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posted by LaminatorX on Thursday March 06 2014, @12:20PM   Printer-friendly
from the satisying-clackity-clack dept.
An anonymous coward writes "Anyone know of good affordable keyboards that are low latency (preferably backed by actual stats)? Low latency is not the same as polling rate.

I had an old keyboard that was high latency (added about 30-50ms more latency when compared to a "gaming" mouse I had!) so I bought a low end "gaming" keyboard[1] which is lower latency but the keys "stick" sometimes (e.g. the system thinks keys are still being held down even though they aren't have to press the offending keys again to unstick them). I don't want to buy an expensive keyboard and find the latency to not be really much better or even worse[2]. And yes 30-50ms can be a noticeable and significant difference in games (2-3 frames).

I've done those reaction time test stuff and I get about 150-170ms using my "fastest" mouse (I have two), 170-190 with my new keyboard and 200+ms with my old keyboard. I see many people get 200+ ( see: http://cognitivefun.net/stat/1 ). At work on my employer's macbook pro I get 220+ms. So it's likely that high latency mice/keyboards[2] and screens[3] are too common. And you can appear to have 50-80ms faster reflexes just by having better equipment.

[1] an A4Tech G800V keyboard, based on one of the few less useless responses from the Other Site when I asked a similar question. Maybe it's faulty but it's going to be hard to prove since it's intermittent. FWIW I got it for half the newegg price and the place I bought it from doesn't sell A4tech mice or keyboards anymore.

[2] http://www.blackboxtoolkit.com/responsedevices.htm l
  http://www.pstnet.com/eprimedevice.cfm

[3] http://www.displaylag.com/display-database/"
 
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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by nil on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:30PM

    by nil (2468) on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:30PM (#11909)
    Why is it childish to enjoy a hobby enough to want good equipment for it?

    I'm no child, by my dad enjoys rock hunting (physically digging them out of the earth). Because of this, he's spent a good while and invested a decent amount of money into custom made chisels and hammers that are well suited for his craft. He wasn't satisfied with the lower-grade steel used in other, store-bought chisels. Is he childish for caring more about his equipment than the layman?

    It is the height of ignorance to assume, just because someone enjoys a different hobby than you and puts importance on the equipment of that hobby, that they are somehow childish or lacking in maturity.

    Or do you simply subscribe to the naive thought that video games are 4kidz.
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bugamn on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:24PM

    by bugamn (1017) on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:24PM (#11945)

    I wouldn't say that it is childish to want good equipment, but I believe part of it is snake oil. taking advantage of the passion for the hobby. A difference of 2 or 3 frames seems too small to be noticeable in a normal game (between 30 and 60 frames per second). A better example are gaming mouses with gold tipped USB connectors for "improved performance". As far as I know those change nothing.

    Also: Amazon's Monster Cables.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by hatta on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:58PM

      by hatta (879) on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:58PM (#12003)

      You'd think so, but top gamers really can notice one frame of lag. When it's the difference between landing a combo or not, it can't really be due to the placebo effect.

      It would be easy enough to test rigorously. By default MAME inserts a frame of lag in input handling. There's a MAME derivative ShmupMAME that removes this frame of lag for games that will work without it. ABX the two programs and see if the differences in score are statistically significant.

      Or you could do it in hardware, wire a delay into the controls of an arcade machine, and ABX whether it's activated or not.

    • (Score: 1) by gottabeme on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:38PM

      by gottabeme (1531) on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:38PM (#12037)

      2-3 frames of input lag can be very noticable, depending on framerate. If your framerate was 30fps, that's up to 100ms, which is horrible. If you're playing an MMO, who cares. If you're playing a competitive shooter, it's the difference between life and death.

    • (Score: 1) by nil on Thursday March 06 2014, @06:54PM

      by nil (2468) on Thursday March 06 2014, @06:54PM (#12125)
      Monster cables are a valid example of "snake oil". However, input lag is a legitimate concern, and one that can become glaringly apparent when precise, timed mouse movements and keyboard clicks are required.

      What I don't understand is that, despite the original poster saying he ran reaction tests and got different results with different tech, people still want to try to claim he is wrong or misguided. Why can't we just answer the question, or give alternate solutions (use a ps/2 keyboard over usb, for instance)?

      Come on, soylent. We really shouldn't continue that old slashdot "arguing for the sake of arguing" bullshit. We can be way more constructive than that.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @07:45PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @07:45PM (#12153)

        If you have different devices you can test it out for yourself. For example, try the reaction time tests with a macbook pro or similar (with slow IPS screen) try it with mouse, try it with keyboard and try with touchpad. Then attach a CRT to the macbook and try with a decent gaming mouse. For me there's a difference.

        PS/2 devices can also be slow (you can take my word or see the links in the submission e.g. http://www.pstnet.com/eprimedevice.cfm [pstnet.com] ).

        Anyone who doesn't think 50ms makes a difference hasn't played Streetfighter or one of those twitch FPS at a high level. At high levels even 16ms makes a difference. You still need skill of course.

        If anyone wants more useless bullshit they can revisit the first keyboard latency article on slashdot (this is a follow up after all). I don't recommend it though - you might hit Beta ;).

      • (Score: 1) by bugamn on Friday March 07 2014, @02:35AM

        by bugamn (1017) on Friday March 07 2014, @02:35AM (#12416)

        What I don't understand is that, despite the original poster saying he ran reaction tests and got different results with different tech, people still want to try to claim he is wrong or misguided. Why can't we just answer the question, or give alternate solutions (use a ps/2 keyboard over usb, for instance)?

        Because I don't know how rigorous he was with his test and people tend to see the data they want.

        Also, I talk about snake oil because I think that perhaps there isn't much room for improvement. I know that there is bad hardware that can really lag, but I don't believe top gaming keyboard/mice really offer improvements over reasonably priced quality alternatives in this area.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07 2014, @03:07AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07 2014, @03:07AM (#12444)

          but I don't believe top gaming keyboard/mice really offer improvements over reasonably priced quality alternatives in this area.
          So what tests have you yourself done to prove your assumption? Or are you just going to say stuff about snake oil etc just because you believe there isn't any difference, without doing any tests of the rigor you expect, or even looking at the links in the submission showing the variation in latency of various input devices (done by others).

  • (Score: 1) by Yog-Yogguth on Friday March 07 2014, @09:39PM

    by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 07 2014, @09:39PM (#12941) Journal

    Oh that kind of rock hunting (actual geology/prospecting). Lol I was picturing an energetic old man "on the loose" with a shovel; digging up random gardens to find favorite pet rocks, and it sounded like a nice quaint hobby I should pick up (I fell into that pun) :)

    Thumbs up to your dad (and of course you're entirely correct).

    --
    Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))