Wondering if there is any difference between a regular monitor and a gaming monitor? And if so, is a gaming monitor worth it? Read more and find out!
I Gotta Go Tell Me Fast – Is A Gaming Monitor Worth It?
Yes it does. Firstly, the price tag isn’t so different from a regular monitor.
Secondly, even if you are good at competitive gaming, a 144Hz monitor (which you will need), isn’t so expensive either!
Is A Gaming Monitor Worth It? Part 1 – Monitor Technical Details
I think you will agree with me that if you know every technical aspect that affects the monitor’s quality and perfomance, you will make a better decision when buying one.
So if you already know enough, you can skip, it’s no big deal. If you know a lot and think something is missing from this article, please feel free to comment on that and make this article better!
So without further ado, let’s start with the technical section!
What Is A Gaming Monitor
Gaming monitor is the phrase used to describe a computer monitor designed for use in a computer gaming system (“gaming rig”).
A gaming monitor is as integral to your gaming rig as your souped-up gaming PC(or gaming laptop) . We all know the thousands of monitors that exist. But they exist to provide us with different options. No need to get anxious over the plethora of choices.
Some common specs that you might have heard are Refresh Rates, Resolutions, Screen Sizes, G- Sync, Free Sync, Curved Monitors etc.
But have no worries. For everything there is a simple step by step formula and the better the formula the easier to understand and the less stressful.
What fun would be to worry or stress over a gaming monitor (or everything. Everyone that goes to buy something new is usually excited).
When you pick a gaming piece of equipment you must be calm as a surgeon but can reach the excitement of a child haha. Well you need to be calm to make a good choice and excited when you made the best choice! Or you can comment about that and tell me what works for you!
But it’s time to start with the details.
Every type of panel has its strengths and weakness. We just learn the Pros and Cons of each type and make an informed decision.
Most gaming monitors use either TN (Twisted Nematic), VA (Vertical Alignment), or IPS (In-Plane Switching) panels today.
IPS Panels offer much better color reproduction and larger viewing angles.
TN panels feature faster response times (<4ms) and are relatively cheaper.
VA panels offer the best of both worlds: speedy response times and lower costs compared to IPS panels; better color reproduction and viewing angles compared to TN panels.
YouTube Video On Panels
You might have had it with the text for today!. Check out the following video!
In Short, if you usually play fast-paced games, it’s better to take a TN or VA Panel since they offer lower response times.
If you play immersive games, an IPS Monitor will be better because it has wider viewing angle and a wider colour gamut.
Note: The VA Panel is something in between the IPS and TN so if you prefer the “mid lane” you can go for VA!.
The three most popular gaming monitor resolutions today are:
- 1080p (also called Full HD) (1080p is 1080pixels vertically as horizontally there are more because the moninor is rectangular).
- 1440p (also called QHD) (1440pixels vertically).
- 2160p (also called 4K/UHD)” (2160pixels vertically as you can see horizontally there are 4K pixels – it is marketed as 4K)
For gaming, the least you can get is 1080p. If you play competitive games you can go either for 1080p or 1440p.
If you want to enjoy the graphics and have an immersive experience you can go for a 4K monitor.
Note: 4K monitors need good graphics card so you need to spend quite much to get one that can play your game at 4K at 60 FPS (which is the minimum FPS for a smooth gameplay).
4K Monitors also don’t currently support higher than 60 Hz Refresh Rates which makes them unsuitable for competitive games.
For most cases you can just go for the 1080p which doesn’t require too much GPU processing power (even with high refresh rates like 144 Hz).
Aspect Ratio is how wide the screen is relative to its height. The most common is 16:9.
So what this means in practice. 16/9 (making the division) makes us 1,777 (there are more digits but we can skip them).
The height of the monitor is 1080p (1080pixels when counting them from top to bottom). 1080 * 1,777 = 1920pixels from left to right.
Aspect Ratio is a like a formula that describes the relationship between width and height.
Note: If you were to count the height from the width (the opposite), you need to make the division 6/19 (and multiply with 1920 for a 1080p monitor) or else the result will be wrong.
But enough with the theory let’s take a look at a video!.
Resolution – Aspect Ratio Videos
Also check out the following video that is says that most Steam Users use 1080p monitors (60% in 2018). The video is mostly about Viewing Distance and has some mathematical formulas(one!) . So beware! (formulas are not scary if you know to explain them right).
The refresh rate of a monitor(Hz) indicates how many times per second your monitor refreshes an image displayed on the panel.
The minimum for a smooth experience is 60 Hz. But for competitive play it’s best if you have a 144Hz Monitor (or more if you can afford it) , which these days isn’t so expensive.
Of course the graphics card must be able to produce this many of images in a second (Frames Per Second), or else the screen will show the same picture many times (Or if you have FreeSync , it will adjust to the framerate of your graphics card).
Most competitive games don’t have a high bar on graphics cards so it is possible.
Refresh Rate Video
Problems With Monitors
Tearing occurs when the graphics card sends more frames than the monitor is able to handle.
The result is that the monitor draws 2 or 3 frames in the same screen image (maybe 50% top is from frame 1 and 50% bottom is from frame 2).
It might not be always noticeable but is there and can cause problems to your gaming experience.
Check out the following video.
Tearing YouTube Video
Vertical Sync (V-Sync) – A Tearing Solution
One way to deal with the Tearing problem is to enable Vertical Sync. Vertical Sync forces the graphics card to wait until the screen has finished drawing the current frame.
Note: Do not enable V-Sync if you have lower or equal FPS than your Refresh Rate. Then you might experience Input lag and Stuttering as your monitor waits for the GPU to send it images.
Adaptive Sync – Another Tearing Solution
Adaptive Sync is nowadays the best way to reduce screen tearing. Both Nvidia and AMD have their own Adaptive Sync technologies (G-Sync and FreeSync).
Nvidia’s G-Sync used to be on expensive monitors at the start but these days has provided support for cheaper monitors as well.
Check out this link for a list of G-Sync compatible monitors.
It’s wiser to use an AMD Graphics Card for FreeSync and Nvidia Card for G-Sync. Of course there is compatibility with using AMD cards with G-Sync and Nvidia cards with FreeSync but before you try that, check out wherever you can for compatibility.
V-Sync & Adaptive Sync Video
Stuttering Problem in Windows 10
There is a process in Windows 10 called GameBarPresenceWriter.exe. This process can create lag problems in your game.
If you have a lag problem and tried everything possible , check out the following video and see if that works for you.
This video has a Part 2 which uses the registry to solve the problem.
I looked for stuttering videos on YouTube and found the above video that also mention about this process (GameBarPresenceWriter.exe). Then I remember a friend of mine with a new laptop had lag issues and latency/stuttering problems.
If your monitor has 2 years or more warranty then that’s good. In the US 2 years is not so common (as in EU).
But the best you can do is get a monitor from a reputable brand so you don’t use the 1 or 2 year warranty.
Conclusion – What Is A Gaming Monitor
So with that all said, a gaming monitor is a monitor tailored to specific gaming needs (For immersion gaming you can choose IPS Monitors that have wider color gamut and if you can afford it you can purchase a 4K monitor).
Or for competitive gaming you should buy a 144Hz or more VA or TN Monitor for higher response times.
Is A Gaming Monitor Worth It? Part 2 – Soda Music To Dig The Info!
Well no use to drink any of this “music soda” if you didn’t read any of the technical info in part 1. Well this music might not be to your taste. If it’s not, feel free to comment about your favorite music(please put something relevant about gaming monitors too!).
Well let’s start with some Japanese Anime! (Don’t forget the cartoon fantasy needs to freshen up too!).
First is Detective Conan opening 1.
I have seen about 500 episodes. Most are fillers but still most of the fillers have good plot.
Next is KPop haha.
And finally we’ll have some Evancescence drama because I don’t see any drama nowadays so I need my refill!
Part 3 – Is A 144Hz Monitor Worth It?
Is A 144Hz Monitor Worth It? If you are worrying about the monitor’s prize there is really no need to worry as these days 144Hz monitors are quite cheap.
And as you might have read in the beginning, you will mostly need a 144Hz Monitor mostly if you wanna play competitive games like LoL, Dota2, CS:GO, Fortnite etc seriously.
Of course your graphics card needs to be able to produce at least 144FPS for the monitor to be useful. Fortunately, most competitive games don’t have high graphics requirements so with a budget graphics card you can play everything.
But let’s see some competitive games graphics’ requirements for a clearer view.
CS:GO ( Video card must be 256 MB or more and should be a DirectX 9-compatible with support for Pixel Shader 3.0 ).
League Of Legends Recommended Requirements: Nvidia GeForce 8800/AMD Radeon HD 5670 or equivalent video card (Dedicated GPU with 512MB or higher Video Memory(VRAM)).
Fortnite Recommended Requirements: Nvidia GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7870 equivalent DX11 GPU.
Dota2: nVidia GeForce 8600/9600GT, ATI/AMD Radeon HD2600/3600.
Overwatch Recommended Specs: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 660 or AMD Radeon™ HD 7950 or better.
Rocket League: ATI Radeon HD 5670, NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or Iris Pro Graphics.
So you don’t need to spend too much money on the graphics card. Better get a 144Hz Monitor which can cost less than 200 bucks.
AMD’s FreeSync or Nvidia’s G-Sync
AMD video cards are cheaper than Nvidia’s so if you aim to play only competitive games, no need to “get heavy” on your budget. Get an AMD video card with a AMD FreeSync Monitor (144Hz).
Nvidia’s G-Sync has enabled some compatibility with some AMD Freesync monitors but if you want to play safe, get AMD and FreeSync or Nvidia and G-Sync.
My Recommended Gaming Monitors
For the cheapest gaming monitor, check out my Acer SB220Q Bi Monitor Review.
For a reputable and cheap 144 Hz Monitor, check out my BenQ Zowie XL2411P Review!.
Also check out my Acer XFA240 Monitor Review, which is an 144Hz Monitor that has both FreeSync and G-Sync support. (BenQ has FreeSync).