If you are currently looking to buy a new mouse, you may have encountered the term DPI. This one of the most common aspects to consider when purchasing a new mouse, in particular, if you use it to play.
With this in mind, there are some companies that offer data on their products in terms of CPI. It is likely that upon hearing this, you have wondered what is CPI mouse, how CPI is different from that of IPR, and how it affects you.
Well, do not worry, because today we give you our opinion on the concepts CPI and DPI, and we tell you why these concepts should concern you when buying a mouse.
A bit background on what is CPI mouse
The variety of assortment of the computer mouse is obvious, as is the price difference between models with the most standard features and more advanced and sophisticated wireless mice. With regard to gaming computer mouse, manufacturers are actively promoting the idea of the need to purchase models with high sensitivity.
The increasingly significant CPI indicators convince a potential buyer of their importance for quick reaction, speed, improvement of results and player skills. Of course, any user needs a convenient mouse in use, equipped with the necessary functionality, and suitable for his needs. However, before making a choice, it is important to understand what these characteristics mean, their effect on the speed of movement and sensitivity of the mouse.
What is the CPI mouse?
To begin with, it is important to distinguish between definitions used by mouse manufacturers and users. The term “CPI,” which is short for “Counts per inch,” is often mistakenly replaced by concepts such as:
- “DPI” (“Dot Per Inch”), which was originally used to determine image accuracy and is currently an incorrect option for characterizing optical mouse;
- “Mouse sensitivity,” which usually means one of the items in the cursor settings. Thus, the sensitivity is actually a modifier of the parameter in question.
In fact, the CPI indicator determines the distance that the cursor will go when the mouse moves across the table at a range of 1 inch (2.5 cm). So, if it is equal to 50, then the cursor on the screen will move by 50 pixels. It follows that a higher value of this parameter indicates a greater sensitivity of the sensor installed in the mouse.
Why do I need a CPI button on the mouse
Most standard mouse models have a fixed sensitivity. The CPI parameter cannot be changed otherwise than through the control panel. The difference between a bloody gaming mouse and others is the presence of a special button to change the resolution. Moreover, some game models have several of these buttons.
Using them, the user can quickly change the sensitivity, almost without distraction from the process. For example, a quick change in indicators may be required for the most accurate aiming.
Why is a high CPI required?
The question naturally arises about the possibilities of using high CPI parameters and the need to purchase devices that provide them. The larger this value, the faster the mouse cursor moves on the screen. Ordinary users feel the sensitivity of the mouse as the ratio of the length of the screen to the path that it goes through. At the same time, a large screen resolution requires more accuracy from the sensor.
Note: The higher the CPI, the more convenient it will be to use the mouse on high-resolution screens.
So, if the monitor has a resolution of 2,000 pixels, then a low CPI value makes it uncomfortable to move the mouse across the entire screen. In turn, if there is a monitor of lower resolution and a habit of lower mouse sensitivity, a lower parameter will be enough for the user.
How much CPI is needed for a gaming mouse?
There is no specific answer to this question; for each player, the most comfortable and suitable indicator can be completely different.
REFERENCE. It is worth noting that high CPI parameters will undoubtedly lead to a significant decrease in accuracy.
In strategies, a higher CPI will be very useful, but in fast shooters, on the contrary, it may turn out to be superfluous. In situations where several pixels are crucial, the movement of the player’s hand should be as precise as possible. Often, experienced players choose lower options to achieve high firing accuracy.
To date, some models of gaming mouse have indicators of 8,000 CPI. At the same time, player reviews suggest that a value of 3000 is more than enough for most computer games.
This, however, does not mean that devices with higher parameters are the results of marketing tricks and are useless to users. A high CPI value indicates a really powerful device sensor.
An obvious plus, in this case, is the very ability to change parameters, adjusting them for yourself, which allows you to make almost all game models of the mouse. Also, these changes can be made using the mouse software.
When adjusting the indicators programmatically, it is necessary to understand that if the selected value is higher than the hardware capabilities of the sensor, this will lead to its malfunction, adversely affect the accuracy and speed of response of the sensor.
If for the average user “jerks” when moving the cursor are acceptable and do not entail much discomfort, for the player, these factors are of great importance.
What do CPI and DPI mean?
CPI stands for Counts Per Inch (Units per Inch) and is a term used to refer to the number of samples or images that a mouse will detect when moving an inch. Basically, it refers to the sensitivity of the mouse, used to determine the distance that the mouse covers on the screen in relation to the physical movement of the mouse itself.
The DPI, on the other hand, is the initials of Dots per Inch (Points per Inch), and is a measure of spatial or density print of video points. It means the number of individual points that can be placed on a line within the space of an inch.
In other words, the DPI is used to indicate the number of dots per inch in a digital printout, which is the same as the print resolution or digital scan. The DPI can also refer to the resolution of printing on paper.
While CPI is what you look for when looking for a mouse to play, DPI is a concept used when referring to the world of printing.
Where does this confusion come from?
It is likely that at this point, you are looking at your mouse and wondering why it says DPI instead of CPI. From a technical point of view, the correct nomenclature would be CPI. However, the most widely used term is DPI.
For example, you may have seen that graphic designers also use the term DPI to represent the quality and/or depth of their images, when in fact, they are talking about PPI ( Pixels Per Inch or Pixels per Inch).
The reality is that most companies try to use terms that the general public can easily become familiar with. IPR is a term that is familiar to almost everyone. Unfortunately, most people continue to use it for everything that is closely related to IPR.
We can see a very clear example of this in the case of a gaming mouse. If you have one of these, surely you have come across the term DPI switch (change DPI). That button to change the DPI serves, in fact, to change the CPI.
On the other hand, there are companies that do use the concept of CPI instead of DPI. For example, in the SteelSeries Rival 100 gaming mouse, the company has decided to continue using the term CPI.
But the values are 250, 500, 1000, 1250, 1500, 1750, 2000 and 4000; very different from those found in another conventional mouse that has the so-called «DPI» switch.
As we have already seen, what companies call DPI is the same as CPI. The differences are due to the fact that, in this case, SteelSeries has configured the DPI / CPI increases according to its own criteria.
How does this affect users?
Now that you know what the CPI and the DPI really mean, you already know that you should not change what you look at when buying a mouse.
Apparently, manufacturers are aware of the differences between both nomenclatures, but, despite this, they will continue to use the term DPI, since this is more frequent among consumers. In the end, in reality, you are only adjusting the sensitivity of your mouse.
Most companies prefer to use the term IPR instead of the CPI term by universal agreement.
CPI and DPI: Different, but very similar
While many people may be confused when it comes to comparing CPI vs. DPI in mouse, it is likely that when you use them, they both refer to the same. However, from a technical point of view, it is understood that CPI is the correct nomenclature for mouse sensitivity.
The DPI is just a technical aspect of printers that has nothing to do with the world of the mouse. If you choose to alter the CPI or DPI of your mouse, (depending on how the manufacturer refers to this feature, you will simply be adjusting the sensitivity of it).
To summarize what is CPI mouse and its use, we can draw the following conclusion: the need for high / low indicators depends on the preferences of each individual player, however, when choosing a game mouse, you should focus on a CPI of 3000 or more.
Marziano is a seasoned tech expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and multiple certifications, including CompTIA A+, Network+, and Cisco’s CCNA, he has a well-rounded and robust understanding of various aspects of technology.