Response time is the most important parameter for a gaming monitor, and the SyncMaster SA950 offers three modes: Normal, Faster and Fastest. Let’s check them out one by one.
Normal is a mode without any response time compensation. Therefore the monitor's average response time is as high as 8.2 milliseconds (GtG) with a maximum of over 16 milliseconds.
The Faster mode is faster indeed. It’s 2.4 milliseconds (GtG). The monitor slows down a little on a couple of transitions from black to dark-gray and on one transition from white to a near-white tone. The colors being very close to each other, these slow transitions are inconspicuous. When it comes to the rest of halftones, the transition time is no higher than 4 milliseconds!
The average RTC error is rather high at 14.8% with a maximum of 85%. This maximum falls on a transition from black to gray.
The third mode, Fastest, produced the same results as Faster.
After these results, it is unclear then why Samsung has implemented the switching of the monitor via black frames in 3D mode. The SA950’s halftone response time is no higher than on black-gray transitions but the RTC error level is the highest on transitions from black.
On the other hand, it is possible that the operating algorithm of the 3D glasses has been selected not to comply with the SyncMaster SA950 and its specifics but to ensure compatibility with future monitors and TV-sets from Samsung. For example, if the company releases a 3D monitor with a PLS or PVA matrix, which are not as fast in switching between halftones as TN matrixes, the via-black switching is going to be absolutely necessary. I don’t have any info about such products as yet, though.
Interestingly, for all the complex electronics deployed in this monitor, it has no input lag in 3D or 2D mode.