After a quick firmware update and installation of the bundled Storm Tactic AP Software package, it was time to see what this mouse was capable of. The GUI of the software was extremely user-friendly, and I had no problems finding my way around. Making game profiles, changing the lighting effects, and even uploading a picture to be displayed on the OLED was a snap. Now on to the meat of the testing: Performance!
First off we go into the mouse settings for Windows and turn off mouse acceleration and use the CPL_mouse_fix registry patch to keep it that way. Now we can crank up the DPI on the Sentinel Advance and get a feel for what it is capable of. A test of the Direct Input Mouse Rate puts the Sentinel at an average of 0.98ms and 1019Hz, with a peak of 0.96ms and 1040Hz. Right on the money with the claim of 1ms and 1000Hz. My next test involved a 1920x1200 window in Paint. I really wanted to test out this Doppler Effect processing. Mouse acceleration and prediction will produce jagged lines when drawing large circles at high speed in Paint.
Smooth, flowing lines indicate accurate, exact tracking. This mouse passes the tracking test with the best results I have ever seen. It really took me a few hours to get the hang of 5600 DPI for normal Windows applications. For all intents and purposes, you should probably stick with 3800 DPI for anything not requiring sniper-like pinpoint FPS accuracy. I forced myself to acclimate to the higher DPI setting so I could jump right into some games and pit the mouse against some real-time gaming tests.
The results have been very satisfactory. It wasn't until the second day of testing that I really got comfortable with the speed and sensitivity of my cross hairs, but then I was reaching the #1 slot on my team more consistently after each round in TF2 with less and less sweat on my palm while doing it. I tested the Cooler Master Storm Sentinel in several other games including some that I am currently beta testing, for both compatibility and tracking accuracy. It passed with flying colors in every game, and soon my usual mouse was finding a new home in my desk drawer.
I rarely program mouse keys for much more than Ventrilo push-to-talk keys, but I ran the Sentinel Advance through a battery of macros and programmed all five profiles (the four programmable and the default Storm profile) to different settings and then unplugged the mouse for 24 hours. After this hiatus I plugged the device into a different PC which did not even have the CM Storm software installed, not to mention a different OS all together. I was not surprised to find out all of my profiles were intact and that the Sentinel seems to carry it's own default drivers onboard.