Monitors – What to Look For: From Budget to High-End

When buying a gaming monitor, several factors come into play to ensure the best experience. Here’s a comprehensive list of aspects you should consider:

CategoryProduct NameLink
Overall Best PickSamsung Odyssey G7 C32G75TView on Amazon
Best CheapViewSonic OMNI VX2718-P-MHDView on Amazon
Mid Range27″ Philips 279P1View on Amazon
High EndDell Alienware AW3423DWFView on Amazon

Resolution

This refers to the number of pixels on the screen. Common resolutions include 1080p (Full HD), 1440p (Quad HD), and 2160p (4K). The higher the resolution, the sharper the image, but you’ll also need a more powerful graphics card to maintain high frame rates at higher resolutions.

Refresh Rate

Measured in hertz (Hz), this refers to how many times the screen updates its image per second. 60Hz is standard, but gamers often prefer 144Hz, 240Hz, or even 360Hz for smoother gameplay. Higher refresh rates can be particularly beneficial for fast-paced games.

Response Time

Measured in milliseconds (ms), this indicates how quickly a pixel can change colors. Lower response times (like 1ms) are better for gaming to reduce ghosting and blurring.

A quick clarification here: response time, indicating the speed at which pixels change colors, is governed by the display technology (like IPS, TN, or OLED) and not the HDMI specification. So, when scouting for a new monitor or TV, this is a metric to watch, irrespective of the HDMI version.

Panel Type

  • TN (Twisted Nematic): Fast response times but poorer color accuracy and viewing angles.
  • IPS (In-Plane Switching): Better color accuracy and viewing angles but historically had slower response times (though modern IPS monitors can be quite fast).
  • VA (Vertical Alignment): Sits between TN and IPS in terms of color and response time.

Sync Technology

Adaptive sync technologies like NVIDIA’s G-SYNC or AMD’s FreeSync help reduce screen tearing and stuttering, providing a smoother gaming experience.

Connectivity

Ensure the monitor has the right ports for your needs, e.g., HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-C, and USB ports. If you have older devices, you might also want legacy ports like VGA or DVI.

Starting from a modest 4.95 Gb/s in HDMI 1.0, the transmission rates have shot up to a whopping 48.0 Gb/s in HDMI 2.1. This surge ensures that not only are we treated to higher resolutions and smoother motion, but we also get richer colors, better contrast, and overall improved image quality.

SpecificationYearVideoAudio Support
  Max. Resolution Refresh Rate*Max. Transmission Rate**HDR 
HDMI 1.020021080p @ 60 Hz4.95 Gb/sNo8 audio channels
HDMI 1.1/1.220051440p @ 30 Hz4.95 Gb/sNoDVD-Audio, One-Bit Audio
HDMI 1.3/1.420094K @ 60 Hz10.2 Gb/sNoARC, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD
HDMI 2.020135K @ 30 Hz18.0 Gb/sYesHE-AAC, DRA, 32 audio channels
HDMI 2.120178K @ 30 Hz48.0 Gb/sYeseARC

Size and Aspect Ratio

Customize your size to best fit your desk space and enable comfortable viewing. For the immersive experience in gaming, most people prefer the ultrawide monitors (21:9 or 32:9).

Curved vs. Flat

In other words, curved monitors can provide a more immersive experience, especially with ultrawide aspect ratios. Whether you opt for a flat or curved screen is mostly down to personal preference.

HDR (High Dynamic Range)

HDR is able to provide better contrast, brightness, and colors than SDR. However, not all games support HDR, and even if they do, the quality can differ between monitors.

Other

  1. Build and Ergonomics: Consider aspects like height adjustability, tilt, swivel, and pivot functions. Also, a VESA mount might be crucial if you’re planning to use a monitor arm.
  2. Price: Higher specifications come at a higher price in most cases. Pick your budget and then decide which features are critical for your gaming needs.
  3. Brand and Warranty: Go for reputable brands with good post-purchase support and a good warranty.
  4. Additional Features: Some gaming monitors come loaded with features such as customizable RGB lighting, in-built speakers, and quality stands.

A list of numbers and jargon: The world of HDMI might sound intimidating with all the numbers and jargon. But it is precisely this evolution that has given us the cinematic, gaming, and content-creation experiences we relish today. So, when you gear up for your next tech purchase, do give a small moment of appreciation to the HDMI magic working behind the scenes.

Our Picks

Overall Best Pick - Samsung Odyssey G7 C32G75T ​

His 32" curved gaming monitor is carefully crafted to give sharp images through its high resolution. It offers the highest refresh rates, giving the on-screen action an uninterrupted motion blur. In color accuracy, thanks to excellent colors, even your favorite games or movies will be given depth.

Samsung Odyssey G7 C32G75T Specifications
Type Monitor
Brand Samsung
Model Series Odyssey G7
Model Number C32G75T
Release Year 2020
Available Size 32" (inches)
Display Type SVA
Resolution 2560 x 1440
Refresh Rate 60 Hz - 240 Hz
Response Time 1 ms
VRR Support AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, NVIDIA G-Sync Compatible
Display Coating Anti-glare/Matte
Brightness 320 cd/m² (Max: 600 cd/m²)
Contrast Ratio (Static) 3900 : 1
Connectivity 2 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x 3.5 mm Audio Out, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x HDMI 2.0

Best Cheap - ViewSonic OMNI VX2718-P-MHD

Targeted at gamers and professional users, this 27" monitor pulls out every little detail with its amazing resolution. It has a very fast response, hence it is great for action gaming or very hard work task. The ergonomic design guarantees a comfortable view for a long time.

ViewSonic VX2718-P-MHD Specifications
Type Monitor
Brand ViewSonic
Model Number VX2718-P-MHD
Release Year 2021
Available Sizes 27" (inches)
Display Type MVA
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Refresh Rate 50 Hz - 165 Hz
Response Time 5 ms
VRR Support AMD FreeSync Premium
Display Coating Anti-glare/Matte (3H)
Brightness 250 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio (Static) 4000 : 1
Connectivity 1 x 3.5 mm Audio Out, 2 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2

Mid Range - 27" Philips 279P1

Philips adds the 279P1 monitor to its suite of beautiful display technologies. This 27-inch screen, at a 3840 x 2160 resolution, makes sure every pixel is clearly visible. It includes an IPS panel with 122% sRGB and 103% NTSC to ensure vivid, lifelike colors. Enjoy versatile connection options, including USB 3.2 and Ethernet RJ45, without necessarily straining your eyes with the inclusion of Flicker-free and Adaptive-Sync. The Philips 279P1 does not promise just visuals but a visual EXPERIENCE.

Philips P-Line 279P1 Specifications
Type Monitor
Brand Philips
Model Series P-Line
Model Number 279P1
Release Year 2020
Available Size 27" (inches)
Display Type IPS
Resolution 3840 x 2160
Refresh Rate 23 Hz - 60 Hz
Response Time 4 ms
Connectivity 1 x USB 3.2 (Type-C; Gen 2; upstream; 65W; DP Alt Mode), 1 x Ethernet RJ45, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x 3.5 mm Audio Out, 2 x HDMI 2.0, 3 x USB 3.2 (Type-A; Gen 2; downstream), 1 x USB 3.2 (Type-A; Gen 2; downstream; B.C 1.2)
Audio Speakers 2 x 3W
Brightness 300 cd/m²

High End - Dell Alienware AW3423DWF

It boasts a gigantic 34-inch QD-OLED panel, which has a 3440 x 1440 high resolution and a refresh rate of 165Hz—the perfect ecosystem for gamers. With an average response time that is pegged at 3.3 ms to ensure smooth flow of the visuals, the choice of connectivity ranges from HDMI 2.0 to DisplayPort 1.4. Get lost in all manners of landscapes with 99.3% DCI P3 and 149% sRGB color space.

Dell Alienware AW3423DWF Specifications
Type Monitor
Brand Dell
Model Number Alienware AW3423DWF
Release Year 2022
Available Size 34" (inches)
Display Type QD-OLED
Resolution 3440 x 1440
Refresh Rate 48 Hz - 165 Hz
Response Time Average: 3.3 ms, Minimum: 0.1 ms
Connectivity 1 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x 3.5 mm Audio Out (headphones), 1 x 3.5 mm Audio Out, 4 x USB 3.2 (Type-A; Gen 1; 5 Gbps downstream), 1 x USB 3.2 (Type-B; Gen 1; 5 Gbps upstream)
Brightness Normal: 250 cd/m², Max: 1000 cd/m²