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