3 PC screens on a desk

How to Pick The Perfect Gaming Monitor

BY MATT CUPPER: Every seasoned gamer knows there’s nothing puts you on the front line like a perfect gaming monitor.

Finding the right one could mean all the difference between a boring time and an endless gaming fun. And while the market is flooded with an array of these monitors, picking the right one is never easy. Find an ideal one and you have a colorful vibrant graphics, fast and smooth display, and with instant refresh rate. Get it one bit wrong, and you are in for a serious frustration.

Everyone wants a top-of-the-line gaming monitor that can pack the bang for the buck. And finding the best 4K HDR Gaming Monitor for your rig takes a bit of footwork. So, what does it really take to have the right gaming monitor? What makes it stand out of the competition? If you are setting out to understand any and more of these, you are at the right place. Maybe you want an upgrade from a previous monitor, or you are only getting started in the world of gaming. We have something you might want to check out before hitting the market. Read on to find what you need to go for when shopping for your next gaming monitor.

Panel design

Whether it’s your gaming monitor or your TV, you will usually have to choose between three types of panels. These come down to the design of each type. The good thing is, in this diversity, you can find various advantages that could prove handy for your needs. On the flipside though, each of them has a fair share of downsides too. These types usually boil down to three main categories; the Vertical Alignment (VA), Twisted Nematic (TN) and In-Plane Switching (IPS).

The VA type offers an array of benefits. These range from impressive response time to a wide viewing angle. You will also have a perfect contrast ration and excellent color production thanks to this monitor. But they have one shortcoming; they have a ghosting effect that can hurt your gaming experience.

TN panel type also packs some aces up its sleeve. For a fast response time and an ideal contrast ratio, you need to try this panel. And that’s not all yet; you still get an average viewing angle that can cater to your needs too. But on the downside, the color production is not so great.

The IPS stands out with its great color production. And its contrast ratio is average too. The viewing angle is something you will reckon with as well. On the downside though, you will have to put up with a rather slow response time.

If you are into fast-paced games, the response time is of the essence. A gaming monitor’s viewing angle is the maximum angle for viewing the content with top visual performance. The contrast ratio is all about how the monitor can bring out the black as well as the details of the object. When it comes to the color production, it all depends on how clear the display of the content can be.

Check the sync too

Another thing you have to keep an eye out for when shopping for the right gaming monitor is the adaptive sync. The choice here depends on two options. You can opt for a FreeSync or go for the G-SYNC. Any of these two can help keep your screen from tearing as you game on. This performance hinges on synchronization technology. This also helps reduce any motion artifacts and the input plug, enhancing the monitor’s performance.  On the good side, this feature is available on newest gaming monitors. If you find one with an AMD FreeSync, you won’t have to worry about fronting any extra cost. All you will need to have is an AMD graphics card. On the other end, you can pick an NVIDIA G-SYNC, which can cost you a bit. You also need to keep in mind that you can use this one with NVIDIA cards only.

Decide between curved and flat screen

For every gamer, the thrill of the action is feeling like you are in the middle of the action. And this makes gaming stand out from all other forms of entertainment. If you are looking for an immersive experience, then a curved gaming monitor is your best bet. This one not only offers the impressive performance such a monitor should deliver. It takes things a little further, putting you right in the middle of the game. In most cases, a curved one will give you about 4 to 6 percent more field of view (FOV), which can enhance your gaming experience. Curved monitors also pose less stress to your eyes.

Above all, these monitors prove essential if you game using several monitors at once. The seamless connection among these screens is unprecedented. Nevertheless, as much as curved monitors blow the competition away, the choice is all yours. Some gamers just love the simple feeling that comes with a straight gaming monitor. So go for what works best for you.

The refresh rate and response also count

Another thing you definitely don’t want to miss is the refresh rate. This aspect is the time per second, usually measured in Hertz (Hz), that you will need to redraw your screen. In most LCD gaming monitors, this ranges at around 60Hz, which translates to 60 refreshes in a second. Sometimes this could lead to a blurry image or screen tearing. It is thus crucial to go for a gaming monitor with higher refresh rate like 120Hz or so. This way, you can have a lower level of image blur as well as reduced tearing.

You will also need to keep an eye out for the pixel response. In essence, this is all about the time a pixel takes to shift from a particular shade of gray to the other. In most cases, the gray-to-gray pixel response proves handy. The useful measurement here is in milliseconds. For a smoother image, a low response helps reduce the smearing that moving images may produce. A low response is usually the way to go. Anything response within two milliseconds or lower is perfect. But you can also work with 4 milliseconds in case of gray-to-gray response.

Have you checked the size and resolution yet?

Well, you should, since these aspects also play a major role in any gaming monitor. Talking of the size, bigger turns out to be always better in gaming and monitors are no exception. Sometimes space might not be on your side, in which case a 24-inch gaming monitor will be enough. But these could come with a lower resolution than you would get with larger screens on the market. This can be about max resolutions at around 1920 by 1080 pixels. But some of the new widescreen models are taking things a bit further.

Any monitor around 27-inches or so can offer the ideal view to take you beyond Full HD. Some of the new monitors in town are the Wide, Quad High-Definition (WQHD). These usually come with resolutions up to 2560 by 1440p. This model delivers a stunning sharper image for the perfect gaming experience. This will only call for a robust graphics engine to get the high resolution.

The aspect ratio is also something that makes most of the large monitors stand out. Most ultra-wide panels deliver up to 21:9 aspect ratio, which surpasses the normal 16:9 one. Hence, you get a wider field of view than you would enjoy when using a normal screen monitor. If you are ready to trade in the room for a top-of-the-line view, then go for these giants.

The connectors

Here comes yet another crucial aspect that you have to look into as well. Most of the latest gaming monitors come with an array of inputs and outputs too. You will find a Display Port 1.4, HDMI1.4 and 2.0, and 5mm Audio output. The Display Port 1.4 is ideal for audio and video transfer on your computer. An HDMI doesn’t support as high a refresh rate as the Display Port would. But it works fine for the mid-range solutions. Your Audio Output proves essential for the connection of your headphones and speakers. Other connectors you can keep an eye on include USB ports. These can help in connecting any USB devices to your monitor.

Final thoughts

Gaming monitors are hands down one of the most crucial components to your gaming system. But the real treat can only come through if you can find the right gaming monitor for the job. It’s always best to ensure you go for one that can cater to your gaming needs. And what better investment than ensuring you have the best monitor for the bargain.

Any or all of these considerations will help you pick the perfect monitor for your gaming. You don’t have to spend a fortune to find the right monitor though. All it takes is to understand the features that count and going for that. Whether it’s the size, the resolution, refresh rate or the sync, all these aspects matter. Your gaming can’t get any better than when you have an immersive monitor that puts you in the game.