Your Guide to Buying Gaming Computer Monitors
Guess how long it takes a modern gaming monitor to respond to your input. If you have one of the high-end ones, that response time will be 1 millisecond--100 times faster than a human blink!
Of course, response time is not the only thing that matters with gaming computer monitors. Gaming PCs can take advantage of many modern technologies, such as HDR and VRR. Their limitation, though, is a monitor that is not able to produce those visuals.
Avoid running into all common computer issues related to gaming monitors. Read on for a detailed guide on how to purchase your next gaming monitor.
Sizes for Gaming Computer Monitors
Before you sink upwards of $200 into a monitor, carefully consider the size. It may be tempting to get the largest monitor possible--or purchase the cheapest and smallest one. But in both cases, you could be making a huge mistake if you don't think this out thoroughly.
For starters, where are you going to mount the monitor? If it's going to sit on a normal desk at arm's length, then you can purchase a standard 27-inch monitor. But if you are going to mount it on the wall or on a stand, you may need something larger.
Pixel Density and Resolution
Many gamers make a mistake by outfitting their gaming computers with a massive, cheap monitor. It's only later that they realize it looks pixelated. This is because they likely purchased the wrong resolution and pixel density.
The thing is, 1080p resolution on a 22-inch monitor is not the same as on a 55-inch TV screen. To achieve 55 inches, manufacturers have to spread out the pixel density. The result is an image that doesn't look as great.
But if you have, say, an 18-inch monitor, that 1080p resolution will be more than enough. You won't be able to tell the difference unless you get very close--close enough to likely damage your eyesight.
So basically, make sure that you have the highest screen resolution possible for large monitors. 4K is usually plenty for anything over 32 inches. If you really have money to splurge, then you can try out 8k for the largest monitors.
High Refresh Rate
The refresh rate is different from the response time. As the name would imply, this is how often your screen refreshes per second. The best gaming monitors have at least 120 Hz refresh rate.
This allows games and movies to show at 120 FPS and above. This may not sound like a big deal, but you need to see it for yourself to believe it. It allows games to run so smoothly that they seem like real life.
Most monitors come with a default of 60 Hz, which allows for an acceptable 60 frames per second. However, it's easier than you might believe to find a budget, high refresh rate monitor. You will be glad that you spent the money later.
The problem is, aside from computer repairs, there's no way to upgrade your monitor. You will have to sell your old one and buy a brand new one. Purchasing used monitors is risky since they have been burned in and may have dead pixels.
These days, we understand better than ever how bad it is to stare at screens all day. After daily screen use, your eyes can lose their clarity and focus. The obvious solution would be to stop using screens, but obviously, we can't do that in our tech-enabled world.
So, the next best thing is to have comfortable viewing options. Many monitors have specific accessibility settings for this.
For example, many monitors now have flicker-free displays. Even if you don't physically perceive the flicker, it can be distracting and degrading to your eyesight.
Another thing is to have a monitor with low blue light. Blue light is how your brain tells when it's daytime. Having monitors that issue blue light close to your bedtime can make it difficult to fall asleep.
So, low blue light monitors reduce this as much as possible without ruining your viewing experience. You can pair this with night mode settings on your computer for optimal results.
Many people do not give enough attention to backlights. These are, after all, the lights that make it possible to see your screen in the dark.
Old-fashioned backlights were typically incandescent bulbs mounted at the top and bottom of the screen. This led to screens where the top and bottom were very bright, with the middle significantly darker.
Ideally, you should purchase an LCD or LED display. Again, if you have the budget, we highly recommend OLED or AMOLED. This gives exceptional color quality as well as the deepest blacks.
Warranty and Repairability
A monitor can easily be one of the most expensive components of gamers' new gaming PCs. Many gamers know better than to order an Asus graphics card because of the unreliable warranty and repairability. In the same vein, you should avoid certain brands like the plague.
Most of all, avoid no-name brands or brands that you have never heard of before. Do your research. You may well discover that a brand you were thinking of buying from is just another Chinese startup with a bizarre name.
Find monitors that offer you a quality warranty. Not just a limited warranty that only covers a few specific hardware failures. Get warranties that cover everything short of user damage.
Computer repairs can be expensive, so it's best to prevent them from happening.
Purchase the Right Gaming Monitor for You
Gaming computer monitors have come a long way in recent years, both in price and features. You should focus on getting a monitor from a professional PC builder with high pixel density, a high refresh rate, and a strong warranty guarantee. These and other features will ensure that you get a high-quality viewing experience that is easy on the eyes--and the budget.
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