👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅08-04-21
Software and Lighting

As part of their 2021 peripheral refresh CORSAIR have also taken a fresh look at the iCUE desktop application, with a view to making it more approachable and accessible. The underlying functionality remains the same; however the UI layout is bolder and clearer. There’s also greater prominence given to the home screen, with quick links to your iCUE peripherals and linked lighting options (and scope for more in future builds) as well as dedicated space for system sensor read-outs.

The new iCUE version is necessary for each CORSAIR peripheral launched since March 2021, with the SABRE PRO being the first mouse for which it is necessary. However your previous iCUE settings will be imported wholesale to the new version without fuss.

As far as mice go, iCUE incorporates control elements for both software-controlled and on-board hardware lighting and button assignments. Any software assignments are on a per-profile basis (with profiles extending across all attached CORSAIR peripherals), while hardware assignments are singular to the mouse.

Breaking down the tabs:

Key Assignments: Binds a particular keystroke, function, macro or string of text to a button for the active profile. Configuration is very similar to keyboard, and also allows you to simultaneously retain the underlying button press if required.

Lighting Effects: Construction and editing of software lighting effects for the active profile. The SABRE RGB PRO has two lighting zones - the mouse wheel and Corsair logo - which can be independently customised. A selection of preset effects, some of which can be customised, are available or it can be set to a solid colour.

Synchronised lighting via linked lighting layers is also possible. Doing so inserts a lighting effect as a layer to all attached iCUE peripherals in the active profile, with timings matched on each. These effects include synchronised colour-shifting ‘rainbow’ lighting, a ‘Visor’ bar that oscillates across the keyboard to the mouse and back again, and a few more.

Such effects can improve in-game immersion or create a single unified aesthetic for your system as a whole.

Hardware Lighting: A simplified selection of lighting effects to be stored on-board the mouse. This is active only when the mouse is not connected to a PC with running iCUE software.

DPI: This section is for configuring the 5 DPI Stages, while also setting the colour for the DPI indicator LED zone. Default is the behaviour when operating with iCUE running, the Hardware DPI Mode is switched to when the mouse doesn’t detect iCUE running. Also allows configuration of a Sniper DPI mode, which can then be bound to a mouse button.

Surface Calibration: Allow the sensor to scan your mousing surface, helping it build up a profile of tolerances and best suited settings to ensure that it doesn’t skip a beat. Process is simple, but a sensible one to utilise if you’re having difficulty with accurate tracking across your mousing surface.

Device Settings: Set polling rate, hardware acceleration and other features. Also where you check for Firmware updates.

CORSAIR iCUE adds a good amount of value to the overall SABRE PRO package, and is where you can start to leverage its class-leading features including advanced polling rate and linked lighting. It’s the nature of the beast that tends to bring more to the table for keyboards than other peripherals but the mouse isn’t being shortchanged here.


The SABRE RGB PRO incorporates two lighting zones - the mouse wheel and logo - which doesn’t really lend itself to the creation of complex lighting schemes from just the one device. What it can do however is support a wider lighting scheme across more peripherals or your entire desktop, or be used as subtle indicator lighting to denote profile switching or other discreet notification you want to convey (CPU temp for instance).

Hardware lighting options are restricted to a greater degree and iCUE software is not available to manage linked lighting schemes and synchronised timings. Standard presets remain available however, adding some nice vibrant illumination to the mix as a high-quality baseline feature. Unlike some keyboards however there's no way to cycle through these available effects on the mouse itself.

Importing lighting profiles from the iCUE community adds a further dimension and potentially far more complexity than the default effects iCUE provides.

With such a huge emphasis on customisation therefore it’s a little disappointing that the DPI Stage section customisation is so restrictive.

Our first surprise was that the five DPI Stages are not stored on a per-profile basis, but rather as a single set of stages for the whole mouse. It would be understandable were that the case for the values solely stored in hardware, but not extending per-profile configuration to this feature seems like a missed opportunity.

Similarly, for some reason the DPI zone lighting is static rather than individually set for each of the DPI Stages, which can make visually telling the difference between each stage difficult with a quick glance in low-light conditions. Similarly, it’s not possible to at least use the colour of the DPI Stage indicator LEDs as a simple profile indicator by linking its colour to profile.

The dpi section aside however, CORSAIR's SABRE RGB PRO has plenty to recommend it if creating an immersive iCUE-powered lighting environment is a feature you value. The non-RGB variant of the SABRE PRO is available to those who don't value the lighting quite so highly.

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