Corsair M65 RGB Ultra gaming mouse review — Middleweight champion
The PC gaming mice space is crowded with an abundance of options to choose from these days. You can get everything from minimalist lightweight fps mice to MMORPG types that feature arrays of customizable buttons. In fact, sometimes it just feels nice to use something that’s built for general use. Something with a design that can handle any game well enough, feels comfortable, and performs competently. That’s exactly what you get with the Corsair M65 Ultra, and this review breaks down why it’s generally one of the best gaming mice on the market.
The Corsair M65 series of gaming mice has been around for years now, with the 2021 Ultra being the latest iteration. Not only do the minor year-over-year design improvements show with the 2021 Ultra, Corsair offers unmatched new features on top of an impressive spec sheet. Add to that the impeccable build quality, the decent two year warranty , and the iCUE ecosystem support, and you’ll understand the $69.99 USD MSRP is entirely justified here.
We spent over six months with the Corsair M65 Ultra gaming mouse, making this review come later, but with the benefit of far more time to compile our thoughts on it. The mouse was used daily for both gaming and work, providing plenty of time for design flaws and wear to be exposed. We also thoroughly tested advertised features like the hyper-polling response rates and the gyro gestures so you can know whether these are killer additions or simple gimmicks. As you’ll soon find out, this mouse earns its “Ultra” branding.
Corsair M65 RGB Ultra gaming mouse specs and features
We’ve compiled the most relevant bits of information from the full spec sheet, but you can always find more on the Corsair website. We briefly discuss what specs to take note of to ensure the Corsair M65 RGB Ultra has what you need, as well as talk about where these specs place this mouse among the competition. Additionally, we’ve included some commentary on the specs and other features.
|Color and finish options||Black|
|DPI range||Up to 26,000|
|# of programmable buttons||Eight + four gyro tilt gestures|
Omron optical – 50 million clicks
Scroll wheel, DPI, logo, underside
|Connectivity||USB 2.0 Type-A|
Up to 8,000Hz hyper-polling
|Onboard memory||Yes – one profile|
117.0mm(L) x 77.0mm(W) x 39.0mm(H) / 5.08in(L) x 2.76in(W) x 1.69in(H)
|Weight tuning||Yes – 97g-115g|
Plenty of products look great on paper, but the Corsair M65 Ultra truly embodies excellence with little to no drawbacks to speak of. The superb build quality is apparent from the moment you take it out the box. Just like with previous iterations, the M65 Ultra features an aluminum body to give it strength and rigidity without adding excess weight. It feels sturdy and shows where your money went. At 97 grams, it’s a medium weight mouse by today’s standards. That weight can also be modified via three attachable weights on the bottom.
It only comes in black and for right-handed players, but these limited options make sense for the amount of tech you get for the money. Corsair’s now using a custom branded sensor it refers to as the Marksman, which seems every bit as good as a PixArt or equivalent competitor. It’s accurate, and allows a DPI range up to a whopping 26,000.
Moving on to the buttons, we get to one of the key selling points for this product. Corsair loves to harp about the Quickstrike zero gap buttons, featuring Omron optical switches. The idea behind this system is that you get responsive clicks with quick rebound and lightning fast response rates. It’s built for competitive gamers, and pairs particularly well with the Axon hyper-polling tech. We’ll get to more of that in a latter section, but we can say with confidence that the Corsair M65 Ultra performs superb thanks to this tech. Better yet, it still feels like new after six months of use.
As for the rest of the buttons, you’ll notice we list eight programmable buttons plus the gyro tilt gestures. The mouse comes with a back and forward button on the side in addition to a sniper button you can hold down to reduce DPI for placing precise shots. Additionally, you get the scroll wheel click button and two reprogrammable DPI adjustment buttons.
Now, to explain the gyro tilt gestures. Think of these as virtual buttons you can engage by physically tilting the mouse front, back, left, or right. It’s an interesting approach versus housing more buttons on the frame of the mouse, but it does work rather well as a means of keeping the physical button layout simple.
The mouse is attached to a 6ft/1.8m braided cable that should be enough length for most setups. An additional thing to note about the cable material is that it reduces drag. It not only looks good, but also ensures your aim is never compromised by friction where the cable contacts the edge of your desk. And if you care about the details, you’ll appreciate the rubberized feel of the USB connector and the cable strap for improved portability.
iCUE software ties all of this hardware together with additional features like Axon hyper-polling for improved input responsiveness, surface calibration to improve sensor precision, macro creation, DPI tuning, custom button mapping, and of course the RGB customization. Better yet, you can save this all on a profile and take the mouse settings with you for use on another computer and tournament play.
Design, layout, and feel
Overall, the Corsair M65 RGB Ultra has the best feel of any mouse I’ve ever used. It features a wider frame, and appears to be designed for those with smaller hands to palm it or those with larger hands to use in a claw grip. The sides feature a rubberized, textured material to ensure a good grip. Overall, this is a very comfortable and ergonomic mouse to use. It may come off as a bit small though for those with large hands and long fingers. Look at the lightweight Corsair Sabre if you’re intent on finding a larger mouse.
At 97 grams, it’s not the lightest mouse by any means, but lighter than multiple competing models like the Logitech G502 Hero by a good bit. If you prefer lightweight mice for shooters, this will obviously feel on the heavy side. However, the stock weight feels very balanced for general use. With this in mind, you can certainly make it heavier if you prefer.
The feel of the primary buttons is what really solidifies this mouse as one of the best out there. As we already mentioned, Corsair has its own proprietary design and it’s downright impressive. The clicks feel precise, easy to engage, responsive, and quiet with just enough feedback to feel satisfying. It’s incredibly easy to maintain rapid clicks and the engagement pressure isn’t overly sensitive, so you won’t have to worry about accidental clicks. Corsair claims the Omron optical switches and spring loaded design do away with debounce and improve response rates. While we don’t have a way to directly test this, we can say the benefits and results are obvious and make gaming feel all the better. The primary buttons on the Corsair M65 RGB Ultra are as good as it gets.
As for the other physical buttons, the M65 Ultra does just fine. The buttons feel easy to reach and most are satisfying to engage. The one gripe I have is that the forward and back buttons feel a bit cheap and are subject to vibration after quick taps. This is definitely something I’d like to see improved in future iterations, as this mouse is otherwise a killer product. It’s also noteworthy that the scroll wheel features an excellent grip so you never slip under under pressure.
Gaming features and performance
Gaming on the Corsair M65 RGB Ultra is just as good as you’d expect. The responsiveness of the primary buttons, smoothness of aiming, the quality of button feedback, and the comfortable shape contribute to an experience that’s hard to beat.
We tested this mouse in Apex Legends, Fortnite, Elder Scrolls Online, and World of Warcraft to see how it handled in different types of games. In FPS games, the tracking and precision is top notch and the button layout feels adequate. It also handles MMOs better than other mice geared towards shooters thanks to the options to reprogram the dual DPI buttons, the sniper button, and the four gyro gestures.
Admittedly, the gyro gestures take some getting used to, but do feel useful. These require you to physically lift the mouse off the desk in the assigned directions. Compared to physical switches, gestures are slow to engage. You definitely don’t want an important time sensitive command mapped to a gesture, meaning these aren’t great for shooters in most cases. However, the option to have these “virtual buttons” is nice when used appropriately. We found gestures useful for pulling up specific menus such as in MMOs, performing non-critical actions, etc. Gestures are nice to reduce reliance on hard-to-reach keyboard actions.
Corsair notes as an additional perk with the gyro that it detects surface liftoff faster. This can be particularly useful for those who often flick or reposition their mouse, as it yields increased responsiveness and precision. Although you may not choose to flick this mouse as readily as something lighter like the Sabre, it’s still a sensible addition. Plus, you can customize the liftoff height between five different options to suite your exact preference.
This brings us to the last major gaming feature of note for this mouse. Corsair made a big push in 2021 to introduce hyper-polling as the next big thing for peripherals. It’s a fancy way of describing the response rate, or more specifically, how many times the system registers mouse input per second.
It doesn’t take a pro to tell you that frames win games. Just like higher framerates reduce latency in games, you can do the same with the M65 Ultra through enabling hyper-polling. Polling rates are measured in hertz, with most modern gaming mice only capable of 1,000Hz polling rates that equate to 1ms response times.
Corsair lets you step it up to 8,000Hz on several of its new competitive gaming mice, yielding response rates of just 0.125ms. This makes the Corsair M65 Ultra gaming mouse one of the fastest on the market at that setting. However, there is a catch. Higher polling rates put more strain on the CPU, which can conversely affect framerates for a net loss of system responsiveness if your CPU can’t handle the additional strain. Fortunately, modern multi-core CPUs are up to the task, and hyper-polling shouldn’t be much of any issue as CPUs forge forward to even better performance in the near future.
We tested hyper-polling on a 10-core Intel i5-12600K and noticed little to no performance loss in games with the polling rate at 4,000Hz. With this in mind, the 8,000Hz option shows foresight on Corsair’s part. From what we can tell though, this is just an attractive perk for competitive players with heightened reflexes. You might find aiming slightly more responsive and come out on top in few split-second gunfights here and there, but hyper-polling isn’t magic. Still, it is another step forward to reducing total system latency.
Perhaps one of the most attractive things about Corsair peripherals is the product ecosystem and the iCUE support. Not only can you sync all of your RGB in it, you can also tune your devices in one modern, easy-to-use app. The downside to iCUE is that does hog a good bit of memory, but it doesn’t hurt the gaming performance of modern CPUs like it did with quad-cores. With this in mind, iCUE support feels like a respectable perk that comes with buying the M65 Ultra.
There’s a lot to like about how you can customize this mouse on both the software and hardware level. You can set RGB patterns, DPI levels, macros, remap button functions, calibrate the sensor to your desk surface, set the polling rate, liftoff height, and even save profiles and settings to the onboard storage if you need to use the mouse on a different system.
You can individually address the RGB on the scroll wheel, the DPI level indicator, and the logo at the palm wrest. iCUE remains one of the best pieces of software for flashy, customized RGB effects. Furthermore, the LEDs on Corsair products are capable of pumping out plenty of glow.
One thing that’s always been appreciable about iCUE when it comes to peripherals is the abundance of customizable options to get things just right. For instance, you can tune the angle of the tilt gestures to something steep so you don’t accidentally engage one of the functions with a flick. Need to step the DPI up by just a small increment? You can do that on the fly via the DPI buttons and it saves automatically to the software. Most importantly, all of the peripheral functions are easy to configure and work as advertised. While the same cannot be said about iCUE support for all Corsair products, it’s been solid for years when it comes to mice and keyboards.
Should you buy the Corsair M65 RGB Ultra gaming mouse?
If you read through this entire review, you know it’s pretty easy to recommend the Corsair M65 Ultra for your next gaming mouse. At $69.99 USD on Corsair’s website, it’s a bit costly. However, the build quality, features, support, and feel make it entirely worth it. As a reviewer, I managed to get my hands on many mice at this point both for review and just for testing comparisons. This is the best mouse I’ve found, and it will remain my primary mouse for the foreseeable future.
There are a few things to consider though before buying the Corsair M65 Ultra. It feels like a general use gaming mouse, albeit an exceptional one. You may still prefer something specifically geared towards a genre like a lightweight FPS mouse or one with more buttons for playing MMOs. Yet at 97 grams and with the benefit of extra “virtual buttons” thanks to the gyro, you do get a very flexible mouse that feels amazing. Additionally, do consider whether this mouse will be the right size for you. Those with large hands and/or long fingers may find this mouse a tad on the small side depending on how you grip.