StyleZ.BLOG @ Republic Polytechnic

January 9, 2008

Buying the Right Mouse ! – That Gaming Guide

Filed under: Latest Technology & Software,Tutorials/Guides — Jasper Mah @ 7:01 pm

When we usually talk about mice that we plug into our computer or notebook, we seldom notice how efficient a mouse can be, when it’s placed in the hands of manufacturers who seek to produce high-end gaming equipments for consumers, mainly gamers and PC enthusiasts.A common mouse becoming so powerful?

Indeed, in the very world of gaming and professional designing, users tend to look for the mouse that provide the best features according to what they want.

Mice of such categories, are priced normally beyond what you may expect from your corded mouse that you use everyday. Those mice have features, commonly far more advanced than your normal mouse.

Have you ever heard of

– “On-the-Fly Sensitivity”?

– “DPI = DOT PER INCH”?

– “2.25x faster than your common mouse”?

– “Hyper-response Buttons that are programmable by you?”

You don’t normally see all these features in your normal everyday mouse. What makes these mice special, and the reason that you could, or should invest in them, will be shown in today’s guide to buying a mouse.

Normally these mice in Singapore can be worth from minimum of $40, to over $150!

Of course, in today’s guide, it is to illustrate in how to invest the right amount of money, to get a mouse that fits your budget, and also fit certain features that you might want to take note, while buying a gaming mouse.

Mainly, I would also tell you, why a gaming mouse, would be a good investment, that you will derive from your gaming sessions that you have, compared to that normal household mouse you use for your desktop or notebook.

—————————————————————————————————————————

If you are interested to know, the gaming industry throughout the world, does not always revolve around only games that you play on your computer. Gaming companies are out there producing high-end gaming equipments, and not only that we will be covering gaming mice today, but in guides later, I will also introduce to you, other stuff such as gaming keyboards, and gaming headsets.

For your personal knowledge, you could first start by knowing, who are the companies, or people who produces the gaming mouses that many users use today?

They are :

– Razer (Global)

– Logitech (Global)

– Microsoft (Global)

– SteelSeries (Global)

– Everglide (Global)

– Roccat (Emerging brand from Europe)

– Saitek (Global)

These are the companies who invest money in building high-end gaming equipments to satisfy the needs of gamers to get the most out of their gaming experiences.

As the introduction mentioned, gaming mice have features that may tend to be more outstanding than other normal retail mouse that you may be using nowadays.

These features are rather unique, especially to a gamer, it makes quite alot of difference. If you heard of terms like “macroing”, “binding”, in gaming, you will probably get what I mean later.

Now, let me build some budgeting guides for those who are interesting in getting a gaming mouse.

With a minimum of SG$40, you can start the journey to get a gaming mouse that may change your gaming experience.

$40 – $50

  Mouse Name Value DPI a.k.a “Sensitivity”
1. Razer Krait Gaming Mouse – “Entry-Level Mouse” under Razer $40 – $50 1200
2. Logitech G1 Gaming Mouse – sold separately & as a bundle $45 – Bundle$49 – Single 800
3. Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 – “legendary gaming mouse for professional gamers” $44.50 – $69 400

1. Razer Krait – Comments

Built as the entry-level mouse for Razer currently, since Razer Viper and Razer Boomslang(The older series doesn’t exist anymore), it is a good mouse or otherwise, “sufficient” mouse for games like DotA, or RTS based games. It works well with FPS games as well if you are the low-sensitivity type of user. It has a DPI of 1200.

2. Logitech G1 – Comments

Built as the entry-level mouse for Logitech gaming mice. It has a DPI of 800, and belongs to a very old generation of gaming mice, and considered one of the first optical gaming mouse in the world. It’s not really worth it if you purchased it alone by itself as a single mouse, maybe you can consider buying the Logitech G1 Gaming Desktop at $45 which gives you a free keyboard of the Logitech brand.

3. Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 (IE 3.0)

Built as the successor to the IE 1.0, the Microsoft IE 3.0 is a legendary gaming mouse to professional gamers in the gaming industry, who recognised this low-sensitivity mouse providing the best “comfort”, where they feel that the clicking aspect of the mouse does not require strong pressure, and respond immediately to the gamer’s demand. Currently the best mouse to pair with a mousepad that is very smooth, one being the Razer Mantis Speed or the Everrglide DKTmat. 400 DPI didn’t affect the professionals, but it’s not recommended if you are a gamer new to the gaming scene, to adapt to the low-sensitivty take quite some time.

$50 – $60

  Mouse Name Value DPI a.k.a “Sensitivity”
1. Razer Diamondback “Chameleon” – popular mouse during 2003 – 2005 era $50 – $56 1600
2. Logitech MX518 Gaming Mouse – challenger to Razer’s Diamondback $55 – $60 1600
3. Logitech MX518 Gaming Mouse v2 – revised version of MX518 $55 – $60 1800
4. Everglide g-1000 Gaming Mouse $50 – $60 1600

1. Razer Diamondback “Chameleon” – Comments

– built as the “popular mid-range gaming mouse” for most FPS gamers, such as Counterstrike 1.6 and Counterstrike source, it is still very popular in Singapore, and very sellable. It features a DPI of 1600 and works well on DotA if you can get used to the sensitivity.

2. Logitech MX518 v1 & v2 – Comments

The Logitech Gaming Mouse with a DPI of 1600, and a 2nd version with a DPI of 1800, it is a very popular mouse if you have a preference for macro buttons on your mouse. The number of macro buttons you can configure is guaranteed to satisfy your needs, and is a top choice for those who wants to get a mouse with “on-the-fly” sensitivity, meaning you can easily change your sensitivity based on DPI, just with a few clicks of a button in-game or out-of-game as well. It is very suited for FPS and RTS gamers as a mid-range, good build, mid-priced gaming mouse. The mouse may not be suitable for you if you have a preferences towards a definite shape for a mouse, since the build of the MX518 is rather unique.

4.Everglide g-1000 Gaming Mouse – Comments

– Built to rival the MX518 and Razer Diamondbacks, the g-1000 was everglide’s attempt to stand on par with the 2 giant brands in terms of gaming mouse for normal consumers. It had a very high cost for a simple mouse, which made it quite unpopular when it was launched. Nowadays, prices are dropping rapidly, you can still get this mouse for a very low price.

$60 – 70

  Mouse Name Value DPI a.k.a “Sensitivity”
1. Razer Diamondback Plasma – comes in 3 colours $60 – $69 1600

1. Razer Diamondback Plasma – Comments

– Similar to the description of the Razer Diamondback Chameleon, the gaming mouse is a transparent yet dark version of the Chameleon, and comes in 3 colours. It has no changes to the shapes and specs of the mouse, if you are looking for the “bling-bling” factor in your gaming mouse, then this mouse will best suit your description.

$70 – $80

  Mouse Name Value DPI a.k.a “Sensitivity”
1. Razer Diamondback 3G – Revised Diamondback $70 – $79 1800
2. Razer DeathAdder $74 – $89 1800

1. Razer Diamondback 3G – Comments

An improved version of the original Diamondback, it uses a “3G” sensor, and comes with a DPI of 1800. Similarly it has the same specifications as the Deathadder in terms of mouse-technical specifications, and would be a great choice if you are a user playing FPS games alot, and is quite a popular choice as well. The whole mouse is shaped like the Copperhead, without a “lighted” Razer Logo. It comes in 3 colours, like most of the Razer Mices(except Lachesis & DeathAdder), and is a recommended mouse to get if your budget is below $100.

2. Razer DeathAdder – Comments

A good choice of a mouse, it was built for right – handers and those with large palms who execute control over the sensitivty of the mouse of 1800 DPI of a built-in 3G sensor.(Lachesis, DB3G, Boomslang CE are currently using these 3G sensors). The Razer Deathadder is also the trademark mouse for Razer currently, especially for FPS gamers worldwide, with the professional FPS players using it as their prime choice during gaming competitions. This mouse is good in terms of comfort and sensitivity, and in Singapore, it is quite popular as well, and there’s a free RAZER t-shirt being given out from Banleong for those who purchase a DA after the 15th of December 2007 till further notices. I highly recommend you this mouse, from the perspective of a competitive gamer, or even normal gaming usage on FPS games.

$80 – $90

  Mouse Name Value DPI a.k.a “Sensitivity”
1. Logitech G3 Gaming Mouse $80 – $89 2000

1. Logitech G3 Gaming Mouse – Comments

A gaming mouse with the design of the G1 Gaming Mouse, its predecessor, it is a very standard yet excellent gaming mouse with a DPI of 2000, and very competitive against the Razer Copperhead, which is not a very good Razer Mouse I would recommend. The design follow a general mouse shape, and is not like the Razer series Mouses, which focus on a very unique shape for some of the mouses under the branding.

$90 – $100

  Mouse Name Value DPI a.k.a “Sensitivity”
1. Razer CopperHead $90 – $95 2000

1. Razer Copperhead – Comments

– The “legend” of the old-skool Razer mouse series, it holds the record of 2000 DPI in the past, and was very famous indeed as the most expensive Razer mouse in recent years until Lachesis came along this year. The expensive mouse of choice before Deathadder came out, it did not respond to well to the budget of most gamers looking for a mid-range mouse, so it did not sold well in Singapore, but I would not recommend this mouse actually, since after a long period of time, there were problems with its build, and since Razer did not improve again on this mouse, I do not recommend that you purchase it as it will be a rather ineffective choice if you face problems with the build of the mouse, and after so long, the price does not drop, it will be a waste of your investment in terms of your money and time. Retailing at $108, it is indeed still not a good choice of a mouse.

$110 – $130

  Mouse Name Value DPI a.k.a “Sensitivity”
1. Microsoft Habu Gaming Mouse $109 – $119 2000
2. Razer Lachesis $119 – $129 4000!
3. Microsoft Sidewinder Mouse $129 2000

1. Microsoft Habu Gaming Mouse – Comments

The “child” of Razer and Microsoft working together, the Habu is shaped towards being the next “Microsoft IE 3.0” through using the “creativity of Razer”, fusing it with the “technology of Microsoft”. If you are curious towards what I just say, Microsoft is very well known for making the legendary gaming mouse of choice, known as the Intellimouse Explorer 3.0. Razer work with Microsoft to create such a successor, and was well known for its debut during WCG Singapore 2007. With a DPI sensor of either 400, 800 or 2000, it has 2 buttons to control the DPI sensor during normal usage and in-game, so that you can find a DPI that suits you the best. A very versatile mouse indeed, but it did not sell that well in Singapore, with more gamers still prefering the IE 3.0 mouse. A good investment for playing both FPS and RTS games indeed, it is currently priced above the $100 range

2. Razer Lachesis – Comments

– named after the largest pit viper in the world, it currently holds the highest DPI of 4000, among all the razer mices. Just like its name, it also currently is the biggest mouse in size of the Razer Mice Series. It also uses the 3G sensor within its build, and is recommended more on RTS games, as from a gamer’s point of view, an extremely high DPI does not help in FPS games, but more suited towards RTS games. The high DPI will make you lose control of the mouse easily in my opinion, but it may turn out good for you, so it could be a matter of choice. The Lachesis’s shape is adapted together with the shape of the Deathadder, so you may find that it looks similar, except that the surfaces of the clicking buttons on the Lachesis is bigger than the Deathadder. Retailing at a price of $129, it is currently the most expensive Razer Mouse, but hold its reputation as the “Biggest” indeed. If your budget is not really much of a concern, then the Lachesis could be good as a long-term investment provided you can take good care of it.

3. Microsoft Sidewinder Mouse – Comments

– An attempt by Microsoft to make the new gaming mouse to dominate the gaming market after the previous success of the legendary gaming mouse, IE 3.0, Microsoft made this new mouse under the name of its famous gaming controllers, the SideWinder. Known as the Microsoft SideWinder Mouse, it uses features similar to the Fatal1ty 1010/2020 and the Microsoft Habu by including the options of changing mouse “weights”, which either makes your mouse heavier or lighter. The other feature added was the quick changing sensitivity option similar to Habu, where you get to choose a DPI of 400, 800, 2000. It is a mouse priced at $129 in Singapore, which is a hefty price, but as I said, if budget is not a problem for you, you can purchase this mouse, and fiddle around with it.

Above $130 & more

  Mouse Name Value “DPI a.k.a Sensitivity”
1. Logitech G9 Gaming Mouse $129 – $149 3200
2. Razer Boomslang Collector’s Edition $159 – $169 2000

1. Logitech G9 Gaming Mouse – Comments

– Logitech current flagship mouse, it is very expensive, and currently the most expensive corded gaming mouse that uses laser technology for it’s tracking abilities.in Singapore. With a very unique design for the buttons and shape of the mouse, it is known for it’s capabilities since the G5 Gaming Mouse era. The second mouse to adapt to a flattened design, it has proven intriguing to many people, especially me. It is the first time for me to see such a mouse design being used. PC enthusiasts and hardcore gamers may want to purchase this mouse if budget never was a problem to you.

2. Razer Boomslang Collector’s Edition – Comments

– The remake of the Razer Boomslang, it is actually the most expensive gamer’s mouse if it is being brought out to be used. $10 – $20 more than the G9, the Razer Boomslang CE uses the old design of the Razer Boomslang(EOL), and is built with a 3G sensor that provides a DPI of up to 2000. It is currently retailing worldwide, and 10,000 copies of it are available. It is a “collector’s item” if you like to collect gaming mice. The retail box of the Razer Boomslang CE is also very unique, with the silver box to signify the rare value of the mouse. Get it if you like to collect expensive gaming equipments!

I have come to the end of my guide today, but in below, I have done a F.A.Q for people who are interested to know more about terms used in the gaming world today that may assist you in making the right decisions on buying the right mouse.

FAQ

1. Wireless versus Wired

Q : What don’t gamers get wireless mice? It’s saves the problem of dangling cables and seems good for normal usage!

A: Wireless mice have a weakness, or a tendency to easily disconnect when it’s out-of-range from its sensors, and the tracking/moving capability of the mouse is greatly reduced when it is far away, or runs out of battery, and proves to be a lousy situation. You won’t want to play your game halfway just to change batteries, and in the end, you die, and blame the computer and everyone around you for making you lose. The current only wireless gaming mouse is the Logitech G7 gaming mouse. It received good comments but still won’t be my choice for a gaming mouse.

2. Laser versus Optical versus Ball-Mouse

Q : What’s the difference between those mice technology? What mouses belong to those categories? Are they available in retail?

A : Laser mice and optical mice are currently using the laser technology & the optical technology for the mouse sensors nowadays. Different mice with their different technologies provide different “tracking” abilities, but laser technology was once hindered by surfaces, where it could not track on surfaces such as glass, especially when products like Icemat Glass Mousepad came out, and suffered badly. Gamers went for optical mice after hearing it, and most gaming mice nowadays are still using optical technology. Of course, people did try to improve on laser technology, and now, several gaming mice under the Logitech Gaming Series, are using laser technology, since the G5 Gaming Mouse, to the G9 Gaming Mouse.

Ball mouses are really old-school, and currently only the Razer Boomslang (EOL), not the Collector’s Edition, uses the ball-technology. Mice using ball technology gets dirty easily, and is not very reliable, although Razer Boomslang performed quite well as the first Razer gaming mouse, before moving on to optical technology in the second Razer mouse, the Razer Viper.

3. Gaming Mouse Terms

D.P.I – Dot Per Inch – describing the amount of dots that the mouse will “glide” over on the current surface that you have by an inch. When you buy a gaming mouse, the DPI is just a gimmick that companies including on the retail box. Below is a table showing what DPI is good for what users. It may not fit some, but it is just a gauge of what DPI you should maintain.

DPI Users
400 – 800 Professional Gamers who are low-sensitivity on gaming mice, consumers who cannot get used to the fast speed of Razer or Logitech Mice (Only the G1 belongs to this category)
1000 – 1200 RTS gamers or FPS gamers who would like to practice on adapting to high sensitivity gaming mice that belong to a higher DPI region.
1600 – 2000 Competitive gamers who can easily adapt to the fast-paced action of the mouse, suited for FPS gamers who need to make the split-second headshots
2000 – 2400 The “gimmick” range of DPI, or preferably suited to RTS gamers than FPS gamers, you need that sensitivity to move across to the other side of the map ASAP.
3200 – 4000 The “extremes” of the DPI on a gaming mice, it is suited for users who prefer extreme sensitivity while playing games, and suited also for RTS gamers due to the ability to move across large distances with just a swipe.

5 – 9 configurable buttons – describing the number of extra buttons you have on your gaming mice, which are common sights on gaming mice from Razer and Logitech. These buttons are used to bind macros or keys to them, so while a gamer is using the mouse in-game, he can use the mouse’s extra button to perform an action, rather than stretching another finger to another part of the keyboard just to get to the keyboard button.

Teflon Feet – describing the “feet” of the mouse, it is the feet that provide the smooth transition of the mouse on different surfaces, but they burn out easily on hard surfaces compared to smooth surfaces. You can purchase mouse feets from retailers once your mousefeet is damaged and easily replace them

On-The-Fly Sensitivity Adjustment – describing the feature to change the mouse’s DPI with a few buttons that is programmed on the mouse, compared to standard mice, it allow the user to change to a low-sensitivity mouse if he want to, or a high-sensitivity mouse, at any point of time. Users find this features useful especially when changing to play games with different type of sensitivity.

Now before I end, just a small tip from me!

Choose a mouse, whichever ones that fits you the most. You should always be the one shaping the mouse to your requirements of either control or comfort, and don’t let the mouse or the influence of the majority determine what you want in your gaming experience. Imagine buying a Logitech mouse(just an example), that does not fit with your comfort and you complain a lot about it, isn’t it a waste of investment?

Any gaming mouse would be good, once you shape it to something comfortable to you, just don’t buy a mouse because of its looks, and then complain when you find that it’s not comfortable or compatible to what you are using it for.

Signing off,

Jasper – “iceknight”

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