Cougar Attack X3 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Lighting Effects, Keys and UIX


Before I ever owned and/or review backlit keys on a keyboard, I never understood why people liked this…. but you will never know till you try it.  Lighting alone is nice, but the RGB aspect of these types of keyboards I find so relaxing.

Let me run you through some of the features.

On that video, I ran you through all of the lighting effects, all 10 of them as well as the dimming features as well.  That was through the keyboard itself though.  In the video, I also show you how to control the lighting effects of the keyboard and various other controls of the UIX software.  I will get into the software a little later but let’s see what’s under the keys that let’s those lights work.

So removing some of the keys, you can see the Cherry MX Red switches.

With a flick of a key, we turn on the lighting effects here and you can see the blue lighting, but remember it has 16.8 million colors.

Removing the arrow keys, we can see some more of the lighting, here is the rainbow effect.

A closer look at keys like these.

Alright, let’s take a closer look at the UIX software.

Well, when you install the software, it does a quick scan to look for a firmware update for the keyboard.  There is one big thing this firmware update can address, but stay tuned because I will go over that.

The first screen brings up the “Key Assignment” tab.  On this screen, you can assign each and every key a different function.  By simply clicking on the key you want to provide a function to, then on the right, dragging the mode to the key and dropping it into the swap key box.

Like you can see here, I clicked on the I key then dragged Mode 2 over and dropped it into the box.  Afterwards click Apply and OK and now I’s section function when you hold the function key and I is Mode 2.

Zooming in a bit on the right, you can see the mode keys, but there’s more here.  There’s not only the option to choose different modes, you can select between “Ins. Mode Switch”, “Launch Program”, “Mouse Function”, “Media Function” and “FN/WN” functions as well.  Let’s go over those too.

Ins. Mode Switch or Instant Mode Switch allows you to switch the keyboard to the game profiles.  I will go over those profiles later in this review.  Like before, you can assign a key, then drag an I-Mode to that key.

Launch Program mode, allows you to assign a particular program to a single keystroke.

For example, here, I dragged the “Quick Launch” button to the swap key section and it brought up this Quick Launch tab.  From there, I clicked on the file explorer button.

Selected a program I wanted to launch and clicked OK.

So now when I click Function + I, Overwatch launches.

Mouse Function as the title implies, allows any key you select to function as a mouse click, any of those listed.  An odd feature I guess, but why not.

Media Function act like the already present Media keys on the keyboard.  Maybe you just don’t like them all the way up there on the top of the keyboard, well now you can fix that.

FN/WIN,… I think they ran out of ideas with this one.  These keys allow you to remap the Function and Windows key… very strange but if it wasn’t there,… surely someone would complain.

Clicking on that Macro key, allows you to create new groups and new macros per group.  They allow you to not only create those macro’s but you can export them and give them to friends and even import them.  If your friends newly imported macro is nice, but could use a little more, you can even edit it.  Ok, let’s check out the Performance section.

Polling Rate, this feature allows you to determine the frequency in which the computer receives input form the keyboard.  The higher the polling rate, the shorter the response time, the lower the response time, the longer it takes for your actions to be recognized.

There should be no reason to go below 1000Hz, am I right?  With that in mind, this is a relatively common thing to find in keyboards, but what would someone want to lower the response time?

N-Key Rollover allows you to select between 6K and NK Rollover.  The 6 Key Rollover function allows you to only press a max of 6 simultaneous keys where the computer will actually receive that feedback.  N Key Rollover allows you to press as many keys as you want and accurately receive feedback.  Most of course would select N-Key Rollerover, but the 6-Key Rollerover is there for compatibility purposes.

Repeat delay allows you to define the amount of time a key must be pressed before that key repeats.  The Shorter the delay, the quicker the keys repeat when you press them.  The longer the repeat, the longer it takes before that held key repeats itself.

Repeat rate test allows you to test just what you did on the “Repeat delay” section.  Now, the most fun section in my opinion, the Lighting Control Section.

Here you can change the lighting effects, we start off on the Rainbow drop down.  Each one of these lighting effects on this drop down can be added to the custom mode, so each mode can have 3 different lighting effects.

Here I will show you each mode I went over on the previous video.

Now, in the center of the triangle shows the lighting effects, you can see that it shows you some brightness control.

On the bottom of each of these screens is the TIPS section.  This section provides valuable tips regarding the section you are in.

The drop menu shows us some more of the basic features offered here.  Let’s go over them again.

Cycle allows you to cycle between the 2-different color cycle modes.

Reactive, is the mode where each key typed lights up, and like before it can be imported into a customer cycle.

The arrow effect, is the lighting effect that when each key is press, an arrow of light goes out from that key.

The Ripple effect, the LED keys illuminate as if each key pressed why a pond and a drop fell into it and instead of a wave of water, light radiates.

The wave effect on wave 1, passes a wave from right to left, each wave a different color.  Wave 2, a color wave goes towards the right, the ping pongs to the left a different color until each color has been shown.  Wave 3, a wave of color radiates from the bottom of the keyboard to the top.

Rainbow, my favorite selection is where all colors slowly radiate from the right to the left in a very smooth relaxing stream.  Just my preference.

As I mentioned, 3 different lighting effects can be store, but what I didn’t mention was that you can have 3 different lighting effects on each Mode, for a total of 9 modes.

Going a little deeper we find “Game Profile Management”.  Each mode, up to as many as you want, can have a different icon and mode assigned to it.  The previous mode I had showed you where there are 3 modes can be store on the keyboards memory, but if you wanted these additional/unlimited modes, those would have to be stored on your computers storage.

As you saw, there are a ton of features on the UIX software.  Due to the fact that the keyboard has onboard memory, you don’t really need to install UIX, it can be controlled mostly from the keyboard itself, there are a few features that need this software as well as the additional Game Profiles.

Another nice feature about the UIX software, if for example you were to pair this keyboard up with the Cougar Revenger mouse I just review, once you installed the UIX software for that, you can from a single interface control the mouse or the keyboard.  If you notice the arrows on each side of the keyboard, if you hover it, would show you the nice device connected.

Then you can always go back.  Of course, when you go to the mouse for example, all of the selections will change because of the course the mouse does not have the same features the keyboard does and visa versa.

Alright, we have covered a lot here, and it looks nice but how loud is it?   Let’s check out the next section, Typing and Noise.

Iggy Castillo
I have spent many years in the PC boutique name space as Product Development Engineer for Alienware and later Dell through Alienware's acquisition and finally Velocity Micro. During these years I spent my time developing new configurations, products and technologies with companies such as AMD, Asus, Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA and more. The Arts, Gaming, New & Old technologies drive my interests and passion. Now as my day job, I am an IT Manager but doing reviews on my time and my dime.
Iggy Castillo
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