testing laptop response time
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How I Test Laptop Screen Response Time

I’ve added laptop screen response time testing to my laptop reviews, this post will help you understand what the values I am reporting mean.

First off huge shout out to Tim from Hardware Unboxed, and this guide from TFT Central. Without information from these sources, I would not be able to add response time testing to my laptop reviews.

Response Time Table

Here’s the table I will be using to show response time:

response time

It’s labelled 0-255 on the top and bottom, these are colour values. 0 is black, 255 is white, and in between are shades of grey. Response time will vary between the transition of the colours, so to gain an accurate picture it’s important to test multiple transitions between different colours.

The numbers within the table are millisecond values and represent rise and fall times.

The measurements on the upper right side display rise times (how long it takes to transition from a dark to light shade), while the bottom left side displays fall times (how long it takes to transition from a light to dark shade).

The green-yellow colours on the table above correspond to the following scale:

response time colour scale

Basically, green = good, red = less good.

Each of the numbers on the table above are averages of 20 transitions. There are 30 data points in the table above, so the data in this table took 600 (30*20) total transitions to collect.

Response Time Values

Once we have all this data, we can use it to work out the average grey-to-grey (G2G) response time:

response time averages

Here’s what each of these values means:

  • Average G2G Response Time: This is simply an average of all the values in the first table. By taking the average from different transitions it is possible to get an accurate representation of the grey-to-grey response time.
  • Lowest G2G Response Time: Many companies simply report the lowest transition as the response time, while this may be a little misleading, I note it here.
  • Highest G2G Response Time: The opposite, the highest amount of time any transition took.
  • Average Rise Time: This is the average of the numbers on the top right side only. It shows the average time taken to transition from a dark to light shade.
  • Average Fall Time: This is the average of the numbers on the bottom left side only. It shows the average time taken to transition from a light to dark shade.
  • ISO 13406-2 (0-255-0) Response Time: This is the time it takes to go from black, to white, then back to black. This value is obtained by simply adding these values together from the first graph, so in the example above, 4.69+5.46. This is the “Response Time Black To White” value that Notebook Check reports.

That’s it, this particular screen was from the Alienware m15 R2, so I would say it has an average response time of approximately 6.7ms, however other values are available too depending on how you want to slice and dice the data.

I will post all my response time tests on this page.

18 Comments

  • JACEK

    I guess this only applies to incoming reviews?
    Was wondering cause I can get ASUS SCAR III G531GV-AZ201T really cheap and was wondering if 240Hz screen with 9750H and RTX2060 is worth it despite average thermals (which partially can be dealt with by undervolting I guess)… Or should I stick to Y540?

    • Jarrod

      Correct, unfortunately I have no way of retesting most laptops that I’ve already had. From memory the Scar didn’t have that great CPU power limit but not sure if it’s changed.

      • JACEK

        Based on your experience with those laptops for the exact same money would you go with:
        1. Y540 144Hz 9750/16/1024 GTX1660Ti
        2. Scar III 240Hz 9750/16/512 RTX2060

        I know Scar is kinda thermal lottery and has a smaller ssd, but every review boasts the screen plus you get a slightly better graphics for the same price. For me it comes down to those 2 models after weeks of searching and I can’t make my mind, would love to hear your answer.

        • Jarrod

          Depends if you think you’ll benefit by having 240Hz, it’s only really useful for esports titles at lower settings, I’d get the Y540 if it were my money, but if similar price I guess I could see myself possibly picking the scar for the 2060.

  • Bayyobs

    Please make a tutorial about how to make AMD GPUs in laptops by default in games instead of IGPU !
    This is unsolveable issue + Lastest AMD drivers installed , Lastest radeon software, Updated windows & BIOS .
    MSI Alpha 15 ,,

    • Jarrod

      It should be default, but some games do fail, so click start, search for “graphics settings”, find the app/exe file and set it to high performance mode.

  • Waleed

    I’m writing this for a request that I have to made, I request you to please tell the difference between acer predator helios 300 & HP omen 15, please do a review, I’m struggling to get a right one. I’m a student and I’m Just going to passout, I want laptop for work, like 3D softwares etc. I choosed gaming laptop as I was told by a computer engineer that he is suggesting this because gaming pc are more durable. He strongly suggested me to take ASUS TUFF FX505GT.

    • Jarrod

      Sorry I cannot, HP ignore me and do not lend me review units, so I’ve never been able to test and of their stuff, I suspect Helios will destroy it though as almost no one else is overclocking+undervolting out of the box. I wouldn’t buy FX505, the Ryzen 3000 series is a big step down compared to Intel or their newer Ryzen 4000 series, but in the end all depends on price in your region.

  • Paritosh Chandran

    Alright, so this is a tad bit confusing… So, please correct me if, I got this wrong…

    From 50 to 0, it takes 11.94ms, but from 255 to 0, it takes 5.46ms ?? That’s less than half…
    Doesn’t that seem a little counter intuitive ??

    I mean, going from slightly lit to completely dark should take less time than going from full lit to fully dark…
    Seeing as to slightly lit to completely dark is a part of the transition of fully lit to fully dark…

    I hope I have explained myself clearly here… I can elaborate if needed…

    • Jarrod

      I think it’s to do with the amount of voltage taken to swap between them, going out of 0 to anything else requires more voltage to get out of that state. You can see this also illustrated in the TFT Central article linked at the top of the post, they see the highest response times in their example at the same section. Similar results are often seen in other response time testing by others too, which is why it is important to show different levels and take an average rather than just showing one that may be a best or worst case.

  • Sathwik Mandava

    Hey, great post. Will it be possible for you to also test response times of Asus g14 and any eluktronics laptops you have available? Thank for the great content anyways.

    • Jarrod

      No retesting on the G14 unfortunately as it was sent back months ago, but that was what kicked this whole adventure off. Getting some more Eluktronics stuff soon I hope, we’ve been in contact.

  • Deodat

    Jarrod I saw your video on the asus tuf a15 and I was wondering if the response time of the screen was bad for gaming or does it not matter that much? And you also said that it could hit high temperatures. What is the best way to fix that? I’d also like to know if you think there are better laptops at the cost of 1300 dollars or less?
    Please let me know,
    Deodat.

  • Raynard

    Hi Jarrod, any update on when we will see the DELL G5 SE on this list? Or maybe the comparison with the A15? Cheers for the quality content.

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