Gaming is serious business. Action-packed moments with lots of competitiveness, adrenaline and reflexes turned up to eleven is something that very few can deem as ‘boring’.
Oftentimes, and with the advent of online competitive games such as League of Legends, Dota2 and Fortnite, responsiveness and computer performance is key and can (in fact, does) impact the endgame result of a match.
Why a good monitor makes a difference in gaming
When the rest of the players run their games in better computers than you, a momentary freeze or lag can turn into a kill-streak or a match won. When everything is fast-paced, one requires the best performance that you can get in order to crush your opponents.
But are internal components alone so important? Or do the peripherals used impact your score? What about one of the essential components that everybody overlooks very often?
We are talking about the screen, or the computer monitor.
How high-quality monitors improve your gaming performance
Modern screens are often cataloged by features such as size (22 inches to 40 inches), aspect ratio (widescreen or 16:9, standard or 4:3, ‘golden ratio’ or 16:10), panel type (LCD, LED, OLED, etc.) or connectivity (HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort) but there is one key aspect or feature to each screen that has proven to have the most impact when it comes to gaming performance: the refresh rate.
Refresh rate measures the amount of times that your monitor updates with new images each second. For example, a 60 Hz refresh rate means the display updates 60 times per second. A 144 Hz refresh rate means the display updates 144 times per second.
What does this entail? A higher refresh rate will result in a smoother picture or a faster flow of animation, a bit more ‘silky’ if you will.
Naturally, this means that on higher refresh rates, the phenomena known as tearing in gaming is eliminated. If you don’t know what screen tearing means, see below:
Screen tearing –or tearing– happens when a display device shows information from multiple frames in a single screen refresh, leading to slow frame rates or stutter in the display of images or animations.
This is damaging to gaming performance –particularly fast-paced games that require fast reaction times or precise timing– and when possible, should be addressed with the purchase of proper monitors that alleviate the issue.
How do you like them colors? IPS vs TN vs VA panels
IPS panels (short for in-plane switching) is a type of screen technology that relies on liquid crystals arranged in parallel which can switch horizontally, thereby allowing better color performance and fundamentally, much better viewing angles.
One of their main criticism of IPS panels in the past is that –and this matters in the context of gaming– response time and contrast were way lower than their TN counterparts, however, IPS monitor response times have advanced a lot ever since, which erased this weakness and hailed the rise of the IPS monitor for gaming.
TN panels (short for twisted nematic) is a screen technology that appeared with the first LCD monitors. The main selling point of these is that they cost way less to produce than IPS or VA panels. Therefore, any TN-paneled monitor will cheaper. The second selling point is that TN panels allow for a faster response time and the fastest refresh rates on the market (up to 240hz). To this effect, TN monitors are able to reduce blurring and screen tearing in fast-paced games when compared to an IPS or VA panel.
VA panels (short for Vertical Alignment) is a type of LED panel display technology. This type boasts the best contrast and image depth (even better than IPS panels) but also the longest response times. For this reason, we recommend avoiding VA panels altogether if you are looking for a gaming monitor, given that there is a high chance that you will get a beautiful image output, but not rapid enough.
The best gaming monitors under 200: our picks
Understandably, money can be an issue and not everyone has five hundred (500) dollars to spend at the drop of a hat in a brand new top-of-the-line monitor.
But fret not! We have compiled the 5 (five) best gaming monitors under 200 USD, just so you can have the opportunity of enjoying those gaming afternoons in comfort. Let’s get to it!
And our winner pick
We did say 5 monitors right? Well, technically that is correct, but after browsing through the entire internet for the best gaming monitors under $200 we DID find a sixth contestant. And this one is at the very top of our list, so – behold, our winner pick:
Hopefully these will be good enough to get you started. Have you enjoyed this list? Let us know in the comments and rate this list with 5 stars!