Armaggeddon Pixxel+ Pro PF24HD Armaggeddon Pixxel+ Pro PF24HD

Computers

Armaggeddon Pixxel+ Pro PF24HD Super Monitor review: Cheap yet superb

A Singaporean brand that deserves more attention

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Admit it, the pandemic is making us buy things we don’t need. At the same time, we also bought essentials to boost our productivity when working inside our rooms. In the past few months, a lot of us went under a WFH (work from home) setup — which also meant greater demands for consumer tech products such as laptops, PC rigs, keyboards, mouse, and even monitors.

As GadgetMatch’s Associate Creative Producer, I needed a large monitor that’s not too pricey yet delivers the top three features that I need: color accuracy, viewing angles, fast refresh rate.

After lending some of my time for thorough online shopping, comparing, and research, I went with Armaggeddon’s Pixxel+ Pro PF24HD monitor.

Armaggeddon may not be familiar to most of you. They’re a Singaporean brand that offers a wide array of computing products and gaming peripherals.

Ultra slim and bezel-less

What I first liked about Armaggeddon’s Pixxel+ Pro PF24HD is its design. The massive 23.8-inch display almost feels like it’s floating because of the zero bezel design or what they call the “Infinity Frame”. Other monitors of the same price look bland with their plastic black frame and stand.

Armaggeddon’s logo may not be as distinct from afar but the silver emblem is a nice complement to the monitor’s brushed metal bottom bezel.

Its sides are truly ultra thin. The only thick part is at the bottom, which houses the monitor’s internals and holds the hefty metal monitor stand in place. Side-tilting isn’t supported but it can be tilted upwards or downwards at around +15/-5-degrees.

To make it more reliable, this monitor also supports a 75×75 VESA mount for better desk setups.

Ports and cables

You get the usual port selections here. Out of the box, there’s an included 12V cable that powers the monitor through the DC port.

There’s also a bundled HDMI cable that you can connect via the HDMI port. This port is used for PC rigs, Playstation or Xbox consoles, and laptops that support it. There’s even an extra VGA port for older PC and laptops configurations with less fancy resolution output.

What you don’t get is a DisplayPort (DP) and an Optical Audio Output — which might be a dealbreaker for some of you. There’s also no room for USB-C port since having one would add more to its cost. For my part, I just use a Bluetooth speaker for loud music sessions or a pair of wireless earbuds when I’m editing.

Cable management is a little tricky though as it doesn’t include clips for fixing those cluttered cables behind the monitor.

Real IPS panel

Armaggeddon Pixxel+ Pro PF24HD

There are different types of monitors out there that are being sold around the same price. You may have heard of them before: TN and VA panels are the most common in the list. They’re cost-efficient especially because they feature less bright and desaturated panels. But what made me choose the Armaggeddon PF24HD is the inclusion of a real IPS panel.

Just like in your smartphones, IPS displays offer excellent colors, contrast, and viewing angles. These are display features I’ve said from the very beginning that I need for the type of work I do.

Armaggeddon Pixxel+ Pro PF24HD

Yes. I’m still not over Ko Mun Yeong and Moon Gang Tae

For what its worth, the display is excellent. Colors pop while there’s little to no degradation when you look at the monitor even at the narrowest viewing angle. Other advertised “IPS” monitors I found online were just re-configured TN/VA panels with poor viewing angles and color accuracy. It’s not a good thing to fool customers with product misinformation.

With my desk setup facing parallel to the window, screen glare is unavoidable. But with PF24HD’s bright panel, it wasn’t that big of a deal for me. I even adjusted the monitor’s brightness from 70 down to just 40 because it’s just too bright for me.

In my case, my IPS panel doesn’t suffer from severe “backlight bleeding” that shows brighter areas near the edges among most IPS panels. A built-in Anti blue-light filter also comes handy to protect your eyes when using it.

True 75Hz refresh rate

During my time of comparing, I noticed that other popularly-branded IPS panels of the same price only feature a modest 60Hz refresh rate. Meanwhile, faster refresh rates of 75Hz and 144Hz are available but they feature TN or VA panels — which is a deal breaker for me (and if you were paying attention earlier, you already know why they’re not advisable for creative tasks).

Armaggeddon Pixxel+ Pro PF24HD

Having Armaggeddon’s 75Hz IPS panel is a true feat. I first tried it on macOS Catalina and I haven’t experienced any hassle after connecting my MacBook through the HDMI port. It’s automatically set to the highest refresh rate available.

Armaggeddon Pixxel+ Pro PF24HD

I was also able to run both of my MacBook Pro and eGPU through Windows 10 Bootcamp. Although this one is more of a complicated process before it actually detects and runs the external GPUs, the monitor detection together with its higher refresh rate setting worked for my case.

If you have a PC setup or a Windows laptop, I think you shouldn’t worry as your device will automatically detect the monitor through HDMI port.

Photo and video editing

Armaggeddon Pixxel+ Pro PF24HD

The main reason why I bought an external monitor is to maximize my screen workspace. Even if my 15-inch MacBook Pro displays a higher resolution while this 24-inch monitor only supports 1080p Full HD, it significantly improved my workflow when editing our YouTube videos through the latest update of Final Cut Pro. That added space for color correction, transition, and effects tab as well as the inspector and nearby windows really helped me work faster.

Armaggeddon Pixxel+ Pro PF24HD

Other than that, I was able to post-process these shots for my Nike Air Max 720 review with ease. This is where color accuracy comes into play. Armaggeddon PF24HD’s IPS panel together with its 100% sRGB support helped in displaying the shot’s correct color information.

To maximize the monitor’s contrast ratio, I then changed the screen calibration. On macOS, I adjusted it through System Preferences > Displays > Color and set it to Apple RGB profile to show deeper grays and blacks and better red hues as well.

If that’s not enough, there’s also a contrast adjustment setting through the monitor’s native menu accessible via its joystick at the back.

Gaming

Armaggeddon Pixxel+ Pro PF24HD

Gaming on a Mac was possible thanks to this fast 75Hz monitor. As said a while ago, I was able to run the MacBook Pro and eGPU configuration through Windows 10 Bootcamp drive. That gave me the ability to play GTA V (Grand Theft Auto V) at high graphics settings without any stutters and lags.

The monitor’s 75Hz monitor also worked like a charm. Having an AMD Radeon graphics card helped a lot especially because the monitor features AMD Freesync without the need for a DisplayPort.

Armaggeddon Pixxel+ Pro PF24HD

“Why is he playing Call of Duty: Mobile with such gaming setup?” — well, I know what you’re thinking. By installing GameLoop, I was able to test out CoDM with max graphics settings available. I know it’s a smartphone game but trust me, running it on a large 75Hz monitor is a feast for the eyes.

Its 5ms response time might not be as responsive as other 1/2ms-rated monitors but it’s ultra responsive especially when aiming and hitting opponents in the game.

A lot of users are hyping up curved monitors for a “greater” playing experience, but I oppose. The flat display with a 178-degree viewing angle still does the job of keeping you immersed when playing.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

In a sea full of well-known monitor brands, it’s hard to tell which relatively unknown brand delivers a better display quality at a reasonable price. Armaggeddon, being Singapore-based, gave me a huge assurance and relief. Not that I don’t support Chinese products but it’s hard to rely on products with negative reviews about false advertisements.

I’ve been using this monitor for more than a month now and it’s definitely worth your hard-earned money. If you’re like me who’s a creative that needs a reliable 75Hz IPS monitor on a budget, this is definitely one of, if not the, best options out there.

If you’re someone who’s planning to build a gaming setup with a limited budget on peripherals, this is also a great purchase especially with its fast refresh rate and response time.

In Singapore, you can buy the Armaggeddon Pixxel+ Pro PF24HD with a discounted price of just SG$ 169 that comes with a free BT150 soundbar. If you live in the Philippines, it’s being sold for just PhP 5,990 through a local distributor‘s Shopee page. You can click the hyperlinks to find out more.

Computers

AMD launches Ryzen 5000 desktop processors with major generational improvements

Available on November 5

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AMD recently took the wraps off its Ryzen 5000 desktop processors. The new processors tout improvements across the board, from improved performance-per-watt to increased instructions-per-clock.

The processors are still using the same 7nm node used in the Ryzen 3000 CPUs. However, as compared to the previous CPUs, Ryzen 5000 boasts a new design that further reduces latency and gives cores more access to the L3 cache. Improvements in design also translate to 24% more performance-per-watt for the new Ryzen processors compared to its predecessor.

Gamers will really benefit from these improvements with AMD touting a 19% generational increase in instructions-per-clock on Ryzen 5000 processors. The company says that it is their largest increase yet since the introduction of Zen processors.

Now, there are no Ryzen 4000 desktop processors since AMD wants to streamline its processor offerings. Ryzen 4000 mobile processors — the one used on laptops — use Zen 2 architecture while Ryzen 5000 desktop processors use Zen 3. As such, the naming also signifies generational improvements across architecture and performance.

Headlining the Ryzen 5000 processors is the top-of-the-line Ryzen 9 5950X. It comes with 16 cores and 32 threads, having a base frequency of 3.4GHz, and a boost frequency of 4.9GHz. Meanwhile, its total cache is 72MB while its TDP is rated at 105W.

Then, there’s the rest of the lineup. AMD Ryzen 9 5900X has 12 cores, 24 threads, and a base frequency of 3.7GHz with a boost frequency of up to 4.8GHz. Its total cache is at 70MB, and its TDP maxes out at 105W. For this processor, the company touts 7% faster 1080P gaming than its closest competitor, Intel Core i9-10900K.

There’s also the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X which is an 8-core, 16-thread CPU with a base frequency of 3.8GHz and goes up to 4.7GHz. The TDP is the same with other higher-end processors, clocking in at 105W. Meanwhile, its total cache maxes out at 36MB.

Finally, there’s the Ryzen 5 5600X. It is a 6-core, 12-thread CPU with a base frequency of 3.7GHz and maxes out at 4.6GHz. The total cache is 35MB. Its TDP is significantly lower than the three,  coming in at 65W.

Pricing and availability

All Ryzen 5000 processors are will be available to order on November 5. The top-of-the-line Ryzen 9 5900X starts at US$ 799. Meanwhile, the Ryzen 9 5900X will retail at US$ 549. The Ryzen 7 5800X and Ryzen 5 5600X will come at a much affordable price of US$ 449 and US$ 249, respectively.

It’s worth noting that AMD will also launch the AMD Radeon RX 6000 GPUs sometime before the Ryzen 5000 processors hit the shelves. These GPUs are expected to use RDNA 2 GPU architecture, which is the one used for Xbox Series X and Sony Playstation 5. An October 28 announcement is already set in stone for the Radeon GPUs.

Source: Niche Gamer and Neowin

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Computers

Samsung 27-inch Curved Gaming Monitor review: All you could ever want

A great gaming display thanks to high refresh rate and curved built.

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Samsung 27-inch Curved Gaming Monito

A lot of people find something nice about a curved display. I personally think that this kind of display gives you an illusion of depth to anything you put on it. Whether it’s playing a game or watching a video in full-screen mode, it gives you that sense of immersion. Of course, part of it also comes with bright and accurate coloring.

This is what I feel the Samsung 27-inch WQHD Curved Gaming Monitor offers, on paper. It’s a widescreen, curved display mostly suited for competitive gamers thanks to its high refresh rate. With multiple features suited for the competitive player, it’s the ideal monitor for people looking to build their first gaming setup.

But if you’re just looking for a great monitor for your home/office space, or if you’re just a casual gamer, should you even consider this? 

For starters, there’s the high refresh rate and it’s curved

The Samsung 27-inch Curved Gaming Monitor comes with a 144Hz refresh rate, a staple for most. Obviously with such a high refresh rate, you get some kind of increase in gaming performance. With this monitor, my experience was just along what you’d expect.

Every time I played a game on it, the whole experience just felt smooth. I’m not the most competitive gamer in the whole world, as long as I get to run the game. However, to me it still hits differently when you see the game run smoothly as you trudge along the battles.

Samsung 27-inch Curved Gaming Monito

As the name suggests, it’s also a curved display — and I felt this is the ideal way to construct a gaming monitor. Now, for most games I’ve played, having a curved display has its perks. With such a large amount of screen space that just curves along, I roughly get to see the whole game’s environment. In essence, you feel some semblance of immersion every time you play Fortnite or Call of Duty Warzone.

Port selection is pretty great for the most part

Along with the high refresh rate, the Samsung 27-inch Curved Gaming Monitor also has a nice selection of ports. It comes with two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort 1.2, all of which you can switch to on the fly. I feel like this is more of a standard across most gaming monitors, but Samsung does things differently with their ports.

From L to R: HDMI 1, HDMI 2, DisplayPort 1,2m Audio, Power

Apparently, only one HDMI port actually grants you the 144Hz refresh rate. Out of the two HDMI ports that come with the device, only the HDMI 2 port gives you the high refresh rate. I’m not entirely sure why Samsung decided to do this. I’ve heard that some of their other products also place the high refresh rate option on a specific port.

Furthermore, I would have loved for them to include a DisplayPort cable along with the HDMI cable. Given that most GPUs come with a DisplayPort anyway, I think this would have been a nice move. Also, the DisplayPort supports the 144Hz refresh rate so I felt this was a missed opportunity on their part.

Speaking of missed opportunities

Another missed opportunity for this monitor was giving it FreeSync or G-Sync support. I know that other similar models of the Samsung 27-inch Curved Gaming Monitor come with FreeSync support. However, the model I have didn’t — the DisplayPort doesn’t support it, and it honestly would have made the display perform better.

With FreeSync, you’re able to play your games at a stunning rate without losing much detail. In essence, it allows you to react faster — especially for most FPS games like Valorant and CS:GO. Obviously, FreeSync also raises some risks especially when you’re playing for longer hours. However, it would have provided this monitor with better performance if it supported it.

As a casual gamer, I honestly didn’t mind that FreeSync wasn’t supported mostly because I was still happily playing at 144Hz anyway. However, there were instances when I felt the game lag behind a bit. It would have been nice if the amount of lag I experienced was reduced, and FreeSync would’ve been a great thing to have.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

For PhP 27,199 (US$ 562), the Samsung 27-inch Curved Gaming Monitor is a pretty decent curved gaming display. It’s biggest selling point is in its high 144Hz refresh rate, which fits both competitive and casual gamers alike. Also, it being a curved display allows for greater immersion during gameplay.

Of course, this does have some missing technologies that would have made it better. I felt that this monitor had some missed opportunities that would have improved its performance in the long run. But, as a casual gamer, it honestly doesn’t matter to me as much as it would to others.

Overall, this gaming monitor serves its ideal purpose for those who need it. If you’re more casual than competitive, this is honestly all you could ever want.

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Computers

Lenovo expands ThinkBook, ThinkVision lineup

Lenovo expands ThinkBook, ThinkVision lineup

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Lenovo has been rather busy recently updating their entire product portfolio. So this ThinkBook and ThinkVision refresh was absolutely inevitable and most definitely welcome.

We’re going to go through all the ThinkBooks and ThinkVisions real quick. Ready? Take a breath. Let’s go!

ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 i

This was co-engineered with Intel and meets the requirements of the Intel Evo platform. That’s true across hardware specifications and key experience targets for device responsiveness, instant wake, battery life and fast charge.

It has a high resolution 13.3-inch display with a new 16:10 aspect ratio that offers 90% screen-to-body ratio with ultra-narrow bezels and is available with optional touch.

You’re also getting Thunderbolt 4 port and optional PCIe Gen 4 storage.

We’ll be going on virtual meetings for the foreseeable future. Taking that into account, the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 i features microphones that has three audio modes: private, shared, and environmental.

  • ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 i is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $829
  • ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 AMD is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $729.

ThinkBook 14s Yoga i

Need something flexible? Well, here you go. The popular Yoga form factor means this thing can bend and a different number of ways.

For performance, it’s powered by 11th Gen Intel Core processors. It also comes with the Lenovo Smart Pen to really help you let your creativity run wild.

It’s available in Mineral Grey with an Abyss Blue version added to the mix.

  • ThinkBook 14s Yoga is expected to be available from November 2020, starting at $879.

ThinkBook 14/15 Gen 2 i

If working smart is your think then it doesn’t get any smarter than this. It’s powered by 11th Gen Intel Core Processors (will also come in AMD variants) with flexible storage options: HDD + SSD or dual SSD.

Working remotely and need support? The service hot key helps users reach Lenovo support at the press of a button, automatically including device details such as serial number for a fast track support experience.

But here’s the kicker. It comes with ThinkBook wireless earbuds that can be stored within the laptop. The earbuds charge automatically when stored and connect to the laptop audio instantly when taken out. Double tapping toggles the mute function, and it has dual mics and environmental noise cancellation.

  • ThinkBook 15 Gen 2 i is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $569.
  • ThinkBook 15p i is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $939.
  • ThinkBook 14 Gen 2 i is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $569.
  • ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 is expected to be available from November 2020, starting at $699.
  • ThinkPad E15 Gen 2 is expected to be available from November 2020, starting at $699.
  • ThinkBook 15 Gen 2 AMD is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $549.
  • ThinkBook 14 Gen 2 AMD is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $549.

ThinkVision T27hv-20

This single cable USB-C Hub monitor is designed to to meet the collaboration requirements of a hybrid working model. The 27-inch display features a 1080p IR/RGB webcam, noise cancelling microphones and integrated speakers that help users conference with confidence

It has Smart Guard that blurs the screen the moment you look or move away or detects someone peeking over your shoulder. Meanwhile, Smart Energy will turn off the screen when it senses that you have moved away from your desk, saving power and protecting data.

  • ThinkVision T27hv-20 is expected to be available from December 2020, starting at $549.
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