We ultimately scored these products not on the features listed on the previous pages, but how each package came together as a whole. Great sensors and lots of buttons don't mean much if a mouse doesn't feel balanced in your hand, and a keyboard with a great layout can fall by the wayside as soon as a spongy key is found. Below you'll see our overall take on each product, followed by the winning picks.
If you've read through the comments on previous pages and in the table above, you may have already determined which products came away victorious. While it wasn't quite unanimous, it was pretty close, and this indicates just how different the products are, despite their similar pricepoints and intended audience.
Winner - Gaming Mouse: Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum
In terms of a mouse that can appeal to just about any gamer, the G502 is in a league of its own. But, we're going to come out and say it: we don't think the G502 Proteus Spectrum is any better than its predecessor the Proteus Core. We judged our products based on performance, and in that regard, the two products are identical. In terms of getting your peripherals to be "matchy-matchy" when it comes to lighting, however, the Proteus Spectrum does have an advantage, and it therefore offers a bit more overall appeal. We just wish Logitech had chosen to keep the Proteus Core on the market at a discounted price - it would have been a tremendous bargain!
Winner - Gaming Keyboard: G.Skill Ripjaws KM780 MX Brown
We've got to admit it: we're just all about MX Brown switches. They offer much better feedback for typing than MX Reds, and in our personal opinion, they work better for gaming as well. So G.Skill had a headstart out of the gate using these switches. But it didn't enter the gaming market with just another me-too product. The keys are perfectly spaced, and the model we tested even included alternate keycaps intended for heavy-handed gamers. The KM780 also has a functional, attractive wrist rest, and generally looks great overall. This is an A+ effort, all the more impressive given that it's G.Skill's first entry in the mechanical gaming keyboard market. Note that since we picked up our retail model, G.Skill has released a cost-reduced version, the KM780R MX Brown. The only difference is that it leaves behind the alternate keycaps, but in so doing it offers an even better value at $120 MSRP, $10 less than the KM780 we tested.
Honorable Mention - Gaming Mouse: Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse
The wireless G602 isn't going to win any awards for wired-like responsiveness, but it's incredibly comfortable to hold, comes in at a surprisingly-low price, and makes a decent gaming mouse for anyone who just can't stand being tethered to their PCs. And we won't blame you for being bothered by cables, because they do indeed get in the way from time to time. While Logitech hasn't quite gotten around the laws of physics, the G602 came pretty close to replicating the feel of a hard-wired gaming mouse. In that regard, the G602 offers the best compromise among all of our contenders for users looking to buy a single mouse that is equally at home at work and play.
Without a doubt, Razer wins this one hands down. Offering up the second-best entry in both the keyboard and mouse categories, Razer demonstrates that it truly has a handle on what it takes to make great peripherals. The Blackwidow might have been ranked #1 if it had included a wrist rest, and it's the best option for anyone who wants a quasi-silent mechanical keyboard. As for the Deathadder, its short list of features is nearly made up for by a truly sublime design. Had it included an on-the-fly DPI switch, it might have come out the winner. So for all the gamers out there who just have to have matching peripherals (and we know there are a lot of you!), you simply can't go wrong with Razer's offerings. The fact that they also happen to look great doesn't hurt, although we didn't judge the contenders based on looks. This was all about performance, and Razer brings it with the Deathadder and Blackwidow.
By the way, we considered giving the Logitech G410 an honorable mention in the keyboard category for its portability, but the truth is that its sub-par responsiveness and high price ruled out its winning any awards in this roundup. We think Logitech needs to go back to the drawing board on this model; it just sacrifices too much in the name of its small size and low weight, rendering it only nominally better than equally-light and much cheaper non-mechanical models.
We should note that for purposes of our shootout, we simply couldn't delve into the software suites offered by each of the competitors. It just wasn't feasible given the number of products we were testing, the limited time we had to conduct back-to-back testing, and the fact that two test PCs were being used simultaneously. That being said, we can give a rough ordering of the quality of the software: Razer's is the sleekest, Logitech's is the most comprehensive (even offering the awesome Arx Control smartphone app for hardware customization and PC monitoring at no additional charge!), and G.Skill's is a very good first attempt. As for Corsair's and EVGA's offerings, simply put, they just aren't good enough. Corsair in particular has had a lot of trouble with its recent software releases, and that's a shame given the amount of integration it's trying to achieve with its clunky CorsairLink monitoring software and its nearly incomprehensible peripherals software suite. Corsair, please tell us you can do better!
That's all for now, folks. If you're looking for all the latest and greatest in PC peripherals at every pricepoint, jump on over to our Peripherals Buyer's Guide, updated quarterly with the best products on the market.