CPU? Check. Memory, mainboard and video card? Check. Oh, I had better also budget for a quality PSU, case and a HDD large enough to last me a while before I can call it a system.
Crap, did I forget the monitor? Hrmm, I did. Well, ok, the budget can stretch a little bit more I suppose (don't look at me like that Mr. Power Bill, I'll get to you soon enough).
Done and done. Wait a minute, something isn't right. Let me think - I have all the necessary internal components for my gaming system and I have the nice widescreen LCD to view the games on, but it still feels like I'm missing something. Oh well, I'm sure I'll live.
"Gosh Nathan, your new computer plays Secret of the Magic Crystals great, but why do you still have that old Microsoft optical mouse with the marks and mutated dust formations all over it that you bought five systems ago because the ball in your Microsoft ball mouse grinded down to the size of a pea?"
The reason, readers, is because I was a repeat offender of ignoring my mouse. Whether it was for a new system build, or when evaluating my next course of action for a system upgrade or two, it seems I never found the funds for a "gaming" mouse. There was a time where, to me, all those fancy expensive mice were nothing but luxury purchases for suckers with more money than sense - at least that was my justification for the constant oversight.
When it really comes down to it, a $20 generic optical mouse is going to deliver what you expect from your mouse even in heavy gaming sessions to the point where you won't really think about it too often, but then a pair of $20 joggers will probably offer the same sort of product satisfaction - that doesn't mean a $80 pair won't possibly be more comfortable, durable and offer just that tiny bit more of performance for the occasional recreational activity.
What it comes down to is in not knowing what I was missing - humans after all are masters at adapting and it really isn't until you try something new and improved that this becomes evident for yourself. With that said, when I was tasked to produce a roundup review of a few of the top gaming mice offerings on the market today, I was humbly introduced to the world I was missing out on - the world of the gaming mouse.
A quick glimpse through other reviews online, gaming magazines and checking out the system spec lists in the signature of PC gaming discussion board users worldwide reveals to me a healthy subscription to logic much different than that of my own prior to my enlightening - the gaming mouse is a well received addition to the gaming system for seemingly most PC gamers out there. The question is, which one do you choose? Some companies make enough models to induce confusion, let alone when you look at the market as a whole.
While there are certainly many more gaming mice on offer out there than what I have tested for this roundup, I believe the four I do have here offer a good varied selection suitable for both the more casual gamer and the more hardcore gamer seeking that slight advantage. On analysis today we have the Logitech G9X, the SteelSeries XAI, the Razer Abyssus and the Microsoft Sidewinder X8.
Before we jump into analysis of each mouse, let me point out that all testing was done on a SteelSeries 9HD mouse pad, which I must say beats the hell out of the old Dell pad I was using prior to this article.
So, without further stalling, let's see what our four contenders have to offer.