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How to Choose the Right Gaming Monitor
Are you a hardcore gamer looking for the perfect gaming monitor to immerse you fully into the world of gaming? If so, then you’re in the right place.
Your monitor plays a vital role in your overall gaming experience.
As such, it would be unfortunate to build a high-end gaming rig only to hook it up to a low-quality monitor that will trammel your gaming experience.
A high-performance gaming monitor will position you to play those fast-paced games better. It will also display every aspect in details and mind-blowing clarity, which is what you need to have an immersive experience.
However, choosing the best gaming monitor can be an intimidating task owing to the multitude of options available.
In this post, we’ll try to simplify that task for you by making you aware of the make or break factors to look for in a quality gaming monitor.
Important Specs & Features to Look for in a Quality Gaming Monitor
Hardware wise, it can be hard to differentiate a gaming monitor from a regular monitor. However, the difference is seen in what’s housed under the hood. Here’s a breakdown of the handy gaming features to be aware of when shopping.
Panel Size $ Display Resolution
When it comes to displays, bigger is always better.
Most gamers are comfortable with 23 to 24 inches, which provide an immersive experience, but if you want something that will give you the “wow” experience, go for 27 inches.
The good thing about bigger monitors is that they provide plenty of real estates and allow you to go beyond the full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution.
A good gaming monitor should have one of the following resolutions:
- 1,920 x 1,080 (Full HD)
- 2,560 x 1,440 (QHD)
- 3,840 x 2,160 (4K or UHD)
A higher resolution means higher pixel count which translates to higher image clarity and better visual detail. However, expect the price of the QHD and UHD gaming monitors to be on the high end.
For example, most of the modern high-end 27-inches UHD gaming monitors play around $500. Others such as the Samsung top of the range models, like the Samsung U32D970Q, will cost you nearly $1,500.
If you are on a tight budget and don’t have enough desk space, then go for a 24-inches monitor. However, this will limit you to a 1080p resolution which is good, but not the best.
If desk space is not an issue, and you have enough money to fork out on a monitor, go for 27 to 34 inches monitor with a 4K display for a mind-blowing gaming experience.
Another thing to consider most when buying a gaming monitor is the refresh rate.
The refresh rate of a monitor represents the time (in seconds) it takes to redraw the entire screen and is measured in Hertz (Hz). This, in turn, determines how many frames per second a monitor can display.
When it comes to a monitor’s refresh rates, the higher is always better. Monitors can have the following refresh rates:
Most of the regular monitors you see come with a 60Hz refresh rate. This means the screen refreshes 60 times every second. At this refresh rate, fast moving images may appear blurred, and the panel may also suffer from screen tearing.
As such, a good gaming monitor should have at least 120Hz.
Keep in mind that a higher refresh rate may not serve any purpose if your graphics card is not powerful enough to push that number of frames per second (FPS).
So before deciding on whether to go for a 120Hz or a 240Hz monitor, first ensure your GPU can run your intended games at a high FPS smoothly.
Whether you are a hardcore gamer or new to the world of gaming, you’ll need a monitor with fast response time.
Pixel response signifies the time in milliseconds (ms) a single pixel needs to switch between colors.
But how does this help in gaming?
Lower response times lead to smoother camera movements. In a nutshell, a lower pixel response results in smoother images as it helps to remove the smearing of moving images.
A higher pixel response, on the other hand, causes motion blur. This is because pixels lack enough time to switch between colors during fast-moving scenes. This explains why the best gaming monitors have a response time of 2ms or less.
Panel technology is a matter of personal preferences. Several types of panel technologies exist, and each has its share of positives and negatives.
Here are the three most common types of panel technologies you are likely to find on the market today:
- In-Plane Switching (IPS) panels
- Vertical Alignment (VA) panels
- Twisted Nematic (TN) panels
IPS panels provide the best color quality and impressive viewing angles. However, they suffer from motion artifacts and don’t offer the best pixel response.
VA panels are known for their bright colors, including inky blacks and high native contrast ratio. However, they suffer from ghosting effects which can negatively impact your gaming performance.
TN panels are renowned for their excellent refresh rates and response times. They are also the most affordable monitors you’ll find on the market. However, color on TN monitors deteriorates when viewed off angle.
As noted, every panel has its ups and downs. The important thing is to consider the parameters that matter most to you, then go for the panel technology that delivers the best in those areas.
Additional useful features to look for in a gaming monitor include Adaptive sync and ports. Consider a monitor with G-SYNC or FreeSync if you want to enhance your gaming experience.
These technologies (NVIDIA G-SYNC and AMD FreeSync) help to eliminate the tearing effect when playing games. They also allow the monitor to have variable refresh rates.
As for ports, look for a monitor that offers a display port as well as an HDMI port. HDMI ports are ideal as they’ll allow you to connect your monitor to gaming consoles such as Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (PS4).
USB ports can also be handy, as they allow you to quickly connect your monitor to external peripherals, including gaming controllers.
Gaming monitors come in many shapes and sizes, and choosing the right one for your gaming needs might be a daunting task.
But, armed with this information, you should be able to narrow down your choices to the best monitors that meet your needs and preferences.
For example, if you want a monitor that you can use for playing games and watching movies, IPS monitors will do you good.
Hope this post will help you to make a more informed buying decision. Feel free to comment and share.