20 Jan 2024

What is Polling Rate and How to Measure It?

Polling rate, also known as report rate or refresh rate, is the frequency at which an input device, such as a keyboard or a mouse, sends data to the computer. It is measured in Hertz (Hz) and represents the number of times per second that the device sends data to the computer about various events such as mouse movement, keypress, and so on..

In simple terms, a higher polling rate means that the device sends data to the computer more frequently.

Why does it matter?

The polling rate of the device determines how responsive and precise the data it sends to the computer is. It is important in applications where quick and precise input is essential, such as gaming or graphic design. A higher polling rate will make the input device feel more responsive and accurate, which can be very helpful in competitive gaming.

How to measure it?

Most modern mice will have their polling rate listed on their packaging/manual or in their driver software. Just look up your mouse model on google and you should be able to find it pretty easily.

If not, you can use this online Polling Rate Tester tool to get a good approximation.

🔗 Mouse Polling Rate Tester

Is a higher Polling Rate better?

Generally, Yes, a higher polling rate is better, but only up to a certain point. The higher the polling rate, the more frequently the device sends data to the computer, resulting in more accurate and responsive tracking of user input. However, there is a limit to how much this can improve the user experience. For example, a mouse with a polling rate of 2000Hz will not be noticeably more responsive than one with a polling rate of 1000Hz.

Furthermore, a very high polling rate can also cause slow down and cause lower FPS in games if your PC is not powerful enough, because your CPU will have to spend alot of resources to process all the incoming data. This is especially true for older computers.

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