Choose the Best Gaming Monitor
Edited by Batkingnz, Eng, Maria Quinney
Choosing a gaming monitor is as important as any other major component of your gaming setup, be that a desktop computer, a Laptop or a games console. You will spend every moment of your gaming time looking at that monitor so you need to choose one that meets your needs, your budget, and most of all one that makes your games look good. Although there's no way for us to tell you exactly what monitor to buy, we can give you the knowledge and what to look for when you are in the market for the ultimate gaming monitor.
What You Need To Consider
- 1Size. This one is obvious, but don't get too carried away. Big is not always better. Take in to account the area where you will be gaming, the desk space that you have and how far the screen will be from your eyes. Anything from 19" up to a maximum of 24" will serve well for most desktop setups. Sizes above this can cause neck strain with small movements needed to keep track of what's on the screen. Remember that your eyes should be doing the work, not your neck and shoulders. Another thing to take in to consideration with size is the pixel density. With the standard today set at 1920x1080 resolution most monitors are pushing the same amount of pixels, so of course a 19" monitor at the same resolution as a 24" monitor will have a sharper image, as the same number of pixels are on a smaller display. Many users cannot tell the difference, but if you're one to pick up on these things, going smaller could be an option for you.Advertisement
- 2Resolution. As touched upon in the previous paragraph, most displays for gaming run a native resolution of 1920x1080 which is what the industry refers to as 1080p. It's still possible to get monitors running at a lower resolution, especially if you are on a tight budget. Games still look great running at 720p but you will notice a difference in clarity and especially in usable space on your operating system. If possible, aim for 1080p.Advertisement
- 3Matte vs Gloss. The choice here is a mix between preference and practicality. A matte screen is similar to a silk screen in that it provides minimal (almost non-existent) glare whereas the Gloss screen has a highly polished glass or plastic layer which can help in increasing black levels and color vibrancy. For watching movies gloss is an excellent choice but in everyday and gaming usage it starts to become more of a problem that it's worth. The problem with gloss is that any background light source will cause very noticeable reflections on the screen, even the light from the monitor will often cause reflections of your face and surroundings on the screen. This can be reduced by increasing the brightness levels but comes at a cost of increased eye fatigue and higher power consumption. Our recommendation here? Matte finish is the way to go.
- 4Available Inputs. This is often overlooked but becomes critical as you seek to connect more devices to your monitor. If you're using the monitor for a computer as well as consoles then you will want at least HDMI, VGA and DVI inputs. Some monitors will also have DisplayPort connections but generally you can use adaptors when required. Inexpensive monitors usually only have one or two inputs available so check first before buying and make sure you're getting all the right ones for your devices. It never hurts to have options for the future too and some manufacturers offer high definition monitors that include digital TV tuners, component inputs, HDMI, DVI and VGA.
- 53D Capabilities. To let it sink in first, 3D capabilities will drastically add to the price of a monitor. Before deciding to go the route of 3D, ask yourself, will you use the monitor to watch 3D movies, do you have any 3D capable games and does your computer or console support 3D output? If your answers are generally no, or if you simply aren't interested in playing games in 3D then don't bother with a 3D monitor. In most cases you won't find yourself using it and the additional price can be hard to justify. If price is not a factor and you just want the option or you really will use it then there are some excellent 3D monitors out there. If going the route of 3D then be sure to check the refresh rate of the monitor. Running in 3D can effectively cut the refresh rate in half which will reduce the clarity and fluidity of the image. 120hz is a good base spec for a 3D monitor because when running in 3D you will still get the standard 60hz per eye.
- 6LED Monitors. Most monitors today are LED backlit but in the budget ranges you can still find CFFL (fluorescent tube) backlit monitors. LED is definitely the choice to make these days and as the technology has become more mainstream the prices have become more bearable as well. LED backlighting provides individual light sources spread evenly behind the display whereas CFFL usually has just one or two fluorescent tubes behind the display. As you can imagine LED will provide more even and more intense lighting. Individual LEDs can also be turned off to make an area darker which means you get deeper, more realistic blacks than CFFL. Another important factor is power consumption and LED uses 40% less power than a CFFL monitor, and to make things even more attractive, LED monitors are also thinner and lighter.
Now that you're an expert on HD gaming monitors it's time to get out there and look for one. Below are some standout recommendations to get you started.
- 1Samsung T24C550ND $199. This is a feature packed 23.6" monitor that you can use not just for gaming, but all your multimedia needs. It has connections for all of your consoles, PC and set top boxes and even has a USB input for viewing media from a flash drive or USB hard drive. View all the specs here.Advertisement
- 2Sony PlayStation 3D Display $299. This is a nicely priced 24" 3D monitor dedicated to gaming. It sports a 1080p LED screen, built in speakers, all the inputs you could need and one very unique feature; SimulView technology. This exclusive Sony feature lets you use 3D glasses with the PlayStation 3 to give two players a full screen view each but that is only viewable through the corresponding 3D glasses, effectively giving you two monitors in one. Check it out here.
- 3BenQ VA LED GW2255 $117. If you're looking in the budget range but don't want to miss out on some of the best displays in the business then BenQ is definitely the way to go. At this price point connections become limited, on this model you're only getting DVI and D-SUB so if you have different devices you will be using adaptors. The good news is that the display itself is top notch with 1080p on offer and LED backlighting it's a perfect entry level choice. View more here.
Tips, Tricks & Warnings
- With the above you should be armed with all the knowledge to find your perfect gaming monitor. In addition to the above some noteworthy brands to looks out for are Dell, Viewsonic, ASUS and LG.
- If buying online, buy from a reputable seller like Amazon or directly from the manufacturer. Sticking to the big names can make the process easier should you ever need Warranty repairs or servicing on your device.
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Categories : Gaming Hardware
Recent edits by: Eng, Batkingnz