Razer DeathAdder Elite vs Chroma – Comparison Review

The Razer DeathAdder is a titan of the pc gaming mice community, highly regarded as the most popular gaming mouse ever made and definitely Razer’s top-selling peripheral.

A common question for people looking to pick a DeathAdder up is what is the difference between the versions?  Which DeathAdder is better?

I am going to compare both of these mice in a direct Razer Deathadder Elite vs Chroma comparison to highlight which one is best for you.

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Razer DeathAdder Elite vs Chroma Specifications Overview

Let’s get stuck into the details with each of these mice’s features. It is important to note that the Elite was released in 2017 and the Chroma was released in 2014. This does end up playing a part in the features of each.

Sensor

Razer is very hush hush about the sensors their mice use. This is something that has annoyed mouse enthusiasts for a long time. However by taking the Elite apart to see the sensor most agree that it is likely a PMW3389.

The PMW3389 is a top optic and as advertised by Razer allows for up to 16,000 DPI and has a resolution accuracy of 99.4%. I wouldn’t bother listening to these numbers as nobody uses a mouse at 16,000 DPI.

You can be sure you can get the DPI you want whether it is 400/800/1600.  As for the resolution accuracy, it would have been nice if they provided some examples of how they measured it.

Aside from Razers over the top advertising, you can be sure the PMW3389 is a top optic and you won’t find any noticeable difference between it and any Zowie mouse (PMW3310 / PMW 3366) or Logitech mouse (PMW3366).

As for the DeathAdder Chroma, it has the 3989 which is a little older than the PMW3389 used by the Elite. It supports up to 10,000 DPI but the only real difference between these two sensors is that the Elite’s PMW3389 solves the problem with tilt slamming.

Tilt slamming is when you very quickly lift the mouse and swipe either direction. On older sensors, it can cause your cursor to spin out which may become a problem if you are the type that swipes your mouse a lot. 

This can happen more so if you play on a low DPI such as 400/800.  This isn’t a problem the Chroma suffers from by itself. Zowie also has this problem on all their mice that use the PMW3310.  However, this shouldn’t be a driving factor in any mouse decision as the problem isn’t a major issue.

The sensor is the main difference between these two mice and is arguably the most important part of choosing a mouse. The Elite has the better and more updated mouse sensor here so it wins in this category.

Winner: Elite

Shape

One of the reasons the DeathAdder series has become so popular is because of its shape. The mouse fits any grip style whether you are a palm grip, claw grip or fingertip grip user.

There are deep thumb grooves below the side buttons to assist in grip and the hump of the mouse is in the middle of the shell. This provides great support for palm grip users.

Both of these mice are the exact same in terms of measurements, shape and weight so there isn’t much to compare in this category.

Dimensions:

Length: 11 cm
Height: 4.2 cm
Weight: 98g
Grip width: 6.1 cm
Back width: 6.9 cm

The DeathAdder series are considered medium to large mice so are suited for people with slightly larger hands. I would recommend it for hand sizes from around 17.5-20cm.

The Razer DeathAdder elite’s weight is 98g which is fairly high for a competitive mouse. Compared to a Logitech G403 (90g), Zowie FK2 (85 g) or Logitech G Pro Wireless (80g).

If you like heavier mice then this isn’t a problem but be aware of the weight the DeathAdder has compared to these mice as weight is one of the four most important characteristics of choosing a mice that fits your hand size and grip.

Overall, Razer has decided to stick with what works so the Elite is still the pick due to having the better sensor.

Winner: Elite

Buttons

The mouse 1 and mouse 2 of both of these mice are tactile and have an average travel time. They are omron switches which are known to be one of the best on the market.

The switches are said to have a higher lifespan on the Elite compared to the Chroma. They are not separate from the shell so keep that in mind if that is your preference.

The Chroma has had a lot of problems with the durability of its switches. There are a lot of threads on the Razer forums and Reddit with users complaining about the switches double clicking.

When you press down mouse 1 or mouse 2 the switches were registering double clicks. This is something the DeathAdder Elite seems to address.

As for the side buttons, Razer has changed them slightly on the Elite as they have more of a textured feel to them compared to the Chroma.  This isn’t necessarily better but it might provide more grip if you get sweaty hands.

The Elite’s side buttons are more tactile and feel more responsive. The Chroma buttons are said to wobble a little which is no longer an issue on the Elite.

One of the most obvious differences between the two is that the Elite features DPI buttons on the top the mouse. This makes it much easier to alter your DPI on the fly compared to the Chroma.

The scroll wheel has also had a face lift on the DeathAdder Elite. It has small dimples across the wheel to assist with grip. The wheel also feels like it has less tension and the notches are less pronounced. This comes down to personal preference on which one you will like more.

Winner: Elite

The Extras

Both the Elite and Chroma have a lift-off distance of around 1 dvd so there will be no issues with swiping or mice spinning. The mouse feet are slightly larger on the DeathAdder Elite which can provide better glide.

As for RGB lighting, there is no noticeable difference between the two models so it shouldn’t be a driving factor in helping you decide. The settings available to you are spectrum, breathing, static and reactive.

Both mice can utilise Razer’s software for creating macros, rebinding buttons and more.

The cable is an often missed characteristic of a mouse and it’s important to know the type of cable you are getting.  The more flexibile a cable is the better. The DeathAdder Elite’s cable is definitely more flexible. This is important to reduce cable drag and friction, particularly if you don’t use a mouse bungee.

Winner: Elite

The Verdict

Overall the Razer DeathAdder Elite is basically a more redefined better version of the Razer DeathAdder Chroma. The Elite has a better sensor which is the most significant difference between these two.

But alongside that, Razer has added a lot of quality of life features to the Elite such as the better grips, the DPI buttons and smoother shell texture.

If you are on the fence between picking between these two it is a no-brainer. Pick the Razer DeathAdder Elite.

If you already have the Chroma and are looking to upgrade I would hold off for now until your Chroma breaks. Unless you can afford the $70 price tag I don’t think its worth upgrading to the Elite.

Elite

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VS

Chroma

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FAQ

Is the Razer DeathAdder Elite Compatible with MAC OS?

Yes both the Elite and Chroma are compatible with MAC OS. Razer Synapse is compatible with MAC so you can do all your macro editing and programming of buttons with the OSX.

Does the Razer Chroma have brighter more colourful RGB lighting?

No, the differences between these two in terms of RGB lighting is insignificant. You won’t see much difference between the two so this shouldn’t affect your decision on what to choose.

Should I upgrade my Razer DeathAdder Chroma to Razer DeathAdder Elite?

As discussed in my verdict, upgrading from your Chroma isn’t really worth it unless you notice problems with the mouse clicks or sensor. Only some people will notice the problem with tilt-slamming if they are playing fast-paced FPS shooters.

The Elite is better, so if you want to experience your Chroma in a better way and are finding durability issues then upgrade to the Elite.

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