Do You Need A Gaming Monitor?


You have probably been playing video games for a while now. And as with many gamers, you may have just recently decided that it is time to upgrade that old monitor you still use from a decade ago – even if it still does its job.  In doing so, you realized how much technology has evolved over those years, and now the world of monitors has opened up to a variety of options including inexpensive TVs!  As a result, your interest is piqued and you are left asking yourself what makes a “good” gaming monitor?

Well, wonder no more… keep reading to find out whether or not you need a good monitor for gaming.

Why would you want a gaming monitor for gaming?

Having a good monitor for gaming will make a world of difference and make all your favorite games run much better – allowing you to enjoy them more!  Gaming monitors are typically equipped with advanced technology such as response times and refresh rates that set them apart from regular monitors. If you can tell by now, getting a good monitor for gaming is definitely worth your time and money if you want high-quality performance from modern titles.

Understanding Response Times

The response time of your monitor refers to how quickly it can display an image after receiving a signal.  It’s usually measured in milliseconds (ms).  For example, you’ll commonly see gaming monitors with response times ranging from 2ms to 4ms. Generally speaking, the best gaming monitors will have the shortest response times – especially if you’re paying top dollar for serious competitive titles like Overwatch or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The faster the response time is, the better your game’s images will be when playing at higher framerates and resolutions because there won’t be visible blurring during fast-moving scenes in games!

Understanding Refresh Rates

The refresh rate of a monitor is simply how many times per second it can update the image on the screen. Common refresh rates for gaming monitors range from 60Hz to 144Hz and beyond! Refresh rate is not about how many times per second your game renders an image, but rather how many times per second it’s displayed on your monitor. The more powerful your graphics card is, the more often your games will be able to draw an image for every frame (or render pass). If you’re playing a game like Overwatch with 144FPS, but your monitor can only display at 60Hz then it’ll only be able to show every other frame – which would look like this:

A higher framerate (such as 144Hz) allows for smoother motion, but a lower framerate (such as 60Hz) will only show every other frame, which may appear choppy. This is why gamers want at least a 144Hz monitor!

A higher refresh rate doesn’t always mean a better display. Twisted Nematic or TN panels have been the industry standard for many years due to their fast response times and low prices, but they suffer from a color shift when viewed off-angle and usually offer a bad viewing experience by providing poor picture quality and making games look flat and washed out. Response time can be very important in competitive online games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive , where you need to act quickly on your opponents’ locations. Vertical Alignment (VA) panels are catching up with IPS displays since they offer more accurate colors than TN panels, but they’re still not quite there yet.


IPS and VA panels

While IPS and VA panels are only just starting to catch up to TN’s color accuracy, they do offer superior viewing angles that allow you to see the screen without any color shift.

Some gamers prioritize this feature as much as a low response time because being able to sit back from their monitor provides a competitive edge in FPS titles just as much as a fast response time does.

You can also use an external camera or crosshair overlay to help if your eyes aren’t what they used to be.

Also See: IPS vs VA Panel: Which is a better panel type for your Monitor?

Importance of motion clarity

Motion clarity is especially important for those who play games requiring quick reaction times such as racing simulators and shooters.  Fast movement will cause the picture on many LCD screens to blur significantly. Some games use motion blur intentionally to increase the visual fluidity of rapid movement, but this doesn’t help much if it’s only your monitor that’s causing the image to smear.

Importance of resolution

The preferred resolution is another factor related to viewing angles and clarity. Monitors with a very high or very low resolution may make it difficult for some people to see certain on-screen elements properly because they aren’t designed for optimal display at those resolutions. This can be problematic when playing classic titles – especially RPGs – which were never intended to be viewed at ultra-high resolutions that are now common on displays manufactured in the 7+ years since their release.

Good vs mediocre ones

Some monitors are specifically made with one or more of these factors in mind, while others are simply a panel that displays an image without any special consideration given to one of these factors. Those that have been optimized in some way often cost more, but they can make a significant difference in how well you play your games. For the serious gamer – and even for those who simply want a good-looking monitor or one with a long lifespan – it’s usually worth spending a little extra money on a monitor that has been designed with this sort of thing in mind.

In the majority of cases, a simple side-by-side test will make it easy to spot any problems between two different monitors as well as their relative advantages and disadvantages – some people might be able to notice these things even when they’ve been told about them, but others may not have a clue until they actually see for themselves. It’s just a case of making sure that you do this before you buy anything.

How to prolong the life of your gaming monitor?

There are also certain things that you can do to ensure that your monitor lasts a long time, something which is particularly important if you use yours regularly or often play games on it. In general, there are three separate things to look out for:

  • Try to keep your desk in a well-lit area so that you can see your monitor clearly. If you have to put it under a desk or next to a wall then obviously this won’t be possible, but if you’re able to do it then it will help prolong the life of your monitor. Not only will you be able to see what’s going on better if there’s more light around, but many monitors actually contain light inside them and this helps reduce problems such as screen burn which can easily arise without it.
  • Always try to keep your room at an appropriate temperature because not doing so could cause long-term damage to your monitor. Monitors work by using gases and chemicals which expand when they get hotter; if these aren’t properly regulated, then the monitor will have a shortened life, so try to keep it as cool as possible.
  • Never use your monitor as a work surface or as somewhere to put things such as storage boxes or books; these objects contain chemicals that can easily scratch and damage the outside of your display.
  • When you’re cleaning your monitor, always make sure that you use an anti-static cloth and never spray any kind of fluid directly onto it because this could ruin its sensitive parts and even cause physical damage.

Some additional FAQs

What are the top gaming monitors?

From our experience,

  1. ASUS
  2. AOC
  3. Samsung

Is it possible to setup 2 monitors for gaming?

Yes it is possible to setup 2 monitors for gaming.

If you are wanting to setup a gaming monitor, get in touch with one of our technicians.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...