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Saturday, 17 March 2018

Corsair Carbide 275R Review

The Corsair Carbide 275R - Sleek and Sassy

Corsair a brand with over 20 years of experience in the filed of PC peripherals ranging from cooling solutions, chassis and even system memories recently or best to say last year went into an all peripheral focus which was criticized by a few since most people out there including me like their gaming chassis. So finally in 2018 Corsair heard our pleas and has started rolling out some very impressive cabinets the first of which was the Corsair Carbide SPEC Omega which we reviewed a few months back, then came the Obsidian 500D and now we have the Corsair Carbide 275R which all thanks to Corsair India is on my table for review today!

Priced in at $80 for tempered glass and $70 for acrylic side panel the Carbide 275R is a direct successor to the older 270R and aims to be the compact and elegant solution for power builds in an attempt to continue the ongoing trend where people like to stuff the biggest of hardware in the smallest of chassis, which sometimes I don't understand but that's how it is these days. Coming in two color options of white and black the case sports support for four 2.5" drives and two 3.5" drives along with plenty of cooling options including support for a 360mm radiator in the front. All of this is backed up by the Corsair 5 Years warranty which is applicable on the glass panel aswell!

What's in the Box!?

Corsair stuck to the usual outer packing with the Carbide 275R and we have a plain brown cardboard box with the product name, images, specifications and even a detailed diagram of the dissembled case printed in black all over the box.

The box is quite heavy for a product of this size and this is mainly due to the weight of the tempered glass used which tends to be a thick heavy slab of, well glass! Glad to see that Corsair has opted for thick blocks of styrofoam here over normal thermocol blocks that tend to break at times during rough transit risking bending of the side panels which over here would've resulted in catastrophic cracked glass so good move by Corsair here.

Inside the box apart from the Corsair Carbide 275R we have the installation guide, warranty manual, a hex key or allen wrench for the tempered glass screws along with a bunch of cable ties, motherboard screws, fan screws, SSD screws etc all of which can be found inside a small brown box located inside the case in the first drive caddie.

A Closer Look at the 275R

Being a direct successor to the 270R the 275R steals similar looks form the former but with the much refined finish along with that touch of tempered glass to match up with time and trend. The entire case is white in every corner with trims of silver on the feet below and has well rounded edges giving it a nice appeal and stance from the outside. Its just too clean and classy, I mean I feel and even did dirty the case even by putting my fingers on that smooth white edges and boundaries while taking the pictures! Its so Steve Jobs like thing to be honest.

The front of the case is removable with a little force and is made out of solid-premium plastic which is mildly textured and has a neat Corsair logo at the bottom. Behind that you'll find a magnetic dust filter to keep the inert clean since the air is sucked in from the 5mm gap on the sides which is non-vented and I'm fine with it since the look is worth it & the dust filter inside is quite thick and fine to block most of the dust and finer particles.
Also at the bottom we have a white LED strip which gives a white halo at the bottom when the system is turned on to complete that whole minimalist and sophisticated stature.

Looking at the top section we have a removable dust filter which is all white and magnetic like the front one. Its fine but obviously not as fine as we have on the front but that'll do for most of us. The top section of the 275R supports upto 240mm radiator provided you use low profile memory stick like the Corsair Vengeance and likes which is a bit of a trade off here obviously.
For connectivity we have the white LED illuminated power button, a reset button, audio jacks and a two USB 3.0 ports with no USB-C type. Now this is something which I'm not a fan of, no not the USB Type-C as I can live with that but I was expecting more USB ports in the front provided how the present market is of gaming peripherals where even gaming headsets rely on USB ports for connectivity & this is a premium case so atleast one more USB port was expected.

Turning our glance at the back we have the standard seven expansion slot arrangement here along with a 120mm exhaust fan mount which already has a SP120 installed out of the box and is non-RGB. Along with the standard seven expansion slots we also have two vertical mounts for graphics card which would easily support a two slot graphics card in vertical fashion provided you have a PCIe riser cable which has to be brought separately and is not provided with the case nor by Corsair through its online or offline partners. This is an extremely welcome move since this not only completes the whole studio look of the 275R but also vertically mounted cards are a thing now with all those RGB decorations on the fan sides worth showing off and this comes right out of the box and no extra accessory is needed for this unlike other brands giving user the much needed flexibility.

PSU mount is standard with no tray or bracket system and comes with a removable dust filter at the bottom which is yes you guessed it right white! The Corsair 275R on paper supports a PSU of upto 180mm which is ample for almost every PSU out there but if needed one can remove the HDD cage underneath the shroud to gain more space obviously at the cost of two HDDs so its a call to be taken at the user's end.
The bottom side is plane and simple with no projections or caveats but a notable thing are the feet that the 275R stands upon which are not only oddly thick but are rubber padded and have a nice silver trim to them showing the attention to detail paid while designing the case.

A peek inside and we see a clean and I mean exceptionally clean and white area with just the rubber grommets on the caveats the only thing which is not white and is adding some contrast to the space. The Corsair 275R supports upto ATX motherboards and graphics card lengths of upto  370mm which covers even the longest cards in the market today including the Zotac AMP or the MSI Gaming X Trio. The front has one SP120 fan pre-installed like the one at the back but one can install a radiator of upto 360mm in the front so this paves way to stuff even a HEDT processor inside since the front 360mm would be drawing air directly from the outside. On the downside a push pull configuration is not possible here since the PSU shroud just doesn't leave that much gap to fit in a solution that thick.
Also the PSU shroud which runs through the entire length of the case is pure white with vents on the PSU top and a caveat for easy wire routing like the PCIe power cable and the Audio cable.

At the back we can see that we have the HDD cage at the bottom which houses two tool less caddies for 3.5" HDD or 2.5" SSDs and can be removed if required. There are also two SSD mounts near the front end and also two more with black backplates to hold the SSDs in place. The bracket is made out of metal so there is no chance of breakage which is good and I expect nothing less at this price point. For wire management we have good clearance and it shouldn't be much of an issue here.

Time for the Fun Part - Installation!

Before I proceed further I'd like to say that I had a very limited time with this case hence I've concentrated more on bringing you a more detailed review and less of fancy photographs so excuse me for the bad photography here at times.
For this installation and build of the Corsair Carbide 275R I've decided to go with something different than what I usually do since this case can accommodate almost any AIO in the market today if installed on the front side so I wanted to try how it'll come out with an air cooler in place and also since the case provides for a vertically mounted graphics card then why not use it so we'll be mounting the graphics card vertically here for more or less aesthetics reasons. Also I've swapped the stock Corsair SP120 fan in the front with three 120mm high CFM blue LED fans to provide optimum air flow to this case and as most of you would be doing so when going for an air cooler build.
For the build I've used the following components -

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
Motherboard: Gigabyte Aorus AX370 Gaming 5
RAM: Kingston HyperX Predator 16GB DDR4 3000Mhz
Cooler: Noctua NH-D14
Graphics Card: MSI R9 380 Gaming 4G
Storage: Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB
Power Supply: Cooler Master MasterWatt Lite 700
RGB LED Strip: Colors by TweakedPC

I'm pretty happy with how the build has come up here with everything in place. Talking about the air cooler first the Noctua NH-D14 is quite beefy and due to the tall memory kit that I've used I had to shift the front 120mm fan a few notches up and yet the case accommodated it easily with its 170mm clearance! The graphics card sits tightly into the slots provided and there was absolutely no hassle whatsoever in installing the card, just pop off the two metal strips that close the vertical expansion slots and screw in the card and tighten it to go ahead. The 2cm space behind the motherboard is ample for wire management and thanks to the shroud here its easier to hide the wires even if using a non modular PSU such as mine which has round thick cables.

Even while installing the cooler fans or routing the cables through the various locations I didn't find any difficulties even though I have thicker fingers than an average guy and even if my hand or fingers did get rubbed across the metal then also there were no cuts or bruises since the entire finishing is so smooth and clean without any rough edges making it builder friendly even for newbies. As can be seen the RGB LED strip glow is scattered and reflected beautifully by the all white interiors of the 275R which makes it even a better. Also if you look closely then we can see that the front slit without the vents does a great job in reflecting the lights from the blue LED fans installed in the front. Over all the build is quite clean and even with so much stuffed inside the case looks beautiful and exactly how I'd like it to be even though I'm not a fan of mid-towers but still I like how this entire build has come across in terms of looks aswell in terms of building experience.

Temperature Reading

To get the temperature readings across various components I've used HWMonitor and run every test twice taking the highest reading out of the two. Only on exhaust SP120 fan is used & CPU cooler is the Noctua NH-D14 and its set to default settings via the BIOS just as the exhaust fan.
Reading is taken with the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X overclocked to 3.8Ghz and fan curve for the MSI R9 380 Gaming 4G is set to default that is the fans would only spin after the card hits 60°C or more. CPU and Graphics Card are loaded for 15mins using the MSI Kombuster and FurMark suit respectively. Readings are in degree Celsius and readings are in delta temperature.

My Verdict

Refresh done right! Yes, that's the best way to describe the Corsair Carbide 275R chassis. Most people might take it just as a cosmetic refresh to the previous 270R but to be honest the 275R has not only picked up right from where the 270R left but has also made a mark for its own self in terms of an entirely new case.
The ample storage options with two HDDs and four SSDs is big improvement and a much needed and useful thing of today where most people need multiple drives just for a gaming PC lets forget about a HTPC or a professional grade work station. Talking about the cooling options we have more than we can possibly as for from a mid tower with a 360mm in front, a 240mm on top and then a 120mm at the back which is practically enough for a custom cooling loop for the CPU and GPU both or just a AIO for the CPU and a GPU with a hybrid cooler, the possibilities are endless but the conclusion is that inside a mid tower for around $80 we are looking at a workstation grade build with ease which is nothing short of impressive. Oh and we can even mount the Graphics card vertically!
Should I talk about the looks? Of course i should, the Corsair 275R is a thing of sheer beauty and much more. The all white interior and exterior is just splendid and something to fall for especially with the use of textured plastic wherever required and smooth edges and curvaceous front fascia. The silver trims on the feet is a testimony to the attention to details here & with that tempered glass this is the perfect studio or gaming PC case for this year and for a few more to come offering great looks on its own and adding value to the various RGB or non-RGB components used.
"The Corsair Carbide 275R has a sophisticated flare of craftsmanship due mainly to the meticulous designing and added tempered glass panel. Building a system using this case can make the most novice builder look like a polished pro at building gaming computers"
Pros - 
  • Exceptionally designed
  • Ample of Liquid Cooling options including a 360mm mount
  • Comes with vertical graphics card mounting option
  • Five years warranty applicable on glass break aswell 
  • Great air flow
Cons - 
  • Only two USB ports in the front
  • Push pull configuration in case of 360mm is not possible
I give it a 9/10 earning out Gold Award

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

This mouse from Rapoo has fashion sense

Tech Fashion Redefined! Rapoo India Launches the 3510 Plus Fabric Wireless Optical Mouse

Mumbai, India, March 13, 2018: RAPOO - a leading manufacturer of wireless peripheral products, has introduced the 3510 Plus 2.4G Fabric Wireless Optical Mouse in India.

A fusion of innovation and style, the RAPOO 3510 Plus Fabric Wireless Optical Mouse is an exquisite combination of a soft fabric surface, cool colors and a textural effect felt when touched.

The product is designed to be of a proper size (113 x 64 x 30 mm), ideal for both hands. It offers a big advantage in portability with a delicate 80g body and a plug-and-play ultra-mini NANO receiver. Stable 2.4G wireless technology covers a 10m transmission distance and effectively prevents the mouse link from jamming. The 12 months’ battery life makes it an efficient productivity tool. Moreover, it is adaptable to different surfaces with the 1000 DPI HD invisible tracking engine.

Commenting on the product, Mukesh Chaudhary, Country Head, India, SAARC & ME, Rapoo Technology said, “Rapoo aims to redefine the usage of wireless tech accessories. The combination of elegance and versatility in designing wireless accessories is what sets the brand Rapoo, a class apart. The Rapoo 3510 Plus Fabric Wireless Optical Mouse is designed to cater to individuals whose aesthetic sense of style in their personalities extends to their choice of gadgets.”

The Rapoo 3510 Plus Fabric Wireless Optical Mouse will shortly be available in India in 3 colors, blue, black and grey. It will be available offline as well as online via Rapoo’s authorized partners.

Key features of the Rapoo 3510 Plus Fabric Wireless Optical Mouse:

Soft fabric cover

Soft fabric cover is not only durable and breathable, but also offers an extremely comfortable grip.

Reliable 2.4G wireless connection
Reliable 2.4G wireless connection covers a distance up to 10 meters.

1000 DPI high-definition tracking engine
Enjoy responsive and smooth cursor control with the 1000 DPI high-definition invisible tracking engine.

12-month battery life
With Rapoo's latest energy saving technology and power switch, you can use your mouse without power interruption for up to 12 months.

Precision on nearly every surface
The high-performance engine enables you to use 3510 Plus on virtually any surface.  Enjoy a high-speed response and unrivaled accuracy.

Plug-and-forget NANO receiver
So small and unobtrusive, you can plug it into a USB port and forget about it, and you can say goodbye to worry about lost receivers.

What's in the box:
1 x Wireless Mouse
1 x Nano receiver
1 x AA alkaline battery (pre-installed)
1 x Quick start guide

System requirements:
Windows10,Windows 8,Windows 7,Windows Vista Windows XP Mac OS computer with USB port


About Rapoo

Founded in 2002, RAPOO is dedicated to offering excellent, cutting-edge wireless peripheral products to users around the world. “Wireless Your Life” is the simple philosophy that RAPOO has always adhered to.

RAPOO has constantly paid close attention to the continuous changes in user demands and to providing corresponding solutions. The RAPOO range of wireless mice, wireless keyboards, wireless headsets and wireless speakers is tailored to meet the needs of PC users. Bluetooth headsets and Bluetooth keyboards for intelligent terminals, like mobile phones and tablet PCs, are further featured in RAPOO’s broad portfolio. Multimedia keyboards and Multi-Link (dandelion technology) product suites for the home theater round out the RAPOO range.

RAPOO possesses a top class R&D design team which has a deep understanding of the industrial aesthetic standards of today’s world and can accurately grasp the end-user experiences in the market. In the IF Design Awards 2012 and 2013, four products of the RAPOO Blade Series won awards, which further strengthened and honored RAPOO's relentless pursuit of offering the best user experience.

RAPOO was listed on Shenzhen Stock Exchange (Stock Code: 002577) in China in April 2011. In order to provide more end-users around the world with excellent products and services, RAPOO launched its global market strategy in 2011 to enable global users to simultaneously share RAPOO’s technological achievements.

RAPOO’s mission is to "Wireless Your Life”, meaning that RAPOO is constantly striving to bring more and more people around the world unique wireless enjoyment and in doing so create a brand-new wireless lifestyle.

MasterKeys Pro L Gaming Keyboard Re-launched by Cooler Master

Cooler Master RE-launches MasterKeys Pro L with White LEDs at an attractive price!

  • MasterKeys Pro L – 100% full-key layout with CHERRY MX Red & Brown switches 
13th March 2018 Mumbai, India – Cooler Master, a leader in design and manufacturing computer components and peripherals, today launched a selection of keyboards for gamers and casual users to choose from. The MasterKeys Pro L Intelligent White provides a crisp, clearer white that an RGB keyboard cannot deliver. The keyboard also comes with multiple LED lighting modes, on-the-fly macros, profile support, and CHERRY MX (Red and Brown) switches – the epitome of simplistic design.

“The MasterKeys Pro Intelligent White series offers brilliant crisp white illumination. Presets include Light Wave, Breathing, and unique responsive effects. The keyboard comes in a full keyboard layout and includes CHERRY MX switches to match tactile preference. Plug and Play design eliminates the hassle of installing software and all settings are adjustable via the On-the-fly System in a simple and user-friendly manner. But what’s really special is the price we are re-launching this keyboard in India!! It’s an unbeatable price proposition” – Said Sanket Naik – Country Manager, India.


The Brightest of Brights with the MasterKeys Pro L

The MasterKeys Pro Intelligent White series offers the brightest LEDs and the best tactile feeling suitable for all users. Cooler Master effectively designed a keyboard with the brightest white LED backlighting while still using 100% authentic CHERRY MX switches. The Intelligent White LEDs provides a clearer, crisper white compared to RGB keyboards. On-board memory ensures all responsive lighting effects and macros are executed instantly thanks to the seamless On-the-fly System and profile support.

On-the-fly System to adjust lighting modes

The intuitively placed function keys layer allows you to manually adjust the lighting speed and mode to match your personal taste. To alter the lighting mode, press FN + left or right arrow keys with the anti-clock wise icons. You can also modify the light speed by pressing FN + the top and down arrow keys with the speed icon. Whatever your style or preference, it can be altered at the tip of your fingers, without the need to install or use software.

Suitable for Work and Play

The keyboard comes with a default and gaming profile modes. While working or doing homework you can disable gaming macros and lighting modes by pressing FN + ESC to enter default mode and prevent the use of any macros. When you’re ready to get back into the game, use the four dedicated profiles for all your lighting and macros for a quick and easy switch to boost your performance. The Status Indicator System, by holding down the FN key, makes it easy to navigate the On-the-fly System and easily change settings and profiles by just glancing at the keyboard.

Exclusive Anti-Ghosting Technology

Two advanced technologies rolled into one making the keyboard’s functions and macros compatible even on Mac OSX systems. Cooler Master has combined N-key and 6-key rollover together, ensuring each key press is correctly detected regardless of how many keys are pressed. Rest assured, regardless of how fast and furious it gets, or on whatever OS you choose to game, the MasterKeys Pro series can handle it.
MasterKeys Pro L: Immediate

Where to Buy:


About Cooler Master
Cooler Master is a Taipei-based, global computer components company with more than a 20-year track record in releasing innovative products that truly advance the industry. We are driven by a passion for the things that make building a PC such a unique, rewarding experience, and sustained by a vision that we can reinvent the way these machines are designed, made and used. From our landmark release of the first ever aluminum PC case to our groundbreaking switch to the modular format, Cooler Master is committed to bringing our customers and fans the utmost in choice and control. For more information on Cooler Master, please visit or follow us on Facebook

Saturday, 10 March 2018

AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X and other second gen Ryzen CPU pricing revealed in leak

The second coming of Ryzen

AMD returned to relevance in the high-end processor space with its Zen architecture, and while first generation Ryzen parts didn't outright dethrone Intel, Zen gave AMD a solid foundation to build upon. We are going to see that soon with the release of second generation Ryzen parts, prices for which have leaked out.

Before we go any further, let's clear something up real quick. AMD's second generation Ryzen processors are not Zen 2. They're based on what AMD is calling Zen+ using a refined 12-nanometer manufacturing process, whereas first generation Ryzen (Zen) processors are built on a 14nm process. Zen 2, due out sometime next year, will be built on a 7nm process.

Okay, back to the leak. Spanish website El Chapuzas Informatico dumped a whole bunch of AMD slides detailing the company's upcoming Ryzen processors. If the slides are legit—and they certainly look like it—we now know what speeds and price points AMD's next batch of Ryzen processors will hit.

Here is a breakdown:
  • Ryzen 7 2700X (8-core/16-thread, 3.7GHz-4.35GHz, 20MB, 105W TDP)—$369
  • Ryzen 7 2700 (8-core/16-thread, 3.2GHz-4.1GHz, 20MB, 65W TDP)—$299
  • Ryzen 5 2600X (6-core/12-thread, 3.6GHz-4.25GHz, 19MB, 95W TDP)—$249
  • Ryzen 5 2600 (6-core/12-thread, 3.4GHz-3.9GHz, 19MB, 65W TDP)—$199

Each of those will ship with a different version of AMD's Wraith cooler, with the Wraith Prism going to the Ryzen 7 2700X, Wraith Spire (LED) going to the Ryzen 7 2700, Wraith Spire (non-LED) going to the Ryzen 5 2600X, and Wraith Stealth going to the Ryzen 5 2600.

The price points match up similarly to Intel's Core i7-8700K, Core i7-8700, Core i5-8600K, and Core i5-8600 processors. Just as important, however, one of the slides reiterates that all of AMD's Ryzen 2000 processors are compatible with existing socket AM4 300-series motherboards, with a BIOS update.

AMD will also be releasing new X470 and B450 chipsets to help make better use of its Precision Boost and eXtended Range Frequency (XFR) technologies. Assuming the clockspeeds are the primary change, performance should be up to 10 percent faster than the existing Ryzen parts. Expect to see all of this land at retail on or around April 19, at which time we'll also find out if there are any deeper architectural changes to improve performance..

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Corsair launches the all new Carbide 275R

Minimalist Design, Maximum Features
CORSAIR Launches Carbide Series 275R PC Case

BENGALURU, India - March 7, 2018

CORSAIR®, a world leader in PC gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today announced the launch of the new Carbide Series 275R PC Case. Combining minimalist design, and a wealth of features that make building a great-looking PC easier than ever, the 275R is available in either black or white, and with a choice of tempered glass or edge-to-edge acrylic side panel. Simple and understated styling frame an un-interrupted view into your PC, while a wealth of cooling options allow the 275R to host the most ambitious PC builds. Finished with soft front accent lighting and tireless attention to detail, the 275R is styled for subtlety but equipped to standout.

Beneath its minimalist styling, the 275R boasts the latest in PC case features, from a vertical GPU mount to integrated lighting. Able to mount up to a huge 360mm liquid cooling radiator in the front or a 240mm in the roof, the 275R is ready to host the most demanding liquid cooling systems.

Two included CORSAIR SP120 cooling fans and unobtrusively placed ventilation ensure the 275R has plentiful airflow to cool even today's hottest hardware, with the option to fit up to six 120mm cooling fans should you need to upgrade.

A full-length PSU cover and plentiful cut-outs and tie-downs make building a great looking system easy, while removable dust filters in the roof, floor and front* ensure your PC still looks its best, long after the build is finished.

The 275R also boasts a deceptively large amount of drive space within its clean and clutter-free interior. Hidden from view are four 2.5in SSD mounts on the rear of the motherboard, with two 3.5in hard drive trays beneath the PSU cover.

Ready to house today's fastest PC hardware within refined and reserved styling, the CORSAIR Carbide Series 275R pairs minimalist design with maximum features.

Availability, Warranty and Pricing
The CORSAIR Carbide Series 275R is available immediately from the CORSAIR worldwide network of authorized retailers and distributors as well as direct from the CORSAIR webstore.

The CORSAIR Carbide Series 275R is backed by a comprehensive two-year warranty and the CORSAIR worldwide customer support network.

For up-to-date and regional pricing of the CORSAIR Carbide Series 275R, please refer to the CORSAIR website or contact your local CORSAIR sales or PR representative


CORSAIR is a world leader in providing high-performance PC peripherals and components to gamers, enthusiasts and e-sports athletes.

Founded in 1994, CORSAIR has won thousands of awards for its products including mechanical keyboards, precision gaming mice, wireless headsets, high-performance components that gamers use to build gaming PCs, and the CORSAIR ONE fully-integrated gaming PC.

Copyright © 2018 CORSAIR Components, Inc. All rights reserved. CORSAIR, the sails logo, and Vengeance are registered trademarks of CORSAIR in the United States and/or other countries. All other company and/or product names may be trade names, trademarks, and/or registered trademarks of the respective owners with which they are associated. Features, pricing, availability, and specifications are subject to change without notice. To know more please visit

Monday, 5 March 2018

Rapoo VH150 Backlit Gaming Headset Review

Rapoo VH150 Backlit Gaming Headset - Performance on a Budget!

When it comes to PC peripherals or especially gaming peripherals there are a lot of brands that keep popping up with their new products that sometimes are quite impressive if not downright disappointing! One such new brand stepping inside the Indian market is Rapoo which is a Chinese Brand established in 2002 and is a subsidiary of MLK Electronics Hong Kong established with the aim of delivering ground breaking wireless PC peripherals. Well though not wireless but today we have with us the Rapoo VH150 Backlit Gaming Headset for review thanks to Rapoo India which they'd launched in February 2018.

Priced in at Rs 2999 the Rapoo VH150 Backlit Gaming Headset utilizes 50mm neodymium drivers to deliver a thump pumping audio quality at a maximum 20Khz all working perfectly with almost any device you can name of including PC, cell phones, tablets and even gaming consoles of the latest generation.
With an impedance of 32 Ohms and a maximum output power of around 100mW which is exactly what we expect from a headset of this category.

What's in the Box!?

For the first time ever I'm looking at a gaming series component to be coming in a a plain brown cardboard box with no hints of colors whatsoever! Rapoo somewhat decided to pack the VH150 inside a plane cardboard box with a lined out product image along with the product name clearly printed on the the sides and the bottom.

Open the box and you'll find yourself the VH150 tidily fit onto a cardboard stand along with a user guide cum warranty leaflet. The packing and contents are bare minimum and just enough to get you started clearly indicating cost cutting measures to keep the price as low as possible. Overall the packaging is fine for the amount of protection it will offer to the inert but a colored box would've been a bit better and more soothing to the eyes.

Let's take a Closer Look

The headband on the Rapoo VH150 is thick and padded with a smooth layer of foam and leatherette like material which boasts the Rapoo logo on the top. The entire frame is aluminum based which comes out bare in form of brushed aluminum finish at the hinges of the headset cup. The hinges are non rotatable and are rigid as they are offering little flexibility but are sturdy enough not to break while bending or twisting them a bit.

Looking at the cups we see that they are very well made and constructed with a premium rubber finish all over the outer body and memory foam like thick padding on the inside about who's comfort we'll see later on in the review. The hings can rotate to a bit on the inside so as to adjust to the users preference and have a premium looking joint to it. You see a meshed covering on the which has the blue led in  side and will light up when the headset is powered on.
What I find awkward is that the connecting wire for both the cups is protruding outside of the band near the joints which can tangle or even break if the user is wearing earrings, beads or anything as such. This is something that I even find strange in some of the HyperX headsets but now its trickling down to Rapoo aswell!

The VH150 comes with a 3m long non braided wire which has an in-line volume control and also a switch to turn on/off the backlit LEDs on the cups. The in-line controller is big and chunky and rests near the headset side of the wire for easier access and is covered in the same rubber material as the headset to give a more homogeneous approach. Connectivity wise we have a 3.5mm audio and microphone jack along with a USB connector to power on the LED, if not connected the headset would work like a normal headset with no LEDs.
Also the 103dBmW sensitivity mic is detachable and extremely flexible but sturdy covered by a foam cap and can be adjusted as per the user's wish. Sadly you cannot mute it via a physical button since none is present on the headset or on the in-line controller.

Time to hit the Chords!

Gaming Performance

Since the Rapoo VH150 aims at gaming, obviously, we tested it with some of our all time favorites, Crysis 3 and Battlefield 1 for its excellent blend of audio, Middle Earth: Shadow of War for its pitch perfect environmental sounds and Forza Horizon 3 well simply 'coz I like that game!
In Crysis 3 we had no issue whatsoever in listening to or understanding what Prophet was saying and noises were greatly distinguished in the heat of battle, even of the crickets in the NY jungle! Battlefield 1 came out fully immersive especially when it came to sitting inside the battle tanks or listening to aerial bombing happening across the field. In Shadow of War we could really feel the voices coming from different directions and interestingly even though the bass on these headphones are acceptable they didn't distort the sounds of footsteps from behind and I was able to pin point the enemy location making it a great choice for eSport players including CS:GO. The engines of Bugatti or Lamborghini sounded great but the bass on this headset is quite damped out in comparison to what I like and what is needed at times so there was a bit of hollowness to the entire feel over here.
Also the mic is static free and picks up noise at low levels, a bit of a nasal comes in but with a bit of an adjustment that can be taken care of. Even though its quite flexible I didn't feel it to be flimsy at all in terms of build quality which is quite good since we adjust the mic often during gaming sessions.

Movies, Music & Miscellaneous Stuff 

For movies and music I plugged in the VH150 into a ALC 1220 codec based audio solution on my PC motherboard and also we tested it with an Apple iPhone 5S and iPhone 7 for basically musical playback. Firstly we went in for a wide variety like the dialogue intensive Schindler's List & 12 Years a Slave to high pitch titles like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 and Fast and the Furious 8, all came out in perfect quality except for the part where you'd like plenty of bass or need to enjoy the highs in the spectrum.
Bryan Adam's Heaven and some of my all time favorite Bollywood songs sounded great with exceptional lows accompanied by a good treble. Eminem Legacy and Rap God were as clear as they can be with bass nearing perfection for a gaming headset, even at full volume songs from 3 Doors Down, Motorhead or Metallica didn't crack displaying the true power of the 50mm drivers that it uses. A thing about these headsets is that these are quite loud and not loud as in loudness but in terms of sharpness so make sure you keep the volume at round 50%-70% as at high volumes the voices get really sharp and can hurt your ears.
Noise isolation is good not extremely great but noise isolation both for the headset and microphone is good as you can' listen to he chatter of the guy sitting next to you nor do the mic picks up sounds of your mechanical keyboards which is a welcome move.
Comfort wise the clamping force on these headsets is not too tight nor too loose which is good for gamers who tend to move their head too much and can cause their headsets to slip off their heads but due to the material used on the cups whcih is non breathable & a bit on the harder side it can get sweaty and itchy in summers so be aware of that.

My Verdict

I always like to review new and unconventional brands as they tend to offer something new all the time be it good or bad but in case of Rapoo I see a product that has more positives to weigh out its negatives. Right now you can pick these up for as low as ₹1,499 which when considered with what the VH150 has to offer we find our selves looking at a winner.
The VH150 from Rapoo is build solid with a full aluminum frame padded thickly and smoothly offering rigidity and comfort all at the same time. Even though the cups don't rotate much but the sound quality they offer is good enough for most of us especially the budget gamer for whom this product is aimed at as at this price point we can't ask much. The cable is long and in-line control works nicely and is easily accessible while the noise cancellation on the mic and its sound quality is good for Skype calls or in game chats.
The blue LED light is subtle and does add a bit of bling to the package but its the premium rubber coating over the headset that makes it really impressive and worthy. Bass is underwhelming which I was a bit disappointed by and so were the highs to some extent but when I look at the price tag I can't complain much.
"The Rapoo VH150 Gaming Headset is build solid, sounds good, looks great and is priced to the point making it a perfect recommendation for every gamer on a budget who wants a bang for their buck & even more!"
Pros - 
  • Solid Build Quality
  • Premium Rubber Finish 
  • Aptly Priced
  • Detachable Mic
  • Good Sound Quality
  • Comfortable
Cons -
  • Lacks Bass
  • No Mic Mute Button  
I give it a 7/10 earning our Silver Award!

Sunday, 4 March 2018

MSI launches a pair of RGB mechanical keyboards with extra keycaps

One is a full-size keyboard and the other is a tenkeyless (TKL) plank.

The peripheral market is now flush with mechanical keyboards, but if you thought companies would stop producing new models, think again. Proving as such, MSI is rolling out two new models, the Vigor GK80 (full-size) and Vigor GK70 (tenkeyless, meaning no dedicated number pad) with customizable RGB lighting.

Both of these are gaming keyboards with a choice between Cherry MX Red or Cherry MX Silver key switches. What's the difference? As noted, Cherry MX Reds have a linear actuation, meaning smooth and fast key presses with no bump, and are quiet. The same traits apply to Cherry MX Silver switches, which are a newer breed, but with a shorter actuation point. For Cherry MX Reds, the actuation point is 2mm, with a total travel distance of 4mm, while Cherry MX Silvers have a 1.2mm actuation point and 3.4mm travel distance.

MSI's new keyboards ditch the plastic frame found on most models in favor of an anodized aluminum base, without a traditional housing. Keyboards that go this route have a sort of floating key design. It can also make the lighting brighter with more LED spillage, so that's something to keep in mind.

There are no dedicated macro/gaming keys. However, there are individual media keys along the top. MSI also built a series of hotkeys to switch between three motherboard and graphics card performance modes on the fly, provided you own compatible MSI hardware.

The keyboards come with a key puller and some extra keycaps, including four metal zinc alloy caps for the WASD keys and a dozen double injected rubber keycaps. These can be stored in the backside of the wrist rest.

Both keyboards will be available later this month. MSI has not yet provided information on pricing.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

MSI B350 Gaming Plus Review

The MSI B350 Gaming Plus Motherboard - Its a Plus in every way!

Its been a while since AMD Ryzen made a debut with its first ever Ryzen 7 CPU lineup last year which was followed up by Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 series that was primarily focused at gamers and modest content creators rather than the enthusiasts that the Ryzen 7 was supposed to cater. With this we did see a whole new generation of X370, B350 and A320 chipset based motherboards flooding the market which recently got a new lease on life when the Ryzen G series or the Ryzen APUs released earlier in February 2018. Since the new generation of Ryzen APUs are more budget oriented the biggest benefit is obviously to the B350 PCH based motherboards and that brings me today to yet another review.
Today we'll be looking at the MSI B350 Gaming Plus motherboard and see how good or bad this near $100 offering from MSI really is for your next Ryzen APU build!

Priced in at $103 or Rs 8,600 in India the MSI B350 Gaming Plus is obviously an upper budget B350 motherboard supporting the Ryzen and Ryzen G series processors. Its well equipped with a all USB3.0 ports, a premium audio solution, four DIMM slots and a red and black color scheme to compliment any gaming system out there.

Packing and Accessories

With the red and black lava like textured design and color scheme in place the MSI B350 Gaming Plus is on fire! On a serious note carrying the new performance gaming motherboard lineup color scheme the B350 Gaming Plus is in a slim cardboard box with the product name and the B350 badge occupying most of the front space. Rest of the essentials like VR Ready, AM4 socket and Ryzen ready logos are also printed clearly across the front fascia.

At the back there is a colored labeled diagram of the motherboard with rest of the features along with brief descriptions and their respective graphical representations. At the bottom left you'll also find a diagram for the various ports on the IO panel which completes the package and is informative enough for a potential customer.

In the accessories section the MSI B350 Gaming Plus is a bit on the generous side and its totally understandable for a board of this price point. We have a user guide manual, a memory installation guide, a quick start guide, driver DVD and a thank you note along with the IO shield.

A Closer Look

The MSI B350 Gaming Plus is quite different from other AM4 motherboards on the market today boasting a unique color combination and detailed aesthetics work on the PCB which might act as an attraction point for the product.

If we look closely then we realize that the B350 Gaming Plus is infact the same PCB as that of the B350 Tomahawk motherboard but with a different color scheme. The red and black color scheme and veins like abstract work on the PCH heatsink and on other parts of the motherboard is what separates this from the latter leaving the choice upto the customer to choose the one as per his choice of colors and build theme.

The back side of the motherboard is mainly bare with nothing much to see or observe except for a few brand and license logos aswell as the metal back-plate for the AM4 plastic stand offs or after market coolers.

For the IO panel we have a two USB 2.0 and three USB 3.1 ports, one USB Type-C port, LAN port, audio output, one PS2 port and if an AM4 APU is installed, it can utilize the embedded graphics through a VGA port, a DVI port and an HDMI port.
Resolutions up to 1920×1200 at 60Hz are supported on the single-link DVI-D port, while HDMI offers 4K at a low refresh rate or lower resolutions (such as 1080P) at 60Hz.

The AM4 socket for the AMD Ryzen CPUs is clearly placed in the middle with enough clearance around the socket to install beefy air coolers including the Noctua ones provided your DIMMs aren't too tall. Its accentuated by red stripes all around giving it the convergence point sort of a feel which is well justified.

MSI B350 Gaming Plus supports four DIMMs with a maximum capacity of 64GB and at a frequency of 3200Mhz which is more than enough. Also these slots are colored in red and black alternate fashion but are not reinforced for cost cutting measures which is not a deal breaker at all.

The single 110mm-capable M.2 connector supports M.2 32Gbps PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSDs as well as SATA 6Gbps-based alternatives. The steel-reinforced PCIe slot is where sixteen PCIe 3.0 lanes from an AM4 Ryzen CPU are directed and should be used to install a graphics card. Four PCIe 2.0 lanes from the chipset are delivered to the secondary full-length slot, making it unsuitable for SLI or high-bandwidth CrossFire. Two PCIe 2.0 x1 slots are also provided and receive their bandwidth by stealing some lanes from the lower full-length slot, which is then dropped from x4 to x2 mode.
To provide PCI connectivity MSI uses an ASMedia ASM1083 PCIe-to-PCI bridge chip.

As for storage option we have four SATA III 6Gb/s ports located near the PCH heatsink out of which two are vertically aligned for easy cable routing and wire management. Its strange that MSI provided only four SATA ports here since the B350 PCH supports six SATA ports and four can be a bit less for most of the users.

Talking about power delivery system the MSI B350 Gaming Plus has a 4+2 power delivery system in place which is adequate for most of the Ryzen CPUs when overclocked and enough to keep any one of them running at stock.
Out of these four are for the CPU alone while the other two are for the SoC and for the iGPU of the Ryzen G series APUs. A Richtek RT8894A PWM controls the system. Four CPU phases and two SoC/iGPU use four NIKOS PK616BA and eight NIKOS PK632BA MOSFETs which is a good and solid installation for promising overclocks both on the CPU and iGPU side.

Since the B350 Gaming Plus is quite feature rich but also a $100 motherboard a few cost cutting features are bound to brought into effect, the most prominent being the use of the Realtek ALC892 audio codec over the more conventional ALC1220 which is not that good when powering larger speakers over the latter but works flawlessly if not better when paired with gaming headsets.

BIOS and Bundled Software

BIOS Overview

UEFI BIOS is getting more and more common with each manufacturer opting for it due to its simple and flexible interface along with the option to navigate via a mouse rather than a keyboard exclusive BIOS. MSI is no different and has offered not one but two versions of BIOS, EZ and Advanced versions, with the MSI B350 Gaming Plus so as to suit every customer's needs.
On boot up by default you'll be greeted with a more comprehensive and detailed EZ BIOS screen. This is a crammed up screen that has the details about all the components installed on the board along with options laid out neatly under clear tabs on the left side. If you want to change fan speeds, maybe boot devices, or use its automated overclocking function or A-XMP, you can do so quickly and easily.

This is a much preferred version for the beginners and though it comes with a Game Boost Knob on the top left its useless since the Gaming Plus doesn't support this feature. The "Memory Try It" feature is as always working well on this motherboard aswell and provide some easy overclocking features on the click for the RAM provided you don't expect too much here since we are talking about a Ryzen platform who's Infinity Fabric requires you to pay some attention and do some prior homework.
On pressing the F7 key you'll be teleported into the Advanced BIOS version or the traditional MSI UEFI BIOS version. This is a version that all the overclockers will love since the settings are broadly laid out with tab heading like Over Clocking Settings itself. A plethora of features are there out of which I'm showing you a selective few.
However there is a bit of an issue with the MSI current BIOS as of now when paired with the Ryzen G APUs about which we'll talk in the next section.

Bundled Software

This is the era when manufacturers provide customers with not just a motherboard and utility softwares that act more like blotwares if nothing else. Gigabyte App center is already what I've reviewed a lot of time & it has never failed to impress but MSI is no less rather  a bit more refined in their approach.
The heart of the software set is the MSI command set which gives you general features and information regarding the CPU, GPU, Fan Speed, IGP and the Game Boost knob...again!

Also one beautiful graphical window is there that provides you with temperature readings of each component & even tell you where they are located on the board.
The gaming app section is something that you'll  be familiar to if you are a MSI graphic card owner. It give you all the information and tweaking options related to your GPU and you can select which vital stat you want to see on your screen. Also you can adjust mouse sensitivity and assign hot keys to your gaming mouse from here making it a one stop solution for gaming.

Another added feature this time is the support of wireless control over the MSI Command Center which can be achieved via an App for your cell phone that allows full control over the features of the motherboard including adjusting voltages and frequencies aswell!
Some extra software include the SteelSeries Engine 3 for Steelseries gaming accessories, MSI version of CPUZ, XSplit Gamecaster with one year free subscription etc

Benchmarks and Overclocking 

Before I talk any further first let's take a glance at the test bench configuration for this test which is well optimized for the processor and motherboard we are using here -

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2400G
Motherboard: MSI B350 Gaming Plus
RAM: Kingston HyperX Predator 16GB DDR4 3000Mhz G.Skill Trident Z 16GB DDR4 3200Mhz
Cooler: AMD Wraith Spire
Graphics Card: Vega 11 iGPU
Storage: Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB
Power Supply: Cooler Master MasterWatt Lite 700
Case: Corsair Carbide SPEC Omega
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

Booting into Windows with everything installed was easy and I did not face any issues with either the processor or any of the two RAM kits used over here. Obviously you need to flash the BIOS to the latest one for supporting Ryzen APUs which I had to do using a separate Ryzen CPU and Graphics Card, once done everything would work flawlessly using the on-board video output ports, over here I'm using the HDMI port though.

Now that was all the good part, one major obstacle that I encountered and a rather strange one was that when allocating 2GB of VRAM to the iGPU on the 2400G the system goes into a constitutions restart loop and if booted into Windows crashes as soon as I log into it. This is an issue only when using a 3200Mhz kit and not with a 3000Mhz kit which worked with ease even when using 2GB of allocated system memory! You'll notice different memory sizes in the CPUZ screenshot above due to this very reason.
To cross check I used another 3000Mhz+ memory kit and experienced boot failures bringing me to the conclusion that the current BIOS has incompatibility issues with the Ryzen 5 2400G when allocating 2GB system memory using a 3200Mhz memory kit, hope MSI fixes this with another BIOS update soon as this is a bit shameful since at 2GB VRAM the Vega 11 iGPU is extremely competent while gaming.
The below benchmarks are using the Ryzen 5 2400G processor at stock frequency with boost enabled and two different memories since Ryzen likes high memory speeds and since the 3000Mhz and 3200Mhz marks are quite commonly bought these days so I wanted to cover how it performs with both just to give a better insight into the motherboard and CPU performance. With the 3000Mhz RAM we have 2GB of VRAM allocated to the iGPU while with the 3200Mhz we have 1GB of VRAM due to the above mentioned reasons.

AIDA64 Cache & Memory

AIDA64 Extreme Edition is a great tool to bench your CPU and RAM in terms of their read-write-copy abilities. Our 2400G showed an impressive score along with both the kits here and the results are as expected without any anomalies.


7zip is a compression and decompression program that utilizes the processing power of the CPU alone. It is a synthetic benchmark that gives results very close to real life scores.

Cinebench R15 & Cinebench R11.5

Cinebench uses Maxon's Cinema 4D engine to render a photo-realistic scene of some shiny balls and weird things (we miss the motorbike). The scene is highly complex, with reflections, ambient occlusion and procedural shaders so it gives a CPU a tough workout.
As Cinema 4D is a real-world application - used on films such as Spider-Man and Star Wars - Cinebench can be viewed as a real-world benchmark.

wPrime 1024M

wPrime is a leading multithreaded benchmark for x86 processors that tests your processor performance by calculating square roots with a recursive call of Newton’s method for estimating functions.

3DMark Fire Strike

Fire Strike by 3D Mark is a test suit that plays a cinematic scene to determine the FPS, GPU temperature and CPU temperature scaling everything via a cumulative score. It is a great tool to benchmark your GPU since the render is GPU dependent.
What we see here is that while using 1GB of VRAM on 3200Mhz system we are able to obtain better results than that on a 2GB VRAM 3000Mhz system since the Vega 11 clock speed of 1250Mhz is not enough to process all that 2GB of VRAM effectively and as this suite is highly memory speed dependent the 3200Mhz system is fairing off better.

3DMark Time Spy

Another suite developed by 3D Mark but this time it uses the DX12 API and is more accurate for modern gaming and other graphical workload which utilize DX12 for optimum and smoother functioning.
We see almost identical results here since Time Spy requires high VRAM and with just 1GB the performance comes down to the 3000Mhz system so I can expect much better results here if we had a 2GB VRAM along with 3200Mhz.

Ryzen Blender

This is basically a rendering tool which lets you test and bench your system's raw CPU power in terms of rendering pictures. The Ryzen scene is basically a Ryzen logo and was first shown while the launch of the Ryzen 7 series hence its apt to use it here aswell with the Ryzen  5 2400G

PCMark 10

PCMark is an effective tool to bench and see the capacity of the system to handle day to day tasks like video conference, web browsing etc to professional tasks like rendering. Its a great tool to judge the overall potential of the system. With lower VRAM but higher clocked RAM we can see minor difference in the two systems here which can be neglected as in real life it wouldn't be noticeable.

Rise of the Tomb Raider (Medium 720p)

We are using the medium preset here without any additional tweaks at 1280x720p and we see a similar case here like that in 3DMark Fire Strike where the 1GB of VRAM didn't bottleneck the Vega 11 GPU on the 2400G and instead we saw a better result courtesy to the faster RAM.

Assassin's Creed Origins (Medium 720p)

I kept this game in the list since its one of the more demanding games out there today and there isn't any other new title out there apt enough to tax the Vega 11 GPU heavily even at medium preset at 1280x720 resolution. What we see here is that both system are identical in performance due to faster RAM speeds even though at Medium settings the game utilizes over 1GB of VRAM.


Since I'm using the stock AMD Wraith Spire cooler over here as I want to keep this review of the MSI B350 Gaming Plus motherboard as close to reality as possible and don't expect anyone buying the Ryzen 5 2400G using an after market air or liquid cooler due to the budget oriented nature of the products in focus. The best results possible that I could obtain by keeping the system perfectly stable and within the safe temperature range was by overclocking the GPU over the CPU so while keeping the voltages same I managed a stable 1500Mhz on the Vega 11 GPU inside and I must say the results we see here are damn impressive not only in their raw form but also by the fact that these are on the stock cooler, stock voltage and truly a testimony to the power delivery system of the B350 Gaming Plus motherboard!

I won't leave you hanging dry here so don't worry I did overclock the CPU alone aswell since keeping the CPU and GPU both on OC state is near impossible under load due to the excessive heat it generates so using the stock cooler at 1.36v I managed a 4Ghz on the Ryzen 5 2400G which was boot aswell as benchmark stable but the results obtained were not significant and reaching anything further than the 4Ghz was impossible but it does show that MSI has made the B350 Gaming Plus a well optimized motherboard for the Ryzen G platform.

My Verdict

The MSI B350 Gaming Plus is not the best AM4 motherboard out there nor is the cheapest one but definitely it is the most well balanced motherboard out there for the AMD Ryzen platform.With great overclocking capacity with the new Ryzen G series APU thanks to its optimized BIOS and strong power delivery system the motherboard is everything you can ask for when it comes to raw or tweaked performance with some necessary but less felt for trade offs in the cost cutting area.
With five PWM fan headers including a dedicated AIO pump header we see a motherboard offering near double the number of on-board fan support here which is a BIOS to control it all really nicely. The only downside I can find her eis that of just four SATA ports where I would've liked six as that's something most people tend to fill up real quickly these days.
Talking about the optimization for Ryzen G series APU the presence of three video output from the get go version MSI did a fabulous job in creating a motherboard that stood the test of time when some of the top notch X370 motherboards from competing brands lacked a basic HDMI port to make them Ryzen APU friendly to say the least! There is a bit of an VRAM allocation issue here but that's something that MSI can easily fix with a BIOS update so no hard feelings about that.
"The MSI B350 Gaming Plus is one of the most balanced AM4 motherboards out there which offers great optimization and support for the Ryzen APUs justifying the B350 platform and making it a must have on every gamer's shopping list!"
Pros - 
  • Well optimized for Ryzen APUs
  • Solid power delivery system
  • Four DIMM slots
  • Five PWM fan headers 
  • Attractive aesthetics
  • Aptly priced  
Cons -
  • Only four SATA ports
I give it a 8/10 earning our Gold Award!