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Steelseries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless | The one to beat?

This review of the Steelseries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless was originally posted in Dutch on, the biggest techsite of the Benelux. This is a translation which for the most part has been kept the same.

Tweakers Test Panel

I was one of the lucky ones to be able to review a product as a member of the Tweakers Testpanel. They gave me the chance to test one of the Steelseries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless headsets. This was great news as I recently started using a wireless mouse and keyboard. I was already experiencing a lot less clutter on my desk because of this. I received a phone call from the courier company that delivered the headset on behalf of After making an appointment, the headset got delivered the following day.

The Steelseries Arctis Pro in its retail box

Specs of the Steelseries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless

Supported devices

  • PC (with Sonar, windows 10 and higher)
  • Mac (USB)
  • Switch (USB)
  • PS4/PS5 (USB)
  • Mobile (Bluetooth)

Software requirements

GG + Engine: Windows 8.1 and above, Mac OS 10.13 and above

GG + Sonar Audio Software Suite: Windows 10 and above (required for ChatMix)

Speaker Drivers

Neodymium Drivers: 40 mm

Headphone Frequency Response (Wired): 10–40,000 Hz

Headphone Frequency Response (Wireless): 10–22,000 Hz

Headphone Sensitivity: 93 dBSPL

Headphone Impedance: 38 Ohm

Headphone Total Harmonic Distortion: < 1%

High-Res Audio Capable: Yes (Headphone Speakers)

Active Noise Cancellation: 4-mic hybrid design with Transparency Mode


Microphone Type: ClearCast Gen 2 – Fully Retractable Boom

Microphone Polar Pattern: Bidirectional Noise-Canceling

Microphone Frequency Response: 100-6500 Hz

Microphone Sensitivity: -38 dBV/Pa

Microphone Impedance: 2200 Ohm

Infinity power system

Number of Batteries: 2

At Home: Non-stop battery with hot-swap (within 8 seconds)

On-the-go: 44 Hours – 2.4GHz Quantum 2.0 Gaming Wireless / 36 Hours – 2.4GHz Quantum 2.0 Gaming Wireless + BT (18-22 hours per battery)

Fast Charge: 15 mins for 3 hours play

Dual wireless

Bluetooth Wireless: v 5.0

Gaming Wireless: Low Latency 2.4 GHz

Dual Connection: Simultaneous 2.4 Ghz & BT

Wireless Range: 40 ft / 12m (2.4 GHz)

Box content

  • Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Headset
  • Wireless Base Station
  • 2x USB-C System Connections, 1x Line-in, 1x Line-out
  • 2x Lithium Ion Batteries
  • 2x USB-C to USB-A Cable (5 ft / 1.5m)
  • 3.5mm to 3.5mm Audio Cable – 5 pole to 4 pole (4 ft / 1.2m)
  • 2x Removable Magnetic Ear Plates
  • Microphone Pop Filter

Unpacking the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless


The Steelseries Arctis Nova Pro comes in a big box. The headphones are shown on the front of the box together with the supplied DAC. As you can see, this version is suitable for both the PC and the Playstation 4 and 5. There is also a version that works with recent Xbox consoles. On the sides, seen from the front, on the left some quotes from reviewers and on the right the technical specifications. A number of USPs of the Arctic Wireless Pro are highlighted on the back.

In the box

When opening the box, you immediately see the bag that contains the headphones. Below that is a manual with in this case a card with the text First Edition. Between the headphones is the supplied DAC. More on this later.

On the lower part of the box you will find a red box containing the following accessories:

  • 2 x USB-A to USB-C cables
  • 1x Audio jack 3.5 to 3.5 mm
  • 1x pop filter for microphone
  • 1x Extra battery
When opening the box of the Steelseries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless you are greeted by a big black pouch and a sealed card.
Well. hello there!

First Impressions of the Arctis Nova Wireless Pro

The headset gave me a good first impression. The headset is mostly black with a so-called space silver look on the headband and ear cups. It’s not a head turning look. Most buttons can be found on the left earcup. Here you will find the on/off button, the microphone switch and the volume wheel. The retractable microphone and 3.5mm connection can also be found here. A button has been placed on the right earcup controlling the bluetooth function.

Build quality

As mentioned, the headset looks quite understated but feels solid. The headset is mainly made of plastic. Plastic has one big advantage over metal; it is light and therefore less likely to have a tiring effect while wearing. It also transmits less cold and heat to the user as metal does. A metal strip is mounted on top of the headband. The headset is easy to adjust in height, although there is no noticeable click while doing so. All in all the headset comes across as sturdy and doesn’t creak anywhere.


There is a magnetic cover on both ear cups. These immediately reminded me of an earlier model of Steelseries which I have used in the past. Although this was a headphone where the covers were purely cosmetic, they now both hide a different function. Under the left cover you will find a USB-C connection and under the right the removable battery.

The ear cups themselves are made of artificial leather. This feels very comfortable and seem to have memory foam in inside of them. Removing the earcups also reveals one of the microphones that assist in the noise cancellation. I have read a number of stories where people indicated that they felt these and where bothered by it. For me personally, this has not been the case during testing. The ear cups are easy to rotate. This way you can fold the headset flat and transport it more conveniently.

Replacing the earcups of the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless

There’s something else about the ear cups that I’m personally a little concerned about. These are provided with a plastic cover with which you have to click them into place. I had a similar system with a Philips Fidelio Bluetooth headset. These earpads, also made of Pleather, needed to be replaced after a few years. Due to the very specific way of clicking into place, replacing it was no longer reasonably possible. I hope that Steelseries itself or a third party will release replacements for this headset in the future.

The plastic cover around the earpads are a potential problem

Removable Comfort Headband

The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless has a so-called comfort band; a flexible soft band that stretches with you. This band rests on the head and adapts to its shape. This provides an extremely comfortable feeling. There is a plastic belt which has various triangular structures in which there seems to be a soft foam. The strap can be adjusted in height if desired and is interchangeable.

Operating the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless

In general, I like the buttons on the headset. I do find switching it on and off confusing and I would have preferred a slider for this function, such as with my Bose 45 headset. I sometimes think to turn the set on or off, which does not seem to go well in practice.

Wireless Base Station

The Steelseries Arctic Nova Pro Wireless comes with a wireless base station. This makes it possible to connect the headset to the PC with a 2.4GHz connection. The main advantage compared to a bluetooth connection is that there is less latency. Of course during competitive games you don’t want to hear the footsteps behind you a second too late!

The base station is relatively small in size, about as wide and less deep as my DAC/AMP from Topping. There are two USB-C connections on the back for, for example, the PC or console connection. A 3.5mm line-in and line-out can also be found here. The unit itself is made of plastic and has an OLED screen. The display shows all information in white; there are no options for other colors. A large rotary knob has also been placed on the front. Finally, there is a recess on the side where one of the batteries can be placed to charge it.

On the base station itself you can read things like the volume, the bitrate that is used and the balance between the right and left channels. The volume knob can also be used to navigate the menu. You can confirm by pressing this button, while navigating back is done by means of a capacitive circle on the screen.

Software for the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless

To use the base station properly, it is necessary to download the steelseries GG software. When using the software, there was an immediate request to provide the headset with new firmware.


The headset can be fully configured to taste in the Engine software. For example, there are an equalizer, audio presets for music, games and speech, but you can also configure when the headset should go into standby.

Under the heading Apps, there are various settings that can be applied to the screen of the wireless receiver. For example, it is possible to show stats from your PC, discord messages can be displayed or song info from Tidal.
Finally, it is possible to link specific settings to individual games; for example, opting for more bass in Hitman 3 and focusing more on vocals in a game like Hades.

It is possible to let the Oled screen of the Arctic Nova Pro wireless display all sorts of info like CPU clock speeds and temperatures
Cpu info being showed on the Oled screen


Sonar is a must-have in my opinion if you want to get the most out of the Arctis Nova Pro wireless. Here you can really go wild to personalize the headset. There is a more extensive 10-band equalizer, more presets, smart volume, but also spatial audio. With spatial audio you can fine-tune where and how your sound should be positioned. This way you can adjust the distance of the sound, but you can also move a slider either towards performance or immersion.

You can adjust the sound to your liking

Sonar has another card up his sleeve. There is Clearcast ; AI driven Noise cancellation which is still in early access. Noise gate cuts sound when it falls below a certain level, while Smart voice keeps sounds at a preferred level. After all, Noise Reduction is there to filter out things like keystrokes and case fans during recordings.

Despite being in early access, Clearcast does its jobs very well.

Sound quality of the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless

I have used the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless to play games, listen to music, make phone calls and watch movies. My experiences have been largely positive.



I started using the headset while gaming. I really enjoyed sound in games like Hitman 3 where the sound was very detailed. Dialogues in the game were easy to understand and sound from, for example, throwing away a crowbar came in more impactful. Sea of ​​Thieves was a great experience with the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless. The music, but also the sound of confrontations on the high seas with another crew, fantastic! Spatial audio really adds something to games, enemies can be heard coming from all sides and directions.


Tears in rain, Bladerunner soundtrack, Vangelis

I played this song on the clear vocal settings, full immersion and the very close range. In the beginning you can hear Rutger Hauer doing his iconic monologue. I had the feeling that I myself was kneeling in my trench coat with him. Awesome!

Your latest trick, Brothers in Arms, Dire Straights

The intro with trumpet (CD version) but also the saxophone can be heard well next to the vocals in the song with the Punchy setting. Occasionally the music sounded a bit too shrill for me, but adjusting the equalizer and the various presets is easy enough to set things straight.

The Business, The Business, Tiësto

This song, of course, was set to the Deep Bass preset. The bass got a nice boost without completely ruining the vocals. bass-heads can also have fun with this headset!



While playing games, I didn’t get any negative feedback. When I asked how well I could be heard, I was told that I was well understood. People sometimes thought my voice sounded a bit too soft though. Perhaps this is a software setting that I have overlooked. Or it is something a firmware update is able to fix.


During a telephone conversation, I was clearly understood by the other person. I did get the comment that it was very good to hear that I happened to be taking a plate out of the dishwasher. Apart from that, the person I called was surprised when I told them I was calling with a headset. I could also understand the other person very well.

Sample recording

This is a recording made with the Steelseries Arctis Nova Pro wireless headset. Clearcast AI is not enabled.

This recording is made with clearcast enabled and set to the default settings.


The bluetooth connection works great with my phone, Chromebook, and Windows laptop. The range and stability are excellent. However, I did experience an annoying drawback. While playing movies on my Chromebook, I noticed a lag. I couldn’t get this resolved myself and ended up using the headset wired. I think using the latest bluetooth 5.2 would have been a better option here.


Unfortunately, I think the ANC is less successful. I may have been spoiled with a Bose QC-45 headset though. The Steelseries headset does not reach this level. I can barely tell the difference between on and off. I can still hear sounds coming through in the background that I can’t hear while using the Bose.


The Steelseries Arctis Pro has a suggested retail price of €379 in Europe and $349,- in the US. Although this is not a small amount, you do get a lot for your money. Not only do you get excellent sound, but you also get a great microphone and a wireless DAC for a stable 2.4 GHz connection. Finally, there is the software which really has added value in this case. For this amount you actually get two headphones, because it can also be used on the go thanks to bluetooth and a 3.5mm connection. The design is quite understated and the microphone is neatly tucked away, so you don’t have to worry about people staring at you.


For the most part the Steelseries Arctis Wireless Pro headset is an excellent product. The headset is lightweight and feels solid despite the use of mostly plastic materials. Using interchangeable batteries that can be charged in the DAC are excellent choices. I would have liked to have seen a separate charger for a weekend trip, for example though.

The headband and ear cushions are made of fine material and provide great comfort. It’s nice to see that Steelseries makes it easy to replace the headband and covers and let you personalize them with other colors. I hope they will also sell individual earpads as they require a special click adapter. For me personally this is a disadvantage given previous experiences with other brands. Hopefully Steelseries handles this well.

The software is also fantastic and of added value. The connection of bluetooth could be better, perhaps this can be adjusted through a software update. The ANC is nice to have but not that great. All in all, I am very satisfied with the Steelseries Arctis Pro Wireless and can heartily recommend it if you are looking for a premium wireless headset.

The Steelseries Arctic Nova Pro is a comfortable headset to to wear

AMD Radeon RX 6800XT a look back in 2022

As we are halfway down 2022 we are nearing the new generation of GPU’s coming up. This time Intel will join the fight as well! The launch of the current generation of cards has been a strange one to say the least. Everyone was very excited, this generation promised massive gains from team red and green compared to the previous generation. AMD showing they were back in the ring and showing Intel it was serious on the CPU front forced NVIDIA to step up. Not only did both companies promise serious gains in graphical power, they also priced their initial products pretty competitively. We then experienced a time of scarcity and a very skewed relationship between supply and demand. We all know the reason why. Well I decided it was time to take a look back at the Radeon RX 6800xt.

Lucky bastard

I was one of the lucky few to get my hands on a 6800xt for MSRP at launch.  Purely by accident, I was lucky enough to check the AMD website on launch-day to see if they even offer cards on their own website, just like NVIDIA does. Somewhat surprised I saw the card in stock and before I knew it I had ordered it. After an exciting period with regard to the delivery time, a shipping confirmation suddenly arrived after a week. The next day I was able to receive the card.

First impressions

My first reaction was; Wow! that’s a heavy box! When I opened the box, I immediately got the impression that AMD was proud of this product. Nicely finished box with a welcome message: “welcome to the red team”

The showpiece itself is located under the sturdy lid with an image of the card. They also included a small booklet with a keycap with an “R” in Radeon style underneath!

Installation of the RX 6800xt

The card takes up 2.5 slots and fits nicely in my Phanteks P600s with front mounted radiator. I use the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280, which is great to keep any current chip nice and cool!

2x 8 pins, check, lets go! I did, however, first remove all previous drivers in safe mode via DDU and already downloaded the Radeon software. It took a while to get a screen at first, probably because Windows was trying to install some drivers in the background. After a few minutes I did get an image and I ran a short test of Timespy on standard settings.


After the most recent Adrenaline update and installation of the RGB tool, it is now possible to provide the logo with a different color as well as effects such as breathing but also morse code. In case you are the stealthy type it is also possible to turn off all the colors on the card.

Undervolting the Radeon RX 6800xt

I applied an undervolt of -100 which gave me these results.

This is with a -100 undervolt 2150 memory and power target at +15%

For a reference model I think the temperature is fine, as well as the sound. I can barely hear the card in my case. While running Timespy I opened the window of my case and I could hear a very light coil-whine very close to the GPU, nothing close to a screeching Banshee. Especially with the window closed again, it’s just enjoying my red light district again.

Games and Ray-tracing

I haven’t had any problems playing my games at the highest settings at 1440P. Ray-tracing was something different though. If ray-tracing is the thing you are after you are better off going with NVIDIA. For me personally this was a non-issue as I don’t care much for the technology. I never used it on my 2080ti. In pure rasterization this card is absolutely amazing.

Final thoughts

Am I satisfied? I am! I paid €668,- including shipping and for that money I have nothing to complain about! For the backward scalp prices being asked for 1000 or more, I wouldn’t have pulled my wallet. This also applies to the NVIDIA cards which have been overpriced as well.

As of this moment we are finally coming to cards being sold at around msrp prices. We are getting close to the launch of the new generation of cards and let us all hope this time cards will be more affordable and accessible for everyone. In the meantime if you decide to pick up a 6800xt for a discounted price or maybe on the cheap second hand, you won’t be disappointed. The 6800xt is a very capable GPU from team red!

Logitech G Pro X Superlight review: Lost the weight, what about the quality?

Until now I have always had a wired mouse. I did not immediately see the need for a wireless variant because this would only give me the hassle of charging or changing batteries in time. I also had the delay that was noticeable in the past in the back of my mind. After reading all the positive stories from people around me and online, I decided to take the plunge to wireless. Read here whether the Logitech G Pro X Superlight has convinced me.

Making choices

In my quest finding a new mouse, there were a number of things that I had put on my list of requirements. I wanted a light mouse, no batteries, a good battery life, good switches, a good quality sensor and no permanent RGB. I also wanted to have a reputable brand so that I can easily purchase accessories later on, such as glides or switches, if necessary. After a long search I ended up with an old friend of mine: Logitech.

Deciding on the Logitech G Pro X Superlight

Almost everyone has worked with a keyboard, mouse or one of the many other computer accessories from Logitech. The company has been making high-quality equipment for years and is constantly innovating. Mechanical keyboards, trackball mice, pc speakers, headphones but also webcams. Logitech has it all. I have used many Logitech products over the years. Examples include the C920 webcam, a wireless desktop set for my smart TV, and the G502 wired mouse.

The Logitech G Pro X Superlight kept coming up on various forums and in various reviews. The mouse seemed to meet almost all my requirements so decided to order it. It is an improved version of the normal G Pro X mouse. The mouse has now been made even lighter, has run out of RGB fuel and has surrendered two side buttons on the right.

Unpacking the mouse

The box of the G Pro X Superlight

The G-Pro X Superlight comes in a compact black box with a picture of the mouse on the front. The make and model number are printed in a blue color typical of Logitech “G” products. On the sides you will find the specifications on one side and some sponsor logos of well-known pro gamers on the other. On the back some highlights of the mouse in a sensitive black light with the text “Keep playing in the well-known blue and white in the middle. Tight!

Nice and Clean

Inside the box

With the mouse, sits in a plastic recess. At the top of the lid, you will find a soft piece of foam to protect the mouse against damage during transport.

The mouse is simple and elegant

Furthermore, the USB dongle for a 2.4 GHz connection and a flat box with accessories are included. These accessories include a USB A to micro-usb (yes, no USB-C) to charge the mouse, and to click the dongle on. You will also find an optional cover with ptfe for the bottom of the mouse and optional black grip covers. You can buy a USB C to USB A adaptor from Logitech on their website if you need one.

The Cover is removable and can be used to store the USB dongle


Specs taken from Logitech’s website

The G Pro X Superlight up close


Until now I had used the Sharkoon Light² 200 and I liked it, especially considering it falls in the budget segment. This mouse convinced me of the advantages of a light mouse. This gave me less pain in my wrist with prolonged use. Unfortunately I am sensitive to Carpal Tunnel. I was using a Logitech G502 Hero before switching to the Sharkoon. While this was a great mouse in form and function, it was too heavy for my wrists.

Shape and looks of the Logitech G Pro X Superlight

The Sharkoon mouse I used before has an ergonomic shape which ensured that I immediately found it comfortable. I didn’t think the hole pattern that made the mouse had a lower weight was ideal though. I kept in mind that things like dust or other microparticles could easily get into the mouse because of this. I would have preferred the same low weight but without the perforations in the housing. The G Pro X Superlight delivers on this. It is lightweight, sturdy and doesn’t need holes to accomplish the low weight.

Batteries not included

Ok, so I wanted to go wireless. But with wireless mice, you have these with both removable batteries and rechargeable mice. Both have advantages and disadvantages. For example, a rechargeable mouse can degrade over time and it is not immediately full. Batteries are easily exchangeable, so you can continue wirelessly right away. The major disadvantage of this is that extra weight is added and there is a (minimal, but still present) risk of leakage.

Sensor and switches

The sensor and switches are very important in the daily use of a mouse. A good sensor ensures a smooth and accurate transfer to your screen. This is not only great for daily tasks, but especially for things like gaming where sometimes every second can mean the difference between game over and the next stage. There’s nothing more annoying than switches that don’t feel right, falter or feel inconsistent. This is also a distinguishing factor between a good and bad mouse experience.

Lack of RGB

Rainbows; nice things to see in the wild. I don’t care much for them on my desk though. So I wanted a mouse without it, or at the very least being able to switch it off entirely. If you do like rainbows on your desk, that’s just fine! You won’t get any in this mouse though! Fortunately Logitech offers lots of choice for both gamers and office people.

Using the G Pro X Superlight

The G Pro X Superlight was at first a little odd to me. It felt almost like a toy, so light that it was. It is very solidly built though, nothings squeaks when holding this mouse. I also had to adjust a bit coming from an ergonomic shaped mouse switching to a more symmetrical one. I got used to it after a day and I really started to like the design. It’s so simple yet elegant. No funny stuff. It reacts perfectly to my every movement, the clicks are nice and smooth and the scroll wheel is fantastic. There were two things I did miss though. The infinite scroll wheel from my G502 Hero and a dpi switch button. But adding these two things will add weight of course. But in reality I soon realized I could live with this just fine.

I played a bit of ANNO1800, some Doom and Hitman 3 with the mouse. All worked perfectly fine and I had a great and smooth experience. I like to play games like Anno 1800 on a higher DPI setting and here is where I missed my DPI switch. 

Fortunately Logitech has a software solution for this.


I installed the Logitech G-hub software and adjusted my DPI to 900. Everyone has their own preference for things like DPI and polling rate. You can set a setting as permanently active to the mouse if you want. But the software also lets you store up to 5 profiles and you can let the settings switch automatically depending on what’s on your screen. You can for example set the DPI to 1200 while on your desktop and let the mouse switch to 800 when you start up CS-GO.

The software is easy and straightforward

Final thoughts

Overall I really like the G Pro X Superlight. It feels incredibly light but still very solid. The mouse is super smooth while gliding on my desk mat and the battery lasts about 2 weeks for me. Charging is fast, but I wished It had a more universal and modern USB C connection. I missed the DPI button and Infinite scroll wheel at first but found out I can live with mostly one setting. When needed Logitech’s G-hub software can let you switch your DPI settings automatically which works really well. The mouse isn’t cheap though and there are cheaper mice out there. But if you want the best lightweight mouse at the moment, look no further!

You can buy the mouse directly from Logitech or check it out at Amazon!

Akko CS Silver Switches: Fast and light

The Akko CS Silver switches came with my Akko 3098B keyboard. You can find the review of the board here.

I have used Cherry Brown and Gateron brown switches myself in the past, with the latter typing just a bit better. Then moved on to Gateron Yellows. When choosing the keyboard, as mentioned earlier in the review of the keyboard, I opted for the CS silver switches. I had the choice of CS Silver, the Pink and two other switches. The main reason for me to choose the CS silver was the fact that I wanted to try a so-called “fast” switch.

About the Akko CS Silver Switches

The CS silver switches belong to the Custom Switches from Akko. The Custom switches are manufactured as a result of feedback and market research by Akko. Often a switch is taken from the existing line-up and then improved upon. The CS Silver switches have a very short pre-travel of only 1mm and is made of high quality materials.

The stem is made of POM, also called Polyacetal. This material is very sturdy and dimensionally stable and is widely used in mechanical engineering. The top is made of poly-carbonate and the bottom of nylon.



Using the Akko CS Silver switches

The Silver switches are pleasant to use. In my opinion, they don’t need a lube to remove ping or scratch. But it never hurts. Personally, I noticed that the switches are very sensitive. For me personally, this is not great. I make a lot of typos because of this.

For playing games where speed is a factor, these will be very pleasant. There is no wobble in the switches, this is partly thanks to the dust cover where there is a wall surrounding the stem.

Akko’s switches have a so-called 3-pin system and can therefore be used for almost all hot-swap boards. The CS switches also have a higher stem, so that keycaps with the Cherry profile should not cause any problems.


The top of the switch is transparent. This allows it to easily let light through. Because the bottom is made of Nylon, it does not allow light to pass through. The difference with the Jelly series is therefore a slightly lower yield of RGB light, although this is still more than enough for most people. If you do like RGB you should check out this ACR set!

Final thoughts

The CS silver switches are perfect for the gamers who want to transfer their actions from fingers to game as quickly as possible. The switch activates itself at the lightest touch. There is hardly a pre-travel. As mentioned earlier, lubing is not a must with this switch. Due to the material used and the quality of production, it is already very smooth. This is my personal opinion, of course.

For people who mainly type, another switch from the Akko range will probably be better suited. Linear alternatives are, for example, the V3 Cream Yellow or the hand-lubed CS Piano. For lovers of Tactile, these are for example the Gateron Orange or Akko POM Brown.

Nothing Phone (1) close to release. First Images shown.

The company lead by OnePlus founder Carl Pei, is scheduled to launch it’s first phone, the Nothing Phone (1) on a special event on July 12th.

The Nothing Phone (1) is the company’s next big release after their earbuds, Ear (1) launched last year. The Phone (1) has a semi-transparent look. Nothing posted a picture of the back of the upcoming phone on the invitation for the upcoming event. The back of the device has various elements that light up and the wireless charging spool can be seen as well. The phone will have two cameras on the back.

The Nothing Phone (1) has an interesting design

It will be interesting to see if the Phone (1) will be embraced by consumers. As many manufacturers found out the mobile phone business is a tough one. Pei is no stranger to the business though, having been very successful with OnePlus.

We will find out about all the specs and pricing of the Nothing Phone (1) on July 12th.

Keychron Q5 is here: 96% double gasket, QMK/VIA support

Keychron is on a roll with their Q series of high quality boards for competitive prices. After their recent success with the Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 they now launched the Q5. The Keychron Q5 is a 96% or a 1800- style layout board. This layout is perfect for those who want to have a numpad without the bulk of a full-size keyboard on their desk.

The Keychron Q5 has, like all the other Q series so far, full VIA and QMK support. This is great for those who wish to be able to program their boards to their liking.


Just like the other members of the Q series the Keychron Q5 is made out of a full metal CNC machined body. The Q5 comes with a double gasket design which not only uses gaskets on the plate but also between the top and bottom cases. According to Keychron this reduces the sound resonance between the metals. The board has hot-swappable sockets so its easy to change switches. Both 3 pin and 5 pin MX switches are supported. So you can use Cherry, Gateron or maybe some of those lovely Jelly Purples or Jelly Blacks from Akko! The Keychron Q5 comes with Screw-in stabilizers which is great for stability. Afterparty stabilizers from Cherry and Durock are supported as well. Enthousiasts will be happy to hear the board has a south-facing RGB layout. This makes the board compatible with Cherry-style keycaps.

All the guts of the Keychron Q5 in full view
Exploded view of the Keychron Q5

Perfect size for numpad-lovers

The 96% or 1800 layout is perfect for those who love their numpad but don’t want the bulk of full-size. Basically the layout is very close to a full size. Some keys right of the spacebar are shrunken down like alt, shift and control. This and a smaller zero on the numpad make the left and right side of the board crawl closer to the arrow-island. The INS, Page UP and Page down buttons have been sacrificed on the knob version but these are still accessible through shortcuts. The version without knob only lacks an INS key. Of course with the Keychron q5 running with QMK and VIA you can re-program this to your liking. After owning both full size and TKL boards I currently use an Akko 3098B with the 96% and I find it to be the perfect middle ground.

Choices, Choices everywhere!

One of the hardest part buying the Keychron Q5 will be choosing version. There are three colors to choose from; Carbon Black, Silver Grey and Navy Blue. All three come in a fully assembled version or as a bare-bones option. When choosing the barebone version it is possible to get a ISO-layout as well, which is great for European customers! All models are Windows and Mac compatible!

To Knob or not to knob the Keychron Q5

Both the barebone kits and fully assembled options can be had with or without a knob. The knob by default controls volume but just like the rest of the board, this can be reprogrammed. Choosing a model with a knob sacrifices some dedicated keys on the board, so pick your poison here.

Keycaps and switches

Colors come in Carbon Black, Silver Grey and Navy Blue. All three have matching keycaps while choosing a fully assembled board. The keycaps are double shot PBT, OSA profile. The OSA profile are sculpted keycaps with a OEM hight with the curvature of the SA profile. For more on different profiles, read this article on

When going for the complete package you get to choose from a selection of 3 switches. These are the linear Gateron Red, clicky Gateron Blue or tactile Gateron Brown. All three are the of the G Pro line-up. These switches come pre-lubed (except the Blue) and should produce less wobble then standard Gateron switches.

Pricing and availability

The Keychron Q5 is available now. Check for all models and pricing on

Or check out some great alternatives from Akko at the store and use code RIEZ1984 to get 10% off!

New silicon incoming soon! Intel, AMD and NVIDIA

As we move into the next half of 2022 we are getting closer to some big releases. AMD and Intel both launching new CPU’s around October. Intel, AMD and NVIDIA launching GPU’s around the same time. Man, we are in for a threat! We don’t expect Intel to compete with the new launches of team green and red of course; but they could be a great option if priced competitively. Competition is a good thing. Just look at what AMD did with its first ZEN processor and where we are now. The quad-core era is over after years of slow progress. Let’s see if team Blue will force AMD and NVIDIA to step up their game with GPU’s.



Intel is expected to launch their first Arc desktop processors at the end of this summer. Launching before AMD and NVIDIA might let them get some attention provided to bring something interesting. Intel will have to win consumers hearts by competitive pricing and value though.


The next generation of graphic cards code-named Ada Lovelace is expected to launch as soon as september. According to rumors NVIDIA will bring out the big guns first. Starting with the 4090 and coming with the 4080 and 4070 in later months. The talk around town is the 4090 will be a real powerhouse, both in processing power and wattage. DLSS and Raytracting have both been a staple of NVIDIA’s graphic cards since the RTX20 line-up and both technologies have only gotten better. So it’s interesting to see what’s next.


AMD is expected to launch their 7000 series of graphic cards just behind NVIDIA by the end of October. With the first generation of its RDNA graphic cards AMD proved NVIDIA it can’t sit back and relax. Just one generation later AMD able to compete with the highest end products of NVIDIA. Sure their ray-tracing isn’t on par yet but NVIDIA is at least one generation in front of AMD here. It is still very impressive nonetheless to see what the next generation of AMD graphic cards will bring to the table. Technologies like RSR and FSR are being supported by more and more games and RDNA 3 is expected to bring better ray-tracing.



After years of set-backs Intel has been pretty successful with their latest CPU’s. Not only did Intel move to a whole new hybrid design, they also became more power efficient. Intel had been struggling with increasing power draw to squeeze more performance out of its processors. With their 12th generation of processors though Intel proved to be back on track. They introduced a hybrid design which used high performance p-cores with highly efficient e-cores. With generation 13, called Raptor Lake Intel will introduce even higher core counts.


AMD has been highly successful with their ZEN processors and AM4 platform. After years of providing customers a platform with an upgrade path it’s time for something new. AM5 will be the next big thing for AMD. Not only will it support DDR5 but also will be equipped with 24 lanes of PCIe GEN5. So far AMD confirmed its bringing X670, B670 and the X670E boards to consumers. The latter being aimed at enthusiasts.

It is going to be an interesting time for consumers. Let’s hope pricing and availability will be better than last time!

Noctua NF-A14 Chromax: Still the best in 2022?

Having had my computer filled up with Arctic’s P14 fans for a while it was time for a change. I contacted Noctua If they could send me over a fan for review. My plan was to compare this fan with my current ones and see if I would upgrade to an all Noctua setup. The good folks at Noctua didn’t sent me just one fan though, they provided me with 6 of their highly populair NF-A14 PWM Chromax Black Swap fans!

The Noctua Brand

Noctua, founded in 2005 has build up a high reputation among pc enthousiasts. The company was named after Noctua Athena closely associated with the Greek goddess Athena, which represents wisdom and knowledge. The brand has become synonymous with words like silence, cooling quality and service. If someone asks on a forum which case fan or air cooler to buy, you can bet Noctua is one of the first names to pop up. Whenever a new processor comes to the market, you can be sure Noctua has the right mounting kit available. Best of all, they are known to often send these as free upgrades to their loyal customers.

Chromax edition of the NF-A14

The NF-A14 is one of the best selling fans from Noctua. It is very suitable as a radiator fan for liquid cooling systems but also does very well as a casefan.

Traditionally Noctua’s fans have always had a brow/beige color. As most cases have a black or whice chassis Noctua’s fans tend to stick out. While some people don’t mind showing off their Noctua love this way, not everyone is a fan (hah!).

So after years of people asking and pleading Noctua decided to bring out the Chromax line-up. These are for the most part the fans people love but with a black frame and various colored sound-dampening rubbers. This makes the fans a lot more versatile for people who want to show of their build.

The Chromax line-up consists of different fan series and sizes. This review covers the 140 mm NF-A14.



The NF-A14 Chromax fan comes in a bigger then expected box. On the outside the name and specs can be found. On the front the Chromax logo is present on a white background. On the sides Noctua shows off their classic brown color-scheme.

Opening the box of the NF-A14 PWM Chromax fan

When opening the box you are immediately greeted by the fan itself. The fan sits firmly in a plastic shell. On the right you see one of each included anti-vibration pads. Available options here are; white, yellow, blue, green, red and black. So it should be easy enough to match these fans with any build. Pulling the shell out of the box reveals a white box with the rest of the anti-vibration pads. The fan comes with a detachable 30 cm long 4-pin sleeved cable. Unfortunately there are no extra low noise and splitter cables included like with the standard NF-A14 fans.

First impressions

Upon first look the NF-A14 fans look like, well; fans. But looking closer there are small details like the Flow acceleration channels on the blades to help reduce noise and improve airflow. Also visible are the so-called Inner Surface Micro structures which complement the above mentioned technology. The Fans are well made, and fortunately do not have that ugly ketchup and mustard cables on them. The extension cable comes nicely sleeved and has a wrapper with its purpose on it in Noctua colors. The included anti-vibration pads are vibrant and made of a soft flexible rubber which is easy to attach to the fans. They stay in place thanks to the two pins that are pushed in the housing. It is clear Noctua takes their fans seriously. Noctua also sells extra anti-vibration pads if you ever lose one of your favorite colors or want to add some flair to your existing Noctua fan.

Specifications of the NF-A14 Chromax Black Swap

The specifications taken from the official Noctua website:


140x140x25 mm

Mounting hole spacing

124,5×124,5 mm

Connector & pin-configuration

4-pin PWM

Cable length

1cm + 30cm NA-EC1 extension cable



Blade geometry

A-Series with Flow Acceleration Channels

Frame technology

AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimisation)

Rotational speed (+/- 10%)

1500 RPM

Min. rotational speed @ 20% PWM (+/-20%)

300 RPM


140,2 m³/h

Acoustical noise

24,6 dB(A)

Static pressure

2,08 mm H₂O

Max. input power

1,56 W

Max. input current

0,13 A

Operating voltage

12 V


> 150.000 h

Scope of delivery

  • 4x NA-AVP1 anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 chromax.white anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 chromax.yellow anti-vibration pads
  • 4x fan screws


6 years


How I tested

I have tested the Noctua NF-A14 in a 6 fan setup. This means I had 3 fans as intake, 1 outtake and 2 on my top-mounted radiator. Ive tested the fans on full speed, 50% speed and at a 30 decibel level. Measurements were done with HWinfo64 and Cinebench R20. Pictures of the temperatures measured can be found here I have tested with a 5900x processor cooled by an Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280. The case used is the Phanteks P600s with the solid top and front panels removed, using the mesh covers.

Cooling performance and Sound

100 percent

At full speed the CPU reached a maximum of 66°C with a minimum of 34.4°C while running Cinebench R20. The average was 48.8°C. Sound measured in front of the case was 56,3 dB which according to the app I used for this equals a quiet office. I have definitely experienced far louder fans but I still would not recommend full speed for daily use.

50 percent

When setting the fans to 50% of their maximum capacity sound became much more pleasing to the ears while stay keeping things cool. The CPU reached a maximum of 66.4°C which is just 0.4°C higher then before! the minimum was 35.0°C and the average noted 51.5°C on the the CPU. Sound dropped significantly in front of the case with an average of 33.6dB in and a max of 37.4. This equals the sound of someone whispering.

NF-A14 Chromax at 30dB

At a 30db setting the cpu reached a maximum of 66.6°C (They say the Devil is in the details, right?) and a minimum of 35,9. very close to the 50% settings.

Compared to Arctic P14

When compared to the Arctic P14 the Noctua’s fall 1°C behind in my measurements on average. You could argue the Arctic is a better choice because these are quite a bit cheaper then the Noctua fans. But there are still some differences that favor the Noctua fans. The Noctua fans feel of higher quality build. The blades and frame feel more secure. I also noticed that the Noctua fans spin absolutely straight. The Arctic fans all wobble around while operating. This makes me think Noctua spend more time and effort in making a high end product that will last long. The biggest win for me is the sound though. While both fans can achieve real low sound levels while still keeping things cool, the Noctua wins for me. This might seem a bit strange as according to measurements made the Arctic produces less sound at the same speed setting. Well there is one thing that causes this for me; The Arctic fans all have a very irritating humming noise. I have to find specific settings for each fan not to produce this humming sound. For me this is a big win for Noctua and a personal argument for me to choose these over the Arctic fans.


Noctua delivers with the NF-A14 Chromax line-up what people have been asking for. The build and performance of the classic brown models in a more versatile color scheme. Performance and sound levels are both excellent. The idea of making a black fan with different colored sound dampeners is brilliant. This makes for a fan that can sit well in almost any build. The level of details like the micro-structures on the fans and the flow channels are very nice. The competition hasn’t been sitting doing nothing though. Fans like the Arctic P14 are available for a lot less then the Noctua’s and can be a great alternative for those on a budget. On max speed the Arctics are a lot quieter then the Noctua’s. But these fans come with their own downsides like a humming sound especially noticeable at the speeds you will probably use the fans in real life. All in All The NFA-14 Chromax is a high quality which is highly versatile as a case fan and radiator fan. I’m curious to see what products Noctua comes up with in the near future. Next year they will launch their desk-fan which should also be very interesting. For more on Noctua, be sure to visit their website.

For a retailer near you check here

Dutch customers can check here.


Noctua provided the fans for testing. Noctua had no prior insights on this review and my opinions are my own. This review may contain affiliate links. Using these links will help me fund this website and get products in for review.