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What Are the Differences Between the Terms CPI and DPI? – Correct Use

15 de February de 2022

The correct use of abbreviations is something that is taken into account from the technical point of view, that is, whoever does not technically know what it is about can be confused. In the case of the terms CPI and DPI, there is a clear confusion regarding what each refers to and even ordinary people who are not related to this may believe that they are the same; because its etymology is so similar, and sometimes it can go unnoticed.

In this article we will investigate these two very similar concepts and what is their correct use and Why is there so much confusion with these terms? We will realize that it is something that is already orchestrated behind the scenes, we can even notice phrases such as “What DPI does my mouse have”, they become frequently used expressions, we will also see how to determine which would be the correct expression for each one.

Why is DPI used as a synonym for CPI?

The first thing we must analyze is, why synonyms are made two terms that are different although they are not so different after all. And it is that it is based on a practical sense of marketing that mouse manufacturers use, to capture the attention of the client, who may have already heard one term more than another; Although it looks like it is not the correct term.

Well, this is an unfounded confusion, because some mouse manufacturers use these acronyms, instead of the ones that are real and correct, in order to attract customer attentionwhich relate the pixels involved in the calculation made by the mouse and the computer to determine the speed of the pointer, now let’s see the specific differences between DPI and CPI.

What are the differences between DPI and CPI?

As far as differences exist and they are well marked because each one refers to different areas, the first one we observe is IPR, it is in general It is related to the megapixels that an image has when it is going to be printed or reproduced, it has more to do with the quality of an image format, in this way the statement of How to convert to DPI is correct.

mouse sensitivity calculate cpi

Now CPI is more related to movement in terms of stimulus and duration to get from one point to another, in relation to the number of pixels with which there is interaction. It is noted that it is something more similar or that is related to the mouse and sensitivity of this, having this clear now let’s see what each one means


First we are going to say that it is DPI (Dots Per Inch) that it means dots per inch, for its acronym in English, this is a term used when we refer to images and videos, with respect to the number of points that exist in a straight line in an image or frame, we can even say that it has no relationship, in terms of the mouse hardware nor its practical function.

The other concept would be CPI (Counts Per Inch) counts per inch for its acronym in English, which would be more related to how the mouse is configured and does not refer to frames and image quality. It is somewhat confusing to be willing to determine something very similar

Correct use of term

Regarding the correct use of the term, we can point out that in the case of DPI, we could generate a statement that says, for example, “How to change the DPI of the resolution in Photoshop”, this would be referring to image quality.

On the other hand, for what comes to be CPI we can ask ourselves: How can I know the speed of my mouse And how many CPI does it have? This makes a clear reference to the movement relationship between the mouse and the cursor, which we see on the screen.

functionality of each

The functionality of the DPI comes to determine the number of pixels that interact with each other to give clarity to an image. The more DPI line ratio an image has, the better quality it will be, the better the details that are involved in it will look.

Looking at CPI we can see that it is a count ratio of pixel points that interact with the cursor when it moves, which denotes the sensitivity and speed of the mouse. This can be configurable within the Windows operating system for example, without having to intervene in the mouse hardware.

setting mouse cpi

How to configure a CPI on your computer correctly?

To configure the interaction of the CPIs that the mouse has on the computer, we must know the relationship that exists between these, first we must know what the number means, that is, if we have a mouse with 8 CPI the interaction will be multiplied by 1000that is, the mouse will be graduated to 8000.

To change this configuration we must enter through this route, Start> Configuration> Devices> Mouse, already being here an adjustable horizontal line will determine the sensitivity, if we place it in 12 it will be 12000.