Whether you’re looking for the best gaming monitor under 300, or an ultra-high-end model that will handle your triple-A titles in 4K resolution at 144 Hz refresh speeds, make sure you know exactly what to look for before spending your hard-earned cash. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about different resolutions, panel technologies, and features like G-Sync/FreeSync, VESA mounts, and more.
LCD monitors are available in a wide range of resolutions out of the box these days, ranging from standard HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) through QHD (2560 x 1440), WQHD (2560 x 1440), UHD (3840 x 2160) right up to 4K (3840 x 2160). Of course, the higher the resolution, the more graphical power is required to power it – so running a 1080p monitor at 144 Hz won’t be possible on most graphics cards. If you’re wondering what resolution your games will support, just look in the display settings menu of your favorite titles and it should list supported modes.
Panel Technologies: Twisted Nematic vs In-Plane Switching
There are two main types of LCD panel technologies used in modern monitors: Twisted Nematic (TN) and In-Plane Switching (IPS). TN panels offer faster response times and refresh rates than IPS panels, but suffer from inferior contrast ratios and color reproduction when viewed at an angle. This makes them better suited for fast-paced games than tasks like photo/video editing. IPS panels are generally regarded as the superior option here due to their superior color reproduction and viewing angles.
G-Sync vs FreeSync
There’s one major difference between G-Sync enabled monitors and FreeSync ones: Nvidia’s solution requires that buyers also purchase a compatible graphics card, whereas AMD won’t charge you anything extra to use its variable refresh rate technology with supported displays. Both options reduce screen tearing/stuttering by synchronizing your monitor’s refresh rate with your GPU, but there is a small performance penalty involved with using either of these technologies on a 60Hz monitor (about 1 fps, or about 10%). If you playing at 120Hz or 144Hz, G-Sync/FreeSync won’t add any extra input lag to your gameplay.
HDR is a must-have feature for many consumers nowadays. Brighter highlights, more accurate color reproduction and enhanced contrast ratios are hallmarks of this technology. HDR content on PC can be output through an HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.4 port with the help of an adapteR.
Most monitors ship with a standard 100 x 100mm VESA mount on the back, allowing you to attach them to third party monitor stands or wall mounts using compatible hardware – just check that any of the options you’re looking at have holes in the correct locations before purchasing one of these displays! If you plan on mounting your display on a wall, make sure it has VESA compatibility first!
Refresh Rate is also an important spec to consider if you want a smooth, blur-free experience out of your new monitor. Gaming monitors come with either standard 60Hz (most common) or 120Hz (ideal for fast-paced games like Counter-Strike: GO and Call of Duty) refresh rates. Some manufacturers offer 240Hz displays these days, but the increased visual fidelity isn’t always worth the premium price tag in our opinion.
Screen size is a pretty self-explanatory spec. Larger screens offer a more immersive gaming experience, while smaller monitors allow you to place your display closer to your face for increased comfort. The higher the screen size, the more powerful your monitor needs to be. If you have a solid rig already and you’re looking for a monitor upgrade, we recommend going with a 24″ 1080p monitor at 144Hz.
This one is pretty simple: Make sure you always read the small print before buying a monitor. Some manufacturers require buyers to register their purchase with them before their warranty becomes active, some have shipping restrictions that prevent buyers from taking advantage of certain EU-based sales tax exemptions.
Shipping delays are another thing you’ll want to watch out for – some companies won’t allow free shipping on monitors over a certain price threshold, which can lead to your order being bumped down the queue if it doesn’t arrive in time for launch day!
Hope this article from Best Gaming Tips helped you to choose your next monitor! If you have any questions, feel free to ask us in the comments below.