Up For Debate - Is It Worth Investing In A Good Monitor

Written by Jon Sutton on Sat, Dec 26, 2015 4:00 PM

When you think about buying a new gaming rig, the monitor tends to be right at the back of your mind. Well, it does for me at least. My eyes are usually ablaze with the thought of a new graphics card or powerful processor, and the very screen with which I will see all this pixel pushing performance is somewhat bizarrely right down at the bottom of the list.

But what a difference a monitor makes. At a fundamental level a new monitor could be your portal to greater screen resolutions. The majority of us game at 1080p resolution, but nowadays that's typically the absolute minimum you’ll find on a new screen. 4K is obviously the flavour of the month right now, but there’s even 5 and 6K monitors floating about at the extreme end.

Obviously a 4K monitor looks a heck of a lot crisper and clearer than 1080p, being effectively four times the resolution, but it comes with its own set of drawbacks. Not only is a 4K monitor considerably more expensive, but it also needs far more powerful hardware to take advantage of it. That said, it is a future-proofed investment that could pay off in the long run.

There’s there also the monitor type to think about, be it Twisted Nematic (TN), Vertical Alignment (VA), In-Plane Switching (IPS) or Plane-to-Line Shifting (PLS) panels.

TN are the most common around and have the least accurate colour reproductions and the viewing angles are the narrowest, especially from above and below. However TN panels are typically faster than other panel types, which quick response times and high refresh rates. VA are similar but they have better colour reproduction and viewing angles, at a slightly higher cost.

IPS are the more premium panels with better quality displays, but their refresh rates tend to let them down. You’ll often find these screens in phone and tablets. A step up from here is PLS panels, which are similar but offer even better colour range and viewing angles.

As if all that wasn’t enough, you’ve also got to think about AMD and Nvidia’s FreeSync and G-Sync tech. These generally come at a price premium, despite AMD’s moniker, but do eliminate screen tearing and instances of stuttering.

Each and every one of these technologies comes with an associated cost, but how much do think it’s worth investing in a monitor? Is is the last thing on your list when shopping for a new rig, or are you using a 4K 32” monster?

How important is a good monitor to you?

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00:12 Jan-14-2016

i am on a 15inch eizo TFT monitor that i bought in 2001 guys . 650 euros that time . everyone had crts
i haven't changed it yet, so i am very pleased with that purchuse. good use of money!
i am thiking of an 20 inch now. 1600x900 , ips

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16:19 Dec-28-2015

I got my monitor 5 years ago, and it costed 150 euros. Its very good monitor, and I would probably also buy Samsung monitor if this one dies...

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07:11 Dec-28-2015

I'm on a 40 inch 4K monitor. The extra pixels help with my poor eyesight.

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07:54 Dec-29-2015

I thought everything was smaller, like icons, text etc. I have tried gaming on a 40" before, i personally found it to be too big for what i use it for

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08:05 Dec-29-2015

Yeah the higher the resolution the smaller things appear, & the harder they are to make out on screen.


As far as screen size goes I think 40" to 42" is the perfect size. Going bigger stretches the pixels out too much & going smaller is well... smaller. ;)


Of course viewing distance plays a big part as well. Sitting at a desk I would say 24" to 27" would be the sweet spot. 40" to 42" is for if you are sitting across a small room. imo

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12:07 Jan-04-2016

Well I have windows display scaling set to 1440P so Icons and text look fine. 40" may be too much for some but I do like the extra real estate.

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06:44 Dec-28-2015

Iv'e had mt 24" 60hz for some time and i personally think its a great monitor. Right now, yes 4k is a nice thing to have, but the requirements to run games on a 4k is expensive, until hardware prices become more affordable and 4k is the normal i don't see the need to change. On the 60hz thing, well i thing its adequate for gaming, for the fine tuned eye it may seem a bit rough compared to the 144hz, but this is also expensive. I personally do not see the need for a 144hz unless you are into extreme competitive gaming where the refresh rate helps (cs:go 128tick servers not matchmaking).

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05:19 Dec-28-2015

i just bought the asus vg24 144ms and 1ms response time its great upgrade from my 32inch tv its a bit smaller but holy god is it better for gaming no more screen tearing or anything and smoother movement in all my games..get a good montior

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09:49 Dec-30-2015

I have that monitor too!

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15:07 Jan-01-2016

Good luck with your crappy TN colors. For me those Hz and ms are just numbers, and I want a monitor that gives a nice picture.

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02:58 Dec-28-2015

A bad monitor with a nice rig is like a Ferrari on bald tires.

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02:31 Dec-28-2015

Yes! Yes! A million times yes! Well, at least, when considering a laptop, if the screen is crap, you won't want to use it when it's not plugged into a TV or a better desktop monitor. My laptop's stock screen has horrible viewing angles, so I opted for the higher quality upgrade and everything looks amazing on it.

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05:36 Dec-28-2015

Most gaming laptops have a higher quality display than a normal desktop monitor. A far cry from IPS quality, but still as good as most other high end monitors. Strange that yours has a poor viewing angle, but maybe the manufacturer of your laptop figured the laptop would stay in the lap & not need a wide viewing angle. If you are like me though you hook up to something bigger when you can. I use my TV when I am home.

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01:08 Dec-29-2015

The screen I got instead is an IPS panel.

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01:44 Dec-28-2015

My 1080p monitor broke down a few days ago so I was forced to use 720p. Tbh 720p is actually fine still looks good and also extra fps :)

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05:33 Dec-28-2015

Yeah, truthfully, anything will look okay after seeing it for longer than 15 minutes. 4K monitor here, but just for bragging rights really...

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21:14 Dec-27-2015

When people say 900p, do they mean 1600x900 or 1440x900?

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21:42 Dec-27-2015

Both

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21:42 Dec-27-2015

usually those should mean 16:9 ratios, so 900p as 1600x900 :)

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18:32 Dec-27-2015

I guess so. Got a 60 Hz BenQ and 60 or over feel so sluggish compared to the fluidity of some youtube gameplays at the same FPS I am getting in games. I got other priorities, but a good monitor would not hurt :). For multimedia, the current one is more than sufficient.

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17:37 Dec-27-2015

monitor choice is extremely important to me and I can tell you why,
1) monitor is the device which displays what computer produces, not graphics card or any other component of the rig, therefore importance of choosing right monitor is actually even more important than choosing right graphics card
2) eyes are one of most valuable human body sensors, are not replaceable and so treating them well should be any computer user priority, therefore choosing suitable monitor and setting whole desk space right should be as important as building the PC
3) monitor prices and specifications are real mess, what you see cannot be precisely measured, and so being able to understand without seeing and choose right is probably even more difficult than choosing PC components (which performance can be found in plenty reviews and benchmark charts)
it's really important to sort your priorities and choose thoroughly - for ex. my 27-inch 2560x1440 IPS monitor does flawless job for what I need, but for most people it just isn't suitable, no matter how much money they'd be willing to spend...

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14:03 Dec-27-2015

I dont mind personally, as a games tester, i have played on 1080p monitors and have a 17" monitor that is 1268 x 720 or round about and i dont mind it at all. it's kinda not a big deal for me. haha. I am not a purist like some are :P

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23:29 Dec-27-2015

Calling 1080p "purist" is not much of statement, its the standard pixel density, you won't find stores that sell lesser resolutions anymore, 1080p monitors are ridiculously affordable lol, now had you said 4k thats a different story.

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11:32 Dec-27-2015

I would prefer a good monitor but would focus more on GPU, CPU, mobo.
If I have a rig thats beast to take any game on 1080p on ease, I would try to go for a 2K monitor.
There is a lot of difference between a 720p lcd and 1080p LED.
Any Good LED one like Dell s2240L would work for me :D

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10:54 Dec-27-2015

rockin' a playstation 24" 1080P 240hz (hah) monitor pretty good colors blacks are deep and whites are bright. Got for something like $80-90 at best buy for an outlet deal. It has been a very gud monitor if I do say so myself

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09:07 Dec-27-2015

Yeah I'll admit it, a good monitor is very important to me, waiting on THIS BEAUTY next year :D

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10:14 Dec-27-2015

How about the Acer predator x34? Practically the same thing, bit is already available as far as i know... And yes, it's unbelievable!! :D

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10:34 Dec-27-2015

Not really a fan of Acer, my last Acer monitor had to be sent back due to faults and there seems to be a few people having issues with the X34 so I think I'll just wait :)

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10:36 Dec-27-2015

Roley likely wants Gsync since he has a Nvidia card :P


I really hope their will be an adaptive sync(Freesync/Gsync) solution that will support both brands though. That's the reason i don't get one yet, don't want to vendor lock myself with just one GPU vendor(since monitors last longer then GPU's ;)

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10:37 Dec-27-2015

The X34 comes in both G-sync and Freesync :)

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10:39 Dec-27-2015

:O That's nice, only read the review of the FreeSync version.


To bad their isn't one version that supports both though

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17:39 Dec-27-2015

100Hz and IPS are you sure it's not a gimmick?

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17:50 Dec-27-2015

Acer X34 manages it with G-sync when you overclock the monitor so I would of thought Asus PG348Q can do it as well.
The Asus ROG Swift PG279Q is IPS with 165hz refresh rate :)

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17:59 Dec-27-2015

I read that 165MHz is more of a marketing ploy and not so much useful or noticeable, so I guess I can stay with my 60Hz until nVidia or AMD shows us graphics card capable of producing more than 60fps stable in games like Witcher III at 2560x1440 :P

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21:56 Dec-27-2015

Yup IPS has improved quite a bit speed wise, 2years ago you had to buy a TN panel if you wanted 120/144Hz.

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09:02 Dec-27-2015

color accuracy and contrast ratio are much more important to the picture quality than resolution no ?

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08:42 Dec-27-2015

1080p will be good enough for me. I've seen a few 4k screens and honestly, I don't really see that big of a difference. Definitely not enough change for me to go out and spend 800+ dollars.
But If your still using anything under 1080p I think it is important to upgrade your monitor. What's the point of buying an expensive GPU if you can fully enjoy it's beauty?

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11:42 Dec-27-2015

can,t*

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13:27 Dec-27-2015

A 1080p 42" TV is better than a 24" 4k monitor.

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15:06 Dec-27-2015

You should try three 27 inch monitors. I also use a home theater projector that is set close 200 inch screen right now in my living room. Bigger is better in my book.

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07:46 Dec-27-2015

I haven't got that much of a space left so for my system running both PC and a PS4 my high end 55"plasma is kicking in real good and I cant think of gaming on anything else but my tv

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07:42 Dec-27-2015

Still use my Dell E248WFP. I would upgrade but i like the cheaper TN and CCFL backlighting better. It responds faster, the brightness goes to a lower, more comfortable level (the newer LED monitors scorched my eyes even on zero brightness).

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07:38 Dec-27-2015

i think one should definitely get a good monitor 1080P or higher depending on graphics card he/she is using to get a good gaming experience

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33.3333% Yes [3 votes]
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Athlon II X2 245 GeForce GTS 250 4GB
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Core i5-2400S 2.5GHz Radeon R5 340 (OEM) 4GB
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Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 720p
Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 10GB
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Core i3-8100 4-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 16GB
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Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core 3.2GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB
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Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core 3.2GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
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100% Yes [2 votes]
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