The problem with gaming mice

It’s been nearly 4 years since the original Razer Deathadder was released. After some initial issues, a few firmware updates made it a nearly flawless mouse. Since then, Razer, Logitech and other manufacturers have released many new mice, none of which I’d recommend over the trusty old Deathadder.
Here’s my list of the mice I’ve tried and what’s wrong with them:
  • Logitech MX518, 125Hz polling rate by default, prediction, otherwise flawless afaik. Both the old 1600DPI, and the new 1800DPI.
  • Razer Boomslang CE07, rubber buttons wear very quickly.
  • Razer Lachesis, z-axis tracking
  • Razer Mamba, z-axis tracking, jitter on old firmware, dynamic dpi scaling on new firmware (to fix jitter :/ )
  • Razer Abyssus, jitter on cloth pads
  • Razer Deathadder 3500, jitter on cloth pads
  • Razer Imperator, z-axis tracking, dynamic dpi scaling (hardware acceleration :/ )
  • Logitech G500, hardware acceleration due to Avago ADNS-9500 sensor
  • Logitech G9x, hardware acceleration due to Avago ADNS-9500 sensor
  • Steelseries Xai, hardware acceleration due to Avago ADNS-9500 sensor
Apparently, releasing a new mouse with OVER 9000 DPI AND BUTTONS is more important than flawless tracking to all these mice companies.

84 thoughts on “The problem with gaming mice

  1. I haven’t tried either of those.

    Judging by the specs the Saphira uses a Avago S3888, so that should be just fine sensor wise.
    The Theron seems to be using the horrible Philips twin eye so you might want to stay away from that one.

    Still trying to deal with the twin eye on my Mamba 4G atm.

  2. Seems the old deathadder is the only mouse capable of near flawless tracking. Is the new black edition deathadder any improvement on the 3.5 g version.

  3. hey guy i have just bough a imperator battlefield 3, version 2012 with newest firmware and driver. i have only 2 pad ss 9HD and qck+ and it so bored with both them :(. I try calibrate but it’s not working. it allways have z-axist and sometime pause tracking.

  4. I use the DA 3.5G, the Xai and the Sensei. Found that if you swap out the mouse skates on the Xai and the Sensei for Teflon ones. Not the UPE default ones it works better also have you seen:

    Has anyone else seen this post?

    As for mouse skates and mouse mat, I use the GlideHD by Puretrak and mouse mat usually Goliathus Control, Speed or Puretrak Talent Mat.

  5. That’s a great post Kinjet, thanks for linking it.

    I never had any issue with the feet on my Xai, didn’t even realize they weren’t teflon.

  6. Good day, Arie. It’s me again. That Xai I mentioned has developed a nasty double-click. Not really a build quality problem, it just gets beaten up pretty badly during my frequent trips. So I’m looking into a replacement now. And, well, here’s where I’m presented with the same problem once again, a year after I first ran into it: I’m a high-sens gamer. I even snipe fairly effectively in traditionally low-sens games such Counter-Strike with CPI counts going all the way up to the Xai’s max of 5,000, and I’d go higher if I could. To boot, my screen isn’t even 1080p. I know, it’s freaky, but I manage somehow. Kinda picked it up from FEAR 2. The big problem is that there are still no sensors out there with the flawless tracking you’ve sought which also allow me to continue my speed freak escapades. I have a Deathadder Black Edition as a backup now, and a 9HD mousemat. The old Goliathus is more or less retired. I’m looking at the Sensei MLG Edition. It’s basically just a heavier Xai with more powerful internals (Internal ARM CPU similar in power to a first-gen Pentium and a new Avago ADNS-9800 sensor.) and the same software features, including the much-welcome if still imperfect positive acceleration reduction feature. That, and the LAN-friendly “driverless” setup that simplifies the process of moving the mouse between various computers during visits. I was wondering if perhaps you could review it alongside some of these other new 8200 CPI mice? Razer recently released its Taipan and Ouroboros, which use some kind of in-house optical/laser hybrid double sensor. It’s not a twin-eye, but I can’t find out anything else about it. (Not that I trust Razer’s build quality and driver support enough to consider those things anyway, unless they have no sensor issues at all, which I doubt is the case. The Ouroborous has nice ergonomic features, though, I’ll give it that. It’s basically a big, ambidextrous R.A.T.) Roccat also has two new iterations of the Kone out: The Kone Pure and Kone XTD, which also sport this seeming new standard for high CPI counts, albeit with yet another in-house sensor. Since Roccat recently set up shop in North America, I suspect many more people now want to know about them. Thanks for your time and your service to PC gamers, man. Maybe you could add me on Steam if ya wanna talk more.

  7. AFAIK the dual sensor system of the Razer mice just uses the optical sensor to calibrate the laser sensor.
    It works OK on my Mamba 2012, the only issue I have with that mouse is the dynamic DPI scaling.

    I don’t have any of the new A9800 based mice (Sensei, Taipan, Ouroboros), also I’m pretty happy with the Xai so probably not buyin any of them soon anyway :)

  8. Did some additional research, and the Kone series mice also have an ADNS-9800, it’s just they had to confuse folks by giving it their own name. Marketing. I also confirmed from some user reviews on OCN that the Taipan and Ouroboros have positive AND negative accel. On the other hand, their build quality is a substantial improvement over previous Razer mice. Since my own requirements are that it be ambidextrous and have as few tracking problems as possible, I’ll just stick with the Sensei MLG Edition. Be easier to get used to it coming up from a Xai anyway (although I’ll have to unlearn my finger positioning meant to avoid that double clicking problem).

    Say, you wouldn’t happen to know of any sources of advice for high sens gamers who don’t play CoD, would you? All I see is MW this, BO that.

  9. Yo, Arie, I got the Sensei MLG Edition. It’s a great mouse, overall. Feels…clunkier than the Xai but in a good way, like it’s solid. Overall, everything seems better-built, more study. A little heavier, which took a bit of getting used to, but nothing an hour or two of testing didn’t fix. I don’t care at all about the lighting on the mouse since I didn’t get it for that. On a minor note, I seem perfectly able to control 8000 CPI. All that aside, I’ve made a discovery I think you and the people who use your blogs might want to know about for future reference.

    I had issues with what appeared to be positive accel at first, which sort of reminded me of my first experience with the Xai. I was momentarily worried the replacement mouse was either defective or just had shitty accel control, but then I had a thought. Both the ADNS 9500 and 9800 sensors have about 5% positive accel, and both mice started out with these issues, but eventually the Xai either stopped having them or I just stopped noticing. Since the Sensei is more or less the same mouse with the same type of sensor, albeit a newer version, I decided it wasn’t the latter and then considered that maybe it was an issue with my mousepad. So I washed it off to be sure. Still issues. Then I thought back to how my Xai looked, with the bottom all worn out and scratched up, so I adjusted the lift distance a tiny bit, from 0% to 3%. The slowdowns and halting stopped, for the most part. So I’ve identified a minor but definitely annoying issue with the Xai and Sensei mice: Their feet are too thick fresh out of the box. This causes them to periodically lose track of the mousing surface if they have their lift distance set too low. Eventually, the feet will wear down and this issue will cease to be, thankfully.

  10. I think you’re overstating the problems with the Avago ADNS-9500 sensor; its positive acceleration isn’t really noticeable in practice, and it works well enough with hard pads.

  11. Hey, Arie. It’s me again. Just thought I’d drop by to mention Steelseries is trying its hand at the 6000+ CPI optical mouse game, loosing what appears to be a direct answer to the latest Deathadder on the market. It’s called the Rival, and it’s available for preorder. Even more exciting: It says on the product page that they specifically designed it to have NO hardware acceleration, meaning that it’s possible this mouse will have the flawless tracking you wish most modern mice have.

  12. Ole’ Grendy here once again. Optical mice with CPIs in excess of the 3500 we’re all used to are starting to spring up everywhere, so I figured another update for you was in order. I think you’re gonna LIKE what I’ve got to show ya today, Arie, so without further ado, let’s get the ball rolling.

    It seems Mionix has updated its mouse lineup. I’ve never had the pleasure of handling one of their mice myself but I’ve heard nothing but good things about their optical mice. They are viewed by more than a few as the best mice for precise tracking and ergonomics on the market. So when I visited their site recently and found they now are using Avago ADNS-3310 optical sensors for their right-handed Naos and ambidextrous Avior lineups, I just KNEW you’d wanna hear about it. These ones are rated for 7000 CPI instead of the normal 6400/6500 like the Deathadder 2013 and Steelseries Rival. Odd, but if the company’s what people say it is, then there should be no issue here. Heh, that, and I’ve been hoping to see a modern ambidextrous optical mouse.

    On a relevant note, Roccat has released optical versions of their Kone XTD (6400 CPI) and Kone Pure (4000 CPI). The latter uses an ADNS-3090. I regret to say I can’t figure out what the XTD Optical uses, although the 6400 CPI sensitivity SUGGESTS an ADNS-3310/PMW3310.

    Corsair is a famous brand name to PC builders but it’s a fairly new entry to the gaming peripherals scene. They’re not too shabby for being new guys on the block, though. Here are a trio of newer opticals from their lineups: The 4000 CPI Raptor M30 with its ADNS-3090 sensor, the ADNS-3090 M40, and finally the somewhat more exotic 5000 CPI Raptor M45 with a Pixart PMW3310 sensor, which I’m given to understand is simply a rebranded ADNS-3310. Even if it isn’t, it’s said to have flawless tracking anyway.

    Not as famous as Corsair, perhaps, but Cooler Master also has a good reputation in its traditional markets. Let’s see if their mice can keep up that reputation in a new one, with a pair of 4000 CPI optical mice, the Alcor and the Recon. (ADNS-3090 sensors.)

    And last but not certainly not least, good ole’ Logitech’s got a trio of new opticals of its own out: First we have the 4000 CPI G400S, an updated version of the G400, which is itself a successor to the famous MX518. It sports an Avago ADNS-S3095 sensor. And then we have the Logitech G502 “Proteus Core,” which despite being rated for 12,000 CPI is said to be using an optical sensor without interpolation (Pixart PMW3366). Impressive, but there have been some complaints about “smoothing.” I still figured it was noteworthy enough to warrant a mention on this list. After all, who knows? Maybe soon we’ll see a similar sensor with NO issues, and that I’d like to see.

    I’ve also found out what sensors the Deathadder 2013 and Steelseries Rival use: The Rival is using a Pixart PMW3310 (Apparently identical to/a rebrand of the ADNS-3310.) and the Deathadder 2013 is using an Avago ADNS-S3988. For the benefit of those who can’t scroll up this page a bit because they need one of these mice pronto, here they are again:

    A special thanks to Grim Fandango of for providing detailed overviews of about half the mice on this list. I’d likely never have found the sensors of some of these mice without his post there. It’s quite informative in other ways, too. Give it a look, everyone.

    Thank you for your time, and I hope you all enjoyed this update.

  13. Ha, thanks man, that’s a lot of info.

    I recently got a Zowie FK, because it’s nice and small and its sensor should be better than my previous mouse, the Razer Abyssues. It’s pretty nice, but I have the version with bad coating, so will need to send it in for a replacement. ( )

  14. Heh, I read about those. I wanted to include Zowie’s mice since the stuff I hear about them is like the stuff I hear about Mionix but unfortunately none of them fit into the CPI count>3500 range. It’s not that hard to find good low-sens optical mice. But finding something that’s both fast AND flawless in tracking? Tall order, bossman. I figured if nobody else was gonna try, I would. ‘Course these may not all HAVE flawless tracking, but as opticals, many of them probably do. Still wish someone could review ’em all just to be sure. I’m personally most excited about those Mionix optical mice but that crazy Logitech 12,000 CPI Pixart PWM3366 optical has my attention, too. Not because I’d use it; it doesn’t have flawless tracking. But it’s a sign of things to come, y’know? Heh, at this rate, maybe laser sensors will just stop being useful to anyone, even extreme high-sens gamers. I get the feeling that not too many people here will be complaining about that.

  15. Another high-speed optical mouse I forgot to list using an optical sensor: The Gigabyte Raptor. I can’t seem to find much info on it. Most searches mistake my query for info on a Corsair Raptor mouse. It uses an indeterminate optical sensor and has 4000 CPI. I can’t speak for any of its tracking qualities, but it possesses a weight system, obligatory “sniper mode” hotkey for sensitivity reduction, and right-handed ergonomics that still seem able to accommodate lefties, so it’s got a few things going for it.

    I’ve also done additional research on some of the mice listed yesterday. I heard somewhere that the Mionix mice may actually have some very slight acceleration. Disappointing if it’s true. I’ve also heard that the Logitech G502 Proteus Core mouse has largely flawless tracking and haven’t seen much else regarding “smoothing,” but I HAVE heard that the mouse is too heavy even without weights, that it has issues with the Teflon glides peeling off, and worst of all, sometimes it randomly “spazzes” out, like once every hour or so. As in, the pointer jerks to the side and causes shooter characters to spin uncontrollably for a moment. This SOUNDS like a firmware issue, and so is probably correctable, but it’s not a good way for the PMW3366 to be introduced to the market. Let’s hope Logitech fixes some of these issues right quick.

    I guess these’ll still need thorough examination, all of them. But hey, that’s what in-depth reviews are for. Hopefully we’ll get some. I’ll keep looking for more info and I’ll keep you posted on my findings if you’d like. Heh, it’s too bad you’re not conducting reviews yourself anymore. Ah well.

  16. I recently tried the G502, but I thought it was too heavy.

    The Zowie FK feels so much better/quicker for me.

  17. Yeah, I’ve heard the G502 has a severe issue with weight. I also feel inclined to self-correct: It does not have acceleration, it has smoothing, which all mice have in some quantity. Some people notice the smoothing, some don’t. The PMW3366 sensor shows a lotta promise. I’d love to see what the future for that sensor is, but for now it appears to be limited to the G502 Proteus Core, which has yet to prove itself completely.

    On another note, it seems ASUS has also jumped on the optical mice bandwagon. Here’s their STRIX CLAW, using a PWM3310 with a max of 5000 CPI:

  18. Before I start this list, I feel inclined to mention I missed a handful of other mice above 3500 CPI with decent optical sensors. Here they are:
    The Razer Krait has been revived in the Southeast Asian market as the Krait 2013, sporting a 6400 CPI optical sensor. It’s just like the old Krait, which is to say that it’s ambidextrous and lightweight, with a similar body to the Diamondback and Viper.
    Another Kone variant, meaning it’s right-handed with extra buttons which are “Easy-Shift” capable, onboard ARM CPU, 576 kilobytes of onboard memory, and it has a 5000 CPI optical sensor.
    A successor to the MX518, the G400 sports very similar ergonomics and a 3600 CPI optical sensor. Very similar characteristics, including two side buttons and the same distinctive thumb groove/rest. Succeeded by the G400S, which itself has been succeeded by the G402 Hyperion Fury.
    I feel like an idiot for not reporting this one the first time, since I know I saw it then. The G402 Hyperion Fury is essentially a 4000 CPI, somewhat more traditional alternative to the G502 Proteus Core. Aesthetically, it resembles the G502 more than the G400 and G400S, but the ergonomics are about the same. Like the G502, it has an onboard processor. What it has going for it over the G502 aside from the price is it also has the ability to handle 500 IPS, in case the Flash ever becomes a real person.
    Theron Infrared: Right-handed mouse with 4000 CPI, 128 kilobytes of onboard memory and adjustable weights.
    Updated version of the Kana with 4000 CPI instead of 3200.

    Now, as for the main course in this post, I’ve compiled as complete a list as I can of mice with high-sensitivity optical sensors. But a lot of people don’t need those specs. Well, it’s time I helped them along, too. I can’t guarantee all of these have flawless tracking, though. Firmware can still ruin a mouse with a perfectly good sensor. Nonetheless, it helps to know where to start looking, right?

    Microsoft has long since ceased production of its most famous mice, but they remain a favorite among low-sens gamers everywhere. Their products can be found refurbished and maybe somewhat upgraded from relatively obscure sellers.
    The mouse, the legend. The IntelliMouse 1.1 only has 400 CPI capability, roughly, but tracking is flawless and the ergonomics are quite good.
    The IME 3.0 uses the same sensor and has about the same traits.
    The Wheel Mouse Optical 1.1 is not a gaming mouse, per se, but has the same sensor and performance traits as the IntelliMouse Explorers, so it’s often treated as one.

    A favorite option of low-sens gamers, Zowie’s mice tend to be like the Microsoft mice of yore and offer very precise tracking and respectable ergonomics. This has earned them a strong following in the three or so years they’ve been out there. All current Zowie mice feature a CPI cap of 2300 or less, limiting their use firmly to lower-mid and low sens gamers.
    The Mico has a max CPI of 1600 and is ambidextrous. (Every other Zowie mouse so far is 2300 CPI.) Designed for gamers who want a small mouse they can claw or fingertip grip.
    The AM is an ambidextrous mouse featuring two side buttons on both sides.
    The FK is Arie’s current mouse and is essentially a counterpart to the AM with a different gripping style, but is still ambidextrous.. Early batches of the FK had a coating issue but this has been ironed out. It
    The EC EVO series mice come with varying right-handed ergonomic grips, a different one for every specific model. They resemble the Deathadder or IME 3.0 most strongly.
    The EC eVo CL is an improved version of the older ECs featuring a faster scroll wheel.

    Another well-respected manufacturer of optical mice, Mionix is notable for having 7000 CPI optical mice with no tracking issues, and very good ergonomics.
    The Naos 3200 is a cheaper alternative to the Naos and Avior 7000 with a lower-sensitivity 3200 CPI sensor and no onboard ARM CPU.

    Yes, yes, I know. Groan. More cheap, fragile products that will break if you breathe on them. Still, they DO have mice which fit the specified criteria for this compilation.
    The Razer Diamondback is an older model which is practically impossible to find now. 1600 CPI, Aligent optical sensor. 125 Hz.
    The Diamondback Plasma is a newer iteration of the Diamondback with a somewhat newer Aligent sensor. Otherwise, it’s the same.
    The Salmosa’s predecessor, the Krait was Razer’s first 1000 Hz mouse, designed for RTS gamers. 1600 CPI, Aligent sensor.
    The Razer Salmosa is targeted primarily at the Southeast Asian markets so not many know about it. It’s an inexpensive 1800 CPI optical mouse with a very similar shape to the old Abyssus, save for the fact that the mouse buttons are separate from the rest of the top part of the body. (Older variant.)
    Razer has produced multiple versions of the Abyssus. All of them have an Avago-branded optical sensor. The newest iteration has replaced the horrid glossy underside with a textured grip surface like on the latest Deathadder and the mouse looks somewhat more like Razer’s Lachesis now in terms of ergonomics, which is an improvement over the old Abyssus. Otherwise it’s the same thing under the hood. A caveat: The earlier Abyssus cannot update its firmware, and some of the first batches shipped with older firmware that has jitter issues, as Arie has noted before. Avoid buying secondhand and ideally just get the newer version if it’s an Abyssus you want.
    Newer Salmosas appear to essentially be Deathadder 3Gs without the side buttons.
    One of Arie’s favorite older mice, the 1800 DPI Razer Deathadder 3G. Until the 6400 DPI DA 4G, the shell was virtually identical on all newer Deathadders. Flawless tracking.
    Variant of the Deathadder 3G for Macs.
    The DA 3.5G listed on this blog. Aside from jitter on some cloth pads with older firmware, is an ergonomic, precise mouse with an Avago optical sensor. Features two side buttons for browsing or macros.
    Deathadder 3.5G mirrored for left-handers. No further explanation needed; is otherwise identical.
    An improved variant of the Deathadder 3.5G with a matte, non-glossy finish all over and no lighting. Has different firmware but is otherwise basically the same mouse.

    Although some of Steelseries’ products are still more marketing than function, they DO have some solid products worth checking out.
    Steelseries’ answer to the Abyssus. The original Kinzu, despite being an optical mouse, actually had hardware acceleration. The V2 and V2 Pro, however, do not. Ambidextrous, 3200 CPI.
    Originally designed as a somewhat better alternative to the Kinzu. Its role has since been roughly taken up by the Rival. Ambidextrous, 3200 CPI.
    The Steelseries Ikari Optical is a favorite of low-sens gamers looking for good right-handed ergonomics. 1600 CPI.

    A rising star in the peripherals world, Roccat makes a range of mousemats, keyboards, headsets, and mice. I’ve personally thought of them as a sort of more reliable answer to Razer, as they share similar aesthetics and marketing, but seem to work better in general.
    The Roccat Pyra is a 1600 CPI optical with one extra side button per side. Rather compact.
    Wireless version of the Pyra.
    Roccat Lua. Ambidextrous mouse with up to 2000 CPI.
    The Kova, also ambidextrous, seems to be a flashier, somewhat better alternative to the Lua. 3200 CPI and two side buttons on each side, only one set usable at a time.
    The Kova+ is essentially the same, it’s just now it has Roccat’s Easy-Shift tech, which is a clever idea whereby a single button on the mouse acts as a “Shift” key, allowing you to assign two commands per button for different scenarios.

    A long-running, well-respected name in the peripherals industry. Notable for having very sturdy mice with good ergonomics and tracking.
    The MX518 has a 500 Hz polling rate and an 1800 CPI optical sensor. Its ergonomics have made it a classic amongst gamers and they’ve been passed down to many Logitech mice that came after it. Two side buttons round it out.
    An ambidextrous 2500 CPI mouse that passed its traits down to the G100S.
    Logitech’s current entry-level gaming mouse with a 2500 CPI optical sensor.
    Wireless right-handed MMO gaming mouse from Logitech. Features a thumb rest, something of a rarity amongst gaming mice. 2500 CPI, 8 side buttons.

    Cyborg Gaming
    Most well-known for their R.A.T. series mice, the Mad Catz-owned Cyborg Gaming brand has a number of product lines, including flight sticks.
    The R.A.T. 3 uses a 3500 CPI optical sensor. It lacks some of the ergonomic features of the later mice in the lineup, but this is forgivable if in your eyes, a precise mouse a gaming mouse makes, or else why would you be here?

    A solid brand wherever it goes, Corsair has been dipping its toes into the gaming peripherals market for a few years now.
    Direct predecessor to the LM3; features a 1600 CPI optical sensor, the ADNS-3080. 500 Hz polling rate. Otherwise about the same.
    The Corsair Raptor LM3 is an inexpensive 30 USD right-handed optical gaming mouse with a 2400 CPI resolution and two side buttons. Notably, it has a very wide clickwheel, maybe the widest I’ve ever seen. Looks a lot like the Sharkoon Fireglider, which itself resembles the Deathadder, which itself resembles the IME 3.0. The LM3 does not resembly the IME 3.0, however. Funny how mouse ergonomics have changed over the years. A caveat: The USB report rate is unspecified. If it’s like the Fireglider, it may not be capable of 1000 Hz.

    Gigabyte’s a big name to PC builders and they’re trying their hand at making credible gaming peripherals, too.
    The MS6900 is a 3200 CPI optical mouse with right-handed ergonomics and a 4-way scroll wheel. Features two additional side buttons. It somewhat resembles an Ikari.
    A bizarre-looking right-handed mouse with an equally bizarre 3200 CPI optical sensor. Has two side buttons.

    Cooler Master
    One of the better general-purpose PC accessory/component manufacturers.
    2000 CPI right-handed mouse. Has two side buttons.
    The Spawn has a 3500 CPI ADNS-3090 sensor and 32 kilobytes of onboard memory. It’s an ergonomic right-handed design that seems heavily influenced by Logitech in that it’s very wide.

    Ozone Gaming
    A European brand with some notable products, including a couple of optical mice.
    The Xenon is ambidextrous and has rubber side grips. 3500 CPI.
    The 3500 CPI Radon Opto appears to be heavily-influenced by Logitech mice, as it features similar ergonomics to the G500, even down to the adjustable weight system. Has two side buttons.

    Relatively obscure, new gaming peripherals brand founded in 2012 that tries to theme itself aesthetically on Greco-Roman mythology. But does that marketing translate into real performance? Well, let’s see.
    Ambidextrous mouse, fairly barebones. Although capped at 2000 CPI, the Demeter still has the 64 KB memory and two side buttons, one on each side.
    2500 CPI ambidextrous mouse. 64 kilobytes of memory, one side button per side, and adjustable weights.
    The Hades is an ambidextrous optical mouse with a 3200 CPI optical sensor, swappable sidegrips, and 64 kilobytes of onboard memory. It has side buttons on both sides, one set usable at a time.
    The ambidextrous Apollo features Gamdias’s flexible, swappable grips/shells that bend and yield to the hand that grips them. Features the 64 KB onboard memory and 3200 CPI of the Hades. One side button on each side.
    The Erebos is an ambidextrous mouse with the trademark 64 kilobyte memory, 3500 CPI and swappable sidegrips. Also features two side buttons per side and adjustable weights.

    Sharkoon makes a variety of products for gaming, from cases to headsets. Their mice are unremarkable, some even bad, but as some are opticals, I will list them.
    The Shark Force is capable of 1600 CPI and has somewhat Logitech-like right-handed ergonomics. However, it’s capped at 125 Hz, making it a bad choice overall.
    The Fireglider Optical has a max of 3000 CPI and is capable of a full 1000 Hz report rate. Has a pair of side buttons and strongly resembles the Deathadder and Raptor LM3. However, glossy surfaces make this an iffy choice.

    One of the many smaller brands out there who make cases, PSUs, mousemats, headsets and the like. They’ve jumped on the 8200 CPI Avago sensor bandwagon but they also have a sizable collection of sub-4000 CPI optical mice, all of them using Pixart-branded sensors.
    Their 30 dollar entry-level optical is the WhirlwindX. It’s a reasonably comfortable ergonomic right-handed mouse with no side buttons and a max of 3200 CPI.
    5 dollars more, doesn’t have any really notable additioanl features.
    45 USD, same speeds. Ambidextrous, shaped somewhat like the Razer Abyssus, so likely reasonably comfortable.
    54 USD, 3200 CPI. Ambidextrous ergonomic design, looks like someone took two right-handed mice and spliced ’em together. Has adjustable weights.
    60 USD, 3400 CPI. The only optical Sentey with extra buttons. Wide, right-handed ergonomics.

    Most known for their cases, but they manufacture a variety of PC components. Most of their gaming mice are laser-based, but they have a few opticals.
    The Azurues Mini is a smaller version of the Azurues with the same features.
    The Azurues is a 1600 CPI, 500 Hz ambidextrous optical mouse. The CPI is preset between 400, 800, and 1600. Comes with a weight system.
    The Saphira is a 3500 CPI right-handed mouse with two side buttons and adjustable weights.

    Somewhat respected company based in China that makes computer peripherals. Their opticals are, at least at a glance, credible, ranging from 2000-3200 CPI and all sporting 1000 Hz. They also have some preconfigured macros with some extra buttons.
    Very similar right-handed mouse models all sporting 2000 CPI and 1000 Hz.
    Strongly resembles the ones listed above, save for the 3200 CPI sensor.
    These mice feature shells very similar to the Sharkoon Fireglider. 3200 CPI.
    Bizarrely, they’re selling an entirely different line of peripherals outside of Southeast Asia. All of them are 3200 CPI, have 1000 Hz polling rates, and have 160 kilobits of onboard memory. Their other traits vary. The first listed is ambidextrous, and the third is mostly ambidextrous save for the two side buttons. The second and fourth are right-handed.

    Here I will list a number of no-name brands that sell cheap products which may or may not be worthwhile. Purchase at your own risk. I almost didn’t do this list because almost nobody here will give an eighth of a rat’s ass about these things, but they’re inexpensive, so a rookie looking to get his or her feet wet in the gaming peripherals world might try them out. That, and the novelty might just make them fun enough. I’ve listed them by order of CPI from lowest to greatest, and in each CPI level, I’ve listed them from cheapest to most expensive. If nothing else, many of them have the redeeming factor of being so cheap they can be considered expendable. Might be fun to mess around with one just to see what it can do.

    A & Co.

    A+ Products

    Accessory Power

    The iMouse G3 has a 2400 CPI optical sensor, and is ambidextrous, save for the side buttons, which are right-handed only. Polling rate unspecified.

    Don’t expect much from a company that named itself after a dead graphics card slot standard. Most of its gaming mice are 10-30 dollar junkpiles with indeterminate sensors and polling rates. Some of their higher-end models feature 3500-4000 CPI but I think that’s interpolated. Seems to be an OEM for other Southeast Asian brands.

    Fond of spider-based aesthetics. Some of their mice have superficially credible specs, but don’t throw 30 bucks at this brand if it’s all you’ve got. It appears to be one of the major Southeast Asian OEMs since many brands seem to rebrand their products.

    Appears to be one of the OEMs for many of the mice listed here.

    AZIO Corporation

    Brainy Deal



    Appears to be one of the OEMs for a lot of the mice listed here.

    Found one mouse page, comes in four optical flavors, each one a different model: 1600 CPI, 1800 CPI, 2400 CPI, and 4000 CPI. Also of note, it has one of the cheapest ADNS-9800 laser mice I’ve ever seen, at 30 dollars. Not a bad choice for a rookie starter mouse.

    Five Star Incorporated
    These don’t appear to be a specific brand, but rather a reseller. Nevertheless, I will list what I found here.


    Geek Buying





    LEXMA Incorporated

    Appears to be one of the OEMs for about half the mice listed here.



    Qant Electronics Corporation

    Rosewill is a reputable enough PC component and accessory manufacturer known for providing good value.

    Sades Digital Technology

    Shen Zhen Hong Sen Technology Corporation

    Singulard Industrial Limited






    Tsen Corporation


    Zalman Tech Corporation
    Zalman is known best for its mics amongst the audiophile/gamer community, and even more so for its GPU coolers and thermal interface material.

  19. Hey, Arie. This time, I don’t really have news for you regarding new optical mice. Instead, I’m here to give you a little breakdown of the G502, which I selected as a replacement due to largely stellar reviews and the fact that its sensor is just about flawless, something I can confirm.

    It’s is heavier than most mice but I haven’t noticed much of a difference, to be honest. I guess I’m hardy about that. ‘Bout 146 grams, as opposed to 110 or so. Ergonomically, it’s okay. It’s not quite as good as the G400/G500 shell it’s replacing. But it has a better thumb rest and it’s okay with all three major grip types, although I’ve found it’s best for clawgripping. Despite the 132 millimeter length, the clever design of the mouse means even someone with small hands can use it well. (Buttons can be actuated from the front of the mouse to the middle.) It’s kinda narrow, though, which is why I say it’s best for clawgripping. They should’ve used swappable sidegrips here. I think you might be able to MacGyver the mouse into feeling better by taping or gluing something to the side to rest your pinkie and ring fingers on, like on the older G400(S) and MX510/518 body, which I have on hand (G400S) for comparison’s sake. Seriously, someone needs to try this, because that’s the only real flaw with the ergonomics aside from the weight. Speaking of which, if, for whatever reason, 146 grams isn’t enough (or more likely still too much) for you, you can make it up to 168 with the adjustable weight.

    Build quality’s pretty good. I mean, it IS a Logitech mouse. It doesn’t feel like a brick, but it could probably survive one. (Disclaimer: If you try that and it DOES break the mouse, don’t come crying to me. That’s what common sense is for.) The body is mostly made of a very durable matte composite plastic which seems impervious to absorbing skin oils, and the mouse buttons require some force to actuate. Some may view that as a con but every mouse button I’ve used which is easier to press has died or developed a double-click, so that’s fine by me. Oh, and the scroll wheel’s metal.

    Feature-wise, it’s one of “those” mice. Ah well, it’s not really hurting anything since you can unbind unwanted keys and it has onboard memory for if you’re a LAN guy. The scroll wheel alternates between clicking from stop to stop to free-spinning with the push of a button, but doesn’t have the option to adjust the sensitivity of the scroll. Pity. Has a number of side buttons I probably won’t use, and a sniper button that’s too far out to comfortably use, but hey, I’m not complaining. Although the two side buttons next to the right click are mapped by default to be CPI up and down, which is convenient. I’ve found that useful for switching between preferred settings for different games, since old titles like CS 1.6/Source handle sens differently than newer titles like, say, CS:GO. Oh, and if the LED annoys you (It annoyed me. Too bright, and right in the eyes.), you can shut it off.

    The PWM3366 optical/infrared sensor (Currently unique to the G502.) has flawless tracking, being an optical, but it also has enough DPI to make the Flash happy, with a max of 12000 CPI. (Which I’m totally not using because I’m a speed freak or anything. Nopenopenope… Stop look at me like that. Mutants have feelings, too.) I’m using a hard mousemat, so I can’t really say how good it is with tracking overall, but I’ve run into no issues, and it seems to have a reasonably low liftoff distance. Certainly lower than the Deathadder Black Edition I toyed around with before. The sensor should be more than enough to satisfy even speed freaks, so I’m really hoping we’ll see the PWM3366 in more shells as times goes on.

    Would I recommend it to a typical person? Only if they’re okay with the ergonomics. Anything else and it should be satisfactory for them at least. A caveat: The drivers have a built-in firmware updater. It is recommended you use the standalone version of the updater since it’s less likely to brick your mouse. And you probably will need it: There have been complaints of the G502 malfunctioning in various ways on earlier firmware. This seems to have been ironed out by now, but it’s still generally a good idea to update the firmware, so bear this in mind.

  20. I couldn’t get used to the weight of the G502, I’ve sold it to a friend who likes it better than his Deathadder 2013. He used to have a MX Revolution, which had a button in the thumb rest, so that took some getting used to because that’s one of the few places it *doesn’t* have a button 😉
    Build quality, scrollwheel, features, all great with the G502. My opinion of the mouse very closely mirrors yours, but I just want a very light mouse that’s easy to throw around and the G502 wasn’t it for me.

  21. Heh, I forgot to mention earlier that the FK is getting an update in the Zowie FK1. I don’t know how it holds up compared to the original for tracking. Likely flawless. Don’t know about smoothing. But it has a slightly longer length, retains the low LOD, and has a higher max CPI count. Kinda bothers me that it doesn’t have a CPI stepping around 1800-2300, though. 1600 might be a bit too low for mid-sens gamers, and I know a few of those who are eSports level so it’s not just a gimmick for them. Like, one guy I know prefers 2100-2200 and he’s the best sniper I’ve ever met. He’d probably prefer the older FK or AM or EC series mice instead because of this alone. Still, not a bad mouse at all if it’s like its predecessor, and it seems like it is. Go Team Zowie.

    As for the G502, I’ve found it may actually have a LOWER liftoff distance than mice like the FK. But yeah, the weight’s a killer for pro gamers. It just doesn’t bother me as much since I use higher sensitivities. Weight aside, though, I think Logitech did a good job. They just need the mouse to be wider and it’d have a perfect shape for average-sized hands at least. To that end, I’m wondering if someone should propose some kind of DIY widening grip with pinkie rest addon attachable by double-sided tape or something on Geekhack. ‘Cause that’s the only ergonomic flaw I’ve found with it. It would be perfect save for the weight if it was just a bit wider. (Or, y’know, just stuck with the older shell design, which would’ve also likely fixed the weight issues. It’s probably not possible to do a Kinzuadder style mod with the G502’s internals and a G400/500 shell, though. Pity indeed.)


    Special delivery from Gimmick Central. Seeing as to how it has 10,000 CPI, I waited to see if this was a new sensor or not, and the verdict?

    Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…the exact same sensor as was used in the 2013 Edition. Anything above it is just interpolated. The only reasons I can see to buy this mouse are that it lacks the 2013’s jitter issues, and the pretty colors, if you’re that way inclined. There may be some minor firmware improvements over the DA 2013, but the CPI is fake, so if you’re a speed freak, avoid like the plague. More dishonest Razer marketing. I wouldn’t go placing bets that the build quality on this mouse has gotten any better, either.

  23. Not sure. But I sort of doubt the lens would make THAT big of a difference. We’re talking a 3600 CPI leap over the previous DA, and a 3000 CPI leap over the Mionix opticals.

    On another note, some interesting new mice to bring to your attention.
    The Gladius is a right-handed mouse with 6400 CPI and a pair of side buttons. It’s notable for having 2000 Hz, a feature not seen in any other mouse, and it’s advertised as being friendly to people who wish to swap out mouse button switches. Also has a detachable cable using a micro USB connector. I’ll give ASUS credit: They ARE trying to distinguish themselves from the competition, but the 2000 Hz thing is a lot less impressive once you consider that it’s a .5 millisecond difference from the gaming standard 1000. Mouse is reasonably light at about 116 grams and the sensor is an ADNS-S3988, same as the DA 2013 Edition.
    But more exciting news may yet lie on the horizon. For a few years now, an ESReality poster called “BST” has been working on making the perfect gaming mouse as defined by the strict, minimalist standards of said site. It’s supposed to be like the WMO 1.1a, but without the flaws. Well, his first product, the Ninox Aurora, is almost ready. Sometime next month, it will launch. It looks to challenge the Zowie FK and FK1 for their supremacy as the “WMO successor.” It’s 117 millimeters long, weighs 70-80 grams, and uses an Avago ADNS-3090 sensor. CPI steppings at 400, 800, 1600, 3200, and 4000. (Sorta reminds me of the Kinzu V2, except it probably has better build quality.) Uses Omron mouse buttons instead of Huanos like on the Zowies, something a lot of people complained about. No such thing as a free lunch, however. It also suffers from a higher liftoff distance than the FK and FK1. On the plus side, however, it’s slightly cheaper than the Zowie mice. Both are still outstanding choices for mid to low sens gamers. I eagerly await the first user reviews.
    On a less exciting note, Steelseries is also making a third revision of the Kinzu, the V3. It uses the 3050 sensor like in the G100S. But honestly? With the Aurora and FK/FK1 lying around at the same general price range, I can’t justify recommending this thing to anyone unless they prefer the shape.


    Ladies and gentlemen, the Aurora’s out, the reviews are in, and here’s what we have in the mouse:

    I’ll start with the bad. Build quality is shoddy since it’s a small startup company using an OEM mouse shell, specifically. Although there can be other issues, the one you should watch out for is that mouse buttons tend to be uneven, and they’re obviously flimsy. This isn’t a mouse I’d recommend as a long-term solution. On the flip side, 45 USD ain’t bad and the jury’s still out on the longevity of this mouse. Plus there’s a two year warranty if things fall apart.

    The good news, though, is the sensor performance is outstanding. Even Maximilian Kohler, the (in)famous OCD MLT 04 fan, is fond of the mouse’s performance, which he rates as on par with the Kone Pure Military’s but with a better ergonomics. Of course he still prefers MLT 04 mice, but this is second best in his opinion, which means it’s basically god-tier to everyone else. It has no tracking flaws except a slightly high LOD of about 2mms and it has pretty much no smoothing, which is interesting since it’s just a standard 3090 sensor. This means he managed to make firmware which supports 4K CPI but apparently lacks the smoothing present on other mice using this sensor and CPI rating. With a weight of 70 grams without the cable, an Abyssus/Kinzu/G100(S) size and general shape, and great sensor performance, this may be the mouse you were looking for, Arie.

    I’d say it’s a good mouse and a great company in the making, but shoddy build quality from using a Chinese OEM means BST/Ninox will need another try to get it all right. He’s already planning on something else using a custom shell design. Still, if you wanna try it out, Arie, it’s inconsequentially priced at around 37 EUR. (Not sure about Dutch customs fees, though.)

    But hey, why stop the fun now with the Aurora? There’s more cool new shit out there to see, so let’s dive in.

    Oh, and by the way, if you’re a fan of Zowie, they have a revised version of the FK1 which they creatively named the FK2. It’s essentially the size of the original FK but uses the FK1’s guts, so if you weren’t a fan of the wonky CPI settings on the original and dislike the size and weight of the FK1 but enjoyed the performance it had, here’s your cure.

    This ain’t as exciting to me as it will be for some of the other folks here, but if you were a fan of the EC series from Zowie, they now have an updated set with the 3310 sensor. Same specs and performance as the FK1 and 2, so happy fraggin’ for all the fans of Zowie’s ergonomics.

    On the less exciting front, if anyone’s a fan of the G300’s shape, there is now a revised variant out there. It doesn’t have any of the major tracking issues from what I’ve read, but sometimes it plays buggy.

    I haven’t seen a thorough review of this yet, but nobody’s complained about tracking issues. It has the G402’s gyroscopic voodoo tech, though, so it has a very high PCS. Might be worth looking into if you can stand the truly bizarre shape.

    Corsair’s getting into the shiny buttons market, but the mouse looks nice for other reasons. 100 grams is far from “ultra lightweight,” but it could be a hell of a lot worse and for all the plastic fantastic gimmicks in the design, if it’s capable of 6400 CPI, it’s using a PWM3310, so it should have solid performance.

    It’s a 50/50 this’ll be laser or optical. Too early to tell. But it’s a neat idea and I’d love to see a GOOD mouse based on it show up out there.

    The dream is alive, folks! Keep on pushing for better sensors. It’s workin’.

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