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Monday, 24 April 2017

Corsair launches K63 compact gaming keyboard in India

Corsair launches K63 Cherry MX Red compact gaming keyboard

Corsair has announced the launch of a new tenkeyless compact gaming keyboard, the Cosair K63, available exclusively with Cherry MX Red mechanical switches.

Designed for gamers running on compact desktops or looking for a keyboard they can take with them when they're on the move, the Corsair K63 is nevertheless designed to tick the boxes you'd expect from a budget-friendly mechanical keyboard. The compact tenkeyless design uses responsive Cherry MX Red switches for every key, backed by per-key LED lighting - though only in a single colour, red, rather than the customisable RGB lighting of higher-end keyboards.

The upper level of the keyboard includes dedicated media keys as well as a brightness toggle and a key to lock out the Super (Windows) modifier key - preventing it from dropping you out of a full-screen game due to an accidental press. The keyboard, naturally, connects via USB, but Corsair claims includes full anti-ghosting and N-key rollover - something many USB keyboards lack, being able to detect only a handful of simultaneous key-presses before ignoring additional inputs.

To further endear the device to gamers, Corsair has included compatibility with its Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) software to assign custom macros to any key and dynamically control the per-key backlighting. The keyboard weighs 1.12kg overall and measures 365mm by 171mm with a 41mm height.

Key features

  • 100% CHERRY MX Red mechanical keyswitches: Gold-contact CHERRY MX mechanical gaming keyswitches deliver the ultimate performance and competitive advantage
  • Per-key red LED backlighting and large font keycaps: Brilliant red LED backlighting enhances the experience with dynamic and virtually unlimited lighting adjustability 
  • Compact, tenkeyless design: Great for travel, and you'll have more room for your mouse
  • Dedicated volume and multimedia controls: Control to adjust media on-the-fly, without interrupting your game
  • 100% Anti-ghosting with full key rollover: No matter how fast your in-game actions are your keystrokes always register the way you intended
  • The power of CUE: Fully programmable with CUE to assign macros to any key and create dynamic lighting effects
  • Windows Key Lock mode: Stay focused and prevent accidental Windows and Context Menu key presses

Price, Warranty and Availability:

K63 RGB Gaming Keyboard comes with the MRP of Rs 14,999/-. The product is available with Corsair India and its Regional Distributors carrying a warranty of 2 years.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Kingston A400 240GB SSD Review


Kingston is brand that needs no introduction when it comes to storage devices or RAM modules. Known for its high price to performance ratio the brand specializes in budget oriented devices. Recently we'd had a look at their UV400 which is aimed at the budget segment and were impressed by what it was offering for the price but at CES this year Kingston launched the successor to the UV400 in form of the Kingston A400 SSD.
Thanks to Kingston India today we have with us today the Kingston A400 240GB SSD for review, so without wasting any time lets quickly get to its specifications.

Kingston opted for an entirely new controller this time in form of the Phison PS3111-S11 which is a dual channel controller and relatively new to the conventional controllers already in use. The choice is obviously indicating more towards cost cutting which we'll be discussing later on in the review.
Coming in at capacities of 120GB, 240GB and 480GB the SSDs are flat out rated at 500MB/s read speed and varying write speeds. Our 240GB sample is rated at 500MB/s read and 350MB/s write speeds and comes with a price tag of $84 or Rs 6000 in India which is identical to that of the Kingston UV400.

Packing and Closer Look


Kingston brings the A400 in a clear blister pack with the capacity and 3 Years Warranty support clearly listed and boldly printed for the buyers to know. A point worth noticing is that its not a SSDNow offering which marks the entry level SSDs from Kingston but is a standalone product this time. They've also made sure that you come to know that the drive is ten times faster than a mechanical HDD just to keep the marketing part up!

The back side has the brief description in multiple languages along with the importer sticker and price neatly printed. There is also a slit through which you can actually touch and read the sticker stuck behind the actual SSD itself.


Inside you get just the A400 SSD and nothing else like a bracket or spacer as its a budget drive and these measures are necessary to keep the price in check.
Looking at the SSD itself we see that its a grey colored device with a crisp and embossed Kingston branding. The drive is 7mm thick and weighs in at ~41g which is around 16g lighter than the SSDNow UV400.

The back is clean with a sticker enlisting the serial number, model number, capacity and the various quality check logos.

A thing worth mentioning is that even though the A400 is a budget drive its still made out of a textured aluminum casing with slight roughness to it which to be honest many other manufacturers resist using even in their premium SATA drives! Probably this is the best looking and rather most elegant SSD we've come across so far. Its simple & sophisticated all over.

Open the case, it'll void the warranty, to see the full size PCB housing 8 NAND chips & a controller. Kingston has used Toshiba 2D Planar 15nm TLC NAND and each of them are 30GB in size to provide the full 240GB. You'll notice that there is no DRAM buffer on this PCB, this we'll be discussing in the next section!

The controller used is a Phison PS3111-S11 dual channel chip which is aimed at powering DRAM less solutions such as the A400 hence achieving lower production cost and super low power consumption. S11 is Phison's first controller to support LDPC (Low Density Parity Correction) error correction. How this "interesting" offering fairs off against other controller based SSDs? For that we'll have to put it to test in our benchmarking section.

Test Setup and Benchmarks

We used our usual testbench to benchmark the Kingston A400 240GB SATA SSD.

CPU: Intel Core i7 7700K 4.2Ghz
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z270X Designare
RAM: Kingston HyperX Predator 8GB DDR4 3000Mhz Memory Kit
Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX (Push Pull Configuration)
Graphics Card: Gigabyte GTX 1050 Ti G1 Gaming 4GB OC
Storage: Kingston A400 240GB SSD
Power Supply: Corsair AX860i 860W 80+ Platinum
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


The drive was easy to fit in and installed without a problem. Following our usual SSD testing methods we formatted the drive and put it as a secondary drive with our main SSD loaded with Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit. The entire test suite was run twice to obtain the best possible reading, each session performed after a fresh system restart. Out of the 240GB promised only 223GB on this drive is usable so around 7% of the total space is reserved for memory buffer.
For the benchmarks we'll be pitting the Kingston A400 240GB against Kingston's own UV400 480GB and ADATA XPG SX930 240GB SSDs. While one is a similar priced offering the other is an older but a high end SSD from a competing brand.

TRIM Check

Since this is a very new SSD for us so it called for some new testing suits aswell, one such tool is TrimCheck which verifies if TRIM function on the drive is working perfectly or not.

The test shows that TRIM is perfectly working on the Intel SSD.

Crystal Disk Info V7.0.5

Crystal Disk Info is a great tool for displaying the characteristics and health of storage devices. It displays everything from temperatures, to the number of hours the device has been powered, and even to the extent of informing you of the firmware of the device.

Crystal Disk Info shows us that a bunch of useful SMART attributes are presented to the end user. Total reads and writes as well as NAND writes are shown. The firmware version we are testing with today is version SBFK10D7 with the drive working at optimum temperatures even during summers.

ATTO Disk

ATTO Disk Benchmark measures transfer rates across specific lengths for any storage system. ATTO uses RAW data, I set my transfer size from 0.5 to 8192kb. This is generally the most reliable benchmarks for today's SSDs.


Its clear aswell as surprising that the Kingston A400 with its new Phison controller is zooming against the competition! I was definitely not expecting such high grade performance from a new dual channel controller which has no DRAM buffer!
Also these speeds are way more than what Kingston has advertised for the A400 SSD. Kingston you are one humble lad eh?

CrystalDiskMark 5.0.2

CrystalDiskMark is a disk benchmark software that analyses different types of hard drive. Giving sequential benchmark write and read statistics in MB/s. A simple program that is very useful.


A similar scenario can be seen here aswell with a noticeable factor that even though its a DRAM less SSD the A400 has over 42MB/s of read and over 96MB/s of write speed in the 4K spectrum which is way higher than most of the more expensive SSDs that have quad or even eight channel controller with huge DRAM buffers!

Anvil Storage Utility

The next test is Anvil Storage Utilities, which is a really great piece of software. The SSD benchmark gives you scores for both read and write as well as a combined score.



While the A400 is an overall winner by a significant margin over the UV400 it does tie the score with the SX930 which is yet again a feat for the Kingston A400.
Also in the IOPS test the A400 is better than the UV400 in the write test while beats the SX930 in the read test showing that the drive is extremely competent!

AS SSD

The AS SSD software determines the performance of Solid State Drives (SSD). The tool contains five synthetic and three practice tests. The synthetic tests determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD. These tests are performed without using the operating system caches. In Sequential tests, the program measures the time it takes to read and write a 1 GB file respectively.




AS SSD is an extremely demanding test and any SSD scoring above 1000 in the overall score separates it from mediocre and high performance drives which both the UV400 and A400 manage to achieve. However the A400 loses to the UV400 in almost all areas which doesn't mean its a bad drive but due to the controllers extremely new nature and lack of firmware optimizations the drive seems to suffer a bit. Hope Kingston and Phison figure this out soon & roll out a more optimized firmware for the A400.

AIDA64 Extreme Edition v5.60

AIDA64 is one of the best tools out there to check the system stability, error diagnostics and even to validate overclocking.
It has a set of suites for almost every hardware out there including SSD/HDD. So we started of with AIDA64 disk suites.




As we can see that the drive is hitting the advertised speeds and is extremely consistent in read and write activities. This is a very good indications since most drives including the UV400 tend to fluctuate a lot in the Linear and Random Read tests indicating towards a more solid and consistent performance by the A400

HD Tune Pro

HD Tune Pro is one of the most popular hard drive software suites available. It has many different benchmarks and tests built into it. Our first test is the read benchmark, which tests the average read speed and access time of the drive.
It was necessary to use it even after so many tests just to give all of you a graph of how constant the speed is on this SSD as many SSDs tend to fluctuate on the read/write speed which ultimately gives you unstable performance.


A brilliant performance presented by the A400 yet again where its beating the competition by substantial margin! The drive is not only extremely consistent but shows really high speeds.

PCMark Vantage

We used the PCMark Vantage HDD test which is one of the best range of test suits out there for measuring the performance of any HDD/SSD. Tests are conducted by simulating real life tasks such as Windows Start up, Gaming etc.

With an overall score of 86807 and lowest speed of 305MB/s in the 'adding music to Windows Media Player' test the Kingston A400 has surpasses every competition in its segment and beyond! Even SSDs with quad-channel or octa-channel controllers have failed to put a score this high, this Phison S11 controller has some limitless potential. To be precise these are the highest score we've seen on any SATA SSD till date!

PCMark 8 Professional Edition

PCMark 8 Storage Test unlike PCMark Vantage scores and records the SSD performance through a set of application execution and related tasks such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office and even through games like Battlefield 3.

The scores are quite respectable and significantly more than the Kingston UV400 both in terms of overall score and storage bandwidth.

My Verdict 

Its a winner! Yes I said it straight, the Kingston A400 is the best SSD that you can pick today for the price it comes for. At first I was a bit apprehensive about the performance of the drive & skeptical about Kingston's decision to go for a new dual channel DRAM less Phison controller but the A400 cleared all my doubts from the get go.
The blistering fast performance that the Phison S11 controller delivers is far superior to what we've been used to so far from more powerful controller accompanied by DRAM caches. Interestingly the firmware is new and by the looks of it we can safely presume that the upcoming firmware would further strengthen its performance.
Kingston has found itself a winner in form of the A400 since not only it beasts its predecessor the UV400, which it was meant to do, but also the A400 patches the rough areas where the UV400 stumbled such as high power consumption! During peak loads, the power consumption of the drive can reach 1.54 W on write operations and just 0.64 W when reading, this directly means that the A400 nibbles on power while rolls out trail blazing performance making it ideal for notebook owners aswell!
I highly recommend the Kingston A400 SSD to everyone who wants unmatched performance at minimal costs. Its a consumer's delight and competitor's nightmare.
I give it a 9/10 earning our Gold Award!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

GIGABYTE Announces AORUS Radeon™ RX 500 Series Graphics Cards

Polaris evolved with the power of AORUS


India, April 18, 2016 – GIGABYTE, the world’s leading gaming hardware manufacturer, expands its AORUS graphics card portfolio with the announcement of the AORUS Radeon™ RX 580 and RX 570 lineup. Powered by the third-generation Polaris architecture, the new AORUS graphics cards provide excellent power switching and thermal efficiency thanks to the GPU Gauntlet Sorting technology. Combining faster clock speeds with the highly-acclaimed WINDFORCE cooling solution and customizable RGB illumination, the AORUS RX 500 Series graphics cards together deliver outstanding performance on both gaming and style to gamers seeking a significant upgrade at a great value.

AORUS Radeon™ RX 580 XTR 8G

The AORUS RX 580 XTR is the top-of-the-line model that boasts the WINDFORCE 2X cooling system, featuring dual 100mm fans paired with 4 composite copper heat pipes which directly touch the GPU to keep the card cool under load. Excessive heat from GPU can also be dissipated through the back side with the advanced copper back plate. The airflow is enhanced by the unique blade fan with an alternate spinning mechanism for minimal turbulence. The fans are also semi-passive for keeping the operation silent along with a Fan Stop indicator. The card is backed by a 6+2 power phase design for greater overclocking capability and reliability, reinforcing higher, stable boost clocks at heavy load.
The look follows the sharp and agile aesthetics of AORUS with the angular shroud design highlighted by the RGB cross. Gamers could enjoy maximum freedom to choose the right scheme for their gaming rigs with RGB Fusion. The graphics card also comes with a metal back plate, keeping a clean look, whilst adding rigidity to the structure and protection of delicate PCB components.

AORUS Radeon™ RX 580 8G / 4G

Available in 8G and 4G of GDDR5 memory, the AORUS RX 580 is ready for VR and smooth gaming at 1440p. The WINDFORCE-cooled cards are equipped with dual 90mm fans and 4 composite copper heat pipes in direct touch to the GPU. At the rear, the advanced copper back plate further dissipates excessive GPU heat, providing an all-around cooling solution. For gaming in silence, the alternate spinning blade fans optimize airflow with minimal turbulence and noise. The fans remain off when the GPU is under light load or idle. The Fan Stop indicator allows the users to monitor the fan status while gaming.
The AORUS RX 580 graphics cards bring a personal touch to PC builds with its fully customizable RGB Fusion by using AORUS Graphics Engine. The cards are also reinforced with a sleek-looking metal back plate that adds rigidity and protection to the structure.

AORUS Radeon™ RX 570 4G

Built for maximum 1080p gaming, the AORUS RX 570 graphics card features the dual-fan WINDFORCE 2X system similar to that of the AORUS RX 580 with the advanced copper back plate, counter-rotating fans and semi-passive cooling to keep the temperature in check while remaining silent for uninterrupted gaming sessions. With RGB Fusion, gamers could customize the right scheme for their gaming rigs that defines their unique style.

GIGABYTE Radeon™ RX 580 / RX 570 Gaming

In addition to the AORUS-branded offerings, GIGABYTE also releases Radeon™ RX 580 and RX 570 Gaming series graphics cards. These cards are coupled with the WINDFORCE dual-fan cooler and RGB illumination, making the Gaming series a smart choice for budget-conscious gamers looking for an affordable upgrade to high-quality gaming or even virtual reality.

For more details about AORUS RX 500 series graphics cards, please visit:
http://www.gigabyte.com/Graphics-Card/AORUS

For more details about GIGABYTE RX 500 Gaming series graphics cards, please visit:
http://www.gigabyte.com/Graphics-Card/AMD-Series

To learn more about AORUS:
https://www.aorus.com

About GIGABYTE
GIGABYTE Technology Co. Ltd., headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, is known as a leading brand in the IT industry with branch offices located in 24 countries around the world. Founded in 1986, GIGABYTE started as a small research and development team and has since taken a position as one of the in the world's top motherboard manufacturers. In addition to motherboards and graphics cards, GIGABYTE further expanded its product portfolio to include notebooks and desktop PCs, datacenter servers, networking products, mobile handsets, and home entertainment devices to serve each facet of the digital life in the home and office. Everyday GIGABYTE aims to “Upgrade Your Life” with innovative technology, exceptional quality, and unmatched customer service. Visit www.gigabyte.in for more information.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

G.Skill's new Trident Z DDR4 RAM overclocks to 4500MHz

Fast RAM with overclocking headroom.


Whether your need faster memory or not, G.Skill keeps pumping out DDR4 modules at increasingly higher frequencies. Its newest addition is an "extreme speed" Trident Z memory kit rated to run at DDR4-4333MHz.

The new offering is available as a 16GB kit consisting to two 8GB modules. It takes 1.40V and has timings set at CL19-19-19-39.

While fast in its own right, there is some room to overclock, depending on your setup and level of expertise. G.Skill, which is very much involved in the overclocking scene, said it was able to run its new kit at DDR4-4500MHz in an Asus ROG Maximus IX Apex motherboard with an Intel Core i5-7600K processor. It had that speed without relaxing the timings.
At DDR4-4500MHz, the tested bandwidth resulted in a 55GB/s read speed, 65GB/s write speed, and 52GB/s copy speed in dual channel mode.

In time, G.Skill may release a DDR4-4500MHz kit, though it's not getting ahead of itself. Instead, the company is currently stress testing memory kits at DDR4-4400MHz in anticipation of releasing them to the public. The final specifications are still under development.

As for the Trident Z DDR4-4333MHz kit, retailers should have inventory soon. G.Skill unfortunately did not mention a price.

Windows 7 and 8.1 will no longer update on Kaby Lake and Ryzen PCs

Microsoft wasn't kidding.

 
Microsoft has been upfront about its plans to block Windows 7and Windows 8.1 updates on systems with Kaby Lake or Ryzen, but it's never been clear exactly when. Now it is—reports are coming in from all over the web that Microsoft is actively blocking updates to older OSes on PCs with newer processors.

Users who try to fetch an update on an unsupported system are met with an error message.

"Your PC uses a processor that is designed for the latest version of Windows. Because the processor is not supported together with the Windows version you are currently using, your system will miss important security updates. Please select the 'Learn More' link to address the situation," the message reads, according to Arstechnica.

Microsoft first announced its revised update policy way back in January 2016. At the time, Microsoft was focused on blocking updates to Skylake systems, though this was later revised. As it stands now, some Skylake systems are still being supported in Windows 7 and 8.1, while others are not.

With Kaby Lake and Ryzen, there is no such distinction—it does not matter which processor SKU you own, if you're not running Windows 10, you will not receive updates.

Microsoft's reasoning is that older versions of Windows could not have anticipated the features and capabilities of newer processors. For example, Windows 7 does not natively support USB 3 or NVMe. Obviously that more of a hypothetical problem than a show-stopper, as previous generations of Windows have used drivers to add support for things like TRIM, USB 2.0/3.0, and more, but Microsoft is taking a different tactic now.

"As new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support,” a Microsoft spokeswoman told PCWorld last September. "This enables us to focus on deep integration between Windows and the silicon, while maintaining maximum reliability and compatibility with previous generations of platform and silicon."

Ryzen and Kaby Lake system owners running Windows 7 and 8.1 already began receiving update warnings last month, though Microsoft was not actively blocking updates. Now there's an interesting situation where businesses that haven't upgraded their infrastructure to Windows 10 yet will have to do that before purchasing any current generation PCs.

Meanwhile, both of the older OSes are still generally supported by Microsoft. Windows 8.1 will continue to receive mainstream support until January 2018, while Windows 7 has entered the extended support phase, which runs until January 2020.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Corsair K95 Platinum Review


Corsair is a brand name that needs no introduction, every PC gamer or enthusiast has come across the brand in one way or the other be it through their famous Hydro series CPU liquid coolers, Power Supply Units, Chassis or even the very reliable Memory kits.
Today thanks to Corsair India we've got with us the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum Keyboard for review! Corsair has been constantly innovating and upgrading their keyboard lineup mainly courtesy to their partnership with Cherry, a global leader in manufacturing keyboard mechanical switches. Though they did introduce a new design in form of the STRAFE in 2015 but their prime focus has always been the K70 and the K95 which they finally upgraded to what we can call the Ferrari of keyboards in form of the Corsair K95 Platinum, a flagship keyboard that has everything one can ask for and even more with a beefy price tag of $200!

The K95 Platinum is a much refined and 'conveniently sized' than its predecessor which well had eighteen G-keys in comparison to six on the Platinum. Along with 16.8 million colors, a 1000Hz polling rate, 100% anti-ghosting, media keys, per key LED, USB pass through port and a lightening bar on top the K95 Platinum is equipped at heart with a high end ARM Cortex-M0+ chip to process all the data and customizations. Corsair offers the K95 RGB Platinum with Cherry MX Speed or Brown switches depending on which model you pick up and comes with two color variants namely as all black and gunmetal color.

What's in the Box?


Corsair brings the K95 RGB in their now signature black and yellow packing. The new Corsair logo is at the top left corner followed by the product name and Cherry MX switch glimpse at the bottom right corner. A large glossy picture of the keyboard occupies most of the front side which is good move.
Flip the box and at the back you see that Corsair has clearly mentioned the contoured WASD and MOBA keys that are provided with the board. USB pass through is also mentioned at the very top along with the dual textured wrist support at the very bottom in addition to the other key features.
All in all the outer packing is brilliant and goes perfectly with the theme of the board.


Inside the box there is another thick black box that contains the contents in a tight and organized manner. The packing is neat and organized to avoid any damage while transit to this premium product which is a good move in my view.

Open the big black box and you'll find the K95 Platinum keyboard, a detachable wrist rest, a user manual and warranty card. A set of contoured WASD and MOBA keys are provided in a separate bag that even contains the key cap removal tool which we'll be coming to later on.

The K95 RGB comes with a set of contoured keys for swapping the default ones for slip free and accurate gaming experience. A set of WASD for FPS gaming and QWERF keys for MOBA are provided, they say its for gaming but I found typing experience way more smoother with these keys on. A tip from my side to Corsair for their future products.

The Look of Platinum!


Looking at the keyboard we can easily say that its one heavyweight! The build quality is robust and solid from every angle possible. The keyboard is identical in design to the K series keyboards and seemingly bridges the gap between the K70 that lacked macro keys and the K95 which had a bit too many of them! Its small and should feel decent under the fingertips of a majority of users.

At the front its made out of anodized brushed aluminum frame which Corsair claims is Aircraft grade, a tall claim right there. Not sure about that but still the build quality is really sturdy and you can't find even the slightest bit of cheapness or flimsiness. The top panel housing the Corsair sails is a finger print magnet though so be a bit careful while touching it.
An interesting thing I noticed about this keyboard is that that Windows keys are really slim in comparison to the CTRL or ALT keys. This is strategically done to ease the access of Spacebar and CTRL keys together minimizing the distance between the two to make it a more 'gamer friendly' design.

Underneath the K95 Platinum we find a very thick and large arrangement of grip pads that imparts enormous grip to the K95. Its a heavy piece of hardware already and along with such strong grip pads its nearly impossible to even budge this keyboard once securely placed on the table.
Also there is a channel in shape of a large X which is used to channel wires from complimenting peripherals such as mouse, headsets or even the K95 wires itself in case on doesn't want it all to be hanging loose outside.

The board comes with a thick and I mean ridiculously thick USB wire for power & connectivity. Its a pair of two since one is for the keyboard and another one is for USB pass through. I personally feel that the wire is a bit too thick but that's a matter of personal opinion.

Tada! I bet you weren't expecting that didn't you! The K95 Platinum comes with a USB port to power virtually anything that runs on USB power including mouse, gaming headsets and even your pen drives or cell phones! This makes it the ultimate all in one comfy couch gaming solution for sure. When the USB Pass through wire is not connected to the system the USB port on the keyboard will not function so bear that in mind.


To the lest side we find the six macro keys on the keyboard which are grey, textured and contoured much like the supplied gaming caps. These are meant to act as a quick switch path among the various profiles you've programmed and assigned to them via the CUE utility. Their positioning makes them easily accessible & still doesn't create a hindrance in your regular typing or gaming experience.

Coming to the top left we find three dedicated buttons for three specific functions namely as Profile switch, Light brightness control & Windows lock key. While the latter two are clear to you all I'd like to inform you a bit about the first key with a humanoid caricature.
The K95 Platinum is their first keyboard to feature hardware playback. This keyboard has 8 MB of onboard storage for up to three profiles on the device, profiles you can configure and save to the device using the CUE utility. Once done the keyboard would contain the predefined profiles and lighting effects on it & will be usable on any PC without the use of any software. The profiles button, toggles between these profiles, although there is no way to tell which profile you are on, which is disappointing.

To the right we have a premium finished aluminum knob to control the volume along with a mute button on the side. Dedicated media playback buttons are also present just below the knob which are projected and feel really plush when pushed down. The volume control knob works flawlessly but lacks the click it should reciprocate with when volume is downed or upped a notch. Its more like a personal choice other users might not miss this feature at all though.


A new addition to the K95 Platinum in terms of aesthetics comes in form of a light bar called the "Light Edge" that runs through the entire top end of the keyboard illuminating the desk underneath or even the wall if placed close enough! Its something that puts it in sync with the MM800 RGB Mousepad. The colors and animations on the light bar are customizable just like the keys so for the RGB lovers out there its yet another feature to celebrate about, as for me I'm not impressed as I find it a bit of an over kill due to my subtle taste for RGB lighting if at all required.
My personal favorite is the LED backlit Corsair logo right in the center on the top panel which is not only programmable but is so crisply lit that it gives an uber premium feel to the K95 Platinum. Its subtle and really attractive.


For those of you not aware of the fact, mechanical keyboards are a great performer but at the same time noisy due to that clicking spring under each key but Corsair overcame this problem to quite an extent by putting a damping material right inside the switch housing, this patent and exclusive to Corsair key is known as Cherry MX and is present in all the new fleet of Corsair keyboards including the K95 Platinum. Simple yet effective move I'd say!
Also these are Cherry MX Speed switches which have a actuation time of 1.2mm in contrast to 2mm that Cherry MX Red uses making them a tad bit faster and more responsive, hence the name Speed.


Using the cap switch removal tool is fairly simple just push it down on the key you want to swap and let the clamps jam underneath the cap, pull it out and that's all! Put the new replacement cap in and you're set. These are ABS plastic keys which tend to be durable but not easily replaceable so be careful before going berserk!

Here you can clearly see the patent Cherry MX Speed switches that give the K95 RGB Platinum its signature nature over the conventional mechanical keyboards. Obviously they look different by looks & perform exactly as promised.

Swap all the keys with the provided contoured ones and you have yourself a fully battle ready weapon designed for precision and accuracy! The keys feel soft and grippy and I can't complain anything about them in terms of the over all feel.

I love how the space bar is textured for extra grip and comfort, since its a universal key for gaming and day to day use.

Corsair has lit the K95 Platinum quite meticulously but one thing that makes me worried is that the switches are a bit high and you can see the lights bleeding out from underneath the caps, this can cause a lot of dust accumulation which might be tough to clean so a little less height would've been better.





Nothing special just a bunch of photographs I managed to click with different lighting configurations.

Corsair Utility Engine (CUE)


Corsair has brought out an entirely new software suite with the K95 RGB Platinum keyboard. CUE as Corsair likes to call it is a suite to bind all the three gears, namely as the Void Headset, MM800 Mousepad and Scimitar Mouse, together as one taking a more holistic approach. CUE can be downloaded from the Corsair official website for free.


This new version of the CUE is quite well laid out and has all the comprehensive and complex options hidden deep within. The demo devices listed on the starting page are actually a bunch of emulators that users can  use to get a feel of the lighting and various options available for the enlisted peripheral. The top has an advanced button for bringing down the more in depth options for the users & I personally advice that one uses the same as its required to reap the full potential of such a premium device!

Select the K95 RGB Platinum and you'll find three tabs on the left labeled as Actions, Lighting Effects and Performance. We'll be discussing all these three one by one so let's discuss the first one first that is the Actions sections.

Once entered this section provides a plethora of serious options to the users. Its a section that means serious business and nothing else. The options are Macro, Text, Remap, Media, App Launch, Timer, Disable and Profile Switching.
Macros as the name suggests is the place where you can program all your macros you want to any key you like! Aside from the keystrokes and delays, the CUE software can also record the relative mouse movements, clicks and scrolling. I was amazed to see that you can even set a particular sound to be played when a macro key is pressed along with the ability to assign follow up actions and even repeat rates of the macros.
Text as the name suggests can be used to assign any text message to a key which when pressed will insert the programmed text into the message box or wherever required. Since it actually types the text and doesn't copy paste it the uses of this function is limitless including insertion of cheats at a single key press in classic games like GTA San Andreas or the classic DOOM 3.
Remap Key is simple and is used to remap any key to any other key including mouse clicks! Also you can program a key for the time its held down or for the number of times is pressed a nifty little feature to make your pistol fire like an assault rifle in CS:GO with a single key stroke!
Rest of the options are fairly simple with the App Launch option allowing the user to launch any application through a dedicated key on the keyboard for quick switching.

Lightning Effects is the place where you want to be for customizing the lights, colors and patterns across the board. One can assign different colors, brightness, patters etc to individual keys along with the media keys and mute key!
The Light Edge though can't be assigned an individual patterns or scheme but since the software recognizes 19 distinct areas on the bar one can customize the in infinite manners. These effects and lights once saved would stay on the K95 RGB keyboard even when CUE is not installed on the system via the 8MB onboard memory.

Third section called the Performance section which has some straightforward basic settings including Windows lock enable and color settings for the three buttons on the top left corner. Its a corner that you should look at if you want to work on the basic functions of the keyboard at first as the actions are clearly laid out.

Going to the settings sections you can tune basic settings including polling rate, keyboard layout format and even brightness. If you feel you can clear the onboard memory aswell of the keyboard to start afresh or update the CUE version too. Settings for the MM800 Polaris and VOID are even present to give you a taste of these devices aswell. Great marketing from Corsair I'd say!

If you click on the Corsair sails logo on top you'll be greeted with the various profiles that you've created for the keybaord to select from. Also you can find the various profiles for various Corsair devices that people across the glob upload for sharing with their number of views, downloads and likes. These profiles can be downloaded for free and used on your respective device. Its a good feature to start & learn with as it gives a good taste to the user of their newly bought product's capabilities.

Performance - Time to put those keys to test!

Whenever I review a keybaord or mouse I like to use the device for atleast a week putting it through my daily usage varying across the week. My usage is obviously more inclined towards typing and I mean lot of typing with various keyboard shortcuts combinations, followed by casual gaming mainly racing, open world or FPS. So lets classify the K95 Platinum performance across two broad categories of daily use and gaming.

Daily Affairs

Its amazing! Yes I said it, the K95 Platinum is downright amazing and swift when it comes to typing. The Speed switches due to their quick response & lower actuation makes it really easy to type long paragraphs with great speed without hurting your fingertips. Though it does need a little getting used to since the keys are quick but with a few minutes into training your fingers you'll find yourself using it with no problem. Since my fingers are thick I did accidentally push the Caps Lock key at times since the key is quite big and at almost no separation from the main alphabetical keys, people with slimmer fingers might not come across this issue. Overall I loved how the keybaord performs in my daily use.

Game On!

It was a mixed bag for me in gaming as the customization options through CUE are great and the contoured textured keys helped me to keep my fingers in place at all times without even looking down the keyboard but the extremely quick keys did pose as problem for me when playing games like NFS Rivals where the slightest of press can result in huge changes in directions, a buyer would need a lot of time getting used to this nature of the key. Sometimes I found pressing a key accidentally as my finger was resting over it & managed to press it down just by a little!
Rapid key strokes is where the keyboard shines as they keys offer high resistance with distance and hence reset quickly so rapid strokes are easy and swift making it easy in game like Rise of the Tomb Raider. Be aware that the odd position of the G-Keys can cause one to hit them instead of the Esc or Ctrl key by accident due to muscle memory but that doesn't count as a demerit since new keyboards require one to train their fingers accordingly.

My Verdict

Corsair did a splendid job with the K95 RGB Platinum in almost every are possible. Its a robust and well build keyboard that oozes premium from every inch of it. I'll keep the hefty $200 price tag out of focus for a while and like to discuss on the merits of this wonderful piece of technology since the only con this product has, if you count it as one, is the price tag!
CUE software is more comprehensive and intuitive as ever before and the people at Corsair did a wonderful job at designing this utility keeping every needed feature right where one would like them to be. Thanks to this the K95 is a keyboard of endless potential and creative people might go berserk with so much options to feed their creativity.
Design wise the keyboard is extremely well made and all the keys are aptly placed and have the right feel to them including the media keys and the volume knob. LED lights diffuse nicely and don't hurt the eyes or distract one even when brightness is at its fullest. Gunmetal finish is perfect and makes it probably the best looking keybaord I've seen till date.
Keystrokes are swift and feel good under the fingers once got perfectly used to. Gaming or typing a letter to your mom *wink* on the board is a delight making it a versatile keybaord without any restrictions. Looking at the K95 Platinum I sometimes wonder as if there was a person sitting there to listen/read to all the customer feedbacks in the past, take it all into consideration and then build something like the K95 RGB throwing any budget constraints right out of the window!
If gaming is your forte and you're looking just for a gaming keyboard then maybe you'll be better off looking elsewhere as slightly cheaper keyboards offer near similar gaming performance, if not identical, but if you want more then I highly recommend the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum to every gamer, modder, studio owner or even an enthusiast who wants nothing but the very best in performance, looks, build and creativity and has a pocket deep enough to afford this uber premium offering.
I give it a 9/10