Gam­ing mon­i­tor quick setup guide

Get up and run­ning with your new dis­play quickly with our five-minute setup guide.

APC Australia - - Super Guide » Gaming Monitors -

“Gam­ing mon­i­tors also in­clude built-in fea­tures such as on-screen crosshairs, game timers and FPS coun­ters that are well worth try­ing.”

Plug­ging in a mon­i­tor and fir­ing up your favourite game is easy, but ac­tu­ally get­ting the most out of all the op­tions and set­tings is slightly trick­ier. To help out, we’ve put to­gether this guide, rang­ing from the ba­sic, through to the com­plex.

MON­I­TOR PO­SI­TION

Most higher-end gam­ing mon­i­tors have very ad­justable stands, but even with a ba­sic model, it’s im­por­tant to set it up well. When sit­ting in front of your screen, the top should be about level with the top of your head — or to put it an­other way, your eyes should be about 10cm from the top bezel. Place the mon­i­tor about an arm’s length away, and tilt it slightly back. Avoid re­flec­tions from be­hind, and ad­just the bright­ness to suit your en­vi­ron­ment. Some mon­i­tors in­clude a don­gle for ad­just­ing set­ting and switching modes, which also avoid bumping your per­fect po­si­tion­ing reach­ing for but­tons.

ADAP­TIVE SYNC

While VESA Adap­tive Sync is GPU brand ag­nos­tic, in prac­tice, it’s only sup­ported by AMD, via FreeSync and In­tel. Nvidia’s G-Sync can only be used with Nvidia GPUs. While us­ing ei­ther is straight­for­ward, some games or set­ups can make it fid­dly. Make sure G-Sync or FreeSync is en­abled in your GPU soft­ware first of all. In your ac­tual game set­tings, make sure v-sync, and any fram­er­ate lim­it­ing, are turned off. For more in-depth tweak­ing (such as min­imis­ing in­put lag), do a Google search — there are en­tire guides on­line ded­i­cated to spe­cific games.

MON­I­TOR SET­TINGS

Few mon­i­tors are not im­proved by some man­ual tweak­ing of the set­tings, but what looks best can be very sub­jec­tive. We tend to pre­fer a lower bright­ness, more con­trast, and colours nudged fur­ther to­wards blue. Most de­cent gam­ing mon­i­tors have en­tire guides writ­ten about dif­fer­ent tweak­ing meth­ods — so as al­ways, break out Google. Nvidia also has cal­i­bra­tion guide that is a use­ful start­ing point ( goo.gl/37GcGP). Win­dows has a built-in colour cal­i­bra­tion tool — head to ‘Dis­play Set­tings > Ad­vanced dis­play set­tings > Colour cal­i­bra­tion’.

GAME MODES

Most mon­i­tors have pre­sets for get­ting the best out of each game. While handy, we of­ten find they are a bit ex­treme, but a good place to start your own man­ual tweak­ing. An­other com­mon op­tion is a dark en­hancer, which bright­ens shad­owy ar­eas en­e­mies could hide in, with­out over­ex­pos­ing the en­tire scene. For FPS games, this can be very handy, but keep in mind it might ruin some of the at­mos­phere of scarier games. Gam­ing mon­i­tors also in­clude built-in fea­tures such as on-screen crosshairs, game timers and FPS coun­ters that are well worth try­ing.

AU­DIO SETUP

Most gam­ing mon­i­tors have built-in speak­ers, but they are usu­ally some­what tinny and only good for backup use. But you may have no­ticed a 3.5mm au­dio jack, which out­puts sound fed through the HDMI cable. This al­lows head­phones to be plugged di­rectly into the mon­i­tor. While not usu­ally a big deal for PC gam­ing, it’s handy when us­ing with a con­sole. You can choose to out­put au­dio from your sound­card, or via HDMI to the mon­i­tor, through ‘Con­trol Panel > Sound’.

The best gam­ing stands are fully ad­justable and in­clude in­di­ca­tors to make them easy to move back to your ex­act pre­ferred po­si­tion.

Some gam­ing mon­i­tors in­clude a USB don­gle that makes chang­ing OSD set­tings and switching modes fast and easy. G-Sync uses a spe­cial chip built in to the mon­i­tor, and only works with Nvidia GPUs, but does an ex­cel­lent job of elim­i­nat­ing screen tear­ing. Look­ing be­yond HDMI and Dis­playPort, mon­i­tors of­ten have built-in USB hubs, and au­dio out­puts for head­phones.

Many mon­i­tors can pivot through 90°, which makes it easy to set up in­ter­est­ing multi-mon­i­tor set­ups for flight or rac­ing sims.

Win­dows has a built-in colour cal­i­bra­tion tool that can help tweak your mon­i­tor to im­prove the im­age.

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