Corsair Vengeance M65 Review

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅13-03-13

Corsair don't bundle a software CD with the Vengeance M65, keeping down costs and ensuring that newcomers to the device will be using the very latest revision of the software. You will need to download the latest software from the official Corsair website, although as you would expect the mouse will operate with basic functionality without software installed. Corsair also list a user guide for the software catered to the more complex Vengeance M90 MMO gaming mouse, but the same principles apply. The guide can be found here in PDF form.

In testing we made use of software version, the most up to date at the time.

Upon launching the configuration software you're thrown straight into the Assignment pane, but before we get into that lets discuss the window. The look is obviously designed to mimic the brushed aluminium and matte black finish of the Vengeance M65 Black and similar Corsair products, a nice touch when you're thinking about brand identity. Four icons at the top-right on the silver portion allow you to identify the software version, launch the Corsair troubleshooting web page, launch the main Corsair website or close the suite.

Top-level navigation is as simple as it can get, divided as it is between three major options: Assign Buttons; Manage Performance; and Manage Profiles. Assign Buttons is the place to be to record macros, manage illumination and - as the name suggests - assign particular keystrokes to buttons. Manage Performance allows you to change the core sensor characteristics of DPI and lift-off height. Finally Manage Profiles does exactly what it says on the tin - manage your profiles. You'll also note that the software can be used for a range of attached Corsair peripherals simply by cycling the icons at the top-right of the main pane.

Button Assignment is on a per-profile basis, with selection determined by the drop-down box on the top-left. Before new profiles become available they need to be created in the Manage Profile tap, although the M65 Default profile is available from the get-go.

On the left of the main configuration zone is an image of the M65 with buttons labelled 1~8. Assignment begins by selecting one of these buttons, which will then update the config. zone to its settings. These settings are split between four sections:

Playack Options:- Defines the number of simulated keystrokes a single mouse button press will represent.

Delay Options:- Defines the delay between keystrokes, both as part of Playback Options and strokes in a macro.
- Can ignore delays, set to a fixed value or random value up to a limit.

Advanced Options:- Presents a way of binding a button press to a Windows Command.
- Includes common commands such as Copy, Paste, Find etc,
- Advanced options include the launching of specific application, closing a window etc.

Button Options:- Allows binding common mouse functions to a button
- Basic functions include Left, Right, Middle etc. clicks
- Advanced Functionality includes Sniper mode and DPI cycling.

* Profile cycling is not available as a assignment option or keystroke shortcut.
* Mouse Wheel Up/Down activities cannot be reassigned to different functionality.
* Text following "ASSIGN BUTTON X>" is included as a means of labelling functionality and is reflected in the Profile Preview [see: Manage Profiles].

In our view this order is somewhat counter-intuitive, and would be more logical if reversed.

Creating a macro of keystrokes follows yet another process; in this case you are required to press the (MR) button at the top of the window, followed by one of the eight button labels on the image of the M65. MR will begin flashing, and any character input will be logged in the main input section, overwriting the current keybind; this process will cease when MR is pushed for the second time. Currently there is no mechanism to back up macros once they have been created, only whole profiles.


Following publication of the review Corsair let us know that a macro can be Exported by right-clicking on button to which the macro is bound. The macro is saved as a .xml file, and can be Imported (and bound to any particular button) using the same procedure. Any label you assigned (for example, to describe the function of the macro) is also preserved. Although pretty unintuitive, we're glad to see that it does exist as a feature.

Rounding out a rather packed and window, lighting can be enabled or disabled through the button at the top row.

The Manage Performance window contains the configuration tools required to adjust sensor dynamics to your preferences. Three DPI levels can be set using this tool to be cycled through with mouse controls. Levels can vary between 50 and 8200 DPI in increments of 50, and each DPI level is independent, with separate sensitivities able to be set in the x- and y-axes.

In addition to the three overall DPI levels M65 configuration software also includes a fourth 'Sniper' mode. This functionality is a DPI override - a setting only active once a button assigned to the Sniper mouse command is pushed. This is generally intended to be bound to the red Sniper button, but can be bound to any button.

Angle snapping, a means by which the sensor will seek to approximate a straight line if the user input appears to be such, can also be toggled on here. Most gamers will want to keep it off by default, but other users may appreciate the option.

Lift Height and Report Rate round out the different configuration options available on this page, which respectively define the height about the mousing surface the sensor is disabled and the average response time of the mouse to input. Both will be of key interest to gamers - report rate in particular will want to be as low as possible, although the benefit you see will mostly depends on the polling rate of your motherboard USB ports. Appropriate Lift Height will be related to the quality of the mousing surface, but generally you will want to place it to be as low possible without causing jerky cursor movement through poor sensor information.

The final tool on the performance management window is a surface quality analyser. When assessing performance we discovered that the sensor provided a better response with polished wood surfaces over fabric mats, but your mileage will vary.

The final configuration windows is that for profile management, and even though profiles are less of a factor on the Vengeance M65 than other mice it's notable that some considerable effort has been placed in this feature. On this window profiles can be created or deleted and is the most reliable way to activate profiles given the lack of profile cycling in the mouse command list.

Once created the profiles can be exported to .xml file, and can be re-imported at a later date. They can also be uploaded directly to the M65, although the configuration utility indicates that only one profile at a time can be stored on-board. Finally, enabling Notification means that the configuration utility minimises to the system tray rather than being shut down entirely when closed, whilst On-Screen-Display presents selection of the profile and DPI as an on-screen notification of the profile name or DPI value.

In summation therefore this software version bears a startling resemblance to the software for the M60, and may be due for an upgrade before too long. Profile handling is poor in comparison to competitors, and the button assignment UI isn't as logical as it should be which leads to a high learning curve. Macro creation is powerful, but backup functionality of long sets of complex keystrokes to mirror to a different profile is opaque - a newcomer to the software missing it is all too likely.

With this proviso, the Vengeance M65 software is tailored to FPS gamers whilst needing some work for MMO/MOBA enthusiasts seeking to squeak more functionality out of their device. Every button being bindable to a keystroke is excellent, but lack of profile cycling will hold it back in the minds of many. This is all the more galling given that the M90 profile handling is much more robust.

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