Mouse: Logitech's G9
Today’s average gaming mice are significantly cheaper than the gaming keyboards we just looked at. Moreover, they're very often more comfortable than many of the bundled mice you'll find with pre-built machines.
Gaming mouse manufacturers compete in an arms race based on higher-DPI sensitivity, more programmable buttons, and even various weights you can plant in the device's innards. But the big question is whether a gaming mouse priced at $50 or more will actually improve the way you rgame. To answer that question, I compared Logitech’s G9, Razer’s Lachesis, Microsoft's SideWinder X3, and Gigabyte's new GM-M8000 Ghost to a standard Dell USB mouse.
Instead of the typical rounded-oval style that marked Logitech's MX518 and G5 gaming mice, the G9 has a more rectangular design. The mouse features changeable cover plates called "grips," and while the mouse ships with the silken precision grip installed, I found the rough texture of the wide load grip to be more suited to gaming. Regardless, the interchangeable grips mean that Logitech gets to sell peripherals for its peripherals, giving gamers a way to customize their mice.
Cosmetics aside, the G9 comes with a small tin of weights you can load into the bottom of the mouse. Simply remove the weight tray, install the weights needed for maximum comfort, and pop the tray back in. The position of the weights is entirely up to personal preference, so don't waste your time searching around the Web looking for the optimal configuration. It's all about making the mouse balanced, heavier, or lighter depending on how you plan to use it.
You can use Logitech’s SetPoint software to configure multiple profiles for different games. If you prefer the mouse set to its maximum 3,200 DPI, with its indicator LEDs glowing red, and the thumb buttons programmed with specific macros for a certain game, you can configure that profile. You can just as easily switch to another game and change profiles so the mouse operates at 2,000 DPI, shows yellow LEDs, and the thumb buttons remain unprogrammed. Switching on the fly is incredibly easy, and because you can ascribe an LED color to each profile, you always know which profile you're using. You can use a switch on the G9’s bottom to toggle between Logitech's usual click-type scrolling and smooth, friction-free scrolling.
Being a fan of the original Logitech G5, I thought I wouldn't care for the G9’s redesign, but I actually found it comfortable and easy to game with. The range of DPI selections was impressive, but I found myself settling into a specific sensitivity setting and staying there regardless of what game I played. Logitech recently released a G9 revision called the G9x, which boosts the laser's sensitivity to 5,000 DPI, but leaves the rest of the mouse unchanged. The G9 costs about $50 these days, while the G9x runs almost twice that much.