MSI Clutch GM30 Gaming Mouse Review

MSI's Clutch GM30 gets fully investigated. Should this be the next gaming mouse to be featured on your computer desk? Let's see.

Manufacturer: MSI
15 minute read time
TweakTown's Rating: 71%

The Bottom Line

The Clutch GM30 looks like a great option on paper, but the hands-on experience is not as good. With switches that actuate too easy, lack of impressive software, and cost, we feel your money is better spent elsewhere.

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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MSI has been in the peripherals game for a minute now, and even so, this is the first bits of their lineup we are getting our hands-on. While MSI is better known for making motherboards, video cards, laptops, and possibly monitors, we see they dabble in peripherals, desktop systems, VR Backpacks, chairs, controllers, audio, and even sell apparel! Sadly, though, in all of our years of building, reviewing, and testing, we have only GPU history to base an opinion. Even then, we can recall only two cards in our history from MSI, so essentially, we are going into this review blind.

Even without much history between us, there is a certain level of expectations we have. With as many peripheral makers as there already were, long before the significant companies took their shots at the market, it takes something better than average to stand out in the massive sea of options today! With already knowing the specifications and the price point, we can say that MSI is off to a better than average start with this product. However, we are still going to go over things with a fine-toothed comb, and get to know all of the aspects before we get too far ahead of ourselves this early in the review.

We have in hand the Clutch GM30, one of many from this series of gaming mice from MSI. Unlike the Fanatic Clutch G-Series of mice, MSI may have borrowed the naming, but delivers a much more aggressive-looking mouse for right-handed users. The Clutch GM30 is an RGB gaming mouse with many features for gamer-centric use, including software for complete customization. At first glance, all is well with the MSI Clutch GM30, but does it have what it takes to be a show stopper to sway sales from the much more significant players in this league? Let's find out!

MSI Clutch GM30 Gaming Mouse Review 01

On the Clutch GM30 product page, you will find the same chart we show, as we borrowed it from them. You are initially given the full Clutch GM30 Gaming Mouse name of the product, followed promptly with the use of the PixArt PAW-3327 sensor. The PAW-3327 is an optical sensor with no additional tricks for super-speed DPI, and MSI allows for five DPI settings, switchable with a button behind the scroll wheel. By default, the settings are 400, 800, 1600, 3200, and its maximum, 6200 DPI. Connectivity to the PC is done with a USB 2.0 cable, which is also gold plated and two meters in length.

Along with the DPI settings button, five others are found on the Clutch GM30. The main two buttons backed with Omron 20-million click switches. We also see things like an adjustable polling rate with 1000Hz set as the default, including RGB Mystic Light, and it will work with anything since Windows 7 from Microsoft.

The last bits in the chart cover things like the fact the Clutch GM30 is black, shows us the 128mm length, 62mm width, and 35mm height, and covering the 98-gram weight, as long as you don't count cable weight. MSI does not tell us that the mouse is made of plastic, nor does it cover other features. The secondary switches on the left side of the mouse are made by Huano, and the DPI switch is backed by an iB switch. MSI does not mention the rubber double-injections Dragon Scale grips, making use for palm and fingertip users easier.

The design of the Clutch GM30 is symmetrical, or ambidextrous, without the option for buttons on the right side. There is no mention of Dragon Center software used to program the mouse over various profiles and how the RGB LEDs are controlled. They even make it a point to detail the 4.8mm height off the desk of the cables exit from the Clutch GM30 to help reduce drag, but again, these sorts of things are left out of the specifications.

We made mention, earlier, in the introduction, that pricing was something we had little issue with when doing our initial overview of the Clutch GM30. As we look at Amazon to see what they are going for, we found the Clutch GM30 listed at $54.99, and the same price is shown at Newegg as well. For a better than average product, we have no issue shelling out $50 to $60 for a decent product, it sure beats the near $100 mice out there for those on a budget, or those that do not need all of the features of said products. We feel that MSI is undoubtedly off to the right foot so far, but we have a lot left to review before we derive our overall opinion of what MSI is bringing to the World of peripherals.

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

Buy at Amazon

MSI Clutch GM30 Gaming Mouse

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
* Prices last scanned on 2/1/2023 at 12:14 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Packaging, Accessories, and Documentation

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MSI puts their name at the top of the front panel with a mention of RGB to the right. On the bulk of the white backdrop, we find the image of the Clutch GM30 with its RGB lighting on full display. The name of the mouse finishes things at the bottom.

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It has been forever since we got a mouse with an openable front panel, but the Clutch GM30 has it for two reasons. Those buying it from a brick and mortar store have the chance to "feel" the fit before buying it, and it offers a place for MSI to cover the U-shaped lighting, Dragon Scale grips, and the polygonal-shaped side buttons.

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The right side panel of the packaging offers up the MSI name and company logo at the top, followed by the name of the product and an address to gather more information, repeated in twenty languages. At the bottom of that list, we find the name of the mouse once again.

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Rather than keeping with the red from the sides, MSI again used white as the backdrop to the back panel. The top half is used to point out features, around an image of the Clutch GM30. The lower half offers up a condensed list of specifications, system requirements, and company information.

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The left side of the box gets us back to red as the backdrop. This time, in multiple languages, we receive a warning of cancer or reproductive harm with a link to gather more information on the topic.

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Inside the box, we find that the Clutch GM30 is encased in black and transparent layers of form-fitting plastic, which also comes with raised sides. It protects the finishes of the product, but with raised sides, it ensures that the box is much tougher to crush. The packaging does a perfect job of getting our Clutch GM30 to our door without even as much as a blemish on it!

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The literature we found inside the box is a multi-lingual sheet of paper that unfolds to expose its information. Once unfolded, we see an introduction that thanks to you for the purchase, and what to expect from the Clutch GM30. Beyond that, there are package contents, system requirements, and specifications. The last thing offered is an overview of the mouse and its functions, followed by a short guide of how to adjust the RGB LEDs without software.

MSI Clutch GM30 Gaming Mouse

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The left side of the Clutch GM30 has a few things to show us. First, let us cover the surfaces. The top is a metallic black that reflects in the light as gray, where the slightly textured lower sections are solid black with no metallic pop. Near the top are the polygonal buttons, which allow for an easy up and in press, rather than having to get onto the side to actuate the switch. The last thing to cover is the Dragon Scale grip area, where rubber is used to make lifting the mouse much more comfortable to accomplish.

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At the heel, the top portion of the body sports the MSI dragon logo, which is backlit with RGB LEDs. As the lower part meets the top, the lower section is undercut, as the body line wraps around the smooth curve that settles under your hand, near your wrist.

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This design is symmetrical leaves us with the left side of the Clutch GM30 being a mirror reflection of the right side. However, a symmetrical design does not mean it is ambidextrous, as the Clutch GM30 does not offer side buttons for left-handed users.

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At the front of the mouse, the center of the two main buttons come to a point, and angle back towards the sides, with their contours to help center your fingers. The gap between them is closed off at the front and opens wider around the scroll wheel, and we do see that the exit of the cable is higher than we typically see.

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At the top of the Clutch GM30, across the middle, there is a shiny black chevron that breaks up the expanse of that reflective, metallic, black, top coating. In front of the break is a U-shaped clear section that is backlit, which surrounds the DPI selector button. In front of it all is the white ringed scroll wheel with the rubber covering for added grip.

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Under our Clutch GM30, we initially are drawn to the product sticker that runs on an angle and swings around the centralized eye. Only two PTFE feet support the Clutch GM30, but they are full width and are accompanied by a Battle Dragon logo.

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The two meters of cable that MSI provides for connectivity have a rubber covering along the cable. It terminates in a gold-plated connector with the MSI name on it, and it even comes with a rubber strap to manage the cable. There is a sticker near the end saying that this mouse complies with FCC regulations, and at the other end of the cable is a section of anti-kink coil, which slides up to where the cord exits the mouse.

Inside the Clutch GM30

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Something to consider is that when buying the Clutch GM30, you may not want to open it! MSI has placed an anti-tamper sticker over one of the screws that hold the halves together. The sticker is not something that will stop us from moving forward, and with the Right to Repair thing, we are unsure as to why this exists. It is possible, depending on your global location, that removing this sticker could void your warranty.

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With the four screws now removed, we can start to see the inner workings. The top half contains nothing more than plastic bits and screws, where all of the tech is contained to the lower half, and on multiple PCBs.

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Blocking the ALPS scroll wheel switch, we see what backs the left click button, this twenty-million click Omron. The feel is the same as most Omron switches, medium pressure to actuate the switch, and a clean and clear click report.

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Behind the page forward and page back buttons, we found a pair of blue Huano switches. Actuation takes less pressure than the Omrons do, and the report is a clean crisp click, which is more audible than what you hear from the Omrons.

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Just behind the scroll wheel is the red iB switch used for the DPI selection. Actuation takes very little pressure but does come with a satisfying click.

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We did have to gently remove the top PCB to access a view of the sensor, and we found that the PixArt PAW3327DB-TWQU optical sensor is inside. The range of this sensor is from 200 DPI through 6200DPI, and it can be adjusted via a slider or direct entry in 100 DPI steps.

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The MCU of choice for the MSI Clutch GM30 is this Holtek HT32F52352. With built-in memory for profile and settings storage, this 32-bit ARM Cortex -M0+ is way more processing power than the Clutch GM30 would ever need.

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As we finish the tour around the inside of the Clutch GM30, we run into the last switch of the build, the second twenty-million click Omron, which backs the right-click button.

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After adding power to the Clutch GM30, you can see a rainbow of colors displayed as the default option. Along with a never-ending series of colors rotating around the center of the mouse, you also have modes to select, including steady, wave, horizon, whirlpool, breath, radar, reactive, ripple, and custom option, and you can also turn the lights off. These options are found in software, but using a couple of buttons at once, you can adjust this with the mouse, without the need to be in software to make changes.

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We borrowed this image from the product page to explain what we were on about with the RGB LED control options through the mouse.

Dragon Center Software

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After you obtain the Dragon Center software and install it, the first thing you see is where you will need to accept the terms of use along with the privacy policy. Not much out of the ordinary in either agreement, but MSI does use language that users can understand instead of confusing you with legalese. Once ready, simply click OK.

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What comes next is another download of the MSI SDK. While it should already be part of the initial download, you will have to accept it to gain full control via software. You can skip this, but be aware that Dragon Center may not deliver all of the options, or some may not work as intended.

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Once done with all of the downloading and prep, we are then delivered to the My Device section, where you are prompted to register an account and the device for the reasons stated on the left side of the window. For testing, we skipped this section and moved onto the rest of the software options.

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Under the Home tab on the left side, we see a subsection called Mystic Light. In this section, we can pick a profile we are trying to customize at the top, and once selected, you move to the right side of the window for the rest of the options. We find a box for Ambient Link to other MSI products, of which we have none. The larger box at the right offers the opportunity to pick off, steady, breath, wave, whirlpool, radar, horizon, ripple, reactive, and a custom setting. Once selected, you can adjust color in some instances, while most others can use the speed and brightness sliders, and if in a mode with movement, you can select the direction.

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By clicking on the gear icon at the top-right of the previous screen, you are taken to a couple more options for Mystic Light. Mystic Light can override other third-party software that may have had access. The second option is for voice control, but sadly, when tested, it fails to function.

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By closing the Mystic Light window, you can go back and tick on the words Gaming Gear, which opens up the standard options for the Clutch GM30. Under the header of buttons, you can remap or reassign the five buttons, where the DPI buttons is not customizable. The top dropdown box offers up default, mouse button, multimedia, Macro, and disable as options for any of the five programmable buttons.

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From those button options, we opened up the Macro Editor. This editor is as simplistic as can be. Click the record button, start programming, and stop the recording when done. You can use time delays, but we see no way to edit a set of commands, you either delete steps from a Macro or start over. However, you can import or export Macros, so if you have some from a previous device, they will transfer to this MSI mouse.

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The last of the options to be had are found under the header of Sensor. It is here that you can adjust the polling rate of the device, and is also where you can pick one of five DPI settings, and use anything from 200 to 6200 DPI in 100 DPI increments.

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To wrap up what is found in the Dragon Center, we clicked the large gear icon at the bottom-left, which takes us here. In this window, we can tell the software to boot on startup or not, a link to grab the latest software updates, and if you wish to keep Dragon Software up to date on its own. On the right is a link to MSI, and an always update switch, for what we are unsure.

Gaming and General Impressions

DOOM Eternal & Warzone

When it comes to fast-paced games, we loved the reactive feel of the Clutch GM30, as there is something that feels right about the old school 6200 DPI sensor. We were able to control our characters at maximum DPI with relative accuracy, although we preferred to use this MSI gaming mouse at 4000 DPI.

Its size and relatively lightweight make gliding around on the mouse pad effortless, but as a palm-grip user, we felt the mouse is a bit too narrow. Even so, when the need arises to lift the mouse, the Dragon Scale grips work very well to ensure you keep a solid grip. Speaking of lifting, it does move us into the LOD, which is not addressable, and while short enough in the distance, we do get some cursor movements when lifting it.

One other oddity popped up in games, which was later seen in daily usage, but the black, pad, switch, backing the press of the scroll wheel is too weak. We found ourselves pressing this button nearly every time we switched weapons. While not a big deal on its own in games, if you were to say set grenades through the game to that button, you can see how the game can get complicated quickly.

Windows and Productivity

As a daily driver for things like photo editing, the optical sensor plays well into this realm. Accuracy is critical when removing dust, bits of stray fibers, or removing scratches here and there. The Clutch GM30 shines in this regard. We were still finding the mouse too narrow for our hand, but using on a 4K 55-inch TV to scroll web pages, clicking through emails, and opening programs went as expected.

As it can with gaming, we find that Macros for the day to day grind is also helpful, and even though the Macro Editor is underwhelming, at least the delays work to allow time for things to do what is needed before the next action in the Macro takes place.

We liked the DPI button more when not gaming. As we swap from photo editing at a lower DPI, then with a few clicks, we can span the entire screen with little movement, saving time and stress on your wrists in the overall picture.

Final Thoughts

MSI comes out swinging and has delivered a mouse worthy of some attention, but is it worth it to own one? Starting from the beginning, once the box was opened, there was dust on everything! Even after some preemptive dusting, we spent hours and hours editing these images to look more professional, not distracting with all of the tiny white dots all over our pictures. A bit more quality control or installation of filters at the manufacturer would solve this issue. However, the user experience is lower, looking at what seemingly shipped to us through a dust storm!

As a whole, the Clutch GM30 is solid, and will take the wear and tear most gamers will apply to it, but once in parts, we noticed that the plastic frame components were very weak. We believe this is done to save weight, but even the Model O is more structurally sound than the Clutch GM30. While this may seem harsh to come out of the gate like this at MSI, if you want to make money in the peripherals market, other manufacturers have set the bar so high, that things like this shouldn't even come up.

Beyond the dust and thin construction measures, we still found things that were "meh" at best. We mentioned the scroll wheel click issue, as the switch's choice does not allow for much scrolling without depressing this switch. We discussed how easy it could mess up a game, but when scrolling web pages, we were repeatedly finding ourselves auto-scrolling pages. Not a deal killer for those with a lighter touch than us, but again, not something we should be discussing when it comes to a gaming mouse.

The last bit, and what delivers the most to the Clutch GM30, is the Dragon Center Software. On the most basic of levels, it is functionally operational. You can set DPI levels, make profiles, and under Mystic Light, there are plenty of options to keep you happy. However, at the same time, we feel the Macro Editor needs more options, and it would have been cool to have the Voice Command system work, but it seems you need an MSI motherboard for this feature to work. We get that MSI has their environment of RGB and controls, but to see options that are not possible in the software seems more like a tease to us.

When all of it piles together, what we ended up with is a mouse that will get you by in rough times, but it is not the mouse we would suggest you run out to buy based on what it offers. It is a middle of the road mouse with some slick looking styling and RGB lighting. If MSI were to sell this in the thirty to forty dollar range, we could see letting some of the issues slide.

However, the reality is that the Clutch GM30 will set you back $54.99 at any place we looked. You could have mice like the Viper V570, Logitech 402 and 602, the RAT 3, EVGA TORQ X5L, Bloody V5M, Razer Basilisk, all for less money. The list continues as well, and at the $55 mark, the competition gets even tougher!

In the end, we feel that the Clutch GM30 is overpriced, needs a bit more quality control before they leave the factory, and a few of the fine details need reworking before we would advise you to run out with excitement to buy the MSI Clutch GM30.

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

Buy at Amazon











The Bottom Line

The Clutch GM30 looks like a great option on paper, but the hands-on experience is not as good. With switches that actuate too easy, lack of impressive software, and cost, we feel your money is better spent elsewhere.


MSI Clutch GM30 Gaming Mouse

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
* Prices last scanned on 2/1/2023 at 12:14 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Chad joined the TweakTown team in 2009 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. 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 and coolers.

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