Technology always moves forward and every year brings new more advanced technology. The same thing is with monitors. If you look at the history of the monitor, then you can see that it follows a trend of TV history. From big boxes to flat monitors. The size and resolution are multiplying, and there is no sign of stopping that trend. In just a few years monitors can be only 1 inch paper on your desk with the ability to show videos in high resolution.
How to Buy a Proper Monitor
First, you need to know your needs. Are you a gamer who wish to play games in high resolution or you just want to watch some movies? Or maybe you just need a screen to read an online newspaper? Price, quality, and technology are different. Most expensive monitors are high-end gaming monitors capable of high resolution, huge refresh rate and are incredibly responsive.
The Size of the Screen
A few years ago 15″ was standard, then 17″ was for a long time a standard size and now we have various standards from 19″ to 24″ and even larger monitors. If you are watching movies, then you can get a larger screen than 24″. But if you are a gamer then 24″ is large enough.
If you get larger monitor than 24″ then some problems in your gameplay may occur. Your system will probably need more power to produce high quality and high-resolution picture on a huge monitor. You can also experience some problems in the game, like not seeing the whole screen. You may miss an enemy that is coming from the side, and your reactions may get slower. All of that can have a negative impact on your game playing skills. Because of that, it is advisable to stay on 24″ monitor.
The Resolution is Important
Today standard resolution is 1080P, and a majority of monitors has this resolution. Gamers love it, and it is good enough to provide all the details needed. If you want to get a larger monitor, then there are also larger resolutions for you. 1440P is the resolution that can provide more details and make your game playing even more enjoyable. But that resolution is not widely supported by the games and is not a standard resolution because larger monitors are now using 4K UHD resolution.
4K UHD is coming at our doors, and 2018 may be the year of the new standard. 4K UHD may become a new standard in gaming monitors. The games are already getting optimized for such a large resolution. Graphics cards are already strong enough to provide a high-quality game in the highest possible resolution.
4K UHD resolution on the monitor is outstanding on larger screens and for the people who want to watch movies online, movies that come in 4K UHD resolution. For the games, we are right on edge, but a majority of the upcoming games will be more focused on the 4K UHD than the games that were released back in 2017.
Of course, if you need a monitor for reading and doing your office work then for sure you don’t need a high-resolution screen.
A few years ago you could hardly find a monitor with a refresh rate over 100. Today if you are a serious gamer you need to have a monitor which has refresh rate 120Hz or even more. Everything below 120Hz is considered low and not a gaming monitor.
But still, monitors which have lower refresh rate are ideal for office work or reading news online.
Response time just like a refresh rate is necessary to gamers. You don’t want to get in a battle and die without seeing what happened. Gamers on low response rate monitor many times have this problem. They know enemy coming, and in few seconds they are dead.
Because of that gamers need to go with as low as possible response time. The ideal response time is 1 millisecond, but everything up to 5 milliseconds is good for a gaming monitor. If you are a gamer that competes online or playing a fast action game where a reaction is critical, then you should not have a monitor with high response time.
High response time monitors are for the people that watch movies, for the office people that work on the computers or for the people that surf the internet.
You can choose from three types of panels. Standard TN panel, VA panel and ISP panel.
Twisted Nematic aka TN Panel
Majority of monitors use this panel, and this panel is good enough for various uses. It has fast, response time and some of the models have 120Hz instead of 60Hz. Usually, maximum resolution on this panel is 1080P, but some models are now providing a 1440P.
Problem with TN panel monitors is viewing angle. Viewing angle on these type of monitors is not great. And if you buy a large TN panel monitor then the viewing angle may produce even more problems.
Vertical Alignment aka VA Panel
VA panel has deep blacks and much higher contrast ratio than TN panel. Viewing angle is also much better. The contrast ratio is between 2000:1 and 5000:1. While the TN panel maximum contrast ratio is 1000:1
But the problem with VA panel is kind of slower responsiveness, and that is not ideal for the gamers. Because of that I don’t recommend a monitor with VA panel for a gaming build. VA panel monitor is perfect for watching movies and enjoying multimedia content.
IPS panel is latest technology panel that provides an advantageous viewing angle, more colors, and firmness. IPS panel is originally only used in LG monitors. But other monitor producing companies are using similar technology that provides the same results, and they use different titles for their technology. Plane to line switching or so-called PLS panel is coming from Samsung. AHVA, Advanced Hyper-Viewing Angle is coming from AOU company. All of them provide a panel that has more colors, higher resolution, and significant viewing angle.
IPS panels are ideal for large monitors; they can easily provide higher resolutions. Gamers love IPS monitors because of the colors and high resolution. But contrast on these monitors is not great. It is in the same range as TN panel monitors. Also, some older models have only 60Hz, so be careful if you are a gamer to look for the IPS monitor with over 120Hz refresh rate.
AMD Free Sync or Nvidia G-Sync
The most critical factor in choosing the right monitor for gaming. Just like in the GPU competition, only two companies are fighting for the domination. But here the situation is a little bit different. AMD Free Sync is just like the name says, free. This means that monitor manufacturers don’t need to pay for extra chips to install inside the monitor. While on the other side Nvidia G-Sync is not free and if the manufacturer wants to use G-Sync he needs to pay for the chip. That means that in general Free Sync monitors are more affordable.
The other important fact is that if you choose to go with Free Sync, then you should also get an AMD card that is capable of Free Sync technology and that will be R7 260 graphics cards and above. Everything older than that will not work. G-Sync is longer on the market, and even some older graphics cards have the power to use G-Sync technology and because of that G-Sync is more powerful and has the advantage. And we already know that Nvidia graphics cards outperform AMD cards. The price is on the AMD side, but if we look at the money and what you get we need to say that if you choose Nvidia path, you will get more performance and better quality.
Technology in this field changes fast, and we need to wait for 2018 to see if there will be some drastic changes in syncing technology.
Top 3 High-End Gaming Monitors
ASUS ROG SWIFT
You can choose from different sizes. The smallest size is 24″ and that size is ideal for eSports gamers. Any game that is competitive and you are fighting the other players in any kind of way that requires fast reactions this monitor is recommended. The size is perfect, and everything else just adds to the table.
34″ model is ideal for the gamers that play single campaign games that do not require all the time fast reactions. It is suitable for games that can be played in 4K UHD and that are more adventurous than actionable.
24″ model has enormous 240Hz refresh rate which is ideal for fast games where every pixel counts. This model also uses G-Sync technology, so you better have Nvidia graphics card in your gaming system. Also, response time on this model is best, only 1 millisecond. That means that you will always be in sync with the game server.
34″ model is more for the movie style games that don’t require low response time and high refresh rate. This model is capable of 4K resolution, and gamers who love to play movie style games will enjoy it.
Ideal monitor for gamers that love a bigger screen and love to play a bit slower games. The size of Acer Predator is from 27″ up to 35″.
Nvidia G-Sync technology is used in this model as well, and that only means that you need to use one of the Nvidia graphics cards. For 27″ monitor, you can go with cheaper Nvidia graphics card like Geforce 1030. But if you are buying 34″ monitor then you need to go with a high-performance card like 1080Ti.
Unfortunately, if you are an eSports gamer or you love playing fast competitive games, then 34″ monitor is not the best choice. It is too big and has only 60Hz refresh rate. 34″ monitor is ideal for watching movies, playing static games with lots of colors like Xcom: Enemy Unknown or real-time strategy games.
AOC made a fantastic monitor for various people. Competitive gamers will enjoy the 24″ model with 144Hz refresh rate and only 1 millisecond response. This is ideal performance for all competitive games like DOTA 2, LOL, Overwatch and PUBG. 24″ monitor is also capable of 1440P resolution but if you are competitive gamer I suggest to use 1080P resolution. Your gaming performance will be much better.
35″ monitor is ideal for watching movies and playing static games that don’t require high refresh rate and low response time. Games like Hearthstone, adventure puzzle solving games and real-time strategy games. Even some role-playing games will work well on this huge monitor.
AOC Agon also uses Nvidia G-Sync technology and will require that you use Nvidia graphics card for the best performance.
Best Buy Monitors
An amazing high-performance monitor for eSports gamers comes from the BenQ company. They made a ideal monitor that has a 144Hz refresh rate, 1440P resolution and 1 millisecond response time. It has everything a competitive gamer needs.
If you are severe competitive gamer please for your own sake get a 24″ monitor. It cost less and will give you much better gaming experience than if you go with a bigger model of 27″ which also has the same specifications. The only problem is that this monitor is TN panel based monitor and maybe 27″ is too large to see the whole picture at a proper level. And if yours viewing angle is not perfect you will have troubles in games.
27″ monitor is best for some slow-paced games like Minecraft or offline gaming.
The refresh rate for this huge screen sized monitor is 144Hz. that high refresh rate puts this monitor on the list of most wanted eSports monitors. 1 millisecond response time makes this monitor responsive as it gets. The only problem with this monitor is a large screen. But this vast model is acctually IPS panel monitor which is having more colors and larger viewing angle. In other words, this 34″ monitor can work better than some 24″ monitors. Because of that high performance and large screen competitive gamers love it.
It uses AMD FreeSync technology, and that just means you better use AMD graphics card that is capable of FreeSync. Other than that this monitor has many other advanced options for gamers. Options like crosshair can have a significant advantage in first person shooting games.
Dell Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor
25″ size is perfect for the gaming monitor. It is only 1″ larger than the recommendations. But that is not even the smallest problem because this monitor is the beast. It is made by one of the best companies that produce monitors, Dell and it has power. The most prominent power of Alienware 25 is the refresh rate. This monitor has 240Hz refresh rate. That is almost the double refresh rate than any previously mentioned monitor. Response time is as well low, 1 millisecond. This performance puts this monitor on most wanted gaming monitor list.
With that refresh rate and low response time, this monitor has zero input lag. Your reactions will be at the maximum. The monitor is made with Nvidia G-Sync technology so you will require a decent Nvidia Graphics card.
ASUS MG comes in three variations. And each variety is best for a different type of gamer.
If you are a gamer that loves massive games with lots of content which you play offline and enjoy every detail of the game, then you should go with 4K UHD resolution model. It is 28″ model, so it is not best for the competitive gaming. But it is ideal for watching movies in maximum possible resolution on a decent screen size. Also this monitor is good for real-time strategies, adventure games where reactions and fast response is not crucial.
For more competitive gamers there is an MG279Q model capable of 1440P resolution. The refresh rate for this model is much higher, 144Hz. That is good enough for some good DOTA 2 match. This model is using IPS technology so it has color depth and the viewing angle is large.
MG278Q is the model with high refresh rate and low response time. Ideal for gamers that play games like CS: GO, Call of Duty and other fast-paced games where a reaction is most important.
List of Most Affordable Monitors
MSI is not the leader in gaming monitors, but this model is exceptionally affordable 27″ gaming monitor. It is a curved monitor with 144Hz refresh rate capable of Full HD resolution aka 1080P.
The monitor is ideal for some turn-based games, low-speed games and I can not recommend it for first-person shooter games. At least not for the competitive gaming like CS: Go or Overwatch. But for single mode games, it is an ideal choice.
Price is the most prominent advantage of MSI Gaming Monitor.
This is a VA panel monitor ideal for colorful games. It has an extremely high contrast between 20 000 000:1 which puts this monitor at the number one place for the movie watching monitors. The widescreen is curved which should provide additional pleasure when watching your favorite TV show or movie.
Monitor uses widescreen, 21:9 instead of 16:9 which is a standard. There are models with 1440P resolution and 1080P. For the movie pleasure, I suggest to go with 1080P and enjoy Full HD movies. 1440P resolution is more focused on gaming. If you choose higher resolution model you need to know that performance in gaming will drop and you may not be good in competitive matches where after all your game playing skills are most important and not the quality of the picture.
LG also has widescreen models with 21:9 ratio. And this model is Full HD model with IPS panel which provides larger viewing angle and more colors than usual standard monitors. Like many LG models, this one also has advanced gaming features including a FreeSync which means you should get an AMD graphics card capable of the FreeSync option.
Sadly this model has low refresh rate and because of that is not the ideal choice for competitive gamers. But all the rest gamers who enjoy games that are not playable online versus other people can still enjoy all the powers of this fantastic and affordable monitor. Response time on 2017 LG UltraWide model is also not high; it is 5 milliseconds.
But this monitor can be used as a screen to watch movies online. For that is an ideal choice.
This is one of the most affordable models for competitive gamers. The size of the screen is perfect. 24″ is in a range for a competing gaming monitor. The refresh rate is high 144Hz. And there are only 1 milliseconds of response time. This puts ViewSonic model on the top of the list for most wanted fast responding, no lag gaming monitors.
XG2402 uses FreeSync technology, so it is best to use AMD video card with it. Maximum resolution is 1080P, and for competitive games like DOTA 2, LOL, Call of Duty, Heroes of the Storm you don’t need a higher resolution if you wish to be the number one player.
Majority of the CS: GO players use small resolution for the best performance. After all, they can display they pro gaming skills only if they are using a high-performance gaming PC.
ViewSonic also provides many excellent gaming options which you can use for different type of games.
ASUS VG248QE is Full HD monitor ideal for competitive gamers. ASUS uses highly advanced technology that provides 144HZ refresh rate with 1 millisecond of response time. These are ideal specifications for the best competing gaming monitor. 24″ is enough for everything to see and will serve you well in first-person shooting games as well as MOBA.
The competition in these games is getting bigger and bigger, and gamers are searching for all the advantages they can get, and one of them is to get a monitor like ASUS VG248QE.
Just like the BenQ model previously mentioned this one also has 27″ screen size. But the difference between RL2755 and XL2730 is the resolution. RL2755 is only capable of 1080P resolution while XL2730 is capable of larger resolution. Because of that, XL2730 is better for detailed gaming and gamers will have more pleasure playing games with more details if they choose that model.
RL2755 is more for the competitive gamers who need to have a high-performance machine that has high refresh rate and low response time. It has a low response time of 1 millisecond, and it is an extremely affordable model. The refresh rate is maybe not the greatest but for the price of this model who can argue?
Everyone needs to choose by their own needs. If you are the competitive gamer then by reading this article about best gaming monitors for 2018 you can find ideal models that may help you improve your gameplay. If you are just looking for the best quality picture, than the high-end models are perfect for you. I am sure all three of the whichever you choose will not let you down.