What Is Overdrive On A Monitor? (And How Do You Turn It On & Off)

When you purchase the modern gaming monitors you’ll be getting an overdrive feature in them. If you’re a beginner and don’t know what is the function of overdrive then we’ve got you covered. The overdrive is the image-boosting technology that works to boost the speed at which monitor pixels change color. 

By this we mean, overdrive helps the monitor to create excellent images and provides you a next-level visual experience.  Some of the users overlooked the overdrive due to the technical operations but that is another case. You should know what this drive is, how it works to create a unique gaming experience before choosing a new display.  Here in this article, we’re going to discuss in detail the overdrive on a monitor and its usage as well.

What is Overdrive?

As we mentioned in the intro that overdrive is based on the image boosting technology that speeds up the process in which pixels change color. By that we mean, it increases the speed of response time, and using the monitor with the overdrive will have a great impact on the overall gaming experience. Most of the monitor manufacturer doesn’t come up with the exact response time instead they refer to it as the best scenario which falls under the category of overdrive. 

If you’re going to purchase a monitor specifically for gaming then you should keep in mind a few things including response time, display, overdrive, refresh time, etc. it is okay to play a few games in normal or slower response time but if you want to boost up your gaming experience by speeding up the response time then you’ll be needing an overdrive. Are you getting confused about overdrive and response time? no worries, by the end of the article your all doubts will surely be clear.

Response time Vs Overdrive:

The time in which pixels change their current state, colors and brightness is known as the response time. This is the simplest explanation one can ever give to you. Whether you’re a professional, gaming developer or a videographer getting a high-end monitor is a must. 

There are different display panels available in the market including TN, IPS, VA equipped with great colors, resolutions, response time. However, among them, TN is the fastest one.  The actual response time of TN is 1.5 milliseconds but if you switch on the overdrive it goes to 1millisecond which is great right?

What is the use of overdrive in a display monitor?

You might be thinking that what is the purpose of overdrive then let me tell you. overdrive increases the total response time and works to prevent the screen ghosting that could make you irritated. The main purpose of overdrive is to speed up the response so that the images will move fast in a smooth yet sleek way. Mainly, the higher the response time more amazing will be the gaming experience. High response time is mainly required for high-paced games, videography, or animations.

By using the overdrive on a monitor you’ll be the same from the hassle of lagging or screen tearing. In short, with overdrive usage, your games will become more interesting, amazing yet attractive. Furthermore, the overdrive on a monitor will help to eliminate the ghosting artifact and keep it in a lower state throughout the games. Due to this feature, you’ll be easy dealing with high-end pacing videos or complex advanced gaming.

Is it okay to use the overdrive for display?

When you enable the overdrive on a monitor display there are certain things that you need to be careful of. I’m specifically talking about the refresh rate because if the overdriven limit exceeds then it’ll break the pixels and cause inverse ghosting. What is inverse ghosting? This means the opposite colors shadows will occur when you’re watching anything on the moving screen. Too much presence of the overdrive could lead to this situation. However, lacking the overdrive will cause coronas.

How to turn it on and off?

I’m sure you might be confused about how to turn or off the overdrive on a monitor display? But before that do you know how to do the display setting? Because turning on or off the overdrive mainly depends on it. Secondly, one has to know their overdrive name on the display screen of a laptop, monitor, or television. By getting complete information about overdrive you can make changes in it. Here is how you can do it without any hassle. 

  1. First of all, click the setting menu and choose on-screen display.
  2. On-screen display you’ll find the adjustments related to contrast, brightness, and overdrive too.
  3. Choose the overdrive option and open its menu.
  4. Here you’ll be seeing different options including slow, normal, and fast.
  5. Pick the one that you required and make the settings accordingly.

You might have noticed that the overdrive mainly depends on the display settings. Few monitors come up with the overdrive in number while others have only two options on/off. However, some of them offer adjustment settings.

What is the importance of fast response time?

If you’re a beginner then this question will strike your mind why choose the fast response time or what is the importance of it? We’ve discussed the correlation between the response time and overdrive. Higher the response time more quickly the pixels will change their colors and more smoothly the image will move. If you’re a gamer then having a fast response time is a must to increase the visual experience. 

However, if your monitor response time is slower you might face lagging, visual artifacts, smearing, or ghosting. Thus, the faster the response timeless will be these disturbances. To increase the pixels response time manufacturer have introduced the overdrive feature that will require more voltage to run but the pixels will be driven quickly yet effectively. In general, the following are the response time that is expected from a few of the famous monitors:

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

Does lagging caused by overdrive?

Response time, overdrive, refresh rate are linked to each other to provide a smooth display. Does turning on overdrive leads to input lagging on the monitor? Honestly, if you turn on the overdrive on the monitor display there will be no input lagging. But if you’re using the low overdrive settings then the ghosting effect will occur.

When to turn on the overdrive or keep it off?

There are advantages as well as disadvantages of turning on the overdrive. But keeping it on for excessive time could lead to inverse ghosting. That’s why one should only switch on the display monitors when you’re playing fast-paced games to avoid smearing. However, if you’re the one who loves to play high-end games then go for the higher refresh rate overdrive and keep it turn on to have a smooth yet amazing gaming experience.

Is it okay to use higher overdrive?

This is the commonly asked question that is using higher overdrive is better? Well honestly, not really. Undoubtedly, there are enormous advantages of the high level of overdrive but the continued high pace could lead to screen artifacts. Do not go for the overdrive monitor that does not allow the setting and go for the one with settings that meets your needs. 

When you use the overdrive in a modern LCD monitor then an overshoot artifact could happen. It is similar to ghosting but overshooting is often in highlighted form and white looking. However, the higher overdrive will not have any bad effect on the monitor performance. Despite the lagging, or smearing the monitor will operate normally without any issues. Although one should select the monitor at a medium pace.

What is a variable overdrive monitor?

Variable overdrive monitor means adjusting the monitor overshoot setting effectively after every fresh rate so that the motion blurring issues will be reduced. Most of the monitors come up with the overshoot settings but if you switch on the free sync then it gets turned off. However, one has to go for the freesync monitor with the AMD and NVIDIA versions.


With overdrive, the pixel’s response time increases

Great reduction in smearing, ghosting and blurring

Creates life-like color reproduction

Best for high-end gaming


Could cause overshooting

Inverse ghosting



When you’re a newbie in the world of gaming then it’s hard to find the right answer related to the monitor setting. Due to the advancement in technology, this is no less than a challenge to do the backend settings. Overdrive is used to eliminate the ghosting and trailing effect. However, you should prioritize your requirements as well as your preferences. Overall, overdrive gives the kick to the response time required to run the games efficiently so run it whenever required.

Umar Kashif
Hi, I'm Umar Kashif. I love traveling, computer hardware, and software. I’m constantly trying to learn new skills and programming languages. Reviewing new pieces of hardware is one of my favorite hobbies. Drop by any time to leave me a message if you have any questions. Want to contact me mailto:[email protected]