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Razer Diamondback Plasma L.E Review
NGO Review: Razer Diamondback Plasma L.E
For years a Logitech MX mouse was considered the best gaming mouse out there. Today more then ever a good mouse is a must, especially when some people make their living from gaming and spend the majority of their online time playing. Today we will have a look at the Razer Diamondback Plasma L.E and its features. This mouse is considered one of the best available for gaming.

System Requirements:
Windows 98SE / ME / 2000 / XP
USB 1.1 / 2.0 Port

Product Specifications/Features:
Refresh Rate: 6400+ frames/second
Engine: Infrared optical engine
Image Processing: 5.8 megapixels/second
Resolution: 1600 dpi
Speed: 40 inches/second
Acceleration: 15g
Buttons: 7 (programmable), primary buttons have anti-slip coating
Wheel: Vertical Scroll with 24 individual click positions
Data Path: 16bit
Colors: Glowing plasma colors
Connector: Gold plated USB connector
Skates/Feet: Zero-acoustic teflon feet
Siderails: Rubber made for improved grip
Dimensions: 5.04" length x 2.5" width x 1.54" height
Power Mode: Always-On mode (the optical sensor never powers down)

Package details:
Razer Diamondback Plasma L.E.
Razer Diamondback Lan-Pack for storage and transport.
Razer Driver Disk

As soon as I got the mouse, I plugged it in and installed the software that came on the Razer Driver Disk. At first I didn't notice, but the CD's package comes with a warning letter that you should read before installing the mouse.

The CD did not have an auto run feature; while this is trivial many users rely on this feature. The installation once started was a standard user friendly installation without any configuration issues.

After walking through the installation process I was required to reboot my PC. After rebooting I got a weird blank window with the Razer logo, this might be one of the side effects of the WinXP compatibility issue. This compatibility issue however was fixed by the new driver version (5.0.9) which I downloaded from Razers website.
I opened the control panel and was amazed, Razer thought of everything! I could control the sensitivity; double click speed, and even some of the wheels options.
The configuration experience was great. I even had the ability to test my new settings within the program before I actually apply them. The Logitech SetPoint has an option to change the products resolution, Razer's software did not. I guess this is ok since you can always change the sensitivity.

Click on a picture for a large view

To test the mouse I played a few shooters, just to see if theres any improvement in the aiming (although its also player dependent). I tested it only on HL2 and CS1.6. Results were incredible! After drastically reducing the sensitivity I was considered to be a new breed of cheater.

At this point I wanted to check the stability with higher refresh rates. I opened Mouserate Switcher v1.1 and tweaked it in steps. Each step was followed by a refresh rate stability check with "Mouse Rate Checker".

After changing the rate to 1000MHz it wouldn't remain stable. As the snapshot above says the average is 740Hz.

Why having higher refresh rate at your USB bus is better?
t's pretty simple. A higher refresh rate means faster translation from movements into electronic signals. This means higher accuracy and faster communication between the mouse and the PC. A Mouse quality can also be measured by it's stability at high refresh rates, I haven't checked it on my old Microsoft Optical Blue, but Razer Diamondback's pick was about 740Hz stable which is pretty good.

For more info about overclocking your USB bus read here

Why is high DPI important
Resolution, measured by DPI and means Dots Per Inch. The higher resolution you have the better the mouse translates your mouse movements to electronic signals, which means accuracy. Unlike refresh-rate this means pure movement accuracy as refresh-rate only prevents mouse bouncing. Razer is pretty good at this since most of the mice on the market are still using 800dpi and Razer doubles that. You can really feel the difference between 800dpi and 1600dpi. It's like tripling your sensitivity and adding more movement accuracy to it.

Available in all colors of the spectrum!
As the Plasma color is a Limited Edition the Razer Diamondback is also available with Chameleon Green or a Magma Red translucent chassis.

Power supply consumption
After a brief check of Diamondback's power consumption it seems that it takes 100mA which is about 4/5 of the overall amount supplied to one USB port (125mA)
In addition I have also ran the same check on my Microsoft Optical Blue for comparison and got the same amount. Despite the fact Razer warned us about this, I find this not very unusual.

Razer Diamondback is a high quality mouse with great performance. The higher dpi will benefit professional designers and gamers alike. The design is great, and the Plama LED adds a lot to the appearance. Even though the mouse seems a little small it has good grip thanks to the anti-slip coating and the rubber side rails. At first I though that the extra side-buttons were located in a bad location. They were very hard to reach while gaming. After a few hours of use it became a matter of getting used to the new design and all was good. The software must be mentioned in Razer's favor as it is user friendly and delivers the goods.

Well done Razer!

Score: 9/10

I would like to thank Razer for sending us this sample and the additional Razer goodies!

Written by George "zor" Levi

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