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Display lag is a phenomenon associated with some types of LCD displays, and nearly all types of HDTVs, that refers to latency, or lag measured by the difference between the time a signal input enter a display and the time it takes for that input to be shown on the display. This lag time has been measured as high as 68ms, or the equivalent of 3-4 frames on a 60 Hz display. Display lag is not to be confused with pixel response time.
Latency is a measure of time delay experienced in a system, the precise definition of which depends on the system and the time being measured. Latencies may have different meaning in different contexts.
Lag is a common word meaning to fail to keep up or to fall behind. In real-time applications, the term is used when the application fails to respond in a timely fashion to inputs. The most common use regards online gaming when the game doesn't respond in sync with the player's controls, usually due to a slow internet connection, server latency or overworked hardware.
Lag is also often used in reference to video games to describe to the delay (or latency) between an action by a player and the reaction of the game.
In distributed applications (such as MMORPGs), lag is often caused by communication latency, which is the time taken for a sent packet of data to be received at the other end. It includes the time to encode the packet for transmission and transmit it, the time for that data to traverse the network equipment between the nodes, and the time to receive and decode the data. This is also known as "one-way latency". A minimum bound on latency is determined by the distance between communicating devices and the speed at which the signal propagates in the circuits (typically 70–95% of the speed of light in vacuum). Actual latency is often much higher because of packet processing in networking equipment, and other traffic.
The term lag is often also used as a synonym for communication latency. This can be misleading because there can be other causes for the symptom.
Input Lag example for console gaming
The process that occurs from when the user presses a button to when the screen reacts is outlined below (steps which have negligible response time contributions have been omitted). Each step in the process adds response time (commonly known as "input lag"), which varies from minor to noticeable.
1: Controller sends signal to console For wired controllers, this lag is negligible. For wireless controllers, opinions vary as to the effect of this lag. It is likely that opinions vary due to each user's sensitivity to lag, model of wireless controller and the other equipment in the signal chain (i.e. the rest of their gaming setup).
2: Network lag (online gaming only) Since the console must know the current location of other players, there is sometimes a delay as this information travels over the network. This occurs in games where the input signals are "held" for several frames (to allow time for the data to arrive at every player's console) before being used to render the next frame. At 25 FPS, holding 4 frames adds 40ms to the overall input lag.
3: Console processes information and sends frame output to television A console will send out a new frame once it has finished processing it. This is measured with the frame rate. Using Gran Turismo 5 as an example, the maximum theoretical framerate is 60 FPS (frames per second), which means the minimum theoretical input lag for the overall system is 17ms (note: the maximum real world FPS in 3D mode is 40-50 FPS). In situations where processor load is high (e.g. many cars are on-screen on a wet track), this can drop to 30 FPS (16 FPS for 3D mode) which is equivalent to 32ms.
4: Television processes frame (image correction, upscaling, etc.) and pixel changes colour This is the "input lag" of the television. Image processing (such as upscaling, 100 Hz, motion smoothing, edge smoothing) takes time and therefore adds some degree of input lag. It is generally considered that input lag of a television below 30ms is not noticeable, discussions on gaming forums tend to agree with this value. Once the frame has been processed, the final step is the pixel response time for the pixel to display the correct colour for the new frame. Typical overall response times Overall response times (from controller input to display response) have been conducted in these tests:
It appears that overall input lag times of approximately 200ms are distracting to the gamer. It also appears that (excluding television input lag) 133ms is an average response time and the most sensitive games (first person shooters and Guitar Hero) achieve response times of 67ms (again, excluding television input lag).
This is the "input lag" of the television. Image processing (such as upscaling, 100 Hz, motion smoothing, edge smoothing) takes time and therefore adds some degree of input lag.
It appears that overall input lag times of approximately 200ms are distracting to the gamer.
Now the catch is this : Certain people have a certain tolerance to input lag. Certain peoples reactions are so fast that depending on a number of factors including the game, connection, latency & other things, it may not mean anything at all.
Research both sides of the argument (pros and cons) before wasting the valuable time of us ATSers
Originally posted by gwynnhwyfar
reply to post by Vandettas
All I know is that my step-daughter kicks most guys behinds in Call of Duty!!!!
Personally, I think it's her style. She goes in shooting, every time, where most players are more cautious. It works for her.
Originally posted by shake101
reply to post by Vandettas
Your headline is titled "Input Lag MYTH."
I suppose it is misleading since apparently now you agree that there is such a thing called input lag.
However, the fact remains it does make a significant difference in hardcore gaming.
How much of a difference? Sure, you could say it depends on the person.
On the other hand, to a hardcore gamer it will make a significant difference as hardcore gamers typically have better reaction time and a few hundred milliseconds of extra lag can affect your performance