What to Look For in a Gaming Monitor

A gaming monitor shows the output of your CPU and GPU in stunning clarity. But knowing what to look for in a gaming monitor can be tricky. Manufacturers tout a wide range of features that vary in importance to gamers. Some of the most important gaming monitor specs include screen size, resolution, refresh rate and panel type.

For example, fast response times eliminate the trailing behind fast-moving images that can spoil the gaming experience. Look for a specified response time speed of up to 1ms GtG (gray-to-gray) to ensure smooth images. IPS and VA panel monitors also offer faster response times than some old-school TN models, so you can often get the best of both worlds.

High dynamic contrast ratio is another common feature that can enhance the visual appeal of your games. It measures how well a display reproduces deep blacks and bright whites, using an image-processing algorithm to boost contrast and detail in dark or light areas.

Many gaming monitors feature advanced sound hardware to deliver rich, clear audio to your ears via headphones or speakers. This can add to your immersive gaming experience and eliminate the need for additional external speakers.

Input lag is another important consideration, and gaming monitors tend to have low input lag. You can further lower your input lag by selecting “Game Mode” in the monitor’s adjustment menu, which disables image processing features that can cause tearing or artifacts. Some gaming monitors also support AMD FreeSync to ensure variable refresh rates that eliminate screen tearing and reduce frame rate issues like stutter and lag.

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