Input Lag in Monitors: A Simple Guide

Monitors are a crucial technology, providing the primary interface between the user and the computer.

While most users are concerned with a monitor’s resolution, size, or colour accuracy.

Input lag is another critical factor that often gets overlooked.

What is Input Lag?

Input lag is the time delay (measured in milliseconds) between a command being issued by an input device, such as a keyboard or a mouse, and that command is displayed on the screen.

Whether you’re playing a fast-paced video game or simply moving your cursor across the screen, input lag can affect the responsiveness of your system.

The lower the input lag, the faster your monitor can display your inputs and the smoother and more responsive the experience.

How Does Input Lag Occur?

Input lag happens due to the time it takes for a monitor to process the signal it receives from your computer.

When you make an action, like pressing a key or moving your mouse, that signal must be sent to the monitor, processed, and then displayed.

The longer this process takes, the more input lag you’ll experience.

Why is Input Lag Important?

Input lag is essential for several reasons:

1. Gaming

In gaming, input lag can be the difference between victory and defeat.

A significant delay between your actions and what you see on the screen can affect your reaction time and accuracy.

This is especially true for fast-paced games like first-person shooters or racing games where every millisecond counts.

2. General Computing

While not as critical for general computer use, input lag can still affect your overall experience.

High input lag can make your computer feel sluggish or unresponsive, which can be frustrating when you’re trying to get work done.

How to Reduce Input Lag?

Here are some possible ways to reduce input lag.

1. Monitor Settings

Many modern monitors have settings designed to reduce input lag, often labelled as “Game Mode” or “Fast Response”.

These settings can reduce the processing time of your monitor and make your inputs appear faster.

2. Hardware Upgrades

If you’re experiencing significant input lag, it may be time to consider upgrading your hardware.

A more powerful computer or a faster monitor can help reduce input lag.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Ques 1: How can I measure input lag?

Ans: There are special tools and techniques to measure input lag, such as high-speed cameras or input lag tester devices. However, these methods might not be accessible to everyone.

You can also compare the responsiveness of your monitor to other devices you own or use online tools to get a general idea.

Ques 2: Can a high refresh rate reduce input lag?

Ans: Yes, a high refresh rate can help reduce input lag. The refresh rate refers to how often your monitor updates with new information per second.

A higher refresh rate means your screen updates more frequently, which can help reduce the delay between your inputs and what’s displayed on your screen.

Ques 3: What’s a good input lag for gaming?

Ans: Generally, a monitor with an input lag of less than 20 milliseconds (ms) is considered suitable for gaming.

However, for highly competitive gaming, you may want a monitor with an input lag of less than 10ms.


Input lag may not be the first thing you consider when buying a new monitor, but it can significantly affect your computing experience.

Whether you’re a gamer or want your computer to feel as responsive as possible, understanding and minimizing input lag can make a big difference.

Share your love
Manvendra Singh
Manvendra Singh

Hi, I am John Williams. Editor-in-chief of the website Here I write about PC technology & Guides.