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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?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.
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.
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.
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
More by this Author
If you're building your dream machine, which full tower case will give you the best value for the money you spend? We take a look at our favorite desktop cases under $100, $150, $200, and $300.
A good IPS panel monitor no longer has to cost a fortune. If you've got a budget of around $500 then here's a few inexpensive monitors you should look at.
Low input lag should be your first criterion when looking for the best gaming monitor for your console or PC gaming style. Here's a look at 10 top-rated gaming monitors with low input lag.