LCD Monitor Response time question

By N-Guy ยท 4 replies
Sep 13, 2007
  1. Hey guys, I'm just about to buy a 22" LCD. My question about the response time - which is better, high or lower? Like 2MS, 5MS, and 6MS. I'm not sure.

    My current 17" LCD has 16MS.

  2. acrobat

    acrobat TS Rookie Posts: 25

    Am I allowed to give somebody a link to another website? Please let me know, and I'll give this guy a really good link.

    The lower the response time, the better. The number is followed by "ms". This is short for "Milliseconds", which is just a fraction of a second. That is basically measuring the time it takes for the screen to completely remove one image, and then display another image. Games and movies etc.. with moving images, need to be displayed, removed, and then the next one displayed.. as fast as possible. If its done very quickly, the result looks smooth and perfect. If it is not fast enough, there can be horrible results.

    If you are just working in Windows, using MS Office, and surfing the net etc... then even a 20ms (or more) is no big deal. Because nothing is really moving. But if you are playing games and watching movies, you want the lowest possible number.

    The problem then though, is that most of these companies either lie, or just twist the truth. I researched monitors really thoroughly, several months ago, because it was my first move from CRT to LCD, and I was determined to make sure I did the right thing (because the money meant a lot to me).

    In that research, I found that, pretty much any monitor that states its response time is 6ms or lower, is basically lying. Also, as of several months ago, ALL 22 inch monitors where a bad choice for a gamer or movie watcher. (They are mostly 6bit panels. You want an 8bit panel. 8bit basically allows it to produce more colours. So a 6bit panel, side by side with an 8bit panel, can look really poor.) At the time, someone explained to me, that all the different manufacturers of the 22" monitors, use the same panel(s), and they all therefore suffer the same fate. I found that surprising and maybe a bit hard to believe, until my friend bought a 22" monitor.... Its really, truly, a horrible monitor. Whats worse, is that he loves it. He thinks its great because its big, and when it displays something badly, he doesn't realise. He assumes its the movie or the game's fault - but its not. I have a different monitor, and when I see the same games and movies displayed on his monitor (after seeing them on mine), it almost reduces me to tears :p Its just really horrible. Its possible things might have changed in the last several months, and a new 22" monitor was released that uses a whole new type of panel. But if the one you are thinking about, is not like that, then I highly recommend not buying it. Get a 20" or a 24" inch instead. The difference between 22" and 20" is really not that big a deal. They both tend to use the same native resolution (1680x1050). But to me atleast, image quality was very important (especially after moving from a nice CRT), so if the same is true for you, go with a 20", or save up and get a 24".

    Its also important to research any monitor you want, very thoroughly... The response time is just one, very tiny thing... There are dozens of other factors that can determine whether a monitor is great or not. And usually, you can only really find these things out, if you research them thoroughly and talk to people who already own that particular monitor. Its a long boring process... but its important unless you want to spend hundreds of dollars on something you use for years.. that looks horrible.

    So the other things you want to look out for are these:

    1) Screen Door Effect - (You know a screen door is like a mesh with tiny little squares? Well some monitors suffer from this, where looking at the monitor, looks like you are looking at it through a mesh... its not so bad if you sit far away from it, but if you sit fairly close, it can be distracting and horrible).

    2) Ghosting - this is mostly determined by the response time which you already know about. If the monitor isn't fast enough, a moving image like a movie or game, can leave trails which really ruin the way it looks.

    3) Input Lag - when you move your mouse to shoot someone in a game or something... it takes a moment for the monitor to react. This can really destroy your fun, in a fast paced shooter.

    4) Black Quality - the black colour displayed by a monitor can vary in quality a lot. Some monitors do it really well, some don't. It makes a big difference when you watch a movie or game, or even just a static image... and where there is supposed to be black.. it ends up looking like grey. It can really ruin the way things look.

    5) Dead Pixel / Stuck Pixel policy - its worth checking about this. Some monitors can come with stuck/dead pixels (look like little black dots in the middle of your screen... not good..) and some manufacturers will not allow you return the monitor unless there are a certain number of them. So you may have 3 black dots, right in the middle of your screen.... and you call to get the monitor replaced, and they tell you they won't unless there are 4 or more.. So you need to double check this first, to reduce your chances of having to deal with this.

    6) Banding - Banding is when a gradient is displayed on the screen (either moving or in a static image). A gradient being when a colour kind of fades into a different colour, or changes brightness etc.. A monitor is meant to display that perfectly. But some monitors don't... and the result is little bands of colour where the smooth gradient is no longer smooth.. and has little lines where it gets brighter and brighter.. Basically, it looks bad, and some monitors really suffer from this. So its important to check this before you buy - unless you aren't that picky about the picture quality.

    7) Noise - some monitors suffer from a noisy power supply. Most people don't even notice this, because their PC makes a lot of noise. But if you have a quiet PC, and there is a Buzzzzzzz noise, coming from the power supply in your monitor, it could annoy you a lot. Most monitors make this noise, but it is so faint that you can't hear it unless you put your ear against it. But some monitors are just always noisy. Some manufacturers will consider this a fault, and will replace the monitor. Some won't.

    8) There are other things too, which I can't think of right now. Also, just the general reliability of a monitor is important to check too. The only real way of making sure, is to research this stuff well. I researched dozens of monitors, and out of them all... there was only a few that I would ever dream of buying. The 24" monitors where all out of my price range at the time, and I was ignoring the 22" because of the reason I explained earlier. So I just had to find a good 20", and there where not that many. I think out of them all, there where about 3 or 4 that seemed like safe bets, and the rest all seemed like bad ideas to me.

    If I am allowed to give you the link, I will give you that, and it will let you research it much easier.

    Good luck.
    NOTE: The bigger the monitor, the better your PC will need to be to play games on it, at its ideal resolution. So moving up to a 24" monitor could really stress your PC out, if you wanted to play games at the monitor's native resolution. And not using a monitor at its native resolution can cause issues.

    Surely you mean that the other way around?
    Native resolution of a computer monitor, refers to the optimal display size in pixels X by Y on the screen. So 800x600, or 1024x768 etc. The native resolution for a 22" should be 1680x1050. The only time I've seen native resolution described in a single number, is with digital cameras etc, when talking about megapixels.
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,969   +2,526

    I really have a problem with most of this.....

    Many 20'" standard monitors (4:3 aspect ratio) are 1400 x 1050.
    16.2 Million colors should be plenty which is what's Westinghouse is claiming with all their monitors. I just simply thought the math involved determining color bit depth would give me a pounding headache, so I didn't bother.
    I guess I'm blind since my 22" looks as good as my 20" which looks as good or better than my 19" standard. All of which look better than my 17" CRTs.
    Why would you even mention an LCD in the range of 20 ms response time, when in all likely hood you couldn't even find one today?
    Of course the manufacturers are lying about their computer hardware specifications, the FTC probably hasn't stepped in to clean up their act like they did with high fidelity equipment.
    Fair enough with the single number resolution spec belonging to the digital camera venue. Actually the "effective megapixel" number is just the horizontal multiplied by the vertical number (resolution) of the pixels being used to actually take the picture. So with that in mind, a 1680 x 1050 LCD would be about 1.7 "megapixels".
    The dead pixel issue is more of a consideration when ordering online. In fact, I would probably wait to catch a good retail sale on a monitor I liked, then you stand a much better chance of exchanging the unit should it have dead pixels.
  4. acrobat

    acrobat TS Rookie Posts: 25

    Actually its 1600x1200. Or 1680x1050 for widescreen monitors. I forgot to mention I was talking about widescreen because its becoming almost a norm nowdays. There are only a few types of people who wouldn't want a widescreen monitor nowdays. Coders, etc.

    The difference between 16.2 million and 16.7 million colours, is noticeable. There is little reason to buy a monitor nowdays with a 6bit panel, when so many of them have true 8bit panels. When somebody is buying a brand new monitor... why would you recommend anything other than an 8bit panel??

    First off, theres no need to be facetious. And secondly, perhaps if you spent more time checking, you WOULD notice a difference. You might not see the difference between a static image on each screen, but load up game after game, and it won't be long until you see a significant difference. I've seen one game that looks almost identical on both screens, and one game that looks worlds apart. And when you are spending that much money on a new screen.... and its something that most people usually keep for a long time.... then why the hell would you not do the right thing and pick the best quality screen? I have seen this discussion quite a few times on the internet, and the people who are getting defensive, are the people who have bought 22" monitors because they didn't do their research properly. Whether they genuinely believe its perfect, or whether they are just lying... I don't know.. But either way, they are wrong. Unless they have some newer panel which is an exception (as I described already).

    I have a 20ms monitor.... And there are plenty of 20ms monitors out there. Yes its less common nowdays (if you are buying new), but I was making a point. When you are working in MS Word or a spreadsheet all day, nothing is moving except for your cursor. So it doesn't matter how high the number is, and you can get away with a very cheap monitor. But if you want to use games or watch movies, you need a much faster response time.

    So why the hell are you arguing with me? You think most people would realise that? They don't.

    I know what megapixels are. But you don't talk about computer monitors in megapixels. You described them in resolution. So don't go telling someone to buy a 1.7megapixel monitor, because most places wont have any idea what they are talking about.

    Its an issue no matter what. And not all monitors are sold in retail outlets.

    So overall, your little rant of a post was a waste of time wasn't it? You are trying to attack me for some reason, when all I am doing is helping someone. If you want to attack someone, why not attack the damn guy you are defending, who gave the most basic information incorrectly. If it wasn't for my post, the original poster could have passed up the chance to get an 8ms monitor for gaming, because they saw a 15ms monitor......

    If you want to be king **** around here, and don't want me to help people, then fine. I'll just leave. But I'm not going to do that unless I atleast see you doing a good job.
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Raybay - quit posting WRONG information

    Captain Cranky - Quit bit#$%ing

    Acrobat - Hope you come back

    Others - Sorry that your posts were fodder. We should hang out - I owe you a cold pint.

    Locked the thread because no one cares to behave.
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