Today I want to talk to you about gaming monitors. Not everyone, but some people definitely don’t put a lot of thought into their monitor (especially those on a budget). Now one would think, “but its just a monitor, it doesn’t matter as long as I can see” but this is far from the truth. A better monitor can have many improvements, from obvious things like having a better resolution, to more advanced technical things like max frame rates and free sync. And lets not forget ergonomics.
Once upon a time, I also had a junk monitor. When I first got my gaming rig, I was on a minimum budget. I used my old 1080i flat screen TV that looked like a monitor, using an HDMI cable. I never thought there was anything wrong with it, but my friends would always tell me everything on it looks terrible. Then one day, I got my ASUS VG248 and I couldn’t be happier. I will say now it isn’t the best monitor on the market and is a little old, but it is a very nice middle ground. It looks way better then my old junk I had, it has better specs, and its more ergonomic then most cheaper monitors.
There’s several key aspects of a monitor you want to look for. Some more obvious then others. Resolution is the first (the obvious one). Others are the refresh rate, response time, if it is free sync or G sync compatible, how the screen reflects light (flat or curved), and lastly and most over looked, the stand.
FreeSync and G Sync – The Difference Between Them
To give some quick information before I start listing monitors, I want to talk about FreeSync and G Sync. FreeSync and G Sync are very similar, in that they are pretty much better performance V Sync, meaning they hurt your frames per second less. The important thing to remember is that FreeSync is AMD graphics cards only, and is cheaper, and G Sync is Nvidia cards only. Monitors with FreeSync or G Sync can still be used with the other graphics cards, but you cant use the FreeSync or G Sync technology.
TN and IPS Displays
Another important thing to understand about monitors is the panel type. It will either be a TN panel or IPS. TN is cheaper, and can have better gaming specifications, especially for the price. IPS are more color accurate giving a better picture, and the expensive ones can still have good refresh rates and decent response times. IPS also have much better viewing angles. This means that when you look at the monitor at an angle, it will look normal. With a TN display as you turn the monitor you will notice the image changes in brightness and color. As long as you look directly at the monitor, this doesnt matter very much. When this can be a bigger problem is with bigger monitors, where the sides may start to be at more of an angle and make the picture look worse.
A important feature that is often overlooked is ergonomics. It is important to have your monitor at the right height and angle to promote good posture. Just by raising and changing the angle on your monitor, you will notice that you sub continuously change your sitting position to view it in the easiest way. This means that by having an adjustable stand on your monitor, you can perfectly adjust your monitor to give you the best posture. This creates a more enjoyable experience at your computer and is better for your long term health.
So now I’m just going to list to you a few good monitors and talk about how they meet or don’t meet the points I just mentioned. hopefully this will help you chose which one is best for you.
ASUS VS239 – The budget option
This is my second monitor I have on my desk. It is a nice 1920 x 1080p monitor, nothing fancy. It comes in at a low price of around 100-130 dollars. For monitors, this is still cheap, while getting a premium product. It only has a 60 hz refresh rate and 5 ms response time, but for most gaming this is fine, although with a super high end gaming setup you should want more. It is a IPS Display, which is what limits the refresh and response times, but this helps to have a great picture.
This is the step above the VS239, and the newer version of the one I have. It costs more, around the lower 200 dollars range, but it does have some perks. It is 1920 x 1080p, just like the other, but it is a TN display (instead of IPS) with better gaming performance. So it is 144hz with a response time of 1ms. The 144hz helps to get higher fps without screen tearing (capping at 144 fps, instead of 60 like normal monitors). The downside is that the TN display can look slightly worse than IPS due to coloring and lighting depending on where your head is in relation to the monitor, but it still looks good as long as your head is in the right position. A premium feature is it has free sync, which I described above. Also remember what I said earlier, that FreeSync is AMD only, and won’t work with Nvidia cards. But you can still use this monitor and V Sync if you have a Nvidia card.
Another very important thing to me is it has a good stand. You can raise it up and down, and adjust the monitor angle. This may be overlooked by many, but is extremely important for long gaming sessions. Raising your monitor and having it at the right angle can help you to have better posture like I said above, which long term is very good for your back and neck.
ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Premium option
The ASUS ROG Swift is the premium option for those wanting to spend a lot and get a top of the line gaming monitor. Its 1440p, so higher resolution, while also being 144hz. Also, it is Still IPS, so it doesn’t have color distortion like other cheaper 144 Hz monitors (TN displays). It also is G sync compatible, so no need to lower your performance with V Sync. This requires a Nvidia graphics card, but if you want maximum performance you should have one. It also has “ASUS eye care” technology that reduces blue light and flicker. This means, its supposed to reduce eye strain at night (reduced blue light), and reduced flicker can help to not get headaches (where monitors on low brightness flicker slower and can give some people headaches). And also, it has a high end ergonomic stand.
Premium FreeSync Version- ASUS MG279Q WQHD
This monitor is very similar to the ROG Swift. It is a IPS display, 1440p, 27 inch gaming monitor. The difference is that it uses FreeSync instead of G Sync. So in other words, if you use AMD graphics, you probably want this one, unless you plan to switch to Nvidia in the future. It also costs a bit less, thanks to FreeSync costing less than G Sync.
Extra Widescreen Gaming
You also have the option to go with an extra widescreen monitor. These are a 21:9 aspect ratio instead of 16:9. This means that instead of 1920 x 1080 pixels your monitor is 2560 x 1080 pixels resolution. Pretty much what this means is you can take having a good field of view to the next level. By having more pixels on the sides, this means you get to see more that you couldn’t before. So in other words, you actually get to see more on the sides that you couldn’t before. Think having better peripheral vision, but for gaming. The catch is that the game needs to be 21:9 ratio compatible. Most games are, and there’s other programs to try and force it if the game isn’t. Important things to note are that if you are very field of view sensitive you could have issues using a extra wide monitor. Saying that, you may still be fine because increasing field of view with a wider monitor is much more natural then turning up your field of view in game. Also another thing to note is that you have more pixels, so even at “1080p” it will be harder to run the game. So you want to make sure your computer can handle running the games at 21:9 without hurting your performance.
Premium Option- Asus ROG PG348Q
The ASUS ROG PG348Q is a top end 21:9 34 inch gaming monitor. Its 1440p, so you get the beautiful high resolution of the other top end gaming monitors. It uses a beautiful IPS display, and is G Sync compatible. It only has a 100hz refresh rate due to IPS having a harder time getting high refresh rate, but that’s still high enough considering running 1440p ultra wide on max graphics settings is very taxing and can be very hard to hit 144 frames per second anyway.
Budget/Mid Range Option- LG 34UC79G-B
The LG 34UC77G-B comes in at around half the cost of the above monitor. Still expensive, but 21:9 gaming monitors cost more in general. For a lower budget you will need to sacrifice gaming performance. This monitor is still a 34 inch 21:9 IPS display. It even has a higher refresh rate at 144hz. Also note that it uses AMD FreeSync instead of G Sync. The downside, is that its not 1440p. To many that’s a pretty big hit in how good the monitor is, but in reality this isn’t that bad. Remember, ultra wide 21:9 1080p is harder to run than normal 16:9, so a AMD card would have a really hard time running 1440p at 21:9 anyway. Overall its a very good option for someone who wants a premium 21:9 gaming monitor but doesn’t want to spend the massive amount the above one costs.
I hope that some of this helped you in your journey to pick the right gaming monitor. If you liked this please share on social media below to help me out, and follow our page to see future posts. If you have any comments, questions, or anything else, please feel free to comment below!