Choosing the Best Monitors for Gamers
There are so many different monitors on the market. There are even curved monitors! So how on earth do you select the right one for what you need? The most frequently asked questions regarding monitors are: What’s the difference between a normal monitor and a gaming monitor? And: What do the specs mean? Well, ask no more! We’re going to answer these questions, and more, in our simple guide to choosing the best monitor for gaming
One of the most important things to remember is that you should aim to buy the monitor which is best suited to the system you are using. For example, if you’re using entry level graphics, then 144hz and high resolutions will be features which you’ll pay for, but which are unlikely to be used.
What Sort Of a Gamer are You?
It’s no good buying a monitor which you presume is right for what you need – only to then find you can’t get the most out of all of the games you want to play. Are you an AAA fan? Role player? eSports specialist? The type of games you play will dictate what sort of gaming experience you’ll want and need. And this will affect which monitor is best for you
What Size are The Best Monitors for Gamers?
When you think about size, remember that the size given in inches is the distance diagonally across the monitor screen – eg. from the left-hand bottom corner to the top right-hand corner.
The most popular monitor sizes are 24 inches to 32 inches – proving that biggest isn’t always best. Bear in mind how much space you have on your desk for a monitor, then think about what games you play. These are factors which should really influence your decision
Resolution – How Important is it?
The lower the resolution, the grainier the picture looks. A higher resolution means the picture will look sharper and clearer.
Most monitors have a 16:9 aspect ratio, the main specs of resolution are:
1920 x 1080 (FHD/ 1080p)
2560 x 1440 (QHD/ 2K)
3840 x 2160 (UHD/ 4K)
The higher the resolution, the more expensive the monitor will be. You will also need a more powerful graphics card so that your computer can deliver the images to your monitor effectively.
We suggest gamers with budget concerns go for a 1080p (1920 x 1080) monitor up to 27”.
Consider 2K resolution (2560 x 1440) if the monitor is above 27”. If your budget is flexible, then go for the higher resolution. You’ll notice the difference.
What is a Response Time?
This is how fast a crystal in the LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) panel can spin into the correct position. Basically, it means how fast can the panel change from one picture to the next one. If the picture changes too slowly – and we’re talking fractions of a second here – then you’ll see the shadow of the last picture (which is referred to as ‘ghosting’ by gamers). In a fast-paced game ghosting will make your target look slightly blurry, and thus will make your task a little harder. A monitor with a faster response time which will give you a much sharper image and won’t be a distraction.
For gamers intent on tracking their enemies super-effectively in fast-paced games, we recommend you go for a monitor with a response time of less than 1ms. For gamers who require high-quality colour for their gaming, then a monitor with a 4ms response time should do the trick.
AMD FreeSyncand NVIDIA G-Sync both use different technologies to sync-up the monitor with the graphics card. These let the monitor show the picture only once the graphics card has completed the render. Whichever technology you use, you’ll need the monitor to support technology and you’ll also need to use their graphics card.
If your refresh rate is high enough, and your graphics card is powerful enough, you’ll hardly notice the difference between one picture and the next. So, if screen tearing happens, the high refresh rate will probably not be noticeable. It’s possible that FPS gamers may see a slight difference as they are continually changing their perspective – and so the difference between the first and second picture could be noticeable. We’d recommend FPS gamers get a monitor which supports FreeSync or G-Sync.
Monitor depth Often monitors are returned to where they were bought because the buyer hasn’t taken into account the physical depth of the monitor. Think about the amount of desk space you’ll need for your new monitor, and thoroughly check the dimensions before making your decision and spending your money. This may sound like an obvious thing to mention, but it’s important and can make the difference between
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