Every computer gamer knows they need a good graphics card and a fast processor in their gaming rig. Many also go the extra mile to purchase a gaming specific keyboard and mouse. The monitor is an often-overlooked piece of hardware that can have a major impact on gaming performance and comfort.
Why a Gaming Monitor?
The monitor is just a screen that you look at, and they are all basically the same, right? Wrong. There are a variety of monitor specifications that can have a major impact on gaming performance and especially on eye comfort. Of course, gaming monitors tend to be more expensive that regular monitors, but they are an essential part of a gaming rig. You are already likely to invest in a powerful computer and other essential hardware like headsets and keyboards. The monitor rounds out this package and makes your gaming platform complete.
Frames per second is a big deal for most gamers. They demand at least sixty frames per second and will go higher whenever possible. What some players may not realize is that, regardless of the computer or game’s ability to provide frames, they will be limited by the monitor. Gaming monitors have much higher refresh rates compared to standard monitors. Most are able to display up to 144 frames per second.
This is especially important in shooters and other high-response games that require fast action and involve a lot of motion on screen. Lower frames create motion blur. At extremely high performance levels, a lack of frames can often be mistaken for lag or other problems where the game appears to be running slower than it actually is. This can spell death in many a multiplayer deathmatch.
The other side to this equation is response time. While things in the electronics world happen fast, nothing is instantaneous. There is a natural lag between the time you input a command into the keyboard and time it displays on the monitor. Part of this lag comes from your computer’s processing speed and game’s own input code. The other part of that lag is the monitor’s built-in response time. This matters at very high levels of play and performance. Gaming monitors have input lag reduced to a single millisecond.
Eye Strain and Comfort
Gamers who compete at high levels, and even casual gamers, know that comfort is important. Health professionals recommend that anyone using a screen look away from the screen at least once every few minutes and take a full break at least every hour or two. The majority of gamers are very unlikely to be following these suggestions. Eye health and comfort becomes especially important to anyone staring at a screen for many hours. Gaming monitors have extra features that reduce eye strain and lessen the impact of large amounts of screen time.
One key feature is the reduction of blue light coming from the monitor. Monitors with low blue light technology filter about 70 percent of the blue light from the monitor. Blue light has been shown to be the primary segment of the light spectrum responsible for eye strain.
Most screens flicker very slightly as they refresh. This is almost never noticeable when you are using the screen, but it can still lead to eye strain and discomfort over time. Gaming monitors with FlickerFree technology included, do not flicker as much or at all.
One final advantage of gaming monitors is that they are often highly adjustable and customizable. Standard monitors often come with stands that do not pivot or adjust very much. Uncomfortable viewing angles create glare or screen darkening. This can dramatically increase eye strain and lead to other problems as the gamer must adjust their body to the screen.
Gaming monitors are often equipped with stands or mounts that can be positioned at a variety of angles and heights. The perfect viewing angle is the final piece of comfort and performance that will allow you to enjoy many hours of quality gaming time.
Whether you are a casual or professional gamer, a gaming monitor is a critical part of your gaming rig.