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Gaming monitor recommendation

The range of monitors at the fingertips of gamers is vast. No more frustrating to find the choice, resolution, aspect ratio, and refresh rate you’re looking for with panel technology. And more importantly, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on it, thanks to the fierce competition in this market.

But if our intention is to find a good monitor to compete in online gaming, the range of options is greatly reduced. And a great monitor for gaming doesn’t have to give us the highest quality experience possible during our online games. In fact, a bad choice can prevent us from achieving good results, no matter how talented we are.

If we want to compete, we are more concerned with prioritizing parameters that determine the sensitivity of the control than image quality. Finding the right monitor can make a difference and help us achieve better results, especially if we are experienced gamers. The monitor is one of the most important tools in this use case, and the purpose of this article is to help you find yours.

1. Refresh rate and response time

Success in ‘LoL’, ‘Fortnite’, ‘Valorant’, ‘Overwatch’ or ‘Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’ requires skill, practice (a lot of practice), as well as a PC equipped with the right components, among many other games. Underestimating some of the elements that shape your equipment can be a formidable hurdle, even if you’re very experienced players.

Choosing the right monitor will allow us to enjoy smoother and more fluid movement and, above all, more precise control. As I mentioned in a few lines above, if our aim is to compete in multiplayer games over the internet, we should not leave our success only to our expertise and fiber optic connection.

If we are aiming to find the ideal monitor, our strategy is to choose the one that will help us achieve smooth and fluid images as well as fast and accurate control as possible. And the two parameters that directly determine these characteristics are refresh rate and response time.

Other features such as resolution, color restoration, backlighting or HDR have a direct impact on image quality, but it makes sense to leave them in the background in the use case that concerns us in this article.

2. Refresh frequency

This parameter tells us how many images per second the monitor panel can restore. The refresh rate is measured in hertz, and one hertz equals one image per second. A higher image cadence provides smoother and more fluid motion, as well as more precise control because increasing the frequency significantly reduces input lag.

This parameter reflects the time elapsed from the moment we move under the control of our character until that movement is reflected on the screen of our monitor. Ideally, the latency should be as low as possible and the higher refresh rate helps us keep it under control.

A higher refresh rate provides smoother and more fluid motion, as well as more precise control due to reduced input lag. But it is important that the GPU of the video card can send images to the panel at the required update rate. If our video card cannot exceed 60 FPS when we want it to render images at this resolution, it won’t do much for us to buy a monitor with a QHD panel that can run at a maximum refresh rate of 165 Hz.

3. Adaptive refresh technologies

Adaptive refresh technologies are G-SYNC from NVIDIA and FreeSync from AMD, which serve to synchronize the images emitted by our computer’s GPU with the images produced by the monitor, helping us reduce annoying defects such as tearing and stuttering.

The former causes the image to distort with a line running horizontally from one end to the other, while the latter causes small jumps in the cadence of the images that reduce fluidity and can ruin our experience.

The good news is that there is a wide variety of monitors compatible with G-SYNC or FreeSync, or even both technologies simultaneously, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find the one that best suits the graphics card we’ve chosen.

4. Response time

This parameter measures the time it takes for a pixel in the panel to change the color it emits, so ideally it should be as small as possible to avoid motion blur, which tends to degrade clarity when an object in the Image moves.

Manufacturers usually measure response time in two different ways: MPRT (Motion Picture Response Time) or GtG (Gray to Gray). Both measures reflect the time it takes a panel pixel to change state, but from two different perspectives.

MPRT is a measurement designed to measure the degree of motion blur in an LCD panel, reflecting the time from when blur appears in the outline of a moving object until it completely disappears. However, the GtG value measures the time it takes for a panel pixel to turn gray, turn white, and regenerate gray. Most of the brands specify GtG in their monitor’s specifications as it is usually lower than MPRT.

5. Panel type

The fastest panels and therefore the ones with the shortest response times are usually TNs. They have IPS on the back and VAs on the back. We’ve gathered the key strengths and disadvantages of these three panel technologies below:

While IPS panels offer high overall image quality, very accurate color reproduction, wide viewing angles with little color degradation, they offer higher response times than a TN panel (like 4 ms), a lower native contrast ratio than VA panels, sometimes with light leakage in the corners.

VA panels are typically capable of delivering the highest native contrast ratio and overall high brightness with deep blacks. It comes with superior color reproduction capacity than TN panels, but lower than IPS. It has less light leakage than IPS even in corners. However, they have a higher response time than TN panels and lower viewing angles than IPS panels.

TN panels provide a lower response time (such as 1 ms) and higher refresh frequencies in excess of 144 Hz. They usually have the most competitive prices. They come with lower overall image quality than IPS and VA panels offer, and color reproduction with less precision than IPS and VA. There are limited viewing angles both vertically and horizontally.

6. Monitor recommendations for gamers

The five monitors we recommend are very attractive candidates for any gamer who wants to use their computer for online multiplayer games. All of them have the ideal features to give us great performance in this use case, but of course, both these manufacturers and other brands have other options that have the qualities we are looking for.

AOC AGON AG251FZ

We open our selection with a 1080p TN-type panel and a 24.5-inch monitor that fits perfectly with the prototype we’re looking for. And this AOC gives us a maximum refresh rate of 240 Hz and a GtG response time of 1 ms. As we can see in the photo, its design is attractive and the sole looks very solid. Its native contrast ratio and brightness rendering abilities aren’t surprising, but they’re on par with what we can expect from a monitor for its price. One more note: It includes AMD’s FreeSync Premium adaptive sync technology.

ASUS ROG Swift PG259QN

asus rog swift pg259qn

It’s a 24.5-inch 1080p IPS panel that sets it apart from most of its competitors with an impressive 360Hz maximum refresh rate. The response time, according to ASUS, is the same as that of all the monitors we’ve selected in this article: 1 ms GtG. Additionally, image quality is remarkably high, thanks largely to the color reproduction capabilities of the IPS panel. And the tip is compatible with NVIDIA Reflex technology, which aims to minimize latency. Its biggest handicap is undoubtedly the price, which unfortunately makes it inaccessible to many players.

BenQ ZOWIE XL2411P

benq zowie xl2411p

The reason we decided to include this BenQ solution in addition to meeting the minimum conditions we set, is because it’s priced much lower than the other offerings in this selection. And as a 24-inch 1080p monitor that can run at a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz, it’s not bad at all. Its panel is TN type and has a 1 ms GtG response time. If you look at its static contrast (1000:1) and brightness rendering capacity (350 nits), it’s not lacking.

BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K

benq zowie xl2546k

It runs on a 1080p TN panel. It has the distinction of being able to run at a maximum refresh rate of 240 Hz and includes AMD’s FreeSync adaptive sync technology. Additionally, it comes with two side viewfinders, and BenQ has redesigned the base by referencing the previous model to make this monitor take up less space on our desk.

Samsung Odyssey G7 27″ QLED

samsung odyssey g7 27 qled

It shares a 1000R curved VA panel based on Samsung’s popular nanocrystalline technology. This is the only monitor of our choice with a resolution of 1440p, but this increase in definition does not lead to a decrease in refresh rate. In fact, this display operates at a maximum frequency of 240 Hz. It also has a strong advantage over TN and IPS panel solutions thanks to its superior natural contrast (2500:1) thanks to its VA panel. And tip, it’s compatible with both G-SYNC and FreeSync. It’s not cheap, but the price seems reasonable if we weigh what they offer us for our money.

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