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What is Response Time on a Monitor?

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Updated April 21, 2022

The higher a monitor’s response time, the smoothest and better flowing the overall picture. High response times are a must for avid gamers with rapid-fire gameplay, ensuring no lag and an overall better gaming experience. Keep reading to learn more about a high-quality monitor’s response time, ideal response times based on application, and the difference between a refresh rate and a frame rate.

What Is a Monitor’s Response Time?

Not to be confused with input lag, a monitor’s response time is a measure of how quickly a pixel can display a change from one shade to another. Specifically, it’s a measure of a panel moving from a gray to gray shade. They are typically expressed as milliseconds with 60Hz monitors keeping a pixel on the screen in under 17 milliseconds. Pixels are constantly refreshing to display the next frame. Poor response times can result in ghosting, which is a trailing image with every successive image change.

What is a Good Response Time?

It all depends on the discerning eye. Some games are capable of seeing ghosting with pixel transitions as little as 2 milliseconds. Largely, it all depends on personal preferences and what you can discern. If you’re worried about seeing significant motion blur, consider investing in a monitor that uses black frame insertion. However, if you are a hardcore gamer or movie watcher, we recommend a 1ms response time, which ranks amongst the fastest response times possible for a computer monitor.

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What is Better – a Low Response Time or High Response Time?

It all depends on the application. People who browse the web, answer emails, pour through spreadsheets and other similar tasks do not require a high response time, since these don’t project captivating images that need the extra attention. High response times are best appreciated for high-end gamers looking for super-accurate image movement with no ghosting.

Tip: People who browse the web, answer emails, pour through spreadsheets and other similar tasks do not require a high response time

Tip: High response times are best appreciated for high-end gamers looking for super-accurate image movement with no ghosting

Regardless of how you use your monitor, you’ll also want to make sure you have the best monitor brightness contrast settings to avoid eye damage.

What’s the Difference Between A Refresh Rate And Frame Rate?

A computer monitor’s refresh rate refers to the number of times a screen shows a new image every second. These are expressed using the Hertz measurement, with a 60Hz refresh rate being standard and higher rates tending to be more expensive like on the best 1440p 144hz monitors. Response time is the amount of time needed for a monitor to move from one color to the next.

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According to Displayninja.com, if you want to avoid ghosting, you should look for gaming monitors with a specified response time speed of 1ms GtG (Gray to Gray) – or lower. Many of the HDR monitors have this speed.

Sources:

https://www.howtogeek.com/405903/what-is-a-monitors-response-time-and-why-does-it-matter

*https://www.viewsonic.com/library/tech/what-is-response-time-for-monitors/

https://www.windowscentral.com/what-does-response-time-mean-your-pc-monitor

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://www.displayninja.com/what-does-monitor-response-time-mean/

1ms vs. 5ms: How do They Measure up Against Each Other?

https://www.rtings.com/monitor/tests/motion/motion-blur-and-response-time