GROUP TEST: Mon­i­tors

Find­ing the gam­ing mon­i­tor can be tricky, so we’ve cho­sen our top five. Christopher Mi­nasians re­ports

PC Advisor - - CONTENTS -

After shelling out on a brand-new gam­ing PC, you’ll want a mon­i­tor that shows off the lat­est games in all their glory. De­sign and er­gonomics are im­por­tant. We like see­ing dis­plays that have the abil­ity to be ad­justed ver­ti­cally, back­wards and for­wards. Al­most all the mon­i­tors nowa­days can be tilted by around five de­grees for­wards and 20 de­grees back­wards. How­ever, find­ing one that has height ad­just­ments can be a lit­tle trick­ier.

If you are some­one who is go­ing to be gam­ing com­pet­i­tively, we would sug­gest lean­ing to­wards the TN-type (Twisted Ne­matic) panel. If, how­ever, you’re a ca­sual gamer or would like fan­tas­tic colour re­pro­duc­tion you should lean to­wards an IPS/PLS-panel (In-PlaneSwitch­ing and Plane to Line Switch­ing). A VA (Ver­ti­cally Aligned) panel sits some­what in-be­tween a IPS/PLS and TN-type panel. Its colours aren’t as ac­cu­rate as an IPS/PLS-panel, while its re­sponse time isn’t as fast as a TN. This is why there is a short­age of VA pan­els on the mar­ket, as con­sumers of­ten pre­fer one of the other, rather than a cross-be­tween the two tech­nolo­gies.

A panel’s per­for­mance is ex­tremely im­por­tant You want low re­sponse times with min­i­mal ghost­ing, low in­put lag, the high­est pos­si­ble re­fresh rate, whilst hav­ing fan­tas­tic colour re­pro­duc­tion.

Re­sponse time is as­so­ci­ated with the panel’s abil­ity to change a pixel from black-to-white (B2C) or more of­ten than not grey-to-grey (G2G). G2G is of­ten the quoted fig­ure, as it is closer to what we can see with our hu­man eyes. The lower the re­sponse time, the eas­ier the mon­i­tor will be able to cope with dis­played ob­jects, mean­ing you will get fewer im­age arte­facts, thus lower mo­tion blur.

Nat­u­rally, the res­o­lu­tion is im­por­tant where the higher the res­o­lu­tion, the harder it will be for your graph­ics card or cards to deal with a higher re­fresh rate or bet­ter known on com­puter sys­tems as frames per sec­ond (fps).

There are var­i­ous res­o­lu­tions, with the most com­mon be­ing full-HD (1920x1080) and higher-end gam­ing mon­i­tors hav­ing QHD (2560x1440) pan­els. Cur­rently, 4K (3840x2160) pan­els aren’t re­ally suited to gamers, as their re­fresh rate stands at around 60Hz and are of­ten faced with bad re­sponse times and higher in­put lag.

There are dif­fer­ent in­put modes on mon­i­tors, in­clud­ing DVI, HDMI and Dis­playPort (DP). The lat­ter two are more com­monly used, as they trans­mit both sound and vi­sion. DVI on the other hand is used on more le­gacy de­vices, with it be­ing un­able to trans­mit sound.

When mov­ing to higher res­o­lu­tions, such as 4K (3840x2160) DP 1.2 is the cho­sen con­nec­tion, as it can trans­mit 60Hz at the higher res­o­lu­tion. This comes from the ca­ble and the port hav­ing the abil­ity to trans­mit a higher band­width, whereas HDMI 1.4 and DVI can’t cope with this higher data rate.

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