Gigabyte Force M7 Thor Mouse Review
As some of you may know my current Gaming mouse of choice is the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton; a high end Gaming mouse costing around £55. The reason that I open with that statement is that today I will be taking a look at a mouse from Gigabyte that sits at the other end of the scale. The Gigabyte Force M7 Thor is still a Gaming mouse, but at around £25 it’s easily the cheapest mouse that we have ever tested here at pcGameware.
The Gigabyte Force M7 Thor is a laser gaming mouse with 5 programmable buttons, on the fly DPI switching and a 600DPI sensor, not bad for £25!
The Thor came well packaged in a black box with a clear plastic window allowing you to see the mouse within. The front of the box highlights the Force M7 Thor as a 6000DPI Pro-laser Gaming Mouse.
The back of the box highlights the Ultra Durable Key Switches, Gold plated USB Connector and the 5 Programmable buttons. Below this Gigabyte goes on to describe:
- POWERED BY 6000DPI ADVANCED GAMING LASER SENSOR
- ERGONOMIC GRIP WITH IDEAL SHAPE FOR COMFORTABLE GAMEPLAY
- 3-STAGE DPI ADJUSTMENT
The side of the box lists the following and also the Thor’s specifications (see Specifications/Features below for more detail).
- POWERED BY 6000DPI ADVANCED GAMING LASER SENSOR
- TRACKING CAPABILITY UP TO 12000FPS
- MOUSE TRACKING SPEED UP TO 150IPS
Once out of the box it’s easy to see the right handed-design of the Force M7 Thor, although the design/shape seems ambidextrous the thumb buttons are only on the left.
There’s not much in the box other than the mouse itself, not even a User-Guide!
At the time of this review the Gigabyte Force M7 Thor is retailing for approximately £25 and comes with a 2 year warranty.
courtesy of Gigabyte
|Tracking System||Advanced Laser Sensor|
|Sensitivity||6000dpi (The hardware based sensitivity up to 5600dpi)|
|Frame Rate||150 inches/second|
|Maximum Tracking Speed||12,000 frames/second|
|Cable Length||1.8m/Gold-plated USB connector|
|Support OS||Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7|
|Switch Life (L/R click)||5 million times (Left/right click)|
First Impressions of the Gigabyte Force M7 Thor are very good, especially when you consider that this is a budget Gaming mouse. The materials used on the surface of the mouse are of the soft touch/rubberised type and no hard plastics are to be found anywhere. Overall the mouse appears to be well designed and built. As mentioned earlier the Force M7 Thor is clearly designed for right handers, with only two thumb buttons found on the left of the mouse. The Thor also features an prominent ergonomic shape that will lend itself to users who use a Palm Grip (my grip seems to be somewhere between Palm & Claw), although, even to me it feels quite comfortable in the hand. The only thing that appears to be missing is the use of a braided cable, but then at this price one shouldn’t complain, perhaps…
The top of the mouse features a nice soft touch/rubberised coating and, somewhat obviously, the two main Left/Right buttons. A small Gigabyte logo can also be found in the corner of the left button. In the centre we find a rubberised scroll wheel; the wheel seems to feature a small/light click, but it’s so slight that it’s really almost unnoticeable when used. But the wheel still requires a decent amount of operational force, which is good and appears to be perfectly usable. Behind the wheel we find the DPI selection switch; 3 DPI settings are available and the DPI is user definable via the Gigabyte Force software (see below or more detail). By default these settings are (5600/1600 & 800 DPI); each setting is then highlighted by the three blue LED indicators that can be found behind the switch. The back of the mouse itself features what appears to be lightning with the word Thor written through the middle, looks quite cool too.
- Front / Back
There’s not much to see at the front of the Gigabyte Force M7 Thor, but you can see the connection to the 1.8 metre non-braided cable.
The back of the mouse is dominated by, the Thor logo and its associated lightning.
- Sides (left & right)
The left side of this Right Handed mouse has two well placed thumb buttons, below which is an ergonomic area sculpted into the body of the mouse, as an area to rest your thumb. The buttons feature a really definite click and feel very positive when used.
The right side of the mouse is the same shape as the left, almost suggesting that the mouse was originally designed to be ambidextrous!? Maybe they wanted to keep the cost down (this is a budget Gaming mouse afterall) and decided not to install another couple of buttons on the right.
On the underside of the Gigabyte Force M7 Thor we see three large glides, two at the top and one at the back. In the centre we can see the 6000DPI Laser sensor.
First impressions of the Gigabyte Force M7 Thor are extremely good, the mouse seems to be well designed and of a high quality, impressive for its price. There’s a decent amount of buttons, on-the-fly DPI switching and even some software too. This is going to be interesting; now let’s see how it performs…
The Gigabyte Force M7 Thor connects via its 1.8 metre flexible cable and Gold-plated USB connection.
At first I was under the impression that there was no software for the Gigabyte Force M7 Thor, as there is no mention of it in the instructions (in fact, there is no instructions or user guide!). But on the back of the box and the bottom, there’s mention of an application that can be downloaded from the Gigabyte website. The Application can be downloaded here and allows the buttons to be programmed and the three DPI settings to be customised.
Version 1.0 of the Gigabyte Force software was downloaded and installed.
After a reboot I unfortunately ran into a problem, the mouse, that was plugged into the USB 2.0 socket of my Gigabyte Aivia Osmium keyboard, wasn’t working! After a couple more reboots, the mouse was still not working, unplugging the mouse and plugging it back in resolved the issue, but only until the next reboot. Plugging the mouse into the USB 3.0 port of the Gigabyte Osmium also worked, even after a reboot! Plugging the mouse directly into My Test Rig (USB 2.0 or USB 3.0) also worked perfectly. It would appear that the Aivia Software for the Osmium doesn’t play perfectly with the Force software for the Thor, as when no Aivia software is installed there’s also no problem. Something for Gigabyte to take a look at here, I think…
For the Review, the mouse was plugged directly into a USB 2.0 socket on my motherboard (ASRock Fatal1ty Z77 Professional) and no more issues were encountered.
The Gigabyte Force M7 Thor 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 Thor was tested using a Boogie Bug AimB.Pad “Extreme” XXL Gaming Mouse Surface (available here). I normally use a mouse bungee (CM Storm Skorpion), but I found that the Thor cable to be a little too stiff, rendering the bungee a little useless.
The following games were used to help in the evaluation of the Gigabyte Force M7 Thor:
- Borderlands 2
- Ghost Recon Online
- Battlefield 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. So it has come as a bit of a shock to find myself really enjoying the Gigabyte Force M7 Thor, not because I didn’t think it would be any good, I just didn’t expect it to be this good, especially when you consider a retail price of around £25!
At first the design seems a little odd, it’s clearly designed for right handers, but seems to have an ambidextrous shape. This shape also lends itself to a palm style of grip, when I tend to use a more claw style of grip. Yet I found myself to be comfortable with the mouse in under an hour. The Thor is extremely light and obviously doesn’t contain any weight system, weighing in at just 105 grams, it’s probably the lightest mouse I’ve tested. The buttons are well placed although the forward of the two thumb buttons is a little too far forward for my liking/grip.
From a performance view the Gigabyte Force M7 Thor, performed extremely well! The first test that I did was in Battlefield 3, a Game I haven’t played for a number of weeks! After some 30 mins or so the game was over, and my name was at the top of the leader-board for the winning team. Not necessarily a testament to my skills, but a good sign that the Thor is a damn good mouse.
In other Games such as Ghost Recon Online and Borderlands 2 the Thor performed faultlessly, with good tracking and no sign of any input lag. Overall from a performance view the Thor seems as good as my default mouse of choice the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton, a mouse costing over twice as much!
The Gigabyte Force software can be downloaded here; once installed it allows the user to program any four (left click cannot be programmed) of the five buttons and also provides the ability to user define the DPI value for each of the three levels supported.
- SOFTWARE (Button Assign)
Looking at the software from top to bottom, the area at the top (Button Assign) allows the user to program any of the 4 available buttons. This is just a case of clicking in the appropriate drop down box for the button you wish to program and selecting the action that you want. Various actions are available from assigning a keyboard command, to Cut/Paste and Volume control for example. No Macro programming is supported.
- SOFTWARE (Sensitivity)
The lower section (Sensitivity) allows the user to assign a DPI setting to any of the three available settings. This can be done by selecting the setting within the software or via the DPI switch onthe mouse itself. Once the desired setting has been selected the DPI can be assigned from 400 to 6000 DPI in 400 DPI increments. Not quite sure why the increments are so large, would have been nicer to see this at 100-200 DPI, giving a little finer control.
There’s no denying it, at around £25 I think the Gigabyte Force M7 Thor mouse is a bit of a bargain. The mouse came well packaged with little else (EDIT: nothing!) in the box save the mouse, although this obviously keeps the cost down. The Force software (at £25 I actually expected none!) can be downloaded from the Gigabyte website and allows the user to set up some basic keyboard bindings etc and also gives control over the three available DPI settings.
I found the Thor to be comfortable to use despite the fact that it has been designed for a Palm style of Grip as opposed to a Claw style of grip, which is what I tend to use. It’s a shame that the 1.8 metre cable is a little stiff, but to be fair I’m nitpicking considering the price.
At this point we have all we need for a good gaming mouse; it’s comfortable, it has DPI switching and button programming, all we need now is good performance and the Gigabyte Force M7 Thor will be claiming a big award!
On the performance front the Thor delivers as well, throughout all of my testing, using various DPI settings the Thor never let me down. Most impressive of all was the first test that saw me in Battlfield 3 for the first time in weeks, and the Gigabyte Force M7 Thor helped me get straight to that number one spot. I’m not sure I need to say much more than that…
But I will, I’ll leave you with one last thought; the Gigabyte Force M7 Thor has now made it difficult to justify spending much more than £25 on a good Gaming mouse and I never thought that I would say that.
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Many thanks to Gigabyte for providing this sample for review