AMD Working on an “Nvidia Killer” Graphics Card?

AMD looks to be preparing to take the fight to Nvidia in the high-end market with something they seem to call “The Nvidia- Killer” and with a name like that, there’s no pressure on them to succeed. Right?

This leak comes from RedGamingTech who also leaked the Radeon VII and the release dates for the Ryzen 3000 Series so they seem to have an actual source on the inside. According to them, there are two GPUs that AMD is going to release next year. The Navi 21 and the Navi 23.

The Navi 23 is supposed to be the “Nvidia Killer” but we don’t really know in what way. It could either outperform it in raw performance or it could be something that has better performance vs price. This Navi 23 might also have Hardware Raytracing.

This makes sense we did see leaks that they’re patenting a hybrid Ray Tracing technique that uses both hardware and software, unlike Nvidia’s method which only uses the hardware. The next-generation consoles like the Xbox Scarlett and PS5 will have Ray Tracing and will also use AMD GPUs that use the current rDNA architecture.

The reason we didn’t get these before is because AMD didn’t want to take a risk. They moved to a new manufacturing process of 7nm and also because they were working with a new architecture called rDNA. While both of these changes have improved performance, they also are new technology and they just wanted to play it safe for now. Now that they’re more comfortable with both of those, we can expect them to start bringing out the big cards.

These new Navi GPUs will probably release around April or May next year so not only will they have to compete with the current RTX line-up but also with the GeForce 30 series GPUs and Intel’s Xe GPUs which are also supposed to release next year.

It’s safe to say that next year is going to be an interesting time for the GPU market which will hopefully be very competitive and bring in some good affordable tech.

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HyperX Pulsefire Core RGB Mouse Review

The HyperX Pulsefire Core is a gaming mouse that aims to provide gamers, especially with those who play FPS games an ergonomic and smooth gaming experience.

HyperX Pulsefire Core RGB Specifications
Ergonomics: Symmetrical
Sensor: Pixart PAW3327
Resolution: Up to 6,200 DPI
DPI presets: 800 / 1600 / 2400 / 3200 DPI
Speed: 220 IPS
Acceleration: 30G
Buttons: 7
Left/right buttons durability: 20 million clicks
Backlight: RGB (16,777,216 colours)
Light effects: 1 lighting zone and 4 brightness levels1
On-board memory: 1 profile
Connection type: USB 2.0
Polling rate: 1000Hz
USB data format: 16 bits/axis
Cable type: Braided
Weight (without cable): 87g
Weight (with cable): 123g
Length: 119.30mm
Height: 41.30mm
Width: 63.90mm
Cable length: 1.8m

This is a gaming mouse through and through, don’t let its simple look fool you. It’s got RGB lighting only on the HyperX logo that sits on the hump but besides that, it has a gorgeous sleek black finish.

There are plastic grips on the sides along with two buttons on the left side for your thumb. While the mouse itself is shaped to be ambidextrous, the buttons on the side make it hard to use as a leftie.

Now onto how this mouse feels in your hand. This is one of the first mice that I’ve used that has made me fall in love with the moment I’ve gotten my hands on it. As soon as I started using it, it just felt absolutely perfect.

This is probably due to its shape which isn’t too over-the-top. It’s got a simple hump on the back with grooves that hold your fingers in place for the main buttons. Its size isn’t too big and at just 123g, the mouse just felt like a joy to use and play games with.

The buttons were responsive and had a click latency of around 180ms. The feet were smooth and had no issues gliding across a cloth mousepad. The NGenuity software also does what it advertises and allows you to set DPI, RGB colour and specific functions to the buttons.

Overall, this mouse is a great mouse for FPS gamers and for any other type of gaming. If you need a lot of buttons then this isn’t for you but otherwise, at the price point of Rs 3,100 this is a phenomenal mouse.

If you would like to purchase this product, you can do so from our store page which also helps support us.

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The Galax RTX 2080 Super EX Review

The RTX 2080 Super has launched worldwide and it helps bridge the gap between the regular RTX 2080 and the current king, the RTX 2080 Ti. Galax has launched their own version of the card, the Galax GeForce RTX 2080 Super EX which further helps that cause.

Tech Specs
Specs RTX 2070 Super Galax RTX 2080 Super RTX 2080 FE
CUDA Cores 2560 3072 2944
Base Clock 1605 1650 1515
Boost Clock 1770 1845 1800(OC)
Memory Speed 14 Gbps 15.5Gbps 14 Gbps
Memory Config 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6
Ports DP, HDMI, USB Typ-C DP, HDMI, USB Type-C DP, HDMI, USB Type-C
Power Connector 8-pin + 6-pin 8-pin + 6-pin 8-pin + 6-pin
Recommended Power Supply 650W 650W 650W

The Galax RTX 2080 Super EX uses the same die as the RTX 2080 and the RTX 2070 Super, the TU104.  It’s got 384 Tensor Cores and 48 RT Cores which help in games where you’ll use Raytracing and DLSS.

The card has 8GB of GDDR6 memory with a memory bandwidth of 495.9 GB/s which will make texture streaming much better, especially at resolutions like 1440p and 4K. All of this comes with an increase in TDP as this draws 250 W of power.  At 15.5 Gbps, it has the fastest memory in the RTX series, even the RTX 2080ti runs at 14 Gbps.

Look and Feel

In terms of design, they’ve gone with a dual-fan layout with a sleek looking black shroud. The heatsink is pretty thick which means you’ll at least two slots free to fit this into your case.  While it looks rather bulky, the card runs cool thanks to the fans and the heatsink.

The card feels strong and sturdy and also has a backplate to support itself which means that you won’t have any GPU sag. It comes with 3 Display Port connectors and 1 HDMI port so those of you who want to use DVI or VGA in 2019 for some reason with a high-end card, you’ll need to get an adapter or a better monitor.

For all the RGB lovers, this card also comes with RGB. The two fans that adorn the body of this have RGB lighting and the side of the card which you’ll want to display inside your case also has RGB illumination. It’s not too bright or gaudy and is just enough to add that RGB touch to your card for better aesthetics. Not to mention, using the XtremeTuner app, you can customize the RGB lighting and play around it as much as you want.

Performance

All the games above were benchmarked on their highest available preset. As seen from the graphs, the Galax 2080 Super outperforms all the other cards. It’s faster than the regular RTX 2080 Super by a slight margin but do keep in mind that it isn’t overclocked. The one-click OC gives a nice boost of 15 MHz and can be activated easily in the XtremeTuner app available on Galax website.

The card fares a little better than the 2080 Super Founder’s Edition in terms of average FPS, but is mostly within the margin of error. On the temperature side of things, however,  it does a lot better. During our testing, the Founder’s Edition touched 79 C, but the Galax RTX 2080 Super Ex stayed at a comfortable 71 C, a whole 8 C cooler. Evidently, Galax has done a great job with the cooler design.

Conclusion

The Galax RTX 2080 Super EX is a no-nonsense card that does its job and does it well. At a price point of INR 65,000 it offers better cooling than the Founder’s edition, easy overclocking and customizable RGB. Its performance is as impressive as its looks, and it makes an incredible option for 1440p 60fps gaming.

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HyperX Alloy Core RGB Keyboard Review

The HyperX Alloy Core RGB Keyboard is an affordable RGB backlit keyboard that aims to give you a great gaming and typing experience while also being a dependable keyboard that doesn’t skimp out on style. So, how good is this keyboard? Let’s find out.

Specifications

HyperX Alloy Core RGB

Type: Membrane
Backlight: RGB (5 Zones Multi-color Customization)
Light effects: 6 LED modes and 3 brightness levels
Connection type: USB 2.0
Polling rate: 1000Hz
Anti-ghosting: Multi-key anti-ghosting
Media control: Yes
Game Mode: Yes
Spill resistance: tested up to 120ml of liquid
OS compatibility: Windows® 10, 8.1, 8, 7

Cable

Type: Attached, braided
Length: 1.8m

Dimensions

Width: 443.20mm
Depth: 175.31mm
Height: 35.68mm
Weight (Keyboard and cable): 1121g

This is an entry-level gaming keyboard that comes with beautiful RGB backlighting. Now first things first, this isn’t a mechanical keyboard. But that doesn’t mean its bad by any means. It’s a membrane keyboard that has really good tactility and pressing buttons is satisfying. Both the gaming and typing experience was enjoyable and I faced no issues which limited my abilities or hindered my experience.

The whole area behind the keycaps is lit and there’s an additional light strip on top of the keyboard. There is one small annoyance with the RGB though. From certain angles, it looks like there are dark spots on the keycaps and it feels like light isn’t passing through it. This seems to be because of the plastic shell under the key. However, this isn’t too big of an issue and only shows up when looking at the keyboard from certain angles

Furthermore, the RGB doesn’t require you to install any software. It comes with dedicated keys for the brightness and colours. There’s also an additional Gaming Key which locks the Windows key so you won’t accidentally hit it while playing. The brightness setting has 3 options. Off, Low Brightness and High Brightness.

The other key controls the pattern, of which there are five. Three of them are different colour cycles while one is a red breathing effect and the last one is a static red backlight.

It also comes with dedicated media keys which is something that even high-end keyboards sometimes lack. You have a set of media playback keys and you also have the volume control keys. These come in pretty handy when consuming media both offline and online.

The keyboard itself is very sturdy and feels heavy at 1.1Kg. The keys are sleek looking and feel a bit rubbery but also smooth. It’s an interesting tactile feeling that I personally liked. The keyboard also has a braided cable so it will last you longer because the cable won’t have issues any time soon.

For people who have snacks and drinks near the keyboard, this keyboard is also spill-resistant so if you drop water or any drink on it, your keyboard won’t die. While it is not advisable to drop any liquid on it, it can withstand 120ml of liquid.

This keyboard comes in at Rs 4,699 and while its competitors are cheaper, this is HyperX’s first foray into the budget gaming keyboard market and they’ve done a very good job.

If you would like to purchase this product, you can do so from our store page which also helps support us.

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Why Integrated Graphics isn’t Good Enough

Integrated Graphics have been around for a long time and have been what new and extremely budget-oriented gamers play on. But they’re usually not the best when it comes to gaming and it’s often recommended to get a Discrete Graphics Card. Why is that though? Why does the Integrated GPU or iGPU suck so much and why don’t they get more powerful?

iGPU Space on Intel CPU
Credit: Techquickie

GPUs take a lot of die space. Die space is what the board is made of, its what has all your processor units and transistors. The CPU has its own die space and adding a GPU to it is not easy. Not to mention, powerful GPUs require a lot of power and cooling. Yes, cooling.

Cooling is a very important aspect of a GPU as most of them have a minimum of at least one fan along with a heatsink, the metal part that transfers the heat from the processor of the GPU or CPU to the fan. Adding a strong iGPU means that it will produce a lot of heat. Getting rid of that heat is a challenge and just not worth the hassle.

Triple Fan Cooling on GPU

Another reason is because of the type of memory that iGPUs and discrete GPUs use. iGPUs use your system’s memory whereas a discrete GPU has its own VRAM that it uses. This is faster as its only purpose is to aid the GPU so it doesn’t share its resources.

Now, as technology has improved over time, CPUs have gotten faster and more power-efficient. There are also tons of more transistors on a chip now. With this advancement, we’ve seen better iGPUs, especially from AMD with the Ryzen 3200G and 3400G. These are termed as APU’s(Accelerated Processing Unit) by AMD and feature the CPU and GPU on a single die.

Source: Hardware Unboxed

Now integrated graphics are not for high-end gaming. For older games and for esports titles, an iGPU can do fairly well on low settings and a lower resolution. AMD’s APUs and Intel’s new iGPUs have improved to a point where you can play esports titles at 1080p 60fps or more which is great for those who are looking to getting into gaming.

But other than that, if you want to move up and start playing games that are more intense and resource-hungry, you will have to get a discrete GPU. Even a budget card like a GTX 1650 will be sufficient enough to play games like GTA V, PUBG PC, Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege and Apex Legends on 1080p and above 60fps.

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Alienware Area 51m Review: The Upgradable Laptop!

Desktop PCs have always had one major advantage over laptops – upgradability. You have a good CPU but your graphics card is getting old? Just take it out and put in a new one, and you’re good to go. But laptops are more of a package deal, right? You can’t just take your old CPU and upgrade it for a better one. Or can you?

Design and Tech Specs

CPU Intel i9-9900K
GPU NVIDIA RTX 2080
RAM 32 GB DDR4
Storage 500GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Ports
USB 3.1, USB Type-C Thunderbolt, HDMI, MiniDP, LAN, 3.5mm jacks, Alienware Graphics Amplifier
Price ~INR 3,50,000

Today we’re playing with Area 51m, the first fully upgradable laptop, coming from Alienware. Not that it needs any upgrading though as our review unit packs in an 8 core, 16 thread, desktop level i9-9900K.  And if you think that’s overkill, get this. The GPU is none other than the RTX 2080. There’s also 32 gigs of DDR4 RAM, dual storage comprising of a 500 GB SSD along with a 1TB hard drive AND a 144Hz, full IPS 1080p display and Tobii Eye Tracking.

And that’s not all. The Area 51m is one of the best looking laptops I’ve seen. Alienware has decided to redo their entire design ideology, going forward with what they’re calling the Legend design. The Area 51m opts for a much more curved look than what we’ve seen in the older Alienware models and while a lot of brands still sticking to the black and red gaming color scheme, the Area 51m is just covered in dazzling white. But. While that results in a much more elegant and classy look, it also highlights any dirt or marks you might leave on it, meaning you may have to clean it a lot more often than you might like. The build quality, on the other hand, is rock solid. It’s a sturdy device for sure, and at 3.8kg, quite chunky to say the least. 

For such a huge and powerful laptop, one thing that it lacks, surprisingly, is ports. On the left side you have one USB 3 port along with a Type-C Thunderbolt port, exhaust vents and 3.5mm audio jacks, while the right side houses more vents and two additional USB 3 ports. I would’ve definitely liked to see at least one more full size USB port as three might be a little less for people using an external keyboard and mouse, especially if they have a USB headset. On the back side, surrounded by the shiny RGB strip, you can find the LAN port, the Alienware Graphics Amplifier, an HDMI, a mini DisplayPort and two ports for charging. That’s right, the Area 51m requires not one, but two power bricks to reach its full potential.

The front side of the laptop has grills for speakers and by far is the most disappointing thing about its looks, where the glossy black plastic finish just doesn’t seem to fit in with the laptop’s otherwise ultra premium looks. 

Opening up the laptop, you will be greeted with an RGB backlit keyboard, which while not being mechanical, is one of the most comfortable keyboards I have seen in a laptop. The keys feel nice to press, have a decent travel distance and the overall experience is just great, whether you’re typing or playing. And thanks to the Alienware Command Center, you can customize it to your heart’s extent. From individual key backlighting to custom macros, you can do just about anything.  Even the trackpad has customizable RGB backlighting. However, one thing that does bug me about the keyboard layout is the awkward placement of the Page Up and Page Down keys, which have been crammed between the Shift and the Arrow keys. But enough about the look and feel, let’s talk performance. I mean, that’s what really matters, right?

Performance and Benchmarks

 

The 9900K and RTX 2080 in the Area 51m do really seem to be at par with their desktop counterparts. Whether it’s pure gaming, streaming, editing or rendering, there’s no workload that the laptop can’t handle without breaking a sweat. And the joy of combining that power with the blazing 144 Hz IPS panel is just. . . it makes me feel things. Not only are the colours crisp and vibrant, the entire experience is smooth and responsive. The speakers are quite loud too, and really add to the whole vibe.  Doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to lose yourself in the amazing world of Witcher 3 or trying to get that clutch win in PUBG, the Area 51m does a great job of bringing your games to life.

Now, you can’t have a 9900K in your laptop and not overclock it. Thankfully, Alienware has made it incredibly easy to do that. Using Alienware Fusion, you can either use one of the two preset overclock profiles, or set a manual overclock for both the CPU and GPU.

When it comes to packing such powerful hardware into a portable form factor, one major cause for concern is thermals. And things on this front are kind of good news, bad news. In our testing, the GPU temperature stabilized at a max 75 C temp, but the CPU reached 100 C under full load. That’s boiling water temperature. Luckily, the fans do a great job of venting it out and the keyboard doesn’t heat up, so you can still continue to use it, should you wish. And you can hear the fans at work, they’re quite loud under load.

The Verdict

Now that we’ve covered all the basic stuff, let’s talk about upgradability. It’s quite interesting how the Area 51m manages to do that. For the CPU, Alienware has just plugged the desktop sized LGA1151 socket, which means that changing your CPU is just the same as you would do on a desktop motherboard. However, the GPU comes on a custom made removable module, which means that you will only be able to get it through Alienware. Freedom does come at a cost, after all. Nevertheless, it’s an incredibly fascinating concept that seems to work, and I for one am completely blown away with it.

 

But. But. That’s not all. Let’s face it, life isn’t that simple. While the custom GPU module means that you should theoretically be able to upgrade to the next gen graphics cards, because the design for the is on Alienware, the CPU upgradability will depend solely on socket support. As long as Intel continues to support the LGA 1151 socket, upgrading to a new CPU won’t be a problem. But the day they decide to switch to a different one, which they probably will, sooner or later, you might be stuck with the last one supported. 

But let’s not be pessimistic. After all, the Area 51m is an impressive piece of hardware that’s enough to make any and every gamer drool. It’s a total knockout, in terms of both looks and performance, and the level of customizability is simply amazing. With its size and uber powerful specs, it’s more of a portable desktop than a laptop. However, at a price point of about INR 3,50,000, it’s also enough to make your wallet weep. But hey, if you have the money and want a no-compromise gaming experience while still remaining relatively portable, why not treat yourself?

Red Dead Redemption 2 PC: Even More Hints that it’s Coming Soon

The Red Dead Redemption 2 PC version is much awaited especially since we keep getting small tidbits of information that point to the existence of it. And to keep that trend going, we’ve got some more information that points to the existence of a PC version thanks to the Red Dead Redemption 2 Companion App.

Over on gtaforums, user Fun 2 posted files from the companion app which seem to be for Red Dead Redemption 2. While it was initially dismissed as being just leftover settings from GTA V, user Spider-Vice later pointed out that this was in fact, something new.

The files reference DirectX 12, Microsoft’s new API that is not in GTA V. Another change seems to be certain settings being changed from a toggle to a slider, as the Refresh Rate setting is now a slider which will allow you to set a specific Refresh Rate.

There’s also a new “Ultra” setting for almost all graphics settings. Things like the Rockstar Editor have also been integrated into the menu now. There’s even a separate option for Soft Shadows while NVIDIA PCSS makes a return. No sign of DXR in the settings yet so maybe that’s work-in-progress because we feel that since GTA titles have usually had Nvidia specific settings in the past and have also partnered with them, DXR is going to be in the PC version of the game.

A surprising find is these files is that the RAGE engine is now compatible with iOS and Android. The Companion App itself was compiled in RAGE but now it seems like if they were to make a game for the mobile platforms, they can use RAGE to do so. Maybe we can expect some sort of mobile game in the future or maybe it’s just to run the companion app.

The mention in the Social Club site, the older mention in the Companion app and now this new information seem to strongly suggest that Red Dead Redemption 2 for PC is happening and we won’t get robbed off of a PC experience like Red Dead Redemption 1. I expect either an October 2019 or a Spring 2020 release for the PC version.

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Top 5 Free Games for PC

The Summer Sale has ended and money might be tight. You ‘ve probably heard of CSGo, Dota 2 and PUBG Lite so here are five free games for PC that you may not have known about.

Warframe

You’re a Space Ninja who wears an exo-suit with a sword and guns and really cool tech. The game is filled to the brim with content and often gets compared to Destiny however, the fans of Warframe will be quick to tell you that this game is vastly superior. The difficulty curve is a little bit steep at the start but once you’re in, you’ll be really in.

Path of Exile

Craving some Diablo-like action? Check out Path of Exile. This Action-RPG is very similar in terms of gameplay and will really scratch the itch that Diablo Immortal obviously could not.

Dirty Bomb

A game that can be described as a mixture of Team Fortress 2 and Overwatch. Complete objectives to help your team win with a supporting cast of colourful characters and classes. Sadly, the game is not being supported anymore with live updates but the servers are still live with a pretty small yet active player base. Give this game a try before it’s lost to time.

Deceit

Deceit is a game of deception. Inspired by Gmod’s famous Trouble in Terrorist Town game mode, this game throws in 6 players into a match with 2 of those being infected. The infected must kill all the innocent players while the innocent players must complete objectives and survive till the end and escape to win. It is extremely fun to play, especially with friends and is an absolute blast.

Ironsight

If you want a game that has gameplay similar to the fast-paced shooting action of Call of Duty, look no further. Ironsight is a fast and fluid first-person shooter that’s very reminiscent of the multiplayer modes of Call of Duty titles. It’s very easy to get into and the shooting is very satisfying.

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RTX 2070 Super Review: The Perfect Card For 1440p Gaming

You know, I can’t help but feel bad for AMD. Every time they go to announce a new GPU, the green team is ready, waiting to pounce. It’s like that friend everyone has, who likes to make everything about themselves. You know the type. When the red team announced the Vega GPUs, NVIDIA was quick to reveal the GTX 1070Ti. And this year seems to be no different. Just a week before the Navi launch, the green team was ready with its RTX Super line up. And today we’re playing around with the RTX 2070 Super. 

Tech Specs

Specs RTX 2070 Super RTX 2070 FE RTX 2080 FE
CUDA Cores 2560 2304 2944
RT Cores 40 36 46
Base Clock 1770 1710(OC) 1515
Boost Clock 1605 1410 1800(OC)
Memory Speed 14 Gbps 14 Gbps 14 Gbps
Memory Config 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6
Ports DP, HDMI, USB Typ-C DP, HDMI, DVI, USB Type-C DP, HDMI, USB Type-C
Power Connector 8-pin + 6 pin Single 8-pin 8-pin + 6 pin
Recommended Power Supply 650W 550W 650W

The RTX 2070 Super is an upgraded version of the 2070, with a bump in core counts, clock speeds and much more. In a way you can also consider it as a shaved down version of the original 2080, as it uses the same TU104 die as the RTX 2080. CUDA core count is up to 2560 from the 2070’s 2304. The base clock speed in the 2070 Super is 1605 MHz, which is pretty close to the 2070’s boost clock speed. Tensor cores are up too, from 288 in the 2070 to 320 in the 2070 Super. Understandably, these boosts also result in a TDP increase of 40W, from the 2070’s 175W to 215W in the 2070 Super. This also means that the 2070 Super now requires an additional 6-pin power connector, like the 2080.

Visually, the RTX 2070 Super looks quite similar to the original RTX series, with the same dual fan design and form factor. The difference here is in the middle, where it now sports the “super branding” on a reflective, glossy surface. Personally, I prefer the matte black finish on the original RTX cards, but hey, to each their own. 

On the display front, the 2070 Super display ditches the DVI port found on the 2070 in the favour of another DisplayPort, bringing the count to 3 DisplayPorts, one HDMI port and one USB Type-C. But the real deal, and the frankly, the one thing that care about the most is performance, and how well the card holds up against the 2070 and the 2080. So, take a look at the scores.

Performance and Benchmarks

Right off the bat, it’s hard not to be impressed by the 2070 Super’s performance. The card gives really solid numbers at 1440p throughout the benchmarks, and in some cases is pretty viable for 4K too, if you don’t mind turning down the graphics settings. Overall, the performance gap between the 2070 Super and the 2080 was less than 10%. The cheapest RTX 2080 we could find was worth 59,000 INR, so at the launch price of 43,600 INR, that makes it amazing value for money. Compared to the 2070 is where the price gap is a little close, as the cheapest RTX 2070 we found costs 38,000. The 2070 Super outperforms the 2070 by a little over 10% on the average at 1440p, so even here it doesn’t sound like a bad option. 

Now, the big question is, what prompted the release of the Super cards? NVIDIA claims that it was the tech improvements and tweaking that’s allowed them to obtain better yields, which certainly sounds plausible. But the timing of this launch, just a few days before the release of AMD’s Navi GPUs can lead one to believe otherwise. I mean, we did see the RX 5700 cards competing closely with the 2070 in the leaked benchmarks. So it wouldn’t be completely off base for one to think that NVIDIA, with their Super cards are trying to get ahead of the competition before the Navi cards are even out. In that case, you know who to thank for the Super’s sensible pricing. I mean, it has been a long time coming. This is what RTX pricing should have been from the beginning, especially considering the serious lack of ray tracing support in games when it launched. But as they say, better late than never.

All said and done, with its competitive pricing, the RTX 2070 Super is an amazing card for 1440p gaming. At 43,600 INR, you get considerable gains for a small increase in price, and a good ray tracing experience too. People who have already bought the 2070 will feel bad, but for those who were still waiting to get their hands on an RTX GPU, this is it. 

Review: BenQ Zowie Celeritas II Gaming Keyboard

Zowie has made quite a name for itself in the recent years, especially in the esports arena. The brand is regularly coming up with peripherals catering to the esports players, from keyboards and headsets to high refresh rate displays. The Celeritas II is the latest gaming keyboard in the Zowie lineup, priced at INR 10,900. But is it worth the price? Let’s find out.

The philosophy behind the Celeritas II seems to be straightforward: elegance in simplicity. The keyboard has a pretty standard design; in fact, from a distance, it doesn’t look much different from a normal office keyboard. But don’t let that fool you, because on the inside the Celeritas screams gaming. It uses custom optical switches instead of the Cherry MX Brown like its predecessor. Optical switches are a new form of mechanical switches, which use light for actuation instead of a mechanical connection. As such, they have an advantage over conventional mechanical switches as optical switches can be faster and more durable.

It follows the popular ‘red and black’ colour scheme that we’ve seen with almost every brand by now. The keyboard has a matte black finish, keeping it simple without any frill.  At 1.89kg, the Celeritas II is a bit on the heavier side of the spectrum. It measures about 44.2 x 17 cm, which means it doesn’t take up too much space on your table. There are four rubber grips on the base which prevent the keyboard from sliding on the surface.

While the gaming community is moving towards a more colorful RGB lit world, the Celeritas II keeps things rather uncomplicated with a simple Red LED backlight. You can adjust the brightness and toggle it on/off using the Fn keys, which also double up as media control buttons. The choice to go for flashy RGB is rather subjective; on one hand, you can argue that the red backlight results in a less distracting experience. But on the other hand, not having the option to customize the backlight colour, especially at the INR 10000 price point seems a bit lacking.

One of the more interesting features the Celeritas II offers is PS/2 compatibility, and the keyboard comes with a USB to PS/2 adapter in the box. Even though most of the people have switched to USB by now, it’s nice to have that option to use PS/2 should you feel like using it. And Zowie has also brought the Real Time Response (RTR) function to the keyboard, which is useful in games where the player needs to activate multiple commands simultaneously. RTR can only be used via PS/2.

Talking about performance, here’s when the Celeritas II begins to set itself apart. Unlike a lot of its gaming counterparts, the Celeritas is completely plug and play, and doesn’t require you to use any software to set it up. It supports N-key rollover, meaning each keypress is detected individually, regardless of how many keys are being pressed at the same time. The wrist support can be a little small for some users, but it’s not hard to get used to. Furthermore, the optical switch driven keys are responsive and swift, making games like PUBG and Apex Legends a joy to play. You can quickly move between different keys without much resistance and take action, meaning esports players can really use it to their advantage. Single player games are equally fun, whether you’re trying to survive in Metro: Exodus or wrecking the city in GTA V.  Typing, on the other hand, doesn’t feel as good, as I prefer a bit of more tactile feedback than the Celeritas II offers.

Overall, the Celeritas II is a great keyboard, with a clear emphasis on functionality over aesthetics. It’s well built, sturdy, and gets the job done without any nonsense. The optical switches are ideal for both casual and professional gamers, and it doesn’t require you to jump through any hoops to set up.  The only downside, is that at a price of INR 10,900, it feels a little costly, especially when you consider other options that offer much more in terms of customization options.

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