When it comes to picking the right gaming monitor for you, it pays to know its response time, and importantly if it'll be any good for your setup.
Response times are, as with refresh rates, quite simple on the surface, but once you understand a little more you can really start to differentiate and increase your chances of bagging the best monitor for your needs.
Here we'll break down everything you need to know, so you're armed to make the right decision on your next upgrade.
What Are Response Times
Response times are basically the length of time it takes for a pixel to change, specifically its colour.
You'll find that some brands list response times as GtG, which means 'gray to gray' and therefore the time it takes for a pixel to change from different shades of gray.
If you think about how quickly something like that can happen, we're talking milliseconds, which is why you'll find response times listed as such (1ms, 4ms, 5ms and so on).
A lower response time means that the image will look much smoother and will 'feel' more responsive to movement, which ultimately makes a low response time better for gaming.
Are Some Panel-Types Faster Than Others?
There are three main panel types for monitors: IPS, TN, and VA and there's some debate as to which monitor panel type is the best for gaming too.
But all you need to know is this, TN panels appear to have the fastest response times, and that's because IPS and VA are largely built for better colours, which takes more processing time.
That's why you'll find many of the pros playing on small, TN monitors to ensure they get the most responsive experience possible, and why you'll usually find very high refresh rate monitors in that category too.
Does Screen Size Affect Response Time?
Generally speaking, the bigger the screen the slower the response time is, so it's worth keeping that in mind if you're playing more reactive titles where you need to be super-quick and sharp.
There is some debate as to the best monitor size for gaming, but ultimately we think anything under 27 inches is usually good for these types of games anyway, so looking at the biggest monitors around shouldn't really be your first instinct.
What Is A Good Response Time For A Gaming Monitor?
The best response time for a gaming monitor is 1ms for sure, but you will find that some 5ms monitors look visually quite similar with most titles.
Where you'll likely see a difference is when you're playing titles that have a lot going on at any one time.
If we had to through our opinion into the arena, we'd say that for those playing to win, a TN monitor with a 144hz refresh rate and 1ms response time is a good call.
That being said, if you're after that pure cinematic immersion then response time shouldn't really be the number one priority. We'd say go for one of the bigger and best HMDI 2.1 monitors around instead, especially if you've got a PS5 or Xbox Series X.
If you're on the hunt for your next monitor, don't forget to check out our top gaming monitor picks for the month right here.
Read More: Best 144hz Monitors - Our Top Picks