The RGBeast PC: What We Learned Building an RGB Battlestation

RGB Peripherals

Monitor: MSI Optix MPG27CQ

This 27-inch, 2K monitor offers 144 Hz refresh rates and is compatible with AMD’s FreeSync standard. We chose those the MPG27CQ, not for its strong picture quality or performance, but because it is the only monitor we’ve seen that has RGB lights on the bottom front bezel in addition to the back. At CES 2019, MSI announced the Optix MPG341CQR, a 34-inch monitor which will have the same lighting when it comes out in June or July.

MSI Optix MPG27Q

Keyboard: Razer Huntsman Elite

There are a lot of excellent RGB keyboards on the market, but the Huntsman Elite stands out not only for its opto-mechanical switches and highly-customizable Chroma lighting, but also for its RGB wrist rest. Yes, there’s a ring of RGB lights around the comfy leatherette wrist rest, something you don’t get everywhere else.

Razer Huntsman Elite

Mouse: HyperX Pulsefire Surge Mouse

In the huge market of gaming mice, the Pulsefire Surge stands out by having generous RGB light strips on both of its sides in addition to an RGB logo. The mouse also operates at up to 16,000 DPI and has strong Omron switches for clicking.

HyperX Pulsefire Surge Mouse

Mouse Pad: SteelSeries QcK Prism XL Mousepad

This 12.6 x 10.8 inch (320 x 270 mm) cloth mouse pad has an RGB ring around it for some added flair.

SteelSeries QcK Prism XL Mousepad

Speakers: Logitech G560 Lightsync PC Gaming Speakers

This speaker set takes up a fair amount of deskspace, particularly when you consider that both left and right sides must be routed through a giant woofer.  But the large footprint leads to a large 240 watts of output power. Better yet, the left and right speakers have RGB lights in the back that are tasteful, but a little subtle for our tastes.

Logitech G560 Lightsync PC Gaming Speakers

Headset: Tt eSports Cronos Riing

Thermaltake is an industry leader in RGB components and peripherals and, the Cronos Riing, which is sold under its Tt eSports brand, shows why. This comfy headset has bright, RGB rings and logos on both ear cups, enough to blast everyone around you with vibrant color as you blast some music or games.

Tt eSports Cronos Riing

Gaming Chair: Aerocool ThunderX3 UC5 HEX Chair

The RGB gaming chair market is slowly emerging with offerings from the likes of Gamdias and Aerocool and a highly-anticipated entry from NZXT Vertagear on the way. The Thunder X3 has the least lighting of any of these, with a small battery-operated light that snaps into a space on the back.  The chair is relatively comfy and the light gives this a little flair, but  Aerocool’s own P7-GC1, which only sells in Europe, has RGB built into the trim.

Aerocool ThunderX3 UC5 HEX Chair

Stands: Cougar Bunker, Bunker S and Bunker M RGB

To have a true RGBeast of a battlestation, you need RGB stands to hold up your stuff. Cougar makes three such accessories, all with RGB rings in their bases. The Bunker RGB is a mouse bungee, the Bunker S holds up your headset and the Bunker M is a stand and wireless charger for your smartphone.

All of these devices have two-port USB hubs to help you plug in more peripherals, but their lighting is very basic (there are only a few modes that you control by hitting a button) and they use stickers to attach to your desk so forget about moving them around. On the other hand, we haven’t seen RGB mouse bungees or phone stands anywhere else.

Cougar Bunker, Bunker S and Bunker M RGB

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Matt Safford

After a rough start with the Mattel Aquarius as a child, Matt built his first PC in the late 1990s and ventured into mild PC modding in the early 2000s. He’s spent the last 15 years covering emerging technology for Smithsonian, Popular Science, and Consumer Reports, while testing components and PCs for Computer Shopper, PCMag and Digital Trends.

  • bennie101
    DEEP DEEP Pockets this is for the 1% of people who afford such a build ...Follow the Rainbow and maybe the average Joe could build something close to this.
  • rvald005
    daaaaannng...I do like seeing a nice rgb build every once in a while. I haven't built an rgb specific build yet...I was going to but the Lian Li dynamic is sold out everywhere, so I am opting for a simpler build with less lights...thinking NZXT h700 red/black box with white components and a few red rgb lights (making a red/black as the primary colors and white as an accent)...not sure if the white inside would look better with the black/white or all black case though...still thinking it over...
  • rabbit4me1
    Common sense says it's more stuff than can go wrong and confuse you say save the money
  • Karadjgne
    RGB should be an accent, not a focus
  • NinjaNerd56
    Looking forward to the ‘stealth’ build.

    I don’t care for the lighting; I’m damned old, which means bifocals, which means some SUPER annoying ‘lens flares’ at times.

    So other than a dim backlight...white or blue...on a keyboard so my old ass can reposition, I like gaming in the dark.
  • AnimeMania
    Could you give a total cost for the build?
  • Cheeno76
    I hate being the grumpy old man, but I yearn for the day for this RBG fad to be over.
  • islandwalker
    @ANIMEMANIA, the components for the PC alone (not counting all the peripherals) tally up to very nearly $4500, although $1,000 of that is due to the current scarcity of the liquid-cooled RTX 2080 Ti. Its MSRP is $1349, but it's currently now often selling for above $2,000. :-(
  • Krazie_Ivan
    i don't mind RGB being an option avail for people (to each their own)... but it seems to me that this option, along with solid flat panels of glass, have somewhat taken-over the availability of more efficient designs. aesthetic design focus has left practicality & performance innovation stagnant, while increasing costs.

    i appreciate leaving the excessive garish Transformer cases behind for sleek & classy, but "Where's the Beef?!?" (*Wendy's - look it up)
  • g-unit1111
    RGB is like hot sauce - a little bit will bring out the subtle flavors, but too much and it will overpower the senses.