Purchasing a gaming monitor might seem like a smooth sail, but there are a lot of considerations that come into play to assist that smooth sail. Once you dig deeper, you will come to know that you will have to consider many factors which will ultimately lead you to your desired 4k gaming monitor.
Are aware of what panel type you should choose? What should be the brightness level? What will be the ideal screen size? Well, don’t be bamboozled by all these questions as we have laid down a comprehensive 4k gaming monitor buying guide which will assist you to make a smart decision.
14 Things to Consider Before Buying A 4K Gaming Monitor
Size of the monitor
First and foremost, when you are going for a 4k gaming monitor you shouldn’t go below 24inch, and it would be a good idea to stick to 27icnh monitors. You can also go for bigger sizes, but you should keep in mind that with the increase in size the price will also shoot up. 27inch will be a plausible choice you will get both viewing comfort and visual clarity without viewing the screen from a far distance. However, you can even go for 24inch if you are tight on budget.
Deciding the panel type will play a significant role in determining the output quality of the 4K monitor. IPS panel is always considered as the finest one because it offers excellent color accuracy and image sharpness. However, it lacks in response time which is around 4ms, and it won’t be ideal if you have plans to play competitive multiplayer games on this monitor. TN panel is an excellent choice for competitive 4k gaming as it offers 1ms response time and 4K monitors with TN panels comes with affordable price. However, it won’t be a good choice for single player AAA games because it has poor color saturation levels as well as clarity.
Nowadays you might also find VA and IGZO panels in the 4k gaming monitors although they are not quite as popular as IPS and TN. But we would recommend you to avoid these panels as they are quite costly. However, while considering panel, you should also check whether your GPU, as well as CPU, will be able to cope with the particular panel.
The refresh rate of a monitor plays a crucial in deciding the output of a visual and it refers to the number of timers an image is refreshed per second. Currently, 120hz and 144hz are the hot cakes of the market as they are able to play high frame rates without any tearing and stuttering. However while choosing a 120Hz or 144Hz monitor, you should make sure you have a high-end GPU which will be able to deliver high frame rates. You can even go for the 240Hz monitor, but you need to have a GPU like Nvidia 1080ti or current 2080ti.
Always for the fastest response time possible when you are out to get a 4K gaming monitor (You can check our recommendations) because it will assist you to overcome ghosting and motion blur. A fast response time between 1ms to 4ms will offer ultra-smooth camera movement which you will always yarn when you play your favorite game at 4K. So if you main motto is single players games, then you can fiddle with the 1-4ms response time range, but for multiplayer you should stick to 1ms. However, in reality, you won’t notice any difference between 1ms and 4ms but split second makes a difference in reaction time while playing multiplayer games.
Depending upon your graphics card, you should consider a gaming monitor either with AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync. These technologies will not only smoothen the gaming visuals but will also drive any kind of screen tearing or ghosting issue. Basically, these technologies synchronize with the bit rate of GPU which results in buttery smooth visuals in fast-paced scenes. So you should choose according to your GPU. But remember you won’t find both of them on the same monitor so make up your mind before buying it.
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The brightness level is an essential factor that you should keep in mind, and it is smart to move for a monitor with a brightness level of 250 cd/m2. However, you can also go for displays with 300 to 350 cd/m2 brightness level because they will offer optimum vividness which will be good for both gaming and movies. It is advisable to go for high brightness if you work in a bright room which gets a lot of ambient light. So choose your intensity according to the room condition and remember the brightness level also increases the cost of the monitor.
Without proper color saturation, you won’t get the desired visual quality from a 4K monitor. So it is essential to purchase a monitor that high color saturation level and covers more 90% of any color space. It would be better if you can go for a monitor that offers maximum or full coverage of sRGB color space. However, you can even opt for a model offering huge of Adobe RGB or Rec.709. You should also check whether the monitor has some exclusive color technologies because it will add to the vibrancy of the color output.
There is a saying higher the contrast ratio better the monitor will be able to differentiate between dark and bright areas in a scene. Generally, most of the current gaming monitors come with a static contrast ratio around 1000:1 so it is preferable to stick to that figure. Some manufacturer might also mention dynamic contrast ratio so you shouldn’t be confused. The ideal DCR rating for a gaming monitor should be around 100000000:1 and higher is always better.
Aspect ratio defines the ratio of the length in terms of tallness of the monitor, and it is essential that you should pay attention to this consideration. 16:9 aspect ratio serves as the standard and prominent aspect ratio option because it churns out a good result from games and movies. You should inquire whether your monitor has other aspect ratio options apart from 16:9. You can also opt for a 21:9 aspect ratio although gaming monitors with such aspect ratio are quite expensive and they are not readily available.
Viewing angle plays a crucial role in determining the viewing experience of the user, and it is preferable to opt for minimum 170-degree viewing angle. A proper viewing angle will offer a decent sharp view from any angle which is essential especially when you are watching movies or playing games with your friends. 178-degree is considered as the ideal viewing angle, but not all monitors come with that privilege.
At a minimal level, the gaming monitor you want to buy should have Display Port 1.4, HDMI and audio. Display Port and HDMI cables are crucial for connecting GPU with the monitor especially when your monitor supports adaptive sync. You should also check whether the monitor comes with DVI port because it will also give you the freedom to connect various old graphics cards. Apart from these, USB port is also a welcome addition which will allow you to connect a thumb drive to play videos freely.
Checking the build quality is a crucial aspect, and you will understand built quality once you check the monitor properly. You should also go through expert reviews and user reviews which will give you a brief idea about the construction. Never opt for a monitor with ordinary plastic built quality because they will die down soon.
Along with every other factor we have mentioned above, you should consider the eye safety feature of your gaming monitor. A proper 4K monitor should have the 3H anti-glare coating, blue light filter technology, zero flicker technology, low dimming, and other technologies so that it won’t cause any eye fatigue and strain.
Last but not the least, the stand of the monitor should be equipped with all the necessary features like tilt, height adjustment, swivel, and 90-degree pivot. If you also wish to mount your monitor on the wall, then you should whether it has wall mount or VESA facility.
Shawn is a Scanner specialist of Epson America Inc. She was the head of the business development team of Boise Office Solutions. She is a former student of the University of California. She knows a lot of things about projectors, monitors and scanners. She is now the chief editor of Gadget Lounge.