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.

Hi, I’m Jarrod, a tech reviewer from Australia. I mainly focus on laptops, but am interested in all things tech related!

45 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.

  • Geoff

    This is in regards to the table (list) of laptop response times. Do you think you could add the minimum brightness reading as a column? As someone who is sensitive to light due to migraines, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, have you considered adding a “donate” button or link of some kind? I would gladly donate $5 just as a thank you for all your hard work.

    • Jarrod

      I’ll try to think of a better way to do it, maybe include an image link to full brightness results or something, as it stands the table is already a bit crowded. Cheers! I don’t at the moment, but plan on adding a Patreon in future (I’ll probably launch it when I do a video mentioning the second YouTube channel I’m making).

  • Geoff

    Would you mind sharing the minimum brightness of the MSI GP75 10SFK / B173HAN05.0 17.3″ 1080p 240Hz panel? I see it’s on the table, but I can’t seem to find your video review of it. I assume because you’re still working on it.

    • Jarrod

      Yeah the video is still to come.
      0% – 15.1 nits
      25% – 98 nits
      50% – 179.6 nits
      75% – 261.8 nits
      100% – 343.6 nits

  • Danish

    Hey jarrod i am a great fan of yours.i love ur videos
    I just wanted to know which laptop should i choose between –

    1)Asus Rog strix scar 3(i7-10750/Rtx 2070/16 ram/1 tb nvme ssd and 240 hz panel)

    2)Msi GP-65 leopard (i7-10750/Rtx 2070/16 ram/512 gb nvme ssd and 144 hz panel)

    I know u made videos on both of them ( u made video on gp 75 rather than 65) . But which one to choose i dont know both have same cost and same spec . I want msi but the 240 hz panel and extra 512 gb ssd in asus i also compelling. Plz help me!!

    I only care about performance. No aesthetics. So which one performs better with same cpu and gpu. Is the 240 hz panel a great thing to leave msi 144 hz panel. I play both esports title and AAA titles and i dont know how much difference does 240 fps have over 144 fps. Is it noticeable or just numbers.does it affects gameplay. I am a avid gamer so fps matter to me. And also the extra 512 gb ssd in asus is another great factor

    And plz tell the display response time of both laptops. As u dint mentioned that in their respective videos.

    Plz help me with a detailed reply. I am ur great fan.
    Plz plz help me

  • Tom

    G’day Jarrod,
    Hope you’re managing to stay safe amd healthy. I also wanted to let you know that I’m enjoying your youtube content keep it up.
    I have a few questions about Aftershock PC if have the time to answer….
    Looking to purchase a high end gaming laptop before EOFY for work and VR flight sims if I get the time. Looking at Aftershock’s Terra 15X with RTX2070 (115W).
    I have emailed and left voice messages but had no response yet this week, and it doesn’t fill me with boundless confidence to get no reply, and living in QLD means I can’t just drop in.
    Do you have any knowledge (or know where I can research further) this laptop? Specifically access to the secondary M.2 and HDD mounts for later upgrades, as well as sourcing a 2nd power brick?
    Lastly is your discount code still valid?
    Thanks for your time, stay safe!

    • Jarrod

      Hmm not sure why they haven’t got back to you. I tested the Terra 15 on the channel, wasn’t impressed but it was one of the cheaper options out there if you want 115W RTX 2070 level performance, here’s a link to my review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0fAw_Dc9RI Not sure on where to get another brick, if you can get the barrel size it should be straightforward to get a generic one though. I believe the code is still valid, give it a go on the online store and it should apply.

  • Geoff

    Dude – thank you so much. You’ve been very generous with your time. It’s really appreciated. I definitely owe you some Patreon support now haha πŸ™‚

  • Tom

    Thanks for the reply, I managed to find that video and a few others. I think I’ll end up going with a metabox prime-v system. It’ll cost a little more but combined with an undervolt (which I have to learn how to do from Bob of all trades) will hopefully be better for my needs.
    Cheers,
    Tom

  • Danish

    Hey jarrod i am a great fan of yours.i love ur videos
    I just wanted to know which laptop should i choose between –

    1)Asus Rog strix scar 3(i7-10750/Rtx 2070/16 ram/1 tb nvme ssd and 240 hz panel)

    2)Msi GP-65 leopard (i7-10750/Rtx 2070/16 ram/512 gb nvme ssd and 144 hz panel)

    I know u made videos on both of them ( u made video on gp 75 rather than 65) . But which one to choose i dont know both have same cost and same spec . I want msi but the 240 hz panel and extra 512 gb ssd in asus i also compelling. Plz help me!!

    I only care about performance. No aesthetics. So which one performs better with same cpu and gpu. Is the 240 hz panel a great thing to leave msi 144 hz panel. I play both esports title and AAA titles and i dont know how much difference does 240 fps have over 144 fps. Is it noticeable or just numbers.does it affects gameplay. I am a avid gamer so fps matter to me. And also the extra 512 gb ssd in asus is another great factor

    And plz tell the display response time of both laptops. As u dint mentioned that in their respective videos.

    Plz help me with a detailed reply. I am ur great fan.
    Plz plz help me

    • Jarrod

      Unfortunately I have not tested response times from those machines so I cannot answer, I have not yet had those models for testing so do not have data available at this time, if I get them I will add them to this page: https://jarrods.tech/list-of-laptop-response-times/ I had the 9th gen models of those machines, but that was before I bought the tools to properly measure the screens. Based on memory, the scar has a bit nicer build quality but the MSI will probably perform better due to power limits on the CPU of the Scar, plus from memory the MSI overclocks the GPU by default (though you can of course do this yourself too). 144Hz is fine for most people, to use 240Hz you will need to primarily play esports games at low settings, if you do this it could be a nice advantage.

  • Yash

    Hey!! Congrats on crossing the 200k mark on your main YouTube channel.
    I have a question for you.
    I need a new laptop and am confused between the i5+ 1660ti vs i7 + 1650 variants.
    I will be playing only CSGO and don’t really care for AAA titles.
    Any help would be appreciated.

    • Jarrod

      Thanks, in that case as much as it pains me to say, CS:GO is one of the few games tested that benefits more from the i7 compared to better graphics. If you can get a laptop like the Y540 that lets you disable optimus then you’ll see a nice speed boost in high frame rate games like that one.

  • Lorenz

    I find this channel very informative, I appreciate the details and effort you make in your videos especially to a newbie like me in choosing laptops. I was close to buying that asus tuf a15 with slow response time. Ooof

  • DHEERAJ REDDY

    Can you please do the testing and comparison of 2020 Razer blade 15 and 2020 Acer triton 500 with rtx 2080 super in both on your YouTube channel. It’s one of the favorites to everyone. We await for your video

    • Jarrod

      I hope so, I am waiting on both companies to have both models to send over, I’ve requested them and unfortunately there’s nothing more I can do to speed up that process.

  • Dinesh VR

    Hey jarrod,
    Big fan I’ve been watching your videos for past 6 months and I wanna know does acer Predator Helios 300 really has 3ms response time as mentioned in specs? I play esports titles so it matters pls reply

    Thanks

  • Ken

    Hello this is very helpful since i dont rrlly know how to check response times and is there any chance you could review the n ew Dell G7 2020 version? Your rlly helpful in reviewing laptops and it helps me decide which one is the best.

    • Jarrod

      You need special tools to do it. I am waiting on Dell to have them in my country, if they are able to lend me one I will test it and add the data to this page.

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