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Dharmapoint DRTCM37BK review

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Intro - background

The DRTCM37BK mouse has been out for a little over 3 months now. What really may have driven people to this mouse would probably have been it's distinct similarity to the Intellimouse explorer 3.0. I don't have to detail just how good that mouse was in the comfort department, however with the release of newer mice sporting better sensors, combining a mouse with the comfort of the 3.0 and the tracking quality of the 3090 sensor should have been great. I'll go further into detail the tracking quality (paint tests), perfect control speed tests (PCS), drivers/extended features and shape comparison with the 3.0 before opening it up for anyone curious as to what's inside.

Tracking quality

To note, I am using a puretrak talent for each test.

Images of tests inside spoilers.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
450 DPI
125hz:
250hz:
500hz:
1000hz:

900 DPI
125hz:
250hz:
500hz:
1000hz:

1800 DPI
125hz:
250hz:
500hz:
1000hz:

4000 DPI
125hz:
250hz:
500hz:
1000hz:

In graph form:




The PCS caps off at around 2.2 m/s @ 250hz on 450 DPI. At 1000hz however, there is definitely something wrong. I wasn't expecting such drastic changes in tracking at the various polling rates.

Testing at New firmware v0.19
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
450DPI:
125hz:
250hz:
500hz:
1000hz:

900 DPI
125hz:
250hz:
500hz:
1000hz:

1800 DPI
125hz:
250hz:
500hz:
1000hz:

3500DPI
125hz:
250hz:
500hz:
1000hz:

4000DPI
125hz:
250hz:
500hz:
1000hz:
Graph of pre0.19 vs post0.19 firmware





PCS has been significantly improved at lower DPI however 1000hz is now broken and won't reach 1000hz constantly (hovers between 600 and 800hz).

Drivers

You can define what each key does and assign a macro to it from the drop down list. These can then be saved to profiles (max 5) which are stored onboard the mouse. Profiles can be changed or scrolled through via a button on the bottom of the mouse akin to that of the deathadder 3.5g (only this does not require drivers).



Basic macro scripts.



Changing the DPI from 400 to 4000 in increments of 1. A notable feature is the lift off distance adjustment on the bottom right corner. I have actually seen it to have significant effect on the LOD - setting it to lowest made the LOD <1CD whilst the maximum setting gave it up to 3CD.



About the switches and scroll wheel.

The mouse has 2 side buttons, 2 main buttons, a dedicated DPI changer below the scroll wheel (swap between 2 DPI that you assign in the drivers), and a profile switch on the bottom of the mouse. The main button switches have a very small travel distance and require a very small amount of force to actuate. My main problem with these switches however, is that there is hardly any tactile feedback, nor is there much of a force that helps in returning the switch back to it's original position. This forced my finger to spam the key with a conscious effort of having to raise my finger if I had a single fire weapon ingame. The side buttons have a similar feel which works quite well since they are positioned high enough not to interfere with my thumb placement. It's quite difficult to compare these switches since I believe they use Zippy switches instead of OMRON or Huano however at best they are like the Zowie AM if they were considerably lighter and also had a much less pronounced tactile feedback.



The scroll wheel felt like an average mechanical encoder - tactile and light. The scroll is rubberized with grooves on it. It is not a 4 way wheel like the DRTCM12/15 had.

Comparison with the IE 3.0




Information regarding the 3.0 is well documented, with sensor tracking tests found here. The IE 3.0 perfect control speed as stated by Sujoy is 1.00 m/s (40"/s) [1.55 m/s (60"/s) @ 1000Hz] can be compared to the tracking speed of the DRTCM37Bk.

There is a marginal improvement in PCS using the DRTCM by about 0.5 m/s (*see addendum). LOD can also be matched by modifying the DRTCM's driver setting, allowing that flexibility in case you have a mousepad that may affect your LOD such as an Artisan Shiden.

The cable used on the DRTCM is a standard braided cable which feels pretty flexible (perhaps similar to the deathadder's braided cable). I would deem the cable on the IE 3.0 to be too inflexible, however I do prefer a rubber cable if only for the reduced friction it has when in contact with a cloth mousepad.

Weight wise, I do not have a proper scale, but from testing it is lighter than the IE 3.0/deathadder 2013 and heavier than the Zowie AM, which would paint the weight at approximately mid to high 90s (~95g).

The switches on the IE 3.0 have far more tactile feedback while not being unnecessarily hard to depress. In comparison, the DRTCM's switches definitely lack this feedback, as well as the return spring motion.

The DRTCM has a rubberized shell which I would say is akin to the steelseries Xai's original rubber coating. It's quite nice.

On to the shape.

The DRTCM is smaller measuring at 120mm x 68mm x 39mm whereas the IE 3.0 measures 130mm x 68mm x 39mm. The structure of their respective shells looks very similar, however in use, they are extremely different. The rear of the DRTCM does not flare out as much as the IE 3.0, negating a large chunk of palm support. On the DRTCM, my palm tends to cramp up fairly often trying to get a good grip on the rear.

The right side of the mouse where my pinky and ring finger grip onto have a difficult time finding a position of comfortable leverage. To make this clearer, the right side of the mouse actually has less space for the ring finger to rest because of the way Mouse2 curves.


There also seems to be a very high bulge on the rear that pierces my palm and tapers off quickly to the side. What this creates is a sort of acute hill rather than the much more subtle gradient on the IE 3.0.


This is perhaps due to the arch of the mouse reaching an apex that is located more towards the rear, whereas the IE 3.0's apex is more towards the middle.


Given these shell features, I definitely prefer the IE 3.0's relaxed feel which easily makes contact with my entire hand.

Thoughts

I have to question how Dharmapoint messed with the tracking of the 3090 sensor. The switches are perhaps a preference. The shape however is a mutilation of the 3.0's in my opinion.

Perhaps I should rephrase this - the tweaks made to the shape derived from the IE 3.0 functionally takes away from what made the 3.0 so great comfort-wise. I believe the best features of the shell was the amount of contact it made with the hand without forcing a strong grip on it. This shape may work, however I feel that a lot of the tweaks made really force your hand to grip it too strongly for a palm grip centric mouse.

It perhaps works with users who have smaller hands, however this then begs the comparison with the Zowie EC2. I am comfortable palming the EC2's shape (I actually adore its shape) however with the seemingly smaller tweaks made on the DRTCM, my hand cramps very easily.

Addendum
So with the release of the newer firmware, the question is whether I would still use it. The PCS is at acceptable levels on the lower DPI settings (with considerable jitter I might add on the higher DPI levels at the various polling rates) however I still do not like the shape. Perhaps some may fare better than I.

-Just as a quick note on the comparison on the IE 3.0 and the DRTCM, the DRTCM has a flat slope from the apex going down the buttons unlike the curved buttons on the IE 3.0. This is visible on the side shot comparison pictures.-

Price is probably a concern (forgot to add it in the earlier review), however this may be troubling to some. The mouse itself costs approximately $74US (or $82 depending on which store you purchase from). Depending on the mail forwarding service you use, this can add up to approximately $32. I had initially paid 10,316 yen back in November when the yen was at a remarkably high value. At present it is fairly low (or at least constant with previous values) however importing this mouse is still very expensive since it is usually only sold in Japan or ebay.

EDIT: NVM got it open.







Edited by end0rphine - 3/18/13 at 6:01pm
post #2 of 13
That strange curve on the pinky side looks rather unfortunate.
    
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 860 MSI P55-GD 85 PNY GTX 570 16 GB Muskin Blackline 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
WD Caviar Black 1TB Crucial SDD some LG SATA thing 7 64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell U2311H CM Quickfire red SeaSonic X-650 Lian Li PC-B10 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Cm spawn Artisan Hayate HiFiMan HE-500 
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post #3 of 13
Are you sure the remaning screws aren't under the sticker?

Doesn't seem likely that they're up top (from pic).
post #4 of 13
Looks like this guy.

post #5 of 13
Nice review - interesting mouse, never heard of it though, but builds on the similarities of the IE3 and Comfort mouse 6000
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Edited OP with internal pics.
post #7 of 13
That has got to be the hardest mouse name to remember ever tongue.gif
post #8 of 13
Low cost 8 bit controller. Nothing special.

Edit:
Quote:
Changing the DPI from 400 to 4000 in increments of 1. A notable feature is the lift off distance adjustment on the bottom right corner. I have actually seen it to have significant effect on the LOD - setting it to lowest made the LOD <1CD whilst the maximum setting gave it up to 3CD.

You tested the mouse with a max setting, right?

Also was the mouse updated from 3500 DPI? Not clear on that.
Edited by Skylit - 3/13/13 at 2:26am
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylit View Post

Low cost 8 bit controller. Nothing special.

Edit:
You tested the mouse with a max setting, right?

Also was the mouse updated from 3500 DPI? Not clear on that.

Yeh it was tested on the highest LOD. The mouse has no updates (none available) apart from the driver itself which only uploads the configuration of button assignmnets, macros and DPI/sensor adjustments. I just tested 4000 DPI since I thought it was just the newest addition of native steps for the 3090. If you want I can test the 3500 step.
post #10 of 13
Hey end0rphine, whats your current driver and firmware version? Afaik the latest is DHARMAControlSetup_rev28938 and FW_optics_v0019.

http://www.dharmapoint.com/content/support#downup (Driver)

http://www.dharmapoint.com/node/148 (Firmware)

Mind to check if you're having the latest versions, if not update and some more test? I'm interested in the mouse too. biggrin.gif
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