Best Gaming Monitors (4K, 1440P, HDMI 2.1, Ultrawide) 2021

What is the best gaming monitor? If it is possible to do without certain peripherals or to make some concessions on the price and performance of other hardware and components, the screen is, along with the graphics card, the essential element of your gaming installation: its choice. should not be overlooked.

Unlike PC screens intended for purely office use, gaming screens bring together many arguments to offer performance, immersion, responsiveness and visual comfort. If you are still a little confused among the different types of panels and technologies, or with terms such as definition, resolution, response time, or contrast ratio, you can unfold the menu above to learn more about these selection criteria and thus orient your purchase according to your requirements.

In our selection, you will find references that are fully compatible with recent NVIDIA or Radeon cards, as well as G-Sync and FreeSync technologies. Except for a definition of 4K, we have chosen to rule out 60 Hz monitors. However, we have kept a few TN panels despite their colorimetric weakness and their reduced viewing angles. Today, TN panels seem to us to be preferred only for budget reasons or if your only requirement is reactivity!

Finally, for greater clarity, the screens in our selection have been classified by price in ascending order, so you will first find the least expensive products and end with references that flirt with the very high end.

We will be sure to update this comparison as this market evolves.

List of best gaming monitors

  1. Acer Nitro VG240Y bmiix 23.8″ Full HD Gaming Monitors
  2. AOC Gaming Monitor 27G2U 27″ LED IPS 27G2U / BK Gaming
  3. Alienware Gaming Monitor 25 AW2521HF 24.5 inch
  4. LG UltraGear 27GN750-B 240HZ Gaming Monitor
  5. MSI QHD Rapid-IPS Quantum DOT 1440 165Hz Gaming Monitor
  6. SAMSUNG LC32HG70QQN, C32HG70 32″ 144Hz Curved Gaming Monitor
  7. ASUS TUF Gaming 27″ 2K HDR Gaming Monitor
  8. ASUS ROG Swift 27″ 4K Gaming Monitor
  9. Acer Predator X27 bmiphzx 27″ 4K Gaming Monitor
  10. SAMSUNG 27-inch Odyssey G7 – QHD 1000R Curved Gaming Monitor

1. Acer Nitro VG240Y bmiix 23.8″ Full HD Gaming Monitors

With an affordable 75 Hz IPS panel, the Nitro VG240Y is one of the cheapest references at the moment since it can now be found at a more than fair price. Its IPS panel is convincing and its responsiveness sufficient for those who do not seek to be competitive at the highest level. Those who want a more powerful 24-inch IPS panel can turn to a new reference from Acer which will arrive very soon on the market: the Nitro VG240Y P. It will allow a refresh rate of 144 Hz and will offer G-Sync compatibility or FreeSync. Its price, still unknown to this day, should however be slightly higher.

We are starting this selection with a screen from the Nitro range from the Taiwanese manufacturer Acer. Accessible thanks to a relatively low price, the VG240Y is recommended for players who do not want to break the bank, but still want to enjoy a display that offers beautiful colors and above-average responsiveness.

This screen signed Acer is a fairly basic model if we compare it with more expensive references, its refresh rate only reaches 75Hz, its connections are limited to two HDMI inputs and one VGA, and we have already seen better concerning ergonomics since it has only one removable foot and no height adjustment.

Despite everything, it turns out to be a very good compromise for small budgets. Its 23.8-inch IPS panel offers beautiful colors with correct brightness (250 cd / m2) and a refresh rate of 75 Hz, sufficient for a smooth gaming experience, especially as it is FreeSync and Adaptive-Sync compatible, and displays a response time of 1 ms with Visual Response Boost (VRB) technology offered by Acer. This data should however be taken with a grain of salt since it is here an MPRT response time (Motion Picture Response Time). 

To obtain this very short response time, it will therefore be necessary to activate the VRB. Keep in mind that if it was the gray-to-gray response time that was displayed on its technical sheet,it would be at least 4 ms due to the constraints associated with IPS panels. See our tips at the beginning of the article to find out more.

Finally, we find here a screen with a very beautiful design despite its low price, it is indeed borderless and can, as such, claim a multi-screen configuration. Finally, two technologies to reduce eye fatigue are present: Flicker Less and Acer Bluelight Shield.


2. AOC Gaming Monitor 27G2U 27″ LED IPS 27G2U / BK Gaming

Without a doubt, the AOC 27G2U is one of the very best gaming monitors at this price. Its strengths are numerous while its faults are confined to the limitations induced by IPS technology. Ergonomics, connectivity, performance, image precision, everything is there! It lacks a joystick and a more convincing OSD.

High refresh rate and responsiveness, 27-inch IPS panel, FreeSync and G-Sync compatibility, ergonomics and connectivity provided, the AOC 27G2U has everything to please gamers. Apart from these characteristics, it can count on it’s very attractive price, for the time being certainly the best quality / price ratio on the market. We tell you a little more.

The requirements criteria of the players are generally very selective. A good screen must have good contrast and good colorimetric rendering, the lowest possible response time, a refresh rate perched at least at 144 Hz and display compatibility with AMD’s variable cooling solutions or NVIDIA, depending on the graphics card.

The AOC 27G2U ticks all of these boxes and more! Equipped with a 27 “IPS panel, this monitor gives us the benefit of precise colorimetry that will do justice to your video games and a contrast ratio (1250: 1) very correct for this type of panel, but which remains in place. below TN and VA technologies. As much to announce it immediately, one of the only criticisms which one can make with this monitor concerns its definition. 

Full HD obliges, the space available on the desk could seem limited to you with this diagonal of 27 “, this can bother some users in office automation, but remains very satisfactory in game. Finally, it is here above all a question of taste and personal preferences. However, Full HD on a screen of this size has another advantage, that of being able to take advantage ofa larger screen without having a more expensive graphics card to play in 2K or more.

Let’s continue with the qualities of this screen and its response time. The manufacturer announces it here at 1 ms, let us specify that it is an MPRT measurement and not GtG. To date, it’s hard to do better with an IPS panel and the AOC 27G2U ranks among the most responsive in its category. However, if responsiveness is your main criterion, then a TN panel will always do better.

Performance and fluidity are obviously at the rendezvous. With its 144Hz refresh rate, this monitor also boasts FreeSync compatibility for AMD GPUs. Fortunately, NVIDIA also announced recently that it is part of the official list of so-called “G-Sync Compatible” screens, you will learn more about this subject by consulting our dedicated article .

Last but not least, this screen shows very good ergonomics, which is quite surprising on this price list. It is possible to adjust its inclination and its height, to adjust its rotation to 30 ° to the right as to the left and allow the portrait mode. Its frameless design is also a serious asset for those who want a multi-screen configuration. Considering its price, it is clear that it is a pretty good contender for those who can afford it.

Finally, nothing to reproach on the side of the connection, very rich. There are two HDMI connectors, a DisplayPort and a VGA, a 3.5mm audio input and output, as well as four USB 3.0 ports. The “bad” surprise, if we can call it that, comes from the not very intuitive OSD and its five control buttons which make navigation particularly tedious where a simple joystick would have done much better.


3. Alienware Gaming Monitor 25 AW2521HF 24.5 inch

With its 240 Hz and blazing response time, the Alienware AW2521HFL is one of the very best displays for gamers who primarily seek responsiveness, which will be especially the case if your goal is to be competitive. on very nervous games as is the case with most FPS. The TN panel, however, has certain weaknesses inherent in this technology with reduced fields of view and image quality that remains largely below IPS panels. However, the Alienware AW2521HFL is doing pretty well thanks to the manufacturer’s perfect mastery of color calibration as well as overdrive preventing any ghosting, or an imperceptible input lag.

Alienware is none other than Dell’s gaming brand. Enjoying a good reputation across the Atlantic, Alienware regularly offers products whose key word is performance, a major criterion for e-sports players and the most demanding!

First of all, we quickly realized that Alienware wanted to take care of the design and ergonomics of its screen. The borders are almost nonexistent, except on the lower part of the screen, giving the screen an elegant look. We find the possibility to adjust the screen in height, to tilt it, but also to rotate it to the left or to the right. Finally, it has a pivot to take a vertical position. Note that, like the Predator range from Acer, the foot here is quite imposing and could be a problem if your office has only limited space.

Its 24.5-inch TN panel is absolutely responsive with a response time of only 1 ms (gray to gray) and a refresh rate of 240 Hz! Obviously, it will be difficult to reach 240 frames per second in many games, but G-Sync and FreeSync technologies are there to overcome this problem by adapting the frequency of the screen to what the graphics card transmits to it.

This G-Sync compatible screen takes advantage of AMD FreeSync Premium technology to be associated with a compatible AMD graphics card.

Finally, note that this screen has a DisplayPort input and two HDMI, as well as 4 USB 3.0 ports.


4. LG UltraGear 27GN750-B 240HZ Gaming Monitor

A powerful and affordable 240 Hz monitor, next to equivalent monitors in performance and price, the LG 27GN750-B cuts a fine figure. Its weak points were expected, first because of the limitations of IPS panels, but also because many 240 Hz monitors are satisfied with a Full HD definition to allow players to achieve the most frames per second possible with their material.

Apart from that, LG manages here to elbow the best TN panels on the market with ideal responsiveness. Considering the price, the best viewing angles and much better color reproduction, this IPS panel clearly stands the comparison, the rest depends on your needs and requirements.

Always in Full HD, we continue our momentum with a screen signed LG. With its 27-inch IPS panel, 240 Hz refresh rate and gaming features, the LG 27GN750-B is a gaming companion that promises responsiveness, fluidity and immersion.

Certainly, this UltraGear monitor has some weaknesses that can be seen directly on its technical sheet. We think of course of the Full HD definition on a 27 “panel which gives a fairly low resolution with 82 ppi. This is not the most comfortable for a strictly office use, as such we do not would not recommend this screen as the first choice for someone looking for versatility and who works more than they play with this monitor.

Despite everything, for gaming use this resolution does not really pose a problem and it would be a shame to stick to that given the image quality and the good performance of this model. Its main strength is obviously its refresh rate of 240 Hz, accompanied by support for variable refresh technologies from AMD and Nvidia and responsiveness (response time) that is very close to the best TN panels on the market. In reality, the Full HD definition here makes it easier to achieve a high number of images per second. Depending on your configuration and your games, however, it will not always be easy to exceed 200 fps, a fast GPU / CPU pair is still recommended.

Finally, even if you will learn a lot more about it by consulting our test, know that the LG 27GN750-B arrives with a very well calibrated screen. Only its contrast is set back, which is not really surprising for an IPS panel. Regarding HDR, we should unfortunately not rely too much on it. At this relatively mild price for a quality 240 Hz adaptive panel, we still appreciate its good performance and we can not really blame it for these small weaknesses. It will be necessary to go to a more expensive range to erase them, the LG 27GL850-B and its Nano IPS panel for example!


5. MSI QHD Rapid-IPS Quantum DOT 1440 165Hz Gaming Monitor

This Optix monitor does not revolutionize the sector, but stands out as an interesting alternative between a significantly cheaper LG 27GL850-B in 144 Hz and a ViewSonic ELITE XG270QG and its 10-bit panel, very expensive. The strengths of this screen signed MSI outweigh the logical weaknesses resulting from a few compromises.

The ideal compromise between Full HD and 4K definitions, Quad HD (or WQHD) monitors are on the rise. Offering better pixel density, depending on the screen diagonal, and more detailed image quality, these monitors stand out as excellent companions for gaming, at a much lower price than 4K UHD monitors.

We begin our selection with this MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD and its extended name, a reference that will appeal to players in search of performance.

Equipped with a new generation IPS panel, hence its description of “Rapid IPS”, this monitor intends to push the responsiveness of IPS technology to its limits and reduce as much as possible the gap that was still required in recent years between TN and IPS panels. The result is a hyper-responsive screen, the main weakness of which remains that inherent in IPS panels, namely a low contrast ratio.

Besides that, we take advantage of a refresh rate which should be sufficient for a majority of competitive players with a mid-range PC configuration. Announced at 144 Hz, the refresh rate can be increased up to 165 Hz on this model, all with AMD’s FreeSync support and G-Sync compatibility.

But where the MSI Optix shines, it is with its wide range of colors that it is quite rare to find on screens under $500. Admittedly, HDR support is pretty much anecdotal, but the color coverage of this screen in sRGB as in WCG spaces is excellent in this price bracket. Out of the box, this screen displays vivid and saturated colors for the sRGB space, which will have to be done for a more precise rendering, something we discuss in more detail in our test. Apart from that, the QLED shows here all its qualities by expanding the colorimetric capabilities of this model and thus offering a more faithful experience, for video games as for other multimedia content, or simple office use.


6. SAMSUNG LC32HG70QQN, C32HG70 32″ 144Hz Curved Gaming Monitor

Samsung delivers a 32-inch FreeSync 2 and HDR compatible screen that is very inexpensive and is positioning itself as an excellent alternative to often much more expensive competitors. The VESA HDR600 certification is certainly only an entry in the matter, but clearly improves the image quality on compatible content. Unfortunately this screen lacks versatility for the simple reason that it will not be the most relevant choice for fans of action games and other FPS, titles where we will encounter ghosting, unless you sacrifice the FreeSync 2 for activate the MPRT. Finally, it should be noted that the presence of pulse width modulation (PWM) to regulate the brightness of the screen can pose a problem for those who are sensitive to it, in particular for epileptics.

This screen signed Samsung allows us to enjoy Quad HD definition on a 31.5-inch curved VA panel, but also Quantum Dot technology and HDR! Enough to ensure a superb gaming experience and total immersion.

If you are looking for a large curved screen, offering good image quality and taking advantage of technologies like HDR or FreeSync 2 at 144 Hz, the Samsung C32HG70 may meet your expectations!

Using Samsung’s QLED technology (Quantum Dot), this VA panel indeed offers excellent image quality with a wide range of colors and precise and faithful reproduction, a quality which is all the more highlighted by activating the HDR on compatible games. The viewing angles are wide enough not to encounter any problem with the rather pronounced curvature of the screen (1800 R) and the Quad HD definition on a monitor of this size seems relevant to us since we obtain a density pixel size of 93 ppi, which equates to 1080p resolution on a 24-inch screen.

If it is positioned today as a cheap screen to start taking advantage of HDR, the C32HG70 also has some flaws and it is mainly in terms of its responsiveness that we have some comments to make. Samsung announces a response time of 1 ms MPRT; only, if you enable any of the MPRT settings on this screen, you cannot enjoy it simultaneously with HDR enabled or FreeSync. Favoring these last two features, we can only note that the responsiveness of this screen is much more important than that announced by the manufacturer and generates some inconvenience on the most nervous games, unless you deactivate FreeSync in favor of MPRT.

As such, we will recommend this screen more for games where you want to get a good immersion while enjoying a very good level of graphic detail, rather than in titles where responsiveness is essential.


7. ASUS TUF Gaming 27″ 2K HDR Gaming Monitor

Asus offers us here a screen that brings together many assets to sit on our desks. Its major argument is of course to have a new fully functional and largely convincing technology with ELMB-Sync. Its qualities are however numerous and few complaints are to be made with this TUF VG27BQ. For these different reasons, it stands out as one of the best choices currently.

For a price similar to the model we presented above, here we find a recent release from Asus with the TUF VG27BQ. A 27-inch screen that benefits from an IPS panel, a frequency of 165 Hz, HDR support, but also a promising technology with ELMB.

Presented at Computex 2019 and launched in early September, the Asus TUF VG27BQ is, with its two variants, the first monitor to integrate the new ELMB-Sync (Extreme Low Motion Blur) technology. This is a promising solution that allows you to synchronize the extinction of the backlight (between each image) on the screen’s variable refresh rate. Until then, the technologies used by manufacturers were satisfied only with a fixed strobing frequency, here it adapts dynamically to the variable frequency of the screen.

While ELMB-Sync is very appealing on paper, it is very convincing in use and clearly improves the sharpness of moving objects as long as your games are continuously running at over 100 FPS. The good news is of course that the ELMB works with FreeSync and G-Sync enabled, a winning combination propelling this display as one of the best around.

This technology that we describe briefly here is obviously not the only strong point of this screen, we find here a reactive IPS panel with a response time of 1 ms MPRT with the ELMB, while it is 4 ms measured in gray to gray; in short, commendable performance for an IPS panel. Finally, the color fidelity is there as well as a satisfactory contrast ratio (1000: 1) for an IPS panel.

Nothing to say about the ergonomics and design of this monitor, it offers everything we expect from a gaming screen. Finally, its HDR support is its only weak point since it is limited here to a game mode and a film mode without offering full gradation, moreover the ELMB is not compatible with these two HDR modes.


8. ASUS ROG Swift 27″ 4K Gaming Monitor

The Odyssey G7 is an excellent gaming monitor that pushes the limits even further.

Surprisingly, the jump between 144 and 240Hz is perhaps the least decisive criterion here, especially considering the difficulty of running games at such a high frequency. The responsiveness of the panel, associated with its rich colors and deep blacks make it a very convincing alternative to IPS monitors boxing in the same category. With this new generation of panels, Samsung is clearly putting VA technology at the heart of eSports.

The very pronounced curvature of the G7 is in our opinion excellent in the game and promotes immersion, the experience is still very subjective and may vary quite strongly between two players.

Samsung does not fail when it comes to innovation, we are of course thinking of other sectors where the South Korean manufacturer excels, but it is also the case with gaming monitors. The Odyssey range tries to go even further: a world first with its 1000 R curve, it is also the first VA slab to achieve such a low response time! We tested the G7 Odyssey for you, spoiler : it’s a great success.

First of all, know that the Odyssey range includes an even more extreme monitor than this G7, we are talking about the G9 and its 49 “panel in DWQHD (5120 x 1440p), also with the 1000 R curve; a monster, charged nearly $1,500! The Odyssey G7 is much more affordable.Its price remains high at first glance, but its technical sheet perfectly justifies this price, we can even say that it is quite affordable for a monitor of this size.

So what is the Odyssey G7? A monitor equipped with a 31.5 “VA panel in WQHD (2560×1440) curved 1000 R definition, clearly a curve almost twice as pronounced as those of the 1800 R monitors commonly found on the market. Obviously Samsung does not did not stop there, the G7 is also a refresh rate of 240 Hz with G-Sync / FreeSync support, DisplayHDR 600 certification and a response time at the lowest for a VA panel.

During our test, we saw the excellent performance of this monitor. The curve clearly reinforces the immersion with a better impression of depth, ideal for gaming, a little less for office automation. The panel is perfectly calibrated, faithful in SDR as in HDR with a wide colorimetric coverage. The bright peak is good, a little below what we expected however, resulting in a better HDR experience than with many other displays, but not quite excellent yet. As you can see from its strengths, this monitor has many other qualities, but also some weaknesses, including an imposing design and well above average power consumption.


9. Acer Predator X27 bmiphzx 27″ 4K Gaming Monitor

The Predator X27 is one of the best 4K video game displays on the market right now. Its only flaw is undoubtedly its price, even if it has fallen since its launch. Finally, to take full advantage of its 4K definition, HDR, and G-Sync at 144 Hz, do not skimp on the graphics card (s) with at least one or more RTX 3060, or RTX 3060 Ti.

If there are 4K screens at decent prices (look for example at MSI or AOC) they are often limited to casual use or those who play on console. We preferred to present two models here that make no compromise on performance; however, they require a significant investment, whether it is the price of the screen itself or the computer to which it will be connected.

Equipped with a 27-inch IPS panel displaying UHD definition, the Predator X27 is a true monster and has all the features, or almost, that a gamer can expect with a high-end 4K display.

We thus find a panel which benefits from a backlighting on 384 zones allowing it to reach a luminance of 1000cd / m2 when the HDR is activated. It is thus one of the rare gaming screens to date to exploit the full potential of HDR and as much to say that here the result is bluffing and the spectacle to go with moreover the Quantum Dot technology. Colors are rich, detailed and accurate, fantastic picture quality in both SDR and HDR. The only downside may be the inability to adjust the brightness level of the HDR, but also often having to switch (manually) between HDR and SDR depending on the content you are watching.

To top it off, this display is G-Sync compatible and can run at a frequency of 144Hz in overclock mode and 120Hz in standard mode. The fluidity is almost perfect as long as you do not go below 80 FPS in your games; no need to remind you that it is necessary to invest in a competition graphics card, at least a GTX 1080 Ti, to take advantage of this monitor. Its response time is most correct for an IPS panel with 4 ms G2G, enough to play in optimal conditions.


10. SAMSUNG 27-inch Odyssey G7 – QHD 1000R Curved Gaming Monitor

The Acer Predator X27 and the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ bring together the best of today and show us that the arrival of HDR on our gaming screens and video games is likely to become essential in the years to come.

Once again intended for those who can afford it, the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ also offers a taste of the finesse of Ultra HD and a greatly improved rendering on games that take advantage of HDR.

Few details make it possible to differentiate this screen from the Predator X27 that we presented above, except perhaps in terms of ergonomics and certain features with here in particular the presence of a pivot that allows to switch this screen in portrait mode.

Indeed, the ROG Swift PG27UQ also offers to take advantage of a 27-inch IPS panel which manages the HDR thanks to a backlighting on 384 zones; without forgetting the presence of G-Sync HDR which again operates at 120 Hz in standard mode and 144 Hz with its overclock mode. The image quality is obviously there with a very good factory calibration, a satisfactory contrast for an IPS panel and superb colors. The result is an unprecedented gaming experience that few screens today can claim to offer, the ROG Swift PG27UQ is also versatile and, like the X27, this powerhouse is at ease in all the domains.


How to choose your gamer screen?

Whether it is intended for professional use, especially for graphic arts, or simply to display your favorite video games, it is not always easy to choose a screen. The needs and expectations differ from one player to another as technologies multiply and are sometimes difficult to decipher.

Before giving you our advice and going into more detail in the selection criteria, it should be remembered that the choice of a monitor is necessarily conditioned by the equipment in your possession, mainly by the GPU. As such, if you plan to improve your installation for better performance and gaming comfort, or if you are about to set up a new config, you should first consult our comparison of the best graphics cards to play in Full HD, WQHD or 4K UHD.

Which screen size to choose?

The screen size corresponds to its diagonal and is displayed in inches. Currently, in the gaming market, most of the offer is for the 24 and 27 inch sizes, but it is not uncommon to find monitors that go far beyond with sizes that can reach 35 inches for some. models.

If the main problem concerns the size (depending on the space available on your desk), the issue of size also induces a strong price difference between the small and large models. Finally, larger screens will generally benefit from a higher definition, which means having a GPU that keeps up. This last observation is however not always true, certain references in 27 inches or more sometimes display a resolution of 1080p, the dpi (pixel per inch) will be reduced here which will influence the sharpness of the image according to the distance at which you are in relation to the screen.

Are you using a multi-monitor setup?

Some will also immediately decide to go for a configuration with several screens, often in dual-screen, and sometimes even with three screens. Here, the feeling of immersion will be strongly reinforced as soon as you choose screens of the same size and the same resolution; the required hardware will have to be high-performance and this does not only concern the GPU. The most demanding installations will also require the use of several high-end graphics cards.

A mid-range graphics card should be able to decently run two displays at 1080p; larger installations are often popular with streamers since they allow them, for example, to display chat and social networks during their gaming sessions. To close this parenthesis, note that a dual-screen is also much more comfortable when it is about working and carrying out various and varied tasks.

What screen format are you looking for?

Most gaming screens are offered in a 16/9 format which has become the standard by replacing the 4/3. However, some monitors display different formats, including the Ultrawide (21/9) which generally benefits curved models. This is for example the case of the Acer Predator X34A, a 34-inch model that promises an excellent feeling of immersion.

What resolution are you looking for?

Ideally and according to commonly accepted needs (a user sitting in front of his desk with a screen located less than one meter from his gaze), we recommend that you opt for a resolution of 1080p on 24-inch screens and less, 1440p on 27-inch screens, and opt for 4K for screens larger than 28-inch diagonal.

What definition are you looking for?

The definition is nothing other than the number of pixels that the screen is able to display. The definition is represented by the number of pixels horizontally by the number of pixels vertically. A resolution of 1920 by 1080p thus contains a total of 2,073,600 pixels, regardless of screen size.

The resolution is all too often confused with the definition and we often find the abuse of language which consists in presenting a screen as being “of 2K resolution”, and so on. However, these terms do designate different characteristics. The difference is simply that the resolution takes into account the diagonal of the screen and is expressed in dpi (also called dpi or ppi for English speakers), as we have seen in the previous paragraph. Concretely, it is a question here of determining the density of pixels on an inch; this value makes it possible to know the optimum backing distance at which to be positioned in order to benefit from the best image quality.

Thus, the higher we go in the definitions (Full HD, 2K, 4K), the more the image will be precise, detailed and clear. For comparison with the value of a 1080p definition that we have given above, a 4K screen displays 8,847,360 pixels.

What type of slab to choose?

Several technologies are competing in gaming panels, the most relevant of which are currently TN (Twisted Nematic) and IPS (In-Plane Switching) panels. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, but are positioned as being the best compromises by posting very good performances on prices which remain contained.

  • TN panels offer the best responsiveness with response times often reduced to the millisecond. For this reason, they are very often chosen by gamers, and more particularly by those looking to be competitive in shooting games, battle royal and other action games. We thus find monitors with unbeatable reactivity and refresh rate as is the case of the Alienware AW2818HF (240 Hz, 1 ms) that you will find in our comparison. Finally, the price of a TN screen is often lower than that of other panels.

    On the other hand, TN panels have some drawbacks. If they are perfect for nervous games, they could prove to be disappointing on titles where one prefers to privilege the image quality to the reactivity. Its colorimetry and its contrast ratio remain correct, but will not be able to satisfy an image professional, they will also struggle to convince players who have already tasted IPS panels and their very good image quality. If we add these problems to that of its reduced field of vision compared to other technologies, then the TN panel turns out to be quite uncomfortable outside of games which require a very short latency time; it is therefore not recommended for professional use (graphics, photo retouching) as well as for watching films.
  • IPS panels are now widely used among gamers. If they offer less responsiveness than TN panels, they nevertheless offer much better colorimetry and large viewing angles. In addition, IPS technology evolves from year to year and it is not uncommon today to find screens whose response time is close to TN panels. It will be considered that a reactive IPS panel must display a response time of less than 5 ms.

    The IPS appears as the best compromise to make the most of the graphics of your games which will be represented here faithfully. These tiles will therefore also be much more effective for office or multimedia use, they are also the best for image professionals. The other strong argument is that it is possible to play several fronts with a screen with an IPS panel!

    Their price is however higher than the average, even if the gap has tended to decrease for some time. Finally, the power consumption of an IPS panel is also greater than a TN panel.
  • VA panels are positioned on a fragile balance between the two technologies just mentioned. The viewing angles are a little less open than those of an IPS panel but better than on a TN panel. However, their response time is higher and, despite recent developments, VA panels are still the least responsive on the market today. For these different reasons, VA panels are still quite rare in the gaming market. However, note that they offer an excellent contrast ratio, the differences between dark and light colors are more pronounced and these panels therefore display graphic details with better precision.
  • OLED panels (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) are starting to emerge in the gaming monitor market. They are still relatively rare and their price is very high like the Alienware AW5520QF, a 55-inch monster that will soon be launched at a price of $ 4000. OLED technology is clearly the most promising since it displays much better performance than any other type of panel. However, certain constraints are still to be observed for a computer use, in particular with the phenomenon of “burn in”, also called ghost image. This problem appears when a static image is displayed too long on the screen, the image then becomes embedded on the screen before sometimes disappearing after several hours. Manufacturers are currently developing solutions to overcome this problem and theOLED may or may not be the next standard for gaming displays.

    Finally, it should be noted that these technologies have several variants, but in general terms the advantages and disadvantages remain similar.

Specifications and performance

Already discussed above with the different types of screen, we will detail here, while trying to be brief, more precisely the specifications of our gaming screens.

To begin with, you should know that manufacturers use measurement methods that are quite remote from reality in order to “inflate” the figures and thus lure customers. It is difficult to grasp the nuance, for example, between a static or dynamic contrast ratio, or between a gray-to-gray or black-to-black response time and in fact the manufacturers choose to display the values ​​that flatter the most. their products.

  • The response time is measured in milliseconds, the shorter it is, the smoother the image will be and free from ghosting (motion blur). Many displays show response times of 1ms G2G (gray to gray), this value would be higher if the response time was measured by the B2B (black to black) method for the simple reason that the gray to gray transition does not. does not require a change to white on the part of the pixel. What must be remembered here is that we must compare what is comparable: a screen displaying a response time of 3 ms B2B may be more responsive than one displaying 1 ms G2G. However, most manufacturers, if not all, display these results using the gray-to-gray method.

    Some of them also display an MPRT (Moving Picture Response Time) response time. This measurement takes into account the afterglow of the screen, otherwise the persistence of the display, that is to say its ability to make the images disappear after their display. We advise you simply not to rely on the MPRT, especially on monitors that do not have a blur reduction function (Motion Blur Reduction or Ultra Low Motion Blur on G-Sync compatible screens), this criterion then being mainly influenced by the screen refresh rate.
  • The contrast ratio is represented by the difference in brightness between the brightest and darkest color displayed on the screen. The higher this value is, the better the contrast ratio of the screen will be, however, be careful not to speak of static and not dynamic contrast. For example, we often find on the technical data sheets very high contrast ratios, 100,000,000: 1 for our TN monitor Acer Predator! Again, don’t rely on this value and just compare so-called typical, or static, values.

    A static contrast ratio of 1000: 1 seems ideal, beyond that the human eye sees little difference and screens with higher values ​​are mainly intended for image professionals. A screen displaying a contrast lower than 500: 1 will display dull images which is generally the case with TN panels. Finally, the contrast is obviously influenced by the brightness, or luminance, of the panel which is expressed in candela per square meter, but also by the brightness of the room where the screen is located. Thus, the higher this value, the brighter the screen will be and its image visible even in a very bright environment.
  • The refresh rate indicates, in Hertz (Hz), the number of images the screen can display in one second. Thus, a 144 Hz screen is capable of processing up to 144 images per second. However, you have to make the difference between what your GPU is capable of transmitting, this is called FPS (Frames Per Second), and the screen refresh rate. A screen displaying 144 Hz will thus be useless if your GPU does not allow you to reach much more than 60 FPS.

    Today the screens all display at least a frequency of 60 Hz, it allows to create a good illusion of movements since it should be remembered that the images scrolling on the screen are a series of still images. The arrival of 3D about ten years ago made it necessary to increase the frequency of monitors to 120 Hz. Since then, we have seen the emergence of screens with frequencies ranging from 144 to 300 Hz!

    Higher frequency means your game will run smoother. The difference between 60 and 144 Hz is visible and visual comfort is better with a high frequency. Except for playing on a 4K definition where 60 Hz remains relevant, we advise you to opt for a screen of at least 120 Hz. Screens of 144 Hz and above are particularly recommended for competitors, whether they are rife with games shooting or other.

G-Sync / FreeSync

NVIDIA and AMD are fighting an uphill battle when it comes to the GPU market. This competition between these two players is also reflected in a desire to offer ever more powerful and efficient solutions with their share of innovations. G-Sync and Freesync technologies are part of it and aim to improve the gaming experience and visual comfort, we tell you a little more!

The promises of G-Sync and Freesync start from a very simple observation: graphics cards deliver variable performance in terms of FPS, they depend on many factors: the game, the number of details and graphics effects and so on. . The screen is refreshed in a fixed and constant manner; this lack of synchronization causes certain lags, as well as problems with tearing (tearing of the image) and stuttering. These two technologies are therefore the manufacturers’ response to compensate for this lack of synchronization since, unlike the V-Sync option which also caused its share of problems, it is not the GPU that will adapt to the screen here. , but quite the opposite!

  • G-Sync is a proprietary technology developed by NVIDIA. It is a module integrated into the screen, it works through a DisplayPort cable. The screens equipped with this module are therefore more expensive. Last January, NVIDIA announced to extend the compatibility of G-Sync displays to certain FreeSync displays, which is certainly good news, but the list of compatible references is still (very) thin.
  • FreeSync is much less restrictive for screen manufacturers and users since it is a royalty-free solution. The compatible models are therefore more numerous and less expensive.

    These two solutions offer comparable performance and have little or no effect on input lag (the time difference between when the monitor receives the image and when it displays it, not to be confused with the response time), as long as they are correctly configured.

Ergonomics and connectivity

Many other criteria may still be of value in guiding your choice towards one screen or another. We think, for example, of the various anti-reflective treatments, matt / glossy panels, its curved or even borderless character, its power consumption or even different technologies that the team such as HDR, Flicker Free and others. To conclude this section of advice, we will content ourselves here with addressing the last two subjects that seem important to us, namely ergonomics and connections.

  • Ergonomics: on this side, know that the cheapest screens will provide you with much less adjustment options than the mid-range or high-end screens. We are talking about height and tilt adjustments of the screen, the presence of a possible pivot to tilt it into a vertical position, or even a VESA mounting system or a wall bracket. Some screens stamped gaming finally embed certain elements such as a handle for easy transport, or a support to place your gaming headset .
  • Connections: here, you must first of all make sure that the connection of the screen matches your needs. Some models still have a VGA or DVI port, but these tend to disappear. HDMI and DisplayPort are the two interfaces that dominate today offering high bandwidth and handling high refresh rates, 4K, sound, as well as G-Sync and FreeSync and up to 8K display for the DisplayPort.

    Some screens integrate an audio input, but this one is largely dispensable, the sound will always be of better quality while passing by one of the audio inputs of your computer.

    Finally, we often find a USB hub with several ports, or more rarely, a Thunderbolt connector.

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