So you finally got a powerhouse PC and now all you need is a great gaming monitor to complete your set-up. But now you have several questions in your head.

”What specs do I need to look for in a gaming monitor?”

“What’s the best brand?”

“Do I go for a 1080p 144 Hz or 4K 60Hz?”

There are plenty of wonderful gaming monitors to choose from but you might waste precious money if you don’t know the limits of your PC’s video output. In other words, good gaming monitors require good graphics cards.

In this article, we’ll help you understand what makes a gaming monitor great through various comparisons. Once you’ve finished reading, you should be able to grasp some basic knowledge so you don’t go mindlessly wasting on a monitor that isn’t suitable for your computer.

We’ll simplify some segments so you don’t get too confused especially if you happen to be a newbie in the world of PC gaming.

Now let’s get into the big questions:

Do I need to buy an expensive monitor?

This depends on your PC specs. If you’ve invested so much money into creating a NASA-powered PC, you’ll need an equally NASA-powered monitor. If you purchased a decent-powered PC like somewhere along the lines of an i7-7700 CPU, Palit GTX 1050Ti and 8 GB of RAM, then you don’t need to pour out lots of cash for a monitor as a relatively decent 1080p 60Hz would work fine.

In short, if you have a high-budget PC, you need a high-budget monitor. If your PC is low-budget, then you’re not required to spend too much on the monitor.

Is it always better at 4K?

There is no doubt that 4K always counts as the superior resolution. However, 4K isn’t everything.

Sure, everything looks crystal clear but if you happen to be a competitive player who wants nothing but wins in a fast-paced game like Apex Legends, Dragon Ball FighterZ or CS:GO, you need to rely on refresh rate more.  Full HD is always at 1920 x 1080, 2K at 2560 x 1440 and 4K at 3840 x 2160.

4K is usually best if you’re the kind that values graphics over anything else in gaming. Otherwise, you need to focus on the refresh rate more if you value gameplay over visuals. And that leads us to our next question.

What’s so important about refresh rate?

You see, there are some PC gamers that overlook the refresh rate and focus on the resolution. For PC enthusiasts, they will always tell you that refresh rate is everything, especially if you’re the competitive type of player.

If your PC transfers more video frames than what your monitor can handle, this causes screen tearing. For example, your monitor has a refresh rate of 60Hz but if the PC transfers video frames beyond that limit, your monitor will display out-of-sync images.

Having a good refresh rate is very important for fast-paced multiplayer games. Better refresh rate simply means less input lag.

To combat this, you must configure your game’s refresh settings to a fixed limit. If your monitor can only handle 60Hz, cap your game to just 60 fps and v-sync activated. But there’s a catch to this: if you do this, you will notice a huge game performance slowdown.

This is why streamers and pro players prefer using a 1080p monitor with a refresh rate of 240 Hz. Even with an expensive PC, the rig can’t go beyond 240Hz (at least for now) and that makes it very safe in terms of syncing.

Is it necessary to buy a monitor with an Nvidia G-Sync/AMD Freesync?

If you spot one, then by all means get it. Why? Because as we previously mentioned, fixing your game to a certain refresh rate limit and v-sync will affect your game’s performance. But with the G-Sync or Freesync, it alleviates the performance issues despite the fixed limit and activated v-sync.

Do note that most gaming monitors these days include these technologies. However, a monitor with the Nvidia G-Sync is usually costs than a monitor without one – as in around R1500 to R2000 more. But for the AMD Freesync, there’s no price increase – a kudos for the PC with an AMD processor.

What’s the ideal screen size of a gaming monitor?

Most monitors are between 21” to 27” which are good enough for a great gaming experience. Anything wider than that won’t be ideal for staring at the monitor up-close. Whereas, anything smaller means that there’s no point in acquiring a  higher resolution monitor.

We recommend a 24” full HD monitor. If you want to go larger than that, then make sure your computer’s processor can perform above and beyond to prevent aliasing from displaying on the screen.

Recap

In the end, choosing a gaming monitor is all up to you. But take note that if you have a PC with a fast processor, then you need a PC with a fast refresh rate. The brand doesn’t matter as long as you take note of the specs we’ve discussed.

But if you ask us what the sweet spot in gaming monitors is, with having to shell out so much cash, go for one with 144Hz at 2560 x 1440 resolution. You’ll be fine, trust us.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]
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