Gaming Hardware Needs to Grow Up

Zarathustra[H]

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Tuan Nguyen, the Editor and Chief of Maximum PC, has an editorial up on PC Gamer in which he argues that the PC gaming hardware industry has gone overboard with excessive RGB lighting, large colorful non-functional heat sinks, and many other aesthetic touches.

I can't help but agree with him. I'm all for a variety of design styles for everyone's tastes, but when I can't find a gaming mouse that doesn't remind me of an enemy starship from Star Trek, I have to agree that things might just have gone too far. Gaming has come a long way since the days it was thought of as something strictly for children. Why then do our gaming devices all look like they are designed for the aesthetic tastes of thirteen year olds? What do you guys think?

Admittedly there are folks who light up their rigs tastefully, and they do look great. But when did insane designs and RGB equate to gaming? Are manufacturers telling us that in order to perform well in a game we have to have RGB lighting and that whatever products we buy have to have fins and jagged edges? Why can't a gaming product be simple, effective, and perform well? Does the computer case I use need to have flaps, fins and bulges to convey that the size of my "e-peen" is substantial? Does RGB lighting deliver a higher chance of a stable overclock? Give me a break.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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So far, I've had the best experience with using Logitech gaming products which last me a long time. I usually avoid most of the others due to the crazy aesthetics they implement.
Same here. I actually quite liked the aesthetics of my old G500:



When it came time to replace it though, I couldn't find anything I quite liked. The Steelseries Rival looked nice and subtle (you can always turn off the LED) but had some significant tracking issues for me. I eventually wound up with an evil starship in the G502 Proteus Core, and I'm not a huge fan.

 

Korrd

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Yuuuuup. "Gaming" accessories generally don't interest me because of their overdone tryhard aesthetic. Hell, I just bought a brand new MS Intellimouse Optical to replace the one that finally failed after 16 years of service because it's a simple, comfortable, and functional no-frills design. Finding a current product that fits those requirements was too daunting a task, so I just stuck with what I know works.
 

matman

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I like my PC silent and invisible thanks. I do appreciate keyboard backlighting of a single colour (preferably white) at the lowest brightness and actually lighting the key symbol rather than mostly lighting the loose hairs between my keys.
 

UnrealCpu

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if life went on with the same style then it would be boring

imagine being stuck in the 70s., 80s , 90s .. i like change . I would not say this is overboard. RGB LED lighting is the bomb
 

DrLobotomy

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Well, it wouldn't be so bad if, for example, MSI had like a small series of boards to cover the kiddie colored boards and the rest being a collection of normal boards.

But that isn't the case. They have 1 in the Z270 series and 1 in the X99 that are NOT gaming boards.

It is ridiculous.
 

CrimsonKnight13

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Same here. I actually quite liked the aesthetics of my old G500:

When it came time to replace it though, I couldn't find anything I quite liked. The Steelseries Rival looked nice and subtle (you can always turn off the LED) but had some significant tracking issues for me. I eventually wound up with an evil starship in the G502 Proteus Core, and I'm not a huge fan.
I prefer the feeling of the G502 over the G9/G9x & even the older gen mice. I mostly move with the progression I think, so I don't have much to complain about.
 

ReaperX22

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Whilst I agree going crazy with the lights and stuff is slightly annoying... Most of the time it can be turned off anyway? My RGB Masterkeys tenkeyless keyboard can be turned off if I don't want the lighting. My GTX 1070 Strix has lighting that can also be turned off.

Otherwise the rest is just subjective. If you don't like it, you don't need to buy it, but that said, I agree there should be a larger variant of 'simpler' boards that have the functions, do the job, and are less about fancy plastic shrouds that do nothing.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I prefer the feeling of the G502 over the G9/G9x & even the older gen mice. I mostly move with the progression I think, so I don't have much to complain about.

I have to admit that the G502 feels better than it looks like it should feel. All that spikyness is nowhere where your hands make contact with it, I'll have to give them that. They evoked an aggressive spiky aesthetic without having it impact the feel and usability of the device much. Good job I guess?

The G500 was perfect for me though. I got it once my G5 before it died. (before it I used a first gen Microsoft Optical mouse. I have pretty large hands, and the G5/G500 design fit them perfectly. That and the weight cartridge in the G500 was so much better designed than the one in the G502.

Personally when it comes to aesthetics I look for "gaming" products that give me performance and specs up there with the best, yet have looks that could be equally at home in a professional setting. I used to be able to find these, but it has become much much harder in the last 5 or so years.
 
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I want performance and reliability out of my PC hardware. I like simple, clean and efficient designs. RGB lights, weird color combos and shapes to mimic gun parts and spaceships must appeal more to the 12-14 year old enthusiast PC crowd... the ones that grow up to put lights under their cars and slap rear spoiler wings and stickers on for the incredible aesthetics and performance gains they deliver.
 

thesmokingman

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To be fair, there are grown up options out there. There's just a ton more of the flashy, shiny, loud variety that its hard to see the understated from them.

I eventually wound up with an evil starship in the G502 Proteus Core, and I'm not a huge fan.

Yeap, I got one of them G502s as well. It wore down and I'm glad it did lol. I'm using a Pro now, which is the polar opposite of the G502, very understated.
 

Susquehannock

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"I'd take the heatsink used on server motherboards any day—you know, the ones in machines that have to handle brutal workloads and stay alive 24/7?

And in case you don't think you're paying extra for all the gimmicks, you're wrong. The more effective heatsinks on server motherboards—that need to handle more demanding environments—costs less to manufacture than the (un)cooler heatsink block of metal seen on virtually all gaming motherboards."
^^ yep.
Nodding head in agreement while looking at my re-purposed Dell workstation box. No frills. Just heavy & durable. Only thing "gaming" about it is the MSI rx 480. Rather irritating you actually have to run an application in the background to turn the card's RGB lights off. At least lack of a window means I cannot see it.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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To be fair, there are grown up options out there. There's just a ton more of the flashy, shiny, loud variety that its hard to see the understated from them.



Yeap, I got one of them G502s as well. It wore down and I'm glad it did lol. I'm using a Pro now, which is the polar opposite of the G502, very understated.

I'm not familiar with this pro. Do you have a link? I'm pretty interested.
 

grifter_66

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I don't mind soft, subtle lighting in my PC case but most of this stuff looks like someone stuck a light grenade up a clowns ass and locked him in a late 90s rave.

As far as mice go I have a couple Logitech G700S's that fit the bill for both gaming and professional appearance. I'm still using one of those Logitech keyboards with the LCD panel on it in my office because it still works perfectly so there is no real reason to replace it and for my HTPC I use the Logitech K800 wireless keyboard which has very nice soft backlighting that goes off after a minute or so of being idle.
 

/usr/sbin

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I can see gaming mice as a legitimate thing, more buttons for mapping, etc., but overall I hate the "gaming computer" market BS, especially on things like motherboards. Seriously an extra flashing light or weird shaped motherboard heatsink isn't going to do squat all for making your gaming experience better.

It's all for aesthetics and I guess it's better marketing to call it "gaming" than "nerd styled".
 

NIVO

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dont care what stuff looks like. i care more about how it performs. only reason i have a lighted kybd/mouse is so i can see the effers in the dark where i game lol
 

ZLoth

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First off, if you want a great handphone stand, go to Amazon and search for "Culinary Elements Banana Stand". They are about $9 each, and I have two on my desk holding my headsets.

When I look for stuff, I'm more into the form and functionality first, then maybe if it looks cool. When I selected the Thermaltake Chaser A71 ATX Full Tower Case, the main things were the number of drive slots, the drive dock at the top, and how well it cools. The fact that it has a lighted fan on the side did not matter to me. When you look at some of those fancy cases, you also see an eye-popping price tag. No thank you.
 

Koween

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I think hardware that looks good and performs well is like a car that not only has good performance, but also good looks. As in "it's not necessary, but it's nice to have". That said, the amount of RGBs is getting out of control and there need to be skus that are either all function over form or function + subtle design (like the Asus x99-e ws motherboard). It looks functional, nice and clean. Ofc, to each his own but for people that do like to have a window in the case trying to make the internals look less like a barf of color is getting difficult.
 

rat

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Same here. I actually quite liked the aesthetics of my old G500:
Still using my Logitech G5. The (now) old baddie with the adjustable weights in place of the battery slot. Buy them occasionally when I see used ones on eBay because the shape is just so fucking lovely but they're getting hard to find. All the new, current mice just make me cringe.

However, I will make one defense of RGB: mainly in saving yourself the hassle in having to buy new fans, a new keyboard, etc... if you want to change the color. I have my keyboard lit up in a nice dark orange color. Easy on the eyes at night. I cringed hardcore when I accidentally triggered the random color sparkle mode.

It's the party rave features and look that pushes it over the edge. Ugh.
 

Factum

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I am the type that pays extra for fans with NO LED's...I can only agree.
I kill the LED's on anything...GFX card logos etc.

I'm a gamer...not a japanese drifter...
 

Cmdrmonkey

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I would highly recommend the Zowie EC series mice to people who preferred older mice like the MX518 and MS intellimouse that had simple, curved ergonomic designs.

When my old MX518 bit the dust, I was dismayed by how bad mice had gotten. The G502 stands out as especially bad despite being very popular. It has a nice sensor, but the ergonomics are dreadful. It has straight, sharp edges, is too small for large hands, and the button placement is terrible.

I tried a lot of mice. I saw that pretty much all the CSGO pros are using Zowie mice so I decided to try the EC1-A. The EC1-A basically feels like a giant MS Intellimouse with a great sensor. I absolutely love it and can see why so many pros have gone with Zowie mice.

https://www.amazon.com/Zowie-Ergonomic-Optical-Gaming-Mouse/dp/B00S9SH7C4

 

dgz

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This is a lot like the smart TV bullshit. Best panels are only sold with the smarts which. Self fulfilling prophecy

On the other hand, I've seen people complain about colours on motherboards on this very forum...
 

Cmdrmonkey

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Modern keyboards also suck balls. Even expensive mechanical keyboards. I haven't found anything that has both good build quality and good ergonomics. Which is why I'm still rocking an MS Natural Keyboard Pro from 1999 (and I have two spares in my closet). Best keyboard ever made.

MS should really go back to the design of the old pro and elite keyboards from the 90s. Maybe go with black or silver for a more modern look and use topre keyswitches (closest modern thing to the slider in dome switches in the old naturals) and a 2 port USB3 hub. They would have the perfect keyboard.

 
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noko

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I like my custom color coded keyboard that separates the keys which helps me find them better, user aid. Since I like a dark room on the computer, a lighted keyboard I prefer. As for the RGB stuff inside the case, if it really doesn't serve a function to inform you of something useful then it becomes more of a nuisance. My two 1070 GTX becomes a neon advertisement for Gigabyte for example. On the Radeons the lights indicate a measurement of GPU usage which to me is 100% OK, as long as you can turn them off.

Just because it is lighted does not mean it is pointless or useless - there are good reasons to have lights and not to have lights.
 

krotch

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I am the type that pays extra for fans with NO LED's...I can only agree.
I kill the LED's on anything...GFX card logos etc.

I'm a gamer...not a japanese drifter...
Japanese drifter cars look like crap and don't have extra stuff on it. Half the time, don't even have bumpers or their zie tied on. Show cars on the other hand, always about form over function. That's more than just Japanese.
 

Krab

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It's not like the technology is moving that fast anymore. Gotta sell shit somehow.
 
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BulletDust

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Modern keyboards also suck balls. Even expensive mechanical keyboards. I haven't found anything that has both good build quality and good ergonomics. Which is why I'm still rocking an MS Natural Keyboard Pro from 1999 (and I have two spares in my closet). Best keyboard ever made.

MS should really go back to the design of the old pro and elite keyboards from the 90s. Maybe go with black or silver for a more modern look and use topre keyswitches (closest modern thing to the slider in dome switches in the old naturals) and a 2 port USB3 hub. They would have the perfect keyboard.

You have to be able to type correctly to use those keyboards, hence I'm hopeless with them - However I agree entirely that most mechanical keyboards are a bit of a wank.

I have a Logitech G15 keyboard that has always been super useful as I use Everest to setup the display on the keyboard to show CPU and GPU temps and utilisation as well as memory utilisation, a feature that has always been very handy.

I also have one of the Logitech MMO gaming mice that are super handy with all the button pressing necessary for playing MMO's and I've got a Logitech mouse on my Linux PC that uses one of the scroll wheels that's like a flywheel, bloody brilliant when flipping through web pages!

However, lights, tempered glass and PSU wiring that's all one colour all look super retarded to me. I modded my gaming PC's case myself to have the best airflow I could get after much trial and error over the years, it has no fan grills over the radiator fans as that restricts air flow, but my daughter only stuck her finger in it once when she was ~2.5 years old, she never did it again!

She did press the CMOS reset button though as it was all lit up and pretty and totally stuffed my overclock and I couldn't remember my settings - See, bright LED's are bad mmkay!
 

SighTurtle

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Like others have said, most designs are in the RGB section, I would like a more varied market of designs and styles.

Like what, i dunno but if anyone is creative enough to do so, please do.
 

ChoGGi

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Those are some pretty ugly examples of gaming hardware :)


I prefer RGB keyboards (Corsair K70) for the same reasons as noko, it's kind of nice to group keys by colours on a low brightness setting.
The only LED with power on my case is the power button, and even that has white electrical tape to dim it.

I will admit to owning a RAT 7 (well two), which definitely seems to be in the ugly gaming peripherals department. It's the only mouse I've found with nice wide supports for both my thumb and pinky (though I took the dremel to the pinky rest to make it flat). I have the main board from my older one in the newer one as the sensor in the newer one died (tried a Naos 7000 for a few months, but those rests are too nice).
 

sirmonkey1985

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I purposefully snipped the led's in my rig's fans. Fucking annoying to have my room bathed in neon blue at night if I leave my pc on.

same mine had the neon blue as well and i snapped off all the light. shit was annoying.. anything i can't remove i have electrical take covering it as well.. honestly i don't mind if RGB stuff is sold as long as there's an option to turn it off.

Japanese drifter cars look like crap and don't have extra stuff on it. Half the time, don't even have bumpers or their zie tied on. Show cars on the other hand, always about form over function. That's more than just Japanese.
lol i think he's talking more about the anime/video game drifting that hollywood made famous, not the real shit.
 

nilepez

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About the only reason I'd like lights is if the keys are OLED/LED/LCD and can change to some specialized keyboard for a given app/game. I don't type in the dark, but even if I did, I can type without looking at the keyboard, so I don't need lights.

So far, I've had the best experience with using Logitech gaming products which last me a long time. I usually avoid most of the others due to the crazy aesthetics they implement.
I've got 3 Logitech comfort (split) keyboards. The oldest one is roughly 15 years old. The only thing wrong with it is F10 doesn't work....well that and it's a PS2 keyboard (but I have adapters). I've also got an old Northgate Keyboard somewhere around here.
 

Peter2k

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some people say PC gaming is dying
and yet manufacturers think it makes a difference to go down such a way
wonder who knows the numbers better :rolleyes:

there is no reason having the rgb stuff blink wild and go nuts on colors once you grow up :D

I've set my LED's to white
if I'm in the mood for blue I don't have to buy new hardware

you live in a one room apartment?
well why not switch them off

don't like the lights at all?
don't buy

I've seen plenty of high end, mid range and low end anything that comes without LED at all

be it boards, RAM, cases, keyboards, mice ....

don't like what Razer is doing with they're stuff?
well many say they make rubbish equipment
 

Peter2k

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same mine had the neon blue as well and i snapped off all the light. shit was annoying.. anything i can't remove i have electrical take covering it as well.. honestly i don't mind if RGB stuff is sold as long as there's an option to turn it off.
So there was no option of fans without light?

see the RGB stuff I'm aware off can be switched off
normal LED's in fans, on RAM, cases or whatever can't

you need control of the colors in RGB
so you have control over the lights as a whole
 
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