G.Skill MX780 RGB gaming mouse review

Gaming mice are a very personal choice and with the myriad of options available to prospective buyers, choosing one can be very difficult. G.Skill are hoping that by offering a heavily customisable product it may just secure your interest, as its Ripjaws MX780 offers a number of tweakable options that help it stand out from the crowd. 
RGB lighting options? Check. Adjustable weights? Check. Swappable finger and thumb grips? Check. Combine those with a barebones design, high-quality Avago A9800 sensor, unbranded Teflon feet and a number of other useful features and it seems like quite the little package.
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Although it does feature gamer-like styling, the number of features G.Skill has packed into this mouse is quite impressive. It has made a real point of catering to lots of different types of gamers, meaning its audience should be bigger than most.

Specifications

  • Sensor: Avago A9800 Laser Sensor
  • Micro Switch: Omron
  • DPI: 100-8200
  • Polling Rate: 125Hz/250Hz/500Hz/1000Hz
  • Mouse Backlighting: 4-Zone RGB
  • On-Board Profile: 5
  • Programmable Keys: 8
  • On-Board Memory: 512kb
  • Braided USB Cable: 1.8m
  • Mouse Adapter: USB
  • Mouse Feet: PTFE Glide Pads
  • Weight System: 4.5g Weights (x2)
  • Weight (mouse only): 111g
  • Weight (w/ weights): 120g
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 70mm x 38mm (5.12in x 2.76in x 1.50in)
  • Dimensions: (w/ large side grips) 130mm x 93mm x 38mm (5.12in x 3.66in x 1.50in)
  • Warranty: 2-Year Limited Warranty
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The packaging for the G.Skill MX780 is compact, but informative, giving you a great shot of the mouse itself on the front, as well as highlighting some of its more important features. RGB lighting being the technology focus point, it is no surprise that it features prominently.

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Always a nice touch for those buying in person, the box pops open to give you a look at the mouse itself, as well as showing the different options for side-grips that you can pick from. The back highlights even more of the mouse’s abilities, including the fact that you can customise the height of the palm rest.
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There are a few additional pieces, including a quick-start manual, warranty guide, additional weights, palm-rest screw for adjustments and a pair of alternative finger and thumb rests.
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The G.Skill MX780 is an interesting looking mouse. It uses the exploded-diagram approach, with palm rest, side grips and buttons all separated from one another and attached to a silver plastic frame. Of course there is a reason for this beyond aesthetics: most of those components can be adjusted or swapped out.
All of those parts in particular have a matt, black paint job with a soft plastic coating.
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The adjustable palm rest features a transparent G.Skill logo which lights up when the mouse is turned on.
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The left and right hand sides of the Ripjaws mouse are almost identical, featuring the same lighting strips, logo, pair of side-buttons and plastic grips. However in the default configuration the left hand side has a larger one.
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At the front end there are the usual left/right-click mouse buttons and scroll wheel, which has a few grooves in its sides for added grip and styling. Behind that is an uncharacteristically large DPI switch which allows cycling through various sensitivities – though not two-way.
It is also worth noting that G.Skill has used a cable guard near the base to prevent it shearing off against the frame of the mouse after long-term use.

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The underside of the G.Skill MX780 is finished in brushed aluminium, which gives it a very smooth underside – though it may be vulnerable to scratching if you do not use a decent quality mouse pad that is clear of dust and debris.
The Avago laser sensor is centrally located and there are a number of PTFE (unbranded Teflon) feet to ease smooth movements. At the back of the mouse however is a small screw slot, which when used with the bundled hex key allows you to adjust the height of the palm rest.
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Doing that lets you make the mouse more comfortable for your preferred style and grip – be it palm, finger, claw or some amalgamation of the three.

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Likewise G.Skill has made this mouse compatible with those that prefer an ergonomic design, or an ambidextrous one, which also means that with a bit of button remapping, the MX780 will work just fine with left-handed gamers as it will with right handers.
With the smaller, ambidextrous grips in place, the above mouse is formed, though you can see also what the larger grips would do if slotted in place.

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Doing so is incredibly easy too, as the grips are held in place by powerful magnets. A quick tug is enough to move them though and snapping a new one in place is equally as easy.

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Behind those side panels you will also find space for the additional 9g of weights that G.Skill included with the bundle. They fit into little (magnetically held) pockets and are hidden away behind the panels when they are in place.
Testing the G.Skill MX780 involved using it as our main office mouse for a period of one week, utilising it for 10+ hours a day for general web browsing, photo editing and other office tasks. Since it is a gaming mouse first and foremost though, we also tested it in a number of titles from various genres, including FPS and RTS, slower paced puzzlers and turn-based strategies.
All the while we factor in its speed and accuracy, comfort and additional features, as well as the functionality of its back-end software.
Gaming wise, we found the MX780 a joy to use. It is accurate and smooth, and thanks to its five-step DPI selections, you can easily jump between appropriate sensitivities. The Avago A9800 might not be to the taste of every gamer – especially those who prefer an optical mouse – but it is a high quality sensor and you can tell.
There is some acceleration, though it is not particularly noticeable and thanks to the laser being used over an optical sensor, you can use this mouse on just about any surface. That said, because of the high-quality mouse feet and brushed aluminium under belly, we would still encourage a high quality mouse mat to avoid scratches.
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The first panel lets you adjust the function of individual buttons with a quick click of their corresponding number
It has quite a snappy feel to it, making it feel more suited to higher speed games than slower ones, but it operated equally well in all genres we tried.
For more general tasks, I found the MX780 similarly pleasurable to use. It is very comfortable over long periods. There is some perspiration build up with the plastic coating, but the open frame design does allow more airflow than usual to circulate around your palm, which is useful.
One issue I did have however was with the oversized DPI selector. Although its size made it so that cycling through sensitivities was just a flick of the finger away, I also found myself pressing it accidentally when moving from the scroll wheel back to the left mouse button. That may have something to do with my finger-grip placement, but the DPI switch is very light and requires but a nudge to set it off.
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Macro recording and spec changes are simple and intuitive in the back-end software
The lack of a DPI up/down selector was felt there too, as instead of just hitting one other button to correct the mistake, I then had to repeatedly hit the cycle-switch four more times to get it right. If you are mid-game, this is actually quite problematic, though I tended to notice it more during web browsing and other general tasks.
Although as a finger grip gamer I did not spend a lot of time with the palm rest raised up in the palm-gaming position, I did like the addition of that. Indeed G.Skill seems to have thought of just about everything when it comes to making the mouse accessible to different breeds of gamer.
That includes the ease with which you can switch out weights (albeit only 9g worth) and finger/thumb grips. It makes it simple to try out various combinations without having to soldier away at it for minutes at a time. It literally takes a couple of seconds to change them over, which would even mean you could have different configurations for different games if you liked.
It does not matter what side grips you like, what weight you prefer or what grip type you use – every gamer can enjoy the MX780 thanks to its versatility. It does not even matter what colour you want, as a quick play with the back end software can let you customise the lighting preference.
The back-end software is not quite as versatile as some systems we have seen. However it is much more attractive and intuitive than that of the G.Skill Ripjaws SR910 which we reviewed recently.
It allows for simple macro recording and key-remaps, lighting changes and adjustments to different aspects of the mouse like its polling rate, DPI sensitivity (per step adjustment), double click speed, scroll speed and even liftoff range. That latter option however is set to practically zero as standard though, so unless you like the mouse to take into account your pick up and drag, it is perfectly fine as it is.
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Lighting effects are limited to breathing and ripple. The colour gamut is broad however.
You can also save profiles and settings to the mouse, or even link them with specific programs and software which is a nice touch, meaning you do not have to switch your profile every time you change game.
As good as the software is however, I did have a few issues with the lighting on the mouse itself. Some of the colours are just not well represented. Green for example, comes through as an icey blue, yellows have a somewhat sickish green tinge to them and there is a slight flicker in the palm rest during breathing fade in and outs.
The G.Skill MX780 is not the best mouse in the world, but for its price it is a great jack of all trades with some of the highest levels of customisation available. It is comfortable, accurate and great to game with over long periods. It does not have too much of a problem with perspiration and the number of little, additional features shows G.Skill has really paid attention to critiques of competitor products.
The addition of magnetically swappable finger/thumb grips, side-mounted weight pucks and the adjustable palm rest are fantastic. It means that when you buy this mouse you can customise it to just how you like it. If you are anal about such things, that might be quite a time sink for you, but for most this will be a nice set-and-forget feature that you tweak when you first get a hold of your new mouse.
The lighting is highly customisable, but although it offers different effects and promises an RGB spectrum, there are some colours that are just not well represented. The software could also do with some improvements, like making it possible to change all colours at once.
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The remainder of the software is solid. There is decent macro recording and key remapping. The options for DPI selection and polling rate are all there too and you can adjust everything in quite minor steps, so again, very customisable.
From this reviewer’s point of view, it is just a shame that G.Skill did not make that DPI selector switch a little smaller and preferably with an up/down function. As it is, even after a week of practise I still unintentionally hit it at least a few times a day.
But perhaps that is a small price to pay for a good all-round, laser gaming mouse. G.Skill has obviously invested a lot of time into the design and listened to fan feedback. As their first effort in the peripheral space, the MX780 is a great start and it is also a solid foundation to build on.
You can find the G.Skill Ripjaws MX780 for $50 on Newegg. No UK pricing or availability has yet been announced but keep checking your local retailers for an update.
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Pros
  • Good gaming-grade laser sensor (Avago A9800).
  • Great customisation with finger grips, palm rest height.
  • Solid build quality, open-plan design looks different.
  • Weights and cable head protector are nice additions.
  • Works for left and right handed gamers.
Cons
  • Lighting is not true RGB – green looks like blue, yellows are tinged.
  • DPI switch is too big and light, easily pressed by accident.
  • Software could do with some usability tweaks.
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