Back when I started gaming, basically that period right after the stone age, if you were running a Pentium One processor and a decent trackball mouse youhad the king of gaming rigs. Clearly the times are changing and we live in an age where efficiency is measured in milliseconds, power in MHz, and style in color range. With so many options for gaming peripherals it can be difficult to choose which options are the best for you. Mice in particular have seen some pretty incredible technological leaps, and in today’s mouse market, Cooler Master has developed the MasterMouse 520 and 530, completing their lineup and delivering a pair of powerful options to gamers.
First, the specs
- MSRP: $49.99
- Grip Type: Claw/Palm
- Switches: Omron (20M rated)
- Programmable Buttons: 7
- LED: 16.7M RGB
- CPI/DPI: 100-12000 (four levels)
- Polling Rate: 1000Hz
- Acceleration: No
- Processor: 32 bit ARM Cortex M0
- On-board Memory: 512kb
- Weight: 135g
I have spent the last couple of weeks testing out each of these mice. I’ve played a lot of games (you know… for science?), spent several hours using them for various work related tasks, and have made them change every color of the rainbow and then some. So after some rigorous testing, I’m here to give you the rundown and comparison of these paired mice from developer, Cooler Master.
The MasterMouse series boast an impressive design and high build quality. After a couple of weeks in my mitts for hands, both held up very well. They rested comfortably in my hand and didn’t show any real signs of immediate wear. They felt sturdy and even with some pressure tests did not creak or seem to give at all. I was quite happy with their build quality, which is a high point of the MM series.
The mice look slick with a black matte finish, honeycomb side plates, as well as the illuminated scroll wheel, face buttons and logo. Each house 7 buttons and unique grips. The MM520, made for a claw grip, has an extra LED along the rear trim that adds a nice aesthetic touch to the mouse. It was also the more comfortable of the two for me as it had a wider stance and rested better in hand.
The MM530 has a slimmer design with a nicely contoured body made for a palm grip. Its design allows your wrist and arm to sit a comfortable angle, making it easy to use over time. I enjoyed using the MM530 but have to confess that it did feel small, causing me to drift back to the MM520. If you are someone more comfortable with a smaller mouse and uses the palm mousing style, the MM530 might be the better choice for you.
The look of both mice is simple and clean, and the honeycomb side plating adds just a little flair to give it some distinction from others on the market. The RGB lighting system is also quite robust offering every color on the RGB spectrum, multiple profiles slots, and a macro system for programming customizations.
The only real area of critique of the build is in the USB cable itself. Unlike the rest of the mouse, it feels like a lower cost plastic. It would have been nice to see a braided cord for extra durability and longevity. It’s sturdy enough, even after some stress testing, but seemed out of place with the rest of the design.
The MM520 and MM530 are mechanically identical. They boast an adjustable DPI range up to 12000, eliminate acceleration, and push for pinpoint accuracy to offer the best gaming experience. I ran the mice with several competitive FPS, MOBA and RTS games to really feel the range of play and accuracy with each. I was very happy with the results. I didn’t feel any negative acceleration; for those new to gaming mice, this essentially means that if I turned the mouse 90 degrees the cross hairs on the screen also move 90 degrees. This is especially important in competitive shooters where accuracy is key. With each mouse boasting a Pixart 3360 sensor it's no surprise that each feels so tight and responsive.
A great feature of these mice is the programmable macros and quick profile switch buttons. I thoroughly enjoyed the profile switching. In Overwatch I could easily click to a dramatically slower DPI when zoomed in with a quick click of a button. After zooming out I just as easily switched back to the faster DPI I am used to when running and gunning.
The quick response time of each mouse has a noticeable impact on gameplay. I would say that this probably one of the most impressive features of both mice. Now before everyone complains that their K/D ratio hasn’t dramatically improved, and I am the worst reviewer ever, understand that we’re talking precision response times, which won’t replace your own skill (but could help it!). For gamers this is so important, and it's something Cooler Master understands and works hard to achieve.
Both mice will work with Cooler Master’s software suite. Both have a robust list of options ranging from key assignment to sensor settings. Everything from LED to macro profiles are controlled here as well. The software is quite user friendly with some great visual guides to assist.
Sensor controls specifically offer some great customization with the ability to control the X and Y DPI separately as well options to turn angle snapping on or off on the fly. The software also introduces the TactiX tab which allows the assignment of a shift key to allow for a secondary row of button functionality as well. As mentioned, the MM series comes with a powerful macro system allowing you to further customize the experience.
Another feature that I loved was the OS sensitivity settings. It seems like a simple concept but it was nice to be able to control button response time - overall sensitivity and double click speed - without having to leave the software. Each mouse is also plug-and-play ready so if you don’t want to mess with any of these settings you’re in luck; just plug it in and jump right into a game!
Once critique I did have of the software is that each came with it’s own software suite. What I found odd is that the software appears to be identical which lines up with these mice offering such similar functionality.
The Cooler Master MasterMouse 520 and 530 are both great budget friendly mice. It’s true that they don’t necessarily carry the button options of a dedicated MMO mouse, but it’s nice that they do offer modifier functionality to essentially double that 7 button count. The MM series has the precision and accuracy that is needed for intense gaming sessions. This, coupled with a host of customizable features, great build quality, and a smart design the MasterMouse 520 and 530 are great gaming mice that also won't make your wallet beg for mercy.
- Pixart 3360 sensor is quick and responsive
- Robust software suite
- Clean, minimalist design
- Software is difficult to find on the site
- USB cable seems less sturdy than the rest of the mouse
The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.