Thermaltake's Iris Optical gaming mouse polls at 2 KHz


Dragging windows around or even simply moving the mouse pointer feels smoother and clearer on a high-refresh display. However, refresh rate is only one piece of the puzzle. USB polling rates aren't matched up to screen refreshes, so a mouse with a high rate is important to get the most out of your fast monitor. All reputable gaming mice support a 1-KHz polling rate, but Thermaltake's Iris Optical mouse is only the second rodent we've ever seen that breaks that barrier to offer a 2-KHz polling rate.

It will be interesting to see if the Iris Optical can actually deliver on that promise. The first mouse to make that claim was Asus' ROG Gladius, but mouse enthusiasts figured out that instead of having a 2-KHz polling rate, the mouse just packed two position updates in each 1-KHz polling interval. That happened because its controller was a USB Full Speed device, not a true USB 2.0 Hi-Speed device. In theory, USB 2.0 devices should be able to poll at up to 8 KHz.

Such extravagant polling rates might seem preposterous, but they have a purpose. As Chief Blur Buster Mark Rejhon demonstrates over at the Blur Busters Blog, even a 1-KHz polling rate isn't sufficient to eliminate all mouse movement micro-stutters on a 120-Hz display. We're now starting to see more displays that refresh as fast as 240 Hz, so the time to start looking at mice that report ever faster is now.

If we're honest, the rest of the specifications on the Iris Optical are entry-level. The rodent is a six-button gaming mouse that uses a PMW-3325 optical sensor. While that sensor is classified as a gaming-grade sensor by PixArt, its 100-IPS (2.5 m/s) speed rating and 20-G acceleration rating are both far behind other popular gaming-grade sensors. That's to say nothing of its maximum resolution of 5,000 DPI. Of course, the sensor's specifications are already well beyond the limits of most players' ability, so they're probably not a big concern. The Thermaltake Iris Optical mouse is already available on Amazon for just $30.

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