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What is Overdrive on a Monitor?

Computer Monitor
Quick Answer

Overdrive on a monitor allows users to change response times and speed by changing the refresh rate on the computer. Overdrive is typically featured on gaming monitors, as it can help achieve smoother graphics for the user. 

The rest of this article will explain what Overdrive is, what it can do, and why you should know about it. 

What is Overdrive?

Overdrive is a feature on many monitors that allows users to increase the display response time. Overdrive is usually seen on gaming monitors and is beneficial if a game is lagging, if graphics are not smooth, or if you are trying to play with other users and want all graphics to run well. 

What is Response Time on a Monitor?

The response time of a monitor is the time it takes for one pixel to shift from one color to another. It helps allow the pixels to move evenly. Overdrive will help this happen without delays. 

Why is Overdrive Important?

Overdrive is mainly used for gamers who are playing fast-paced games. It can be suitable for anyone who is dealing with any fast-moving graphics so that they stay consistent.

An example of this would be a monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate. This means that your monitor refreshes or updates 144 images per second, which translates to 16.67 milliseconds.

This may work well, but with Overdrive, you can adjust it to exactly the amount you need. A setting that is too high can lead to various graphic issues. 

What Overdrive Setting is the Best?

The answer to this may change based on the user and the computer. This is because every single manufacturer is different and will have their own way of designing the internal works of the monitor.

Many recommend that individual users try all the available settings to see which suits them the best. This is because not only will they see how different each one is, but they will also be more mindful of the other options and what they shouldn’t use.

Differences in Overdrive Settings

Depending on what manufacturer you get your monitor from, the settings will differ. For example, sometimes the settings could be called ‘strong, medium, weak,’ and sometimes called ‘high, medium, low.’

On average, most computers will have those three options. That being said, some monitors will feature an overdrive range that goes from 0 to 100. Users who find that their monitors have this can select any number they wish, as long as it benefits them and the graphics run smoothly and to their liking.

How to Change Overdrive Settings

This will change based on the manufacturer your monitor is from since each one has a different way of designing the internal settings of their monitors. That being said, most users can access overdrive settings by opening the monitor’s OSD menu

Additionally, users can generally find overdrive settings under Rampage Response, TraceFree, Response Time, and OD

Is Overdrive Bad For Your Display?

Setting the Overdrive too high can lead to inverse ghosting and coronas, an overdrive artifact

What is Ghosting?

Ghosting happens when overdrive settings may be set too high for your monitor. It is when there is a blurring of images on your monitor. This can occur if a user is playing a high-speed game or even if there is a slower response time. 

The monitor’s display will show small sections of the old image while other areas are already changing. 

Types of Panels for Monitors   

There are three types of monitors that have great response times when it comes to gaming monitors. These are TN, IPS, and VA monitors. Let’s take a closer look at each one and what they feature:

Twisted Nematic Display (TN)

The TN display is the cheapest option out of all the displays and has the fastest response times compared to IPS and VA monitors. Because of that, it comes as no surprise that it is incredibly in-demand.

This display technology works at a rate of 5 milliseconds, great for gamers of all kinds. Even more impressive, the overdrive feature can get your monitor working at a one-millisecond response time.

An excellent option for all who love gaming, this type of monitor and an incredible budget-friendly buy will leave you with a reduced blur.

In-Plane Switching Display (IPS)

This display is great for those who want the best coloration on a monitor. IPS displays come with a response time of 4 milliseconds. Overdrive will improve the response time even more.

Gamers who want sharp, crisp graphics with even coloration in every frame will love this type of monitor. This feature will also be a favorite of all photo editors and graphic designers!

Vertical Alignment Display (VA)

This display has a response time of around five milliseconds, is robust, and offers excellent user-friendly perks, despite the lower response time.

One feature of this kind of display is its ability to stymie the backlight while not used, as well as multiple viewing angles and color apps that will allow for deeper, more pigmented colors.

Final Thoughts 

Overdrive is an essential feature for anyone who holds frame rate and graphics to a high standard when choosing their computer. The ability to customize their viewing and gaming experience is one of the key elements to this great feature. 

When choosing which option to go with, it’s highly personal and customizable to the person using the monitor, which may change based on what they are doing. If a gamer is playing a fast-paced game, they may need a faster response time than those who aren’t. 

Either way, Overdrive is a great feature that all should look into no matter what they are doing. That being said, it’s essential to ensure that you are not changing the settings to anything higher than the monitor can handle, or it can cause a variety of graphic issues. 

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