Cooler Master Storm Inferno Mouse Review

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Cooler Master has another addition to their Storm gaming product line, the Inferno mouse. For hardcore gamers, the right peripherals can make a huge difference in performance and comfort, so not just any old mouse will do. Although it only has 4000 DPI (the Sentinel Advance has 5600 DPI) and no weight adjustment, the Inferno promises to be more than just good looks.

Product Overview

The Inferno has the precision to please FPS fans, but it excels at MMOs with it’s wealth of buttons and macro support.

The Inferno

The Inferno

Inferno from the right

Inferno from the right

Bottom surface

Bottom surface

Front of mouse

Front of mouse

Specifications

  • Model: SGM-4000-KLLN1-GP
  • Memory: 128 kb
  • DPI Display: 4000 DPI Storm Tactical Laser Sensor
  • Buttons: 11
  • Programmable Buttons: 9
  • Max Speed: 115 inches per second
  • Lift Off Distance: 2 mm
  • Polling: 1000 HZ
  • Response Time: 1 ms
  • USB: Gold-plated
  • Full Speed USB: Yes
  • Software: Included
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • UPC Code: 884102009594

Features

From Cooler Master’s product page:

Superior Gaming-grade Precision
The Inferno utilizes a superior laser engine to ensure extreme stability and a point tracking performance. Enhanced to increase your gaming needs, it provides lossless performance at optimized speed ranges boosted to endure all types of tactical movements for sheer accuracy.

Onboard Sentinel-X™ 128KB
The Sentinel-X™ microprocessor safeguards your mouse settings and stores up to 3 different game profiles. The stored profiles can retain macro, scripts, and other customizations, letting you plug and play and triumph on any PC system without the need of additional software.

Advanced Storm MacroPro™ Key
The versatile MacroPro™ Key allows easy access to actuate pre-programmed firmware commands, such as Macros, Scripts, Mouse motion, and actions. Automated repetitive actions can be easily implemented for complex MMO games and/or other Windows applications.

Rapid Fire Tactical™ Key
A pure assault apparatus – built to fire multiple rounds from a tactical mouse and or keyboard command. Conveniently placed next to the left mouse button, this tactical key is one click away from a load of sustaining fire, giving you the utmost edge to frag your opponents and stay alive in all combat situations.

Storm Tactics™ Multiplier Key
Storm Tactics™ Multiplier Key offers unique key combinations built to offer 32 extra button outputs for macros, scripts, rapidfire, and other unique commands. Easy to optimize for the most intensifying MMO sessions, Storm Tactics Multiplier™ Key enhances character reactions with top-notch combo command.

So it’s got all the essentials you’d expect from a mouse plus a ton of goodies.  It’s wired, which I know appeals to some people who perceive the lag in wireless mice and also don’t like to charge or replace batteries.  Personally, I prefer the lack of wires attached to the mouse, but it doesn’t bug me to the point where a wired mouse is unusable.  All of the options are fully explorable in included software.

Software

There are six tabs that let you control almost every aspect of the mouse’s behavior.  The Advanced Settings and Game Profiles are on a collapsible side bar.  As described above, the game profiles are saved directly on the mouse so the mouse can be plugged in to any computer without installing software and have access to them.  This is perfect for gaming at LAN centers.  You can then cycle through the profiles using the hexagonal button on the top of the mouse.  The advanced settings are the Mouse Sensitivity, Double Click Speed, and Button Response Time.  You can make these all faster or slower depending on your preference.

The tabs let you control the DPI settings, button assignments, macros, and scripts.  You can even change the LED settings and have them saved differently per profile if you’d like.  I think most of the settings are self-explanatory so I’m just going to let the screenshots do the talking:

Main Settings

Main Settings

Storm Tactics

Storm Tactics

Macros

Macros

Scripts

Scripts

Library

Library

Support and Update

Support and Update

For more in-depth information on the software, you can view the English manual online.

One thing to note; I found the button to the right of the drop-down windows would sometimes blend in with the scroll bar buttons, making it difficult to decipher exactly where the list ends and another one begins.  It’s a very minor thing but it frustrated me several times.

Some better separation might help

Some better separation might help

Build Quality

Like most computer components, the Inferno is mostly built from plastic.  It’s not too heavy and not too light so it feels fairly solid in your hand.  The buttons all give a very positive tactile feedback and the clicks feel very clean.  The mouse also seems to be built fairly well as I dropped it several times from an inch or two above my desk and it’s still completely intact and functional.  It gave a solid “thud” sound when it landed, not a hollow “dink”, and I didn’t hear anything rattling around.  The mouse cord is cleverly wrapped in braided string, adding to the Inferno’s premium feeling.  It also features three skate pads on the bottom which glide effortlessly across my gaming surface.

The literature for the Inferno says that the designers included several sweat channels to quickly get sweat away from the surface of the mouse.  I might not be the most hardcore gamer, but I have been gaming extensively for over 15 years, and I have never had so much sweat on my mouse that I’d need sweat channels.  I’ve certainly had sweaty palms and fingers, and I think the slightly rougher surface they put on the left and right main mouse buttons should be enough for the majority of gamers to retain proper friction.  If you happen to sweat profusely, then be at ease as I’m sure the channels might function for you.

Testing the Mouse

I played several games with the mouse over the course of several weeks to make sure I really got used to it and it’s possible idiosyncrasies.  I used the mouse with several games in different genres to see how it would perform in different situations.

Test System

  • Intel Core2Duo E8400
  • Asus P5Q
  • GeIL Ultra 2GB DDR2-800 UDCA=
  • Enhance 500W PSU
  • XFX Geforce GTS 250
  • Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
  • Western Digital 74GB Raptor HDD
  • Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
  • X-Ray Thunder 9 Rough gaming surface

Games

  • Counter-Strike: Source
  • Portal
  • Alien Swarm
  • Mass Effect 2
  • World of Warcraft
  • Dragon Age: Origins
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online
  • Need For Speed World
  • StarCraft II

To my delight, the mouse performed wonderfully in every game.  It was very comfortable to use during long gaming sessions (several hours at a time without leaving my seat) and very responsive.  I loved having such fine control over every aspect of the mouse and quickly got it tuned to the exact settings that worked best for me.

I even used the mouse during my day job as a CAD professional and the only complaint I have is that the wheel button is a little too stiff.  When working in AutoCAD, I am constantly panning the screen using the middle button/wheel button and the button is a little hard to press.  I assume that it will ease up with time and more use, so it’s not a major concern.  Of course, the mouse is aimed at gaming and not AutoCAD use, but there are plenty of games, like StarCraft II, that let users pan with the middle button, too.  The macros can also be used in AutoCAD, which allowed me to assign a lot of more frequenly used commands (copy, move, rotate) to the mouse.

Conclusion

I absolutely love this mouse.  While I’d prefer it to be wireless, I can live with it being wired and it doesn’t hinder it too much.  There are so many buttons and options it can do anything you could ever want it to do.  The responsiveness is amazing and even though I thought the middle button/wheel button was difficult to press, there’s really no detractors.  The Inferno is a very solid, well built mouse.  The only other features it could use is weight adjustment and higher DPI. Available directly at the CM Store for $59.99, I definitely recommend putting this high on your list if you are shopping for a new mouse.

splat

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Discussion
  1. Mafunk, do you have screen shots to show us what is going on? it sounds like it might be a driver problem and not a WoW problem. Do the buttons work in other programs and games?
    Maybe put this one in your upcoming review section? Saitek Cyborg R.A.T.7 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=26-102-062&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&PageSize=10&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&IsFeedbackTab=true#scrollFullInfo
    I purchased this mouse almost two weeks ago. So far I'm not happy with it. As it has been advertised and reviewed to work great for MMO's it does not. I play WoW (World of Warcraft) and basically I can't get the in game key bindings to recognize buttons 6,7,8 & 9. Its really simple what I want it to do, yet I've tried emailing CM, also going on the forum and I've gotten the run around and no answer. The mouse did not come with a manual, instead you have to go online and download it. It says nothing on how to do this. I'm basically looking up reviews and found this one that actually lists WoW working with this mouse. So maybe someone on here can help me out? Thanks in advanced! I'm helpless and frustrated!
    Btw, did you try the Cooler Master Sentinel?

    What would you compare this mouse to like another mouse, "size" wise?

    Is it fairly bulky?

    I'm thinking of trying this one or the Sentinel out myself.
    Good review.

    Ya, "sweat channels".. Wtf?? Lol..

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100008652%2050001333%20600009586&IsNodeId=1&name=Wired