Response time is the time it takes for a device to send signals to the PC, and in the case of a mouse, it is especially important because this is the time it takes for the device to send the movements and clicks we make at the PC. However, the first thing to keep in mind is that in the case of mice the response time works a little differently, so let’s start by explaining that.
Response time and polling frequency
Response time should not be confused with polling frequency, despite the fact that manufacturers typically express them together almost as if they were of the same magnitude. As we have already said, the response time This is the time it takes for a device to send signals to the PC, and in the case of gaming mice, it’s the motions and pulses that we make.
In gaming mice, you will see that in their specifications many manufacturers express the polling rate in hertz, and usually this setting in a gaming mouse is 1000 Hz. The bad side is nothing other than a marketing strategy is to state that 1000Hz of polling frequency equals 1ms of response time when the reality is very different, and you will understand that below as soon as we define exactly what is the polling frequency.
The polling frequency, which as frequency is expressed in hertz, is the number of times per second that the mouse (in this case) sends updated information to the PC. But one thing is the time per second that information is sent (polling rate or polling frequency) and another thing is the time it takes for that information to reach the PC (response time).
As you can see, these are two different magnitudes (which are also measured in different units because one is hertz and the other is millisecond) that they have different functions.
What is AXON Hyper Processing technology?
AXON is an embedded system based on a powerful SoC designed by Corsair that promises to provide the mouse with a polling rate of 8000 Hz compared to the 1000 Hz common in gaming mice. AXON Hyper Processing is optimized to process movements and actions that we perform on the mouse, process them directly in the SoC of the mouse and send the information already processed to the PC, thus significantly increasing the efficiency.
AXON Hyper Processing uses the multi-threaded technology of its SoC to be able to process multiple signals at the same time, and this is precisely the key to its superior performance; this is combined with its optimized deterministic algorithm for signal queuing which prioritizes mouse button signals over movements to ensure that critical user actions can never be lost. This is important, because as you will understand, it is not the same to process 1000 signals per second as 8000, and if one of these signals must be lost due to a traffic jam, it is worth better that it is in motion, because it will have virtually no impact on performance, you miss a click.
That said, according to Corsair this technology achieves a polling rate of 8,000 Hz, although they then make the mistake of saying that this equates to a response time of 0.125 ms.
As you can see, then in this graphic (which we have placed just above this text) the manufacturer is contradicting himself, and what he is showing is that instead of making a report signal every 1 ms, with this technology 8 signals are reported for every 1 ms. This obviously provides better performance or, to be exact, higher signal accuracy when reporting mouse actions to PC, but the time is still 1ms. Of course, the difference between the reports is 0.125ms, although that is not their response time.
Advantages and disadvantages of this technology
At the moment, AXON Hyper Processing is a technology developed by Corsair and it is proprietary, so as it is obvious and logical, only their mice carry it. Other manufacturers also already have devices with an accurate polling rate of 8,000 Hz, but their approach to achieving this performance has been different from Corsair’s with its AXON technology.
In any case, as always, everything has its advantages and disadvantages; We have already seen the advantages: greater precision in signal ratios since the mouse sends 8 signals to the PC for every millisecond instead of one like conventional mice at 1000 Hz, becoming a mouse much more precise and faster than the others (As we explained earlier, it’s not that it has a 0.125ms response time, but since it sends 8 signals in a millisecond instead of one, the delay between these signals is 0.125ms. ).
However, it also has its drawbacks; a higher polling rate means that a lot more data is sent per second to the PC, and although this information is already sent processed as we explained before, it also implies that the processor of the equipment has to work more hard to interpret these signals and execute the commands that these imply, so in short, it has a certain impact on processor performance, which is why Corsair itself states that they only recommend using this polling rate on high-end PCs (they literally recommend Core i7 or Ryzen 7 processors).
On the other hand, for this technology to work, it is also necessary to have certain electrical requirements in the USB; This means that it will not work correctly if you connect the mouse to a USB port hub or to the USB passthrough of a keyboard: it is necessary to connect the mouse directly to a USB port on the motherboard and, in fact, the manufacturer specifies that it is a USB connected directly to the chipset controller in order to have the best performance and not to an external controller such as those from Renesas, ASMedia or VIA.