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Build Your Own: The Customizable, Illuminated Dream Machine

Gameboard And Mouse

Gameboard: Logitech G13

Considering the impressive capabilities of Mad Catz's S.T.R.I.K.E. 7, you might consider a gameboard redundant. We're including one in this build because we're more comfortable using a gameboard and mouse on a different elevation than the keyboard. Besides, the illuminated keyboard, gameboard, and mouse combo looks seriously impressive. After all, that's the point of this project.

Logitech's Gaming Software is able to assign color and brightness settings to each profile, which can then be selected on-the-fly via three dedicated buttons. Color is not only applied to key backlighting, but also to the integrated LCD display. The LCD can be set to display system resources, a clock, stopwatch, news, and applets created by developers to show in-game information. Logitech also provides an SDK so you can create your own custom applet if you want. The G13 even has 256 MB of on-board RAM for storing profiles, letting you take your preferences with you and not worry about the software.

The G13 features 25 keys and a programmable mini-joystick. Three mode buttons mean that the keys can perform up to 75 functions. And if all of that isn’t enough, macros can be programmed as well. The Logitech G13 Gameboard sells at Newegg for $74.

Mouse: Roccat Kone XTD

Even though keyboards with customizable lighting are relatively common these days, mice with this functionality are more rare. While Thermaltake offers a few models with selectable colors, Roccat's Kone XTD is the only mouse we're aware of that allows full RGB-spectrum color control. [Edit: Since publication we've learned about Mionix's NAOS 5000, with 24 selectable colors]

But the company doesn't stop with a single LED. The Kone contains four separate lights, each able to display a unique color. It also supports light effects like blinking, breathing, heartbeat, and a constantly-adjusting color flow that moves across the mouse’s lights. The speed of each effect is adjustable as well.

The Kone supports up to 22 functions and five game profiles via the most detailed control panel we've ever seen. This mouse is equipped with a 8,200 DPI laser sensor, for which the company claims a 10.8 megapixel resolution. With a polling rate of 1,000 Hz, and the ability to handle up to 30 Gs of acceleration, this mouse has more going for it than just good looks. Roccat's Kone XTD is available on Newegg for $90.