Dedicated computer gamers will almost always want to invest in the best possible equipment, and have a habit of exploring all of their specs and stats to get the most optimal setup they can. After the actual PC itself, one of the most important parts of a gaming build is the monitor – you need to choose one with the best resolution, refresh rate, and response time. So, what is a good response time for a gaming monitor?
The best response time for a gaming monitor depends on how you intend to use the monitor. The fastest response times (1 ms) are best suited for high-intensity online multiplayer games, while slower response times (4-10 ms) are better suited for graphically intense single-player games. However, a faster response time means a trade-off in terms of image quality in most cases.
Here’s what you need to know about response time when it comes to gaming monitors. Read on to learn more.
What is Response Time?
Response time, when it comes to computer monitors, is the time it takes for the display to switch from one color to another. This is usually measured by performing a test that measures how long it takes the screen to go from black to white and back again, or from grey through the color spectrum back to a slightly different shade of grey.
The measurement is usually in milliseconds, with a standard of less than 10 ms. Some of the higher-end, fastest monitors on the market go as low as 1 ms.
The Difference Between Response Time and Refresh Rate
This measurement is not the same as the refresh rate for the monitor. Though they measure similar specs, the refresh rate is the time is takes for the screen to display a new image. This is usually measured in Hertz rather than milliseconds; the information is usually displayed alongside the resolution of the monitor.
If response time is listed, it will be in its own section with a specification for the kind of testing used. Additionally, the refresh rate gets better as the number of Hertz goes up. When it comes to response time, the lower, the better.
Why is Response Time Important for a Gaming Monitor?
Having a slow response time can cause display issues like blurring or ghosting, which can make it difficult to distinguish details of an image. However, for most applications, you won’t notice the time it takes for your computer to shift between colors. Word processors, browsers, and other common applications don’t require much in the way of lightning-fast reactions. Typically, you wouldn’t even notice the delay when watching videos on their highest quality settings.
This delay is most problematic when playing certain video games. Games that require precision aiming or split-second decision making, such as first-person shooters or fighting games, can suffer as response time delays obscure key features of a scene and cause players to lag behind. While it may not be overly noticeable to the casual gamer, slow response times can frustrate more dedicated and even professional players.
What is a Good Response Time for a Gaming Monitor?
The absolute best response time that your monitor can have is 1 ms. This is the best response time for dedicated high-precision gamers with extremely fast internet connections and high-end monitors. For these players, every millisecond they spend in the game counts.
These players will typically want twisted nematic (TN) or vertical alignment (VA) monitors rather than in-plane switching (IPS) monitors, as IPS monitors will only go as low as 4 ms. TN monitors also tend to be relatively inexpensive, making them good choices for those on a budget.
That being said, 4 ms is plenty for casual gamers, and those with less than perfect internet connections. The fastest response times in the world won’t fix internet lag or slow processing speeds. If you prefer image quality over speed, or if you regularly work with digital art and design as well as games, then an IPS monitor might be worth the investment.
On top of that, faster response times can mean sacrifices when it comes to image brightness and color saturation. If you play games that are graphically intense and single-player, you’ll probably get a better player experience by choosing a monitor with slower response times.
The best response time for a gaming monitor really does depend on the game being played. If you play many fast-paced online multiplayer games – think Fortnite or Rocket League – then having faster response times can greatly benefit you. If, however, you prefer single-player, graphically intense, or story-driven content, your response rate isn’t going to matter quite as much.
Consider how you intend to use your monitor when weighing its features, and buy the model that is best suited for your needs.