Cooler Master’s new MasterMouse MM530 is the successor to its earlier CM Storm Mizar gaming mouse, and it puts up some serious specs for palm-grip gamers to consider. It’s a high-DPI, 7-button PC gaming mouse that wants to take you from noob to pro in first-person shooters and real-time strategy games.
At a price around $49 (£34, AU$59), the MasterMouse MM530 is competing in the same tier as the $50 (£59, AU$99) Steelseries Rival 310 and Sensei 310. The $79 (£79, AU$149) Rival 600, $69 (£69, AU$119) Razer Deathadder Elite and $69 (£64, AU$109) Razer Basilisk gaming mice aren’t too far off in price either.
Given the competition the MM530 is up against, a critical eye is as important as ever. Let’s take a look at all that the MM530 is offering to see if it’s a worthwhile pick.
The MasterMouse MM530 features a simple palm-grip design, with a steep arch at the back that transitions to a flatter arch toward the front mouse buttons. The hips are subtly curved, offering cozy placement for the thumb, but pinky and ring finger placement is a little cramped (at least for our big hands in a palm grip).
Rubber grips with an indented honeycomb pattern line both sides,, offering a passable but unexceptional grip with the firm but shallow texture. It never quite felt like we’d drop the MM530 when lifting it after quick mouse movements. However, the slightly cramped size of the mouse often had us switching to more of a claw grip that the sloped angle and the rubber grips on the right side didn’t support well.
The MM530 is built out of PBT plastic, which Cooler Master notes is “some of the hardest plastic used to build hardware today.” Indeed, the mouse exudes toughness, especially since much of the matte black plastic is coarse in texture. This style of plastic is used on the top, bottom and sides of the mouse, including the two primary mouse buttons.
Tough doesn’t always mean attractive though, as the MM530 isn’t winning any beauty contests. It features three-zone RGB lighting supporting 16.7 million colors and a wide variety of patterns and brightness levels. But, that’s about as far as it gets in the looks department.
It doesn’t have a strikingly original design. The plastic used isn’t great looking (although it did seem to help reduce sweaty palms). The gaps between different sections of the mouse are inconsistent and wide – so expect dust and flakes of dead skin to gather easily. And, the forward and back buttons on the side are a glaringly glossy plastic that doesn’t match the finish of the rest of the mouse.
The MM530 has the standard left, right and middle mouse buttons, forward and back buttons on the thumb side, and two DPI switches behind the scroll wheel.
The tactile experience is generally good. The Omron switches feel great when they click. The left and right mouse buttons are consistent, and the notched middle mouse button is reliable, with soft rubber that also feels nice.
The back button is placed well for the thumb, but can feel a bit squishy depending on where it’s pressed. The forward button is smaller and less squishy, but it’s placed uncomfortably far forward, making it difficult to quickly press without adjusting your already precarious grip on the mouse. Mapping the forward button to in-game controls, like our ultimate in Overwatch, made it hard to pop on a moment’s notice.
At 99 grams or 132.5 grams with the USB cord, the MM530 is a perfectly normal weight, . There is no weight customization. The cable itself doesn’t offer the same robustness of the mouse, as it’s a light and flexible rubber with only minor reinforcement at the point where it connects to the front of the mouse.
In further spite of its robustness, the MM530 makes a cheap and empty sounding clack when brought down on a desk.
The MM530 uses Omron switches rated for 20 million clicks, so as far as clicking performance goes, it should stay reliable for a long time. We experienced no issues clicking away in games beyond the hard to reach and slightly squishy thumb buttons.
After the switches comes the sensor, and the MM530 is packed with a PixArt 3360 sensor that supports up to 12,000 counts-per-inch (CPI) and can register mouse movements up to 250 inches-per-second (IPS) and 50 times the acceleration of gravity.
Cooler Master boasts that this offers “lag-free 1:1 input,” and the sensor held up in our testing. The only issue we noticed as we tried landing one flick headshot after another was that we weren’t really all that good at it.
We spent most of our time running the mouse at a 2,500CPI setting with the polling rate at the maximum 1,000Hz, and had nothing to complain about regarding pointer performance.
The higher 12,000CPI setting didn’t prove useful in our testing. For example, running Overwatch at 1440p resolution with the aim sensitivity set at its lowest, even a slight mouse movement could spin our character 360-degree. For precise aim, this also wasn’t beneficial, but being able to switch quickly to a high CPI setting can be useful if you want to spin around wildly (say, as a Reinhardt trying to confuse an incoming Junkrat Tire).
All in all, the sensor is a positive selling point for the MM530.
We didn’t notice any acceleration or awkward smoothing, though there is a software option to enable angle-snapping for anyone who wants it. The software also supports five mouse profiles that can be stored on the mouse, customization of the four main CPI settings, adjusting the RGB lighting colors and modes and even altering the lift distance of the mouse.
For gamers that need more functionality than seven buttons offer, the MM530 has a toggle setting that can give each button a secondary function.
Besides feeling less than ideal in the hand, gameplay with the MM530 was commendable. The light USB cable didn’t interfere with mouse movements, and the sensor tracked precisely. If we were good enough to hit 100% of our headshots, we’re sure the MM530 wouldn’t stand in our way.
With the MM530, Cooler Master loads a great sensor into a less dazzling chassis. Mouse movements were tracked precisely in our testing, and we felt confident our aim wouldn’t be hindered by sensor issues.
But, the physical design of the mouse itself holds it back from being a top performer. Cooler Master advertises the MM530 as suited for palm or claw grips, but for large hands, it’s a little on the small side, so keep that in mind. And, the sub-optimal grip of the rubber and the slope on the right side make it difficult to hold in claw or fingertip grips.
Three-zone RGB lighting with plenty of customization attempts to keep the MM530 stylish like the competition, but its design doesn’t stand out. While it’s a good mouse at a reasonable price, it doesn’t stack up favorably against close competitors like the Sensei 310, which is similarly priced but scored top marks in our review and has an even more capable sensor.