I’ve heard a lot of recommendations and positive feedback about PMW3366 sensor, some people even call it “the best sensor in the world”, so I got curious and I bought G303 to compare it with other sensors.
Fortunately, I have some experience in how to compare different sensors. Before I was using not only ICS (image correlation sensors), but other technologies as well. So I have an idea about how sensor should behave. This is the list of devices, I used before.
Spoiler (Click to show)
A4Tech Bloody V2 (Pixart 3305DK @1000Hz)
A4tech OP-620D (Pixart PAW3504DLY-TEL2)
A4tech OP-720 (Pixart PAN3512DK-TJZA)
A4Tech X-710MK (Avago A3060 @1000Hz)
A4Tech XL-750BK (Avago ADNS-6010 @1000Hz)
A4Tech XL-755BK (Avago ADNS-6010 @1000Hz)
A4Tech XL-750MK (Avago A9500 @1000Hz)
CMStorm Inferno (Philips PLN2031 @1000Hz)
CMStorm Recon (Avago ADNS-3090 @1000Hz)
Cyborg R. A. T. 5 (Philips PLN2032 @1000Hz)
Genius NetScroll 200 Laser (Avago A7700 @125Hz)
Genius XScroll Optical
i-Rocks IM3-WE (Avago ADNS-3090 @1000Hz)
Logitech G100s (Avago AM010 N1301T @500Hz)
Logitech G9X (Avago A9500 @1000Hz)
Logitech LS1 (Avago S7550 @125Hz)
MadCatz R. A. T. 5 (Philips PLN2032 @1000Hz)
MadCatz R. A. T. 7 (Philips PLN2033 @1000Hz)
MadCatz R. A. T. TE (Philips PLN2034 @1000Hz)
MadCatz M. M. O. TE (Philips PLN2034 @1000Hz)
Micosoft Intellimouse 1.1 (ST Microelectronics OSMLT 04 @125Hz)
Mitsumi ECM-S6802 (ball @200 Hz)
Ozone Radon 5K (Philips PLN2032 @1000Hz)
Philips SPM7800 (Avago A7530)
Philips SPM9800 (Philips PLN2022 @88Hz)
Razer Abyssus 3.5G (Avago S3888 @1000Hz)
Razer Imperator 3.5G (Philips PLN2032 @1000Hz)
Razer Lachesis 3G (Philips PLN2031 @1000Hz)
Razer Lachesis 3.5G (Philips PLN2032 @1000Hz)
Razer Naga 2014 (Philips PLN2034 @1000Hz)
Razer Spectre (Philips PLN2032 @1000Hz)
Razer Taipan (Avago S9818 @1000Hz)
Roccat Kova [+] (Pixart PAW3305DK @1000Hz)
SteelSeries Ikari Laser (CYONS1001U @1000Hz)
SteelSeries Kinzu v2 (Pixart 3305DK @1000Hz)
SteelSeries Sensei MLG (Avago A9800 @1000Hz)
SteelSeries Sensei RAW (Avago A9500 @1000Hz)
Verbatim Rapier v2
Wacom Intuos 5 L Pen & Touch
Wacom Mouse KC-100
You may know, what I think about comparison of ICS with other technologies (if you don’t, you should read this
), so here I’ll focus on comparing PMW3366 with other ICS.
This is only empirical analysis, so don’t expect to see formulas and graphs. I compared different sensors, their algorithms and peculiarity. I tried my best to find best tracking surface for each sensor, to get used to each sensor, to adapt to its peculiarities and to change my play style depending on sensor.
During this test I compared sensors A3060, A3090, A6010, A9500, AM010, MLT04, 3305, PMW3366 and S3888. I’ll start from worst sensor and will move to best sensor for overall aiming ability in average games.
I have no idea what was it made for. It’s worst ICS I’ve seen so far. But not because of so called “acceleration”. First of all it’s laser based, which makes surface requirements even more strict, than in case of LED based sensors. There is a lot of noise and huge amount of smoothing and path correction. It’s not better than cheap office mouse.
Cursor movements are separated from hand movements. It’s usual for Logitech sensors. Smooth mouse movement results cursor speed jumps. I have a feeling that sensor collects data for like half a second and then makes cursor run all this distance very fast. Maybe it makes the end result more accurate, but in price of inability to correct path during movement. Taking into account, that it’s main method of aiming, it makes this sensor unusable, especially for leading moving targets or compensating recoil in games like CS, COD or BF. Also worth mentioning noticeable amount of smoothing.
Minimal amount of smoothing I’ve seen in ICS so far. Rough movements seem to be close to hand movements. Problems here are strong angle snapping and inability to perform small movement (pixel walk). All this makes sensor too rough and inaccurate, especially for games.
Significant amount of smoothing and path correction which is really hard to compensate.
DK (Roccat Kova [+])
It also has angle snapping and pixel walk, but a little bit less, than Avago A3060. It has more smoothing than A3060, but overall it’s a little bit more controllable.
Logitech’s weird algorithms again. It seems to be successor for AM010. They still use their trick to increase “numbers on box” like CPI and max tracking speed by sacrificing real world performance and controllability. I can’t notice “smoothing” here in it’s classic form. It has different processing. Sensor ignores small movements. It accumulates them to certain threshold. After this threshold sensor starts reporting them. Seems like it has some kind of “death zone” of small movements. Like some kind of angle snapping, but not related to axis. Small deviation from large movement will always be rejected. Big fast movements may be slightly more accurate, that with non-Logitech sensors. But trajectory correction, leading moving targets and compensating recoil is still nearly impossible. I can’t imagine situation, where I can prefer this sensor, to next ones.
There is noticeable smoothing, but path correction is not significant. Sensor feels more “raw”. Main problem is in laser. On some surfaces it tracks small movements somewhat predictable, but has terrible max tracking speed. On other surfaces it has tolerable max tracking speed but lots of noise. I found no surface which it will work “well” on. At least using it on Manticor, it’s possible to correct errors in process, to lead moving targets and to compensate weapon recoil in games.
(Razer Abyssus 3.5G)
Lots of smoothing and(!) noise. The thing is smoothing is more predictable and correctable somehow. Small slow correcting movements work just fine. Leading moving targets is not a big of a problem, as well as compensating recoil. But big fast movements are not the strongest part of sensor behavior. If I’ll need to choose between Logitech’s flick shots without ability to correct them and Razer’s fast corrections, I’ll always choose corrections, because Logitech’s flick shots are still not reliable. It’s better than Pixart PMW3366 overall.
STMicroelectronics OS MLT 04
(Microsoft Intellimouse Optical 1.1)
Yes, max speed isn’t great, I reach its speed limit even at high sensitivity. Yes, accuracy isn’t perfect. Yes, it has smoothing. But this sensor is predictable and controllable. Results, which I can get with this sensor, are much higher than anything I can achieve with any other ICS. It’s good for both: flick shots and corrections. It’s the most “raw” ICS I’ve ever used. I seriously don’t have a clue what were all other ICS made for and why they all are so much worse. Any other ICS is not even close.
So if you don’t want to use anything but ICS, my advice will always be MLT 04.