What is the "polling rate" of a keyboard? Points to consider when choosing thumbnail

What is the "polling rate" of a keyboard? Points to consider when choosing

Polling rate is one of the specifications that has been gaining attention recently as an indicator of keyboard performance. This section summarizes what polling rate is and how it affects key input.

What is the polling rate?

Polling rate is a measure of how many times in one second input information is sent from the keyboard to the device. The unit is Hz (hertz) or ms (milliseconds). For example, 1000 Hz (1 ms) means that information is sent to the device every 1000 times per second (1 millisecond, 1/1000 of a second).

A good polling rate is "high".

Looking at keyboards in terms of polling rate, the higher the polling rate, the better the performance.

For example, a keyboard with a polling rate of 100Hz (1ms) and a keyboard with a polling rate of 1000Hz (1ms) means that the speed at which keystrokes are reflected by the device is 10 times different.

In what situations is a high polling rate good?

High polling rate keyboards have begun to attract attention largely because of the emergence of professional gamers in FPS and fighting games, etc. In the case of e-sports, the response speed of instantaneous keystrokes and the responsiveness of continuous input can lead to victory or defeat.

In addition to gaming applications, users can also enjoy the benefits of high polling rates when performing key-input-intensive tasks such as programming and linting.

However, for keystroke-intensive tasks, a high polling rate is not beneficial unless the person doing the typing can type at such a high speed. For example, if the typing speed is slow despite a high polling rate, it is meaningless.

On the other hand, in the gaming scene, not only continuous typing but also instantaneous reaction speed is sometimes important, so a high polling rate has a certain effect.

Difference between a typical keyboard and a high polling rate keyboard

The standard polling rate of a typical mouse or keyboard is about 100-200 Hz. Even so, they respond in 1/100th of a second, which is fine for normal device input.

The polling rate of a typical gaming keyboard is said to be as high as 1000 Hz. This is 10 times faster than a standard keyboard, so it is a sufficient response time. Therefore, some products may be described as "high polling rate".

On the other hand, e-sports keyboards that sell high polling rate have models with polling rate of 4000Hz or 8000Hz. In this world, the average person cannot tell the difference, but for people in the world of e-sports and other sports where key input and key response are the most important factors, this is the part that makes the difference in a moment's notice.

Keyboard TypePolling RateResponse Time
Typical keyboardabout 125Hznormal
Typical gaming keyboardabout 1000Hzfast
High polling rate keyboardabout 8000Hzvery fast