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A Higher Mouse Sensitivity Figure (DPI) Doesn’t Mean It’s That Much Better

When we go to buy a mouse we find that the companies announce the DPI as one of the accessory’s best characteristics. However, we are going to debunk that myth. Having a higher DPI in our mouse is not the best option when it comes time to play games. Why?

The DPI is the most inflated characteristic that we can find in the world of computer accessories. Actually, DPI is the wrong name to refer to the sensitivity of the mouse. It stands for Dots-Per-Inch, the number of dots that fit in a one-inch straight line on the screen or image. The correct name to refer to the sensitivity of the mouse is CPI, or Counts-Per-Inch, which is the number of virtual pixels that the mouse’s sensor is able to project and register on a surface per inch of real space. The optic sensors have a maximum native resolution or native CPI based on the size of the surface of the mouse.

Normally the value is between 800 and 16000 CPI. When they increase the value of the CPI, the manufacturers have to divide each representation of the pixels in four or more virtual pixels. That is why the manufacturers give a DPI (technically CPI) that tends to be a multiple of 800.

Why does a higher CPI not make a mouse better?

Dividing the virtual pixels causes serious problems in the precision of the mouse. Having a larger number of virtual pixels creates greater “noise” or interference, which results in errors when the movements of the mouse are read.
That is why, even if we have a mouse with 24000 CPI, that doesn’t mean that it will read more information than a mouse with 800 CPI. The CPI is only a measure of the relation between how far we move the mouse on the desk and the distance moved on the screen. It isn’t a measure of precision or exactness.
The companies have used the DPI as a marketing technique, since having a higher DPI number sounds better than having better buttons on the mouse. The prevalence given to this characteristic was promoted by the world of gamers, who believed that the CPI does indeed make a difference when it comes to having greater precision in games.

There are people who enjoy using this type of CPI with high-resolution screens, in order to make small physical movements with the mouse or to be able to move the cursor much faster on the screen.
There are gamers who believe that for shooter games it is better to have a high CPI in the hardware and lower the sensitivity in the software. Although this thinking is completely legitimate; like we have commented, a higher CPI causes more errors when it comes to reading the movements of the mouse, and makes it less precise.
There is not one CPI which is best. As with the majority of accessories, it depends on the preferences of the user and his way of interacting with his computer. With most mouses, the CPI can be adjusted, so the best recommendation is to experiment with the different values to find that with which we feel most comfortable.


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6 thoughts on “A Higher Mouse Sensitivity Figure (DPI) Doesn’t Mean It’s That Much Better

  1. Lol. A higher DPI is better for gaming in most contexts. I am not sure where these “errors” in positioning you mention are coming from. A mouse measures distance moved, not pixels. If you have used a proper gaming mouse, you can adjust the DPI settings to suit your environment, i.e, screen size and mouse movement surface area. There is no one perfect DPI setting/count.

    Contrary to what you have claimed, DPI is a measure of precision. The higher the DPI, the higher the granularity of movement measurements. This gives smoother mouse operation on larger screens without having to physically move the mouse itself over large distances.

    Another benefit of a high DPI mouse is that a high DPI mouse can be configured to work as a low DPI mouse and it’ll still operate smoothly. A low DPI mouse when configured to operated as a high DPI mouse will be jerky and imprecise when clicking smaller target areas.

    Finally, if you choose to use a term, stick to it! You start of talking about DPI, but spend the rest of the article talking about CPI. If you were going to talk CPI you should have titled the article as such.

  2. I think you are conflicting yourself as you say thosr with higher CPI move further for the same distance than those with lower CPI. Being able to sense smaller movements is the higher precision and thus it is not a misconception. Of course this will give rise to more errors as the small unintentional movements are not smoothed out due to this higher precision thus rather reducing accuracy. The correct term you were looking for is accuracy and this is what needs to be debunked. The manufacturers are right, they just know you will confuse accuracy for sensitivity.
    Well tried though

  3. You know, I wanted to comment but feared sounding like a know-it-all, but cats out of the bag.

    1 sin for TZ’s filter failing yet again, article not enjoyed.
    1 sin for penning about mice, write about phones, laptops, free alternative software to replace Microsoft Office for example.
    1 sin for starting with DPI then switching to CPI. Stick to your script.
    1 sin for not just changing Mouse Sensitivity in Game Settings of Battlecall, Field of Duty 17.

    Mice? TechZim…

  4. mmmmmmh guys nyorai mushe musinganyebe or basing on one internet article

  5. Hey, there!
    This mouse is very light, but usable. The USB receiver can be hidden in the battery compartment of the mouse, though it can be a bit of a task to open the battery door up. Good battery life.
    Strange thing is, they are OK.

  6. A3090 sensor mouse here (the old “perfect sensor”), 800 DPI 1.3 sens here. Works great for 1080p, and the limting factor is first shot accuracy of rifles, not this. Tracking speed is usually better/higher at the lower DPI settings though, which is why I use 800 DPI as it’s a nice compromise.
    https://fivenightsat-freddys.com

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