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High Performance Gaming Mice Don't Perform 283

An anonymous reader writes "A new mouse performance speed-testing software has scientifically demonstrated that there is virtually no difference between the performance of expensive, high-end gaming mice and cheap laser office mice. The software, called Metalocity, is available for free download so you can test your own mice and confirm the empirical results for yourself. It also shows that the multi-button approach of the Razer Naga and WarMouse Meta increases user speed by up to 112 percent." Note that this report comes from someone who wants to sell you a $80 gaming mouse with a zillion buttons on it, so a grain of salt is required here. But the question is valid: are the expensive mice really worth anything?
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High Performance Gaming Mice Don't Perform

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  • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Monday March 28, 2011 @08:55AM (#35637714) Journal
    Leaving aside for the moment the fact that TFA is actually a gratuitous piece of advertising fluff, which basically says "our competitors' products are rubbish so buy ours"... I've tried all kinds of mice over the years, including high-end Razer gaming mice and the like - and to be honest, I've never found that there's any kind of big, glaring performance difference. I think the most important thing with regard to mice is just to find one that you're comfortable with. For me, the Intellimouse Explorer 3 (but emphatically not the later versions) fits my hand well and has the right number of buttons positioned just where I want them, so I use that. It also has the advantage of being pretty cheap, which is handy since the wheel tends to gum up after 18 months or so in a way that I've never been able to fix, requiring periodic replacements. But at the end of the day, any "performance" differences are going to be pretty slim, so I'd just focus on getting something you're comfortable with and that supports your hand properly, to avoid joint pains later in life. The same goes for the keyboard - I've seen players with expensive gaming mice risk giving themselves all kinds of RSI by using keyboards which, through either sheer cheap-and-nastiness or plain old bad design, force their hands into all kinds of contortions.
  • It depends (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 28, 2011 @08:56AM (#35637736)

    On what you are buying it for.

    If you are buying an expensive mouse because you think it will make you a l337 gaming god, then no. It won't do jack for you.

    If you are buying an expensive mouse because it has better ergonomics than your cheap mouse and you want to reduce wrist strain, or if it has more buttons and you need or want that extra functionality, or if it has greater accuracy in movement and you need more precision, then yes. It will help you.

    A mouse is a tool, like any other. Buy the tool most appropriate to your needs and desires. Don't buy one expecting it to make you a better USER of the tool.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday March 28, 2011 @08:57AM (#35637748) Journal
    In terms of things like ergonomics, number of buttons you can actually use/remap, etc. but the bottom line is that optical sensors have gotten pretty good, even at the low end.

    It is true that the fancy laser stuff will let you mouse on surfaces where basic LED mice won't; but even laser diodes aren't all that costly, though they are used as a price discrimination feature.

    Beyond mere ergonomic satisfaction, which is something of a matter of taste, and utility of extra buttons, which is a combination of taste and design, the only place that really dramatic differences jump out at you is with the wireless stuff. It is harder, though still entirely possible, to buy some really dire wireless mice. Slow refresh, shuts down to save power at the worst possible times and then spends 10 seconds waking up again, that sort of thing(and bluetooth? Pay double or insert dongle...)

    For your basic rat on a string, though, it is hard to get too worked up about the differences between modern sensors.
  • by zifn4b ( 1040588 ) on Monday March 28, 2011 @08:58AM (#35637778)

    As an avid computer FPS gamer, I can tell that using a higher end mouse definitely makes a difference. I've used quite a few in my days, mostly Logitech. I currently use an MX518. However, let's say for the sake of argument that the sensors are not of higher quality and don't offer any higher DPI or sensitivity than their mainstream office counterparts. There are other aspects to gaming mice that are quite important. The ergonomic shape of the mouse. The placement of the buttons. The software that allows you to configure the sensitivity very specifically to your preferences. In some mice, you have the ability to add or remove optional weights to suit your specific style. All of these contribute to being able to fine tune your mouse to give you the optimal control that allows you aim more accurately and quickly than a typical mouse that does not have these features.

  • by Cederic ( 9623 ) on Monday March 28, 2011 @09:15AM (#35638024) Journal

    You may find that natural oils from your fingers pass on to your computing equipment and capture small dirt particles that eventually acrrue into visible/noticeable yuckiness that needs to be cleaned up.

    Or you may wear gloves, or you may just not use any computing equipment intensely, or you may have someone else come and clean it regularly for you. The rest of us recognise that we need to clean our keyboards and mice from time to time.

    18 months of handling before a mouse needs cleaning sounds extremely reasonable to me.

  • by kangsterizer ( 1698322 ) on Monday March 28, 2011 @09:27AM (#35638216)

    notice how the LED goes dim when you're idling? That's a power saving strategy. It's actually just flashing it on occasionally to see if it's moved, then going back to sleep. Cordless productivity mice do this very aggressively, and you *will* miss that golden headshot opportunity if your mouse is idled down,

    campers who are able to get their mouse to idle due to excessive camping are horrible, horrible gamers to play with anyway.

    sorry, had to ;-)

  • by captainpanic ( 1173915 ) on Monday March 28, 2011 @09:35AM (#35638326)

    I'll explain my point by looking at chairs rather than mice first.

    At some point, an office chair is good enough. It's got everything for a healthy working position.
    Spend 4 times more money, and you will most definitely sit more comfortable... but the question we're answering here is: do you work harder with significantly less chance for injury? Maybe just a little. Probably no measurable difference.

    I don't doubt for a moment that you get a nicer gaming experience with your MX518 mouse. The question in TFA was not whether you like it more, but whether you can click faster or more precise. The answer given in TFA is that you can't really.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson