Show me where it hertz

A gam­ing mon­i­tor is to­day’s most es­sen­tial up­grade af­ter a good mouse and key­board. Lind­say Hand­mer tests 11 screens tuned for gam­ing great­ness.

APC Australia - - Super Guide » Gaming Monitors -

It used to be that there were nor­mal mon­i­tors and gam­ing mon­i­tors, and not much else. But these days, there are a huge range of mod­els that tar­get ev­ery­thing from es­ports, to dif­fer­ent game styles and even GPU brands. In­creas­ingly pop­u­lar are mon­i­tors with high re­fresh rates, which al­low your screen to ac­tu­ally dis­play more than 60fps. While many new games are very tax­ing, pow­er­ful (and even midrange) GPUs can of­ten man­age quite high re­fresh rates. Typ­i­cally, some sort of adap­tive sync tech­nol­ogy is needed, to avoid a mis­match be­tween the frame rate and re­fresh rate, which can cause frame tear­ing and stut­ter­ing.

The min­i­mum res­o­lu­tion nowa­days is 1,920 x 1,080, though 2,560 x 1,440 and even 3,840 x 2,160 are in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar. In fact, 2,560 x 1,440 on a 27-inch mon­i­tor is a nice mix be­tween high-qual­ity vi­su­als, and not over­tax­ing your (still high-end) GPU. The bet­ter (and more ex­pen­sive) screens all use IPS pan­els for high-qual­ity vi­su­als. But TN screens are still faster (and more af­ford­able), so tend to dom­i­nate the lower bud­gets, or mod­els push­ing the lim­its. There is also a wide range of mon­i­tors that at­tempt to bridge the gap be­tween work and play, with great specs for ca­sual gam­ing, but also fea­tures needed for pro­duc­tiv­ity.

Higher-end gam­ing mon­i­tors (es­pe­cially those us­ing Nvidia’s G-Sync) don’t come cheap. On the plus side, they in­cor­po­rate all sorts of handy fea­tures, such as stands with height ad­just­ment and the abil­ity to pivot 90º and USB hubs.

HOW WE TESTED

Each mon­i­tor was tested on a high-end gam­ing PC, run­ning ei­ther an AMD or Nvidia GPU for test­ing both FreeSync and G-Sync. Con­nec­tion was via Dis­playPort or, where not avail­able, HDMI. Each mon­i­tor was tested with a va­ri­ety of games in­clud­ing Ashes of the Sin­gu­lar­ity, League of Le­gends, Elite Dan­ger­ous, Star­craft II, Doom and GTA V.

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