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[Sponsored] Teardown and analysis of the CM MasterMouse 530

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 03:29 AM - Thread Starter
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[Sponsored] Teardown and analysis of the CM MasterMouse 530

When CM sent me a new MasterMouse S, to my surprise they added a MasterMouse 530 to my package. I could have done a teardown of just the MM530, but since I have a Mizar (the predecessor of the 530) I decided to compare the two and see what kind of changes they made. Again, I'm leaving the sensor testing to others more suited to do so than I'm. All I can say, that it is a 3360, so it works just fine.
I have to add, that while they sent me the mouse for free, they haven't tried to influence my opinion in any shape or form. I try to be as objective as possible in my teardown.

To view the pretty self explanatory gallery click here.
tl,dr: It's a very good mouse, go and buy it.

Let's see some outside changes:

The tiny mousefeet are gone, they added larger and nicer ones. Old ones were shiny and plasticy, while the new ones are proper teflon. Not the thickest, highest quality, but they are good and they don't need replacement. Speaking of replacement, there is an extra set in the box, so if you want to take out the weight from the mouse, you don't have to buy an extra set of feet. The screw layout is still the same, 2 screws under the bottom feet.
The feet are not recessed into the bottom as much as the MasterMouse S, so there is absolutely no scraping.

On the Mizar it is a possibility to have the two mouse button get in the way of each other. I haven't had this problem personally, but it is possible to do so with only pressing the mouse buttons from the top, not from the sides.

On the MM530 this issue is completely solved. You can also notice the texture of the shell. It is a rather rough, gritty finish, that is very nice to use. A little bit like the Sensei 310, but much grittier. CM said, that they used PBT in some places and that the finish is a matte UV coating. If I want to be honest, I think the outer shell is just PBT. The bottom part of the mouse is ABS plastic (the manufacturer marked it ABS) and the inside of the upper shell also feels ABS. Going with PBT on the outer shell is a nice choice as it naturally has a rougher texture, it is extremely wear resistant and also UV resistant. The only issue with PBT is that it is less bendy compared to ABS, but this is not an issue, because the mouse buttons are separated (connected by a thin piece only), which is also a good point. Separated mouse buttons are always better in my book. Also to add, there is no rattle, overtravel, mushiness, the buttons are nice and crisp.

The mouse wheel is probably the best I have ever used. It has very deep grooves, I never had to worry that my finger would slip on the wheel. They are spaced well enough, that whenever I put my finger on the wheel it immediately got caught securely and was ready to roll. Pun intended. :-)
Even if I put my finger just one tick above hitting the shell, I can still securely roll that one tick and my finger isn't slipping off. This is actually not the case with most scroll wheels.

The internal weight in the MM530 is much smaller than the one in the MM S, so while it is possible to make the mouse lighter, unfortunately it's not going to make as much of a difference as it does with the MM S.

I haven't noticed any changes in the layout of the upper shell. Obviously the outer shell material is different and also the rubber grip on the sides changed too. They are more textured than they used to be, but to me, they are still a bit slippery.

Now we are getting to the interesting part! The Mizar used to only have plastic clips (marked by red circles) holding the pcb. While it is functional, they are pretty stiff and they carry the danger that they can break. Especially when you have to bend multiple ones at the same time to get the pcb out. If you get hair or dust in the sensor hole and you want to take the mouse apart to clean it out this might case some issues. Not everyone is gentle with their plastic clips and once they break, especially on the left side, you have to get your glue ready.
On the MM530, they secured the pcb with 2 screws in the front (marked by green arrows; right one is hidden on my picture by the pcb responsible for lighting up the wheel), while retaining 2 clips in the back. This is a welcome improvement and it is perfectly functional, but I would prefer to have a screw in the back too. Even just one in the middle back would be enough.

On the Mizar (marked by yellow arrow) the cable is soldered onto the pcb. Just no. Nononono. On the MM530 there is a proper connector. Thank you for making the right, sensible choice.

Small changes to the bottom shell as seen previously. Clips with yellow circles retained, blue circled ones switched to screw posts marked with red arrows. Also an extra screw post near the wheel to hold the wheel lighting pcb. Nothing exciting here.

The sensor with exact version...

Main switches are Omron D2FC-7-N, but the Zhij wheel switch have been changed to a Kailh one, which is a little bit lighter. I consider this an improvement.

The switches for the side buttons also have been changed, but this time from Zhij to Huano. Now this is a noticable improvement, the old ones were pretty mushy, while the new ones are very crisp and tactile with just the right amount of resistance.
I don't know about using 3 (4) different switch manufacturers in 1 mouse, but hey, if it works, it works.

The wheel encoder have been switched from unknown to a proper Alps one. It has very low roll resistance and low but sharply noticable tactility. It's pretty nice for gaming and very nice for browsing and work. My only complaint is not with the encoder, but the way the wheel is held in place, which makes a boxy, rattly noise when scrolling. More noticable when scrolling either fast and/or upwards.

Just a view of the add-on pcb housing the side and dpi button switches. The dpi button switches were changed too, but neither of them have any markings.

Comparison of the soldering. On the Mizar, marked with a red arrow there is a solder bridge. As with the old MM S, this bridge is not causing shorting issues, because it is between a leg of the encoder and the leg of the encoder housing, but this is still not a nice thing to happen. 50 point deduction for the OEM/ODM.
The soldering on the main pcb of the MM530 is lovely.

Now to get on a bit harder topic. This is not technically a problem, but I would still like to spend a few words on it. This is the no-clean flux used in the wave soldering process. Now no-clean flux is widely used in the industry, but it's an economy consideration. In this case, the chance of causing any issues is marginal, in the realm of 0.001%. No-clean flux is used, because the manufacturer can skip the step of cleaning the pcb, however it can cause issues. Certain types of flux (residue) are / can be corrosive and conductive to a varying degree depending on many variables including temperature and humidity. No-clean flux is also making repair harder. Again, I'm not saying this is a problem here and a mouse wouldn't be too sensitive to even the wrong type of flux, but I would prefer to have a cleaned pcb where this question doesn't even have to come up.

Ugly color choice on the glue securing the add-on pcb wire, but hey, it's functional. Soldering is nice until this point.

Some ugly hand soldering. Again, everything works, there is connection to everything, but that is just low quality; some wires are held in place by a hair. I would much rather see a connector there instead of soldering, especially this one. As I said, everything is fine and since none of these are moving parts there is virtually zero chance of something going wrong, but what I like to see is consistent (high) quality manufacturing choices, where you can be sure, that the next one will be fine too.

Now from the last few items it might seem, that I'm bashing this mouse, but I'm just being nitpicky, because that's what I do. :-) The flux is a theoretical issue and the add-on pcb soldering is working just fine, but these are areas that could see some improvement to match the otherwise rather high quality of the mouse. My takeaway is, that CM improved a lot over the Mizar, they are using high quality parts everywhere and made design changes that made the mouse objectively better. This is a very high quality mouse and if the shape looks acceptable, than I can absolutely recommend it, with everything considered it's a job very well done.

Last edited by Zwiebi; 06-01-2018 at 03:47 AM.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 08:50 AM
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Oh, this design again.

One of the interesting things about the Alcor/Mizar was the design. It was as if someone paid a factory to copy the design of another factories mouse. To make things even more interesting, the original factories design would later be reused in a Cougar branded mouse.

So with the MM530, this design has now seen three different factories, three different brands, and six different models. However, this total does not include the original generic office mouse this design based off of and the later clone/copycat mice from other factories.

As for soldering quality on the Alcor/Mizar...Well, that is as much on the brand as it is on the factory. Alcor/Mizar is from the same factory that has been tasked(past or present/depends on model) with manufacturing various logitech g keyboards.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-02-2018, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I have no idea how many factories are there actually and even if they have separate owners, but it's weird for sure. I have a feeling that they are heavily intertwined...

My only issue with chinese factories is that some of them tends to compromise quality on things that barely save them anything.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-03-2018, 02:04 PM
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Tbh the MM530 is one of the most solid mice I've ever laid my hands on in its price segment, absolute bang for the buck. Shame about those slippery silicone side grips.

Logitech G PRO Wireless | Custom Huado Mousepad | Sharkoon PureWriter TKL Blue | HyperX Cloud
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