I’ve always been a fan of Viper’s products because they feel so well made and the industrial design elements seem to fit naturally with how you’re meant to use the product, so when I saw the Razer Viper 8K Mouse had been released earlier in 2021, I was immediately curious.
While I’ve liked Razer’s products from afar, I’ve never really owned that many of them personally or used them in my everyday workflow.
My son has a Razer Deathadder V2 Pro mouse that he games with and over the years I’ve toyed around with Razer Blade laptops and Razer keyboards, but for one reason or another, I’ve always ended up using other products.
But about six weeks ago, something pretty unusual happened – my daily mouse, a Corsair M55 RGB Pro, broke… and when I say it broke, I mean the right mouse button sheered off from the body of the mouse.
You can see from this image that I took at the time that the solid, one-piece plastic mouse button fractured and cracked.
One minute I was running around Shoot House in Modern Warfare trying to shoot everyone in sight and then the next second I couldn’t ADS. I kept tapping the right mouse button and getting no response. When I looked down, I noticed the button had broken off.
In 35 years of using mice, I’ve never seen anything like this. The mouse was less than a year old and I wasn’t particularly hard on it. I think there’s a particular design flaw, but that’s for another day.
The Perfect Ambidextrous Mouse Shape
Oh yeah, did I mention that I’m afflicted with left-handedness?
Probably not, but when it comes to playing first person shooter games with mouse and keyboard, it’s a pretty significant challenge.
If that weren’t enough of a handicap, when I first started using a computer mouse, there was no such thing as being able to re-map the button – your left mouse button and your right mouse button were hardcoded to their respective triggers, so you learned how to left-click with your middle finger, and right-click with your index.
That’s a salient point because people ask me all the time, “why don’t you just get a left-handed mouse?”
The answer is pretty simple, they don’t feel right and I’d have to re-map the triggers back to a more orthodox layout anyway.
And one of those things that’s entirely underrated about a mouse is just how important it is for it to feel good in your hand.
The Viper shape just suits my hand size and mouse grip which is a hybrid between claw and palm. The curvature of the mouse is high enough that I can rest my palm on it comfortably, but at the same time, the slight claw-like pinch of my fingers on the triggers rests in a place that still makes it easy to push the buttons with just enough resistance.
Everything about this mouse just feels right in my hand.
The actuation force of the triggers, the texture and stiffness of the scroll wheel, and the positioning of the side buttons are all perfect for me.
In fact, when I toyed around with the Razer Viper 8k mouse in the store before buying it, the thing that jumped out at me the most was the side buttons – they were in the perfect spot for my thumb to access both buttons comfortably on the right-hand side while my fingers on the left-hand side were conveniently tucked under the buttons by the natural shape of my grip. That’s some very good industrial design right there.
Overall, as an ambidextrous mouse, the Razer Viper 8k ticks all of the boxes for me.
HyperPolling – Does 8k Hz Really Matter?
For most people, the biggest selling feature of the Razer Viper 8k Mouse will be the higher polling rate that Razer refers to as “HyperPolling”.
For the uninitiated, “polling” is the number of times per second that your device, the mouse in this case, reports updates to your PC for it to display on the monitor. A standard gaming mouse will generally have a polling rate of 1k Hz which means it will reporting 1000 times per second.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that 8k Hz is 8000 times per second… and more is better, right?
There are a lot of variables at play, but let’s first talk about the “goal” of higher polling rates – lower latency which means less response lag.
With a higher polling rate, on faster refresh displays, you should experience less response lag and your mouse will track better and more fluidly.
I’ve been using the Razer Viper 8k mouse now for about 6 weeks across two 27″ IPS monitors – my primary gaming monitor which is 1440p and 165Hz, and my secondary monitor is a 4k 60Hz display, so I think I have a pretty solid experience base upon which to talk now.
Can I tell the difference?
Is the difference helping me become a better gamer?
No, not really.
To be fair, that’s a little tongue in cheek and probably a limitation of me rather than the technology.
What I can say is that compared to a 1k Hz polling rate mouse, the Corsair M55 that I mentioned above, the Viper Razer 8k “feels” better in a noticeable way on the faster 1440p 165Hz display. Every mouse movement is snappier and my mouse cursor feels like it’s gliding on the screen in a more fluid way – it looks better and feels better.
I play a lot of Call of Duty – Cold War, Modern Warfare, and mostly Warzone, and in these games, I can’t really say that I’ve noticed any tangible difference. Again, that’s not to say that there isn’t any, I’m just probably not a good enough player to feel the improvement. And because of the nature of response lag, if I was running a 240Hz monitor or even a 360Hz monitor with an appropriate GPU to get those kinds of frames, maybe I would see it.
What I guess I can say definitively is that Razer’s HyperPolling is something that I noticed immediately when I started using the mouse, my experience “felt” smoother and because I use this PC for work as well as gaming, having that smoother experience with my daily driver mouse was a benefit.
Last But Not Least – Build Quality
I’m not going to lie here, I love the overall build quality of the Viper 8k.
I can squeeze it as much as I want and there’s none of that cheap plastic flex or creaking noises you sometimes get with lower quality mice. It just feels incredibly sturdy.
It’s not the lightest mouse on the market by any means, but it does fall into the same weight category as its wired counterparts from Glorious and Logitech. Again, the difference in weight of 4g or 5g isn’t going to make much difference to me – think about it, that difference is about as much as a Hershey Kiss weighs.
Razer are open about the general improvements in build quality over the previous Razer Viper.
The two big things for me that stood out were the glide and the tactile response of the trigger switches.
The Razer Viper 8k moves across my mousepad like a dream, it honestly feels like it’s floating at times. I’m not overly sensitive to things like this normally, but when I use any other mouse now, I immediately notice – they just don’t feel as glassy smooth as the Viper 8k and most just feel a bit sticky.
Similarly with the tactility of the mouse triggers. I just find that the actuation force required to click the mouse buttons on the Viper 8k is fantastic and that the 2nd Generation Razer Optical Switches are giving just the right amount of tactility for me. One of my pet peeves with a mouse is when the buttons are “mushy” – you don’t have to worry about this with the Viper 8k.
The one decision I’ve struggled with lately is whether to go wireless for my peripherals or not. The Razer Viper 8k is a wired mouse because the purpose of the entire product is to have a higher polling rate to reduce latency, so going wireless would just be counterproductive. I made the decision to go wired because frankly, I hate having my devices run out of battery or dealing with all of the finicky issues that crop up with wireless technology, particularly Bluetooth.
The mouse cord on the Viper 8k is nice and long and is a very high-quality paracord speed cable. Some people complain about “drag” when they use a wired mouse, but again, I’m not playing in Call of Duty League against Scump or Envoy, I’m just queueing into pubs for a bit of fun and truthfully, I don’t notice the drag. If it were a problem, I could just spend $20 and grab a high-quality mouse bungee.
The last thing worth commenting on is the programmability available in Razer’s Synapse software. As a rule, I’ve never been a big fan of any software configuration tool from peripherals vendors. I downright dislike Corsair’s iCue and I find Logitech’s software to also be subpar. In my experience so far with Razer’s Synapse, I think it’s a bit bloated and you really need to be careful about which components you download, but it’s easy to use and has good standard features for programmability around the side mouse buttons.
Should You Buy This Mouse?
I love the Razer Viper 8k Mouse.
After having used it every day for six weeks, I can easily say that it is the best mouse I’ve ever used and nothing even comes close to it.
The main selling point of the mouse is the 8k polling rate and reducing input lag and response latency – I can say that I “noticed” it in a positive way, but for a casual gamer like myself it isn’t some experience altering thing, it just feels a bit better on my faster refresh rate monitor.
I think what separates this mouse out for me is the shape and overall build quality. When I grab this mouse in my hand it just feels right – everything about it works for me. It’s a good weight, it’s well built, the individual components are exceptionally made and laid out, and it moves like a dream.
And it’s properly ambidextrous which for a lefty like myself, is a big deal.
When you factor in that this mouse is pretty affordable and can usually be found in the USD$80 or less price range, you’re getting a fantastic product for that price.
The products mentioned in this post were paid for directly by Casual Gamer and they were not provided as “free samples” or offered up as “review units”.
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