After installing the mouse (as per the ‘how to install’ guide that was actually quite useful), I was ready to test. The tests were all carried out on the XSReviews.co.uk NOID pad.
The first thing that I noticed was that there is a Razer snake logo on the body of the mouse, which stops the back of the mouse looking too bland. As with most of the Razer mice, this logo slowly fades in and out. The scroll wheel also glows, but is static. The back logo and scroll wheel illumination can be controlled in the driver settings, allowing you to turn them on for the full bling effect, or off if you want to sleep with your PC on.
I popped open the Razer Driver page to set up the different settings to my personal taste. First thing I changed was the polling rate. You have three options, 125Hz (8ms), 500Hz (2ms) or 1000Hz (1ms). To me, the obvious choice is the top one; if I buy an expensive mouse I want the best performance. The others hold little point to me, as they LOWER the response time of the ‘Adder. As the 3G infra red sensor is on all the time (infra red doesn’t damage your eyes like lasers and can’t be seen by the human eye unlike red LED’s) there is even less lag when the mouse pointer is moved.
The two side buttons can be assigned to anything that you like, including macros allowing you to set a load of repeated actions useful in games like World of Warcraft. I decided on DPI up and down, allowing me to change the sensitivity on the fly. The side buttons on the Death Adder have been included at Razer’s peril as these same buttons are what caused problems with the Copperhead mouse making Windows sometimes think it was a keyboard. However, Razer seem to have ironed out these issues and the side buttons are yet to cause a problem for me.
Even in Windows I found that the mouse was smoother and more responsive to my movements, granted that it was compared to a generic optical mouse, but there was still a noticeable difference.
Another thing that struck me was how much more comfortable the mouse was to use. Unlike the Razer Krait which requires you to hold the mouse, the Death Adder allows you to rest your hand on it; your hand naturally cradles the shaped body.
I then started testing the Death Adders gaming ability, for which I used Battlefield 2142, Starship Troopers, Nine Dragons and Command and Conquer: Zero Hour.
In Battlefield 2142, the Death Adder started to shine. The increased accuracy was really noticeable and by lowering the DPI it was easy to pick off enemies from afar. It was also possible to raise the sensitivity, thanks to the side buttons, when I was flying to make it easier to make sharp corners at speed. It was also really useful when turned the slow ground turrets as the high sensitive gave me the edge.
I started Starship Troopers, which requires a whole lot of killing which is more frantic than accurate. Using the medium sensitivity was a good trade off between accuracy and speed. Swiveling round was easy and quick, allowing me to pick off all the beasties with ease. When there was ranged action, switching DPI was simple; a click of a button in fact. All in all, I enjoyed playing the game that little bit more, it even seemed to have endowed me with better playing skills.
Command and Conquer: Zero Hour was my next choice of game. Command and Conquer is an old favorite of mine which requires exclusive use of the mouse. Moving around the screen was not only easy, quick and accurate but the ergonomics of the mouse allowed me to play for a lot longer before doing the old stretch-rotate wrists maneuver.
Nine Dragons is a new RPG game which is still in the beta testing stages. It’s basically a cheaper version of WoW. When I say cheaper, Nine Dragons is free :). Nine Dragons is very much mouse driven, with all of the movement requiring you to click and move the mouse. I switched the Death Adder to medium settings to allow speedy movements whilst retaining accuracy.
From my testing I can honestly say that there is a major performance increase from using the Razer Death Adder compared to a generic optical mouse. I have previously used several other gaming mice, including the Krait and the Copperhead and I can honestly say that even against these two high end mice, the Death Adder has many improvements. The massive DPI and other features that the Death Adder offers soon become apparent during an extensive gaming session.