Response time refers to the time your monitor’s screen takes to shift from one color to another. The response time can make a significant difference in gaming when you have lots of action going on the screen.
However, most people get confused about this feature. When we say, the color of your screen shifts that doesn’t mean how your monitor displays an overall picture.
It means how the monitor’s pixels will response after a particular delay.
Most technicians measure response time on the basis of how a pixel transform from black to white.
Meanwhile, some measure it by considering the time taken to shift from one shade of gray to another.
The intensity of the color depends entirely upon the darkness of the gray color. In other terms, a dark gray color allows less light to pass through it. As a result, less light will hit your eyes.
Response times are often calculated in milliseconds.
For example- a monitor with a 60 Hz refresh rate displays one frame for just 17 milliseconds or ms. Each pixel within a monitor’s display comes with the ability to transition themselves in order to display the next frame as quickly as possible.
In general, any monitor with longer response time and lower refresh rates will produce more ‘motion blurring’ and ‘ghosting’, which is a nightmare for any professional gamer.
Let’s understand these terms in detail.
Imagine you are engrossed in a fast-paced game and suddenly you witness your screen going blurred for a matter of seconds.
This phenomenon is known as motion blurring. It mostly happens during faster camera movements in games and motion pictures.
It happens when the pixels within the display does not get enough time to shift colors. Motion blur may not affect everyone, but evidently, it has known for causing motion sickness to some users.
Ghosting appears in the form of a silhouette on the sides of a motion picture.
Again, this phenomenon is most common in fast camera movements due to the same higher refresh rates in monitors.
Most monitors come with a response time between 5ms to 17ms, which makes them ineligible for fast-paced gameplay.
However, for hardcore gaming, you can find gaming monitors with response times as lower as 1ms.
The panel quality of a monitor plays a significant factor in its response time.
Twisted Nematic panel
With just 1ms response time, the Twisted Nematic panel or TN panel monitors are the fastest you can get in the market.
As a reason, these monitors are wildly popular among competitive and professional gamers.
Lower response rate monitors are best paired with higher 144 Hz refresh rate monitors for lag-free gameplay experience.
However, in terms of color reproduction, TN panels are rated as the worst.
These panels display a narrow viewing angle, making the image shift in color and contrast when viewed from different angles.
IPS (in-plane switching) and VA (vertical alignment) Panels
IPS and VA panels usually come with similar features such as color production and viewing angles. Both panels offer a 178-degree wide viewing angle, making it easier for you to view images clearly from all sides.
However, you may encounter some minute contrast shifting in VA panels compared to IPS. Also, with IPS panels, you will receive consistent color production, whereas the contract ratio in VA panels remains static.
As a result, IPS monitors offer more visual advantages for doing color-rich tasks. Meanwhile, if you like bright whites and deep blacks, then VA panel can offer you that.
Both VA and IPS panel monitors are equipped with an average response time between 4ms or 5ms, while VA falls on the downside.
Actually, the deeper black pixels of VA panel monitors take a considerable amount of time to change from dark to lighter shades, and as a result, fast-moving objects in dark scenes appear smeary and visually challenging.
Such issues are rarely evident in IPS monitors. Besides, most advanced IPS monitors nowadays come with 1ms GtG pixel response time, which is the best response time for gaming.
What Is The Best Response Time For Gaming?
Practically, the Best Response time for gaming is the lowest response time you could ever find in a monitor i.e, 1ms, but it all depends upon your preference.
In some cases, you definitely need 1ms monitors for your games, while in some cases, 4-5ms monitors may work perfectly well.
Similarly, lower response time monitors do not always deliver the expected results.
For example, if you like playing games on single-player mode, then you are only competing against the computer and not any real players. As a result, you do not have to worry about the occasion blur or ghosting.
Let’s take one more example.
Let’s say, you are playing a multiplayer game on a monitor with 1ms response time, but have a bad internet connection.
Your 1ms monitor is not going to help you with image delay if your game runs at a 100ms ping to the server.
First, If you are a serious gamer who usually involves fast-paced games and competitive esports, then you can choose a TN panel since they provide the best response time for gaming. Secondly, if you are a mid-level gamer or simply starting out, then IPS panel might be the right choice for you.
Moreover, if you like playing graphics-rich games in single-player mode, then VA monitors can offer you the best experience at an affordable budget.