Response time defines the speed of your gaming experience. Professional gamers are aware of it and that is the reason they often choose monitors based on their response time. In this review, we will be looking into a combination of factors that can influence your ideal monitor response time.
How to measure response time?
Pixel response time
Response time can be defined as the time taken for a pixel to fully change its shade. For calculating the right response time, the standard shades of black and white are generally considered. In other words, the time taken for the pixels to change their color from black to white can be termed as the actual response time of a monitor. Nowadays, monitor dealers are provided response times based on the time taken for pixels to transform from gray to gray, which is fairly less compared to the time taken for changing from black to white.
Monitor response time is measured in ms or milliseconds. Shorter response times indicated by lower milliseconds can offer better quality visuals. Monitors that can provide a response time of 1 to 2 milliseconds are highly preferred for fast-paced games. While buying monitors, gray-to-gray response time would be mentioned as GTG and black-to-white as BTW. For enjoying very low response times, you would need TN displays. The minimum response time of an IPS panel is around 4 milliseconds or more.
Effects of high response time
The response time of a pixel can immensely affect the display of your monitor. In other words, the visual quality of your screen is determined by its response time. A high response time indicates that the pixels are slow in responding to the changing visuals. Motion blur is the most common phenomenon observed in monitors with a high response time. Since the pixels are unable to change their shades during fast camera movements they become blurred. This results in blurring of your video. In the case of fast-paced gaming, motion blur is a commonly observed defect.
Ghosting is an effect that generates multiple silhouettes of a fast-moving object that seem to follow the main object like shadows. This happens because the pixels take time to transform in response to the fast-paced changes in a video. This is a direct result of a high response time.
Most-used screen technologies
Modern monitors make use of advanced technologies for producing an impactful display of moving images. They are made of IPS panels that are manufactured using “in-plane switching” technology. Even though they cannot provide a monitor response time of 1ms or 2ms, they are capable of optimum color reproduction and improved viewing angles. Both these features are essential for enhancing the viewing experience of a 3D game. Obviously, modern monitors come with an IPS display that has a minimum response time of 4ms to 6ms. You can check their image quality by visiting a nearby showroom where you can compare the effect of low and high response times on a fast-paced video.
TN panels are used for making LCDs with twisted pneumatic effect. Gaming monitors made of TN displays can offer you a response time of 1ms. These types of LCDs were quite popular during the 1980s and 1990s. However, by the late 90s, this technology was replaced by IPS panels and manufacturers started using IPS screen technology for manufacturing their display units. However, TN panels lag behind when it comes to color quality and viewing angles.
How to find the best response time?
Direct comparison is the best way to find out the difference between monitors that have low, medium and high response times. Visit any reputed hardware store in your city and they would show you a demonstration of how well their most modern gaming displays can perform. If you are not used to playing games on a monitor with 1ms or 2ms response time, then most probably you wouldn’t find any significant difference between monitors with a low response time and a medium response time.
Monitor vs. TV
For a quick comparison of response time, you can depend on your TV monitor. TVs usually have monitors with high response time when compared to desktop and laptop monitors. Although response time affects your picture quality, the impact may be negligible when compared to the overall visual quality. To understand the scenario you can take the example of different in-game frame rates. Although higher FPS indicates better picture quality, there are many gamers who prefer 30 FPS instead of 60 FPS because they are accustomed to it.
As explained above, monitors with TN displays are best when it comes to lowest monitor response time, but they may not be able to provide you with a realistic viewing angle or a dynamic color quality. On the other hand, you can enjoy a high-quality IPS display if you can adjust using a monitor with a 4ms response time which is quite reasonable.