I have to be honest here; the monitor market is getting better and better. How? Well, just look at the modern day monitor that offer you HDR, as well as high refresh rate, and on top of that, high resolution as well. Looking at the monitor market right now, we can say that the market has reached the level of maturity that gamers were looking forward to for a long time.
At the current moment, you have a lot of options when it comes to buying a gaming monitor, and while seasoned PC gamers will have no issue finding the right monitor, the biggest issue is for people who are buying their first gaming monitor.
That is why we decided to pen down this article, as it will help you decide when it comes to buying a gaming monitor. I understand that buying a gaming monitor is no easy chore, because a few months ago, I was stuck too; at one end, I had a higher refresh rate monitor with a smaller screen size, and on the other hand, I had an ultra-wide monitor with IPS panel, and a slightly lower refresh rate. While the situation I was in was a lot easier, not everyone has it that easy.
With this article, we aim to solve the biggest issue that is faced by most gamers when they are buying a gaming monitor. Let us see what you should look for in a gaming monitor.
The first thing that you need to look for in a gaming monitor is the resolution that you are wanting in a monitor. The most common resolutions is 1080p, 1440p, and 2160p, with the 1080p being one of the most used resolutions today, because gamers prefer really high refresh rate monitors that have 1080p resolution. I know it might not make a lot of sense to some people, but pushing above 100 frames on 1080p monitor is much, much easier than pushing more than 100 frames on 1440p resolution, or 4K for that matters.
However, every gamer is looking for something different when they are considering a resolution, so you should definitely make up your mind. If you have a high end graphics card, then you really should not have any issue using monitors with a higher resolution as you will get the best possible frame rate according to GPU you have, and the game you are looking forward to play.
Another important thing that you need to look for in a gaming monitor is obviously the screen size of the gaming monitor you are looking forward to buy. The most common size is 27 inch in the majority of gaming monitors, and this size follows the standard 16:9 aspect ratio that is the most common aspect ratio in gaming monitors, but if you want something different, then the 21:9 aspect ratio is another common one that you will find in majority of modern day gaming monitors. However, I have to tell you that the UWQHD, or ultra-wide quad HD aspect ratio is not as common, but monitors are slowly catching up, and it will not be long before this resolution becomes mainstream, so do look out for that as well.
If you want to have the best possible gaming experience, then the screen size starting from 27 inch to 34 inch is something that you should definitely opt for. As for the resolution, I have already discussed what works best.
Type of Panel
Another really important topic of discussion when it comes to gaming monitors is the type of panel that the monitors use. You have panels such as TN (Twisted Nematic), VA (Vertical Alignment), and IPS (In-Plane Switching). These are three of the most common panels that are used in the gaming monitors and each have something too. It is possible for a gamer to easily get confused between these panels, and that is why I am going to tell you which panel offers what. This will help you have a better understanding without any issue whatsoever.
So, let’s not waste any time and have a look, shall we?
- VA (Vertical Alignment): The first type of panel that we are going to take a look at is the VA panel type. Although this type of panel is mostly used in televisions, many manufacturers have started using them in the gaming monitor. Although the VA panels are famous for offering a high native contrast, deep blacks, as well as great colour reproduction, however, the one thing that makes them less ideal as compared other panel types is the fact that they are known for a ghosting effect that can hinder the gaming experience by a greater degree. That is why VA panels are not mainstream when it comes to gaming monitors.
- TN (Twisted Nematic): Next up, we have TN panels that are most well known among gamers, especially because they happen to be most affordable. TN panels offer great response rate, as well as the ability to provide great response time. However, the biggest downside of TN panels is that they do not have good colour reproduction, and aside from that, the viewing angles are just atrocious.
- IPS (In-Plane Switching): The best, and most famous type of panel type is IPS, and that is what most people are preferring in the modern day and age. IPS is known for having the best, most accurate colour gamut, and in addition to that, it delivers stunning viewing angles, and accurate colours. In the past, IPS was known for having slower refresh rate, and lower response rate as well, but that issue no longer persists. Just know that IPS panels are normally more expensive than the standard counterparts are, and that is why these panels are reserved only for the higher end monitors that cater to gamers, as well as content creators.
Refresh rate has always been one of the most important factors that people based their decisions on. We all know consoles are normally locked at 30 frames per second, with some games reaching as high as 60 frames per second, however, with PC gaming, that is not the case. Simply because almost all the games that are out in the market are coming out with unlocked frame rate, which means that the games will support frame rate as high as your monitor’s refresh rate, and you will not have any limitations.
However, the monitor with 60 Hz refresh rate is a lot cheaper, but the higher you go, the higher the price tag, and one of the most important factors that you have to keep in mind when it comes to monitors with high refresh rate is the obviously having a graphics card that can push those frames too. I mean, what is the point of having a monitor with a high refresh rate when you cannot even achieve the desired frame rate as well. Therefore, this is something that you need to keep in mind.
Obviously, when you are buying a gaming monitor, one of the most important things that you need to consider is the input and other features that are available in the monitor. For instance, you need to see whether the monitor you are buying offers the appropriate inputs, and only then you can make the decision. Some gamers look for monitors that can run consoles as well, so having an HDMI port is necessary, and in addition to that, if you want higher refresh rate, then you should consider a monitor with a Display Port cable because otherwise, it will not be possible. In addition to that, you can also look for monitors that offer powered USB ports that will allow you to charge your devices, or connect some of your devices like extra peripherals, or USB drives just for the sake of it.
G-Sync vs Free-Sync
If you are aware of the monitor market, then you must know about G-sync and Free-sync. Nvidia is offering G-Sync, and AMD is offering Free-Sync, both technologies work in the same way, by dynamically moving the refresh rate up and down to meet the frames that you are getting. This completely eliminates any stutter in the games, and actually helps you achieve a smoother game play experience. However, do not be fooled, as this feature will not make a game look like its running at 60 frames per second.
Still, G-Sync is a game changer, especially for graphic cards that are not strong, but still look for a relatively smoother game play experience. Now the important thing that you need to know here is that G-Sync monitors are relatively expensive as compared to the ones that have Free Sync simply because Nvidia provides the manufacturers with a hardware module that enables G-Sync, whereas for AMD, the Free-Sync works over just the Display Port, and hence, it is much cheaper to implement as well.
With that said, this is something that you must keep in mind whenever you are in the market looking for a good gaming monitor because Free-Sync and G-Sync can definitely make a difference, and while it might not matter to some, it can be really important for a lot of people.
There is no denying that gaming monitors have come a long, long way, and all for the good. However, this also means that the surplus of choices that gamers have available in the market now is only going to confuse majority of people. If you are looking for a good gaming monitor, then you are going to spend some time in the market, and on the internet, properly doing the research before you can actually go ahead and buy the right monitor that you should be buying.
With that in mind, this article is there to help you decide the best possible monitor that you can buy in the market. Sure, it might be confusing for you in the beginning but if you spend some time and properly do your research before buying. Because for most people, gaming monitors are one time purchases, and they wish to buy the best possible option in the given price bracket or the budget that they have decided.