What is Mouse’s DPI & Why does it Matter?

mouse DPI

Mouse’s DPI Explained

Dots per inch (DPI) is a common measurement of the sensitivity level of a mouse. The increased DPI means even a slight movement of your mouse may make the significant movement of a cursor on the screen. It helps you move the mouse with precision while carrying out any task that requires checking minuscule details on the screen.

Typically all ordinary mouse has a DPI of 1600, which means if you move your mouse one inch or 2.54 centimeters, the pointer of the mouse will move around 1600 pixels. The higher DPI simply means an increased pointer movement with the mouse’s relatively short movement.

mouse DPI

A higher DPI is not necessarily useful because the sensitivity of the mouse is always subject to the type of task you are using it for. A tweaked DPI (more than 1600) can cause many difficulties during web-browsing or working on Microsoft Office software. We are usually accustomed to the speed of cursor movement of a regular mouse that typically has an inbuilt 1600 DPI if the use of a mouse with DPI increased to 4000 be used for regular work can simply be annoying due to excessive movement of the cursor.

Does DPI Matter for Gaming?

This technical term is marketed and advertised by the gaming companies who are involved in the manufacturing of such a mouse. These companies have mainly focused on the gamers and claim that increased DPI can be helpful while playing a video game on PC. There has been a long-standing argument against the claims of mouse manufacturing companies that it can simply be a sale bid. Nevertheless, the usages of a mouse with enhanced DPI can offer crucial help during playing a game where a precise aiming is required.

The DPI does matter during carrying out a specific task that needs more focus on tiny details on the screen. If you are playing a shooting game and want to point to a very minute object using your sniper rifle, the higher DPI of a mouse can offer you significant help. The increased sensitivity of the mouse will enable you to pick the particular point and zoom in quickly to aim that object. In this scenario, a normal mouse could not be effective. Likewise, if you are a designer, you need to focus on small details, and a mouse with higher DPI can help carry out such tasks effectively.

The high DPI mouse is usually more helpful if you are using a monitor with higher resolution. Because if you are using a normal monitor with a 1366×768 screen, the high DPI can create many issues, like a simple movement of a mouse could move the cursor across the screen.

mouse DPI

The DPI of a mouse can have many advantages while carrying out certain tasks. The gaming mouse comes with a physical button that allows the users to set a specific DPI as per the task. Users can set the DPI to normal if a higher DPI is not required.

What is Polling Rate?

The polling rate is another crucial aspect of a mouse. This rate is the time taken by the mouse to report the movement to the computer. It is measured in Hz or cycle (movement) per second. The polling rate is a crucial part that defines the responsiveness of the cursor after a mouse’s movement. The higher polling rate means the lesser time between the movement of mouse and movement cursor. Consequently, the higher polling rate decreases the lag between the movement of the mouse and cursor.

What is an Ideal DPI and Polling Rate of a Mouse?

The Ideal DPI and polling rate of a mouse varying according to the intended task. For gaming and other tasks where a high degree of precision required, and increased DPI also helps in picking subtle details easily. While the Polling rate primarily matters for gaming, a lag of milliseconds can completely change the game’s ending. A normal mouse comes with an inbuilt polling rate of 125 Hz. The polling rate of gaming mice ranges from 125 Hz to 1000 Hz. If you are using the mouse solely for the gaming purpose, it is recommended to use the gaming mouse that comes with a higher polling rate and has the functionality of tweaking DPI to the desired level. It can save you from the embarrassment of loss that only occurs due to a slight lag of the mouse. At the same time, if you want to use the mouse only for day to day task, a normal mouse can do the job effectively.

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Stacy Lopez
Stacy is the Hardware Editor at Get Ignite. She worked for a number of leading tech publications, including Engadget, PCMag, Laptop, and Tech Times, where she served as the Managing Editor. Her writing has appeared in Spin, Wired, Playboy, Entertainment Weekly, The Onion, Boing Boing, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Beast and various other publications. She hosts the weekly Boing Boing interview podcast RiYL, has appeared as a regular NPR contributor and shares her Queens apartment with a rabbit named Lucy.