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What is input lag, and how does it affect my gaming?

Last Updated: Mar 20, 2015 01:09PM CDT
This is probably one of the more important aspects of gaming today, but one of the least understood and talked about.  We will try our best to make this as simple to understand as possible, as well as providing some additional reading from some good gaming resources.

What is Input Lag?
Input lag is the time it takes from the moment you press a button to the time the results show up on your screen.  There are a large number of factors that contribute to this, one of which is the monitor, which is what we will be focusing on in this article.  

The monitor can add input lag in a number of ways.  If the monitor is having to scale a 720p signal to 1080p, this takes more processing.  This additional processing adds input lag.  Color processing algorithms, which try to accurately match what color the computer or console is attempting to produce to the monitor on the screen, add input lag as well.  Even the length of cable used can have a very small effect on input lag!

How does it affect my gaming?
Input lag is hard to detect while simply playing, but it has a big impact on performance.  The more you play, the more you adjust to the inherent lag in your setup.  What you are missing, though, are those 10-40 milliseconds where your enemy appears, but has yet to appear on your screen.  This can't be helped with a games net code, and is something that every gamer world wide deals with on a daily basis.

Our gaming monitors, in both the XL and RL line, are made to help you, the gamer, defeat your enemy.  We do this by including the "Instant Mode" option.  This works by drastically reducing the number of framing and color algorithms used to produce the image on the screen.  This has a minor effect on image quality, but saves you 10-20ms in input lag.  That is 10-20ms that your opponent doesn't have, and this gives you the competitive edge.

Additional Resources:
http://www.displaylag.com/what-is-input-lag-the-breakdown/
http://www.displaylag.com/display-database/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Display_lag#Effects_of_display_lag_on_users
 
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