As the PC hardware market booms during the pandemic, that means there are various parts people are searching for when making a PC gaming setup. A monitor is a vital component that can get complicated when researching. This list will give insight into what to look for when on the hunt for a quality monitor while giving options for different players.
What to consider regarding picture quality
Not everyone cares for the prettiest games possible, as frame rate is often the priority. For those players, get a monitor that is 1080p without the additions like high dynamic range to get the most out of your lighting or a higher resolution, like 4K.
For people wanting the most aesthetic monitor, be prepared to spend a substantial amount of cash. TVs are easier as you can find a 4K TV for a couple of hundred bucks, but monitor pricing scaling is more daunting as it can typically be more expensive for a quality monitor than a quality TV. Still, there are great prices on higher-end monitors, as long as you have a graphics card that can run those resolutions. If you do not have the latest graphics cards from AMD or NVIDIA, then see the specs of your GPU to see the highest resolution you can use. If you can run those higher resolutions, consider getting a monitor with HDR to have a greater range of color, which makes a huge difference with a 1440p, 2K and 4K resolution.
You should consider an organic light-emitting diode monitor regardless of your graphics card. OLED technology can create true blacks, making shadows and darker areas look better. When it comes to colors, it has greater accuracy than other types of display technology.
Different monitor sizes for all preferences
To acquire the highest image quality for your personal preferences, you should consider a few things related to the size of the monitor you buy.
First, pixels per inch will make a difference in how clear your games will look. The best PPI for gaming would be between 95 to 140, and like most things, the higher the number, the better.
Secondly, think about the actual size. The size and resolution of your choice will affect the PPI, so if you want a high resolution like 1440 or 4K, you will have to opt for something bigger to balance out the PPI.
Thirdly, if you want the most immersive experience, think about getting an ultra-wide or curved monitor — the curved options are often ultra-wide, so you can kill two birds with one stone. The larger field of view will allow for a greater view of environments that suck you right into the moment.
The curved options are supposed to reduce eye strain, so if you have that issue and want to spend long hours gaming, then this could be beneficial. Beware of the lighting of your room as curved monitors can face worse glare than flat options.
High refresh rates are necessary
A high quality monitor could be a priority for many, but having a high refresh rate will change your gaming experience completely.
A refresh rate is the number of times your display can create an image per second. This is measured by hertz, and the higher the number, the better. It makes a huge difference in how smooth your games will look. Accompany that with how many frames per second you can receive, then you will have a buttery smooth experience. Just keep in mind your system is getting over 200Hz which will become pointless if you cannot reach that frame rate.
Aim for at least 120Hz as that doubles the standard 60Hz of normal monitors and TVs. Doubling that standard refresh rate will deliver the best example of how this will change your gaming experience for the better.
Consider panel types
Monitors have three main panel types — Twisted nematic, vertical alignment and in-plane switching — that should be considered depending on what you want.
Twisted nematic is about lower response times, meaning when playing competitive games, you will have those extra milliseconds that give you the edge. For competitive gamers, you will most likely want this type, especially as it is cheaper than other types. Before you buy one, note that these usually do not look as good due to a poorer viewing angle and color accuracy, so expect your games to not be as pretty.
In-plane switching will be the pick for players looking to make their games as beautiful as imaginable. More color accuracy will enhance the visuals along with better viewing angles, this will help people who have their monitors set up at an angle. Typically, the response times are not as good as twisted nematics, but if you are willing to spend the money, you can find a monitor that will find the perfect balance between visual fidelity and performance.
Vertical alignment is good to know, but for gaming, not the best choice. You can find one that has a good refresh rate, but response times are typically slower than IPS or TN. The image quality is better than twisted nematics but not as good as in-plane switching. It would be better for conventional use rather than gaming.