How to choose a best gaming monitor for ultimate gaming

by Abhijeet Kumar


Picking the best gaming monitor is a vital part of complete PC build. We can make gaming experiences better by using advanced gaming monitors. There are so many different kinds of screen around us and it can be difficult to say what is the absolute best.

There are several questions you need to ask yourself before buying monitor. Do you favour image quality over lightning-fast pixel response? Do you need Nvidia’s G-Sync or AMD’s FreeSync? Does it even matter now that Nvidia is supporting FreeSync?

The most common types of display panels used on PC monitors are TN, IPS and VA

TN, stands for twisted nematic. This refers to the twisted nematic effect, which is an effect that allows liquid crystal molecules to be controlled with voltage.

VA, stands for vertical alignment. As the name suggests, this technology uses vertically aligned liquid crystals which tilt when a voltage is applied to let light pass through.

IPS, stands for in-plane switching and, like all LCDs, it too uses voltage to control the alignment of liquid crystals. However unlike with TN, IPS LCDs use a different crystal orientation, one where the crystals are parallel to the glass substrates, hence the term ‘in plane’. Rather than ‘twisting’ the crystals to modify the amount of light let through, IPS crystals are essentially rotated, which has a range of benefits.

Viewing Angle

By far the biggest difference between the three technologies is in viewing angles. TN panels have the weakest viewing angles, with significant shift to color and contrast in both the horizontal and especially vertical directions. Typically viewing angles are rated as 170/160 but realistically you’ll get pretty bad shifts when viewing anywhere except for dead center. Higher-end TNs tend to be somewhat better but overall this is a big weakness for TNs.
VA and IPS panels are both significantly better, with IPS being the best overall for viewing angles. 178/178 viewing angle ratings are a realistic reflection of what you can expect with an IPS, you won’t get much shift in colors or contrast from any angle. VAs are good in this regard but not as good as IPS, mostly due to contrast shifts at off-center angles. With VAs and especially TNs having some color and contrast shifts when viewing at angles, they’re not as well suited to color-critical professional work as IPS panels, which is why you see most pro-grade monitors sticking to IPS.

Refresh Rates

The refresh rate of a monitor is the number of times per second that a panel can refresh an image. Hence, a 60 or 144 Hz refresh rate indicates that the monitor can update 60 or 144 times per second.

TN has the worst color reproduction, contrast ratios and viewing angles. But it does have one key advantage, and that comes in the form of speed. TN panels are the best for both refresh rates and response times.

Currently, TN are the only panel type able to hit 240 Hz, doing so at 1080p and also now 1440p. VA panels top out at 200 Hz for ultrawide displays, however most 16:9 models are limited to 165 Hz. IPS panels also top out at 165 Hz, although a 240 Hz 1080p option is in the works by LG.

While IPS panels are able to refresh at 144 Hz and above, the number of panels which are high-refresh is limited compared to both VA and TN. Most IPS displays, especially high-grade options for professionals, as well as entry-level office monitors, are either 60 or 75 Hz. Meanwhile, a significantly larger number of VA panels across a wider range of sizes and resolutions are high-refresh, while the big selling point of TN is its super high refresh capabilities.

Response Times

Response times govern the level of ghosting, smearing and overall clarity of a panel. Early IPS and VA panels were very slow, however this has improved a lot with modern panels, so the differences between the three technologies aren’t as pronounced as they once were. With that said, TN still holds a strong advantage here.

Most TN panels have a rated transition time of 1ms, or even lower with some recent releases. Actual grey to grey averages I’ve measured for TN panels tend to be in the 2-3 ms range when overdrive is factored in, which makes TN the fastest technology.

IPS panels are next in terms of speed, though as tends to be the case with IPS, there is a wide variance between the best and worst of this type. High-end IPS monitors, typically those with high refresh rates, can have a transition time as fast as 4ms. Compared to the best TN panels, this makes IPS at best, twice as slow. However entry-level IPS panels or those without overdrive sit closer to the 10ms range, while mid-tier options tend to occupy the 5 to 7 ms bracket.

VA panels are consistently the slowest of the three types. The absolute fastest I’ve measured has been between 5 and 6 ms, though more typical numbers are between 8 and 10 ms for gaming-grade monitors. VA panels also tend to be less consistent with their transitions; some individual transitions can be fast, while others very slow, whereas IPS panels tend to hover more around their overall grey to grey average.

As a quick summary, TN panels are the fastest and have the highest refresh rates, however they have the worst viewing angles by far, as well as weak color performance and typically the lowest contrast ratios. TNs are typically used for ultra-fast gaming displays, as well as budget class displays, for both desktop monitors and laptops.
IPS is a middle-ground technology. They typically have the best color performance and viewing angles, mid-tier response times and refresh rates, along with mid-tier black levels and contrast ratios. Due to its top-end color output, IPS panels are the go-to choice for professionals, but you’ll also find them in entry-level displays, office monitors, most laptops and a small handful of gaming monitors.

VA panels are the slowest of the three, but have the best contrast ratio and black levels by far. Color performance isn’t quite at the level of IPS, but they still offer a significantly better experience than TN in this regard.

With response times for the best modern VAs approaching the level of a typical IPS, along with broad support for high refresh rates, VA monitors are commonly used for gaming monitors. Entry-level VAs also tend to be superior to entry-level TN and IPS panels, though you won’t find VA used in laptops.

Monitor Response Time

Adaptive Sync

While gaming you would have ever noticed things like tearing, stutter or judder, it’s most likely because of the lack of adaptive sync. When your graphics card can push to a monitor’s maximum refresh rate without dipping below it at all, this doesn't pose an issue. Adaptive sync enabled monitor’s refresh rate dynamically adjusts to your game's frame rate in real-time – eliminating issues like stuttering and tearing. 

Monitor Screen Tearing

There are two types of adaptive sync technologies: 

FreeSync and G-Sync

AMD graphics cards support FreeSync, Nvidia graphics cards require G-Sync compatible monitors.

 

Here is few best monitors you can choose according to your requirements - 

Asus ROG Swift

ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q has 240Hz Refresh Rate combined with G-Sync & 1ms Response time 24.5 inch Full HD (1920x1080p) TN LCD panel with a frameless design and customizable LED lighting effect/Flexible connectivity. It has options with Display Port 1.2, HDMI 1.4 and USB 3.0 ports / NVIDIA G-SYNC ensures smooth gameplay by eliminating screen tearing and stuttering/ASUS Eye Care technology.

Pros

IPS panel

Excellent G-Sync range

Cons

G-Sync upcharge

 

MSI Optix G27C4

It's the MSI curved Frameless design gaming display with 165Hz Refresh Rate with smoother gaming experience than other gaming monitors. 1ms Fast Response Time which eliminate screen tearing and choppy frame rates. The Game colors and details will look more realistic and refined, to push game immersion to its limits with 178 degree wide view angle. It has Anti-Flicker and Less Blue Light which prevent eye strain and fatigue. Loaded with AMD FreeSync Premium Technology. 

Pros

Robust VA display

Curved LED display

Cons

Limited input connectivity

Height not adjustable

Acer Predator

Acer Predator has many benefits, IPS panel with 144Hz refresh, excellent viewing angles and built-in screen tear prevention technology. Like AMD’s FreeSync, Nvidia’s G-Sync lets the GPU and monitor coordinate their efforts, reducing or eliminating screen tearing. G-Sync requires a proprietary Nvidia chipset in the display. The upside is that since Nvidia has total control over the standard and its implementation, there’s greater assurance that a G-Sync monitor will work as advertised, while FreeSync quality can vary between manufacturers and from model to model. G-Sync monitors also tend to support a wider range of applicable refresh rates, as well as better anti-ghosting than FreeSync monitors. True to form, the Predator is G-Sync capable between 30 and 144Hz out of the box, up to a maximum of 165Hz if you’re the overclocking type. As an investment, however, the Predator makes a strong argument, as it’ll graciously provide for not only your current GPU, but the next couple of upgrades as well.

Pros

Robust IPS display

Excellent G-Sync range

Adjustable height

Cons

Limited input connectivity

G-Sync upcharge

 

AOC C24G1

The AOC C24G1 boasts a 1500R curved and frameless VA panel in Full HD, with an adjustable ergonomic stand. It comes with 144 Hz, Free Sync and 1 ms MPRT. The narrow border and frameless design offer the minimal bezel distraction for the ultimate battle station.

Pros

Containing Free Sync Technology

Adjustable ergonomic stand

Cons

 

Acer KG241QP

 

Acer KG241QP 23.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen Display with AMD FreeSync technology, 1MS Response Time, 144Hz Refresh Rate and 300 Nits Brightness. This KG series built in Black Boost with 11 levels of dark level adjustments. Optimize the dark field and see details at a glance. This is a TN panel and could never be used other than straight one person view. It's very good for gaming experience but not for video editing work.

Pros

Containing Radeon Free Sync Technology

Cons

Height not adjustable.

LG 4K-UHD

LG 27 has brilliant colors and impressive contrast. The impressive contrast makes a very better look .this monitor is best for the Xbox lovers. It has RadeonFree sync technology that helps in the resolution of communication problems that occur between monitor and processes. It is also helpful in the reduction of image tears and choppiness.

Pros

Containing Radeon Free Sync Technology

It has amazing On-screen control and is HDR10 compatible

Cons

The LG monitor requires an external power brick. The users will face problem in use of HDR Effect Mode.

 

LG 22 IPS Monitor

LG 22 inch monitor has Full HD (1920 X 1080) Borderless IPS Panel, Refresh Rate 60 Hz, Response Time 5 ms, Viewing Angle 178 degree horizontal 178 degree vertical. This monitor also has black stabilizer which ensures visibility of dark areas when gaming. It's a budget monitor, if you don't have enough budget to spent on monitor then you can go for it.

Pros

Freesync is supported. This means if you are using an AMD graphics card, you'll get refresh rate upto 75 Hz

Cons

Stand can only tilt, there is no height adjustment or rotation feature

No Speakers and USB port

 

Acer Nitro QG221Q

Acer Nitro QG221Q has 21.5 Inch Full HD (1920 X 1080) resolution with VA Panel, Refresh Rate 75 Hz, Response Time 1 MS. This monitor can work with a Radeon FreeSync-supporting graphics card and driver software to eliminate screen tearing, while minimizing lag and latency. It's a budget monitor, if you don't have enough budget to spent on monitor then you can go for it.

Pros

Containing Radeon Free Sync Technology

75 Hz Refresh rate

Cons

Colour not as good as IPS panel but better than TN

Viewing angles are sometimes terrible but still great for a VA pannel