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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: ). 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] l

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by moondrake on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:12PM

    by moondrake (2658) on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:12PM (#11934)

    Most people score >200 ms on those test simply because the human reaction to visual stimuli is about 200 ms (well, 190 ms on average for college-age individuals[1]). Added to that that the test results on the linked site is prone to bias (you will get better at it after trying several times), the average will be a bit over 200 ms.

    Keyboard latency is hardly a factor here, it should be far less than 10 ms [2]. But simply the travel for the click to register (which is why a mouse could be slightly faster) also plays a role. And the OS and application can also add several 10s of ms. Linux has gotten better over the years, but you still have spikes or some broken drivers. Windows is often much worse (a possible advantage of SteamOS!). I leave finding a good ref for this to the reader, but a quick google for input latency turns up several interesting hits.

    On the whole, I do not believe it makes much sense to worry about, unless you got a particular bad keyboard or driver.

    Also, slashdot covered something similar before [3].

    [1] []
    [2] 13&cid=44277775 [] check the parent posts as well!
    [3] 5/ask-slashdot-low-latency-ps2usb-gaming-keyboards []

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @07:22PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @07:22PM (#12141)

    I score 160-180 using gaming gear. I score 200+ on non gaming gear(e.g. crappy PS/2 keyboard (some are fast, some are slow) or slow IPS screen or worse touchpad). So gear does make a significant difference. 50ms is a big difference for many games (FPS, fighting games, even some MMOs).

    Maybe the real reason for all those 200+ms scores is most people aren't using low latency gear for their tests? It's not so simple to get latency tests right, and many of the old tests might have been done more for comparison (male-female, old-young) and not to get the "correct" figures. Say in the old days you use an incandescent bulbs for telling a test subject to press a button so how long does it take a cold bulb to glow bright enough? This claims 30ms for incandescent lights: -2/bus-pics.php []
    This claims 200ms for incandescent and 20ms for LEDs (go figure): mate.lightbulb/ []
    Granted some might be rather "big" bulbs, but it shows there are many factors. If they didn't use bulbs, what did researchers use back then? Mechanical stuff? It's not so simple...

    Sometimes a simple switch is not so simple either. And modern day keyboards are worse - even if a keyboard is connected via a fast interface the keyboard's internal key scanning system itself might have latencies. Not all of it is obvious look at the submission's other links for examples - keyboards and mice with the same interfaces can have very different latencies.

  • (Score: 1) by bugamn on Friday March 07 2014, @02:40AM

    by bugamn (1017) on Friday March 07 2014, @02:40AM (#12420)

    Funny how that Slashdot thread has a comment about how much has Slashdot sunk based on that topic.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07 2014, @06:19AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07 2014, @06:19AM (#12515)
      That that question was asked shows you how far slashdot has sunk from the days where more slashdotters actually knew how their hardware worked and the _actual_ specs and characteristics because they were nerds/geeks who were interested in how things worked (and often even had/built the equipment to test it).

      Slashdotters nowadays are a bunch who prefer stories with more politics, bitcoin and "ask slashdot how to do my job" than actual technical stuff.