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Written by David Ramsey   
Monday, 22 November 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Mad Catz Cyborg RAT 9 Wireless Gaming Mouse
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: Mad Catz Cyborg R.A.T. 9
CCB437090002/02/1 Detailed Features
Cyborg Profile Editor Software
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Gaming Mouse Final Thoughts

A mouse is probably one of the most subjective parts of a computer, especially for serious gamers, and anyone looking for a gaming mouse has many choices. Gamers are very particular about their "choice of weapon", and most probably already have a mouse they like. A $150 mouse had better offer some real advantages given that equivalent responsiveness and programming features can be had in mice costing half as much.

So the question is what that extra money gets you. Well, it gets you what is certainly one of the best-performing wireless mice out there. It gets you the ability to adjust the mouse's size and shape exactly as you want it. It gets you easily-switchable batteries and adjustable weight. It gets you "heavy metal" construction and a mouse that feels as if it can handle anything you throw at it (my Razer DeathAdder mouse feels as if it would blow away in a strong breeze).

And, although it's not a practical consideration, it gets you what is certainly the coolest-looking mouse ever made.

mad_catz_cyborg_rat-9_rot2.jpg

This is the kind of mouse a company builds when money is no object. For the consumer space, I honestly can't think of anything else they could have done to improve the hardware, except perhaps make the design versatile enough to be ambidextrous (in fairness, almost all mice with more than the standard left and right buttons are design for right-handers).

My only real disappointment with Cyborg R.A.T. 9 was with the driver: having to manually load game profiles instead of depending on the driver to detect the game being run and loading the appropriate profile automatically is a real oversight on Mad Catz' part. I can only hope that updated software will provide this basic capability.

Cyborg R.A.T. 9 Conclusion

I'm interested in pointing devices, and have rather a lot of them, including a collection of wired and wireless mice, Bluetooth trackpads, and several standard and thumb-operated trackballs. I loved the feel and features of my R.A.T. 7, but its inconsistent tracking led me to put it aside. Fortunately, the R.A.T. 9 suffered from none of the problems of the R.A.T. 7, and it's become my "pointing device of choice" for most day-to-day work, and certainly for gaming!

The performance of the mouse was stellar, almost too good. Like an 800-horsepower street car, the R.A.T. 9's extremely high resolution and sensitivity demands some concession (i.e. not running at 5600dpi) from the user. Although it's wireless, there is no perceptible difference in performance between it and the wired R.A.T. 7. If you haven't used an ultra-responsive mouse like this before, plan on taking a couple of days to get used to it. It's the equivalent of not doing unintentional burnouts every time the light changes to green.

The appearance of the mouse is startling, especially compared to the smooth, flowing shape of most of its competitors. The first time my wife, a computer professional since the late 1970s, saw it, she didn't recognize it as a mouse at all! Suffice it to say that it's dramatic and engaging, but since your hand will be covering it most of the time, its appearance takes a back seat to its functionality.

The construction quality of the mouse is exceptional. This is where you see where the money went: there's a lot of metal in this mouse, from the solid base to both scroll wheels to the slender spring-loaded metal lever you press to slide the palm rest in and out. Parts of the mouse snick and snap into place perfectly, and nothing feels loose or ill-fitting. The buttons operate with precise, satisfying clicks and the scroll wheels turn with silky precision. My one potential concern is the long-term viability of the thin rubberized coating; I've seen similar coatings peel and flake after extended use on other devices.

The functionality of the mouse is very good. I was a little disappointed in the lack of a way to scroll horizontally (yes, I know, gaming mouse...), and the fact that the profile settings are stored in the driver, rather than in the mouse. The battery doesn't last long, but can be replaced in seconds with no tools. You do need a hex wrench to adjust parts of the mouse and replace some panels, but the hex wrench secures the weights in the mouse, so it's always available. The Cyborg Profile Editor software is a good first effort, but the ability to program buttons to launch applications or select menu items would have made the mouse more useful outside the gaming venue.

The value of the Cyborg RAT 9 mouse is difficult to gauge, since it's pre-release price is $99.99 at NewEgg or Amazon. Aside from specialized commercial mice designed for sound studio or CAD/CAM usage, this is the most expensive mouse I know of. Competitive mice using the same sensor can be had for half as much, or less. What you're paying for is the convenience of wireless operation, the exceptional build quality, and the physical configurability of the mouse itself. The R.A.T. 7 would be a compelling alternative if you didn't need the wireless operation, but until its tracking problems are resolved, it's hard to recommend. Is the most expensive consumer mouse worth it? If you're a serious gamer, the could be "Yes."

Pros:Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award

+ You can adjust and configure the mouse body for a perfect fit.
+ Excellent, heavy-duty construction with lots of metal.
+ On-the-fly selection of resolutions and modes.
+ Instant responsiveness equivalent to the best wired mice.
+ Easily swappable batteries; extra battery charges in the receiver.
+ Precision Aim button!

Cons:

- Expensive mouse solution.
- Profile Editor software somewhat limited; must manually load game profiles.
- Profile data stored in the driver, not the mouse.
- No "free scrolling" option on the scroll wheel.
- Minimal documentation.

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.75
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 9.75
  • Functionality: 8.75
  • Value: 7.25

Final Score: 8.9 out of 10.

Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.

Questions? Comments? Benchmark Reviews really wants your feedback. We invite you to leave your remarks in our Discussion Forum.

NewEgg.com

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Comments 

 
# RE: Mad Catz Cyborg RAT 9 Wireless Gaming MouseRobert17 2010-11-22 04:39
Good review. I note you mention the sensitivity @ 5600 dpi and not finding it very useful (for this reviews purposes). I see your point. I use a Logitech wireless 1100 enhanced MX and although very sensitive, when using it on a 42" LCD I think a couple more DPIs may come in handy, reducing the horizontal motions a bit. Maybe not up to 5600, but still......

I thought also, as gamer oriented as this mouse is, a person with arthritis, or some malformation of the hand may find this a useful prosthetic, surpassing less worthy solutions. Just a thought.

Thanks again.
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# RE: RE: Mad Catz Cyborg RAT 9 Wireless Gaming MouseServando Silva 2010-11-22 06:31
I have a daily configuration of 5760x1080, so it would be a pain if I didn't use a 4000+ DPI mouse. I normally use it at 4000-4500DPI, but I've tried more and it's too sensitive even for 5760 pixels.
Perhaps, someone using 2560x1600 monitors in eyefinity/surround (7680x1600) could take advantage of 5600 DPI, but who knows. Many people can't afford for a 3 monitor setup, especially if they're as expensive as 30"-32" solutions.

Nice Review David.
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# RE: Mad Catz Cyborg RAT 9 Wireless Gaming Mousescottykarate 2010-11-22 13:31
They are not built for people with big hands. I have a 7 and really like it. I just wish they made a palm piece that was longer so I could rest my whole hand on the mouse.
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# longer palm peicedave 2012-10-17 09:04
You can extend the palm rest if you chose so it fits almost every hand :-)
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# One Bad $#@ MouseMark S. Hall 2010-11-24 20:05
I think this is one bad to the bone mouse.....

A little expensive....

But, well worth it......
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# RE: One Bad $#@ MouseDavid Ramsey 2010-11-27 08:25
I have to admit the price of the mouse is daunting. But if you're a serious gamer, it's arguably worth it. It makes every other mouse I've used feel cheap.
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# MrIan Hall 2010-11-26 14:11
It's very hard to get a definitive UK release date for UK stores even from Mad Catz themselves - will it be available before Christmas 2010?
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# RE: Mad Catz Cyborg RAT 9 Wireless Gaming Mouseroger klado 2011-01-12 22:50
??QUOTE
(and if there is one I've overlooked, I'm sure a commenter will not hesitate to inform me about it!)
QUOTE??


In Window's mouse properties "pointer options" tab.>

Select a pointer speed>

Enjoy the breathing room of 5600 dpi in yer dual/tri monitor rig with as much control and precision you want.

While in that tab disable "Enhance pointer precision"
Read this article from the cyborg blog on acceleration considerations and download their registry hack:
##cyborggaming.com/blog/post/2010/06/04/So-what-is-Mouse-Acceleration.aspx

In a video game you may have to re-adjust with mouse sensitivity options.

There are no z tracking issues in the crop of R.A.T 9's I got. I can hop around my desk up to 9 times without a single cursor budge.

On the other hand,
I am having trouble with this mouse not wanting to wake up with any cursor movement happening. ( even though button clicks show the mouse is recieving signals! )
The occurences are increasing. :-(

Also the thumb angle I have extended will come loose every4 days or so... requiring re-tightening. ( hopfully I don't strip anything )

Also my mouse feet are scratching away easily. invested in a quality gaming mouse fer the first time in my life. Hopefully Cyborg will ( like razer provides ) release extra feet and spare batteries! soon. ( battery paranoia )
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# RE: RE: Mad Catz Cyborg RAT 9 Wireless Gaming Mouseroger klado 2011-01-12 23:17
P.S.

Found that the mode toggle button was designed to be be applied very easily and without any of the frustrating accidental left click problems.
By clicking the outside edge of the button instead.
The top angle of that edge Is "raised"( above the cyborg "head logo" ) That is the actual button! ( just like the raised ledges on the side buttons ).
Like the author I had a hell of a time trying to push the "center". ignoring that raised ledge which provides an easier grip/handle.
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# RE: Mad Catz Cyborg RAT 9 Wireless Gaming MouseJason 2013-03-13 10:42
ive had my rat 9 for a year. I wont be buying it again, Frequently loses signal, battery dies twice a day, not ergonomic. Not worth the cost.
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# not trueBoneDigger 2014-01-04 09:38
Guys from Benchmark reviews says "- Profile data stored in the driver, not the mouse." under "cons" section, and that is not true. I have that mouse and im student who travels back home every weekend and every time i plug mouse in my laptop it loads my profiles even without driver. So please check that again.
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