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| Playing your G5 to the Max! (16 comments )|
by: Droniac (114) | Posted in cluster Editors Challenge Sponsored by Intel Round 2
Posted 75 months ago ( edited 75 months ago ) in category DEFAULT
The Logitech G5 is a laser mouse that is being marketed as a truly essential tool for gaming. Unfortunately, extensive tests have proven that it's performance, compared to some of the better optical mice, leaves something to be desired. The G5 is know to be a picky mouse, which doesn't like many surfaces - it's also known to respond inaccurately when moving at high speeds. So does this mean you're screwed if you bought this mouse - thinking it was going to take your aim to the next level? Well... no, not entirely...
|» MEDIA (5)|
Logitech G5 Laser Mouse
Polling Rate Comparison
Accuracy at 500HZ
Accuracy at 1000HZ
One of the UT2004 TAM matches
After my Razer Diamondback broke on me, I decided to purchase my very first Logitech mouse - the G5. Initially the G5's performance seemed a slight bit worse than my Diamondback, but I was willing to trade in some of my accuracy for a more comfortable and customizable mouse. My Razer Diamondback was yet another one of those tiny, standard mice... But this G5 offered the ability to change it's weight on the fly, as well as a completely ergonomic design which provides a much more comfortable gaming experience than a completely symmetric mouse.
And yet I was still somewhat disappointed with my new mouse. My accuracy had deteriorated slightly in comparison to when I was still playing with my Razer Diamondback and it wasn't showing any signs of improving at all. Additionally the G5 was reported to be slightly inaccurate and sloppy with it's laser technology, resulting in some optical mice outperforming it. It got to the point where I was considering changing to the new Razer DeathAdder, but then... I found a way to tweak my Logitech G5 to new heights!
The first thing I discovered which significantly improved my Logitech G5's accuracy was flipping over my Steelpad 4D. Apparently the G5 prefers smooth surfaces, rather than rough surfaces - which are the Diamondback's forte. The G5 gaming experience changed a lot for the better after using my Steelpad with the smooth side up, but it still wasn't quite the sublime gaming mouse it was marketed to be. Another thing that improved it's tracking ever so slightly was updating it's firmware to version 1.2 - which should improve things a lot for those G5 owners amongst you who do not have a smooth surface to use your mouse on. Also don't hesitate to clean your sensor if your mouse is suddenly acting up, apparently it tends to clog up with dust occasionally.
Yet another aspect of your Logitech G5 that can improve your gaming experience is the weight cartridge that you find on the bottom of your mouse. Most of you will find that your mouse is naturally out-of-balance, like mine was. I opted for the following set-up to achieve a perfectly balanced and slightly heavy mouse: three 1.7g weights on the left side, two on the right side (upper and lower slots) and one 4.7g weight in the upper slot. It's not only a balanced mouse now, but it's also got some substance to it, which can make it more comfortable for players like myself. Some of you might find that the mouse is too heavy however and will prefer a different weight-setup.
And then, amongst the other download links on the Logitech website, I found their very own mouse driver & tweaking tool: SetPoint. This ordinarily wouldn't have been too important a discovery, if it weren't for the fact that SetPoint allows you to alter the polling rates for your mouse's USB port beyond the Windows-enforced limit of 125HZ. What this does is allow your mouse to report more data to your computer, resulting in a smoother and more accurate response.
The Windows-enforced standard of 125HZ gives a standard response time (lag) of 8ms, but setting your polling rate at 250HZ reduces this to 4ms. SetPoint allows you to set polling rates as high as 1000HZ, although this does come at the cost of some resource utilization. Still, at 1000HZ your response time will have been reduced to a mere 1ms, which should provide a significant advantage in any competitive gaming environment. The difference between 125HZ and 1000HZ is immediately noticeable, as the G5 becomes noticeably more responsive.
And now to back up my claims. If these polling rates really have an effect on your gaming performance, then you should be able to test that sort of thing, right? That's where Unreal Tournament 2004 Team Arena Master enters the picture. I've played various matches of UT2004 TAM utilizing different polling rates (500HZ and 1000HZ) so as to try and prove the effect of this tweaking on a player's accuracy.
Why UT2004 TAM?
I chose Unreal Tournament 2004 Team Arena Master for this benchmark because it's a highly aim-dependent game. Your performance very directly relates to your accuracy and timely response to situations, which largely depends on the performance of your mouse. Additionally I happen to be a highly experienced UT2004 player, which means my in-game performance should be relatively stable.
Another reason for choosing TAM is because it offers amazingly detailed statistics for player accuracy with each weapon after every map. Not to mention the fact that it allows players to use every weapon in the game from the get-go, so the entire focus is on killing the enemy, rather than also having to pick up weapons or health packs. Testing conditions can't get much better than that!
I set my G5 to it's maximum setting of 2000 DPI and defaulted all driver settings, except Speed and Acceleration which I let SetPoint (rather than Windows) handle. My in-game settings remained exactly the same throughout the tests (0.88 sensitivity, 1600x1200 resolution, no mouse smoothing, sound levels, etc.), my Steelpad hasn't moved an inch and I even used the exact same background music during play. I also regularly switched teams during play, in order to eliminate the possible effect on my accuracy of being on the winning, or losing, team.
I spread my gaming sessions out over multiple days in an attempt to remove further external factors. Doing the entire thing in one go would likely have resulted in either poor performance due to fatigue, or the exact opposite: better performance due to the previous matches functioning as warm up rounds of sorts. To this end I played three matches with a polling rate of 500HZ one day - and three matches with a polling rate of 1000HZ the next day. I then gathered my accuracy statistics from screenshots I took at the end of every map. These statistics were then compiled into the graphs you can see on the right hand side of your screen.
AMD Athlon64 3200+
ASUS K8V SE DX
ATi X800 Pro
2048 MB RAM (Kingston)
Logitech G5 Laser Mouse
Understanding the Results
The test results show a clear difference between polling rates of 500HZ and 1000HZ. Accuracy with nearly every weapon increased after polling up to 1000HZ, with especially the Shock Combo (28% to 51%) and Rocket Launcher (24% to 43%) measuring a massive difference in accuracy. On the other end of the spectrum, weapons like the Shock Rifle's secondary fire (11% to 10%) and Flak Cannon's primary fire (11% to 10%) showed almost no difference between the polling rates.
Some weapons were excluded because they are rarely used, such as the Assault Rifle, Bio Rifle & Shield Gun. Other weapons were excluded because they're normally used as a deterrent, rather than something to hit people with, such as the link gun and minigun. However two such weapons did make it to my list. The under-used Shock Rifle's secondary fire, which lacks any use other than for Shock Combo's - and the deterrent: the Flak Cannon's primary fire. Why did they make it to this list? Because they are good examples of weapons that do not see any benefit from increased polling rates or accuracy. A weapon that is used to spam will not benefit from better response times or more accurate readings - it'll still spam just as well as it used to. Take this into account when you decide whether you want to change your polling rates.
The most important weapons in these statistics are the Lighting Gun and Shock Rifle's primary fire. These are by far the most used weapons in the list and are also most representative of a change in accuracy due to their instant-hit nature. Interestingly, both of these weapons not only noticed a significant increase in accuracy, but also in terms of consistency, when the G5 was polled at 1000HZ.
Another important weapon in the list is the Shock Combo, which relies on fast and accurate movements to combine two shots (shock secondary and primary) to deadly effect. It becomes a lot easier to pull of shock combo's on a more responsive mouse and this shows in the results. Accuracy increased by a whopping 23% at 1000HZ.
The Rocket Launcher and Flak Cannon secondary fire are slightly less important, because they are projectile-based. These weapons rely more on prediction than pure aim - but this also means they can notice a significant shift in accuracy due to a more responsive mouse. Tweaking polling rates to higher settings decreases the amount of response time you have to deal with, which can make the difference between flicking your mouse far enough for an accurate rocket or just not far enough and missing your target by miles. This also shows in the statistics, with both weapons noting increases in accuracy (19% and 2% respectively).
The graphs that display the results for each map at different polling rates are also interesting, because they very clearly show a consistency difference between the two settings. At 500HZ the charts are all over the place, whereas at 1000HZ they are more or less the same over several maps. Consistency is a very important factor for any FPS player. It doesn't matter if you can hit 50% lighting gun accuracy in one match out of every two hundred, what you want is a consistently high accuracy - and a higher polling rate appears to help realize this.
Notes on Polling Rates
There are other applications that can change your polling rate if you have a different mouse, but only SetPoint appears to work with the Logitech G5. After seeing the results you might think that the highest possible polling rate must be the best choice, but that is not always true. Higher polling rates increase resource utilization, which could lead to a noticeable drop in your framerate. Granted, I have yet to see such a drop in any game I play, but it might be different on your system.
An additional concern when increasing your polling rate is that it essentially overclocks your USB port. In the case of SetPoint this is temporary: it only functions as long as your mouse is plugged in. But other programs or tweaks are usually more permanent solutions. An overclocked USB port is not good for your electronic equipment like MP3 players or digital camera's, they can be damaged! So make certain you reserve one specific USB port for your mouse if you're going to do this. It's also not a good idea to set the polling rate to 1000HZ for just any mouse, some older mice might not be able to handle such high polling rates and will be damaged in similar fashion to your MP3 player.
And so we've come to an end on this topic. The tips mentioned in this article aught to help you get your G5 into shape and allow it to take your aim to unforeseen heights. Rather than being just another average gaming mouse the G5 proves it can transform into a bringer of virtual death, with just a few simple tweaks and downloads. While it might still not be up-to-par with a 1000HZ polled Razer DeathAdder, it can certainly be a lean mean killing machine when setup properly - and that is exactly what this article intended to do.External Link: http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/downloads/softwa...
|16 User Comment(s) • 7 root comment(s)|
| suibhne (65) Mar 15, 2007 - 02:53 pm | Edited on Mar 15, 2007 - 02:59 pm|
|The tool I've used is usbmrs, but I haven't seen any tools which allow overclocking different USB ports selectively. Are you certain this is possible?|
I noticed a clear difference in smoothness of mouse tracking when I jacked up to 500Hz for my MX510. I'm skeptical of your testing methodology, tho. I also compete in TAM, and I'm usually shooting between 30-35% LG in matches, but pub play (like what you tested) is all over the map for me. Facing off against less experienced players, for example, my percentages can be much higher - and sometimes the opposite when I'm outclassed. ;) Your general approach is good, getting as large a sample size as possible, but with more time I think your article would benefit from adding another week or more of data. Pub servers just vary so widely that you want those variations to vanish over time.
Do you play with a clan?
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| Droniac (114) Mar 15, 2007 - 05:34 pm|
|Thanks for commenting on my entry :)|
It seems that both SetPoint and hidusbf only overclock the USB port your mouse is attached to, although I haven't been able to confirm it with hidusbf - because the G5 has some issues with non-Logitech overclocking software.
I played on differing teams during the various matches to try and eliminate the factors of being in the winning/losing team. Usually in TAM the winning team is comprised of experienced players, because the amount of servers is low and the amount of experienced players is (relatively) high. The servers I tested on were my regular servers, which ordinarily see only the better players in the European TAM community - as was the case during testing. In both 3-map sessions, only a handful of players left/joined during play, so the playing field remained roughly the same throughout. The level of play on both days was roughly the same - which can be attributed to these (European) servers being known for attracting skilled players.
I would indeed have tried to increase my sample size some more if I had the time, but this was actually my third article (the other two - SupCom and LotRO - had already been posted) idea and I only had a few days to pull it off. If it's any consolation: after turning the polling rates up to 1000HZ, my performance in clanmatches increased significantly as well. I actually had a 2v2 match yesterday and broke personal accuracy records all over the place (on the first map anyway, the second map saw a bit of a dip due to external factors (whining sister & telephone) interrupting my play).
So yeah, I do play with a clan, two actually (beMEAN and TuF). I haven't noticed my performance to be all over the map in publics, but then the servers I frequent are home to a returning playerbase with whom I've become familiar over time.
There is a benefit to testing this on public servers, namely strategic deterrent fire (spam). Spam is common in clanmatches, because people are playing to survive and win - so they'll spam choke points when they're running or chasing, all of which is non-aimed fire and skews accuracy statistics. Now this doesn't matter for the lightning gun or shock primary fire (which usually see increased accuracy during matches, compared to pubs, for me anyway), but it does for just about any other weapon (rockets, flak, mini, link, combos) in TAM. Public servers are casual and tend to be more crowded, which results in less spam - because otherwise you wont have enough ammo in the end to kill everyone - every shot has to count.
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| xpax (24) Mar 17, 2007 - 04:30 pm|
|Couldn't you confirm this by plugging another (non-Logitech preferably) mouse into another USB port, then use mouserate to test that mouses responsiveness compared to the first?|
If you have multiple mice, they can all work simultaneously.. so it's worth a shot.
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