Gigabyte Aivia Krypton Review
Surprisingly the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton will be the first Gigabyte product reviewed here at pcGameware, quite why it’s taken us this long I’m not sure! But here we have it, the Aivia Krypton a Dual-chassis gaming mouse; dual-chassis because of the x2 chassis supplied (x1 Control Chassis & x1 Speed Chassis). The mouse features an 8200DPI laser sensor, is ambidextrous in design and features a total of 7 programmable buttons. The Krypton also features a weight-management system allowing for not only the overall weight to be adjusted but also the centre of gravity. In addition to this the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton comes with Gigabyte’s GHOST™ Macro software providing support for 5 user defined profiles and up to 70 macros to be created and stored on-board the mouse courtesy of its 32KB of memory.
The Gigabyte Aivia Krypton came well packaged in a predominantly black box. The front of the box features a large image of the Krypton itself along with a few images highlighting some of the more important features (Laser Sensor, DPI switching with 4 levels & On-board Memory).
The back of the box features a further breakdown of the Aivia Krypton showing the dual chassis, the custom weight management system, nylon braided cable, 4 level DPI indicator and profile switch. In addition to this the back of the box also talks about the GHOST™ Macro Engine software, describing its UI (User Interface) design as cutting edge and intuitive and also highlights the 5 user definable profiles and up to 70 macro settings.
The right side of the box shows the 2 interchangeable chassis of the Krypton; the Speed Chassis: ‘Abrasion-free ceramic mouse feet provide extraordinary SPEED for immediate reactio’ (their typo not mine!) and the Control Chassis: ‘Ultra smooth Teflon feet pads ensure precise retaining CONTROL to hit your target’.
The left side of the box lists the following in various languages.
- Advanced real 82000dpi resolution laser sensor
- Optimized for speed + control performance
- Customizable centre of gravity
- Built-in GHOST™ macro engine
The outer box actually hides a rather smart all black inner box, with a single Aivia logo.
With the top of the inner box removed you get to see the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton for the first time. Of note here was the rather flimsy tray that the Krypton sits in; doesn’t seem in sync with the quality of the rest of the packaging!
Remove the tray and the Aivia wallet and there’s a surprise in store, as more goodies lie beneath! Lifting a small tab in the base of the box allows access to another compartment where you will find the additional chassis, weight-management system and a weight removal tool (nice!).
The Aivia wallet contains the Users’ Guide and some additional Teflon feet, as these do wear over time, that’s a welcome addition.
Overall the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton was a pleasure to un-box; giving the overall feel of a quality high-end product. At the time of writing the Krypton is retailing for approximately £56 and comes with a (hold on I cannot find any warranty information anywhere, that’s a first!). Have also checked Gigabyte’s website and still cannot find any warranty information as if you follow the Warranty Service link it asks for Motherboard/Graphics Card or Notebook & Netbook!
After raising a Support Ticket and providing the serial number I was informed that ‘Our products provide two years warranty’. Well I guess the good news there is that at least it has a warranty!
courtesy of Gigabyte
|Tracking system||Advanced Gaming Laser Sensor|
|FPS (Frame rate per second)||12000 frames/second|
|Maximum speed||150 inches/ second|
|Switch Life||10 million times|
|Onboard memory||32KB GHOST™ Macro Engine|
|Certificate||CE/ FCC/ BSMI/KCC|
|Cable Length||1.8m nylon braided / Gold-plated USB connector|
|Weight||110g ~149g adjustable|
|Accessory||Weight Adjustment Case(includes 10 weights) / Metal Weight Removal Device / interchangeable Mouse Chassis(Speed+Control) / Spare Teflon Feet Pads|
|Support OS||Windows XP/ Vista/ Windows 7|
Once out of the box the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton can be seen in all its glory; first impressions are that the mouse seems quite small and it soon becomes more apparent that the design is ambidextrous, with thumb buttons on both sides of the mouse. The ergonomics seem to lend itself to both a Claw (my grip) and a Palm style of grip which is good. The Krypton logo is somewhat gothic and a little in your face, a little more subtlety here may have been better! The mouse features a 1.8 metre nylon braided cord with a Gold-plated USB connector, although the cord does seem a little heavy duty…
Taking a look at the mouse from the front to the back we first find the illuminated (blue) scroll wheel. The wheel features a rubberized surface with very subtle clicks in its operation, making the wheel operation feel quite light. Behind this is the DPI switch that operates via a push pull switch; push forward to increase DPI and pull back to reduce DPI. Each of the four available DPI settings is a associated with the DPI level indicator LEDs that sit either side of the DPI switch, as you increase/decrease DPI the eight (four per side) LEDs illuminate (blue).
The top of the mouse features an Aivia logo on the left button as well as the more prominent Krypton logo at the back of the mouse. In addition to this the top of the mouse also has a rather nice matt rubberized surface that has a high level of grip for your finger tips (always good for when the action gets a little frantic!).
- Front / Back
The front of the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton is predictably featureless other than its 1.8 metre braided cord connection. The back of the mouse features a rather prominent ridge that runs down the back of the mouse highlighting the Krypton’s ambidextrous design. Again looking at the back of the mouse we see the less than subtle Krypton logo…
- Sides (left & right)
As you can see from the images above, the Krypton’s sides are identical (now that really is an ambidextrous design!). The side of the mouse features a nicely contoured thumb rest with ridges that help with grip, this section has effectively been inserted into the very side of the mouse and its surface is once again rubberized, to further support grip. Of course the issue here is that as the right side of the mouse is the same (I’m right handed BTW) the ergonomics of the mouse are never going to be optimal as the opposite side is not designed to support your ring and little fingers (we will have to see whether this affects comfort or control).
Near the front of the mouse is the illuminated profile switch that allows the user to switch between the 5 profiles available, these profiles are stored on the mouse by way of its 32KB on on-board memory. Each profile is associated with a colour, with 9 to choose from and the ability to turn it off should you wish.
The thumb buttons (found on both sides) feature the same rubberized surface as other parts of the mouse and seem to be perfectly placed for me (FYI: that’s a right handed claw grip with medium sized hands).
The underside of the mouse features the 8200 DPI Laser Sensor as well as the three glides. These glides are part of the Control Chassis and this chassis is fitted to the Krypton by default, an additional set of glides is also supplied. Looking carefully at the underside you can see that there is the word Slide at the back of the mouse, this enables the chassis to be removed, allowing the Speed Chassis to be fitted or allows configuration of the weight management system.
The two chassis on offer are the Speed Chassis: ‘Abrasion-free ceramic mouse feet provide extraordinary SPEED for immediate reactio’ (their typo not mine!) and the Control Chassis: ‘Ultra smooth Teflon feet pads ensure precise retaining CONTROL to hit your target’.
As you can see from the images below the weight management system comprises of a rather smart weight box and a handy weight extraction tool. A total of 10 weights are provided (x4 1.8grams & x6 5.3grams) and there are 10 positions within the chassis of the mouse to allow for optimal configuration. The layout of the weight sockets allows for weight configuration across two axis both left to right and forward and backward, which is good!
Overall I like the look of the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton, it came well presented, sports a raft of features and with the inclusion of the GHOST™ Macro Engine software it should pretty much tick all the right boxes for a top of the line Gaming mouse, we shall see…
The Gigabyte Aivia Krypton connects via its 1.8 metre braided cable and a single gold-plated USB connection.
The Gigabyte Aivia Krypton requires both Software and a Driver for full operation and this is not provided in the box (although this is now common!). The First step (Installation) in the User Guide calls for the GHOST™ software to be downloaded from the Gigabyte website, although no URL is given. The AIVIA GHOST™ MACRO ENGINE software can be found here.
Version 1.03 of the GHOST™ Macro Engine software was installed and no Firmware updates were available at the time of the review.
The Gigabyte Aivia Krypton was tested using my rig with a fresh installation of Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (service pack 1) installed together with all the latest relevant drivers and software.
The Krypton was tested using a Boogie Bug AimB.Pad “Extreme” XXL Gaming Mouse Surface (available here).
The following games were used to help in the evaluation of the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton :
- Blacklight Retribution
- Orcs Must Die
- Max Payne 3
I really enjoy reviewing mice as they really are so important when it comes to PC Gaming, without a decent mouse you’re sure to find yourself nearer the bottom than the top of the leader-board. I can tell you now that I Really enjoyed reviewing the Gigabyte Avia Krypton. Why, well that’s difficult, but I’ll try…
The first thing that I like about the mouse is also where one of it’s only faults lies and that’s in the ergonomics (how it feels in the hand!). My mouse grip would be considered to be a claw grip and for me this mouse seems to be perfect (obviously this is somewhat subjective), this is helped by its relatively small size (I would consider my hands to be of average size) and its distinct lack of any contours. What I mean by that is if you take a look at say the Razer Naga Hex for example, the mouse features lots of curves and contours that try to get you to hold the mouse in a specific way. Of course if you don’t hold it in that way, your overall comfort suffers.
The lack of any specific contours allows the Krypton to be more accessible as you can hold the mouse pretty much any way you want, it’s ambidextrous design further helps with this as the mouse is obviously symmetrical. Unfortunately therein lies the Krypton’s only real issue, in that as the design is ambidextrous, the right side of the mouse (for a right-handed Gamer, like myself) has no real support for your little finger, this allows the little finger to drag on the mouse mat a little more than normal. Now although I did notice this it wasn’t a problem and I soon found myself completely at home using the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton.
The thumb buttons seem particularly well placed and are a good size too (these I use a lot); I feel that you should always be able to rest your right hand thumb near the front thumb button and reach backward (bend your thumb!) for the other. If the button nearest your right thumb is the back button, you’ll have to try and reach forward for the other, this can sometimes result in you trying to over stretch your thumb, obviously resulting in a lack of control. So despite its ambidextrous design the ergonomics of the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton feels good to me…
The sides of the mouse also feature a well positioned rubberized insert that makes the mouse feel that it’s really part of your hand, especially as the other surfaces of the mouse feature a similar rubberized coating, your hand is very unlikely to slip off of this mouse!
The mouse wheel is fine in operation although being picky it might be a little on the light side, I would have preferred a more positive feel, where the clicks in the wheel gave a little more feedback.
The DPI switch is unusual and takes a little getting used to as there’s not two buttons (DPI up/down) as per the norm, but a single push/pull switch. Once you get used to the switch though it functions perfectly well, with the blue LED DPI indicators providing feedback as to which of the 4 DPI settings is enabled.
Of the two chassis provided I found the Control Chassis to be the best (but to be fair that’s the one that I ‘cut my teeth on’ too!), although I did use the Speed Chassis, I prefered the feel of the Control chassis as it felt more planted on the mouse mat.
As far as the weight system is concerned I found it to be one of the best that I have used, as there are lots of weights (10 in total (x4 1.8grams & x6 5.3grams)) and a good range of sockets to place them in. These weight sockets cover a good area of the mouse too, allowing for centre, left/right and fore/aft weight adjustment. I opted to fit 6 weights in all raising the original empty weight of 110grams to around 137grams.
As I thought in the Overview the 1.8 metre braided cord really is a little too stiff, it’s no deal breaker, but just covering some cable in nylon braid doesn’t make it perfect for gaming. The more flexible that cord can be the better…
As you can see from the image above the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton has its fair share of on-board lighting. The top 8 DPI indicators illuminate (blue only) showing which of the 4 user-definable DPI settings has been selected. The front illuminated indicator (red in the image above) not only illuminates to show which of the 5 Profiles is selected (via different colours) but also acts as the button to swap between the 5 Profiles (nice!). Each profile can be associated with its own colour with 9 to choose from, with the tenth being off!
In Game I found the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton to be pretty much flawless. My preferred setup for the Krypton for FPS games (Blacklight Retribution & Borderlands) was 1600DPI (much lower than I would normally use!) with a Report Rate of 1000Hz. During frantic moments and intense firefights the Krypton performed all of its tasks faultlessly; all movement whether fast or slow, small or large were tracked beautifully by the 8200DPI laser sensor; not once did I question the Krypton’s tracking or input!
The Gigabyte GHOST™ Macro Engine software needs to be downloaded, once installed it gives you access to the main Aivia software with links to both the Aivia Forum and the official Gigabyte website.
The main software is split into two main sections, these are outlined below.
- SOFTWARE (Profiles)
Clicking on the Profiles menu of the Gigabyte GHOST™ Macro Engine software takes you to the main Profile setup page, here you can see all of the buttons that can be programmed (9 in total). It’s important to take note of the colours near the top of the Profiles window as the highlighted colour shows what Profile is currently selected (red in the image below). This is a little too subtle, but once you’ve sussed it, it works perfectly well…
Once the selected button has been chosen you are then taken to the Basic programming Window that allows you to assign a number of pre-programmed commands (Cut, Paste, Media Player etc).
Clicking on the Macros menu takes you to another Window that allows for far more complex programming and Macros to be assigned. Up to 70 individual Macros can be programmed and then assigned; from there clicking EDIT allows for a new Macro to be created or and existing one to be edited.
I created a Blacklight Retribution Grenade throw Macro, that can be seen below. It’s a simple Macro that selects one of two available grenades (via keyboard keys 3 & 4), waits 750 milliseconds and then throws the grenade via the left mouse button. The delay needed to be added to allow for the in-game animation of selecting the grenade to complete before the grenade could be thrown.
- SOFTWARE (Settings)
Clicking on the Settings menu takes you to a Window where you can select one of six different settings.
The first setting takes you to the Manage Profiles screen where you can assign a colour to the each of the 5 profiles, edit the profile name and even disable the profile should you wish. The second option (Sensitivity) allows the user to assign a DPI level to any of the 4 available DPI settings from 200DPI to 8200 DPI in 200 increments, both X and Y axis can also be adjusted independently should you wish. I did notice here that although there was a Save button adjusting the DPI setting (and not saving) still left the assigned DPI, even after a re-boot! The third option (Wheel Settings) allows the user control over the sensitivity of the mouse wheel itself, in addition to this the brightness of the lighting within the wheel can also be adjusted.
Selecting Report Rate allows you to choose from various Report Rates (the speed of the communication between mouse and PC) settings from 125Hz to 1000Hz. The next option (from left to right) allows the Krypton to be toggled between left or right-hand operation, no screen is provided, just use the left and right mouse buttons to switch modes. The final option (Memory Setting) allows you to backup and restore the settings held on the mouse (within its 32KB memory) or even wipe the memory clean and perform what effectively is a factory reset.
Overall I found the Gigabyte GHOST™ Macro Engine software really easy to use and it seems to provide pretty much all of the options that you would want. There were a couple of bugs that I noticed but they were far from ‘show stoppers’. One was that you seem to be able to edit the Time delay in a macro but once saved the indicator seems to show the old value! Dragging another Time delay on to the page, adding your desired delay and deleting the old one worked fine though! The other was that certain options like DPI settings seem to get saved to the mouse without ever pressing the Save button!?
The Gigabyte Aivia Krypton has put in a really good showing here at pcGameware over the last couple of weeks and I have really enjoyed reviewing this mouse. The mouse was really well presented and packaged and gave the feeling that you were opening a premium product despite its very fair price (approx £56). The ability to swap chassis from Speed to Control is a novel one, although I’m not convinced that there’s a large difference between the two when it comes to feel (although this will also be effected by your choice of mouse mat).
The mouse feels really great in the hand not specifically because of its symmetrical shape, but because of its choice of rubberized materials used and the positions that they are in; the Krypton almost feels like it’s glued to you hand, and that’s a good thing! The ambidextrous design does of course not suit right or left handers perfectly, as the shape is obviously slightly compromised, but overall the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton feels great, the only niggle being that it allows your little finger to drag a touch more than normal. But on the other hand (haha!) a least the shape doesn’t force a style of grip upon you, you can pretty much hold the Krypton any way you like. Other niggles are that the braided nylon cord is a little on the heavy side and that the software seems to have a couple of small bugs in it (but none of this impacts the performance of the mouse).
As far as performance goes the Aivia Krypton performed its duties beautifully, throughout the time I used the Krypton it did everything I asked, not once did I find myself questioning the mouse’s input or tracking. Programming the mouse was a simple affair and it’s great that the programming is held on-board the mouse itself courtesy of its 32KB of memory, this can even be backed up to a file and restored.
I’m a little surprised to be honest as Gigabyte (AFAIK known for its motherboards) have produced such a stunning Gaming mouse with the Aivia Krypton, I’m really impressed and I take my hat off to them. Overall then a great gaming mouse for all grip types and for left and right handers too, couple this with great performance, tracking and the excellent software Gigabyte have a great gaming mouse in their arsenal. With a very fair price (at the time of writing) of around £56 it’s even good value…