When buying a new mouse, you might have seen the terms DPI and polling rate. Today, we will discuss what these terms mean and how they can affect the performance of a mouse.
What is DPI
DPI is short for Dots Per Inch which reflects the sensitivity of a mouse. Modern mice use an optical sensor where a laser is pointed down, and a camera captures pictures to detect the movement across a surface. A mouse with a high DPI is sensitive to smaller movements, it will move the cursor a long way the screen when the mouse is even moved slightly.
However, having a high DPI mouse is not always useful as it can be hard to control the movement. Therefore, modern mice have variable DPIs so that the user can change it depending on their use. If you have a high-resolution screen such as 4k, it is recommended to use a higher DPI so it feel and behaves similar to on standard HD screen. Otherwise, you can turn it down for a better experience.
Gaming and professional mice come with dedicated buttons for changing the DPI. Therefore, you can use a higher DPI while playing a first-person shooter and quickly turn it down when trying to snipe someone for example. Similarly if using professional software such a Revit or Photoshop you may want to change DPI when working with broad changes or when you are working with a lot of detail and precision.
In this example is the AmazonBasics Gaming Mouse with Adjustable DPI…
It has a dedicated key above the mouse wheel for switching across 200, 400, 1200, 1600, 2400, and 3200 DPI resolution.
What is Polling Rate?
The polling rate is the measure of delay between the mouse and the computer. This is measured in Hertz. So, a mouse with a 250Hz polling rate would send the signal to the PC every 4ms. Therefore, if you want the latency to be as low as possible, you should get a mouse with a 500 or 1000Hz polling rate.