When choosing a monitor that will go with your custom gaming computer it is important to pay attention to the different specifications. Not only the resolution or inputs but also the panel technology.
The panel technology will give you a few information on the viewing angles, the response time and the colour reproduction.
There are 2 main panel technologies that you will encounter as a gamer.
The TN (twisted nematic) panels are the most common. They feature a very low response time meaning the transition between pixels will be very low (usually 3ms or under) creating then fewer image artefacts. They also are less expensive to produce than the IPS or VA panels.
On the downside, the viewing angles aren’t good which means that if you look at the screen from the side, top or bottom you will notice a change of colour. The most common thing to observe is a yellow or pink tint on the screen. Speaking about colours, a TN display will have a colour reproduction below its competitors although the good news is that you can calibrate it with a display calibration tool.
IPS (In-Plane Switching) panels offer great colour reproduction out of the box. Not only that, they also have better viewing angles than TN panels.
Their response time is a not as good as TN (around 5ms) and their price a bit higher than TN.
If you aim to use your new gaming computer for games only we would suggest that you go with a TN monitor. But, if you sometimes watch a movie or do a bit of photo/video editing or simply like having true colours, an IPS monitor is the perfect answer.
G-Sync and FreeSync
G-Sync and FreeSync are 2 technologies that aim to reduce screen tearing during games. Screen tearing is a visual artefact where the monitor displays multiple frames in a single image. As you can see on the image above, screen tearing can be quite annoying when playing.
G-Sync is an Nvidia technology that only works along with a graphic card of the same brand while FreeSync has been developed by AMD and is free to use. However, Nvidia does not support FreeSync which makes it impossible to mix and match the two brands.
Whether it is TN or IPS, G-Sync or FreeSync, we offer a great range of monitors with all our gaming computers.
Resolution and refresh rate
The resolution is defined by the number of pixels there is on the screen. For example, a 1920x1080 resolution means there is 1920 columns of 1080 pixels on the panel. The bigger the resolution is, the more pixels the graphics card will have to display, which will affect directly the FPS (frame per second). The graph below represents the performance comparison for Watch Dogs 2 between a 1080p monitor and a 1440p monitor, which has about 78% more pixels. Depending on the graphics card the performance are about 48% to 68% better on a 1080p.
The refresh rate represents the number of images displayed every second by the monitor. All common monitors normally display 60 images per second while some gaming monitors will display up to 200 images per second. A high refresh rate means you’ll get a smoother image while gaming. A simple example is trying to move the cursor of your mouse quick and in big circles and all you’ll see is not a smooth movement but a jolty movement. The same happens with fast moving games/actions and a high refresh rate monitor will help you get rid of it, providing your graphics card is powerful enough to display enough FPS when gaming.
Select your new gaming computer and monitor.