Cooler Master Spawn Review

gotdamojo06 - 2011-01-19 17:04:11 in Input Devices
Category: Input Devices
Reviewed by: gotdamojo06   
Reviewed on: February 2, 2011
Price: $49.99

Introduction: 

Have you been looking for a new mouse for your new gaming setup? Maybe you have been using the same mouse for quite some time and you are looking for a change? Maybe the mouse that you have now is not cutting it any more? Whatever your reasoning for a new mouse may be, if you are the type of gamer that likes to hold on to your mouse for dear life when you are getting shot at or you are in a very intense gaming session, you may want to check out the Cooler Master's CM Storm Spawn gaming mouse. Not only is this mouse specifically designed to give you the best support while you are gripping it, it has some pretty nice looking features as well. I know I am pretty interested to see how well this mouse is going to do against the competition, but also to see how it looks, so let's get started.

 

Closer Look: 

The packaging for the CM Storm Spawn is quite interesting, while also being very informative. The front of the package has a large picture of the mouse itself in the center and the top left hand corner features the CM Storm text and logo. Under the CM Storm logo is the tagline "Arming the Gaming Revolution" — CM Storm is Cooler Master's gaming line of products. Toward the bottom of the package is the Spawn logo, with "3500 DPI Precision Optical Sensor" located above it. A few quick features of the CM Storm Spawn are located under the model name, letting you know that it has an onboard Sentinel-X 32Kb processor, it is designed for the claw-style gamer with an ergonomic design, and that it has a superior rubberized anti-slip grip design. The front of the package flips open to reveal a view of the mouse itself through a cutout, while the flap shows off some key features of the mouse. When you flip the package over to the back, you'll find a list of specifications. Inside the package, not only are you going to get the CM Storm Spawn mouse, but you will also get a user manual and an installation CD with the retail version of the mouse, but which was not provided to me with the review sample.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CM Storm Spawn mouse, as mentioned before, is designed for the claw-style way of holding the mouse, which just means you like to have a very tight grip on the mouse rather than just using your fingers. The Spawn is a bit smaller than other mice on the market. There's a groove on the right-hand side of the mouse, featuring the Spawn name, that allows you to rest your ring finger, and there's even a smal ledge for your pinky finger to rest as well. On the left-hand side are two side buttons where your thumb sits. The Spawn includes two thick rubber grips formulated on both sides, allowing lift-off gamers to have full control during their game play. These two rubber pieces are sweat proof and ultra slip resistant. The back end of the mouse features CM Storm logo printed on the bright red chassis of the mouse. When looking at the front of the mouse head on, you'll notice that, along with the scroll wheel, there are also four clickable buttons — your typical left and right mouse buttons, as well as up and down buttons above the scroll wheel.

 

 

 

The Japanese-made scroll wheel has an ultra precise stepping encoder that allows gamers to navigate small distances with the scroll wheel while establishing great control and precision. The four clickable buttons use the Omron Micro Switches, which are backed up by a minimum guarantee of 5 million clicks. The up and down buttons on the front of the mouse above the scroll wheel are going to give you the chance to change your DPI on the fly, with presets of 800, 1800, and 3500. The Spawn gaming mouse utilizes a high performance optical engine and ensures extreme stability. Built with an anti-drift architecture, it provides loss-less performance under mouse lift and drop, giving you the opportunity to raise the mouse above the mouse pad, while it still tracks the movement. The Sentinel-X microprocessor safeguards your mouse settings by storing your button assignments, advanced macros, and other mouse customizations on the mouse itself, which is going to allow the gamer to plug and play on any other system without losing initial settings.

 

 

The USB cable on the mouse has the standard rubber coating around the wires inside, which are going to protect them from being bent and broken. The USB cable measures two meters in length and has a gold-plated USB connector at the end, providing a maximumaximum of 1000Hz USB Transfer rate and a pooling time as low as 1.0ms.

 

 

Now that we know exactly what the CM Storm Spawn gaming mouse looks like, it's time to take a look at the drivers that come with the mouse and get everything configured so we can test it out and see how it does against the competition. 

Configuration:

Once you have the CM Storm Spawn drivers installed on your computer, all you need to do is open it up, which doesn't automatically happen after installation. Once you have the drivers software opened, the first screen that you end up seeing is called the Main Control Screen. This is where you get a bird's eye view of the mouse in the center of the screen with all seven of the buttons labeled with a list of the Buttons Assignment off to the left-hand side of the screen. By each button number on the left side list, there is a drop-down that lists all the available functions for that particular button. You have the option to change any of the buttons to L-Button, R-Button, M-Button, IE Forward, IE Back, DPI Up, DPI Down, Cycle DPI, Scroll Up, Scroll Down, Keyboard Key, Keyboard Macro (which will display any Macros you have written on the Macro Screen), and Disable. The right-hand side of the Main Control screen allows you to change the Double Click speed with a slider bar from slow (left) to fast (right). The Scroll Speed adjustments are also located here, providing speeds of 1-6. The Pointer Acceleration can be changed here as well, with the options being Off, Low, Medium, and High. In addition, Angle Snapping can be turned on or off. Lastly, in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen is a Double-Clicks Test Area to make sure that your Double Click settings are what you want them to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Macro screen is pretty self-explanatory — this is where you manage your macros. Any macros that already exist are listed on the left-hand side, while the events for the selected macro are displayed on the right. Underneath the macro list are the buttons New Macro and Delete. If you do not have any macros in your list, or simply want to create a new one, you simply click the New Macro button, type a name for your macro, and then you are ready to write it. With the macro you wish to edit selected, click the Start Record button on the right and type the keystrokes that you wish to record There is a maximum of ten lines that you can use, but since both the key press and key lift functions have to be recorded, you technically only have five actual keystrokes that can be saved per macro. 

 

 

The Custom screen allows you to change your DPI settings, but you don't really get that many options — all you can really do is change the DPI steps to different orders, selecting any of them to have either 800 DPI, 1800 DPI, or 3500 DPI. The Custom screen also allows you to change the Pointer Speed from 1 to 11, as well as the USB Polling Rate (125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, and 1000Hz with 500Hz being the default selection). The final screen is the Support/Update screen, which is where you go if you want to check for an updated version of the drivers or if you need a link to the online support web page.

 

 

Well, since the CM Storm Spawn gaming mouse is now all set up, we should take a look at the specifications and features of the mouse and then continue on to the actual testing phase. 

Specifications:

Model Number

SGM-2000-MLON1

Available Color

Black & Red

Material

Rubber Grip/ABS Plastic

Dimensions

(W) 75.5 X (H) 110 X (D) 35 mm (W) 3 X (H) 4.3 X (D) 1.3 inch  

Net Weight

142 g/0.313 lb

Sensor

3500 DPI Storm Tactical Optical Sensor

Maximum Tracking Speed

60 IPS

Maximum Acceleration

20g

Pooling Time

1.0ms

Speed Measurement

6400 FPS

Onboard Memory

32Kb

Form Factor

Right Hand Ergonomic

Button Assignment

7

Weight System

No

 

Features:

 

 

 

All information courtesy of Cooler Master @ http://www.cmstorm.com/en/products/peripherals/Spawn/

Testing:

To properly test the CM Storm Spawn, I will be testing four different aspects: speed, comfort, precision, and customization. To test the speed of the mouse, I will rate how fast the cursor is able to move across the screen. To test the comfort of the mouse, I will rate how comfortable it is to use. The precision of the mouse will be rated by in-game sniping ability rated by the number of head-shots. For the last rating, I will be rating how well you are able to customize the mouse to fit your needs.
 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Mice:

 

First up is the speed test, which will be rated on a scale from 1-10. I will be moving the mouse from the top left corner of the screen to the lower right corner. A 10 rating would represent lightning fast, while a 1 would be equal to a snail moving across your screen.

 

 

 

 

The comfort test is going to be rated by how comfortable and natural the feel of the mouse is to the hand, using a 1-10 point scale, where a 10 represents your hand is in heaven, while a 1 is equal to the feeling of being caught in a badger's jaws.

 

 

In the precision test, I will be gaming using Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and using the Barrett .50cal. I will rate the accuracy on a 1-10 scale, where 1 would represent no headshots and a 10 would mean all headshots.

 

 

Lastly, we have customization. To grade each mouse on this test, I will see exactly how well you are able to change the buttons of the mouse, as well as how easy it is to adjust the DPI resolution levels on the fly while you are in a game. A 10 would mean you can easily change your DPI settings in the game and have full control over changing the buttons using the software. The Microsoft intellimouse received a 1 score in this benchmark due to the fact that there is no ability to customize the mouse outside of the standard customizations Windows allows (double-click speed, pointer speed, wheel speed, etc.).

 

 

When it came down to the Speed Test, the CM Storm Spawn got a 9/10 here; while the mouse was able to move from each corner of the screen very quickly, the Razer Naga, Razer Imperator, Logitech G500, and WarMouse Meta all had higher DPI settings upwards of 6000dpi. The CM Storm Spawn also received a 9 in the Comfort testing. Now I did test this as how comfortable it is to be able to grip the mouse in the claw-style gaming method and it was quite comfortable, but the only place that it did lack in was a place on the actual mouse for my pinky finger to sit while I was gripping it. The Precision test gave me a result of 80% head shots when I was testing it, which is about average for the testing. While I was able to rest my hand on the mouse and had a nice DPI setting to ensure that I was able to move the crosshairs across the screen and pinpoint any headshots that I was taking, I was not all that used to the claw-style gaming grip. I am sure that if I were a gamer that used this way to hold my mouse, the headshot ratio would have been slightly higher. I could only give the CM Storm Spawn gaming mouse a 9/10 on the Customization testing due to the fact that, while you were able to change all the button assignments and program a macro in the software, it lacks the ability to change the DPI settings to what you would prefer to have them at — instead you only have three choices of 800, 1800, and 3500 dpi.

Conclusion: 

What is there to say about the CM Storm Spawn gaming mouse once all the testing was done? Well first of all, when you get a first glance at the mouse itself, it does look very clean and stylish, despite its smaller form factor. The red and black color scheme that Cooler Master put on it with the white lettering for the Spawn and CM Storm logos both stand out, but do not clash with the overall design. The Anti-Slip Design that Cooler Master integrated with the mouse is placed in key positions, and it's especially nice that the company opted not to coat the entire mouse in the anti-slip/anti-sweat material. The 3500 DPI Optical Sensor that Cooler Master placed on the mouse does give you the ability to game up to 3500 dpi, however the only complaint I do have about the DPI settings is that you can only set it to 800, 1800, and 3500 in the drivers software. While that isn't that big of an issue, as it does give you a nice spread from high to low, it would be nice if you could set the DPI settings to something in between. The comfort of the CM Storm Spawn gaming mouse was very nice, but I wasn't too big a fan with the fact that your pinky does hang off the side of the mouse and drag on the mouse pad. However, that too is not that big of an issue. I am not a claw-style gamer myself, but grabbing ahold of the Spawn made it come easy to try it out. The Omron 5 million click micro switches that were installed on the mouse buttons does give you a piece of mind that your mouse is going to be able to withstand at least 5 million clicks and is guranteed to last that long. The mouse is also quite light weight, coming in at only 142 grams, so the mouse is not going to put any extra stress on your wrist while you are gaming, allowing you to game longer with a more light weight mouse.

Overall, if you are looking for a new gaming mouse, you may just want to check out the CM Storm Spawn gaming mouse, especially with a low price point of $49.99. You are going to get a bunch of features packed into one nicely designed small package that is going to give you a nice ergonomic design, especially if you are a claw-style gamer.

 

Pros: 

 

Cons: