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This is especially true of competitive games that rely on quick reflexes and split-second decision-making. However, even slower-paced strategy and turn-based games become less immersive when there is a noticeable delay between your actions and on-screen reactions.


This delay is called input lag or latency. Certain hardware or software misconfigurations can increase input lag significantly. Identifying the misconfiguration and fixing it will usually bring input lag back down to an imperceptible level.

Adeel Soomro, also known as "Four Wude", has been professionally competing in fighting games since 2008. Using his extensive gaming experience on a casual and professional level, he aims to spread the awareness of input lag existing in today's displays. Having tested over 500 displays for input lag, he hopes that DisplayLag will aid gamers around the world when purchasing the best HDTV or monitor for gaming.

Input lag is the amount of time it takes for your TV to display a signal on the screen from when the source sends it. It's especially important for playing reaction-based video games because you want the lowest input lag possible for a responsive gaming experience. Having low input lag tends to come at the cost of less image processing on TVs, which is why there are specific Game Modes for low input lag, and even though TVs aren't as good as monitors in this regard, technology is slowly catching up.

This test measures the input lag of 1080p signals with a 60Hz refresh rate. This is especially important for older console games (like the PS4 or Xbox One) or PC gamers who play with a lower resolution at 60Hz. As with other tests, this is done in Game Mode, and unless otherwise stated, our tests are done in SDR.

This result is important if you play 1440p games, like from an Xbox or a PC. However, 1440p games are still considered niche, and not all TVs support this resolution, so we can't measure the 1440p input lag of those.

The 4k @ 60Hz input lag is probably the most important result for most console gamers. Along with 1080p @ 60Hz input lag, it carries the most weight in the final scoring since most gamers are playing at this resolution. We expect this input lag to be lower than the 4k @ 60Hz with HDR, chroma 4:4:4, or motion interpolation results because it requires the least amount of image processing.

This test is important for people wanting to use the TV as a PC monitor. Chroma 4:4:4 is a video signal format that doesn't use any image compression, which is necessary if you want proper text clarity. We want to know how much delay is added, but for nearly all of our TVs, it doesn't add any delay at all compared to the 4k @ 60Hz input lag.

Most people will only notice delays when the TV is out of Game Mode, but some gamers might be more sensitive to input lag even in Game Mode. Keep in mind that the input lag of the TV isn't the absolute lag of your entire setup; there's still your PC/console and your keyboard/controller. Every device adds a bit of delay, and the TV is just one piece in a line of electronics that we use while gaming. If you want to know how much lag you're sensitive to, check out this input lag simulator. You can simulate what it's like to add a certain amount of lag, but keep in mind this tool is relative to your current setup's lag, so even if you set it to 0 ms, there's still the default delay.

Input lag on a monitor is the time it takes the monitor to process the signal sent and for the image to start appearing on screen. Most monitors have low enough input lag that you won't notice any delay during regular desktop use, but it's even more important for competitive gamers to achieve the lowest input lag possible. We test the input lag by using a specialized tool, and we test for it at its native resolution at different refresh rates.

When you're using a monitor, you want your actions to appear on the screen almost instantly, whether you're typing, clicking through websites, or gaming. If you have high input lag, you'll notice a delay from the time you type something on your keyboard or when you move your mouse to when it appears on the screen, and this can make the monitor almost unusable.

For gamers, low input lag is even more important because it can be the difference between winning and losing in games. A monitor's input lag isn't the only factor in the total amount of input lag because there's also delay caused by your keyboard/mouse, PC, and internet connection. However, having a monitor with low input lag is one of the first steps in ensuring you get a responsive gaming experience.

Any monitor adds at least a few milliseconds of input lag, but most of the time, it's small enough that you won't notice it at all. There are some cases where the input lag increases so much to the point where it becomes noticeable, but that's very rare and may not necessarily only be caused by the monitor. Your peripherals, like keyboards and mice, add more latency than the monitor, so if you notice any delay, it's likely because of those and not your screen.

There's no definitive amount of input lag when people will start noticing it because everyone is different. A good estimate of around 30 ms is when it starts to become noticeable, but even a delay of 20 ms can be problematic for reaction-based games. You can try this tool that adds lag to simulate the difference between high and low input lag. You can use it to estimate how much input lag bothers you, but keep in mind this tool is relative and adds lag to the latency you already have.

The acquisition of the image has to do with the source and not with the monitor. The more time it takes for the monitor to receive the source image, the more input lag there'll be. This has never really been an issue with PCs since previous analog signals were virtually instant, and current digital interfaces like DisplayPort and HDMI have next to no inherent latency. However, some devices like wireless mice or keyboards may add delay. Bluetooth connections especially add latency, so if you want the lowest latency possible in the video acquisition phase, you should use a wired mouse or keyboard or get something wireless with very low latency.

The time this step takes is affected by the speed of the video processor and the total amount of processing. Although you can't control the processor speed, you can control how many operations it needs to do by enabling and disabling settings. Most picture settings won't affect the input lag, and monitors rarely have any image processing, which is why the input lag on monitors tends to be lower than on TVs. One of these settings that could add delay is variable refresh rate, but most modern monitors are good enough that the lag doesn't increase much.

Once the monitor has processed the image, it's ready to be displayed on the screen. This is the step where the video processor sends the image to the screen. The screen can't change its state instantly, and there's a slight delay from when the image is done processing to when it appears on screen. Our input lag measurements consider when the image first appears on the screen and not the time it takes for the image to fully appear (which has to do with our Response Time measurements). Overall, the time it takes to display the image has a big impact on the total input lag.

This 60Hz input lag test represents the lowest input lag a monitor can achieve while using its native resolution at a 60Hz refresh rate. It's the amount of lag that's most important for those planning to use their monitor to play console games that are limited to 60 fps.

PC monitors tend to have a much lower input lag than the average TV, making input lag less of an issue for most people. More sensitive users can adjust settings on most monitors to reduce it even further. As a general rule, try the following (which is how we set up the displays in our tests):

But even some wired peripherals can suffer from input delay. One thing that can cause both wired and wireless mouse delay is a low polling rate, which is how many times per second your mouse communicates with your PC. Grabbing a gaming mouse capable of 1,000Hz polling should help eliminate input lag if your mouse is the culprit.

But because it limits your framerate and prevents rendered frames from being drawn to your screen until the monitor has fully displayed the previous one, VSync can delay the time between when a frame is ready to be drawn and when the monitor draws it. This can increase overall system latency and cause input lag.

VSync can cause input lag because, to fix screen tearing, it adds delay between your GPU rendering frames and these frames being displayed on the screen. If you have a GSync or FreeSync monitor, try enabling these instead of VSync.

There's one subtle-yet-significant factor that some gamers neglect; input lag. In more technical terms, this is the (usually slight) delay between the GPU sending a frame to a TV or monitor and the screen actually broadcasting that frame.

And luckily, most newer TVs have no shortage of HDMI inputs to tinker with. There is always the chance that the input in use is just a bit spottier than an unoccupied one. It might be a small difference, but given the precision, speed, and fast reaction time that gaming often demands, even a few milliseconds less of delay can make a difference.

enabling HDR or auto HDR if your display is lousy or your card isnt one of the best will cripple you performance wise and your HDMI ports HDR and TV/monitor can often only do HDR at 30fps and may be limiting it to like 23hz or 23fps or some terrible low quality setting. disable all HDR in game menus and in windows OS and on your TV and see if it helps. input lag skyrockets with hdr enabled on almost every device. my 444 full ScRGB 12bit or 10bit HDR 120hz 64bit or 256bit or 128bit RGBcolorspace gaming can ONLY be done at 1080p as the bandwidth is sooo very high that my HDMI 2.0b cant handle it.. HDR uses more bandwidth.. 10bit or 12bit does too.. so does FULL RGB. so umm go turn your dials way lower on the resolution .. 1080p means its 720p on an ultra wide load of **bleep** monitor. 041b061a72

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