As gamers we are always in search of something to give us an edge or increase our immersion. This is a list of the top gaming peripherals that can do just that.

Best Gaming Mouse: Corsair M65 RGB

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Corsair M65 RGB

The Corsair M65 RGB is an incredible mouse that builds off of the stellar design of the standard M65. The  Corsair M65 RGB sports a metal uni-body design with three external plastic panels. The mouse had a clickable mouse wheel, two right thumb buttons, a dpi up and dpi down button (allowing you to essentially increase or decrease sensitivity), and a dedicated sniper button (deceasing sensitivity while the button is held.). The mouse also features removable weights and 3 customizeable RGB lit areas. Because of its design and the placement of the buttons this is a right hand only mouse so be aware of that before purchasing it.

 

 

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Specs

The mouse is capable of running from 50 dpi all the way up too 8200 dpi and there is onboard memory which allows you to have your custom profiles with you wherever you go. All of the eight buttons can be customized to perform any function with corsair’s proprietary software. The mouse also features an adjustable polling rate but for most purposes I would advise against messing with that. The cable on the mouse is a very nice braided cable that has definitely stood up to a lot of abuse (it has survived many vicious assaults from a cat) and will last well for a long time. The mouse performs incredible well it is flawlessly responsive and has no noticeable lag. The only fault I can find with it is i would have preferred a different finish on the top of the mouse. It can become slippery if your hands start sweating during a long gaming session.

Conclusions

All in all the  Corsair M65 RGB is a stellar choice for a gaming mouse and I would even go so far as to say it is easily one of the best choices for any shooter. If you want to play a MOBA, RTS, or MMO however you may want a mouse with more programmable buttons, but the M65 RGB will undoubtedly still serve you well.

Pros

  • Extreme accuracy
  • RGB Lighting
  • Consruction

Cons

  • You may want more buttons for an rts or moba

Best Gaming Keyboard: Corsair K65 Lux RGB

Source: www.overclockers.co.uk

Construction

For those familiar with the Corsair line of keyboards the K65 LUX RGB is the little brother of the famous Corsair K70. The Corsair K65 LUX RGB has a solid brushed aluminum body with Cherry MX Red keys. Each key is individually back lit and can be programmed to reproduce an almost endless amount of unique illuminations. The K65 LUX RGB is the little brother to the K70 because unlike the K70, it lacks the number pad as well as a volume wheel. This makes it a good option for those who have limited desk space or who take their keyboard traveling with them. The Corsair K65 LUX RGB comes with a detachable wrist rest that is constructed from soft touch plastic and improves the ergonomics of the keyboard. The cable on the keyboard is a thick and stiff covered in a braided nylon that makes it very durable. Unfortunately, the cable will require the use of two usb ports on the back of your computer. The keyboard makes of for this by providing usb pass through which can be very convenient. The big problem for me though is the fact that the cable for the keyboard is not removable. This means that barring some DIY fix if you break the cable you are out of luck, and I can tell you from personal experience the cable on any electronic device is almost always the first thing to go.

RGB Lighting

One of the coolest features of the K65 LUX RGB is the back lighting. Using the free Corsair Cue software you can create endless lighting profiles for your keyboard. You can create custom profiles for every game, you can sync your keyboard lighting to music, you can even give your keyboard a ripple lighting effect (my personal favorite) and harness all the over 16 million colors in the RGB spectrum. For some examples see the video above.

Source: cherryamericas.com

Cherry MX Red Switches

For those who are unfamiliar with mechanical keyboards there are some distinct advantages and disadvantages to using a keyboard with mechanical switches. The switch is the mechanism under the key caps on your keyboard that detects when you press a key. There are several different mechanisms for this including mechanical switches, rubber dome or membrane switches, and scissor switches. Mechanical keys are the best in terms of durability, different options for tactile feedback, and they generally feel the same on the first and millionth press of a key. The disadvantages of mechanical keyboards are that they are expensive, heavy, and generally very loud (when you press a key). The K65 RGB Keyboard includes Cherry MX Red switches which are mechanical switches. Cherry switches are widely considered to be the best switches on the market and are in my experience more reliable and consistent than other mechanical switches (I had a mechanical keyboard with outemu switches but the actuation force required to press a key was not consistent so I ultimately switched to Cherry switches). The K65 Lux RGB uses the red variant of the cherry switches which are generally considered the best type of mechanical switches for gaming while switches like the blue or brown are considered better for typing.

Conclusion

The K65 LUX RGB keyboard is an incredible gaming keyboard. There may be bigger keyboards with more macro keys but if you are looking for a compact keyboard with great mechanical switches and amazing RGB lighting the K65 LUX RGB is unbeatable.

Pros

  • Cherry MX Red Switches
  • Amazing RGB Lighting
  • Solid construction with well built cable
  • Corsair Cue software
  • USB pass through

Cons

  • Cable is permanently attached
  • Cable uses two usb ports

I give the K65 LUX RGB a 9/10.

Best Gaming Monitor: Acer XR341CK

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Source: acer.com

Specs:

TL:DR

This is a 34 in 3440 x1440p 21:9 ultrawide curved freesync monitor. It has a max refresh rate of 75 hz and a 4 ms gtg response time.

Technical Information
Number of Screens 1
Screen Size 34″
Screen Mode UW-QHD
Response Time 4 ms
Aspect Ratio 21:9
Backlight Technology LED
Panel Technology In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
Tilt Angle -5°to35°
Maximum Adjustable Height 5.12″
Video
Maximum Resolution 3440 x 1440
Standard Refresh Rate 75 Hz
Color Supported 1.07 Billion Colors
Contrast Ratio 100,000,000:1
Brightness 300 Nit
Tearing Prevention Technology FreeSync
Audio
Speakers Yes
Interfaces/Ports
HDMI Yes
USB Yes
Power Description
Energy Efficiency Class C
Energy Consumption per Year 92 kWh
Operating Power Consumption 42.50 W
Operating Power Consumption (Energy Star) 42.50 W
Standby Power Consumption 500 mW
Off-Mode Power Consumption 400 mW
Physical Characteristics
Color Black
Height 18″
Width 32.5″
Depth 3.9″
Height with Stand 23.07″
Width with Stand 32.48″
Depth with Stand 12.17″
Weight (Approximate) 10 lb
Miscellaneous
Package Contents ·         XR341CK Widescreen LCD Monitor·         1 x Displayport Cable

·         1 x HDMI Cable

·         Power Cord

·         1 x USB3.0 Cable

Green Compliance Certificate/Authority TCO Certified Displays 6.0
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Source: acer.com

Review

Gaming on a 21:9 monitor is an incredible experience. The wider screen provides for a more immersive cinematic experience that replicates the immersion of a cinema. The only thing that can make such an experience better is the addition of curvature to the screen and a higher resolution and refresh rate. This is exactly what Acer has done with the Acer XR341CK. This cool 34 inch display has an ultra-wide, IPS panel with an incredible 3,440 x 1,440 resolution and a large selection of inputs outputs and usb ports. The monitor also sports AMD freesync technology to eliminate tearing and a respectable 4 ms gtg response time. The colors are also incredible, but all this does not come without a price. The monitor retails for around $1,000.

To take advantage of all of this monitors features however you need a beefy AMD graphics card. An nVidia graphics card will not be able to take advantage of the freesync technology built into the display which makes gameplay feel significantly smoother. Because the monitor is 1440p and ultrawide you will also need a considerably powerful AMD card because it will have to render a whole lot more pixels than a standard 1080p monitor and also more than a standard 1440p monitor. I am running an R9 Fury x and I still had issues reaching a consistent 60 fps running Rise of the Tomb Raider maxed out at 1440p.

The color reproduction is excellent with the only issue being some slight misaligned greens out of the box. Do note however this can be fixed in the monitor settings. Gray scale performance was perfect with no issues and the viewing angles are excellent in line with a top of the line ips display.

Some other things of note the monitor looks really good and is an incredible conversation piece I guarantee anyone seeing your desk will notice it. One thing to not however is that the monitor being curved along with the stand makes for a monitor that will take up a lot of desk space. You need to measure and make sure the monitor will fit comfortably along with your mouse and keyboard. Additionally the monitor has an LED light strip on the bottom which adds a nice effect.

Conclusions

In conclusion, ACER XR341CK is an incredible monitor with a load of features. The immersion the monitor creates is surpassed only by VR. This all comes at a price however as the monitor will cost you around $1000 and a pc capable of getting the most out of the monitor will cost even more. All this however is worth it as the monitor will provide you with unrivaled immersion quality.

Pros

  • Curve adds extra immersion
  • great color reproduction
  • 21:9 Aspect Ratio
  • 1440p Creates a very crisp image
  • 75 hz refresh rate
  • freesync

Cons

  • Professional gamers may want a 144hz monitor
  • cost
  • You will need a beefy GPU to take full advantage of the monitor while gaming

Best Gaming Headset: Astro A40 TR

Source: Best Buy

Astro has a long history in gaming. They have a reputation for making some of the best gaming headsets money can buy. Today we are taking a look at the Astro A40TR Astro’s top of the line wired gaming headset. This headset is compatible with the Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

Build Quality

For a $250 dollar headset the Astro A40TR does feel a little bit cheap. The headset is made almost completely out of plastic and definitely feels less premium than other headsets I have used. However, the headset still feels very solid I have never felt like I was going to break it. The headset also features a removable cord so if the cord ever breaks it can easily be replaced. The cord features a mute button which is very useful and the button feels very solid. The A40TR also features several different customization options. By default the headset comes as a open backed headset. This is ideal for low noise environments where noise isolation is not needed because open back headphone have a bigger sound stage making it easier to place players via noise ques in games like Counter Strike. However, in higher noise environment this is not ideal and to account for this Astro released a mod kit. The mod kit includes new back for the headset which make it closed as well as a more comfortable headband, more comfortable ear pads, and a noise isolating mic.

The mix amp pro follows a similar design philosophy as the headset and is made completely out of plastic. Again however, the mix amp feels very solid and the buttons and nobs feel very well built. The mix amp has to ports to set up a daisy chain for team communications, an optical input, a micro usb input, a 3.5mm input, and 2 3.5 mm outs. So there are plenty of options there, it also includes a volume nob, a volume mixing nob, an eq selector button, a button to turn on and off digital surround, and a power button.

Source: Game Crate

Sound

The best compliment I give the Astro A40TR is that it actually sounds like a decent set of headphones. Don’t get me wrong you can get a better set of headphones for $250 but for a a gaming headset they sound very good. There is good bumping bass without too much leakage into the mid rand and the highs are decently clear and resolved. There aren’t Sennheiser HD 600’s but you will be more than happy listening to any genre of music and of course playing video games.

The mic however, is an area where the A40TR under performs a little. While the quality is decent I would expect more from a $250 headset. The mod kit does fix this issue to a degree increasing the sound quality and decreasing background noise but it is still not perfect.

The mix amp pro however is impressive. It provides a relatively large increase in audio quality (especially if you are just running tour audio off of your motherboard’s sound card) and it lets you mix your game and voice channels easily and is very useful for streaming. The only thing I am not sold on is the virtual surround sound which I felt just muddled the audio.

Conclusions

The Asto A40TR is a very good gaming headset and it performs well in both game and music listening. The mixamp pro is a good match for the headset and increases audio quality and provides several extra features.

Pros

  • Sound Quality
  • Versatility
  • Customization

Cons

  • Microphone
  • Feels less premium than other headsets
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