I test gaming monitors for a living — here’s the 7 things I look for

I’m a lifelong gamer who additionally checks and critiques gaming monitors for a living. Because of that, I’m capable of establish precisely what a monitor wants in order that it might probably improve one’s gaming expertise. This not solely helps out our readers, but it surely lets me know what I’d need in a monitor I’m shopping for one for myself.Finding the greatest gaming monitor isn’t all the time straightforward since there are various variables to contemplate, together with display screen measurement, panel sort, decision and extra. In this text, I’m drawing on my years of expertise to let you recognize what I look for in a gaming monitor in order that discovering one for your self is much less arduous. While buying an superior gaming monitor takes some work, I promise the outcomes are effectively price the effort.Below, I’ll go over 7 things I look for in a gaming monitor. These ideas not solely apply to devoted gaming monitors, but in addition the greatest TVs with gaming-centric options.Display measurement Display measurement usually comes down to at least one’s desire however I’d argue that one’s desk house determines what measurement monitor it’s best to get.The Samsung Odyssey OLED G9 is an unbelievable gaming monitor but it surely is perhaps too massive for your setup. (Image credit score: Tom’s Guide)If you could have a small or shallow desk, a 24-inch show could be higher than a 32-incher because you in all probability do not need to have a big display screen in your face. However, when you have a massive desk with loads of house, a 32-inch monitor and even a 49-inch behemoth like the Samsung Odyssey OLED G9 (pictured above) may work.If you’re like me and use a TV like the LG CX OLED for gaming, this fundamental rule applies. If you reside in a small condominium or play video games in a compact room, a 32- to 55-inch TV ought to suffice. Those with extra space can choose for 65 inches and above. Of course, the larger the show, the extra that decision and pixel depend consider — however we’ll get to that shortly.Curved vs flat The greatest curved monitors could make video games really feel very immersive, because of how the show conforms to your eyes’ pure curvature. Monitors like the Alienware AW3423DWF QD-OLED, which is presently the gaming monitor I’d purchase for myself, do a implausible job of drawing gamers into video games because of its curved ultrawide 21:9 facet ratio. Curved shows are additionally nice for work since that facet ratio provides you extra space for home windows and apps.The Alienware 34 AW3423DWF is one in every of the greatest curved gaming monitors on the market. (Image credit score: Tom’s Guide)Conversely, you might have considered trying a conventional flat show. These might not supply the immersion of a curved show, however they have an inclination to take up much less room on a desk. Flat screens also can value lower than curved monitors, which is one other issue to contemplate.Panel sort OLED panels on gaming monitors are rising in popularity however conventional LCD panels seemingly gained’t go away any time quickly. Like many facets listed right here, the alternative between LCD and OLED comes down to private desire.If you need a show that delivers pure blacks and the brightest whites and don’t thoughts paying a bit additional, then go along with an OLED monitor. However, in the event you concern OLED burn-in (which remains to be a chance), need a monitor whose total show can get brighter (one thing OLEDs battle with) or just need to save extra money, then you may’t go mistaken with a trusty LCD monitor.DecisionFor decision, you may’t simply choose for a 4K monitor and name it a day.The very first thing you might want to account for is your graphics card, which could not be highly effective sufficient to deal with high-res 4K graphics. Screen measurement is essential too. 1080p decision appears to be like ok on a 24-inch show however will look muddy on something above that. Conversely, it is going to be troublesome to see particulars supplied by 4K decision on a tiny display screen.You’ll want a highly effective graphics card like an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti for 4K gaming. (Image credit score: Nvidia)If your PC has a GPU like an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 or an AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT (or higher) and you’ve got ample desk house for a massive monitor, then go along with 4K monitor. If you could have an older GTX 1080 GPU or not sufficient house for a huge show, get a 1080p monitor.High Dynamic RangeIf you’re contemplating a 4K OLED monitor, then it’s essential to get one which options High Dynamic Range (HDR). HDR compliments the darkish blacks and vivid whites of OLED panels by delivering a wider vary of colours — making for an total phenomenal show. If you’re like me, you’ll discover it troublesome returning to non-HDR shows after experiencing the glory of HDR.Monitors like the Acer Predator X32 FP ship wonderful HDR. (Image credit score: Tom’s Guide)The two commonest HDR varieties are HDR10 and Dolby Vision. I’ll spare you the techy particulars, however the primary distinction between these two codecs is that HDR10 delivers a static type of HDR whereas Dolby Vision is a dynamic type that adjusts brightness, sharpness, distinction and shade copy relying on what’s displayed. Dolby Vision is technically higher than HDR10 — however that usually entails a larger worth for monitors using the expertise.Refresh charge and response time A monitor’s show and the applied sciences utilized to ship vivid and colourful pictures are essential, however you additionally want to contemplate a gadget’s efficiency. That’s the place refresh charge and response time enter the dialog.Refresh charges and body charges correlate with each other. For occasion, a monitor with a 60Hz refresh charge can show as much as 60 frames per second, whereas a monitor with a 120Hz refresh charge can show as much as 120 fps. The larger the refresh charge (and body charges), the smoother video games will really feel and look when taking part in. As with decision, you’ll want a higher-end GPU to play video games at excessive sufficient fps to make the most of equally excessive refresh charges. To that finish, a 60Hz monitor is the naked minimal you’ll need to choose for.The Samsung Odyssey OLED G8 options a tremendous low 0.03ms response time. (Image credit score: Tom’s Guide)Response occasions are simply as essential for a easy gaming expertise. Simply put, response time is the period of time it takes for pixels to shift from one shade to the subsequent. If you’re taking part in action-packed video games like Doom Eternal, you’ll want a low sufficient response time to forestall all that motion from changing into a blurry mess in your display screen. Not solely that, however a larger response time means extra enter lag. So when response time, something with a 1 millisecond response time or decrease is greatest.Adaptive Sync Adaptive Sync expertise is one other important characteristic for guaranteeing a easy and responsive gaming expertise. It dynamically adjusts a monitor’s refresh charge to match a sport’s body charge — which synchronizes each body to correspond with a monitor’s subsequent refresh. This minimizes or eliminates display screen tearing produced when body charges and refresh charges aren’t aligned.A typical false impression is that Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync don’t work with rival GPUs. (*7*), each Adaptive Sync applied sciences operate as meant irrespective of which graphics card you’re utilizing.Bottom line Selecting the excellent gaming monitor that meets your wants may not be straightforward however the effort is effectively price it. For some fast suggestions, you may’t go mistaken with the Alienware AW3423DWF QD-OLED ($999), Sony Inzone M9 ($799) or Acer Predator X32 FP ($1,299). I’ve reviewed every of those monitors and am assured in recommending them to most people because of their superior specs and relative affordability.More from Tom’s GuideToday’s greatest Alienware AW3423DWF offers


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