Lightweight mice are increasingly popular in competitive games like Rainbow Six Siege and CS:GO, but shedding grams isn’t the only trick up Corsair’s sleeve to help you hit your shots quicker. The new Sabre RGB Pro is Corsair’s first gaming mouse with a whopping 8000Hz sensor that’s designed to give you the competitive edge.
It’s the second mouse after Razer’s Viper 8K that we’ve seen with an 8000Hz polling rate. This means the position of the mouse is registered eight times more often than your usual rodent at 8000 times per second, improving smoothness and accuracy, which will likely become the standard on future competitive gaming mice.
Priced at $59.99 / £49.99, the Sabre RGB Pro is a basic-looking clicker on the surface. Unlike some other lightweight mice it has a full body rather than a honeycomb design, with a solid mold consisting of two programmable side buttons, that all-essential RGB lighting, and a DPI LED indicator on the side. The braided cable is a welcome addition, too.
The mouse is built using a sturdy plastic with no rattles to speak about, and the shape is perfectly set up for either palm or claw grips. It’s a no-frills design that doesn’t shout about the tech inside it, but that RGB lighting helps keep the gamer aesthetic – and at a premium of just $5 / £5 over the non-RGB Sabre Pro variant, why wouldn’t you? There are no rubber side grips here to keep weight down, but the plastic on the mouse buttons has a much grippier, rough texture, so there’s little slipping when clicking, even if you get sweaty hands.
You’ve got no macro buttons bar the two side buttons, but this is a mouse aimed at competitive FPS games where they’d be wasted, rather than MMOs.
|Corsair Sabre RGB Pro||Razer Viper 8K||SteelSeries Aerox 3|
|Sensor||Pixart PMW3392||Razer Focus+||SteelSeries TrueMove Core|
|Price||$59.99 / £49.99||$79.99 / £79.99||$59.99 / £59.99|
The highlight of the Sabre RGB Pro is its 8000Hz polling rate, achieved with Corsair’s new Axon Hyper-Processing Technology, which utilises an SoC built into the mouse. It defaults to the usual 1000Hz you’d find on competitors to avoid compatibility issues, meaning it registers clicks at 1,000 times per second, but switching that to 8000Hz in Corsair’s iCUE software increases this eightfold. This sounds impressive when paired with an 18000dpi Pixart PMW3392 sensor – at least on paper.
The DPI button on the top of the mouse lets you switch between three different profiles, which can be fine-tuned through the iCUE software. There’s a handy three-LED indicator on the side, which lets you see which profile you’re using at a glance.
These internals are particularly impressive when considering the low $60 price tag, as similarly priced lightweight mice, such as the SteelSeries Aerox 3, make do with lesser 1000Hz sensors that cap out at 8500dpi. The left and right mouse buttons use Omron switches that feel precise and solid, with little travel – further cementing this mouse as the perfect companion for those of you with fast reflexes.
There’s one caveat if you’re going to enable the 8000Hz polling rate, though – Corsair recommends you use the best gaming CPU for the ideal experience, such as a recent generation Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7, as the feature demands a lot of processing power, especially if you’re pairing it with the 8K Corsair K70 TKL gaming keyboard.
And the brand isn’t kidding. As you can see from the graph, CPU utilisation sat at 2% when idle on my i7 6700, but rapid movements of the mouse saw utilisation intermittently shoot up to 30%. Fortunately, this didn’t affect less demanding titles like CS:GO, as my near-6-year-old CPU had no fps issues with hyper polling enabled. You can use the mouse at its default 1000Hz out of the box if your PC isn’t up to scratch, but you’d be missing out on the flagship feature. At that point, you could probably grab a cordless Corsair Harpoon RGB for the same price – which is the best gaming mouse if you want to go wireless on a budget.
With hyper polling enabled, is there anything to actually be gained in competitive play? First off, if you’re playing on a 60Hz monitor, you’ll fail to notice much difference. Switch to the best gaming monitor with a high refresh rate panel, and you might see smoother movements across the screen. It’s not as much of a game changer as switching to a high refresh rate monitor, however, and I can’t say I noticed a performance improvement in my own gameplay, but I’m by no means the best player in the world. At a competitive level, I see how it could make a difference.
Even if the 8KHz polling rate is slightly gimmicky, the 18000dpi Pixart sensor is top-tier, helped by the Sabre RGB Pro’s weightlessness and super-slippery PTFE feet which glide effortlessly over your mouse pad. Ergonomically speaking, the mouse fit like a hand to a glove with my usual palm grip, and those of you with claw grips should find it suits, too.
At $59.99 / £49.99, the Corsair Sabre RGB Pro is already fairly priced for a high-DPI mouse, even when you ignore its lightness and 8KHz polling rate. Sure, it’s not the most stylish mouse in the world, but if you’re swayed by the super-fast polling rate alone, it’s a significantly cheaper alternative than Razer’s 8000Hz offering, which will set you back $79.99 / £79.99.