Gaming is a lot of fun when you have the right hardware. One of the considerations you need to take into account is the monitor. For starters, you will need to look for a monitor with high refresh rates.

Fasted paced games require monitors with a refresh rate of 144 Hz. Take note a high refresh rate is not the only thing to consider. You will need to know other specs that will give you the best gaming experience. The following is a breakdown of specs found in the best monitors for gaming.

Resolution Matters

When you think about panel size, a rule of thumb is the bigger the better. But, first consider getting one that fits your budget and room. 

If you have space for a 32-inch screen, go for it! There are plenty of 32-inch monitors with UHD-WQHD (1440p-4K) resolution. But, remember that you will need to have a powerful graphics card if you want to run resolutions above 1080p. 

What you should be aiming for over resolution is performance. Sure, it can be cool to say that you have a 4K monitor, but if you’re only getting 4fps then it becomes a lot less cool.

High resolution outside games offers you the possibility to work and browse better on your computer. You should avoid getting a 27-inch monitor with 1080p. It will not look good with such low density in pixels. If you do not have space for a 27-inch monitor, look for a 24-inch monitor. There are many monitors with great resolutions and refresh rates. 24 inches is the lowest you should go. Anything lower than 24 inches is not suitable for gaming.

If money, space and performance is not an issue, with any gaming monitor that’s upwards of 30 inches, 4K will give you amazing picture quality. For example, a 34-inch ultra-wide gaming monitor, whether flat or curved, should be seriously considered. It is a great option when you are looking for the best 4k monitor for gaming.

Ultra-wide is all about a wider aspect ratio. While traditional monitors have an aspect ratio of 16:9, ultra-wide monitor have an aspect ratio of 21:9. The extra width can definitely be beneficial as it gives you a wider field of view when you play games. But, some games don’t support 21:9 that well.

Ultra-wide monitors take a lot of room and you should absolutely make sure you have enough space before investing in one. Go for one with a curved panel as it can make you feel more immersed.

Panels Matter Too

There are 3 primary types of panel technologies and each has its pros and cons. 

TN (Twisted Nematic) panels are often the most popular and affordable among gaming monitors. Their popularity arises from fast refresh rates and great pixel response. However, they are often prone to color shifting when viewed at an angle,.

VA (vertical Alignment) panels are known for their ability to display robust colors, deep blacks, and have a high native contrast ratio. They’re also known to show noticeable ghosting effects that negatively affect gaming performance. 

IPS (In-Plane Switching) panels offer the best gray-scale performance, viewing angles, and best all-around color quality. Unfortunately, they are subject to motion artifacts and not able to match pixels response found in TN panels.

Response Rates

Your monitor’s response rate refers to how fast the screen updates. It is an important specification to look for when you are looking for a good screen. Lower response rates are recommended. 

The lower the response rate, the faster your screen updates and the less ghosting you’ll notice. If you want a monitor that’ll be great for gaming, look fora 4ms or lower response rate. 

The best monitors for gaming will have a 1ms response rate. However, even 6ms and will work fine if that’s all you can find.

When you are playing fast-paced, high-intensity games such as FPS, you are likely to experience what’s known as “ghosting” when using a monitor with slow response rates. These are rates such as 10ms and above. Ghosting happens when an image previously displayed on the screen is seen as a blur for seconds after the image has changed.

FreeSync and G-Sync

Both FreeSync and G-Sync offer major features of adaptive sync. Their differences in implementation result with differences in some features. 

FreeSync monitors use standard display scalers giving them more connectivity options in comparison to G-Sync. Options include legacy connectors like DVI and VGA, as well as multiple HDMI ports. G-Sync monitors have a proprietary scaler module. Currently, DisplayPort is the only option supporting adaptive sync in G-Sync monitors. Additionally, most displays are limited to HDMI and DisplayPort.

A feature called FreeSync over HDMI gives FreeSync a connectivity advantage. In this case, AMD was able to make adaptive sync work over standard HDMI cables and connectors. It will only work if the monitor and GPU support the feature. There are some pros associated with running adaptive sync over HDMI opposed to DisplayPort. One of them is cost as DisplayPort cables are more expensive than HDMI cables. Therefore, devices with few ports such as laptops have the option of using HDMI. 

G-Sync also has its advantages. For starters, it is capable of tweaking monitor overdrive in a bid to eliminate ghosting on the fly wherever possible. This has been shown to improve ghosting performance when compared to FreeSync displays. However, monitor and driver tweaks over the past several years have improved displays in FreeSync.

A feature known as ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur) has been integrated by NVidia into every G-Sync monitor. It improves clarity and reduce motion blur in high-motion situations by strobing backlight in sync with the refresh rate of the display. It works at high refresh rates (fixed), usually at 85 Hz or more. Take note that it comes with a slight reduction in brightness.

Video inputs and other features

The gaming monitor of your choice must support your graphics card’s required input options. Not all graphics cards have the same outputs, but most modern cards will have 3x DisplayPort and 1x HDMI. Some might have 2x DisplayPort and 2x HDMI. Some might even have USB Type-C.

Other features, like integrated speakers and USB ports, are not that important for most people. Make sure you consider the stand of your gaming monitor. For instance, late night gaming marathons are comfortable when you use a monitor with an adjustable swivel, tilt, and height.

Bottom line

When you are looking for the best computer monitors for gaming, you should consider all these features. One of the best ways to make a decision is considering the types of games you like to play. For example, racing games will require a high performance monitor compared to wrestling games. 

Know your price range before shopping around. Lastly, read reviews of the best computer monitors you would like to own before you buy one.