What is Overdrive on a Monitor

One might have noticed blurs when you play fast-paced games, or sometimes when you move your mouse quickly or scroll up and down rapidly while browsing a website, you’ll see an effect where the previous image frame remains for a few seconds. It might even result in the discolouration of objects. All of this is known as ghosting, which is a common occurrence. Monitor ghosting is generally caused by your monitor delivering a slow response time and not catching up to the image refresh rate.

For those unaware of tech terms, Response time is known as the time it takes for a pixel to shift between colours. The shorter the response time, the more responsive the motor is. This is where the Overdrive comes into action. It is a game-changer and produces buttery-smooth images and amazing quality graphics.

What is Overdrive on a Monitor?

Also known as Response Time Overdrive, OD, Rampage Response etc., Overdrive boosts your monitor’s response time by a few milliseconds. It gives out a cleaner and sharper result for images and graphics. 

Since every gadget, like your TV, monitor or laptop, has different display settings, the turning on and off and setting up of the Overdrive is also different. Generally, when you go to the Settings and then go to the On-Screen Display (OSD) option, this is where you can find other adjustments for the display screen like the brightness, contrast, and overdrive setting.

How to choose your overdrive settings?

Specific monitors might just come with an on and off option while Other monitors will provide different features such as medium, fast or faster. When you’re experiencing ghosting, You need to increase the Overdrive to shorten the response time; thus, you should choose the highest option available. 

In some cases, you won’t notice any specific recurring ghosting behind fast move objects even when the Overdrive is turned off. With the increasing popularity of gamers, gaming monitors require an exemplary overdrive implementation. Because of higher refresh rate displays, Overdrive is essential for a compelling gaming experience.

There are Ghosting Tests available which help you efficiently choose the required overdrive settings, and you can switch back and forth between overdrive settings and find which you prefer.

What is OverShoot?

Setting too much Overdrive can introduce inverse ghosting or pixel overshoot. Pixel Overshoot is also known as Inverse ghosting. This exists when pixels reach their final colour. In case you experience graphical artefacts during your game, it is an indicator that the mode of your Overdrive is higher than required. LCD pixels transition faster to a specific colour than back from a particular colour.

Comparison of displays:

Our usual monitor with a TN panel display has a response time of 3-5 milliseconds. In contrast, the Overdrive reduces the response time to 1 millisecond and thus, in less than a blink of an eye, you can traverse through various channels, scroll up and down and play fast-paced games. Specific IPS and VA panels of new monitors also have a higher response time. Older versions have a response time of 5ms to 8 ms, leading to motion trails and ghosting. 

Thus in such cases, a 1ms response time will eradicate ghosting. TN panel displays are highly favoured among competitive FPS gamers despite their inferior colour quality and viewing angles. While ghosting on VA panels is too high for competitive gamers, it’s tolerable for casual gaming. In return, you get amazing image quality at a reasonable price. IPS panels provide a good balance between the two technologies but are also more expensive.


The GtG specified response time speed implies the fastest speed at which a pixel can change from one shade of grey to another under specific testing conditions with the highest overdrive option applied. So, always consider these numbers. Moving Picture Response Time is known as display persistence. MPRT means that the monitor has a Motion Blur Reduction technology, which decreases the perceived ghosting because of backlight strobing.

GtG is the pixel transition time. In comparison, MPRT is pixel visibility time. MPRT can still create a lot of display motion blur even though the pixel response is instant. MPRT is a more precise representation of visible motion blur. It potentially decreases the monitor’s maximum brightness while being active, and it introduces screen flicker.

Some Important Tips:

When you are trying to check if your monitor has a ghosting effect, do both black/white and inverse white/black tests to get precise and average the results. LCD GtG pixel transitions are usually asymmetric.

A larger Size setting allows more accurate measurement. On the other hand, small size enables faster displays and higher refresh rates.

With less persistent displays and high refresh rates, try using smaller Checkerboard Size numbers. Avoid using Thickness values bigger than Checkerboard Size.

Strobe backlight system usually supports MPRT values of 1ms to 2ms and may require a Checkerboard Size of 1 or 2 to measure.

With the information provided above, you must pay heed to all aspects before purchasing your gaming monitor. Try to dwell more on products with an exemplary overdrive implementation. You might be in trouble if bought in haste, but the fixes mentioned to avoid motion blur will keep you sorted.

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