What Is Overdrive On A Monitor – ON or OFF?


Overdrive settings boost the monitor’s response time speed to reduce ghosting effects in fast-moving games or videos.

In simple terms, for a smooth and crispier gaming experience, overdrive increases the response time rate according to the changes in pixels’ colors.

In the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu on your monitor, you can change the overdrive setting to turn it on or off. Let’s find out how it works for joyful screen time;

What Is Overdrive On A Monitor?

The overdrive option speeds up the response time of your monitor to eliminate screen ghosting. As a result, you can play video games without any lag. Depending on the manufacturer, the overdrive is known by several names, such as response overdrive and reaction time compensation.

Overdrive on a Monitor

The overdrive on most monitors is initially set to regular or medium. To speed up the response time, increase the setting. But excessive overdrive results in pixel overshoot. Additionally, specific monitors lack an overdrive setting. Thus if the frame rates are low, ghosting cannot be removed.

Overdrive on display boosts your monitor’s already-existing refresh rate processing speed. Reaction time permits pixels to move uniformly and in time with the motion with no lag or delay. Overdrive in displays, particularly in monitors, raises the refresh rate to ensure the monitor’s response time and responsiveness. 

It is primarily a gaming feature or option that helps the user adjust to and achieve the required smooth-flowing images. Response time is the ability of pixels to move consistently and in sync with the stimulus without lag or delay.

What is the Overdrive’s Mechanism?

Depending on the voltage provided, the tiny crystals in LCD monitors permit light to pass through. You can see color on the monitor due to light passing through the crystals. The crystals are indeed there, and they migrate slowly from one location to another.

The crystals receive significantly greater voltage when you utilize the overdrive setting. The pixels’ ability to change color more quickly is caused by the crystals’ quicker movement between locations. Overvolting is the procedure, and it shows how the response time of your monitor accelerates.

What is Response Time in Overdrive?

The response time of a monitor reveals how quickly a pixel can shift from one color to another. For example, a 60Hz display refreshes the image 60 times per second, meaning there are 16.67 milliseconds between refresh cycles.

If a monitor’s response time is slower than that — that is, if a pixel takes longer than 16.67ms to change – it will continue altering in the next frame, which is how you get visible trailing behind moving objects on the screen.

What Is Ghosting? How Does It Relate to Overdrive?Y

Image Credit: BlurBusters

You may experience this kind of blurring when playing a fast-paced or high-graphics game, particularly on older CPUs or monitors with lower or higher resolutions that are unable to handle such high resolutions. This results in these kinds of jarring and blurry visuals. These hazy images on your monitors are known as ghosting.

Your monitor’s slow response time and the speed at which your preferred game is played are to blame for this. Your screen has already changed to a completely different image, and the pixels on your screen are attempting to keep up with it but moving too slowly.

You could still see screen ghosting even if your display has a rapid response time and an excellent processor. But you can get around this issue using an “Overdrive.”

How To Choose Overdrive Options to Turn It On Or Off?

To access the monitor’s overdrive settings, visit the OSD menu and look for TraceFree, Rampage Response, Overdrive, OD, or Response Time. There should be choices. Some monitors have more overdrive levels than others and have various names.

Normal,  Faster, Medium, High, Highest, or numbers mark the levels. TraceFree lets you regulate overdrive from 0 to 100 in 20-step increments.

Even with overdrive set to Off or Low, you won’t notice ghosting/trailing behind fast-moving objects. Medium/Normal works best. Don’t use overdrive unless you have extreme smearing in fast-paced games.

Overdrive is required for gaming on high-refresh-rate displays. We propose BlurBusters’ UFO ghosting test to evaluate your monitor’s overdrive setting. A gaming monitor’s overdrive is crucial.

Variable Overdrive: FreeSync/G-Sync

Gaming monitors with an integrated G-Sync module have variable overdrive, which lets them change the level of overdrive based on the refresh rate for the best performance at any frame/refresh rate.

Variable Overdrive

Popular refresh rate technologies include AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync. FreeSync is inexpensive because it requires no extra hardware. G-Sync requires NVIDIA’s expensive proprietary hardware. Two sync technologies synchronize your monitor’s refresh rate and frame rate for smooth gaming.

Most G-Sync displays have variable overdrive. The computer’s refresh rate affects the variable overdrive setting. Few FreeSync displays have variable overdrive. Most FreeSync monitors do not have this ability. 

So, if you’re running at 144FPS with High overdrive and your FPS drops to around 60FPS, the overdrive will be too intense for 60Hz/FPS and cause overshoot. But it’s not happen very often, which is a plus.

 Some FreeSync monitors can’t even use both FreeSync and the most robust overdrive option simultaneously. In this case, the suggested alternative is to turn off FreeSync and use High overdrive at higher frame rates.

Although you can use Medium overdrive and FreeSync at lower frame rates. This will depend on what you like and whether or not you notice screen tearing or ghosting more.

Does Overdrive Cause Any Risk to Your Monitor?

Overdrive is an incorporated feature of the monitor. The panel is not damaged like a monitor with an overdrive function is designed to handle higher voltage and increase the reaction rate. Even though it forces a monitor to perform better.

Although setting the Overdrive option to Strong nearly always produces an unsightly inverted shadow, it won’t shorten the lifespan or harm the display. Most likely, the middle of the overdrive range is the ideal setting.

Overdrive Using Benefits 

The advantages of using overdrive are as follows:

  • It eliminates blurring, trailing, and ghosting on screens. 
  • The reaction time is sped up. 
  • It helps to present realistic images because of the quick response time.
  • It’s a great feature for video editing or gaming displays.
  • On game monitors with an integrated G-SYNC module, variable overdrive is available.
  • Overdrive makes the display even smoother and more aesthetically pleasing when there is rapid movement and moving objects.

FAQs Section

Q.1 Why does Overdrive Cause Pixel Overshoot?

Avoid overdrive unless you’re suffering considerable aspersion in fast-paced games because it may result in inverted ghosting or pixel overshoot if used extensively. On panels with a higher refresh rate, overdrive is necessary for the optimum gaming experience.

Q.2 Does overdrive exist on every monitor?

No, not all displays offer overdrive settings. So if your monitor doesn’t have them, you can’t use them to eliminate ghosting. You can play with a few overdrive levels when you open the overdrive option. The most common terms for them are slow, regular, fast, and faster and numbers also identify some.

Q.3 Is Response Time Overdrive Good for Gaming?

Yes, It’s a fantastic feature for gaming displays. Variable overdrive is available on gaming monitors with an integrated G-SYNC module, allowing the degree of overdrive to be modified about the refresh rate.

Q.4 What if I don’t use Overdrive on a Monitor?

You can risk getting ghost pictures on the screen if you don’t use the overdrive to boost the performance of your display. The ghost pictures will hamper your ability to watch or play games without interruption.

Q.5 Which Overdrive Is the Best for Your Monitor?

On your monitor, regular or medium overdrive settings work well. You’ll get a pixel overshoot if you select a higher overdrive. Overdrive artifacts are produced when overdrive is used excessively.

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