1ms vs. 5ms Response Time: A Difference of 0.004 Seconds

1ms vs. 5ms Response Time

To understand 1ms vs. 5ms, imagine that your monitor display is like two sprinters on a track. One sprinter is incredibly quick and takes only 1 millisecond to react, while the other sprinter is a bit slower and takes 5 milliseconds to react. In this analogy, the swift sprinter represents a monitor with a 1ms response time, which changes pixel colors very quickly, and the slower sprinter represents a monitor with a 5ms response time, which is a bit slower in changing pixel colors.

1ms and 5ms are the response times that indicate how fast the monitor or screen can change its visuals. Hence, 1ms monitors are faster but keep in mind that d/b 1ms and 5ms is unnoticeable for the perception abilities of the human eye as 1ms is equal to 0.001 seconds.

So, for more info let’s jump into this “1ms vs. 5ms” debate;

1ms vs. 5ms

Following are some features related to this topic. I will try my level best to compare both of these response times separately so that you can seek the required information that you have been looking for.

Difference Between 1ms vs. 5ms Response Time

Response Time

Response time is a term that shows how fast the pixels present on the display can go from either black-to-white or gray-to-gray and then come back again. 1ms of response time indicates that pixels can change or convert themself from one color to the other in 1 millisecond. By reducing the motion blur this response time resultantly helps in producing sharper images, especially in fast-paced content.

5ms of response time means that pixels can change themself from one color to another in a timespan of 5 milliseconds. This time response is also considered pretty decent if you are doing simple office work and gaming but if you are a competitive gamer, go for 1ms gray-to-gray response time for better experience and satisfaction.

Response Time
Chart of Response Time

Refresh Rate

Refresh rate is mostly measured in the form of Hertz abbreviated as Hz. It shows the number of times a specific monitor screen or display updates its image in 1 second. A display having a 1ms refresh rate simply shows that it can update its image 1000 times in a second which is mostly preferred by those who prefer less lagging and motion blur like gamers.

On the other hand, 5ms of refresh rate indicates that a specific display updates its image 200 times in a second. This refresh rate is also very fast but still behind in the race as compared to 1ms. It is mostly used in performing simple tasks like making assignments and doing official work.

Demonstration of 60Hz vs 120Hz vs 144Hz vs 240Hz on Alienware AW2720HF IPS 240hz Monitor

Input Lag

It is the delay while acting like pressing keys on the keyboard or clicking the mouse or simply the delay between actions performed by you on the input devices and their appearance on the display. This problem gets so annoying at times which could also disturb the entire momentum of the user.

Input lag does not depend on the response time i.e. 1 ms or 5ms. Manufacturers prefer providing input lag information in their specifications to users like gamers and those who make and view high-paced content. Generally, response time of 1 ms can offer less input lag but I suggest you take complete information from the manufacturer regarding this aspect because even if a monitor that has a response time of 1ms, but input lag of 45ms will give a delay of 46ms. Hence, it’s important to look for input lag too!

Image Quality

When we expand our debate of 1msVs.s 5ms to image quality, I can say that in 1ms and 5ms the difference in image quality is not very significant. Many factors decide the image quality including resolution, brightness, viewing angle, and contrast ratio,

For situations that involve relatively fast motion, 1ms can provide a better image quality due to its faster response time or refresh rate as compared to 5ms which results in providing smooth visuals that ultimately attract the attention of the user. Generally speaking, 5ms can also provide its users with pretty decent image quality but not as decent as 1ms.


Ghosting is a process where fast-moving objects present on the screen produce a sensation of after-image. It occurs when pixels present on the screen are not transitioning themselves swiftly. It is mostly visible when the visuals have dark backgrounds and the objects are moving fast and have light colors.

Displays with a response time of 1 ms are usually made to reduce this ghosting problem, the fast transition of pixels in 1 ms ultimately helps in the reduction of the ghosting effect. Displays with a response time of 5ms are also pretty decent in handling ghosting effects but are not as efficient as 1ms as they can show a little bit more ghosting effect, especially in scenarios involving the fast motion of visuals.


It is the process where the fast-moving objects become less clear because of the transitioning speed of the pixels. Displays having a response time of 1 ms are supposed to transition their speed of pixels quickly resulting in the reduction of the blurring process. So it’s less likely for you to see any blurry visuals in displays having this response time. 

Displays having a response time of 5ms also transition their pixels quickly but not as rapidly as 1ms. So we can conclude that the less the response time, the less the blurring phenomenon and vice versa, especially in fast-moving visuals. So, in this way, a person can choose according to his or her own decisions.


It is also a phenomenon observed across displays which can cause the screen to rapidly change between dark and bright states. It can cause fatigue and strain to the eyes 1ms response time can significantly decrease the process of flickering because of its ability to faster transition of the pixels. 

Displays that offer a response time of 5ms also transition their pixel very fast but a little bit less as compared to 1ms. But, this little transition speed difference results in higher flickering in 5ms as compared to a 1ms response rate. If a monitor consists of a lower refresh rate such as 60 Hz, flickering issues can become more visible. Therefore, it is always suggested to use higher refresh rates to avoid this problem if the response time is 5 ms.

Power Consumption

It is the calculation of energy consumed in a certain time. Many units can be used to express this consumption but it is mostly expressed in the form of Watt abbreviated as W. Power consumption in 1ms and 5ms depends on the type of system you are using and its power consumption requirements.

Suppose a specific device consumes 1 watt of power constantly over time then in the case of 1 ms the energy consumed is 1W * 0.001s=0.001 joules and in the case of 5 ms the energy consumed is 1W * 0.005s=0.005 joules. Note down the fact that these calculations are considered while assuming the fact that power consumption remains constant over time but in practical life, it is not possible.


Monitors or displays with 1ms response time as I said earlier, are mostly preferred by gamers and those who engage themselves with fast-paced content. So, manufacturers of 1ms displays usually target the premium market, and due to this monitors with this response time are highly priced.

5ms monitors are less rapid in action as compared to 1ms monitors due to which their price is less. They are preferred by those performing simple and daily life tasks like simple gaming and doing office work or preparing Excel sheets. And, if you want to debate on ‘Which is value for money,1ms or 5ms?” then this will truly depend on your usage and preferences.

Why do we prefer a lower response time for the monitor?

Mostly the users prefer a lower response time for the monitor because it helps in reducing the ghosting effect and motion blur especially in fast-moving content like video games. When the response time is low, it means that there is faster transition of pixels from one color to another. Using a  monitor with a lower response time means that your monitor will show sharp and clear visuals. Keep this fact in mind that lower response times are important in some aspects but their presence will not matter in simple tasks like reading, office work, and sending or receiving emails. 

Is there a noticeable difference between 1ms and 5ms?

On a sheet of paper, the difference between 1ms and 5ms IS noticeable but with the naked eyes, we can’t notice a difference even between 1ms and 20ms because 1ms is merely equal to 0.001 seconds

How to Check Response Time?

The response time of a specific display can be checked through various ways or methods like you can read the instructions or consulting the manufacturer of the display to seek proper guidance. Many monitors have built-in menus that you can access with the help of buttons from the remote which show the response time used. Furthermore, you can also perform several online tests to check your response time and its capability, specialized software-based applications are also available from where you can check the efficiency of your response time for your mental satisfaction.


Following are some frequently asked questions that can strike in the minds of you people. I will try my best to answer them briefly.

Can IPS monitor be 1ms?

Indeed, some IPS[In-Plane Switching] monitors can be equipped with 1 ms of response time. Traditionally, these panels are famous for the color accuracy and resolution they provide due to which they typically have slower response times. In recent times, a technology has been developed commonly known as ‘overdrive technology’ in such panels which allows faster transition of pixels that resultantly reduces the response time to 1ms or closer to it.

Are ms and hz more important in monitors?

Both of these specifications i.e. ms and hz have their importance. For fast-motion activities and gaming purposes, a higher refresh rate can contribute to a comparatively smoother display of the visuals. But, if you want to experience clarity and smoothness during motion, lower response time or ms will surely play a significant role.

End Note

In this vast world of display technology, the war of 1ms vs. 5ms will keep going. Being authentic and reliable at Monitors101, I strongly believe that both of these response times have their pros and cons. I have tried to provide you with all the basic and necessary information so that you can make the right decision.

The choice of 1ms or 5ms comes down to personal choices and preferences at the end. If you’re a CSGO, COD, or Valorant competitive gamer then having a 1ms gaming monitor is your need, and as you searched for 1ms vs. 5ms I can sense that you are a hardcore gamer, hence I hope you have the answer.

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