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Tech Explained: Gaming Monitors

Your monitor is at the heart of everything you do. And surprisingly, it's often overlooked as an integral part of the setup. We've hand-picked the best monitors on the market for competetive play and stunning visuals, from the best brands in the world - you wouldn't expect anything less, would you?

Features

Panel Type

The panel type of a monitor provide different charaterisitics, making each suited for specific uses.

Response Time

The time a monitor will take to shift from one colour to another. This is measured in milliseconds. A response time of 5ms or under is considered good for gaming.

Refresh Rate

The refrest rate of the monitor relates to how quickly the monitor can change frames/visuals. Having a higher refresh rate allows the monitor to keep pace with high-twitch input games, providing super smooth actions and transitions on screen.

Resolution

Shows the exact number of distinct pixels that can be displayed in each dimension. Current display standards for monitors are 1920 x 1080 for full HD.

Display

Screen Size

The physical size of the area where the image is displayed. Measured diagonally from opposite corners of the screen.

TN (Twisted Nematic)

The most common in the market due to low cost. Pros: High refresh rate, low price. Cons: Narrow viewing angles, limited colour depth.

IPS (In-Plane Switching)

Improved viewing angles compared to TN panels. Pros: Huge colour depth, best viewing angles. Cons: High price, older panels have a low refresh rate.

VA (Vertical Alignment)

VA panels were designed to be a middle ground between the IPS and TN panels. Pros: High colour depth, good viewing angles. Cons: Limited availability, older panels have a low refresh rate.

Brightness

The brightness at which the monitor can reach. The brightness of a monitor is all down to personal preference, however too much brightness can be a recipe for eye strain.

Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio is the ratio of width to its height. The common aspect ratio for monitors is 16:9, with 21:9 and 32:9 used for widescreen and ultra-widescreen monitors also avialable

Adaptive Sync Tech

As your graphics card pushes images to the monitor as fast as it can, any frames delivered outside of the monitors refresh schedule will be shown alongside the previous frame. This is what causes the screen tearing issue. Adaptive Sync Tech allows the monitor to tell the graphics card to wait until the monitor is ready to display the frames.

FreeSync

A short sentence describing the term.

G-Sync

A short sentence describing the term.

Contrast Ratio

The contrast ratio describes the luminance of the brightest white and darkest black the monitor can produce. A higher contrast ratio will improve picture quality, especially in dark scenes in movies and games.

Dynamic Contrast Ratio

Improves upon the contrast of a monitor. Sometimes implemented by tools such as Black eQualizer, Light Tuner etc.

Backlight

What kind of backlight technology the monitor uses. LCD and LED being the most common types.

HDCP

High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection. This technology acts as a form of copy protection. Devices that have HDCP, actively enter into dialogue with each other and look for the HDCP security key. This helps them identify any pirated, copyright content.

HDR

High Dynamic Range. A colour technology that enables a monitor to display a broader spectrum of colours and contrasts.

Connectivity

Display Port

Similar to HDMI but more common on PCs than on TVs.

DVI

Digital Visual Interface (DVI).

HDMI

High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI).

Mini DisplayPort

Same as the DisplayPort only it offers a limited amount of bandwidth.

VGA

Video Graphics Array (VGA) is an analog interface between a PC and monitor

Design

VESA Mount

VESA is the interface standard defining the distance between the four mounting holes on the back of the monitor. Commonly sized at 75x75 and 100x100.

Position Adjustment

Describes how adjustable the monitor is. These can range from adjustable height, pivot, swivel and tilt.