OCZ Behemoth Gaming Mouse Page: 1
Introduction Behemoth
 
Mice have long been a topic of heated debate amongst computer users, especially when gamers are brought into the equation. When choosing a mouse that is right for you, three key factors will usually cross your mind, the first being Ergonomics; how the mouse is best suited for the user, both in shape, size and the tasks it will be used to perform. This is possibly the most influential factor that you will base your choice of mouse upon as it needs to feel comfortable during extended periods of use, and deliver the necessary performance for whatever tasks you may undertake.
 
Next we have budget. Many consumers don't want to spend obscene amounts of money on what may only be a slight gain in terms of performance, comfort or other more trivial matters, so they focus on the best price/performance or best features available within a certain price range. However, a select few like myself will spend over and above what is considered respectable, just to have and to hold the latest technology in the palm of your hand.
 
Last and by no means least we have Aesthetics. Some of you may put this before budget, but that's purely a personal opinion, and one we won't get in to. Long gone are the days were a standard two button corded mouse appeals to the average computer user. With a vast variety of mice flooding the market, in all shapes and sizes, some sleek and stylish and others in your face with their bold designs, making a foothold with a new mouse isn't easy and deciding which one tickles your fancy often proves as difficult.
 
OCZ need little to no introduction. Gamers and Enthusiasts alike will recognise OCZ as one of the biggest names in computer memory, ranging from high speed DDR all the way up to enthusiast level DDR3 modules. This reputation has been built from the ground up by the sheer determination and expertise of the company as a whole. Over the past few years OCZ have broadened their horizons and moved into other markets including Power Supply Units, Peripherals and DIY notebooks with the intent to provide the best products on the market along with 110% customer satisfaction. Call me sceptical, but this is a big ask, especially in today's rapidly evolving computer industry. Baring all of the above in mind (if that's even possible), today we are going to be looking at one of three laser gaming mice by OCZ, the OCZ Behemoth.
 
 
Specification
 
The following specification was taken from OCZ's product page.
 
2-Way Scroll wheel
Buttons: Std. 5 + 1 dpi Toggle Switch
Hot Key: 1 Mode Switch
Dimensions: (L)118mm x (W)71mm x (H)44mm
Weight: up to 159g (adjustable)
DPI: 800-1600-2400-3200
4-way changing LED display
Tracking speed: 60IPS
Acceleration: 50G
MCU: On board Memory
Programmable Functions for Keyboard Command saving
18g Customisable weights
Interface: USB 2.0 / Full speed
Includes Customisation Software
2-year warranty*
 
Many of the features above are far from what you would expect to see on a budget gaming mouse, let alone one costing a mere £16.99. I must admit that I am mightily impressed by the specifications listed, and can only hope that will all this power under its hood the Behemoth won't falter during our test procedures. 


OCZ Behemoth Gaming Mouse Page: 2
Packaging & Appearance
 
The mouse comes adequately packaged in a plastic shell contained inside a cardboard box. The shell has been shaped to the contours of the mouse so should you see the mouse sitting instore you could lift it up and get a rough feel for its shape. The left section lists some of the most notable features of the mouse, with the right side orbs telling you more or less the same thing.
 
Front Rear
 
On the rear, six of the orbs are described in further detail. OCZ state a 12 month warranty on their packaging, but 2 years on their site. I'd like to think the second is true. If so the packaging should be rectified to reflect this.
 
You can see that the Behemoth isn't exactly your run of the mill gaming mouse. It has a very distinct shape and styling designed for the full hand to rest on it, something that either works well or is a total disaster. It is also considerably larger than most mice I have used in the past. 
 
Top Curves
 
The mouse is very much slanted top to bottom from left to right. This accommodates the way in which the hand naturally grips an object, to make it comfortable and practical during use. The OCZ Behemoth logo brightens what is predominantly a dark styling and gives the mouse an attractive finish.
 
On the left of the Behemoth one large side button functions as two separate buttons which make a defined noise when pressed. At either side of the button is two clear areas which act as a display for which profile is selected, either lit individually or both at the same time.
 
Left side Right side
 
Now looking at the right you can see the very distinct grooves that the 4th and 5th fingers rest upon whilst using the mouse. The fingers easily rest in these grooves but if you aren't a fan of a full hand grip they may be a little off-putting at first.
 
The front of the mouse is home to the left and right click mouse buttons and the scroll wheel. The scroll wheel is actually a little smaller than I would have expected and is nestled down into the body of the mouse ever so slightly.

Front view Bottom
 
On the bottom is the double laser sensor, a profile switch and five plastic mouse feet. Also on the bottom is the cable management system. This allows the cable to be routed either directly from the top of the mouse as is standard or from the left or right sides in two different areas. This is particularly useful for use on a small desk where the cable catches on the edge as moving it the the left or right frees the mouse from this problem.
 
OCZ also include a weight system with the Behemoth in which 5 small weights rest snugly inside a small compartment on the bottom of the mouse.

Weights Lights
 
When the mouse is plugged in it lights up the room, literally the mouse could guide you around in the dark it's that bright. Above the small DPI button on the top is three small areas that light up to indicate which DPI setting is currently in use. The button itself also lights up, so four lights in total indicate the DPI status.


OCZ Behemoth Gaming Mouse Page: 3
The Software
 
Unfortunately the included driver disc with our sample was snapped in two and therefore rendered useless. Thankfully like most manufacturers these days OCZ provide the latest drivers on their website which were easily located on the drivers page of the Support section. The driver itself has a very small footprint, perhaps down to the fact that the software doesn't install on your system but acts as a standalone driver. In essence all it does is change the settings written to the flash memory of the mouse. This is great news for anyone wanting to take the mouse to LAN parties, over to a friends house or even to work/school should you have the urge, as you don't have to worry about installing drivers every time to get the best out of your mouse.
 
 
I purposely launched the driver without the mouse attached to the system to see how the driver would react in this situation and was met with a rather intriguing question; "No Mouse?" I couldn't help but grin, this was possibly the funniest thing I had seen all day (sad, I know.) As funny as it may sound it's actually a fairly good idea. However, a slight rephrasing to something like "No Mouse Detected" would be a more direct approach and deliver the message in a more definitive manner. I can only wonder what other quirks lie hidden in the depths of the Behemoth driver.
 
No Mouse
 
With the mouse plugged in to my system this time, I proceeded to launch the Behemoth drivers for a second time. This time round was more successful with a loading message appearing for a few seconds, during which the LEDs on the mouse flashed, indicating the settings being read from the onboard memory.
 
Loading
 
On the Profile page three customisable profiles are available for use. A number of directional buttons enable settings to be transferred from mouse to PC and vice versa. A small description of what each button does appears when hovered over which is useful if you are new to working with profiles on a mouse. In general the software is rather basic, but it gets the job done which is no cause for complaint.
 
 Profile
 
Moving on to the Configuration tab, the settings are pretty self explanatory. You have the DPI adjustments which you can set ranging from 200-3200DPI and the USB report rate can be turned off completely or set at 125, 250, 500 or 1000 reports per second.
 
Configuration
 
When any changes are being saved to the mouse, a loading screen appears and the mouse becomes non responsive for the duration. Perhaps a notification to let the user know the mouse will stop responding would be helpful to reassure them during the process.
 
Waiting
 
 
If like me you often forget to save your changes before exiting you will know how much of a pain it is to have to go through it all again. To see whether OCZ had anything in place to warn me about saving the changes I had made, I changed a few settings and clicked to exit the program. To my relief OCZ has implemented a simple pop-up to check whether or not you want to keep your changes. What I didn't expect was the way it was worded.
 
Check
 
Surely these can't be the words of a programmer fluent in the English language? Either way, this really isn't the best way to go about checking whether or not the user wants to close the program without keeping the changes. "Exit Without Saving" is the first alternative that springs to mind, and one that would be understood in an instant.


OCZ Behemoth Gaming Mouse Page: 4
Test Setup & Testing
 
Here's a short list of hardware that will be used when putting the mouse through its paces:
 
Windows 7 RC1 x64
Intel Core 2 Quad q6600
MSI p45 Platinum
OCZ ATI Certified PC-6400 4x1GB kit @ 800MHz
Sapphire 3870XT 512MB
Western Digital Caviar Blue 320GB
iiyama ProLite B2409HDS
Boogie Bug AimB.Pad XL Gaming Surface
 
As most of you are aware, testing a mouse poses a number of issues related to the user rather than the mouse itself. To combat these problems and eliminate them from the review, some new testing methods have been assigned to present a fair analysis of the mouse in hand.
 
Tracking
 
Without having to think, most if not all of you will know that the tracking of a mouse is essential to how you carry out the tasks on your computer. Testing on a mouse mat whilst a good idea, does not portray how the mouse will perform on other surfaces, so we decided that a number of differing surfaces should be used to test how the mouse operates on each.
 
Mouse mat - No complaints here, the mouse passed with flying colours during operation on the cloth mat. The mouse feet glided over the surface of the mat causing no noticeable friction and the double laser sensor worked well at all times responding quickly to my movements.
 
Wood - Unless you are a fan of pushing gritty, scraping mouse feet along a surface and the irritating noise it produces you would be best to avoid this surface altogether. Aside from this, the mouse performed without fault, offering a viable solution should you not have a mouse mat in the vicinity.
 
Black Glass - The plastic feet of the mouse caused a severe dragging effect on the glass surface, slowing my movements down to a snails pace. Tracking didn't suffer and allowed me carry out my normal tasks with ease albeit somewhat slower.
 
Brushed Aluminium - Obviously this isn't something you are going to be using your mouse on, but I thought I'd try it out nonetheless. As the aluminium is brushed it has a grain, if you can call it that. Like anything going against the grain the mouse is slowed down dramatically and judders forwards slightly. This is precisely the reason why the tracking was rather poor and skipped around the screen like a monkey on speed.
 
Clear Acrylic - Before I tested the mouse on this surface I had a fair idea of what was going to happen. Laser mice need a dark or slightly coloured surface to track on, if this isn't present the laser cannot correctly pick up the movements and more often than not fails to move at all. This was indeed the case with the clear acrylic. Moving the mouse on it yielded the occasional skip in random directions but nothing more.
 
 
Polling
 
The polling rate is a key aspect of the mouse as the gamers among you will know. The polling rate is simply the number of reports the mouse can send a second. 1000Hz (1ms) is currently the fastest and most CPU intensive polling rate available, and offers a quicker response for fast paced applications such as first person shooters and other action games.
 
To test how the Behemoth performed I used a little known program called Dx_mouse_timer. With its advertised polling rate of a 1ms I was disappointed to see the Behemoth reach a lowly 515Hz,  half of what I was expecting.
 
515
 
With a little more work I managed to get the mouse to play ball and reached the magic 1000Hz. However, it did take an awful lot of rapid movement to achieve this result. With normal movement the mouse never exceeded the ~500Hz mark. I would rather see 1000Hz continuous polling, but 500Hz is adequate for most tasks and games.
 
1039
 
Perhaps OCZ could address this issue with a new driver release, assuming  the problem doesn't lie with the mouse itself.
 
To make things more interesting, I hooked up the Razer Mamba to see how it compared with the Behemoth. As you would expect, the mouse worked continuously at 1000Hz with even the smallest of movements.
 
Mamba Polling
 
The Mamba is indeed the faster of the two, and a pleasure to use, but it'll cost you £100+ for the experience, so perhaps sticking with the cheap and cheerful Behemoth isn't such a bad idea after all. Yes there is only 2Hz between the two mice at peak, but if you read into it further you will see that the average rate of the Mamba is considerably lower than that of the Behemoth, a full 0.51ms faster.
 
All things considered, the Behemoth puts on a good show, especially when it is up against competition from the fastest mouse in the world.


OCZ Behemoth Gaming Mouse Page: 5
Testing Continued
 
General Use
 
Now that we know how the mouse functions when used on different surfaces and the reports it can send to the computer each second, it's time to look into the area that will make or break the mouse as a potential purchase - general use.

Mozilla Firefox
Finding myself spending an ever increasing amount of time in the confines of Mozilla Firefox, it was the logical place to start. Being the most often used application on my computer, and one that requires a mouse capable of navigating through the tabbed interface of the browser, Mozilla Firefox is as good a test as any. Daily I find myself opening a number of tabs for various reasons, and like to know that my mouse will be capable of closing and opening them without giving me any hassle.
 
As per usual I opened an abundance of tabs, and began navigating through them, closing those of little interest with both the left click button and the scroll wheel. Using the left click button to close tabs was as simple as could be expected. The cursor remained over the small x until the tab was gone, and continued to do so every time I requested it to do so. The scroll wheel on the other hand, proved to be slightly more awkward due to the force required to press down on the middle mouse button. Sometimes it registered, and others it didn't. This may be down to me not providing enough pressure on the button, but a slightly lighter press would make it easier to operate repeatedly.
 
Windows Desktop
What could you possibly do on the desktop in Windows? I hear you ask. Well stop right there. The desktop is the perfect opportunity to test how the left and right click buttons perform, both in single and double clicks. Launching programs via double click on the Behemoth did on occasion give me reason for concern. The double click isn't as fluid as I would like. Generally a swift double press of the left click button will launch the program, but I found with the Behemoth that the button was slower to return to its original position, giving the impression that it was sticking slightly.
 
After much deliberation and a rest for my sore fingers I decided to try the Behemoth again, only holding the mouse in a slightly different position. This time round the problem was more or less gone completely and allowed me to shift my focus onto the right click button. Nothing out of the ordinary occurred when using the right click button, it worked as it should throughout the test.
 
Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop has become a favourite of mine when it comes to testing mice. The reason being that it requires extreme precision to carry out photo editing tasks. I usually load up a number of images, play about with exposure, and cut out shapes etc. to see how accurately the mouse responds to my movements. The Behemoth surprised me ever so slightly. I wasn't expecting the mouse to perform poorly, far from it, but it was as good as I would expect from a mouse costing considerably more.
 
Having my full hand on the mouse, rested firmly on the provided grooves allowed for a much easier editing experience than conventionally shaped mice as it seemed to give a more controlled method of movement when using brushes, the eraser and other tools an avid Photoshopper would make use of.
 
Gaming
 
If I was to review a "gaming mouse" and not bother to test it for the purpose it was designed, it would be a pointless exercise in its entirety. With the Sniper/Spy update for Team Fortress 2 just released, it was the perfect opportunity to get in some much needed practice on the game. Playing as one class wouldn't provide an accurate view of how the mouse performed so a few popular classes were used to determine the overall performance of the mouse.
 
Scout - The speedy gonzales of the game. Wielding a baseball bat and armed with a scatter gun the scout uses his speed and agility to bombard the enemy with shotgun pellets in quick succession, however he cannot sustain a lot of damage. I'm not generally a fan of the scout, but seeing as he is the fastest class in the game, I had to put the 3200DPI of the Behemoth to use somehow. Leaping around on 2Fort, over the centre bridge and into the opposing battlements and killing snipers at point blank range was a walk in the park. Not once did the Behemoth skip or cause any unwelcome annoyances commonly associated with budget gaming mice.
 
Soldier - The spammer. If you want a good spam fest this is the class to use. Armed with a Rocket launcher you can propel up to four rockets simultaneously at the enemy. A durable but slow character. Using the Soldier is great when you aren't in a competitive mood. In the times that I can do nothing but die I like to go Soldier and have a bit of fun. When enemies attacked close range, sweeping the crosshair around screen and sending a rocket or two their way was a joyful experience. The double laser sensor responded very well during my session as Soldier, leaving the times I died down to lack of skill and not the mouse itself.
 
Spy - The master of disguise. Armed with a knife, the ability to disguise as the opposing team and an invisibility cloak the spy uses these traits to outwit and back stab his opponent. Getting close enough to the opponent to stab him in the back is half the battle. Once a desirable position has been reached, uncloaking and stabbing your opponent can be difficult, especially if you don't judge the angle quite right. I don't play spy as often as I should, so it took some getting used to the ins and outs of the class again. That said, I couldn't fault the Behemoth in any way. Running around putting sappers on sentries, then stabbing the engineers in the back was as effortless as I could have hoped for.
 
Over the several hours I played TF2 the Behemoth remained comfortable in the palm of my hand and no wrist pains or other complaints arose thanks to the ergonomic shape and arched body of the mouse.


OCZ Behemoth Gaming Mouse Page: 6
ConclusionOCZ Behemoth
 
The OCZ Behemoth is rather an understated and overlooked piece of gaming equipment. Reaching out to gamers is a difficult task even for the seasoned pros like Logitech and Razer, so OCZ knew they would have their work cut out with their double laser gaming mice. The one area the Behemoth really excels itself is its price. How often do you see a gaming mouse than cashes in below £20, in this case £16.99? Not very often. The Behemoth may be cheap, but it certainly knows how to punch above its weight. 
 
The Behemoth has been crafted specifically for right handed users. If you are a lefty I doubt you would be able to convince your hand to accept the mouse in its current form, as the shape is almost a direct mould for the right palm and fingers. The shape of the mouse really struck a cord with me. Within the first minute of holding the mouse I knew that a lot of thought and testing had gone into getting the defined contours right for those gamers than prefer to grip the mouse with all their hand as opposed to those who half grip the mouse and rest the remaining fingers on the surface below the mouse, should it be a mouse mat, table top or something else. The mouse just felt right in my hand, like it was meant to be there, unlike many lower budget mice I have had the displeasure to use in the past.
 
Over the course of my extended gaming sessions on Team Fortress 2 I began to grow fond of the Behemoth, not only because it was extremely comfortable during use, but it worked as any gaming mouse should, tracking perfectly and responding well to my quickest reactions mid-battle. Would I replace my Razer Mamba with the OCZ Behemoth? If price was an issue then yes, I could see myself opting for the cheaper Behemoth mouse as it offers excellent performance and features for the price, even if the driver software isn't quite up to scratch.
 
One problem that I would like to see corrected is the way the polling rate works for the Behemoth. In a real world gaming situation it would prove almost impossible to reach 1000 reports a second as you would need to flail the mouse about like a mad man to speed past the 500Hz continuous reports that the mouse currently achieves. Whether it's down to a lack of insight on my part, or simply the way the mouse has been designed it would be nice to see the Behemoth reach its advertised 1ms response time without having to use brute force to get there.
 
The mouse is quite a beast in terms of size, being possibly the largest mouse I have ever used. This is in no way a bad thing as it provides a large area for the hand to be rested on. Admittedly from my point of view the mouse isn't the most attractive but it's not the ugly duckling by any means. The LEDs that indicate the current DPI and current Profile selected are much too bright for my liking, and to make matters worse they cannot be turned off leaving them there to irritate you day in day out. Perhaps it's possible to become accustomed to them, but for now I am not a fan.
 
All in all the OCZ Behemoth is an excellent choice for anyone gaming on a budget. It's cheap and cheerful, works as a gaming mouse should and sits comfortably in the palm of your hand. Over the couple of weeks I spent playing with the Behemoth I enjoyed every minute, even the quirky drivers brought a smile to my face.
 
 The Good
- Perfectly shaped for right hand users
- Adjustable weights
- Sleeved USB cable
- DPI and Profile indicated via LEDs
 
 
The Mediocre
- Not the advertised 1ms response time
- Quirky software
- Looks chunky
 
The Bad
- Bright, distracting LEDs
- Single DPI button
 
value
 
Thanks to OCZ for providing the Behemoth for today's review. Discuss in our Forums.