• Log In
  • Register


Comment Karma






Build Guides


Completed Builds



Dec. 2, 2015, 12:51 p.m.

About cheeseandram


I originally joined this site in December 2015, which is surprising as I have less comments than most of the newer members on this site (as of writing). Back then, I was excited to begin making partlists, looking at different parts and how they worked, and the build guides section (when community made build guides were a thing) really interested me. Unfortunately, I rushed everything from the start, and I began to contribute to the build guides section - my part lists were REALLY bad.

It kind of amazes me that back then, I'd be typing something on this site on an old workstation laptop, and now I'm here with a (low end by todays standards) overclocked gaming PC, typing on a mechanical keyboard. I love the freedom you get once you upgrade to a better computer, as it allows you to do a variety of things that your previous computer couldn't do.

I began to talk on the forums, and all of a sudden, I had more knowledge. I could start helping people out. I did PLOW stuff. I did CAPLFM stuff. I joined OT. I made build guides. I submitted a completed build (which is down right now, but there will be one up in January once some new stuff arrives for it).

Unfortunately, I became busy, and now I'm a slightly less active member. Since then, Kaby Lake, Ryzen and Vega came out, along with all kinds of other new platforms. Word of warning: anything after Pascal or Skylake - I know next to nothing about whether they're good or not. Everything keeps changing, and keeping up with it all gets annoying.

Tips and stuff

Choosing a mouse

When choosing a mouse, you need to ask yourself:

  1. Budget? - How much are you willing to spend?

  2. Use? - What sort of games do you play? MOBAs? FPS? MMOs?

  3. Shape? - What grip style do you use, and would you call your hands small, medium or large?

The types of games you play give you a good idea of what sort of features you need. An FPS player needs a mouse with a powerful sensor and good weight distribution, capable of performing quick movements without cutting out and tracking pixel by pixel movement. The sensors you need to be looking for in an FPS mouse are the Pixart PMW3360 and 3366 sensors, as these excel at tracking fast movements. If your budget isn't that high, there are alternatives such as the PMW3988 and 3310, which aren't as capable as the 3360 and 3366 but are still very good sensors. Avoid the Razer Mamba (both versions) and Razer Abyssus 2014 at all costs. The sensors in these mice are absolute garbage.

An MMO or RTS player would obviously need a large amount of buttons, with good mechanical switches underneath in order to provide tactile feedback with good responsiveness. The buttons would also have to be in good range to prevent the user from changing their hand position entirely in order. Sensors aren't as important for MMO/RTS players however I would still recommend avoiding laser sensors as they have acceleration. Ergonomics are also important for an MMO/RTS/MOBA player, notably if the user plays games that go on for a long time.

Ergonomics are probably the most important thing to consider when choosing a gaming mouse. Measuring your hand and finding out your grip style (palm, claw, fingertip, or a hybrid) can give you a good idea at what sort of mouse size you are looking at. There are also mice which use a "safe shape" - this is where there is a hump towards the back, a gradual button slope and a slight tilt towards the right (assuming the mouse is a right handed mouse, that is). You can see examples of this in mice such as the Corsair M65 and Steelseries Rival 300. These shapes will work with literally any grip style. If you aren't sure, go into a computer store and try one out.

With all that said, my top 3 recommendations for gaming mice would be:

  • Corsair M65 Pro RGB (3360 sensor, safe shape, aimed at people with medium hands, 8 programmable buttons)

  • Logitech G502 (3366 optical sensor, fantastic ergonomics, aimed at people with medium-large hands, 11 programmable buttons)

  • Corsair Scimitar RGB (3988 optical sensor, sort of safe shape??, aimed at people with small-medium hands, 17 programmable buttons with a slider for the side buttons to ensure good ergonomics)

Why the Razer Diamondback is NOT worth it

The Diamondback uses the same sensor as the Naga Chroma and the Mamba, which is a terrible sensor. To make matters worse, the ergonomics are, to put it lightly, garbage. Ever used those weird Dell server mice which are really narrow? Yeah, its like that.

Choosing a mechanical switch

Cherry are the most well known manufacturer of mechanical keyswitches, and their switches are most commonly found in mid-high end keyboards. Most of the more expensive boards are populated by Topre keyboards, specifically the ones with Topre Variable switches. The cheaper boards, mainly the ones in the $40-70 range, will usually have Cherry MX "knockoff" switches. The majority of these are by no means "cheapo switches which break within seconds of purchase", in fact, they are very good and in some cases (e.g Gateron switches) they are actually of a better quality than Cherry switches. (Oh and by the way, the 2016 Razer Green switch is manufactured by Greetech)

I'll mainly be talking about Cherry switches, as the knockoff switches tend to be VERY similar to Cherry switches and usually a knockoff Blue switch will look and feel just like a normal Blue switch, just like how a knockoff Red switch will look and feel just like a normal Red switch.

The 2 main things that determine how a switch feels and sounds are the stem and the spring. The stem (the thing that sticks out of the switch into the keycap) will determine the feedback and sound of the switch and the spring determines the weight of the switch, i.e how much force you need in order to actuate the switch.

Linear stems have NO noticeable feedback apart from a small amount of resistance which isn't noticeable unless you press the switch down very slowly. These switches are popular among the competitive FPS community as it means that the feedback will not get into their way as they press the key. The three main types of linear Cherry switches are the Cherry MX Red, Cherry MX Speed and Cherry MX Black. The Cherry MX Red uses a light 45g spring whereas the Cherry MX Black uses a heavier spring and on some occasions has a Cherry MX Super Black switch under the space bar which requires nearly twice as much force as the Cherry MX Black. The Speed switch is new to the scene but has a higher actuation point than the Red switch. There are also Silent switches which use the same design as a Cherry MX Red but are much quieter.

Tactile stems have a little bump on them which creates the feeling of a bump as the actuation point is reached. Tactile switches are very popular among typists who need feedback to make sure a key has registered and don't want a loud audible switch. The two main types of tactile Cherry switch are the Cherry MX Brown and Cherry MX Clear. Again, the Brown switch is a light switch, the Clear is a very heavy switch. Pick your poison.

Audible stems are like tactile stems but also have a separate piece attached which is launched down as the switch hits its actuation point, causing the key to click. Typists and gamers love these switches because they are extremely satisfying to type and game on. The Cherry MX Blue is of a medium weight whereas the Cherry MX Green, which is rarer, has a heavier spring.

Topre Variable switches which are found in expensive keyboards can have a variable actuation point. They are great for typing, providing similar feedback to a Cherry MX Blue but much quieter, and instead of completing a circuit, they register the keystroke electronically.

Why the Mercury sensor (G402, G102, G203) is a top sensor

Similar to the 3366, the Mercury sensor has no visible sensor smoothing at all DPI steps. Sensor smoothing is similar to acceleration, in that it "enhances" tracking, however it is not good in competitive shooters. To put it simply, it detects movements that it thinks are not part of the intended movement, and smooths it out. I know that was a bad explanation, so I'll give you an example. Let's say you are moving your mouse in a curve. Mouse smoothing will detect any "bumps" in the movement and smooth out the curve for you, giving you smooth movements on screen. In applications that require raw input and accuracy, such as competitive FPS and graphics design, this is a bad thing, as it makes the movement more artificial and reduces the accuracy, and that 1:1 feeling of the mouse. This also messes with muscle memory, and makes movements like flick shots in FPS titles a lot more difficult to master.

The fact that it takes time for the sensor to analyse frames also introduces latency to the equation, which creates input lag. This is especially noticeable on high framerates and high refresh rates such as 144Hz and 240Hz.

Once you compare the Mercury sensor to the 3360, in which the smoothing increases from 2 frame (0.4ms) to 32 frame smoothing (6.4ms) at 2100DPI, the difference is phenomenal (keep in mind that 6.4ms is a lot of time and thus creates more input lag)

^ I'm still working on this guide, as I want to become more familiar with sensor smoothing. It is quite confusing lol