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Pros: The ROG Swift has been hyped by Asus, Nvidia and gamers for months since it was announced at CES in January of this year, and after a few bumps and delays in the road, it has finally arrived in all its glory. For those who are unaware of the key benefits of this monitor, and why it costs so much, here's a quick summary of the benefits over the existing 1080p 120+Hz "Gaming" monitors:
+2560x1440 WQHD resolution. That's nearly 2x as many pixels in the same area as a 1080p panel, meaning much finer, detailed graphics and less visible pixelation.
+First 2560x1440 G-Sync display. Asus had the first G-Sync capable monitor but it was limited to 1080p and a smaller 24" display. The Swift raises the ceiling for those who demand a higher resolution. G-Sync itself is an amazing feature and has to be seen to be believed, and I do believe this will be the main selling point of this panel.
+ULMB. Builds on Nvidia's LightBoost backlight pulsing technology, that is made available outside of 3D Vision modes. This is a good alternative to G-Sync in fast-paced games where you can maintain high FPS at or above your set refresh rate.
+First 2560x1440 3D Vision display. Another big jump for 3D Vision gamers stuck at 1080p since 2010.
+First true 120/144Hz 2560 Gaming panel. There have been overclocked Korean IPS panels claiming this in the past, but if you look at image retention and blurring issues on those panels compared to true TN-based gaming monitors, you will see this is really no contest. As such, don't expect to see any "official" IPS 120+Hz gaming panels anytime soon.
+Bezel size. Asus claims the bezel is 6mm, which is technically true, but the distance from edge to first pixel is closer to 10mm due to a black framing edge inside the bezel. This is still a huge improvement over previous models which had bezels closer to the 15-20mm range and the end result is just stunning especially with 3 monitors in surround configuration (PCPer had a preview).
+No Bezel Glare. The bezel is almost flush to the actual panel screen, and with the inset black frame, this means there isn't a distracting glare around the screen edge like on some previous models like the VG278H.
+8-bit TN panel. Most TN panels are 6-bit + dithering, leading to lower color gamuts, less color accuracy and more visible gradients. The Swift is a true 8-bit panel that results in much better color reproduction as numerous reviews have verified.
+Anti-Glare matte finish. To some this is a negative, but in lighted situations, this means no glare on the monitor which is great.
+VESA mounting and portrait pivot. VESA mounts are great for multi-monitor configurations, and the portrait pivot is actually a rare feature for a 3D capable monitor.
+Fast response, great OSD navigation. The monitor turns on and off nearly instantly and is MUCH faster coming from wake than the VG278H. The OSD has a great little joystick that makes navigation fast and easy.
Cons: Despite the fact the Swift has a slew of positives making it a beast of a gaming monitor, there are a number of issues, bugs and unresolved problems that make me lukewarm on the monitor overall.
-Price. This is at least 1 egg off, because for $800, I would expect the monitor to not have so many problems in general from both quality control and bugs. So, if price is weighing heavily on your decision and you can't be happy with something that isn't perfect for this much money, turn away now and wait for the Swift 2 or a new revision.
-Fine, grainy desktop image. Only really noticeable on the desktop, but the image is grainier than I expected. This is a problem that is pretty common with AG matte coatings, but it was significantly worst than my VG278H which was unexpected. Out of the box colors were OK but backlight was too bright.
-LCD Inversion artifacts in 3D Vision and some G-Sync modes. Hard to explain, but it almost looks like thinner lines as if the screen was interlaced. Google for more info.
-Backlight bleed. There was a lot of bleed at the bottom of the screen at the default brightness (too bright) but turning it down has reduced it. There was also a very visible half-oval, moire pattern on the right side of the screen that was VERY disconcerting when I first got the panel, but it has since subsided and is only really visible on power on. If you are OCD about things like this, be warned, it might be a wart you can't live with. No guarantee you get a panel with this issue, but it could be better or worst.
-High reliance on Nvidia drivers. G-Sync is a killer feature when it works, but it is a feature that is highly reliant on Nvidia driver support. Currently, there are numerous reports of problems for specific games and Asus' replies are to wait for an updated driver from Nvidia. While Nvidia is typically great about driver support for their products, this is just 1 more thing that you can run into when sitting down to game.
-SLI problems. As an addition to the driver issues seen above, users are seeing more problems with SLI as they add another layer of potential driver failure. I've been a happy user of SLI for years now, but the problems I've experienced with G-Sync and 3D Vision using this panel have me leaning strongly towards a single fast GPU again for my next upgrade. Issues range from: less fluid G-Sync experience, crashing, out-of-range errors, no image, hard lock no image (requiring power cycle). For me at least, reverting to just single-GPU fixed most of the problems (Diablo 3 SLI, 3D Vision), while some titles worked fine with SLI and 3D Vision (Borderlands 2, BF4).
Again, it is all very hit or miss right now and since the monitor just released, it is hard to get info. Asus basically points to Nvidia driver for support and Nvidia (ManuelG) is proactive in trying to track down bugs, but it does take some time. But, this all comes with living on the bleeding edge of tech!
Other Thoughts: So, even though I have a ton of negatives and wanted to write more for both pros/cons (like limited inputs), but I ran out of room. I just wanted to give a thorough and honest review of this product.
It is an absolute beast of a monitor and it is still an upgrade over my previous VG278H, so in that respect I am happy with the monitor and will keep it. There are a number of issues I am not happy about however, as noted, and there are still a number of question marks going forward.
I have a feeling Asus did not fully QA this product before launching it, and given Asus' track record of fixing many of their 1st run problems (VG278H oval backlight), I have a feeling they will improve this monitor in the future and release an updated version.
I just wonder if they will offer to upgrade these 1st run panels as well or allow them to be updated via firmware improvement. There are a number of features and controls missing from the OSD for example, like a Sharpness control that I think could fix many of the complaints people are having.
So, there it is, if you absolutely must have the latest and greatest and can't wait any longer, buying the Swift is for you. If you are fretting over a $800 purchase and usually don't spend this much on gaming hardware, or you know you won't be happy with anything short of perfection from both a build and driver perspective, you should probably hold off on pulling the trigger.
I am somewhere inbetween so I am willing to overlook the problems I have experienced because ultimately, the gaming experience with this Swift and G-Sync is truly breathtaking to behold. It is so good, that I'm actually not fretting too much over 3D Vision not working properly in SLI in the 1 game I'm really playing right now (Diablo 3).
Hope this helps you make your buying decision!
This review is from: DEEPCOOL STEAM CASTLE (BLACK) Unique Steam Punk Style With Side Window 200mm Fan(Front) Micro ATX / Mini-ITX +120mm Fan(Rear)+4 Magic Controllable LED Lights (Top) SGCC+PLASTIC(ABS)+RUBBER COATING
Pros: The Deepcool Steam Castle is an interesting new case design with lots of modern amenities you would expect to find in a 2014 case design. I expect the "Steam Punk" styling is for those who want an interesting talking piece case design or maybe for those who are in smaller spaces (dorm rooms, studio apts) that want something a little different looking than the average case.
The Steam Castle succeeds in both respects, as it is both smaller than your typical case, but also adds some visual flare.
Some of the positives I found about the case:
-The black version I received has a great looking and feeling plastic matte finish. I haven't really seen anything like it on any other device, maybe some smartphone cases with anti-slip coating are the closest thing, but it feels fantastic, does not look cheap, and also does a GREAT job of masking fingerprints. It is not glossy like some of the other color choices.
-Very roomy case for a micro-ATX, although that may be also be a surprise for someone looking for something smaller.
-Can fit a push-pull single 120mm radiator but will not accommodate push-pull 240mm radiators. It will fit push 240mm radiators BUT you will not be able to use a 5.25" optical drive in the 5.25" slot. Can also accommodate the largest air coolers on the market without any problems due to the horizontal motherboard design.
-Lots of connectivity options on the right side of the case, 2xUSB, 2xUSB 3.0, headphone/mic, power/reset and an integrated LED/fan controller. This keeps the front side nice and clean.
-Big window and horizontal motherboard placement mean you will get a nice view of your graphics card art and fan. Vertical placement would mean you would only see the top.
-Very sturdy build quality. Heavy duty steel frame with plastic trim that is easily removed. Both side panels can be removed via thumbscrews, top and front panel can be removed via pegs with a little more effort.
-This might be trying to capitalize on the whole Steam Box concept, but I'm not sure it fully captures the size aspect.
Cons: As stated, the case isn't perfect, still lots to improve upon.
-BIG! I'm not sure how much larger it would have had to be to just be a full sized ATX board, but I was expecting it to be somewhat small as a micro-ATX case. It's actually thicker than most ATX towers and it is almost as big as some of the more compact non-tower ATX designs like the HAF-XM.
-Can't fit a push-pull config for a 240mm AIO water cooler or radiator. If they swapped the 5.25" bay and the less used 3.5" bay (floppy) to the top, you could probably fit a push-pull 240mm radiator.
-There seems to be some SSD/2.5" caddies missing. The specs mention 2xSSD for RAID build-up, and there is a small cage on the other side of the power supply with some quick release levers that indicate there is some kind of drive caddie system in place, but there are no drive caddies in the case or box. Maybe they are missing inadvertently but this is going to be a negative for anyone who wants to use more than 1-2 SSDs and 1-2 mechanical drives.
-The LEDs on top and the turbine design are a nice visual cue, but they could be better utilized with actual fans, or even an empty cavity that would help accommodate a 240mm rad in a sandwich configuration (fan\rad\case\fan)
-A handle on top might make this an interesting LAN box. There's plenty of room between the 4 top turbines.
-No SSD quick-swap/built-in connectors. They have a huge PCB for the I/O panel, but nothing to quickly connect drives like some higher-end cases in this price range.
Other Thoughts: Overall the Steam Castle is a neat concept, but it could definitely use some work to improve the design and functionality. I feel like too much emphasis was placed on looks and novelty, and not enough attention was paid to expected functionality and amenities. For $100, I think there are better micro-ATX options.
It seems like this is a newer company, so this is a nice early effort. Hopefully with time and feedback, they continue to improve their designs. Looking forward to more from this company.
This review is from: SteelSeries 62250 SENSEI Wireless Professional Laser Gaming Mouse
Pros: I've been a big fan of Logitech Mice going back to the MX700 and only recently found a suitable wireless replacement with the G700(s).
The Sensei 62250 from SteelSeries has some nice improvements over competitor offerings, but falls short in other areas.
-Biggest plus of this mouse is it is fully ambidextrous. I know for some people, especially lefties, this is a problem, for me however this is almost a con (more on this later).
-Overall excellent build quality. All the materials feel good, a smooth, matte rubber finish on the keys, smooth plastic on the sides, and a bead blasted metal trim.
-Buttons are responsive, with confident quality clicks. The middle mouse button and wheel are especially good, with a textured "tire" wheel and rugged click intervals.
-Base is very high quality, heavy so it won't move around with a nice metal finish and LED outline that responds based on the mouse's charge level. Very easy to place the mouse in the cradle.
-The mouse can be used in a tethered/wired mode if you run low on batteries, you can disconnect the micro usb from the base and connect it directly to the mouse to use and charge it. There's a clip to hold the micro usb in place on the mouse, so it is very sturdy.
-Battery life is excellent for a performance wireless mouse with a full 1000ms polling rate. My G700s only lasts around 8h compared to this one which hasn't run out of batteries yet over 2 days (about 14 hours of gaming).
-Mouse will go to sleep and you can change these settings in the SteelSeries software.
-Impressive software suite, there's a lot of options you would expect from most gaming software including CPI, acceleration, angle snapping. Download is pretty large (47MB) but this is due to the graphics no doubt.
-Feet glide well on my Razer Destructor. At first they seemed to not glide as well as my Logitech mice, but after breaking them in slightly they feel just as good.
-Very light for a wireless mouse that allows it to be flicked around quickly. Still some weight to it so it doesn't feel cheap/light.
Cons: -Price. $160 is a lot for a mouse. I buy a lot of mice, but I generally don't spend more than $80 for a mouse. I just buy them too frequently to spend $160. The build quality on this mouse is great, but I am not sure if it is worth nearly 2x more than a
-Because this mouse is ambidextrous, 2 of the buttons will be virtually useless for most people. The 2 buttons on either side of the body nearly flush, so it is hard to discern them even with your thumb. Trying to click the other buttons with your ring and pinky are virtually impossible.
-There's a lot of buttons missing on this mouse I have gotten used to on my Logitech mice, like 2-3 buttons near index and right-left click on the middle mouse. I think the G502 is just about perfect for what I would want in a gaming mouse.
-The thumb buttons are kind of hard to click, maybe with more time I would get used to where they are but I am used to buttons that are a bit more obvious.
-I'm a claw gripper, so this is not the most comfortable body style for me (too flat). Molded bodies with a high arch that fill the palm better are more comfortable for me. My wife has a smaller hand and feels the mouse is a bit too large.
Other Thoughts: Overall this is a great wireless gaming mouse, but I just can't get past the price. I think it caters to a specific market:
1) Pro gamers who demand the highest CPI
2) Lefties who need ambidextrous mice
3) Fans of the Steelseries Sensei that always wanted a wireless version with all of the bells and whistles.
If money is no object and you want a great wireless mouse that performs as well as wired mice, this is a solid choice.