Question Gaming Keyboards/ Mice/ Software

Pez

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Jul 26, 2008
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Hi all.

As you probably already know, there are many companies out there offering "gaming-style" keyboards and mice, and many of these besides having customizable keys & buttons, also feature customizable RGB lighting.

Two of the bigger names out there of these products are Razer and Logitech.

What I'm about to ask here? Yes, I've been to the web sites of these companies and contacted their tech support, and, even posted on their forums. When contacting support, or, when posting a forum message....it can all depend on who happens to answer your question at that point in time.

And when it comes to tech support, I'm sure there are some of you like me that when you received a reply from tech support.....it's more like a "form letter": a very generic response, something most likely Copy/ Pasted. And yes, I understand that sometimes a person's issue first has to go through some type of "Level 1" tech support before having their issue escalated. But still, I swear, sometimes it's like they don't even really fully read your inquiry.... ;)

OK......here's what I've contacted both Razer and Logitech about and never really got a straight answer from them:

For their gaming keyboards & mice, both Razer and Logitech have software program installs that let you customize keys/ buttons, and also the RGB lighting. With the initial size of the downloaded installer file? That doesn't really matter, because quite frequently during the install procedure, the installer goes out to the web and pulls down even more data, and, the final install size on the hard drive is much bigger than the original installer size file.

Razer's software program is known as Synapse 3; Logitech's is known as G-Hub.

Razer Synapse's final install size on the hard drive is a bit over 980 MB.
Logitech's G-Hub is around 870 MB.

For both of them - especially Razer's - that install size is getting close to 1 GB.

When I made separate inquiries to both companies as to why this much data is needed on a hard drive to control some key/ button macros & RGB lighting.....there was no straight answer. One company even came out and said to me that the information is proprietary and they don't release it to the public. Fair enough, I suppose. But if I was looking to extract "company secrets", there is always decompiling & reverse-engineering the software program.... :p JK......

And other answers they gave? It would be the equivalent if you were to ask someone to tell you the time, and they proceed to tell you that it's a sunny, pleasant 75 degrees outside. Swell, sounds like a nice day, but that answer has nothing to do with what I just asked you :LOL:

And....on some cursory searches on the 'Net on both Synapse 3 & G-Hub.....there are plenty out there who are of the notion that both software programs are bloatware and spyware. And if you read each company's EULA for their software that you have to agree to to perform the install.....yes, some of the terms you have to agree with come off as rather intrusive.

And as some of you might know, with Razer Synapse 3, you have to have an account with them and it Signs you In when you launch (meaning: You have to have an Internet connection). If you boot your system cold, as it first goes through your motherboard's BIOS screen then on into, say, the Windows loading screen....your keyboard and mouse's RGB lighting is going to be cycling through random colors until you get to your desktop and then eventually loads the profile in Razer Synapse 3's program.

So.....anybody here know why these software programs are so huge of an install on a hard drive?

And no, it's not as though I am low on hard drive space, I'm just curious.

As of now, I have a SteelSeries keyboard and their SteelSeries Engine 3 program; all total, it's about 340 to 350 MB on the hard drive. Not as bad as Synapse & G-Hub :p

And one more thing before I go:

Why are a lot of recent gaming keyboards (SteelSeries, Razer, Logitech....) flipping the symbols on their keys/ key caps?

Here's what I mean; here's a pic from a standard QWERTY keyboard:
https://s289.photobucket.com/user/PezzyDude/media/QWERTY-Keyboard_zps2pm8nbt3.jpg.html

You see how with, for example, the key that has the One and the Exclamation Point (1, !); the 1 is at the bottom of the key cap and the ! is at the top of the key cap. That's what I consider "normal" (if you're typing and you want the ! symbol, you press the Shift key - which also sometimes has an Up-arrow on it because you are Shifting "up" - and press the 1 key, you'll receive the ! symbol.

But many gaming keyboards now look like this:
https://s289.photobucket.com/user/PezzyDude/media/razer-ornata-chroma-keyboard_zpsik8p65l7.jpg.html

See how the number/symbol key caps are flipped upside down? Why is that?

And that includes all the other symbol keys, too, like semicolon & colon (; :) - apostrophe & quotation marks (' ") - forward slash & question mark (/ ?)

Why have things been flipped?!?!
Pez
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
That is a very long post to ask a one line question, well technically a two line question.

The simpler one as to why the symbols and numbers keys are swapped, maybe they thought it looked nicer?

Size of the programs, those programs do more than control the keyboard lights, but it's very unlikely they are that large because they are spyware. About bloatware, you would need to check how much resources they take up when running, but yes it's probably more than they should. The main goal is not to perfectly optimize the programs to run light but to make them work and control the fancy lights and other functions. As to exactly why they are how they are, you'd have to talk to the product planners and the programming teams. They are adding profiles for games that load automatically, etc.. all those things add to size. Even things like the art they use can be pretty large.

My Logitech G Hub software setup is 268 MB in program files, a third of what your was. The other two keyboard drivers I have for some more generic keyboards are about 150 mb.
 
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Pez

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Hi hang-the-9; thanks for your reply.

Yes, I know, pretty wordy post ;) In years past at various message forums, sometimes I've posted short, sweet, and succinct posts, but then when I start receiving replies, I'll be asked things like "Did you try THIS", or "Did you try THAT", or "How about taking a look at THESE"....etc.

So, I think what I'm doing is being proactive, and loading as much information up-front to avoid a lot of back-and-forth questions.

So, number keys & various symbols swapped because.....maybe they thought it looked nicer? :p Hmmmm....possibly, could be. That's still an unusual decision to make.

Keyboard layouts have not always been the same. But the current QWERTY-style keyboard has been around since about the year 1870, so we're talking 150 years. And making that change almost nullifies the Shift key (and some Shift keys still have the Up Arrow), because with the swapped positions of the symbols on the key caps, I guess it should now be a Down Arrow :D

And as far as some company's programs and their data size on the hard drive? I guess terms like "bloatware" and "spyware" can be in the eye of the beholder. But it hasn't been unheard of for many a company to push things just a little too far to see what they can get away with; this holds true for computer programs, and, especially cell phone apps.

But data size on the hard drive? Seems too big for a keyboard & mouse. I have a high-end graphics card whose software/ driver takes up over a Gigabyte of data, but then again, it renders Ultra Hi-Def video onto my 4K monitor. And with gaming? Smooth, incredibly life-like images with no stuttering or screen tearing. Now that makes sense to me, though (over a Gigabyte for a graphics card).

In 90+ % of the games I play, the keys are usually pretty much the same: WSAD for movement; Space bar for jumping; CTRL for crouch; Shift for run; and so on.

And yes: In my contacts & communication with some of these companies, it has been with, or, forwarded to, people who are considered product planners & programmers. But, they won't divulge much. Which, in and of itself, makes me wonder. What are you hiding? It's only a keyboard/ mouse :LOL:

And oh: You mentioned "My Logitech G Hub software setup is 268 MB in program files, a third of what yours was". I don't have G-Hub. The info I gave was the info (hard drive data size) that Logitech Tech Support gave me (870 MB).

Same thing with Razer: I don't have their Synapse software program, either. 980 MB was the install size number given to me by Razer Tech Support.

With G-Hub (evidently, you have it on your system), one of the techs at Logitech even broke it down for me: 259 MB on the Program Files, and some files on the AppData with about 10 MB and around 600 MB on Programdata; 259 MB + 10 MB + 600 MB = 869 MB. Pretty close to 870 MB

You mentioned 268 MB in your Program Files, hang-the-9, and that's pretty close to the 259 MB that Logitech quoted me. But you didn't factor in the Appdata & Programdata, which brings it up to 870 MB

Pez
 

Mtop

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Nov 21, 2019
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Have you gone through the windows 10 files?
Everything is bloatware now, I don't have a microphone, camera, etc... but Alexa is installed and updating - go figure and someday when I sell my computer in korea the language packs will be helpfull.
Install it see what it does, then hack it up so it can't collect keystrokes.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
If you don't even have the programs installed what is the issue with the sizes? If you are worried about it for everyone else, you could go into programming and work on a lighter version of the programs to control the hardware, aside from that there is nothing much you can do with just finding out why the size is the way it is. Usually people contact tech support when there is an issue with something they are using, and the size is not really an "issue" unless the program is causing the system to run slow or crashing the computer.

Looks like the cache is taking up a large chunk of storage, I deleted that and the Logitech software still opened. Other files are the program files and profiles for various games and hardware. Cache was taking up about 500MB of space.
 

Pez

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Mtop: Windows 10!! Yes, I remember when it first came out back in....2015? It was a free in-place upgrade as long as you had an active legit copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Windows 10: a bit on the "bloat" side, but, what caught a lot of people's eye - and mine - when it was initially released was its privacy breaches. It left you "open" to a lot of things and these settings were On by Default. The average user doesn't always concern themselves with these things; when launching Windows 10 for the first time on their computer, most end-users just keep clicking Next....Next....Next....OK.

Windows 10 would even use your computer's bandwidth to deliver Windows 10 updates to other computers; it would turn you/ your computer into an advertising network; updates would be installed automatically with no user control or input.

Much of this has changed, though, in subsequent updates & builds to Windows 10. But I turned off all that crap anyway by moving the slider controls in Settings to Off.

And Alexa? That's not automatically installed; you'd have to get that app from the Microsoft Store.

But Alexa? And Google Home? Talk about spyware!!! I trust those items about as far as I could bowl them down an alley.

hang-the-9: What can I say? Yes, I have an issue with their sizes on the hard drive. And no, I'm not going to become a programmer and design something lighter. My SteelSeries Engine install of around 350 MB isn't too bad compared to Razer Synapse & Logitech's G-Hub. I was just doing my due diligence before considering getting Razer or Logitech equipment...and thus their software programs.

So for me, yes, size is an issue. Sending mouse clicks and keyboard stroke inputs from keys doesn't need almost a Gigabyte in data size. RGB lighting? Yes, some programming data is needed for that....but not that much.

As far as spyware suspicions?.....

Razer's EULA for their Synapse 3 comes out and says it: "...such as information about the amount of time you use our products/services for, your typing patterns, the pages you visit, and other information about your activities while using our hardware or software (including Synapse) or while logged into your Razer ID account".

"....such as information about your operating system, browser, software applications, IP address, geolocation, security status and other device information".

Typing patterns = keylogging
Pages I visit = spyware

And for Logitech's G-Hub, here's a quote I found on the 'Net: "The execs over at Logitech somehow want to scan my computer for games, to see all them all, have my discord username, have me set custom profiles for everything, send anonymous data, start with Windows, run in task bar and update automatically. What the heck??? This is 100% bloatware in my eyes".

I just think: Forewarned is forearmed. Knowledge is power. if you want to be accepting of all this, then that's you. Me? I have a healthy suspicion.

There's been too many times throughout history in many varied situations where people ended up saying, "I swear, I didn't know!" Yes they did know; they just chose to ignore it. :devilish:

Pez
 

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