Page 2 - A Closer Look - Hardware and Software
Looking at the mouse itself, the Gigabyte Force M63 was not designed like other mice we have seen before. As you have read in the first page, this was the winning design from their competition. According to the designers, this is based off of a velociraptor's claw, and not the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor or the Ford F-150 Raptor. Really, the only thing similar to between the aircraft, the truck, and this mouse is that all three of them are symmetrical. The body of the mouse is mostly symmetrical, with the exception of the buttons. Thus using the mouse in your left hand will work and feel similar, with the difference of the thumb buttons. The one thing making me think this mouse is going to be preferred by right-handed users is the rubber gripping. Rather than coating the entire mouse with a soft-touch material, there are specific areas where Gigabyte has added some sort of hardened rubber grips. This is located on the sides, as well as near the back of the mouse. However, you will notice the center grip partly is not exactly in the middle, but more to the right side. While these grips feel okay in the hands, they just do not feel as polished as the soft-touch plastic. The other parts vary between matte black, as found on the buttons, and glossy black, as found in smaller areas like the sides and over LED lights. Overall, the mouse is quite flat, and thus encourages users to grip the mouse in a claw-like fashion, but I will get more into this later. The mouse is mostly black, with the exception of two buttons, and the underside which is red. This creates a nice contrast and adds to the overall gamer notion of the mouse. When plugged in, there are even more colors for the Gigabyte Force M63 too. Build quality is as solid as we have seen from any of our other Gigabyte products, which is a plus. As all my mice have now been from this same manufacturer, I know Gigabyte can and still do make long-lasting products.
When we pull out our measuring tapes, the Gigabyte Force M63 measures in at a length of 118mm, a width of 71mm, and a height of 38 mm. While this may not seem very short, the difference between the height of the mouse at the palm and at the fingertips is quite low, thus users will see the Force M63 as a flatter mouse. The mouse itself tips the scale at around 85 grams, but this weight can be adjusted. Without weights, the Force M63 is quite the featherweight, as other mice like the Genius GX Gaming Maurus X is more than twice the weight at 178 grams. However, as the Force M63 is meant to be quick on its feet in first person shooters, it would be more of a hassle if this was a hefty product. On the other hand, the Maurus X is aimed at multiple genres of games, so compromises were made for that product. Finally, the cable measures at a length of around 180 cm. This is a braided cable, which should be more durable in comparison to the traditional rubber. The end of the USB is gold-plated, which adds flash, but otherwise nothing else. As this is a digital component, you will not notice any difference in comparison to other connectors, and is rather just a marketing feature.
Flipping to the left side of the mouse, and we can see the majority of the buttons. In total, there are eight different buttons and one clickable scroll wheel. Of course, you have your standard left and right buttons. They use Omron switches rated at ten million clicks. One nice thing about these main buttons is in the finer details. If you look at the mouse, you may notice the two buttons are actually indented in the middle. When you place your hand and fingers on the mouse, they will naturally move into the indents. This feels good, and feels like the mouse contours to your fingers. In between the left and right buttons is a notched scroll wheel. You will see there is a translucent strip wrapping around the middle. This is meant to allow light to glow through when plugged in. Rather than making only the top of the scroll wheel exposed to human touch, the front area actually splits at the location of the scroll wheel. This exposes more of the wheel, which means more backlighting will shine through. Unfortunately, the scroll wheel does not tilt from side to side for horizontal scrolling. I did not realize how much I missed this from the Gigabyte Aivia Uranium, and it would be nice to see it here. Underneath the scroll wheel are two more buttons to increase and decrease your DPI settings. Moving to the left side of the mouse we have two buttons closest to the thumb in black. These are defaulted as Forward and Back, which can help when browsing the Internet. The red button closest to the front of the mouse is set by default to lock your mouse to a certain, presumably lower, DPI. This can be useful when you go full sniper mode in your favorite first person shooter, but we will see how it translates to real-life in our tests. I should add all of the buttons on the mouse can be customized, as you will see soon enough. The final thing to note are the four dots located in front of the Forward and Backward buttons. These small dots are actually LED lights, which indicate your current sensitivity settings.
Looking at the right side of the mouse reveals the final button on the mouse. By default, this is your profile switch button, which allows users to cycle between up to five different profiles. The profile holds settings for only one thing, which are the button mappings for the mouse. Users will know which profile they are using by of the color of the LED emitted on the left side of the palm grip area. Users can customize which color they want, and choose between nine colors, or even just turning off the LED for the profile. While this is not the full RGB experience we have seen from other products for "true customization", this should be more than enough for your five profiles. The LEDs also can either stay on all the time, or assume a breathing mode, which pulsates the light between low and high intensity.
Flipping the Gigabyte Force M63 on the back allows us to see one of the most colorful bottoms on a mouse. This bright red is quite the attractive piece, even if it is usually concealed by the mouse. However, the red glossy plastic makes an appearance at the back of the Force M63, and has a slit to allow the underglow of the mouse through. You may think the glossy finish is a bit garish, but I think it is excellent. Besides the red, the bottom is lined with four polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, commonly known as Teflon) feet. The two near the front of the mouse are smaller squares, with two more curved areas at the bottom. As for the sensor, Gigabyte has not been very clear with what exact sensor they have put in the Force M63, but rather has referred to it as a "4000DPI Enhanced Optical gaming sensor". The mouse has a frame rate of 6400 fps, a maximum tracking speed of 60 inches/second, and able to handle up to 20g of acceleration. In addition, the mouse as a report rate of up to 1000Hz.
Grabbing the Gigabyte GHOST software is as easy as popping into the manufacturer's website and downloading the utility. If you have read our other Gigabyte reviews, this layout will obviously be the same. Using a three-by-three grid, nine boxes is more than enough to cover the options for each page. The first tab at the top is to select your product, and I have selected the Raptor mouse already. As I have mentioned in the Tesoro Durandal Ultimate review, the Gigabyte GHOST software is able to work across multiple peripherals from Gigabyte, whether mice or keyboards, which means a single utility will fit all. The second tab is for selecting your profile buttons. This is where you can customize your buttons to any and every thing possible. You can either give it basic commands or shortcuts, or you can map them to macros with recorded key strokes from the mouse and/or the keyboard. While I probably would not ever make my mouse hold macros, it is cool to see this bonus. The third tab is used to change other settings. This includes changing the number and color of the profiles as shown on the mouse's LED, the DPI incremental settings, the scroll wheel, the report rate, and the internal memory. As for the profiles, you will know by now there can be a maximum of five profiles, but these can all be disabled. The sensitivity allows users to change what each of the four incremental sensitivity stages are, and range from 50 to 4000 DPI in increments of 50 DPI. The wheel settings is used to adjust how many lines skip when you scroll the wheel. The report rate can be adjusted from 125Hz to 1000Hz. Finally, the memory setting menu is used to backup, restore, and wipe out all of the memory.
In the end, we know the Gigabyte Force M63 is a well designed mouse, with very little I could suggest to change in terms of the physical implementation. Having a horizontal scrolling wheel may be the only thing from my physical inspections. Still, both the overall look and smaller details are top notch. The software is also well done, with inclusions and features I would not expect to begin with. Gigabyte has made the user's experience quite a pleasant one. My only wish would be to allow users to pick from the full range of colors, as this is not an uncommon thing. With all of these inspections behind us, let us now look at how the Gigabyte Force M63 actually performs in real-life situations.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware and Software
3. Subjective Performance Tests