Being a PC gamer, many times, you may need to make a monitor purchase to fulfill your gaming needs; it might be either a first-time purchase or the purpose may be merely a system update to compete with the advancing technologies.
In this regard, the first & foremost thing that often comes to most gamers’ mind is the price range; they tend to purchase an efficient monitor within a fixed budget while the rest may prioritize the other requirements, i.e., screen size or resolution. However, all these characteristics are pretty known to everyone.
But the story does not end here; there are certain factors that are far more crucial to be considered while choosing a monitor display for gaming, i.e., the monitor panels.
What are the different Monitor panel types?
The LCD screens the monitors use may seem alike, apparently, but the used technology may vary depending on the panel type your monitor may have.
In the gaming market, you can come across probably three main likely panel types used by the gaming monitors’ LCD such as IPS (In-plane switching), TN (Twisted Nematic), and VA (Vertical Alignment). The selection of a particular panel type is mainly centered around your gaming requirements as some PC gamers tend to play games in all sorts of genres while others may like to stick to a particular gaming genre; surprisingly, the panel type may vary with the targeted game genre too.
So, with the aim to assist you in choosing the most appropriate monitor display to meet your gaming requirements more precisely, here we have curated a list of factors that you must consider prior to making a purchase.
Note: In the first place, identify your exact purpose to use a monitor display. Although we intend to elaborate on the factors associated with the gaming monitors here, but some users may need a monitor display for graphic designing, too, so the monitor specifications may also vary the usage scenario.
The first & foremost thing you need to identify is how much you can spend on the purchase of the required monitor. A prior budget estimate is always a good practice as it can filter out the choices initially so that you can only look for the product available in your budget range. For instance, a user with a low or limited budget can only explore the limited choices in getting a monitor to meet his needs.
The other significant aspect you might require to consider before thinking of purchasing a monitor is to determine or define an exact purpose and figure out why you need to buy the monitor. For instance, if you are a casual gamer, then you won’t need to worry much about the panel type because any monitor display can work fine in your case.
Contrarily, if you intend to play the competitive games, then for sure you need a faster technology and, in this regard, TN would be more appropriate given its low response time & high refresh rate.
Once you have finalized the above-stated factors, then it would be much easier for you to choose a monitor with the right panel type. Now we will move on to explain all the 3 panel types in-depth, and the VA Vs IPS Vs TN section will surely give your enough insights into each panel type; at the end of this entire discussion, you will be able to differentiate between all of these in order to make the best selection of monitor display for gaming.
What is Twisted Nematic or TN Panel?
The TN display technology is actually the oldest one; therefore, it isn’t considered much efficient at present times. Despite all its downsides, the lowest response time it offers is totally matchless and gives it an edge over other technologies.
Although the new technologies are being widely used in most display monitors nowadays, but you can still easily find a monitor with Twisted Nematic display technology.
In fact, if a monitor hasn’t mentioned any panel type on it, you can confidently presume it as the TN display monitor because the monitors with other technologies come along with the technology name mentioned with the device name.
What is In-plane switching or IPS Panel?
In-plane switching is basically an advancement in the former TN display technology with more demanding characteristics; however, with the addition of new traits, it might cost you more than TN display because till now, TN is considered the cheapest display technology available in the market.
IPS is also referred to as TFT LCD because, in an IPS, the liquid crystals are precisely packed in between the outer two glass surfaces; the IPS being a prevalent display technology, is the most widely used one at present; an extensive range of devices, i.e., mobile phones, TVs, monitors and many more, all these comes with IPS display nowadays.
TN panel Vs IPS
If we do a comparative analysis of TN Vs. IPS, we can find many differences between them because the one is the oldest display technology with the least good factors while the other comes with more advanced properties, and that is IPS display technology that is being used widely in all areas of the world.
The IPS offers the best image quality so far, but its high response time might disturb the gaming experience most often. However, the TN technology is considered the fastest in this regard as it comes with the lowest response rate and is quite affordable also.
What is Vertical Alignment or VA Panel?
The VA monitor panel is produced like a TN display technology to some extent but comes with many good characteristics and offers quite advanced visuals using the electric current & liquid crystals. We can say that the VA display technology stands between IPS & TN display panels in terms of performance.
Because its some characteristics are like IPS too, for instance, the excellent color production factor & appropriate angle viewing. We have already stated that the TN is the fastest technology so far, but if we consider the VA in this regard, it is regarded as the slowest one given the highest response time it offers.
VA Vs IPS Panel
The VA & IPS both panel types are equally efficient to some extent because both are widely used technologies at present. For casual games, the VA & IPS performs a good job, but in the case of high-end games, IPS display technology is more suitable.
Although the VA offers the best contrast ratio comparatively but you have to compromise over the viewing angle in VA display monitors because VA technology is not capable of providing wider viewing angles like IPS. The VA & IPS both don’t offer a reasonable response rate when it comes to response rate, so you may come across the blurriness & ghosting issues consequently.
Now we will briefly explain a few most common factors a good monitor should have, such as image quality, refresh rate & response rate, and given each trait, here we will compare all the panel types in little more detail.
Image quality is often considered the most significant trait a good monitor should offer to its users. Note that image quality isn’t a single factor; we can see many other related factors too. So here will analyze each panel type given the color reproduction rate, contrast ratios & viewing angles.
IPS display technologies are known for offering the best color gamut; due to the highest color range offered, you can experience a totally realistic image. IPS is a good choice for multi-gamers also because in such a case, the players sitting away from the screen need a sharper image to be displayed so that they can clearly see it from a distant spot. So, wider viewing angles of IPS greatly facilitate its users in this regard.
If good visuals are your primary requirement, then obviously, TN isn’t a good choice for you because it offers a poor-quality image totally due to low color range; even you won’t find any TN monitor with DisplayHDR. Moreover, the viewing angles are also not wide like IPS monitors, so the displayed images will also not be sharper.
The image quality offered by VS display technology is on an average level compared to IPS & TN. Because if we consider the viewing angles of VS, we can see that VS offers smaller viewing angles than IPS but larger than TN display. However, the contrast ratio of VA is very high.
Response rate is another crucial factor regarding display monitors. Basically, it depicts the speed at which the black screen turns white. If the response time of a display monitor is low, it is considered a good aspect; in a similar way, a high response rate may cause the issues like blurriness or ghosting.
The IPS screen offers a pretty high response time; the screens often take 4milisceonds to change a black screen to white. Although this is a drawback of IPS but still it won’t be much problematic for casual gamers; however, for competitive games, this response rate isn’t sufficient at all.
The TN display technology is so far the fastest one just because it offers the lowest response rate of 1 millisecond. Therefore, it is considered the ideal display technology for competitive or shooting games.
The response rate of VA is the highest among all display panel types, as it provides a response speed of 5 milliseconds. However, the VA is continuously working on this factor, and even you can get a better response rate with VA, too, but for that, you have to bear comparatively more cost.
You might have heard that a high refresh rate forms a smoother image but let’s discuss this refresh rate term a bit more. Actually, refresh rate indicates the computing rate of frames, or we can say that the no. of frames a screen computes or recomputes per second is its refresh rate.
IPS is one of those display panels that come with the lowest refresh rate; although you can get an IPS monitor with a higher refresh rate of 144Hz also but at an extra cost because technology is still in the development phase.
Refresh rate is the second most appealing factor of TN as TN offers the highest refresh rate even at such a low cost. You can totally have a smooth gaming experience with TN displays having a refresh rate of 144Hz or more.
Like the image quality factor, the refresh rate offered by the VA display is also average. Mostly the VA display panels provide a refresh rate of 60Hz, but like IPS, you can get a VA monitor with a higher refresh rate of 144Hz also but at an extra cost because the VA technology is still working on this factor.
IPS Vs VA Vs TN
In-plane switching (IPS)
- High color scale
- Excellent visuals
- Wide viewing angles
- Realistic & sharp images
- High refresh rate
- High response rate
Vertical Alignment (VA)
- Good color range
- Excellent contrast ratio
- Average viewing angles
- High response rate
- Ghosting issues
Twisted Nematic (TN)
- Lowest response time
- Highest refresh rate
- Comparatively affordable
- Poor colors
- Image dullness
- Smaller viewing angles
A thorough analysis of all 3 types of monitor panels depicts that IPS & VA are the most frequently used LCD technologies nowadays for offering the most demanding display properties, but both lag by a factor of response time.
The IPS & VA displays have a high response rate that is not considered a good point because it may adversely affect the video or gaming quality by causing blurriness and ghosting.
On the other hand, if we consider the TN in this regard, we can find it more effective as it comes with a comparatively low response time, and this factor might sound quite appealing to most gamers.
Although the TN display technology comes with a lower response rate, still, it is not a widely used technology because this is also the only good factor associated with the TN; if we look over other significant aspects, TN isn’t a good choice at all.
Whether it is about gaming or graphics designing, you might need to get a good quality display monitor; selection of an appropriate monitor isn’t an easy task, though. Because there are certain factors that need to be considered and ensured while making the purchase of a display screen.
Some of the most common aspects to be considered are color gamut, contrast ratios, response time, refresh time, etc.
The display monitors may have different panel types used as their display technology, and each panel type comes with a different set of attributes that are essential for a good display. In this regard, the 3 most common display technologies you may come across are IPS, TN & VA.
In this article, we have comprehensively elaborated on all the mentioned display technologies and concluded that IPS & VA are the most optimum choices to meet gaming needs.