In the market for a gaming monitor for PS4 Pro? Looking for the best monitor for Xbox One X? Trying to get your parent(s) to get you a new gaming monitor?You’ve heard you can’t live without 144Hz, FreeSync, or HDR? Don’t fret—we’ve got you covered. We’re going to cover the relevant specs, what they mean, and how they play into your decision. Let’s review.
Resolution equals image clarity. 1920x1080 (FHD), 2560x1440 (QHD), and 3840x2160(UHD) let you know the number of pixels displayed in each dimension. Higher numbers equal higher resolution, better picture quality, and, yes, a bigger price tag. That said, 4K gaming is growing in options and popularity. Think future proofing when you think 4K gaming monitor. Speed matters, too. To explore this further, let’s start with panel types.
IPS (In-Plane Switching) panels deliver the highest picture quality and have wide viewing angles (178° view). They have the best color and contrast, too. As more 4K games hit the market, the allure of gorgeous gaming gets more tempting. Those stunning images can get pricey and putting your money towards beauty can cost you some speed.VA (Vertical Alignment) panels are the Momma Bear of panels. Images are good, but not as good as IPS panels. They are faster than IPS, too, but not as quick as TNs. You won’t get the best image or speed, but you might find compromising a bit on color and speed “just right.” TN (Twisted Nematic) panels are speed, speed, and more speed. They are the preferred panel for eSports players around the world. Your image quality won’t shine, but if FPS games are your go-to, TN is your panel. After all, you probably won’t enjoy that fantastic color and contrast if you’re just watching yourself go down in defeat.
EX2780Q IPS Panel
EX3203R VA Panel
EL2870U TN Panel
This is the number of times per second your monitor updates with new images. It is measured in hertz (Hz) and is a key feature in gaming monitors. The types of games you play and the level you play at will factor in to your optimum refresh rate. Fast moving games like FIFA depend on high refresh rates for sharp images and fast reaction time. Core gamers are often fine with a 60Hz monitor. Competitive gamers look to 144Hz and higher.
Who cares about response time? Gamers do. Response time is how quickly a pixel displays changes color and is measured in milliseconds Gray-to-Gray (GtG). Lower response times are faster. Panel type plays a role here: think back to those TN panels that might not have great color and image quality. They come through with speed, which is why competitive gamers sometimes make the sacrifice on picture quality. TN panels can offer 1 ms GtG, whereas VA and IPS are usually in the 4-5ms range. Those milliseconds count plenty in FPS games like Call of Duty and Rainbow Six Siege.
AMD FreeSync is all about smooth gameplay. This technology matches the monitor’s refresh rate to the frame rate of the game being played. The difference you’ll see is seamless play without tearing, blurring, or choppy images.
4K content with HDR is pretty spectacular if your monitor supports it and you have the right connectivity. HDMI 2.0 and later can deliver up to 60 frames of 4K content per second without compromising image quality. Anything less than HDMI 2.0 and you’re taking 4K play off the table.
There are other factors and features to consider, too. Let’s talk eye care. Extended gaming sessions take a toll on you. BenQ can’t help you if your couch isn’t comfy, but eye-care is covered. Gaming monitors like EW3280U, EW3270U, EL2870U, and EX2780Q offer triple-threat eye protection. ZeroFlicker™ eliminates flicker and the headaches that come with it. Low Blue Light filters the part of the spectrum that can damage your retinas.We touched on Brightness Intelligence Plus and how it improves image quality. We haven’t touched on how it improves user experience. That improved image not only delivers a gaming advantage because you see more—it also reduces eye strain so you see more…for longer. These features keep you in the game until you’re ready to stop—or run out of snacks.
It comes down to priorities. Games are faster and have more spectacular graphics all the time. Speed wins. It all costs. Assess your needs, your wants, and your budget before you make the call. BenQ gaming monitors run the gamut from entry level to full competitive options.