When it comes to choosing the best gaming monitor for yourself it can be a bit of a minefield. Some of the terminology used can be so confusing so we have broken this down to make it a lost easier to choose the best gaming monitor.
Firstly you need to decide exactly what you want your monitor for. If you need your monitor to play online games then you will need one with a low input lag. You will also need one that has a fast response time. Although most monitors now have a fast response time which is generally around 5ms it is possible to get even faster response times. Another subject to look at is the refresh rate. Older monitors tend to have 60hz refresh rate but the high end models are now tcoming with 120hz (see here) to give a good 3D picture. After all that then there is also the price. Do you want to pay a little more now for a future proof monitor or happy to get one to use now and maybe upgrade again in a few years time.
1. WHAT IS LOW INPUT LAG?
Input lag is the length of time for the monitor to have recieved the signal and then displayed this on the screen. If this is very slow then whatever you are using the monitor for will look blocky and jerky. If you are playing agame then it will really make it hard work. Some people say that they have more input lag if they are using a wireless controller compared to a wired one. Input lag can also happen when there is network lag. All users on a network have to recieve the updated pictures at the same time and this will always be at the speed of the slowest user. The general opinion is that around 5ms to 10ms (see samples here) is an acceptable rate. Anymore than this can lead to a jumpy picture but if you are playing online you need to bear in mind what all the other users are running. In some cases it will not be a problem that you can fix.
2. WHAT IS MONITOR REFRESH RATE?
Often we will see figures of a 60kz refresh rate or maybe 120kz refresh rate on high end monitors. But what does that mean and how can it help us? The monitor refresh rate is the amount of times the monitor can redraw the entire screen per second. So a speed of 60mz means that the screen can be redrawn 60 times in just 1 second. With the technology now moving to 3D we are seeing monitors that have a refresh rate of 120kz. This is an astonishing 120 per second and can provide true HD 3D (See 3D HD Monitors Here) graphics and pictures in amazing quality. At 120kz we really are pusing the boundries of what our own human eyes can really appreciate so 120kz may be the standard that will last a long time.
3. WHAT IS FRAMES PER SECOND.
Sometimes the monitor refresh rate and the frames per second (FPS) get a little mixed up. Frames per second refers to the amount of frames per second that the video card is sending to the monitor. So regardless of your monitor refresh rate the frames per second that are delivered to the monitor is controlled by the graphics part of your setup.
Our own eyes can generally manage to process about 12 frames per second. Most video games at the higher end of the graphics scale will work at around 30 frames per second. This is ideal if you are gaming over the internet. Some games are going to be running at more than 100 frames per second in the future. However this will require all users of these games to have monitors capable of around 125 frames per second which at the moment is prohibitaly expensive.