Customising the mouse: Razer Synapse
As with most modern Razer peripherals, the Razer Diamondback Chroma utilises the Razer Synapse software suite for its driver and configuration tool.
This particular tool has gotten what I believe is unjustified bad press. Yes – previously the days of past, Razer devices used to have an on-board Synapse memory and a driver / utility which didn’t require an internet connection and account to operate (which is the case of the Razer Synapse software).
However, this is the 21st century – how much can you actually do on a PC with a decent / constant internet connection? With most DRM-based software delivery services (Steam, Origin, uPlay etc..) you would have a hard time even launching most games without an internet connection.
Razer Synapse allows you to create an account, login and save all your configuration to the cloud. If you were to lose your OS / upgrade your PC / login to a different PC with Razer Synapse installed (e.g. an internet gaming cafe for example), all your configuration is instantly retrieved and applied to your device(s).
One last comment on this – the device does actually remember how you last configured it and will work as you last set it outside of Windows (as long as it is one of the pre-configured lighting pattens like ‘breathing’ for example) and on another PC without Razer Synapse installed.
The only exceptions being the more complex custom lighting sequences using the Chroma Configurator and advanced synchronisation features such as having all your Chroma-enabled devices perfectly in sync (e.g. ‘breathe’ together – looks really cool actually!) which is a very minor issue in the grand scheme of things.
Without further ado, let’s have a look at the various menus available to the Razer Diamondback Chroma in the Razer Synapse software.
Under the Mouse -> Customise tab, all 7 of the device’s buttons (as well as scroll up / scroll down on the scroll-wheel) can be re-configured as you choose. For example, you can bind the two ‘off-side’ side buttons you wouldn’t frequently use to keyboard presses such as F11 and F12 so that you can use these as extra bindings in games:
Moving to the all-important Mouse -> Performance tab, the sensitivity, acceleration and polling rate can all be configured. Of particular note, the sensor is capable of being adjusted in 1 DPI increments giving gamers unprecedented fine levels of control of their sensitivity. In addition, you can even unlike the X and Y sensitivity to have different sensitivities on your vertical and horizontal movements if you wish. Lastly, all these settings can be linked to multiple different profiles (so for example you could have a different setup for FPS and RTS games) or linked to certain programs / executables to automatically apply upon startup. My only complaint here is that the Razer Diamondback Chroma does not offer any dedicated ‘Profile Switch’ buttons on the mouse to change quickly between these profiles without having to pop into the tray icon to do so:
For the computer peripheral vanity-stricken amongst us (yup – I’m right there with you!), the Mouse -> Lighting section should quench your thirst for lighting nirvana! The lighting section (especially for the Razer Diamondback Chroma) offers a huge range of configuration options where the limitation is essentially only your imagination. There are a range of ‘off the shelf’ effects (such as static, breathing, reactive, spectrum cycling etc…) as well as choice of colours, brightness, ability to apply the same scheme to your other Chroma peripherals and option to switch off lighting when you switch your monitor off:
However, things start to a bit more crazy when you enter the world of the Chroma Configurator which has more options that you can shake a stick at. Here, you are able to individually configure the ‘light strip’, razer snake logo and scroll-wheel as individual zones and create ‘layers’ of lighting effects that have endless possibilities for configuration. One awesome feature is to import / export these settings as special Chroma Configurator files which allows you to share your designs (or import those from others) within the community:
The last sub-tab under the Mouse menu is the Mouse -> Calibration menu. This section of the Razer Synapse software allows you to calibrate the mouse to either a pre-definied set of Razer mouse mats or to set it up against of your own mat. In addition to the sensor calibration, you can also configure the ‘liftoff range’ which determines the distance away from the mouse mat that the sensor will stop tracking when you lift and replace the mouse towards the centre of the mat (which can be useful to reduce the unwanted tracking associated with lifting the mouse):
The next major section of the software is the Macros area. This section allows you to record a variety of sequence combinations if you wish to automate parts of your gaming experience:
The Chroma Apps section is a very interesting feature which allows you to integrate your device with ‘profiles’ that the game developer has created for Razer to distribute with their games. For example, if you play Overwatch, your Chroma devices will change colour to the hero you have selected (e.g. Red for McCree, Pink to Zarya etc…), certain keys (like ‘H’ to switch hero) will pulse when you are in the spawn and there is a ‘flash’ sweeping effect when you are on the hero selection screen etc…:
The final menu is the Stats section which allows you to track a massive amount of data such as number of clicks, distance mouse has been moved, movement ‘heatmaps’ of where you were aiming on the screen during a session etc..:
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