What to look for in a gaming monitor – 4 key considerations

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To help you make an informed buying decision, KickoffTech specializes in reviewing topnotch gaming products on the market and has an array of detailed buying guides.

Reviewed products are independently tested and approved based on quality, design, ergonomics, technology trends, longevity, price, and value for money.

Today, we will focus on what you need to look for in a gaming monitor. If you want to read our 2019’s top gaming products reviews, visit https://kickofftech.com/.

Tips for Buying a Gaming Monitor

To improve the visual experience of your gameplay and gain an advantage over competitors, you might need to upgrade your monitor. We have broken down features that matter most and these are:

  • Resolution
  • Refresh rate
  • Response time
  • Panel types

Monitor Resolution

Typically, monitors are a bunch of tiny pixels, which display different colors and shades. These combine to form a large single image.

A monitor with more pixels will display a quality image and make gaming fun. However, monitors get more expensive as pixels increase – a 1080 P will cost less than a 1440P, and a high-end 4K resolution monitor will go for even more.

For gaming purposes, get not less than a 1080P resolution monitor. If you are not on budget, you can try out other high-end options. Finally, consider the resolution requirements of your favorite games to know the monitor that suits you best.

Refresh Rate

With gaming competitiveness on the rise, gamers are looking for every advantage to seize, and one of these is refresh rate.

Typically, videos and games are thousands of still images played in motion, one after the other. Refresh rate affects the speed at which a monitor can switch to the subsequent image. The faster this is, the smoother your gameplay will feel.

Monitors featuring 60Hz refresh rates are capable of refreshing the image on a screen up to 60 times in a second if you have the right graphics card.

A high refresh rate will help you react faster than gamers with lower refresh rates and hence improves your gaming experience. This especially applies to competitive online games like CSGO where each split of a second makes a difference.

Response Time

Response time entails the speed at which one pixel on your monitor can change from the former color to a new one.

While refresh rate is all about changing frames, response time entails changing individual pixel colors.

The response time of a monitor can be affected by its panel technology as some have lower response times compared to others.

Generally, you need to avoid monitors that have response times more than 8ms. Lower response times are better for gaming so long as they do not cause a hindrance to your gameplay.

Panel Type

There are mainly three panel types

  • VA panels
  • IPS panels
  • TN Panels

TN panels are cheap and offer response times of as low as 1ms. This makes them the most prevalent gaming monitor technology. However, they lack great quality of pictures and viewing angles.

IPS Panels give a great picture quality due to color accuracy and better viewing angles. However, they cost more than TN panels and have higher response times (about 4ms). You might barely note any significant difference between a 4ms and a 1ms response time nonetheless.

VA panels are good for viewing angles and come with superior picture quality. On the downside, they have ghosting issues due to their high response times and cost more than TN panels.

Bottom Line

The best gaming monitor is one with a high resolution, a great refresh rate, and a lower response time.

Before buying another monitor though, ensure you have the right graphics card for gaming.

Even if you have a monitor with a high resolution and refresh rate but a low-end graphics card, your game performance may suffer.

The better the monitor you choose, the better the graphics card you will need to accommodate it. This is because today’s 4K games cannot run older chintzy gaming cards. And on the flipside, you’ll be wasting the potential of your high-end graphics card if you pair it with a cheap monitor.

For example, a 1440P 165Hz monitor can work well with a GTX 1080 Ti card. You can also use a 5K monitor with this graphics card. On the other hand, if your card is GTX 1050Ti, you will be limited to a 1080P monitor.


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