Monitors are a vital part of any gaming set-up and they are getting better and cheaper all the time. If you haven’t upgraded recently, the Christmas period with its sales and deals are the perfect time to grab a bargain. If you are thinking about buying a new monitor, there’s quite a few things to keep in mind. As one of the most vital components of your gaming rig, it’s important to take some time and get it right. If you don’t have a big budget, but are looking for the best deal your money can buy, look at the following points when making your choice:
Either LCD or LED is fine, but avoid TFT type monitors as they have a tendency to blur.
Screens have three types of connectors VGA, DVI and HDMI. VGA is the oldest and of inferior quality, try to steer clear. DVI is similar to HDMI, except HDMI also carries sound and DVI does not. Make sure the monitor’s connector is the same as that on the PC. If you have an older computer and are buying a newer screen, you can get an adaptor to match the two, so it’s not a deal breaker as long as you also purchase the appropriate adaptor so that the screen can be used immediately.
Most monitor clamps and brackets use a VESA connector to attach to the monitor. Make sure that the monitor has one otherwise you cannot use a clamp with it, which is something that we highly recommend due to the flexibility it provides. A VESA connector is easy to spot, it just looks like 4 screw holes in the middle of the back of the monitor.
To buy the perfect monitor, you need to know what type of graphics card you’re buying. Select the highest resolution that the graphics card can handle.
Aspect Ratio & Refresh Rate
An aspect ration of 16:10 is slightly better but usually more expensive. Choose an 16:9 if 16:10 is not available. The minimum is 60 Hz, but aim for at least 75 Hz. 120 Hz is the absolute ideal, best that money can buy, however there is no point buying a fantastic monitor to pair up with a mediocre graphics card. Check the native refresh rate of your graphics card and match your monitor’s refresh rate to it for the best performance.
Make sure that the necessary cable is included. Some do, some don’t and it would be rather disappointing to receive a new monitor for Christmas only to discover that you can’t use it until you buy a cable. If the cable is not included, pick one up, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a standard HDMI or DVI will do the job just fine.
Bonus Points: Flipping
If you are buying a smaller monitor, it’s great if it can flip from portrait to landscape mode. Landscape mode is a great standard setting, but if you can flip it to portrait for when you are using the secondary monitor for chat or watching text based feeds, it’s even better.