Delayed keyboard response on OSX vs Windows

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Thor774, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. Thor774 macrumors regular


    Sep 14, 2007
    This is not a complain thread. I just write this as a curiosity.

    I live daily in a multi-hybrid OS world, with Windows 7 at the office and other PCs at home, OSX Mavericks in my laptop (MBP 13" 2011) and iOS in my portable devices. I have had Mac laptops since 2008 and have been very happy with them.

    What has always puzzled me is that in all the Macs I have had there seems to be sometimes a small delay in response from the keyboard. This is not an always present issue, it just reveals itself when the Mac has been idling for some time. You start to type on the keyboard but nothing comes in the screen immediately, just after a small delay you start to see the characters been typed. It feels like the keyboard had a longer waking time than the rest of the system. I have seen this behavior in all the OSX installations I have had, starting with Tiger. It has been present in different laptops with OSX installed from the fabric, upgrades made by myself and new OSX installs I have made from scratch.

    Once the keyboard responds there is absolutely no delay afterwards. You can type for hours without seen this. It is just when the machine has been idling for some time or after waking the machine up from sleep.

    I have never seen a similar behavior in Windows.

    I have got custom to this behavior and it does not bother me anymore, but I am curious if others have noticed it and about why OSX behaves like this?
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I've seen this quite a bit. There are sometimes delays where the text will fall 2 or more words behind what I'm typing on several of our Macs. It seems worst on older hardware. On my late 2011 MBP, the lag happens most rarely.

    Windows? That's another story altogether. On my work machine, I frequently get freezes that last anywhere from 15 seconds to 3 minutes. This is due to the awful IT environment more than it is Microsoft's fault but it is annoying nonetheless. On those rare occasions when I run XP or 7 in a Virtualbox on one of our Macs, I don't notice any lag other than the infrequent short lags I see in OSX.

    I did have one situation where OSX was lagging miserably, almost as bad as my work machine. I had installed a "cheap" (Agility 3) SSD and OSX was beachballing and lagging badly. I took the machine to the Apple store and they took a look at it despite the fact it was years out of warranty. They plugged in one of their bootable images and the machine ran fine booting over the network. This confirmed there was no hardware issue and I chalked it up to a bad SSD and returned the drive.

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