People often confuse the polling rate of a gaming mouse with its dpi value – and even more people don’t even know what any of these stand for. That’s why I want to clarify that in this part of my Gaming Mouse FAQ.
So, here’s the explanation for both of them: the DPI value of a mouse defines how high the resolution of your mouse sensor is (kind of like a digital camera’s sensor). The polling rate instead says how often your sensor sends a signal to your computer. The higher the polling rate, the more signals are sent each second – allowing a better tracking.
How is the Polling Rate measured?
The polling rate of a mouse is always measured in „Hertz“ (short: Hz). A polling rate of 500Hz means that the mouse sends 500 signals per second to your computer. This value can be translated to milliseconds – telling how the intervals between each signal. If your polling rate is 500Hz, a signal is sent every 2 milliseconds (1,000 milliseconds divided by 500). These are the most common polling rates in Hertz and milliseconds:
|Polling Rate in Hertz
|Signal Interval in Milliseconds
Which Polling Rate do I need?
Especially for gaming and eSports it’s recommended to have a high polling rate, as lags can be the deciding factor between a win or a loss. That’s why as a gamer you should always aim for 500Hz or 1000Hz when buying a mouse. The difference between these two is very minimal (just 1 ms), but everything below should be avoided. Higher polling rates don’t have significant drawbacks as they just need a little bit more CPU power.