Input Lag VS Response Time – Which Should I Prioritize for Gaming?

Before choosing a PC, it is essential to know its specifications. For a smooth gameplay experience, input lag and response time plays a significant role. A computer with good response time and low input lag will help you play your games more smoothly and quickly.

Too much high input lag and slow response time can ruin your gaming experience. That’s why it is vital to buy a PC with low input lag and increased response time. But which one should be prioritized, especially if you are a gamer is essential.

However, a lot of people think that input lag and response time are the same thing. But this is not true. Both of these specifications have particular importance in a computer.

For this purpose, you should know about these two specifications more deeply. In this article, I will tell you what is input lag and response time and which should be prioritized for gaming.

Figure 1 Input Lag VS Response Time

What is input lag?

Input lag is also known as the display lag of a monitor or an LCD. It is the time required to process instruction on the screen given by the user. A monitor with low input lag will process your command speedily and provide a smooth screen display.

If your monitor has a high input lag, it will process the instructions slowly and see a lag on the screen. This lagging of the screen can be very irritating and also very time-consuming. No one likes to spend 1 hour on a task if it can be done in a half-hour.

Refresh rate and input lag come side by side. If your monitor has a refresh rate of 60Hz, then the input lag will be a half. On the other hand, if the refresh rate is high, then input lag will also be increased, producing lagging. So do look for a monitor with a reasonable refresh rate, and you won’t need to worry about the input lag.

Importance of input lag in gaming

Input lag plays a significant role in gaming. A monitor with high input lagging will sluggish the screen time. The actions given by the keyboard and mouse will take more time, and as a result, you will experience slow and less smooth gameplay.

For smooth and speedy gaming, it is essential to have a good monitor with low input lag. Low input lagging will process the instructions and commands fast, and as a result, you will experience more smooth and fast gameplay.

Figure 2 Game Mode on TV

If you are playing a game on your television, turning on the game mode is recommended. It will provide some extra smoothness to your gameplay, and the images will be fluid-like so that you can have a great gaming experience on the television.

Best input lag in gaming monitors

Although choosing a low input lagging monitor depends on your budget. If there is no issue of money, then you can go for an 18ms or less input lag monitor. But it is better to have a monitor with at least 30ms of input lag to have a smooth and fluid screen display.

What is the response time?

The monitor response time is how fast an intended function replies. In simple words, response time is the change in the pixel colors. Lower the response time more quickly will be the change in the colors on the screen.

With a good response time, you will not experience a change in the colors and have a very smooth and fluid-like picture quality. On the other hand, if the response time is high, you will notice something happening on the screen, which won’t be enjoyable.

Response time is the transition from black color to white and vice versa. Better response time will shift the black and white color in no time. Response time also depends upon the refresh rate. Low response time with a high refresh rate provides a better picture quality.

Response time is also based on the Panel type of a monitor.

  • The TN panel doesn’t have good color quality but has the fastest response time. TN is the best choice for a quick and smooth gaming experience.
  • Next is the IPS panel; it is a mediocre type of panel. And in terms of response time, IPS is better than VA but not as good as TN.
  • Lastly, the VA panel is one of the best contrast, but the response time is not good. It takes a lot of time to transition between white and black color.

Figure 3 Slower/Faster Response Time

Importance of response time in gaming

If you are professional in gaming and play some fast-paced games, then response time matters for you. Low response time will allow a fluid-like gaming experience with more smooth and accurate pixels.

Best response time in gaming monitors

For a good gaming experience, it is better to have a monitor with a response time of 5ms, but if you have a reasonable budget, you can surely go for the 1ms response time monitor. With a 1ms response time, you will experience the best gaming experience even in fast-paced games.

For a better understanding of input lag and response time, you can watch the video by clicking the given link:

Which should be prioritized for gaming?

Although input lag and response time both are significant for good quality and smooth gameplay. But to prioritize one of these will be pretty tricky. However, a monitor’s slow response time can be bearable, but a slow input lag can affect the monitor’s performance.

Response time can be fixed by adjusting the contrast and display settings. By reducing the contrast ratio, you can accommodate a faster response time. But input lag can’t be fixed in any way.

Also, slower response time only matters in high-speed games. Ghosting only appears if you are playing a high-speed game. On the other hand, input lagging affects the whole performance of the monitor. High input lag with quick response time will be useless as the monitors’ actions cannot register fast.

Moreover, you can’t find the exact input lag and response time in the product specification list. Therefore, for this purpose, you should search on the internet or watch a YouTube video.


Both Input lag and response time have great importance in the performance of a monitor. Both are linked with the quality and smoothness of the screen display. Having a necessary knowledge of both of these specifications is essential.

However, gaming input lag and response time both have equal participation. So, before buying a monitor, do check these specifications.

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