2ms vs 1ms Gaming Monitors

Updated: Feb 13, 2024 3:24 PM


If you are shopping for a new screen, you may be comparing gaming monitors with a 1ms vs 2ms response time. The best gaming monitors available typically feature one of the aforementioned response times. Which gaming monitor should you choose? Keep reading to find out.

Key Takeaways_

  • Response time refers to how fast a gaming monitor can change the colors of a pixel, so a lower number is better.
  • 1ms is the best response time you can shoot for when it comes to smooth gameplay, though the difference between 1ms displays and 2ms monitors will be negligible.
  • A 1ms gaming monitor may be more “future-proof,” but they also tend to be more expensive.

Differences Between 1ms and 2ms Response Times

First of all, what are monitor response times? A monitor’s response time measures how long it takes the display to convert pixels from one color to another, so it is also referred to as pixel response time. Response times can range from the fastest, 1ms, to somewhere along the lines of 16ms or even slower. With that in mind, 1ms and 2ms are extremely close and, in most cases, would be considered essentially the same, though some competitive gamers may beg to differ. You may notice some subtle differences during gameplay, but it will not be as stark as when comparing gaming monitors with 144Hz vs 60Hz refresh rates. You’ll see a slight difference with monitors at variable refresh rates for gaming. It just depends on how much response time you need. 

Here are how the differences between 1ms and 2ms response times come into play.

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No matter which you choose, you can rest easy knowing that your gameplay experience will be smooth. Both 1ms and 2ms are fast.

Gameplay as Smooth as Butter

Both 1ms and 2ms gaming displays will boast ultra-smooth gameplay, especially when compared to monitors with slower response times in the 10ms range. Response time is directly linked to refresh rate and frame rate, after all, so the faster your monitor can change colors, the lower your input and display lag will be. Refresh rates are often hampered by the response time and whether or not the monitor can handle a variable refresh rate, such as when comparing FreeSync vs FreeSync 2.

Future Compatibility

PC gaming moves at the speed of light, with tech that is constantly evolving and improving upon itself. As of this writing, 1ms is essentially the fastest response time available on gaming monitors. This may not always be the case, so to future-proof your gaming rig, go with a 1ms monitor over a 2ms monitor, as future games may not be too compatible with the slower response time.

STAT: Response times are usually measured from grey-to-grey transitions, based on a VESA industry standard from 10% to 90% points in the pixel response curve. (source)

Price and Measurement Type

1ms monitors tend to be more expensive than 2ms monitors, though there could be some variation when it comes to the type of measurement the manufacturer is using. Response time that is measured in grey-to-grey (GtG) is usually a bit slower in real-world situations than those that are measured in black-to-black, though cheaper. A monitor that advertises itself as having a 1ms response time in grey-to-grey may actually be the same as a 2ms response time in black-to-black.

2ms vs 1ms Gaming Monitors Questions (FAQ)

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