The Logitech G15 is the most popular gaming keyboard available. The miniature LCD screen is what really sets it apart. Logitech included some basic software modules to take advantage of the LCD, including plugins for time/date, media applications and CPU/memory usage. Each one was an independent plug-in that had to be cycled through to view. Other software makers also produced G15 plug-ins. Programs like FRAPS include a G15 component. You could keep an eye on your FPS while playing a round of HL2 but you could not check the time/date at the same time, nor could you keep an eye on your memory and CPU usage.
I recently stumbled across the only G15 plug-in you’ll ever need: SirReal’s multipurpose G15 plugin. This is, without a doubt, the most useful and feature packed G15 plug-in you will find. What’s more, its a slim 74KB in size– Icing on the cake. Once in memory, it uses only 3.9MB. This single module can replace the below Logitech modules saving you about 14MB of memory. Its not often that you find an ‘add-on’ that actually reduces your overall system resource load.
- Logitech LCD Clock and Performance module: 2.8MB
- Logitech POP3 Monitor: 3.0MB
- Logitech LCD Media Display: 4.2MB
- Logitech LCD Countdown Timer: 3.7MB
As you can see above, there is a lot of information displayed all at once. There are four modules on the lower portion of the screen that can be displayed at once. Both FRAPS and SpeedFan were active when I snapped this shot. Each of the modules corresponds to a ‘soft key’ and can cycle through numerous different options. For example, the network module can switch between totals and graphs of both in/out throughput. The time and date are always visible regardless of the view. The area of the display with the four gauges for CPU, Memory and network throughput are shared. When using an application like WinAmp, the song title will use that portion of the screen.
A few of its features:
- Customizable date/time display: Can cycle through numerous timezones with the touch of a soft key.
- Unread email notification and counter
- CPU usage (supports up to four CPUs)
- Memory usage
- Network statistics: Inbound/Outbound and total bytes in/out. Customizable maximums based on your internet connection speed can even be set.
- Audio controls for switching between speakers and headphones
- Detects and allows you to kill unresponsive applications
- Integration with many applications including: TeamSpeak2, WinAMP, FRAPS, SpeedFan and iTunes.
A full list of features and even more information is available at the LCDSirReal.
Installation of the plug-in is manual, but fairly simple. The application consists of only one executable and a text file that just need to be placed together in a folder. There is also DLL file that is needed if you plan to use the TeamSpeak integration. A simple shortcut added to the ‘Startup’ folder allows it to start whenever Windows does. Configuration is done via the lcdsirreal.txt file. After about two minutes in the text file, I had it configured to my liking.
Every once and a while, I come across a tool or utility that is a real gem—this is one of them. I can honestly say that I never made good use out of the G15’s LCD until I installed Sirreal’s panel. Give it a try—you will not be disappointed.