Everything you need to know about computer monitors
People usually invest all their capital into building a capable gaming computer. But the majority of the money goes into the CPU parts. Few think about the monitor, without which, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the output of your PC.
A monitor is equally as crucial as a GPU when it comes to gaming. I mean, you build PCs to be able to play games and use functions, all of which are done through monitors. So if the monitor lacks in some manner, you won’t be able to push your PC to its absolute limits.
But gaming monitors have lots of gibberish as their scientific statistics. How do we differentiate between an LCD panel and an LED one? Is an IPS screen better? What is meant by “nits” and response time? We will attempt to take a closer look at all of these technicalities and find out the perfect rule to settle in on a good gaming monitor that fits your budget.
The average maximum resolution of your monitor is called its native resolution. You can decrease the resolution to suit your needs, but it cannot be increased than the maximum limit. The resolution of your game determines the clarity of the graphics, and it’s basically the number of pixels per inch.
Higher resolution, while more precise, will put a load on the GPU. But if you have a powerhouse loaded into your PC, then playing even at 4K resolution should be a piece of cake for your PC.
Don’t buy the highest resolution monitor out there. First, look at the graphical output of your PC and the amount of workload it can handle. Then look for monitors fitting in that resolution and also lying well within your budget.
Lower resolution will give a better game performance but will also worsen the visibility and aesthetics.
Most people prefer to get as big monitors as they can. But playing a 1080p resolution game on a 27-inch monitor that can support 4K seems like a waste. Hence it is a good idea to find a relation between the native resolution and the size of the monitor.
People usually settle for 25 to 27-inch monitors, as they tend to be big enough to give playable outputs without occupying too much space or being too expensive.
Recently though, the craze for curved screen monitors has skyrocketed. A considerable amount of gamers are now shifting to the curved screen as it provides better viewing angles. This is because our eye (cornea) is curved in nature, and with the monitor being curved as well, all the light falling reaches at nearly right angles.
Widescreen monitors are also another niche that has seen a growth spurt recently. The usual screen ratio is 16:9, but the 21:9 ratio seems to hit the sweet spot for more intense gamers.
In the end, the essential advice is to find the correct resolution and width monitor without going over your budget.
As the name suggests, the response time is the delay between a physical action taking place and its output being shown on screen. The shorter this delay is, the better performance you will have.
Usually, the response time ranges from 1ms to 7ms. Lower response monitors sell for a premium, though, so the battle lies in balancing the response time with your budget and needs. E-sports would require the minimum time lag, while regular and casual gaming can do with up to 7ms of delay without adversely affecting your gameplay.
The refresh rate of a gaming monitor is one of the most important aspects to consider when buying a product. Refresh rate is the number of images your screen displays in a second. Higher refresh rates mean better visibility, especially while gaming at the professional level.
Higher refresh rates also consume more energy. But the higher output more than makes up for that drawback. You should keep in mind the syncing technology used in the monitor, though, as it should match the manufacturer of your GPU (Gsync for Nvidia, FreeSync for AMD).
Lower resolution monitors look good with 144Hz refresh rates, while higher resolution (4K) would offer significant visibility even at 75Hz rates.
High Dynamic Range is a very fancy word used to describe the brightness of images displayed on a monitor. It allows certain bright parts of a monitor to light brighter than others, and vice versa, creating a contrast that looks vibrant and feels aesthetic.
Many monitors are bad at accepting HDR signals, though, as televisions better do this. Additionally, two different monitors cannot match or measure their HDRs against each other, making it tough to settle in on one choice.
The usual rule of thumb suggests that the higher the brightness options (nits) available, the better the HDR will be.
MOTION BLUR AND ITS REDUCTION
When you move your mouse quickly, the gaming monitors will, by default, blur the transition. High-end gaming monitors can reduce this, allowing you to view the objects and spaces even while waving them around at high speeds.
It is a pretty helpful gimmick to have if you don’t want to compromise on brightness (another gimmick known as ULMB does that), but it might leave your pockets a bit more empty than predicted.
Like anything else in the world, monitors aren’t perfect pieces of human technology. Out of the millions of onboard pixels, a couple might always stay on or off, depending on the type of effect. But, honestly speaking, this isn’t something you should be worried about, as they would hardly be visible amongst all the other pixels.
Also, the presence or absence of the pixels does not affect the gameplay, even at the highest of professional circles. Hence, it is a good tidbit to know, but not one that can change the choice of monitor you are looking to invest in.
In-plane switching monitors offer aesthetic and vibrant color schemes. Also, they are excellent in terms of viewing angles. Many casual gamers and office workers prefer IPS panels, as they are inexpensive and provide good quality graphics.
But they are plagued by slower response rates and suffer from the bleeding of light around the edges, which might be a turn-off for many gamers. But overall, this is an excellent monitor to invest in if you are looking for cheap and colorful options.
Esports users prefer Twisted Nematic panels, as they offer high refresh rates, low input lag, and are pretty cheap. The viewing angles aren’t all that great, and the color scheme isn’t as vibrant as some other competitors, but it provides you with the most value when it comes to professional esports gaming on a cheap budget.
Vertical Alignment monitors are like a middle ground monitor between IPS and TN panels. They provide you with the best of both TN and IPS panels without burning a hole through your pockets.
They offer vibrant colors while also being fast enough for competitive games. If you are looking to invest in your first monitor, and are unsure what to go with, then VA would be the best choice to try out.
OLED displays offer one of the best colors, brightness, and viewing angles out of all the monitors in the market. But they also come at a price matching its deliverables. Additionally, while an OLED panel is quite exceptional, overuse can cause some LEDs to burn-in, leaving an after-image behind.
Aside from that, OLED panels don’t have a weakness. They ensure zero backlight bleeds and offer high refresh rates, low input lag, and ultra-high resolution options. If you have the budget and the willingness, then you would not find a monitor better than this one on the market.
In the end, the best monitor is the monitor that you buy for your PC build. There are no better ones out there. But to find the good ones, you need to do some research. Keep a good amount of results ready for the type of GPU, amount of workload, and kind of majority work that the monitor will be put through. Additionally, be sure to match the sync tech with the tech of the GPU.
Keep these things in mind, and you would meet the best monitor that pairs exceptionally well with custom built gaming pc and would allow you to enjoy the full benefits offered by it.