How to Change Mouse Polling Rate? (is 500 Hz better than 1000 Hz ?)

How to change mouse polling rate and is it worth it?

If you are wondering how to change mouse polling rate then you are in the right place as we will cover this topic really deeply in this article. But first things first… have you ever bothered to look at the specifications while buying a mouse?

Well, probably not, if you are buying it for normal use. However, probably yes, if you are a gamer, a video editor, or a graphic designer who is looking for a mouse with special specifications.

For them, the polling rate is one of the most common specifications to check. Typically, a gaming mouse is promoted with a high polling rate, as it affects the overall mouse response to your move. It is fundamentally related to precision, not sensitivity.

Obviously, there is no need for the quickest reaction time or high precision while typing Microsoft Word or filling an online form. However, it is needed when getting a competitive edge matters in playing a game or when adding minute details to a graphic model is important. So, let us find out what is polling rate and how to increase it.

What is Polling Rate?

A polling rate is the frequency of your mouse to report its position to your PC or a laptop. If a mouse has a polling rate or frequency of 125 Hz, it is conveying its position data 125 times every second or eight milliseconds. A rate of 500 Hz means reporting 500 times every two milliseconds. Similarly, a frequency of 1000Hz means reporting 1000 times every second or four milliseconds.

The higher the rate, the more is the number of times your mouse conveys its position every second. It determines how quickly your computer reacts to any of your mouse movements. If the polling rate of a mouse is low, the cursor is likely to take much time to react to your movement.

A high polling rate simply indicates that the mouse is connecting more frequently with your computer. This is an essential occurrence while playing games or designing something on your system. While it is less likely to affect usability, the difference is felt while using with a higher frequency.

It should be noted that the polling rate has nothing to do with the mouse’s Dots Per Inch (DPI), which is a rate of its sensitivity. A higher DPI indicates that the cursor will move farther. However, a higher polling rate indicates that the cursor will move faster; it shows how quickly the computer responds to the movement of the cursor. Well, this is critical for gaming, designing, or any other special work on the computer.

On the flip side, a higher polling rate is likely to reduce the lag happening in between the mouse movement and its response to the cursor on the screen. It is also likely to consume more processor resources, as the processor needs to inquire about the position of your mouse quite often.

Are Higher Polling Rates Useful?

A higher polling rate is usually considered better although the difference between 125 Hz and 500 Hz and between 500 Hz and 1000 Hz is difficult to notice, as it is not even 1 millisecond. As the difference is negligible, it may be fine to that a 500 Hz rate is smoother, while a 1000 Hz rate is swifter.

Still, you cannot deny that the difference exists. To recognize the difference, you also need to know your expectations from a gaming mouse, your skills, and your experience. At times, you also need to consider the gaming monitor’s response rate.

By using more resources, a high polling rate is likely to end up wasting those resources without giving any significant advantage. However, this is not an issue with the current hardware settings.

Still, if the resources are insufficient, a rate of 1000 Hz can instill instability. In that case, a 500 Hz is ideal, as it is almost as effective as 1000 Hz considered ideal for FPS games.

Considering the wastage issue, it could be concluded that manufacturers should not launch mice with more than 1000 Hz polling rates. The rate of 1000 Hz is ideal if you play games and perform other tasks that need a low response time. Even the rate of 500 Hz will be sufficient. However, as this is a measurement, a higher one is likely to be favor your goal of winning the game.

Is There a Mouse Rate Checker? Can I Know the Polling Rate of My Mouse Now?

The packaged box of a branded mouse will reveal its polling rate. This applies to most branded mice. If not, you can find it out by visiting the official website.

In case you still cannot get the rate that is almost impossible. You can use the effective online tool by BenQ to know the polling frequency. There is no need of any technical knowledge or another tool for using this mouse rate checker.

All you have to do is click and move the mouse and the page shall display the measurement in real-time. You get to see a list of your formerly tested rates.

How to Change the Mouse’s Polling Rate?

Well, there are a couple of ways to change the polling rate. You can download and install a mouse polling rate program or a series of scripts existing online for the same. Nevertheless, there is a simpler way to increase or decrease the polling rate. Here are the steps for the same:

  1. Unplug your USB mouse.
  2. On your keyboard, hold 4+5 keys and attach the mouse to the USB port to change the rate to 125 Hz. Hold the 5 key and attach the mouse to the USB port to change the rate to 500 Hz. On your keyboard, hold the 4 key and attach the mouse to the USB port to change the rate to 1000 Hz.

Kindly note that these steps are applicable only if your mouse supports the polling rate that you desire. So, if the highest rate supported is 500Hz, you cannot increase it but decrease it to 125Hz. It is also worth knowing that the mouse can be damaged if you increase the rate to such an extent that it falls short of handling the extra load. Thus, it is totally at your risk.

Not all mice allow this adjustment. Out of those that allow, a few enable making this change from the control panel, while some come with a hardware switch for the same.

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