In recent times, the market has been flooded with monitors from different manufacturers all competing to put out the biggest, highest resolution, highest refresh rate and lowest response time monitors possible. While this is all great in theory, how do you decide which monitor is actually right for you?
To decide what monitor you should be looking to buy, it is important to first know what the broad classification available to us is. Presently there are 3 different types of panels that are popularly being used.
Monitor TN Panel (Twisted Nematic)
The Twisted Nematic Panel or the TN panel is the most popular panel that you can find. One of the primary reasons for this is that it is the cheapest of all the panels available. Another great advantage of the TN Panel is that it has the highest refresh rates of all the panel types and also has the lowest response time, making it a favourite for professional gamers and enthusiasts alike.
However it has the worst colour reproduction and also has terrible viewing angles making it a bad option for anyone who plans to use it frequently for anything other than gaming.
IPS Panel (In-Plane Switching)
The In-Plane Switching Panel or the IPS Panel is another popular panel among the plethora of options available to us. Fantastic colour reproduction and truly amazing viewing angles make this Panel a favourite for video editing, photo editing, watching movies etc.
It should be noted that it has the slowest refresh rate of all the panels and highest response time making it a terrible option for gaming and also may lead to motion blur when watching a fast moving object in a video or while dragging an object across your desktop. It is also the costliest of all the options available.
VA Panel (Vertical Alignment)
The Vertical Alignment Panel or the VA Panel is the perfect middle ground for anyone looking to play a few games and get a little work done on their computer as well! It has moderate refresh rates and response times and colour reproduction and viewing angles are much better than on a TN panel.
If you have a variety of uses for your monitor, this is the ideal panel type for you.
Now that we have the different types of Panels out of the way and you have decided what type of panel is best for you, you should consider some of the other terminologies commonly associated with a monitor.
Display sizes just keep getting better and although everyone thinks they want the biggest display on the market, this is usually a very bad strategy while picking a monitor. While selecting a monitor size, it is important to know what you will be using it for primarily. If you’re using it for work the best size is a 24 inch monitor, 27 inches is the most. Anything bigger than this becomes tedious to use when you’re sitting so close to it. Also worth noting is past 27 inches, 1080p just isn’t sharp enough and you need at least a 2k display which takes the price up a notch and also requires some powerful hardware to run.
1080p has become the industry standard and you shouldn’t even consider a lower resolution than this. A 2k monitor is great for screens larger that is 27 inches and above. Beyond 32 inches is the only time you should consider a 4k monitor. And as we’ve established earlier, make sure your pc can handle that high of a resolution or be ready for extreme fps drops.
Refresh Rates are basically the number of times the whole image on the screen is refreshed or redrawn. A higher refresh rate gives you a smoother video and an overall better viewing experience. 60 Hz is great for daily tasks and work while anything from between 120Hz and 144Hz is the optimum refresh rate for Gaming. Monitors capable of 240Hz are also available but we’ve found them to have no significant affect on our gaming performance and definitely not worth the rather substantial price difference.
The response time of your monitor is basically how long it takes for each pixel to change colour. Lower response times make for excellent gaming and video viewing experience but significantly increase the price. Gaming monitors have response times as low as 1ms while anything upto 8ms is perfectly fine for normal use. Larger response times tend to affect your viewing experience by causing input lags and are generally best avoided even if you don’t plan on gaming on your machine any time soon.
FreeSync and G-Sync
When your GPU and Monitor start to refresh the image at different rates, you get image tearing that shows in horizontal lines across the screen as different parts of the image get refreshed at different rates. This leads to a very choppy and unpleasant viewing experience. Monitors with FreeSync by AMD or G-Sync by Nvidia make the GPU and Monitor match their refresh rates so you get a much smoother viewing experience.
It should be noted that FreeSync Monitors only work with AMD GPUs and G-Sync Monitors until very recently only worked with Nvidia GPUs. Recently Nvidia announced that it would support a bunch of FreeSync compatible monitors and allow G-Sync to work with them.
Check if your monitor is G-sync Compatible here :- https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/products/g-sync-monitors/specs/
Be sure to check if your Monitor is compatible with your GPU before you spend the extra money on this technology.
To conclude this short Buying Guide, we do not list out any products in particular because there is such a wide variety available and every person has their own unique requirements. Depending on what you are looking to use your monitor for, these guidelines are a fail-safe way to buy the monitor that is perfect for you!