Gaming monitors are available in a variety of sizes, specifications and accordingly in multiple price ranges. Although there can be no universal answer to what the best gaming monitor for you is, it all depends upon your present situation, your likings and what specifications and hardware fits for you the best.
Let us have a look at the various parameters when buying a gaming monitor.
It is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a gaming monitor. The common resolutions available today for gaming monitors include 4K, 1440p and 1080p.
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Why is resolution important?
Before nothing why resolution is an important parameter, one must understand that the screen is composed of millions and billions of tiny pixels. When a color changes on the screen, essentially the colors of these tiny pixels are changing. A higher resolution screen means, it has more number of pixels, as a result, the image is sharp and more clear. Adding to it, the text and the icons’ size decrease, but when it comes to gaming, the former advantage is more weighted. The images in gaming will have very less to zero blur, and the fast moving action can be seen more clearly in a higher resolution screen provided there is no screen tearing.
Obstacles in opting for higher resolution monitors
The biggest hurdle coming in the way of gamers while going with a QHD or a UHD gaming device is the hardware capability. The graphics card in the computer must be able to sustain the refresh rates of the screen. With QHD, which is becoming the new trend, the computers are still able to maintain the 30fps in that much higher resolution. On the other hand, UHD struggles to keep up with the higher resolution; it just pushes over 30 and hardly ever reaches 60 fps. So it is not only the resolution you must look into, consider the Graphics power of your CPU and choose between performance and image quality.
Looking at the basics
It is arguably the most important parameter for gaming. A refresh rate in definition is the number of times the image displayed on the monitor screen is refreshed per second and this is measured in Hertz. Monitors typically have refresh rates of 60, 144 and 240 Hz.
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The downsides of having high and low refresh rates
Having a low refresh rate can cause your image to be blurred. This is because since the refresh response is slow, the pixels take more time to enter their new state from a previous one. The more the time they take, the more will be the blur. Another form of blurring that occurs apart from the transition blur is the eye tracking blurs. This blue happens because your brain perceives the motion of a fast moving image on the screen when it is actually still, and this works even if the static position is for a second. This can be considerably reduced by having a gaming monitor with a high refresh rate.
Now is having the high refresh rate the solution to all these problems, unfortunately not. You need to have a GPU that is able to push the frame rates and be in sync with the monitor’s refresh rates for the entire process to work. Else, it can result in screen tearing and even image lagging in some cases. This severely affects the gaming experience. So do not get tempted by the high numbers beside the refresh rates, first make sure whether the graphics card in your gaming PC will be able to handle it or not. If not, whether you will need to revamp the machine or look out for G-Sync or the Free-Sync.
Continuing the issues of high refresh rates, adaptive sync technology has solved the problems of screen tearing that are associated with it. A lot of new gaming monitors on the market come pre – installed with either the G-Sync or the Free-Sync so look out for that whenever you are buying next!
According to the company the Radeon R9 295X2, 290 series, 285X and 260 series will support the Free-Sync technology. Others may still support but only while playing video and to save power. Do note that the Free-Sync can only be used in computers that have AMD Cards.
Older NVIDIA cards like the TITAN, 780, 770, 760, 660, 670, 680, 690 and many more cards are compatible with the technology. Just like the AMD, the NVIDIA G-Sync can only be run with computers that have the above models of NVIDIA Cards.
Note that the NVIDIA technology also includes a premium price of $100-$150 which adds to the base price of the monitor, whereas the AMD technology does not alter the price of the monitor separately.
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Response time & screen size
It is the amount of time measured in milliseconds that a single pixel takes to change colors between black and white or between the various shades of gray. It is often confused with refresh rates, but the two are completely different parameters. The difference of a lower response time can be seen during fast moving games as the camera movements will be much smoother without a hint of a lag. If one has a higher response time, it leads to blurring due to the lack of time for the pixels to switch between the colors.
This is not such a major parameter today while buying the gaming monitors as it does not directly co-relate to performance or clarity. The computers of today built for gaming range from 21-27 inches, this is ideal because smaller than this, the images would be too small to notice, bigger than this, then the viewing comfort is reduced drastically. It is recommended that for a 1080p monitor, not to exceed the screen size above 24 inches since it can lead to discomfort in viewing and aliasing.
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That is all that you need to work on when you are going to buy a gaming monitor. Make an intelligent purchase; do not go with what the stores lure you with. Instead, take a personal decision according to your budget and the level of comfort you predict to experience with a particular machine.