What’s the first product that comes to mind when you think “mouse?” For me, it’s one of Logitech’s G-series clickers. Others might name classics like Microsoft’s IntelliMouse Explorer or Razer’s DeathAdder. But we might be hearing EVGA’s name from mouse fanatics soon, too. Yeah, that EVGA. Say hello to the company’s Torq X10 (left) and X5 (right):
Why mice? I’m guessing EVGA has its eye on the burgeoning e-sports market. It’s hard to show off a graphics card or power supply on camera at the International, but mice, keyboards, and headsets are much more visible—and personal—devices. Getting the EVGA brand in front of gamers through peripherals makes a lot of sense.
Brand visibility is all well and good, but input devices need to do more than look pretty. I’ve spent some quality time with the Torq X5 and X10 over the past couple of weeks to see if they’re as functional as they are sleek. Let’s take a closer look.
The new breed
The Torq X5 and X10 share a lot of features, but the X10 has a couple goodies the X5 lacks.
A screw at the back of the X10 allows the user to change the profile of the mouse from a flatter shape to a higher, more arched one. As a result, the X10 can accommodate a variety of grip styles. I can get a comfortable hold on the mouse with a palm, claw, or fingertip grip. The bump at the rear nestles nicely into my palm, and the matte surfaces and dimpled buttons feel like they’ll offer good grip even under sweaty hands.
Although the X5 feels like a smaller mouse in the hand, it’s actually larger than the X10 all around, at 4.6″ long, 2.6″ wide, and 1.5″ tall. For comparison, the X10 measures 4.5″ x 2.2″ x 1.2″. Despite the X5’s extra size, I don’t feel comfortable holding it in my palm—the front-to-back curve is too flat for me. A fingertip grip feels great, though.
The X5 trades the X10’s matte, dimpled finish for a glossy white upper shell and rubbery, textured sides. The upper shell isn’t as grippy as on the X10, but the pebbled sides feel even better than the smooth plastic body of its ritzier sibling.
Both designs are ambidextrous, with symmetrical shapes and pairs of function buttons on each side. Lefties, rejoice. Out of the box, the Torqs are configured for right-handed use, with the buttons under the right pinky finger disabled. This configuration can be reversed with the included software, which can also enable both sets of side buttons.
The Torq X10’s top plate pops off to reveal silos for any two of six included tuning weights. At 4.3 ounces (121 grams) out of the box, the X10 is already pretty hefty for a mouse, so I didn’t bother to add more bulk. If you prefer more weight, the X10 can be beefed up to 4.7 ounces (or 134 grams.) The X5 weighs in at a svelte 3.0 ounces (85 grams), despite its more generous dimensions, and it lacks provisions for weight adjustment.
Turning these mice on their backs reveals part of the reason for the X10’s extra bulk: its solid metal baseplate. The X5’s body, on the other hand, is 100% plastic. Each mouse sits on low-friction feet, and EVGA includes an extra set of adhesive sliders in the box. The non-stick surfaces are a little larger on the X10.
Each mouse’s underbelly also has a button for cycling through five different onboard profiles. This location might seem a little strange, but it prevents gamers from accidentally changing profiles, which could lead to frustration and fumbling during critical moments. I’ve bumped the top-mounted profile button on my Logitech G502 before, so I’m OK with making the switching process more deliberate. Those who want to jump between profiles quickly might be disappointed, though.
What you can’t see from the outside is the different sensor tech employed by each rodent. The Torq X10 uses an Avago ADNS-9800 laser sensor that can resolve a nosebleed-inducing 8200 DPI, while the X5 taps a Pixart 3988 optical sensor that tops out at a slightly less stratospheric 6400 DPI.
Optical and laser sensors both track changes in position by monitoring the light reflected by a surface. Optical mice typically rely on an LED light source, while laser mice use, well, infrared lasers. Laser sensors tend to be capable of higher resolutions than their optical counterparts, as demonstrated by the X10’s higher DPI spec. I didn’t notice any difference in accuracy or tracking between the two mice.
The X10 supports five levels of on-the-fly DPI adjustment, and you can step up or down through those options. Only four DPI levels are available on the X5, and a single button cycles through them, which means you have to go through all the options to get back to the first one.
Differences aside, the X10 and X5 both feature clicky scroll wheels, Omron switches for the left and right mouse buttons, and customizable LED illumination. The X10 has one LED under the mouse wheel and one behind the EVGA logo, while the X5 relies on a single LED. Don’t expect Corsair K70 RGB levels of customization here; EVGA’s accompanying software, dubbed Unleash, only offers a handful of color options.
Unleash can be used to reassign button functions, adjust DPI settings, create macros, and change the operating system’s mouse acceleration settings. Custom profiles are saved to one of five onboard slots. Each profile has room for up to 11 macros, and each macro can be saved to the host system and moved in and out of the mouse’s internal memory using the management tab.
Macros are built by clicking the record button in the macro tab, pressing the desired sequence of keys or mouse buttons, and then ending the recording. The duration of each press and release can then be modified prior to saving. I tested the interface by creating a Save-for-Web macro for Photoshop and assigning it to one of the pinky buttons, which worked like a charm. Although I’m not a big macro user, the interface is fairly straightforward and easy to use.
For easy reference, here’s a table of the key specifications.
|Torq X5||Torq X10|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||4.64″ x 2.55″ x 1.53″
(117.9 x 64.8 x 38.9 mm)
|4.50″ x 2.25″ x 1.25″
(114.3 x 57.1 x 31.8 mm)
|Weight||3.0 oz (85 g)||4.3 oz (121 g)|
|Max DPI||6400 DPI||8200 DPI|
|Sensor type||Optical (Pixart 3988)||Laser (Avago ADNS-9800)|
|Switch life||20 million actuations||20 million actuations|
|Max polling rate||1000Hz||1000Hz|
|DPI switching levels||4||5|
At about $65, the Torq X10 sits comfortably in the middle of the range of gaming mice available at Newegg. For $75, EVGA also offers a version with a carbon-fiber veneer on some surfaces, appropriately called the X10 Carbon. Aside from that cosmetic difference, the X10 Carbon should be identical to the standard model. The X5’s $50 street price reflects its more streamlined feature set.
Now that we’ve examined the Torq X5 and X10, let’s see how well they work.
For a comparative reference, I used my own G502 Proteus Core, one of Logitech’s latest gaming mice.
The G502 has a few features missing from the X5 and X10. Most notably, it includes Logitech’s trademark clutched scroll wheel, which can be switched from clicky to free-wheeling modes on demand. There’s also a “sniper” button that drops the mouse tracking sensitivity to its lowest setting. The G502 weighs the same as the Torq X10, but it’s longer and wider than both EVGA mice. At $68, it’s priced to go toe-to-toe with the X10.
The Torq X10 and X5 are billed as gaming mice, so what better way to evaluate them than to play a game? I tested with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which requires precise mouse movements to be competitive. (I’m usually not, but one can dream.)
I discovered early on that the Torq X5’s optical sensor doesn’t track well on the white melamine surface of my desk. I normally don’t use a mousepad, but to make the X5 usable, I pulled out the super-cool mouse mat that Asus includes with its Crossblade Ranger mobo. I used the same mat while testing all three mice.
To eliminate as many software variables as possible, I disabled Windows’ “enhance pointer precision” setting. I also turned off the acceleration features in each mouse’s driver, and I disabled CS:GO‘s built-in acceleration, as well. After making these tweaks, I tuned each mouse’s DPI settings for comfort, settling on 800 DPI for all three.
Putting the PTFE to the mousepad
Going into this review, I wasn’t expecting to find a whole lot of difference between these mice. I’ve always used Logitech mice without complaint, so I figured the G502 would emerge the uncontested favorite. Boy, was I wrong.
The Torq X5 was the surprise favorite in my tests. This featherweight mouse feels a bit insubstantial out of the box, but it’s brilliant to use. The lack of weight makes the X5 easy to flick around, and the light touch of the buttons lets me quickly translate enemy sightings into semi-accurate bursts of bullets. At my best, I felt like I was wielding a wickedly precise rapier, compared to the more broadsword-like X10 and G502.
The X5 wasn’t without its downsides, though. Its glossy finish can get slick with sweat after long gaming sessions, and the pearl-white paint quickly becomes grimy with skin oils. The grime is nothing a microfiber cloth won’t fix, but it’s not pleasant to look at. At least the X5’s textured, rubbery sides provide a sure grip.
The Torq X10 was my second-favorite of the three. Even though it weighs the same as the G502, most of its mass is concentrated in its metal base, giving the mouse a very low, stable center of gravity. It’s an exotic sports car next to the more truckish G502.
Although the X10 and X5 both use the same Omron switches, the X10’s buttons have a small amount of dead travel before they register a click. As a result, they felt less sure in CS:GO, and they seemed to tire out my hand faster in general. Those who prefer more deliberate-feeling buttons may prefer the heavier touch required by the X10, though.
As it happened, the G502 ended up being my least favorite. Its center of gravity feels weird compared to the EVGA mice, probably due to the elaborate scroll wheel mechanism inside. The positioning of this mechanism seems to shift the center of gravity up and toward the front of the mouse. The relatively thin left mouse button isn’t as easy to hit as the more generous buttons of the EVGA mice, either, though Logitech’s switches do feel light and responsive.
The G502 could also do with fewer grams of weight to start. Adding some of the optional weights seemed to lower the Proteus Core’s center of gravity, but it also made mouse the heaviest of the bunch, at 4.5 oz (127 grams). That may not sound like a big deal, but loaded with weights and stacked up against the lighter Torqs, the G502 felt less nimble all around.
Mice get used for more than just games, of course. Pushing pixels around in Photoshop and selecting reams of data in Excel are considerably less taxing than fragging enemies in CS:GO, and the perceived differences between the mice narrowed as a result. The lighter Torq X5 is easier on my RSI-prone wrist, but the X10 and G502 aren’t burdensome. All three handle the slow, precise movements of my non-gaming work with equal aplomb.
Despite being a new entrant to the mouse market, EVGA is on the right track with its Torq mice. As a long-time Logitech fan, I was expecting my G502 to remain the king of my desk, but I was pleasantly surprised by the Torq X5 and X10.
Each Torq has its own quirks. The X10’s slightly deliberate buttons don’t feel great in the heat of battle, and its heavier body takes more effort to muscle around. The X5’s glossy finish can get slippery and grimy with use, and its sensor can’t reliably track my white desk without a mousepad. For $10 more, EVGA also makes a laser version of the X5 with the same sensor as the X10.
If you like heavier mice, the X10’s metal baseplate and low center of gravity make it feel planted on the desk, and one can add even more weight if needed. The X10’s adjustable shape also works for a variety of grip styles. Both Torqs have large, inviting buttons, and their ambidextrous nature means that anybody can use them. The included Unleash software works well, too.
Between these two mice, the X5 is my favorite. I love its feathery weight and light button response. The X5’s $50 price tag is quite reasonable, as well. With all of that goodness going for it, I’m happy to call the Torq X5 TR Recommended, and I’m looking forward to future gaming sessions with this mouse at hand.
The Torq X10 is a good mouse, to be sure, but its button feel and weight may not be for everybody. The $65 asking price isn’t that big of a step up from the X5, so if my complaints sound like positives to you, give this mouse a go. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
Enjoy our work? Show your appreciation by becoming a TR subscriber today.