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Testing the Asus VG236HE 120Hz 3D Monitor, it Has Some Input Lag

November 3rd, 2010 · 9 Comments · Other S3D Tech

After some delay I’ve finally gotten my hands on the Asus VG236HE (the version without bundled 3D Vision glasses) which is the same in terms of hardware and performance as the Asus VG236H which comes with the shutter glasses bundled. As you probably know the Asus VG236HE is one of the latest 120Hz 3D-capable LCD monitors compatible with Nvidia’s 3D Vision technology, but what sets it apart from all other such products is the fact that this is the first 3D-capable 120Hz LCD monitor with a glossy screen, as all others so far were with matted screens (apart from the 120Hz LCD panels used in 3D-capable laptops that are also glossy). Now this kind of reflective coating over the screen can create some reflections when darker image is being displayed and some people do not like that much, although more and more monitors in general are being made like that, but you can get used to that or just avoid it by choosing another product. But I’ll leave that for when I’m ready with the whole review of the monitor, and for now let me just show you how the monitor performs in terms of input lag.

I’ve decided to compare the Asus VG236HE to the LG W2363D-PF I’ve recently tested, as this model from LG is so far the only Full HD 3D-capable 120Hz LCD monitor that I’ve tested and that does not have input lag when the special THRU Mode is active. So far the only model from the second generation of 3D-capable 120Hz LCD monitors that I still haven’t been able to test is the Alienware Optix AW2310, which apparently also does not have any input lag according to some reviews I’ve read. So dusting off my DVI splitter cable I connected both the Asus VG236HE and the LG W2363D-PF and started testing for input lag with the LG in its THRU mode and the Asus set in its gaming mode…

As you can see from this photo, there were moments when the LG and Asus were performing the same, meaning that there was no input lag at the specific moment, unfortunately the situation was not like that all the time. The minimum input lag measured on the Asus was indeed 0 milliseconds, meaning no delay at all from the moment of receiving the image and displaying it on the screen, however the average and maximum delay was more than zero.

The maximum input lag I was able to measure was 17 milliseconds which is not that bad, but for a high-end gaming monitor with 120Hz refresh rate and intended for playing games in stereo 3D mode one would expect to have no input lag at all, right?

And the average delay measured was about 8 milliseconds for the Asus as compared to the LG, that has no input lag at all or at least it is much less than one millisecond making it really insignificant and hard to measure anyway. So 8 milliseconds was the average input lag measured from the sequence of over the 300 photos, taken in high-speed mode with a digital camera, of the timer you see shown on both displays to measure the input lag. So the Asus doesn’t have so good start, especially for gamers looking to use it in 2D mode with the full 120Hz refresh rate, but lets see the more important part – how well it performs in stereo 3D mode. That however you will be able to soon read when I’m finished testing the monitor in a few days… ;)

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9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Franco // Nov 3, 2010 at 23:16

    Bloody, what does it mean input lag, what are the implications for that??
    I have the Alienware OPTx A3210, and reading your review you said it doesn’t have input lag, is this a bad or good thing?
    I thought input lag was something related to response time, not sure If I got this right?
    I know my Alienware 120hz display has a 2ms response time.

  • 2 Bloody // Nov 4, 2010 at 00:08

    Input lag is the time needed for the display to visualize the video data it receives from the video card, if there is no input lag there is no delay processing the image and you see it immediately on the screen. If however the electronics processing the image data needs some time before it is being shown on the screen, this means there is some input lag and the time it takes for the image to be shown on screen after being sent to the display is the input lag for that given monitor.

    So what does input lag do? It slows down your reaction time by a specific amount making you not so competitive in fast paced action games. When you see something on the screen, like lets say an enemy you need to shoot down in an FPS game you need some time to react and move the crosshair (the mouse) in order to get it over the enemy character and click the mouse button to shoot him down. This time depends on the person playing however lets say you need an average of 200 milliseconds to react to a visual stimulus on the screen, so if your monitor has an input lag of lets say 20 milliseconds your reaction time will be 10% slower. That will be a disadvantage for you that is not related you your own abilities, but implied by the hardware you use. Additional delays may be introduced by the keyboard/mouse responsiveness, the ping you have to a network server if you play online etc. For competitive online gaming or for pro-gaming usually everyone is looking to minimize the negatives of the hardware, so that his own abilities will be the key factor for success, so input lag is just one thing you don’t need to have.

    When playing in 120Hz the input lag is not so noticeable, but if you go to to 60Hz it becomes more noticeable, and then when we get to 24Hz for example it can become horrible even for normal users. For pro gamers and competitive online gamers however even the slightest delay can be noticed, this depends from person to person however, so for some people the presence of some input lag is not a problem at all…

  • 3 Franco // Nov 4, 2010 at 03:55

    Thank you for the detailed explanation!!!!

  • 4 MartinM // Nov 4, 2010 at 15:41

    Can you display this picture in 3D, to show the ghosting, please?




    Lots of:

    Philips 8605:

  • 5 Bloody // Nov 4, 2010 at 19:21

    Here are the left/right photos for the Asus:

  • 6 MartinM // Nov 5, 2010 at 15:39

    Love you. If you can do it for all 3D Hardware you get, it will be so great. Don’t hesitate to sending it by eMail if you like.

    Sorry for my frenchy english.

  • 7 Tiago // Jun 2, 2011 at 21:48

    Bloddy, I currently own the samsung 2233rz, but i’ve been wanting to change to the 1920*108p resolution.
    And this Asus really cought my eye.

    Since the monitor was release a year ago, do you think that Asus, maybe have been building these monitors with better components since release, making said average 8ms come closer to the 2ms reported by Asus?

    Also could the response time be improved with better PC hardware or it’s completly all up to the monitor?

    Would you recommend a better monitor or wait for newer ones?

  • 8 Tiago // Jun 2, 2011 at 21:52

    Oh, i have been and will be using these monitor solely for 2D gaming

  • 9 jgiglywiggly // Dec 28, 2011 at 22:36

    How does trace free affect input lag? Please respond, should I put it at 100 will that reduce input lag or make more?

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