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 can 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.
Let 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:
>> RECOMMENDED << ASUS VH242H 23.6-Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor – Black
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.