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nicklmg

Upcoming Fast As Possible Topic - Mouse DPI

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hey guys,

I've been working on our next Fast as Possible topic today, and we don't have a lot of time to review it before filming. There is a TON of misinformation on the web about this, so I'm hoping all of you can share your expertise and make sure I don't look like a fool with this script :)

The topic is Mouse DPI - trying to give a general overview and correct some misinformation that's readily available (without spreading more of it :P).

 

"DPI, or dots per inch, is one of the most over-used, over-hyped words in the gaming peripheral industry.
 
But before we get into that, I should probably explain what DPI actually means. DPI is actually a misnomer when referring to mouse sensitivity – it stands for “dots per inch,” meaning the number of dots that can fit in a straight line which is 1-inch in length on a screen or a printed image. The proper name for a measurement of mouse sensitivity is actually CPI, or counts per inch. This is the number of “counts,” or virtual “pixels,” that the mouse sensor will be able to display and register on a surface in one square inch of physical space. Optical sensors have a maximum native resolution or native CPI based on the size constraints of a mouse, usually somewhere between 800 and 1600 CPI, so in order to raise the CPI beyond that level manufacturers have to actually split each virtual representation of a pixel into 4 or more virtual pixels. This is why DPI – technically CPI – measurements given by manufacturers are usually in multiples of 800.
 
“Well, split away!” you might be saying, “higher CPI is always better!” Ehhhh, let’s not go that far. Splitting these virtual pixels actually causes some major issues with sensor accuracy, as having more virtual pixels creates more noise – or interference - and therefore more errors when reading mouse movements. The main message here is this – just because your mouse has 8000 CPI does not mean it is able to read more information than a mouse with 800 CPI. CPI is only a measurement of the relationship between how far your mouse moves on the surface and how far your cursor moves on the screen, not a measurement of precision or accuracy.
 
So why do most mouse manufacturers insist on releasing these mice with monstrous DPI numbers? The main reason is, as usual, marketing and advertising. Being able to say “our brand new mouse, now featuring a 10 billion DPI sensor!” sounds a lot more impressive than “our new mouse with the same DPI but with improvements to x, y, and z features.” This industry has created massive hype around this “feature” that doesn’t actually improve their product, and in some cases even makes it less accurate. The second reason is that there is some amount of people that enjoy using their mouse at this ridiculously high sensitivity, whether they use very high resolution displays, they move their mouse with micro-movements, or they just like to whip their mouse around the screen faster than the human eye can see. And third, there are some people that do believe that they are more accurate in shooters and other games while using an extremely high hardware CPI and lowering their sensitivity in software. But, as I mentioned before, a higher CPI usually leads to more noise and a higher error rate for mouse movements, so let’s just say that the jury is still out on that one...
 
Alright, conclusion time. Is there a “proper” or “best” DPI? The short answer is no. As is the case with most aspects of computer peripherals, it comes down to personal preference, so there isn’t necessarily a CPI that is “better” than the rest. You just need to experiment with a few different ones and see what you like. What we can say for sure is that we have pretty much reached the top end of what we NEED in terms of CPI, so it’s time for mouse manufacturers to work on features that will actually improve the user experience…
 
Speaking of terrible segues that lead into ad integrations, …"
 
So yeah! Let me know if this makes sense, or if you know more than I do please feel free to suggest corrections.

Thanks guys!
-Nick
 

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I like it, it seems to help debunk the idiocy of high-DPI mice. Have you guys done one on sensor types? If not, could you find a way to spin it into this topic?


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I think DPI is just based on the resolution of your screen. If you have a 4k screen, you are going to need a fairly high DPI on the mouse in order to navigate the cursor efficiently. Having a decent DPI range on a mouse is important, but it isn't a selling point for me.


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It might also be interesting to talk about in-game/windows sensitivity. 


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Posted · Original PosterOP

I like it, it seems to help debunk the idiocy of high-DPI mice. Have you guys done one on sensor types? If not, could you find a way to spin it into this topic?

It might also be interesting to talk about in-game/windows sensitivity. 

Both good points, but we have to keep the focus pretty tight. This one will already run fairly long (4-5 minutes) for a Fast As Possible.

Definitely interesting as their own topics though, could see them in the future.


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Well I like to think of DPI in terms of this:

 

"You move the mouse one inch and the cursor moves "X" pixels."

 

However the manufacturers want you to think:

 

"In one square inch our sensor detects "X" number of dots so more dpi/dpi = more better."

 

You may use that analogy however you wish. DPI/CPI is a measure of sensitivity and not necessarily precision. You already covered this in the video of course but I find it is just a useful analogy :)


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I hope there is another video about SSDs in the future due to the rampant paranoia people have about their SSD, thinking that writing a few extra gigabytes will significantly soften its lifespan which is actually rated for hundreds of terabytes.

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Looks like you covered all of the important bases.

 

With the other suggestions above, I would like to see a fast as possible about mice surfaces since there are different kinds. You probably couldn't fit it in this video since it's supposed to be fast as possible :P

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Both good points, but we have to keep the focus pretty tight. This one will already run fairly long (4-5 minutes) for a Fast As Possible.

Definitely interesting as their own topics though, could see them in the future.

Tell @LinusTech to talk faster or just run at 1.2x speed :P


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I just read the whole script in Linus' voice, and it seems very well made. Good job Nick!


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Posted · Original PosterOP

I just read the whole script in Linus' voice, and it seems very well made. Good job Nick!

Thank you :)


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Optical sensors have a maximum native resolution or native CPI based on the size constraints of a mouse, usually somewhere between 800 and 1600 CPI, so in order to raise the CPI beyond that level manufacturers have to actually split each virtual representation of a pixel into 4 or more virtual pixels. This is why DPI – technically CPI – measurements given by manufacturers are usually in multiples of 800.

 

I am a bit confused about this

is this true only for optical sensor or does it refer to laser sensors as well?

i know laser sensors can have higher DPI so me being a newb, first thing that came in my mind was..."aha, so laser sensor is just a split optical sensor"

but after pondering it few sec i think that can't be it, must be something else

my opinion is that the lack of mentioning laser sensor is a bit confusing


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Very nice job, indeed, covering all these! I was getting tired of rolling my eyes whenever someone said "Because my mouse has X thousands DPI!"

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I am a bit confused about this

is this true only for optical sensor or does it refer to laser sensors as well?

i know laser sensors can have higher DPI so me being a newb, first thing that came in my mind was..."aha, so laser sensor is just a split optical sensor"

but after pondering it few sec i think that can't be it, must be something else

my opinion is that the lack of mentioning laser sensor is a bit confusing

The one really GOOD source that I found was (as far as I could tell) referring to optical sensors (Senior Engineer from Logitech explains sensor design). I've been trying to find more information about CPI in laser sensors, but I've yet to find a reliable source and I would much rather not include information about laser sensors than include false or not fully correct information about them.

Does anyone have a good source that explains how laser sensors scale up their CPI? Is it the same premise as optical sensors?


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mkay, i understand that, rather not talk about than give false information is good reason for me :D

and nice vid, watched it and was very informative

 

but then i think there's a mistake in the script

 

But before we get into that, I should probably explain what DPI actually means. DPI is actually a misnomer when referring to mouse sensitivity – it stands for “dots per inch,” meaning the number of dots that can fit in a straight line which is 1-inch in length on a screen or a printed image. The proper name for a measurement of mouse sensitivity is actually CPI, or counts per inch. This is the number of “counts,” or virtual “pixels,” that the mouse sensor will be able to display and register on a surface in one square inch of physical space. 

 

if the guy is right, at 5:12 he explains what DPI is (how many pixels i travel, when i move my hand 1 inch), as opposed the quote in the script.

i think the "DPI meaning how many dots you can fit in a straight line which is 1" in length on a screen or a printed image" would be more accurate when dealing with photography

and the 2nd statement that CPI is the count of virtual pixels that the mouse can detect in 1 square inch can't be true

if it was true, then DPI =/= CPI and going back to that video, the guy explains that common folks say dots, coz they see a dot on a screen (pixel), but they refer to it as a count (at 0:55)

 

sorry to give you such a hard time Nick! :D


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Posted · Original PosterOP

-snip-

From what I understand from watching the video, he is saying that DPI and CPI are not the same thing. DPI is a term that consumers were already aware of which is used for noting the effectiveness/accuracy of printers and screens, and mouse manufacturers just started using it since it was a known term and "close enough" for the general consumer to understand. CPI is a measure of the relationship between how far your mouse moves on the surface and how far your cursor moves on the screen, DPI is a measure of dot density on an image or screen.

CPI is inherently different than DPI, but it's easier just to say DPI as that is what people associate with mouse sensitivity. That's why misnomers are confusing, I think he even says DPI a few times in the video when he really should be saying CPI... Eg. when he is talking about DPI at 5:12 he refers to it as "resolution" which on the board on the left he has defined as "CPI(DPI)." Since he refers to resolution earlier in the video as CPI, and talks about DPI being a misnomer, he should be saying CPI at 5:12 rather than DPI.

I think I'm right, but I could just be crazy. Let me know what you think.


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-boink-

 

ohhhh, i see now, i think

DPI should never be used when talking about mouse sensitivity in the first place

my bad, english is not my first language and didn't quite understood the "misnomer", googled it now :D

sorry, my bad

 

thou, i'm still not sure about the square inch when explaining CPI

he refers to DPI as dots per inch, but we established that DPI is not the term to be used with mouse sensitivity, but lets play along

he says it's the same, only user see a dot on a screen (pixel) but they refer it as a count in the sensor

so my opinion is that CPI is, how many counts the sensor can make in 1 inch of linear movement, not on a surface of 1 squared inch


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Posted · Original PosterOP

-snip-

If English is not your first language then you are doing insanely well, I never would have guessed. No need to apologize - trust me, I would be doing FAR worse in your first language than you are in mine :)

And I think you are right - I'm going to remove the square part right now as it's never mentioned in the video.

From your last comment - no apology necessary, I would much rather deal with these questions and issues now, while it's just a script, rather than once we have recorded, edited, and posted the video.

 

Really appreciate the feedback everyone.


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i thought you were the marketing department at ltt, not the scripting.

Either way good info but i dont think im going to changenme settings


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I hope there is another video about SSDs in the future due to the rampant paranoia people have about their SSD, thinking that writing a few extra gigabytes will significantly soften its lifespan which is actually rated for hundreds of terabytes.

I myself was paranoid about this for a long time. Even now, I still feel more comfortable writing to a standard HDD and tend to shy away from writing to the SSD whenever possible. Sometimes, I accidentally download something to my SSD boot drive instead of my mechanical one and a little part of me cringes. This is despite knowing that the amount of damage I'm doing is basically negligible. So maybe I am still a little paranoid... ;-)

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I wish I'd seen this one sooner, but it all seems almost perfect. :)

 

This is the number of “counts,” or virtual “pixels,” that the mouse sensor will be able to display and register on a surface in one square inch of physical space.

 

Does "square inch" not imply that 1600 CPI would be 40 x 40 pixels?

 

Alright, conclusion time. Is there a “proper” or “best” DPI? The short answer is no. As is the case with most aspects of computer peripherals, it comes down to personal preference, so there isn’t necessarily a CPI that is “better” than the rest.

 

Honestly, this is misleading to the point of qualifying as misinformation. While technically correct, because it'll differ based on screen resolution, game/application, mouse grip and other sensitivity settings, low sensivity is objectively better than high sensitivity, so long as it isn't so low as to become an obstacle in moving the cursor to where you need it in time. By saying it's personal preference, those who are using 8200 DPI on their single 1080p monitor with 1:1 mouse movement (for example), end up thinking it's possible their settings may be best-suited to them.

 

On a sidenote, please take the optical vs laser mice techquickie down. It falsely equates DPI with accuracy and claims laser is more accurate/precise than optical. I know at least one person has wasted their money on a mouse they didn't want as a result of this video.

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i kinda disagree with the 2nd part

laser is inherently more accurate than optical led mouse

if you imagine a laser pointing at the table, you'll see the light focused on a smaller area, so the bounced off light that goes into sensor will be more focused and less "grainy/noisy" than light from an LED mouse

LED spreads the light in all directions, so even with all the lenses inside, i still believe that that can't be more precise than a focused light from a laser

if a particular laser mouse is worse than an optical, that would also depend on the sensor and the lenses in the end

 

about the first part, i use 5k CPI on an 1050 monitor and after getting used to, it's spot on

before i had some optical mouse with puny CPI and cannot imagine going back to that

so it's still a personal preference, i wanted high CPI and after few days i got used to it and now i wouldn't change it

so going lower isn't better for me

and i don't see why high CPI would be worse than lower if the mouse is precise enough at high CPI

 

EDIT

what i would change in the 2nd quote tho, would be the first DPI to CPI, since DPI is an misnomer when talking about mouse sensitivity

 

see what I did there Nick!  :D 


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Posted · Original PosterOP

laser is inherently more accurate than optical led mouse

Don't most (all?) laser mice have imperfect sensors (hardware acceleration), therefore making them less accurate than an optical mouse?


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i kinda disagree with the 2nd part

laser is inherently more accurate than optical led mouse

if you imagine a laser pointing at the table, you'll see the light focused on a smaller area, so the bounced off light that goes into sensor will be more focused and less "grainy/noisy" than light from an LED mouse

LED spreads the light in all directions, so even with all the lenses inside, i still believe that that can't be more precise than a focused light from a laser

if a particular laser mouse is worse than an optical, that would also depend on the sensor and the lenses in the end

 

about the first part, i use 5k CPI on an 1050 monitor and after getting used to, it's spot on

before i had some optical mouse with puny CPI and cannot imagine going back to that

so it's still a personal preference, i wanted high CPI and after few days i got used to it and now i wouldn't change it

so going lower isn't better for me

and i don't see why high CPI would be worse than lower if the mouse is precise enough at high CPI

 

EDIT

what i would change in the 2nd quote tho, would be the first DPI to CPI, since DPI is an misnomer when talking about mouse sensitivity

 

see what I did there Nick!  :D 

 

Whether you believe it or not, it's true. Maybe lasers should be capable of being better than optical, but for the past few years (if not longer), optical has been consistently superior in terms of accuracy. Now with optical mice reaching 8k - 12k DPI, laser mice don't even have that, even though most people probably shouldn't be using DPI that high. It's well established that any laser mouse on the market will have innate tracking flaws, while certain optical sensors are capable of tracking "flawlessly".

 

Going lower would be better for you, accuracy-wise. The more you raise your sensitivity (DPI included), the smaller the area where you can put your mouse and still be covering your target. In the most extreme terms, if you're trying to hit one specific pixel at 1 DPI, you can move your mouse anywhere within a square inch and still hit that pixel, but at 5000 DPI you now have 25,000 pixels packed into a square inch of mouse movement and you need to put your mouse over the exact 1/5000th of an inch both horizontally and vertically to hit your target.

 

Basically, the lower your DPI the easier it is to hit whatever you're aiming for. That's objectively true unless you possess literally perfect hand-eye coordination, which I'm fairly sure no human does.

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