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Picking a Gaming Monitor – What to Consider

Originally I wasn’t going to go down the route of suggesting a gaming monitor due to the wide selection of high quality monitors. I also traditionally have approached monitors from a color accuracy perspective, as I do a lot of production work – particularly with photography and video. The nice thing about finding a gaming monitor is that there are a lot of excellent monitors out there, and for gaming there aren’t too many constraints on decisions.

You don’t necessarily need accuracy for gaming – though you want the monitor to “look nice,” which can11195286 cheap asus vh242h 236 inch widescreen lcd for sales 300x300 Picking a Gaming Monitor   What to Consider generally be reliably determined by looking at customer reviews (which I have done here). It really just comes down to figuring out the size you need, then choosing a monitor that is well reviewed by other gamers.

You might hear from many gamers that response time on a monitor is important – you can see this in a millisecond measurement (generally around 8ms). Many gamers will claim that the quicker the response time the better, but for the most part, as long as the monitor has a response time under 10ms, you are fine. The response time is a measurement of time it takes for a pixel in an LCD monitor to switch from one color to another and back again. In games – particularly FPS games where there are a lot of real time rendered objects moving around – if the response time is too high you can end up having visual artifacts such as ghosting. Again though, as long as you are below 10 (and I have read many people with 16ms response time monitors have no problems) you will be fine.

  • A tip: If you are looking at monitor specs and reviews, response time is actually measured in two ways – black to white is the traditional more accurate/legitimate measurement, but some companies tend to list a gray to gray measurement which will make the monitor appear to have a faster response time. Try to find the black to white measurement.

The real question for choosing a gaming monitor comes down to budget. But, before you start thinking in terms of the size of the monitor (22”, 24”, 27” etc) I encourage you to think in terms of resolution. This is because, as mentioned in previous articles, the resolution of your monitor is key in determining what video card you acquire – and visa versa.

NEC AccuSync AS191 AS191WM and AS221WM LCD Monitors 300x268 Picking a Gaming Monitor   What to ConsiderLet us say that you are building an entire system from the ground up including a new monitor. If you decide that you want a 27 or 30 inch monitor with 2560×1600 resolution, then you are going to want a 560ti MINIMUM – in fact I would argue that you would want to consider no less than a 570 if you are going to be spending the money on such a nice monitor.

That may be too much for you though, so now we want to look at the best resolution/card combo for the price. Two options – 560ti with a 1920×1080, or a 550ti with a 1680×1050. The sweet spot to me is a 560ti with a 1920×1080. Obviously a 560ti will give you higher FPS on a 1680×1050, but the price between those two resolutions is not very much, and the 560ti is perfectly fit for the 1920×1080.

If you have read my previous articles, you will know that I always encourage you to consider the manufacturer. I personally tend to go with NEC monitors – but again, that is partly due to my need for color accuracy. NEC makes very excellent quality monitors, but they tend to be more expensive than other offerings. ASUS happens to make monitors which are extremely well reviewed, as does Dell.

If I were to purchase a monitor for gaming today, I would chose from the following:

1680×1050

NEC Display Solutions AS221WM-BK 22-Inch 5ms 250 cd/m2 1000:1 Widescreen LCD Monitor (Black) Picking a Gaming Monitor   What to Consider

Acer V223W EJBD 22-Inch Wide LCD Display Picking a Gaming Monitor   What to Consider

1920×1080 (HD)

>> RECOMMENDED << ASUS VH242H 23.6-Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor – Black

STQ310 – G235H Abd 23 H 0.248MM 1920X1080 60HZ Picking a Gaming Monitor   What to Consider(ACER)

2560×1440

Dell UltraSharp U2711 27-inch 2560 x 1440 (WQHD) Picking a Gaming Monitor   What to Consider

2560×1600

HP 30IN LCD 2560X1600 1000:1 7ms Picking a Gaming Monitor   What to Consider

My gaming monitor of choice is the Asus 23.6” 1920×1080 monitor.  A note on speakers: some monitors come with speakers – don’t use the speakers, they are most likely poor quality.  I will be adding this monitor to my mid-range gaming build list.

As you can see, the are a bevy of choices when it comes to finding a gaming monitor – just remember to keep in mind your video card’s capabilities and the resolution size of your monitor.

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Why I Learned to Build a Gaming PC

I just wanted to take a moment to tell a little story of how I got started building gaming computers. My story is probably like many, beginning when I was in high school – actually with the release of Starcraft and Diablo 2 (I think it was starcraft first). I met my best friend in freshman Marine Biology – we sat around the same table and I overheard him talking about Starcraft and BOOM, best friends.

The wonderful thing about building gaming computers is that it makes it possible for so many people to have these sorts of experiences. If I couldn’t build my own computers, it’s likely I wouldn’t have been into computer gaming as much as I am. Having an up to date system is necessary for playing the latest games, but if you want to be able to play the latest video games with good quality experience you don’t need to spend a boatload on a premade system – simply build a gaming pc.

I got into building gaming computers when I was in high school. I wanted to keep having the ability to play new games, and often times that requires upgrading your system (especially if your system is a prebuilt paperweight from Gateway). I learned all about building computer systems in a high school class – had loads of fun destroying circuitry by fumbling around with cheap spare parts (a friend of mine actually blew up a system by forgetting to unplug it from the wall…screwdriver met motherboard attached to power supply) – and eventually learned everything I need to build a gaming pc.

Early on, I was in the segment of people who want to play video games, but don’t have a powerful enough system and not very much money. Now, I am in a position where I can save up – spend a little bit more – and build really solid systems of value that will last for years. This is what I preach now – if you can save up a little bit more ($1,000 instead of $600 for example), it is worth it to produce a system that can last you easily 2-3 times as long and be a better overall experience during that time.

When you are in the state of needing to build less expensive systems however, you limit your choices. This is actually where I recommend looking at AMD. They provide quality powerful processors, but at lower prices than Intel. It’s a basic trade-off – you get what you pay for. Actually in terms of extended value, you get slightly less than what you pay for with AMD (as you will have to upgrade sooner), but game playing ability compared to price, they are pretty comparable. If you have the ability to cannibalize some basic parts like hard drive, cd drive, case, and power supply – you can easily build a new system for a $200-$300. This was a pretty darn good deal when I was younger.

So what about you, my faithful readers? It would be cool if y’all would share your experiences getting into building gaming computers.

 

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