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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Table of contents:

Physically

Shape
Feet
Buttons
Cable
Weight
Build Quality
Tracking
Lift-off Distance
Jitter
Prediction
Perfect Control Speed
Consistency and Acceleration
_500Hz
_800dpi @ 1000Hz

Software

Conclusions

Pictures
Spawn
Spawn vs Abyssus
Abyssus glossy side

Physically

Shape

Perfect for fingertip grip. Nothing else to say! Some people stated that it requires a bit of time to get used to Spawn's shape but for me this shape was very natural. If your grip is fingertip too, I definetly recommend this mouse. It's odd when you first see in the pictures but when you grip it, it just fits. I'm using it for more than a month and I've never expercienced fatigue (with Abyssus sometimes my ring finger felt weird/strained).

It might be very good for claw grip also (and definetly not good for palm grip, unless you have a very small hand).

Feet

They came with sharp edges, but they will break-in really fast (after a few minutes I almost couldn't feel the sharpness anymore). It glides much better than Abyssus feet.

Let's see if newer versions will indeed come with rounded edges.

feet.jpg
front_foot.jpgback_foot.jpg

Buttons

Very light activation force (except scroll button). As is, it's very good; lighter than that, it would be a problem I think. When I was drawing the lines for the jitter test, I accidentaly clicked the right-button a few times when i had to slowly and firmly draw the lines without deactivating the left-button. Other than that, I've never made accidentals clicks in any button. User calavera gave the exact same review about the buttons (light activation force but we like it
smile.gif
).

All of them (except scroll wheel) has a very good (light) tactile and audible feedback. I would enjoy a clicky scroll wheel (as clicky as the other buttons) aswell. Scroll button activation force could be a bit lighter too.

Cable

A bit thicker as many has already stated but that's not a problem for me. Actually, that thickness makes it looks very sturdy and reliable in my opinion. It probably is an issue for low sensitivity players.

usb_plug.jpg
front_angled.jpgfront.jpg

Also, it's worth noticing that Spawn cable has a Ferrite Bead close to the USB plug which should help filtering EMI/RFI:

ferrite_bead.jpg

Weight
(without cable)

Spawn: ~86g; Abyssus: ~71g.

spawn.jpgabyssus.jpg

Not a problem at all but I would prefer a bit lighter. About 10% ligher (~75g) would be perfect!

Build quality

Very well built. Every button is "rubber" coated (actually it's a plastic which gives a nice grip), plus thumb and pinky rest (those seems to be real rubber). I won't really describe it, it's better you see it for yourself.

left_front.jpg
right_back.jpgleft_back.jpg

Tracking

Lift-off Distance
(all dpi)

Firmware

30a: 4CD in Goliathus Speed; 1CD in my Desk.
31 : 1CD in Goliathus Speed; 0CD in my Desk (doesn't track).
32 : 2CD in Goliathus Speed; 0CD in my Desk (doesn't track).

With firmware v31 it does skip in the green splash logo of Goliathus Speed Fragged edition. I took special care when I made tests with it (used only the dark region). If you want to use firmware v31, an all black and a completetly flat surface are required. In my opinion they pushed too hard with this firmware trying to lower the LOD and it ended up being not too stable and very picky with surfaces.

Jitter

The jitter test is very sensitive to the speed at which you draw the lines. Having that said, Spawn is pretty much jitter-free, except... 800dpi @ 125, 250 and 500Hz.

800dpi @ 250Hz:

32_Goliathus2_thumb.png

This is the sensor flaw in my opinion. Because I'm late with this review, I'm seeing already some users noticing this flaw. At 1000Hz though, it is pretty much jitter-free.

800dpi @ 1000Hz:

32_Goliathus2_thumb.png

Prediction

From the jitter test, it's noticeable a slight (at low speed) amount of prediction, most prominent in horizontal lines (user squarebox has noticed it also). Comparing it with my Abyssus, it becomes very clear that Spawn does indeed have a certain amount of prediction.

Spawn:

spawn_horizontal2_thumb.png

Abyssus:

abyssus_horizontal2_thumb.png

Abyssus has more jitter; Spawn has more prediction. Personally, prediction bothers me far more than jitter and I do prefer Abyssus tracking. But that's so slight and the shape is so superior, that I have to stick to Spawn.

Again, the amount of prediction is so slight that I don't know if it's even fair to say that it has prediction. But you can definetly notice it if you have other mice completely prediction-free.

Perfect Control Speed

Plots of Speed vs Time follow below. Data was collected with outerspace logger.

1792mm/s at 1000Hz and 500Hz:

Spawn_1800_1000_Goliathus_Speed_fw32_speed.png
Spawn_1800_500_Goliathus_Speed_fw32_speed.png
(I will comment on that instability at 500Hz)

(2688mm/s at 250Hz and 3136mm/s at 125Hz).

The interesting thing here is that - in order to achieve those different speeds - it uses a different amount of bits at each polling rate (8, 9, 11, 12-bit for 1000, 500, 250, 125Hz).

Results for all dpi [125, 250, 500, 1000] Hz
800dpi: [http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/Furuyah/Spawn/800dpi/125/perfect_control/Spawn_800_125_Goliathus_Speed_fw32_speed.png]2270[/url], http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/Furuyah/Spawn/800dpi/250/perfect_control/Spawn_800_250_Goliathus_Speed_fw32_speed.png]2016[/url], http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/Furuyah/Spawn/800dpi/500/perfect_control/Spawn_800_500_Goliathus_Speed_fw32_speed.png]2016[/url], http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/Furuyah/Spawn/800dpi/1000/perfect_control/Spawn_800_1000_Goliathus_Speed_fw32_speed.png]2032[/url]] mm/s
1800dpi: [http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/Furuyah/Spawn/1800dpi/125/perfect_control/bigger/Spawn_1800_125_Goliathus_Speed_fw32_speed.png]3136[/url], http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/Furuyah/Spawn/1800dpi/250/perfect_control/bigger/Spawn_1800_250_Goliathus_Speed_fw32_speed.png]2688[/url], http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/Furuyah/Spawn/1800dpi/500/perfect_control/bigger/Spawn_1800_500_Goliathus_Speed_fw32_speed.png]1792[/url], http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/Furuyah/Spawn/1800dpi/1000/perfect_control/bigger/Spawn_1800_1000_Goliathus_Speed_fw32_speed.png]1792[/url]] mm/s
3500dpi: [http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/Furuyah/Spawn/3500dpi/125/perfect_control/Spawn_3500_125_Goliathus_Speed_fw32_speed.png]1613[/url], http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/Furuyah/Spawn/3500dpi/250/perfect_control/Spawn_3500_250_Goliathus_Speed_fw32_speed.png]1382[/url], http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/Furuyah/Spawn/3500dpi/500/perfect_control/Spawn_3500_500_Goliathus_Speed_fw32_speed.png]922[/url], http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/Furuyah/Spawn/3500dpi/1000/perfect_control/Spawn_3500_1000_Goliathus_Speed_fw32_speed.png]922[/url]] mm/s

The highest Perfect Control Speed lies at the 125Hz polling rate in all three dpi's.

It's worth noticing that the "low" 1.7m/s PCS is not a flaw since the official specification states "60 IPS" (1524mm/s), so users are more than aware of what to expect from this mouse, regarding this specific aspect.

In the other hand, the measured speeds at 3500dpi (except at 125Hz) don't meet the specifications but I don't think that anyone using 3500dpi will ever come close to hit 1.5m/s even at Full HD screen resolution.

Consistency and Acceleration

500Hz
500Hz showed to be effectively between 250 and 500Hz, not true 500Hz. See this plot:

Spawn_1800_500_Goliathus_Speed_fw31_speed.png

We can see that "ups and downs" canceling each other, making the counts correct only when we look in the 4ms interval (250Hz). In the 2ms interval (500Hz), I think we can call that a "instant jitter" (because it can NOT be noticed in paintbrush test, it's just a "2ms jitter"! And the Counts variation is low).

Also, notice that it only happens when going from left-to-right! That's a movement inconsitency. From right-to-left swipe, we observe a very slight amount of negative acceleration, which most likely is completely un-noticiable. That inconsitency was verified in all mousepad positions (0, 90, 180, 270º).

With Firmware v32 it's less instable than v31, but still inconsistent.

1000Hz did not showed that movement incosistency. But the slight negative acceleration was there too; again, I'm pretty sure that it's almost impossible to notice that subjectively (i.e. playing a game).

800dpi @ 1000Hz
Unfortunately, 800dpi at 1000Hz showed an even worse inconsitency, which only happens when going from right-to-left:

Spawn_800_1000_Goliathus_Speed_fw32_speed.png

Notice that we can't say that it's only negative or only positive acceleration, because the polling rate falls from steady 1000Hz and oscilates between 1000 and 500Hz. But it's definelty inconsistent and possibly noticiable to the user, because the counts stay flat capped at the PCS (2032mm/s in this case), whereas it should be an curve with higher absolute value but with the same slope as the rest of the curve.

In order to verify how far it is from what it should be (and to take into account the polling rate variation) here's the Counts per Second plot with a curve fitted through polynomial regression:

Spawn_800_1000_Goliathus_Speed_fw32_cps.png

It's a "jittered negative accelearation" followed by a "jittered positive acceleration" which lasts for less than 50ms in some cases. So, surprisingly and despite how ugly it may look, it might pass unnoticed to the unaware user! In fact, in the Distance Travelled plot we don't see any huge deviation. Still, that's the nail in the coffin for the 800dpi in my opinion (others polling rate at 800dpi don't suffer from this defect but they have jitter). If you're a low sens user and your in-game sensitivity won't allow you to down-scale the 1800dpi, then Spawn is not for you!

We don't observe this issue at low speeds, but that doesn't matter since the user who needs 800dpi will most likely hit high speeds very often.

Software (and CM Storm customer service)
Spawn English Application (.EXE) - Version 1.0 - Mar 04, 2011
Spawn_Software.exe - 4.267.731 bytes
Software doesn't work if you hit 'Apply' or 'Ok' with Google Chrome opened.

Before figuring that out (1 week ago), I have issued a ticket at CM Storm website and opened a thread at their forum. So far, the ticket remains unanswered and the thread got its replies published just a few hours ago. I tried to answer my own thread there to let people know about the issue but the admins didn't want to make it public until today. A few hours ago I noticed CM Carter spreading this information at either CM Storm forum and at OCN as if CM Storm team were working hard in this specific issue and finally figured out the problem. I didn't like that kind of attitude from Carter but, well, at least they keep in touch with community.

(I wrote that in mid-July. Ticket remains unanswered)

And Spawn does have an onboard memory. So once you have set your preferences through the software, you can uninstall it if you want to.

Conclusions

Perfect shape for fingertip grip, great build quality and flawless tracking at 1800dpi.

Major flaws at 800dpi.

This is a mouse that you can definetly use 125 or 250Hz (at 1800dpi). Compared to 1000Hz, you'll only get a 7 or 3ms additional lag (which is completely negligible), but low sensitivity players will benefit from a much higher Perfect Control Speed.

Firmware v31 has very good LOD (less than 1CD) but is a bit instable.*

500Hz polling rate showed to be inconsistent under various conditions.*

Considering that this mouse will perform similarly in other dark cloth pads, my personal recommendations are:
Mid/High sensitivities (top speed below 1.7/ms): Firmware v32, 1800dpi, 1000Hz.

Low sensitivity (top speed above 1.7/ms): Firmware v32, 1800dpi, 125 or 250Hz (PCS 3.1 or 2.7m/s). If your in-game sensitivity doesn't allow down-scaling, then you should stay away from Spawn.

One last thing that I want to point out is that 1800dpi on Abyssus felt a bit more sensitive than 1800dpi on Spawn. That proves that those Mouse Speed measurements are only estimates about real world measurements (to calculate Mouse Speed from Counts, it's made the assumption that actual cpi matches nominal cpi).

*maybe not instable enough to be a "deal breaker". You probably won't notice anything subjectvely.

Pictures

Spawn

left.jpgright.jpgback.jpgfront.jpg
top.jpgangled_left.jpgangled_right.jpgring_rest.jpg

Spawn vs Abyssus

back.jpgfront.jpgtop.jpg
angled_top.jpgangled_frontleft.jpgangled_frontright.jpg

Abyssus "infamous" glossy side (plus sharp edges that can "bite" you finger)

glossy.jpg
 

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By far the best mouse review I have seen yet at this forum.

Well formatted, well thought out, and a good mix of opinions and facts.
 

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Maybe moving left is different than moving right because the sensor is assembled at 90° (not default 0°). Left is down and right is up for the sensor. Even if that's the cause it shouldn't work this way.

In my opinion Spawn hasn't got any angle snapping when it's turned off by the software, and low-medium when it's turned on. Angle snapping in ADNS-3060 is certainly higher.

Very good review
smile.gif
.
 

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rep up for filco keyboard
smile.gif


the 90° turned sensor (space constraint) - not a big fan but in some cases simply necessary.

I would be interested in the switches/rotary encoder used. did you open it up for a picture?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skar;14773428
rep up for filco keyboard
smile.gif


the 90° turned sensor (space constraint) - not a big fan but in some cases simply necessary.

I would be interested in the switches/rotary encoder used. did you open it up for a picture?
Oh, you did notice it.
biggrin.gif


So, I didn't opened it (and I won't until I have replacement feet). I've read elsewhere that Spawn uses D2F-01F switches and that it uses an optical encoder for the scroll wheel (aka "Japanese-Made Ultra-Step Wheel Encoder").

And thanks everyone for the kind words. I've put a lot of effort in this review and it's really a rewarding feeling to have your work recognized.
 

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No, i dont think it will have D2F-01F switches, more lle D2FC-F-7N and if you are lucky an ALPS mechanical rotary encoder.
If I stumble upon one I probably need to buy to check :/

@filco: come to the dark side, topre is calling you ^^
p.s.: are those upe or teflon mouse feet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skar;14773761
No, i dont think it will have D2F-01F switches, more lle D2FC-F-7N and if you are lucky an ALPS mechanical rotary encoder.
If I stumble upon one I probably need to buy to check :/

@filco: come to the dark side, topre is calling you ^^
p.s.: are those upe or teflon mouse feet?
I can't tell you if it's indeed 100% teflon. All I'm capable to tell you about them is what I provided in the review (though if had to guess I'd say pure teflon since it glides really smoothly). And sorry for not being able to answer your questions about the switches, if you happen to open one before me please let me know.

@filco: Well, I really wanted that RealForce all-45g uniform but it has just evaporated from elitekeyboards! Plus, I'm still not prepared to spend $300+ in a keyboard
tongue.gif
(and I'm already waiting others to arrive so I got my hands full for the next months at least).
 

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Well, as it turns out, I cant feel **** if the tracking is bad. Been using 32 firmware at 500hz and 800dpi and thought everything was fine. Still do.

But a very good review nontheless. Need more of this quality!
 

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Great job F u r u y á!

You showed excellent conclusions based on empirical testing and integrated common topics that were brought up in the many threads regarding the Spawn.

This will be my go-to thread for anything related to the Spawn.

(Which mouse is next?)
 

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Excellent review, F u r u y á!
Hard to think of something that you could have done better.

What I really like about it that you kind of scientifically analysed the technical performance even though most of the technical "flaws" prolly wouldn't be noticeable in-game for any sane human. Well, there might also be differences between people as to how sensitive they are to such things... Speaking for myself, I have found quite a few "flaws" in mice via doing these graphs that I otherwise would have never noticed. Yet, I still wanna know about all of them simply out of interest for the technology.

http://www.pcwaishe.cn/thread-176122-1-1.html
might enlighten about the buttons and such.

Do you own an A9500-based mouse? I think a A9500 vs. A3090 comparison on the same stellar level would be the next awesome thing (still trying to find the positive accel myself...). First you might, however, also still want to savour the credit for the great job you have just done before embarking on the next
wink.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@Limniscate
I tested only 31 and 32, with different mousepads. When I saw that the resutls were the same even with different firmware and different mousepads I stoped testing it since as you could see there were a loooot of other things yet to be tested. I'd guess that the PCS will be the same with 30a, but only after testing we can be 100% sure.

@Kragarmendes and Swaggerfeld
Unfortunately I don't have a A9500-based mouse. If you send me the mice I can test them
biggrin.gif


And yeah, that's exactly what it is Kragarmendes! Probably the sane human won't notice some of the technical flaws verified (eg. the instability at 500Hz), and those tests were taken for pure interest for the technology!

From a quick view of that (comprehensive!) chinese review, I couldn't determine whether the scroll wheel is optical or not. I saw that it's "ALPS" so I suppose it is mechanical? The switches were indeed D2FC-F-7N, as Skar called.
 

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Excellent review! I have also been very happy, using my Spawn at 800 cpi and 500 Hz polling rate, and my Spawn has no discernible jitter, and yes, I tried different lmovement speeds in the jitter-test. I noticed you got some inconsistencies in the polling rate, that it was not as steady, and that some reports had more counts, due to a longer interval, and some reports had less counts, due to a shorter interval. To me, this indicates that the mouse is tracking correctly, and that no movement data is lost, it is only a question of the report rate fluctuating. This may or may not be the mouse's fault, it could also be an issue in the computer, chipset/USB, background task, etc. causing a delay. The mouselogger records down to 0.1 ms, but you are showing whole ms numbers(?); just wondering if you rounded up or down anywhere. On my comp (Gigabyte P45 chipset based, but happen to be using a PCI-USB add-on card, with NEC chip), I get a solid 500 Hz (2.0 ms) report rate for long periods of time on the recorder, as long as the mouse is kept moving, only rarely with an extra 0.1 ms (meaning 2.1 ms) or less 0.1 ms (meaning 1.9 ms), but never ever hitting a full 3+ ms, unless I stop moving the mouse. Just saying, your polling rate deviations might be computer related. I'd love to see how your Abyssus fares on your computer, if the report rate shows similar variations or if it is steadier or less steady? Please note, I am not criticizing your work, you've done a great job on the review, and I'd like to see you do more mice at this level of detail, only suggesting to keep an open mind about where the variations might be coming from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Any criticisms are welcomed ElectricDelta.

Actually that's a good point about the polling rate fluctuation. I do have some Abyssus plot and some indeed has that fluctuation in polling, but at 500Hz it's pretty solid (starting on page 31 of Skylit thread you can see more plots I took from Abyssus). But what I highlighted in the review was the fluctuation in the Counts, which might give jitter or other undesirable behavior. The small fluctuation in polling is less harmful I think (as long as the average doesn't deviate from what it should be). To be clear: what I've highlighted in the review was the fact that the Counts fluctuated whilst the polling rate remained stable ("instant jitter").

Yes, the numbers shown in axes are rounded, just for sake of readability.

It's good that you brought up that discussion. I might make some tests in a netbook just to see how differently will it behave.
 

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Great thorough and professional review.
Been looking for a decent mouse, so the more reviews the better.
(+rep my measly rep that is
biggrin.gif
)

That said think I will stay with Razer or get a Logitech since I am a palmer
wink.gif
 

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I felt like I was back in college reading the review
biggrin.gif
(and that's a good thing!)

do you feel that you have a little more trouble picking up the spawn compared to the abyssus? because that's my only thing keeping from picking up the spawn instead of the abyssus at the moment. I tried my brother's, and I love how short the buttons of the spawn are, but the wide-grip makes lifting it feel a bit awkward. the abyssus is at least narrower, and from one pic in another topic, it looks no wider than a kinzu (whose shape is well-received). furthermore, it's also lighter..
 
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