FPS Gaming Mouse Roundup 2012

Others/Mice & Keyboards by jmke @ 2013-01-07

In this group test I will focus on a specific feature and gaming goal to reduce the variables as we go on a quest to find some of the best First-Person-Shooter wired mouse out there.  To properly gauge the performance of my new gaming rodents I spend several weeks with each to get to know the ins and outs, their features and deliver a good dose of my personal opinions on these mice.

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CMStorm Sentinel Advance II

Coolermaster send their latest mouse from the CMStorm gaming line-up, the Sentinel Advance II is a feature rich mouse with fancy LED lightening, different game profiles and meant for right-handed gamers.



 The stats

  • DPI range: 200-8200
  • 5 programmable profiles
  • 8 programmable buttons
  • Up to 9 extra “virtual buttons” via combinations
  • OLED Logo display
  • 5x 4.5 gram weight fine tuning
  • 128Kb onboard memory to store profile and macro data




Opening the box reveals the bare essentials, no manual (you have to download it) and no drivers or applications (also via download). Do you get a spare set of mouse feet which should double the life of this mouse once they start degrading after the Nth gaming session.



Looking at the Sentinel II from the top you can see the big rear bulk and the cutout for the thumb of right-handed gamers.  Looking closer you can see one button above and two below the scroll wheel. The one at the top cycles through the different profiles, the two below allow you to increase/decrease the DPI. At the left side are two buttons, forward & back, with the back button also functioning as the “combo” XL button.



The USB cable is braided and quite long, it won’t come entangled easily. At the bottom you can see the big mouse pads and a hidden hatch which holds the five 4.5g weights.




Once powered on the display in the middle of the mouse comes to life and shows you a configurable logo as well as the current X/Y DPI setting. The grill around the display also lights up by a customizable colored LED, another LED at the front gives a cool glowing effect when powered on.



The mouse works nicely out the box and doesn’t require any special drivers or software to get you going. If however you want to customize the Sentinel II a bit, you can launch the CM Storm software; this software can either be installed via a setup (adding shortcuts and auto-start icon to your system) OR can you just launch the “SentinelAdv2_EN” executable! Installation via setup is optional.


The main control tab allows you to customize up to 5 profiles to your liking, changing the actions of all the buttons, setting the four different DPI settings which can be adjusted on the fly on the mouse and set USB polling rate.




The next tab called “Color Control” does exactly that. You can chose per profile the color of the top and front LED, as well as change the MODE between OFF, Breathing (pulse), Always ON or Rapid Fire. The last mode was quite cool to see, as the LEDs light up when you click any of the buttons.


After setting your favorite color you can also add a custom logo, a 32x32 b&w bitmap uploaded through the CMStorm gives this effect: [M]



The CMStorm didn't take long to get used to, the most important buttons are on familiar places and could be reached with ease, playing around with the DPI settings I settled for 1200-1400 DPI depending on the class I played in TF2, the mouse tracked well and true, lift-off distance according to specifications is ~1.5mm, which means as soon as you pick up the mouse higher than 1.5mm the sensor stops tracking. A low value here is best if you have a tendency to play with lower DPI setting (and thus require to replace the mouse during gameplay on your mousepad).


A second test with high DPI was performed at 8200 in Quake 3 Arena, which allows in-game mouse sensitivity tweaking in high detail... the high DPI and low sensitivity allowed for unparalleled control of the mouse pointer.

* important note here: increasing USB polling rate above 500hz conflicts with Q3A and the system will start acting up, this is a known issue, that only recently surfaced with the introduction of these high end (and high USB polling Mhz) mice


The cutout of the thumb area is sufficient to keep your thumb from touching the mouse-pad most of the time, on the pinkie side you can more easily drop off; despite the hard plastic used throughout, the CMStorm Sentinel Advance II was a comfortable right-handed mouse.



AIRSHOT Rating: 8/10



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Comment from jmke @ 2014/01/28
Update 28/1/2014 (one year since review)

* been using the SteelSeries RAW as office mouse, after about 600.000 clicks (tracking soft!) spread over left/middle/right click, the middle click button is starting to fail, need to press down hard for it to register.

* the Cyborg RAT 7 primary gaming mice, shows some erratic behavior once in a while and requires cleaning of the lens area every few weeks; otherwise it won't track, the small alcove they created for the lens is not keeping dust out, it just helps to collect more
Comment from jmke @ 2014/05/30
4 months further, the Cyborg RAT 7 primary gaming mice, the left button has failed, doesn't register clicks or doesn't hold.