G.Skill is a well-known brand in the memory market, with experience spanning decades in international markets. While they are rather well-known for their RipJaws line and the overclocking competitions they’ve held in recent years, that’s pretty much all they currently do. The company has decided to change that this year, and has announced a slew of new peripherals and a PSU lineup to match your fancy-schmancy memory modules. There are no estimated prices or availability dates for the products you’re about to drool over, but somewhere towards the end of Q3 2015 seems like a safe bet.
First up are the keyboards, which are separated into two lines -RGB and non-RGB. Pictured above is the RipJaws KM780 RGB, which features either Cherry MX Red or Brown switches with RGB backlighting. There is also the KM780 MX, which has the same options, but different backlighting controls (with less colours to choose from). My guess is that the RGB version will end up being something similar to the Corsair K70 RGB, while the MX version will be more similar to cheaper keyboards which just cycle through several colours and adjust brightness to change the colour saturation.
There are three mode keys to switch between profiles stored on the KM780’s embedded memory, six macro keys for a total of eighteen possible functions, per-key lighting and colour control on the RGB model and full anti-ghosting rollover. That plastic flap that is extended upwards is there to hold down the cables when you fold them up for packing into a bag or case, but I’m betting that it would be possible to use it as a makeshift mouse bungee as well.
The RipJaws MX780 also makes its debut, seen here in RGB form with different colours for each LED zone. As you can see, not only is the MX780 ambidextrous for use with the right or left hands, it also appears to be a near-identical copy of Razer’s Ouroboros, which also features an adjustable palm grip, similar thumb rests, and keeping the DPI switching buttons in the middle of the mouse between the separated primary and secondary buttons.
G.Skill advertises the MX780 as featuring a gaming-grade Avago sensor (so, probably optical) and Omron switches (probably spring-loaded). The MX780 is compatible with a 1000MHz polling rate and has a maximum sensitivity of 8200dpi, with 30g of acceleration. There’s an on-board ARM processor and embedded memory for storing up to five profiles on the mouse itself. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is an Ouroboros and Razer is making it for them.
Also shown off was the RipJaws SR910, a virtual 7:1 Surround headset that seems to take inspiration from Steelseries’ foam and spring-attached headbands. As usual, there’ll be software to customise the sound profile to your liking and the microphone does offer noise cancellation, so your online buddies won’t be annoyed by your family watching Family Feud in the same room as you. The drivers are 50mm in size, the earcups rotate on a steel bearing, the earpiece has a soft leatherette cushion for your ears, and it looks pretty big as well – possibly big enough for those of you who wear hearing aids with your headsets.
The bigger surprise was the move into the PSU market, which is very cut-throat and intensely competive in the high-end market. The family starts off with the PS-series, with the main differentiators being the rated efficiency and the advertised continuous load available. Efficiency ratings are either for 80Plus Gold (more than 82% efficiency) and Platinum (more than 90% efficiency), which sounds great for enthusiasts looking for something to power their rig and G.Skill memory.
There is fan control available through software and if your load is low enough, the PSU can be run completely silent, with thew fan turned off. G.Skill is almost certainly not making these units themselves, so a little digging revealed that they are made by ON Semiconductor, a power supply and components manufacturer based in Arizona, US. Its too early to draw any conclusions on these parts, but I’m expecting them to review well. It would be nice to have more than Seasonic, Super Flower, Channel Well and FSP as OEM suppliers for the high-end ATX PSU market.
Finally, there’s the new Trident-Z memory from G.Skill. These are DDR4 modules with aluminium heatsinks and will cover frequencies from 2400MHz all the way to 3400MHz, at voltages as low as 1.35v. Technically DDR4 is supposed to operate at 1.25v, but the extra power is needed to run these chips at such high frequencies.
DDR4 is still in its infancy and is still quite expensive when you consider the kind of performance you get out of similarly-priced DDR3 kits. However, the launch of Intel’s Skylake processors and AMD’s Zen chips next year will probably help along the adoption of DDR4 greatly, because there is a lot to like about it already.