How do you choose the best gaming monitor? In this article we will explain what you need to know about choosing an LCD monitor suited to displaying your games in their full glory. The following features are the most important to consider:
The response rate of an LCD monitor refers to how quickly each pixel on the screen can change color. The lower the response rate, the faster the screen updates. If you are playing fast-paced action game for example, where the images change quickly, if you're playing on a monitor with a slower response rate, you may experience what is known as "ghosting". Ghosting happens when the previous image displayed on the screen can still be seen as a blur for moments after the image has changed.
When choosing the best gaming monitor, the response rate is perhaps the single most important factor to consider. Ghosting and motion blur can ruin your overall gaming experience. The faster the response rate of your monitor, the less ghosting you will see.
I would say that an LCD with a response rate of 5ms is the minimum for gaming. Lower than 5ms is better of course (remember that the lower, the faster), and the very best gaming monitors on the market have extremely fast response rates such as 2ms and lower to avoid any ghosting/blur issues completely.
LED vs LCD Monitors
LED monitors are the exact same as LCD monitors, except they use LED backlighting which provides some advantages such as a brighter and sharper display, thinner screen, and lower power usage.
LED monitors currently cost a little more than a standard LCD, but if you want the best gaming monitor then I would definitely suggest you buy one. If not, a standard LCD monitor with a good response rate will do just fine.
What Size Monitor?
Ultimately, the size you go for is totally up to you and how much you're willing to spend. Obviously the larger the screen, the more expensive it will be, but for the best gaming monitor experience I would suggest at least 19", and go for a widescreen LCD if you can. Nothing beats gaming on a nice, decent-sized widescreen monitor.
If you want the most immersive gaming experience possible and you have the money to spend, go for a quality 23" or 24" screen, or even 25" and above. After gaming on such a massive screen you won't ever want to go back to a smaller screen!
The contrast ratio of a monitor can be a helpful spec to generally compare picture quality between different monitors. In general, the higher the contrast ratio, the better the picture quality.
With high contrast ratios your screen can produce deeper black levels, which creates a more immersive and visually sharp experience. Keep in mind that the contrast ratio isn't always an accurate measure of image quality, so don't use it solely to compare two monitors as there's more to it than that.
If you look at an LCD monitor from an angle, you will notice that the image appears dimmer and the colors can look weird. At extreme angles the entire image can even disappear. The viewing angle of an LCD monitor is the angle at which you can still view the screen clearly, and is usually listed in the monitor's specifications list.
The greater the viewing angle, the better, but for gamers the viewing angle doesn't really matter because you are looking directly at the screen the whole time. But there are some people who will consider the viewing angle important, for example if you need to show presentations with your LCD monitor.
Hopefully you are now in a better position to buy the best gaming monitor for your own needs. Remember, for gaming you want a monitor with a response rate of 5ms or lower to avoid any blur, and if possible choose an LED for the best picture quality and energy efficiency.