Dark or Light
logo
Logo

Razer Viper 8K Review

Razer's Fastest Gaming Mouse

Kris Brooks Updated: Posted:
Category:
Hardware Reviews 0

The Razer Viper 8K reaches new heights with a polling rate of 8000Hz. Coming in at $79.99 and featuring the latest in the company’s arsenal of gaming tech, it’s a cutting edge and forward-thinking gaming mouse. It’s also Razer’s fastest yet, but is it worth the upgrade? Find out in our review. 

Specifications

  • MSRP: 79.99 USD (Razer Store)
  • True 8000Hz (0.125ms) polling rate
  • True 20,000 DPI Focus+ optical sensor
  • Up to 650 inches per second (IPS) / 50 G acceleration / industry best 99.6% resolution accuracy
  • 2nd-gen Razer™ Optical Mouse Switches rated for 70 million clicks
  • True ambidextrous design with ultra-durable integrated rubber side grips
  • 100% PTFE mouse feet
  • Gaming-grade tactile scroll wheel
  • On-The-Fly Sensitivity Adjustment (Default stages: 400/800/1600/2400/3200)
  • Hybrid Cloud storage and on-board memory (4+1 profiles)
  • Razer Chroma™ RGB lighting with true 16.8 million customizable color options
  • 7+1 programmable buttons
  • Advanced Lift-off/Landing distance customization
  • Razer Synapse 3 enabled
  • 1.8 m / 6 ft Speedflex cable
  • 126.73 mm / 4.99 in (Length) X 57.6 mm / 2.27 in (Width) X 37.81 mm / 1.49 in (Height)
  • Approximate weight: 71 g /2.5 oz (excluding Cable)
    • System Requirements
      • CPU: Intel Core i5 8600K, AMD R5 3600
      • Monitor: over 144Hz
      • CPU: Nvidia GTX 1080 or better, AMD RX 5700 or better

Design & Features

The Razer Viper 8K carries over the same look and feel as the original Razer Viper. However, as the saying goes, “it is not what is on the outside but what’s on the inside”. This rings true as underneath the familiar chassis features not only upgraded switches, but Razer’s top-of-the-line Focus+ sensor, and a new high-speed USB microcontroller that allows it to reach a polling rate of 8000Hz.  In the cosmetic department, this mouse is identical to its predecessor, the original Razer Viper. It has the same ergonomic design and continues to be a true ambidextrous gaming mouse.This refresh also replaces the previous model, so the upgrades it offers come at no additional cost.

In the past few years, I’ve used many different gaming mice. Most of them will stay for a time but often end up being used elsewhere or shelved until I need them for a comparison. I have never truly found the “perfect” mouse for my grip style and comfort needs, but the Razer Viper 8K comes close and is the new champion in my “Desk Hall of Fame.”  What truly makes the Viper a king of its domain is the ergonomic design. The Plastic features a slightly textured surface with a rubber side grip that felt great in my hand. The shape and contouring are comfortable and feel more natural than almost any other mouse I’ve used. 

The real magic, hidden inside the beautifully crafted chassis, is Razers latest Focus+ sensor. Features in Razer’s highest-end gaming mice, it’s a pleasant surprise that it should come down to the original Viper while the Viper Ultimate still leads the pack. It features an increased max speed of 650 inches per second. It also features 50G of acceleration and a maximum sensitivity of 20K DPI. That’s incredibly high and Razer claims it’s one of the most accurate gaming mice money can buy. These are excellent improvements, but ones that may be lost on average gamers. I don’t play at 20K DPI and don’t know anyone who does, but I like knowing the sensor is capable of whatever I throw at it at this price. If you play competitive esports and have that heightened awareness typically to tournament champions, you just may feel these upgrades, and that’s really who they’re intended to benefit.

This sensor also features Razer’s Motion Sync technology. This technology aligns the signal at the exact intervals your PC extracts information. With Motion Sync, this function ensures that the Razer Focus+ Optical Sensor has higher sensor responsiveness. In short, gamers can feel and experience a granular control over their movements, which also ties in with the 8kHz polling rate I’ll get to soon. 

The Viper 8K has also been upgraded with Razer’s in-house optical switch for the left and right mouse buttons. Going back to my first Razer Naga, its only fault was the left button started to double-click after a few years. The optical switch should ensure this issue is a thing of the past. Rather than relying on mechanical contacts to bridge to detect the input, the optical switch uses a beam of infrared light to recognize the button press. Without mechanical contacts, the double-click of doom can’t actually occur. That said, I’ve only tested the mouse over a period of several weeks. Should this or another issue present itself, I’ll add an update here.

The other benefit to optical switches is that they’re more resilient to wear and tear. Without physical contacts, there is less to degrade. Razer has rated these switches with an impressive 70 million click lifespan. This translates into extended use time with your favorite gaming peripheral. I know from personal experience, once I get comfortable and in tune with my mouse, I would like to keep it around as long as possible.

Before diving into the titular feature, I have to mention the improved mouse feet. The original Razer Viper has standard mouse feet, the same we had seen on mice for years. What good does having an improved sensor if you can’t glide easily? Thankfully, Razer has upgraded the Viper 8K with its new 100% PTFE mouse feet. This upgrade allows the Viper 8k to glide with the ease of a block of ice on glass.  

Finally, we come to the 8K in the product’s name: the 8,000Hz polling rate. For years, the peripheral industry has rested at 1,000Hz. This was “gaming-grade”  and, to be honest, I never really considered there to be a great need to bump up from that. With the rise of ultra-high refresh rate monitors, however, maintaining a 1,000Hz rate introduced micro stuttering. Generally, you would need a 240Hz or 360Hz monitor to experience such a thing, neither of which I have. But, a quick bit of research shows that this indeed is something cutting-edge gamers have experienced. With Razer's new HyperPolling Technology, the mouse now reports its position 8,000 times a second, reducing the gap from “report” to “position” on your gaming monitor. 

At first, I didn’t notice any difference. That’s because the mouse defaults to a 1,000 Hz polling rate for wider system compatibility. Due to the incredibly high report rate, this is a mouse that actually draws on your CPU, so older systems can actually experience slow-downs in games when using it. My system is newer, though, so once I made the change in the drop-down box and applied it, things set began rolling.

Performance

Naturally, I chose to test the Viper 8K in a game type that I felt would strongly benefit from the increased responsiveness and fluidity: CS:GO. Now, I use a 144Hz monitor which is kind of the “bottom of the line” for what it would take to feel a difference between 1000Hz and 8000Hz. Five minutes into my first session, I was pleasantly surprised at how much better the feel of movement was. That said, that wasn’t the case in every game. In other games, I thought I could feel an improvement but really couldn’t say for sure, and in my testing between various titles like World of Warcraft, Doom Eternal, and even Minecraft, it seemed like I could notice it more when I would focus on aiming above all else.

Still, never once did the mouse falter or let me down. The shape and feel really carried me in any game I tried, making for a pleasant gaming experience. A true rock-solid investment, I must say. You get an upgraded version of the Viper at the same price as the original with some future-proofing added in as well.

Browsing different forums, I noticed a few users complaining about issues with 8K in titles like Apex Legends. How and where this occurred varied wildly. There didn’t seem to be a consistent through-line between title or system configuration to really pin down what might have been going on beyond simply stepping down the polling rate. My hunch is that it’s related to CPU usage, since 8000Hz is going to directly draw more resources than a normal gaming mouse. Add to this game engines that may not be optimized for such a high polling rate, and you begin to see that there may be cases where even high-end systems need to drop down to 4K, 2K, or even 1K. This is easy to do, but would usually be a ding for me. But, as I mentioned previously, this mouse is coming in at the same price as the original Razer Viper, so I’m willing to accept that it has some growing pains for the benefits it brings to a now wider audience.

Conclusion

The Razer Viper 8K has left me with a few mixed thoughts. The first is, if you’re buying this mouse purely for the 8K polling rate, be prepared for extra system draw and the possibility of stopping down in some games. Along with that, if you’re not running a 240 or 360Hz monitor, will you even need something like this? Even at 144Hz,  I have personally never noticed the microstuttering in my games. That said, it’s a solid step to future proof yourself for monitor upgrades in the future. 

And, more importantly, the Viper 8K takes a solid mouse and makes it even better. It’s become on of my favorites, hands-down, and that’s with or without 8K. My advice to most users would be to buy this mouse for its shape, responsiveness, and feel first. Let 8K be the added benefit. You’re not paying any more than the original Viper anyway.

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.
 
9.0Amazing
Pros
  • Focus+ Sensor is excellent
  • Outstanding shape and feel
  • Optical mouse switches are responsive and should eliminate the "double-click of doom"
  • 8K polling rate is forward thinking
  • No price increase from original Viper - upgrades at no additional cost
Cons
  • 8kHz polling has an actual system demand
  • Not all game engines or configurations will play nice with the 8K polling rate


Dragnous

Kris Brooks

Long time tech, gadget and all around geek. I love cars, computers and movies and most importantly my family.