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What to look for in a gaming monitor

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 3, 2014 3:07:08 PM

As the title describes, I'm looking for a new monitor, my current monitor is 21 inch, lg monitor. I've recently bought a new pc and feel I need to upgrade my current monitor as it isn't even hd. What do you look for in a good monitor? Any suggestions would be good too.

My price ranges is anything under £200

More about : gaming monitor

a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
May 3, 2014 3:30:56 PM

You have to choose the right balance between image quality and responsiveness.
IPS monitors typically look better, but have a slower response time.
How much this matters depends on how much you play games like Skyrim, compared to games like Counter Strike.
For everything except games the IPS are much better, and unless you play twitch games they are better for this as well.

24" monitors have been the standard for a number of years. These will be 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 resolution.
27" monitors have become very popular. Choose a 2560x1440 monitor at this size.

Some good monitors:
Dell U2414H - 24" IPS monitor, 1920x1080, 60Hz (very good image quality, good responsiveness)
Dell U2713HM - 27" IPS monitor, 2560x1440, 60 Hz (very good image quality, good responsiveness)
Asus PB278Q - 27" PLS monitor 2560x1440, 60 Hz (very good image quality, good responsiveness)
Asus VG248QE - 24" TN monitor, 1920x1080, 144 Hz (ok image quality, very good responsiveness)
Asus VG278HE - 27" TN monitor, 1920x1080, 144 Hz (not great image quality, very good responsiveness)
Asus ROG PG278Q - 27" TN monitor, 2560x1440, 144 Hz (Recently released, I haven't read reviews on image quality. Expect it to be better than the VG278QE but not in the same league as the IPS panels above. This monitor only has a single display port input, no DVI, HDMI or VGA)

I have the Dell U2713HM. The color reproduction is just amazing out of the box without any calibration. It also doesn't use PWM back lighting so it doesn't flicker like most monitors.
The fast TN panels are favoured by Battlefield 4 and Counterstrike players. They don't look as good, but the fast response time reduces image blur.

If looking at monitors other than the above, read detailed reviews on them looking at the image quality calibrated and uncalibrated. Brightness and contrast specifications mean very little. The maximum brightness is always way to bright and the contrast figures are taken with screen settings that look terrible.
BenQ also make some popular monitors for gaming, but again these are optimised for responsiveness and the image quality isn't that great.

In a 60 Hz monitor you will not notice a big difference in image blur between a 1ms or 8ms response time. Keep in mind the monitor is only rendering a new frame every 16ms. IPS and PLS panels will have a response time of 6 to 8 ms.

In a 144 Hz monitor this makes a much bigger difference because a new frame is being rendered every 7ms. You will see references on the web to overclocked IPS panels running at 100Hz or more, but the panel does not have the response time to do this well. The true 120Hz or 144 Hz monitors will have response times of 1 or 2 ms, but to achieve this they use TN panels and the image quality isn't as good.
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a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
May 3, 2014 3:50:04 PM

VincentP listed some good monitors. Keep in mind though that if your computer runs an average of 60+ FPS save your money and don’t buy a 144hz monitor, however if you are running around 100+ FPS then you will be able to take full advantage of a 144hz refresh. You will have super smooth/fluid game play, with nice sharp images, perfect for first person shooter type games.

I love my VG248QE I don’t think I could ever go back to a 60hz monitor after playing @ 144hz.
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May 3, 2014 5:26:14 PM

Thanks you all for your responses
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May 3, 2014 5:29:16 PM

ChrisR83 said:
VincentP listed some good monitors. Keep in mind though that if your computer runs an average of 60+ FPS save your money and don’t buy a 144hz monitor, however if you are running around 100+ FPS then you will be able to take full advantage of a 144hz refresh. You will have super smooth/fluid game play, with nice sharp images, perfect for first person shooter type games.

I love my VG248QE I don’t think I could ever go back to a 60hz monitor after playing @ 144hz.


My current setup looks like this, I recently built it and my gpu is faulty so I can't tell what it will run at, I'm replacing it soon, maybe you or someone else would know if my setup is worth getting the 144 monitor.

Mobo asus rog maximus vi hero
Cpu intel i7 4770k 3.5ghz
Gpu asus gtx 770
Psu xfx 850w
Ram 16gb
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a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
May 3, 2014 6:41:20 PM

With a build like that you will get around 100 FPS in BF4. Here is a link of a PC build that’s about the same as what you have, he plays a lot of the more popular games out right now, he shows the FPS so you can see about how your system will run. The PC in this video is overclocked but it you should have no problems getting your PC to the same specs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QpfDX37gFA&list=UUw7FkX...
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a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
May 4, 2014 2:11:18 AM

The frame rate you get depends a lot on the graphics settings you choose.
Going to 2560x1440 resolution will mean lower frame rates or lower settings.
I have a GTX 770 myself and it gave me about 50 FPS in Far Cry 3 will highest settings. To get the same frame rate at 2560x1440 I had to disable anti-aliasing and post processing. After these changes though, it still looks heaps better at 2560x1440 compared to 1920x1080 on a 27" monitor.

People who have IPS monitors say they will never go back to TN panels. People who have 144 Hz monitors say they won't go back to 60 Hz. Both are good, but you can't have both so you have to choose.
If you believe the marketting, the Asus ROG PG278Q is a 144 Hz monitor with a very high quality TN panel. This may be the best compromise, but it is expensive and only the reviews will tell.
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