More and more companies are entering the market for gaming-grade mice, putting this kind of product among the usual coolers, motherboards and components that come out of their assembly line. Gigabyte sure did its homework with the release of the M8000Xtreme. It follows the essential rules of an excellent gaming-grade mouse plus it has one of the best configuration software we’ve tested so far. Despite its corny name (it sounds like something out of a bad Image comics from the 90's), we really enjoyed the mouse. Let’s take a look at its physical characteristics and then proceed to the actual test.
click to enlargeFigure 1
: The M8000Xtreme mouse.
The M8000Xtreme is a right-handed mouse with a narrow body design and rubber niches for the thumb and ring finger. The main click buttons are separated from the main body. Between them stands the scroll wheel (that also performs side scrolling) and a single button to increase/decrease the sensitivity. The name of the configuration software, Ghost, is illuminated with five different colors to indicate the current assigned profile. On the thumb side you can find the usual back/forward navigation buttons plus four leds that display the current dpi setting; on the ring finger side there’s the button to change the five user profiles stored in the M8000Xtreme internal memory (usually in other models this kind of button is located on the underside).
click to enlargeFigure 2
: Left side.
click to enlargeFigure 3
: Right side.
Below the mouse the user can find the 6,000 dpi laser cannon and the cartridge to insert the additional 38 grams (1.3 oz) weighting system (a 20 grams/0.75 oz weight plus three 6 grams/0.2 oz beads) that comes in a neat round box. There’s also the possibility to attach a separated set of Teflon feet to ensure better tracking over the chosen surface. The M8000Xtreme also features a nylon braided cord ending in a gold-plated USB connector.
click to enlargeFigure 4
: The underside.
Configuring the M8000 Xtreme
Among the several unfriendly applications we’ve already tested here, the Ghost software deserves our kudos. It’s a ghost you shouldn’t be afraid of: the interface is smart and intuitive, graphically representing the nine reprogrammable buttons with their original functions and the ones the user wants to change. We do hope it sets the standard for the industry because it’s an example of a application done right.
click to enlargeFigure 5
: The Ghost software.
Aside from the great interface, the robust software supports 70 customizable macros and 45 button assignments for the five user profiles that can be stored in the 32 kb internal memory. That way the M8000Xtreme can be plugged to several different PCs and still retain the modifications done by the user, be it for gaming or working related activities. The program can associate a different color to each profile or even let the mouse remain unlit for those who prefer a more discrete peripheral on the table. The Ghost also features the Perfect Tracking Precision tool to analyze and better calibrate the laser according to the surface.
Playing with the M8000 Xtreme
The M8000Xtreme is a mouse for those who like a light and agile grip without having the whole hand resting over the peripheral. In that case the weighting system gives an altogether more centered and solid performance. The huge number of assignable buttons (nine!) is a great perk for a hands-on gaming experience. It was the best model we used during several Modern Warfare 2 matches because we finally managed to put everything in the mouse, from weapons switch and recharge to kneel/lay down action and deploying special weapons (radars, carpet bombing etc). For instance, we switched the “deploy equipment” (planting a claymore mine) action from the scroll wheel to one of the thumb buttons and let the scroll wheel handle the “knife action” through the Ghost interface. Having nine buttons to choose from lets the user pick which one he or she feels is more important/secondary/easy to reach according to his or her playing style. It’s better to have a wide range of choices than only a handful and the M8000Xtreme sure delivers lots of options.
The Gigabyte M8000Xtreme mouse main specifications are:
- Gaming-grade right-handed laser mouse
- Assignable functions: 9
- 32 KB on-board memory
- Tracking Resolution: up to 6,000 DPI
- Maximum velocity: 150 inches/ second
- Acceleration: 30 G
- Approximate size: 4.9" x 2.9" x 1.6" (12.6 x 7.4 x 4.3 cm) (L x W x H)
- Weight: 5 oz (145 g), adjustable to 1.3 oz (38 g) more
- Cable length: 6' (1.8 m)
- Gold-plated USB connection
- Cloth-wrapped cord
- More information: http://www.gigabyte-usa.com
- Suggested retail price in the US: USD 59.99
Below you can see a summary of our impressions about the Gigabyte M8000Xtreme mouse.
- Large number of assignable buttons
- Best configuration application we’ve ever reviewed
- High sensitivity level of 6,000 DPI
- Great presentation with a cloth-wrapped cord and a gold-plated USB plug
- Surface analysis and configuration tool
- Narrow grip may not be suited for those who prefer a bigger mouse
- Doesn’t stand from the crowd with such an unappealing name