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(My) Gaming Monitor Price Step Chart

johnwaskins

81 months ago

This topic was originally meant as a price step chart, something along the lines of "good, better, best". Since the topic's posting it has evolved into being more of an introduction into the technical things about monitors (in relation to gaming) for all of those people who want to make the best, most informed decision possible.

I hope this topic will be useful for anyone planning to build a gaming PC, make a decision about which monitor to buy next or just learn about monitor and video technologies in general. Have a good one, guys. And thanks for encouraging me to update this topic.


UPDATE: This topic has been updated for more modern prices, due to demand. However I will no longer include 1080p 120Hz+ monitors, due to my own personal experience after having upgraded to a new 1440p IPS display. The reasons will become more apparent later in this price chart.

This topic only received an update due to popular demand and great feedback from users. Thanks, guys! You guys rock.


OK, so this is another Price Step Chart by me. The recommendations are all my own, and are in no way definitive.

For this, I'll be recommending monitors FOR GAMING, and NOT for video/photo editing. For that, you'll need to find another topic/article.


To get started, I'll explain two major types of categories of monitors. We have Panel Type, and Backlighting style.

What does backlight mean?

Monitors can come with fluorescent backlighting, or LED backlighting.

Fluorescent backlighting is less efficient, consumes more energy, is more prone to failure, and produces inferior image quality and contrast. (My 1280x1024 fluorescent-backlit TN monitor recently died on me, prompting me to upgrade to a 2560x1440 LED-backlit IPS display. The failure-prone nature of fluorescent-backlit monitors is a problem of the technology which LEDs fix, which is why fluorescent lightbulbs fail more often and more spectacularly than LED lightbulbs.)

LED backlighting is superior in every way to fluorescent backlighting. And it doesn't cost that much more for an LED backlit monitor; so it'll be the monitor type of choice. (Update: LEDs also allow for thinner monitors, and the backlight distribution can be more even. Corning, the developers of Gorilla Glass, have recently shown a very thin glass they developed which will enable light to be spread more evenly and more efficiently than the various plastics currently in use. This means Corning glass might be in your monitor or TV in a few years, especially if that monitor or TV is extra-thin.)

What do Panel Types mean?

Monitors come in two main types; TN Panels, and IPS Panels.

IPS Panels produce a much better image. Better contrast, more accurate colors, etc. People love the look of them, but they have one BIG problem; their response time is a lot slower. Normally they range around 8ms (GTG) and 5ms (GTG), sometimes wandering all the way up to 16ms. I'll get into what GTG means later.

TN Panels aren't as beautiful. Not as good contrast, accurate colors, etc. But they're faster; MUCH faster. They also have better response times. We'll only be using TN Panel monitors for these gaming monitors, for the reasons I'll explain below.

VA-panel monitors offer a compromise between TN response times and IPS viewing angles and color fidelity, but it's a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none kind of solution. We'll get to why I'll never recommend a VA or TN panel in a moment.

What does response time mean?

Normally, we have two types of response time. We have standard, and GTG. GTG means Gray to Gray. GTG means the time it takes for a single pixel to shift from one shade of gray to another one - this is quicker than changing from black to white (or vice versa). So, when researching a monitor, make sure you compare GTG response times, and not native response times. Native response times are better, but they aren't the industry standard for gaming monitors (which use TN Panels), so it's much harder to compare GTG to Non-GTG response times.

What does refresh rate mean?

Monitors normally update at a speed of 60Hz. What does "Hz" mean? It means "cycles per second", which we call "hertz". A 60Hz monitor puts 60 new images (or frame) every second. Movies and regular television normally run at 24fps, or 24Hz. It allows us to see images, and it seems (to us) to be continuous motion. Some monitors (and only TN Panels) allow you to run them at 120Hz, or 120 fps (or frames per second). This produces a much more fluid image, which means that it seems much more lifelike.

Some monitors don't update at 60Hz, or 120Hz. They can update at 75Hz, or 144Hz. Depending on your monitor, it might allow you to run it at 75Hz - however, to get those speeds, you'll need to run either a Dual-Link DVI cable, or a DisplayPort cable (without any adapters). 144Hz monitors are TN panels that can run faster than the 120Hz monitors, and also require a Dual-Link DVI cable, or a DisplayPort cable (again, both without any adapters).

Some GPUs (like the GTX Titan), and softwares can overclock your monitor beyond it's normal limits. This means you can get a standard 60Hz monitor (by using a DVI Dual Link cable, or a DisplayPort cable, without adapters) and get it ro run at over 75Hz - maybe even 80Hz, if your monitor is capable. This means you can actually benefit from your UBER-GPU, while still running the latest games at UBER settings and maxing out the limits of your monitor (even if it's overclocked).

Why does cabling matter?

There are 4 connector types that are important in the monitor world. D-Sub, DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort.

D-Sub is the slowest - it cannot run 1920 x 1080 at 60fps, so you shouldn't use it for a FullHD (or higher resolution) monitor. They're relatively obsolete, and have no place in modern gaming, and instead should only be used for legacy/compatibility reasons. For serious gaming, just this tip: DO NOT USE.

DVI is one of the fastest. It allows you to transmit a lot of information. It comes in four groups: DVI-I, DVI-D, single link and Dual-Link. DVI-I allows you to use an adapter to convert your DVI signal into a Dub-Sub signal. Well, it's a little more complicated, but a DVI-I is compatible with (and can be used with an adapter to run) a D-Sub monitor. A DVI-D cable is purely digital, and does not offer a D-Sub compatibility option. A DVI-D cable can be plugged into a DVI-I port, but a DVI-I port can't plug into a DVI-D port. The ONLY reason to use a DVI-I cable is to have D-Sub compatibility - if you aren't going to use D-Sub, just use a DVI-D cable instead. You can use a DVI-D cable, Single-Link or Dual-Link, in any DVI (I or D) Dual-Link port, meaning it's the right cable choice for gamers.

Single-Link is able to run a 1080p monitor at 60Hz - but Dual-Link can run 1080p at over 144Hz (using compatible monitors). If you use a single-link DVI cable, you can only take advantage of single-link speeds, meaning that you'll be limiting your refresh rate to only 60Hz. So, if you're a serious gamer, running over 60Hz, with a modern graphics card, then you should buy a DVI-D Dual Link cable.

DVI can also run 1080p monitors at 144Hz, and it can also run 1440p monitors at 60fps. This makes it ideal for gamers.

HDMI is famous for being great compatibility. It'll work with HD TVs, and tons of devices. However, it's speed is limited. You can only get 1080p up to 60fps through an HDMI cable. If you want more, you'll have to wait for HDMI 2.0 - this means that if you're running a 1440p+ monitor, or a monitor running faster than 60Hz (like 75Hz, 120Hz, or 144Hz), then HDMI is NOT the right choice for you. However, it might be the right choice for a gamer running a huge multi-monitor setup, mainly because current GPUs (graphics cards) can't run the latest games using 3x 1080p (FullHD) monitors at over 60fps. Thus, there's no need for anything better than HDMI for a multi-monitor setup (with current GPUs, at least).

DisplayPort is one of the latest and greatest cabling technologies available. It can transmit just as much information through it as a Dual-Link DVI-D cable, while being a much smaller connector, and also transmitting extra information (like sound, content protection, etc). It's the best cabling technology available, along with Dual-Link DVI. It can run 1080p at 144Hz, and it can also run 1440p+ monitors at 60fps.

NOTE: Although Dual-Link DVI can run incredibly speeds, and DisplayPort can also run at those same speeds, there are no current adapters than can make a DisplayPort connector run a DVI Dual-Link monitor over 60Hz - for some reason, you only get single link speeds when you convert Dual-Link DVI to displayport, and vice versa. So, remember, if you don't have 3x DisplayPort, or 3x Dual-Link DVI on the back of your video, you'll have to find a 120Hz+ monitor that has both Dual-Link DVI, AND DisplayPort connector options on the back of it.

Most current GPUs have 2x Dual-Link DVI connectors on the back, along with 1x HDMI and 1x DisplayPort. Some GPUs (like the GTX 690) have 3x Dual-Link DVI connectors at the back.

What is color depth?

Color depth is how many colors your monitor can display to you. 8-bit means there are 28 colors, or 256. Well, there's off which counts as a color, so there's 0 (off) to 255. But you get the picture.

Some monitors will pretend to offer an 8-bit panel, but will actually be a 6-bit panel upscaled to 8-bit using dithering. If you don't know what dithering is, then check out these sick links, bro:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dither#Digital_photography_and_image_processing

http://www.colorcube.com/illusions/dither.htm

You can see that when you're trying to reproduce various shades of colors by approximation, rather than natively. If you remember the days of 16-bit monitors and seeing weirdly-colored images in the good 'ol days of AOL, that's what dithering is.

The bottom line: never get a panel that can't do 8-bit natively. (You may play games faster, but it'll look like a GIF image from the days of AOL.)

How does Refresh Rate Work (NEW!)

Monitors typically refresh their pixels in horizontal lines, from left to right, and once a line is finished the left-most pixel from the line directly below it is refreshed.

Think of a tic-tac-toe board, and we'll start at the top row. We place an X on the top-left box, then write an X on the top-middle box, then write another X on the top-right box. Next you go to the middle row, and place an X on the middle-left box, then another X in the center box, then another X in the middle-right box. Then we move to the bottom row.

Now imagine that instead of placing an X in a tic-tac-toe board, you're changing the Red, Green and Blue values of each pixel. And instead of just an X or a blank space, you have 8 boxes for each of the 8 bits (a bit is a binary unit, stored as either a 0 or 1). Now imagine doing that to 1920 pixels per row, with 1080 total rows of pixels - that's a FullHD monitor, or 2073600 pixels!

This horizontal refresh rate is normally not an advertised spec: when we talk about a 144Hz monitor, that means there's a 144 full frames displayed on the monitor, or VERTICAL image refreshes every SECOND.

There are limitations, though. Some scalers don't allow you to refresh your monitor so far, as not all monitor scalers are made equally. And some panels are made better than others (like the silicon lottery for GPUs and CPUs). Some can overclock well, some can't.

Horizontal refresh rates are often in the Khz, or kilohertz, but not every manufacturer will advertise it and it normally isn't something most users will ever need to know about (but it can limit how fast your monitor's maximum refresh rate limit is if you overclock it).

HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2a, DisplayPort 1.3 - What does it mean? Double... rainbow. Feel the rainbow, taste the rainbow. (NEW!)

HDMI 2.0 is a specification to allow HDMI to run at 4K at 60Hz (or 60fps). There are some minor updates to audio (like 7.1 audio channels at 192kHz), but nothing worth mentioning in a monitor topic.

DisplayPort 1.2a is just DisplayPort 1.2 that includes the AdaptiveSync functionality included in DisplayPort. AMD FreeSync uses it, but there are no requirements for a monitor to be FreeSyncTM -certified to have AdaptiveSync functionality.

DisplayPort 1.3 allows 5K at 60Hz using RGB mode, and up to 8K at 60Hz using 4:2:0 Subsampling. (The TL;DR of Chroma Subsampling is: whenever possible, prefer not to use it.)

Here's a link to Chroma Subsampling: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chroma_subsampling

What is Adaptive Refresh Rate? (NEW!)

This means the monitor refreshes the screen when the GPU is finished preparing the next frame. This has the advantage of improving response time, and if Adaptive Refresh Rates can be limited to the maximum framerate of the monitor (either via an in-game setting or some other mean), it might not produce tearing where an image seems to be cut in half.

This is great, but pixels have a limited amount of time they last on screen before they need to be refreshed. If they aren't, they start to not appear right.

What is G-SyncTM and FreeSyncTM ? (NEW!)

They're implementations of Adaptive Refresh Rate technology. G-SyncTM is NvidiaTM 's proprietary solution, which can increase the cost of a monitor by 100$ due to proprietary scaler and cost for certification of the product. It is not compatible with AMD graphics card unless Nvidia licenses it to them.

FreeSyncTM is AMDTM 's version, which is just an implementation of DisplayPort's own Adaptive Refresh Rate technology, and since DisplayPort 1.2a AMDTM FreeSyncTM is just an implementation of DisplayPort's AdaptiveSync technology. (AMDTM encouraged VESA to include the optional spec as mandatory in DisplayPort 1.2a, although "encouraged" is a special wording of this. Marketing to incite public demand is more accurate, not that it's a bad thing in this case.)

What is monitor overclocking? (NEW!)

You can run some monitors at refresh rates beyond those the manufacturer states in the specifications of the device they're selling to you.

But not all monitors will overclock as well. Some monitors that are sold as 60Hz may overclock up to 144Hz without any issue. Some may run at 72Hz before they present artifacting. And some may present that at any refresh rate above 60Hz. It's a lottery, and you're not guaranteed to win (just like the silicon lottery with CPUs). Don't buy a monitor expecting to win every time, just as you wouldn't buy a lottery ticket today expecting to win it tomorrow.

I've had some experience with this overclocking my X-Star PLS monitor to 104Hz without artifacting. If you're looking into possibly overclocking your monitor, check out how to do that in the following links:

http://www.blurbusters.com/

http://www.monitortests.com/

http://lifehacker.com/5882632/how-do-i-calibrate-my-computers-monitor-for-the-best-picture

What is backlight strobing? (NEW!)

This is a technology that allows the LED backlight behind the monitor to strobe on and off very fast in order to reduce the smearing effect you get from certain panel technologies (notably IPS), much like how CRT monitors and TVs used to work. This improves responsiveness to our human eyes.

Bottom line? : It's really cool, and if you can afford it (or once it becomes affordable) you should get it.

What are curved monitors? (NEW!)

This new (and very sexy! mmmmm, curves... like the kind they have on donuts, insert_Homer_drooling_image_here) and exciting (nothing's more exciting than curves, eh? wait, was I just possessed by Linus from LTT as I typed that?) technology is meant to help bring more of the screen to point more towards the user. This means there's less of a chance that viewing angles will cause color distortions, but also that the game will look more immersive.

This is a good solution to improve desktop graphics for gaming, but it isn't perfect since the user can move his head and look away from the monitor, or see the bezel (or his keyboard). The player's character in Skyrim isn't sitting behind a desk using a keyboard, so it makes for a slightly more immersive experience, but that's a segway into the next topic. (Methinks me've been watching too much LinusTechTips. Methinks meneeds some grammar melessons, meh-be.)

Ultra-wide Monitors (NEW!)

This just means the latest and greatest screen ratio right now is 21:9, or 21 pixels wide for every 9 pixels tall. It's an extra-wide screen ratio as the name implies, and it's more immersive for some games and movies. It's not for everyone, and right now it's really expensive, so consider it as a long-term investment that will become affordable in the short-term (I'll leave how wise that is to your imagination).

What is VR, or Virtual Reality? (NEW!)

Virtual reality is another one of the new exciting technologies out there. It uses an HMD (head-mounted display), which is to say it's a screen that's strapped on to the user's head. Using lenses or other methods, the screen's image is bent to the user's eyes so that the screen's light encompasses the user's entire field of view (or a great deal of it).

This technology also uses accelerometers and gyroscopes, along with head tracking to make sure the user's motions are also used as inputs in the game. Accelerometers record your motion (forwards, back, left, right, up, down), so 6-axis gyroscopes are the best ones for 3D movement. Gyroscopes detect changes in your angle, so tilting you head backwards or forwards, left or right and so forth are all taken into account by the game and translated into character movement and your camera will change accordingly. That just helps the game send the correct image to the screen, so when you move your head left and tilt it down, the game will "tell" your screen to show you what that would look like and move your character accordingly.

This is the most immersive video technology one could hope for. While a great technology, it isn't yet available in large numbers at the time of writing this. And there are still other technologies we'll have to see improved before we get to experience something like the Holodeck from Star Trek. Audio is nearly perfect, video too with virtual reality. We still need to capture movement much better, deliver tactile sensations (touch) and tactile feedback (stopping you hands from moving through an object in virtual reality), for example. Not to mention scent and taste, although Smell-o-vision might not be around for a while (although perhaps that's because it's a bad idea?).

Info about multiple inputs (NEW!)

The TL;DR is: don't buy monitors that have them. If you want an explanation, read on dear... reader? (boy that sounded redundant)

When your monitor has multiple inputs that means it has to detect which one is connected and selected as the current input, and then move that image to the scaler so it can pass the image to the screen. That takes time and adds time before the image is output onto the screen, meaning your input from your controller, keyboard or mouse will take longer to appear on the screen, resulting in an inferior gaming experience. That's no bueno, hombre.

Info about TVs versus monitors

TVs normally have GPUs, scalers or other devices that process the image before it appears on your TV's screen. You should use a "Game Mode" if your TV has one, since that means your computer or console will send the image to the TV, and your TV won't process it and instead just "spit out" the image onto the screen. That means lower latency between the image being rendered by your console or PC (for the love of bob, don't use a console! this is PCPartPicker forum, guys), which gives you a slight edge and makes the game just a little bit more responsive to your controller (please: keyboard and mouse!).

The point is this: get a monitor, not a TV.

Extras info about cables!

You can buy "premium" cables, if you feel like it. What does "premium" mean?

Well, it may mean that it can run higher bandwidth through the cable, less impurities in the cabling material, certain gases inside the cable (like nitrogen) to improve the signal quality, it may be shielded from EMF or RFI interference, etc.

Normally, that isn't important. But if you're getting a "fuzzy" signal, you should get a better cable - shielded, at the very least.

But, how much should you pay for a cable? Well, I'd say that no great cable should cost more than 20$ for up to 15 feet, and no more than 15$ for a 10 feet cable. Nippon Labs, for example, offers really great cables, and their premium cables don't cost that much extra.

But, what about gold connectors? Are they really worth it? Well, yes and no. If the plug is gold-plated (the metallic part you see on the outside), that has no bearing; simply put, electrical signals don't go through that ouside. They travel through certain contacts inside that metallic shield - now, if they're made of gold (or at least gold plated), that does make a slight difference. If it's made of copper, it may oxidize. The outside housing will be just as effective whether it's made of nickel or gold-plated metal.

Pixel Density and Resolution - WTF does that mean? I don't even...

Well, pixel density refers to how small (or large) the pixels on your screen are. A large resolution on a tiny screen means really small pixels. Higher resolution means more pixels total on the screen.

Small pixels mean a more defines image. Meaning that the iPad Mini with Retina screen is right now the most beautiful screen in the world, because there's just so many pixels in such a small space. That means really sharp and accurate images.

UHD, 4K and 5K monitors (NEW!)

4K is here, same with 5K. Those are the new resolution names, and it just means more pixels on the screen. Right now those monitors are too expensive, and games don't run well at 4K with most affordable graphics cards yet. My recommendation is to wait.

Screen Sizes and Ratios - Huh?

You may see many types of scree sizes out there. And maybe you've heard about "ratios". But what are they?

Well, monitor screen sizes are measured diagonally. That means that a 24 inch screen measures 24 inches from the top-right corner to the bottom-left corner. But rations change that a bit.

Ratios mean the proportion. For example, a 4:3 ratio means that there's 4 pixels wide (horizontally) for every 3 pixels high (vertically). 4:3 ratios were used in old monitors, and it no longer commonly used. There was a certain ratio which became popular for a while, which is the 5:4 ratio, used in the 1280 x 1024 monitors.

In FullHD screens, you'll see 16:9 monitor ratios. The most common resolutions of this type are 1920 x 1080, and 2560 x 1440. It's great for watching movies, but not so much for productivity - because you spend more time moving your mouse side to side, while you could instead spend less time moving your mouse if the monitor was closer to a square.

You also have 16:10 ratios, which are considered "the golden ratio" for productivity and gaming. It means you have 120 extra pixels high on a 1920 x 1200 screen than you do on a 1920 x 1080 screen. You can also run 1200p monitors at 60Hz using HDMI, DVI Single Link, and DisplayPort. Now, finding such monitors that have 1200p screens and low response times (2ms GTG or lower). It's also closer to being square than a FullHD screen, and it can still run a FullHD image, video, or picture, with extra room for your Start Bar, or video controls. For gaming, it means you can see further upwards on the screen, and you'll spend less time moving your head side to side, because it'll fit in your field of vision better.

What's contrast?

Most manufacturers have their own, proprietary way of measuring contrast ratios for their monitors. They aren't directly comparable, which means you can't really trust what they say. However, monitors have what's called a NATIVE contrast ratio.

Native contrast ratios are typically between 600:1 and 1200:1. They can go higher or lower.

Proprietary contrast ratios range widly. You can get a 1,000,000:1 ratio, all the way up to 100M:1 (from certain Acer monitors, for example). If a monitor doesn't have it's native contrast ratio available, check the reviews regarding the monitor to check if it's really worth it.

Monitor Finish - Matte or Glossy?

Some screens have glossy screens. This means it's highly reflective. That can be good, because it means a much higher quality image - light travels better through transparent screens.

However, some have matte screens. That means although they are transparent, they don't reflect very well anything behind them. If you have a bright light source behind you (like a bright window, a bright light, a bright wall, the sun...), you might want a matte screen. It might not look as good as a glossy screen, but other light sources aren't going to distract you from your game, even if there's lot of light in the room. Matte screens are infinitely better for gaming during daytime hours, or in a bright room.

However, that can also mean a tip for using a monitor with a glossy screen; turn off all the lights in your room when gaming. Simple solution, but you might need great curtains or window blinds to make gaming amazing during daytime hours. Thick curtains may be a lot better than window blinds, in terms of allowing for a darker room - you could use a cloth printed with your favorite gaming images, making your game room epic. Think of a thick cloth with the image of Alduin (from Skyrim), Kratos (God of War), an anime character of choice, the Millenium Falcon, the Enterprise... you can make your game room fully decorated and functional at the same time.


We'll have two monitor categories: 1080p IPS monitors and 1440p IPS monitors. (This is because after switching to IPS monitors and having overclocked my own 1440p IPS monitor to 104Hz without artifacting, I can definitely say that non-IPS panels are

OLD AND OUTDATED SECTION:

This topic: *Multi-monitor setups - Check this topic for help: http://pcpartpicker.com/forums/topic/1541-triple-monitor-gaming-imax-style-youtube-video-and-setup-tips *


I'm only going to recommend one 1080p IPS displays, and two 1440p IPS display.

(~170$) Acer G257HL BMIDX

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/acer-monitor-umkg7aa001

Why get it?: It's got a matte finish, 4ms GTG response time, and even though it has multiple inputs, it's got good reviews. It's also LED-backlit and is an IPS panel, for a reasonable price.

(~230$) QNIX QX2710 LED Evolution ll Matte Off-grade 27" 2560x1440 PLS Panel PC Monitor

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA4JH2CA3490

Note: Off-grade means minor dead pixels, tinted areas where the color doesn't match (normally only by a small amount), or backlight bleed. This a problem in several gaming monitors already, so this is just maintaining the status quo and telling the customer ahead of time. It's still a bargain.

Why get it?: It's a freaking 1440p monitor, PLS panel, matte, overclockable, that uses DVI-D Dual-Link (don't use a laptop with it, or a mac - get a proper desktop graphics card with DVI Dual-Link output). For 230$ (including free shipping in the US 48 states!). I don't have experience with the QNIX, but I've heard it overclocks much better than the X-Star. (That being said, the X-Star has other advantages. Check reviews and comparisons.)

(~310$) X-Star DP2710LED "Matte" PLS Monitor

http://www.ebay.com/itm/X-STAR-DP2710LED-QHD-2560x1440-Samsung-PLS-Matte-Panel-Non-Glare-/221563893459?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item33963cb6d3

Why get it?: I've overclocked my own unit to 104Hz stablely (not artifacting), no input lag, no smeariness, no image trails or anything else.

The color reproduction is amazing. 1440p is a great resolution, and scaling on Windows 7 and 8 is a non-issue. I also love the anti-glare coating, as it's perfect.

If you need to know more about 1440p monitors, check out these videos from TekSyndicate:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rQtubyNCQA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQQgHYnPiFs

If you successfully watched those videos, then: Congratulations. You are now officially informed (disclaimer: you may or may not actually be officially informed). Pat yourself on the back for having discovered that response time isn't something you need look up only because it's on the monitor's spec list. And now you know why the X-Star is my preferred monitor of choice for gaming. (Also, I got it to 104Hz, but right now I keep it at 60Hz because of YouTube and no FreeSync/G-Sync on my monitor, and no way to update the firmware on my scaler either. Sigh sound here.)


Warning: All the information after this post is old, and won't be updated. Like, ever.

3D Gaming - EXTRA, EXTRA!!

So, you've heard about the wonders of 3D gaming. And you want to know what really matters about 3D gaming, in a hurry. Well, look no further - well, actually, research it elsewhere too, but here's a good starting point. (FAIL JOHN! Hey, why put self-talk here? I wonder...)

There are two types of 3D. The first is passive 3D, and the second is active 3D.

Passive 3D means that your monitor produces polarized light - it's different than regular light, and because of that, the monitor can produce two images. Now, almost always you'll find that passive 3D monitors run their 3D images at 48fps. That means two images of 24fps.

What that means is that the image will look a lot less fluid, and won't take as much advantage of a powerful GPU (graphics card). BluRay 3D movies actually run at 48fps, or 2 images of 24fps each. Most 3D HD TVs actually use passive 3D.

However... we're gamers, and we're willing to go the extra mile (and sacrifice our wallets to the gaming gods in a bloody spending spree). Active 3D exists for that.

Active 3D monitors run 2 images on the same screen at the roughly the same time. The active 3D glasses separate each image to each eye, and that creates the illusion of 3D you see. Similarly, the polarized lenses of the passive 3D images also give each eye a separate and different image, making it seem 3D.

Active 3D monitors generally run at 120Hz or faster. That's because they run two sets of images, both at 60fps. Now, certain 3D capable monitors CAN run at 144Hz, but nVidia 3D Vision 2 glasses can't run that fast, nor do nVidia drivers allow for 3D mode at 144Hz.

Normally, though, gamers aren't trying to buy 120Hz+ monitors for 3D gaming. They want it for the extra fluidity when running their games on super-high-end GPUs (graphics cards), because that way they'll actually get what they paid for when they bought their GPU. This means you'll be able to respond faster to a first person shooter, RTS (real time strategy), MMO game, whatever. You can run 120Hz in 2D-mode.

So far, only ASUS monitors can run 144Hz (to my knowledge). And you can overclock your monitor with specific softwares, of with the GTX TITAN (using nVidia's latest drivers).


Multiple Monitor setups!! OMAKE, OMAKE (japanese word for Extra!)

~~http://pcpartpicker.com/forums/topic/1541-triple-monitor-gaming-imax-style-youtube-video-and-setup-tips~~

That's my topic, and I'm sticking to it.

Hope you like it. It offers options for IPS multi-monitor setups, and a TN Panel multi-monitor setups.

It also explains how you can make thise work with VESA mounts, and/or use a single triple monitor stand to hold all your monitors at one time.

Hope you guys like this!

Good luck. Game on.

Comments

  • 56 months ago
  • 2 points

Great info! You really are on top of this subject. Got it book marked. Thanks!

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, man. This topic is seriously outdated, and is in need of some updating for various things.

  • 56 months ago
  • 2 points

This is some good stuff johnwaskins. Would be great if you could find the time to update where possible.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Just did, due to feedback like yours. Hope it helps.

  • 56 months ago
  • 2 points

Well, my knowledge was more outdated than your topic, so thanks again!

I'm using a 1920x1080 monitor now and I am looking to get a Free Sync monitor (currently have a R9 290). I want at least 1440p. Do you have any thoughts about 1440p vs 4K. I will probably be getting one of the new AMD 390 GPU's in the near future.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, man. I've updated this topic due to such great feedback. ;)

I'd recommend 1440p. I'm running a GTX 970, which is similarly-performing to the R9 290 and R9 290X. (I needed a GPU with max length of 8.5 inches, so Nvidia was the only way to go and I had 350$ to get something.)

I'd pick the X-Star DP2710LED "Matte" on eBay from dream-seller. You'll find it in the updated guide, along with great videos as to why it's such a great choice. I also was able to overclock it to 104Hz no problems, but 105Hz started to have artifacting. No bueno.

FreeSync is nice, but I'm not sure when we'll see a truly mature, well-developed FreeSync monitor. If the X-Star DP2710 LED "Matte" PLS-panel monitor can get updates to the firmware on its scaler (and a DisplayPort connector), I'd gladly pay an extra 100$ for it (total of 400$ would still be a bargain!).

The issue is that 4K is too much much GPU horsepower for any single graphics card for the next 1 to 2 years on current games, nevermind the games out then. 1440p is playable now with current hardware at 60fps at High to Ultra.

Don't buy 4K until the market is ready for it. Let graphics card manufacturers catch up first and make affordable 4K-capable GPUs, just like they're finally making sub-150$ GPUs that can handle 1080p max details @60fps now. Wait a few years before 4K. Also, scaling issues.

1440p is the way to go. Also, more affordable which gives you more money for something else.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool, heading to that page now. Thanks!

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. I've just updated it a bit more to include HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2a and DisplayPort 1.3 so now they should be enough to keep most people happy (for a while).

If I edited down the verbosity and toned down the humor, I'm sure I could submit it to PCGamer, PCWorld or some other magazine.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Alright! You sold me on 1440p, although I was leaning that way slightly. Thanks John!

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Sweet. Good luck, man. Once you 1440p, you never go 1080p. =P

  • 56 months ago
  • 2 points

Great job. Your work is appreciated.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

The topic has been updated, due to positive feedback like yous. Thanks!

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

Ton of info here. I'm bookmarking so I can read it thoroughly later. Nice job!

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, man!

I love writing this kind of thing. I was wondering if this would be a good article, or at least the starting point for a good article. Or maybe if I should make a blog for this, or not?

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

I would highly recommend a blog. This type of info is very useful. And since it changes regularly it would bring people back to see what is new.

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, man! n.n

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

I learned so much in 5 minutes....lol

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man. I really wrote this for people who really are interested in learning a lot about monitors, which ones to get, etc.

This is just a quick summary of what I know, made for people who are in a hurry.

I'm hoping this really helps you (and others) make great purchase decisions when you buy your next monitor. n.n

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

It gave me insight on my monitor which has displayport connections. Now I know it's the fastest lol

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, there you go. n.n

Also, this might help you make great decisions about future monitor purchases, like, if you want to buy a cheap 120Hz+ monitor in the future, and (through the link I provided) you'll be able to make better decisions about multi-monitor setups too. n.n

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

This is also true :p

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, hope that helps.

Oh yeah, the recommendation of the VG248QE seems to be the one of the biggest bargains out there. I was surprised that it was priced so well, so full-featured, and wasn't always sold out.

The VN247H-P is also surprising, because it allows for great multi-monitor setups, which is very interesting, considering that it's one of the very few low response time, TN panel, LED backlit, 1080p monitors out there. That fact that it also looks great, is well reviewed, and is priced at around 190$ just makes it the logical choice for multi-monitor setups, and people who have a max monitor budget of 200$.

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

I had nothing else to do on this site so read this entire article.... amazing!!!! I used to know all this stuff, but whether your a newbie, old-timer, or current pro, it's a great lesson/ refresher!

  • 81 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man. n.n

I really hope all of this will help people who want a lot of knowledge in the future, but don't want to have to read 4 different articles to find out the answers.

Also, it helps with purchase decisions, and helps you know what really matters for a hardcore gamer in today's market. n.n

  • 80 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm currently researching monitors for a new build and came across this. I know this was put out almost a month ago, but I wanted to give credit where it was due. Good read!

  • 80 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man. n.n

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow, so much useful info. here! I am testing about another imaging toolkit these days. http://www.yiigo.com/guides/vbnet/ Anyone has any ideas about it? Thanks in advance.

Best regards, Arron

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

HI there I got a free trial package from an image toolkit.You can have a try.And it is helpful for image tool testing> http://www.rasteredge.com/how-to/csharp-imaging/

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Incredibly helpful post. As a soon to be first-time builder, this definitely gave me some great info. I was going into researching my first build thinking HDMI all the way, but this has given me some more thinking to do. Thanks for the time and information put into this!!!

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

No problem. This is a really old topic, and I don't even visit this forum anymore. I hope this old topic of mine has been useful for you. (I mostly use TekSyndicate nowadays.)

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