Gigabyte Raptor Mouse Review
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a Gaming mouse from Gigabyte, the last one I saw was the extremely impressive Gigabyte Uranium, that walked away with a Gold award! Today I will be taking a look at their latest Gaming mouse, the Gigabyte Raptor.
The Gigabyte Raptor is a left-handed (although in design it seems ambidextrous) mouse that’s been specifically designed for a Claw style of grip and with FPS Gamers in mind. In fact the Raptor was designed by the winner of the 2013 Gigabyte Mouse Design Competition.
The Raptor features an Optical sensor with a maximum sensitivity of 4000 DPI. In addition to this the mouse has nine fully programmable buttons via Gigabyte’s Ghost software, a dedicated Sniper button (on both sides!?), DPI control with four user definable settings (inc DPI indicator), it features five built in Profiles and comes with a weight management system.
The Gigabyte Raptor came in a smart black box with a large image of the Raptor on the front. The front gives very little else away, other than the fact that the mouse has been designed for FPS Gaming.
The back of the box highlights various features of the Gigabyte Raptor:
The side of the box provides various technical specifications (see image above).
Opening the (Velcro secured) lid of the box allows us to see the Raptor within (wow it looks small!) and its associated Weight Management System. On the opposite side of the lid there’s a description of the Raptor’s design and its heritage. This mouse is actually based upon the winning design of Gigabyte’s 2013 Mouse Design Competition. Outlined here is also the fact the Gigabyte Raptor has been designed specifically for FPS Gamers…
Removing the inner plastic cover allows us to take a closer look at the Gigabyte Raptor and its associated Weight Management System.
There’s very little in the box, other than the Raptor there’s the aforementioned Weight Management System and a Quick Guide.
At the time of writing the Gigabyte Raptor is retailing for approximately £55 (although it’s a little hard to track down at this time) and comes with a two year warranty.
courtesy of Gigabyte
|Report Rate||1000 Hz|
|Frame Rate||6400 frames/ second|
|Maximum Tracking Speed||60 inches/ second|
|Scrolling||Standard Scrolling Wheel|
|Switch Life (L/R click)||10 Million Times|
|Weight||85g~107g (±5g) customizable|
|Packing Content||Tuning weights & case
Users’ quick guide(English)
|OS Support||Windows XP 32bit/Vista / Win 7 /8|
First impressions of the Gigabyte Raptor are; wow it’s small and that’s one busy looking mouse. Looking at it I think the Raptor might just be the smallest mouse that I have ever reviewed and at first it also feels a little odd in the hand due to its size. Despite the ambidextrous appearance the Gigabyte Raptor it is actually a right-handed mouse!
Looking at the Gigabyte Raptor from above we can see that even the top of the mouse is relatively busy, especially when you compare it to something like a SteelSeries Sensei. At the front we have the usual right/left buttons with an illuminated (blue when on) scroll wheel in the centre. The scroll wheel is equipped with a nice rubber surface and is pleasant to use, although I would say the graduations are a little too subtle for my liking. Behind the scroll wheel we find two buttons these are for adjusting the DPI up/down, 50 to 4000 DPI is supported. The back section is dominated by what could be described as two crescent shapes, the larger one is for grip and is rubberised. The smaller one is actually the main Profile indicator with various colours supported, across five Profiles.
- Front / Back
At the front of the Gigabyte Raptor we can see the smart red base of the mouse along with the central scroll wheel. Attached to the left side of the mouse there’s a 1.8 metre braided cable.
Looking at the back of the mouse it seems pretty cool looking, although there’s a definite case of form over function here; it’s all angles, different surfaces and colours. You can also see the somewhat ambidextrous design of the Raptor, even though it is a right-handed mouse!?
- Sides (left & right)
Now while both the left and the right sides of the Gigabyte Raptor look the same, they’re not! Well actually the shape is the same but there are no thumb buttons on the right side!? In a way it’s rather odd that the Raptor isn’t an ambidextrous mouse…
On the left and the right side of the mouse we have a central rubber grip section similar to the top of the mouse, in addition to this both sides also feature a Sniper button (red) that is normally used to reduce DPI on the fly, usually while sniping. The left hand side of the Raptor has two well placed thumb buttons, in front of which are four blue LED indicators to show the currently selected DPI.
The underside of the Raptor looks particularly cool with its red surface, slightly forward of centre we have the 4000 DPI Optical sensor, around the outside we have four main glides; two at the front and two nearer the back on the sides. Behind the sensor we have a lift-up flap that allows access to the Raptor’s Weight Management System.
The Gigabyte Raptor’s Weight Management System consists of a small circular weight box that contains six weights; there are three 5.3g weights and three 1.8g weights. With no weights added the Raptor weights in at a featherweight 90g, I found that adding three weights (x1 5.3g & x1 1.8g) was just about enough to give the Raptor a little more substance.
At this point I’m pretty impressed with the Raptor and what it offers, the only oddity is its left-handed nature considering the almost perfect ambidextrous design and the rather small ((L)118 (W)71 (H)38 mm) overall size. Yes perfect for a Claw or Fingertip grip but not so perfect for my bastardized Claw/Palm grip. I guess we will see…
|The Gigabyte Raptor connects by way of its 1.8 metre braided cable and a single Gold plated USB plug.|
The Gigabyte Raptor was tested using our Test 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 latest version of the Gigabyte Ghost software was downloaded (here) and installed, version 1.0.8 was used throughout testing.
The Gigabyte Raptor was tested using a OcUK Mega-Mega Mat 3XL Elite Tactical Gaming Surface.
The following games were used to help in the evaluation of the mouse:
With the Gigabyte Raptor fired up and the Ghost software installed it was time to take a quick operations check of the mouse. After checking the default Profile, its associated default DPI (1600) and adjusting some of the other settings it was time for some Gaming (or is that testing).
But before testing started I noticed something rather odd (well actually it was pcG Mike); the illumination for the selected Profile is indicated by the colour of the small crescent shape on the back of the mouse. The default colours are (Blue, Red, Green, Orange & Purple), the oddity is that the Raptor seems a little incapable of displaying some of these colours properly. Blue, Red and Green are fine, but orange has a large tint of red and the purple is too similar to Blue. These colours can be adjusted via the Ghost software, but the default setup is a little poor…
Initially I had reservations over the size and the slightly strange design (as the mouse appears to be an ambidextrous, left-handed mouse!?) of the Gigabyte Raptor. Especially as the mouse has been designed for a Claw style of grip and I tend to use a hybrid of Claw/Palm. But I have to admit over time (a week or so) I did warm to its shape and actually found it far more comfortable than I initially thought. But it is still a little too small for my liking and grip style as there’s so little mouse here to support the back of your hand. Although I have to admit that the thumb buttons seem beautifully placed for me, which is kind of nice! 😉
Once used to the ergonomics of the Gigabyte Raptor and once in-game I actually rather warmed to the little Raptor. After adjusting the default Polling Rate up from 500Hz to 1000Hz I found that precision was good and so was the tracking. In-game in Survarium I had no cause for complaint with the mouse tracking all moves regardless of whether it was a fast paced fire-fight or a long distance sniper shot. During simpler slower games (with high levels of repetition) like Defence Grid 2 the Raptor also performed it duties well.
Although general in-game tracking was good I would have to say that I always had an underlying thought that it wasn’t as good as some other high precision mice that I have used recently (most notably the SteelSeries Sensei). Now this could be down to the ergonomics/shape/size of the Raptor or maybe just the difference in sensor technology Optical/Laser. It was kind of strange as I couldn’t really put my finger on it (haha) during my week long test period, and I felt that I should still share this thought with you…
It’s been a while since I have used Gigabyte’s Ghost software but little seems to have changed in the last year or so. That’s no bad thing as the Ghost software is actually pretty slick, although it’s looking a little more dated now and I think it might be time for a small overhaul.
- SOFTWARE – (RAPTOR/PROFILES/SETTINGS)
When the software is launched for the first time you’re presented with the Ghost’s main RAPTOR screen (below left), here you can select any compatible Gigabyte Device (in our case the Raptor), go to the Forum, Gigabyte’s website or check for the latest software update.
Selecting Profiles allows you to programme any of the Raptor’s main nine buttons (eleven if you count scroll forward/backward). SEE ASSIGN below for further details.
The Settings tab takes you to another screen where there’s a plethora of options from DPI settings to Polling Rate and from colour changing Profiles through to Factory Resets, Backups and Restore. All of these are outlined below.
- SOFTWARE – (MANAGE PROFILES/SENSITIVITY/WHEEL SETTINGS/REPORT RATE/MEMORY SETTINGS)
Looking at the main SETTINGS Tab the first option (MANAGE PROFILES) allows for simple Profile management, here you can re-name any of the five supported Profiles, enable/disable them and change their associated colours. There are ten colours to choose from but the Raptor seems to have difficulty reproducing them accurately which is a shame! The SENSITIVITY tab allows you to change any of the four DPI settings, independent X and Y settings are supported and the DPI can be adjusted from 50-4000 DPI in 50 DPI increments. On the WHEEL SETTINGS tab you can manipulate how many lines the wheels scrolls through per graduation (it’s also worth mentioned again here, that those graduations are a little difficult to spot as the click is a little too subtle!). The REPORT RATE tab allows you to adjust the Report Rate from 125Hz to 1000Hz in some of the strangest Steps I have ever seen (166Hz/333Hz!?), best to leave it on 1000Hz as far as I’m concerned! Finally we have the MEMORY SETTINGS tab, here you can clear the Raptor’s Memory or Backup or Restore.
The only real oddity here is that each function has its own tab, to be fair a lot of this could be bundled into a single tab, making the software a little slicker and no doubt easier to use…
Editing one of the programmable buttons takes you to the tab below left. Here you can assign BASIC mouse and Windows functions a well as apply simple KEY MAPPING and MACROS. Selecting the MACROS option takes you to the final tab (below right) here you can record your Macros (with both mouse and keyboard being supported). Macros can be recorded in real time, recorded with a fixed user defined delay or edited after recording is complete. Macros can also be managed, with support for up to 70 (that’s a strange number!) and the ability to Export and Import Macros to/from disk.
The Gigabyte Raptor may well be the most focused Claw grip FPS mouse that we have ever seen here at pcG, and there’s no doubt that it’s a good mouse, but that focus is so specific it might be a mouse that you’ll want to try before you buy…
The Gigabyte Raptor came to pcG in a smart black box with the contents well packaged. Lifting the lid of the box allows you to see that there’s more than just a Gaming mouse in here. There’s a cool little weight box too, obviously then the Raptor also has some weight management which I think is always nice to see. Especially so in the case of the Raptor, as it’s so small and light at just 90g with no weights!
It was the ergonomics of the Raptor that gave me the most cause for concern, mainly due to its diminutive size. This has to be one of the smallest mice tested here at pcG. It’s also rather odd that it would be an ambidextrous mouse if there were thumb buttons on the right side of the mouse, but there isn’t! Odd in the fact that apart from the aforementioned the mouse is identical left and right, even the Sniper button appears on the right side as well as the left!? Actually there’s no DPI indicator on the right either, but you get the idea…
The Raptor is also especially designed for a Claw style of grip, and I have to admit to having a somewhat hybrid grip of Claw/Palm. So for me I found the mouse a little difficult to get used to, but over a week or so I did. When in use I found the tracking of the Raptor to be very good, but I would have to say it’s not the best that I’ve tested. It was a strange feeling but I never felt 100% comfortable with the tracking (I think I was about 98%), I’m unsure if it was the ergonomics of the Raptor and my associated grip, or the fact that this is a Optical mouse and not a laser…
There’s also an issue with the illumination at the back of the Raptor that’s used to ascertain the Profile that you have selected. The issue being that some colours (although selectable via the Ghost software) the Raptor struggles to reproduce accurately, with the main culprits being (orange, yellow & purple).
Overall the Gigabyte Ghost software is a joy to use it’s simple and features pretty much all of the functions that the average and Pro Gamer needs. But it’s beginning to look a little dated now and I think it’s time for a little bit of an overhaul.
Pricing in the U.K. (at the time of review) is difficult to ascertain as is stock, but from my understanding the Gigabyte Raptor will be retailing for approximately £50 – £60.
Overall the Gigabyte Raptor is a solid Gaming mouse, that’s specifically designed for a Claw grip and First Person Shooters; if this sounds like you then you’ll likely find the Raptor to be you’re perfect gaming partner. But if you’re unsure about the Claw/FPS specifics you may want to look elsewhere.
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Many thanks to Gigabyte for providing this sample for review