Gigabyte showed off a few very interesting new products at the “Real Graphics, True Gaming” event we attended, starting with one of the potentially better wireless video link systems we’ve seen to one of the most extreme overclocked Nvidia GeForce GTX680 graphics card designs. There was also a pretty impressive gaming keyboard and similarly inclined mouse with accompanying mouse-mat.
Before we tell you about the GeForce GTX 680 SOC (which stands for Super OverClock), let’s check out something new from the company: the ambitiously named SkyVision. No, we’re not talking about the telecom company or an offshoot of the intelligent battle network that will dominate the human race with its Terminator robots any day now.
Rather, the SkyVision WS100 is a wireless HD video kit with a difference: it promises flawless 60Hz 1080p video transmission with uncompromised, lossless 6-channel (5.1) audio over 10m line-of-sight and – most importantly for gamers – a latency of less than 1ms (consider that even fast LCD monitors generally display a minimum of 5ms lag regardless of their claims). It’s also fully compliant with the WHDI standard that’s becoming standard on Intel laptops.
The SkyVision kit consists of two small bits you need to hook up to your source and destination devices. The transmitter is a small HDMI dongle which draws its power over USB, and can be plugged into a laptop, tablet, console, or indeed any device with a digital video output and USB port (or you can use a USB power plug if your tablet/phone doesn’t have one).
The receiver is slightly bulkier and requires mains power, but this shouldn’t be a problem as it will be near a TV, projector or monitor. The entire set including adapters is small enough to fit in a handbag. The best news is that it’s expected to retail for around €120, so we may see UK prices of below £100.
GeForce GTX 680 SOC
The GeForce GTX 680 SOC, also known as the GV-N680SO-2GD WindForce 5X, is an Nvidia card with a whopping five fans, a massive heatsink, vapour chimber and nine heatpipes, offering a minimum of 8.5% better thermal performance than the stock card.
That might not sound like much, it offers up to 46% better performance for the same noise load, generally staying under 35dB. It’s even quieter when idling, as only two of its five fans will be active. And this performance may improve further as the prototype card we saw gets tuned further before retail release.
The disadvantages? This card will take up three slots in your case rather than the usual two, it will weigh enough to turn it into an effective skull-basher, production will be limited, and it’s likely to deflate your wallet even more than the average overclocked GTX680.
Aivia Osmium Gaming Keyboard
The Aivia Osmium is an impressively solid black slab of a mechanical keyboard. Keys use mechanical Cherry Red switches for the best tactile feedback you can get, anti-ghosting across all keys, fully adjustable blue backlighting, and a built-in USB hub along with headphone and microphone jacks. Along the top of the keyboard are five macro-programmable G-keys along with backlighting and volume control wheels, and to the right is a dedicated profile selection key.
Aivia Krypton Gaming Mouse
This ambidextrous mouse offers all the usual perks including nine programmable buttons, adjustable sensor speed up to 8200dpi, plenty of LEDs and a flexible weights system. Unique features include hardware right-to-left hand switching (super news for those ambidextrous gamers?) and an interchangeable base with either Teflon or hard ceramic mouse feet. Gigabyte will also be selling a huge dual-surface mouse pad to partner the mouse with.
We went hands-on with both peripherals and found them to be well-built and comfortable. The keyboard especially had key action to die for, and with its 116 individual LEDs was as bright as any we’ve seen. We weren’t quite as enthusiastic about the mouse, but then we generally prefer mice crafted to fit a specific hand as this allows for increased comfort and superior button placement.