What is Monitor Ghosting?
While playing a game, you may have experienced a glitch where the frames of a previous render blend into your current frame. It is called Monitor Ghosting.
Monitor ghosting is a phenomenon that occurs when multiple images form a fuzzy ‘smear’ or smudge on your screen. It happens when the images from a previous render superimpose themselves into the current ongoing render, creating this ‘ghost’ effect, hence the name.
Ghosting is a serious problem, as it can divert players’ focus while gaming during intense moments. It can also occur while streaming movies or just randomly scrolling through your screen.
In this article, we hope to inform you of its causes, test it, and finally, how can you fix it?
What Causes Monitor Ghosting?
Monitor ghosting has several factors that contribute to it, mainly issues in system response time and screen refresh rate.
Screen Refresh Rate
Screen refresh rate is the number of times a screen refreshes in a second to cope with the image changes. It is represented by a number, followed by the symbol (Hz). Most monitors available in the market have a refresh rate of 60 refreshes per second or 60Hz. However, monitors can have up to 240 Hz.
When a screen refreshes, a new image takes the place of a previous one, and with this done multiple times, it creates a flow of images. More images refreshed in a second lead to a smoother flow. Any anomalies in this flow can lead to Ghosting.
Response time is the amount of time your CPU takes to replace an image with a new one. It does so by altering the pixels to change the color of the new image or simply resetting them. Combined with the refreshing of images, it can create animations as you see while using your computer.
If the response time has any issues, some pixels might not be altered on time, leading to Ghosting. With a high response time, your CPU would take more time to load an image. With a slow refresh rate, your monitor would exhibit Ghosting. A response time of 5ms or lower is considered ideal for gaming.
How To Do Monitor Ghosting Test?
Now that we know what can cause Ghosting, we should know how to detect exactly what is wrong. To do that, you can visit your nearest computer repair store. Or you can try to test it yourself online.
Many online tools allow you to test if your monitor experiences monitor Ghosting and give you its recommended solutions. A recommended site is testufo.
You are given multiple scenarios to test your computer with: a frame rate test, Ghosting test, refresh rate and such. You can choose different colors to test your monitor’s ability to react to them. Pixel separation, speed of the video are also options to change at your command, among others.
The tool displays your frame rate and refreshes rate, and if it detects any issue, it will display that and suggest a fix for it. If it detects none, it will display a message reading ‘ready’.
How To Fix Monitor Ghosting?
When you are experiencing Ghosting, there are several fixes for it.
Check Your Refresh Rate and Response Time
If you remember, we talked about the main causes of Ghosting: incompetent refresh rate and response time. Your gaming monitor should not be running at less than 60Hz, as anything below would be a major problem for your gaming experience. Check your specs on your computer. If your monitor can run on a higher refresh rate, then change it to solve the problem.
If your refresh rate is fine, check your response time. Your CPU should not be higher than 10ms. Anything higher will be too slow for gaming and would cause Ghosting. Anything between 3-5ms is ideal for casual gaming, and 1ms is the best you can have for a competitive approach. If this lags, try running overdrive on your computer to lower your response time to a more suitable level.
To Turn On Overdrive
Turning on overdrive in itself is a challenge. Firstly, you have to know what it is called on your computer: Overdrive, AMA, Trace Free or Response Time. Next, enable it. If it is already enabled, try changing its settings to see which one suits them best.
If the settings are given to you in ms, choose lower numbers for the best response time. If they are given to you as ‘modes’, such as ‘slowest’, ‘slow’, ‘medium’ or ‘fast’, choose ‘fast’.
An anomaly occurs when the response time is set too high, which can cause images to ‘overshoot’ and cause Ghosting. It looks almost identical to normal Ghosting, so maybe that wasn’t the case at all. If so, try turning overdrive off or selecting it at a medium level and seeing if that helps.
Check Your Monitor Setup
It can include multiple things. Firstly, settings like ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur) have been identified to cause Ghosting. If it is on, turn it off and check whether it makes a difference.
Settings like enabling NVIDIA G-SYNC or AMD Freesync are known to cause monitor ghosting as well. If they are on, turn them off and see whether it makes a difference. If they are already off, try turning them on to see if it fixes the problem.
Cable management to your monitor could also be an issue. If the cable is tangled or unnecessarily long, it can increase response time to your monitor. Consider adjusting and changing it respectively.
Damaged cables or an unshielded cable can lead to Ghosting, and you should consider changing them as well.
Checking Computer System
You can check for the issue in your computer system by checking:
If your component drivers are outdated, consider updating them as it might fix your problem. Display drivers are essential for image output, so if you develop Ghosting, suddenly check for updates. The same goes for GPU drivers, as the GPU is responsible for producing a picture.
If, after all this, the issue still pertains, your last choice would be replacing your monitor. Older monitors aren’t usually designed for newer hardware, which then causes Ghosting.
Get a newer model with at least 75H for console gaming and 144Hz for PC gaming, paired with anything less than 5ms of response time.
Try to get monitors with an IPS or TN panel. TN panels boast a high refresh rate and a more affordable price, while IPS boasts unmatchable color production yet at a higher cost. Avoid VA panels completely as they have horrible response times.
For the best experience, make sure the response rate is above 120 Hz, response time is below or equal to 2ms, and screen resolution is 1920*1080 and above. The IPS panel is best for color, while TN is best for refresh rate and response time.
We hope that this article was insightful and helpful to you. Information given has been based on good sources and tried-and-tested methods.