What To Look For in a Gaming Monitor: Starting With the Basics
Many of the most popular games today reward fast reactions and quick thinking. Gaming equipment that is not up to speed with the demands of today’s top titles leave owners struggling to make their skills clear.
While it pays to have a fast graphics card and a strong CPU, the device that does the displaying matters a great deal, as well. Fortunately, experts have come to some firm conclusions regarding what to look for in a gaming monitor.
All Gaming Monitors are Not Created Equal
Some of the most expensive monitors on the market today are truly terrible for gaming. Typically aimed at designers and artists, these high-end displays lack the responsiveness to keep up with modern gaming.
Fortunately, there are now plenty of monitors that are designed from the ground up specifically for gaming. While all of these devices come with certain trade-offs and compromises, there should be a number that suit any avid gamer very well.
As a result, simply being prepared and ready to do a bit of research should ensure a rewarding purchase. Learning how to choose a gaming monitor is a lot easier than many shoppers realize.
Focus on the Basics of a Monitor First
With dozens of models on the market that claim to be ready for gaming, it might be thought that the process of finding the perfect one would be quite challenging. In practice, though, gamers who simply home in on the fundamentals right away can count on narrowing down the field very quickly.
It turns out that this is quite easy to do, as well. The two issues that matter the most in just about every case when it comes to gaming are:
Size. The size of a display will always be its most obvious and important characteristic. Generally speaking, larger displays should be confined to those buyers who plan to sit a good distance away. A sixty-inch television might seem like the perfect setting for a demanding game, but it can only serve its purpose correctly if its owner can take in the entire screen at once. Gamers who stick to mouse-driven first-person shooters and strategy games will more often be sitting so close that all the visual real estate would be wasted. For gamers who do like things up close and personal, screens in the twenty-one- to twenty-seven-inch range tend to work out a lot better. The best monitor size for gaming will therefore always depend on the intended purpose.
Type. Some television manufacturers today sell millions of each of their most popular models. Displays designed specifically for use with computers tend to boast different feature sets than do mass-market televisions. A television will typically be more versatile and will often have a larger screen, but will generally be less impressive than a monitor in other respects. In particular, most of the truly gaming-specific features that have become so popular will be available only on specialized gaming monitors. When choosing between monitor vs tv for gaming, the question mostly comes down to whether versatility or specialization is more of a concern.
Gaming Monitor Extras That Make the Difference
All that being said, there are still plenty of both televisions and monitors that work very well for gaming. Gamers who have narrowed the options down to a handful of suitable-seeming choices can start to focus on more specific issues. Once again, a couple of these stand out above all the rest in terms of importance, with these being:
Response time. Displays vary with regard to how quickly they can change or freshen up their pixels. Many of the expensive screens aimed at artists, for example, have very slow response times. Unfortunately, that will never be satisfying for gaming, as it will mean tolerating a blurry, slow-moving picture even in the midst of intense on-screen action. As for what is a good response time for a gaming monitor, most experts agree that avid players should be looking for figures in the low single digits.
Refresh rate. Another important speed-related concern is how many times per second a monitor can generate an entirely new picture. In the not-so-distant past, most gamers used to be satisfied with 60 frames per second. Now, on the other hand, many avid gamers figure that aiming for at least 144 Hertz makes for a much smoother experience. Once again, particular monitors and televisions vary with regard to how high they can reach in this respect.
The Perfect Gaming Monitor Display Awaits
Issues like these combine to encapsulate the gaming-related performance of just about all the displays available on the market. Starting off with basics like size and type will help narrow down the number of options so as to make in-depth research easier.
Gamers who then look into more focused details like response time and refresh rate can count on making things easier on themselves once again. By that point, it should be fairly clear which of the many displays on the market will suit a given gamer the best.