The really nice part about NZXT’s HUE 2 RGB Ambient Lighting kit is that it samples your video output directly from the graphics pipeline and doesn’t require application support. It works on pictures, videos, games, even your desktop. This is a Battlefield V wallpaper and you can clearly see the wall behind the monitor matches the colors along the edge of the screen.
Jumping into a game, we see that not only the colors matching up but the relative brightness matches. This outdoor area is in full digital sunlight and the Ambient Kit also glows brightly enough to light up a good part of the room.
A darker area of a game still lights up, but not as brightly. The upper edge showing the sky is pretty bright, but the darker ground barely lights up, and the dark building really doesn’t illuminate at all.
While the experience is quite immersive in games, we wanted to test some other content. When heading over to YouTube, Universal and MGM’s Igor popped up as a free offering, so we gave it a go. The experience was excellent, and I got a bit delayed at this point as my children noticed the room lighting up and came to investigate. At this point, I was forced to watch a good 30 minutes of Igor while getting an appreciative commentary on how the wall was lighting up just like the movie. I guess NZXT gets a thumbs up here from future gamers as well!
At the request of my new helpers, I flipped over to Netflix and checked out one of their animated favorites, Johnny Test. While it mostly worked here, the different aspect ratio left black bars on the edge of the screen and that caused CAM to not register any activity on the left and right edges and stay black. The top and bottom edges still lit up and followed the on-screen activity correctly, but letterboxing on cutscenes in games and in video content may cause a diminished effect.
As far as system load, on our 8-core CPU, we see around 1.5% usage (+/- about 0.5%) out of CAM with ambient running. It’s pretty small, but it’s there.
It really makes a negligible difference in games though. On the left is our run with CAM disabled, and the right is the run with CAM running Ambient lighting. This comes out to half a percent difference in scores, well within the margin of error of calling this no change running it.