Understanding Response Time & Polling Rate For Keyboards & Mouse!!

When you go out and start looking for a new mouse or a new keyboard for your system, you are greeted with a lot of advanced features and technical terms that might go right above your head.  Today in 2023 technology has made so many advancements that we have got many different features on our mouse including different connection modes, response times, tracking speed, resolution, switch types, polling rate, etc. While one can simply understand some basic terms like Switches, Connection modes, etc. things like Polling Rate and Response Time are usually what goes straight up from the understanding of a user. They might sound simple but they have a huge impact on the performance of any given peripheral. Obviously, you want your keyboard and mouse to work lag-free and almost in an instantaneous manner. To understand this, we are bringing you guys this guide today. We will share some information related to polling rate and Response Time, what they are, and how they are linked together in the world of PC Peripherals!!

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What is Response Time?

As we all know, Mouse and Keyboards are the most widely used type input devices for any system out there. Even if you have a laptop it will have a trackpad that works like a mouse does and a built-in keyboard as well. Having a mouse always makes things easier for work as well as entertainment uses such as gaming and movies. A high-quality mouse offers precise tracking, faster resolution(DPI), faster response Time, and many more features. Response Time actually refers to the time it takes for a PC peripheral be it a mouse or keyboard to register an input response(key press, tracking, anything that can be called a response) with the connected system. In simpler words, imagine you are moving your mouse on the mouse mat, the system doesn’t know that the Mouse sends a set of instructions to the system that the user is actually moving the mouse at this pace and this direction, and the system responds to them by triggering the input done by you. This works the same for both keyboards and mouse. For example, if you press any key on your keyboard, it sends a set of instructions to the system that this key is pressed, and the system responds by doing the needful action for that input. The time taken for this signal to transmit to the system and how long the system takes to trigger that response is what we call Response Time.

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Response Time is measured in ms(Milli Seconds), it is usually very very quick for most devices in today’s time but you can still notice differences during gaming especially competitive gaming where every minute second counts. Apart from gaming, in everyday use, faster response time is also very useful.

How Does Fast Response Time Affect Our Day To Day Usage?

Faster Response time means, faster key input for keyboards, precise tracking for mice, quicker overall response, and a more controlled environment. Basically, faster response time reduces the delay between the mouse/keyboard and the connected source device. It is beneficial for the users offering them smooth operation and easy usability with a lag-free experience.

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What is Polling Rate?

Polling Rate means how often the keyboard or mouse reports its position back to the computer. Like Response time means actually triggering the input response, but Polling Rate means how often the device communicates with the connected system device. Just like Response Time, the Polling rate is also there for input devices such as Mice and Keyboards. Usually we see faster response time and faster polling rate in gaming-dedicated mice and keyboards as they are equipped with better sensors to provide better control(In the gaming world it actually matters, a lot in competitive titles).

The Polling Rate is usually measured in Hz, a wired device usually has a faster polling rate and response time performance. But we are in 2023, wireless devices have also gained expertise in offering faster performance. For normal mouse and keyboards, the polling rate may end up anywhere between 800-1000Hz which is a fairly decent polling rate speed. But with faster keyboards and mice specially developed for esports gaming, they offer an extremely high polling rate of 8000Hz. A high-polling rate instantly improves the response time as well. As with an increase in polling rate value, the computer regularly reads the input from the input device resulting in faster performance.

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A higher polling rate is better suited for gamers who need to take quick action in their games. Reaction times are very important in competitive titles where every minute movement, and every minute second counts. However, a higher polling rate usually eats a tad bit more resources from the CPU and battery as well.

How Does Polling Rate Affect Performance?

As we have mentioned earlier in this blog, a faster polling rate will enable the system and the device to communicate regularly and share every minute of movement precisely. This helps in achieving faster response and quicker response time. With a lower polling rate mice and keyboard, you will notice a greater delay in registering the inputs. Commonly you will have a response time of anywhere between 125Hz to 1000Hz. 800-1000Hz is the common value for most devices. Only a handful of devices, faster ones from the premium Corsair gaming line-up support high-speed 800Hz Polling Rates.

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How Is Polling Rate Linked To Response Time?

A faster polling rate with a faster response time enables almost instant response on the system without any lag or interference. Fast Polling Rate enables quicker reading of input and faster response time means faster trigger of that input. It’s noticeable in everyday usage as you find your mouse to be smoother in tracking, and your keyboard to be quicker to respond. This is even more noticeable when you play competitive titles like Valiant or Counter-Strike or Call of Duty. A faster polling rate and response time can improve your performance as your key triggers are recorded almost instantly.

Some Mouse & Keyboards With Faster Polling Rate & Response Time:-

Corsair K70 Pro RGB Mechanical Keyboard:-

The Corsair K70 Pro RGB is a premium gaming mechanical keyboard from Corsair. It is crafted using advanced functions and features including Corsair’s in-house developed AXON technology. This Axon technology enables custom polling rate on the keyboard allowing you to take it as high as 8000Hz. With such a high polling rate, the performance is instantaneous greatly improving your experience. The 8000Hz polling rate can be enabled using the Corsair desktop software application. The K70 Pro RGB keyboard retails for 179.99$.

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HyperX Pulsefire Haste 2:-

As mentioned earlier in this blog, Gaming accessories tend to use these improved sensors for fast polling rate and response time. HyperX’s latest gaming mouse the Pulsefire Haste 2 offers a super-fast 8000Hz polling rate that enables super quick trigger and precise tracking. 8000Hz mode is ultra-precise and will be an appropriate mode for the mouse for both gamers and regular users. The HyperX Pulsefire Haste2 is a mouse available for just 75.99$, an attractive price for an attractive mouse!!

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Final Words:-

We hope with the help of this guide we are able to help you out with any queries related to polling rate and Response Time. You can simply note that both these things affect the performance of our device with the connected system. Polling Rate on one hand is how often the system communicates with the device and Response Time is the actual time taken to trigger an input. For any further questions or queries, you can connect with us at Support@mechkeys.com.

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