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Which gaming monitor features do matter?

  An Acer gaming monitor displaying a video game.

The PC gaming world loves only one thing more than games, and that's an unfathomable terminology. "Yes, my display has G-sync, 1ms GTG, 16: 9 aspect ratio, and of course HDR, man, you will not see any ghosting of this baby."

If those few sentences were a mess of meaningless words for you , this article is designed to decode all of these terms and help you figure out what's most important to your game experience.There are all sorts of unique terms for PC parts, including processors, video cards, and motherboards, many of which you can ignore and

The monitors are slightly different, they are visual and everyone has their own opinion on what looks good ̵

1; which monitor colors are too washy or which are not enough visual "pops". Even the type of video card you have can affect your choice of monitor.

Dive into the wild world of the screen

Refresh Rate

A refresh rate indicates how quickly your screen can change its image – yes, even in our technological age, video is still just a set of stills that change super-fast. The speed at which a display image changes is measured in Hertz (Hz). For example, if you have a 120 Hz display, it can be refreshed 120 times a second. A 60 Hz monitor makes half of it, 60 times per second. At a frame rate of 144 Hz, the refresh rate may change 144 times per second.

Most of today's monitors worldwide use a standard refresh rate of 60 Hz. However, the more expensive gaming monitors have frame rates of 120 and 144 Hz. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother a game will play on the screen, provided , Your graphics card has grown to the task.

RELATED: What is the refresh rate of a monitor and how do I change it?

G-Sync and FreeSync

Nvidia G-Sync and AMD's FreeSync go hand in hand with the refresh rate. Each graphics card company supports its own version of variable-frame rate technology (also known as adaptive synchronization). In this case, your video card and monitor will sync their refresh rates for a smoother, smoother picture.

If a video card transmits more frames than the monitor can display, screen breaks will occur. In this case, parts of the current and next images will be displayed on your screen at the same time.

  A video game scene that shows an example of screen breaks.
An example of screen breaks. AMD

This not only leads to an ugly gaming experience, but can also lead to headaches or even nausea if you are sensitive to it.

Adaptive sync is great, but you have a graphics card that supports the technology before it works. In general, this means that anyone with an Nvidia GeForce card will receive a G-Sync monitor, and anyone using an AMD Radeon graphics card will use FreeSync.

This has one drawback, however, as some FreeSync monitors also support G-Sync. This is great news as FreeSync monitors are generally cheaper than their G-Sync counterparts. However, there are only a handful of FreeSync monitors that are "G-Sync compatible". Do not forget to read the reviews before buying to see how well "G-Sync with FreeSync" works.

RELATED: Enabling G-SYNC on FreeSync Monitors: Explaining NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatibility

Input Lag

The refresh rate is only one part of a very large equation. Another issue to consider is the delay of the input, which contains two definitions to make things even more confusing. The good news is that both meanings are simple ideas.

When most people talk about input delay, they talk about the moment between pressing a key on your keyboard, clicking a mouse, or moving a controller and the time. The action is displayed on the screen. If there is no noticeable delay, your keystrokes, mouse clicks, and other input seem to be instantaneous. If there are delays, you can fire your weapon. It then takes at least half a second for this action to be performed on the screen. This is bad when playing, especially if you try to jump on another human player in a game like Fortnite .

The second definition has to do with the picture. There is always a small delay between the arrival of a video signal on the monitor and the appearance on the screen. These few milliseconds are sometimes referred to as an input delay, but are more correctly called a display delay.

 An image of a person playing a video game.

Whatever you call it In a fast-moving game, the bad guys can attack before you even know they're there, or your character moves to a location he should not reach before you notice it and end up dead.

Controller Input Lag or Display Lag make a monitor look bad so you can not find those numbers on an Amazon product page. Moreover, the input delay is not just a matter of the functions of your monitor. This may depend on your system or the graphics settings in the game, eg. From V-Sync.

To find out if your prospective monitor is having serious input or display delay issues, you can search the reviews using a simple Web search, such as: Input Lag [Monitor X]. "Most monitors should be fine for most uses, but if you're playing a competitive game like CS: GO it's important to reduce input lag.

Response Time [19659008] We have a nice, long explanation on reaction time for those who want to learn more about the intricacies. In short, the response time indicates how long it takes for the pixels on a monitor to change from one color to another. It is measured in milliseconds. It is often measured by the timing of how long it takes to switch from black to white and back. However, sometimes a response time that is approximately 4 ms (GTG) is displayed. That means gray to gray; The monitor starts with gray and then goes through a whole series of other shades of gray.

The shorter the response time, the better, since the pixels on your screen can transition quickly enough to get to the next frame. This sounds very much like the refresh rate, and that's because the two concepts are related. The refresh rate is the parent concept that indicates how many pictures can be displayed on your monitor within one second. The response time is the lower level at which each pixel moves from one frame to the next.

  A screenshot from
Rapid multiplayer games such as Street Fighter benefit from low response times. Steam

If the pixels do not move fast enough to the next image, visual artifacts called ghosting may appear on the screen. In this case, objects may look blurry or double-looking, or background objects may be surrounded by halos. Watch this short YouTube video that shows a really obvious example of ghosting.

The reaction time may be important, but the measurements of the reaction time are unfortunately not standardized. This means that you should do some research – read the reviews and see if critics, customers, or users of game forums complain about ghosting on your particular monitor.

RELATED: What is the response time of a monitor and why? Does it matter?

TN and IPS

When buying a new monitor, there are generally two types of display panel technologies: TN (Twisted Nematic) and IPS (In-Plane Switching). We will not understand what these terms mean and how they work. All you really need to know is that TN panels provide some of the best response times for gaming monitors. The downside is that many people complain that the colors appear more faded or "washed out" on TN panels.

TN displays also tend to have worse viewing angles. So if you are not sitting in the sweet spot of the monitor, you are not seeing so many details and some objects may not be as visible in dark scenes.

Opinions about which type of panel is better are divergent. It's a good idea to go to the store and have a look at it so you can personally see the differences between TN and IPS.


  A rocky scene at the sea where the color difference between 4K without HDR and 4K is shown HDR.
A commercial showing the effect of HDR on 4K TVs. Samsung

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is an important feature of modern monitors. You will find it mostly on 4K UHD monitors, but HDR can also be used with other resolutions. HDR allows a larger color palette on the display. As a result, the colors appear more vivid on the screen and the effect is stunning.

HDR is an even better feature than 4K in many ways. For example, if you are in the market for a 1080p monitor and encounter one that offers HDR quality, this is worth considering. However, you should recheck the reviews to see if it works well. HDR is a premium feature, which means you pay a premium price and who wants to pay for bad HDR?

Quantum Dot Technology

Quantum dot displays use tiny crystal semiconductors (not wider than a few nanometers). each of which is capable of emitting a single, very pure color. Monitor manufacturers take a series of red and green emitting quantum dots, stick them on a monitor plane and then illuminate them with a blue LED backlight. The result is a more vibrant white that can be filtered to display a wider range of colors for your LCD screen.

This is a brief explanation for complex technologies. The important thing is that quantum dots are another technology to bring color to life and thereby enhance the overall picture on a display.

RELATED: What exactly is a "quantum dot" television?

Color Space

A color space or color profile is the potential color gamut that a monitor can display. It can not display any color we can see. Therefore, a predefined subset of these colors, the so-called color space, is used.

Looking at monitor specifications, you'll come across different color spaces, including sRGB, AdobeRGB, and NTSC. These standards define in their own way which colors a monitor can reproduce. For detailed information, see our color profiles tutorial.

Monitor manufacturers typically claim that their monitor covers X percent of sRGB (the most commonly used color space), NTSC, or the AdobeRGB color space. That is, if sRGB defines its color palette to encompass a specific range of hues, the monitor you are viewing can faithfully display X percent of the colors in that color space.

Again, the color space is for monitor enthusiasts. I have strong opinions too. It is probably more information than most of us need (or want) to fear. In general, remember that the higher the percentage for each color gamut standard, the more likely it is for the monitor to have good color rendering.

Peak Brightness

Not all monitors have brightness ratings in their specifications, but many have them. These figures refer to the peak brightness in candelas per square meter (cd / m2). When an image is displayed on your screen, the brightest parts of that image can reach that maximum brightness, while the darker parts are below it.

In general, 250 to 350 cd / m2 are considered acceptable to provide majority of monitors. If you have an HDR monitor, you will typically see at least 400 nits (1 nit equals 1 cd / m2).

The best rating for monitor brightness is again in the eye of the beholder. Some people like to have a 1000-nit PC monitor, while others complain that this is too much for their poor eyes.

Aspect Ratio

  A 43-inch ultrawide monitor from Samsung showing a New York sunset skyline scene.
An ultrawide monitor with an aspect ratio of 32: 109. Samsung

Finally, there is the aspect ratio, eg. 16: 9, 21: 9 or 32:10. The first number in the ratio stands for the width of the display and the second for the height. On a 16: 9 screen, this means that for each 16 width units, nine height units are displayed.

If you've ever seen a classic episode of Cheers or an older TV show, you've noticed it sits in a square box in the center of your modern TV screen. This is because older TV shows used the 4: 3 aspect ratio. The average monitor and the average TV have a 16: 9 ratio, with Ultrawide screens typically reaching 21: 9. However, there are many other conditions, such. 32:10 and 32: 9.

Unless you are looking for a common 16: 9 or 21: 9 monitor image, it is best to visit a showroom to see what these other aspect ratios look like and if they appeal to you.

We did it! You now have ten explanations of monitor terminology and a better idea of ​​what you want. Conquer the confusing world of computer screens, my friend.

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