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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: 2, Informative) by Kilo110 on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:47PM

    by Kilo110 (2853) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:47PM (#11919)

    I must say, I have heard of display lag, and of course network lag, but this is the first time I've ever heard of keyboard lag.

    I'm doubtful you're even noticing this one or two frame lag, let alone be able to trace it back to the keyboard. I think you're just imagining it.

    But it sounds like no reasoning can convince you otherwise, so why don't you just use a ps/2 keyboard? They work by interrupts and I'm not sure you can't reduce any more lag then sending an interrupt to the cpu.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:35PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:35PM (#11990)

    Computers very rarely have ps/2 ports now. I cannot think of a computer from the last 6 years aside from a server that has had ps/2 ports.

    • (Score: 1) by Kilo110 on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:15PM

      by Kilo110 (2853) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:15PM (#12017)

      These days computers pre made from the major manufacturers don't have them. But computers built from parts such as from Asus or MSI mostly have ps2 ports.

      Then there's also the option of adding ps/2 ports through a PCI Express card

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:46PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:46PM (#12042)

      that sounds scary. I haven't bought any new computer for many years now, but some rainy day in the future I probably have to - do you mean it can problematic to find a new one with as basic requirements as ps/2 mouse&keyboard connectors today?

      Well, when saying "buying computer" I really mean buying a new motherboard, new cpu, new memory etc... is the same problem for that? Maybe I should go look for motherboard now already before it is too late, even though my current one still works fine (and hopefully some more years) and is fast enough for my current needs, so I have it later when I need it?

      my requirements
      * ps/2 for mouse and keyboard
      * printer port
      * somewhere pins on the motherboard to connect serial port
      * floppy connector
      * at least one PATA
      * at least two PCI
      * no UEFI

      • (Score: 1) by Kilo110 on Thursday March 06 2014, @10:23PM

        by Kilo110 (2853) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 06 2014, @10:23PM (#12255)

        If your workload really requires all of that, and you cannot use addon cards or usb versions, then it might be a good idea to buy a motherboard now.

    • (Score: 1) by tibman on Friday March 07 2014, @02:52AM

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 07 2014, @02:52AM (#12436)

      Maybe on pre-built machines (bleh). It's rare to find a mobo that doesn't have PS/2 though. If you do it's because the mobo is probably really tiny and they cut it to save space.
      http://www.newegg.com/Motherboards/Category/ID-20 [newegg.com]
      http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/g uidedSearch.asp?CatId=13 [tigerdirect.com]

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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 08 2014, @02:49PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 08 2014, @02:49PM (#13192)

        a bit worrying trend is that some of the motherboards there have only one ps/2 connector so you can only have either a mouse or a keyboard, not both without having to buy a splitter.

        On the other hand I have always thought it would be nice to connect the mouse to the keyboard instead of all the way down to the computer too, Anyone know ps/2 keyboards that have a ps/2 connector on the side or the back where you can connect the mouse? Perhaps it is not too hard to modify a keyboard, stealing an connector from an old broken motherboard... but I guess the keyboard cable don't have all the six wires in them? :-(

        Only problem is that the mouse cable is too damn long then I guess

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by quitte on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:10PM

    by quitte (306) on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:10PM (#12014) Journal

    Most of the lag is most likely introduced by the debouncing. Debouncing is surprisingly hard to get right. Ever felt like a keypress was registered too often or you pressed a key and it didn't register? or you let go of a key and it registered as another keypress? I can easily believe that keyboards and mice are a major issue for gamers because of some experiments with debouncing.

    • (Score: 1) by Kilo110 on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:19PM

      by Kilo110 (2853) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:19PM (#12022)

      In my multiple decades of using a computer and gaming on a PC no I have never experienced that

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @10:09PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @10:09PM (#12247)

      The keyboard controller used by one of Alienware's ODMs (Clevo, I think) is notorious for poor debouncing. Basically, it samples the keyswitch matrix at a relatively low rate to reduce power consumption, and its debounce algorithm has two meaningful delay values... the default one is a little bit longer than optimal (causing occasional dropped keystrokes), and the one you can hack it to use is a little bit shorter than optimal (causing occasional phantom double keystrokes). Both problems occur mainly if the user either types faster than 100wpm, or is a gamer who needs low-latency key input.