The computer mouse, as you know, is the most basic and essential accessory that carries out most of the commands. It has developed over time and introduces new technology in every new model. The early basic mouse contained a rubber ball that rolled when you moved your mouse across the mouse pad. When you used your mouse, the computer picked up the movement of the rubber ball by using mechanical rollers. Those mechanical rollers detect ball movement and then convert it into computer commands. They were high maintenance mice because when a ball rolled, it collects dust from the surface and thus causing hindrance in transferring of command; also, it needed a solid flat surface to work.
In the modern age, we have optical and laser mouse. The optical mouse is the most common, which uses red light and a little camera. When you slide your mouse across the surface, the light shines on the surface, and the camera takes several photos per second. Then it analyzes the pictures to determine which direction a mouse is moving and sends commands to the computer. The computer examines the mouse input and moves the cursor accordingly on the screen. Laser mice work on the same principle but use infrared light instead of visible red light.
DPI and its significance
Dots per inch DPI is a standard scale for measuring resolution in computers and related devices. In the case of a mouse, it refers to mouse hardware sensitivity, which it detects through sensors inside. The DPI or Counts per inch CPI is the number of pixel cursor cover when you move your mouse an inch. A mouse with a higher DPI increases the cursor sensitivity, and it moves fast and further on the screen even with the slightest mouse movement, and lower DPI makes the cursor move slow. For example, most mice sold today come with a 1600 DPI setting, which indicates that the cursor covers 1600 pixels on the screen when a mouse moves an inch on a mouse pad.
You can change the settings according to needs and usage. For example, a gaming mouse comes with 4000 DPI or sometimes more, which gives fast and accurate movement when shooting at small targets. But some gamers use a low DPI of 1200 or even 800 to get more precision while doing zoom-in sniper shooting because high DPI is too sensitive to the slightest movements. Some high-tech gaming mice feature a button on the side, which switches the DPI setting instantly, even during gameplay.
Nowadays, high-resolution monitors are being used widely and due to which the mouse DPI does not translate exact numbers to screen resolution. The operating system multiplies the DPI according to the screen resolution and adjusts the numbers so that the cursor works properly on the large high-resolution screen. In a way, high resolution increases your cursor sensitivity and moves it farther on the screen with just minor movements.
The standard mouse sensitivity setting does not include DPI because DPI refers to the mouse’s hardware abilities rather than a software setting. A mouse with a lower DPI paired with high sensitivity setting makes the cursor jump around rather than smooth flow movement. The hardware of the mouse has low sensitivity, which does not detect small movements; as a result, the operating system compensates and jumps the cursor farther when it detects an uneven movement.
On the contrary, a high DPI mouse paired with low sensitivity settings works smoothly. The low sensitivity settings prevent the cursor from flying across the screen and thus result in a smooth movement. High DPI mice go along with a higher resolution monitor because high resolution means more pixels to cover in an inch movement. When using a 4k monitor, a higher DPI allows you to move your cursor across the screen smoothly and quickly without dragging your mouse longer on a mouse pad. While using low-resolution, you don’t need that high DPI mouse.
How to check the DPI of your mouse?
There is no special Windows 10 program for testing your DPI that comes with the OS at the time of writing. This is a problem since many individuals would like to understand their mouse DPI clearly and simply.
Don’t be discouraged; there are plenty of other ways to figure out what DPI you’re using. To discover and alter your mouse DPI, simply follow the steps outlined below.
Method 1: Look over the manufacturer’s instructions.
This method is most commonly used with branded mice. Most large manufacturers have a website where they list their items, replete with details and photographs. This is mostly intended to pique clients’ curiosity, but it can also benefit people who have already purchased the goods.
This procedure is the same for all mice; however, some manufacturers lack a website or technical information about their devices.
- Go to the manufacturer’s website to learn more.
- To find your mouse model, utilize the built-in search engine.
- Look for the technical details on the webpage and double-check the DPI count.
- If you can’t locate your mouse on the manufacturer’s website, we recommend contacting customer service. Many companies provide customer service by e-mail or phone.
Method 2: Make a painting with Microsoft Paint.
This may appear to be a ridiculous method of determining your DPI, yet it works almost exactly. Because MS Paint allows you to view the pixel at which your cursor is now located, you can do a small experiment to determine your DPI.
- MS Paint can be found by searching for it in your taskbar or your list of programs.
- Increase the zoom level to 100%.
- Place your arrow to the very left of the screen and select any brush tool. The first value in the bottom-left corner should be 0.
- Move your mouse about 2-3 inches while holding the left mouse button. Look at the first number in the bottom-left corner without moving your mouse and write it down.
- Repeat this same process as many times as you feel necessary, then average the results. This is your DPI (dots per inch)
How can I make my mouse perform better?
Try these two methods:
1. Adjust the mouse settings in the game
If you enjoy PC games, you should get a mouse with superior performance to enhance your gaming experience. As a result, in addition to adjusting mouse DPI on your computer, you may also customize mouse settings in games.
Go to the mouse acceleration and sensitivity options or something similar in your game and adjust them to your liking. We won’t go over this because it changes from game to game.
2. Install the latest mouse driver
A missing or outdated mouse driver can cause problems with your mouse, so you should update it to get the most out of it.
Drivers can be updated in one of two ways: manually or automatically.
Manually — You can manually update the mouse driver by searching for the latest and right driver on the manufacturer’s website, downloading it, and installing it on your computer. However, this necessitates both time and computing expertise.
Automatically — If you don’t have time or patience, you can have any driver downloaded to do the work for you automatically.
How to change mouse DPI?
Many gaming mouse come with adjustable DPI settings. Some usually have three fixed DPI options of 1200, 1600, and 2000 and other mouse lets you choose DPI within a range of 400 to 4000. The high-tech gaming mouse features a button on the side that helps you increase or decrease the DPI setting instantly and with ease. Some gaming mice come with a dedicated app and software which lets you customize DPI and set desired levels that you use through buttons on a mouse.
The primary computer mouse and some cheap gaming mouse do not have such a button for setting adjustments because they come with fixed 800 to 1200 DPI. You can change or adjust mouse sensitivity through third-party apps designed specifically for this purpose. However, this does not mean you can alter the mouse hardware capabilities but can only modify the multiplier of that default speed. Though you can do it with apps, the easiest way is through settings offered by your operating system.
If you are using Windows 7,8 and 10, then follow these steps:
- Open settings and go to Devices
- Proceed to the mouse section.
- Select the mouse whose setting you want to change and click on additional mouse settings.
- Locate the Pointer option then in the Motion section, make your changes.
- In this section, you can make pointer speed slow or fast, which serves as an alternative for DPI.
- Lastly, click on Apply to save your changes.
How to change mouse DPI in Macbook step by step
- Go to the Apple menu.
- Click and open System Preferences.
- In the System Preferences window, locate the Mouse or Trackpad settings depending on the MacBook laptop or an iMac.
- Next, in the case of the MacBook move to Point and Click the tab where you can adjust the tracking speed according to your preference.
- For iMac, go to the Mouse option to adjust pointer speed according to need.
Finally, test the pointer speed and then exit to save changes.
Everyone has different preferences in mouse and sometimes fixed DPI does not work for them because it offers many advantages in the gaming or designing industry. By making it higher or lower they improve its usage capabilities.
On the contrary, in many cases, users do not need higher mouse sensitivity and they can simply improve the performance of their mouse in some other ways. The mouse is a powerful and essential tool to carry out daily computer tasks and one should choose it according to need.