What’s the best monitor for gaming? We run you through the basics and then present our best-reviewed gaming screens, from under £300 to £1000.
Until recently, when it came to selecting a gaming monitor, the options were pretty limited. You had a choice of between two or three screen sizes but only a TN display type – that was the only LCD panel that could provide the fast refresh rates that are key to a gaming monitor.
Before you start, take a look at our in-depth explainer on refresh rates and motion blur, which goes into lots of detail about how refresh rates and other technology could affect your experience.
Related: Best graphics card
So whether you’re looking for the most cost-effective way to raise your game, or you simply want the one monitor to rule them all, we’ve highlighted the best out there over the coming pages.
For a few extra pointers on what to look out for when buying a gaming monitor, read on below.
Coming soon: HDR Gaming
This is the next big thing in gaming monitors. If you’re buying a screen right now, you don’t need to worry about HDR, but as 2017 wears on we’ll see a lot more about it.
Still, having seen HDR monitors in the flesh, the appeal of screens with 1000-nits brightness and the ability to individually light tiny sections of the screen for simply incredible contrast levels is very high indeed. As soon as we’ve looked at these new monitors in detail we’ll be back with more in-depth analysis.
The vast majority of gaming monitors sold this year probably won’t be HDR-compatible, though, and the extra tech required to make an HDR monitor will make them very expensive.
What about FreeSync and G-Sync?
FreeSync and G-Sync are two technologies that aim to address the issues of tearing and stuttering. Both occur as a result of the fact that monitors normally run at a fixed refresh rate while graphics cards simply churn out frames as fast as they can.
Tearing is where the monitor outputs an image made up of several frames
You can read more about how the technologies work in our FreeSync review – but, essentially, they ensure that the monitor keeps in sync with the speed at which the graphics card outputs each new frame. This eliminates tearing and stuttering, making games look better and run more smoothly.
As such, for those who are simply after a gaming monitor for pure competitive advantage neither is essential. But if you’re also concerned with having a more immersive, visually pleasing gaming experience, then either tech is well worth investing in.
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