A gaming monitor can greatly enhance your gaming experience. With high resolutions and frame rates, as well as a faster response time than conventional models, this type of peripheral provides more fluid and powerful gameplay for gamers. This is because the “common” screens on the market cannot always support the resolutions indicated by the games, which can hinder their performance.
Although they are the best option for gamers, before choosing a model it is necessary to pay attention to some important points – such as the capacity of your PC and the type of game you play, for example. With that in mind, see the following buying guide for seven things you should pay attention to before buying a gamer monitor.
1. The Power of Your PC
The performance of a gaming monitor depends on the power of your computer. So before you choose any display, it’s important to pay attention to the overall capabilities of your PC. While features such as Full HD resolution or HDR+ will optimize the gaming image, the graphics card in your machine needs to support these functions. If you have an outdated GPU, the image quality during the games can be reduced and even hinder the gameplay.
Therefore, when looking for a gaming monitor on the market, check which video card is installed on your PC. It is also important to check which is your processor and if it supports the games that are part of your collection. With this information in hand, choose options that match the capabilities of your machine.
2. Monitor size and resolution
The size of the gaming monitor is a very particular choice, but it can have an impact on your gaming. The most common and indicated for gamers are models with more than 20 inches, but there are also smaller options that offer quality to the gameplay.
Concerning resolution, to make the games interactive and real, the ideal is to select screens with resolution starting at Full HD (1920 x 1080p). Some high-end models even offer 4K support, such as the LG Ultra HD 4K 27-inch, which costs $434.99 on Amazon. These options are usually more expensive and depend on the graphics capability of your PC. It is also worth remembering that other settings optimize the image during gameplays, such as HDR+ and game mode.
A cheaper option available on the market is the LG Ultrawide 25UM58G. This option is quite complete and offers users a 25-inch screen with Full HD resolution. It can be found on Amazon for about $263.99.
3. Refresh rate and response time
For users looking for fluid gaming, understanding the refresh rate and response time of the gamer monitor is key to making the right purchase. Measured in Hz, the refresh rate is nothing more than the frequency at which the screen updates information. The higher the number, the faster this process is done.
The response time, on the other hand, is measured in milliseconds (ms) and corresponds to how quickly the monitor alternates colors. Thus, the smaller the number in this interval, the faster it is – and, consequently, the more fluid its start.
Conventional models generally offer a 60 Hz refresh rate and 2 ms response time. On the other hand, monitors designed for gamers can reach up to 280 Hz and 0.5 ms, which provides games without any kind of noise or interference in the image. It is worth remembering that, like the other settings, these metrics depend on the graphics capability of your PC. Also, although this is an interesting configuration, it can make the cost of the peripheral go up.
The Acer Predator XB253Q gamer monitor reaches a refresh rate of 280 Hz in some games and even 0.5 m/s response. Its price is a bit higher, coming out to approximately $229.99 on Amazon. It is worth noting that other features also complement the model, such as Full HD resolution and the Dark Boost function, which adjusts the contrast in dark scenes.
Some options reach 165 Hz and 0.5 ms, such as the Acer KG241Q-S, which can already handle the job. With a 23.6 inch screen, this gamer monitor can be found for as low as $249 on Amazon.
4. The types of games you play
A very important point when choosing a gaming monitor is to understand which games you prefer and their resolutions. Older options, such as The Sims 4 and GTA San Andreas, do not require the user to have a PC with such powerful parts and peripherals. In this way, a simple Full HD, 60 Hz monitor can do the job.
However, for players who enjoy newer games like Deathloop, FIFA 21, and Valorant, it is necessary to invest in powerful options to get the best possible performance. Even slightly older titles, such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, demand a more advanced computer and a monitor that can support all the recommended settings. A good example of a screen for this type of gaming is the AOC Hero, which has 144 Hz at 1ms and costs around $379.49 on Amazon.
It is also worth remembering that for everything to work well, it is necessary to evaluate how the performance of your PC. Using the gaming monitor without the aid of a good processor and a good video card can disappoint since the parts would not be in balance to work with their maximum power. So, when it comes time to choose, take into consideration the configuration of your machine.
5. Whether it has G-Sync/FreeSync support
An interesting configuration in gaming monitors is the support for G-Sync or FreeSync. These are functions that “talk” to the graphics card and allow you to decrease noise during frame switching, further optimizing the monitor’s refresh rate. It is an advanced feature that can make the screen image more real and immersive for the gamer. However, not all models offer the setting.
The LG Ultragear 24ML600M monitor is an alternative sold in the market that offers the FreeSync option. The model provides gamers with a Full HD image at 1ms on a 24-inch screen and costs $166.99 on Amazon.
6. The kind of monitor you want
You can find gaming monitors in various types and formats. In the market, besides the conventional ones, there are also curved and ultrawide screens. The different models have an impact on the sensation during gameplay. Thus, for those seeking more immersion, the AOC Agon monitor, which is curved and has 32 inches, can be the ideal option. The model costs around $426.44 on Amazon.
But for those who prefer ultrawide or simply have a shorter budget, the LG 25UM58G can handle it. With a Full HD image at 1ms, this gamer monitor is 25 inches long and costs around $263.99 on Amazon.
It is important to note that the type of monitor needs to be balanced with the image resolution. If the price of the ultrawide and curved models is too high, the alternative is to choose conventional versions, with a rectangular format.
7. Your budget and your preferences
Before any purchase, it is important to analyze your budget and your preferences as a gamer and user. If you work with illustration or video editing, for example, it may be interesting to invest in 4K models, which will guarantee more image quality. Also, evaluate some aspects that your favorite games require, such as the minimum resolution.
In the end, the perfect gaming monitor is the one that fits in your pocket and that matches your gaming. So, look for alternatives that represent your taste and that supply what your favorite game requires to run with quality. If they are simpler games, it is not necessary to buy a super-advanced monitor model. Now, if you intend to play powerful and current games, it may be interesting to invest more.