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Ask Slashdot: Low-Latency PS2/USB Gaming Keyboards? 177

An anonymous reader writes "I've a cheap but low latency mouse (A4Tech) and I noticed my trusty old wired Logitech PS/2 keyboard seems at least 50ms slower (if not more) than the mouse when I test with those reaction time sites. I even increased finger travel distance over my mouse button to make it fairer and the difference still remains. So either the tests are slower with keyboards or my keyboard is high latency. Assuming the latter any suggestions for a good reasonably priced gaming keyboard? Extra function keys might be nice but since my hands aren't big what would be better is being able to output a custom key/combo if you hold down (special?) keys while pressing another key. For example I could configure it so if I hold down "Special Key 1" with pinkie or thumb and press 4 it actually outputs 9, and if I hold down shift as well it outputs shift+9 (and not just 9). Being able to replace the capslock key function and have it behave as another key (or a special modifier) would be a bonus — I've never needed capslock and have probably used it more by mistake than for its normal function, or to test how badly a PC has hung."
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Ask Slashdot: Low-Latency PS2/USB Gaming Keyboards?

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  • You're testing wrong (Score:5, Interesting)

    by guruevi ( 827432 ) <`moc.stiucricve' `ta' `ive'> on Saturday July 13, 2013 @03:09PM (#44270941) Homepage

    There is not a single modern keyboard that has 50ms latency. You (humans) have that sort of latency.

    As far as response times, all you need to do is increase the poll time on the USB stack, you should be able to set it to ~1-5ms, most keyboards are in the 5-10ms range. You can also get a custom keyboard which is used for psychophysics, they run about $300 and have a guaranteed sub-ms latency. But there must be some firmwares out there that can achieve the same for cheaper. I've tested Arduino Leonardo to about 1-2ms latency (also for psychophysics experiments).

  • by aglider ( 2435074 ) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @03:29PM (#44271063) Homepage
    Mechanical-to-electronic interface is just one. The one you think it's to blame.
    Then you have the system interface (the USB and the PS/2).
    Then you have the full OS stack with its drivers, event listeners etc.
    Then you have the browser technologies (like Javascript stuff) which could react differently to different input classes.
    And finally the network latency.
    All of them at the same time.
    Maybe you are right in blaming the device, but I wouldn't bet a penny on it.
  • by Splab ( 574204 ) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @03:45PM (#44271181)

    Normal human reaction time is in the 200ms to 300ms range, however, for specific stuff like gaming where we are reacting to known events, we can possibly react faster (sound for instance is keying us way before this, so we start reacting to the event).

    Now the 1 MS reaction time for gaming equipment is for precision, if your mouse doesn't stop moving the place where you wanted it to stop moving, it might be off by one or two pixels, which is a huge deal in gaming.

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <> on Saturday July 13, 2013 @06:01PM (#44271873) Homepage Journal

    Every keyboard I have ever seen is a USB 1.1 HID device. The maximum polling rate is 10ms in the spec, although some might work at higher frequencies. In any case you are correct, the latency of pretty much any keyboard will be max 10ms. If the test sites say there is more then it isn't the keyboard, it is something in the OS or the browser or the operator.

"You must have an IQ of at least half a million." -- Popeye