1ms vs 5ms Response Time For Gaming (Explained)

By | July 17, 2023

About The Article:

  • Response time impacts motion clarity and ghosting in gaming monitors.
  • The article compares 1ms vs 5ms monitors in performance, motion blur reduction.
  • Factors are analyzed like overdrive settings, panel types in relation to response times.
  • It covers whether the 1ms vs 5ms difference is noticeable, worth paying more for competitive gaming.

Written By – Manvendra Singh Manvendra Singh

Regarding gaming monitors, response time is one of the most important factors. 

Response time is the time it takes for a pixel to change from one colour to another. 

A lower response time means the monitor will be more responsive, leading to a smoother gaming experience.

Faster response times result in less motion blur and ghosting in fast-paced games.

But is 1ms that much better than 5ms when it comes to gaming performance? Let’s take a closer look.

Quick Answer:

1ms and 5ms refer to a monitor’s response time, with 1ms being faster and preferable for gaming to reduce motion blur and improve visual clarity.

1ms vs 5ms Response Time For Gaming (Explained)

What is Response Time?

Response time is measured in milliseconds (ms).

A 1ms response time means it takes 1 millisecond for a pixel to change from one colour to another.

A 5ms response time means it takes 5 milliseconds for a pixel to vary from one colour to another.

How Does Response Time Affect Gaming?

A lower response time can lead to a smoother gaming experience.

This is because a more down response time means less input lag between when you make a move and when you see it on the screen.

This can be especially important in fast-paced games where split-second decisions can differentiate between winning and losing.

1ms vs 5ms Response Time

Which is better for gaming? 1ms or 5ms response time?

Generally, a 1ms response time is better for gaming than a 5ms response time.

This is because a 1ms response time will be more responsive and lead to a smoother gaming experience.

However, it is essential to note that the difference between 1ms and 5ms response time is only sometimes noticeable.

Some people may not be able to tell the difference at all. So, a 5-ms monitor may be a good option if you are on a budget.

  • A 1ms response time means a monitor can change each pixel colour in 1 millisecond.
  • 5ms response time means a full pixel colour change takes five milliseconds.

So a 1ms monitor has a response time that is 5 times faster than a 5ms monitor.

But keep in mind that advertised response times are “grey-to-grey” measures.

This means going from one shade of grey to another, not entire black to full white. Real-world response times are often higher.

Why Faster is Better for Gaming

In fast-paced games, the action is constantly moving on the screen. You get motion blur and ghosting effects if a monitor can’t keep up with colour changes.

  • Motion blur is when fast movement looks smeared or blurry.
  • Ghosting is a trail that follows moving objects.

Faster response times reduce motion blur and ghosting. This leads to sharper visuals and a more responsive, fluid gaming experience.

Competitive gamers favour 1ms monitors because they offer the fastest response times.

This provides a competitive edge in fast-twitch gaming. Though for casual gaming, 5ms monitors can still deliver a great experience.

Factors Besides Response Time

While response time is essential, other factors contribute to a monitor’s gaming performance:

  • Refresh rate – Measured in Hz, how many frames a monitor can display per second. Higher is better, with 144Hz-360Hz ideal for gaming.
  • Input lag – The delay between screen actions and controller input. Look for low input lag.
  • Panel type – Popular options include TN, IPS and VA panels. TN is the fastest but has worse colours and viewing angles than IPS and VA.
  • Adaptive sync – Matching the monitor’s refresh rate with in-game FPS for smooth, tear-free visuals. Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync are examples.

A 1ms TN panel monitor will offer lightning-fast response times, but an equally well-performing IPS or VA monitor may be 5ms or higher.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques 1: Is a 1ms monitor worth it for gaming?

Ans: An accurate 1ms monitor is recommended for competitive esports gaming to eliminate ghosting and motion blur. For more casual gaming, a 5-ms monitor is often good enough.

Ques 2: What is the best response time for 144Hz gaming?

Ans: At a minimum, a response time of less than 5ms is recommended for 144Hz gaming. 1ms is ideal to take full advantage of the high refresh rate.

Ques 3: Can the human eye tell the difference between 1 ms and 5 ms?

Ans: In side-by-side comparisons, some people may notice more motion blur on a 5-ms monitor compared to 1-ms when gaming. But the difference is negligible for most, and both provide smooth visuals.

Ques 4: Is 1ms and 144Hz better than 5ms and 240Hz?

Ans: This depends on the games you play. For fast esports titles, 1ms and 144Hz makes the most sense. 5ms and 240Hz can provide fluid visuals for slower-paced, graphically intensive games.

Ques 5: Do IPS monitors have good response times for gaming?

Ans: Modern IPS panels can achieve response times of 5ms or lower, With their superior colour and viewing angles, fast IPS monitors are great for gaming.


In conclusion, a 1ms response time is better for gaming than a 5ms response time.

However, the difference between 1ms and 5ms response time is sometimes noticeable. 

Focus on finding a monitor with low input lag, high refresh rate, adaptive sync and your preferred panel type.

While 1ms response time provides a competitive edge for serious gaming, 5ms monitors can still deliver excellent performance, especially for more casual use.

Higher-end IPS and VA panels with 5ms+ response times can outperform lower-quality 1ms TN monitors in colour, viewing angles and motion handling.

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