Sector guide: Gaming Hardware

The PC is greater than the sum of its parts, and the enthusiastic PC owner knows that when it comes to performance, every piece counts. Matt Grainger takes a look at the high-end components, accessories and peripherals that are guaranteed to take a computer to its highest capabilities?
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ACCESSORIES
The peripherals and accessories that a gamer chooses to use are quite often more than just a reflection of a love of gaming. For many gamers, the visible accessories are a style statement and the range of designs and configurations available, as well as the customisation options, means that these devices can offer a truly personalised PC...

RAZER NOSTROMO
SRP:
£44.99
Distributor: Realtime Distribution

They say: Whether your passion lies in FPS, MMORPG, or RTS games, the Razer Nostromo gaming keypad is designed to give you the upper hand with cutting edge ergonomics for intuitive game control while you play in complete comfort

Specs: Ergonomic form factor and tournament-grade layout, 16 programmable hyperesponse keys, programmable 8-way thumb-pad and scroll wheel, unlimited macro lengths, backlit keypad and adjustable soft-touch wrist pad

RAZER BLACK WIDOW
SRP:
£69.99
Distributor: Realtime Distribution

They say: The Razer Black Widow is the first mechanical gaming keyboard designed to pave the way for a whole new feel and accelerated gameplay. A full mechanical key architecture delivers distinctive tactile feedback and superior gaming-grade response with an extended lifespan of over 50 million keystrokes.

Specs: Mechanical keyboard with 50g actuation force, 1ms response time, on-the-fly macro recording, programmable keys with ten customisable software profiles, five additional macro keys

RAZER NAGA MMO MOLTEN EDITION
SRP:
£79.99
Distributor: Realtime Distribution

They say: The Razer Naga Molten Special Edition brings an exciting new look to the original award-winning and massively popular Razer Naga that shifts the balance between keyboard and mouse by putting an unprecedented number of ingame commands in one place

Specs: 17 programmable MMO-optimised buttons, 5600dpi Razer Precision 3.5G laser sensor, 1ms response time, unlimited character profiles with AddOns

EMPREX CHEETAH 5105G GAMING KEYBOARD
SRP:
£14.99
Distributor: CCI Distribution

They say: The gamer who likes the first person shooter will enjoy this keyboard. It features anti-ghosting technology, as well as reduced noise and sensitive touch

Specs: Anti-ghosting capabilities on selected keys, 20 million keystroke life,
LED indicators

EMPREX M873U GAMING MOUSE
SRP:
£9.99
Distributor: CCI Distribution

They say: Hard-core gamers, the M873U was designed with you in mind. Two unique buttons, one above and one below the scroll wheel, let you change the mouse’s sensitivity on the fly, even while you’re playing

Specs: Up to 2,000 dpi sensitivity, adjustment switches between 2,000, 1,000 and 500 dpi resolution, 5.8 megapixel/sec image processing, five programmable buttons

FERRARI WIRELESS GT COCKPIT 430 SCUDERIA EDITION
SRP:
£249
Distributor: Micro-P

They say: Experience the thrills of racing under conditions very close to those on real race tracks, without leaving your living room

Specs: A pre-equipped Ferrari-licensed wireless cockpit, foldable, out-the-box functionality, replica of the Ferrari F430 Wheel

OTAS WARTHOG JOYSTICK
SRP:
£349
Distributor: Micro-P

They say: The US Air Force A-10C attack aircraft Hotas replica joystick pack with innovative new HEART HallEffect AccuRate Technology for razor sharp precision

Specs: 3D magnetic, 16-bit, five coil spring joystick, metal handrest with adjustable friction, weighted base with five programmable backlit LEDs

MIONIX PROPUS 380 GAMING SURFACE
SRP:
£24.99
Distributor: Meroncourt

They say: Mionix Propus 380 is the physical answer to performance, design and innovation. According to test results, the special silver-metallic plastic coating offers optimal tracking conditions and improves the overall performance of the mouse movements

Specs: Optimal tracking due to special coating, extra-wide tracking area, hard and flexible material combination

ROCCAT KOVA+ MAX PERFORMANCE GAMING MOUSE
SRP:
£49.99
Distributor: Meroncourt

They say: It doesn’t matter whether you’re left or right handed, you use a PC or a Mac, or you’re a fan of red, blue or green – the Roccat Kova+ satisfies any wish; and it does all that without you needing to install additional drivers

Specs:
Fine-tuned successor to the Kova Gaming Mouse, EasyShift functionality

THERMALTAKE ESPORTS CHALLENGER PRO KEYBOARD
SRP:
£70.49
Distributor: Meroncourt

They say:
The Challenger series keyboards are designed with an extended cooling fan, which is the worldwide first exclusive cooling fan gaming keyboard to offer the most comfortable gaming environment. The clever design is to dry your sweaty hands caused by the rise of adrenaline, highlighting also your smart choice and characteristics

Specs:
Ten macro keys, six multimedia keys, two USB ports, ten million keystroke lifespan, integrated hand cooling fan

CASES
Usually the most prominent aspect of a high-end machine, nothing says ‘I’m a PC gamer’ quite like a custom case. Usually equipped with a variety of integrated cooling options, as well as distinctive design and lighting, a gaming case will make a PC stand out from the sea of beige boxes...

THERMALTAKE ELEMENT V NVIDIA EDITION
SRP:
£202.49
Distributor: Meroncourt

They say: With its all black coating, inside and outside, the Thermaltake Element V offers overall quality and neat looks, as well as a large SLI graphics expansion space

Specs:
Nvidia SLI ready, colourshift fan with a six colour changing pattern, adjustable fan speed control, optimised air flow, up to eleven 5.25-inch drive bays, six 3.5-inch bays, two iCages

THERMALTAKE V4 BLACK EDITION
SRP:
£58.99
Distributor: Meroncourt

They say: The Black Edition’s coating makes for a stylish inside look, while the bottom-placed PSU design enables better and easier installation of components

Specs: ATX motherboard support, four 5.25-inch drive bays, four internal 3.5-inch drive bays with one 2.5-inch SSD/HDD slot, one onboard rear fan with three additional optional fans

XIGMATEK PANTHEON
SRP:
£79.99
Distributor: Realtime Distribution

They say: Decent design combined with features such as USB 3.0, two fan controllers, and the support of 240/280mm heatsink on the top. Get yourself a piece of ancient experience and flair and start the combat with Pantheon

Specs: Two 3.5-inch hot-swap HDD trays, USB 3.0 connectivity, easy-install thumb screws, one pre-installed 140mm rear fan and two 120mm side fans

ANTEC LANBOY AIR
SRP:
£169.99
Distributor: EntaTech

They say:
Meet the LanBoy Air. Nearly every part on this case, even the motherboard and PSU mounts, is modular and customizable. Up to 15 exhaust fans create positive air pressure inside the case that blows dust and heat out through panel perforations

Specs: Fully modular chassis, open frame mesh construction, AirMounts HDD suspension mount, eleven drive bays, advanced cooling system, water cooling support, eight graphics expansion slots

SOUND AND AUDIO
Although sound cards are not really the essential purchase that they used to be, sound is still an important aspect of gaming, as it can help create an immersive experience as much as the graphics. In addition, as online gaming becomes increasingly popular, the demand for microphones and earphones as a means of communication with other players is rising...

ALTEC LANSING MX6021
SRP:
£129.99
Distributor: Micro-P

They say: Waves of sound flow at you from five digital amplifiers powering five separate drivers. The long-throw 165mm subwoofer pumps out seismic bass and the precision matched mid-range and high-frequency neodymium speaker drivers deliver exceptionally accurate, full-spectrum sound

Specs: 200W speaker system, two 75mm and two 25mm high frequency neodymium drivers, one 165mm long-throw woofer, 106dB sound pressure level

SOUNDBLASTER WORLD OF WARCRAFT HEADSET
SRP:
£109.99
Distributor: Micro-P

They say: Experience the sounds of Azeroth and beyond like never before with the Sound Blaster World of Warcraft Headset. Designed specifically for World of Warcraft gamers, the headset features cutting-edge audio technology and THX TruStudio PC, offering you a truly unforgettable gaming experience

Specs: Custom WoW packaging, customisable earcup lighting system, integrated Soundblaster THX TruStudio soundcard, flexible detachable microphone

OZONE ATTACK SNOW HEADSET
SRP:
£23.99
Distributor: Meroncourt

They say: If Attack is quick and efficient, Attack Snow is quick, efficient, and white

Specs: Easy in-line controller, mini-jack 3.5mm connection, Revolution adjustable microphone, comfort leather cushions, ergonomic adaptive headband

SENNHEISER PC 360 HEADSET
SRP:
£145.99
Distributor: Realtime Distribution

They say: Developed with the top eSport team mTw, the PC 360 is a new flagship for pro gaming. It has an open design that makes sure you keep a cool head – and delivers a natural listening experience so you can stay in touch with your surroundings

Specs: Sennheiser hi-fi sound and acoustics, open air design, noise cancelling, XXL velvet earpads, integrated volume and mute controls

RAZER MEGALODON HEADSET
SRP:
£124.99
Distributor: Realtime Distribution

They say:
The Razer Megalodon is a 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset designed specifically to incorporate the Razer Maelstrom Audio Engine, making it the definitive headset for gamers today

Specs:
7.1 channel Razer Maelstrom audio engine, onboard audio processing, noise filtering, amplified microphone, 40mm neodymium drivers

TURTLEBEACH AMIGO USB SOUND CARD
SRP:
£24.99
Distributor: Interactive Ideas

They say: The Amigo II USB sound card adds a stereo output and mic input to a Mac or PC and converts a standard headset into a USB headset. Because it uses a USB digital connection, the Amigo II isolates the audio signal from the noisy electronics inside a PC or laptop to provide higher-quality sound

Specs: Converts a standard headset to USB, stereo output drives headphones or powered speakers, supports headset or external microphone, USB powered, no drivers required, Mac and Windows compatible

COMPONENTS

Although some components are generally valued above others in the creation of a high-end machine, in fact every part of a PC contributes to a seamless and enjoyable gaming experience. High capacity and responsive memory will improve latency, good cooling will allow the user to push a machine to its limits, while a reliable power supply will ensure the best performance...

CRUCIAL 256GB 2.5-INCH REAL SSD C300
SRP:
£387.99
Distributor: CCI Distribution

They say: Designed with high-speed synchronous MLC NAND, advanced controller technology, optimized NAND management, and the new SATA 6Gb/s interface, these drives dramatically improve data transfers for bandwidth-demanding applications like audio and video

Specs: 256GB capacity, Micro MLC NAND, RAID support, 0.1ms response time, 6Gb/sec transfer rate

CORSAIR AX1200 PSU
SRP:
£214.99
Distributor: Realtime Distribution

They say: The Corsair AX1200 provides the power level, reliability, and stability required for the ultimate SLI and CrossFire gaming PCs. It delivers more than 90 per cent energy efficiency, and is built to Corsair’s renowned quality standards

Specs: 2.5-inch form factor with 3.5-inch bracket, maximum read 285 mbps, maximum write 275 mbps

CORSAIR P3-64 SSD
SRP:
£109.99
Distributor: Computer 2000

They say: Performance 3 series solid-state drives combine the latest Marvell controller and supercharged synchronous NAND to eliminate bottlenecks and provide the serious 6Gbps SATA III bandwidth you need for cutting edge video and graphics

Specs: 64GB capacity, 2.5- inch solid-state hard drive, 6Gb/s SATA connectivity, 128MB DRAM cache

GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD7
SRP:
£269.99
Distributor: EntaTech, Realtime Distribution

They say:
Get ready for a mind blowing gaming or professional computing experience when you upgrade to a GA-P67A-UD7 motherboard. Every component on this motherboard was designed and engineered to deliver exceptional performance for your computing needs

Specs: LGA1155 socket, Intel P67 chipset, four DDR3 DIMM sockets, dual channel memory architecture, supports CrossFireX and SLI

ASUS RAMPAGE III EXTREME
SRP:
£335.71
Distributor: Computer 2000

They say: The Republic of Gamers consists only the best of the best and the Rampage III Extreme supports the latest processors and graphics cards with USB 3.0 on an X58 chipset

Specs: Supports Intel Core i7, X58 chipset, USB 3.0 support, PCIe 2.0, trichannel DDR3, 6Gbps SATA, eight channel audio, bundled with 3DMark and Kaspersky antivirus

ANTEC TRUEPOWER QUATTRO
SRP:
£189.99
Distributor: EntaTech

They say:
Combining 1200 watts of stable and quiet power with cutting-edge efficiency and style, the TruePower Quattro 1200 blasts ahead of the competition

Specs: Nvidia SLI ready, designed to support dual GPUs and dual/quad core CPUs, 80 Plus Silver certified, 80mm cooling fan, advanced sleeved cable management, Active PFC

THERMALTAKE JING
SRP:
£89.99
Distributor: Meroncourt

They say: With a name derived from the Chinese for ‘silence’, the Thermaltake Jing is specifically designed for silent operation while maintaining a maximum cooling efficiency

Specs: Five heat pipes, nickel-plated copper base, ultra quiet operation, unique dual 120mm intake and exhaust fans, anti-vibration dampening, all-in-one backplate

CORSAIR FORCE 180GB SSD
SRP:
£269.99
Distributor: Realtime Distribution

They say: Based on the SandForce SF-1200 SSD Processor, the Corsair Force series SSDs are the ultimate performance drive. Your system will start-up faster, applications and games will load quicker and you will see a huge improvement in overall system responsiveness

Specs: 2.5-inch form factor with 3.5-inch bracket, maximum read 285 mbps, maximum write 275 mbps

GIGABYTE GA-H67MA-UD2H
SRP:
£103.99
Distributor: EntaTech

They say: Get ready for a mind blowing media experience when you upgrade to a Gigabyte 6-series motherboard. Every component on Gigabyte 6-series motherboards is designed and engineered to deliver exceptional performance and clarity for your computing needs

Specs: LGA1155 socket, Intel H67 Express chipset, four DDR3 DIMM sockets, integrated graphics, dual channel memory architecture, supports ATI CrossFireX

ASUS SABERTOOTH X58
SRP:
£189.83
Distributor: Computer 2000

They say: The TUF series delivers a ‘tough’ image. With the unique design and high quality components, TUF series is born for pursuing the preeminent stability, all-round compatibility, and extreme durability

Specs: X58 chipset, Intel 1366 socket, supports Intel Turbo Boost technology, six DIMM sockets, triple channel memory architecture, supports CrossFire and SLI

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