It is not easy to find a good gaming monitor and manufacturers are not interested in making it easier Here is everything you need to know to find a good one.
What turns a monitor into a gaming monitor?
To answer the question in the headline without further ado: It is difficult to look for a gaming monitor, since the definition of "gaming monitor" is somewhat fluent. There are special features that are good for gaming or, more specifically, better suited for a positive gaming experience on a PC. And these features do not always match what makes a monitor "good" for the traditional use of a desktop or laptop PC. B. with exact colors or the highest resolution.
Marketing does not help. If you browse Amazon or an electronics store (if you find one), you may think that every monitor is "good for games". However, this only applies in the sense that every TV is "good for sports" because it's technically you can watch sports on any TV. That's right, but all those eye-catching graphics and keywords are misleading.
There are some features that are specifically designed to improve the performance of a game monitor. Here is what you want to search for.
Almost every monitor states that the description of the store contains good colors, but there are several degrees of it: vibrancy, brightness, color accuracy, etc. Here's the unusual thing The most important thing about picture quality: It's not necessarily What you want when you play PC games.
Super-expensive monitors designed for professional graphic designers and printers use a lot of advanced technology to keep colors as accurate as possible. However, all the technology must be between your PC and the image you see with your eyeballs. This slows down the time between rendering the image by your computer and actually displaying the image. The time is tiny – a few thousandths of a second – but it's enough to make a difference in fast games like shooters, racers and fighters. Gamers also tend to make their monitors livelier and more saturated, with an appealing image preferable to the more technical one.
For this reason, cheap monitors and those that focus on games typically use lower-cost and "faster" TN screens, as opposed to more color-accurate but slower IPS panels. A new middle ground is becoming popular, the VA panel, which has better colors than TN but a faster image display than IPS.
What do I mean when I say that a monitor is "fast"? Two things: display reaction time and hertz. Let's come to the first one.
The response time indicates how long it takes for your monitor to receive a picture from your PC and display that picture on screen. Most monitors have a response time of less than 10 ms (one-hundredth of a second). This is a trivial interval when you surf the net or answer e-mails. In fast games, however, these can be multiple animated images and the difference between winning and losing.
"Gaming" monitors have LCD panels that focus on shorter response times, typically less than 5 ms, some even just 1 ms. This means less time between rendering the image and responding to it. That means (hopefully) that you win.
Hertz is another matter. Most monitors and televisions use 60 Hz panels: the computer renders sixty pictures of animations every second. Some gaming monitors are higher, up to 120Hz, 144Hz or even 240Hz. More animated images per second make for a smoother and more entertaining game. Of course, these panels and the monitors on which they are used are more expensive.
Note that a game with 120 frames per second requires a more powerful PC than the same game with 60 pictures. Do not break the bank on a smart gaming monitor if your PC can not actually use these features.
What about the resolution?
Screen size is an easy choice: get the biggest one you can afford (and what fits on your desk). The resolution is trickier. As with hertz and frames per second, the more resolution you have, the better your games can look – and the more powerful your PC must be for the game to work properly.
1080p (1920 × 1080) is currently the standard PC resolution, and you can find 1080p panels in sizes from 20 inches to 32 inches. 4K is another popular resolution with four times the display area of 1080p, but for a good use a much more powerful PC is required. 4K monitors start at about the 25-inch mark and go far from there. 2K (2560 × 1440) is a good middle ground. Many gaming monitors offer this resolution, which combines good performance with sharp graphics. You will find these monitors in the 25-32 inch range.
There are also "ultrawide" monitors that use the vertical resolution of a 1080p, 2K, or 4K monitor, but extend it for an even more comprehensive experience. These are neat, but of course more expensive, and the extra resolution means that your PC will have to work harder to render the image.
There are several other features that are commonly found in game monitors. Let's briefly touch them:
- RGB Lighting : The monitor lights up sideways or backwards, usually synchronized with a program on your desktop. Neat-looking, but completely cosmetically.
- G-Sync and FreeSync : Special monitor technology that allows the image to be paused for about a millisecond so that the PC finishes rendering a full image and avoids cracks on the screen. Most gaming monitors support FreeSync. Some more expensive versions support NVIDIA's proprietary G-Sync with additional hardware. But now there is a version of G-Sync that does not require additional hardware, but only for some monitors (it gets very complicated).
- HDR: High dynamic range. Support for vivid colors in some games, just like HDR TVs. This used to be less common, but now it has cheaper monitors. Not all games support HDR graphics.
- VESA: An assembly standard. This has nothing to do with games, but if you want to use a failed monitor mount or multiple monitors at once, make sure they support VESA.
- Video inputs: All modern monitors should at least support an HDMI input. Gaming monitors should also have a DisplayPort to take advantage of modern graphics card hardware.
- Curved screen window: It looks nice and should improve the viewing angles. The evidence for this is not clear, although it makes sense on larger, oversized monitors.
The Specifications to Focus on
After all, you're well equipped with the knowledge you need to find the gaming monitor that fits your PC and budget. Here is a checklist on which you want to focus.
- Size and Resolution : Whatever you can afford or fit on your desk. Note that larger monitors do not always mean higher resolution. And if your gaming PC does not have the latest hardware, it can be difficult to get those refresh rates above 1080p.
- Screen Type : Use TN or VA screens, not IPS if you do not need it Better color accuracy in everyday work.
- Hertz (Hz) : 60 Hz are fine. 120Hz or 144Hz is better. Again, you should not invest in a monitor with super-fast control panel if your PC is not powerful enough to play games so fast.
- Response time : Something under 5 ms is ideal.
- G-Sync or FreeSync : Most gaming monitors support FreeSync to reduce tearing of the screen. Super-expensive gaming monitors support G-Sync. You only want to pay extra for G-Sync if you use an NVIDIA graphics card.
Our Gaming Monitor Tips
With the above information, you should be able to evaluate your needs and find a monitor in your budget. However, if you are in a hurry, we have selected some of the best gaming monitors on the market today. All offer high refresh rates, lightning fast response times, compatibility with G-Sync or FreeSync, and DisplayPort and HDMI ports to get the most out of your PC.