This article focuses on the purchase of a single monitor for gaming use. For information on setting up multiple monitors, see Multi-Monitor.
Choosing the right monitor is one of the most important decisions made during the process of building or upgrading a gaming rig. A standalone monitor is not only essential for a desktop computer, but can also vastly improve the gaming experience when using a notebook or other portable device. What follows is intended to be a comprehensive guide to purchasing a new computer monitor, covering all aspects of selection, from technical specifications, to pricing and both user and professional reviews.
Before beginning the process of selecting your new computer monitor, there are a number of things you should first ensure you avoid.
The following contains a summary of the most important aspects to consider when purchasing a monitor.
Currently, the majority of monitors in use utilise LCD, or "Liquid Crystal Display" technology. This type of monitor replaced traditional CRT, or "Cathode Ray Tube" monitors in the early 21st Century. It should be noted that all displays that claim to be LED (Light Emitting Diode) displays are actually LCD panels with an LED backlight designed to provide a brighter display, thinner screen, and lower power usage than traditional displays.
There are a number of different panel technologies within LCD that should be considered.
Twisted Nematic displays were the original LCD panels which made LCD screens practical for home and portable use. Today, although an older technology, they have a number of advantages for gaming, as well as disadvantages.
Vertical Alignment displays are a more modern technology and possess a number of advantages over Twisted Nematic panels.