Manufacturer: Logitech
Model: GX5
MSRP: $69.99 (US)

Intro, or "I paid how much for a mouse?!?"

Technical Specifications
• Tracking Resolution: 2000/800/400 dpi (user selectable)
• Image Processing: 6.4 megapixels/second
• Max. Acceleration: 20g
• Max. Speed: 45—65 inches/second (depending on surface)
• USB Data Format: 16 bits/axis
• USB Report Rate: 500 reports/second
• Sleep Mode: Disabled

Gamers who predominatly play MMORPGs, whose likes and dislikes are our bread and butter here at Ten Ton Hammer, don't traditionally get into flashy peripherals. I could offer many reasons. For one: MMOs, needing a massive online framework- with all the inherent latency- tend to be slower paced than their FPS or RTS cousins. Since gaming peripherals are primarily geared to decrease the time between when your synapses fire and your character acts on your decision, there's not a whole lot of benefit to souping up your traditional MMO play. You'll just stand there waiting for the spell to cast, the sword to swing, or the proc to take effect. With that said, Auto Assault and Tabula Rasa may usher in a whole new age of twitchier MMOs; but let's be realistic, with 6.5 million playing WoW, the genre isn't there yet. Not by a long shot.

Second, since you're going to be playing with hundreds and thousands of other people in the same world, MMO developers have to ensure that everyone can play the game just fine without the benefit of gaming peripherals. It's wise policy, designed to even the playing field, and good business. And because of this, we've grown into a genre very comfortable with WASD movement, [enter] to chat, and a two-button mouse. That the World of Warcraft and Guild Wars Z-Boards have yet to become prevalent seems to testify to our home-grown nature.

So, as a dyed-in-wool MMO gamer, why did I just buy this $70 Logitech G5 mouse? I have to confess; I blew a sizable chunk of my disposable income on a whim. When the aging ball-and-roller mouse that came with the computer finally gave up the ghost (yea, like I said, I never really spent money on input devices), I decided to see what the fuss was all about. Convincing myself that it was an "investment" - it would last longer than most computers I've owned, right? - I went with Logitech's top-of-the-line corded lazer mouse, the G5.

One note : Logitech offers a cordless version of the same mouse called the G7. I'm not big on cordless anything; I try to avoid batteries if I can (If you've ever tried to use a cheap to mid-range cordless drill for any reasonable length of time, you might share the sentiment). Nevertheless, my boss Ralph swears by his G7 and proudly unpacks his USB receiver, two Li-ion batteries, and mouse whereever he totes his laptop. It takes all kinds, and if you like how the G5 sounds but relive some strange childhood trauma whenever you feel a mousecord tugging, the G7 is functionally the same. Just keep an eye on the battery meter and switch out at an opportune time between battles as needed. You won't have to switch out often; the estimated battery life is 2.5 days in default gaming mode.

Look & Feel

The materials used in the G5's construction are top-notch. The "sueded" plastic grips along the sides keep their friction even when damp with sweat, as does the attractive radiated-looking faceplate. My glove size is a little less than 9.5 (between a medium and a large - so about as average as you can get), and the mouse fits my hand nicely.


A closeup on the G5's buttons

Lefties take note: the G5 is made for the right hand, so if you'd prefer a left-hand friendly model, you might want to take a slight step down to the G3 (which has everything the G5 does except for the weight cartridge). For righties and switch-hitters, the ergonomics are superb. I can pick the mouse up by lightly squeezing my thumb and pinky together and still access the mouse's five buttons and tilt scroll wheel ("tilt" - because while the scroll wheel acts as a button, it also can be pushed to the left or right as an additional input for, say, a rudder in a flight sim). The stiff center mouse button is my only complaint; as with other mice, it's difficult to push on the center button a.k.a. scroll wheel without scrolling up. The button is therefore wisely relegated to a zoom button in non-gaming applications.

The mouse cord is sheathed in a nylon braid, which prevents the cord from grabbing onto other cords, etc. while you move the mouse around. The cord is light enough that it doesn't seem to snag or fray on the sharper edges of desks and keyboard trays. Another feature which allows the mouse to travel nicely is the polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) "feet." I don't know much about plastics, but PTFE is slicker than snot on teflon. With that pleasant image in your mind, let's move on to Logitech's exclusive weighting feature.


The removable weight cartridge

The defining feature of the G5 and the G7 wireless is the 36 gram "weight cartridge" that you load and pop into the mouse's underbelly. You can load the cartridge's eight slots with 1.5g and 4.5g weights that come in a sort-of "Altoids" box. Now, I know you're thinking that this is pure marketing fluff, and I would've been inclined to agree with you. But the truth is, this a very noticeable little tweak. Part of the fun of owning this mouse has been experimenting with different total weights and weight "balances" - I finally settled on a featherweight setup with 4.5g weights at the top corners so it "digs" just a little when I push on the mouse, and I might change it again. There's no wrong way to load your mouse; like I said, it's fun to see how just a little more or less weight changes the experience.

Performance

I didn't realize there's a measurable difference between an optical mouse and a lazer mouse, but Geeks.com tells me there is. While optical mice use a broader beam of light for decent accuracy, lazer mice use a tiny yet powerful lazer dot for spot-on, pixel-precise tracking accuracy. In most applications, high end optical's 1600 dpi (dots per inch, or how many pixels the pointer will travel over if the mouse moves one inch in a straight line) is more than enough. Lazer mice such as the G5 offer up to 2000 dpi, which means at my current resolution (1440 x 900 widescreen) I would only need a theoretical mousepad the size of a small index card to accurately scan the entire screen.


The G5's 2000 dpi Lazer Engine

It's important not to confuse dpi sensitivity and the software / game setting for mouse sensitivity. While it's true that you can achieve similar results with a standard mouse by ramping up mouse sensitivity, if you watch closely as you scan across the screen quickly, the pointer seems to skip and jump. You're in effect outpacing the mouse's ability to track movement, something solved between the G5's lazer resolution and it's ability to use the entire bi-directional 500 reports / second speed allowed by the USB bus. The advantage of using a mouse like the G5 is that the computer doesn't have to "guess" where the pointer is as you scan and stop quickly, the pointer will be where you intended it to land. You might even find yourself having to de-program yourself from making the micro-adjustments you became accustomed to when using a low-res mouse. It all sounds a little arcane, but once you start using a high-res mouse, you won't want to go back.

The implications of high dpi modes are obvious in a first-person shooter game, but I've found that I need the same kind of accuracy when picking the correct mob I want to target out of the fray, or clicking a seldom-used but important spell on the hotbar. The dpi selector, however, isn't really as useful for MMOs as for FPS games. The idea is that you can select a dpi mode (by default: 400, 1200, or 2000 dpi) on the fly by using the plus and minus buttons located beneath the scroll-wheel. In an FPS sniping situation, set it to 400 dpi and you've got incredible surgical control over the crosshairs. Until you can crack off a head shot in an MMO (the day is coming), this is one feature you can mostly do without. In fact, once you get used to 2000 dpi (I recommend starting at 1200 if you're used to standard mice), you probably won't look back.

Software

Logitech's SetPoint software - included with the mouse - offers an enormous amount of control over the mouse. You can, for example, tell the SetPoint software to recognize the game you're playing, set the mouse buttons to equal keystrokes only within that game, and change the dpi selector defaults (anywhere from two to five pre-programmed defaults) based on your programmed settings just for that game. For example, I told SetPoint to set the "back" button (located on the side of the mouse) to keystroke [tab] when I'm playing World of Warcraft, so I can quickly target the nearest enemy with a click. It worked beautifully, even when [Alt+Tab]-ing back and forth from the desktop (where it continued to function as a "back" button). While I can find little use yet for the flexibility SetPoint offers in dpi switching. Still, the program keeps a low profile when running in the background - while it's tricky to measure these things, terminating the SetPoint program only saved me a lean percentage point of my 1.5 gigs of RAM.

  • Unprecedented control
  • Accuracy down to the pixel
  • Adjustable weight / balance worth the extra $ over G3
  • SetPoint software a plus
  • Righties Only
  • Scrolls when you click center button
  • More mouse than MMO gamers really need
Precision::
Customizability:
Functionality
Feel:
Value:
Tilt:

(4.5 / 5 Hammers)

Ten Ton Recommendation:

A mouse not hard to love. If you enjoy FPS games on the side, you won't be disappointed. Strictly MMO gamers on a budget - save your pennies for the inevitable Vista / Vanguard upgrade..
Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Jeff
Jeff joined the Ten Ton Hammer team in 2004 covering EverQuest II, and he's had his hands on just about every PC online and multiplayer game he could since.

Comments