Review: Ghost Gaming Series performs great
Mice. These mundane devices might be considered to be the least important components in your rig, but if you've ever owned a lousy mouse, then you know the frustration it brings. So today, we've decided to test one of Gigabyte's ace rodents - the GM-M8000.
Gigabyte is not the first company to pop in your mind when it comes to peripherals, as the company has a plethora of other quality hardware products and mice are hardly the thing they do best. However, we quite liked the fact that the company has decided to have a go at the gaming market, as healthy competition means many a great thing for us, the end-users. So let's see whether Gigabyte can challenge top gaming peripherals manufacturers in their own game.
The GM-M8000 comes in a cardboard-plastic packaging, designed in a way so that you can look at but can't touch the mouse. The packaging is nice as it has a couple of layers to it, and although the box features plenty of info as it is, you can find even more after flipping the Velcro-attached rear leaf. The color scheme is nice as well, supporting the Ghost series theme colors - yellow, red, green and black. As you can see from the photo above, Gigabyte also sent its GP-MP8000 Ghost gaming pad, made of high density neoprene backing and microfiber top to ensure no glitches in pattern detection.
In the box you'll find the mouse, a set of weights (3x6g, 1x20g), a nice little box for your weights which is a nice touch, the manual and the CD containing the drivers and Gigabyte's proprietary Ghost Engine suite as well as replacement Ultra-Durable Teflon feet.
We've seen this mouse at this year's Cebit, and we remembered thinking how this must be one of the most uncomfortable mice ever, as it looks futuristic with no real regard for comfort, but we were soon turned into believers. In fact, this is one of the most comfortable mice we've used, and although looks would suggest many a sharp edge, we assure you it's not the case.
The mouse is well made and it feels good, but the design is somewhat lacking. In an attempt to make it look futuristic, Gigabyte's designers made it too cheapish looking, and it does little justice to the actual quality of the entire product. On the other hand, we'll chose functionality over "eye-candy" any day, and we're at least glad Gigabyte didn't do things the other way around.
GM-M8000 comes with 5 programmable keys and a DPI adjustment button allowing you to switch from 400-4000DPI on the fly, as well as 8kb of onboard memory for storing your profiles. The five programmable keys can be assigned to just about anything, from double click to a combination of clicks and/or keys, and you can imagine that it comes in handy in quite a couple of scenarios.
A button on the right side of the mouse is the profile-switch button, allowing you to change profiles on the fly, and if you're in doubt as to which profile you're using right now - just look at the mouse and the color of the Gigabyte sign on the mouse will tell you, as it neatly changes colors with the change of profiles. It's positioned in a way that you'll have to stretch one of your fingers to change profiles, so there'll be no accidental profile changes while gaming away.
The mouse has a gold plated USB jack and comes with "gaming grade" mouse cable, which is quite tough and will take a lot of abuse before you manage to damage it.
Ok, it's just a fancy naming method for simple adding weight to your mouse, but Gigabyte handled it well. The weights will be secure in their places so no rattling or anything, but you may have to do some mix and matching until you've found your ideal combination.
The interface is simple enough - everything is customizable via sliders or drop-down menus, and it can't get any simpler than this. We can't say we're too keen on the color scheme, but it does support Ghost theme colors. Besides, you won't be looking at the interface after you're done customizing it, but we couldn't shake off the feeling that interface tackyness is in direct relation to that of the mouse.
We’ve been playing a lot of games, ranging from Call of Duty to Warcraft, as well as use the mouse on a daily basis just to see whether it slips up in any kind of scenarios, but the mouse delivered in style. On-the-fly DPI changes are excellent for sniping scenarios, as too sensitive a setting can translate the tiniest of shivers into a jerk, most commonly ending up in a respawn. The solution is simple – lower the DPI get a nice and clinical frag, revert the DPI, select another weapon and go about your day.
We can’t say that DPI settings mattered much in Warcraft or any other RTS for that matter, but we’ve found the macros extremely handy in such scenarios. We simply loved this rodent in Warcraft III as controlling your hero via keyboard shortcuts is quite tedious, and some in-game keyboard hotkeys are simply too far apart to our liking. That’s where the GM-M8000 really made our life easy, and we ended up adding more and more macros to the profiles to the point where we probably could’ve dumped the keyboard.
Testing this mouse reveals that this rodent has what it takes to compete with some top gaming mice on the market. It comes with sensitivity adjustable up to 4000 DPI, 7 keys (5 programmable), 8KB Ghost Engine memory for your profiles, Teflon feet, gaming grade cable with gold-plated USB and Gigabyte’s Ghost Engine mouse software. The mouse can also be weight-tuned up to 38 grams (3x6g, 1x20g) for that “perfect” feel.
It’s nicely shaped and it fit in our hand like a glove, but you might want to check for yourself as we can’t guarantee “hand-to-mouse compatibility”. Design on the other hand isn’t quite doing this device any justice, as it in our opinion lacks the mean edge that’s usually associated with gaming peripherals. Don’t get us wrong, it still looks decent albeit a bit cheapish, but gaming mice are not supposed to look just decent – they’re supposed to look like lean, mean gaming machines.
The performance is simply flawless; we spent about a month playing all kinds of games, doing office work, and even some audio sequencing, and not once did we encounter any glitches. Gaming is especially made easy with on-the-fly DPI changes, 5 programmable keys and configurable macros, which almost made us not reach for the keyboard once in RTS games.
Gigabyte did a great job in all departments except for the “eye-candy” one. It still packs enough to go against the similarly priced competition mice, as it boasts higher resolution than for instance Logitech’s G9, but its looks might not appeal to broad audiences. Unfortunately, we found it priced a bit higher than G9, which can store one profile more but is already overpriced as it is, so we'll reserve our award for perhaps the next iteration of this device. On the other hand, if you purchase this mouse, you'll be pleasantly surprised, as Gigabyte has proven that it has what it takes to compete with the best of the best and this mouse performs simply flawless.