Choosing the right gaming monitor is important when you consider how much time you are in front of your PC. Some monitors claim to be the best while they fall short in versatility, color reproduction, resolution, response time, or input lag. In this review we’ll go over what to look for in a monitor designed for PC video games and give you of our 4 top picks for this year for 22, 24, and 27 inch computer monitors. You can also take a look at our top ten list of the best gaming monitors.
Guide for Choosing a Monitor
Panel Type – TN. Vs. IPS
TN or twisted nematic panels are the most common panel types for consumers. They typically have faster response times and therefore less blurring when it comes to intense sequences for movies and games. On the other hand, IPS or in-plane switching displays can display color more accurately. Overall you’re probably better of getting a TN panel monitor.
Measured in milliseconds response time is the amount of time it takes for a pixel to cross the color spectrum from black to white and then back again. A slow response time is undesirable as it can lead to blurring and ghosting. We recommend that you look for a monitor with a response time of 3ms or less for gaming.
LED vs. LCD
LED monitors are in fact LCD or “liquid crystal displays”. The actual difference lies in the way the monitor backlighting works. LED monitors use “light emitting diodes” while standard LCD monitors use CCFL (fluorescent lights). CCFL monitors use more energy, are thicker, emit mercury, and have lower contrast ratios. Some of this is due to the continued progression of LED backlighting technology which allows the LED to be completely turned off in order to produce a deeper black, and therefore more contrast.
Most modern monitors that are 22 inches or larger come with full HD resolution or 1920 x 1080p. While the resolution can certainly go higher than this and is needed for photo editing monitors this is not necessary for PC gaming.
Best Monitors for PC Gaming
Here are our picks for the top 22, 24, 27 and 3D gaming monitors:
27 Inch – Viewsonic VX2753MH-LED Review
This new monitor boasts unparalleled performance with a 1ms response time, little to no input lag, full HD 1920 x 1080p resolution, a super high 30M:1 dynamic contrast ratio, and an all new design that allows you to remove the stand base and tilt the monitor back. This adds another viewing angle and with it weighing in at under 10 pounds it’s the most portable 27 inch monitor available.
If there’s one downside to this monitor it’s that Viewsonic removed the VESA mounting holes in the back. This was probably done to save weight and keep it “portable” for trips and LAN parties. If that’s a deal breaker for you, then we highly recommend the ASUS VE276Q as a secondary option or the Acer HN274H BMIIID as a 3D option if you have the money. Overall we still think it’s one of the best gaming monitors of 2011.
24 Inch – ASUS ML248H 24-Inch LED Monitor Review
Released earlier this year the Asus ML248H has quickly become a favorite of gamers. It has an ultra slim 16.5mm profile, is Full 1080P HD with HDMI, accurate color with a 10M:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 2ms response time, and even a touch sensitive control panel. The design of it includes a sturdy ring stand which allows you to easily tilt up and down and pivot side to side so you can angle it just to the right location. This monitor has a rebate at Amazon right now which makes it a great overall value.
Overall this is a great monitor with a brilliant picture but the ring stand may not be for everyone. If it’s not, then try the little brother to the 27 inch monitor above the VX2453MH-LED or the ASUS VE248H.
22 Inch – ASUS ML228H Review
The best 22 inch gaming monitor was a little bit of a difficult choice because in many instances gaming grade monitors that were 20 inches were only $10-20 cheaper than the 24 inch monitors – making it well worth the upgrade. The ASUS ML228H which is very similar to the monitor above is a good value at around $150. If you don’t have to have the faster response time, then you can also save some considerable money by going with a monitor like the Acer V223W EJBD.
Overall we still recommend you go for the 24 inch monitor rather than the 22 unless you want to give on the specifications a little and get a value oriented monitor rather than a budget one.
Best 3D Gaming Monitor 2011
Acer HN274H BMIIID Review
Released in quarter 2 of 2011 the highly anticipated Acer HN274H BMIIID 3D monitor did not disappoint and is our choice of best 3D gaming monitor for 2011. It’s received almost 100% positive reviews because of its dependable functionality when it comes to safety and reliable viewing. You really can’t compare the 3D or 2D picture with anything else.
The color and picture is accurate with 16.7 million colors and a staggering 100,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. In 3D viewing it has a 120 Hz Vertical and 140Hz Horizontal refresh rate.
This combined with its 2ms response time means you’ll have no ghosting or blurring issues. One of the features we like the most is that it comes with D-Sub, DVI, and 3 HDMI connectors for all of your devices. The price is a little on the heavy side, but that being said it comes with nVidia 3D glasses which can be quite expensive on their own.
|Product||Price||Resolution/ Response Time/ Contrast Ratio||Connectors/ Other||Warranty|
|Viewsonic VX2753MH-LED 27-Inch LED Monitor - Black||1920 x 1080/ DC 30,000,000:1/ 1ms||D-Sub, HDMI x 2/ 300 cd/m2 brightness/ 170°(H) / 160°(V) viewing angle/ tilt adjustable, and built-in speakers.||3 years and Includes a Pixel Performance Guarantee from Viewsonic.|
|ASUS ML248H Ultra-Slim 16.5mm Profile w/ Ring Stand for easy Tilt and Swivel.||1920 x 1080/ 2ms/ ASCR 10,000,000:1||D-Sub, HDMI/ 170°(H) / 160°(V) viewing angle/ 0.2652mm pixel pitch/ and 16.7 Million display colors.||3 year limited parts and labor warranty from Asus.|
|Acer HN274H BMIIID 3D 27-Inch LED Monitor||1920 x 1080 / 2ms response time/ Acer Adaptive contrast management 100,000,000:1||D-Sub, DVI, HDMI x 3/ 170°(H) / 160°(V) viewing angle/ 0.3114mm pixel pitch/ 16.7 Million display colors/ 300 cd/m2 brightness/ TN Panel / Tilt adjustable -5° to 15°/ 2W x 2 built-in speakers/ nVidia 3D Glasses included.||3 years parts and labor from Acer.|
Overall if you can afford it, then the Acer HN274H BMIIID is of best monitor for both 3D and 2D Gaming in 2011, but we’d love to know what you think. Leave us a comment below.