A Gaming Monitor Buying Guide

A Gaming Monitor Buying Guide

Choosing a gaming PC is difficult enough, and then you’ve got to choose the right monitor to complement your device, which only adds to the challenge. If you’ve got a high-powered gaming PC, you won’t want to pair it with a budget monitor, otherwise, you’ve wasted your initial investment. Luckily for you, we’ve thrown together a guide to help you buy the right monitor to suit your gaming setup.

Refresh Rate

Refresh rate is to do with the display keeping up with the action of the game. For example, if you have a 60Hz monitor, you can shoot at a target that might not be there, because there’s a lag. Essentially, the higher the refresh rate you have on your monitor, the better gameplay experience you will get. If you want to guarantee a smooth framerate, you should invest in a 240Hz monitor, which will let you play 4K games with the right hardware. If you’re not fussed about hitting high rates, you can survive with most games on a 144Hz, monitor without dying.

Resolution and Screen Size

You will likely assume that the larger the monitor, the better it will be, but that’s not necessarily the case – you need to consider the pixel density (how many pixels per inch of the monitor). If you choose a monitor with a low pixel density, you will end up with a grainy display. If you end up with a pixel density that’s too high, you will have plenty of space, but the screen will need to be scaled to make words readable. Fortunately, with the majority of game releases today, games automatically optimize to suit any screen size; these Lenovo 32″ gaming monitors are some of our favorites.

Response Time and Panel Type

When it comes to monitor panels, there are three widely available on the mainstream market:

  • IPS (In-Plane Switching). Monitors with IPS will have the highest and most accurate color and contrast display.
  • VA (Vertical Alignment). VA monitors have one of the best contrasts on the market, which lets them create more detailed scenes and shadows.
  • TN (Twisted Nematic). TN monitors are the weakest choice for viewing crisp colors. When you compare these monitors with the above, you will notice that the color is washed.

Choosing which type of monitor to invest in will depend on your budget and whether you mind compromising on color.

Widescreen Vs Ultrawide

Typical widescreen monitors have an aspect ratio of 16:9, which is more than enough for most people looking to play the odd game. In contrast, ultrawide monitors add 33% horizontally, bringing the ratio to 21:9. Although the ultrawide is great for multitasking because of the split-screen capability, you will need to decide whether you want black borders on some games or a stretched screen.

Choosing the right monitor for your PC is important because if they’re not equally matched, you’re wasting money somewhere. For the majority of gamers, a quality 144Hz monitor with a 16:9 aspect ratio will be more than enough.