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If you do buy a curved monitor, understand curvature specs. An 1800R curvature has a curved radius of 1800mm and a suggested best max viewing distance of 1.8 meters -- and so on. The lower the curvature (as low as 1000R), the more curved the display is.
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If you want ultimate speed that's also not too taxing on your GPU, FHD (1920 x 1080) delivers the highest frame rates (you won't find gaming monitors today with lower resolution). But avoid stretching that resolution past 27 inches, as you may notice a dip in image quality, with pesky individual pixels being visible.
There are many confusing choices and even more confusing marketing terms to sift through when buying a new gaming monitor. Let's break down the features that actually benefit gamers. Note that some factors depend on a player's skill level.
Competitive gamers should prioritize speed, which calls for high refresh rates (144 Hz or more), as well as the lowest response time and input lag (see our gaming monitor reviews (opens in new tab)) possible. This will likely limit you to 25 or 27 inches, possibly with lower pixel density and without extended color or HDR.
Gaming monitors usually have Nvidia G-Sync (for PCs with Nvidia graphics cards) and/or AMD FreeSync (for running with PCs using AMD graphics cards). Both features reduce screen tearing and stuttering and add to the price tag; although, G-Sync monitors usually cost more than FreeSync ones.
No matter what PC you have, your monitor choice has a dramatic effect on everything you do. That makes buying a new monitor a worthy investment and one that can benefit you immediately, whether your playing games or doing work, with the right selection. Just make sure you don't waste money on a screen with excess features or without the specs you need to help your PC shine.
Some monitors do this each time you check your blood pressure. They take a first reading; wait 30 to 60 seconds and take a second reading; then wait 30 to 60 more seconds, and take a final measurement.
I wanted the Owlet Dream Duo because I thought it would help me when he was sleeping. I knew that the dream sock monitored his heart rate and o2 sats. And it had more than largely served its purpose. All of the other features - sleep quality indicators and sleep tracking- have made it that much more worth it.
If you don't want to spend a lot of time thinking about it, my quick-and-dirty recommendation is a 27-inch flat-screen IPS display with 1440p (quad HD) resolution and a refresh rate of 144Hz or better and DisplayHDR 600 (or the equivalent). You can usually find quite a few choices in the $250 to $500 price range. If you need to go cheaper or smaller, drop to a 24-inch 1080p model (aka full HD) with a 144Hz or faster refresh rate; you can find those for $150 to $250. If you want a really good monitor -- 32 inches or bigger with 4K-plus resolution at refresh rates starting at 120Hz and HDR with 1,000 nits or more brightness -- generally expect to spend upward of $1,000. The same frequently goes for cutting edge technologies, such as QD-OLED (though we don't yet know how much Alienware's 34-inch model will cost.)
To me, 24 inches feels small, especially if the monitor is serving time as a work display during the day or if you play games with expansive worlds. But either should be able to handle most types of games. If you want to connect to both a console and a PC, almost any recent monitor will work, but some are optimized for the task in big sizes -- currently 42 inches or bigger -- with an explicit list of the HDMI 2.1 features you care about, such as dynamic HDR metadata (if you want HDR) and variable refresh rate. They'll cost well over $1,000, too.
To save money, at least in the short run, don't overbuy. If you've got a 3-year-old system with a GPU that gets you 90 frames per second in 1440p on your most-played games and you don't plan to upgrade in any meaningful way in the near term, you can save money by not going for the 240Hz model.
Everything being equal, and if you've got the space and budget, bigger is almost always better. Screen size labeling is based on the length of the diagonal: That made it easy to compare monitor sizes when almost every screen had the same aspect ratio -- essentially the proportions of the screen rectangle, which is the ratio of horizontal to vertical pixels. But wide and ultrawide screens on desktop and newer ratios on laptops (such as 3:2 or 16:10) make cross-size comparisons a little more difficult.
You can certainly drive a TV from your computer, but TVs are meant to be viewed from a distance, while computer displays are designed for closer work. As TVs get smarter about gaming and consoles share space with PCs and laptops, however, the gap between the two is narrowing. So for gamers, having a primary computer display for working and a TV hooked up for gaming may make sense, at least if it's not too big. Want to do that? Here's how to use your 4K TV as a monitor.
If you want an OLED screen, a TV is still your best bet though. We've seen a couple of 55-inch OLED monitors like the Alienware 55, but now that TVs have improved game support you're probably better off than overpaying for a monitor. Smaller OLED monitors are trickling into the market, but still not at the desk-friendliest sizes.
We're starting to see some monitors targeted toward console gamers, but Dolby threw a small spanner into the works for those by announcing Dolby Vision support for the Xbox Series X and S. But no gaming displays, including models like the Asus ROG Strix XG43UQ or Gigabyte AFV43U, support Dolby Vision yet. Only professional content-creation monitors like the Asus ProArt PA27UCX-K or Apple Pro Display XDR currently support it, and they only support 60Hz refresh rates and don't have the essential HDMI 2.1 features.
Resolution, the number of vertical by horizontal pixels that comprise the image, is inextricable from screen size when you're choosing a monitor. What you really want to optimize is pixel density, the number of pixels per inch the screen can display, because that's what primarily determines how sharp the screen looks as well as how big elements of the interface, such as icons and text, can appear. If you're gaming with a controller at distances further than you'd be sitting at a desk, it can be critical.
At CES 2022, the organization behind the HDR10 standard announced the forthcoming HDR10 Plus Gaming standard, a variation of the HDR10 Plus that's been available on TVs for a while. It adds Source Side Tone Mapping (SSTM), which adjusts the brightness range on a scene level based on data embedded by the game developer -- HDR10 has a single range that has to work for the whole game. It also includes the ability to automatically trigger a display's low latency mode, to compensate for the additional overhead imposed by the HDR data (more important for TVs than monitors), as well as support for variable refresh rates in 4K at 120Hz on consoles (still not implemented in the PS5 as of today).
Bottom line: If you want a monitor for your console that can do 4K at 120Hz, support variable rate refresh and auto low-latency mode, you'll have to verify support for each individually. And the same goes if you want a PC monitor connected via HDMI that can support source-based tone mapping (discussed subsequently) and bandwidth-intensive combinations of high resolution, fast refresh rates and high color depth/HDR.
Monitor manufacturers are supposed to list supported features explicitly; if they don't, either pass the monitor by or delve deeper. If you want the gory details, TFT Central does an excellent job explaining the issues.
To me, curved monitors are the best way to make a single display wider without forcing you to sit too far back; that's why they make more sense for a desktop monitor than for a TV. Optimally, you should be able to see the entire screen without moving your head too much. Once you get beyond roughly 27 inches, you'll need a curve if you're sitting at a desk. Don't get me started on the "immersive experience" of curved screens: Unless that display wraps all the way around me, it's no more immersive than any other.
If you're buying a screen that's 27 inches or below, aside from the fact that curved displays can look ever so much prettier, one of the few practical applications for it is three-monitor gaming setups, which let you create a better widescreen experience. Otherwise, small curved screens just aren't worth it, especially if you're paying extra for the privilege. In fact, I feel like curves on smaller screens bring the edges too far into my peripheral vision for comfort.
Many widescreen models tend to have a 21:9 aspect ratio, which means they're wider and shorter than other displays and full-screen video will be pillarboxed. But larger monitors without a curve at a more common 16:9 aspect ratio would require you to be bobbleheaded because they'd be quite tall: 24 inches (61 cm) high for a 49-inch monitor versus 19 inches (48 cm).
This depends on what you're doing. For instance, if you want a fast gaming monitor for play and a high-resolution display for work, it's a lot cheaper to get two than a single one that does both. Or if you need a color-accurate monitor for design but want a high-brightness one for gaming, it's also a lot cheaper to get two smaller ones. But if you just need a ton of screen space, a single ultrawide might be simpler.
Sort of. For current monitors at all but the lowest, cheapest end, your choices are between VA (vertical alignment) and IPS (in-plane switching). Some manufacturers refer to their panels as "high-speed" IPS, but that's just to distance it from the old perception that IPS has slow pixel response. The reason you generally don't need to think about the technology is because other specs, such as the ones that follow, provide more meaningful decision options than the panel type.
At the most basic, your monitor should support generic VRR. That will enable games to use their own methods for syncing the two rates, which on the PC frequently means the game just caps the frame rate it will allow. One step up from that is generic adaptive refresh rate, which uses extended system-level technologies to vary the screen update rate based on the frame rate coming out of the game. This can deliver a better result than plain VRR, as long as your frame rates aren't all over the place within a short span of time. 041b061a72