Explainer: Know why response time of a monitor is important in gaming


A typical user gets bombarded with multiple technical specifications when they hunt for a new gaming monitor. Screen size, resolution and refresh rate are some of the most important specifications that consumers should look out for, but the response time is also something that users need to be aware about. In this article, we will take you through a monitor’s response time and how it can be important for gaming
Response time of a monitor is the period taken by a display to change from one colour to another. Generally, it is calculated in terms of the pixels going from black (inactive) to white (active) to black (inactive) again.
A lower response time reduces image blurring or ghosting and helps in getting better picture quality. There are some gaming monitors that are available with a response time of one millisecond, however, a basic LCD response time is under 10-millisecond.
Importance of low response time in gaming
Response time of a monitor might not be important for most PC users but it is not the same when it comes to gaming. The reason for this is the delay between the screen shifting colours is so fast that users don’t even notice it while web surfing or writing an email. Modern monitors and televisions usually don’t have a delay, which is significant enough for the viewers to notice even while watching a video. But, it is not the same with gamers!
While gaming, every single millisecond counts since it can become the key difference between winning or losing a match. A single millisecond can make the difference if you are trying to land a long-range headshot with a sniper or trying to find the right lane in a racing game.
So, gamers will need to look for a monitor with a low response time between one to five milliseconds. Gaming monitors can be a bit expensive but it will be worth it if you are looking to exploit every possible competitive edge during your gaming sessions.
If you are into fast-paced multiplayer games like Fortnite and Street Fighter, you would want to have every possible millisecond to be on your side. Some game consoles and modern TVs also come with a “game mode” that lowers the response time. It keeps the response time low even when you plug the console to a computer monitor.
How is it different from refresh rate?
Response time of a monitor is totally different from its refresh rate. Although they sound similar, they have distinct functionalities. Refresh rate is the number of times a display can update or refresh a new image every second. It is measured in Hertz (Hz), whereas response time is measured in per millisecond.
Monitors normally come with 60Hz refresh rate and there are some, which have higher refresh rates. In case of refresh rates, it is better to go with a higher number, especially if it will be used for gaming and editing. On the contrary, consumers should always go with monitors that have lower response times.