Finding a top-tier monitor with the best response time for your gaming rig is crucial to serious gamers looking to make every millisecond count. A short response time could not only ensure that you enjoy an incredible visual experience but can also reduce eye strain during those hours-long raids. That said, deciphering the best response time for gaming can be intimidating to those unfamiliar with the ins and outs of monitors and panels. Here, we’ll break down what the best response time is for gaming and why it matters.

Key Takeaways:

  • Response time is the rate at which a pixel shifts between colors on a monitor display. It is often confused with refresh rate, as they can both play a role in input lag. However, response time is more about visual experience.
  • A lower response time is ideal for gaming monitors. Ideally, 1ms to 5ms is the perfect range.
  • TN has a slower response time between TN and IPS monitors at the expense of more accurate colors. However, they are also easier to access due to a much lower price point.

What is Response Time?

Response time, also called pixel response time, is an aspect that refers to the time it takes for pixels to shift between colors. A slow response time means that movement may appear blurry, while a faster one will facilitate crisp lines and sharp edges. Response time has less to do with latency or input lag than some may think; it is often confused or conflated with a refresh rate in that way, though the two have little to do with each other. Response time is a factor of visual performance. The faster a pixel shifts, the more blur reduction you’ll get. This can have a small hand in FPS or lag, especially in competitive gaming, where a millisecond can make a world of difference.

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Why is a Low Response Time Better?

For your average user, response time isn’t necessarily the first thing you should look at when shopping for a monitor. Most users working from home or checking social media won’t notice a 20ms response time. Video games, however, will suffer from ghosting or motion blur at a higher rate. The difference this makes with the latest 4K games is nothing to ignore, especially when you’ve already invested in a high-end graphics card. The ideal response time for games is 1ms to 5ms.

What Type Of Monitor Has The Best Response Time?

There are two types of modern monitor panels: IPS (in-plane switching) and TN (twisted nematic). Designers or photographers favor IPS, users who need the most accurate, vivid color displays as possible, and they are often a pricier product. TN panels may not have the same color range as IPS, but they boast a more robust response time of 2ms, some even dipping as low as 1ms. Even going as high as a 5ms response time will make a huge difference in how games look in terms of artifacts and motion blur. If you’re in the market for a reasonably priced monitor that will make your games look the best, one with a TN panel is the best option.

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STAT:

A modern 4K monitor will contain about 8.3 million pixels or transistors. (benq.com)

Sources:
https://www.benq.com/en-ap/knowledge-center/knowledge/gaming-monitor-input-lag-versus-response-time-whats-the-difference-and-why-should-i-care.html

https://blogs.umass.edu/Techbytes/2016/04/04/tn-or-ips-monitors-whats-the-difference/

http://media3.webcollage.net/38618545d774668bb041e13cdd7957bd00931a3b?response-content-type=application/pdf&Expires=1893497582&AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIIE5CHZ4PRWSLYKQ&Signature=AJaDrnd6K8kLwUXaHW7Jf2rZJNY%3D

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Response_time_(technology)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaming

https://youtu.be/HTJAlcs_Rzg

Best Response Time for Gaming

How is response time measured?

How response time is measured varies between monitor manufacturers. However, most manufacturers measure how many milliseconds a pixel takes to shift from white to black, black to white, or grey to grey, essentially covering the entire color spectrum.

Are response time and refresh rate the same?

No, but they are often confused with each other. Refresh rate is how quickly images alternate on-screen, rather than the delay in color shifting in pixels.

What is a VA panel monitor?

Think of a VA, or vertical alignment, monitor as a middle ground between TN and IPS. VA monitors aim to blend the speed of TN and color accuracy of IPS panels, and newer models of monitors will be of this type.

Is a 5ms response time good for gaming?

Yes, 5ms is a perfect response time for gaming, and at that point, the variance between 1ms and 5ms could come down to personal preference.

Brady Meyers

Brady Klinger-Meyers is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He regularly contributes to websites such as Hardcore Droid, Gamepur, and Homebli. His work remains primarily in technology, from video game journalism to consumer technology.

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