|SilverStone Raven SST-RVM01B Gaming Mouse|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 11 September 2008|
Page 5 of 6
Testing & Results
Testing a mouse for any technical article is a lot like testing a pencil: if it works, everything else is relative. So without being to heavy on my own personal qualifications for what makes up a "good" mouse, I have decided to test the SilverStone Raven 3D gaming mouse SST-RVM01B in three different environments. In the first environment, I browse various web pages and used the Raven to help me gather information for my daily news posting here at Benchmark reviews. The second environment was a mixture of productivity tasks, from editing images to writing this article. The third environment was gaming, which more or less included Call of Duty 4 exclusively.
After the software was installed from the included CD-ROM and the dual-mode switch moved over to gaming, I was able to configure the Raven to my personal liking. Since I am such a spastic player in up-close fire-fights, I optioned to cut down my vertical sensitivity so that I wouldn't shoot into the air or ground so easily. So far as I am aware, this is the only mouse that allows custom X and Y axis adjustments; especially with 400 dpi to 3200 dpi limits.
The Raven allowed me to save up to five custom dpi settings, which could then be cycled through using the thumb button (dpi switch) on the bulbous flip wheel. I configured the SilverStone Raven SST-RVM01B with the system specified below, and set out to mix work with play for the next few days.
After almost five days of testing, I finally found myself less frustrated by the myriad of controls and buttons and becoming a lot more productive. At first I was quickly losing patience, and was only one more improper click away from throwing this peripheral device into the round file (trash). After I gave myself a few hours of slow work, it began to actually feel very good in my hand. By the third day of use, I was far from an expert with the Raven (mastery comes with constant practice), but I knew where to press and what my limitations were. At the end of the test period, I found that overall I liked the Raven - but it is not without serious faults.
Perhaps it is because of my daily use of the Logitech G9 for almost a year now, but there are a few buttons on the Raven that were just poorly placed. SilverStone suggests that users keep the thumb on top of the flip-wheel bulb, and three fingers (index, middle, and ring) on top of the Raven. I have traditionally used on my index and middle finger atop any mouse, with the thumb to one side and the ring and pinky finger at the other. This is where the retraining takes some serious commitment, because if you try to mix standard mouse usage with the Raven, you're in trouble.
The thumb button at the end of the flip 3D orb was perfectly placed, but not for the sensitivity selector. I found myself wanting the click this button an much as I use the index or middle finger. The thumb wheel itself was nice, but I almost never positioned my thumb atop the bulbous scroll "wheel" as SilverStone suggests. Furthermore, the two buttons ahead of this orb are so far out of reach for my thumb, that only awkward index finger movements will reach them. Ultimately these two buttons went to waste, whereas if they had been positioned above the thumb-wheel they would have been more useful.
The middle finger was retrained to use the scroll wheel, but under no circumstance did I ever get my finger to curl back towards my palm while keeping the other strait (revered "bird") just to control the directional buttons. Again, a waste of space that could have been better fitted as a tilting middle scroll wheel. My ring finger didn't have any problem learning to press the right-click button, but the two smaller buttons seemed to be placed just a little too far rearward for my hand.
Surprisingly, despite the abandonment of a few non-essential buttons, the Raven was very smooth to operate. It felt great, in fact it felt 10x better than the Logitech G7 and G9 in my hand, as it was ergonomic and very slick on the mouse pad. The scroll wheel needs the free-spinning and side-tilt treatment, and the bulbous orb thumb-wheel could have been identical to the center wheel, but I eventually got used to them. The laser sensitivity was phenomenal, and 3200 dpi should be a set-in-stone standard for gaming devices.
Please read on to learn of my final thoughts on the Raven gaming mouse and the various ups and downs I experienced.