The BEST Gaming Mouse | Why is the best???

By Ethan

What is 'Gaming Mouse' ?

Yo, what's going on guys? Today let's talk about somethings about the gaming mouse and what is the best gaming mouse? Here we go now, although the hardware is pretty standard for a high-end gaming mouse, it has a Pixart PMW3360 sensor and OMRON switches. Everything about it has been tuned to offer the lowest possible response time between you moving the mouse IRL and the cursor moving in-game. So is this the new competitive edge for gamers, or have we passed the point of human capabilities long ago?  

All right, in a perfect world, the movements that you make in real life with the mouse would be 100% accurately represented in the computer. But in practice, many things can lead to imperfect mouse tracking, and ultimately, you miss that sick headshot by a couple of pixels. So, what can you do to have the best possible chances? First of all, disable your mouse acceleration. Then, most games also have an option for raw mouse input, so you should enable that too. While we're talking about easy ways to up your game, disable Motion Blur. This won't affect your mouse. Why does anybody use it? The next problem is sensor spin-out. This occurs when you move the mouse faster than the sensor can detect, and generally, this results in the mouse failing horribly, kind of like someone running on a treadmill that's going too fast. On office mice or cheap generic gaming mice, this can be an issue. Still, every real gaming mouse these days can track anywhere from 30 to 50 Gs of acceleration. Is that a lot? Well, I was curious how that relates to what's humanly possible. 

Why we choose 'Gaming Mouse'?

So we found this fun article by H. Nagasaki from 1989 called "Asymmetric velocity and acceleration profiles of human arm movements." In those tests, the maximum arm acceleration was 11.4 Gs, and referencing other less-reputable-sounding studies, we haven't found anything above 20. So basically, there's no chance of you physically outrunning a properly tuned modern gaming mouse. What can introduce errors, though, are sensor flaws. For instance, the PMW3310 has a problem where, if you lift the mouse and then set it down, it can stop tracking correctly for a brief time, undoing all that work you put into lining up your sick flick shot. Fortunately, finding a sensor without those kinds of game-breaking flaws these days is pretty straightforward. It has a list of sensors and mice that are considered flawless. So you can cross-check with that before you purchase a new gaming mouse. Once you have a sensor that isn't doing anything weird, make sure you have the lightest possible mouse. A light mouse has two benefits. 

For light mice, ergonomics matter less since picking it up is so easy, and they also have less mass, which means less inertia, so quick moves and adjustments should be more accessible. Now, at 45 grams, the Hydrogen is not the lightest mouse. That goes to the Zaunkoenig MK1, but the MK1 lacks a scroll wheel or even side buttons. So the most lightweight properly-featured mouse is the Hydrogen, bringing us nicely to the party piece of the AtomPalm Hydrogen: the 8,000 Hertz polling rate. 8,000 Hertz polling rate. What? Okay, to appreciate why 8,000 Hertz kicks butt, let's start a bit lower. In the AtomPalm software, you can change the polling rate to, well, anything you'd like. So let's set it to 1. The mouse is updating its position about once per second, and it isn't very nice. What's somewhat funny about it, though, is that it's not that it's unusable. It does still work, like, it's still accurate. It's just not a ton of fun. 

It is changing the polling rate to something like 125 Hertz. Oh my god, this is going to take me a second. There we go, that's not bad. And that makes sense, 125 Hertz is kind of like the standard, so if you have an office mouse at work or something like that, the chances are that's its polling rate. And with a maximum delay of just eight milliseconds between when you physically move the mouse and when the computer gets that information, you can tell when a mouse is polling at 125 Hertz versus 1 Hertz. But you can also mean the difference between 125 and something higher. So let's flip to, what, say 1,000? - [Crew Member] A thousand, yeah. - A thousand, all right. This is what I would expect from a high-performance gaming mouse, and it does feel more responsive, everything from snapping around to targets to even just, you know, clicking folders and opening them and closing them. It's just more responsive. But the jump from 125 Hertz to 1,000 Hertz is a seven-millisecond difference, whereas going from 1,000 to 8,000 Hertz, even though we're going eight times faster again, it's just a .75-millisecond difference. Is it possible to feel such a small change? If people are saying this is better, I wonder if it's a placebo effect. 

About 'Gaming Mouse'

It's kind of like how we had many people buy shirts on and tell us what better gamers they were. I mean, we're not saying it doesn't work that way. You can try it for yourself, but. For the mouse, anyway, we need some more concrete evidence, so let's do a little bit of math. With a 1,000 Hertz polling rate on your mouse, the maximum possible latency between moving your hand and the computer receiving a signal that it has moved is one millisecond, or 1,000 microseconds, with an average latency of about 500 microseconds. With an 8,000 Hertz mouse, the maximum latency is now just 125 microseconds, and the average is 62.5. Now, our contact at AtomPalm says that this average response time is so important since, with a thousand-Hertz mouse, you will get used to that average 500-microsecond delay. 

In contrast, you will get muscle memory for the 8,000 Hertz mouse and move it quickly over time. Just how much more accuracy can you expect from that? To find out, Alex was locked in a dark room until he emerged with the grand unified theory of leet, which I will present to you now. This allows you to input the parameters of your mouse movement and find out the maximum possible error due to the polling rate of your mouse. Since the most leet gamer move is, of course, the 360 no scope, let's start there. After studying epic gamer moments, we found that the average 360 no scope happens in about .4 seconds, and by plugging that an average mouse and game settings into the grand unified theory of leet, we found that the maximum error on paper with a 1,000 Hertz mouse during a 360 no scope is 19.2 pixels, while the 8,000 Hertz mouse is just 2.4. Most people are, no offence, 360 no scoping all the time, so for a more realistic movement of 20 centimetres for one second, we're looking at about an error of 6.3 pixels, or 1.77 millimetres, which seems a little something. That's not a lot. But, at 8,000 Hertz, it's less than half as much. Anyway, this potential for error is not taking into account adjustments on the fly as you're making your shot because no one closes their eyes and makes a one-second shot on muscle memory alone. You see where your aim is going, and you correct your movement with the muscle memory for 1,000 Hertz. 

Now, people were insanely good at "Quake" with 125 Hertz mice, so theoretical inaccuracy doesn't always translate to missing the shot in real life, which brings us then to the biggest question: why the heck does any of this matter if a best-case scenario your display is running at 360 refreshes per second anyway? Well, we were curious too, so we're going to set up our most scientific of tests. Our test consists of our mouse-testing robot moving our device at precisely 2,000 millimetres per minute, the Asus ROG PG259QN running at 360 Hertz, and our Chronos high-speed camera recording the movements at 1,000 frames per second. I should note here that high-speed cameras need lots of light, and comparatively, monitors are not very bright, so the footage kind of looks like a butt. But, surprisingly, our test results did manage to show a difference between 8,000 Hertz and 1,000 Hertz. What we're looking for here is a perfectly spaced mouse movement with no gaps. The gaps happen when the polling rate and the display mismatch, leading to the highest possible latency and micro-stuttering. 

I'm surprised to see that there is measurable stuttering at 1,000 Hertz and even 2,000 and 4,000, but at 8,000, it is almost perfectly spaced. To be honest with you guys, I did not expect to see any real-world difference here and only performed the test because Blur Busters thought that 1,000 Hertz might show stuttering at refresh rates of 240 Hertz and higher. I was not expecting the differences to be, ah yes, this clear. Now, it is possible to overclock a small number of gaming mice to 8,000 Hertz that don't have support for it out of the box. But for most mice, the maximum 1,000 Hertz polling rate is hardcoded into the drivers, which means, unfortunately, that the AtomPalm Hydrogen is, well, unfortunately for all the other mouse makers, I suppose, legitimately the most accurate mouse on the market. 

In The End

However, being accurate is meaningless without also reducing click latency. Unfortunately, we don't have a reliable way to test the debounce and latency yet. As far as that goes, well, only time will tell. But AtomPalm wrote a research paper about having the lowest possible click latency by doing some fancy debounce stuff in the microcontroller. If you feel like checking their work, you can go read that, and we're going to have it linked down below. The final hurdle, though, of course, for AtomPalm is reliability. We haven't even been able to test the last production unit yet, so we can't properly comment on that, or even the build quality, because this one right here is 3D printed. But Razor has announced plans to release an 8,000 Hertz mouse if you need a little bit more reliability. So anyway, this is it, the AtomPalm Hydrogen, theoretically the most accurate gaming mouse. 

And although the chances are that you are not excellent or skilled enough to experience any of the benefits besides the placebo feel-good-ness of having the best, most legit mouse, man, then, you know, bummer. But hey, if you're an elite gamer, you should consider picking it up for just a little under $100. - Would you buy it? - Oh, heavens no. People should get the G305. It's light, the battery lasts forever, and it's relatively cheap.