RGB is one of many gaming slangs that you need to know about, and this article will tell you everything there is to know about RGB lighting, why gamers like them, and what you can expect from RGB products in the future.
What Does RGB Stand For in Gaming?
RGB stands for Red, Green, Blue, which is the color palette that computers create their images from. When Red, Green, and Blue are mixed at specific levels, they create a different color depending on the dominant palette. RGB makes it easy for the computer to carry out different color combinations because only three values are adjusted: the value for red, value for blue, and value for green. This is a more advanced way of mixing together two different crayons and just smashing them together.
On the gaming side of things, RGB lighting or RGB lights are built within peripherals such as computer mice, keyboard, monitor, mouse pads, speakers, and even tables. Colored RGB lighting, or led lights, are installed on CPU casings, cooling fans, memory sticks, and other PC hardware.
Note that RGB components will not guarantee better performance over standard colored counterparts. RGB keyboards function the same way as a standard keyboard, RGB color model mice also work the same way as standard mice would. RGB hardware only has their additive color model as an extra of sorts to help market the product.
How Does RGB Lighting Work?
Devices with RGB colors are controlled by their user, and some RGB gaming setup often come with a couple of controllers to help manage RGB strips and the entirety of their RGB lighting setup.
Motherboards nowadays have what you call a port for RGB called the RGB header. You connect an RGB controller or device to this header and you’ll be able to control the different RGB devices connected to your system. You’ll also be able to come up with custom colors, like a lighter shade of magenta to go along with your current workstation theme.
There are two different RGB headers, addressable and non-addressable. Addressable headers allow you to control RGB lighting individually, while non-addressable doesn’t. There are different devices compatible for each header, so be sure to check out the manufacturer info to find out what kind of header your motherboard has.
There are also devices to help you control the RGB effects, either through a physical hardware or a custom software installed in your PC. Keyboards like Razer are connected through Razer Synapse, their proprietary RGB controller for all of their branded device. As long as you have a Razer product with RGB lighting, Synapse is your go-to software and nothing more.
Does RGB Lighting Provide More Value?
The RGB color model has become popular because of the way it looks on a desktop or computer peripheral. RGB settings are fully customizable, so computer enthusiasts find different ways to work with RGB led strips and panels to add more flair to their computer.
With that said, anything that has red, green, and blue lighting are automatically associated with RGB lighting and is considered to give off “gamer vibes”. That’s why you see a lot of products marketed and labeled as “GAMER” or “GAMING” even if they’re just draped with red, green, and blue lighting effects. But note that RGB lighting does not have any impact on performance at all.
These primary colors have also found a way to make certain peripherals a lot pricier than standard colored counterparts. For example, RGB mice and keyboards might be a few bucks more expensive than their boring counterparts.
What Is An RGB Monitor?
The RGB monitor was one of the newest components to ever get a customized set of three colors to don the usually boring backside. Essentially, an RGB monitor has a lighting system that lights up the back part of the monitor, which shines against the wall like a disco light with different colors.
This is a cool new trend that’s catching up with the gamer community, even though some DIY projects pioneered RGB display long before they were even commercialized or manufactured.
Why Is An RGB Monitor So Popular?
The appeal of an RGB monitor is incredibly high, but there’s actually more to it from a practical side of things.
Imagine you’re playing your favorite game in a dimly-lit room, and the only bright source of light comes from your monitor. The computer screen displays a lot of colors and goes straight to your retina, but when you maintain this kind of dark room – bright monitor balance, you’ll notice that’s something’s amiss.
A monitor with an RGB lighting does not take away a lot of the darkness from the room, but actually reduces the brightness from the display without touching a single setting. How is this possible?
Your eyes has a way of balancing the colors red, green, and blue. When your eyes are focused on vibrant colors, like a game being displayed on the monitor, the RGB backlight enhances the color palette within the display. Black colors look sharper and stronger, and white colors look just as vibrant. The caveat here is that you’re not configuring anything here. RGB provides some form of contrast as a whole to what the eyes are seeing. You’re intently focused on what’s being displayed, but the colors behind the monitor are making things a lot easier on the eyes.
It’s the equivalent of using a wheelbarrow to carry heavy loads as opposed to just carrying them by hand. The wheelbarrow, of course, being the RGB lights that help your eyes with their visual load.
How Does This Backlighting Work?
RGB led strips have always been the go-to DIY solution for lighting projects at home. They are affordable, they’re easy to set up with devices, but they’re dumb. They’re dumb in a way that you can’t really fully control them as much as you want. They’ll make your room look aesthetically cool, but not to the kind of setup that you really want.
RGB monitor backlighting is uncommon, but it’s picking up in terms of popularity. Some manufacturers have already built in RGB into their monitors as we speak and can sync with Addressable or Non-Addressable headers.
As a result, you’re getting more design synthesis with your components without losing a lot of options to customize. RGB monitors may still get stuck with one color for their bezel, but the lighting makes all the difference.
How Can RGB Monitors Benefit You As a Gamer?
RGB LEDs on a monitor can affect the way your eyes perceive the visible spectrum of different colors. Most gamers end up looking at one spot of the room for a prolonged period of time, so it’s quite surprising to know that an RGB monitor or even RGB LEDs in general can help them with their eyesight and more.
RGB Monitors Help Protect The Eyes
An RGB monitor’s soft light against a dark room prevents glare and reflections that you’d normally get from looking at the monitor for way too long. This reduces instances of eyestrain for gamers.
To explain this, we need to look closely at the human eye. There are two photoreceptors, the rods and the cones. The iris expands or contracts depending on the color signal they receive, or from what we’re immediately seeing. The expansion or contraction of the iris helps regulate the light that’s seen by the retina.
When you’re just looking at a plain old rectangle for prolonged periods of time, your iris doesn’t adjust as much. In fact, it retains the expansion or contraction for the time that you’re using it consistently. The eyes put in way too much work than what they’re just supposed to do. Having an RGB monitor with ambient backlight helps provide you with a consistent level of brightness without directly affecting your iris.
Your eyes will look at something that’s brighter or darker but will not expand or contract as much with an RGB backlight.
RGB Monitors Look Bigger
Because the RGB monitor looks like it has aura emanating around it and illuminating the entire room to some extent, there’s the illusion of a bigger size and the screen size looks bigger without having to go for bigger displays.
RGB Monitors Provide Better Contrast
The additional lighting provided by the RGB does not affect image quality on the monitor. It’s actually the opposite. Image quality looks a lot better and sharper because of a darker background behind the monitor (i.e. the RGB backlight). The black colors are deeper and richer, and the changing colors of the RGB lights give off this illusionary play with the eyes that makes other colors look just as good and awesome.
Any Downsides To RGB Components?
RGB lighting is downright distracting, regardless if it’s a monitor or a keyboard. Some users often go overboard with the RGB lighting to the point that the room and workstation looks like someone threw in a can of paint and it just exploded all over the place.
RGB has also become a meme in some Internet communities. For example, Reddit users have found it funny that the standard for PC power is the extent of the RGB usage. The more RGB lighting you have, the more powerful your PC is. This is sarcasm, mind you, but there are a few people out there who fall for such claims.
Another downside to RGB is that there are people who aren’t exactly gamers who get hyped up by tech savvy salesmen. These people often get tricked into buying an RGB mouse or keyboard and making them think they’re way better but in reality it isn’t. They end up spending more money than they should just because someone decided to put in the words “GAMING” on the box.
Remember, the lighting effects do not add to the performance or gaming experience. They’re just there to make other devices look fancy and colorful. Unless it’s stated otherwise on the box, take the claims of gaming products with a grain of salt. Just because they have all the colors of the rainbow doesn’t mean you can type faster or move your mouse quicker.