Whether you’re a hardcore PC gamer or a casual evening-avenger, the equipment you use makes the difference between a glorious victory and sorry defeat.
Having a gaming PC is vital to get the most out of the latest first-person shooter (FPS), sports, racing, and other high-speed, fast-action games. But it’s not just about getting a gaming PC which can handle the latest games, you’ll also need a monitor which can display all the action without giving you blurred images, tearing, flicker or other motion issues. To get that precious edge over your opponents, you need a monitor that will deliver a smooth, immersive gaming experience so you can concentrate on your gaming and not the hardware. Now is the time to move up a level!
The first thing most buyers look for in a gaming monitor is one with excellent display resolution. In modern games, the quality of visual detail is extremely important. A higher resolution provides much sharper details and improved clarity. Basically, you need to see what’s going on, and you need to see it as sharp as it was intended.
Get yourself a gaming monitor which has a resolution of 1080p (Full HD), 1440p (QHD/2K) or 2160p (UHD/4K). You may be tempted to search for UHD straight away, but it’s important to consider your hardware limitations when choosing your resolution.
A key thing to remember is that you won’t notice the difference between an FHD or UHD unless the screen is 60 inches or larger. So, if you’re going to be the best, supersize your monitor. Just remember to check how much space you have first.
Also, a strong GPU (graphics processing unit) is essential to maintain over 30 frames per second in monitors QHD and above, so don’t opt for one without the other or it’s just not going to provide the amazing you quality you desire.
Refresh rates are measured in Hertz (Hz) and indicate how many frames per second can be on display, as well as how many times the monitor can refresh the displayed image per second.
Most monitors have a 60Hz refresh rate, which means the screen is refreshed 60 times per second, but fast-moving images may appear blurry at this refresh rate, or the panel may suffer from screen tearing. These annoying things happen when the monitor displays multiple frames in a single screen draw.
We say go for a monitor with a 120Hz or higher refresh rate, which not only helps reduce image blur and eliminate tearing, but is a must-have requirement for the latest 3D technology.
Screen tearing can ruin your gaming experience – but there is a cure: FreeSync and G-SYNC. These are the new superheroes of the gaming world.
Most new gaming monitors come with one or the other – but make sure you have one of them if you want to make an impact with your gaming. AMD FreeSync adds no extra cost to the price of the monitor (but is only compatible with AMD graphics cards). NVIDIA G-SYNC will cost you more but is definitely a worthwhile purchase – many pro-gamers will tell you it performs better – but is only compatible with NVIDIA cards. Go pro!
TN (twisted nematic) and IPS (in-plane switching) technology are the flavour of the month, with IPS recognised as being generally better. What do TN or IPS panels do? They boast better viewing angles, vibrancy and give more accurate colour reproduction overall. Panel technology is not really viewed to be as important as other attributes, but again, if you want to go up that all-important level where you can give yourself even the smallest edge, then you should go for IPS technology.
This is one of the few times a lower number is better, spec-wise. Pixel response time is measured in milliseconds (ms) and is important for smooth, non-blurred camera movement. A 1ms response time is the best available (but the difference between 1ms and 4-6ms is hardly noticeable).
Remember that display monitors with long response times create display-motion-blur around moving objects, which makes them unacceptable for rapidly moving images. Improve your gaming with a low-response time monitor.
Inputs and Outputs
Dual HDMI ports are ideal, since major consoles use HDMI, and some high-end graphics cards offer both DisplayPort and DVI connectivity. USB ports are also a positive feature, as they make it easy to connect to gaming controllers, mice, and other external peripherals. As far as inputs and outputs go, make sure you go for a monitor with a good variety of ports for that all-important flexibility.