What to look for when buying a gaming monitor

Learn how to choose the monitor that really fits your needs and read tips to avoid regretting your next purchase!

The “avalanche” of gaming releases, which we welcomed shortly before leaving us in 2019, has come to an end and it’s natural enough to now consider buying a new monitor to enjoy the many titles. If you belong to them, the lines that follow are undoubtedly yours, as the secrets to choosing the right monitor will be revealed in a simple and understandable way!

Is there a size limit?

The size limit is usually set by your pocket. Of course, anything over 27 inches probably touches the limits of an exaggeration, especially when talking about a monitor mounted on a desk intended for close-up play.

Usually, our focus is on the center of the screen, resulting in a huge monitor leaving plenty of gaming action on the edges of our field of view, which results in delayed reactions on our part. Also, it is important not to choose a larger inch screen, sacrificing some of its quality features.

If again the monitor is additionally intended for viewing movies remotely or for work requiring multiple windows open, then the increased screen area is probably a must.

What would you prefer in the end? analysis?

Alternative market analyzes are numerous and are often the first hub option that every buyer is required to make, as it significantly affects the purchase cost.

The minimum gaming decent we can accept is at 1080p (Full HD), followed by 1440p (QHD / 2K) and 2160p (UHD / 4K) resolutions for those who don’t hesitate to put their hand a little deeper in the pocket. Higher resolution means that the screen surface is split into a larger number of pixels, so the image becomes more detailed and crisp.

Obviously, the larger the surface of the monitor (diagonally 24 inches or more) the more visible the qualitative difference of a higher resolution. If your PC is not at the cutting edge of technology, it may not be able to support 4K graphics.

Many gamers prefer to play in Full HD resolution but at a faster frame rate per second (FPS), than at higher resolutions where their machine is forced to drop the frame rate to 30FPS or lower. The fluid motion of the action often has a more enjoyable visual effect than the improved resolution that sacrifices several frames.

All of this, of course, relates to our current gaming PC or gaming machine, while a new monitor will probably accompany us to the next or next PC. Investing money in a good “future proof” screen always rewards the consumer, as it is one of the few components of his system that can withstand for many years, as often as we upgrade the rest of the hardware.

Our advice is if you can afford it, to opt for Full HD resolution so that this market can keep you company for at least five years.

At a refreshing rate

The refresh rate is measured in hertz (Hz) and counts how many times the projected image can be refreshed per second. The market alternatives are 60Hz, 144Hz and 240Hz.

Here we go back to the dilemma we raised above: better resolution or more frames per second? If your personal taste has a tendency towards the second answer, then choose a monitor with an increased refresh rate. Even if your PC gaming right now can’t handle over 60FPS, your next graphics card will surely.

If you are a fan of high resolutions and do not play frenetic action games, then whatever the graphics card is, and if you get it in the future, you will always sacrifice the frame rate for the benefit of most pixels. In this case, your screen does not need to support a lot of hertz, but rather large resolutions.

How important is response time?

The response time parameter is of particular concern to those involved in esports. The unit of measure is milliseconds (ms) and expresses the time it takes for a single pixel to change from black to white (BtW).

Some manufacturers prefer to refer to changing a pixel lighting from gray to white and back again (gray-to-gray or GtG), so when comparing response times, make sure they are the same type to draw a safe conclusion. Keep in mind that on the same screen, GtG time always corresponds to less ms than BtW time, so some marketers prefer to report the first one.

Obviously, fewer milliseconds result in faster response time, thus limiting ghosting and blurry motion in fast-moving action scenes. Of course, if you’re not a… pro-gamer, differences of the order of a few milliseconds are not noticeable, especially when talking about times of 5ms or less.

Panel technology

Gamers usually swing between two-panel technologies, TN (twisted nematic) and IPS (in-plane switching). Without you… stunning in many technical details, we conclude that IPS panels deliver improved image quality with more accurate colors and enhanced viewing angles.

The cheaper TN panels, by contrast, outperform response times (fewer milliseconds), which makes them preferable to those who are more… professionally engaged in competitive gaming and esports. In the landscape, there are also VA (vertical alignment) monitors, which act as a medium solution, as they are slightly below the IPS in image quality but clearly outperform.

The response times for the most economical ambassadors of this category are unfortunately quite high. However, if you choose an expensive VA monitor, you may even find a 1ms response time with a 144Hz refresh rate.

Nvidia G-Sync AMD FreeSync

G-Sync and FreeSync technologies prevent the image from tearing, ideally synchronizing the graphics card with the screen refresh rate. A good choice would be to harmonize with your graphics card. Nvidia cards benefit from G-Sync technology and AMD cards utilize FreeSync technology.

Choose a camp first on graphics cards, and then the choice between G-Sync or FreeSync support is one-way. However, if you find a screen that has the technical features of your dream at a bargain price, do not let this criterion prevent you, even if your computer’s graphics card is of the “rival” camp by synchronization technology which integrates the screen you intend to acquire.

Input Lag: From trigger to screen

When you press a button on your gamepad or mouse, your hero’s response is not automatically captured on the screen, as it takes a fraction of a second until your computer is translated into pixels on your screen.

The input lag measures exactly this size, that is, the time (in milliseconds) that elapses, from the moment the screen receives the image signal from your PC until it displays it.

One several millisecond’s input lag can make gameplay seem… sluggish and time-consuming, so opt for a screen with input lag below 15ms. Differences in the order of 5ms are almost entirely unnoticeable. Unfortunately, because the input lag is influenced by the type of source and the settings of each monitor, manufacturers rarely reveal any metrics, so it will take you a lot of internet research until you reach your final conclusions.

In order not to… snakes live in advance, however, we reassure you, stressing that the majority of gaming monitors have no problem in this area. The input lag parameter should make you more worried when choosing a TV for gaming use, as there are larger and more definite differences.


A screen that… respects itself must also have several alternative inputs, such as DisplayPort 1.4 and many HDMIs (version 1.4 at least or preferably 2.0). USB ports are also welcome, and for some (depending on their office layout) a 3.5mm headphone jack may be necessary.

Leave a Reply