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Old 03-28-2010, 01:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What makes a "gaming LCD monitor"

Hey, looking to find a nice gaming monitor or at least something that plays games well without ghosting.

My current LCD (which died) is a 5ms Samsung, 225 BW. It's done a fair job for games but LCD technology has gotten a lot better since I bought my last one. Not sure what's out there.

So what should I look for? I've seen some monitors at 120 hz, what kind of difference does that make? Low response time would be good I assume, 2 ms seems fairly common now although most say GTG, which I understand is grey to grey, a marketing ploy to bump up figures. What is a good contrast ratio? I see monitors ranging from 1000:1 up to 10,000,000:1 so not sure what's going on there.

I guess I'm wondering what area's I should consider first for gaming. I would like good color of course, 24-25in +. Also there's a few new brands out there, not sure what's best these days. My last was a Samsung and it served me well.

Anyone got recommendations? Thanks a lot.
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What makes a "gaming LCD monitor"

Manufacturers don't often advertise this, but for gamers...
The MOST important thing is "input lag"
Pretty much all LCD's have ungodly high input lag numbers...
20-100ms
Manufacturers don't advertise input lag, because next to those fast response time numbers it looks terrible.

Though for gaming, an input lag of less than 50ms is pretty good.
I would say ideally, I would like an input lag of about 16.66ms or less...
(This would be on par with a 60Hz refresh rate. At 60Hz a monitor refreshes the image on the screen every 16.666ms)
Not sure if they make any LCD monitors with input lags that low.
The only way to find out really is to find a review of the monitor where they measure the input lag timings.

If you want a monitor with good color quality, fast response time, and no ghosting...
What you'll want to be looking for are an S-PVA, P-MVA/MVA, S-IPS panel with low input lag.

If you want a cheap/affordable gaming monitor that's fast, you'll want a TN panel with low input lag.
Response time doesn't really matter as long as it's below 16.66ms for a 60Hz monitor, or 8.33ms for a 120Hz monitor.
120Hz monitors are considered good these days because they can be used for 3d gaming, and they are easier on the eyes than a 60Hz monitor, but in reality they aren't much better for everyday usage than a 60Hz monitor.
They have no advantage over a 60Hz monitor in movies in terms of overall input to the brain.
In games, they may make things slightly smoother, but it's not all that noticeable unless you're one of the people that actually look for the differences.

For the most part, read reviews, check input lag.
Response time isn't as important as monitor manufacturing companies like to make you think it is.
I had an 8ms GTG MVA panel monitor that was an amazing monitor for gaming and it was also great for watching movies.
(You would have a hard time finding one for sale now.)
But it's an L2410NM
A 24" 1920x1200 monitor from Westinghouse with 176 176 viewing angles .282 pixel pitch and a fairly low input lag.
Good enough to play console games, FPS's like Half Life 2 and Crysis, and pretty much anything else. (I played all those games on it very well.)
I never had a problem with it.


Oh one more thing I forgot to mention.
Higher quality monitors have low pixel pitches, giving them more PPI.
(Pixels per inch) monitors with very low PPI have clearer text and overall better color contrast/reproduction.

I don't keep up with monitors enough to offer specific recommendations, but these are things you should be looking out for.

(Ways to tell a TN panel from a non-TN panel.)
TN panels usually have very low response times, are cheap, and have viewing angles of 170 170 or less.

Non-TN panles are usually more expensive, have response times of 6-12ms and have viewing angels of 176 176 or higher.

*Note, sometimes companies apply a special coating to their TN panel monitors increasing their "viewing" angles up to 176 176 or higher, but they are still TN panels regardless of this "special coating" and in reality it doesn't really help much and doesn't add anything to their overall quality.


Bleh, I think I covered most everything... :\
I'm probably forgetting some important key points, but I'm sure someone else will make specific recommendations and point out things I forgot to mention.



EDIT: Forgot to mention contrast ratio.
The best contrast ratio is 1000:1 STATIC
Ignore the dynamic numbers and active numbers manufacturers advertise.
Look for reviews where they check the STATIC contrast ratio.
You want it to be 1000:1 or 900+:1

GOOD monitors are 900+:1
realistically it's hard to find monitors that live up to the 1000:1 specification but a few are out there.

Manufacturers have fancy ways of beefing up their contrast ratio numbers with their "dynamic" or "active" contrast ratio technology, but really the only important thing is that the STATIC contrast ratio be as close to 1000:1 as possible.


EDIT EDIT:
What the heck I'll make some suggestions...
Stay away from Hanns G and Acer if you want a quality monitor.
Those are budget monitor brands, and they usually end up with some sort of problem...
Bad color distortion, crappy angles, light bleed, dead pixels, funky wack stuff...

Samsung and Asus are good brands for an affordable decent quality monitor for gaming.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16824236048
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16824236047

I recommend one of those guys.
They have the size you're looking for.
One is 1920x1200, they both have low pixel pitches and their static contrast ratio is listed as 1000:1 so it's probably somewhat close?
I didn't check reviews, but I've seen these Asus monitors in person and they're pretty nice generally.
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What makes a "gaming LCD monitor"

^ Would've rep'd you Shiro, but I need "to spread rep around" before I can give it to you again :P Great post.
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Old 03-28-2010, 04:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What makes a "gaming LCD monitor"

Wow thanks a lot for all the info that's very helpful. I was considering those asus monitors, they look nice. Just out of curiosity how much do the built in speakers increase the cost of those monitors?

I was glancing through the reviews and specs but couldn't tell for sure if those monitors were glossy or matte screens... the 24" said "glossy cabinet" not sure if that's the same thing.

While I'm still shopping around does anyone know of good samsung models to compare those 2 against?

I was looking at a few samsungs:

23", more expensive than the others, seemingly poor brightness 250 cd/m^2, it's a new arrival, not sure if there's something else going for it
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16824001380

24" nice looking rose cabinet, low pixel pitch, the 1000:1 ratio you were talking about
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16824001378

24" good numbers, low price with discount, is it an older model being discontinued?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16824001338
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Old 03-28-2010, 04:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What makes a "gaming LCD monitor"

The Samsung in my sig is a good match, it's the P2450h. I have no idea on US pricing or availability, though.
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What makes a "gaming LCD monitor"

Quote:
Originally Posted by buckman341 View Post
Wow thanks a lot for all the info that's very helpful. I was considering those asus monitors, they look nice. Just out of curiosity how much do the built in speakers increase the cost of those monitors?

I was glancing through the reviews and specs but couldn't tell for sure if those monitors were glossy or matte screens... the 24" said "glossy cabinet" not sure if that's the same thing.

While I'm still shopping around does anyone know of good samsung models to compare those 2 against?

I was looking at a few samsungs:

23", more expensive than the others, seemingly poor brightness 250 cd/m^2, it's a new arrival, not sure if there's something else going for it
Newegg.com - SAMSUNG XL2370-1 Charcoal Gray 23" 2ms LED Backlight Mega DCR 5m:1 Widescreen LCD Monitor 250 cd/m2 DC 5,000,000:1(1000:1) - LCD Monitors

24" nice looking rose cabinet, low pixel pitch, the 1000:1 ratio you were talking about
Newegg.com - SAMSUNG P2450H Rose Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 70000:1(1000:1) - LCD Monitors

24" good numbers, low price with discount, is it an older model being discontinued?
Newegg.com - SAMSUNG 2494SW Glossy Black 24" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 50000:1 (1000:1) - LCD Monitors
The P2450H is beat out quality wise by the Asus 24" I posted as the Asus has a lower pixel pitch.
Also the Asus is $40 cheaper.

Asus is a reliable respectable brand and their monitors have 3 year warranties, there's no reason to pick the Samsung monitors over them for the most part, unless you just have a thing for Samsung.

The Last Samsung you posted that you asked if it's an older model being discontinued?
I'm not sure about that, but it's not a bad monitor, there aren't enough specs for it listed, you might want to use Google and search for an in depth review of it.

The new arrival you posted?
I don't really think there's anything particularly going for it except that it has an LED backlight, which means there aren't any light differences across it. Older backlights sometimes have a problem in which some areas of the screen will be darker or lighter than others.
It doesn't bother me personally, so I wouldn't spend the extra money on an LED backlight myself.
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What makes a "gaming LCD monitor"

Quote:
Originally Posted by orihS ‪‪‪Shiro View Post
The P2450H is beat out quality wise by the Asus 24" I posted as the Asus has a lower pixel pitch.
Also the Asus is $40 cheaper.
Not true, the Asus is $60 more expensive. But yes, better quality, has component connection and is 1200p instead of the P2450h's 1080p.
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What makes a "gaming LCD monitor"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamikotai View Post
Not true, the Asus is $60 more expensive. But yes, better quality, has component connection and is 1200p instead of the P2450h's 1080p.
I was referring to the 24" Asus I posted, not the 25.5" Asus.



This one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16824236048

Not the 25.5"
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: What makes a "gaming LCD monitor"

Oh, right. Sorry 'bout that :P I'm just going to be quiet and sit in the corner now.
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: What makes a "gaming LCD monitor"

Quote:
Originally Posted by orihS ‪‪‪Shiro View Post

The new arrival you posted?
I don't really think there's anything particularly going for it except that it has an LED backlight, which means there aren't any light differences across it. Older backlights sometimes have a problem in which some areas of the screen will be darker or lighter than others.
It doesn't bother me personally, so I wouldn't spend the extra money on an LED backlight myself.
Thanks again. Those 2 you posted, they don't mention anything about LED backlight on them, is that an uncommon feature? I would think if the asus monitors had shoddy backlighting someone would mention it in the reviews, but I don't see that. I guess it's not noticeable on them?
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