When assembling a new PC, many people often first choose a graphics card and processor, while the monitor is often the last to go. But it is the thing that you will have to look at almost always when you are sitting at your PC. Video game graphics, your impression of it, and, most importantly, your eyesight depends on it.
Therefore, when buying a gaming PC, it is worth allocating a budget for a monitor of an adequate level to get your perfect assembly. In this article, I will analyze in detail the characteristics of the best gaming monitor, considering the latest trends of the manufacturers.
How to Choose the Best Gaming Monitor – Easiest Method
Diagonal and Resolution of the Best Gaming Monitor
The first thing to pay attention to when selecting a monitor is its diagonal. Optimal and widespread range from 21 to 27 inches, no sense to take a smaller one, bigger – sure thing, but only if you are ready for it – if the diagonal is more than 27 inches you will have to spin your head, and the price, of course, is much higher. The average size is 23-24 inches.
The initial resolution to take a monitor with is 1920×1080 (Full HD). The image with this resolution will look good at 21-24 inches. If the monitor and FHD resolution is large, the image will be blurred due to the lower pixel density. According to the HomeCareChoices.org, Therefore, choosing a monitor from 25 inches or more requires a higher resolution of 2560×1440 (Quad HD).
Modern graphics cards are quite capable of showing good FPS in this resolution. Finally, the leader among resolutions is 3840×2160 (Ultra HD), i.e., 4K. It makes sense to take a 4K-monitor only if you have a suitable, powerful PC. The price for such a monitor is accordingly high, and the content is still not enough.
Another key feature of the monitor is its panel. There are many types, but they all come from the following:
- TN (Twisted Nematic) panels are the oldest and cheapest. It is strictly forbidden to take a monitor with this one. Cons: low color rendering, small viewing angles, low maximum brightness.
Only the smallest response time can count for the advantage. But don’t fall for this and save your eyes. The only option is to set such a monitor second/third if you already have it and just can’t throw it away or sell it.
- IPS Panel Technology is ideal for color rendering, contrast and viewing angles – 178 degrees. Previously, they had a high response time, but now that’s no longer an issue. Since the type of IPS-panel has been constantly improved, various modifications were born.
The newest type is called AH-IPS; it has improved color rendering, resolution and PPI, increased brightness and reduced power consumption, response time does not exceed 5-6 ms. This type of IPS is definitely worth considering.
- MVA/VA panels are between TN and IPS. Plus, in comparison with IPS, it has excellent contrast and price, and with TN – great viewing angles. Good color rendering is also there.
The drawback is a long response time which also increases rapidly when the difference between the final and initial pixel states is reduced. So this type of monitors is not very good for dynamic video games.
The response time is measured in milliseconds and shows how long it will take the monitor to change the frame. This parameter directly affects how many frames per second your monitor can display. The average on good monitors is 5 ms. A higher rate can cause the image to blur and leave a trail of moving objects in dynamic video games. It’s best to take a monitor with a shorter response time of 1-2 ms.
Luminance and Contrast
The brightness is measured in candelas and displays the amount of light emitted by the white-screen monitor. The optimal value for the best gaming monitor is 250-350 cd/m2.
The contrast of the monitor can be static and dynamic. Static shows the ratio of brightness of the darkest and brightest spot on the screen. Contrast ratios range from 450:1 to 600:1, and the optimum value is 1000:1. Dynamic contrast is a marketing move, meaning the level of black with minimal backlight (switched off screen) to the level of white with maximum backlight (full brightness). This parameter can be omitted.
Refresh Rate + G-SYNC / FreeSync
Refresh rate means how many times per second the monitor completely redraws and displays the image. Thus, if you have a monitor with 60 Hz, you will not be able to see more than 60 FPS on the monitor. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the motion is delivered.
But there is an opinion that not everyone needs more than 60 Hz because only a sensitive person/cyber sportsman is able to notice and feel more. If you have a powerful PC, it makes sense to take a monitor with a frequency of 140 Hz.
Manufacturers of NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards have invented technologies of dynamic frequency change of refreshing an image – G-Sync (NVIDIA) and FreeSync (AMD). These technologies allow you to change the refresh rate of an image on a monitor based on the speed of frames rendering in video games.
Visually, this is reflected in a noticeable increase in motion smoothness at rendering speeds of 30 to 60 frames per second or less, which is typical for most video games these days. They also eliminate the “image tears” that can be observed when vertical synchronization is disabled.
Glossy screens have a better color rendering and more saturated colors, but reflections and glares are clearly visible at work. Matte screens have an anti-reflective surface that hides reflections and the sunlight. When choosing the best gaming monitor, think about where it will stand – if the sun will not shine at it, it makes sense to save money and take a glossy one, otherwise – matte.
Yup! Frames. They are not one of the main features but make an important contribution to the overall aesthetics. When choosing the best gaming monitor, take a look at the frameless variants. The absence of 3 thick panels on the sides of the image (the top and sides, the bottom almost always has it) looks beautiful and fresh.