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A return to desk gaming...

CAS FAN

Distinguished Member
Right then...of late I've been gaming on my pc just like I would a console (I.e. sat on the sofa in my games room, playing games on the projector with a 360 pad) but whatever folk say, there is always a compromise for certain types of game (M&K fps, strategy & RTS games etc.) with this method. I have a good bluetooth mouse (MX Revo) and keyboard (MS 6000 Bluetooth slim) but whilst they are very versatile, they are just not really up to gaming speed.

Further to this playing games like civ V on a projector is not really a good use of bulb time and my room is not great in terms of ambient light etc. during the day, so I'm also after a new monitor (3d would be good as I really enjoy some games in 3d at the moment). Also my sound system is set up for the projector layout and my desk is on the side of the room so I'd need another sound source. My thoughts here are to get a decent set of gaming headphones with built in coms as I'd like to get back into my old love of team based fps games (especially with planet side 2 around the corner). So basically I plan to have the desk set up, with the pc also connected to the projector and amp for when I just want to crash on the sofa and play a pad style game or play a racing sim.

I've done a bit of research and had a look at the threads I can find (and have read over recent times) but would really appreciate some input as to what folk feel would be good. Here are the categories...

Monitor - at least 24" (ideally 27") and 3d capable
Gaming headphones - ideally 5:1 or 7:1 so I get directional sound and with built in mic, currently considering the Logitech G35 (or G930 incase I want to play from the sofa).
Gaming mouse - currently considering the Logitech G600 MMO mouse.
Gaming keyboard - considering the Logitech G19 of G510.

Budget is currently around £600 but if that is unrealistic then I could go higher. I would like to keep the cost down if it can be helped though.

I would be grateful for any thoughts folk have :)
 

RottenFox

Distinguished Member
Dunno if it'll help, but I bought an Asus Xonar DG internal sound card, they're around £20 primarily for Dolby Headphone use in-game.
Coupled that with a pair of Sennheisser PC320's that I own, and 350's I borrowed, and Battlefield sounds so much better, than onboard.

Tried a cheap pair of in-ears, a decent set of in-ear Senns, a set of Sony somethingorother 200's, and a Creative Fatality HS800V2, and they all sound brilliant, the Xonar's do a great job, with a convincing field.

Still got my onboard optical for DTS/DD5.1 if i ever went back to an amp, which I doubt now.

Couldn't recommend the Logitech headsets..better off with a decent Steelseries or Sennheisser 320/350, IMO or better.

As to a mouse, I'm in the same boat as you, can't decide on which one to get..
 

Sinzer

Distinguished Member
Monitors - Too many to count, Illyama and DELL I quite like, but it comes down to what you want and budget. I tried 3D gaming in demonstration, it was cool, but I couldn't see myself wanting to do it full time. It was actually quite strenuous after a while.

Gaming Headphones: Here is a good roundup:

Eight 5.1- And 7.1-Channel Gaming Headsets, Reviewed : Surround Sound Headsets? Come Out With Your Ears Up!

I have the Corsairs and I find them very comfortable with a medium sized head and ears. Personally I would recommend a good pair of Sennheisers or proper headphones. Only get a computer gaming headset if you want the mic in-built. If you are happy to use a seperate mic or you don't need one at all then the sound quality from a real headset is much better (my Sennheisers are a lot better than the Corsair). Also the 5.1 and 7.1 aspects are just marketing ********, if anything it makes the sound worse, I use mine in Stereo mode.

Gaming Mouse : I am a big fan of Kone. They are very solid and I have had no problems, a lot better than my old Razor. The Logitech mice are pretty highly rated also.

Gaming Keyboard : Personally, I use a 10 quid keyboard that is comfortable and doesn't make too much noise. There is little benefit from a keyboard with loads of fancy buttons and lights. Anything you need hotkeyed can be mapped to any key anyway. If you want to be a pro desktop gamer, then consider a mechanical keyboard, they are considered to be more responsive, I don't have one because the clicking of my mouse drives my girlfriend mad and a mechanical keyboard clicks like hell.
 

Oggie

Distinguished Member
If you are not use to using keyboard for gaming it's worth having a look at razer nastromo
 

SparkShot

Prominent Member
I'm a bit of a logitech fanboy:D

Can defo recommend to logitech g700 mouse.

Can be used a wired and wireless mouse which i handy if your switching between desk and sofa setups plus has plenty of buttons (not as many as the g600 though).

I have a G510 which as a very good non-mechanical keyboard plus the little display is really handy for monitoring fps and gpu temps etc whilst ingame.

Also have a logitech g13 gamepad aswell which is well worth a look at.
 

drinkturps

Prominent Member
i'm a bit of a logitech fanboy:D

Can defo recommend to logitech g700 mouse.

Can be used a wired and wireless mouse which i handy if your switching between desk and sofa setups plus has plenty of buttons (not as many as the g600 though).

+1
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Logitech aren't bad for mid-range stuff, but they don't tend to be that well built (falling apart or showing heavy wear after 3-5 years) so I wouldn't pay more than about £40-50 per bit of kit from them.

The case for 5.1 headphones is much muddier than it is for 5.1 surround sound speakers - don't assume they're better. To quote from sinzer's roundup link:

"In fact, I have to say that it didn’t really make a difference whether the headset included four drivers in each ear or just one. In both cases, I was able to discern where sounds were coming from more effectively."

The Dolby Headphone/CMSS Headphone/Yamaha Silent Cinema and other proprietary technologies for virtual surround sound will only work with 2 channel headsets, they'll give you no benefits for multi-speaker headsets.


Monitor-wise it might help to know what your graphics card is, 3d is an emerging technology so not all solutions are universally supported.


Keyboard-wise, gaming keyboards are mostly for the looks as Sinzer says and most are no better than a decent £20 keyboard (e.g. Cherry Cymotion Expert). Extra macro buttons can be handy for certain games, but few games use up the available buttons on a normal keyboard anyway and macro software that works with any keyboard is freely available.

Perhaps the main advantage is the absence of 3 key blocking (also known as rollover, anti-ghosting) where certain combinations of 3 keys will cause the third key not to register on a normal keyboard. Not all 'gaming' keyboards have this though, a lot behave the same as normal keyboard.

Good mechanical keyboards are nice to type on because the keys activate in the right place (the middle of the stroke rather than the bottom as on most, but not all, normal keyboards) but unless you're timing your reaction time down to the millisecond I doubt the extra few millimetres reduction in travel makes you any better at gaming.
 

eiren

Distinguished Member
I have a living room setup, but have a 24" 120Hz monitor for those games. Then I can use that up close to me in an armchair.

It also means I can game in there while my wife watches a film or television.
 

CAS FAN

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the replies guys, some really useful stuff there.

To answer some of the points raised...

My current card (kfa2 480gtx overclocked) is getting on a bit but strangely still seems to play current games on high settings (even in 3d).

Gaming with a mouse and keyboard is something I've done a lot of in the past (used to be in a day of defeat clan and played loads of Counterstrike, cod, moh and plenty of MMOs back in the day) so it's something I can get back into easily enough.

To be honest I will probably give the 3d thing a miss after consideration. Firstly my projector does that and IMO 3d works best on the big screen anyway and secondly it doesn't really add that much in a lot of games and just ends up being more of a draw on the graphics card. I'll have a read up on standard 24"-27" screens in that case.

The headset issue is interesting and I guess I am probably leaning towards an all in one, minimal hassle solution which gives reasonable sound quality whilst having the built in mic. The points about non gaming headsets sounding better are certainly valid though so I'll have a think over on this one and read over the link above.

I like the sound of the G700 mouse in that you can use it wired and wireless. I take it that when used wired it is as responsive as any other wired mouse and that the wire isn't just used for charging with the mouse effectively still running wirelessly?

Thanks again for the replies and if anyone else has any good recommendations then I'd love to hear them. :)
 

SparkShot

Prominent Member
I like the sound of the G700 mouse in that you can use it wired and wireless. I take it that when used wired it is as responsive as any other wired mouse and that the wire isn't just used for charging with the mouse effectively still running wirelessly?

I have a couple of mice that don't send data and only charge when connected with a cable (MS Sidewinder X8 and a Logi Performance MX) but the G700 defo does send data over the wire when connected.
 

majnu

Distinguished Member
I've done a bit of research and had a look at the threads I can find (and have read over recent times) but would really appreciate some input as to what folk feel would be good. Here are the categories...

Monitor - at least 24" (ideally 27") and 3d capable
Benq XL2420T 24" TRUE 120Hz 3D Vision 2.0

Gaming headphones - ideally 5:1 or 7:1 so I get directional sound and with built in mic, currently considering the Logitech G35 (or G930 incase I want to play from the sofa).
sennheiser pc360 and Asus Xonar DX PCI Express 7.1. However will have a long wire going from the PC to the sofa. For wireless the creative recon 3d & omega wireless headset is an option.

Gaming mouse - currently considering the Logitech G600 MMO mouse.
Razer Naga is another mmo mouse

Gaming keyboard - considering the Logitech G19 of G510.
Not a Keyboard as such but Logitech G13 Gaming Keypad

...
 

CAS FAN

Distinguished Member
Cheers will take a look at those. Is that Logitech g13 keypad thing any good then?

Been looking at monitors and if I don't bother with 3d then this one seems good..

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dell-Ultras...1_2?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1342654374&sr=1-2

Got recommended from Toms Hardware and has decent reviews on Amazon (not that that's an accurate guide to quality lol).

Regarding the headset, the Corsair Vengeance 1500 does sound great and can be had for around £65.

Mouse - still undecided but I do like the sound of the G700. The razer naga does look good as well though.

Keyboard - am leaning on just getting a £20 one for now.
 
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CAS FAN

Distinguished Member
Is something like the Acer S240hl worth considering. It does get good reviews on the whole and is £100 cheaper than the dell so is the dell £100 better? Does anyone have any experience of the Acer?
 

Deadringers

Distinguished Member
Hey mate,

Welcome back to PC desk gaming :D

If you like Civ perhaps get Anno and join us boys on there? Great game and when the multi player gets working it really is a fantastic game.

And I don't know about 3d monitors or anything like that but I can vouch for the RAT7 mouse.
Brilliant bit of kit.

And as others have said there is the logitech G700 which is well considered.

Plus the Razor offerings. Don't think I have ever heard anyone complain about those :)
 

CAS FAN

Distinguished Member
Deadringers said:
Hey mate,

Welcome back to PC desk gaming :D

If you like Civ perhaps get Anno and join us boys on there? Great game and when the multi player gets working it really is a fantastic game.

And I don't know about 3d monitors or anything like that but I can vouch for the RAT7 mouse.
Brilliant bit of kit.

And as others have said there is the logitech G700 which is well considered.

Plus the Razor offerings. Don't think I have ever heard anyone complain about those :)

Cheers mate :)

I'm getting there with it all and will take a look at the rat7. I did consider Anno and it looks great but I've really got too much to play as it is at the moment and I'll probably work on getting the desk setup in place first. Who knows, I may well cave in by the end of the sale though lol.
 

Sega Mega Dave

Distinguished Member
If you are considering a RAT7 then id see if they have one on display in PC World or similar, ive had two and couldn't get on with them it was so uncomfortable even though it has endless customisation options also it uses a Phillips twin eye sensor which is to be frank awful and twitchy. Has lots of buttons etc... though and it does look like something out of Transformers which is cool.

My reccomendations are:

Mice
Logitech G500, currently using this, has on the fly DPI changes, seperate weights, can be had for a good price.
Logitech G700, pretty much as above but wireless and a few extra buttons.
Razer Deathadder, fixed at 3,500 DPI which i think is a sweet spot and uses infrared sensor which is far superior than laser. Limited button use. Best ive used.


If wanting to spend a decent amount on a keyboard then go mechanical, I have a Logitech G19 and hardly anything supports the screen and even less in colour. i use it to monitor temps and see whose talking on TS. Most £30keyboards will do an equal job without the bells and whistles.

Keyboards
Logitech G19, is nice but wont use half the stuff as i dont, well built though.
Mechanical, much better feel than rubber dome keyboards.
Anything for about £30 will do what you need it too.

Side note i have both a Logitech G13 and Razer Nostromo game pad and wouldn't game without one, i never use the keyboard. G13 is better built and has a screen which comes in handy, both comfy both do a better job than using a keyboard. My Nostromo squeaks on the D-pad a little.

Dedicated headsets will always be better but by the time you have added soundcard, mic and the headset it can mount up depending on what you want, i had a great setup but sold it all and bought the Logitech G930, nice headset and wireless is alwaysa bonus but battery doesn't last long.

So my current kit is.

Logitech G19
Logitech G13
Logitech G500
Logitech G930

All but the mouse run off the same software so thats good.

Regarding monitors threads have been done to death. If you don't want 120hz which is great for FPS games then have a look at the Dell IPS panels, you pay more than a standard 60hz TN but PQ is a lot better with IPS. Other options could be 1920x1200 res, with the 480 though i wouldn't go higher.

Obviously there are loads of options but thats just stuff ive used.
 
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majnu

Distinguished Member
Cheers will take a look at those. Is that Logitech g13 keypad thing any good then?

I've not received the G13 yet. But I needed a keypad as I don't have much room on my desk. It's a smart piece of kit and has an open SDK for people to write their own plug ins that can be displayed on the inbuilt screen.

Some crazy bloke wrote a programme that measured his heart pulse during BF3 and displayed it on screen. So if his rage levels were too high the keyboard would bleep and let him know to cool it.....Just kidding, but how cool would that be? :D The plugins are listed on the Wiki though:
Logitech G13 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Belkin N52TE is exactly the same as the more expensive Razer Nostramo, in fact Belkin is sometimes referred to as Belkin Nostramo they are that similar.
;)

Edit - If I was to game from the sofa then I would get something like the Aimon.
 
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Jack-Deth

Distinguished Member
Another vote for the G13. Setting up and mapping keys for each of your games is a breeze. You can set up macros on it and as others others have said you can track your gpu/CPU temps as well as frame rates on the display. Really nice build quality too.
 

CAS FAN

Distinguished Member
I'm really torn between two monitors at the moment. Both cost a fairly similar amount with just £30 difference so that's not really an issue but anyway, here are the choices with the pros and cons as I see them. Which would folk choose in my situation...


Dell U2412M - IPS so better colours and contrast but not 120hz so not as smooth and has more input lag than the other option

BenQ XL2420T - 120hz 3d capable monitor so smother and with 3d capability and lower input lag. A TN screen and the colours are fairly poor though and contrast isn't great though.

The 3d side of things isn't vital but would be a nice to have but I guess it's more the 120hz for smoother gaming which is the attraction of the BenQ.

It's a tough one and I've been hovering over the button (mainly to buy the BenQ) most of the day.... Hmmm
 

Kwman

Prominent Member
I'd go for the BenQ. Unless you would use the Dell for professional reasons as well.

I was looking at the same monitor a couple of days ago as I was curious about the 120hz factor and 3D
 

Sega Mega Dave

Distinguished Member
Do you have the gpu power to run games around 100 frames or at least willing to accept lower graphics settings if you wanted such high frames?

If not then it's not really worth it in all honesty.
 

CAS FAN

Distinguished Member
Right then, a bit of a development on the monitor front.

Started reading about the AOC i2353ph and it sounded superb from all the reviews (both user and journalist reviews) so I went and had a look at that. Frankly I was extremely impressed by it so picked one up in PC World today and have it set up on the desk now.

The colours and black level are fantastic (due to it being an IPS panel) if i'm honest and I haven't noticed any ghosting or input lag (that I would notice anyway). Dave is correct above in that for most games I would probably be running around the 60fps mark anyway as to be fair I like my games to look as nice as I can, whilst keeping them playable (as opposed to say some pro gamer who will focus on getting the game to run as smoothly as they can).

The screen also looks amazing with a brushed aluminium finish and a really thin screen (9mm IIRC). It's a 23" screen, which to be honest is ideal for my use and at £150 it really is a snip! Connectivity is pretty good too with 2 x hdmi and a VGA and I already had a DVI to HDMI cable which works a treat.

Anyway, if anyone is considering a great 23" monitor at a bargain price then I can really recommend the AOC as things stand.

Currently i'm using my Logitech MX Revolution mouse (which is actually preforming very well) and my MS 6000 Bluetooth mobile keyboard, which works well but isn't ideal for games. I'm also just using the built in crappy speakers on the monitor so my next dabble will be a keyboard and a gaming headset.

Headset wise i'm tempted by the Corsair 1500 Vengeance and an not sure re: the keyboard as yet.
 

=adrian=

Distinguished Member
If I were a bad boy I'd say 23" is so tiny one would need binoculars to see anything and 3d is sooo last year :devil:
 

CAS FAN

Distinguished Member
If I were a bad boy I'd say 23" is so tiny one would need binoculars to see anything and 3d is sooo last year :devil:

In many respects i'd agree (hence why the PC is also hooked up to a projector, which projects onto a 120" screen :devil:), but for sitting around a foot and a half away 23" is more than enough and at 1080p and bigger would not look great IMO.

It's not a 3D monitor either. My projector does 3D and I find that I need the big screen scale to get the best from 3D anyway. The monitor is more for desk gaming (i.e. using a mouse and keyboard to play FPS, RTS, Strategy games etc.) for when sitting on a sofa is not ideal.
 

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