How to Choose a Screen or Monitor for Gaming

Monitors or screens aren’t exactly the first things that come to mind in terms of the ideal gaming setup. However, there’s a simple reason why our list of the ‘Top 7 Things a True Gamer Needs in the Game Room’ includes a large screen: it’s your gaming rig’s main output device. In order to fully enjoy the graphic capabilities of a gaming computer, you’ll need a screen or monitor that can handle the job.

Apart from sheer size, what else do you need to watch out for in terms of the proper gaming monitor?

Resolution

This is the most important factor to consider. In a nutshell, resolution is the amount of pixels the monitor can display, which greatly determines the visual output as well as the monitor’s compatibility with your rig. Full High Definition (FHD) monitors for instance are also called 1080p, which refers to the 1920x1080p resolution of FHD monitors – ideal for basic gaming setups. Meanwhile, 2K monitors are also referred to as 1440p, while 4K monitors are 2160p, which as Rolling Stone explains are more compatible with expensive gaming PCs. And although there are higher resolutions like 8K or 4320p, even today’s most cutting edge games will work perfectly with 4K or 2K monitors.

It’s important to note that while higher resolutions mean better and crisper images, they also take a toll on your computer. The higher the resolution, the more your CPU and GPU or graphics card needs to work to produce the image. This means that using a 4K monitor with a computer that’s optimised for 2K resolution will result in a lower FPS (frames per second) rate, which brings us to our next vital point.

Refresh Rate

FPS refers to the amount of images your GPU itself can render per second. Meanwhile, the monitor’s refresh rate which is measured in Hz (hertz) is what ultimately determines how many times it is able to refresh images within a particular second. This is why a list of the best monitors by HP documents how the refresh rate and frame rate are important specs not just for gamers but for anyone else who spends a lot of time in front of a screen. Apart from putting your gaming graphics card to good use, higher refresh rates may also help decrease eye strain from prolonged gaming sessions. This is exactly why it’s crucial to find a monitor with a refresh rate that’s compatible with your GPU’s FPS capability.

For instance, if your gaming PC can only pull off 100FPS, then you won’t need a monitor with a 120 to 240Hz refresh rate. But if your rig lets you play games at a higher FPS, using a 60Hz monitor that can’t keep up with the action, it will result in screen tearing or choppy images, mouse movement delays, and other frustrating, and ultimately eye-straining results. In short, the key to choosing a monitor based on resolution and refresh rate is knowing the capabilities of your GPU and CPU. This will also help in determining the right display settings to achieve the best possible performance between your PC and your new monitor.

Advanced Considerations

While the above information is enough to get you started on the track to finding the right monitor, there are certain advanced factors that can allow you to narrow down your choices. For instance, some of today’s advanced monitors come with automatic sync technology that works with compatible GPUs to take the guesswork out of image stabilisation settings. Meanwhile, considering the panel technology behind the monitor will allow you to factor in response time or how quickly pixels can change between one colour to the next.

If you want to settle for nothing less than the most ideal monitor for running games like Ghost of Tsushima on multiplayer with the highest FPS rate and best response times, these advanced considerations can certainly help. But if your goal is to simply find a monitor that can bring out the best in your current gaming setup, then the aforementioned basic considerations are the most important factors you need to focus on.

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