Cooler Master MasterMouse MM520 Review: Solid and Simple

Cooler Master’s MasterMouse MM520 endured our rigorous testing. However, the shape might not be for everyone. It’s excellent performance and good build quality earned it a well-deserved place in our hearts.

A Simplistic Mouse for Claw Grippers, by Cooler Master

For years Cooler Master has been striving to satisfy every gamer’s need by designing a wide range of ergonomic gaming mice. Claw-grippers have not been forgotten either, and the MasterMouse MM520 holds a special treat in store for them. The unusual shape and the lack of wireless connectivity, however, position Cooler Master’s MM520 model as a very niche mouse, therefore it might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Cooler Master SGM-2007-KLON1 MasterMouse MM520
  • MM520 Claw Grip Gaming Mouse, 7 programmable buttons
  • Pixart PMW-3360 Infrared Sensor, up to 12000 and zero negative acceleration or prediction for true 1-1 input for pinpoint accuracy
  • On-the-Fly DPI Adjustments with 4 levels and 4 profiles
  • 3 Zone RGB Light, Fully programmable for customize lightings, buttons, and macros
  • Made with PBT Material for durability and 20 M click rated OMRON switches and ALPS scroll wheel

Cooler Master released its MasterMouse MM520 at the same time as the MM530 model. Both mice are very similar under the hood, however, their shapes are pretty different. Although this review is focused mainly on the MM520, I will say a few words about the MM530 as well.

Design and ergonomics

The MM520 body size has a medium-form factor. With its 78.5 x 118 x 29.5mm (3.09 x 4.65 x 1.16 in) it is most suitable for people with medium- and large-sized hands. Despite being tagged for claw-grip users, during my tests palm-gripping felt just as comfortable.

Both the MM520 and MM530 are created with durability in mind. Both models are made of PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) plastic to reduce wear. In comparison to mice made of ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic, PBT mice are definitely tougher. The back of the MM520 features UV coating, which is a bit harder than rubberized coating but lasts longer. This coating holds no fingerprints, nor does it wear and peel off.

As I already mentioned, the MM520 is a bit unusual shape-wise. It resembles another favorite model of mine, the Mionix Naos 7000, with the MM520 being a bit smaller. There is a ring finger support swelling on the right side of the mouse body. They have also added a small pinky support honeycomb-pattern rubber pad at the bottom of the right side of the mouse for a better grip.

MIONIX NAOS 7000 Multi-Color Ergonomic Optical Gaming Mouse
  • Ergonomic, right-handed gaming mouse
  • Up to 16.8 Million LED color options
  • 128 kb built-in memory
  • 32bit ARM processor 72mhz
  • 7000 DPI optical gaming sensor
  • 6 integrated LEDs in 4 color zones
  • Truly ergonomic design – Right handed
  • ADNS - 3310 gaming grade IR-LED optical sensor
  • In-game DPI adjustment - Up to 7000DPI

There is no rubber grip pad on the left side of the MM520. Cooler Master has decided to simply carve a convex shape for thumb rest. In contrast, the MM530 model shape is more conventional: there is no ring finger support, and it sports larger rubber grip patches on both sides.

Despite the unusual shape of the MM520, I did not feel any wrist strain during my 3-day tests. I used the mouse mostly for work, and being a palm-gripper, I found it comfortable enough. Even after intentionally making myself claw-grip it for a whole day, I still felt no signs of tension in my pinky.

There are 3 large gliding pads on the belly of the mouse, and they are big enough to ensure smooth movement on any surface.

The mouse weighs 101 grams. If this is too heavy for your liking, you can reduce it to 88 grams. Well, this is easier said than done. You will need 2 Philips screwdrivers: a large and a small one. You will have to destroy the feet patches because the screws to open the mouse body are beneath them. You should have received a set of spare replacement feet with the mouse. If not, you can request those from CM and they will be happy to ship them to you.

Buttons, switches, and layout

The MM520 sports 6 programmable buttons. The two main left and right buttons boast Omron 20 million-click switches. They produce very nice and satisfyingly crispy clicking sounds. For comparison, the MasterMouse 530 model main buttons sound a bit squishy. Cooler Master has placed two additional buttons on the left side of the mouse, right above the slotted thumb rest. They are glossy, have deep action, and are large and easy to reach. Some users complain their action depth is a tad too much, but it was okay for me.

The mouse scroll wheel is made of silicone, has small bumpers for extra grip and has a tactile feedback. There is also an additional button behind the scroll wheel, which defaults to DPI mode rotation.

Performance and sensor

Cooler Master MM520 boasts the gaming-standard PixArt PMW 3360 optical sensor. Although the mouse is advertised as 12,000 DPI capable, I would recommend using it at a maximum of 3000 – 3500 DPI. Even at such high resolutions aiming becomes insanely inaccurate and tedious. The sensor is capable of 250 IPS at 50G, and you will not miss a dot even if you moved the mouse at ludicrous speeds. Any headshot missed is entirely on you and your skills.

During my tests with CS: GO and CoD: Modern Warfare, zoom sniper tracking was smooth, pixel by pixel, and without any jitter. No surprises here, considering the top-grade mouse sensor. Since it’s an optical sensor, I’d recommend getting a cloth monocolored pad for best precision and accuracy.

The mouse’s polling rate is 1000Hz (1ms), no surprises here either, as it is a wired mouse. There is an option in the software that allows adjusting the polling rate all the way down to 125 Hz. Bear this in mind, especially if you fancy retro gaming every now and then, as some older games struggle with higher polling rates.

The mouse’s lift-off-distance is adjustable; there are two options available – high (2mm) and low (0.5mm).

An unusual feature for a gaming mouse is the implemented angle snapping option. Make sure you have this one turned off if you do not want to obliterate your muscle memory.

Connectivity

This gaming rodent is wired-only. Unfortunately, there is no wireless version currently offered. The cable is 1.8-meter long, rubberized, quite flexible, lightweight and non-braided. The USB connector is gold plated for better contact and durability.

Customization and lighting

The mouse has 3 lighting zones: an illuminated scroll wheel, a hexagonal shape under the heel place, and a glowing line at the back bottom of the body. The lighting is RGB and has the standard 16,7 million color range. You can choose between several lighting patterns – breathing, color-cycling, static, multilayer, or no lighting at all.

If you decide to customize the defaults, you will have to download the Cooler Master Portal software. Simple and easy to use, it offers programming up to 5 profiles. Each profile can store 4 CPI presets (adjusted in 100 CPI increments), a custom RGB lighting, button macros, OS sensitivity settings, and button response time. What struck me was the fact that the mouse allows for left and right button response latency adjustment, from 4ms up to 32ms.

Another impressive feature I spotted is the so-called TactiX function. Basically, you can assign this function to the DPI button and then use it to alter the normal behavior of the other mouse buttons. It acts similarly to the special function key on laptops; while the TactiX button is pressed, the rest of the mouse buttons function differently. That is all programmable via the CM Portal software.

The mouse is equipped with a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 processor and 512 KB of memory for offline profile storage. This makes it portable and a good bring-on candidate for tournaments and competitive LAN parties, where no Internet usage is allowed. Since the profiles are stored on the internal memory, you can uninstall the customization software, once you have programmed the mouse the way you like it.

Conclusion

Even though Cooler Master MM520 may not be your regular all-rounder mouse, it may be a good fit for the CM Storm Spawn fans out there. It is a sturdy budget mouse with an excellent sensor, whose unusual shape makes it appreciated by only a relatively small portion of the gamer community. If you are still not certain whether this is the right mouse for you, you might want to check our best budget gaming mouse review.

Cooler Master SGM-2007-KLON1 MasterMouse MM520
  • MM520 Claw Grip Gaming Mouse, 7 programmable buttons
  • Pixart PMW-3360 Infrared Sensor, up to 12000 and zero negative acceleration or prediction for true 1-1 input for pinpoint accuracy
  • On-the-Fly DPI Adjustments with 4 levels and 4 profiles
  • 3 Zone RGB Light, Fully programmable for customize lightings, buttons, and macros
  • Made with PBT Material for durability and 20 M click rated OMRON switches and ALPS scroll wheel
Andrew is arguably the geekiest member of our team. He has a knack for new gaming hardware and awesome gadgets. Although Overwatch is his current favorite, he thinks the Counter Strike Global Offensive is the best shooter of all times. He is constantly hunting for news about new hero releases and patches. Andrew believes that playing video games is not just a hobby but a way of life. He regards his job at RealGear as a way of helping fellow gamers make the most of their gameplay by writing reviews about the hardware he uses and the FPS/ RTS he plays.

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