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Input Devices Hardware

Independent Benchmarking System for Mice 71

Posted by Hemos
from the getting-a-wee-bit-specialized dept.
Heartless Gamer writes "Why benchmark a mouse? From ESReality; "In this environment where performance is king, it's ludicrous to think that mouse performance has never been measured for reviewing the products. Imagine reviewing the latest graphics card in the same way. Without benchmarks, reviewers would have to resort to loading up their favourite game and commenting on how their frag count improved. You would have no way to compare NVIDIA and ATI cards apart from the quality of the packaging. Without benchmarking, graphics card reviews would be almost entirely useless. So why do we put up with mouse reviews that are just as useless?""
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Independent Benchmarking System for Mice

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  • Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hcdejong (561314) <hobbes&xmsnet,nl> on Monday December 11, 2006 @12:23PM (#17195550)
    Um, because the most important aspects of a mouse (how it fits your hand, and how it feels) are unquantifiable? I don't care about dpi or whatever, I want to be able to use it all day without getting RSI.
    • by Neoprofin (871029)
      I have to use about four different mice in my daily life depending on where I am at the given time, only one of which ever gives me problems (which is no fault of the mouse, only of that computers owner for trying to use an small old table as a computer desk). Most mice these days are, for most people, comfortable. So if presented with multiple comfortable mice, at multiple price points, of varying quality, you'd rather just wing it?
    • All the salient points answered in the first reply. Lively discussion will NOT ensue.
    • Re:Duh (Score:4, Interesting)

      by eebra82 (907996) on Monday December 11, 2006 @12:38PM (#17195800) Homepage
      ...Which is why you go to the store to check out which one fits your hand. The people who read the reviews are often gamers and often hardcore gamers who want to know which mouse fits their needs, no matter how small the difference is.

      Although I agree with you that the comfort is the most important aspect of today's mice, it is only ignorant to assume that everyone thinks the same way. After all, when _some_ people buy a car, they want one that looks and feels good but forget about what's under the hood. The same situation can be applied to mice, because not everyone need to know what's under the hood, but some want to.

      Last but not least, what the article suggests is quite correct. A benchmark of a mouse does require proper benchmarking tools and so far, we've only had reviews that measure the looks and the software. I do however disagree with the author of the article, because comparing benchmarks of graphics cards to benchmarks of mice is just wrong. People who buy graphics cards want to know how fast their games will run, while almost no one who's purchasing a mouse wonders if their mice can read info of a surface at 100 miles per hour.
    • by dami99 (1014687)
      There are many very comfortable, but not equal mice.

      I own two mx-1000's at home, they are great for everyday use, but very bad for gaming.
      -- a little laggy
      -- low usb polling frequency

      OTOH, I own a G5 which is great for gaming, but not great for everyday use:
      -- not wireless
      -- fewer buttons

      Both mice are great, and I can use all day without any wrist problems.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)
      I care about both precision and accuracy. You can't use ANY traditional mouse without risking RSI... But one thing you CAN test is whether the mouse accurately returns to the starting point when moved four inches to the right and four inches to the left, for example. This is a necessity when playing FPS games and the like.
  • by revlayle (964221) on Monday December 11, 2006 @12:24PM (#17195570) Homepage
    Mouse 1: Only runs into walls 30% of the time; thinks poop are like legos; enjoys the "Macarena"

    Mouse 2: Like expensive cheeses; chases own tail; finds Conan O'Brian Funny

    Mouse 3: Got out of the maze; presumed missing; my tuna salad sandwich is missing

    Results: Use rats next time? Republicans?
  • by elzurawka (671029) on Monday December 11, 2006 @12:27PM (#17195616)
    Good point.
  • Why stop there? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Monday December 11, 2006 @12:35PM (#17195734) Homepage Journal
    As a longtime computer user and builder, I'm shocked - shocked, I say! - that we've never seen a really good benchmarking test for power buttons. I demand a definitive report and comparison on factors like clickiness, springiness, and LED brightness.
    • by the_tsi (19767)
      Furthermore, not all cables with a NEMA 5-15 connector on one end and an IEC C13 connector on the other are created equally! I demand a panel be created to discuss the possibility of studying the feasability of starting a committee to establish benchmarking standards for computer power cords! This is a moral imperative to ensure the continued survival of the gamer community.
    • by justkarl (775856) *
      You're forgetting "slippability", "number of extraneous buttons", and "ability to calm nerves by rolling mouse wheel quickly".
    • by Nicolay77 (258497)
      Well, I don't know about you, but I touch my power button perhaps once a week, if I touch it at all.

      The mouse, on the other hand, is used almost constantly and I find that review very useful. And I'm a gamer. I will buy a Logitech MX518 based in that, and of course the pictures of the mouse. It looks comfortable.
  • it's ludicrous to think that mouse performance has never been measured for reviewing the products.

    For sufficiently small values of ludicrous, of course.

  • Linkman: Perhaps we need to know more of these mice men before we can really judge them. Perhaps not. Anyway, our thirty minutes are up.
  • We all know these are the mice [know-library.net] for those who want workmen's comp benefits due to RSI issues

  • by wampus (1932) on Monday December 11, 2006 @12:56PM (#17196076)
    From TFA: ESReports is an International site, so all Non-English posts will be deleted.

    What the hell? Outside of this country EVERYONE speaks English?
    • by bunions (970377)
      Pff, everyone knows that. Everyone speaks english, they just switch to Mexican or African or French or whatever when we're around just to make Americans feel stupid.
  • My mouse (Score:5, Funny)

    by Stormcrow309 (590240) on Monday December 11, 2006 @12:59PM (#17196106) Homepage Journal

    Unfortunately, I picked up my mouse from the NIHM research facility. It has been horrible. I wake up in the middle of the night and the little bugger is correcting my code, playing with my pda, tweaking my project plans, embezzling from my work. Keeps shopping on line for peanut butter and sunflower seeds.

    Now, if you excuse me. It is my time for exercise on the treadmill according to my pda.

    • If your mouse is scheduling your exercise, and you are following that schedule, give that bugger a raise to the all organic expensive peanut butter!
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Ignore the parent post. I caught my own mouse posting it using my slashdot account. The bugger seems to have changed my password as well.

        On a completely unrelated note, my schedule says its time for me to run around in my Zorb. Usually after I do that I find protein bars at my desk for lunch!
  • I wonder what kind of score the very first mouse would get: http://sloan.stanford.edu/MouseSite/Archive/patent /Mouse.html [stanford.edu]
  • Having read the article and looked at all the pretty graphs, I cannot help but wonder why the laser mice get such terrible results for "malfunction speed" compared to the non-laser mice. It would be interesting to dissect the mice and compare the physical size of the sensors, the diopters of the lenses, etc.

    Could higher DPI mice (such as the laser mice) be merely lower DPI mice incorporating a different lens? (The lower DPI modes of configurable mice are almost certainly just a downsampling of the high-DP
    • having read the article and looked at all the pretty graphs, I cannot help but wonder why the laser mice get such terrible results for "malfunction speed" compared to the non-laser mice.

      Looking at the equipment, I would guess that it was a function of the surface that was used. Since he was using a turntable, I assume that he either had a felt or carbon-fiber isolation pad (to avoid deflection and low frequency feedback on albums). I assume that different surface types will produce different results wit
      • by Reziac (43301) *
        I found the article interesting not as a gamer, but rather as an image editor at the single pixel level, where fine-grained control is extremely helpful.

        I was a little amused that the cheap A4Tech did well -- he may not know the name, but they've been around since 1987, and in my experience their products have good hand-feel and are probably among the most reliable for lower-cost mice.

      • by Havenwar (867124)
        As from the article

        "I then took my mouse surface and cut it into a circle to place on the turntable. I had a choice from many samples that had been sent to me for review, but in the end I used the SteelPad QcK+ because it turned out to be the easiest material to cut into shape and stayed flat on the turntable surface."

        So, don't assume. He used a good mat for the surface, not whatever was around. He is also aiming to redo tests with various surfaces to effectively benchmark surfaces.

        I believe the bad results
    • Like digicams and video cards, there's multiple factors in determining "goodness".

      Digicams: Megapixels get you detail at the expense of noise and sensitivity. Color accuracy gets you prettiness. Color accuracy goes DOWN as megapixels goes up because of noise and sensitivity. Finding the sweet spot for a consumer camera becomes key.

      Mice: Camera resolution (DPI) versus framerate (FPS).

      To track at a higher speed, you need higher framerates. This is so that at the higher speed, it can actually get the delta bet
  • by Chacham (981)
    Oh great, now slashdot is posting stories of mice and men?
  • Is it useable by a left-handed?
    • Ambidextrous Mice (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gknoy (899301)
      I wholeheartedly agree!

      While I'm not left-handed, I swap between right and left hands at work, to help prevent/minimize RSI effects. I go into computer stores, and see all these funky right-handed mice, and sigh.

      I love my Razer, at home.
      At work, I'm very happy with this (wired) Logitech mouse.
  • "Having decided to benchmarking mice, there was several ways of going about it."

    ..what?
  • My gaming mouse of choice has become the Intellimouse Optical [microsoft.com].

    But I've noticed something strange with Microsoft Mice, they use a specialized driver (19 megs no less) and develop huge stuttering issues when you don't use the driver.

    There's also a problem involving the driver locking up occasionally.
    • Might I recommend a nice Logitech [logitech.com] for your gaming needs? I have one and can't praise it enough. Its a pity that they no longer make (and few programs anymore actually support) the iFeel line of mice they had. Force-feedback mouse, or basically a mouse with a servo-rumble pack. It was tuned very well, and I enjoyed the tactile responce on my desktop and in a few games (Tribes 2, Serious Sam 2, Black and White, Jedi Outcast, and others).
      • by dami99 (1014687)
        I'll second that... Try something like a G5, you will notice a huge difference.

        My only problems with logitech is that their setpoint software gets significantly worse with each version... and their bluetooth kb/mouse combo hasn't treated me particularily well when I use blueooth mode.

        They have good quality, warranty, and support.

        As an example, my middle mouse button was starting to get sticky. I knew it just needed a cleaning, but it was still under its 3 year warranty and I didn't want to break the warran
      • by Reziac (43301) *
        Logitech makes durable, well-designed hardware. But lordy, their drivers... awful, awful, awful. First thing I check when someone's system is randomly locking up is whether it's loading a LT driver.

        Myself, I never use any mouse driver other than the default DOS and Win drivers.

        My fave mouse was a BSR (DAK era) that had some ridiculously high DPI -- less than 1/4 INCH of motion was sufficient to zoom it clear across the screen. Startling at first, but once I got used to it, it was SO nice, especially for pix
        • by Cederic (9623)
          Ah, I'm with you entirely.

          Love Logitech mice. Every mouse I've bought for the last decade is Logitech. Five of them are still in use.

          Every single PC on which I use them is using standard Windows mouse drivers. Hate Logitech mouse drivers.

          Beautiful hardware, woeful drivers.

          (I have the G15 keyboard too. Beautiful hardware, I suffer the drivers - the LCD panel is just that little bit too nice and too useful to ignore)

          • by Reziac (43301) *
            I don't buy LT products myself because they just don't seem to fit my hand right. But they sure do last. (For that matter, so do M$ mice.)

            LT drivers were hideous all the way back in the DOS era. You'd think 15 years would be long enough to get it right?!

            I once had a rodent that could do M$, LT, or Mouse Systems drivers, and you had to move a DIP switch to specify which it would use. Worked fine with the generic M$ driver (M$'s v8.20 mouse driver for DOS is wonderful.. in fact M$ themselves reverted to v8.20
    • The intellimouse is my mouse of choice in all situations, and I'm on my second one in about 4 years.

      However I haven't noticed any stuttering issues and I have never installed any drivers for it. No locking up either.

      Personally I wish I could find a black one to match the rest of my desk, haven't seen any, but on the back of one of a Microsoft keyboard box I saw it there, in front of the black keyboard, taunting me... damn thing. The buttons being on opposite sides are much better for gaming in my opinion th
  • There is a benchmark (Score:3, Interesting)

    by perkr (626584) on Monday December 11, 2006 @03:24PM (#17198260)
    There is something called ISO 9241-9 - Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals - Part 9: Requirements for non-keyboard input devices. It covers mouse performance, and a metric called throughput (TP). Its validity is a matter of considerable debate. You can read the following technical report [ibm.com] from IBM Research for much more information. There is also a recent article in the Journal of Human-Computer Studies 61:6, 2004 by the same author on the same topic.
  • 22 pages to talk about mice? No thanks.
  • @ 2000 DPI, if it is accurately measuring up to 1M/s that is plenty.

    I use a 2000 DPI mouse and I am sure the sensor doesn't cover an area of more than 5 cm2 when I am playing. That given, I have to move the mouse > 200 times back and forth in under a second, or move the whole 5cm in less than 1/200th of a second before that becomes a problem.

    While I believe I may be able to move that fast, I know I can't accurately point that fast. Perhaps others can?

    IMO USB polling speed & DPI are the most importa
    • Height, width and depth are pretty much the only important values. At least for me. I find most mice awfully humpy and generally aim for the flattest non-laptop mouse I can get my hands on, which currently is Apple's Mighty Mouse - arguably not a mouse for games which heavily involve both mouse buttons. But it feels good. (BTW, the previous one was a Logitech Optical Wheel Mouse.)

      I don't give a shit about number of buttons buttons, DPI or polling speed if the mouse feels like a brick.

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