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How Do I Choose a LCD Monitor for Gaming

September 07, 2011  |  Difficulty: Easy

How Do I Choose a LCD Monitor for Gaming

Replacing CRT monitors with LCD monitors is becoming more popular these days, but this trend presents more to consider for proper LCD display. Most PC users have no idea what specifications provided by a manufacturer really mean. Computer monitors are not used in the same manner for office work as they are for pleasure, especially for gaming. Generally, playing computer games requires high performance hardware and input and output devices as well. The main features are described below and should help you when shopping for a gaming LCD monitor.

Suggestions:

  1. The first thing most buyers seem to focus on is the size of the monitor. The saying “the bigger, the better” is not necessarily true. Think about the different types of games you will be playing. For example, for 3D action games, a big monitor is not necessary. But for strategic and RPG games, it is better to have a larger monitor. Some gamers are against using a large monitor, as details in the corners and sides of the screen may be missed. Determine what types of games you will be playing to help you choose a model that suits your needs. A 22’’-24’’ size monitor could be considered an all-around choice.
  2. The next feature is resolution. Wide screen monitors have a variety of resolution ratio choices. The higher resolution you use for gaming, the higher performance graphic card you will need. A resolution higher than full HD, which is 1920x1080 is not necessary, although, you can set it to a lower resolution, but the best picture will be in its native resolution.
  3. The third most important feature to consider is the “Response Time”. This is the speed at which pixels change color in real time, so the lower the value, the faster the monitor screen is. Very low response time (“latency” or “delay”) is needed for fluid display of action scenes and fast motions. A monitor with high latency, shows remains of previous images on the current image. This is called “ghosts”. A good response time is 5ms or lower.
  4. Another feature for consideration is the “Viewing Angle”, it is the angle at which you can see the actual image being displayed on the screen properly. Generally, the higher the degree, the better. Most LCD monitors currently available have the appropriate specification, which is typically 170° horizontally and 170° vertically.
  5. Other technical settings you will see on the monitor are brightness, contrast, number of supported colors, etc. These settings in currently available models of LCD monitors are very similar and not crucial for gaming.
  6. A feature which is not really connected with gaming but is strongly connected with ecology and economy, is called “Power consumption”. Differences between models vary but can help you in your final decision.

Tips and tricks:

  • If you have a Graphic card with DVI output, try to choose a LCD panel with this type of input to avoid needing an analog-digital converter.
  • If you want to save space on your desktop, look for monitors with integrated speakers. They have a lower performance, but gamers usually use headphones for better audio anyway.
  • Of course, color and design are important, but take into account the rest of your peripherals and furniture.

Warnings:

  • If you have a chance to see an actual demo of the LCD monitor you’re interested in, go and check it out. Once you see it, it may reveal features you may like or dislike, or bring new considerations like a height-adjustable stand.

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