Yes, all displays, including CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) Monitors, have some input lag, but it’s typically very minimal on CRTs. Compared to many modern LCDs, OLEDs, and other flat-panel displays, CRTs generally have lower input lag. The inherent characteristics of CRT technology allow it to display information almost as soon as it’s received, making it highly responsive.
This minimal lag is why some competitive gamers and enthusiasts prefer CRTs for specific applications. However, while the CRT monitor might introduce negligible input lag, other components in a system, like a gaming console or computer, could contribute to the overall latency.
How to measure input lag on a monitor?
Measuring input lag on a monitor accurately requires specialized equipment, but there are a few methods, both sophisticated and rudimentary, that you can use:
High-Speed Camera Method
– This is one of the more accurate methods without professional equipment.
– Use a high-speed camera or a smartphone that can record at high frame rates (e.g., 240fps or higher).
– Display a timer or stopwatch application on the screen.
– Start recording with the camera and simultaneously initiate an action on the screen (e.g., mouse click).
– Review the footage frame-by-frame to see the delay between the action and the response on the monitor.
Clone Mode Method
– This requires two monitors: one with known input lag (reference) and the one you want to test.
– Set the graphics card to output in “Clone Mode,” so both displays show the same image.
– Run a timer or stopwatch application.
– Using a camera, take a photo of both screens together.
– Compare the time displayed on each monitor. The difference represents the relative input lag.
Some software tools claim to measure input lag, but they often measure system latency, which is different from display input lag.
There are devices designed specifically for measuring display latency. Examples include the Leo Bodnar Input Lag Tester and Time Sleuth. They provide an objective and consistent measurement but can be costly.
Online Reviews and Databases
If you’re looking to find the input lag of a particular model, many websites specialize in monitoring reviews and have professional setups to measure and report input lag. This can be a quick way to get a reliable number without conducting the test yourself.
It’s essential to recognize that while these methods provide a sense of input lag, achieving pinpoint accuracy outside of professional settings can be challenging.
What are some Common causes of high input lag on a Monitor
High input lag on a monitor can be attributed to several factors, including:
Many modern monitors come with post-processing features like noise reduction, motion smoothing, and upscaling. These features can introduce delays as they require additional processing time.
In graphics settings, V-Sync (or Vertical Sync) aims to prevent screen tearing by syncing the game’s frame rate with the monitor’s refresh rate. While it can make visuals smoother, it can also introduce input lag.
This is the time it takes for a pixel to change from one colour to another. A slower response time can contribute to perceived input lag, especially in fast-paced scenarios.
Some panel types, like certain IPS (In-Plane Switching) panels, might have slightly higher input lag than others, like TN (Twisted Nematic) panels.
Low Refresh Rates
A lower refresh rate (e.g., 60Hz) can lead to more noticeable input lag than higher refresh rates (e.g., 144Hz or 240Hz).
Monitors often have various modes like “Movie”, “Gaming”, or “Text”. Some modes, particularly non-gaming ones, might have higher input lag due to additional processing.
Devices like HDMI splitters or certain types of converters can introduce additional lag.
In cases where monitors or TVs have multiple frames of buffering, it can introduce significant lag.
Some connection interfaces, like older versions of HDMI or VGA, might have higher lag compared to newer standards like DisplayPort.
Software & Drivers
Outdated or incorrect graphics drivers can also be a source of input lag.
If a computer or gaming console is under heavy load and not delivering frames quickly enough, it can feel like input lag, even if the monitor is fast.
To minimize input lag, users can turn off unnecessary image processing features, use “Gaming” mode if available, ensure they use optimal connection types, and update their software and drivers.