Performance

Okay for performance testing, typically try to get two weeks of testing in to get a good feel for everything. Most of the comfort or tracking issues can be pinpointed right away but that additional time helps find any other issues. Sadly I didn’t get that time here, in fact, I didn’t get the mice until Friday so I had the weekend and Monday to get photos, test, and also do all of my writing. So my testing was extremely short. I did try my best to fit as much time with each of the mice in that time though and I do think I have a decent feel for everything.

Let's start with comfort and mouse specific stuff then I will talk about general things that apply to both models. Starting with the Sensei, like I said before I had some concerns with a newly redesigned model. Frankly, I would have been happy with the same old Sensei shell with the upgraded sensor, better switches, and a better scroll wheel. We did get all of those things, but I was worried that the new shell would change how the mouse feels, especially when it comes to the body lines that are on both sides of the mouse, running from the triggers back. I can say for sure that I don’t even notice those at all. In fact, I swapped to the Sensei 310 and shape wise it wasn’t really different at all. I was really happy for that but I then had to address the grips on the sides. As someone who picks up their mouse I do like having good traction on the mouse, but in my experience grips on the side are always worse than a good mouse shape and a decent finish. I like that the silicon grips have a little more traction than rubber right from the start and that silicon means that wear issues from hand oils shouldn’t be an issue anymore. As for the design itself, there is still a touch of the coke bottle shape that helps you hold on to a mouse so that is good. But the biggest thing for me was them dropping the bumps, the new design with the texture embossed into the grip not out of the grip makes all the difference. The grips are smooth to touch and aren’t really noticeable. My only issue was with the grips when my hands were oily, I did notice a big drop in traction that I didn’t experience with the rubber finish on the Sensei RAW. I will talk about the switches later but I did want to point out that even though the side buttons did seem to move, they were still easy to reach for me.

As for the Rival 310, they did make a few more changes to its overall shape. As someone who didn’t like the original Rival that much I’m not complaining but I am concerned for people who still want that same shape. They toned down the arch of the mouse and shortened it slightly. The left side also has a little less of a curve to it as well. As someone who prefers the Sensei, the new shape is actually much better for me. Switching between the two was still really noticeable, but I could see myself using the Rival 310. It fits my larger hands well even with the smaller size and the huge side buttons are easy to reach. The silicon grips are larger but like I mentioned on the Sensei, the new grip material and design is much improved. You don’t notice it now because they dropped the bumps and Silicon should hold up better. I would of course still prefer both not have grips, but this has to be the best implementation of them at least.

Now moving on to things that apply to both mice I wanted to start with the new triggers. For starters the 50 million click Omron switches feel great. They have a very solid click and they are consistent. The split triggers may have something to do with this as well. Overall I didn’t mind the new split design, it might attract dirt and grime so you do have to keep that in mind, but the triggers are solid. The scroll wheel also seems improved. With the Sensei, the rubber would over time collect a lot of oil and not perform as well, it looks like this is silicone as well so I’m hoping that means it will hold up better. The movement is smooth with defined bumps without being extremely loud like the Sensei would sometimes be. There isn’t a left right click action but you do have the button under the scroll wheel like always.

As for the new sensor, we do have to sort through some of the marketing fluff. For example, the TrueMove3 name is just SteelSeries way of naming their new and upcoming sensors. Personally, I think sticking with the well-known naming is a better way to go about it, but that is just me. Anyone who actually cares about sensors is going to know what the 3360 is so seeing a 336x variation would stand out more. But looking beyond that what are the claims. Well, the big push right now is the 1-to-1, SteelSeries has been teasing it ahead of the launch and it is all over the materials that they sent over about the mice. 1-to-1 itself isn’t really a new thing. People have been aiming for the perfect sensor for a long time now, what SteelSeries is claiming is true 1-to-1 performance all the way up to 3500 CPI and 350 IPS. I would argue that no one really wants to use a mouse with the CPI turned up that high and the level of acceleration they are promising is beyond what a person could actually do. BUT the counter to that is why not have perfect tracking all the way up to that point, just in case someone does use it.

In my testing I found the sensor to work really well. I tested mostly on my SteelSeries HD hard mousepad but I did bust out a soft pad just to confirm. Both mice glide better than I expected given the glider sizes and overall size. I did run a few quick benchmarks as well to confirm some results. We already know that the 336x based sensors perform well. I started with an acceleration test to confirm that was was 1-to-1 movement when moving quickly or slowly. The results came out good, you can see in the image below that I ended up back in the same spot other than me drifting the mouse down a little.

test 1

I then wanted to check out the overall update time with the mouse set to 1000Hz. The average result was right on the 1ms time but you do see a little bounce with one really high up there as well.

test 2

I also did an xCounts benchmark with me doing circles, that’s why you see the oscillation. This one I was especially interested in because SteelSeries has used a variation of this test in their marketing materials and on their blog. They took similar results and removed the oscillation to compare their results to a few other similar mice, what they were showing was that the TrueMove3 didn’t have much variation in its readouts, each result was close to where it should be. You can kind of see that it did perform well in my test as well though there is more of a gap at the peaks when the mouse would swing back around and start going the other direction.

test 3

The last test was just showing a readout of my circles. You can see just how bad my circles were but what did stand out to me was the drift. There does seem to be a little drift to the bottom right. This wasn’t me drifting as I was using the full mouse pad the entire test, I didn’t have room to drift down like this. This isn’t unheard of, even with good sensors, but I did want to note that it does seem to be there.

test 4

Another area I wanted to quickly touch on was the mouse cord. I am loving the sleeveless design. It is very flexible so it went where I wanted it and without any sleeving, it didn’t catch at all on the edge of my hard mouse pad. Beyond that, I want to address the overall weight of each of the mice. For a while now it has seemed like SteelSeries didn’t care much about mouse weight like they used to. When the Xai and Sensei were launched the balanced distribution and low weight were big selling points. But with the Rival 700, they peaked with a heavy monster. So how are the two mice? Well, the Sensei 310 comes in at 92.1g and the Rival 310 is 88.3g. The additional weight is from the two additional buttons. I put together a small listing of other mice with 3360 based sensors from the main few brands for comparison as well as the original Sensei and Rival designs. Overall the weight of both mice isn’t ultra light weight, but it is an improvement. Especially for the Rival that was extremely heavy, the Sensei, on the other hand, gains a touch of weight compared to the Sensei RAW, most likely due to the side grips being added.

Mouse

Weight without cord

SteelSeries Sensei 310

92.1g

SteelSeries Rival 310

88.3g

SteelSeries Sensei

102g

SteelSeries Sensei RAW

90g

SteelSeries  Rival and Rival 300

130g

Logitech G502

121g

Razer Deathadder Elite

105g

Logitech G Pro

83g

Then as always, I should bring up the lighting. I did get a few pictures of the Logo and scroll wheel lit up. It is really obvious in my photos but I’m not a big fan of just how bright the logo is now. I’ve mentioned it a few times but I really liked the screen door mesh effect on the old Sensei that hid the lighting when it wasn’t on and cut down on how bright it was. I joked about SteelSeries jumping the shark when they added RGB lighting back then, but looking back they were being a lot more conservative than they are now. Don’t get me wrong the logo when lit up looks great in person, I just would prefer it be a little more on the DL with or without the lighting.

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