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Monitor Buying Guide

A monitor is a window into the contents of your computer. Without a suitable monitor, working with a PC will be uncomfortable – both in games and when processing documents, and when visiting sites or editing videos.

What technical specifications are most important for your future monitor? Should I go for a 4K model, or would 1080p or 1440p be enough? How significant are sweep frequency and response speed? What about G-Sync and FreeSync? What is more important for games, and what is more important for working with images? I will answer all these questions in this article.

Summary

The main thing is to understand the purpose of your monitor. Games, professional work involving accurate colors, or simple document work? 

For gamers, I recommend looking at the high refresh rate and responsiveness of the panel photographers and filmmakers looking for color fidelity and others looking for a model with VA panels with high contrast.

The higher the resolution, the clearer the picture on the screen. The minimum resolution for modern PCs is 1920 x 1080 pixels (1080p or FullHD). 2560 x 1440 (1440p, QHD) and 3840 x 2160 (2160p, 4K) are even better, but often less critical.

The size is also significant, which should correspond to the resolution to some extent. I recommend buying a monitor with a pixel density of approximately 109 ppi. The larger the size, the lower the pixel density. A 32-inch monitor, for example, is better to choose with a 4K resolution – in the case of QHD, individual dots on it may be too noticeable and will be an eyesore.

Sweep frequency? The bigger, the better. This indicator directly affects the refresh rate of the picture on the screen. The more hertz, the smoother the objects on it will move. 60 Hz is a standard indicator, which is enough for office work. But gamers should pay attention to 75-, 120-, 144- and even 240-Hz options.

The response speed is also significant, especially in video games. The fastest models can update the color of individual pixels in 0.5ms (from one shade of gray to another, GTG). But usually, in gaming models, this figure is 1ms, which is quite enough even for very fast shooters.

Panel type: If I talk about the picture quality, then this is TN <IPS <VA. TN monitors are practically a thing of the past. They use, though fast, old panels that do not do well with accurate color reproduction. IPS panels can be very fast and correct, while VA panels are slower but have higher contrast.

Do you need a curved monitor? Such a monitor is beneficial for games, but only if it is large enough (from 30 inches in diagonal), and there are no bright light sources in the room, such as fluorescent lamps or open windows with the sun outside. It is significant to consider the curvature indicator. For example, 1800R means that several such monitors can form a circle with a radius of 1800 mm. And the recommended distance from the eyes to such a model is 1.8 m. The smaller the curvature, the more curved the monitor is.

G-Sync, FreeSync, and HDR

Many modern monitors support Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync technologies. These technologies allow the device to synchronize the display frequency with the fps that the video card produces in a particular game at a specific moment. Thereby not only eliminating the effect of a torn picture but also increases the responsiveness of the game.

FreeSync monitors can work effectively with any modern graphics card, and G-Sync monitors can work efficiently with Nvidia GeForce graphics cards.

The range of G-Sync and FreeSync operations is very important. The higher the range, the smoother the screen will appear. For G-Sync, the minimum threshold is usually 30 Hz, while for FreeSync, it can differ noticeably, for example, starting at 55 Hz.

I would not recommend buying an HDR monitor for games yet if you want to spend your money as efficiently as possible. HDR in Windows 10 still works frankly poorly, and its implementation varies greatly from game to game. Adjusting the average HDR settings for each game can be agonizing. But if you are willing to spend the extra money and time, check out the G-Sync Ultimate and FreeSync Premium Pro certified monitors.

Recommendations

The best monitor for home and office: DELL U2415

Image Credit – Dell

If you don’t want to think too much about choosing a monitor, then this option is for you. A proven model with a 24-inch display, an IPS panel with a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels. A stand with adjustable height and tilt, as well as rotation by 90 degrees. An integrated hub with USB 3.0 ports and neat cable management. All sound pretty good considering the price!

The best monitor for photo and video: BenQ SW321C

Image Credit – BENQ

It is the best monitor for serious people. High resolution and large size are combined with a modern USB-C port and incredibly uniform color display across the entire surface of the panel. Also worth noting is the 99% Adobe RGB color gamut and 95% DCI-P3. One of the best monitors for working with photos and videos!

Best 1080p gaming monitor: ASUS TUF Gaming VG279QM

Image Credit – ASUS

It is a fast 240Hz model that can also be overclocked to 280Hz if desired. It also has a very responsive speed for games, high peak brightness, good anti-reflective coating, and even support for HDR10. However, this model cannot be called an HDR monitor for several reasons. Asus is known for its quality gaming hardware and peripherals, and the TUF Gaming VG279QM is a great example.

Best 1440p gaming monitor: BenQ EX3203R

Image Credit – BENQ

A huge, fast, crisp, affordable HDR monitor that’s perfect for all kinds of games and movies. It is now one of the most attractive models on the market, and the curvature, set at 1800R, is exactly what such a whopper needs on your desk. The maximum brightness is 400 nits, which is enough only for the entry-level DisplayHDR 400 certificate.

The Best 4K gaming monitor: ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q

Image Credit – ASUS

You will have to pay for a high resolution with added gaming “chips,” but the VG289Q is a relatively affordable gaming model with an “entry-level” 4K panel. The refresh rate is limited to 60Hz, but the clarity and quality of the picture will blow your mind. It is worth noting support for FreeSync, and a stand with a wide range of screen position adjustments.

Written by HackerVibes

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