Best Low Response Time and Input Lag IPS Gaming Monitors 2016

Over the last five years I've gone from avoiding IPS monitors for twitch-genre games to recommending them to everyone. At first I was simply trying to find a monitor with a low response time and input lag. Next came 120 and 144Hz refresh rates. Today, these monitors come with G-Sync and FreeSync are some of the most responsive around.

A decent IPS gaming monitor with low input lag will cost you anywhere just south of $150 up to around the $1,000 category for those of you with the high-end gaming rigs.

Why IPS vs. a TN Panel Monitor for Gaming?

IPS monitors offer wider viewing angles and better color accuracy than their TN panel counterparts. This greatly improves the gaming visual experience.

In addition if you're like me and do any photo or video editing on the side, then it's invaluable to have something more color accurate.

TN Vs. IPS for Response Time, Input Lag, and Refresh Rate:

I recently finished a post on low input lag TN panel gaming monitors where I compared what I feel are the best TN panel gaming monitors at this point in time.

Compared to IPS monitors, TN panels made for gaming in general, do have faster response times. That being said the magic number for me personally is 4ms gray to gray which many of the e-IPS panels on the market are able to accomplish.

6 Good IPS PC Gaming Monitors for 2016

The big showdown this year is between Asus' PG279Q and the Acer XB271HU.
The big showdown this year is between Asus' PG279Q and the Acer XB271HU.

Asus PG279Q vs Acer XB271HU Gaming Monitor

If you have to have the best of the best in 2016, you'll find it in the form of the Acer XB271HU and the Asus ROG Swift PG279Q. With the PG279Q Asus ROG Swift PG279Q at around $1,000 and the Acer model at $800 they're both pricier options. The previous generation XB270HU comes in at around $700 and should provide a good value option for some.

So, if you're looking at this price point, what are the differences that you'll find between the two? Having looked at both monitors I'd say the


Having looked at both monitors side by side, I'd first like to say that both of them are some of the better-looking monitors I've ever seen. G-Sync makes an amazing difference and the higher refresh rate with it is something you'll have to experience for yourself. I'd give the slight edge overall in the picture category to the PG279Q as the colors just seemed to pop very slightly more.

With Acer's improvements to its bezel and stand, there's even more to like about its next generation XB271HU Predator gaming monitor.
With Acer's improvements to its bezel and stand, there's even more to like about its next generation XB271HU Predator gaming monitor.


Out of the box the Asus model feels a bit better constructed than the XB271HU and has a few more features as well. One of these features is the joystick on the back, which makes navigating the menu much simpler than what you'll get on the Asus.

For Bezel, both of these monitors are ultra-thin and, in my opinion, equals. However, the XB271HU's bezel design is greatly improved over the XB270HU of last year so I'd give props to Acer for fixing that.

165Hz vs 144Hz vs 120Hz - Does it Make a Difference?

Having experienced gaming on all of these refresh rates, I'd say that it largely doesn't matter. In other words, if you already got a similar model from last year, I'd wait to upgrade at least another year.

Backlight Bleed or IPS Glow

Both of these monitors have a bit of backlight bleed or IPS glow. This is normal with these types of monitors. Occasionally, I've seen monitors with worse glow than others, so if you're concerned with that, you may have to try out more than one.

Final Thoughts:

The big question here is whether or not premium features on the Asus, like the menu joystick, are worth the 20% price hike vs. the Acer XB271HU. It's a bit brighter and a bit sturdier but very similar quality overall.

There's a lot to like about Acer's XB271HU (left) when compared to last year's model, the XB270HU. The thinner and better constructed bezel along with sturdier stand are big improvements.
There's a lot to like about Acer's XB271HU (left) when compared to last year's model, the XB270HU. The thinner and better constructed bezel along with sturdier stand are big improvements.

A Good 1440p 144Hz G-Sync IPS Monitor

The Acer XB270HU VS XB271HU

Now a year old, the Acer XB270HU still has a place in the market. At $700 it's around 35% cheaper than the Asus PG279Q and, in my opinion, has a similar picture.


In terms of responsiveness, TFT Central showed that the 3ms total input lag and 4 to 5ms response time make it as fluid as any IPS monitor available.

While the response time isn't quite as good as the previous year's Asus ROG PG278Q monitor, it's still one I'd recommend for my top gaming monitors list.

Two of Dell's U2312HM Models side by side.
Two of Dell's U2312HM Models side by side.

Dell UltraSharp U2312HM IPS Monitor

If you're looking for a less expensive option that's still fairly responsive, I strongly recommend you take a look at the Dell UltraSharp U2312HM. For around $200 you get an IPS panel monitor with wide viewing angles, .6ms input lag as shown at TFT Central, and 8ms GTG response time.

While this monitor does have a somewhat high response time when compared to TN panel monitors, it is not bad when using Dell's overdrive feature. Most won't notice the slight motion blur of the U2312HM.

Final Thoughts and U2312HM Vs. U2311H:

Overall the U2312HM is a solid gaming monitor at a good price. The previous year's model, the U2311H, is also a very good choice showing slightly less blurring with a higher, but still low, input lag of 10.6.

Acer Predator XB271HK

If you've got a machine that can power today's latest games in 4k, I'm envious. Like many of my friends you probably have an SLI configuration of 980Tis that makes it all possible.

If that's you, I highly recommend you take a look at Acer's brand new Predator XB271HK gaming monitor. It's a 4k IPS UHD panel with a gray to gray response time of 4ms.

While it doesn't have the super fast refresh rate of the 1440p monitors above, it does have G-Sync which eliminates screen tearing and display stutter while getting rid of any input lag.

Connectivity is versatile with 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI v 1.4, and 4 x USB 3.0 ports.

Overall, it's a good deal at around $900 and worth it if you'd rather have resolution over higher frame rates.

If you're looking for a budget option, I really like the Asus VS239H-P. It's a great value from $130 to $150.
If you're looking for a budget option, I really like the Asus VS239H-P. It's a great value from $130 to $150.

A Cheap and Good IPS Gaming Monitor to Consider

Don't have the money for one of the expensive monitors above or the graphics card to run above 60Hz? Here's a budget gaming monitor that's both responsive and a great value for the money you spend.

Asus VS239H-P

Before I upgrade to the more expensive monitors above, I used the Asus VS239H-P. It has an e-IPS panel, a 5ms GTG response time, and overall input lag of less than 1 frame.

For connectivity, it comes with DVI, Analog, and HDMI ports along with standard 100x100mm VESA wall mounting holes.

Overall, it's a great deal at just around $130 and should be a major consideration if you're looking to switch to a monitor with better viewing angles and color.

IPS Gaming Monitor Poll

In terms of value and quality which IPS gaming monitor is the best buy?

  • Asus ROG Swift PG279Q
  • Acer Predator XB271hk 4k
  • Acer Predator XB271HU
  • Asus VS239H-P
  • Dell UltraSharp U2312HM
  • Acer XB270HU (previous model)
  • Other (Please comment below)
See results without voting

My Top 10 Gaming Monitors Overall for 2016

Monitor Terms to Know for PC and Console Gaming

Want to familiarize yourself with PC gaming monitor terms? Here's a shortlist I made for you to reference.

Response Time:

In terms of your monitor, this is the time it takes for a pixel to go from the deepest black to the whitest white and then return back to black. Manufacturers tend to post a GTG or gray to gray response time in order to post a faster time.

A slow response time can introduce blur and ghosting. I find this to be especially prevalent in monitors with a response time above 8ms. The lower the response time the cleaner fast action movement or scenes will be rendered.

Input Lag:

This is the delay from when an input is entered in your keyboard, mouse, controller, or other device, and when it is displayed on your monitor.

This statistic is especially important when it comes to twitch sensitive fighting, RTS, or FPS games. Under 1 frame of input lag or 16ms or less is considered good in terms of gaming.

Refresh Rate:

Your monitor's refresh rate is basically the amount of times per second it draws the images which it is receiving. A higher refresh rate gives players a smoother playing experience overall and allows you to see your opponent the second they make a move.

It's important to keep in mind that the refresh rate of your monitor is also affected by your video card. Since most monitors have at least a 60Hz refresh rate you'll need a video card that can give you in excess of 60 FPS or frames per second in order to take advantage of what a 60+ Hz refresh rate monitor has to offer.

© 2013 Brandon Hart

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Speak Your Mind 10 comments

toptengamer profile image

toptengamer 3 weeks ago from The Game Author

That day is already here.

shawn makaveli 6 months ago

I am waiting for the day somebody sells a 24inch full hd ips with g sync monitor

serialmania 9 months ago

@RAJ Judging by your comments I think you are really dumb. Also your english is really bad. Congrats! You just got scam by Alienware. Please come back and comment when you are smart enough...

RAJ 16 months ago

These are all puny compared to CRTs. Puny puny. I'm sticking with my Alienware 120Hz 1080P. Single graphics cards just now became powerful enough to run 1080P fast. But just when that occurs they want you going higher rez like 4k. New kids are slow vs old school gamers. Quake1-3 fast needed CRT speed. Now everyone slow COD players so they live with lag worse than 1998.

inahut 17 months ago

anything less than the hpzr30w--in terms of size--and in terms of its generously beautiful performance--is not worthy of comparison. this is a seriously great monitor. the review here is accurate. the price is not easy. the gift of it when one uses it for gaming is not at all disappointing or frustrating. 23 inch. 27 inch. no. 30 rules. if there was a bigger monitor not made by the inept lg name, I would own it today.

inahut 17 months ago

have the hpzr30w, more than 2 years, nothing better out there now for the price and the effort to change to some new monitor. new offerings since this monitor are mere adjectives, no substantial nouns.

toptengamer profile image

toptengamer 2 years ago from The Game Author

U2312HM has an input lag of just 9.3ms. Believe it or not it's used by many gamers.

randomvisitor 2 years ago

Dell UltraSharp U2312HM?

Its real average response time is almost 20ms and inputlag is 26ms... seems at least "not suitable" for FPS games.

For example:

BenQ BL2411PT (S-IPS)

Real response 8ms, inputlag 4ms, similar price (in czech rep.)

toptengamer profile image

toptengamer 3 years ago from The Game Author

Ya I am familiar with those... although at some level it's all a bit gimmicky for me at this point in time

SS4 3 years ago

What about the overclocked IPS monitor from places like Overlord Computer? They have some nice 120hz(OCed) 27" 1440p IPS.

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