-review-big-bass-small-price-few-features https://www.gameskinny.com/4i231/corsair-hs50-headset-review-big-bass-small-price-few-features Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:57:00 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Corsair's HS50 gaming headset is a frustrating set of cans. On the one hand, it's built as good as, if not better than, some of its god-tier cousins -- and it's just as comfortable, too. But on the other hand, it doesn't provide the best sound you can find for $50. Of course, budget headsets aren't necessarily known to produce tones and frequencies that cater to audiophiles, but the HS50 lacks a few key features that hold it back and could make some average users concerned. 

After more than a month with the HS50, I can say that all in all, it's a good headset -- but it's an entry-level set that doesn't do a whole lot to differentiate itself from other models in its price range. That doesn't mean you should skip it if you're budget hunting or want something that's ubiquitous, working across PC, console, and mobile. But it does mean that you should weigh everything it has to offer before taking the leap. 

Design

Where some gaming headsets opt for pomp and circumstance in design, the HS50 opts for a less ostentatious affair. Available in three color options -- all black, black with green accents, and black with blue accents -- the HS50 isn't terribly interesting to look at, with the only flair coming in the form of the Corsair logo emblazoned on the outside of each earcup and black, blue, or green accents around the edges and on the headband. 

Looking at the earcups themselves, you'll find that they're comfortable over-the-ear types made of cushy foam on the inside and metal mesh on the outside. The latter layer helps for ventilation and breathing and seems to work as advertised. You'll also find that the earcups swivel slightly, providing wriggle room for different ear shapes and sizes. They don't fully rotate like the earcups found on models from SteelSeries and Logitech, but overall, that's not something everyone is going to care about. 

On the left earcup, there's the volume wheel, the mic mute/unmute button, and a little notch for the detachable microphone. This is also where you'll find the roughly four-foot-long plastic cable that ends in either a 3.5mm jack for mobile and console use or the included (and detachable) Y-splitter for PC.   

Moving up the headset's sturdy metal frame (which feels like something you'd find on a model three times the price), you'll find that the HS50's headband is stout and comfortable. On the outside, it's covered in the thick plastic you'd expect to see on almost every gaming headset currently on the market. And on the inside, you'll find a plush cushion that sports more green, blue, or black accents depending on your model. 

What I like about the build of the HS50 is that it doesn't feel cheap in the slightest. In fact, I've reviewed headsets much, much more expensive that creak and groan when you move your head -- and you won't find any of that here. I don't feel like I'm going to break the headset when I take it off, which is a huge plus for someone that's constantly transporting all of his gear from place to place. 

Comfort

Overall, the HS50 is a fairly comfortable headset. Weighing in at about 11 ounces, this set of cans is a bit heftier than, say, the HyperX Cloud Stinger, and after about four to five hours of use, that weight becomes apparent, causing a bit of discomfort across the top of the head. 

However, the HS50's round earcups are cushy and some of the coziest ones I've had the pleasure of wearing. The wide inner cavity of the earcups provides nice, recessed areas for your ears to rest comfortably, and the plush pleather surrounding the inner areas of each earcup provides nice padding against the side of the head. 

The HS50 is a bit uncomfortable to wear around the neck because its earcups don't rotate to rest against the chest, a functionality found in other headsets that would have been a nice addition here. And even if it is a small gripe, it's something that could have set the HS50 apart from other headsets in its price range. As it stands, you're better off setting this set of cans on your desk when not in use.  

Performance

When used in its primary environment (gaming), the HS50 performs admirably. Playing Battlefront 2, I was able to hear most blaster bolts and explosions in thrumming clarity. For more story-driven games like Fallout 4, I was able to hear dialog well and didn't experience any muffled tones in that regard. I wasn't able to pick out directional audio all that well, but again, that's something that you pay the big bucks for. It makes sense that you can't do that here. 

Since the HS50 can plug into your PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, I also tested it out on Nier: Automata and Breath of the Wild. In each instance, the headset performed extremely well, adding deep bass tones that amplified the experience. 

However, for all the things the HS50 does well when it comes to gaming, it stumbles in other areas -- namely music and movie playback. When it comes to both, the sound design of the media in question has a huge impact on the performance of the HS50. Being that the headset is innately hefty on the bass side of things, music and movies with large amounts of bass often overpower other tones. Trebles can be difficult to hear, and dialog can get muddied. 


It would have been nice if the HS50 had some type of EQ setting or a piece of accompanying software that allowed users to dial in their own EQ settings. Since this is often the realm of higher-end headsets, you won't find anything that resembles that here. It's plug and play, sure, but what you hear is what you get. 

The bright side is that chat audio is crisp and clear, as is the HS50's microphone. Whether I had it hooked up to my iPhone 6S Plus or my PC, my friends and squadmates could hear each and every syllable. 

Verdict  

The Corsair HS50 is a plug-and-play, budget headset that does a lot of great things but never really sets itself apart from the pack. Its audio quality could be better, and it could use a few more features to help it achieve that. 

If you're looking for a headset in the $50 range, I'd suggest checking this set of cans out, while also looking at how it compares to other sets such as the HyperX Cloud Stinger, which provides better sound quality but might not be as comfortable for some users. 

At the end of the day, you can't really go wrong with the HS50, but depending on what your budget is, you can do better for just a little more. 

You can buy the Corsair HS50 on Amazon for $49.99. 

[Note: Corsair provided the HS50 used for this review.]

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MAINGEAR Seeks Perfection With the F131 Gaming Desktop https://www.gameskinny.com/kzmwr/maingear-seeks-perfection-with-the-f131-gaming-desktop https://www.gameskinny.com/kzmwr/maingear-seeks-perfection-with-the-f131-gaming-desktop Tue, 09 Jan 2018 11:01:06 -0500 Jonathan Moore

If you're a desktop PC enthusiast, you're always looking for the next big thing in boutique PC gaming -- and that next piece of gear or build so beyond high-end it's silly. You know luxury gaming's not only about performance but also about bells, whistles, and looks. 

Marketed to the elite gamer and indulgent enthusiast, MAINGEAR PC today announced the F131 gaming desktop at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. Packed into a thin case that resembles a console in some regards, the F131 houses a custom cooling system and, depending on the build you choose, some of the best (and most expensive) parts on the planet. 

The launch of our new F131 desktop sets a new benchmark in gaming desktops. While most manufacturers add liquid cooling to a system as an afterthought, the new F131 and APEX where [sic] designed together to provide unparalleled performance.

-- Wallace Santos, CEO and Founder of MAINGEAR

Including options for dual SLI graphics cards, up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, multiple HDD and SDD configurations, and much more, the F131 "can crush anything you throw at it," according to MAINGEAR. If you visit the F131 build page, you'll find various pre-builds and custom variations that range from $1,785 to $4,775 and beyond. 

But one of the main draws of the F131 isn't necessarily its customizability but, presumably, its APEX ICS integrated cooling system. And as any PC gamer knows, cooling is one of the most important things to get right about any build. Made in concert with Bitspower, the F131's APEX ICS cooling system features "failsafe dual pumps, pressure regulated parallel cooling, flow-rate and temperature sensing, and a high capacity reservoir", according to MAINGEAR. The company also says that the F131 rig features both soft tube and hard tube cooling.  

Additionally, the F131's slim case lets you fully customize the outside of the rig with custom artwork uploaded to the MAINGEAR website, or choose from the company's pre-developed designs. Featuring the advanced MARC II painting process, there appear to be nearly countless customization options for the F131. 

Here are the base features per MAINGEAR's CES press release:

  • New exclusive in-house designed chassis
  • Premium materials with steel core and Japanese brushed aluminium exterior
  • Tinted tempered glass side panel
  • Slim mATX form factor
  • Full controllable RGB interior and logo lighting
  • Available with the latest Intel and AMD CPUs, up to the 18-core 7980XE
  • Available with up to 2x NVIDIA Titan V graphics cards
  • Up to 64GB of high speed DDR4 memory
  • Options for high speed NVMe SSDs
  • Exclusive APEX ICS - Integrate Cooling System
  • Up to 420mm of radiator coverage
  • Options for closed-loop or custom open-loop liquid cooling
  • Options for MAINGEAR's True Automotive Paint Finishes with new 2018 colors, including new Spectrum Chameleon Finishes
  • Options for MAINGEAR new MARC II full coverage custom artwork 
  • Lifetime US-based support

You can learn more and start your build on the F131 custom desktops page

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on the MAINGEAR F131 gaming desktop as it develops. 

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Corsair Looks to Cut the Cord With New Wireless Gaming Peripherals https://www.gameskinny.com/ygz5i/corsair-looks-to-cut-the-cord-with-new-wireless-gaming-peripherals https://www.gameskinny.com/ygz5i/corsair-looks-to-cut-the-cord-with-new-wireless-gaming-peripherals Mon, 08 Jan 2018 17:13:02 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Pushing into the wireless peripherals space for the first time, Corsair announced at CES 2018 a new line of wireless devices they say will provide PC gamers "high performance ... without compromise". 

Dubbed Unplug and Play, Corsair's new wireless technology is the focal point of four new products: the K63 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard, the K63 Wireless Gaming Lapboard, the Dark Core RGB Wireless Gaming Mouse, and the MM1000 Qi Wireless Charging Mouse Pad. As of this writing, the K63 keyboard and lapboard are already available for purchase, while the Dark Core RGB and MM1000 are set to be released sometime later this month. 

A CES 2018 Innovation Award honoree, the K63 mechanical keyboard looks to bring the reliability and durability of the original K63 gaming keyboard to wireless gamers and aficionados everywhere. It sports Cherry MX Red switches, per-key LED backlighting, and programmable keys. Corsair says the K63's battery will last up to 75 hours, and that the keyboard also supports three different connection options: 1ms 2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth wireless, and wired USB. 

On top of that, if you're a PC gamer that LANs -- or might prefer playing in your living room, for example -- the K63 Lapboard looks to provide an even gaming surface in any setting. The lapboard is billed as lightweight and comfortable, complete with a full-size mouse pad.

The K63 mechanical gaming keyboard currently retails for $109.99 without the lapboard and $159.99 with the board. 

Not to be outdone by other peripherals manufacturers, Corsair also unveiled its first wireless mouse in the Dark Core RGB. Inside its outer shell, the Dark Core houses a 16,000 DPI optical sensor and can connect to your PC via the same three connection options available to the K63 wireless keyboard: 1ms 2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth wireless, and wired USB. According to press materials, the Dark Core's battery will provide 24 hours of use before needing a recharge and will employ CUE technology for lighting and programming options. 

For those wanting to cut the cord completely, Corsair will also release a 100% wireless option in the Dark Core SE. Although there is no word on if the SE's battery will achieve the same longevity as the Dark Cor RGB, the SE does support Qi wireless technology, which can be found in the new MM1000 hard-surface mousepad.

Corsair says the mat will not only charge the Dark Core SE, but any device that supports Qi charging. Measuring in at 260mmx350mm, the MM1000 also has ports for charging peripherals that don't allow for wireless charging by providing USB Micro-B, Type-C, and Lightning Qi ports. 

As of this writing, there was no information on price or availability for the Dark Core, the Dark Core SE, or the MM1000. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on Corsair's new line of Unplug and Play gaming peripherals as it develops. 

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AOC AG271QG Review: Nearly Everything You Could Ask for in a 2K Monitor https://www.gameskinny.com/xo8fy/aoc-ag271qg-review-nearly-everything-you-could-ask-for-in-a-2k-monitor https://www.gameskinny.com/xo8fy/aoc-ag271qg-review-nearly-everything-you-could-ask-for-in-a-2k-monitor Thu, 21 Dec 2017 16:12:53 -0500 Jonathan Moore

The TN vs. IPS panel war has raged for what feels like millennia. Historically, TN panels have been popular among gaming aficionados due to their swift response times, fast(er) pixel switching technologies, and brawnier brightness settings. Conversely, IPS monitors have been the choice of gamers looking for wider viewing angles, more vibrant color options, and anti screen-tearing technologies such as G-Sync and FreeSync. 

But IPS monitors have come a long way over the past several years, with many affording gamers with lush colors and high refresh rates. Getting their start in consumer electronics about 50 years ago with one of the world's first color televisions, AOC has been making monitors meant for business and design use for years. And as they've expanded into the gaming space, their monitors are some of the most drool-worthy peripherals you can get your hands on.

Specifically designed with gamers in mind, AOC's AGON class of IPS monitors meshes the best of both the TN and IPS worlds, marrying high refresh rates with rich, consistent colors and wide viewing angles. And the AOC AG271QG is no exception. An AHVA IPS variant, the 271QG reaches refresh rates as high as 165Hz, provides viewing angles up to 175 degrees, and supports NVIDIA's G-Sync technology (this monitor's cousin, the AG271QX, supports AdaptiveSync, which is compatible with AMD and Intel graphics cards if that's what you've got in your rig). 

The key takeaway is that this 2560x1440 monitor does a lot -- and it does that lot almost flawlessly. 

Beautiful, Practical Design

Coming in at 27 inches, the AG271QG is without a doubt a high-end display. On first blush, that's obvious from its elegant design. 

Looking at the monitor head-on, a matte black bezel adorns its thin sides and top, while the skinny bottom sports a brushed bezel and an AGON logo in the middle. The anti-glare screen completes the front-facing look with class, while the pressable menu buttons hidden underneath the monitor's bottom-right edge are stylishly tucked out of view. 

Going around to the back, the monitor's black plastic is complemented by an embossed AOC logo near the top and a dynamic red chevron festooned within the monitor's middle portion. Here is where you'll also find the connection point for the AG271's sturdy steel wall bracket and stand. An added quality of life feature (as well as a necessity, of course), the stand is fully adjustable and highly durable. 

You'll be able to raise, lower, pivot, and tilt the monitor at your leisure, as well as position it in either portrait or landscape orientations. On top of that, the stand also has a dial feature along the edge that helps you select a preferred height if you ever decide to disconnect it from the stand or readjust its orientation. 

As for connections and ports, you'll find quite a few along the AG271's bottom: one Display Port 1.2a, one HDMI 1.4 port, a 3.5mm microphone-out port, a USB 3.0 upstream, and a USB 3.0 downstream. Along the right side of the monitor, you'll also find four other ports: another USB 3.0 downstream port, a USB 3.0+ fast-charging port, a 3.5mm headset port, and a 3.5mm microphone-in port.

Needless to say, you've got plenty of options for charging peripherals or affixing card readers to the monitor itself. Having all of these connections at your fingertips is convenient and fast for ancillary tasks, attaching a gaming console, or, for example, quickly plugging in a webcam for streaming. Of course, you'll still want to connect things like your mouse and keyboard to the computer itself, as you'll come up no dice by hooking them directly to the monitor.

Menu and Settings



As I mentioned earlier, the AG271QG's small but responsive menu buttons are elegantly tucked under the lower right-hand side of the monitor. Activating the menu, increasing and decreasing the volume, and switching between the Display and HDMI ports is easy. I specifically found the latter two capabilities invaluable; slogging through menus just to switch ports or change volumes is a real pain in the rear. I know -- my LG and ASUS monitors make me do it, and as much as it's a first-world problem, it grinds my gears nonetheless. 

It's also a good thing those options lie outside of the primary OSD since the 271QG's menu is drab and counterintuitive. Opening the OSD, you're met with a lackluster interface set against an opaque grey background that reminds me of something from the early 2000s, not a "cutting-edge" monitor from 2017. Of course, that's not nearly a deal-breaker in and of itself, but the menu is also frustratingly difficult to navigate. It's a bit difficult to explain, but once you get inside the OSD, you'll find that buttons which should move you forward take you backward and vice versa, making for a slightly head-scratching experience. 

What's more, and often endemic to G-Sync enabled monitors, the 271QG doesn't offer a whole lot in terms of presets. You can adjust brightness intensities, contrast levels, and gamma settings, as well as color levels and the OSD's primary setup by hand, but there's no one-size-fits-all option.

You can also enable the monitor's G-Sync functionality and ULMB settings here, the latter of which decreases motion blur and ghosting for games with fast-moving objects, such as Project Cars 2. Unfortunately, like with most monitors that provide both options, you can't enable G-Sync and ULMB at the same time, but that's a small price to pay once you actually start using the monitor.

Performance

Here's where the AG271QG really starts to shine. Out of the box, the monitor provides good color and brightness settings that you could very well just run with. Colors are lush, and except for a few ultra narrow sections along the edges, the screen didn't appear washed out overall. There was a bit of light bloom on certain letters in the headers of the Steam Client, for example, but nothing too noticeable in-game or when browsing the Web.

Brightness & Contrast Ratio

Looking at white luminance and brightness, the AG271QG is factory-rated at about 350 cd/m², but in testing, it can reach into the 380s, pushing it above some ASUS and Dell models. Out of the box, the brightness settings provide a uniform, consistent look across the monitor, something some TN monitors struggle with. And using the OSD, you can adjust these settings to your liking, with exceptionally pleasing results.

Having a contrast ratio of 1000:1 (with its darkest dark and whitest white measuring around 1160:1), as well as a dynamic contrast ratio of 50 million to one, you'll also get some truly eye-popping scenes in games like Destiny 2 and Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. 

Gamma & Color

When you first plug it in, the AG271QG's colors are slightly skewed toward green, and its grey scale measurement is on the higher side, coming in at about 4.04 Delta-E. While dE ratings of around 1.0 mean that differences between colors are nearly imperceptible to the human eye, those that come in higher along that value chain mean differences become more apparent. So while a 4.04dE rating isn't terrible, it's a bit higher than other monitors. Thankfully, this value can be changed in the OSD to reach a value closer to 1 and provide a sleek viewing experience. 

With colors outside of the grey spectrum, the AG271QG gets high marks. Color temps are vibrant, and as you'd expect from an IPS panel, this AGON model reproduces colors very well. Including warm, cool, and sRGB options, colors are accurate from almost every viewing angle. Compared to LG's 24UD58-B 4K, my everyday gaming monitor, shades on the 271QG are just a bit drabber when using factory settings in games like Fallout 4, but this is easily adjustable through the OSD via the User setting, which allows you to change each color value individually.

As for the monitor's gamma settings, you're afforded three different options. The first option provides a nice depth and vibrancy, while the second and third options do slightly cut into color performance when using specific settings. However, the overall gamma selections are more than adequate for a monitor of this type and most likely will be imperceptible for most users. 

Obliterating Screen Tearing with G-Sync & ULMB

As mentioned earlier, this AOC monitor comes with G-Sync capabilities, which you can use if you have an NVIDIA graphics card in your rig. Running a GTX 1080 with 8GB of VRAM, I found that the AG271QG G-Sync reacted as you'd expect, eliminating screen tearing and jittering even at higher refresh rates. Having the ability to disable V-Sync in-game and removing the processing burden from the GPU definitely has its advantages, allowing for smoother gaming experiences on the whole.

If you're exceptionally perceptive to blurring, you can opt to enable the monitor's ULMB settings to counteract that, but keep in mind that you'll also need to match the refresh rate to the frame rate for it to work as advertised. At higher refresh rates, such as 165Hz, that's a tall task. However, if you're willing to play at lower rates, such as 85Hz, you might find some value in the feature.

Consequently, G-Sync is probably a better option here, as it flawlessly prevents tearing (and basically negates blurring) at higher refresh rates. And if you're seriously considering adding this monitor to your setup, it's something you're going to want to take advantage of.

Response Times & Latency

The best part about this IPS screen is its low response times and nearly non-existent latency. When playing competitive games like CS:GO or Overwatch, low input latency is paramount. It can mean the difference between a quick kill and a quick death. 

As is the growing trend amongst newer IPS monitors, the AG271QG has a crazy-low response time of 4ms, putting it on par with or above a lot of TN monitors out there. And when compared to other IPS monitors, such as some of those in the ASUS and Dell lines, its black to white transitions take the cake. In essence, pixel responsiveness and signal delay aren't issues you're going to fight with -- at least not at levels that are going to affect your playing. Being made with eSports players in mind, this AGON model does exactly what it's advertised to do. 

Verdict

As far as G-Sync IPS monitors go, the AGON 271QG stands near the front of the pack. Its colors and contrast ratios are fantastic, and it provides excellent refresh rates without screen tearing or jittering. Input lag is practically nonexistent, which is a boon for competitive gamers of all shapes and sizes. 

Sure, its menus could use a bit of love, but if that's the only complaint we can really find here, it's a minute one that can be easily overlooked. (I mean, how long are you going to spend in menus anyway?) If you're in the market for a 2560x1440p 2K monitor that can blow refresh rates out of the water while also providing great color and expansive viewing ranges, the AG271QG is a monitor you're going to want to seriously consider. Its high price tag might dissuade more casual gamers from picking it up, but when you start to look at everything you get in this near-complete package, it's a little easier to swallow. 

You can buy the AGON AG271QG on Amazon for $599.99. 

[Note: AOC provided the AG271QG used for this review.]

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SteelSeries Rival 110 Review: Awesome Precision on a Budget https://www.gameskinny.com/yep00/steelseries-rival-110-review-awesome-precision-on-a-budget https://www.gameskinny.com/yep00/steelseries-rival-110-review-awesome-precision-on-a-budget Wed, 20 Dec 2017 11:38:26 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Not every gaming mouse needs dozens of buttons and insane DPI capabilities to make an impact on a gamer's quality of life. In fact, most casual gamers will likely bet on something that's easy on the wallet and highly functional. When you've got a budget of about $50, you need to make sure every penny counts. 

Historically, gamers looking for high-quality mice in that lower price range have struggled to find something that stands toe to toe with mid-tier mice. SteelSeries wants to fix that with its growing line of gaming peripherals, and that's where the Rival 110 looks to change things up. The successor to the Rival 100, the 110 makes a few small but impactful upgrades to the original Rival 100 design that make it worth checking out. In a nutshell, the 110 is a great budget mouse that gets the job done very well.

There are a few things to consider before picking it up, but they're mostly small hiccups that can be overlooked considering its $39 price tag. 

Design

The Rival 110 looks a heck of a lot like the Rival 100: it sports the same matte black finish that looks good alongside your other SteelSeries gear. The finish keeps your palm locked onto the mouse's body when performing quick movements and doesn't get slippery if that palm gets sweaty. The 110's plastic side grips do an adequate job of keeping your fingers locked in place, but aren't as cozy or effective as the Rival 310's silicone grips.

Moving around the 110's body, you'll find the standard six-button configuration found in many of the mice in this price group: LMB, RMB, DPI switch, mouse wheel button, and two lateral buttons along the left side. All of the buttons look to be about the same size as those found on the 100 -- and in testing, they felt about the same, too. Personally, I prefer the fatter, more rounded lateral buttons of the Rival 310 to the sharper, skinnier buttons of the 110 because they're easy to locate and provide a wider actuation surface. But that's completely personal preference, and other gamers will most likely find the buttons aren't overly obtuse. 

In form and function, all of the 110's buttons work well and provide nice tactile and auditory feedback. Rated at 30 million clicks, the 110's switches don't have the longest shelf life, but for $39.99, you really can't ask for too much more than that. 

On the bottom of the mouse, you'll find the TrueMove1 sensor, which has a slightly larger port than that found on the Rival 310, as well as three feet that are also slightly larger and slicker than the 310's. While we'll talk about the TrueMove1 sensor in just a bit, the larger feet on the 110 make it glide across mousepads and desktops faster than the 310 -- for better or worse. If you couple that movement capability with the 110's feather-light weight of 87.5g, it can sometimes feel as if the mouse is going to fly right out of your hand. 

As someone who's used to heavier mice -- like the 310 or Logitech's G703 -- the 110's weight and flightiness were a small hurdle to overcome, but a hurdle all the same. I found myself pulling shots and missing a few clicks here and there while acclimating to its weight. 

However, for those gamers that predominantly play twitch-style games or are looking for a nimble mouse for those weekend LAN parties, the 110 checks those boxes pretty well. Just keep in mind there aren't any weights associated with the 110, so what you see is what you get in that department. 

Performance

Where the Rival 110 really stands apart from its predecessor is in the sensor. Using the TrueMove1 sensor, the Rival 110 is one of the most accurate and responsive budget gaming mice on the market. The same technology that made the Rival 310 and Sensei 310 stand out from the pack can be found here in all its glory. 

In my time with the 110, I didn't notice much difference between the TrueMove1 and the TrueMove3 outside of the 1 and the 3 in the name. And that's a good thing. Each sensor provides pixel-perfect 1-to-1 tracking, making movement latency nearly nonexistent. That's not to mention each sensor focuses on doing that with advanced jitter reduction and SROM technology. In other words, it's hella' accurate and responsive, effectively matching your real-world mouse movements with on-screen cursor movement.   

Supporting up to 7,200 DPI at 240 IPS, the Rival 110 performed very well in Paladins and Battlefield 1, helping me nab headshot after headshot. By not focusing on ludicrously high DPI values, the TrueMove1 focuses on eliminating latency -- and gets it right. At every DPI tested, the Rival 110 didn't jitter or jerk, mirroring my movement across the mousepad on screen. The mouse cursor moved precisely where I wanted it to go and abruptly stopped when I needed it to.

I did miss some shots here and there -- especially when first picking up the mouse -- but the more I used the Rival 110, the more I chalked that up to the mouse's overall weight (and how alien it felt to me), not the sensor itself. 

Verdict

The Rival 110 is marketed as a budget mouse for esports and competitive gamers -- and in a way, it is. With the TrueMove1 sensor, the 110 marries low latency with high-precision accuracy. However, it doesn't reach the DPIs that the Rival 310 is capable of producing, and its feather-light weight might deter some gamers that are used to heftier options. That means it might not be the perfect fit for the competitive gamer.

However, for casual gamers, especially those on a budget, the Rival 110 is a damn steal at $39.99. Not only do you get the TrueMove1 sensor, but you get high-performing switches, robust customization options via SteelSeries Engine 3, and tons of cool lighting effects that are often relegated to higher-end options. 

You can buy the Rival 110 on Amazon for $39.99.

[Note: SteelSeries provided the Rival 110 used for this review.] 

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Logitech G603 Review: A Functional, If Curious, Mouse https://www.gameskinny.com/3o3qg/logitech-g603-review-a-functional-if-curious-mouse https://www.gameskinny.com/3o3qg/logitech-g603-review-a-functional-if-curious-mouse Tue, 12 Dec 2017 11:39:50 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Logitech has a shining reputation for good -- if not amazing -- gaming mice. With their LightSpeed technology, they introduced a line of wireless mice that are elegant and highly responsive. The G603 is the third in that line and sports adept and reliable mechanisms underneath a sleek design. It also boasts one of the very best sensors on the market in its High Efficiency Rated Optical movement detector. Couple that with insane battery life, and the G603 is a viable option for many gamers. 

But it's also a curious mouse. Launching alongside the Logitech G703 earlier this year, it provides functionalities not found in that mouse but doesn't take advantage of the 703's PowerPlay wireless charging abilities. Sure, the G603 is a fantastic mouse that tackles myriad situations with sangfroid, but it's also a mouse I sometimes think could have been absorbed by the G703 -- especially given the quality and ubiquity of the 703.  

High-End Functionality on a Budget

Coming in at $69.99, the G603 puts itself in the higher echelon of mid-tier mice -- the wired G403 Prodigy is nearly $20 cheaper and offers a lot of the same core functionalities. But at that price, the 603 also brings quite a bit to the table, not the least of which are its battery life, wireless accuracy, and Bluetooth capabilities. 

Battery Life

Instead of a lithium-ion battery, the G603 uses two AA batteries for juice. Boasting advanced battery life by providing two performance modes via its HERO sensor, Logitech's newest mouse can stay powered for twice as long as a plethora of other mice. According to Logitech's press materials, you can get up to 500 hours of gaming out of the G603 when using it in HI mode, which delivers better in-game Lightspeed reporting of 1ms. Alternatively, you can set the mouse to LO mode, which greatly slows response times to 8ms but affords you up to 18 months of battery life on a single set of AAs. 

Of course, I didn't put in near enough time with the mouse to drain the batteries, but it didn't lose charge in my 50-some-odd hours with it. To put things in perspective, I had to charge the G703 twice in that same time when not using the PowerPlay charging mat, so that's something to consider. 

Accuracy

On the accuracy front, Logitech developed a brand new sensor for the 603. Dubbed HERO, the optical sensor is supposed to provide enhanced power efficiency while still pushing exceptional accuracy and performance. Whether at low or high DPIs, HERO doesn't use pixel rounding or smoothing to deliver information between the mouse and the computer -- keeping you ahead of the game.  

Thing is, I didn't really notice a monumental difference between HERO and the G703's PMW3366 when it came to sniping skulls in Battlefield 1 or controlling the point in Paladins. Both mice are entirely capable of delivering kill shots in BF2 and effectively moving units in Total War at both low and high DPIs. Consequently, the main draw of HERO appears to be its power efficiency when doing all of that. In a nutshell, it's power conscious and responsive, but not revolutionary. 

Bluetooth Capabilities

An interesting addition not often found in other gaming mice, the G603's Bluetooth functionality allows the mouse to be used across multiple devices at a single time. If you don't want to go the LightSpeed dongle route, you can connect the 603 to your computer via Bluetooth, as well as one other device. As of this writing, the functionality supports iOS and Android tablets, laptops, and computers. 

Giving it a whirl with a MacBook, I found the functionality competent, if a bit difficult to pair at times. And although Bluetooth makes the 603 a bit more productive for day-to-day office situations -- and keeps you from having to move the dongle from device to device or rely on per device inputs -- in a gaming capacity, I didn't find much use for the functionality outside of very niche use cases. 

The G603's Design Is Nothing to Write Home About

There's not much to say about how the G603 looks on the outside. In a nutshell, it's the G703 and/or G403 Prodigy with a slightly different color scheme and rougher, grainier finish. You'll find the same six programmable buttons here that you will on the 703 and 403: LMB, RMB, two lateral buttons on the left side, a mouse wheel button, and a nice, easily reachable DPI button beneath the wheel. On the bottom of the mouse, you'll find two feet at the front and back, the power/LO/HI mode switch, and a button for Bluetooth pairing. 

The mouse body is designed just like the 703 and 403, too. Made for right-handed players, it favors palm- or claw-grip styles and fits ergonomically in your palm, although some players with larger hands may find its apex sits a bit awkwardly in the crook of their hand. 

The main panel of the mouse body is detachable. This is where you'll find the batteries and a nicely designed notch in which to house the LightSpeed dongle when not in use. That latter attention to detail is something I truly enjoy about the mouse. Losing dongles is just the worst. All in all, the G603's design is unassuming. That fits with the ethos that this is a gaming mouse that won't stand out on your office desk.

On top of everything mentioned above, the G603 doesn't provide any RGB lighting functionalities. None whatsoever. So although you can take it to work and back without your colleagues wondering why you have a gaming mouse in the office, you won't be able to get those cool lighting effects at home, which kind of makes the G603 a bit boring against all of your other RGB gear. That's not to mention that you could just, you know, turn the 703's RGB lighting off when at the office. 

 

The Verdict  

At the end of the day, I'm torn about the G603. On one hand, I see where it fits into the Logitech line of products and how it provides great functionality on a mid-tier budget. What it sacrifices when compared to the 703 gets it into that $70 price range. Its Bluetooth functionality is a bit sluggish in-game, but for office work, it's nice to be able to switch between devices with a single input device. And even if its battery life doesn't entirely stand out against other office-centric mice, it's sustainable while providing great accuracy via HERO. 

But on the other hand, some of its functionalities really could have been incorporated into the G703. Not taking advantage of Logitech's new PowerPlay wireless charging capabilities is a bit head-scratching. And with all the R&D spent on a new sensor that makes the 603's battery life last longer -- and has no terribly discernible effects on accuracy when compared to the 703's PMW3366 -- it seems that the 603's other primary functionality, Bluetooth, could have made it into the 703's design. 

But as it stands, the G603 is a functional, reliable, and efficient mouse that offers some neat tricks and awesome accuracy for those not willing (or able) to afford the higher-priced 703 and its $100 PowerPlay charging pad sidekick. If you fall into that boat or want something that functions as both a gaming peripheral and an unassuming office point and clicker, it's definitely a mouse you'll want to check out.

However, if it were me, I'd opt to spend the extra $30 for wireless charging capabilities, an infinitely refillable battery, wired and wireless capabilities, full RGB lighting options, and near-identical performance. What's more, the switches on the G703 are rated for 50 million clicks, while the switches on the G603 are only rated at 20 million clicks. It's not a one-to-one ratio, of course, but even if you don't count all the extra functionality you get in the G703, you're still paying $30 more for 30 million more clicks -- and a mouse that will last you 2.5 times as long. 

The 603 is a fine choice for many gamers, but if you can afford to splurge on a truly sensational option, I'd go with the 703 instead.   

You can buy the G603 on Amazon

[Note: Logitech provided the G603 used for this review.]

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Logitech G703 PowerPlay Mouse Review: Reinventing Wireless Gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/olin9/logitech-g703-powerplay-mouse-review-reinventing-wireless-gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/olin9/logitech-g703-powerplay-mouse-review-reinventing-wireless-gaming Fri, 08 Dec 2017 12:00:14 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Logitech has been in the peripherals business for a long time -- since 1981, to be exact. And what put the company on the map was its attention to detail, its engineering prowess, and its damn good mice. In the 36 years since the company came onto the world's stage, Logitech has expanded its peripherals catalog to include gaming keyboards and top-of-the-line gaming headsets. But the mouse remains one of its biggest, most reliable products. 

The Logitech G403 Prodigy gaming mouse wasn't the company's first attempt at making a revolutionary gaming peripheral, but it was one that proved widely popular with fans of the brand. It's a wired mouse that provides immense accuracy and speed, and a mouse many pros and competitive players swear by. But the next logical step in iterating that mouse meant it should be wireless. 

Enter the Logitech G703 PowerPlay wireless mouse. At $99, it's a bit more expensive than the years-old Prodigy, even though it looks exactly like it on the outside. However, what's on the inside of the 703 is what sets it apart.  

 

Out of the Box

The G703 comes packaged in an unobtrusive box that keeps its various parts well organized -- and can double as a nifty carrying case if needed. Inside, you'll find the mouse itself, a charging-data cable, a wireless extension adapter, a lightspeed-enabled nano receiver, and a 10g weight. In the mouse itself, you'll find a lithium-ion battery and a PowerPlay charging cookie. 

The about 4.5-foot-long charging and data pass-through cable is braided and made of high-quality composite. It's flexible but sturdy enough to ensure you won't get any shorts in the wire itself over hours of use. Being that it's a tad on the thick side does means that it can sometimes catch on the edges of certain mousepads, such as the thick sides found on the SteelSeries Qck Prism, which can somewhat impede mouse movement depending on your setup. At any rate, you'll really only use the cable when charging the mouse if you're not using its PowerPlay functionality or want a wired alternative, so most players won't come up against this issue anyway. 

Looking toward the wireless front, and to what this mouse is really all about, you'll find in the box a wireless lightspeed nano receiver and a wireless extension adapter. The former is what provides the G703's game-changing wireless capabilities, while the latter allows you to bring the lightspeed receiver closer to the mouse, giving you a better, purer signal if need be. 

Finally, the 10g weight is for those who find the G703's 107 grams a bit too feathery. Inserting the weight into the bottom of the mouse is extremely easy and takes about five seconds to do. However, using it means you won't be able to take advantage of the mouse's PowerPlay charging features. Consequently, using the mouse's weight is really only an option for those not using the mouse's wireless charging functionality, which seems like a bit of an oversight by Logitech. 

 

G703 Design

There's no way around it: the G703 looks identical to the G403 Prodigy. From its ergonomically curved architecture to its six programmable buttons, the G703 doesn't do much to distinguish itself through its outer shell. The only real noticeable difference is that its body doesn't sport the complete black finish of the Prodigy. Instead, you can get the G703 in both a grey/black color scheme and a black/white color scheme, the latter of which pops when coupled with the mouse's elegant design. 

Made for palm- or claw-grip styles, the G703 feels great to hold for both long and short periods. I often found myself switching between styles for different games and different scenarios without a single hitch. I preferred the mouse's slicker matte finish to the grainier finishes of other mice, such as Logitech's own G603, a mouse that also imitates the 703 and Prodigy. And I loved the mouse's rubberized sides, which helped me better grip the mouse and keep it firmly in control. 

On top of that, the 703 has the same six fully programmable buttons as the Prodigy and G603: the right and left mouse buttons, two lateral buttons on the left side, one below the scroll wheel for DPI cycling, and one on the mouse wheel itself. The peripheral's LMB and RMB are clickable from the tip of the mouse to about halfway up the 703's body -- and they're rated for 50 million clicks. The DPI is nicely placed and easy to reach, and the mouse button itself provides a nice, meaty click when depressed. 

On the underside of the mouse, you'll find the switch to turn it on, the circular area for the weight and/or PowerPlay cookie, and two feet. Although I've seen some complaints that the feet provide a bit too much friction because of their placements at the front and back of the mouse, I never felt as if they impeded my use of the 703. 

G703 Performance and LightSpeed Technology 

Since the dawn of the digital age, man has dreamed of going truly wireless, while retaining the robust performance of the wired mouse. And for a long time, that was simply unachievable. But -- if I may be a tad bit melodramatic -- that day has finally come with Logitech's LightSpeed wireless technology. 

In my day to day, whether it be gaming or pounding out gear reviews and news, I exclusively use wired mice because of two reasons: One, that's mainly what we have lying around the office, and two, wired mice are so damn reliable. Historically, lag and latency have plagued wireless mice, keeping them from being the go to for a lot of gamers, especially those in eSports and the competitive scene. 

Using the G703 for more than a month playing games like Battlefield 1, Battlefront 2, Fallout 4, Endless Space 2, and Paladins, I can definitively say that G703 is as accurate -- if not more accurate -- than any of the wired mice I've reviewed this year. Click latency is virtually nonexistent, and using the PMW3366 optical gaming sensor in conjunction with Lightspeed means the G703's motion latency is top of the line. Getting headshots in BF2 with the 703 is a cinch, and commanding units in Endless Space 2 is effortless. 

Using zero smoothing and no pixel rounding, the G703 completes its responsive arsenal with technology that ensures accurate sensitivities even at high DPIs. As someone who typically plays with his DPI somewhere in the 800-1,000 range, toying with higher settings was a breeze with these functionalities, and I even found that I was more accurate scaling up my typical settings.  

PowerPlay Wireless Charging 

Even when gamers choose wireless mice over their wired brethren, those gamers still have to plug their mice in to charge them. It might be a bit pretentious, but plugging and unplugging cables can be a real pain in the keester -- and having dangling cords can pose other problems, too, the least of which is aesthetic. But Logitech has solved that with true wireless charging in the G703. 

Using the PowerPlay charging mat, which we reviewed extensively here, the G703 never (ever) has to be plugged in. Really. Never. 

The TL;DR of it is that the PowerPlay mat (which is sold separately for $100) uses electromagnetic resonance to create an energy field just above the surface of the mat, which is then converted into a charging current. All you have to do is insert the PowerPlay cookie (receiver) into the slot on the bottom of the G703, and you're ready to go. The mat even has a LightSpeed receiver built in (which sends the main wireless signal over a cable to the computer). 

Without the charging mat, you'll get about 24 to 32 hours of game time before having to recharge. With the charging mat, you essentially get unlimited charging power. In my time using the G703 and the PowerPlay charging mat, I never once had to plug the mouse in to charge -- and that's after playing 36 hours in Fallout 4, 25 hours of Battlefront 2, 12 hours of Endless Space 2, and 15 hours of Paladins

And for those of you who might think the electromagnetic charging field might interfere with the accuracy of the LightSpeed signal, you can rest easy: the mouse functions as optimally with the mat as it does without the mat in that regard. I did experience some stuttering when first powering on the mouse and moving to the extreme outside the widely defined signal area of the mat, but those instances were (very) few and far between and had more to do with the mat than the mouse itself. 

All in all, the G703 works with the PowerPlay mat exactly as advertised, ushering in a truly wireless gaming future. 

Customizability Using Logitech's Gaming Software

If you've owned a Logitech gaming mouse or peripheral before, you're already aware of the vast customizability options the Logitech Gaming Software offers gamers. From setting specific RGB lighting sequences and macros to creating per-game DPI profiles and keeping track of your battery life (if not using the PowerPlay mat), everything you could possibly ask for is at your fingertips. 

And if you're a competitive gamer or want to take the mouse with you to LANs, the G703 provides five on-board profiles that can hold your settings for quick recall. 

The Verdict

On the surface, the G703 looks a lot like the G403 Prodigy. It even has some of the same bells and whistles under the hood. But what really sets this mouse apart from the Prodigy, and essentially any other mouse on the market, is that it's truly wireless -- and ridiculously accurate while doing it. 

At $99, it's well worth the investment if you're looking for a wireless mouse that has all the functionality of its wired brethren. If you're willing to plunk down another $100, you'll have a wireless mouse with infinite battery life. I'm not one to lightly suggest anyone spend $200 -- that's a big chunk of change to drop on anything, let alone a mouse and mouse pad. But what you get for that investment is well (well) worth the price. 

I would have liked to have seen Logitech take the G703 as a chance to iterate a tad bit more on the Prodigy's design -- perhaps add an extra button or incorporate some of the features found in the G603 -- but all in all, the Logitech G703 is a fantastic wireless mouse that reinvents wireless gaming -- and aggressively challenges the status quo in the gaming peripherals space. 

You can buy the Logitech G703 on Amazon

[Note: Logitech provided the G703 mouse used in this review.]

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SteelSeries Arctis 3 Bluetooth Headset Review: Versatility in a Reliable Product Line https://www.gameskinny.com/frvsj/steelseries-arctis-3-bluetooth-headset-review-versatility-in-a-reliable-product-line https://www.gameskinny.com/frvsj/steelseries-arctis-3-bluetooth-headset-review-versatility-in-a-reliable-product-line Mon, 04 Dec 2017 16:10:00 -0500 Jonathan Moore

As anyone who follows the gaming peripherals space knows, SteelSeries has a knack for iteration. Their catalog of quality gaming mice is evidence of that, with their Rival and Sensei lines being home to many popular -- and highly reliable -- products. And with the Arctis 3 Bluetooth, a lateral iteration on the original Arctis 3 gaming headset, they've mostly struck gold yet again -- this time on the audio front. 

The new headset doesn't address some of the key issues we had with its predecessor; it still doesn't provide the most robust sound when compared to its headset competitors, and it's still not as plug and play on the PC when compared to the Arctis 5 and Arctis 7. But it's got a neat trick up its sleeves that helps it stand out from the pack.

 

Simultaneous Bluetooth and Wired Audio

One of the things I absolutely love about the Arctis 3 Bluetooth headset is how utterly ubiquitous it is. Instead of strictly being a gaming headset, the Bluetooth version of the Arctis 3 works on myriad devices: your PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile phone, and more. Unassuming and comfortable as always, this set of cans drops the pomp and circumstance of RGB and slick logos to focus on form and functionality. 

Having the option to seamlessly switch between wired audio and Bluetooth audio is something I didn't know I wanted until I tried it. Being a huge music fan, having the ability to sync the Arctis 3 Bluetooth to my iPhone 6S Plus meant I rarely had to take the headset off. Essentially, I could game for a few hours, unplug the headset from my console or PC, and walk out the door jamming some Intervals or Architects without skipping a single beat. 

It's all because the Arctis 3 Bluetooth not only has quality wireless functionality but also the functionality to listen to both wired audio and Bluetooth audio simultaneously -- if that's your thing. 

Doing so can be a bit overwhelming at times and takes some getting used to, but being able to hear in-game announcements and audio while taking a phone call without removing the Arctis 3 is an amazing experience. Couple that with the ability to listen to podcasts or music while playing Paladins, DOTA, or even Assassin's Creed Origins, and you can create your own unique soundscape for any gaming experience. 

Out of the box, you'll get all the cables you need to make it happen: a dual 3.5mm cable for wired PC audio, a standard 3.5mm attachment for connecting the headset to your mobile device or controller, and another hookup that acts as a middleman between those cables and the headset. You'll also get a USB charging cable to charge the headset's Bluetooth battery via a PC or console. 

It's a lot of cables, I know. Keeping up with them all is something I'm not terribly fond of and didn't necessarily like in the original Arctis 3. Although it's a small gripe, I wish SteelSeries had taken the opportunity with this iteration of the headset to consolidate some of the wires (at least into three instead of four). But as it stands, having specific cables for specific uses is something that increases the veracity of the headset in the long run. 

Platform 3.5mm Analog Wireless Bluetooth Surround Sound Engine 3 Support
PC
PS4      
Xbox One      
Nintendo Switch ✓ (w/ChatApp)    
Virtual Reality    
Mobile Devices    


Still Comfortable, Still Sleek

As intimated above, the Arctis 3 Bluetooth headset is stupid comfortable. Like its predecessor, this set of cans sports SteelSeries' wonderfully pleasant (and easily adjustable) ski goggle headband design. Weighing in at around 10 ounces, the Arctis 3 Bluetooth won't cause any discomfort across the top of the head and doesn't feel heavy in the slightest. 

Its earcups are once again snug and cozy. And the breathable fabric surrounding the 40mm Neodymium drivers doesn't get hot or sweaty across long gaming sessions. In a nutshell, it's still the most comfortable gaming headset I've ever worn. 

As for looks, the Bluetooth version of the Arctis 3 carries over the sleek, understated aesthetic of its predecessor, sporting an unassuming look that won't stand out in a crowd if you decide to wear it in public while listening to a few tunes. And even though its jet black finish is refined, it's a shame that other color options aren't available to complement modern gaming setups and their typical RGB flourish. 

As you move around the headset, the understated design continues on the left ear cup, where users will find the volume wheel and mute toggle, as well as the main cable jack and headphone share jack. It's interesting none of these controls and/or inputs were moved to the right ear cup. But nonetheless, the buttons never feel cramped, and the jacks are easy to locate without ever taking the headset off. 

Lastly, just like the original Arctis 3, the Bluetooth model is highly portable. Being able to rotate each of the headset's earcups and lay them flat means you'll be able to easily drop them into a backpack or overnight bag, which can be especially useful for competitive and eSports players. 

Same Clear Communication

Another area where SteelSeries doesn't iterate on the original Arctis 3 -- but most certainly doesn't have to -- is the Bluetooth's retractable microphone. Whether you're using the headset on your PC, console, or mobile device, communication is clear as a bell with this bidirectional, noise-canceling mic. 

And just like its progenitor, the mic in the Arctis 3 Bluetooth never once cracked or dipped in my time with it, providing crystal clear communication in both gaming and business scenarios. 

Verdict

The Bluetooth version of the Arctis 3 headset is comfortable, functional, and reliable. It provides fantastic clarity via its microphone, offers insane versatility via its added wireless technology, and sports a 28-hour battery life that only improves its ubiquity.  

However, like the original, I can't recommend it without a few caveats, even if it does do what a lot of other headsets don't. Overall, it's still less plug and play out of the box than advertised, and if it's your first SteelSeries peripheral, downloading and setting up the Engine 3 software can be a pain in the proverbial butt. 

On the sound front, it doesn't provide the robust quality of its cousin, the Arctis 7 -- or of other similarly priced headsets such as the Logitech G533. Sometimes the sound was rich and full of vigor, while other times I could barely hear in-game dialogue or sound effects without pumping the volume to maximum. On top of that, there are no in-line controls for volume or chat, meaning you have to use the controls located on the left earpiece, which may be more or less convenient depending on your style. 

But my biggest concern about the headset is its $129.99 price tag. If you're a strict PC gamer, it's a hard price to justify -- especially with other, more audio-rich headsets in the HyperX Cloud Alpha and the Logitech G433 both coming in under $100 (and the G533 is only $30 more than the Arctis 3 Bluetooth but offers better all-around sound). If you're a console or hybrid gamer, even the other headsets in the Arctis line are more attractive, more affordable options. 

However, if you want the ability to multitask with your audio -- to listen to music and in-game audio at the same time, or to take a phone call while playing without having to take your headset off -- the Bluetooth model of the Arctis 3 is well worth checking out. 

You can buy the Arctis 3 Bluetooth on Amazon

[Note: SteelSeries provided the Arctis 3 Bluetooth headset used for this review.]

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Enhance LED Mouse Pad Review: Colorful, Functional, Affordable https://www.gameskinny.com/vyqyv/enhance-led-mouse-pad-review-colorful-functional-affordable https://www.gameskinny.com/vyqyv/enhance-led-mouse-pad-review-colorful-functional-affordable Thu, 30 Nov 2017 11:34:19 -0500 Jonathan Moore

There's a lot that goes into choosing a good gaming mouse pad. From soft cloth to rigid plastic, surface area, and RGB lighting, there's no one-size-fits-all solution -- whether you're focused on performance, look, or both. And when buying a mousepad on a budget, there are tons of options to choose from. Some are better for sniping in games like Call of Duty and Battlefield 1, while others are better for granular unit movements in games like Endless Space 2 and Total War, providing more or less friction based on materials and in-game need 

Accessory Power's Enhance branded mouse pad falls strictly on the side of rigid plastic; it's a model designed for increased speed and low resistance. Like many pads out there, it doesn't reinvent the wheel. And while it may stumble in places, at $30, it does provide the functionality expected of a budget offering while still providing a few bells and whistles that other pads in its price range don't necessarily afford. 

Design

Out of the box, the Enhance mouse pad measures a moderate 14x10 inches, making it a mid-range offering that eschews the typical square design of many other pads for a more rectangular one that promotes extended side-to-side movement. Its size means that it won't take up too much room on your desktop but will provide a relatively sizeable area for sweeping mouse movements when necessary.

Sporting a futuristic design, the slab's matte black surface is emblazoned with cyberpunk-inspired translucent decals on the right and left sides, as well as the transparent Enhance logo at the pad's bottom center. At the top, you'll find the USB socket for the pad's braided power cable and cycle switches for lighting options and presets, the latter of which are neatly tucked into the pad's ASB plastic body to avoid any bulges on the surface. 

Finally, the back of the pad sports a textured, rubberized surface that does a fantastic job of keeping it in place. When compared to my other go-to gaming pad, the SteelSeries Qck Prism, the Enhance takes the (slight) nod here. Not once did I experience any slippage or base movement in my time with it, which is perfect for long gaming sessions or intense competitive bouts. 

RGB Lighting

With RGB lighting all the rage these days, it's little surprise that the Enhance LED gaming mouse pad provides backlighting functionality (it's in the name, after all). Using the power and cycle switches at the top of the pad, you'll be able to choose between seven different static colors (Red, Blue, Purple, Green, Yellow, Teal, and White), as well as two lighting effects, Fade and Rainbow, which cycle through all of the pad's available color options. On top of that, you'll be able to cycle between three brightness options to help you better tune the pad to your liking -- or to match it to your other RGB peripherals. 

In a dark room, the light emanating from the Enhance's diaphanous edges and the translucent designs on its surface were vibrant, yet not too distracting even at the brightest setting. The fade and rainbow effects add a nice contrast to the pad's static offerings but aren't as smooth between transitions as other backlighting presets found in peripherals made by companies such as SteelSeries and Corsair (although at the price, that's somewhat expected). 

When put into a brightly lit room, the RGB lighting falters a bit more. Depending upon the angle at which you're sitting (or have the pad situated), the lighting can appear splotchy, with some sections along the edges producing vibrant light and others emitting no perceivable light at all. On top of that, some colors appear washed out along the sides and on the top of the pad depending on the lighting of the room. For example, the purple can sometimes appear white in areas, white can occasionally appear as a washed out cyan, and yellow can periodically appear the hue of lemon-lime Gatorade. 

Performance

As you'd expect, the rigid plastic surface of the Enhance lends itself to speed, agility, and low resistance. That means it's not entirely ideal for first-person and third-person shooters like Call of Duty, Paladins, or Battlefront 2 -- especially when using a gaming mouse at higher DPI settings. Instead, the Enhance is more suited to subtle mouse movements that might require rapidity to execute, such as flicking between units in StarCraft 2.

During my time with the pad, I tested it with the SteelSeries Rival 310 gaming mouse, as well as the Logitech G703. Playing BF2, Paladins, and Fallout 4, I didn't notice any perceivable mouse float at lower DPI settings, but at higher settings, the slickness of the pad's surface definitely impeded my accuracy, causing quite a few errant shots. In essence, I was able to move the reticule quickly toward a designated target, but it was difficult to stop the reticule precisely and deliver a killing blow. 

Using AimBooster and comparing the Enhance to another rigid-top pad in the Qck Prism -- which provides a bit more friction than the Enhance -- I was able to confirm my observations. Through more than 80 individual tests, I found that my average accuracy with each mouse was greater with the Qck, while my speed was increased with the Enhance. 

Note: In the table below, Avg. Speed denotes the average speed at which I was able to hit targets within a 60-second window using AimBooster. 

Mouse Mouse Pad DPI Avg. Speed Avg. Accuracy
Rival 310 Enhance LED 800 2.93s 91.70%
Rival 310 Enhance LED 1600 2.98s 92.71%
Rival 310 Qck Prism 800 2.84s 94.71%
Rival 310 Qck Prism 1600 2.91s 94.70%
Logitech G703 Enhance LED 800 2.93s  92.20% 
Logitech G703 Enhance LED 1600 2.96s  90.01%  
Logitech G703 Qck Prism 800 2.82s 95.12%
Logitech G703 Qck Prism 1600 2.86s 93.93%


As you can see, the Enhance surface allows for higher speeds in both the Rival 310 and the G703, but sacrifices accuracy to do so. The Qck's slightly "rougher" surface decreases average speeds but increases average accuracy across both mice. 

Verdict

Overall, the Enhance LED mouse pad is a decent mid-range option, even if it stumbles in the RGB spectrum, but it isn't the most comfortable slab on the market, and it is easily dinged up.

However, if you're on a budget and looking for a slick, hump-free surface that promotes speed, the Enhance is an option to consider. Its surface performs as you'd expect from a rigid-top pad, and at the end of the day, that's what matters for hard-surface fans that need something better than their pockmarked desktop. 

[Note: Accessory Power provided the Enhance LED mouse pad used for this review.] 

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Best PC Cooling Fans of 2017 for Your New or Current Build https://www.gameskinny.com/q31lf/best-pc-cooling-fans-of-2017-for-your-new-or-current-build https://www.gameskinny.com/q31lf/best-pc-cooling-fans-of-2017-for-your-new-or-current-build Tue, 28 Nov 2017 10:55:09 -0500 Sergey_3847

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/9/1/i/91icrybzn-sl1500-1921f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/9/1/i/91icrybzn-sl1500-1921f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173429","description":"

Corsair HD Series HD120 RGB LED PC Fan

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Price: $55.49
Buy it on: Amazon

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The HD series of Corsair RGB LED computer fans, unlike the LL series, has only 12 independent LEDs and seven lighting schemes, but it moves a lot more air. It also has a slightly different design, allowing more light and transparency to extend to its outer frame.

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This cooler's higher airflow rate is possible due to its thinner fanblade design, which also ensures less vibration and noise as a result. If the price doesn't scare you, then this is definitely the best choice in the RGB LED computer fan niche.

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Corsair HD Series HD120 RGB LED Specs: 

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  • Air Flow: 54.4 CFM
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  • Noise: 30 dBA (at 1725 RPM)
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  • Size: 120 mm
  • \n
  • Voltage; 7-13.2V
  • \n
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---

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Have you found the right kind of PC fan for your next computer build? Make sure to leave your feedback in the comments below. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/1/r/51r4zzffdll-c653d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/1/r/51r4zzffdll-c653d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173830","description":"

Asiahorse Wireless RGB LED PC Fan

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Price: $36.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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Don't let the no-name manufacturer make you pass on this great computer fan. It has a decent airflow to noise ratio and includes a remote control for changing the color scheme of the 256 color RGB LED system, hence the "wireless" label in the title.

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Sure, this cooler doesn't have fancy PWM technology like the most of the previous models, but it is based on hydraulic bearing technology, which will make it last for 20,000 hours at the very least.

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Asiahorse Wireless RGB LED Specs: 

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  • Air Flow: 38 CFM
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  • Noise: 32 dBA (at 1500 RPM)
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  • Size: 120 mm
  • \n
  • Connection: 4.6-pin
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/9/1/c/91cupwce1ul-sl1500-dd8ac.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/9/1/c/91cupwce1ul-sl1500-dd8ac.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173425","description":"

Corsair LL Series LL120 RGB PC Fan

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Price: $34.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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This Corsair model offers 16 Independent RGB LEDs split between two separate light loops that allow for nearly endless manual lighting customization. The RGB effect on this computer fan is super soft and will not irritate your eyes -- even in complete darkness.

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It also comes with the PWM system that allows you to control the intensity of the airflow, but even at its maximum speed, it is as quiet as it gets.

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Corsair LL Series LL120 RGB Specs: 

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    \n
  • Air Flow: 43.25 CFM
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  • Noise: 24.8 dBA (at 1500 RPM)
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  • Size: 120 mm
  • \n
  • Connection: 4-pin
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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/1/u/51uuulrjlhl-3eb3e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/1/u/51uuulrjlhl-3eb3e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173423","description":"

NZXT Aer RGB120 PC Fan

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Price: $29.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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Now let's enter the territory of RGB LED PC fans! Here is one of the most balanced solutions in terms of price and quality from NZXT. The Aer computer fan models allow you to select and modify more than 10 lighting effects with ease using CAM’s software interface, which means you can connect several of these bad boys and make your PC case light up like a Christmas tree.

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In addition to the bright color effects, you get a decent airflow to noise ratio, which would already be a good deal on its own.

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NZXT Aer RGB120 Specs:

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    \n
  • Air Flow: 52.44 CFM
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  • Noise: 33 dBA (at 1500 RPM)
  • \n
  • Size: 120 mm
  • \n
  • Connection: 4-pin PWM
  • \n
  • Voltage: 12V
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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/1/5/715j0nes6ll-sl1200-49a09.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/1/5/715j0nes6ll-sl1200-49a09.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173422","description":"

Antec TrueQuiet 120 PC Fan

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Price: $9.19
Buy it on: Amazon

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This fan may run at a low RPM, but if you don't want to hear a hint of noise from your coolers, then the Antec TrueQuiet is the best choice for you. It comes with a special connector that allows you to manually adjust its speed, which may result in as little as 8.9 dBA at 600 RPM, which is virtually the quietest computer fan you will find on the market today.

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This has become possible due to a very special fanblade design that creates as little friction with the air as possible.

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Antec TrueQuiet 120 Specs:

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  • Air Flow: 35.8 CFM
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  • Noise: 19.9 dBA (at 1000 RPM)
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  • Size: 120 mm
  • \n
  • Power consumption: 1.4W (high), 0.7W (low)
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/1/k/51kyxtpq3ml-d40f6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/1/k/51kyxtpq3ml-d40f6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173329","description":"

Corsair Air Series SP120 PC Fan

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Price: $15.39
Buy it on: Amazon

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Corsair offers several types of PC fans for their customers, such as this SP model. It is designed for restricted airflow, unlike non-restricted exhaust fans that are used at the back of the case. This means that this specific type of cooler is installed on drive bays or radiators for more effective air dissipation.

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Also, this computer fan is almost noiseless, which makes it a special case in the niche of fans designed for restricted airflow.

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Corsair Air Series SP120 Specs: 

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  • Air Flow: 62.74 CFM
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  • Noise: 35 dBA (at 2350 RPM)
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  • Size: 120 mm
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  • Operating voltage: 7-12V
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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/1/k/51krhyvbkml-607c7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/1/k/51krhyvbkml-607c7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173328","description":"

Cooler Master MegaFlow 200 PC Fan

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Price: $22.60
Buy it on: Amazon

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This low-RPM cooling fan is huge! It was designed as an additional cooler for a graphics card, and it has to be installed on the side panel of your ATX case. Despite working at 700 RPM max, it moves a lot of air in an absolutely noiseless fashion.

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It also has a soft red glow that makes it look extra-cool inside a transparent PC case. If you need to add extra cooling to your gaming machine with a nice design, then be sure to check out this offering from Cooler Master.

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Cooler Master MegaFlow Specs: 

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  • Air Flow: 110 CFM
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  • Noise: 19 dBA (at 700 RPM)
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  • Size: 200 mm
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  • Power consumption: 3.36W
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  • Connection: 3-pin
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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/1/e/61eoju7xqwl-sl1000-34a11.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/1/e/61eoju7xqwl-sl1000-34a11.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173327","description":"

AC Infinity HS1238A PC Fan

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Price: $14.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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Now here's something completely different. If you don't care about noise, but do need to move as much air as possible, then consider getting an AC Infinity computer fan. This fan is much louder than the previous two models, but it will cool down even the most overclocked machines.

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This hard-working fella is quite durable as well, even with all the power it invests into cooling. It is based on long-life dual-ball bearings, which guarantee continuous use for up to 67,000 hours.

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AC Infinity HS1238A Specs:

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  • Air Flow: 110 CFM
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  • Noise: 47 dBA (at 2,600 RPM)
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  • Size: 120 mm
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  • Power consumption: 18W
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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/1/e/71ejp4xv4kl-sl1400-bd490.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/1/e/71ejp4xv4kl-sl1400-bd490.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173326","description":"

Noctua NF-A8 PWM PC Fan

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Price: $15.95
Buy it on: Amazon

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This little fan is a masterpiece of Advanced Acoustic Optimisation technology, which makes it one of the quietest PC cooling fans on the market right now. The SSO2 anti-vibration bearing system combines the oil-based hydrodynamic bearings with an additional magnet, which makes it super stable.

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SSO is a patented Noctua technology that you will not find from any other computer fan manufacturer. If this sounds right to you, then be sure to grab a few for your mini-ITX case.

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Noctua NF-A8 PWM Specs:

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  • Air Flow: 32.4 CFM
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  • Noise: 17,7 dBA (at 2,200 RPM)
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  • Size: 80 mm
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  • Power consumption: 1W
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  • Connectoion: 4-pin PWM
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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/1/m/51mqbuwuyul-eb185.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/1/m/51mqbuwuyul-eb185.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173204","description":"

ARCTIC F12 PWM PC Fan

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Price: $8.02
Buy it on: Amazon 

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Here is a cheap yet smart PC cooling fan that is quiet and effective enough to cool down even the most hard-working machines. Its PWM feature is designed to help motherboards use the fan only to a necessary degree so it doesn't consume extra energy and resources.

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ARCTIC will serve you well for a long time due to its use of the Fluid Dynamic Bearing, which comes with an oil capsule that avoids lubricant leakage. Together with the PWM technology, the F12 PWM will serve longer than any other fan of similar design.

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ARCTIC F12 PWM Specs: 

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  • Air Flow: 53 CFM
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  • Noise: 22.5 dBA (at 1,350 RPM)
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  • Size: 120 mm
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  • Start-up Voltage: 6.0V DC
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  • Connection: 4-pin socket
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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-281fd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-281fd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173200","description":"

When choosing a single PC cooling fan or a set of computer fans for your next build, you need to make sure that you're looking for the most balanced airflow-to-noise ratio (CFM/dBa @ RPM). CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute, which is used by PC fan manufacturers to showcase how much air their products can move per minute -- and here, moving air is important.

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The best PC fans will have high CFM and low dBa, meaning that they can move lots of air without producing too much noise. These numbers should help you identify the best airflow-to-noise ratio, and make a decision on which fan(s) to purchase.

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If you'd like to spice up your PC case with some RGB LED lighting, then there are a few interesting options, too. From cheap PC fans to expensive PC coolers and RGB options, this list of 10 computer fans is sure to have something to suit your fancy. 

"}]]]>
7 Best Budget Gaming Monitors Under $500 for 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/h4e3l/7-best-budget-gaming-monitors-under-500-for-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/h4e3l/7-best-budget-gaming-monitors-under-500-for-2017 Thu, 23 Nov 2017 16:45:46 -0500 Jonathan Moore

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/g/1/lg1-d8bef.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/g/1/lg1-d8bef.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174636","description":"

LG 27UD68-P 4K Gaming Monitor

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Price: $437.00
Buy it on: Amazon

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Coming in just under our $500 threshold at its MSRP, the LG 27UD68 is one of the best 4K monitors you can buy on a budget. Although it's not necessarily a dedicated gaming monitor, dividing its processing chops between media and work-related tasks, the 27UD68 isn't a slouch when it comes to rendering highly-detailed graphics with fidelity. 

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With a 27-inch screen at its disposal, the 27UD68 has a resolution of 3840x2160, which is can push at a refresh rate of 60Hz. Considering it's a UHD monitor, this LG model provides 4x more pixels than a typical HD monitor, smashing in upwards of 8.3 million pixels across a 16:9 aspect ratio.  In addition to that, the 27UD68 features FreeSync technology to reduce screen tearing at higher refresh rates, as well as low frame rate compensation for eliminating inefficiencies when gaming at lower rates. 

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But what really sets this monitor apart are its extras. With anti-glare coating, the monitor's screen absorbs more ambient and direct light, meaning you can comfortably game in more environments. Using split-screen technology, the 27UD68 is able to provide you with 4 picture-in-picture modes across 14 different options, meaning you can better multitask on projects or enjoy multiple media pieces at a single time. And by implementing the monitor's reactive game mode, you'll have better visibility as well as light and dark contrast in darker games and smoother frame rates in competitive games. 

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The main caveats to consider when looking at this monitor, however, are that it doesn't have the capability of exceeding 60Hz, has a relatively high response time, and only has three output ports: a DisplayPort, an HDMI 2.0 port, and a headphone jack. You won't find any USB connections or DVI ports here, nor overclocking features in its easy-to-navigate OSD. 

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If the price point is still a tad too high, consider the 24UD58, a 24-inch equivalent that provides all of the same features. 

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LG 27UD68-P Specs: 

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  • Display Panel: 27" IPS
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  • Panel Backlight: LED
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  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
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  • True Resolution: 3840x2160
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  • Response Time: 5ms 
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  • Signal Frequency: 60Hz
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  • Contrast Ratio: 1,000:1
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---

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If you've picked out your favorite gaming monitor under $500 and need a few other peripherals, a gaming chair, or a gaming desk, be sure to check out our other guides and suggestions below: 

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Alienware AW2518H Gaming Monitor 

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Price: $429.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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The Alienware AW2518H is definitely one of the pricier gaming monitors on this list. With a futuristic design that exudes the company's striking signature style, the AW2518H has a lot going for it, even if it is just a 1080p gaming monitor. 

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Aside from the out-of-the-box space-age flair of the monitor's bezels, sharp angles, and LED lines, you'll discover that the AW2518H has a DisplayPort, a line-out audio port, three USB 3.0 ports, a single USB port, an HDMI port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Compared to the ViewSonic XG2530, this Alienware monitor is missing an extra HDMI port, and when put alongside other monitors on this list, it also lacks a DVI port, if that's something that you need. 

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However, this 25-inch screen performs extremely well under pressure. Capable of outputting at 240Hz, blacks and whites are vibrant thanks to the screen's 1,000:1 contrast ratio; colors are accurate, with greens, blues, and reds showcasing in true form; and image quality remains steady even when pushed at higher rates. You'll also find that this monitor's 400 candela per square meter efficiency allows for increased brightness and more vivid contrasts between light and dark than other, cheaper monitors -- both on and off this list -- making its price point a bit more bearable. 

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Something that truly sets this gaming monitor apart from others on this list, however, is its framerate synchronization capabilities. Unlike some other gaming monitors, this Alienware offering is available with both AMD's FreeSync technology and NVIDIA's G-Sync capabilities. Both work exceedingly well for their complimentary GPUs, minimizing screen tearing and input lag, but you will pay a bit more if you're a GeFroce user due to NVIDIA's software licensing.

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Alienware AW2518H Specs: 

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  • Display Panel Size: 25" 
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  • Panel Backlight: LED
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  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
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  • True Resolution: 1920x1080
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  • Response Time: 1ms 
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  • Signal Frequency: 240Hz
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  • Contrast Ratio: 1,000:1
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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/i/e/viewsonic-5c7fa.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/i/e/viewsonic-5c7fa.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174630","description":"

ViewSonic XG2530 25" FreeSync Gaming Monitor

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Price: $386.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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When compared to other gaming monitors on this list, the ViewSonic XG2530 stands out for several reasons, chief among them its relatively high refresh rate. Coming in at 240Hz, this monitor hits the current pinnacle for gaming monitors. If you're in the market for something above $350, this is a monitor you'll definitely want to consider -- especially after you've seen all of its other features. 

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Sporting a 25-inch screen, the XG2530 is a TN monitor that outputs at 1920x1080 with a 1ms response time -- even at higher hertz. If you're using an AMD graphics card, you'll have access to FreeSyncing and experience essentially zero screen tearing or frame dropping when playing competitive shooters or other twitch-style games. 

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On the connections front, you'll find this ViewSonic gaming monitor has a DisplayPort 1.2 connection, an HDMI 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 connection, three USB 3.0 connections, and a 3.5mm audio connection. And the best part? You won't have to buy any extra cables. The XG2530 comes with all the cables you need to get up and running -- something not a lot of other monitor packages provide. 

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As with other monitors here, colors on the XG2530 are decent and what you'd expect out of a TN screen, with some errors in parts of the spectrum when tuned to certain settings. These aren't entirely noticeable to the naked eye, however, and shouldn't impact gaming scenarios on the whole. It's also worthy of note that some of the out-of-the-box settings, such as gamma and brightness, might need to be adjusted, but they can easily be equalized via the monitor's OSD. 

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Something that does stand out about this ViewSonic screen is its Rampage Response feature, which is essentially an overclocking feature with a few additions. Unlike other monitors with overdrive features, the XG2530 is capable of scaling its power with personalized level control. Boasting five levels of functionality, Rampage Response gives you granular control of image smoothing and ghosting with relatively low input lag. 

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ViewSonic XG2530 Specs: 

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    \n
  • Display Panel Size: 25" 
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  • Panel Backlight: WLED
  • \n
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • \n
  • True Resolution: 1920x1080
  • \n
  • Response Time: 1ms 
  • \n
  • Signal Frequency: 240Hz
  • \n
  • Contrast Ratio: 1,000:1
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/g/o/agon-0a6bc.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/g/o/agon-0a6bc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174634","description":"

AOC Agon AG271QX 27” Gaming Monitor

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Price: $379.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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AOC is a brand synonymous with hardcore gaming. In fact, many of the world's most popular eSports teams and players use AOC monitors to gain the edge over the competition. And the Aon AG271QX is another gaming monitor in the company's catalog that epitomizes that gaming-focused ethos. 

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With a 27-inch TN panel, the Agon AG271QX packs a wallop for the money. The monitor's casing comes in an understated, yet unique, red and black matte that connects to a sturdy silver stand that has no business being so elegant and resilient. Because of its ergonomic design and maneuverable capability, it's a stand you'd expect to see on a monitor twice the price.

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But stands don't mean anything if the monitor isn't good. And this AOC gaming screen is no slouch in the features department. Outputting at 2560x1440 up to 144Hz, this budget gaming monitor has a 16:9 aspect ratio, 1,000:1 native contrast ratio, and a peak brightness of 350cd/m2. You'll also find that this monitor (like many other budget monitors on this list) supports AMD's FreeSync technology to combat screen tearing. 

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However, unlike other monitors here, the AG271QX has a ton of inputs, ports, and extras. You'll find two HDMI inputs, a DVI input, a DisplayPort input, and three USB 3.0 ports alongside an audio in-line port, a microphone line-out port, and a port for the included desktop keypad. The latter allows you to easily access the monitor's OSD menu, which can be somewhat of a pain to access otherwise. 

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On the performance front, the AG271QX doesn't knock it out of the park, but it does provide better-than-expected visuals, especially when considering the price point. Colors are accurate, sharp, and vibrant; blacks and whites are deep and luminous; and saturation is as you'd expect in a TN panel. 

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With little noticeable lag and FreeSync keeping tearing to a minimum, AOC's budget monitor ticks a lot of boxes for gamers not wanting to break the bank. Did we mention it also comes with an HDMI and DisplayPort cables?  

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AOC AG271QX Specs: 

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    \n
  • Display Panel Size: 24" and 27"
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  • Panel Backlight: WLED
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  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • \n
  • True Resolution: 2560x1440
  • \n
  • Response Time: 1ms 
  • \n
  • Signal Frequency: 165Hz
  • \n
  • Contrast Ratio: 1,000:1
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/1/v/71v42zgtzwl-sl1500-15000.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/1/v/71v42zgtzwl-sl1500-15000.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174507","description":"

Dell S2417DG 24-Inch Gaming Monitor

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Price: $379.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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If you're looking for a budget gaming monitor that slides between 1080p gaming and 4K resolutions, the Dell S2417DG is a fantastic mid-range option. This QHD monitor outputs stunning images at 2560x1440 resolutions from a 24-inch, 16:9 Twisted Numatic panel that doesn't look like it's meant for gaming in the slightest. Its adjustable stand allows for height adjustments, and it swivels for better viewing range and a portrait orientation for business work. 

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The S2417DG's bezel-free housing has quite a few ports. You'll find a single HDMI port and DisplayPort on the back of the monitor as well as five USB 3.0 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. For those of you hoping to go DVI, you'll need to look elsewhere, although the payoff for using the monitor's DisplayPort is well worth the switch. 

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Capable of hitting 165Hz through its overclocking feature, this Dell gaming monitor provides NVIDIA's G-Sync anti-tearing technology and ULMB support to combat blurring at the monitor's lower refresh rates. On top of that, the S2417DG has seven presets for various picture modes, a 1000:1 contrast ratio, and a peak brightness setting of 350 cd/m2. 

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The biggest caveats for this monitor stem from a few minor performance issues. For example, the S2417DG does have a few occlusion and tearing issues when G-Sync isn't activated, and a few areas of the monitor, specifically around its top edges, fall victim to a bit of bloom and blurring. 

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However, the color of this particular Dell monitor is on par with many others in its current price range, while any of the issues associated with chromaticity are par for the course with most TN monitors. All in all, this is a great monitor that mostly provides high-level functionality and ergonomically sound design in a budget package. 

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Dell S2417DG Specs: 

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    \n
  • Display Panel Size: 24" and 27"
  • \n
  • Panel Backlight: LED
  • \n
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • \n
  • True Resolution: 2560x1440
  • \n
  • Response Time: 1ms 
  • \n
  • Signal Frequency: 165Hz
  • \n
  • Contrast Ratio: 1,000:1
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/s/u/asus-first-slide-40d43.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/s/u/asus-first-slide-40d43.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174505","description":"

ASUS VG248QE 24" Full HD 1920x1080 Gaming Monitor

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Price: $279.00
Buy it on: Amazon

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A well-known name in the gaming industry, ASUS has been manufacturing reliable monitors at budget prices for a long time now. I've had the company's VS228 model for more than eight years, and it still serves more than well as my second monitor option on my desktop. But if you're looking for a gaming monitor a step up from what the VS228 offers, the ASUS VG248QE is a logical next step. 

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Coming in at under $300, the VG248QE provides users decent functionality and good baseline specs. Having a max resolution of 1920x1080, this ASUS screen isn't breaking any new ground on the monitor front, but it will take you into the brave new world that is gaming beyond 60Hz. Sporting a single HDMI port, a DVI port, and a DisplayPort, you'll be able to hit 144Hz on this 24-inch screen like a pro. And that also means that you'll have a better chance of performing like a pro in online, twitch-style games, too. 

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The VG248QE also provides a crisp picture and produces little to no artifacts when put through rounds of blur tests and Langom tests. In other words, this ASUS gaming monitor renders images properly, produces impressive blacks and whites with its deep contrast ratio, and doesn't blur. And while the monitor does support 3D gaming, you won't get industry staples such as NVIDIA's G-Sync or AMD's Freesync technology here. 

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For the ergonomically minded, the ASUS VG248QE is easily adjustable and can be oriented in either landscape or portrait positions. The screen can also be tilted forward by 15 degrees, while the height can be adjusted to fit almost any seating scenario. 

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ASUS VG248QE Specs: 

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    \n
  • Display Panel Size: Widescreen 24" 
  • \n
  • Panel Backlight: WLED
  • \n
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • \n
  • True Resolution: 1920x1080
  • \n
  • Response Time: 1ms (gray to gray)
  • \n
  • Signal Frequency: 30-140Hz
  • \n
  • Contrast Ratio: 80,000,000:1
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/m/samsung-b7620.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/m/samsung-b7620.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174635","description":"

Samsung C27F591 Curved Monitor

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Price: $199.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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Curved gaming monitors are some of the coolest peripherals on the market. Most of the time, they'll cost you an arm and a leg -- especially if you're buying name brand. However, the Samsung C27F591 kicks off our list with a bang, sporting a high-end curved screen at a crazy-low price point. 

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Coming in at 27 inches, the C27F591's screen is the belle of the ball for this monitor. Using a Vertical Alignment Display, this panel isn't perfect for gaming since its response times are on the higher end of things (4ms, to be exact), but at $200, you'll get great 1920x1080 definition. On top of that, this budget monitor sports a 60Hz refresh rate, which can be overclocked to 72Hz, providing you great fidelity for more intensive games. 

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You'll find that the Samsung C27F591 has an HDMI port, a DisplayPort, and a VGA port, although the monitor only comes with an HDMI cable. However, seeing as any good DP cable costs between $15 and $30, grabbing one at checkout isn't unreasonable for a monitor in this price range. 

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When it comes to performance, the C27F591 performs well but not exemplary. Its black and white levels are easily distinguishable and provide great fidelity when watching or playing media that exhibit deep contrasts. However, the screen's low response time can produce a few artifacts for more intensive games, and ghosting can be an issue. 

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It's worthy to note that this budget monitor employs AMDs Freesync technology, which helps better safeguard against screen tearing and in-game blurring. If you've got an AMD GPU, this is one of the cheapest monitors that offers the technology. If you're an NVIDIA user, Freesync won't do you any good, so you may want to look to some of the other gaming monitors on this list. 

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Samsung C27F591 Specs: 

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    \n
  • Display Panel Size: 27" 
  • \n
  • Panel Backlight: WLED 
  • \n
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • \n
  • True Resolution: 1920x1080
  • \n
  • Response Time: 4ms 
  • \n
  • Signal Frequency: 50-65Hz
  • \n
  • Contrast Ratio: 3,000:1
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/d/d/addtext-com-mty0mdu0mtmzmtk-e65f7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/d/d/addtext-com-mty0mdu0mtmzmtk-e65f7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174637","description":"

Whether you've just built a brand-new PC or you're looking to upgrade your current screen, shopping for a new gaming monitor is no small task -- especially if you're on a budget. Scouring the interwebs for the best gaming monitor can take a long time, time you could better spend gaming. 

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That's why we're here to help. From high-definition screens to 1440 panels and 4K monitors, we've compiled a list of the best gaming monitors of 2017. You'll find manufacturers such as ASUS, Dell, Alienware, and LG here as well as what makes each monitor worthy of consideration. 

"}]]]>
11 Best Mechanical Gaming Keyboards for Holiday 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/nunzh/11-best-mechanical-gaming-keyboards-for-holiday-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/nunzh/11-best-mechanical-gaming-keyboards-for-holiday-2017 Wed, 22 Nov 2017 15:52:49 -0500 Jonathan Moore

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/h/w/hhwhof9-cad44.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/h/w/hhwhof9-cad44.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174365","description":"

With the holidays right around the corner, it's a safe bet that the PC gamer in your life could use a keyboard upgrade. From budget keyboards to the highest of the high-end, there's something for every gamer on this list. 

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Of course, there are tons of other great keyboards out in the wild worth checking out. If you didn't see anything that suited your fancy on this list, check out our other awesome keyboard suggestions: 

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Header image: Schwitz 18

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/p/topfre-533de.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/p/topfre-533de.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174367","description":"

Topre REALFORCE RGB AEAX01 Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $245.93
Buy it on: Amazon

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The Topre REALFORCE mechanical might not look like much at first glance, but don't let that fool you. If you're in the market for a high-end gaming keyboard, the Topre REALFORCE is one you don't want to dismiss.

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Much like other boards on this list, you'll get fully programmable RGB lighting, full N-Key rollover, anti-ghosting, and comfortable, interchangeable keycaps. But really what sets the Topre apart from those other mechanicals is the REALFORCE's exclusive switches. Similar to the hybrid mechanical/membrane switches found in Razer's Ornata Chroma and Blackwidow models, this model's Topre switches provide an innovative alternative to Cherries and Romer Gs -- with a twist. 

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Instead of the REALFORCE's switches being locked into a specific actuation distance, you're able to alter individual switch distances using the board's  Actuation Point Changer capabilities. This means you're able to choose distances from 1.5mm, 2.2 mm, and 3.0 mm on the fly. So whether you're playing an RTS and need rapid-fire presses, typing code and need standard presses, or playing an MMO and need long-fire presses, you can set the board to your specific needs with little hassle. It's something you won't find anywhere else and something that truly sets this board apart. 

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The composite nature of these switches also means that they're quieter than your typical Cherries and Romer Gs. For those gamers that care about clicky, more tactile switches, Topres might not be the best bet. But for all the functionality you get from the REALFORCE, that's a small price to pay. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/h/e/cherry-ca0b3.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/h/e/cherry-ca0b3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174258","description":"

Cherry MX Board 6.0 Mechanical Keyboard

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Price: $251.65
Buy it on: Amazon

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OK. This isn't technically a gaming keyboard. It doesn't have dedicated macro keys, and its RGB lighting choices are threadbare. However, it's one of the very (very) best mechanical keyboards from 2017. Hands down. 

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Coming in at 104 keys, the Cherry MX Board 6.0 has full N-key rollover and 100% anti-ghosting technology. You've got your typical numpad here, standard playback buttons, and a Cherry key that locks your Windows keys alongside other macros such as Ctrl+alt+del. 

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But what we're really here for is this board's switches. Housing Cherry MX Reds, the Board 6.0 is insanely accurate and precise, registering your keystrokes with the slightest pressure. The keycaps aren't flimsy or cheap like in some of its gaming keyboard brethren -- and on top of that, they're registered for 50 million key presses.

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Using an analog signal path, there's no digital scanning between switch points on the board. The 6.0 is able to register your presses much faster than other keyboards (roughly a millisecond). That means that while this isn't branded as a mechanical gaming keyboard, you'll find that it works more than well in even the most intense of gaming matches. 

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At $200, this is a keyboard that's exceedingly functional at both gaming and office tasks, giving it dual-threat capability. From its resilient metal chassis to its comfortable keycaps, this keyboard excels at practical functionality. 

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Read our Cherry MX Board 6.0 review to learn more. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/9/5/k95-f38e8.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/9/5/k95-f38e8.png","type":"slide","id":"174326","description":"

Corsair K95 RGB Platinum Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $199.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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While the HyperX Alloy Elite was one of our favorite gaming keyboards from 2017, Corsair's K95 RGB Platinum was the other. Standing leagues above its competitors in performance, reliability, and functionality, the Platinum earns its lofty price tag -- and gives gamers a hefty return on investment. 

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Flaunting an absurdly low 1.2mm actuation distance, the Platinum's Cherry MX RGB switches are some of the swiftest of any keyboard on this list. Rated for more than 50 million key presses, they're sure to last you a veritable lifetime. Throw on top of that that you're provided textured W/A/S/D and Q/E/R/F keycaps and a keycap puller, and you're sure to get a lot of life and customizability out of this board's keycaps and switches. 

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However, the feature that stands out the most about the RGB Platinum is its six dedicated macro switches. Not only can you fully program (or re-program) every key on this mechanical, but you're also able to program the board's six G keys to whatever function or keystroke you like, from special-move commands to advanced combinations and bindings. 

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Like other Corsair boards, you also get access to millions of backlighting colors and dozen of lighting profile options via the company's CUE software. Comfortable with or without a wrist rest (it comes with one), this mechanical gaming keyboard is a complete powerhouse and perfect for competitive gamers -- whether they play MOBAs, shooters, or MMOs. 

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This is one we can't recommend enough. 

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Read our K95 RGB Platinum review to learn more. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/a/blackwidow-3e6e3.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/a/blackwidow-3e6e3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174366","description":"

Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $169.99 (orange switches); $129.99 (green switches)
Buy it on: Amazon

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On the surface, the Razer's BlackWidow Chroma V2 looks a lot like the Ornata Chroma: it has a similar layout and RGB backlighting profile. However, when you look under the hood, you'll see that there are some distinct differences that push it into the upper echelon of mechanical gaming keyboards. 

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Where the Ornata Chroma is a keyboard geared toward casual gamers, the BlackWidow Chroma V2 is a precise, tournament-grade peripheral. You'll get 1,000Hz ultra-polling, macro re-programming, full RGB customization, and an ergonomic wrist rest. On top of that, you'll have access to three different switch types: Razer Green, Razer Orange, and Razer Yellow.

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Each switch type provides its own pros and cons, but the Razer Yellows are by far the best of the bunch when it comes to actuation forces, actuation points, and actuation distances. Coming stock in the BlackWidow V2, these switches are most comparable to Cherry MX Silvers, providing increased resistance and quieter typing. 

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However, there are a few caveats to note about the BlackWidow. Unlike most of the other mechanicals on this list, you'll only get 10-key rollover here, which could impact some MOBA and MMO players. And the switches require about 45 to 50 grams of force to actuate (depending on which switches you choose), which can take some getting used to. 

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Overall, the BlackWidow V2 is a gamer favorite for a reason. It's one of the best mechanical gaming keyboards you can get for the price. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/g/logitech-wireless-55b6a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/g/logitech-wireless-55b6a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174290","description":"

Logitech G613 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $149.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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Logitech G's latest offering is a bit of a departure from the company's typical peripherals set. The only wireless keyboard on this list, the Logitech G613 gaming keyboard looks a lot like something you'd find in a cubicle -- but it's something that offers the high-performance functionality of a gamer's mechanical. 

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The board's unibody chassis is sleek and minimalist, and its underside houses spaces for the wireless dongle and two AA batteries, which are rated to provide you with about 18 months of use -- even in the most hardcore of environments. On the top, you'll find textured, plastic keycaps above Romer Gs with an actuation distance of 1.5mm. 

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Because of its egalitarian design, the G613 doesn't provide any fancy RGB backlighting or effects. Instead, you'll find the keys have the typical black-and-white lighting of a traditional keyboard. And while this board functions just as well -- if not better -- than some of its price-range contemporaries, you might want to look to SteelSeries' Apex M750 or Corsair's K95 RGB Pro if you need a little lighting pzazz in your life. 

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But if you're looking for a mechanical keyboard that performs under pressure or one that's crazy comfy and full of ergonomic panache, the G613 is well worth the price. Oh, and did we mention that it has multi-host capabilities? Using the board's Bluetooth capabilities, you can seamlessly switch between typing on your computer and your mobile device. That's a function set you won't find on any other board. 

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Read our Logitech G613 Wireless review to learn more. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/e/steelseries-apex-m750-15b8e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/e/steelseries-apex-m750-15b8e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174249","description":"

SteelSeries Apex M750 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $139.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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With the Apex M750 mechanical gaming keyboard, SteelSeries has set out to engineer and manufacture the ultimate eSports gaming keyboard to meet the needs of the most competitive gamers and eSports enthusiasts. It might not be the most revolutionary mechanical keyboard on this list, but it's one of the most reliable and dependable ones you'll find on the market today. Despite what some might say about SteelSeries products, this board stands toe to toe with the likes of the Ornata Chroma and the BlackWidow V2. 

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Sleek and understated out of the box, this board's design belies the strength that its aircraft-grade aluminum chassis provides. It's lightweight and compact for a ten-key construction, which helps it stand out from other keyboards in its price range. If you're a gamer on the go and need a numpad, you can't do much better than the M750 in that regard.

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And while this SteelSeries board isn't ideal for office work, it is ideal for what it was made to do: make you a better gamer. The M750's proprietary QX2 switches are responsive, swift, and comfortable. With full N-key rollover, 100% anti-ghosting, and sensitive keys, you won't have to bottom out to register ults and in-game movements. 

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Complete lighting effects make an appearance here, alongside SteelSeries PrismSync, which helps you match the M750's colors with those of other SteelSeries peripherals. The only real downsides are that there is a bit of light bleed underneath the keycaps, and you won't get dedicated macro keys on this board. 

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Read our Apex M750 review to learn more.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/g/logitech-pro-37fb0.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/g/logitech-pro-37fb0.png","type":"slide","id":"174288","description":"

Logitech G Pro Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $129.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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Like the SteelSeries M750 later in this list, the Logitech G Pro gaming keyboard was designed with the eSports player in mind. A tenkeyless option, this keyboard is perfect for gamers on the go and those without a ton of desk space.

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Unlike some of the other mechanical keyboards on this list, the Logitech G Pro keyboard employs Romer-G switches to do its heavy lifting. These proprietary switches can only be found in Logitech G products and use short actuation distances and low forces to make this mechanical one of the fastest on the market. Add to that Romers are guaranteed for around 70 million presses, and it'll be a long time before this board needs any maintenance. 

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As with most modern mechanicals, RGB lighting is a big draw for the G Pro, which has myriad customization options. Here, you've not only got access to all 16 million colors on the RGB spectrum, but you've also got control over what color shows underneath each key. And creating your own RGB lighting effects is a cinch. Unlike other mechanicals, you aren't locked into a catalog or presets, something that sets this board apart. 

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With a tough metal chassis, good spacing between keys, and wonderful software, it's hard to pass on the Pro -- especially at its current price point.  

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Read our Logitech G Pro Gaming review to learn more. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/y/p/hyperx-a3479.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/y/p/hyperx-a3479.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174289","description":"

HyperX Alloy Elite Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $109.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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We didn't name the HyperX Alloy Elite mechanical one of the best gaming keyboards of 2017 for nothing. Sporting a solid black aluminum body and a detachable wrist rest, the board houses accurate Cherry MX switches (which you can get in red, brown, or blue) and a ten-key numpad. It also comes with detachable textured W/A/S/D keycaps and a nifty (if often overlooked) keycap remover. 

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The switches are highly responsive and precise, and while they do require greater actuation pressures than other boards on this list and aren't optimal for typing, they're currently some of the most reliable for hardcore gaming and twitch play. Additionally, this mechanical boasts N-key rollover and 100% anti-ghosting. 

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The only gripes we have with this keyboard are minimal. The wrist rest isn't entirely comfortable, sometimes causing a bit of fatigue after hours of play, and the F12 key is precariously placed, which can sometimes lead to unnecessary presses during frenetic play.  

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The HyperX Alloy Elite is practically a steal at its current price point when compared to other boards in its range. However, if the high(er) price point doesn't fit in your budget -- or you're looking for something just a bit more compact -- check out its close cousin, the HyperX FPS Pro. It retails for $79.99 and gives the Corsair K63 a true run for its (and your) money. 

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Read our HyperX Alloy Elite review to learn more. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/6/8/k68-d4d59.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/6/8/k68-d4d59.png","type":"slide","id":"174274","description":"

Corsair K68 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $99.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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For $20 more than the Corsair K63, you can get the company's ten-key K68 model -- which comes with a wrist rest. It's a lot like the K63 across the board except for one important thing: this keyboard is water and dust resistant.

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Adhering to IP32 standards, the Corsair K68 keyboard is able to keep dust particles and debris up to 2.5mm thick, as well as vertical water spillage and dripping water, from entering the nuts and bolts of the board. Corsair's engineers accomplished this feat by bonding a translucent rubber covering around the board's plate-mounted Cherry MX switches and the K68's chassis. This rubber covering contains built-in channels than funnel water and debris past components and out of the drainage ports in the back of the keyboard. 

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If you've ever used a Corsair product, then you've seen what the K68 can offer on the lighting front before. Like the K63, the Corsair K68 provides Red RGB backlighting and pattern customizability through Corsair's CUE software. But that's about it. You'll get myriad lighting effects but not the customizability found in other boards. 

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Coming in at $100, you won't get dedicated macro keys or full customization options here, either, but you will get a keyboard that will last a long (long) time, one that provides accurate response times, and one that provides something almost no other keyboard does. 

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Read our Corsair K68 keyboard review to learn more.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/a/z/razer-cornata-16b0d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/a/z/razer-cornata-16b0d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174334","description":"

Razer Ornata Chroma Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $99.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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The Razer Ornata Chroma is a unique entry in 2017's mechanical keyboard catalog. On the surface, it might look a lot like other boards on this list, but under the hood, the Chroma is an entirely different beast. And it begins with the board's switches. 

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Under the shallower-than-normal keycaps, the Ornata Chroma houses a proprietary, hybrid switch design that couples mechanical technology with membrane technology. Here, mechanical switches depress silicone domes to register keystrokes. This technology allows for faster response times -- and fewer deaths in battle. 

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Unlike other keyboards in its price range, such as Corsair's K63 and K68 models, the Chroma offers 16-million color RGB backlighting via its downloadable software, Synapse. The program also allows you to select from on-board lighting presets or design your own programmable color patterns with ease. On top of that, you can also program macros and specific keystrokes to the board, as well as view a heat map of your typing, pinpointing where you're missing strokes or presses. 

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Coming with a generously cushy wrist rest, Razer's Chroma is one of the more ergonomic choices of 2017. However, it doesn't provide any pass-through options like the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum and is devoid of media keys, leaving you to use the board's function key to perform menial media tasks. 

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But with those exceptions aside, the Razer Ornata Chroma is a fantastic budget gaming keyboard with a few bells and whistles to set it apart.  

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/6/3/k63-30f43.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/6/3/k63-30f43.png","type":"slide","id":"174287","description":"

Corsair K63 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $79.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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The first of three Corsair mechanical keyboards on this list, the Corsair K63 is a compact, tenkeyless option that stands head and shoulders above the rest of its cheap (read: budget) mechanical keyboard peers. In a nutshell, very few compact boards of this design live up to the resiliency and reliability of the K63.

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Providing huge bang for your buck, this Corsair offering uses Cherry MX Reds that provide the short actuation distances you need to be highly competitive. That distance isn't as rapid as Corsair's RGB Platinum offering, which has an absurdly low 1.2mm actuation distance, but for most players, the difference between the two is negligible. With complete N-key rollover, this board will register all of your key presses at lightning speed. 

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And although this board doesn't have dedicated macro keys, that doesn't mean it isn't highly customizable. Corsair's inimitable CUE software, which has functionality for almost all of the company's products, allows you to fully customize each of the board's keys, set timer cooldowns, and remap every single key. That's a lot of firepower for such a small board at such a low price. 

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The main caveat here is that the K63 isn't as ergonomic or as comfortable as it could be. Although you can purchase a wrist rest separately, doing so will push you over the $100 mark and closer to the Corsair K68's price point. But at $80, you expect to make a few compromises. 

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Read our Corsair K63 keyboard review to learn more.   

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/d/d/addtext-com-mje1odawodk1mq-abaee.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/d/d/addtext-com-mje1odawodk1mq-abaee.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174342","description":"

Aside from your gaming mouse, your mechanical keyboard is the primary weapon in your peripherals arsenal. Switches, actuation distances, and macro bindings can seriously impact your competitiveness. On top of that, the way keycaps feel under your fingertips and the way switches sound can either keep you hyper-focused or shatter your concentration, making the difference between victory and defeat. 

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Every year, it seems like dozens of new mechanical gaming keyboards are unleashed on gamers at large. They're all vying for supremacy in the ever-escalating keyboards arms race. Some are truly innovative, bringing new tools and specialties to the strategy room and the battlefield, while others operate under the guise of innovation, only to be found lacking in both design and engineering. 

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But we're not here to talk about those imitators. Instead, we're here to talk about the mechanical gaming keyboards that get the job done -- and those you need to add to your armory. With the holidays just around the corner, here are some of the best you can get right now. 

"}]]]>
Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Review: It's Actually Challenging Again! https://www.gameskinny.com/dj47t/pokemon-ultra-sun-and-ultra-moon-review-its-actually-challenging-again https://www.gameskinny.com/dj47t/pokemon-ultra-sun-and-ultra-moon-review-its-actually-challenging-again Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:02:57 -0500 Autumn Fish

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are the first proper mid-generation remakes to release since Platinum arrived in 2008. It may be a matter of contention whether mid-generation remakes devalue their originals or not, but we're here to look at the new installments without all that extra fuss.

These titles are remakes of Sun and Moon -- which released just last year -- and as such, the games are largely similar. We're not going to rehash everything that was amazing about the originals; for that, you can read our Pokemon Sun and Moon Review. Instead, we shall be reviewing what's changed and what was added in these games to see if they manage to surpass their predecessors.

Are the remakes actually good enough to warrant double-dipping, or should you stick with the original version you picked up last year? Let's dive in!

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Review

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon aren't trying to reinvent the wheel here. Rather, they amplify everything that's great about this generation and culminate in what may well be the most engaging Pokemon games I've ever had the privilege to experience.

There are a few contributing factors at play, the biggest of all being the subtle changes made to the main game and the new features that breathe renewed life into the experience.

What Changed?

A lot of things were tweaked since Sun and Moon, and even the most minute changes go a long way towards improving the games. For instance, the pacing has shifted, especially in the beginning. Not only do you receive your Starter Pokemon far earlier, but many story segments have also been given a new coat of paint.

The story itself is familiar, but ultimately not the same. There's a new organization of sorts in the mix called the Ultra Recon Squad, and a new threat to go with them. As such, there are a lot of changes to how things play out in the end. To keep this review spoiler-free, however, we won't get into them here.

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Review Changes

In addition to the story changes, the overarching tone has visibly shifted. While kids will see a friendly adventure on an admittedly epic scale, those of us with a better understanding of language will notice some surprisingly dark undertones sprinkled everywhere. For the first time in several years, I feel like Pokemon is actually taking itself seriously again.

Remember how creepy Lavender Town in Kanto was? It flew over my head when I was younger, but looking back on it now gives me the chills. The same feeling has overcome me on multiple occasions in my playthrough, filling me with a sense of emotion that Pokemon hasn't evoked in me in a long time.

On top of that, the different teams and organizations found in Alola often come across as morally ambiguous. Your perception of the "clear bad guy" shifts a few times as the story progresses towards its climax. All in all, it has the effect of making it feel like the plot unfolds strangely realistically, given the setting.

Don't go thinking that's all that has changed, though. The island challenge, while similar, has seen several tweaks. For instance, there were seven proper Trials before, but now there are eight to overcome. On top of that, half of the trials have completely different Totem Pokemon than before, which really threw me off guard and offered a surprising challenge.

Speaking of challenge, I found the entire adventure to be rather trying. I didn't have any troubles on the first island, but the moment I stepped onto the second island, many of the Trials and strong trainers gave me and my team a run for our money. I never bothered to turn the EXP share off, and I found that my Pokemon consistently fell within three levels or so of each Totem Pokemon I encountered.

My team hasn't wiped as of yet, but we've come close several times, saved only by buffed stat-boosting items like X Defense or even RotoBoost, which I'll expand upon below. A lot of people I've talked to online, however, have reported wiping around the time they stepped on the second island, so it's clear that the game's difficulty has been revamped to offer players a rewarding experience. I'll never forget the moment I triumphed over the second Trial by the skin of my teeth after watching the Totem Pokemon one-shot nearly every member of my team.

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Review Challenging Battles Better Pacing

A few other things have changed too, such as new Legendary and Ultra Beast locations, a revamped Rotom Dex, and the removal of Zygarde Cells. However, these changes are better explained by detailing the new features that affect them.

New Features

Alongside the expected handful of new Ultra Beasts and Pokemon Forms, there are a plethora of great new features absolutely packed into Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

Totem Stickers replace the Zygarde Cells that plague the original games. Collecting the Totem Stickers offers, in my opinion, a far better reward than the Zygard Cells do. Instead of gradually building up only one Pokemon to full power with Zygarde Cells, you earn up to six Totem Pokemon by reaching certain milestones in your Sticker collection.

Mantine Surf is a new minigame that allows you to surf between Alola's islands on the back of a Mantine. It's a neat new way to travel from island to island and even nets you BP for scoring well on tricks. For the uninitiated, BP is a currency normally only available from competing in endgame battle organizations that can be spent on things like Mega Stones or teaching your Pokemon new tricks with the help of various new Move Tutors. In other words, BP is super valuable, and it's nice to see that Game Freak added a way to earn it out of battle.

The Rotom Dex has also received a sizable upgrade. In the originals, Rotom Dex was nothing but a navigational tool for me that occasionally commented on events. Now, Rotom Dex is your friend -- no, literally! Throughout your adventure, Rotom Dex will ask you questions and break the ice so you get to know each other. If you show them attention back, they become friendlier and friendlier with you until you eventually unlock the RotoLoto.

The RotoLoto is a lottery that rewards you with various buffs for being friendly with your Rotom Dex. You could get a buff that boosts all of your Pokemon's stats or something that helps you gain experience faster from battles. You could even get buffs that increase the encounter rate of rare Pokemon and improve the capture rate. Some buffs will even help you hatch eggs or befriend Pokemon quicker. There are a ton of RotoLoto powers, and every single one of them is worth the effort.

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Review New Features Rotom Dex RotoLoto

Ultra Wormholes are a great new way to encounter and capture Legendaries and Ultra Beasts. Riding into Ultra Space will take you into many new dimensions, and a few of them even have interesting environments that add just a little more depth to the lore of the games. Even if you don't encounter Legendaries and Ultra Beasts beyond the Ultra Wormholes, you are bound to find something special out there.

The new installments are host to even more post-game content than the originals had. Appearing alongside the Battle Tree is the new Battle Agency -- a place where you fight trainers with rental Pokemon for BP. There's even a post-game segment where you fight off a new evil team threatening Alola. There's just so much to do before and after the credits roll that it honestly blows my mind.

Verdict: Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Are Absolutely Worth Double-Dipping

As a fan who's played every main series installment to date, I can safely say that Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are the best Pokemon games I've ever experienced. The polished gameplay, exciting new story, darker tone, and challenging battles truly make this entry a must-play for all Pokemon fans.

If you've never played a Pokemon game before, this is a great place to start. If you're an old player thinking about returning for this generation, you won't regret making this mid-generation remake the first title you pick up. If you're a long-time fan on the fence about it since the originals came out only a year ago, trust me when I say that this installment is worth double-dipping for.

No matter which version you get, you're in for a seriously magical experience. Never has a Pokemon game sucked me in as hard or as quickly as these ones have.

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are available now on the Nintendo 3DS family of systems for $40 each.

]]>
7 Best Gaming Laptops of 2017 for Casual and Hardcore Gamers https://www.gameskinny.com/1ox2c/7-best-gaming-laptops-of-2017-for-casual-and-hardcore-gamers https://www.gameskinny.com/1ox2c/7-best-gaming-laptops-of-2017-for-casual-and-hardcore-gamers Thu, 16 Nov 2017 16:56:28 -0500 Ty Arthur

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/c/backcov-35937.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/c/backcov-35937.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173082","description":"

There's no shortage of options in make or model when it comes to gaming laptops, ranging from budget laptops to high-end, technologically-advanced laptops that will replace your desktop.

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These are just seven of the many units released this year. What did you think of our picks, and what new gaming laptops have you seen hit the digital storefronts lately that we should be checking out? Let us know in the comments section below!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/c/e/acerpredator-4fb38.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/c/e/acerpredator-4fb38.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173079","description":"

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop

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Price: $1,049
Get It On: Amazon

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With red backlighting, a metal chassis, and a 1060 graphics card, Acer has married form and function for a price that's not all that out of control. At just shy of six pounds, thePredator Helios is neither too bulky nor too slim, fitting that nice in-between spot.

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Sadly, there's only a 256GB hard drive, no Thunderbolt, and you do need to immediately update the graphics drivers, but those are small sacrifices to make for such an affordable/budget gaming option on the higher-end of things -- especially one that competes with much more expensive units.

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Predator Helios 300 Specs:

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  • Display: 15.6" FHD Widescreen IPS 
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  • Resolution: 1,920x1,080
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  • CPU: Intel Core i7-7700HQ 3.8GHz
  • \n
  • Memory: 16GB DDR4-2400MHz
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  • Storage: SSD 1x 256GB
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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/r/i/origin-db7e6.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/r/i/origin-db7e6.png","type":"slide","id":"173078","description":"

Origin PC Eon15-S Gaming Laptop

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Price: $1,050
Get It On: Origin PC

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Slightly more on the budget gaming laptop side of things, this guy has all the specs you'd expect -- along with some nifty extras, like a matte finish display, G-Sync support, and ports for up to three external monitors.

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If you've got extra money to spend and tack onto the total price tag, Origin also has some awesome themed colors and finishes to select from for a more aesthetically pleasing laptop to show off at a LAN party. I'm a fan of the shredder green, but the neuron display is pretty stunning to look at as well.

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EON 15-S Specs:

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  • Display: 15.6" FHD Matte
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  • Resolution: 1,920x1,080
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  • CPU: Intel Core i3-7100H Dual-Core 3.00GHz
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  • Memory: 8GB DDR4-2400MHz
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  • Storage: HDD 1x 500GB
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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/l/dellinspironjpg-90d15.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/l/dellinspironjpg-90d15.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173076","description":"

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Laptop

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Price: $799
Get It On: Dell

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Typically, budget gaming laptops are associated with a lack of aesthetics. That's not the case with this Inspiron series. While it gets its budget price by dropping its specs a bit, these bad boys still look amazing out of the box.

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You won't be on the cutting edge with a 1050 on the graphics card front and 8GB of RAM, but other than that, this is budget laptop gaming at its best. As a nice bonus, the battery life on the Inspirion 15 series is significantly better than many of the more expensive options, lasting nearly 8 full hours of gaming.

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Inspiron 15 7000 Specs:

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  • Display: 15.6" FHD 
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  • Resolution: 1,920x1,080 Anti-Glare LED-Backlit
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  • CPU: Intel Core i5-7300HQ Quad Core 3.5GHz
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  • Memory: 8GB DDR4-2400MHz
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  • Storage: HDD 1x 1TB 
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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alienware17-eb6c4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alienware17-eb6c4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173075","description":"

Alienware 17 R4 Gaming Laptop

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Price: $1,749
Get It On: Amazon

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Most of these laptops stick to the 15" design, but for the gamers who crave an at-home experience on the go, that's not nearly enough viewing space. Featuring a full 17" screen along with all the typical Alienware backlighting and space-age style vents, this gaming laptop isn't for those seeking a lightweight experience.

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The 17 R4 is nearly twice the weight of the ASUS ROG Zephyrus, but the aesthetics more than make up for the added clunkiness. With a 1070 graphics card and 16 GB of RAM, this is a great mid- to high-range option that won't immediately be behind the tech curve. If you want to stay cutting edge, it is expandable up to 32GB as well.

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Alienware 17 R4 Specs:

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  • Display: 17.3 inch FHD
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  • Resolution: 1,920x1,080
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  • CPU: Intel Core i7-7700HQ 3.8GHz
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  • Memory: 16GB DDR4
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  • Storage: 1TB HDD
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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/s/u/asusrogzeph-ba5cf.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/s/u/asusrogzeph-ba5cf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173074","description":"

ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501 Gaming Laptop

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Price: $2,299
Buy It On: Newegg

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Although the ASUS ROG comes with a hefty price tag, this gaming laptop features the new Max-Q design that's literally based off aerospace rockets and allows for an incredibly sleek and small form while still packing in all the top of the line specs.

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It's sort of amazing how sleek they got this model -- at under an inch thick and weighing less than 5 pounds. With a 1080 graphics card packed in that tiny frame, there really won't be anything you can't run at Ultra settings. 

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Don't forget when buying peripherals that many of the ROG devices can sync up their color schemes, pulsing the same RGB options in tandem, so if you want a wired or wireless gaming mouse instead of the trackpad, consider one with ROG branding.

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GX501 Specs:

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    \n
  • Display: 15.6" Full-HD 120 Hz
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  • Resolution: 1,920x1,080
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  • CPU: Intel Core i7 2.8GHz
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  • Memory: 8GB DDR4
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  • Storage: 256 GB PCIe SSD
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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/e/n/lenovo720-6951e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/e/n/lenovo720-6951e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173073","description":"

Lenovo Legion Y720 Gaming Laptop

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Price: $1,465
Buy It On: Amazon

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An all-around, solid mid-range option, the Legion Y720 gaming laptop is Oculus-certified, has built-in Xbox wireless controller support, and hits all the standards on the specs front: 512GB solid state drive, a GTX 1060 6GB graphics card, and 16 GB of RAM.

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The Y720's Dolby Atmos system offers decent sound for a mobile laptop experience, and the red keyboard and hinges look pretty sweet to boot. The keyboard of course is also backlit, and can be programmed to different colors.

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If you're looking to save some money, the Y520 is a budget gaming laptop under $700 with similar overall specs -- except for taking a hit with a lower end graphics card.

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Legion Y720 Specs:

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    \n
  • Display: 15.6" FHD
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  • Resolution: 1,920x1,080
  • \n
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8GHz
  • \n
  • Memory: 16GB DDR4-2400MHz
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  • Storage: 512GB SSD
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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/s/i/msi-4421b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/s/i/msi-4421b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173077","description":"

MSI GT83VR Gaming Laptop

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Price: $5,399
Buy it on: Amazon

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If your laptop costs more than your car, you just might be a gamer...

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Let's kick this list off with the most absurd, over-the-top, hardcore gaming laptop around!

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If you are feeling utterly ridiculous this holiday season and have a whole lot of money to blow, then perhaps consider this monstrosity that's not sure whether it wants to be a laptop or a desktop -- and ends up an insane hybrid.

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At more than 18 inches, the screen is massive, even by the biggest laptop standards. The base is gigantic as well -- and it has to be. With four 16 GB RAM sticks (64 GB total), two -- yes TWO -- 1080 graphics cards, and three separate fans to keep the whole thing from overheating and melting down into slag, this thing redefines the meaning of beast mode. 

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Its weight is also on par with a small toddler, so on the plus side, you get in some solid weight lifting time while carrying this MSI behemoth around.

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MSI GT83VR Specs:

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    \n
  • Display: 18.4" FHD 60Hz
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  • Resolution: 1,920x1,080
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  • CPU: Intel i7-6920HQ 2.9GHz
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  • Memory: 64GB DDR4-2400MHz
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  • Storage: SSD 2x 256GB Samsung; HDD 1x 1TB Hitachi
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/o/frontcov-065d0.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/o/frontcov-065d0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173081","description":"

The technology curve is inevitability on par with death and taxes -- no matter how much you dropped on that killer rig, eventually, it's going to end up at the bottom of the barrel as new components are released.

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If your sad, old laptop can only successfully run Minecraft and (maybe) OpenOffice, with no hope whatsoever of even booting up Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus or Shadow Of War, then it's probably time for an upgrade.

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The holiday buying season is the perfect time to keep an eye out for a new laptop gaming rig, whether you are a hardcore Steam fanatic with thousands of games or just a casual gamer looking for a budget option.

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At this point, around 16GB of RAM and a 1060 graphics card is essentially the industry standard to shoot for, with budget options cutting corners on those fronts and the bleeding edge entries rapidly shooting up in price for negligible gains from that point. The differences to look for from there are screen size, backlighting options, sound quality, battery life, and what sort of ports any given laptop includes.

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We've rounded up seven of the absolute best gaming laptops currently available in 2017 -- ones you should keep an eye out for come Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These range from affordable budget options in the $750-range, all the way up to absurd $5,000 offerings with all the bells and whistles. 

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Regardless of your needs, you'll find something that suits your needs in this laptop guide. 

"}]]]>
Gift Guide: The Best Gifts for YouTubers and Streamers https://www.gameskinny.com/efvrl/gift-guide-the-best-gifts-for-youtubers-and-streamers https://www.gameskinny.com/efvrl/gift-guide-the-best-gifts-for-youtubers-and-streamers Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:49:54 -0500 Sarah Elliman

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/w/download-91815.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/w/download-91815.png","type":"slide","id":"173388","description":"

There was our gift guide that will suit your YouTuber or streaming buddies perfectly! 

\n

What did you think of the guide? Are there any gifts you think are perfect for content creators? Let us know in the comments!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/1/t/61t1bhheldl-sl1500-eed96.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/1/t/61t1bhheldl-sl1500-eed96.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173387","description":"

Razer BlackWidow Mercury Edition Keyboard

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Price: $149.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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The price tag does jump significantly with this piece, but if the person you’re purchasing for is serious about gaming or about their online platform, then this keyboard is perfect. This keyboard offers maximum response times, so you can play your best every single time. However, it does mean if a match doesn’t go well you can’t blame the keyboard.

\n

The most beautiful part about this item is the programmable back-light keys -- so many pretty colors. Side note, if your friend doesn't use Razer than it is best to stick to the equipment brand they use.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/8/1/f/81ftlblgajl-sl1500-037ac.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/8/1/f/81ftlblgajl-sl1500-037ac.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173386","description":"

Razer DeathStalker Keyboard

\n

Price: $43.31
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

Once again, every aspiring YouTuber or Streamer needs good equipment, no matter what content they are creating. This is one of the lower-end Razer keyboards, but all their keyboards are expertly made. Whether you’re editing videos or filming your gaming content, having a good keyboard is key to your success. It would be hard to work without them.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/c/recon-320-ad57d.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/c/recon-320-ad57d.png","type":"slide","id":"173385","description":"

Recon 320 Gaming Headset

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Price: $39.95
Buy it on: Turtle Beach

\n

Having a good headset is key to getting the audio on your videos perfect and for fine-tuning the audio on your streams. Even if your friend isn’t a gaming content creator, a good headset goes a long way. This headset focuses on clarity of sound, both in games or in chat. It is easy to set-up and you don’t need to be exceedingly techy to understand how it works.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/8/1/a/81a4sfuhvbl-sl1500-8cf6f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/8/1/a/81a4sfuhvbl-sl1500-8cf6f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173384","description":"

Glitch Pillow Plush

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Price: $25
Buy it on: Amazon

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If your friend is going to get thirsty while streaming, then they are definitely going to get uncomfortable. Sitting in the same position for long periods of time is something nobody wants to do. You can make their streaming lives easier with this adorable pillow, so they can stream in style and comfort.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/a/u/raunisex-tshirtx2200fafafa-ca443f4786front-c26714610001000-b-cde35.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/a/u/raunisex-tshirtx2200fafafa-ca443f4786front-c26714610001000-b-cde35.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173383","description":"

Eat, Sleep, YouTube, Repeat Unisex T-Shirt

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Price: $19.50
Buy it on: Redbubble

\n

The motto printed on this shirt couldn’t be more adequate in explaining the hectic lives of most YouTubers -- you may have already heard from your favorite channels how much work goes into making one video. The work load can be exhausting, and it's realistic to expect all they have time to do is 'Eat, Sleep, and YouTube.' Also, they may have some very angry subscribers if they're late with content when they don't stick to your schedule. This T-shirt is perfect for your hard-working YouTuber friend.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/1/n/71nuhs6nedl-sl1500-87955.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/1/n/71nuhs6nedl-sl1500-87955.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173382","description":"

Pac-Man Pinky Ghost Plush

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Price: $15.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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Nobody likes to be alone all the time, and when you’re streaming or creating videos sometimes it may feel that way. That is why you should gift your friend an adorable desk buddy, like the cute little pink ghost shown above. You can get creative with this and find an item that suits your friends interests and hobbies. Gaming wise, Pac-Man inspired gifts are always a safe bet. Plus they're always super adorable!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/7/0/570xn1161553951-g5vm-2a4f6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/7/0/570xn1161553951-g5vm-2a4f6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173381","description":"

Twitch Tumbler Cup

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Price: $15
Buy it on: Etsy

\n

Streaming is not the easiest activity in the world -- the constant commentary for hours on end can take its toll while streaming. So, why not invest in a cup sporting the Twitch logo? Streamers can keep themselves hydrated through those five-hour streams while supporting the very platform they use! There is no doubt that this tumbler cup will be useful for anyone who is an avid streamer.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/1/n/61nj1ovsy5l-sl1001-97dd8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/1/n/61nj1ovsy5l-sl1001-97dd8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173379","description":"

Cell Phone Camera Lens ZPTONE

\n

Price: $11.99
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

We are all aware that vlogging has taken the internet by storm and many YouTubers have already incorporated this style of video into their channel. Your friend could be out in the world and spot a perfect vlogging opportunity, but perhaps they don’t feel their camera is up to the job. This easy clip-on lens can turn a wide variety of devices into a vlogging machine, able to capture more content at a more consistent quality.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/4/1/s/41seueui5ql-sx331-bo1204203200-40e2b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/4/1/s/41seueui5ql-sx331-bo1204203200-40e2b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173378","description":"

Twitchin': The Basics of Twitch Streaming for Beginners

\n

Price: $3.51-$9.99
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

This book is the closest you'll get to a Twitch for dummies. Well it’s a bit nicer than that, but you get the point. This is an ideal item for someone who is starting out in the streaming scene and wants to understand the platform. It can be tricky when you’re learning the ins and outs of something new, so having a guide can be really beneficial. Furthermore, if your friend own a Kindle, or has the app, it cuts the price down to $3.51!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/7/0/570xn447835340-eeoh-ab4f2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/7/0/570xn447835340-eeoh-ab4f2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173376","description":"

Retro Vintage YouTube Poster

\n

Price: $5.45-$12.28
Buy it on: Etsy

\n

Etsy is a wonderful site to find unique and handcrafted items that suit your interests. This expertly-made poster is a fantastic way to inspire your friend to get up and make some videos. In addition, if they love what they do, then this poster is a great reminder that they have found something that makes their time worthwhile.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/i/f/gift-guide-dark-kelly-f1fff.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/i/f/gift-guide-dark-kelly-f1fff.png","type":"slide","id":"173825","description":"

YouTube boasts a following of over one billion people, with most users watching hours upon hours of content created for the site. Furthermore, the popular streaming medium, Twitch.tv, boasts 15 million active users daily! These entertainment mediums have become ingrained in our culture and many people use these platforms to replace watching TV.

\n

So, there is a fair chance you know an aspiring YouTuber or streamer trying to make their way in the digital realm. Or, you know someone who has already "made it" and you’re looking for the perfect gift for them. Look no further as our gift guide will present you with the perfect presents for your YouTuber or streaming buddies.

\n

 

"}]]]>
Best Graphics Cards Under $500 For Budget PC Builders in 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/kquv9/best-graphics-cards-under-500-for-budget-pc-builders-in-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/kquv9/best-graphics-cards-under-500-for-budget-pc-builders-in-2017 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 12:11:27 -0500 Sergey_3847

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/t/nitro-8ae7d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/t/nitro-8ae7d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173062","description":"

Sapphire Radeon NITRO+ RX 570

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Price: $294.07
Buy it on: Amazon

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Last but not least, this contender for the best graphics card under $500 in 2017 is the RX 570 model from Radeon. Sure, its core clock numbers are the lowest among the batch, but the price and the support of all modern technologies should give you enough reason to consider this bad boy.

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It has everything from CoolTech to Nitro Free Flow technologies for noiseless cooling, the full support of AMD LiquidVR and Eyefinity for a smooth virtual reality experience, AMD XConnect and Nitro Quick Connect for adding or switching extra graphics cards, and many other cool features.

\n

Sapphire Radeon NITRO+ RX 570 Specs:

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    \n
  • VRAM: 8 GB GDDR5 256-bit
  • \n
  • Cooling system: Dual-X
  • \n
  • Max resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • \n
  • Power supply requirements: 500W
  • \n
  • Core Clock:\n
      \n
    • NITRO Boost: 1340 MHz
    • \n
    • Silent: 1244 MHz
    • \n
    \n
  • \n
\n

---

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And there you have it: the best graphics cards under $500 in 2017. From NVIDIA to Radeon and more, these graphics cards will get you the biggest bang for the proverbial buck -- especially if you're building a PC on a budget. 

\n

If you have other suggestions for graphics cards in this category, then be sure to leave your feedback in the comments section below. And be sure to check around during Black Friday and Cyber Monday -- a few of these cards are sure to be on sale, saving you even more money. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/s/u/asus-rog-strix-gtx1060-gaming-images-1676041854-36b65.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/s/u/asus-rog-strix-gtx1060-gaming-images-1676041854-36b65.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173048","description":"

ASUS GeForce GTX 1060

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Price: $329.00
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

If the previous three options look good but are still too expensive, then consider this slight downgrade from the 1070 model with a little less VRAM on the board.

\n

The GeForce GTX 1060 graphics processor is one of the most powerful in the mid-level gaming class at the moment. The newest Pascal graphics architecture provides amazing speed, and the support of the latest technologies maximizes its functionality.

\n

The DirectCU III cooling system is highly efficient due to a special fan design  with optimized impeller geometry and Auto-Extreme technology that guarantees its long-term durability.

\n

ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 Specs:

\n
    \n
  • VRAM: 6 GB GDDR5 192-bit
  • \n
  • Cooling system: DirectCU III
  • \n
  • Max resolution: 7680 x 4320
  • \n
  • Core Clock:\n
      \n
    • Boost: 1809 MHz / Base: 1594 MHz (OC Mode)
    • \n
    • Boost: 1785 MHz / Base: 1569 MHz (Gaming Mode)
    • \n
    \n
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/x/t/r/xtr-5a0ba.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/x/t/r/xtr-5a0ba.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173061","description":"

Gigabyte Radeon RX 580 XTR

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Price: $459.99
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

The RX 580 is another modern solution from Radeon that is based on a GDDR5 memory architecture -- unlike its sister model VEGA. It has practically the same characteristics as the 1070 Ti from GeForce, but is a bit cheaper ($459 vs $489).

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The card is a Polaris-powered graphics card that utilizes the AORUS graphics engine, which is intended for fast overclocking and effective heat dissipation. With the help of the Xtreme Engine software, you can easily adjust the frequency, voltage, fan modes, RGB backlighting, performance parameters, and more.

\n

All of these settings can be changed in real time, according to your preferences, so that's an added quality of life touch that sets this Radeon graphics card apart from others on this list. 

\n

Gigabyte Radeon RX 580 XTR Specs: 

\n
    \n
  • VRAM: 8 GB GDDR5 256-bit
  • \n
  • Cooling system: Windforce 2X
  • \n
  • Max resolution: 7680x4320
  • \n
  • Power supply requirement: 500W
  • \n
  • Core Clock:\n
      \n
    • OC mode: 1439 MHz
    • \n
    • Gaming mode: 1425 MHz
    • \n
    \n
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/i/g/gigabyte-rxvega56-8gd-images-2314521737-f132c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/i/g/gigabyte-rxvega56-8gd-images-2314521737-f132c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173047","description":"

Gigabyte Radeon RX VEGA 56

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Price: $499.00
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

The Gigabyte Radeon RX VEGA 56 is an equally impressive alternative to the GTX 1070 Ti graphics card, but it puts a stronger focus on VR gaming due to its implemented Polaris technology. This new architecture combines low latency, smart software, and powerful computing that together provide a silky smooth virtual reality experience.

\n

VR is also the reason why this graphics card is based specifically on the second generation of High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2), which is especially useful for performance-sensitive consumer applications, such as virtual reality.

\n

Additionally, the Polaris graphics architecture guarantees smooth performance for all those interested in streaming games through platforms like Twitch while maintaining a high-quality broadcast without sacrificing gameplay quality. 

\n

Gigabyte Radeon RX VEGA 56 Specs: 

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    \n
  • VRAM: 8 GB HBM2 2048-bit
  • \n
  • Cooling system: Air cooling
  • \n
  • Max resolution: 7680x4320
  • \n
  • Power supply requirement: 650W
  • \n
  • Core Clock:\n
      \n
    • Boost: 1471 MHz
    • \n
    • Base: 1156 MHz
    • \n
    \n
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/8/1/4/814q51bbmfl-sl1500-1af87.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/8/1/4/814q51bbmfl-sl1500-1af87.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173044","description":"

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 Ti

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Price: $489.99
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1870 Ti is the perfect solution for any gamers looking for the best graphics card under $500. There are several other options with the same processing power on the market from Asus and MSI, but the innovative cooling solution from Gigabyte delivers the most effective heat dissipation capacity for highest possible performance currently on the market.

\n

This graphics card is built for extreme overclocking, engineered with the same high-grade chokes and capacitors as those of Titan X graphics cards. This technology protects the card from overheating and provides stabler voltage output.

\n

Lastly, the 3D Active Fan provides semi-passive cooling, allowing gamers to enjoy gameplay in complete silence. 

\n

GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Specs: 

\n
    \n
  • VRAM: 8 GB GDDR5 256-bit
  • \n
  • Cooling system: Windforce 3X Blade Fan Design
  • \n
  • Power supply requirement: 500W
  • \n
  • Max resolution: 7680x4320@60Hz
  • \n
  • Core Clock:\n
      \n
    • Boost: 1721 MHz / Base: 1632 MHz (OC Mode)
    • \n
    • Boost: 1683 MHz / Base: 1607 MHz (Gaming Mode)
    • \n
    \n
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/e/f/geforce-gtx-1070-100740120-orig-3d950.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/e/f/geforce-gtx-1070-100740120-orig-3d950.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173043","description":"

This year's flagship in the graphics cards department, a fully-enabled nVidia Titan Xp, resulted in a much faster build than previous throne holders: GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and Titan X. It's hard to say whether this is good or bad for the market, but it sure is costly, reaching well over $1000, which is not what most gamers are looking for.

\n

So how do you approach the similar level of performance without investing so much money? Fortunately, the manufacturers of GeForce and Radeon graphics cards offer several excellent solutions all under $500.

\n

If that's what you're looking for, then check out this top 5 of the best budget graphics cards of 2017.

"}]]]>
11 Cheap and Reliable PC Cases Under $100 in 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/64k71/11-cheap-and-reliable-pc-cases-under-100-in-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/64k71/11-cheap-and-reliable-pc-cases-under-100-in-2017 Wed, 15 Nov 2017 11:43:02 -0500 ElConquistadork

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/h/a/phanteks-eclipse-p300-e33c5.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/h/a/phanteks-eclipse-p300-e33c5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173463","description":"

2017 has been a phenomenal year for games: PC gaming in particular. So going into 2018, there's no reason to find yourself unprepared for everything that's sure to be coming our way. And, as this list proves, there's no reason to go completely broke doing it!

\n

Have any under $100 PC case favorites of your own? Let us know! And keep an eye on GameSkinny for upcoming articles on how to get the most out of your PC gaming setup without breaking the bank.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/r/corsair-carbide-spec-df05f.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/r/corsair-carbide-spec-df05f.png","type":"slide","id":"173263","description":"

Corsair Carbide SPEC-04 Mid Tower Gaming Case

\n

Price: $50
Buy it on:  Newegg

\n

With a ton of room on the inside and some incredible stylish good looks on the outside, the Corsair Carbide SPEC-04's low-end price tag belies the fact that this gaming case has a lot to offer beginners and veterans of PC building alike. Throw in a sleek viewing window of tempered glass and a number of color options, and you've got our attention.

\n

Corsair Carbide SPEC-04 Specs:

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 9.26 lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mid Tower
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 17.05 x 7.91 x 19.37in
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 370mm
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 150mm
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 225mm length
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 7
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/z/z/azza-titan-csaz-240-55dab.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/z/z/azza-titan-csaz-240-55dab.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173260","description":"

Azza Titan CSAZ-240 Mid Tower Computer Case

\n

Price: $70
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

A mid-level PC case going for $70 has no business being this gorgeous, but there it is, right in front of you. Not only is it slick and stylish to look at, but the Azza Titan CSAZ-240 sports some serious flexibility, with lots of space for you to fit in the rig of your dreams. With a massive tempered glass viewing window and a study steel exterior, this is a great budget case.

\n

AZZA Titan CSAZ-240 Specs:

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 15 lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mid Tower
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 20.5 x 7.75 x 18in
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 380mm
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 170mm
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 190mm length
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 7
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/t/bitfenix-prodigy-cddf5.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/t/bitfenix-prodigy-cddf5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173256","description":"

BitFenix Prodigy Mini-ITX Tower

\n

Price: $85
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

Not only is the BitFenix is great mini setup for your PC, it's one of the most stylish on this list. While it's true that it's among the smallest budget cases you can get, it boasts a lot of flexibility, and some serious first time builder-friendly features. Its size and easy carry design also makes it a prime choice for gamers who want to take their PC on the road with them.

\n

Oh, and did I mention that you can get it in six different colors? 

\n

BitFenix Prodigy Specs:

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 16.7 lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mini ITX
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 15.91 x 9.84 x 14.13in
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 300mm
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 180mm
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 150mm x 86mm x 140mm
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 2
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/s/masterbox-lite-89be1.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/s/masterbox-lite-89be1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173255","description":"

Masterbox Lite 3.1 mATX Computer Case

\n

Price: $40
Buy it on:  Amazon

\n

Another terrific budget PC case from Cooler Master, the Masterbox Lite 3.1 is easily the most affordable entry on this list at its $40 price point. There's no question that the Lite 3.1 is a smaller case, but with room for a micro ATX and any GPU you can throw at it, it's still got a lot of opportunities for some heavy firepower. 

\n

Masterbox Lite 3.1 Specs:

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 8.71lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Micro ATX
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 15 x 8.19 x 17.95in
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 380mm
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 158mm
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 150mm x 86mm x 140mm
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 4
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/z/x/nzxt-s340-elite-1c8b5.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/z/x/nzxt-s340-elite-1c8b5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173250","description":"

NZXT S340 Elite Mid Tower Computer Case

\n

Price: $100
Buy it on: Newegg 

\n

Not only does the NZXT S340 Elite come in a variety of colored shell designs (including the red and black pictured above: a personal favorite), you'll find a massive tempered glass viewing window, full compatibility with Kraken series liquid cooling system, and a level of VR readiness that is hard to find on a budget.

\n

This case comes in right at $100, but it's worht looking at if you're building your first PC or going for a budget build.

\n

NZXT S340 Elite Specs:

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 17.92lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mid Tower
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 18.66 x 7.99 x 17.01in
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 344mm
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 161mm
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 150mm x 86mm x 140mm
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 7
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/s/masterbox-f3082.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/s/masterbox-f3082.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173247","description":"

Cooler Master Masterbox 5 Mid Tower Computer Case

\n

Price: $65
Buy it on: Newegg

\n

Cooler Master's Masterbox 5 not only sports a sharp, clean look, it also boasts a level of flexibility in its design that will be invaluable for anyone building their first PC. The inside allows for HHD and SSD storage, along with enough space to fit upwards to an E-ATX motherboard, offering a level of performance that you won't always find in a smaller chassis.

\n

Masterbox 5 Specs:

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 15.43lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mid Tower
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 18.7 x 8.66 x 19.69in
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 410mm
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 167mm
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 150mm x 86mm x 140mm
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 7
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/a/fractal-design-meshify-0239d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/a/fractal-design-meshify-0239d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173245","description":"

Fractal Design Meshify C ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

\n

Price: $90
Buy it on: Newegg

\n

Not only does the angular design on the face of this PC case look incredible, it also offers superior air flow and outstanding cooling, along with a surprising amount of space for such a compact design. And with its edge to edge tinted glass window, you'll be able to show off your interior's handiwork with ease.

\n

Fractal Design Meshify C Specs:

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 13.2lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mid Tower
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 217 x 453 x 413mm
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 315mm
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 172mm
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 150mm x 86mm x 140mm
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 7
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/h/a/phanteks-eclipse-p300-1181f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/h/a/phanteks-eclipse-p300-1181f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173242","description":"

Phanteks Eclipse P300 Mid Tower Computer Case

\n

Price: $60
Buy it on: Newegg

\n

A gorgeous design in black steel and tempered glass, the Phanteks Eclipse P300 is another high-quality tower for any level of computer builder. Despite its slim size, it can still fit a full sized ATX motherboard, with a lot of air flow to go around. It also boasts an all-in-one water cooling fit-in, along with two USB 3.0 slots.

\n

Phanteks Eclipse P300 Specs:

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 13.2lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mid Tower
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 24.2 x 7.8 x 15.7in
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 330mm
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 160mm
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 150mm x 86mm x 140mm
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 7
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/n/e/enermax-ostrong-light-d892a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/n/e/enermax-ostrong-light-d892a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173240","description":"

Enermax Ostrong Light Mid Tower Computer Case

\n

Price: $50
Buy it on: Newegg

\n

This mid-sized PC case covers a lot of ground with minimum of cost. Aside from its high quality aesthetics, the Enermax Ostrong Light has room for even the longest VGA cards, along with seven extension card slots and support for liquid cooling systems, all of which can be viewed through a tinted acrylic side window.

\n

Enermax Ostrong Light Specs: 

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 10.5lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mid Tower
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 17.5 x 8 x 18.5in
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 390mm
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 155mm
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 120mm
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 7
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/i/l/silverstone-ml08-55c94.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/i/l/silverstone-ml08-55c94.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173238","description":"

Silverstone Technology Mini ITX Computer Case

\n

Price: $85
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

With its slim design, the Silverstone ML08 comes across looking like most popular consoles on the market today. With room for 13-inch graphics cards and compatibility with Mini-ITX motherboards and SFX PSU power supplies, your homegrown PC will proudly stand next to those consoles -- but will always be above them.

\n

Silverstone ML08 Specs: 

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 9.5lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mini ITX
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 14.6 x 15 x 3.4in
  • \n
  • Chassis support: Mini ITX
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 13in
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 58mm
  • \n
  • Power Supply: SFX & SFX-L
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 2
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/i/o/riotoro-cr280-dc650.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/i/o/riotoro-cr280-dc650.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173237","description":"

Riotoro CR280 PC Gaming Case

\n

Price: $50
Buy it on: Newegg

\n

Compact and stylish, the Riotoro CR280 Mini ITX is an excellent PC case for gamers on a budget. With options for fan or water-based cooling, this case fits full-sized power supplies, despite its size. And mentioning that, this mini case will easily fit on or next to your desk, freeing up room for an over-sized mousepad, mechanical gaming keyboard, or gaming mouse. 

\n

Riotoro CR280 Specs: 

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 7.3lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mini ITX
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 12.6 x 8 x 13in
  • \n
  • Chassis support: Mini ITX
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 11.41in
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 5.31in
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 7.08 x 5.90 x 3.34in
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 2
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/a/fractal-design-meshify-00bbe.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/a/fractal-design-meshify-00bbe.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173234","description":"

In the gamin' universe's constant console wars, there are a few people who set themselves apart by saying, "You know what? I don't want Sony or Microsoft or Nintendo telling me how much power I need. I'm going to decide for myself."

\n

Thus begins the budding life of a PC gamer.

\n

It's the beginning of a long process of research, investment, and building. And with much of the focus falling video cards, motherboards, and the general minutia of creating a gaming machine from scratch, the ever-important PC case is often overlooked. Sometimes, by the time you've invested in everything else, you might have precious little cash to put toward the literal shell of your device, much less a good one. 

\n

So we at GameSkinny have put together some of our favorite PC cases for those of you on a budget. These cases all fall under $100, whether there's a sale on or not, and are highly reliable.

\n

So, in no particular order, let's jump into the best PC cases under $100 for 2017.

"}]]]>
Best Xbox One X Compatible External Hard Drives for Holiday 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/62uln/best-xbox-one-x-compatible-external-hard-drives-for-holiday-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/62uln/best-xbox-one-x-compatible-external-hard-drives-for-holiday-2017 Tue, 14 Nov 2017 09:00:01 -0500 Ty Arthur

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/c/backcov-e1f1a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/c/backcov-e1f1a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173148","description":"

There are more games taking advantage of the improved graphical capabilities of the Xbox One X than you may realize, so all that storage space will be warranted. Of course, the big names like Gears Of War 4, Halo 5, and Forza 7 are in on the action, but there's plenty of other games you might not expect.

\n

From Minecraft (yep, somehow we can make the pixel blocks look more HD!) to Quantum Break to Zoo Tycoon, many titles are going to take up a whole lot of extra space on the X version of Microsoft's flagship console.

\n

Have you picked up an Xbox One X yet, and what size external hard drive do you plan on grabbing to increase your stage space?

\n

With the holiday season quickly approaching, expect to see many of these drives or their equivalents from other brands to go on deep discount. Be sure to let us know in the comments if you've found a better deal!

\n

 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/e/c/vecro-7bb91.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/e/c/vecro-7bb91.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173152","description":"

Vecrotech 1TB SSD

\n

Price: $309.00
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

While we've focused on the traditional external HDDs, it's worth noting that external solid state drives are also compatible with the Xbox One X for those who prefer to stay on the cutting edge.

\n

The cost goes up significantly for less storage space, so what's the upside of an SSD over an HDD? Most notably is that these solid state drives are totally silent, adding absolutely no extra sound to your gaming area.

\n

They also offer much faster transfer speeds, but that's less relevant since you probably won't be frequently transferring data to and from different devices when using the drive as an Xbox storage location.

\n

While this 1TB option will set you back a pretty penny, the 512GB versions lower the price substantially, although obviously at the cost of reduced storage space.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/e/a/seagate8tb-cdc2c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/e/a/seagate8tb-cdc2c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173150","description":"

Seagate 8TB

\n

Price: $189.99
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

When money is no option and storage space is all you care about, the 8TB HDD options are where you should be looking. Although bulky and requiring an extra spot on your surge protector for its own power supply, its unlikely you will ever run of space with this much room, even if you have a massive Xbox One X game library. Be sure to jump on the Games With Gold program for two free games every month to fill up this massive drive!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/4/t/b/4tb-b912d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/4/t/b/4tb-b912d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173155","description":"

Seagate 4TB External Hard Drive

\n

Price: $97.00
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

These Seagate HDD options provide a vertical, elegant design to set next to your Xbox One X. The upside here is that the drive doesn't take up as much horizontal space as the oddly shaped, rectangular external HDDs with smaller storage capacities.

\n

For less than a hundred bucks, this is an excellent mid-range external option that ensures you won't be deleting games, while not hitting the bank as hard as with those 8TB behemoths. Of course, all the usual standbys like Toshiba and Western Digital have their own versions of these as well at differing price points, so you've got other options if you're considering this style of external hard drive. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/s/tosh2tb-8ff7e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/s/tosh2tb-8ff7e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173157","description":"

Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB

\n

Price: $74.00
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

Going for a sleek rounded, palm-of-the-hand look, Toshiba's offerings are a different form factor than the boxy rectangular Western Digital hard drives -- but they don't usually come in all the nifty color options.

\n

At slightly more than your 1TB drive, this external HDD may be the best "bang for your buck" option available right now for expanding your Xbox One X storage space.

\n

Between the 1TB onboard HDD of the console and the extra 2TB from the external drive, space won't be nearly as cramped. And it's unlikely you are going to hit capacity unless you are consistently buying the newest and biggest games every month.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/d/1/wd1tb-7e0a4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/d/1/wd1tb-7e0a4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173151","description":"

Western Digital 1TB External Hard Drive

\n

Price: $59.00
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

This is your basic starting point for adding extra storage space to your Xbox One X, and keeping you from deleting old games to make room for new ones. And while there are plenty of manufacturers out there with competing 1TB versions in different sizes, what's appealing about this particular line is that there's no external power required, and they come in cool colors.

\n

If that striking orange isn't your thing and doesn't match your decor, go ahead and pick dark red, blue, white, or the standard black to match the Xbox One X.

\n

These are also super affordable. They aren't much more expensive than your typical thumb drive but offer vastly increased storage capacity, effectively doubling the size of your Xbox One X storage space immediately. For less than $60, it's a worthwhile investment.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/o/frontcov-8a366.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/o/frontcov-8a366.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173146","description":"

The most powerful console in the world is here, finally providing true 4K gaming experiences to console players around the world -- well, if you've got a 4K TV, anyway. Unfortunately, for all that power packed under the hood, the Xbox One X only comes bundled with one hard drive option: 1TB. 

\n

While that might cut it for the casual gamer on a lesser system, it's a good bet you are going to burn through that terabyte before long if you plan on taking advantage of the HD updates for Xbox One X enhanced games. When required updates are taking up 80 gigs of space, a 1TB internal drive is going to fill to capacity in no time flat.

\n

Only having one hard drive option feels like an oversight on Microsoft's part, since all the previous Xbox One editions come with multiple drive configurations. Just like the original Xbox One and the updated Xbox One S, the revamped X still features two USB ports, though, so it's simple to add on an external hard drive for extra room.

\n

Any USB-enabled external hard drive will work, although you have to format the drive to work with the Xbox operating system and will lose any data that was previously stored on the HDD.

\n

Here, we're going to round up all the best external hard drives currently available to use with your Xbox One X, focusing on different models for budget-friendly options, as well as hard drives that offer the most storage space possible -- but at a premium price.

"}]]]>
The 10 Best Gaming Chairs for Console Gamers in 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/nrjpg/the-10-best-gaming-chairs-for-console-gamers-in-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/nrjpg/the-10-best-gaming-chairs-for-console-gamers-in-2017 Mon, 13 Nov 2017 15:57:24 -0500 Autumn Fish

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/l/o/closer-e7333.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/l/o/closer-e7333.png","type":"slide","id":"173370","description":"

Whether you're looking for a comfortable new seat or something with features that level up your gaming experience, these 10 console gaming chairs are among the best of their kind. You can rest assured that you're getting your money's worth with these choices.

\n

Any of these picks catch your eye? Do you have another console gaming chair that you would recommend? Sound off in the comments section below!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/o/c/rocker-bound-leather-237b3.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/o/c/rocker-bound-leather-237b3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173347","description":"

X Rocker Bonded Leather 2.0 Audio Gaming Chair

\n

Price: $291
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

The X Rocker Bonded Leather Gaming Chair is a fancy and lightweight console gaming chair that will keep you comfortable while you play. The two added speakers add some depth to the experience, but unfortunately, you won't be enjoying the vibrations from a subwoofer on this chair. Additionally, it must be wired up with RCA cables since it doesn't have any wireless built in, either.

\n

If you're looking to game in comfort and style, however, then the X Rocker Banded Leather Chair is the console gaming chair for you.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/o/c/rocker-pro-pedestal-ae8d6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/o/c/rocker-pro-pedestal-ae8d6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173346","description":"

X Rocker Pro Pedestal Wireless 2.1 Audio Gaming Chair

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Price: $270
Buy it on: Amazon

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The X Rocker Pro Series Pedestal Gaming Chair is a great alternative to the Pro H3 if you're looking for something a little more sturdy. On this pedestal, the chair is capable of tilting and swiveling. It only has 2.1 Audio instead of 4.1, but it still has an RCA Wireless dongle for connecting to devices without making a mess of wires.

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Overall, if you want a sturdy gaming experience that's elevated off the ground a bit, the X Rocker Pro Series Pedestal Console Gaming Chair is a great option.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/o/c/rocker-pro-69abf.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/o/c/rocker-pro-69abf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173345","description":"

X Rocker Pro H3 Wireless 4.1 Audio Gaming Chair

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Price: $250
Buy it on: Amazon

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X Rocker is at the top of the food chain for console gaming chairs, and the Pro H3 Gaming Chair is on top of that. Just look at this thing; it's extremely comfortable to sit in.

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Not only that, but this chair features not 2.1 but 4.1 audio complete with a subwoofer. There are even additional vibration motors that sync with the audio as it streams through the chair. And while you could wire it up via RCA cables, it has Bluetooth and comes with a compatible dongle that connects to anything with an RCA output.

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If your main goal is to get the most immersive gaming experience possible, then direct your full attention to the X Rocker Pro H3 Console Gaming Chair.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/o/c/rocker-triple-flip-4af30.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/o/c/rocker-triple-flip-4af30.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173344","description":"

X Rocker Triple Flip 2.1 Audio Gaming Chair

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Price: $200
Buy it on: Amazon

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The X Rocker Triple Flip Gaming Chair is a great, sturdy little armchair that comes with some creative features. It can be folded down into a sort of stool and easily stored to the side. If you have extra junk like games, controllers, or what-not lying around, you could choose to stow them in the compartment under the seat.

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This chair also comes with 2.1 audio and a subwoofer, so you can better enjoy media if it's hooked up via headset or RCA outputs.

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If you're looking for a console gaming chair that not only plays audio but stores your stuff, look no further than X Rocker Triple Flip.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/r/merax-foldable-sofa-48d92.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/r/merax-foldable-sofa-48d92.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173343","description":"

Merax Foldable Gaming Sofa

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Price: $161
Buy it on: Amazon

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The Merax Foldable Gaming Sofa is a great console gaming chair for two -- or if not for two, then it at least gives you enough room to really spread out. The backrest has five adjustable positions, and the seat can even be rolled out into a bed. It even comes with two pillows for lumbar support and added comfort.

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Whether you need seating for two or extra space to lounge around on, the Merax Foldable Gaming Sofa is a fantastic pick.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/e/t/setra-rocket-adjustable-e97e6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/e/t/setra-rocket-adjustable-e97e6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173342","description":"

Setra Rocket Adjustable Gaming Chair

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Price: $110
Buy it on: Amazon

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The Setra Rocket Adjustable Gaming Chair has a sleek design that allows you to kick back and just enjoy the game without the restrictions of sitting on a solid couch or the floor. Not only is this chair really comfortable, it's adjustability allows it to be easily stowed away so that it doesn't get in the way when it's not in use.

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For a more comfortable and laid-back experience, the Setra Rocket Adjustable Console Gaming Chair is worth considering.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/h/cohesion-5a3b4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/h/cohesion-5a3b4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173341","description":"

Cohesion XP 2.1 Audio Gaming Chair

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Price: $100
Buy it on: Amazon

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The Cohesion XP Gaming Chair is one of the cheapest console gaming chairs on the market that offers integrated stereophonic audio with an included subwoofer. That's right, this chair will rumble with the action as the music and sound effects wax and wane. 

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It comes with volume controls and an in and out headphone jack. In order for the chair to play audio, however, it must be connected to the device via the input headphone jack.

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If you're looking to level up your console gaming experience on a budget, look no further than the Cohesion XP Gaming Chair.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/r/birdrock-memory-foam-98264.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/r/birdrock-memory-foam-98264.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173340","description":"

BirdRock Adjustable Memory Foam Floor Chair

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Price: $70
Buy it on: Amazon

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The BirdRock Adjustable Memory Foam Floor Chair is a pretty quaint console gaming chair. It's incredibly soft and comfortable to sit in and has 14 different adjustable positions. It can even be folded in half for easy storage.

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If you need a console gaming chair that's comfortable and compact, then look no further than the BirdRock Adjustable Memory Foam Floor Chair.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/g/big-joe-bean-bag-4981c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/g/big-joe-bean-bag-4981c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173339","description":"

Big Joe Bean Bag Dorm Chair

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Price: $39
Buy it on: Amazon

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The Big Joe Bean Bag Dorm Chair is just that: a big bean bag chair. However, it's a bean bag chair with pouches on the side, and it's comfortable to boot! It'll conform to your body shape, though extensive use may cause it to become a little stiff. Nothing you can't fix by just shaking it up a little, though!

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If you just need a quick-fix console gaming chair, the Big Joe Bean Bag Dorm Chair is a pretty solid choice.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/t/intex-ultra-lounge-acfed.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/t/intex-ultra-lounge-acfed.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173348","description":"

Intex Inflatable Ultra Lounge Chair

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Price: $24
Buy it on: Amazon

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The Intex Inflatable Ultra Lounge Chair is one of the cheapest console gaming chairs you can get right now. It's a comfortable lounge chair that lets you kick back and enjoy the game on the big screen. It even comes with an ottoman and a cup holder.

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You'll have to inflate it for use, and it's not exactly airtight, so expect it to deflate over time. That can easily be remedied by reinflating it, however.

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It's a comfortable little console gaming chair that's easy to store, and it's ultra-affordable. What else is there to say?

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-bab38.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-bab38.png","type":"slide","id":"173349","description":"

Whether your favorite beanbag chair is getting old or you just want to level up your gaming experience, upgrading to a new console gaming chair is a great investment. Not only do you need something comfortable to park your butt in while gaming for hours on end, but many of these chairs also come with a bunch of special features to improve your gaming experience.

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There are many gaming chairs that are foldable for easy storage, and some even come with built-in storage of their own. Yet more gaming chairs pride themselves in offering integrated audio -- and even sometimes come with a subwoofer so you really feel the gaming action.

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Here, we've compiled a list of the 10 best console gaming chairs currently on the market, covering a wide range of prices. Whether you just need a comfortable new chair to sit in or you want to take your media-consuming experience to new heights, these picks are sure to give you the most bang for your buck -- especially with Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner.

"}]]]>