You've got the new gaming PC, a wide, flat-screen display and all the energy drinks you'll need to get you through an online session of the futuristic first-person shooter game, "Red Faction: Guerrilla."
But if you're still using the same $20 keyboard and mouse combo you've had for six years, you're missing out.
Here are some of the top PC gaming peripherals to consider:
_ Logitech Gaming Mouse G500 ($70). This is the best mouse I've ever used for gaming, hands down. It has on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment buttons along the upper left edge, allowing you to change your character's swiveling response movements.
With an on-board memory chip, you can take keyboard settings with you as you move from computer to computer. These chips essentially store programming instructions so that certain keys will do certain things in specific games.
Best of all, the G500 allows you to fine-tune the weight of the mouse. It comes with a canister of small weights that you slip into a tray that goes into the base of the mouse. That way you can have the perfectly weighted mouse for your wrist and finger strength, thereby reducing fatigue. Worked for me.
_ Plantronics Gamecom777 headset ($110). This headset is nicely padded, is comfortable and delivers Dolby 5.1 surround sound when used with its USB adapter. While playing "Crysis: Warhead," the rumble of the tanks was ominous and rich. The pings of bullets as they ricocheted off objects near the feet of my on-screen character had the feel of direction and proximity. The headset comes with a microphone and powerful speakers, bringing gaming to life.
_ Saitek Cyborg Keyboard ($80). This keyboard is ready and willing to be your command center during complex PC gaming session. It has 12 programmable macro keys _ those special keys that instruct specific games to do certain things _ and features metal plating to give extra longevity for the keys used most in PC gaming: W, A, S, D, the space bar and arrows keys.
The Cyborg even allows you to change the illumination color and brightness of the glow underneath the keys, giving the playing surface a highly customized theme and feel. It's a smart choice that stands apart from the many gaming keyboards out there.
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