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HyperX Cloud Alpha S Review- The Best Bang for the Buck Gaming Headset

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HyperX Cloud Alpha S Review

Are you on the lookout for the best gaming headset on the market that doesn’t break the bank? If so, you’d want to read this article as I am going to review the HyperX Cloud Alpha S.

What is It?

HyperX is Kingston’s gaming division and the sub-brand has produced some of the best gaming peripherals on the market. From gaming keyboards to headphones, the company has got you covered.

That being said, the HyperX Cloud Alpha S is an improved version of the company’s popular Cloud X Alpha that was released a few years ago.

The said product was touted as one of the best sounding headphones overall in the market. Sure, it can be used for gaming, but its audio quality is so amazing that you can listen to songs with it without any problems.

So, what’s new with the HyperX Cloud Alpha S? People have been clamoring for a 7.1 surround sound edition of the popular headset and the Cloud Alpha S is simply that.

What’s Included in the Box?

HyperX Cloud Alpha S Review 2020

For $129, you actually get a lot of things inside the box. Here is just a short rundown:

  • HyperX Cloud Alpha S headset
  • Foam Ear Cups (Leather Ear Cups already installed)
  • Detachable USB cable (for 7.1 surround sound) and detachable 3.5mm cable for 2.0 stereo sound
  • Detachable microphone
  • Carrying Pouch

Everything that you need in order to have these amazing headphones set up and running is included in its package. I love the fact that the company is kind enough to include a carrying pouch so that you can keep them protected, as well as giving you a convenient way to bring them with you anywhere you go.

Design

The HyperX Cloud Alpha S is a premium headset- both in its audio performance and its design. This gaming headset has a leather stitching at the top and some leather padding to cushion your head (great for prolonged gaming sessions).

By default, these headphones come with leather ear cups that do an amazing job of isolating the output sound within the cups themselves.

Its 50mm Dual-Chamber drivers ensure that the highs and mids do not get drowned out by the bass.

What is interesting is that there is a bass vent on each side of the cans. These vents can be completely open (thus providing the best possible bass output) or completely closed (best for sound isolation).

Included in the box is a 7.1 surround sound cable that plugs into the USB port of your computer or laptop.  To use this, you would have to plug the 3.5mm connector to a specific slot on the USB cable and then plug it into your machine.

Comfort

The HyperX Cloud Alpha S is pretty comfortable. After playing for 8 hours straight, the headphones are comfortable enough that you will barely notice them on your head.

Do keep in mind that I was playing in a relatively cool room with an air conditioner which means that if you are using the default leather ear cups, you are bound to get sweaty in the areas around your ear.

If that makes you feel uncomfortable, you can swap the leather ear cups with the included foam material instead, though keep in mind that by using the latter, you will also sacrifice some noise isolation as well (in other words, more sound will leak from the headphones).

I am happy to say that these cans stay nicely on your head thanks to its relatively good clamping force. 

Audio Quality

HyperX Cloud Alpha S Bass

Of course, reviewing a headset will not be complete without talking about its sound quality. The HyperX Cloud Alpha S, if used in its default 2.0 stereo configuration, produces a more balanced sound output compared to other gaming headsets on the market.

I especially love the fact that even if things get a little boomy (as is when playing first-person shooters like Valorant), the bass doesn’t muddy the highs or the mids thanks to its 50mm dual-chamber drivers.

Now, what happens to the audio when you tinker with the bass vents? If you set it to open, you will get a much better bass response at the cost of noise isolation. If you set it to close, you get better sound isolation with a slight bass penalty.

I recommend that you leave it fully opened so that you get the best possible bass response among the two configurations.

So, what about the surround sound? To be honest, it should only be enabled when you play games. To use this feature, you will have to download the Ngenuity App. Once installed, all you have to do is press the 7.1 button on the USB cable that is provided in the box.

Bear in mind that the said feature is only applicable to the PC or laptop and cannot be turned on when you plug these into your game console.

Do not get me wrong, the surround sound feature is better than other gaming headsets on the market. In terms of positional audio, you can really tell if your enemy is near you or not.

The sound of the guns is punchier with surround sound turned on, though its use-case should only be for games and nothing else.

Enabling the 7.1 surround sound when you are listening to music just doesn’t provide the best possible listening experience.

Microphone

This gaming headset comes with a detachable ‘boom’ microphone and it is a letdown. When you are plugging the headphones in a combo jack in your PC, you get much better microphone quality as there is only a little compression involved.

However, if you plug it into your favorite game console or even inside its USB 7.1 surround sound cable, the quality of the microphone degrades quite substantially.

Using the 7.1 surround sound is always good when you are playing competitive games and not having a good microphone when the feature is enabled just kind of defeats the purpose, to be honest.

When plugging it into a game console, it does work but the quality is just muffled that it becomes useless when communicating with your teammates.

Verdict

To be honest, the HyperX Cloud Alpha S is one of the best gaming headsets on the market today. It offers amazing sound quality for the price and its quite comfortable to use even for hours and hours.

Where it falls short is in its included microphone. Sure, you can plug it into any mobile device that has a 3.5mm headphone jack, but its quality is subpar at best.

Also, for an asking price of $129, it would have been nice if it had wireless functionality, but this is just me nitpicking at this point.

Despite its mediocre microphone, the HyperX Cloud Alpha S provides unparalleled audio performance, as well as amazing comfort for prolonged gaming sessions.

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Top Alienware Gaming PCs That Will Take Your Gaming Experience to the Next Level

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Alienware PCs

I think that by now, people are aware of Alienware. That is the gaming division of Dell and it specializes in creating out of this world gaming systems- from pre-built PCs to laptops.

The company is aiming to provide quality gaming machines at relatively inexpensive prices (at least, when compared to its competition).

If you want the aesthetics of the company’s PCs, do read on to find out our recommendations for the top Alienware Gaming PCs that will surely take your gaming experience to the next level.

Top Alienware Gaming PCs

1.Alienware Aurora R11

Price: $1,950

Alienware Aurora R11

Intel has just released its 10th generation Intel Core processors and most of the new chips are pretty good for gaming.

The Alienware Aurora R11 costs less than $2,000 and for what you are getting, I think that the price is actually pretty good.

For the CPU, you will be getting the Intel Core i7-10700K processor which is an overclockable chip that allows you to eke out more performance by manually dialing down some settings.

The GPU solution is the Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 Super graphics card which is a pretty good performer. It can handle any games you throw at it and it can deliver considerable frame rates, even when you are playing the most demanding titles.

In addition to the aforementioned components, you will also be getting 16GB DDR memory, 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD, 1TB 7200RPM HDD, and the CPU is water-cooled to ensure that it can run at high speeds without reaching its thermal limits.

It is also worth noting that the company also included a Windows 10 Home OEM license with this machine so you no longer have to worry about the OS once you receive the package.

Do keep in mind that unlike the Asus ROG Gaming PCs, you will not get a mouse and keyboard bundled in the box.

Still, the Alienware Aurora R11 is one that you should consider if you want to go Intel with considerable gaming capabilities.

2.Alienware Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition

Price: $1,849

Alienware Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition

As much as I like Intel processors for gaming, the problem with the company’s new chips is that they are only good for that purpose and mediocre at other workloads. That is part of the reason why people go for AMD chips nowadays because you get the best bang-for-the-buck performance in both gaming and professional tasks.

That is why I’ve also included the Alienware Aurora R10 Ryzen edition on this list. This is what I would consider to be one of the best gaming desktops in the market in 2020 because it has some pretty solid specs at a sub $2,000 price point.

First of all, this configuration comes with the Ryzen 7 3700X which is an 8-core, 16-thread processor that can handle any games that you throw at it plus it can help you render some videos with pretty fast results.

In addition to the competitive CPU, this system is also equipped with the Nvidia Geforce 2080 Super graphics card. It is lower compared to its Ti counterpart in terms of performance, but it is definitely one of the best graphics cards on the market at the time of writing. It can handle any games without problems and the aesthetics of the GPU are also quite nice as well.

The Aurora R10 Ryzen edition also comes with 16GB of system memory, and a hefty 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD.

If you want a pretty good Ryzen-based gaming machine, the Alienware Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition is a great contender.

3.Alienware Aurora R9 

Price: $1,650

Alienware Aurora R9 

One of the reasons why people love Alienware gaming systems is that they are pretty inexpensive but offer superb gaming performance for the price. The Aurora R9 definitely fits that bill.

Priced at just $1,650 for the highest configuration, you are getting an Intel Core i9-9700K for the processor and an Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 Super for the graphics card. Although it is packed with the last generation chip from Intel and a lower tier-graphics card from Nvidia, both of them perform admirably well and you can expect considerably high frame rates even in demanding games.

For the storage solution, you are getting a 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD plus an additional 2TB hard disk for most of your games. It has 16GB of RAM that should be adequate for most scenarios.

Despite this being a compact form factor, I am surprised by how much this system weighs. At 39.2 pounds, it is definitely one of the heaviest systems out there, though that is okay since there is a semblance of quality in heavier rigs.

4.Alienware Aurora R8

Price: $1,000

Alienware Aurora R8

So, what if you are on a tight budget but you still want a good gaming desktop nonetheless? If so, you should get the Alienware Aurora R8.

For the price of $999.99, you are getting a pre-built system that is equipped with the Intel Core i5-9400 processor and an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660Ti 6GB graphics card.

The performance package should allow you to play your favorite games at medium to high settings, though keep in mind that the CPU is not an overclockable component.

This budget gaming PC also has 16GB of RAM, 512GB M.2 NVMe storage, and it already comes with Windows 10 Home edition OEM installed.

Now, if you can spend a little bit more money, you can get an additional hard disk drive for $60 and a better CPU for an additional $400.

However, this performance package, albeit modest, should still perform really well in most of the games out there.

Why Choose an Alienware PC?

So, why should you choose an Alienware pre-built gaming system? Well, for starters, people who like the aesthetics of a game console would surely love what the company has done to their PCs.

All of the gaming systems that were mentioned on this list look nearly identical but that is actually a good thing as that has been the signature branding of the company.

What I love personally about Alienware gaming desktops is that they look like game consoles. In fact, Sony might have taken some notes from the company that the Playstation 5 looks nearly the same as Alienware pre-built PCs.

Another thing that people love about this company is that you can actually open the system and replace it with different parts as you see fit.

Other companies do not allow you to do such a thing as doing so will void your warranty immediately. But, not with this one.

Although there are some components that are sealed tight, you can easily add more RAM, storage drives, and even replace the graphics card if you have the money to upgrade to a much better one (so long as it is compatible with the system).

Last but not the least is the cost. Most companies out there provide amazing gaming rigs but offer them at a steep price.

With Alienware systems, you can get a pretty good gaming machine for less than two grand, which is pretty good considering that other companies offer theirs at prices upward of $2,500.

Why Choose a Pre-built PC?

There seems to be a divide in the PC gaming community about getting a pre-built and building your own machine. While both of them have their own pros and cons, there is really nothing wrong about buying a system that is already made by a reputable company.

You see, one of the prevailing arguments against the purchase of gaming pre-built systems is that they are pricier than building your own PC. I admit, that is true, but not a lot of people are savvy enough to put everything together.

If you look at community forums such as Reddit, for example, you will find that there are a lot of gamers that are struggling to make their PCs work because they just do not know how to plug things together.

Furthermore, actually getting the right components can be a chore as well. You have to consider the compatibility, how powerful the parts are, and of course, the price.

Buying a pre-built system gives you that peace of mind and convenience unlike any other. Getting one just means that you can play your favorite games right out of the box.

Sure, you are paying more mainly for convenience, but I think that that is something that people are willing to make.

Hopefully, if you see or know someone that is thinking about getting an already-made system, do not bash him or her and just be happy that they are getting their own gaming PCs.

Alienware PCs

Intel or AMD for Gaming?

To be honest, both of the processors from team blue and team red are pretty good. The Intel Core i9-10700K, for example, is a pretty good chip for gaming and you can also overclock this processor to eke out more performance.

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is also good for gaming as well. Although it doesn’t beat Intel processors in this arena, it can still help create frames that will not bottleneck any graphics card that you pair it with.

So, if you see any pre-built systems that come with processors from either company, do not worry as both of what they have to offer to the public are generally good for gaming and even for other purposes.

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The Top Asus ROG Gaming PCs of 2020- Only the Best of What Asus Has to Offer

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ROG Huracan G21

Do you want to not go through the hassle of building your own PC? If so, just buy a pre-built system instead.

Asus is one of the best companies when it comes to computer components, but did you know that they also offer pre-built gaming PCs as well?

In this article, I will be going over some of the top Asus ROG Gaming PCs of 2020.

Best Asus ROG Gaming PCs

1.ROG Huracan G21

Price: $2800

ROG Huracan G21

If you want the absolute best from the ROG lineup of gaming desktops, then look no further than the Huracan G21.

This PC has got everything that you need to play even the most demanding games. First, it is equipped with Intel Core i9-9900K as the heart of the build and it is coupled with Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 Super as the graphics card. Both of them provide a great one-two combination and they can play whatever games you throw at them with ease.

Since you are getting a competitive CPU, the company also included 32GB of RAM as well. That is pretty hefty and you can consider doing some editing and rendering work on the side too.

I am also happy to report that this unit also comes with a 1TB NVMe SSD, as well as a 2TB HDD for all of your storage needs.

Lastly, the company is kind enough to include its ROG Strix Flare keyboard and Gladius II mouse to complete the package.

Although I love the overall aesthetic of this gaming PC, I do have some concerns about it. Because it has an asymmetrical design, it might not be the most ideal when it comes to dissipating heat from the system. You can rectify that by manually setting the fan curves as you see fit, though that will be at the cost of higher noise levels.

Still, the Asus ROG Huracan G21 is the most expensive gaming PC and the best one that the company has to offer in 2020.

2.ROG Strix GL12

Price: $2780

ROG Strix GL12

A little bit cheaper than the previous recommendation, the ROG Strix GL12 is the next best thing. It is packed with the Intel Core i7-9700K processor, Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 graphics card, 256GB NVMe SSD plus 2TB hard drive, and 16GB of DDR4-2666MHz memory.

The case that the company used for this build is pretty good. Although it has a bit of asymmetry at the front of the case, the rest of the build is symmetrical. You do not have to worry about thermals because you can visibly see the vents on the front panel, which means that airflow will not be an issue with the included case fans.

The side panel is a smoked tempered glass that is a bit darker than what other companies will usually use. I do understand why the company did this because it can help accentuate the RGB lighting of the system.

Speaking of the RGB, the company has included some RGB case fans on the inside, as well as some lighting strips on the front panel itself. I guess that this is the direction most companies are headed when it comes to creating ‘gaming’ products.

Just like the gaming system above, you will also get the ROG Strix Flare keyboard and the Gladius II mouse which, for the price, are welcome additions.

3.ROG Strix GL10DH

Price: $2,000 or $2,200

ROG Strix GL10DH

This next gaming desktop from the company is quite interesting because you actually get to choose between two main configurations.

The most expensive of the two is packed with a Ryzen 7 3700X which is a competitive gaming CPU for the price and a modest Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660Ti, which is a mid-range graphics card.

The other option would be that you get a beefier graphics card in the form of the AMD Radeon RX 5700XT which can go head-to-head with Nvidia’s RTX 2070 GPU. It is then coupled only by the Ryzen 5 3600X which is still a great chip, albeit only being a 6-core, 12-thread processor. It is still great for gaming, but I am surprised that there is a bit of a downgrade when it comes to the CPU.

Only the graphics card and the CPU are changed between configurations though because the other components will remain the same. You get 16GB of DDR4 memory, 512GB NVMe SSD, 2TB HDD, and this system also has an included WiFi AC adapter as well.

The motherboard that is included in this gaming PC is pretty good because it also provides you with an amazing audio DAC that can help enable DTS: Headphone X. Fans of 7.1 surround sound, especially in gaming, will surely love this addition.

Although I do not have complaints about this gaming pre-built system in general, I just want to point out that the cooler for this one is an air cooler.

Don’t get me wrong, the AMD Ryzen processors can actually run well on air. But, at the price of $2,000, I am expecting a beefier cooler than this.

Still, I would recommend this for people that want a Ryzen-powered gaming machine that is capable of playing even the most demanding games out there.

4.ROG Strix GA15DH

Price: $1,050

ROG Strix GA15DH

It is understandable that not a lot of people have the money to spend more than $2,000 on a gaming rig and if you are part of that demographic, I have another recommendation that will certainly be the right one for you.

The ROG Strix GA15DH is a pretty good mid-range performer as it is equipped with the Ryzen 5 3600X processor and Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660 Super graphics card. This performance package will allow you to play AAA games at medium to high settings. Of course, you can get more frames if you are playing games like Valorant or CS:GO.

In addition to the aforementioned components, you will also be getting a 256GB SATA SSD, 1TB hard disk drive, 16GB of RAM, and there is also a Windows 10 Home OEM operating system already installed which is a nice plus.

The chassis looks pretty good with the ROG logo clearly imprinted on the front panel of the case. Although the motherboard that is included in this package can support the company’s Aura Sync technology, you only get RGB fans at the front and the rest of the case only gets non-RGB variants. Still, this is a compromise that you will have to be willing to make if you are on a budget.

Although this isn’t exactly a huge negative, this gaming package doesn’t come with a bundled mouse and keyboard, though that is understandable considering the lower asking price.

5.ROG Strix GA35

Price: $4,000

ROG Strix GA35

If you want the best that the company has to offer, then look no further than the ROG Strix GA35. The only reason why I ranked it last on this list is that the price is just too steep for most people, but if you want the best specs placed inside a beautiful chassis, then this is the right one for you.

When I say the ‘best specs’, I truly mean it. The GA35 is packed with some powerful components.

For the CPU, you get an AMD R9 3950X which is a 16-core, 32-thread processor. This is not only great for gaming, but you can throw some professional workloads on its way and it will handle it with aplomb.

The graphics card on this machine is the Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080Ti from Asus. It is their Strix graphics card so you can expect it to not only perform well but also look good too.

To tame the machine’s beast of a processor, the company has included its own AIO liquid cooling solution into the mix. Although I wouldn’t recommend overclocking the already powerful chip, you can still do so thanks to the included cooler.

To complete this system, you get a whopping 32GB of DDR4-3600 memory, 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD, 2TB 7200 HDD, and the gaming rig already comes with Windows 10 Pro OEM installed.

Other nice additions include a WiFi AC adapter, Bluetooth receiver, hot-swappable SSDs, USB Gen 3.2 ports, and you also get the Flare and Gladius II keyboard and mouse, respectively.

All in all, this machine is worth the money, but you will have to be spending a lot of it if you want to get your hands on this behemoth.

Conclusion

There is nothing wrong with getting a pre-built gaming system. In fact, if you do not want to go through the hassle of building your own, getting a gaming desktop right out of the box is the best option for you.

That being said, Asus’ ROG line of gaming pre-built systems are pretty good. Although some of the processors the company used still utilize the 9th generation Intel processors, they still perform really well in this day and age.

But, if you wait a little longer, perhaps the company would sell their new systems that will be packed with the 10th generation Intel chips.

Still, all of the PCs on this list are pretty good, especially the last one. If you have the money to spend, go for it.

I am also happy that Asus was kind enough to include their gaming mouse and keyboard in most of the configurations mentioned above, except for the most budget offering.

All in all, Asus has really done an amazing job of providing the public with some really good gaming systems offered at competitive prices.

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LG 27UD58-B Review- A Good 4K Gaming Monitor for the Xbox

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LG 27UD58-B Review

What do you usually use for a display when you are playing either your Xbox or Playstation console? I am willing to bet that you are probably using your TV just for that.

While it is true that most people would rely on their SmartTVs when they are playing their game consoles, it is still good to be getting a competitive gaming monitor.

Read further to find out why the LG 27UD58-B is a good 4K gaming monitor for the Xbox and Playstation.

Design

The LG 27UD58-B has a rather simple design. It has an all-black aesthetic and has an arched monitor stand so that you can easily put things like a TV soundbar or probably your controllers when they are not in use.

While the stand itself is quite sturdy despite it being made of plastic, the problem is that you can just tilt the display and nothing else. It would have been nice if it could provide more ergonomic options, but I think that is a compromise you will have to be willing to make.

If you are not comfortable with using the monitor stand due to its lack of ergonomics, you could opt to mount it to your wall via its VESA 100×100 mount support at the back.

The bezels of the display are quite thin at just 2.3cm which provides you with a lot of screen real estate. This is great if you want to see a lot of different things when you are playing your favorite games.

If you decide to mount the monitor to the wall, it is quite okay given that it only has a thickness of just 1.8 inches. It is relatively thin and should fit your wall nicely without any problems.

Because of its all-plastic exterior, the build quality of this display is passable, though it could have been improved.

For the ports, you get one DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and a headphone jack. It would have been nice if it had USB ports, but since you get the option to mount this to the wall, I think I know why LG didn’t include them.

Display

LG 27UD58-B Review 2020

This gaming monitor is a 27-inch IPS display with a contrast ratio of 1000:1 and 8-bit color depth. As expected with IPS panels, you get vibrant colors all throughout. This is perfect if you want to play adventure games with vast open worlds for you to explore.

It has an aspect ratio of 16:9 and its refresh rate is locked at just 60Hz. That is understandable since this is a 4K display anyway. Higher refresh rate monitors with 4K resolutions are typically priced higher than this.

Because its contrast ratio is quite low compared to other gaming monitors, it might not be ideal to use in dark rooms or in poorly-lit environments. Brightness is capped at 220 cd/m² so it is in the average range.

Since this is an IPS panel, viewing angles are pretty good. No matter where you look at the display, the picture quality remains consistent across the board.

I do love the fact that the LG 27UD58-B is pre-calibrated out of the box. This means that you no longer have to touch its color settings since it looks pretty good already. Of course, you do have the option to tinker with them, though there is no need for such.

Its sRGB color space rating is 99% which is pretty good. And, because it is an IPS display, you get punchy and vibrant colors no matter what the graphical elements are displayed on the screen.

Performance

For us to gauge whether a monitor is good for gaming or not, we have to measure its responsiveness and input lag. Fortunately, this gaming monitor has passed my tests.

The LG 27UD58-B has a pretty fast response time for a 4K display. At 16.8ms, you can play fast-paced games on this monitor without missing a beat.

How about input lag? I am happy to report that this monitor’s input lag is quite low at just 8.8ms. The performance across the board is so great for the price.

Do keep in mind that while the LG 27UD58-B is FreeSync compatible, you can only take advantage of the feature if you use the DisplayPort which means that you cannot use it if you are playing your game console. You can enable that if you are playing with your PC though.

Lastly, the monitor comes with the company’s Super Resolution+ and Black Stabilizer features which just upscales the images and increases or decreases the display’s gamma depending on the environment, respectively.

LG 27UD58-B

Verdict

The LG 27UD58-B is a pretty good gaming monitor for your Xbox or Playstation consoles. That is because it has pretty snappy response times and very low input lag, so even if you are playing fast-paced games, it will have no problems displaying all of the graphical elements on the screen.

Its 4K resolution coupled with the fact that it uses an IPS panel just makes the display even more vibrant than other gaming monitors out there.

Of course, it doesn’t support HDR so if you are using this to stream your favorite shows, you might not get the best picture quality out there.

Still, at just $419, the LG 27UD58-B is a 4K display for game consoles that is tough to beat.

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