What Does Monitor Response Time Mean?


The time that your monitor takes to switch from one color to another is referred to as response time. This is typically measured in milliseconds of going from black to white to black again. Commonly, the monitor’s response time remains under ten milliseconds while some models are as fast as one millisecond.

Response time is one of the more difficult features to look for in a monitor. This is because it is one of the most overlooked features, as it does not offer much to the average user. Response time refers to the colors you see on your monitor and how long it takes for them to shift between them.

 Let’s have a keen look for a better understanding of monitor response time.

Monitor Response Time

What is Response Time

Response time is a measurement of how quickly a pixel can transition from one color to another, or from one shade of gray to another. The faster the response, the better.

When there is a lot of fast action on the screen, response time can make a huge visual difference. This specification is concerned with the individual pixels rather than how your monitor will eventually display inputs from your peripherals after a delay.

It measures how quickly a pixel can change from black to white or from one shade of gray to another. Different shades of gray represent the intensity with which a given color will appear on your monitor after passing through a filter.

How Does Monitor Response Time Matter?

The pixels themselves must transition faster than that to display the next frame in time. 

A longer response time frequently results in a manifestation known as “ghosting.”

When pixels take too long to switch between shades of gray, you can see the remains of trails from a moving object on a screen.

This isn’t a big deal if you only use your computer for browsing and social networking. Still, if you play video games or watch action movies, the slow response times can cause distracting visual artifacts. For the least amount of ghosting, look for a gaming monitor with a 1ms GtG pixel response time or lower/faster.

Response Time vs. Refresh Rate: Where Is Confusion?


The refresh rate of a monitor is not to be perplexed by the response time of the monitor. The refresh rate and the frame rate are often confused because they sound very similar. However, the refresh rate refers to the number of times per second that a screen displays a new image. 

The majority of monitors have a refresh rate of 60 hertz, but some go higher—and a higher refresh rate is preferable. While an immediate response time results in promising action.

Input Lag vs. Response Time

Response time should not be confused with input lag, which is a specification that display manufacturers do not publicize. Input lag is something entirely different. 

The amount of time that passes between an action being taken with the mouse or keyboard and the corresponding display of the result on the screen is referred to as input lag.

On the other hand, the response time of the monitor is specified by the display manufacturers; however, this is only the case for monitors and not for televisions.

When & Why Do You Need a Low Response Time? 

The time it takes for the colors on your screen to change is so short that you won’t even notice it as you work in photo editing, web browsing, email writing, document creation, or any other program. A noticeable lag in video playback is uncommon even on today’s high-definition computer monitors and televisions.

The gaming industry is an exception. When it comes to video games, even a single millisecond can determine the outcome of a match, such as whether or not a player is victorious in a battle, whether or not they complete a long-distance sniper shot, or even whether or not they achieve the ideal racing line in a video game. 

So, if you are a gamer, it is worth the expense of purchasing a more expensive monitor that is focused on gaming to get a low refresh rate that is between 1 and 5 milliseconds.

Types Of Monitors Having Low Response Time

gsync monitors

However, if you are going to purchase a new monitor for your gaming desktop, you should look for the panel with the fastest refresh rate that you can afford. 

Here are the top selling types of monitors with Low Response Time:

1. VA (Vertical Alignment)

A more recent design attempts to combine the rapid response time of TN with the more precise and vibrant color reproduction of IPS. The use of VA panels, which can have refresh rates as low as one millisecond, is becoming increasingly common in gaming monitors. This creates something of a settlement for a good choice.

2. IPS (In-Plane Switching)

Generally, IPS monitors are valued by graphic designers, photographers, and video editors, as well as anyone else for whom accurate colors are important. IPS display panels are more costly than other monitors but have more accurate colors. Since their response times are slower than those of TN panels, they are not typically marketed as “gaming” monitors.

3. TN (Twisted Nematic) Display Panels

TN display panels are inexpensive, but the color selection is typically limited. Because of low response time, these are among the fastest on the market. Gaming monitors typically opt for TN panels because of their ability to be faster despite having fewer colors.

Drawbacks Of Fast Response Time 

To reduce response time, gaming monitors frequently forego more complex image processing that intervenes between the computer signal and the game display. This includes monitor components that correct color, increased brightness, blue light filters that reduce eye strain, and other similar features.

Reduced brightness and muted colors are most likely the results of choosing a gaming monitor with the fastest possible response time and then configuring it to run at that speed.

Also Check: Moving Picture Response Time (MPRT)

Common FAQs: (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q.1 Should I Buy a Monitor With a Low Response Time?

No, not for a lot of games. If you’re playing a single-player game against a computer, the occasional blur or ghost image might not be worth the aesthetic cost of purchasing a gaming monitor and setting it to the fastest mode. Even when played online, more casual games like Minecraft do not benefit from that ultra-low image delay.

Q.2 Why Are OLED Displays So Popular For Gaming?

Because of the prompt pixel response time speed of OLED displays, there are no ghosting or overshooting artifacts regardless of the refresh rate. It is one of the primary reasons why gamers adore this panel technology (the other being infinite contrast ratio and no backlight bleeding, glowing, or haloing).

Q.3 Can a Slow Response Time Cause “Ghosting”?

When there is a slow response time, a problem called “ghosting” can happen. This is when moving pixels on a screen leave a trail behind the moving object. This is because the pixels are not moving quickly enough. At best, this can be annoying, but in competitive games like Valorant or League of Legends, it can be a big problem. 

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