MM520 Review (Spawn/Xornet II Comparison)

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Hey everyone,


Just wanted to write up a review of the MasterMouse MM520 after having used it for a day. I've previously owned the CM Spawn and Xornet II so as soon as the MM520 launched, it was a no brainer for me to order it right away. I heard how some folks that are diehard fans of the Spawn/Xornet might not be so sure about the changes for the MM520, so I wanted to just provide my thoughts on it (as a diehard Spawn/Xornet fan myself.) :) 


Shape/Size: (1st Place: Spawn/Xornet II | 2nd Place: MM520)

Obviously, the biggest change is the shape and size of the MM520. I took a picture with my phone of the Spawn, Xornet II and MM520, side-by-side to give you guys a rough comparison -- take a look below and see for yourself.

As you can see, it's a little bit longer in the left/right mouse button area than the Spawn/Xornet. It took a little bit of getting used to coming from years of using the Spawn/Xornet but what I noticed is that I can pretty much hold it the same way as the Spawn/Xornet as I used to and it feels more or less the same. However, now for those of you with bigger hands and/or longer fingers, you'll have more space to choose where you want to rest your fingertips.


Also, with the increase in length I find that depending on how I hold the MM520, the back of it touches my palm which I'm still getting used to. (I think it's also because the groove on the left-side of the mouse for the thumb is a little deeper). With the Spawn/Xornet, I primarily used Claw + Fingertip grip, so the back of the mouse hardly ever touched my palm (that was just my preference; it helped me to do insane flick shots :)). 


The last thing related to the length is that the positioning of the scroll wheel is a little bit further than I'm used to. Previously, with the Spawn/Xornet, my finger would touch the top-half of the scroll wheel to turn it; now it touches the bottom-half. Overall, this is not too hard to get used to. I'd say the second point above about the MM520 touching my palm is the most noticeable change. :) 


Weight: (1st Place: Xornet II | 2nd Place: Spawn | 3rd Place: MM520*)

According to the specs of all three mice, the weights are: (without the USB cable) (90g) (80g) (101g)


I definitely noticed the increase in weight. It didn't affect my aim as much, but it was noticeable. For insanely fast flick shots, a lighter mouse will always be better (it's physics!)


* Fortunately, I found a YouTube video that shows how we can remove the internal 12g weight. I think after I remove that, the weight will be perfect.


Sensor: (1st Place: MM520 | 2nd Place: Xornet II | 3rd Place: Spawn)

Awesome choice on the sensor CoolerMaster. It's just perfect. Don't think things can get any better than this.


Texture and Feel: (1st Place: Spawn | 2nd Place Tie: Xornet II and MM520)

To be honest, I kinda miss the all-rubberized feel of the Spawn. That was perfect in my opinion. However, with the MM520, I can see the benefits of the new material -- it's no-slip plastic and doesn't seem to attract sweat/oil. I guess I'll find out over time. :) 


To those of you who love the rubberized grip feel, rejoice in the fact that the MM520 at least has that on the right side of the mouse for your pinky. I feel like the left-side of the mouse would've benefited from having the same rubberized texture as well (like the Xornet II).


Buttons/Scroll Wheel: (1st Place: MM520 | 2nd Place: Xornet II | 3rd Place: Spawn)

The MM520 has larger left/right mouse buttons and side buttons. Same tactile feel as the Xornet II. 

The scroll wheel is better than the Spawn/Xornet II (better grip, smoother scrolling, slightly bigger.)

The only minus is there's only one DPI button now (used for TactiX which can act like a SHIFT key for all the buttons). It would've been nice to have two DPI buttons like on the Spawn/Xornet II.



Better than the Xornet II/Spawn software for sure. However, the LED editing UI needs a bit of work. It's a little confusing when editing each LED zone. It'd be nice to have some tooltips/help guide to figure out what each setting means. It's also not clear if I can set the LED lights for each DPI setting/profile.


I've somehow managed to configure it so that as I cycle between DPIs, the scroll wheel changes color to indicate the DPI setting, and after a few seconds, it goes to the LED settings in the software. I can't figure out how to change the different DPI indicator colors though; seems to be hard-coded as Red, Light Purple, Blue then Green.


The only other gripe I have about the MM520 software is that it takes a few seconds to save the profile after I click Apply. But fortunately, I only have to setup my mouse once. :) 


TL;DR -- Should you get this or not?

Yes! If you previously loved the Spawn/Xornet line of mice and have medium/large hands or long fingers, you'll have an easy time switching to the MM520. However, if you have small hands and felt that the Spawn/Xornet was the perfect size already, then the MM520 might not be for you.


If you made it this far, thanks for reading the review and hope it helps!



Suggestions to CoolerMaster:

For newer versions of the MM520, here's some stuff I'd like to see in the future:


1) Shape/Size: 

Overall, I think a mouse that has a shape/size somewhere between the Spawn/Xornet II and the current MM520 would be perfect (at least for me :)). However, I think if CoolerMaster did what Zowie did for their ZA line of mice by offering different sizes (e.g., ZA11 - Large Size, ZA12 - Medium Size, ZA13 - Small Size), they can appeal to essentially every Claw/Fingertip gamer. Please make it happen CoolerMaster -- you guys are on track to having the perfect claw/fingertip mouse!


2) Weight:

I think that by offering different sizes with the same shape like mentioned above could potentially solve this. For newer versions of the MM520, maybe an easier way of adding/removing the weights would help. For now, I think just including replacement feet would be enough for us diehard fans :) 


3) Texture:

Bring back a rubberized version like the old Spawn! I'll pay extra for it. :) 


4) Software:

I'd really like to be able to customize the LEDs (all the zones) for each DPI setting and profile! Kinda like what was there for the Xornet II. I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong with the software right now (like if that functionality exists and I'm just dumb) or it's not supported. Either way, the UI could use some work.


Edited by etrain
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UPDATE 10/22/2017:


Alright, so I got the replacement feet and removed the extra 12g weight from the mouse and the weight now feels great. After having used the mouse for a few weeks now, I can say that I've gotten used to the new shape and I can do pretty well with it in games.


However, now that I've put in a lot more hours in using it, I feel that this mouse is more suited for palm + claw grip users (it's really comfortable when used that way). For claw + fingertip users like me, the smaller Spawn/Xornet II was better. So the conclusion is still: if you have large hands/long fingertips, the MM520 will be great for you; otherwise, stick with the Spawn/Xornet II.


To Cooler Master: I'm going to keep the MM520 and use it but I'm really hoping next year's models/lineup will all have the same 3360 sensor (or better) and look something like:


MM520 S (Small): Exact same dimensions/shape as the Spawn/Xornet II, but with even lighter materials (< 80g). I hope there's a RAW version that has a rubberized texture (like the SteelSeries Sensei and Sensei RAW.) These will pretty much be guaranteed hits/top sellers.


MM520 M (Medium): Somewhere in between the current MM520 and the Spawn/Xornet II in its shape/size.


MM520 L (Large): The current MM520. I think it expands the market to palm grip users and I think most people will find the ring-finger groove to be pretty comfortable.

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CM Bram    37

Wow, thats a great review you have done there, very detailed! 


Weight feedback we already made actions towards, we will offer those feet in the box with new batches

As for the software, depending on the mode you can select the zones seperatly already... :)

Texture: really? Almost everyone else seem to not like rubberized and prefer this new PBT direction we are going for. Care to explain a bit more why you prefer this? 

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Thanks Bram!


On 10/24/2017 at 6:35 AM, CM Bram said:

Wow, thats a great review you have done there, very detailed! 


Weight feedback we already made actions towards, we will offer those feet in the box with new batches


Nice! I think people will like having the option to try with/without the extra weight. I think it'll basically cater to two main categories of gamers:


1) Fast twitch/flickshot gamers. Lighter mice will win over people who play tons of MOBAs/RTS/Arena FPS where they have to flick around rapidly. Heavier mice will increase fatigue and also make it harder for people to flick back and forth rapidly. I think these types of gamers prefer claw + fingertip grip.


2) Smooth aim gamers: Heavier mice help stabilize movement for slower, constant tracking like for realistic FPSes with hitscan weapons (like Battlefield). I think these types of gamers prefer palm + claw grip.



As for the software, depending on the mode you can select the zones seperatly already... :)


Haha, yeah I was probably just being dumb. When I was first setting it up, I was kind of expecting something like the Xornet II software, where I could set the colors for each DPI level like:


DPI Level 1:

    Scroll Wheel: Red 

    CM Logo: Orange

    Back: Yellow


DPI Level 2:

   Scroll Wheel: Orange

   CM Logo: Yellow

   Back: Green


DPI Level 3:

   Scroll Wheel: Yellow

   CM Logo: Green

   Back: Blue


And so on... but it wasn't obvious to me how to select the DPI level to configure. If you look at the SENSOR tab, there's selections for each DPI level 1-4 that makes it clear what settings will take effect for each DPI level. For the LED tab, I don't know where to say I want the Scroll Wheel to glow Red for DPI Level 1 and the Logo to be Yellow for DPI Level 2. I see sliders for RGB, but what is S? Is S the mouse profile? This is kinda what I mean but ah well. :) 



Texture: really? Almost everyone else seem to not like rubberized and prefer this new PBT direction we are going for. Care to explain a bit more why you prefer this? 


Yeah I can definitely see the benefits of PBT and why some people would want it. To me, it feels a bit cheap and has less grip (but then again, I don't have sweaty hands and the PBT feels more slippery). The Spawn on the other hand had that grippy, soft touch rubber that felt like the same material used for golf club/tennis racquet/baseball bat handle grips which I found really comfortable. Maybe it was cause I played those sports and was used to that type of grip? Not really sure, but I did feel like I had a lot more control when using the Spawn. However, I can see how people with sweaty hands might not like the rubberized texture. That's kinda why I think Cooler Master should offer two versions: PBT and Rubberized. :)  


And I mean, if you look at a bunch of really popular mice out there, they also have a soft touch rubber coating: Mionix Castor, Fnatic Gear Flick, Steelseries Sensei RAW, Roccat Kone etc... if you read the reviews on Amazon, there's a bunch of people that love that texture as well. So I know I'm not alone! Maybe if you guys had some limited quantity runs of the rubber version, you'd see how popular it is. (BTW: If you guys make the rubberized Spawn v3/MM520 S like I mentioned above, I'd probably buy all of them so I could have a lifetime supply, haha :).) 


Speaking of lifetimes, I think the best analogy for the Spawn/Xornet II is like Coca Cola. You guys have a winning formula/recipe that doesn't really need to be changed that much! You can tweak it a little bit (different textures, better sensors, more LEDs) like Coca Cola has done with its different flavors but in the end, it's still the same good old Coke Classic that people love and will continue to drink for the rest of their life. Just my thoughts. Looking forward to the future versions! :) 


Edited by Eric

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howasaur    0

Just read your review and am interested in the mm520, but really love the shape of my xornet II (sadly scroll wheel is broken and pending support response from CM).


I'll have to see how CM will take care of my RMA, but I'm quite skeptical about the longer mm520 and have to agree that fingertip/claw is what drew me to the xornet (as soon as stop curling my pointer and middle finger, clicking feels less responsive, and narrower mice hurt my hand).


Nice writeup, quite subjective but covered everything well.

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Thanks howasaur. Good luck with the RMA! I'm hoping that Cooler Master takes some of our feedback (as well as Amazon reviewers of the MM520) and go back to offering something closer to the Spawn/Xornet II this year. Actually, this reminds me:


Cooler Master: Don't know if you guys saw the release of the Finalmouse Ultralight Pro/Ultralight Sunset, ( but they're almost exactly following the feedback I gave you guys about the weight and soft touch rubber grip above!


Their Ultralight Pro version weighs 67g. Here's the quote from their site:

"Lighter is better. This isn't subjective, it's fact. Isaac Newton figured this out with his law of inertia. Force = Mass x Acceleration. The lighter the mouse, the faster you move to your target. You'll have more endurance, less fatigue, and more consistent aim."


Their Ultralight Sunset version is the same mouse with a soft touch rubber grip that's $20 more expensive and is produced in limited quantities:

"The Ultralight Sunset utilizes a special coating we developed called FINALGRIP. With a unique hybrid rubber composite the FINALGRIP coating provides a more soft touch grip along with a lustrous two tone sunset finish. Due to the more consuming and meticulous process of applying FINALGRIP to the ULP's honeycombs the Ultralight Sunset will be produced in limited quantities"


That's super uncanny if you ask me (I mean, it's like they read my above review), but I hope Cooler Master follows suit and updates the Spawn/Xornet II in the same way: super-light materials and a soft touch rubber version in limited quantities. I'm waiting for Cooler Master but I may get a Finalmouse Ultralight Sunset in the mean-time as well...

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