BIOSUEFI vs Legacy boot
Legacy with CSM enabled tends to give me a more traditional mouse movement feel, while the times I've tested UEFI with CSM off, it gave me a more floaty mouse cursor type movement. This setting will probably be very subjective to a lot of people depending on what mouse, mouse settings, and surface you use, but my experience so far is that legacy tends to be better with a more classic mouse movement.
: you want this to be 100.00, not 100 point random number. The closest you can get this to 100.00, the better. Many board makers have BCLK overclocking features built into their BIOS to try and cheat at benchmarks for hardware review sites. The Gigabyte z77 UD5H is one example of this. Leaving BCLK at AUTO, or manually setting it to 100.00 gets you an unwanted number like 100.1 on the UD5H. Manually setting it to 100.01 gets me 100.03. This is the closest to a flat 100 I can get on this board due to spread spectrum being a hidden setting. Disable spread spectrum to try and fix the last part if you can.
2) Memory Strap / Memory Multiplier
: Since this is an overclocking website, many people love to crank this number as high as it can go. The only problem is, high bandwidth and the resulting high latency is not conducive to a positive game play experience. The ram I have installed can do 2133mhz @ 11-11-11-28, but 1600mhz @ 7-8-7-24 provides a much better feeling mouse response. Some people will claim the difference is impossible to feel, but I assure you that it is, at least once you have eliminated all other sources of high latency in your system. This is also due to 133 vs 100 memory ratios. 100:100 with 1600mhz should obviously provide better results since it matches BCLK. If you cannot tell the difference between changing settings like this in mouse response, you most likely have other latency bottlenecks.
3) Turbo Boost/C-States/EIST/Thermal Monitor/Etc
: You want to disable as many of these as possible because they bring a lot of lag. On the Asus Z77 board, using a Steelseries firmware updater for a mouse seems to fail on Win8 if you disable "C3 State Report" and "C6 State Report". I didn't have this issue on the Gigabyte board, so it seems to vary by motherboard.
4) PWM Phase Control
- Set this to max phases. There's a noticeable difference between auto with power saving modes turned on and maximum phases on most motherboards.
5) Hyper Threading
- If you disable HPET, you most likely do not want to run any virtual cores.
- Usually best to manually set Vcore since it seems to disable dynamic power features on some motherboards. Large difference between manual setting Vcore and auto on my Asus z77, but not as big on Gigabyte z77.
7) PEG Gen3 Slot Configuration
: I get better results by manually setting this instead of leaving it on auto. Set it to Gen3 if you have an Ivy Bridge or higher CPU + a PCI-E 3.0 GPU, otherwise, use Gen2.
8) Execute Disable Bit
I disable it just because the odds of any negative effects outweigh the security benefit. Traditionally a setting disabled by overclockers anyway.
9) Intel Virtualization Technology
- disabled for any gaming PC obviously. Virtualization and it's services tend to be resource heavy and no reason to have it on for a gaming PC.
10) 1394 controller
- disable in order to reduce DPC latency unless you actually use it for some reason, probably 99% of people don't.
11) xHCI pre-boot driver / xHCI mode / xHCI hand-off
- Long story short, you want as few USB controllers active at once as possible, and I would say mice perform objectively worse on USB 3 controllers. Raising bandwidth on the same architecture tends to require more buffering and latency, so it's not hard to see why USB 3 would be worse for mice.
12) eHCI hand-off
- No reason to have this turned on for Win7 or higher. Win7 should natively support USB 2.0, so disable it.
13) On-board audio
- Disable. Enormous input lag.
14) On-board video
- Disable unless you actually use it.
15) HPET (High Precision Event Timer)
- disable to dramatically lower mouse lag and DPC latency
Explanation from software engineer for why TSC is superior and HPET should never be forced as the default clock except in a server environment:
16) Secondary ATA controllers (Marvell, etc)
- disable to lower DPC latency
17) Secondary LAN
- disable to lower DPC latency
18) Legacy USB support
- usually have to leave this enabled in order to get back into the BIOS but sometimes will have better mouse response with it off. Varies highly by motherboard. Some boards will have out of control cursor movement with it off for some reason.
19) LLC and PLL Overvoltage
- I've tested these a lot, and although people overclocking like to utilize them, I've found they do strange things to mouse movement. Generally anything involved with ramping up voltage response on the motherboard tends to make it feel like you have less a dead zone on the mouse where it's easier to overshoot with the cursor. I prefer to have both of these options off and seemed to dislike the effect of PLL overvoltage more than high LLC. You need to set PLL overvoltage to off instead of auto, because auto usually means turned on.Asus Specific SectionAi overclock tuner
- ManualAsus Multicore Enhancement
- DisabledInternal PLL Overvoltage
- DisabledCPU bus sped : DRAM Speed Ratio
- 100:100Memory Frequency
- 1600 mhzEPU Power Saving Mode
- DisabledEnhanced Intel Speedstep Technology
- DisabledTurbo Mode
- DisabledCPU C1E
- DisabledPackage C State Support
- DisabledC3 report
- as mentioned earlier, having C3 and C6 off on the Asus Z77 board causes the Steelseries firmware updater tool to fail on Win8. I'm not sure if it causes any other problems. Try with them on and off and see if you notice any issues. Maybe Steelseries just don't know how to code a firmware updater. You can probably turn them off without any other issues.C6 report
- see aboveDigi+ Power controlCPU Load Line Calibration
- RegularCPU Voltage Frequency
- AutoVRM Spread Spectrum
- DisabledCPU Power Phase Control
- ExtremeCPU Power Duty Control
- ExtremeCPU Power Response Control
- RegularDram Voltage Frequency
- AutoDram Power Phase Control
- ExtremeCPU Voltage
- Manual (you have to manually input a voltage, mine is 1.07 for stock Ivy Bridge, don't leave it on auto, it makes a big difference on this board. You don't have to change any of the other voltages though besides maybe RAM)CPU Spread Spectrum
- DisabledBCLK Recovery
- DisabledIntel Adaptive Thermal Monitor
- DisabledHyper Threading
- DisabledExecute Disable Bit
- DisabledIntel Virtualization
- DisabledS.M.A.R.T. Status Check
- DisabledHigh Precision Timer
- DisabledIntel Rapid Start
- DisabledIntel Smart Connect
- DisabledInitiate Graphic Adapter
- PCIEiGPU Multi-Monitor
- DisabledRender Standby
- DisabledPCIEx16_1 Link Speed
- manually set to Gen3. If you have older than an Ivy Bridge CPU or a PCIE 2.0 video card, then manually set it to Gen2.Intel USB 2.0 EHCI controller
- EnabledLegacy USB Support
- for most motherboards this is better off, this board is kind of a mystery. It doesn't detect USB sticks properly after turning it off and might cause issues with mouse functionality as well. Seems to be a no win situation either way.Legacy USB 3.0 support
- DisabledIntel xHCI mode
- DisabledEHCI Hand-off
- DisabledHD Audio Controller
- DisabledWi-fi controller
- DisabledMarvell Storage
- DisabledASM1061 Storage Controller
- DisabledAsmedia USB 3.0 controller
- DisabledOvervoltage protection
- Disabled (it's under the monitor tab at bottom)Wait for F1 if Error
- DisabledIf you're using Win 8.1, here's the 22 step Windows 8.1 install guide with all services and settings included
https://www.overclock.net/t/1433882/gaming-and-mouse-response-bios-optimization-guide-for-modern-pc-hardware-2014-r0ach-edition/1020#post_23338511How to run or re-run Windows experience index in Win 8.1
https://www.overclock.net/t/1530467/why-many-people-have-horrible-mouse-movement-and-dont-know-why-in-win-8-1De-crapifying Win 10 v 0.1 post
1) Intel Chipset Software
- Don't need to install it if your chipset already has drivers covered in Win8.1
2) Intel Management Engine Interface
- Don't install. Latency fest related to Vpro and other stuff most people don't use.
3) Lucid MVP
- don't install, latency fest, useless
uninstall it and other malware with a resident memory footprint
5) Mouse software
uninstall and use on-board memory settings because 99% of mouse software is coded poorly and turns native DPI steps into interpolated while it's intalled / active, totally defeating the purpose of a gaming mouse in the first place.
6) Intel Rapid Storage
- I don't use RST because it has more latency than the default Microsoft one, although it probably performs better.
7) Intel Network Connections Ethernet Driver
- Don't install if your driver is already included in Win 8.1. If using Win7, then during the install screen, you want to uncheck "Proset" and "advanced teaming and VLAN" section.
The 19.3 driver also has huge problems on Z77 and maybe other boards. I would use an earlier version such as 19.0 instead. Version 19.3 + 19.5 causes constant 6000 DPC spikes and is probably the worst driver I've ever seen:
9) Adobe Flash
- much like Java, this program adds a large amount of system latency. Some people can't live without it though.Windows Components
To get to these, you go to Control Panel > Programs and Features > "Turn Windows features on or Off"Windows 7 Section
1) Windows Gadget Platform
- The first two items in this list give you a noticeable change on desktop mouse response. I'm not sure which one does the most since I disable both at the same time.
2) Tablet PC Components
- see above description
3) Uninstall Internet Exploder 8
- Updating IE in Win 7 gets you other Windows updates that you may or may not want like KB2670838.Windows 8 Section
Uninstall the following until the menu looks like this:
- Internet Exploder 11 - first turn smooth scrolling off in options menu of IE, then under the about section, turn off automatic updating for it
- Print and document services
- SMB 1.0/CIFS file sharing support
- Windows Location Provider
- Windows Powershell 2.0
- Work folders client
- XPS services
- XPS viewerServices
If your mouse doesn't feel snappy enough at this point, you should try disabling the following Windows services in this order:
1) Print Spooler
- I always disable this because Microsoft seems to give a lot of priority to what the printer wants
2) Windows Defender
- This one is hugely noticeable in Win8 and still pretty easy to notice in Win7. Go to the start menu, in the search box type "Windows Defender" and open it. Go to Tools/Options, then go to the last tab at the bottom and uncheck the box labeled "Use this Program". It turns off the service and sets the service to manual automatically.
3) Windows Search
- can get rid of it
- type defrag in windows search box, turn off scheduled defrag
5) Windows Update
- Set service to manual instead of automatic and it will not start unless you need it instead of running 24/7
6) Human Interface Device Access
- This service runs things like volume Up/Down buttons on the keyboard, but it also has a large effect on mouse movement and makes one of the biggest differences on the list. Some people might prefer mouse movement with it on, but most will probably like it off. If you plug in a Kana v2 mouse with a PS/2 keyboard installed and this service set to manual, the service doesn't launch. It's mostly used for keyboards and some mice that have keyboard emulation for macros.
- Win 7 usually disables this by default if you're running an SSD after you let your system idle, but Win 8 keeps it running for TRIM scheduling. I would disable it in both Win7 and Win8 and then turn off superfetch and prefetch in the registry afterwards.
8) Time Broker
(Win8 only) - If you want to disable metro apps, you can't set the service to disabled using the service manager and have to do it with regedit:
Change the "Start" key to 4 instead of 3 to disable itSSD Registry Settings
If your boot drive is an SSD, first you need to disable the superfetch service, then change the following registry settings:
Hkey_Local_Machine > System > Current Control Set > Control > Session Manager > Memory Management > Prefetch Parameters
And change the following two settings to "0" instead of "3":
1) EnablePrefetcher - unneeded for SSD
2) EnableSuperfetch - unneeded for SSDKeyboard
- A PS/2 keyboard with no USB devices plugged in except the mouse is the most optimal setup for mouse movement. I personally use brown switches with 40A-R o-rings. The travel distance is way too high without the o-rings. I don't like red switches that much because they're more prone to error and misclicks in both typing and gaming.
If forced to use USB, you don't want a keyboard with a 1000hz polling rate because USB controllers aren't good at handling multiple high polling rate devices at the same time, so get a 125hz one if using USB. You also don't want to have any other USB devices like gamepads or phones plugged in while you aren't using them either.
Some PS/2 and USB keyboards can cause issues though. The Steelseries 6gv2 I tested caused really bogged down cursor movement in both USB and PS/2 mode for some reason:
1) Set your bitrate to 16bit 44.1k, anything higher causes a huge hit to mouse response.
2) Settings like CMSS, EAX, Crystallizer, etc, all need to be disabledNvidia issues that cause lag
Nvidia has something in device manager on Win8.1 called "Nvidia Virtual Audio" that's used when streaming to a mobile device. This is a lagfest that needs to be disabled. You probably want to disable the Nvidia HDMI audio in device manager as well under the sound section.Nvidia specific software***Somewhere between the "miracle driver" and 344.11 drivers, the Nvidia input lag issues seem to have been greatly fixed. ***
This is what your Nvidia control panel should look like. Anti aliasing does add latency, so I force it off. Texture filtering is going to occur regardless, so it doesn't really matter what you set your anisotropic filtering to.
Your Desktop scaling section of the control panel should be set to "Display - No scaling" like the following picture. I noticed a very annoying software issue when testing if there was any lag difference in my 570 reference card and 970 GTX. Cursor movement seems to go to crap after you change the scaling setting from whatever it was when the driver was first installed. So basically, on a fresh install, you want to install the Nvidia driver, go in and change the scaling tab to "Display - No Scaling", then uninstall the driver, reinstall it, and never touch that setting again. Sometimes just rebooting will fix it though.
Leaving scaling on anything else incurs a large amount of input lag, even in native resolution. "GPU - No scaling" is also much laggier than the "Display - No Scaling" setting. This is bad because if you plug in a Korean IPS panel, or any panel in with no hardware scaler, it forces you to use the extremely laggy "GPU - No Scaling" mode.
The only solution to this, is to use a custom .inf file and revert to a much older driver (267.59), before the scaling module was rewritten, then you can pick the "no scaling" option in the following picture for a lag free experience. You have to make sure that you don't install Windows update KB2670838 or Internet Explorer 10 (installs that update with it), or you will get blue screen page faults with older Nvidia + ATI drivers.Misc. SectionChrome/Chromium
- tends to be overly GPU accelerated. Even after turning off hardware acceleration in settings, my GPU still goes to max 3d clocks while just browsing text pages on the internet. If you type "about
:flags" in the browser, you can get to some GPU acceleration settings to disable, but my GPU won't go to idle clocks with Chromium unless I add "--disable-gpu" to the shortcut icon.
You will want to disable directwrite and accelerated 2d canvas in the about
:flags menu to get rid of fuzzy text from crappy pixel aliasing.Steam
you will want to disable directwrite in the options menu of Steam because directwrite acceleration of text in browsers seems to bog down the cursor while they're open. Disable all the streaming options and other junk they're tossing in too.Firefox
disable hardware acceleration, automatic updates, crash reporter, etc, then go into the add-on section and disable automatic updates for the Cisco graphics plugin they've included for some unknown reason. I disable updates on it then turn it off myself.DPC Latency
DPC Latency is mostly a measure of how ready, willing, and able a non-real time OS is to deal with requests from the user. It's not a measure of input lag, but will give you a good idea of possible problematic devices. You should get to around 28-32 if you can't disable HPET in the BIOS, or maybe as low as the screenshot from my system if you can: