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What is DPI Mouse- Evolution DPI Mouse and Precision vs Accuracy

what is dpi mouse


With the rapidly-growing fast pace of this century’s civilized lifestyle, people would want their mouse to work and move fast on their behalf, isn’t it natural? Hence, came the evolution of software, exactly like the evolution of mankind. And as the urge for speed is going high, so is the performance and sensitivity of a computer mouse. So in this article, we are going to understand what is DPI mouse.

And after yearlong experiments and struggles here comes the high DPI value mouse. 

  • DPI stands for “Dots-Per-Inch”, which is a new generation marvel in the world of technology. To be more precise it basically provides the measurement for the sensitivity of your mouse; which means it is able to capture even the tiniest movements of your mouse.

And it can be said, that the higher the DPI of a mouse is, the quicker the mouse will cover even a long distance.

And with a moderate value of DPI, your mouse can work wonders for you if you know how to control it well.

But the terms DPI and sensitivity do not necessarily define the same thing. While sensitivity ( the correct term should be CPI which is Count Per Inch and not DPI when it comes to this) is more of an issue related to the software aspects, DPI actually designates the capacity of the hardware of a mouse. 

By the theoretical means, suppose a mouse has a value of 400 DPI, that actually means when you move your mouse for one inch, the cursor should move to 400 pixels. 

To be more clear, let us consider that the mouse you are using is able to count 400 dots, while you are moving it 1 inch.

Hunger for higher DPI

As previously said, more DPI means the cursor will move faster and a low DPI means it will move slower. And this term has importance in another level for gamers and designers, who expect more productivity from their mouse than other users. 

Now, with this “Dots Per Inch” provides the information on how each dots directly correlates with the single on-screen pixel.

When you are using your mouse unceremoniously like, web browsing or simple things like word processing for an entire day or a long time a higher DPI plays a better game for you by increasing the movement of your pointer. And obviously, a comparably smaller motion will be able to send your pointer all the way over a bigger screen. 

There is a chance for all of you to change the DPI of your mouse manually in the operating system you are using. But that can be very hectic to switch the DPI back and forth every time you need between all the work you have been doing. So, using a mouse with DPI switches can be the answer to this problem and makes it much easier for you to get things done and in no time.

How does DPI Mouse work?

In today’s overly advertised marketing world, DPI count does the magic and gets a mouse sold by showing off their extremely high-value DPI. From this, you can understand how important this is to gamers and other users although they do not always require a high DPI because, when you are doing some work that requires precision like editing in photoshop, you will be needing your mouse to be in a subtle control, hence turning down the resolution of your mouse helps a lot in these cases. So that your mouse can move with more delicacy and proximity. 

Higher DPI mouse will work better for larger display monitors and works very well for gaming purposes.

What is the DPI button and how is it used? 

The mouse used by you can have multiple DPI switches, the variation depends on the generation used by the model and the model itself, but all of the buttons do the exact same job. When you bought a mouse, it already consists of a set of default settings, but with the DPI switch on the mouse, you can go to the higher or the lower resolution whenever you want and by what? Just one pretty simple single click.  

When you are using a Microsoft mouse for the first time, when you get to your DPI button it will let you make choices whether you want to stay in the regular resolution or you want to go higher or even in a lower resolution. When you finally set it, then by just clicking your DPI button you can just switch between resolution to resolution, may it be higher or lower and then switch it back also just by the next click.

When it comes down to dealing with multiple switches, it enables you to incubate customized settings for each one of them, and it is possible to move from one task to any task or monitor to monitor when needed and adjust your resolution on the go.

Changing DPI without any button

If the mouse you are using does not come with DPI switch then you have to set the resolution in a regular way into your Operating system.

In windows OS, the actual setting is in the ‘Mouse and Keyboard center: and it’s generally called “sensitivity”.

OS x has a different method- where you should go to ‘system preferences’, where you can easily find a slider called “tracking’’, which you will have to click to choose and then you can change your resolution.

In cases of Linux versions, the process is quite different. First, you have to choose “Show applications” from the exact bottom section of your dock. Then go to ‘settings’ and after that “Mouse and Touchpad”, the slider there can be could be displayed as “Mouse speed” or even “pointer speed”, which only depends on the GNOME version used by  Linux of your computer.

What is USB Polling rate?

When it comes to gaming and DPI, it would be unfair not to talk about polling rates.

The polling rate can be defined as the number of times a mouse presents the report of the position of its cursor to the computer. This frequency is generally measured in Hertz or Hz.

Suppose, your mouse has a polling rate of 500 Hz, which means the mouse is providing the report of its position 500 times in one second, to your pc.

In terms of the performance of a mouse, the greater the polling rate, the lower will be the chances of the lag that is occurring between your movement of the mouse and the on-screen movement.

But it will cause your CPU to use more and more power for the task because every time it is happening, your CPU has to enquire your mouse about its position, frequently.

And when your mouse supports the feature of a high polling rate, it is automated to allow you to choose a specified polling rate in its “Control Panel”. There are also other types of mouses also which consist of inbuilt hardware switches to do the job.

The optimal DPI: accuracy vs precision

There are so many gamers who actually prefer lower DPI because they are more of an accuracy guy, rather than precision, when it comes to professional FPs gamers.

Although the existence of a perfect DPI with a polling rate for any kind of purpose is still a matter of disagreement amongst experts, higher polling rates could contribute to good use with a high DPI as well.

 But when it comes to serious levels of gaming or designing or anything that calls for accuracy, a higher value will not be useful all the time.

And like so many things, the absolute value of DPI depends greatly on the most important thing- the user obviously. It depends on the game, which the user is playing or the type of task the user is doing, adding also the resolution of the user’s screen and how they want to use their mouse, accordingly.


eDPI stands for “effective dots per inch” which is a more modified term of DPI. It is nothing but the product of mouse DPI and in-game sensitivity. 

It is more useful for gamers than others because it lets them dive into more details about the performance including the sensitivity of other players in the game too and without the knowledge of any information about hardware and software of their system.

Perfect DPI for gaming:

Even the cheapest mouse today has a value of 1600 DPI. And this should be enough for even the purpose of professional gaming, because higher than that may create control issues. Faster the pointer travels, less will be the chances of accuracy and also lowering the good control over it, and in the meantime, if you lose control, you lose the game.

That is why proactive gamers generally fond of low DPIs, in fact, the resolution they use is generally around 800 DPI because, by this, they have more definite control over it.


From the information gathered, we can conclude that DPI mouses can be quite a user-friendly gadget, but the higher DPI utilization can be said to be an urban tech myth.

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