5ms Vs. 2ms on a Monitor


When buying a new hardware component for your computer, such as a liquid crystal display monitor, there are many factors to consider, such as response time. Knowing what the response time values mean can help you choose the monitor that is best for you.

LCD Monitors

  • The successor to the cathode ray tube monitor, an LCD monitor's most apparent difference is its size. While CRT monitors were heavy and bulky, most LCD monitors are slim and lightweight. Unlike CRT monitors, LCD monitors also come in a variety of sizes, such as 14 inches to as large as 28 inches. LCD monitors are rated on a variety of factors, such as their maximum resolution, how dark the black colors are and how vibrant the rest of the color palette is, along with other factors such as response time.

Response Time

  • Response time is one of the key factors you should consider when purchasing an LCD monitor. Response time can be described as the time it takes for your LCD monitor to change the colors of each pixel. A slow response time creates what is called ghosting; when a moving image, normally a person or vehicle, leaves a faint image behind them when they move. This is due to your monitor's response time being too slow, and not being able to keep up visually with the game or movie you are watching. Response time is measured in milliseconds; the lower the number, the better the quality of the image.

2ms Vs. 5ms

  • Any response time under 12 to 15 milliseconds is considered good for an LCD, guaranteeing you do not experience ghosting or any other visual side effect. Generally, an LCD monitor with a response time of 2ms is preferable to that of 5ms going by the number values alone. However, it is important to check the rest of the technology used in the monitor; some LCD monitors with a 2ms response time cut corners in other areas, such as using a lower quality screen, making most 5ms response time LCD monitors superior. If possible, compare and contrast every detail of any 2ms or 5ms monitors you are interested in before purchasing, as your results can vary based on each brand and size.

Choosing A Response Time

  • In general, whether you use your computer for only the occasional movie or game or you are a hardcore film enthusiast or gamer, select a monitor that is at least under a 12ms response time. For many people, the difference between a 2ms response time and a 5ms response time is negligible and they have trouble telling the difference. In addition, 2ms response time LCD monitors tend to be more expensive than their 5ms counterparts. Ultimately, the choice is unique to each user; select a monitor in your price range with the features you feel benefit you the greatest.


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