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


Are you familiar with the age-old debate between IPS and VA panels when it comes to choosing a display?

As two of the most popular panel technologies, understanding their differences can be a daunting task.

Let me break down these two technologies for you and help you decide which one is best suited for your needs.

Get ready to dive deep into this fascinating world of displays!

What is IPS Panel Technology?

IPS stands for In-Plane Switching, and it’s a type of display technology that offers better color and wide viewing angles than other options. All non-OLED TVs are powered by LED lighting, where individual pixels are made up of liquid crystals that activate when voltage is applied.


Picture from Wikipedia

IPS panels have their liquid crystals aligned horizontally, parallel to the glass substrate. This helps improve the image quality and wide viewing angle performance of displays. There are several variations under the IPS umbrella, such as ADS, S-IPS, H-IPS, e-IPS, P-IPS, and PLS (Plane-to-Line Switching). While they all differ slightly in operation from one another, their core functionality remains similar.

Now let’s move on to discussing what a VA panel is.

What is a VA Panel?

You might be familiar with LED/LCD TVs, but have you heard of Vertical Alignment (VA) displays? VA panels are a popular type of display used for both computer monitors and TVs.

Unlike IPS panels that align their liquid crystals horizontally, VA panels line up theirs vertically, meaning they run perpendicular to the glass substrate rather than parallel to it. When met with voltage, the crystals tilt and let light through which produces color. Without any voltage, however, the liquid crystals remain in place better blocking light and creating image depth.

VA panel types include PVA, S-PVA, and MVA. All of these offer similar features compared to IPS technology.

IPS Panel vs VA Panel – Key Differences

I’m here to discuss the key differences between IPS and VA panels.

Color accuracy and coverage, contrast ratio, response time, refresh rate, and viewing angles are all areas that differ between these two types of panels.

IPS panels generally provide more accurate colors with better coverage while also having a higher contrast ratio. Additionally, they offer faster response times and higher refresh rates than VA panels.

However, VA panels have wider viewing angles compared to IPS displays.

Refresh rate

You can increase the smoothness of your viewing experience by looking for monitors with higher refresh rates. IPS is better equipped in this regard, capable of reaching a blazing 500Hz compared to VA’s 240Hz maximum. Most VA displays are limited to 144Hz or 165Hz, so if you want extreme refresh speeds then IPS is the way to go.

Even if VA could reach 360Hz it wouldn’t be ideal because of its response time shortcomings—VA simply isn’t able to keep up with the 2.7ms per frame rate that such a display would require.

Moving on, viewing angles are another important factor when selecting your monitor…

Viewing Angles

With viewing angles, you’ll want to make sure that wherever you’re seated on the monitor, the colors and image quality will remain sharp.

IPS panels are ideal for this since they boast a 178-degree viewing angle range. Color shifts are minimal until reaching the extreme edges of the viewing angle, and image quality stays consistent throughout. You’ll get great visuals no matter where you sit.

However, VA panels haven’t quite caught up yet. While their viewing angles have improved over time, colors and contrast tend to shift when viewed off-center.

Moving onto color reproduction…

Color Reproduction

When it comes to color reproduction, IPS displays deliver more accurate colors and a wider gamut than VA displays.

Color Gamut IPS Panel VA Panel  
DCI-P3 (%) >90% <90%
sRGB (%) >100% <100%

The superior color performance of IPS means they’re well suited for gaming and professional applications. VA panels offer deeper blacks, making them great for movies or when you want to enjoy detailed shadows and highlights in games. Ultimately, it’s up to your personal preference. Now let’s consider the impact of color and image quality on gaming.

Color and image quality

When it comes to gaming, the quality of your color and image can have a big impact on your experience. IPS panels generally provide wider colors due to their hardware, leading to better color accuracy than VA panels. However, quantum-dot technology has evened the playing field in recent years.

VA panels typically offer deeper black levels and greater contrast, plus superior backlight uniformity given their ability to control light better. Ultimately, the choice between an IPS or VA panel depends on what’s more important for your gaming needs – wider colors or deeper blacks.

As both technologies continue to advance, there’s never been a better time for gamers to enjoy higher image and color quality with each new generation of displays.

And now we turn our attention to screen markings and retentions…

Screen markings and retentions

Although rare, LCDs may suffer from burn-in or image retention if left static for too long. IPS panels tend to be more prone to this problem compared to VA panels.

  • IPS displays have a higher contrast ratio.
  • IPS displays have better color uniformity and accuracy.
  • IPS panels provide wider viewing angles than VA panels.
  • IPS panels offer faster response times than VA panels.
  • IPS displays are better at maintaining the same level of brightness over time.

The advantages of an IPS panel make it much less likely that any kind of screen marking or retention will occur. However, these days, modern OLED TVs are also very resistant to this issue when used in home settings.

Moving on to the next section about the ‘advantages of IPS panels’, it’s clear that they present many benefits over VA types.

Color accuracy and coverage

VA panels may have good color accuracy and coverage, but they don’t always produce uniform colors across the display, especially when viewed from wider angles. IPS displays usually provide more consistent colors with accurate hues and saturation levels.

Here are some of the key differences between IPS and VA panels:

  • IPS displays usually have better color accuracy and coverage than VA panels.
  • Colors on an IPS panel remain consistent even when viewed from wider angles.
  • The center of a VA monitor often has more gamma than the edges, making colors less accurate.
  • Only professional photo and video editors need to worry about a VA monitor’s limited color space coverage.

To further distinguish these two types of panels, let’s look at their contrast ratio next.

Contrast ratio

Contrast ratio measures how dark the color black appears on a display, with higher ratios indicating better performance. VA panels usually outperform IPS displays in this area, with even the worst VA monitors capable of delivering a 2000:1 contrast ratio and some exceeding 5000:1. OLED’s perfect ∞:1 ratio is unbeatable in this regard.

High-end IPS displays can also benefit from local dimming and HDR to boost their contrast ratios, although these features come with the risks of causing more visual issues than they solve.

Moving on, response time is a key factor to consider when comparing VA and IPS panels.

Response time

Now that we’ve looked at contrast ratio, let’s take a look at response time. IPS and VA both struggle in this area but newer IPS monitors have made great strides in reducing their response times to 1-2ms compared to VA’s 4-5ms. Too slow of a response time can lead to ghosting, which is an unpleasant smear effect during fast action scenes. Both types of displays have solutions for avoiding ghosting like overdrive, but if it’s too aggressive you can see the reverse effect called reverse ghosting.

Refresh Rate Response Time  
60Hz 16.66 ms
144Hz 7 ms

It’s also important to note that the response time only needs to be equal to or lower than the refresh rate of the monitor for there to be no smearing. So while IPS has traditionally been faster than VA, it doesn’t always mean better performance – especially at lower refresh rates where the difference isn’t as noticeable.

Advantages of IPS Panels

You’ll benefit from an IPS panel’s improved viewing angle, color reproduction, and response time. Its wide 178-degree viewing angle ensures that no matter where you look, the picture won’t be distorted or off-color. Additionally, its 10-bit color depth and 1 billion colors support excellent color accuracy and consistency. Lastly, it offers up to a 5ms response time for smooth animations without ghosting effects.

Advantages Description
Viewing Angle Wide 178° angle ensures no distortion or off-color images.
Color Reproduction 10-bit color depth & 1 billion colors for accurate & consistent colors.
Response Time 5ms response time for smooth animations without ghosting effects.


IPS panels provide superior performance over VA panels in terms of viewing angles, color reproduction, and response times; however, they come with certain drawbacks which will be discussed in the next section.

Disadvantages of IPS Panels

Despite their superior performance, IPS panels can have certain drawbacks that you should consider.

  • Low contrast, light leakage, and loss of detail in dark parts are all common issues with IPS panels.
  • Additionally, they may be more expensive than VA panels due to higher production costs associated with the advanced technology used in IPS panels.
  • Furthermore, since IPS displays typically require a lot of power to operate at optimal levels, they are likely to cost more to run over time than other display options.
  • Finally, these types of monitors tend to suffer from backlight bleeding which can manifest as a halo effect around certain objects on the screen.

All these potential issues must be weighed against the advantages when choosing between an IPS or VA panel for your specific needs.

Advantages VA panels

VA panels offer a great option for those looking for an affordable display with good performance. Compared to IPS panels, VA panels provide superior contrast, less light leakage, and better shadow detail.

  1. An impressive 3,000:1 static contrast ratio.
  2. Minimal backlight bleeding and blooming.
  3. Deeper blacks with a greater level of depth perception.

These features make VA panels ideal for watching movies or playing video games in darker environments. Additionally, they are more cost-effective than similarly sized IPS displays while still providing excellent image quality and viewing angles.

Furthermore, it’s important to note that a VA panel’s response time is typically slower than IPS panels; this may be a concern for people who primarily use their display for gaming or other activities that require fast response times from the display panel.

All in all, VA panels are a great choice if you’re looking for an affordable quality display that can handle dark content without losing image fidelity. With these advantages in mind, let’s take a look at the disadvantages of VA displays as we transition into our next topic.

Disadvantages VA panels

Although VA panels offer great performance for the price, they also have some drawbacks.

One of the biggest is their worst viewing angle, meaning that from certain angles the image quality will be significantly reduced. This is due to how pixels are arranged on VA panels, as they are not able to use IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology to maintain consistent light transmission and color accuracy when viewed from different angles.

Additionally, while VA panels often exhibit a higher contrast ratio than IPS displays, this can sometimes lead to dark scenes appearing overly saturated or black levels being too deep. Finally, ghosting and motion blurring can occur more frequently with VA panels than with other types of display technology.

Despite these disadvantages, however, VA panels remain one of the most cost-effective options on the market when it comes to providing excellent picture quality and performance.

Transitioning into how one can determine a TV’s panel type: understanding what type of panel technology is used in a television set is key to making an informed purchase decision.

From my experience, VA panels often have all sorts of issues such as the infamous vertical lines problem.

How can I determine a monitors’s panel type?

Knowing what panel type a monitor uses can help you make a more educated buying decision. Here’s how to figure out what your monitor has:

  • Check the manufacturer’s website for specs. If panel type is mentioned, that will be your starting point.
  • Look up reviews of the same model online to see if they mention the display type.
  • Contact customer service directly with questions about the monitor’s specifications.
  • Compare the size and features of multiple monitors in a series; sometimes different sizes use different panels.
  • Take advantage of store returns policies when possible by testing out monitors yourself to compare performance levels across different brands and models.

Ultimately, there is no single answer for which panel type is best; it depends on your own needs and preferences as a consumer. With careful research, though, you can make an informed choice about which one is right for you so you can get the most out of your viewing experience!

Next up: Is IPS or VA better for gaming?

Is IPS or VA better for gaming?

Deciding which type of panel is best for gaming depends on your needs and preferences.

If you’re primarily focused on single-player gaming or playing online, a VA panel offers excellent contrast that can enhance the visuals.

On the other hand, if you plan to host movie nights with friends and family, an IPS-style panel offers superior viewing angles and better overall image quality.

It’s important to note that certain content (especially dark content) won’t pop quite as much with an IPS display.

Ultimately, it all comes down to what kind of experience you want—do you prioritize visuals or convenience?

Considerations for Non-Tech Users

Figuring out the differences between IPS and VA panels can be intimidating for non-tech users, but there are some key considerations to keep in mind.

First, look at how you intend to use your display. If gaming is your primary purpose, then VA panels offer an impressive level of contrast and deep blacks that bring an immersive experience. On the flip side, if accuracy matters more for tasks like photo editing, then IPS panels should be seriously considered due to their wide viewing angles and precise color reproduction.

Next, consider the lighting conditions in your room; depending on these factors, one type of panel may stand out as a better choice than the other.

Finally, think about your budget and what features you need most from a panel. In general, IPS will provide more options at varying price points while VA panels offer excellent value in the mid-to-high range. Whatever decision you make will depend on which factors are most important to you—but it doesn’t have to be daunting!

With these considerations in mind, transitioning into exploring different use cases should be a breeze.

IPS vs VA Panels in Different Use Cases

I’m sure by now you’re looking to decide between IPS and VA panels. Both have their advantages and disadvantages depending on what type of user you are, so let’s dive into the specifics of each use case.

Here are three key considerations to keep in mind:

  1. For gaming, if you’re after speed and responsiveness, look no further than an IPS panel. However, VA panels will bring extra depth and intensity to your gameplay.
  2. Movie buffs or multimedia enthusiasts should opt for VA panels due to their high contrast ratios. These ratios create a more cinematic experience with deep blacks that provide incredible detail.
  3. If color accuracy is critical for photo editing or design work, then IPS panels are ideal. They guarantee accurate colors and vibrant visuals every time.

No matter which uses case you fall into, both IPS and VA panels have something unique to offer—it just depends on what your needs are! Now that we’ve covered the different use cases for these two types of displays, let’s move on to examining which one is better overall…

IPS vs VA panel: Which is better then?

Choosing between IPS and VA displays can be a tough decision, but both have their unique strengths depending on your needs.

VA panels are better suited for dark rooms where the viewer is positioned directly in front of the TV. The deep blacks and high contrast levels produce an immersive viewing experience.

IPS panels, on the other hand, are better when watching in a brightly lit room as colors remain consistent even from side angles. On top of that, they tend to have fewer reflection issues than VA panels.

Ultimately it comes down to personal preference and desired use case – each type has its pros and cons so it’s important to consider all factors before making a purchase.

From this point of view, it’s difficult to choose one over the other as both offer advantages in different scenarios.

With that said, let us move on to our conclusion…


Transitioning from the previous subtopic, it’s clear that when choosing between a VA panel and an IPS monitor, there is no definitive answer. It comes down to personal preference and what type of gaming or productivity apps you plan on using. To make the best decision for your needs, it is recommended to get hands-on time with any monitors before committing to a purchase. Here are some things to consider:

  • Performance:
  • VA panels offer good color accuracy and contrast ratio but tend to have slower response times than IPS monitors.
  • IPS panels provide better viewing angles and faster response times than VA monitors at the cost of decreased contrast ratios.
  • Visuals:
  • VA panels offer deeper blacks, making them great for movies or video games with dark scenes.
  • IPS panels produce more accurate colors and have wider viewing angles which makes them ideal for tasks like photo editing or graphics design.

Ultimately, both types of panels have strengths and weaknesses depending on how they will be used; so do your research before investing in a new display!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost difference between IPS and VA panels?

The cost of an IPS panel and a VA panel can vary depending on the size and quality of the display. Generally, IPS panels are more expensive than VA panels. This is because IPS panels offer better viewing angles, wider color gamut, and faster response times. However, VA panels have their advantages as well. They often provide a better contrast ratio, which is great for dark scenes in movies or games. Ultimately, the choice between IPS and VA panels depends on your budget and what you are looking for in terms of performance. But overall, IPS panels will usually be pricier.

Do IPS and VA panels have different refresh rates?

Yes, IPS and VA panels do have different refresh rates.

For example, the ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q gaming monitor uses an IPS panel with a 165 Hz refresh rate, while the MSI Optix MAG27CQ gaming monitor features a VA panel with a 144 Hz refresh rate.

Generally speaking, IPS panels provide wider viewing angles and more consistent colors than VA panels due to their greater color depth. However, VA panels offer higher contrast ratios and better response times for faster action-packed games.

Although both types of displays offer excellent quality visuals in their own right, it’s important to consider your individual needs when deciding which one is right for you.

Are IPS and VA panels available in different sizes?

Yes, IPS and VA panels are available in different sizes. Generally speaking, IPS panels offer more size options than VA panels as they have a wider range of aspect ratios to choose from.

That said, both types of panels are available in the popular 16:9 ratio and can range between 19 inches to over 80 inches in size.

Additionally, some VA and IPS monitors even come with curved screens for an immersive experience.

What are the viewing angle differences between IPS and VA panels?

I’m often asked about the differences in viewing angles between IPS and VA panels. Generally speaking, IPS panels have wider viewing angles than VA panels do.

With an IPS panel, you can expect to view the same level of contrast from 178° horizontally and vertically. In comparison, VA panels offer a narrower range, with around 160° for both horizontal and vertical viewing angles.

This means that IPS screens are better suited for situations where multiple people will be looking at the screen at once, such as a in meeting room or classroom environment.

What are the brightness differences between IPS and VA panels?

IPS (In-Plane Switching) and VA (Vertical Alignment) panels both offer great viewing angles. However, there are key differences in their brightness. IPS panels have a higher peak brightness than VA panels, typically around 400 nits for IPS vs 250 nits for VA.

The extra brightness of an IPS display comes at the cost of increased backlight bleed. On the other hand, VA panels have better black levels, which can help create deeper contrast ratios. This gives them a slight edge in terms of overall image quality.

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...