Gaming Monitor Buying Guide: Top 10 Things to Consider When Buying a Monitor
When people try to choose a gaming monitor from so many monitor options on the market, they often ask these questions:
-What is the difference between a normal monitor and a specialized gaming monitor?
-There are so many specifications! How should I understand them?
The editorial team of AORUS has heard your voice and together with xanxogaming We've organized the 10 most important things to consider when choosing a gaming monitor.
Through this article, they will easily understand the meaning of each specification and understand which type of monitor best suits your needs, so that you can choose the right monitor for you.
What kind of player are you? AAA lover? Role player? Or an esports Gosu?
The first thing you should do when you are buying a gaming monitor, is to define what type of player you are.
The games you play the most determine what gaming experience you want, and this indicates which specs are important to you and which you don't want to compromise on.
In general, players who love AAA games they want to enjoy the spectacular and delicate image quality that the game brings to them, and feel wrapped up in the experience when you are playing, which is one of the greatest joys of playing a AAA game.
And gamers who love competitive games often need to quickly switch between scenes or quickly rotate perspective to observe the environment or track down moving enemies.
It is very important for these types of players to have a very fluid image that helps them aim at their enemies.
In competitive games, players rotate their perspective quickly (Game: Overwatch)
The image of AAA games is always spectacular and delicate. (Game: ASSASSIN'S CREED: ORIGINS)
Table of Contents
What size should I choose? Depends on what game you play
The first thing you think about when choosing a monitor is size. When we say “size”, we mean the length of the monitor screen diagonally across inches.
The most appropriate size for a gamer monitor is 24 to 32 inchesAnd just because it's bigger doesn't mean it's better. First, you'll need to know how much space your desk has for your monitor; then you have to consider what game you play and what size is best for that game.
If you mainly play MMORPGsas The Elder Scrolls Online, World of Warcraft, Blade & Soul y Black Desert Online, you not only want to solve quests, but also want to enjoy the immersive feeling when you play the game.
In this case, if your desktop is big enough, you may want to consider a larger monitor, around 27 to 32 inches.
But don't forget, when you choose a large monitor, the resolution should not be too low, or else it will affect the image quality when you look at it.
(XanxoGaming strongly suggests 1440p for monitors that are 27" or larger as a minimum.)
If you are a gamer who plays competitive games, As: PUBG, Rainbow Six Siege, Dota 2, Overwatch o League of Legends, we recommend you a smaller monitor from 24 to 27 inches, because most of these competitive games include important information, such as mini map, HP status and ability status, in the corner or on the edge of the monitor.
If the screen is too big, you may need to move your head often to get the information. This not only makes the back of your neck hurt, but also makes it difficult for you to control the situation.
Most competitive games put important information in the corner or on the edge of the screen. (Game: League of Legends)
“The Resolution”, should I cut it? Please confirm your size and graphics card first
“The Resolution” indicates how delicate the screen can be displayed. The lower the resolution, the more grainy (blurred) the image appears; The higher the resolution, the more delicate the image looks.
Most monitors on the market have an aspect ratio of 16:9, the main resolution specifications are:
2560×1440 (QHD/1440p or “2K”)
3840x2160 (UHD/2160p or “4K”), but 4K monitors aren't popular yet.
The higher the resolution, the more beautiful the image will be, but the more expensive a suitable monitor will be, and you will need a more powerful graphics card to support the monitor. Having a monitor that can deliver great image quality, but not have the horsepower to deliver the stable FPS and image quality that is needed is a bit sad.
As a result, we suggest players with a limited budget to choose a 1080p (1920×1080) monitor if smaller than 27 inches and consider a “2K” (2560×1440) resolution if the monitor is larger than 27 inches.
If you don't have a budget problem, the higher the resolution, the better!
If you're aiming for 1080p resolution on a 32-inch monitor, one should reconsider once more, because a low-resolution screen on a large monitor can be quite grainy (blurry).
If you're aiming at a 32-inch or larger monitor, we recommend going for a “2K” resolution.
It's a little more grainy (“pixelated”) on a 1080p resolution monitor, especially if it's large
The image on the “2K” or 1440p resolution monitor is very delicate (more detailed).
“Refresh rate”, aim for 144Hz and then sit back and enjoy
“Refresh rate” measured in Hertz (Hz), means how many images a monitor can update per second.
If your graphics card can output 100 frames per second, but you only have a 60Hz monitor, you'll only “see” 60 images max from your monitor.
Therefore, the higher the refresh rate, the more images you can see and the smoother your game image will be.
On the other hand, if your graphics card can only output 60 frames per second, even if you have a 144Hz monitor, you can only see 60 frames per second.
So you'll need a graphics card that's on par with a 144Hz monitor when you buy one. From our experience, you will generally need a graphics card GTX 1060 or better to maintain 144Hz or higher while gaming.
(XanxoGaming recommends lowering quality settings in competitive games, for higher FPS as a viable option).
The fluidity of a monitor is something very easy to feel. If you have a good graphics card, we recommend that you buy a new monitor with a high refresh rate.
If you have the opportunity to try a high refresh rate monitor, do so. They can opt for LAN centers that have monitors with a high refresh rate as an option to test the experience.
Switching from 60Hz to 144Hz is a totally different experience, you can easily feel the wonder that a 144Hz gaming monitor can offer you.
Image fluidity is especially important for FPS (First Person Shooters) players.
In FPS games, players need to quickly change their perspective to target moving enemies. With a smooth image, players will be able to track their enemies much easier and aim with better precision as a result.
How much refresh rate is enough? Mainly gaming monitors have a 144Hz refresh rate. If you're just buying a gaming monitor, we recommend buying a 144Hz monitor..
If you're a hardcore gamer and want to go straight to the sweet spot, a 180Hz monitor will suit you. Since most gamers won't be able to tell a refresh rate above 180Hz, only gifted gamers will be able to tell the difference.
When buying a gaming monitor, the "response time" should preferably be less than 4 ms (GTG)
Many people misinterpret the term “response time” as the latency of the monitor output. But it really is not.
The response time ishow quickly a crystal in the LCD (liquid crystal display) panel can rotate to the correct position; in other words, how quickly the panel can completely change from the previous image to the next.
The technique of an LCD panel to display color is to convert the glass of each pixel at a certain position so that the pixel can display a certain color.
So how fast the crystal can rotate indicates how fast the image can change.
If the image changes too slowly, you will see the shadow of the last image, which is sometimes called "ghosting." FPS gamers will not want to see this while playing.
In a fast-paced game, ghosting will make your target look blurry, as a result, the target becomes difficult to aim, which is something an FPS gamer doesn't want to see.
On the other hand, a monitor with a faster response time will give you a sharper image that is much better for gamers.
For gamers who need to track their enemies in a fast-paced game such as FPS (First Person Shooters) games, we recommend choosing a monitor with a response time of less than 1ms.
For gamers who require better color performance, a monitor with a 4ms response time is acceptable.
In theory, the response time should be the faster the better; but the fact is that the response time is related to the type of panel you are using.
Some panels have beautiful colors, but the response time is not that fast. Some other panels have a better response time (1ms), but have less color reproduction. So let's explain more about panel properties in the next section!
The response time decides how sharply you can see from a moving object
Added by XanxoGaming: MPRT (Motion Picture Response Time)
This second measurement of Response Time, or "Response Time" in English, is becoming more and more popular. There may be monitors with a good Response Time of 1ms, but still have a poor response time using MPRT.
What is MPRT?
While GTG equivalent to Gray to Gray, or in simple words, the transition time between one pixel to another; the MRT extension is the persistence or time that the old pixel remains (ghosting effect) on the screen. The MRT extension is a more accurate measure for topics such as ghosting.
A gaming monitor that has a range of 4-6ms MPRT or very close to it, it is acceptable as a gaming monitor. Anything much higher than this (8ms MPRT or more) is out of the question. 2ms MPRT or close to this number is ideal for people who play shooters for example.
There is some relationship between GTG and MPRT although there is not always a correlation. It is always good to review or test the MPRT measurement of a screen.
Choosing a correct “Panel” is confirming your needs
The panel can be classified into 3 types: TN, VA and IPS. The difference between them is how the glass on the LCD panel rotates. The difference in how they rotate results in the property of the panel. So let's do a quick introduction to panels and let you know which type of panel suits which type of player:
TN (Twisted Nematic) – Best for FPS Gamers
The nature of the TN panel is fast in response and cheap, but the color is not that great, and the viewing angle is not wide either.
For FPS gamers, this panel is usually your best choice, because what FPS gamers need most is a high refresh rate and fast response time, and TN panel is an expert in that.
The only panel that can go up to 240Hz is the TN panel due to its super fast response time.
IPS (In-Plane Switching): for designers and gamers who require high color quality
The nature of IPS panel is beautiful and accurate color rendering, which is why mostly designers love to use IPS panels. If you don't play a lot of FPS games and need beautiful colors, then the IPS panel might be a good option for you.
VA (Vertical Alignment): Perfect for movie lovers and gamers who love to see more detail
The nature of the VA panel is high in contrast ratio. Make the most perfect “black” on all 3 panels. On an LCD monitor, a backlight module is needed to illuminate the screen, so displaying the color “black” on an LCD panel actually means using the crystals to block the light emitted by the backlight module.
The way the glass lines up in a VA panel is the narrowest, so the black on the panel is the darkest, not like other panels, which show a “glossy black”.
So you might ask, "What is the benefit of having a darker black?" Well, have you ever had this kind of experience, whenever you are in a dark scene, no matter it is in the game or in the movie, every detail of the scene merges into a single black?
This is the problem of not having a panel with a sufficient contrast ratio. But VA panel with its nature of having high contrast ratio can avoid this problem, images may show more detail due to high contrast ratio provided by this panel.
Gamers who also watch movies or love to play horror or adventure games will love this panel!
Here is the table for one to understand easily:
Response time: TN> IPS and VA
Contrast ratio: VA > TN and IPS
Color rendering: IPS> VA> TN
Do they have a glossy black color? Your contrast demand depends on the games
In the previous section, we mentioned the importance of contrast ratio. Contrast ratio is often evaluated by "static contrast ratio," which means the brightness ratio of the panel's maximum brightness (a white screen) and minimum brightness (a black screen).
As mentioned in the VA panel introduction, the black of an LCD is not pure black. If you bring the black screen into a dark room, or use an instrument to measure the black screen, you can easily see that the panel is still on.
It's just a matter of how low my brightness is.
Typically, an IPS panel or TN panel will have a static contrast ratio of 1000:1, but a VA panel can have a static contrast ratio of up to 3000:1, which means you can have a more detailed image.
But since the ability to have a high contrast ratio is highly related to the nature of the panel (VA panel), you will have to sacrifice response time or color performance to have this feature. Therefore, making it clear what your demand is is very important.
We suggest gamers who love to watch movies or play horror games or any other game that requires high image details to choose a VA panel that has the best contrast ratio out of all the panels.
Gamers who want to immerse themselves in the wonderful world of gaming may want to sacrifice a bit of contrast and go for an IPS panel.
For players who just want to win, the faster TN panel that isn't that beautiful might be your best bet.
When your panel doesn't have enough contrast, image details can not only be washed out by the dark, but can also merge into a blurry white.
High color saturation? See what it looks like!
There are so many standards for color saturation.sRGB, DCI-P3, NTSC … and so on. Each standard covers a different range of colors, so it's hard to use a single unit to describe how colorful this panel is.
But the market usually uses “sRGB” as a unit to describe coverage to keep things simple, like 100% sRGB or even 125% sRGB (which covers more than the sRGB standard).
The higher the number, the more color the panel can display, so the panel is more beautiful.
We suggest you view the monitor if you really care about colors. Not only because numbers can't tell you what the colors will be, how accurate the color is, but also because everyone sees color differently.
Some people see a blue dress, some people see a black dress. So see the monitor yourself, and then you can tell if this monitor gives you the color you want.
Do I need a curved monitor? Try one before you buy it
About curved monitors, it really depends on personal preference.
Most gamers who love curved monitors either love the immersive feeling it gives them, or are planning to have multiple monitors and want to join them in one big curve.
Players who don't like them are often not used to the curvaceous feel of the image, but they also don't like the fact that the image is bent into a curve when it was originally meant to be flat.
Since the content is designed to be displayed on a flat screen, if it is intentionally bent into a curve, you will have an awkward feeling that the positions are out of place, just like bending a flat photograph into a panorama.
The specification is mainly 1800R on the market, which means that the curve is cut from a circle that has a radius of 1800mm.
Therefore, the lower the number, the more curved the monitor will be.
We strongly recommend that you look at and try out a curved monitor if you are interested in purchasing one. Just by seeing and trying it yourself, you can tell if a curved monitor is right for you or not.
Is FreeSync or G-Sync a must? FPS players will need it more
The main feature of your monitor synchronization is to avoid the “screen tear” or also known as “screen tear"(vertical lines).
The main reason for screen tearing is that your monitor and graphics card are not on the same page.
When the monitor is still updating the first image, the graphics card has already delivered the second image to the monitor, so you will see 2 images in a single frame.
Usually the top half is from the first image and the bottom half is from the second image. We call this “screen tearing” or vertical lines.
The screen tearing solution is to synchronize the monitor and graphics card. But who is syncing whom?
When the graphics card syncs with the monitor (graphics card following the monitor), we call it V-Sync. The problem with V-sync is that the graphics card will only output the next image when the monitor tells it to, so it causes input lag and many other issues.
As for the AMD FreeSync y NVIDIA G-SyncBoth use different technologies to allow the monitor to synchronize with the graphics card, allowing the monitor to display the image only when the graphics card has finished displaying a full image.
It doesn't matter if it's FreeSync or G-Sync, you'll need a monitor with the technology and it should also feature the technology on your graphics card.
If your graphics card can really match your monitor, don't worry, because if its refresh rate is high enough and your graphics card is powerful enough, the difference between the previous image and the following image may be less.
So even if you get screen tearing on your screen, at a high refresh rate, it only lasts for a very short period and the difference is so small that you may not be able to tell the difference.
Only FPS players can still feel the difference, because FPS players usually change their perspective quickly, so the difference between the first image and the second image can be large.
As a result, screen tearing can still be an issue. Therefore, if you are an FPS gamer, we suggest that you consider a monitor that has FreeSync or G-Sync..
Additional: Remember that many FreeSync monitors are now also G-Sync Compatible.
“Screen Tearing” occurs when the graphics card delivers an image (frame) while the monitor is still drawing.
FreeSync and G-Sync can prevent screen tearing by adjusting the refresh rate of the monitor.
What can be easily forgotten – The depth of the monitor!
People usually focus on panel specifications and panel types when buying a monitor.
There is one thing that people always forget and have to return their monitor because of it. It is “check monitor depth”.
Why is monitor depth important? Because it indicates the amount of space on your desktop that the monitor will occupy.
There are too many gamers who forget this matter and find that the monitor consumes too much space on their desk and they end up with awkward spaces or they have to sit too close to the monitor and their eyes start to hurt.
There was even a monitor designed with a huge stand that was consuming too much desktop space and was criticized by gamers so much that the stand had to be redesigned and relaunched with a small revision just because the stand was consuming too much space.
This shows that even though this specification is left out, it is very important for all players.
Budget is always the most realistic problem
After using it, there is no going back – 144Hz + 2560×1440 (2K)
With all these guidelines, I think you already have an idea which specification is important to you. But if you're an FPS gamer who also plays AAA games and you don't have the budget to buy the ultimate monitor with all the specs you want, what should you do?
We really suggest that no matter what, choose a monitor that has at least a 144Hz refresh rate.
After using it there is no going back, you can feel the difference even when you move the mouse cursor or when you move the windows.
Second, is the resolution; Although 1080p is enough for monitors smaller than 27 inches, after using a 2K resolution monitor, you really can't get over how delicate the images your monitor can bring.
Beware: the budget is inflated bigger than the specifications
When shopping for a monitor, keep in mind that spending $100 to upgrade a spec usually ends up more in the overall spend.
Since the monitor is relevant to your graphics card and your game, it doesn't make sense if you buy a “4K” monitor but don't have a graphics card powerful enough to deliver “4K” quality or if you buy games that don't support 4K , so you have to upgrade to 4K.
So when you upgrade your monitor, you will also have to upgrade your graphics card unless the graphics card is already powerful enough.
Only when the monitor and graphics card are equally powerful will the benefit of the budget you spent become apparent.
The monitor is something you put outside, it's something you can see, unlike a motherboard or graphics card you can't see the performance with the naked eye.
We highly recommend all gamers to view the actual monitor before purchasing. See if you like the color it shows or not; see if the dimension is correct to put on your desk; play a game with the monitor and see if you like how it works; Check out the look and lighting effects, see if you like the look.
Touch it, feel its texture and decide if this is something you want. Just by looking at it, touching it, and touching it yourself, you can tell if this is the gaming monitor for you.
We hope that after reading this article, you are no longer overwhelmed by all those specs and can find the perfect gaming monitor for you.