Last year Cooler Master released two new right handed gaming mouses consisting of the MM520 and MM530. The MM520 is designed for those who use a claw grip whereas the MM530 sports a more traditional shape. Besides the different shape design, the MM520 and MM530 have identical specs and for this review, we will focus on just the MM520.
I have been using the MM520 for the past few days as my daily driver which includes playing games, browsing the web and general desktop use. The MM520 is without a doubt an amazing mouse for claw grip users. The mouse feels pretty good and Cooler Master has done an excellent job with the shape, texture and the way the buttons work. This is a lightweight mouse and comes with programmable side buttons that are large and easy to reach.
Cooler Master has equipped the MM520 with plenty of attractive features such as six programmable macro buttons, on-the-fly DPI adjustments, RGB illumination, claw-grip ergonomics, and the Pixart 3360 which is a high-performance optical gaming sensor. Cooler Master is targeting gamers who are on a budget with the MM520 and with that being said, the MM520 retails for $49.99 on Amazon and comes with 2 years of warranty. It's nice to see Cooler Master offer users a two year warranty because most manufactures typically offer a 1 year of warranty.
There are a total of three lighting zones built into the MM520. Looking at the back of the MM520, you will notice that there is RGB lighting in the scroll wheel and around the Cooler Master logo which looks a little odd in my opinion, and there also a small light bar at the base of the mouse. You can customize the colors by using the Cooler Master Portal software which will allow you to choose from millions of colors and also a couple of effects.
Cooler Master is using the Omron button switches on the right and left buttons that are rated for 20 million clicks. Omron is a Japanese company known for making the best mouse button switches out there so it's very nice to see them implemented into the MM520. The left and right buttons are made of PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) instead of ABS plastic for increased durability and Cooler Master has used the ALPS encoder for the scroll-wheel which means the scroll-wheel will be crisp and will move easily. Physically, the MM520 is 4.65" deep, 3.09" wide, and it stands 1.116" in height and it weighs 135 grams including the cable.
The MM520 is made of plastic which is to be expected from a mouse that retails at the $50 price-range. Build quality is acceptable and the materials used offer a good grip for sweaty and dry conditions and it doesn’t cause irritation after long periods of use. The body of the MM520 has a matte UV coating on it which is great because it doesn’t pick up fingerprint marks and is not prone to fading or losing its texture.
On the bottom you will notice there are three rubber feet which help the mouse glide across the surface. Most mouses come with plastic feet and those usually wear out quickly and I would have liked to have seen ceramic feet on the MM520 because they do not wear out at all but I guess we can't really complain for a mouse at this price-range.
The MM520 comes with a built-in weight but you have to remove the feet in order to remove the built-in weight. Removing the built-in weight will bring the weight down to 89g but the removing process is not simple and takes quite a bit of time. At 89g, the mouse becomes significantly lighter and makes a big difference in gaming if you are the type of user who prefers lightweight mouses. I just wish Cooler Master would have made the process of removing and adding the built-in weight much easier.
Near where the scroll wheel is, there is a single DPI button which will allow you to switch the DPI on the fly. The DPI button feels great and it has a satisfying click to it which I really like. You will also notice that the MM520 comes with a rubber side grip and a ring finger rest which is designed to ensure comfort during gaming. The side grip offers good friction for extra control which is great because you don't want the mouse to slip from your fingers during gaming.
On the left hand side you will find two programmable macro buttons which are large and fairly well placed. These buttons feel snappy and are very responsive and provide enough tactile feedback and audible click. But I would have liked for the buttons to have been just a little bit more spaced out because during gaming I found myself accidentally clicking the wrong button which was frustrating.
I want to talk a little bit about the sensor used in the MM520 because it is amazing. The Pixart 3360 series sensors are typically used in high priced gaming mouses so it's awesome to see Cooler Master include this sensor in their budget gaming mouse. There's four DPI levels which can be adjusted on the fly from the lowest being 400 to highest being 12000. 400 DPI is slow and 12000 is crazy fast but for me, I found 1200 to be the sweet spot for gaming and you can always experiment with whatever value will feel good to you.
The Pixart 3360 sensor is also capable of tracking movement at 250 IPS at 50 g which basically means that it can handle very quick acceleration. In other words, when you are gaming and you need to quickly do a full turn around, the Pixart 3360 will be able to handle all the data without lagging or stuttering. At the heart of the MM520 is a 32bit ARM Cortex M0 processor with 512 KB of onboard memory which provides for up to five storing profiles.
|Grip Type:||Claw / Palm|
|Material:||Plastic / Rubber|
|LED Color:||16.7 Million RGB|
|Sensor::||Pixart PMW-3360 Optical|
|CPI / DPI:||4 Levels (100~12,000dpi)|
Default = 400/1200/4000/12000
|Tracking Speed:||250 ips / 50 g|
|Lift Off Distance:||< ~2mm / Adjustable|
|Polling Rate:||1000 Hz / 1 ms|
|Angle Snapping:||On / Off|
|Processor:||32 bit ARM Cortex M0|
|On-board Memory:||512 KB|
|Switches, Lifespan:||Omron, 20 million|
|Body coating:||Matte UV Coating|
|Cable Length:||Flexible Cable, 1.8 Meters|
|Dimensions (mm/inch):||78.5 x118 x 29.5mm|
3.09 x 4.65 x 1.16 Inches
|Weight:||135 g / 0.3 lbs|
|Weight (without USB Cable):||101 g / 0.23 lbs|
The MM520 comes packaged in a simple black themed box that lists all the information you need to know about the mouse. On the front cover we see a big image of the mouse, the product name and the Cooler Master logo sitting in the upper left corner.
Inside the box you will find the mouse and a small user guide. The USB cable has gold plating on the USB connection and the cable itself measures 1.8 meters long and it is very lightweight. However, the USB cable is not braided which is a disappointment because braided cables offer extra durability and are very much preferred by gamers.
You obviously don't need to install the Cooler Master portal software to use the MM520 mouse but it does unlock many more features such as the ability to customize the RGB lighting on the mouse throughout the three different color zones and much more. You can control all of your Cooler Master peripheral devices from within the Cooler Master software which is roughly 10MB. The software is easy to use and the user interface isn't too clumsy.
I have tried many different softwares from different manufactures and the Cooler Master portal is by far the most optimized one. It has very little noticeable impact on the overall system performance or start up time which I love because most softwares normally consume too much memory and are not very efficient.
But if you are the type of person who doesn't like to have unnecessary things running in the background, you can choose the color scheme you like and then just remove the software. The mouse can store up to five profiles so it is able to retain the color settings in the internal memory.
The software is divided into three main sections, Main Control, Macro and Library. The key assignment tab can be used to customize each of the buttons whereas TactiX is used for assigning multiple functions to each button. The LED tab is self-explanatory which is used to change the RGB lighting and in the sensor tab, we can change the four DPI level sliders, polling rate, angle tuning, angle snapping, and LOD. The OS Sensitivity tab allows us to change settings such as the double-click speed setting.
Cooler Master has created a fantastic product with the MM520 and it is certainly a must have for claw grip users but that does not mean it is perfect. The most disappointing aspect of the MM520 for me is the overall build quality and the USB cable. Don't get me wrong, the build quality is decent for a $50 mouse but I feel like it gives the mouse a cheap feel to it. Personally, I would rather pay $10 more and get a mouse with a better build quality than save $10 and get a mouse with an inferior build quality. The cable is another thing which I think could be improved. The cable is very long which is great but it is not braided and braided cables offer extra durability and gamers love them.
I have been testing the MM520 for the past three days and I can easily say that the MM520 is very comfortable to
use during gaming. Thanks to the PWM 3360 sensor, gaming performance is excellent with the MM520 and the PMW3360
sensor does a great job of tracking the mouse movement.
I must say that Cooler Master has done an amazing job implementing the Pixart 3360 sensor because there is no lag and no stutter.
I also love how lightweight the mouse becomes once you remove the built-in weight which is what I have done because I prefer lightweight mouses.
+ Excellent Performance
+ High DPI
+ Scroll Wheel
+ Software Features
- Cable Not Braided
- Build Quality Could Be Improved
I am a big fan of the Cooler Master portal software because it is easy to use and it sports a clean user interface. The software is also well optimized for any operating system and it consumes very little memory when it's running in the background. With all that being said, if Cooler Master wants to make a revision to the MM520 in the future, they need to slightly improve the build quality and include a braided USB cable. Even if the price increases by $10 by addressing these two issues, I really think many people would happily buy it because it would then be a perfect claw grip mouse. Overall, I believe the Cooler Master MM520 mouse deserves our recommended award.
Final Score 9.2