Are you planning to buy a new monitor specifically for gaming use?
Tips To Know Which Monitor To Use for Gaming
If you’re overwhelmed with the number of choices in the market, read this post to clear up things for you and make an informed decision before adding a monitor brand or model to your shopping cart.
Buying Considerations for Gaming Monitors
Here are the most important things to consider when searching for a gaming monitor that meets your needs:
Screen Size & Resolution
If possible, go for the biggest monitor your money can buy. 27-inch to 34-inch monitors are popular screen sizes for gamers.
Also, check the resolution of your chosen panel size. A monitor with a maximum resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 (called Full High-
Definition or FHD) or 2,560 by 1,440 pixels (Wide Quad High-Definition or WQHD) is enough to provide sharp imagery for most gaming requirements. The higher the resolution, the sharper the images would look in your games.
Refresh rates refer to the time (per second) it takes for the screen to redraw. Measured in Hertz (Hz), the refresh rates of monitors are important to gaming because having a monitor with a low refresh rate could cause blurry images and screen tearing.
A good gaming monitor would have at least a 60Hz refresh rate, which means the monitor is refreshed 60 times per second. Skip 75Hz because the difference between 60Hz and 75Hz is not noticeable.
But if you have money for 120Hz or higher, then you can experience better playability.
Pixel Response Time
Pixel response time is the time it takes a pixel to transition from one shade of gray to another. The goal is to pick a gaming monitor with a low pixel response, so there wouldn’t be any smearing of moving images.
Try to find a monitor with a 2-millisecond (or less) gray-to-gray pixel response time, which is more than enough for gaming.
There are several types of panels, each with its pros and cons. The most popular ones used for gaming are the following:
- IPS (In-plane switching) is the go-to of gamers because it offers excellent wide-viewing angles, reliable color quality, and strong gray-scale performance.
- TN (Twisted Nematic) is the most affordable, but offers the best pixel response and refresh rates. The downside is that they are prone to color shifting when viewed from certain angles.
- VA (Vertical Alignment) is ideal if you want robust colors and an excellent contrast ratio to produce the blackest of blacks/whitest of whites images. The downside to this panel type is it is prone to ghosting (a kind of glitch where you see previous image frames accompany you even when you have moved to the next image frame).
Any of these panel types are sufficient for gaming, but make sure to choose based on what type of gaming you play.
Aside from the ones listed here, you can also find monitors that incorporate other technologies, such as LED backlighting (there’s full-array, Edge LED backlighting, and OLED).
You also have to decide if you’d like a traditional flat monitor or a curved display. Flat monitors are older and are available as ultra-wide flat monitors which provide an increased field of view.
Curve displays are known to reduce eye strain, which is always a good thing for gamers playing for several hours.
Choosing between flat or curved monitors often boils down to personal preference since not everyone likes the viewing angles of a curved display.
FreeSync vs G-Sync
G-Sync and Freesync are technologies to prevent screen tear problems. They are somewhat similar but developed by different brands.
Developed by Nvidia, G-Sync is only compatible with Nvidia GPUs and G-Sync-compatible displays. It boasts low-latency and powerful performance (even with 4k gaming).
Unfortunately, G-Sync can affect the overall price of your monitor, since it tends to be more expensive than Freesync and other similar technologies.
Developed by AMD, Freesync is only compatible with AMD GPUs and FreeSync-compatible monitors. It is cheaper than G-Sync and doesn’t require special hardware to function, but cannot be used with an NVIDIA Graphics Card and 4k gaming.
Video-Input and Ports
You may not think about this now, but if you’re a gamer who uses two or more gaming devices (computer, consoles like Xbox One or PS4, an entire sound system, etc.) you’ll need a variety of video inputs and ports.
At the very least, find a monitor with dual HDMI ports. Or if you need something better, go with DisplayPort since it provides a much higher refresh rate at peak resolution.
If budget is not an issue, you can meet the specifications above hassle-free. A 27-inch model with G-Sync could cost you $500 or more.
If you don’t have an unlimited budget for a display, the cost of a monitor with a commercial monitor mounts
would surely influence your choice of a gaming display.
A 24-inch monitor with TN technology, 60Hz refresh rate, and 4-millisecond gray-to-gray pixel response would cost about $150. If you want to incorporate other technologies like G-Sync/FreeSync, flicker-free, motion blur reduction, and so, expect to pay higher.
The cool thing about gaming monitors is that brands would advertise a particular model as a touch screen monitor for gaming which makes it easier for you to filter gaming displays.
However, technically speaking, if the factors above have been met, the computer monitor (even if it is not marketed as a gaming monitor) could still work as effectively as a monitor for your gaming.
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