The amount of technology that can be packed into a mouse is rather amazing. For years now Iíve simply assumed that one mouse is as much as another, since they all poll at 125Hz and manage from about 1000 to 2000dpi. Alan can go on about his G7 mouse
all he wants, but other than being cordless it doesnít strike me as being all that superior to, well, whatever my old Logitech mouse with 2000dpi and two sensors is called. See? I canít even be bothered to remember them. Consequently I greeted the arrival of the Razer Copperhead with a fair bit of skepticism. After all, how different could it be?
For starters, it permits the owner to modify his sensitivity via dpi settings on the fly. There are four default settings of 400, 800, 1600 and 2000dpi that can be cycled through using two buttons on the mouse, or from the driver menu. As a nice touch, the mouse stores this information in itself rather than on your computer, so if you find yourself going to a LAN party and using someone elseís rig, at least your mouse settings will remain the same.
The driver menu is where you can also adjust the mouse polling rate Ė from the standard USB 125Hz (8ms), 500Hz (2ms) and up to 1000Hz (1ms). Most mice are, as mentioned earlier, using the default 125Hz of the USB bus. The G7 is at 500Hz. There are programs that can change the polling rate, but these require a reboot. Razerís changes on the fly. Whatís the point of a high polling rate? Smoothness. A high rate will check the position of the mouse more often, updating its path more correctly. To use an extreme example, imagine a low poll rate of only 1Hz Ė so that the computer would read mouse movement only once per second. All the other movements you make with your mouse in between seconds do not register, only the positions at the passing of every second.
Of course, that is absurd and no such mouse exists, but back in the days of PS2 connectors there were epic flame wars between PS2 and USB mouse lovers. On the one hand, USB had a higher default rate but was not adjustable at the time, while PS2 mouse fans could use the PS2Rate utility to change from the default 60 to as high as 200. The difference between 200Hz and 125Hz was noticeable, but of course meant the inconvenience of using PS2Rate. As for 500Hz? Itís a noticeable jump from 125Hz. You wonít feel the same jump from 500 to 1000, but presumably it will make a difference every now and then in a wild rail arena match if you end up wildly moving the mouse around.
The high DPI is useful because it provides a very sensitive mouse without sacrificing accuracy, as you might if you use a cheap mouse and compensate with a high software sensitivity setting. Combined with the 1000Hz polling, the Copperhead is at least theoretically the most accurate mouse on the market. My weeks of experience with it and head-to-head testing, though subjective, tend to support that supposition.