LCD and LED Monitors:
If you are skeptical about selecting a gaming monitor and wondering whether the LED screen is worth the extra money then check out this article to see the differences. LED (Light Emitting Diodes) monitors are technically a member of the LCD (liquid crystal display) monitor family. The old LCDs use something called CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps) while the new LCDs use LED (Light Emitting Diodes).
CCFL is a white light which shines across the back of the LCD and is coloured to generate the image. LED can be white lights or they can be RGB which simply means they can emit red, green and blue light, so the main difference between the two lies with different back-lighting techniques which may change the picture quality characteristics dramatically. LED screen are more expensive than LCDs, however, LEDs offer a lot of advantages over LCD.
Some advantages of LED screens are as follow:
- LEDs have a wider viewing angle than LCDs and also consumes lower power than LCD.
- LED technology allows for richer colour and a brighter screen.
- LED backlit screens are lighter and they can be thinner as well.
Lets take a look at some of the more important factors you need to look out for in LCD/LED monitors when choosing the best gaming monitor.
Key features you should consider when buying your gaming monitor:
If you look at an LCD monitor from an angle, you will notice that the image appears dimmer and the colours can look weird. At extreme angles the entire image can even disappear. The viewing angle of an LCD monitor is the angle at which you can still view the screen clearly. The greater the viewing angle, the better. Manufacturers are known to exaggerate their specifications, so be sure to evaluate the viewing angle yourself before buying an LCD monitor.
Each LCD monitor is designed for a certain resolution, known as the native resolution. If you change the resolution on an LCD screen, the image will be scaled and the quality wont be as good as with the native resolution. The native resolution of an LCD depends on the size. The typical native resolutions ranging from 1024x768 Pixel for smaller 17 inch monitors to 2500x1600 Pixel for 26 to 28 inch monitors.
There are different types of connectors on vidoe card and monitor, the common types of video input/output ports are;
- VGA (D-Sub): Has 15 pin connector and transmits analogue signals.
- DVI: DVI connectors come in two different types, DVI-D and DVI-I connector. The DVI-D transmits digital signals only and has two versions, single- (18-pins) and dual-link (24-pins). The DVI-I transmits both analogue and digital signals. It looks identical to DVI-D but has additional 4-pins for analogue signals. The DVI-I also comes in single- and dual-link versions.
- HDMI: The HDMI transmits both sound and video signals in digital format. There are different types of HDMI connectors, type A/B (HDMI 1.0), type C (mini-HDMI/ HDMI 1.3)) and TYPE D/E (HDMI 1.4). The newest version of HDMI (HDMI 1.4/1.4a ) offers more features than previous versions. HDMI also supports HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) to display encrypted DVD/Blu-ray videos.
- DisplayPort: It has 20pin connector and provides the same functionality of HDMI connector. There are different standards of Display port ( e.g. mini DisplayPort (mDP) )that have unique features. DisplayPort supports new DPCP (DisplayPort Content Protection) feature in addition to HDCP.
The refresh rate, also called the vertical refresh rate or frequency, is the speed at which the monitor can draw the screen. Measured in hertz (Hz), the higher the refresh rate of your monitor, the faster your screen is updated.
The response time of an LCD monitor refers to how quickly each pixel on the screen can change colour. The faster the response time, the less blurring you will experience. Blurring is when the previous image displayed on the screen can still be seen as a blur for moments after the image has changed. Blurring can be seen in fast-paced graphical applications such as games and videos. When choosing an LCD monitor for gaming, the response time is perhaps the most important factor to consider. You probably experienced some ghosting effect while playing a fast-paced action game such as a first person shooter, this can be overwhelming and if the ghosting is severe it will ruin your overall gaming experience.
The LCD with a response rate of 5ms (milliseconds) is good enough for gaming. The very best gaming monitors on the market have extremely fast response time as low as 1ms that completely eliminates ghosting issue.
The dot pitch indicates how sharp the images will be displayed on a monitor. Its measured in millimetres (mm), and the smaller the dot pitch, the better the image quality will be. A full HD 24" monitor will have a smaller dot pitch than full HD 27" monitor, because both monitors have the same pixel count but the distance between the pixels are closer on the 24" monitor (more pixel density) resulting in sharper images.
The 3D technology is a feature that gives more depth to the image by providing different focus point. There are three different types of 3D technology, Passive, Active Shutter and Glass-Free, each have their own advantages and disadvantages.