DPI vs CPI: What is the Difference?


If you’re looking for a new mouse to buy, you may have come across the term DPI. This is one of the popular things to consider when purchasing a new mouse, especially for gaming.

However, some companies propose a modification of the CPI instead. It certainly got you wondering how a CPI switch differs from a DPI switch and how it affects you.

Nothing to worry of, because today we bring you our position on CPI vs DPI and whether or not you should be concerned.

Table of Contents

What is DPI?

DPI indicates dots per inch; it is directly related to the reading of movement in the unit of measurement, the inch. For example, if the mouse has 1600 DPI, it means that if you move the mouse 2.54 cm (1 inch), the mouse will be able to send 1600 readings or movement signals.

Another way to explain it is its relation to the number of frames the mouse generates per second. Therefore, the higher the DPI, the more sequentially the photos move to map the path where the mouse pointer is currently ultimately.

The higher the DPI, the firmer the dots will be on the page. And the more precise the points, the more detailed the image can be. This means that you can print at a larger size without increasing the aspect ratio, which will make it blurry.

It works the same as PPIs or pixels per inch, which measure the pixel density of a digital image or monitor. However, this is not the same as monitor or image resolution, which is a measure of the total number of pixels on a digital screen or image, although, in programs like Photoshop, PPI is still referred to as resolution. . .

Some people may think that a higher DPI is always better, but this is far from the truth. We have to know that there is a DPI limitation where the readings will no longer be needed because the human hand cannot move at such a high speed and such an accurate reading of the movement is required.

Understand this as the law of yield reduction of intellectual property rights. This limit is generally between 2000 and 2500 DPI.

So if the mouse has a maximum of 2000 DPI, that’s more than enough for any movement needed in any game that requires quick, quick actions like Fortnite or CS: GO.

Those with over 2500 DPI are just the business strategy of the mouse manufacturers who have led us to believe that the more DPI, the better, 4000 DPI is already ridiculous and has a little real benefit.

The movement of the mouse is closely related to the sensitivity given to it by Windows (or Linux) or the same game that has sensitivity adjustments. Besides, the higher the amount of DPI, the faster the movement and the greater the distance with small hand movements.

It is therefore recommended that the DPI of the mouse be the highest and lowest possible sensitivity for the game and Windows (or Linux) for the mouse, thus achieving a balance between precision and sensitivity.

We are all different in terms of the sensitivity and speed of response of your mouse. Some gamers will prefer slower sensitivity with lower DPI so that accuracy can be achieved at the highest level.

However, some players like to place the cursor as fast as possible to guide the opponent.

What is the CPI?

CPI refers to the number of steps a mouse takes when it moves one inch. Therefore, the CPI more accurately represents the sensitivity of the mouse and is used to determine how the cursor moves on the screen relative to the physical movement of the mouse.

For example, with a CPI of 800, moving the mouse one inch will move the cursor 800 pixels on the screen. Knowing the pixels makes the images more accessible. Note that when you change the resolution in the game, you also need to change the mouse sensitivity.

So when you look at the sensitivity range of a mouse, say 100-12,000, that means it can take anywhere from 100 to 12,000 steps per inch.

A smaller number will cause the mouse cursor to move more slowly, and you will have to move it further on the desktop to get the cursor to move to the other side of the screen. A larger number will require less movement on your part.

If you’re interested, the eternal struggle between DPI and CPI dates back to the early days of graphic design. If you’ve ever worked in the design industry, you probably know everyone is talking about DPI, including marketing and images.

The term is gradually spreading from the professional sector to the consumer sector, where it has become relatively well known. Before that, manufacturers have long mistakenly called their sensors the term.

This term refers to the number of motion registers per inch, ergo, more records, higher speed and precision that a gaming mouse should have. To show another clear example, a CPI of 1000 will move 1000 pixels on the screen for every inch of the mouse.

This alertly affects the resolution of the game we are playing or just the desktop. A 4K monitor at this resolution will need a higher CPI number on the mouse than a user playing at 1080p because if both are the same value, the former will have to advance the mouse a few more inches on its base.

CPI vs DPI: Different but Similar

Although most people are confused when they compare CPI and DPI in mice, the chances are that in the scenario you use it, both refer to the same thing.

However, it is technically assumed that the CPI is the correct terminology for mouse sensitivity. DPI is only a technical aspect of an individual printer and is in no way related to the world of the mouse.

Whether you decide to change the mouse’s CPI or DPI, depending on how the company rated the functionality, you’ll end up merely adjusting the sensitivity of the mouse.

Why use DPI instead of CPI?

Technically, the correct term should be CPI. But instead, DPI is widely used. When the cursor moves, find our screen. As for the mouse sensor itself, it’s CPI.

The sensor counts the digits of pixels that can fit in an inch when you move the mouse, while the monitor displays the speed at which the cursor is moving based on the DPI settings. They both refer to the same thing.

Additionally, many companies besides Steelseries use the DPI nomenclature on their websites. DPI is CPI, and SteelSeries just set the DPI (read CPI) steps you want.

There is a long history of DPI that makes more sense, and this Microsoft blog goes into much more detail, but since optical and laser sensors have become standard in mice, DPI has often been associated with them.

Usually, from the 80s and people are getting used to it. All of the mouse manufacturers on our master list except Steelseries use the DPI nomenclature on their websites. But if you see DPI instead of CPI or vice versa, it ultimately means the same thing: mouse sensitivity.

In conclusion, the choice of the CPI or DPI mouse depends on how the company evaluates the function. Ultimately, they both mean the same thing. mouse sensitivity.

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