Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 3.2GHZ
MSI 680i Diamond
Super Talent 6400 4GB @ 1200MHZ
Vvikoo 8800GT 1GB DDR3
Western Digital Raptor 75GB, Western Digital Caviar SE 80GB
Windows XP Pro x86
Mouse mats and other peripherals fall into an interesting category for testing, as your opinion on them tends to be very personal, as the mat, mouse or keyboard has to be right for you, beyond having the specifications to do what you want with it. Therefore these reviews can be highly subjective so as always, please make sure to test a peripheral for yourself before you buy it.
However with that said, our testing methods involve using the mat over prolonged gaming and general usage periods to test it’s gaming ability and comfort.
The games used for testing were as follows:
- Dawn of War 2
- Peggle Nights
- Assorted Flash Games
The mat I used to test the Saiph on was the Mionix Alioth.
Dawn of War 2
Dawn of War 2 is a fast paced strategy title that borders on the Real Time Tactical genre. It requires quick mouse movements, but in the heat of melee, it’s very necessary to have pinpoint accuracy too. I’m pleased to say that in this title the Mionix Saiph performed very well indeed, giving me all the accuracy I needed, even moving at the speeds I was able to operate at thanks to the teflon feet and the slippery, smooth surface of the mat.
I was also able to use the macro key mapping for certain special abilities which is definitely the quicker way to go when in tense situations. Especially on larger monitors, moving to the UI panel in the bottom right can simply take too long in a hectic moment.
Peggle is pure accuracy based. No rush, no time limit, but you have to be bang on with each shot if you want to complete the later levels; or some of the toughest challenges. The Mionix did great in this title, providing all the accuracy I needed, and I was able to use the DPI switching buttons to drop the DPI right down to give me increased accuracy when I needed it.
Flash games are a great way of checking out gaming mice as you can play a variety of games over a short period thanks to the nice, short loading times. It’s also good to test out certain buttons on the mouse, as we’ve had problems in the past with accidentally touching buttons which are default mapped to the back browser button; so you can imagine how that turned out. Fortunately, the default buttons on the Mionix Saiph caused no issues, but that didn’t matter anyway, as the placement of the side button was perfect; simple to reach, without it being too easy.
Accuracy and speed wise, I had no issues with the Saiph. It did a stellar job in all game genres.
In terms of comfort, the Saiph did a pretty good job too. It’s soft rubber coating is very nice to hold, and doesn’t make your hand sweat too much. There’s an even thicker, ridged, rubber coating on the left hand side that provides some excellent cushioning for your thumb. The right hand side is also probably the most comfortable ring and little finger support I have ever used; save perhaps only the Nova xSlide. This is quite something coming from a guy that prefers the claw method of holding a mouse.
Function wise the Saiph did well as well though it’s button mapping isn’t exactly the most versatile with only a set list of possible keys. I did make some use of it, and changing the joggable duel button, to copy and paste was kind of useful in certain general Windows situations; but really it isn’t that handy.
The only real problem I had with it in terms of functionality, was the noise of the left mouse button. It sounds trivial, but at times I found myself noticing that I was clicking, from the noise of the click alone. It’s not something I was constantly aware of, but at times it was quite annoying.
The Mionix Saiph would set you back £48.99 which is definitely at the top end of the gaming mouse market. It puts it in line with the top Razer and Logitech mice, and only a few quid behind the Roccat Kone and Nova xSlide.