Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Lolita Spyder 87 key keyboard by Noppoo Testing and First Impressions!


I recently received the Lolita Spyder 87 key keyboard from Noppoo and here are some of my thoughts on it. 



Overview


Overall I like the looks of the keyboard, it feels solid. I like the top plate of the keyboard, it reminds me of a silver version of the Corsair K65 RGB except it is not brushed aluminum and there are no back-lights. The keyboard is a 10 keyless keyboard meaning there is no number pad on the right hand side, but I prefer not having one. It saves a lot of space on my desk and I would rather use the space for other things, like my Han Solo [Snow Gear] pop figure from LootCrate. The keyboard comes with good enough keycaps on it but I prefer my new Rosewill caps I received (review coming soon I will replace this text when it is up!) The cable is non-removable and is not braided but it has three slots where it can be routed. It can be routed to the center, left, and right. The USB is gold plated, not really a plus because it offers no benefit nor does any other gold plated USB on the market, but I thought I just needed to mention that. This exact keyboard does not offer backlighting but they do offer this keyboard with it for an additional cost.

It does come with function keys, the function key is my right windows key. Here is a list of all of the keys taken from the amazon product page:
- Fn+F1: Previous track 
- Fn+F2: Play/Pause 
- Fn+F3: Next track 
- Fn+F4: Stop 
- Fn+F5: Mute 
- Fn+F6: Volume Down 
- Fn+F7: Volume Up 
- Fn+F8: NKey (Switch the 6KRO compatible with Mac) 



I only have one major complaint with the looks of the keyboard, Lolita Spyder by Noppoo is written above the arrow keys, in bold. As you can see to the left it is very noticeable from quite a distance away. I was uninformed with the term Lolita since I have not read many classic books (yes it is considered a classic) so I thought nothing of it. I was reading an Amazon review of it and I googled it because some one said it was an inappropriate term, and it is. The term is coined from the book "Lolita Novel by Vladimir Nabokov", you can look up the meaning for yourself if you would like.


Keys and Switches


This keyboard uses Kailh switches, not Cherry MX switches. They are however compatible when purchasing keycaps, so any keycaps you find that are standard size and for Cherry MX switches will work fine.

This keyboard comes in red, blue, and brown Kailh switches. I chose the browns because the reds are lacking a tactile bump, the blues are too loud for long typing sessions but good for gaming, so the browns were an obvious choice. They offer the tactile bump I prefer and there is no click, there still is noise but that can be fixed with some sound dampener rings, I will not purchase them because the noise does not bother me and I like the sound to a degree. Make sure to do your homework on the types of keys you prefer before purchasing, I made the mistake of buying red MX switches and hated them. Check out this video to learn more - switches video. (Actual color of my keycaps.)


The keycaps that come on this keyboard are fine, they are standard black keycaps. With the stock keycaps I could type from 42 WPM average. I purchased some keycaps from Rosewill that are yellow with white writing, to help out with the no backlight situation. The keys from Rosewill increased my typing speed to 56 WPM average. My typing speed on my Corsair K65 RGB is around 33 WPM and on my Razer Ultimate Edition 2013 it is about 44 WPM (accuracy on all is above 92%).



Kailh switches debunked


Kailh switches are clones of Cherry MX switches, they are made in china and cost less to make, so lower end keyboards are going to primarily use them. Many company's use them but do not make it known, I am looking at you Razer. Yes, Razer uses Kailh switches but does not tell you, they claim them as their own. If a company that large can use these switches and has enough trust in them to claim them, they must be pretty good switches. I like them enough to say I actually prefer them over Cherry MX switches. They are a little harder to press than Cherry switches but I actually like that, I know I am pushing a key and it is harder to mistype. All in all, they are just as good as other switches but they are made in China.



Final Thoughts


Conclusion time, Overall this is a great keyboard! It has strong rubber feet that keep it firm to the table, the keys are well made, and it is overall a good keyboard for $64.99!

Links:
Amazon List
Brown Switches
Red Switches
Brown Switches RGB (lights not changeable)
Rosewill Keycaps

I only listed ones that are available, however, click on the amazon list link to check; it may be in stock now!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Play Fallout 4 at 60FPS for $560 including Windows 10!

I just finished a build for a client. The client wanted a gaming computer, and also wanted to be able to play Fallout 4 at a good resolution at 60 FPS. The budget was $600 including Windows 10. I came in under budget with just about the same performance at $560. I was able to give the client a good gaming computer that would be able to run almost any title at 1920 x 1080 resolution, medium to low graphics. Here is the build:

Every part is from Newegg.com and links are at the bottom!



Starting off with the case, I went with a red theme with this build but you can swap the case and ram to be blue so you have that option and it is for the same price. I went with a case from DIYPC the Solo-T1-R edition (the t1-BK is the blue one for anyone who is curious). It comes with 2 USB 2.0 ports and a USB 3.0 port. I was pleasantly surprised that it supported  USB 3.0 at only $28.89 with $6 shipping. There is quite a lot of room in the case and it has a nice gamer appeal. 





For the processor I went with the AMD Athlon X4 860k black edition. This quad-core cpu clocked at 3.7GHz is fast enough for gaming but if you want to run multiple intense programs in the background while you game, you will notice a difference. It only has 4mb of cache so don't expect it to act like an I5 but it is really good for the price. It is $70.99 and for that price, you can't beat it! I wish I knew the truth about AMD processors before I got my I7-2600, for the same price I could have gotten an 8 core AMD processor with 12mb of cache. AMD processors are a good budget part that still pack a huge punch! My only complaint is that the pre-installed thermal paste was junk, I had to take it off and use my own Antec thermal paste and brought the temperatures back to normal.

general information


For the motherboard I went with the GIGABYTE GA-F2A88XM-HD3. It supports USB 3.0 so the port does not go to waste on the case, it also has 2 USB 3.0 ports and 4 USB 2.0 ports. It is good for this build because it is cheap but you can go with several different boards for the price. It has a PCI Express 3.0 x 16, PCI Express 2.0 x 16, PCI Express 1.0, and a PCI slot. It gives plenty of room to expand but still not overkill and for $62.99 it is a steal! It is a micro-ATX board so it only has 2 slots for RAM, but 2 sticks will be plenty for this gaming PC.

http://c1.neweggimages.com/BizIntell/item/13/128/13-128-664/1_032715.jpg


For RAM I went with two sticks of 4GB in dual channel. With only 2 slots on the motherboard it is best to go with a kit in dual channel. It is fast ram, DDR3 1866. It is plenty for this build, it also matched the red on the case.

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL


For the graphics card I went with the FXF R7 370 with 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5 RAM. It is DirectX 12 ready. The core clock is 995MHz which is not bad but it can be overclocked. It has plenty of ram for any game and for Fallout 4 which wants 4GB, the 2GB 256-Bit 5600MHz RAM helps close the gap. For $124.99 it is a good intro gaming graphics card.

http://c1.neweggimages.com/BizIntell/item/14/150/14-150-735/main-image_081915.jpg


The Power supply is an EVGA 500W and is 80 plus bronze certified active PFC continuous. It has every connector for just about any configuration, plenty of molex connectors along with 6 SATA connections. I wish I could have got a modular power supply but in the case you have plenty of room to route cables in the back. For $39.99 it is a reliable power supply that I would put into my personal system if it came in a 750W.

http://c1.neweggimages.com/BizIntell/item/17/438/17-438-016/banner.jpg


For the hard drive I went with a 500GB Seagate Barracuda running at 7200 RPM. The motherboard has 6.0GB/s connections on every SATA port so read and write time is fast. The only other option I would go with is a 500GB WD Blue drive which is a couple dollars more but the budget was $560. For $45.99 it is a good, reliable HDD.

http://c1.neweggimages.com/BizIntell/item/22/178/22-178-783/2_091715.jpg


For the disk drive I went with an LG internal 24x super multi, it is a reader and writer. Not much else can be said, it is a good drive for $19.99.

http://media.flixcar.com/f360cdn/LG_Electronics-643677277-lg-dvd-rewriter-gh24nsc0-zoom01.jpg


The OS I went with is Windows 10, shocker. If you have followed my blog for any length of time I have been anticipating Windows 10 and I have several walkthroughs. If you want to save $99.99 then go with Linux, specifically Ubuntu. 


 
Benchmarks:
Here are some benchmarks on 3 games on 1080p with medium to low settings:
Counter Strike Global Offensive - 125 frames per second on average
Dishonored - 90 frames per second on average
Fallout 4 - 58 frames per second on average



Links to parts:
Here are the links to every part:
CPU
Motherboard
RAM
Graphics Card
Power Supply 
Hard Drive
Disk Drive
Case
Windows 10 


 
If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment! Come back for more budget builds!

*All graphics are taken from Newegg.com