Best Mouse for 3ds Max on 4K

25 Aug, 2017 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
25 Aug, 2017 # Re: Best Mouse for 3ds Max on 4K

What about the mouse for the large monitors? Is it necessary to have a mouse with sensitivity higher than 1000 DPI for it? If so, what are the best options on the market?

28 Aug, 2017 Anton (Staff Author)
28 Aug, 2017 # Re: Best Mouse for 3ds Max on 4K

Hi ann,


Using a 4K monitor, it surely makes sense to think about your mouse performance. The finer changes of the cursor position you want to see, while your movements fast or not, the higher the frequency and accuracy of mouse controller readings should be. Moving your cursor, you want to see no “jumps” and be able to do tiny movements.


You may realise that when you move a mouse, it has to report own position at least one time every refresh of your screen with a precision determined as number of travelled monitor pixels per every inch of a mousepad. For good and smooth work, there are two principles in the above considerations:


The precision of mouse position detection (DPI) is directly proportional to the screen linear pixels quantity.


The frequency of mouse position reporting (Hz) is directly proportional to the screen refresh rate.


For example, you move the mouse from left edge to the right edge of a 10” wide mousepad for 1 second of time, expecting the display cursor to go from one side of the monitor to another.


Having FullHD 1920 pixel wide monitor, the mouse reports its position with a precision of 1920 dots divided by 10 inches, that is 192 DPI. In the same time, having 3840 pixel wide 4K monitor, that is 2x more than the previous one, the mouse has to report own position with a precision of 3840 dots divided by the same 10 inches, that is 384 DPI, and the same 2x more.


Following to the examples above, the same proportional change must be expected for change of monitor’s refresh rate: if you, for an example, double the display refresh rate (120Hz monitor after 60Hz one), the mouse must have double reporting frequency.


That is how the relative principles in ideal situation work, when you changing the monitor to the one with higher specifications, but at the same time want to keep your mouse-using style unchanged.


But these numbers of 192DPI, 60Hz, and even 384DPI with 120Hz don’t look like marketing numbers on today's mice. The catch here in that the mouse position determination is a complex process.


The mouse position determination, or rather the relative movement determination, in optical mice is done using very tiny camera, that continuously scans the image of surface under the mouse and tries to guess where you have moved the mouse by comparing neighbouring frames.


First, the area available for the sensor through the tiny opening in the middle of the mouse is very limited. So limited, that if you do the movement rapid enough, the sensor would have no enough visually overlapping frames and thus wouldn’t be able to analyze where the mouse has moved to. That problem can be solved by increasing the scanning frequency (Hz), to ensure that during rapid movements the images of the consequent frames overlap and give the ability to analyze the changes.


Second, the size of the scanned images can be as low as 18x18 pixels and you may think that each move the mouse controller gets around 18 details to compare, which is a pretty low number. But in fact, the surface under the mouse is far from ideal, so the number of detected changes may be even lower. This problem is solved by increasing the scanning precision (DPI) to increase a chance of movement determination by scanning smaller surface details. Unfortunately, having the same amount of pixels on the sensor and greater DPI, it logically lowers the scanning area. As we already know, that is the problem, and is solved by, again, increasing the scanning frequency (Hz).


As you can see, there are major reasons to have resolution and frequency of the internal mouse operation greatly bigger than those of your display. Still, the relative principles work anyway: the better the display is, the better should the both parameters of a mouse should be.

Also, you can control the type of surface under the mouse. Often, you have just a table surface under the mouse. It differs greatly from the pattern of a mouse pad. That’s why you may get the one of professional mouse pads with labels “precision”, because they have a special high detailed grid on it surface which mouse sensor can recognize. Using the expensive HIGH specs mouse on a cheap mousepad with fun “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” print does not make much sense.

Getting closer to the point of how to choose mouse for 4K monitor it is worth taking into account your own mouse usage style.I am using the 60Hz 4K monitor (TV panel) and personally like to control a mouse with my palm most of the time, with forearm laying still. It means that I make micro moves that require precision scanning. That requires more DPI.

In practice the 6000 DPI on 1000Hz setting in my particular mouse is enough for this kind of usage style.

If you prefer to count on wide moves, then you don't need to have a mouse with this high DPI. So for 3ds Max on 4K monitor you should be good with any high or mid price model. For precise things in Photoshop I suggest you to have a graphics tablet. Also, when choosing the mouse, pay attention to its ergonomics and the additional buttons.


From my experience the best usability mouse I ever use is Razer DeathAdder. At least it has a best shape for my hand. I had two DeathAdder mice, the first incarnation of DeathAdder  and the later one, the DeathAdder 3500. But not everything is so good with mouse of this manufacturer. I have noticed that my Razer DeathAdder mice were the models that start to malfunction very quickly. First, the anti-friction cover on a mouse body is washed out. Mouse starts to look like cheap overused garbage from the public internet cafe. Next, the middle button on a wheel refuses to work. And eventually the left mouse button stops responding that makes mouse completely unusable. Also, I heard about identical issues with DeathAdder from my friends. One of them is currently using Death Adder 2013 WoT 6400DPI for a second year without any problems, though.

So, after my second DeathAdder 3500 broke down, I decided to buy cheaper mouse, but with the better technical characteristics - A4Tech Bloody ZL5. Here is the settings screenshot where you can see it parameters:


Here’s how it looks after about of two years of everyday use:

 As you can see, the body almost without any traces of use.


Here’s how many buttons it has:

All buttons are still in working condition.


But there is “but” with this mouse too. The usability is slightly worse than with DeathAdder. Namely, mouse is too heavy, body shape is too angular, wire is too bulky and tight so much that during self-straightening might even to move a mouse. Anyway overall usability feeling it is my subjective opinion of course. So I would have described this mouse as a “logy” and “blunt”. However, in general, mouse is great. It definitely worth the price.


So what mouse to buy for work with graphics on 4K monitor?


- If you are uncompromised person with unlimited budget for a mouse, buy a new mouse like DeathAdder every time as old one begin to glich. Razer has a large assortment. I think many of other $100+ mouse from this company are also great.


- If you are more savvy person, I suggest you to buy something compromise. For example, mouse with similar body to DeathAdder, but from other manufacturer. By the way, originally that kind of body, as I know, was introduced by Microsoft Intellimouse.


Finally, I am not against the Ninja Turtles, but do not forget to buy a quality mouse pad with high detailed surface to squeeze the maximum from your computer rodent 😃

25 Aug, 2017 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
30 Aug, 2017 # Re: Best Mouse for 3ds Max on 4K

Hello Anton!

Thanks for the detailed review. I did some Internet searches before, read some articles, but don’t saw anything about the frequency of reports (HZ). My problem is that I bought a new monitor again. This time with the diagonal of 32 inches’. This one:

ASUS ProArt PA328Q Professional Monitor - 32" 4K UHD(3840 x 2160)


I was faced with the problem that is very important for me - the tiredness of the right hand. My previous mouse was a usual mouse with DPI 1000. Thought that maybe this is the old 3ds Max version problem. I have installed the newer 3ds Max 2017. Next is “better” - appeared malfunctions during working with a mouse, vertexes misses, problems with the mouse muddle button.

I think to myself, yeah, it is time to change the mouse. So I bought this one:

Logitech G403 Wireless


I had the Logitech mouse before. It was a small, compact and wireless. I like it. The new mouse came wider, longer, with bigger body and I can’t get used to it. Those mice that you showed as an example - they are all for male, even longer and wider than mouse I bought. I can’t work with it. Additional buttons I also call a minus rather than plus. Maybe I am not understanding the advantages, but additional buttons disturb me. I am permanently think about how to do not press them accidentally.


Anyway, with the new mouse the working process became better even without firmware utility that came with mouse. No need a wider hand moves, good speed. Nevertheless, sometimes I can't precisely target a vertex or edge from the first try. It is necessary to look on a screen more attentive to aim more precisely - that’s a time loss. As it seems to me, the CUT tool in Editable Poly works better in Max 2014 - does not create unnecessary vertices outside edges when your palm moves not too precise.


I am using the new mouse about week and I can’t work more than three hours in a row of because my hand starts to hurt. Arise a strong desire to return to 27” HD monitor to get rid of all these problems at once.

Maybe it is a matter of habit? Maybe I need to get used to 4K and bigger and faster mouse a little longer? How long have you got used to yours mouse and yours huge 43” panel??? There problems are even bigger. Probably that you had to get used to, tell us how it was if it is not a secret.

28 Aug, 2017 Anton (Staff Author)
4 Sep, 2017 # Re: Best Mouse for 3ds Max on 4K


I guess you are right about necessity to take into consideration anatomical differences. For a smaller hand need a smaller mouse. In this particular case I can't suggest to you any concrete mouse shape, because I am nominally being a “man's” type mouse user. But in general, the best way to decide it is to visit the biggest computer store in your area and grab 10, 20 – 100 different mice with your own hand. Then I did my first conscious choice, I behave exactly as I say. I remember 2 showcases 3 or more meters long, with few shelves on each, almost fully covered with a different kinds of mice without packages. I spent more than 20 minutes trying different shapes in my hand. How they fit, how the buttons are clicked, what's their weight and so on ... until I made a choice.


I don’t know do you can sell or return your mouse, but if you’re really feel discomfort in a wrist for a week, not sure that it is a good idea to make yourself forcibly get used to. The Carpal tunnel syndrome is a very bad thing, as I know.

Sometimes I working up to 10 hours per day, and the only body parts that is get tired it is my buttocks and lower back. No any problem with the wrist joints.


Try a different mouses in your local store(s), maybe your will find something that perfectly fit in your hand from the first try.


Also I think, that the wireless mice are not a good choice, because they have an excessive weight, since contains battery that itself is weighs a lot. The less weighs you mouse, the less you will be tired during long-term work.


Mouse is very important working instrument and you definitely must to choose the best one.


About buttons.

On a good device the buttons well protected from accidental clicks. They cleverly located and triggers only after the deep push. So It is unlikely that you will be accidentally pushing a buttons on your mouse.


Concerning the vertex and edges, I think your will quickly learn how to targeting in a small detail on ULTRA resolution screen. So no need to downgrade your monitor to 27” HD.


About the panel size, the smaller the panel is, the denser the pixel, the physically smaller the each object on the screen, the harder to see it and to target on a screen. So I think more problematically to work on a 4K exactly with the smaller diagonal, not with the biggest one. The smaller the physical 4k monitor size – the harder to distinguish a small details.


I don’t feel any particular difference regarding to using a mouse during I get used to my 4K panel. I am just increased DPI from 2000+ to 5000+ and that’s all. I want to pay attention, that I have different speed(DPI) on my mouse on the different axes. The X are slightly faster. Personally, it's more convenient for me.


Finally, I am still using 3ds Max 2015 and can’t confirm or disprove the differences compared to 2017 3ds Max in Editable Poly Cut process. Maybe it is just a problem with targeting?

10 Oct, 2017 Maks (Staff Author)
10 Oct, 2017 # Re: Best Mouse for 3ds Max on 4K

I have used Razer Death Adder 2013 WoT 6400DPI mentioned here for about two years, and the middle button have failed today. It does nothing when I press wheel anymore, despite I hear distinct mechanical click sound. There is a rumour that you can disassemble the mouse and clean it - will leave this option for future. Got A4Tech Bloody R8 Wireless instead. If someone interested, I can share my opinion on its usage with 109ppi display setup.

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