Saying that a sensor has the best tracking on any mousepad is a pretty big claim, and I wanted to learn exactly what that meant. So I chased down SteelSeries product manager Brian Luu to get the scoop on what makes TrueMove Pro the best sensor on the market.
How do you give a mouse sensor the best possible tracking?
A mouse sensor is basically a camera, consisting of a lens and all the hardware behind it responsible for capturing and processing an image. Or, in this case, many images. So the first way to improve tracking is to capture not just a higher number of images, but a higher quality of images.
We significantly increased both the number of images and the quality of image that the sensor can capture. This means the mouse can far exceed the limits of human capabilities (unless you can somehow move your mouse over 11 meters in less than 1 second), so you never have to worry about inconsistencies from the sensor not keeping up, regardless of how fast your hand is moving the mouse.
The TrueMove Pro sensor can take significantly more pictures per second. But what’s the good in all of those images without the ability to read them?
Reading and processing images
Inside every optical sensor is a DSP, or a digital signal processor. The DSP processes every image sequentially to understand the miniscule differences in the thousands of images being captured every second.
This processor turns all the individual pictures into an actual input of where and how your mouse is moving.
A mouse's processor can get confused if the images it is recieving are not clear, especially when the mouse is lifted or put down on a tilt, like what happens when you flick the mouse quickly. These more complex maneuvers can confuse some sensors, causing the cursor to move erratically, as demonstrated here by RocketJumpNinja:
With the all the additional images that are being captured by the TrueMove Pro sensor, we optimized and increased the power of its DSP to be strong enough able to keep up with the workload, so it can really understand the amount of data it's recieving at any time. It can process images that may confuse other sensors, eliminating the confusing spin-outs when you're lifting and flicking the mouse.
We called this feature "tilt tracking", which is a fancy way of saying that the TrueMove Pro has advanced stabilization thanks to its strong and optimized processing power, allowing it to read up to 18 000 CPI (counts per inch).
Think of the TrueMove Pro sensor like the engine in a supercar – it can drive smoothly and reliability at 20mph, 60mph, and 120mph.
What about other mice with high CPIs?
The TrueMove Pro's 18 000 CPI is the highest available right now. Believe it or not, a lot of mouse sensors with super high CPI's are artifically inflated through firmware.
It's suprisingly easy to spot a "fake" CPI. Basically, you want to look at not just the CPI amount, but also how it relates to the other specs of the sensor, specifically the speed (measured in IPS) and acceleration (measured in G).
If the CPI seems really high compared to the IPS and G, you know that it's being artifically inflated. If you can't even find the IPS and G of a mouse sensor, be wary.
Here's an example of IPS, G, and CPIs that are relative to each other:
TrueMove Pro ---------> 450 IPS / 50G / 18 000 CPI
TrueMove1 ------------> 240 IPS / 30G / 7 200 CPI
"Faked CPI" sensor ---> 200 IPS / 30G / 12 000 CPI
Notice how in the "faked" one, the IPS and G are similar to the level of TrueMove1, yet the CPI is significantly higher? Realistically, this sensor actually has 6 000 CPI, which is artifically doubled to 12 000 via firmware.
While it will "feel" like a high CPI, it's ultimately just giving you the illusion of a high CPI, but with less performance and reliability. What’s happening is that the firmware is inflating the counts per inch, so you have the illusion of a high CPI, without the actual performance and reliability.
It’s like taking 50 pictures and getting doubles developed, then saying you took 100 pictures.
The TrueMove Pro sensor has a genuine 18 000 CPI, and we're very proud of that.
Do people need 18 000 CPI?
If you crank the CPI on the mouse all the way to it’s max, you could literally move your cursor 18 000 counts with just 1 inch of mouse movement. While no gamer could realistically play like this, this level of genuine CPI is useful outside of gaming for multi-monitor setups, ultra-wide monitors, etc.
With too low a CPI on a wide monitor setup, you risk having to make giant sweeps of your mouse to move across the monitor, and the mouse may even jitter or lag in the high CPIs.
With its strong processor and high image quality, the TrueMove Pro can hit a true 18 000 CPI and keep up with near any monitor setup. While it wasn't necessary for most people 10 years ago, it's present and future ready.
The TrueMove Pro reads more images at a higher quality than standard gaming sensors, utilizes a stronger processor to handle the workload, and results in a genuine 18 000 CPI.
To make sure these improvements actually resulted in real-world benefits, we tested the heck out of it.
We wanted to make sure it actually worked in practice, not just on our own mousepads, but across various surfaces that people might be using. We tested extensively on not just SteelSeries mousepads, but Logitech and other brands of mousepads.
We even tested it out on non-mousepad surfaces like a manila envelope, a piece of white paper, a laminate countertop, and an IKEA wood desk, to make sure it was more reliable than any other sensor, even when being flicked, tilted, and more.
Our hypothesis was true: with it's improved picture quality and processing, the TrueMove Pro sensor actually performed better on the competitors' mousepads, our own mousepads, and even on many non-mousepad surfaces.
Consistency, reliability, and performance have all been elevated to their peak in the TrueMove Pro sensor. That’s why we can confidently say it has the best tracking on any mousepad.