If you wish to avoid the wall of text just read the sections titled Requirements and Questions, and possibly Goals if needed.
I've never really paid attention to specifics of monitors before, as the last time I built a new system it was simply a case of buy the one with the biggest screen you can afford.
I've been reading as much as I can on this site, as I only found it a couple days ago, and there's a LOT of information available. In some ways it also seems a bit conflicting.
Now I'm trying to build a really great gaming machine and parsing through all the information on the latest monitors is pretty crazy.
So I've decided to build my machine by choosing a monitor first, then a GPU that will take advantage of the benefits of the monitor, then a CPU and PSU to support the GPU, and so on.
My overall goal is to have a high performance machine that will last as long as possible before I need to start upgrading things again. To this date I've always upgraded everything at once (changing GPUs and hard-drives only as they burn out), where as now I am planning to upgrade components as I need in order to maintain high level graphics on the latest games, but I want to make sure that I won't need to for quite awhile after building it.
Currently the most demanding games I'm playing would be Guild Wars 2 and Arkham City. The majority of what I play is along the same lines, MMOs and open worlders like Assassin's Creed and Fallout. That said if a FPS grabs my attention like Left 4 Dead or Borderlands 2, I'll certainly pick them up and I do occasionally play titles like Call of Duty.
I currently run dual monitors, usually watching movies or shows if I'm doing something grindy in an MMO, and I often have Guild Wars 1 running in the background to buy and sell stuff.
So I'm looking at spending a lot on my main monitor and keeping one of my current LCDs as my second.
Confusion (Or what I think I don't know):
So I just need to straighten out some of the info I've learned about monitors and figure out what exactly my priorities are with them.
So the first thing I found out is that I need a 1920 x 1080p 120h monitor if I want to properly view HD media and learned that I want as small of an ms ratting as possible for game performance.
Next I looked at size and figured I wanted either a 24" or 27" screen.
I was leaning towards the 27" but I then read that 1920x1080p 120h didn't look as good on a 27" as it does on a 24", as it gets stretchy.
So I was then leaning towards a 24".
Then I read that the best resolution for a 27" was 1900x1200, so I figured I'd go with that instead.
Next I read that a 2560x1440 monitor would apparently blow my mind with a high PPI mark if I was willing to dish out the cash for it, and was thus tempted by the HP ZR2740w.
Then I think (as I'm a bit confused with info overload) I read that resolutions above 1920x1080p will not be 120h. Which had me leaning back towards the 24".
Then I read a few people saying that they didn't notice any distortions with 27" 1920x1080p monitors and that they looked fantastic, so I was leaning back towards that.
Then I read that the 2560x1440 monitors were called XD monitors for Extreme Definition, which I thought must then be better than HD even if it isn't 120h.
Then I read that IPS panels are apparently a lot better than TN panels even at lower hertz and the HP ZR2740w has an IPS panel, which would seem to confirm that the XD monitors could still be better even at 60h.
And finally to put the nail in the coffin I read about the NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 3D monitors at the following site:
120hz monitors are overrated imo (unless you're trying to do 3D @ 60 fps).
All it does is allow you to take advantage of of your GPU if you can run it over 60 fps. (which a lot of single GPUs can barely average 60 fps with max settings at 1080p or above)
Pretty much you won't notice any difference unless your graphic card (which will cost $360+ to push 60+ fps... )
the 1920x1200 resolution monitors just gets you a small bit more of vertical fov if the game supports it.
2ms response time is usually GTG (time it takes to go fro grey to white to grey) and not really representative of actual performance... (most of the 2 ms gtg monitors are 5ms regular)
IPS panels usually have slower response times than TN panels but it has way better color production range and viewing angles.
IMHO, I'd rather go for a 1080p 60hz ips panel rather than a 120hz TN panel... hell. you can probably buy 2x 24" IPS panels or 3x 24" 60hz tn panels for the price of a 120hz panel...
Oh ya. for online games. don't even bother with 120 fps. the delay from communicating with the server is usually within the 20-70ms range. which is lower than 60 hz... so pretty much the increased frames won't let you game any better even if your monitor can support it...
and don't bother with a 120hz on guild wars 2. the game is optimized poorly and more CPU restrained than GPU restrained. I can run the game at 60 fps fine in most pve areas but it drops down to 30-50 fps in cities and 30 fps in wvw.... the 120hz monitor would just be waste.
My conclusion: 120hz monitors are a waste of money. (unless you got $600+ to spend on SLI/CFX GPUs to actually take advantage of it in new games.)
BenQ XL2420T - http://www.shopbot.com.au/pp-benq-xl2420t-price-357495....
If your like FPS games, this is great -- 120Hz refresh rate, 1920 x 1080 resolution, 2ms response time. However, it's has a TN panel so color reproduction and viewing angles will be not as good as an IPS or a PLS panel.