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What’s overdrive on a monitor?

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Overdrive is a function that you simply’ll see on many fashionable gaming displays. Overdrive is an image-boosting know-how that successfully accelerates the pace at which your monitor’s pixels can change shade – serving to to create a extra immersive, artifact-free visible expertise.

Whereas overdrive know-how is nice for displays, it will possibly typically be neglected because of the technical nature of its operation. Whereas which may be the case, understanding what overdrive is on a monitor and the way it impacts your total gaming expertise are two issues it’s best to positively contemplate when selecting a brand new show.

We’ve bought a tonne of expertise within the monitor-tech house and are right here to shed a bit mild on the response-driving know-how. We’ll be explaining what it does, the way it impacts value, when to make use of it, and a few of the proprietary variations developed by producers.

What’s overdrive?

As we’ve already eluded to, overdrive is a technical function of a monitor that enables it to successfully enhance the pace at which the pixels change shade – typically utilizing the GTG scale.

The pace at which pixels change shade is known as response time. It’s one of many monitor’s greatest promoting factors and one that’s vastly impactful to the visible/gaming expertise you obtain.

The difficulty with response time is, monitor producers received’t at all times give a real measurement of a monitor’s response time. As an alternative, they are going to publish the ‘greatest case state of affairs’ in an effort to make the monitor look extra highly effective. These ‘greatest case state of affairs’ specs are sometimes below the affect of overdrive.

Examine our G-sync vs G-sync appropriate information right here.

Monitor overdrive: Execs and cons

Thus far, we’ve solely touched upon how overdrive impacts your monitor’s pixel efficiency. Regardless of overdrive sounding like a win-win know-how, it’s value mentioning a few of the damaging factors that may come up with its utilization.

Under are the principle options and advantages of overdrive in a monitor:


  • Will increase the pixel response time
  • Reduces smearing, blurring, ghosting
  • Helps to supply a extra life-like shade replica
  • Higher for aggressive gaming


  • Provides a price premium to the show
  • Can typically introduce overshoot
  • Can introduce inverse ghosting

Regardless of overdrive introducing just a few artifacts, the professionals far outweigh the cons. Having mentioned that, when you don’t optimize a monitor’s overdrive setting, you’ll typically discover the visible efficiency extremely poor – as we’ll clarify shortly.

Why does quick response time matter?

At this stage, you’re in all probability questioning why monitor response occasions matter?

As we talked about above, a monitor’s response time refers to how rapidly the pixels can transition between colours – utilizing the GTG scale. For gaming, response time is vastly vital as video games typically function fast-moving photographs that may be topic to visible artifacts if performed on a monitor displaying sluggish pixel transitions.

(Picture Supply: WePC)

Visible artifacts launched off the again of sluggish pixel response time are smearing, ghosting, and trailing. All are successfully the identical factor, depicted by smeary trails behind the picture – as displayed above.

The quicker your monitor’s response time, the much less doubtless you’re to expertise these artifacts. A method producers can enhance the pixel response time is to introduce the overdrive function – permitting the monitor to extend voltage and drive the pixels faster.

As a common rule, the next response occasions are anticipated:

  • Esports-grade gaming monitor: 0.5-1ms
  • Generic 16:9 gaming monitor: 1-4ms
  • Curved gaming monitor: 1-5ms
  • Ultrawide gaming monitor: 1-5ms
  • Tremendous ultrawide gaming monitor: 1-8ms
  • Gaming TV: 5ms
  • OLED gaming TV: Instantaneous

The place is overdrive discovered on a monitor?

Overdrive is a function that’s present in your monitor’s OSD (on-screen show).

overdrive in monitor OSD
(Picture Supply: WePC)

When navigating your monitor’s menu, you’ll typically see a ‘efficiency’ or ‘gaming’ part that homes options akin to overdrive, overclocking, sport modes, and extra.

Relying on what monitor model you personal, overdrive could also be labeled as one thing completely different – with some producers choosing a novel naming construction. Overdrive could be labeled below the next names:

  • TraceFree
  • Overdrive
  • OD
  • Response time
  • Rampage Response

Whatever the naming construction, all overdrive options act the identical means – increase pixel response time.

Is larger overdrive higher?

One of many massive questions (and misconceptions) we get concerning overdrive is; is larger overdrive higher? And the reply is, probably not.

Whereas larger ranges of overdrive are advantageous from a pixel response time standpoint, they typically come laced with a plethora of annoying display screen artifacts akin to overshoot. Relating to displays that don’t function dynamic overdrive (the power to dynamically change overdrive), you discover what setting works greatest on your wants.

I at all times check every of the overdrive settings to see which one affords the perfect stability between picture high quality and responsiveness. I do that by both loading a fast-paced shooter or BlurBusters UFO pursuit digital camera check and see how every overdrive setting impacts the check.

BlurBusters UFO Pursuit digital camera check:

Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 Motion Blur Comparison
(Picture Supply: WePC)

As you’ll be able to see from the picture above, which was taken throughout our Samsung Neo G9 evaluate, there are clear variations when altering the overdrive settings of your panel.

For that specific monitor, three settings had been out there – Commonplace, Sooner, and Excessive. As you go up the theoretical overdrive ladder, you’ll be able to see how smearing is slowly changed by overshoot.

Discovering the fitting overdrive settings on your monitor typically comes all the way down to the content material you’re viewing and the refresh price you propose to make use of.

Examine our complete 60hz vs 120hz vs 144hz vs 240hz information.

What’s overshoot?

Overshoot is a visible artifact that’s launched when overdrive is utilized in a contemporary LCD monitor.

Overshoot appears to be like much like blurring or ghosting, solely the path is usually white – trying extra like a spotlight than a smear.

image 10

As you’ll be able to see from the graphic above, the extra voltage pushed by the panel ends in the pixel ‘overshooting’ the top shade (or shade). That is what you’ll be able to see within the ‘Excessive’ overdrive setting above, the place a white spotlight is visually apparent.

Ought to I exploit overdrive?

Effectively, that every one comes all the way down to the standard it offers to any particular monitor. Whereas uncommon, some overdrive settings begin off so harsh that overshoot is clear even in its lowest kind.

That mentioned, because the know-how behind overdrive evolves, visible artifacts have gotten a lot much less apparent. In these displays, we’d positively suggest using the overdrive function. Not solely will it increase your visible expertise but it surely’ll additionally offer you a aggressive edge when taking part in esports titles the place each ms of response counts.

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