Page 2 - A Closer Look - Hardware and Software
While my daily driver mouse, the Func MS-2, was designed to be simple and clean, the G.Skill Ripjaws MX780 RGB takes a different approach. On first glance, the mouse is edgy, with a lot of gamer-centric looks. In fact, it reminds me of a mouse from Mat Catz, fitting with their R.A.T. series. Things look a bit modular, and this is somewhat true. The body of the mouse is symmetrical, with only the side grips not being the same on both sides, but you can change this, as you will see soon enough. The mouse area directly in contact with your hand is coated with a soft rubber-like surface, which again is something all manufacturers should do in my opinion. In addition, the side grips are given a slight random-seeming rough pattern, which increases the users' ability to grip the mouse. The matte finish is average in hiding fingerprints. While marks from daily usage will not appear, dirt and debris will show up on the mouse, especially if eating and gaming is your thing. Other areas of the mouse are silver-like, and look almost metallic, but it is still plastic. Several translucent areas are on the mouse, and all of these are RGB LEDs, as indicated by the product name. Looking at the shape of the mouse, the G.Skill Ripjaws MX780 RGB is a bit more rounded at the back, with its hump near the middle. This will encourage a palm-like grip when utilizing the mouse, but I will explain this later on. Overall, the design and aesthetics are okay. I think the gaming look is a bit too edgy, but if you are into this sort of thing, it is not bad.
As for dimensions, the Ripjaws MX780 has a few more numbers than the standard width, length, and height. This is because there are different side grips you can employ, which vary the overall width. Therefore, with the smallest grips, the mouse is 130m x 70mm x 38mm (L x W x H). With the largest side grips, the width increases to 93mm. The MX780 is the same height as the previously reviewed Gigabyte Force M63. One thing G.Skill has implemented is the varying of height at the back of the mouse. This does not necessarily change the maximum dimensions of the mouse itself, but it does change the height at the back. In terms of weight, the G.Skill Ripjaws MX780 RGB comes in at 111g, but it can be increased to 120g with the two included 4.5g weights. At the top of the mouse in the middle, a braided cable extends out, with a rubber end for protection. The cable measures 180cm in length, and feels quite free in terms of movement. The end of the plug is gold plated, which looks fancy, but will not change the performance of the mouse.
From this image above, you can see almost all of the G.Skill Ripjaws MX780 RGB's buttons. As this is a symmetrical mouse; the only buttons missing from the image are the ones on the other side of the mouse, but they are the exact same as the left side. There are the two main buttons, with a scroll wheel squashed in between. The left and right click buttons have Omron switches underneath, with a twenty million clicks endurance rating. The scroll wheel is etched with a center line in the middle, and with ridges on the side. Unfortunately, there is no side scrolling on this wheel, and this is something I think every mouse should have. The wheel is also notched, so users will get a tactile feedback, unlike Logitech's "frictionless" scroll wheel. Underneath the scroll wheel is a large button, which is defaulted as a DPI cycle. I would have much preferred to see two buttons to increase or decrease the DPI settings instead. Finally, on the left side of the mouse are two more buttons, which are defaulted to Forward and Back. This is the same as the right side of the mouse, except those ones are disabled by default. All of these buttons, even the scroll wheel, can be changed in G.Skill's utility. As for layout, I found the forward and backward buttons to be just a tad too forward biased, and thus it was just slightly out of my reach. I think the Func MS-2's T+4 zone implementation was an excellent one, but this will vary from user to user.
In addition to the buttons, there are some LED lighting areas shown in the picture. This includes the three etched lines on both sides by the "Ripjaws" moniker, scroll wheel, and valley between the buttons and the palm rest. The back palm rest also has an illuminated area, which displays G.Skill's logo. All of these lights are RGB, and therefore can be changed to any of the 16.7 million colors using G.Skill's software.
As I have mentioned multiple times before, G.Skill has allowed for more customization than most mice manufacturers. The sides are completely modifiable to either fit better for left-handed or right-handed users. In addition, users could just keep it symmetrical with either thin or thick side grips. These plastic grips are held to the mouse with two neodymium magnets, and they attach securely into place. I am happy to report these grips have never accidentally fallen out of place, and they actually require a bit more force to remove. Secondly, there is one empty slot on each side to put your included weights to vary the feel of the mouse. Finally, the back palm rest area can be adjusted in height, depending on your hand comfort. This is adjusted by tightening or loosening a bolt under the mouse with the included hex tool. All of these options are much appreciated, and generally make for a better fit. It is not necessarily a new idea, but it definitely makes for a better experience.
Finally, at the bottom of the mouse are some interesting things to note. For one, this is one of the first times I have seen a brushed metal base. It looks elegant and better to the eye, but on the other hand, it is not generally visible in daily use, unless you are always flipping your mouse over in anger. I have read from other reviewers stating their base have become scratched, but as I have been using it on a proper mousing surface all the time, I have not seen this problem. Five polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, pads are found around the base, and do a good job of letting the mouse glide easily. At the top of the mouse is a cut out area, and the scroll wheel is exposed from underneath the mouse. In the middle of the mouse is the Avago Laser sensor. While G.Skill has not explicitly stated which sensor it is, further research has led me to believe it is the ADNS 9800. This is the same sensor found in the APH Recommended SteelSeries Sensei Wireless. Thus we have the same maximum sensitivity of 8200 DPI, but a different minimum of 100 DPI. These sensitivities can be adjusted for both the X and Y-axis independently. Polling rates of 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, and 1000Hz are offered. There is a maximum 30g of acceleration supported by the sensor.
As G.Skill is new to the peripheral game, it is understandable this is their first software utility. It is also understandable to see some kinks in the software. The good thing is G.Skill is very quick to update their firmware and software, as there has been several updates since its release. The current version I will be using for the purpose of this review is firmware version 16 and software version 0.61. G.Skill's Unified Driver System software is, as the name implies, meant to work with both their keyboards and mice.
First of all, the "Customize" page allows you to select the different functions for each key. As I have mentioned, you can change practically any key to do anything, whether it is a macro combination, or even a combination of keyboard shortcuts. Thus, there are a total of ten different keys you can change. At the very top, there are two tabs called "Macros" and "Lighting Profiles". The Macros tab is pretty obvious, as users can configure different macros to be set on the "Customize" page. Likewise, "Lighting Profiles" allow users to set different profiles for either breathing or a cycle through of colors. The "Setting" page is where users can configure polling rates, double click speeds, pointer speeds, scroll speeds, liftoff range, and DPI stages. As aforementioned, the DPI can be changed from 100 DPI all the way to 8200 DPI in increments of one. Finally the "Lighting" page is where users can change each zone of lights. The scroll wheel, G.Skill's logo, and the side etched lights are all each their own "zone", while the four LEDs in the valley can be set to their own color. However, if you choose to do breathing or the rainbow wave, the four LEDs act as a single zone. Here, you can also adjust the brightness of the lights, as well as disable the lighting altogether.
All of these settings can be set to a profile, as G.Skill has put in 512KB of internal memory. This means a total of five different profiles can be stored onto the mouse at one time. In addition, you can easily set one of the mouse buttons to act as the profile switch if you so desire. One problem I had previously with G.Skill's older software was the fact you had to always remember to press "Save to Device Memory" to actually keep the settings. With the latest update, the software will now prompt you to save to the device before closing the configuration window. While I think it would be better to do automatic saving all the time, this is still a passable workaround, and it means the mouse does not need to constantly poll for changes in configuration. While G.Skill is relatively new to the utility game, I think they have done a pretty spiffy job in this regard, and I am happy to see their commitment to continual upgrades based on feedback.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware and Software
3. Subjective Performance Tests