Tips and guide to buy a gaming monitor

If the time has come to buy a gaming monitor and you don’t know what you should take into account, in this buying guide we will indicate which are the most important parameters to make your choice right.

If you want to configure the best gaming equipment, you should know that there are many parameters that you must know in advance. Getting a good setup to play is not an easy task, and although choosing the monitor is only one of the steps you have to take, it is one of the most important. For this reason, you have to choose your gaming monitor with care and attention.

Choosing your gaming monitor for PC, PS5 or Xbox Series X  goes much further than looking at the most powerful one, such as the graphics or the processor, or the exclusive games you have, as with consoles. On the contrary, there are many variables that you have to take into account, which makes the task difficult. 

And what do you have to take into account in a monitor? When buying a screen to play games, you have to see the type of panel it has, the inches, the resolution and other fundamental parameters, such as the refresh rate or the response of the monitor. Along the next lines we are going to offer you a guide to buy a gaming monitor, as well as a series of tips that you should follow depending on the use you want to give the equipment.

Table of Contents

Inches and format are important

If you want to get a gaming monitor and you don’t know where to start, then we are going to offer you a series of tips to help you decide wisely. In the market there are many technological variants, so it is important to know what each one offers you to be able to choose well.

Our best advice to buy a monitor to play with PC, PS5 or Xbox Series X  is that you write down the different characteristics that we leave you in the titles of each section and you go crossing out the ones that you do not want or need depending on the games you are going to play. 

With that said, let’s start with the best screen size for a gaming monitor. There are two schools of thought in this. If you are casual or hardcore gamers, but you are not going to play at the highest level, but you want the PC or the console to enjoy adventures alone or with friends, the bigger … the better.

That is to say, a Mass Effect or a GTA are enjoyed in a big way and we do not have to worry much about turning our heads, since almost all the action happens in the central part of the screen. There, there is no recommendation, if your pocket allows it, go for the size you want.

If you are going to play competitive multiplayer, things change. The best gaming monitor for the competitive would be between 24 and 27 inches. The reason is simple: if all areas of the screen are “within easy reach”, we will have no problems controlling different elements of the game’s interface, as well as seeing rival players appearing on the periphery.

LG Ultrawide, price of 21: 9 gaming monitors with IPS
21: 9 monitor example. There are spectacular games there, but above all it serves for productivity.

An example is Call of Duty. It is vital to see enemies quickly, and if the monitor is 24/27 ”, we do not have to move our head or perform a very fast eye scrolling.

On the other hand there is the format. There are 16: 9, 16:10 and 21: 9 monitors, increasingly popular for their low prices. They are all good for playing all kinds of games, but while 21: 9 can be used to enjoy more sports games, driving or film adventures, for first-person shooters they don’t go very well. And for online … less.

Consider the resolution

Tips and guide to buy a gaming monitor for PC, PS5 or Xbox Series X

A resolution X or Y will not make us play better or worse , and it is not something that depends on the monitor directly, but on our equipment (the graphics card, mainly). A FullHD resolution is more than enough, and it is clear that in 2K and 4K we will play more comfortable thanks to the definition, but since it does not depend on the monitor, we go with the graphics.

In another buying guide on how to choose a graphics card we leave you what GPU we should have to be able to play at different resolutions, frame rate per second and quality of graphics parameters. The conclusion is that, if we want a gaming monitor, if we do not have a GTX 1070 or GTX 1080, it is useless to buy a 4K monitor. And if we have a GTX 1060 or GTX 1070, we can raise a 1,440p monitor. 

MacBook Pro native resolution example Tips and guide to buy a gaming monitor for PC, PS5 or Xbox Series X

For everything else, a FullHD monitor. In fact, most gaming monitors have a FullHD resolution . Of course, take into account the pixel density. A 32-inch FullHD monitor will look much worse than a 24-inch FullHD monitor because the pixels are the same, but in one case they must cover more size than in another.

Up to 25 ”, more or less, the FullHD resolution gives an optimal experience . From 27 to ” inches, QHD monitors are very apparent … and from there we would have to opt for 4K.

Technology types: VA, TN and IPS. Advantages and problems of each

So far, the task of choosing a gaming monitor is not being complicated, right? Well get ready because things are going to get a little more complicated next: you will have to choose the type of panel based on your needs. But don’t worry because we are going to help you.

We chatted with Lenovo, HP Omen and LG to see how the gaming PC segment is doing in Spain, as well as getting to know the products that are favorite among gamers.read the news

Below we indicate the main types of panels you can choose, their characteristics, advantages and problems of each of them. Let’s go there.

TN vs IPS Tips and guide to buy a gaming monitor for PC, PS5 or Xbox Series X
  • Panel TN . They are the oldest and have a great gray-to-gray response time. They are highly recommended for competitive games and are also the cheapest. 
  • IPS panel . They have the best color representation, so they offer a most attractive image. They are ideal for relaxed (non-competitive) gaming and multimedia enjoyment.
  • Panlel VA . The VA panels were before the IPS, but due to the appearance of the latter, the industry stopped delving into the VA, although now there are companies, such as Samsung, that are using them again. They have a spectacular refreshment, a very high brightness and offer 144 Hz or 240 Hz without problem.

Now, let’s go with the problems of these three technologies.

Viewing angle of the panels.
  • TN panel problems. It is the oldest technology and, therefore, with the most defects. The representation of colors is not the same as in the other monitors and, in addition, they have the great problem that the colors change depending on the viewing angle.
  • IPS panel problems. They have their own flaws, such as image ghosting, light leaks or high latency, which prevents them from being suitable, in most cases, for the most demanding competitor. Also, they are the most expensive.
  • VA panels problems. Very similar to TN, although they represent colors in a much more faithful way. Response times are not the best either

In the end, choosing one technology or another depends on the needs. If you are going to play competitively, you better choose a monitor with a high image refresh rate and response time, such as TN or VA. If you are not going to hit the competitive one, you can choose the one you want, keeping in mind that the IPS image will be much more spectacular.

Brightness and depth of color – not critical, but worth looking at in a gaming monitor

In recent times, HDR has become fashionable with 4K TVs, so the concept is sure to ring a bell. In a simple and summarized way,  HDR is nothing more than a ” rush ” of brightness on the screen that allows the color gamut to be richer. Whiter whites, blacker blacks, and better treatment of the colors in between.https://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/k47lVRtW8JgSHGvVQmS?api=postMessage&id=f11cc3ba8b193b8&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fcomputerhoy.com

There are HDR monitors, but most HDR monitors that sell for less than 500 euros just put that high when we activate the option. It’s not even the best HDR … nor is it ” real ” HDR.

Bit depth in gaming monitor

More than whether it has HDR or not, we must look at the brightness. A panel with a brightness of 200 cd / m² (candela per square meter) is not recommended. When we go to 250 cd / m², things change, although what is interesting is to buy a monitor with a brightness of 300 cd / m² upwards.

The color depth is also a parameter that we should take into account. It is expensive, yes. The usual is an 8-bit color depth, which means that there are c256 shades of color for the 8 primary colors, giving us 16.7 million colors. 

Of course, if we can buy a monitor with a 10-bit color depth, the better, since each color will have 1,024 tones and, therefore, the color gamut will be better, with more than a million colors. There are cheaper 10-bit panels, which are those that use 8-bit panels with dithering, a technology that simulates the color spaces between each of the primaries.

Response time, this is important

Ghosting

When buying a good gaming monitor, the type of panel and the brightness are not determining characteristics, but the response time is, as well as the refresh rate. Response time is how long it takes for the pixel to change color. This is directly related to ghosting, which are the trails left by images (and which technologies like DyAc seek to eliminate).

If you are ultra-competitive gamers in online shooters, we recommend TN gaming monitors with 1 ms response times. For the rest, it does not matter 1, 2 or 5 milliseconds

Be careful with the refreshment on the screen

More important than response time is the refresh rate . It is what we must take into account. If we like games other than competitive single-player shooters, like Overwatch, Counter Strike, Battlefield, or Call of Duty, a 60Hz monitor will suffice. If we like competitive games, we can go for a 144Hz or 240Hz one, if we have the money.

Screen refresh test of gaming monitor

Now what does this mean? The Hz marks the times an image is refreshed per second. 60 Hz means that every second is updated 60 times. A 120 Hz one updates twice as much. This influences when playing.

If we have a very powerful graphics and we can play at 120 frames per second, if we have a 60 Hz panel, we will only see the image at 60 Hz, not at 120 Hz, or 120 real frames per second, which we could.

Anyway, this year we are going to see 360 ​​Hz monitors that will take advantage of the power of the RTX 3080 and HDMI 2.1. In this analysis you will be able to know all the details.

What was said. If you are going to play competitive, and you have a GTX 1060 upwards, it may be worth going for a monitor with frequency 120 Hz or more. If not, a 60Hz monitor is more than enough.

Freesync and G-Sync: what it is and what it is for

We are now going with proprietary technologies from Nvidia and AMD. One of the visual defects of video games is tearing, when horizontal lines are produced that “cut” the image. There are games in which they are more obvious than in others, and they can be annoying.

This happens when the image is not synchronized correctly between our monitor and our GPU, because both emit different signals, broadly speaking. To avoid this, Nvidia and AMD released their technologies.

Enslaved tearing

G-Sync from Nvidia. it is, basically, a chip inside some monitors  that allows you to synchronize the image that comes out of the graph with the one that the monitor receives to eliminate tearing.

It’s like activating vertical sync, but without consuming resources from the graph. Logically, it only works with Nvidia graphics. Freesync is basically the same, but it is a software solution compatible with AMD cards .

Proprietary technology such as the DyAc or the Black eQualizer

Now, we go with two software solutions that are available on monitors from different manufacturers. For example, LG or Benq monitors have this technology, and other gaming monitors … a similar technology, but that comes to do the same.

DyAc is a type of technology that reduces image ghosting , that ” trail ” of moving images. The Black eQualizer is from Benq what it does is illuminate very dark areas of the images without lightening the ones that are already light. In this way, for example, we see an enemy in a competitive game that is in a shadow zone. Are they cheats? We are not going to judge that.

black equalizer

So far the guide to buy a gaming monitor. As you can see, there are many tips and variables when buying a gaming monitor, but it is worth investing a while to discover which is the best gaming monitor for you. 

That is, the most important advice we can give to buy a monitor to play is to invest time in seeing which monitor we need and, above all, which is the best so as not to ” waste ” the money. 

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