What are the Differences Between CPI and DPI of Mouse?

One might have encountered such a scenario for picking up a DPI or CPI mouse. You might think about which one would be best.

Although the majority of manufacturers refer to the resolution measurement as DPI, this isn’t exactly the accurate terminology. However, as the word has gained in popularity, those manufacturers have little choice but to accept it. For instance, Steelseries uses CPI whereas Logitech uses DPI.

Well, today, at Digital Gyan, we will talk about the differences between CPI and DPI of mice and how to choose the right mouse.

what are the differences between cpi and dpi of mouse

Definition of DPI

Dots per inch, or DPI, is a measurement method most frequently used to assess a printer’s output resolution. While confusingly used to refer to the pixel density of a picture, even though that is a separate media, it really relates to the physical ink density on a piece of paper.

The dots on the page are packed closer together, the higher the DPI. And the picture might be more detailed the closer the dots are packed together. In other words, you may print at a bigger size without enlarging the image, which will blur it.

Definition of CPI

Counts per inch, or CPI, is a term used to describe a mouse’s sensitivity. The more sensitive the CPI is to your moves, the higher it is. The number refers to how many pixels fit into one inch on the surface of the mouse sensor, which is somewhat similar to the CMOS sensor of a digital camera.

You may think of it as the number of “steps” the mouse’s sensor transmits to your computer when it moves one inch.

As a result, a mouse with a sensitivity range of, say, 100–12,000 may move at a rate of 100–12,000 steps per inch.

With a lower value, the mouse pointer will appear to travel more slowly, requiring you to move the mouse farther across your desk to transfer it to the opposite side of the screen. Less movement is required if the number is larger.

Some manufacturers may refer to a little button on your mouse that is located below the scroll wheel as a DPI switch, but it is actually a CPI switch. Additionally, it doesn’t help things when certain manufacturers, like Logitech, refer to their CPI settings as DPI as well as the “resolution” range.

Difference between DPI vs CPI?

Despite the fact that most people find it difficult to compare CPI and DPI in mice, chances are they both relate to the same thing in the context in which you’re utilising them. However, according to technical standards, CPI should be used to describe mouse sensitivity.

The DPI has nothing to do with the world of mice and is only a technical characteristic of each unique printer. In the end, you will just be changing the mouse’s sensitivity, regardless of whether you choose to change the CPI or the DPI, depending on how the maker has labelled the option.

In Simple Words – DPI vs CPI

The only difference between CPI and DPI is their names. Using a certain phrase instead of another is only a matter of using the correct language. The names may be used interchangeably since they refer to the same characteristics of a mouse, say specialists in the field. Dots Per Inch (DPI) is nothing less than a misnomer, and Count Per Inch (CPI) is the proper terminology that should be used for mouse sensitivity.

Why use DPI instead of CPI?

The simple response is that it’s a more well-recognised phrase. The convoluted response is that when referring to mice and their sensors, both phrases are truly accurate. From either the display’s or the sensor’s perspective, we are just discussing the same measurement.

DPI is more frequently used when referring to the end user because we are the ones seeing our screens as the cursor moves. However, CPI is used when referring to the mouse sensor itself. The sensor measures how many pixels it can fit into one inch of the surface your mouse is on, as I described before. Additionally known as the optical resolution.

Except for Steelseries, all of the mouse manufacturers on our list of the finest utilise the DPI terminology on their websites. But regardless of whether you see DPI or CPI, or vice versa, the term “mouse sensitivity” still applies.

dpi in mouse

DPI vs CPI which one is Good for Gamers

The DPI is not crucial for everyday use; in fact, it is common for office mouse technical specifications to completely omit this information. However, gaming mice frequently tout high DPI, and for good reason—it does make a difference.

For frantic games like twitch shooters, a higher DPI is frequently considered to be a superior choice. In essence, players will be able to react quicker thanks to the cursor’s quicker mobility.

However, precision is sacrificed in the process, which may not be worth it for many players. Additionally, genres that value accuracies, such as MOBAs and strategy games, are better suited to low DPI displays.

The three factors—CPI, IPS, and acceleration—should be taken into account when reaching a decision. The greatest speed at which the sensor can accurately follow movement is known as IPS. Another crucial metric for assessing the accuracy of the mouse sensor is acceleration, which is the maximum gravitational force at which the sensor can precisely track movement.

You should not merely aim for higher CPI and DPI ratings since you never require great precision or sensitivity, for example, when using Google Docs or browsing the internet. You wouldn’t enjoy a slight prod sending the pointer flying across the screen.

dpi of mouse explained
DPI vs CPI Difference

However, it’s not a general guideline that should be adhered to either; rather, it depends more on a person’s tastes and the amount of mouse sensitivity they like when using a computer. Additionally, the mouse’s weight and the kind of mouse pad have a considerable bearing.


DPI is important to consider when buying a gaming mouse, however, the ideal model should offer as broad a range as feasible. In the end, a player’s setting will be determined by personal choice, therefore having flexibility is good.

Additionally, DPI is simply a small component of the whole package and shouldn’t be the sole (or main) deciding factor when choosing a gaming mouse.

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Raj Maurya

Raj Maurya is the founder of Digital Gyan. He is a technical content writer on Fiverr and When not working, he plays Valorant.

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