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Thread: iMac mouse lag

  1. #1


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    iMac mouse lag
    I've used a PC for most of my life, and now I have to use a Mac for studio work. The biggest thing hampering my workflow is the cursor lagging behind the physical mouse movement about 30ms or so. I can't tell if it's the LCD on the iMac having a slow response time or some sort of mouse smoothing, but using the same mouse on a PC (Mighty Mouse) feels fine. Any way to fix this? Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2


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    Hi and welcome.

    If you go to preferences->Keyboard and mouse you can adjust the settings there.

    I just got an iMac and I found it the same until I changed the settings.

  3. #3


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    Nothing there will fix mouse lag.

  4. #4

    RiDE's Avatar
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    Is it a wired Mighty Mouse or Bluetooth?

    Does it lag in every application?

    Are you running Coconut Battery by chance?

  5. #5

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Try MouseOverdrive or MouseZoom. See if either of those help. People with the same complaint as yours claim they do.

  6. #6


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    I sincerely doubt that any human being in any normal space-time continuum can perceive a lag of three-hundredths of a second.

  7. #7


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    Quote Originally Posted by technologist View Post
    I sincerely doubt that any human being in any normal space-time continuum can perceive a lag of three-hundredths of a second.
    I feel stupid that I didn't think of that when I was giving my 2Cents!

  8. #8

    cwa107's Avatar
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    I found the same thing when I first started using a mouse (as opposed to the trackpad) on my MacBook Pro. Several others have reported the mouse to have a feeling like you're dragging it through the mud, only to have it take off on you when you apply more force.

    For me, Steermouse cleared this up nicely and was a worthy investment (check out the trial version first).
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  9. #9

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    I saw what he said but some do find the acceleration curve different on Macs, so figured I would point him to a couple mouse accelerators and see if that made him happy. I do agree with Tech by the way, but did not want to say anything that would cause any issues.

  10. #10


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    Quote Originally Posted by iRock View Post
    I feel stupid that I didn't think of that when I was giving my 2Cents!
    Well don't be, 30ms is highly noticeable if something that's supposed to be an extension of your motor capabilities lagging behind 30ms.

    It lags in every application, even games. The mouse cursor is simply latent, and this problem is ostensibly unrelated to mouse sensitivity or mouse acceleration (it's possible, but highly unlikely that the problem is related to mouse accel as disabling it via USB Overdrive doesn't solve the problem).

    I guess I'll start trying out some more apps on this page, and thanks for the help.

    Mouse is wired, btw.

  11. #11

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheese81u812 View Post
    Well don't be, 30ms is highly noticeable if something that's supposed to be an extension of your motor capabilities lagging behind 30ms.

    It lags in every application, even games. The mouse cursor is simply latent, and this problem is ostensibly unrelated to mouse sensitivity or mouse acceleration (it's possible, but highly unlikely that the problem is related to mouse accel as disabling it via USB Overdrive doesn't solve the problem).

    I guess I'll start trying out some more apps on this page, and thanks for the help.

    Mouse is wired, btw.
    I bought USB Overdrive before Steermouse - and I was very sorry that I did. I was able to almost immediately set Steermouse to a comfortable position. I poked and prodded USB Overdrive for days and never got it "just right". Add to that the fact that USB Overdrive doesn't support bluetooth mice, it makes Steermouse a better choice IMO.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  12. #12


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    Quote Originally Posted by cheese81u812 View Post
    Well don't be, 30ms is highly noticeable if something that's supposed to be an extension of your motor capabilities lagging behind 30ms.
    Only if you are a truly exceptional individual, sir.

    http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=634067.634255

  13. #13


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    Quote Originally Posted by technologist View Post
    Only if you are a truly exceptional individual, sir.

    http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=634067.634255
    What a joke. Before you start believing whatever some "research" tells you, try finding things out on your own. Go do this: get a clock and tap your finger on your desk five times during the duration of one second to get a feel for how much 200ms is, then imagine that delay on your mouse cursor--your computing experience would be unbearable.

    As for my problem, the delay is so miniscule that I couldn't tell you exactly how long the delay is (I'm estimating based on much experience) as it's more of a sensation rather than an enumerable delay but there is most certainly a noticeable delay. I can look at the mouse, move it, and I can see the cursor on the screen in my peripheral vision is not moving instantaneously as it does on any other PC--whether it be Windows, Linux, or, ironically, Unix and Irix.

    But I can see people would rather get used to this problem than fix it or create a stink and most are just oblivious to this problem in the first place (it is a problem that has plagued every 10.4 iMac I've tried. I haven't tried other Macs for this problem) from the lack of documentation of this problem on the net. Thanks for your replies, but this seems to be a dead end.

  14. #14


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    Quote Originally Posted by cheese81u812 View Post
    What a joke. Before you start believing whatever some "research" tells you, try finding things out on your own. Go do this: get a clock and tap your finger on your desk five times during the duration of one second to get a feel for how much 200ms is, then imagine that delay on your mouse cursor--your computing experience would be unbearable.
    I can read the actual paper, actually, and as they said, 200ms was the high end for mousing tasks, and they think that 150ms or so is a more likely time. I'm willing to stick with the 100ms time that they cite as a "rule of thumb" (which is also based, loosely, on actual CHI laboratory research.)

    As for my problem, the delay is so miniscule that I couldn't tell you exactly how long the delay is (I'm estimating based on much experience) as it's more of a sensation rather than an enumerable delay but there is most certainly a noticeable delay.
    Now that I'll believe. I'll believe you could sense a delay down to about 50ms or so, actually. But 30ms is too close to, say, LCD refresh time (14-18ms) and is lower than, for example, the frame rate of a theater projector (41.7ms) so I very much doubt you could be quite that sensitive. If you were, daily life would be a chore. 30ms just smells like you pulled it out of some unsavory bodily orifice

    I can look at the mouse, move it, and I can see the cursor on the screen in my peripheral vision is not moving instantaneously as it does on any other PC--whether it be Windows, Linux, or, ironically, Unix and Irix.

    But I can see people would rather get used to this problem than fix it or create a stink and most are just oblivious to this problem in the first place (it is a problem that has plagued every 10.4 iMac I've tried. I haven't tried other Macs for this problem) from the lack of documentation of this problem on the net. Thanks for your replies, but this seems to be a dead end.
    It looks about that way. But other than "get used to it" or "try another mouse" (maybe a trackball...they always seemed snappier to me personally) there's nothing much I can suggest.

  15. #15

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    I am sorry, I do not see the lag, just on a stock Mac I see a different acceleration curve. Using the Mouse Accelerators I mentioned I can get it just like a PC if I want. I am very picky about mouse movement also.

    When I first used a Mac with OS 6.0.1, I noticed it did not accelerate the same as a Windows 3.1 PC at time.

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