Corsair Raptor M45 Optical Gaming Mouse Review

Corsair Raptor M45 Optical Gaming Mouse Review

Today we check out Corsair's M45 gaming mouse. Read our review to find out what Chad thought of it and if it should go on your wish list or not.

@chad_sebring
Published Thu, May 1 2014 5:05 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:32 PM CDT
Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction, Specifications and Pricing

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VIEW GALLERY - 36 IMAGES

As we took the Raptor K40 for a spin the last week or so, we were also sent a companion to ride on the desk along side of the keyboard. Just like when the Vengeance series of peripherals were released, the Raptor series includes a whole new lineup of gear as well. Funny thing is, it seems like it has been at least a couple of years since we last saw a mouse from Corsair, and the M60 stands out as we recall there were some issues at first that were later worked out with a new firmware release, but things like this don't seem to slip your mind.

We know that Corsair is very capable of delivering some rather high-end products across the vast product line they offer, and we realize this is very possibly a one time event in a longstanding good history between us, but it does make us want to pay a bit more attention to the finer details. Usually we like to go in very open minded, but this does seem to make us want to be almost hypercritical of what they are offering now.

On the flip side of that coin, with what we just saw in the Raptor K40 keyboard, what at first seemed like a basic rubber dome keyboard with some added lighting features turned out to be a very pleasurable product to use, and even made us at times forget that we had moved from one of the many mechanical keyboards used daily in the lab. Not to say this is an ordinary product by any means, but any of my readers know how I feel about ninety-nine percent of non-mechanical keyboards out there. What we are hoping for is the same sort of eye opening experience where we find ourselves not being able to remove it and move back to the daily driver.

That being said, the reason we have you here today is to go ahead and give our take on the Raptor M45 from Corsair. This mouse shares a lot of its design with the previous Vengeance releases, yet this time things feel more refined and simplified. We seem to recall a lot going on with buttons and odd placements with the M60 and M90 in the past, but all of that is no longer an issue in the M45. This is more of an eye catching, get the job done sort of mouse. Not to downplay the features we will soon cover, but this is part of the working crew, not the management, if you get the drift. That being said, why don't we just jump into the specifications and features so we can find out what the Corsair M45 is all about and what it is going to cost to get one of your very own.

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Just like when we tried to gather information on the K40, as we looked for information on the M45, we found what Corsair offers to be almost laughable. One of the product pages houses a chart showing that the box contains the Raptor M45, and the page also shows the Windows requirement, the need for a USB port, an Internet connection for the drivers, and at least 35MB of free drive space for the software to be installed... all very basic information. They have a tab at the top of this same page that says technical specifications, and there they show the lower section of the chart. The two-year warranty, the maximum DPI setting, seven button layout, and the 1000Hz report rate is all that they feel is worthy of covering to have informed customers.

Where is the mention of the sensor, the switches, the lighting, or software capabilities? I think Corsair could do a little better and tell the customers what they need and want to know most. I mean they haven't even mentioned if this is made of plastic, metal, or cardboard. Yes, we joke about the cardboard, but having Omron switches and including a Pixart optical sensor, offering LED lighting, and offering profiles, Macros, and even being able to take on keyboard keys as functions is something to brag about, not to shy away and make no claims to the hardware used. Even going as far as to say the mouse is mostly plastic and made for small- to medium-sized right-handed users would be appreciated. The center section is smooth and rubberized, and the sides are highly textured, affording users a much better grip on the situation than many others. Again, list this sort of thing; your customers do care and want to know what is used.

One thing we were able to take away from their product page is that they have the MSRP set for the Raptor M45 at $59.99, and you can buy it directly from Corsair if you wanted to. Looking around at other e-tailers, we find that pricing does not swing that much from location to location. All of them are very close to that MSRP. There is stock seemingly everywhere as well, and that makes getting one that much easier. Just keep an eye out for deals with free shipping to save a few dollars. At this point, we can say that the price seems very reasonable for what is being offered, so let's take a spin around the outside, gut it to see what is on the inside, and see what our time with this new Raptor series M45 gaming mouse is all about.

PRICING: You can find the Corsair Raptor M45 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Corsair Raptor M45 retails for $59.99 at Amazon.

Packaging, Accessories and Documentation

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Packaging is typical Corsair with a mostly black box, this time with bright red accents. Along with an image of the mouse just off to the right, there is a list covering the DPI and optical sensor, weight system, and seven programmable buttons all found in the Raptor M45 gaming mouse.

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The front panel does open up to show the mouse to the right under the plastic dome. The left side shows the mouse and some of the features in images, while above and below are features at the top and the DPI and sensor being discussed in other languages at the bottom.

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This is a view of the right side of the packaging without the front panel open. Here they simply offer the Corsair name at the top, and in the middle is an image of the M45 along with its full naming.

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Turning to the back, we find the M45 pictured largely and dead center of the panel. Around it, they point out the scroll wheel, use of Omron Switches, right-handed design, polling rate, DPI adjustment with LED indicator, soft touch finish, and the larger PTFE feet used in this design.

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The last panel starts with both the company and product names moved to the top so that there was room for four versions of the specifications and performance lists. It's too bad the online charts weren't this descriptive. The packaging really would inform the customer, if they don't happen to buy it online.

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Inside of the packaging, there is this thick cardboard inner packaging to stand tall around the mouse to keep it from being crushed. They also tuck the dome over the mouse under a layer of cardboard to be certain the M45 inside is not going to move at all.

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Under the mouse, there is some paperwork tucked in with it as well. To the left is what you can claim and what is not covered under the two year warranty, and to the right is the quick start guide to help you plug in the mouse and tell you where to get the software.

Corsair Raptor M45 Optical Gaming Mouse

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The left side of the M45 gives us a full separated side section that offers page forward and back buttons and is made of hard plastic and roughly textured to allow the thumb to rest in the concave groove and have great grip to lift the M45.

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As we look at the large Corsair logo on the heel of the M45, we also see that there is a subtle curve to the top as the center soft touch coated section leans gently to the right to allow for a more ergonomic feel to right-hand users.

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Just like how the back edge of the left side was opened, the right side is opened at the back even more. The two-thirds of the panel that is on the M45 is also highly textured to give the same level of grip as the other side.

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Even the front of the Raptor M45 has an aggressive look as it sits here for this image. The right and left click buttons are suspended above the frame at the bottom that mimics the shape of the buttons and side panels, and the USB cable runs away under the left click button.

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Down the center of the M45 is a metal scroll wheel to give it some heft for the heavily segmented feel, and they also added a rubber center section for maximum traction to scroll it with. Just behind the wheel is the DPI up button, the DPI indicator screen, and the DPI down buttons for on-the-fly switching.

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While the M45 shares the new maroon colored USB 2.0 connection at the end, this 1.8 meters of cable has been cloth braid sleeved and also offers a Velcro tie strap to help make the Raptor M45 more travel friendly.

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Flipping the M45 over onto its back, we can get a look under the chassis. There are three large PTFE feet at the back of the mouse and two much smaller ones at the front to allow this mouse to slide effortlessly on most surfaces. The sensor eye is centered, and there is no sticker to get snagged or to collect dust.

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The three large screws shown in the last image are meant to be removed, and will accept coins as a valid way to operate them. Under each screw is a removable weight that allows for weight shift as well as weight reduction or increase, depending on the feel you like best.

Inside the Raptor M45

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Getting this far was not easy. Along with a hidden screw or two, once the halves were released, we were greeted with four connections to disconnect before we could access the internal bits. This is also the first time we have seen a three layered setup like this, and the hollowed out design of the base is something new as well.

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This PCB is from the top section of the M45 where the pad switches for the DPI selections and the LEDs for the indicator screen are all in place. We also see that the MCU is placed here, and they have gone with the Freescale MC9S08JM32.

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With the hollowed out lower section being mostly in the way for images, we kept removing parts. This layer of PCB houses the scroll wheel on its TTC switch, and just in front of it is the Omron D2FC-F-7(10M) under the left click button, offering ten million clicks of lifespan, which is double most others.

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There are two large red LEDs that flood the sides of the scroll wheel with light once it is powered, and we also see a matching ten million-click Omron switch under the right click button.

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In the very bottom of the base section is the third PCB that houses the Pixart PMW33100DH-AWQT optical sensor that offers a maximum DPI of 5,000, in 50 DPI increments starting at 50 DPI.

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A bit of assembly time later, we now have the Raptor M45 all back together and powered up. One thing to note is that the red LED lighting you see is what it will always be as there are no options in the software to change this.

Software

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After installing and opening the Corsair software, we are given the assign buttons tab to start off with. Profiles can be chosen at the top after they are added in another screen, but below that is the image of the M45 that will allow you to pick the buttons to be programmed. Across the top of the right side is the Macro Record button and a switch for the LEDs.

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Manage Performance is where you go to set the DPI for each of the three levels and for the Sniper button, which you have to add to a key as one is not there by default. The DPI can be changed with the slider or by typing in the box in 50 DPI increments and then pressing enter to save it. You can also split the X and Y DPI settings as well as being able to run or not run the mouse with angle snapping. Off in the right window, there are four settings for the Report Rate. One millisecond is the fastest and recommended to be used here so that there is not one missed click in the heat of battle.

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At the bottom of the last image was a small box for the Lift Off Distance settings. This is where we had issues before, and I am pleased to say that we were able to use the low setting without crippling the sensor, but it did depend on the surface used, but Corsair was nice enough to send one along that worked on all LOD settings without issue.

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The last page is where we go to manage the profiles. You can add as many as needed on this list as they are saved on the PC in the Corsair folder. This is where you can cycle through which of the various games and profile settings you will amass with use of this mouse. You would need to come here to create them as well as needing this to swap which profile will be active on the M45 when you click on the "save to M45" button at the bottom.

MM400 High-Speed Gaming Mouse Mat

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The mat Corsair sent along with the M45 was the MM400, the smallest of five sizes available in this series of mats. It comes in a cardboard envelope of sorts and offers a view of the mat along with two images of features and a removed section to the right to feel the pad surface. On the left, it says that this is a semi-rough texture on hard plastic, with an optimized surface, and is only 2mm thick.

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The back covers most of the same material, but this time in more detail as well as additional language support at the bottom. Across the midsection of the back are three images. The first covers the low-friction, rigid polymer surface that reduces drag and keeps tracking in check. The second covers the coating that keeps things constant. The third covers the rubber non-slip underside of this mat.

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Along with the mat inside of the envelope, there is also a bit of paperwork included as well. There is the basic warranty guide discussing the one-year warranty terms, but there is also an insert for Australian users specifically, where the warranty differs.

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The MM400 is 310mm wide and 235mm from front to back, and is black as night. This is a rigid, hard mat, and there is a subtle roughness to the surface. Just to let you know whose mat is under your mouse, Corsair places a small white logo and name at the bottom right corner of the mat.

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Getting much closer to the logo, we can see the texture much better. It is a random pattern of ridges and valleys that afford really great accuracy throughout the gamut of DPI setting the M45 is capable of.

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The hard plastic top is one millimeter thick, and that is glued to this one millimeter thick rubber backer. They use a micro-pattern of alternating rectangles to make thousands of tiny grip points to keep the MM400 locked in place on the desk.

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As we always do, we grabbed the accompanying mouse, in this case it is the Raptor M45, and placed it on the mat for a perspective of the amount of room you are given. Surprisingly, it wasn't until near 1200 DPI that the space of the MM400 was too small for me to get across the screen without lifting the M45.

Final Thoughts

It has been quite a long time since I have seen a mouse and mat that paired so well together. Usually a company tries to make the combination and send along a mouse pad of some fashion, but Corsair seems to have stumbled upon an ancient secret or something, because gaming, surfing the web, or even detailed tasks like photo editing were a breeze and a real pleasure to have something in our hand that was great all around. Usually mice are sort of lopsided to one way or another; they may be great for fast twitch users, or it may be great at low-end, but when the DPI is cranked up, the sensor may walk across the screen.

None of that is present in the Raptor M45 and MM400 combo. If anything, I would have chosen a slightly wider version of the mat. The depth was fine for 1080p gaming, but it's just missing an inch or so to be able to get side to side at the lower-end of the DPI scale. Whatever the trick Corsair employed in this dynamic duo, it sure works.

The Raptor M45 is well equipped and offers top-of-the-line components as any gamer desires these days. Omron switches under the main pair of buttons are a must, but the bonus here is that the lifespan has been doubled from most other offerings. The Pixart sensor is something we have used before, and up to now, we have found no issues with its tracking or sensitivity; it just seems to track flawlessly out of the gate. The texture applied to the sides is great for what it intended for, and the smoother center soft touch covered section is nice as it lets the palm of your hand slide freely as you situate your hand to the mouse. If there is anything to pick on this mouse for, it would be the limitation of only red LED lighting, and that you have to drop a basic function of the mouse to have the Sniper button active. We would rather see a dedicated button.

Being able to grab this Raptor M45 for under $60 US dollars is a great price point for what you get in this mouse, no matter the mat it is used on. What does sting just a little bit is that to accompany the Raptor M45 and enjoy the experience we had most of the time using it, the near $30 price of the MM400 is a bit tough to swallow considering how small it is in size. For a few dollars more, you can increase the mat size, but thinking about a near $100 setup does make a lot of customers think hard about the expense.

While using the M45 on any surface is really enjoyable, once we added the MM400 under it, it was almost like we gained twenty percent more performance from the mouse; it is just a really solid combo and a tough act to beat.

PRICING: You can find the Corsair Raptor M45 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Corsair Raptor M45 retails for $59.99 at Amazon.

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After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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