8,000 Hz mechanical keyboards still offer more than low input lag | GeekComparison

Corsair K70 RGB Pro.
enlarge Corsair K70 RGB Pro.


Razer introduced a widely available keyboard with a polling rate of 8,000 Hz last year, so it’s not surprising that rivals are following suit. Corsair today released the K70 RGB Pro mechanical gaming keyboard, which also claims to report 8,000 times per second to the PC instead of the standard 1,000. But as with other 8000 Hz keyboards we’ve seen, that stat may not be what’s really selling you on the keyboard. In reality, most people will not notice the difference between 8,000 Hz and the traditional 1,000 Hz.

Corsair’s announcement of the K70 RGB Pro doesn’t put a lot of emphasis on the keyboard’s overboard polling rate. The press release points to the Axon technology that the company claims is “up to 8x faster than standard gaming keyboards,” but there’s no specific mention of 8,000 Hz or even the term “polling rate.”

Corsair's new 8,000 Hz keyboard ranges from $160-$170 depending on the mechanical switches.
enlarge Corsair’s new 8,000 Hz keyboard ranges from $160-$170 depending on the mechanical switches.


Corsair has also made no input lag claim, but some 8,000 Hz keyboards indicate an input lag of only 0.125 ms (1 second divided by 8,000 reports = .000125 second). The K70 RGB Pro’s product page highlights its polling rate and 4,000 Hz key scanning rate (elsewhere on Corsair’s website, the company claims its Axon processor can deliver an input lag of just 0.25 ms).

But before you get into that, the product page highlights the keyboard’s dual PBT plastic keycaps and the use of Cherry MX-branded mechanical switches. Corsair’s product page also covers the aluminum keyboard frame and RGB per key before mentioning the product’s Axon 8000 Hz feature.

Mention of high polling rates is below the fold.
enlarge Mention of high polling rates is below the fold.

Corsair’s press release also covers the aluminum keyboard volume roller and other media keys, plus software or built-in macro keys.

Other 8,000 Hz keyboards have also attempted to offer additional standout features in addition to high polling rates. For example, you’re more likely to notice the Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate’s mini-LED animated matrix. And Asus would also certainly include higher quality keycaps (also doubleshot PBT) and other features such as sound-damping foam, an RGB palm rest and USB pass-through.

It’s not that 8,000 Hz keyboards are pointless or that vendors should stop trying to push the limits of keyboard speed. But most people don’t need such a keyboard and wouldn’t notice the difference. For the average user, 8,000 Hz isn’t enough to make one keyboard stand out over another.

Of course, high polling rate keyboards like 8,000 Hz mice and 360 Hz monitors are extreme gaming peripherals. But if your system has some areas where lag can occur, reducing keyboard lag won’t be a game changer. However, Corsair’s other 8,000 Hz keyboards have other gimmicks besides speed. For example, the Corsair K100 brags about its optical mechanical switches, and the board has a large programmable RGB watch face.

Corsair K100.

Likewise, Razer devotes most of its 8,000 Hz Huntsman V2 product page to the product’s optical mechanical switches, doubleshot PBT keycaps, and sound-damping foam.

So while faster keyboards are an interesting feat and a potential boon for those with a vendetta against input lag, it’s good to see keyboard manufacturers offering other features to justify those high price tags: Corsair’s K70 RGB starts at $160.

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