In this week’s Mosh Pit we’ve got a stack of peripherals to show you, including a new outing from MSI that may prove to add some real competition to the keyboard market. We’ve also got an anime series that’s won several awards for its dystopian themes and art style, a super-sexy CPU cooler from Cooler Master, and the beginnings of a trilogy of novels by Phillip Pullman that may be just as mind-blowing as his work from back in the ’90s.
SteelSeries Rival 600 gaming mouse
SteelSeries’ latest addition to their gaming mouse lineup is the Rival 600, which SteelSeries says is their most advanced mouse yet, and “a breakthrough in gaming mouse sensor technology”. The Rival 600’s headlining features are its morphing shell, its stylishly minimalist RGB lighting zones, and its dual sensors which accommodate for lift-off mouse movement.
Previously, the only mouse that had a workable solution for cursor movement when the mouse was lifted off a surface was Logitech’s G402 Hyperion Fury, which used an accelerometer for more accurate tracking and to know when the mouse was being lifted off a surface. SteelSeries’ approach is to use two optical sensors and a complex new image sensor, using the input from both to track the mouse’s movements, and to determine when it’s lifted up. With this approach, the company says issues like jittery, erratic cursor movements are solved, and as a bonus it offers the lowest lift-off distance of any mouse on the market.
Aside from the new sensors, the shell of the Rival 600 can be adapted to suit your needs and preferred grip style, and can also be weighted using a set of eight weights.
Body Glove earphones
Body Glove’s tagline for their new sports-0rientated earphones is “make every run rock”. They’re intended for use while running, exercising, and doing any other physically demanding activity. The company recently released the Lite Wireless Bluetooth Sport Ear Buds, the Lite Plus Bluetooth Sport Ear Buds, and the Pop In-Ear Headphones, which include a microphone. The names are a mouthful, but they’re all designed to be lightweight, portable, and won’t annoyingly evacuate your ears during a strenuous workout.
Utilising low-power Bluetooth 4.1 profiles, the Lite and Lite Plus Bluetooth earbuds manage a battery life of up to four hours for music playback or talk time. The Lite Plus features a beefier internal battery promising up to 100 hours on standby (the regular Lite buds will reach 60 standby hours). Over-ear hooks help ensure they won’t fall off, and they’ll work at distances of up to ten metres to connected devices. Keep an eye out for these sets in stores nationwide.
If dystopian cyberpunk fiction is your kind of thing (it’s definitely a favourite of ours), Psycho-Pass is right up your alley. Released in 2012, Psycho-Pass is an anime series set in a futuristic Tokyo. Mankind has leapt to great technological highs with advancements in computing, cybernetics, holograms, and psychological research, but there’s a fear of people turning to crime thanks to high stress levels and repressed emotions. To combat this, the local government makes use of the Sibyl System that scans people’s stress levels and gives them a rating, and actively works to give humans the best quality of life, calculated through a complex set of algorithms and decisions taken by Sibyl.
To combat crime and arrest “latent criminals”, the Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Division dispatches a team of investigators who command small squads of Enforcers – latent criminals who’ve been hired by the police force for their efficiency in investigating and executing other latent criminals.
The series is drawn with the aid of computer animation, but several parts of it have hand-drawn facial animations that’ll creep you out (the intent, it seems, is to cloud the viewer’s own Psycho-Pass). The characters have substance, the writing is mature, it won awards for its amazing original soundtrack, and there’s very little of the goofiness and nonsensical plots that often comes with anime. One episode in Season 2 even had to cancel its airing in Japan because the series eerily predicted an actual murder that took place that week.
The franchise has spawned two seasons of the main series as well as a full-length movie, in addition to manga, several novels, as well as a video game called Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness, an interactive visual novel available for PlayStation 4, PS Vita, PC, and Xbox One (in Japan only).
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L RGB
Cooler Master is one of the most popular names in PC components around the world, and the relatively new Master series of products is still pushing out good, high-end products. The new kinds on the block are the MasterLiquid ML120L and ML240L, which now sport RGB lighting.
The new design keeps the pump attached to the CPU block and now has flexible hosing in heat-shrink tubing, which looks really nice. The ML120L radiator is better suited to mounting to the front or top of most PC cases (because of the extra bulk on the end), while the ML240L looks to be best suited for mounting to the top of your chassis.
Both the ML120L and the ML240L have compatibility up to and including AMD’s socket AM4 and Intel’s LGA2066 for Kaby Lake-X. They both include RGB-capable MasterFlow fans, and are available locally from online retailers. The ML120L retails for around R850, while the ML240L is an excellent value-for-money purchase with an average price of around R1,100. They’re definitely worth considering if you’re embarking on a new build soon.
The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman
If you’ve read the His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman (which was released in the ’90s), we’ll bet you’ve never since read anything else quite like it. Its world of Dæmons, of Will and Lyra, of armoured sentient polar bears, of magic and physics and string theory, is hugely addicting. Pullman’s latest addition to the world he created is the Book of Dust series, a trilogy of prequels set when Lyra is still a baby and Lord Asriel is on the run from the government – and the thought-police run by the English Church.
That’s about as much as we can tell you, because for fans of the His Dark Materials series, this is something you’re going to want to read for yourself. We don’t want to spoil a single thing, because every bit of it is engrossing, and slowly creates a backdrop for the events that set the stage for His Dark Materials.
If you’ve never read these books, pick up the His Dark Materials trilogy first, and then dive into The Book of Dust. The second book in the series, The Secret Commonwealth, will be published later this year.
MSI Vigor GK70/GK80
MSI’s latest additions to their peripherals lineup are the Vigor GK70 and GK80, two mechanical keyboards covered in RGB lighting and constructed from high-quality metals. The GK80 is the flagship: a full-size 108-key keyboard with USB pass-through, multimedia controls and Cherry MX Red RGB switches. It’s heavy at 1.05kg, and includes a 2m braided USB cable. The GK70 is the same overall design, just in a tenkeyless format that lacks a numberpad.
Both keyboards have four keycaps which are metal-tipped for durability, with the rest featuring double-injection moulding and a rubberised texture. Because the switches are standard Cherry MX, the keycaps can be substituted with any design you prefer, and MSI has maintained a standard layout to allow customisation. Both keyboards support N-key rollover mode, but the GK70 lacks media controls. Both have dedicated hotkeys for interacting with MSI’s software. Pricing has not been announced, but worldwide availability is expected to begin this month.
GeIL Memory Super Luce RGB Sync
GeIL Memory has been making waves with their highly stylised products, and they’re fast becoming a recommended RAM manufacturer among enthusiasts. GeIL has announced that they’ve been working with GIGABYTE, ASUS, and MSI to ensure built-in support for their RGB-ified Super Luce Sync series of memory modules via each vendor’s respective RGB controller software. This is because support for RGB controllers in this way has to be configured manually – until the industry standardises RGB controllers (assuming this ever happens), custom chips like the ones GeIL uses need special support from the vendors themselves.
The Super Luce RGB Sync kits come in white or black and draw power for the LEDs through the DIMM slots, resulting in a cable-free experience. GeIL has certified the memory kits for both AMD Ryzen and Intel Coffee Lake platforms.