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Building a gaming PC - 120hz/60hz/tn/ips Question

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June 21, 2012 1:03:50 AM

Hi everybody, new here! I posted a question about SSD's in the SSD section and I have another one about displays so I'll post it here

I'm building a PC, mainly for gaming - though I will also be using it to surf the web, watch stuff, listen to music, download and read etc.

I am a tab addict and usually have 20+ tabs open at a time in firefox, along with playing games at the same time using skype, msn, media players etc.

I do not do any programming or graphic design or anything at all

I am also not interested in playing a game/watching a movie across two screens at all, but I am interested in using one screen for gaming, one for chatting and/or playing a movie etc. I don't have any interest in having more than two screens.

The games I mainly play are RTS and RPGs, stuff like Dota 2, HoN, Diablo 3 and SC2 etc. nothing exactly super graphic intensive but I do play the occasional FPS here and there, though nothing competitive at all. I would also like to play the new Borderlands... probably maxed out.

Okay so now that's out of the way about what I am looking for got some quick questions before I start to get parts for the PC - which I'll probably make a thread about later :|

Onto my question...

From what i heard anything over 24" is too hard to game on feels too big, and is better for movies? Any other opinions on this? I sort of want to get a big huge screen but at the same time I don't want it to be detrimental to my gaming experience... and none of my friends have one for me to try out :( 

Ive been reading about 120hz screens... is it worth it to get one? Would i have to be running games at 120 fps to notice a difference etc. What if my system runs games at 120 fps on a 60hz screen? Would I have to budget for a system that runs games at 120fps all the time (or more?) I don't think the system I get will be running games at native resoultion @ 24" @ 120hz from the benchmarks I've been looking at... but yeah I'm a bit confused from the opposing opinions on 120hz screens.

What's the deal with tn panels vs ips? Which one should i get? I basically want highest image quality with lowest input lag or ms or whatever is more important... I'm not too sure it's a bit confusing haha sorry I'm a bit new at computers. Is ms even important vs input lag? Any recommendations for best gaming screens @ 24" or higher with image quality and inputlag/ms in mind?

Thank you for taking the time to read and reply :]
a b 4 Gaming
June 22, 2012 3:12:53 AM

Monitor size preferences are very subjective. I game on a 27 inch monitor, and it seems fine to me. If a given size seems too big to you, it may be possible to increase the distance you're sitting away from the monitor (depends on your setup, though).

120hz can offer smoother motion, but I expect the benefits to be limited if your framerate isn't decently above 60fps, though 120hz monitors (not 120hz tvs, though) also offer the option of getting stereoscopic 3d with shutter glasses.

Low input lag and ghosting time are good, but you tend to have to trade off image quality - tn panels usually have the lowest input lag and ghosting time, but weak image quality (although still good enough for most people); ips panels have the best image quality, but the input lag and ghosting time isn't quite as low (however, newer ips panels can still have them low enough to be usable for gaming). va panels are kind of in the middle as far as ghosting/lag and color accuracy, but can have better static contrast.

As for 24 inch or higher, since you haven't specified your budget yet, how do you feel about the HP ZR2740w? TFT Central review of it here:
http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/hp_zr2740w.htm
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June 23, 2012 5:13:03 AM

Size of the monitor is a personal preference. i personally use a 24in monitor, but I don't see how going up to a 27in could impact you in any meaningful way.

The only reason you would need a 120 hz monitor is if you are 3D gaming or have a system powerful enough to run games at 120 fps. If your frame rates never get above 60, you aren't going to see any benefits to having such a monitor. But, it does not make games running below 60fps look any worse or better.

I'm afraid I don't have as much experince as I'd like on monitor brands and what not, so I'm not entirely sure what to suggest, but I've heard some good things about the higher end dell monitors with ips panels. Currently I've been using a LG IPS236V, and has been my main monitor for at least 9 months, and I love it. I'm sure there are better IPS monitors with low response times out now.

As to TN vs IPS, I switched to ips, well e-ips (the cheap ips) and I don't plan on ever going back to TN.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 23, 2012 7:18:33 PM

as for monitor size what you must remember that the larger the monitor is without increasing the pixel count the less clear and sharp the image will be. generally speaking 22 or 24" screens work best for most situations. i personally use my 40" television for watching movies and gaming with the pc and ps3. the only games which feel larger than life are fps but you quickly get used to it. rpg and rts games look awsome on a large screen!

120hz does have its pros and cons. if you are getting fps in the 90,100,110+ range then you could see a smoothing of the video feed. however, tn panels are the only type of panel which offer 120hz which to me is a huge negative.

tn vs ips. first of all tn panels have a very narrow viewing angle without color shifting. certain screen coatings can minimize this though but a tn panel is still a tn panel. e-ips screens (6bit) have the same color accuracy but offer an almost 180 degree viewing angle. s-ips, p-ips or h-ips (8bit) screens offer this and improved color accuracy on top of it. i dont know enough about va panels to comment. unless you buy a crap product response times on any monitors you buy should be sufficiently low for anything you throw at it. as long as you are not above a maximum of 16ms i dont forsee a problem.

i prefer viewsonic exclusively but acer, asus and dell are often recommended on these forums.

as far as having two monitors: ideally you will buy the same exact monitors. same size, same resolution, same settings. anything else can feel strange.

i prefer a dvi connection myself but hdmi should work as well. look at what your graphics card outputs.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 25, 2012 2:27:45 AM

Yeah, it would really only make sense to go with a 120Hz monitor if your system can really push at least 90FPS.

I generally do not like TN panel monitors. I actually bought one, the Asus VK246H, back in Dec 2009 for my HTPC because it was only going to be used several hours per month. However, I'm considering replacing it with an e-IPS or H-IPS monitor even though it will still only be used for several hours per month.

Dell makes good e-IPS and H-IPS monitors. The reason why they get recommended a lot is because many people buy them and professionally written reviews are easy to find. I may replace the Asus with the Dell U2412m since it is relatively inexpensive.

A good H-IPS monitor is actually the Planar PX2611w which I have. It's an older discontinued model, but it has pretty low input lag (less than 8ms) and it has a 5ms response time. Response time is mostly "advertising" but the Planar exhibits no ghosting whatsoever. However, this monitor is rather expensive at almost $700, but not as high as when Planar was still manufacturing them. I bought mine for almost $800 which was the lowest price I could find at that time. I may even buy it to replace my Asus.

http://www.amazon.com/Planar-PX2611W-26-Inch-Widescreen...
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June 28, 2012 2:01:14 AM

You and I pretty much have the same needs for a gaming computer but I don't use it to download or open 20 tabs. For me, I run a GTX560TI and for those games and occasional FPS its more than enough on max settings (including battlefield 3). Make sure you get at least 8gb of ram for your multitasking.

I used to game on a 20" Samsung led. just got a new 27" IPS 3D LED monitor and its absolutely makes the gaming experience a hell lot better. I regret even getting a 20" to start with, but now I use it as double monitors. I suggest you get a nice monitor that oversatisfies yourself for now so you wont need to get a new one soon.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 28, 2012 11:36:46 AM

@chanshin

actually having a 20" to 22" monitor is superior for fps titles as all of the action is happening inside your focal plane and not in your perepheral vision. moving up to a big screen does make everything larger than life, and while it is nice one must realize that it does hamper your reaction time by a small margin.
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