Response Time - What is it?

In the technological context, response time refers to the time between a system inquiry and a response to it. In other words, it’s the total amount of time it takes to respond to a request for service. This service can vary from anything to memory fetches to complex database queries, and the response time is the sum total of the service time and the wait time. 

Response time is often used to measure the performance of a system, but could also refer to service requests within various technologies. 

Low response times are a key component of successful computing. Ideally, response time should be no more than 1 second.



Formula for Average Response Time

(Time taken to respond / Number of responses in the same time period)
Similar to the average response time, the peak response time (PRT) is the measurement of the longest responses for all requests coming through the server. This is a good indicator of performance pain points in the application.

Response time is often synonymous with the term “latency”, though the latter is often used when looking at a time delay between a specific cause and effect. Response time, on the other hand, deals with the total time between a service request and its fulfillment. 

Response time factors into a wide array of computing areas including database queries, memory handling, and loading web pages. For example, monitor response time might be a measure of how quickly a pixel in a display takes to change (often measured in milliseconds), where a lower response time would mean faster transitions. Display monitors with long response times would create a blur or lag around moving objects.