This page explains computer mouse DPI and related issues for gaming.
Spent about 6 hours tech geeking on mouse again. Watched quite a few YouTube videos on reviews of various gaming mouses.
About mouse, there's something i never understood completely. That's DPI (dot per inch). If a mouse has 800 DPI, supposedly it means: if you move your mouse one inch (2.54 cm), the mouse will be able to send 800 signals. However, it's much more complicated than that.
There are these issues involved:
Here's a example of a spec, from the Sidewinder X8:
Some gaming mouse software automatically sets your USB poll rate to a higher frequency. Some game also have its own software layer for adjusting your mouse sensitivity. The bottom line is, it's really hard to figure out what is your real settings.
I play real-time combat games (aka “first-person shooter”) in Second Life, and never in my life i find the high DPI useful. I have a Microsoft SideWinder X3 Mouse, with DPI at 2k. But that rate is too fast to be usable. I set it to 800 DPI. LOL. I always doubted whether the DPI matters.
Here's a article from arstechnica that confirms my own experience:
Does DPI matter in gaming mice? One mouse-maker says no By Ben Kuchera. @ arstechnica.com
“Technology has progressed to a level where you can move your mouse, say, one inch on your desk, and your cursor will move 2 or 3 times your screen length. That sounds impressive for sure, but where is the real value in that?” Rom asked. “That doesn't make you more precise or accurate; I would argue that it does exactly the opposite. A higher DPI in a mouse doesn't offer a lot of value, and it is not a benchmark for how precise or awesome the mouse is. It's simply a measure of sensitivity.”
Also, if you dig into hardcore combat game articles, some will tell you to set your mouse's DPI to the highest, and turn off any software adjustment of mouse sensitivity. So that you have the highest hardware based precision. This makes sense logically. But in practice, 2k DPI is too fast to be usable.
Also, some site i've read tells you to turn off the “acceleration” (aka “enhanced pointer precision”). So that, you have a linear correspondence of your mouse movement and movement of the screen, which supposedly makes you aim/combat better. This sounds logical, but i'm not so sure about it in pracitce.
Because, today, mouse technology, the laser tracking, the DPI, and the mouse software layer, sensitivity adjustment etc, all things considered, are quite robust. It's questionable a little “precision” gained from DPI or some training with linear-mouse-screen would make any difference. The point is, adjust whatever, and as soon as you feel comfortable and habituated with that setting, it should be fine.
Here's some articles from hardcore gamers. The first one is especially fantastic. It also shows that 800 DPI is plenty for vast majority of hardcore gamers (unless you have several monitors connected).
See: What's the Difference Between Optical Mouse vs Laser Mouse?