About 1080p 144Hz Gaming Monitors
For many gamers, the size of the new monitor has long been a deciding factor in their purchase decision. Today it’s different: the range of available products has exploded – it’s almost impossible for individuals to keep track of the monitor market as a whole. For this reason, the editorial team has decided to revise the purchasing guide on the subject of LCDs. Instead of by size, we now sort our tips by resolution. However, factors such as refresh rate, response time, features, size and price are of course still included in the recommendations.
G-Sync Compatible: the “Game Changer”
The dynamic refresh rate is an important technology for PC gamers: It eliminates picture cracks (tearing) without increasing the input lag, which must be accepted with the alternative Vsync. Up to now, however, you had to choose one of the two GPU religions when buying a monitor – AMD or Nvidia, Freesync or G-Sync. Every GPU manufacturer cooked their own soup. Surprisingly, Nvidia has now opened up to Freesync monitors, with G-Sync now supporting the open Adaptive-Sync standard on which Freesync is based. Nvidia calls the program “G-Sync Compatible”.
Nvidia introduced only twelve Freesync monitors as “G-Sync compatible” at the start, but G-Sync can basically be activated on any Freesync monitor. Depending on the model, this works either just as well, only partially or not at all. We collect the experiences about this in a separate forum thread, which serves as a reference book for G-Sync Compatible. At this year’s Computex in Taipei, Nvidia certified 25 more monitors, so that there are now a total of 35 monitors.
Gaming Monitor 2020: LCD purchase tips for Full-HD displays
Many gamers still use screens with a resolution of 1,920 × 1,080 pixels, which is a total of just over 2.0 megapixels. Typically, such monitors come onto the market in 24-inch format. Full-HD screens with a 27-inch screen diagonal are also available, but these are increasingly being replaced by higher-resolution versions. Fast-response displays with extremely short pixel switching times and high refresh rates of 120 or 144 Hz are frequently found in this product category and (in addition to the price advantage) are one of the most important sales arguments for Full HD. Even 60 Hz devices still have their right to exist as budget game monitors, as long as the hardware in the gaming computer rarely shoulders more than 60 frames per second or the individual gaming taste is oriented towards titles with leisurely gameplay.
Ranking First: Samsung CFG73 27″
- High picture quality
- Very fast image build-up
- Many setting options
- Low power consumption
- No loudspeakers installed
- No webcam installed
Samsung C24FG70: Most “Full HD” for the money
We were able to test the C24FG70FQ before the public presentation and play a test game. In the meantime, we’ve also tested the monitor – we liked the high contrast of over 2,000:1 of the quantum dot display. Samsung is trying to make a return to the special gaming LCD sector with the 24-incher and is consistently pursuing its own path in the monitor sector, which means that the curved display surfaces are retained and have a particularly high radius of curvature (1,800 mm). Although this is only really evident in an LCD of this size with a multi-monitor setup, the other specifications are also top: 144 Hz, freesync and full sRGB coverage thanks to quantum dot technology.
Samsung puts the response time at one millisecond, but this is a specification of the “Moving Picture Response Time” (MPRT) and not the usual grey-to-grey change. The C24FG70, like its big brother, the C27FG70, is one of the top candidates as a gaming monitor in this class. Besides the very good picture quality, user-friendliness also contributes to this: A stand with a double joint as well as an OSD with a high adjustment depth are welcome. At just under 240 Dollar, the C24FG70FQ is pleasantly affordable for a well-equipped 24 incher with Full HD.
Samsung released the monitor with a different stand in 2017, the C24FG73. The extravagant hinged stand was too bulky for some customers, which is why the same monitor is now available with a more space-saving base. Both differ slightly in price. Apart from that, both monitors have the same panel – so there are no differences except for the stand. According to our collective thread in the forum, the monitor is considered compatible with G-Sync, although not officially supported by Nvidia. It is a great 1080p 144Hz capable gaming monitor for a very fair price.
Second: AOC C24G1 24″
- Great price-performance-ratio
- Excellent energy efficiency
- Gaming-capable reaction time
- Only 24 inch screen diagonal
- Image quality not optimal
- Inadequate equipment
AOC C24G1: Favorable combination of 144 Hz and Freesync
The AOC C24G1 is our beginner’s recommendation and represents the cheapest way to combine 144 Hz and Freesync. While you can only find low-color TN panels in this price range, the C24G1 has a high-contrast VA panel. Despite the typical TN low color depth of 6 bits with FRC (Frame Rate Control), the monitor offers crisp colors thanks to the VA-typical low black value. Ambitious picture editors won’t find an insider tip here, but the relatively good picture quality is certainly sufficient for budget gaming. Connection variety thanks to an additional VGA interface, complete ergonomics with pivot and a detachable cable claw on the stand are welcome extras. The Freesync margin is decent thanks to LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) and works under 144 fps at any frame rate.
In this price class, AOC saves on the C24G1’s USB ports and a comfortable OSD menu. Whilst the AOC agon gaming monitors have meanwhile been given a tidy and fast reacting menu, you can torture yourself through the stale, tough OSD on the C24G1. However, it’s bearable when you consider the good price-performance ratio, especially for a 144Hz capable gaming monitor.
Third: Dell S2419HGF
- Absolutely gaming-compatible TN-panel
- Crisp image
- Very many connections incl. 2 times USB 3.0
- Strongly equipped
Dell S2419HGF: True color despite a somewhat pale TN panel
Down here in the budget range of gaming monitors, the difference in quality between TN, VA and IPS panels is even more noticeable and visible. So you may decide to make a compromise: A low-streaking moving picture thanks to fast TN or strong colours with VA panel. By the way, IPS panels are not represented here at all among the 144s in the Full HD entry-level segment.
Unfortunately, the Dell S2419HGF, like many TNs in its price range, only offers a color depth of 6 bits with FRC. The difference to real 8 bit is visible in our opinion, even if not for everyone. For some, this might also be an acceptable drawback in view of the relatively low price and the low-streaking moving image. Hardly any IPS or even VA panel comes close to the short reaction times of a TN panel, on average here 4.5 ms.
Despite the low colour depth, we achieve a good colour fidelity here. In other words: the number of colours that can be displayed is at best mediocre, but that is quite correct with a small Delta E deviation of only 1.5. We achieved this with manual RGB adjustment in the OSD menu – with red at 49, green at 48 and blue at 47.
The good colour fidelity doesn’t make the monitor an insider tip for graphics workers, especially because the typical TN blue cast is quite present ex works. But the good display shows that it is not entirely unsuitable for occasional graphic work, such as simple photo retouching when creating a photo book. Despite the inconspicuous office look, this is primarily a gaming monitor, which is suitable for fast shooters due to full Free- and G-Sync compatibility and the short reaction times.
Fourth: Samsung LC49HG90
- 49 inch and 4K resolution
- Low power consumption
- Good equipment
- Extremely high price
Why should you buy two monitors when you can also buy the Samsung C49HG90? With a width of around 4 feet, the ultra-widescreen monitor makes an unusual, yet impressive figure on the desk. With a diagonal of a proud 49 inch in 32:9 format, this device virtually replaces two Full HD monitors. In addition to the exorbitant width, the depth of the screen is quite lush, as it is a whopping 16 inches due to the curved design. A large desk is therefore a must here!
samsung uses a VA panel, which in turn uses the QLED technology developed in-house. Compared to the widely used LED variants, this is intended to provide significantly better image quality. In practice, the image appears relatively natural and neutral. The brightness and contrast values are also above average, which all in all makes for a truly respectable display. Only the comparatively low resolution of 3,840 x 1,080 pixels is noticeable on the wide screen diagonal, as the image appears slightly blurred.
The Samsung C49HG90 doesn’t disappoint in terms of gaming suitability: It has a frame rate of 144 Hertz, a reaction time of only one millisecond and the Freesync image synchronization is also available. The playback is therefore nice and smooth. Additionally, there are predefined picture profiles for different game genres, which can be activated via the on-screen menu. There you can not only make further picture settings, but also options to reduce the input lag.
The blatant image diagonal makes it possible to open four windows parallel next to each other, which can have a positive effect on the productivity. But of course, some people might find this rather distracting. As always, it depends on the individual user.
Moreover, no ugly frames disturb the image reproduction, which are always in the field of vision in a dual monitor setup. But games have to support the 32:9 image format. If that’s the case, the gaming experience is truly excellent. However, if the title is not compatible with the format, unsightly image distortion will occur because the content will not scale correctly. Still other games support the format, but are not 100 percent optimized for it: Elements of the game interface, such as the mini-map or the ammunition display, are located in the lower corners, which means that the head is constantly turning. This can be quite exhausting after some time.
Even though the price of the Samsung C49HG90 is quite exaggerated, it offers some things that other monitors can’t offer.
Fifth: HP Omen X 25
- 240 Hz refresh rate
- AMD FreeSync and G-Sync compatibility
- Fast response times
- TN panel with disadvantages in contrast and viewing angle stability
- Not height-adjustable
- No speaker
If it may be a smaller screen, why not use one that is particularly fast? With a refresh rate of 240 hertz, HP’s Omen X 25f offers a super-fast image build-up, which is especially noticeable in shooters and racing simulations and getting over the 144Hz hurdle by a large margin. But the smooth image can also convince in slower genres. Apart from the FreeSync version recommended here, the Omen X 25f is also available with Nvidia’s G-Sync for an additional 200 Dollar.
Thanks to the built-in TN panel, the response times of one millisecond are also very good. Thus, no detail gets lost in games. However, this technology has the disadvantage that the image is somewhat distorted when viewed from the side. The FullHD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels displays games sharply and smoothly, but colors look a bit garish and the picture generally looks a bit pale. The monitor’s different game modes only improve this impression minimally.
The HP Omen X25 can be taken out of the box directly assembled. A supplied adapter plate also allows you to use your own feet or wall mounts. However, the included foot can be adjusted in height and tilted and is very stable, so you don’t have to worry about an alternative mount. If you place more value on a high refresh rate than on a good display quality, you’ll be well served with the HP Omen X 25.
Buyer’s Guide: Monitor
Monitor test: Not everyone needs it extra sharp
Define your requirements for the new screen before you buy. After all, users who create texts, tables or presentations with Office programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint do not need a large 4K model – nor do users who use their computer only to surf the Internet, for example on Facebook, search for bargains or use Spotify to play music in the background. In all these cases, an inexpensive Full HD display is sufficient.
Monitor test: photo editing
WQHD or 4K models, on the other hand, are useful for those who frequently edit pictures or want to enjoy them in all their glory. After all, even inexpensive smartphones deliver photos with 12 or more megapixels, which corresponds to a resolution of 4096×3072 pixels. These come across much sharper on a 4K monitor with 3840×2160 pixels than on a Full-HD screen, which scales the images down to 1920×1080 pixels so that much less detail is visible.
Monitor test: video editing
The same is true for video, as many mobile phone cameras record clips in 4K that only a 4K screen can play back without loss. And if you like to watch 4K movies from YouTube, you’ll be fine with an appropriately high-resolution monitor. And of course gamers want to enjoy graphically elaborate games like “Battlefield V” in every detail: Fine scars, waving manes or delicately drawn leaf structures can only be seen in their full splendour in the largest possible 4K model. The catch: This requires a lot of steam from the computer. Screens with WQHD resolution require fewer resources – they show content in greater detail than Full HD monitors and are also cheaper than 4K displays.
Monitor test: Viewed at an angle
The tested screens work with three techniques: TN, VA or IPS:
TN: Displays with the “Twisted Nematic” technology are cheaper to produce, but have one disadvantage: the picture quality depends on the user’s perspective. For example, if you look directly at the Viewsonic VA2407H, you will see a really good picture. From a slightly oblique perspective, however, its quality decreases as the individual pixels darken. This can also lead to color shifts. TN monitors become rarer, though – in the test, only two of them work with this technology.
VA: Models with “Vertical Alignment” technology are somewhat more expensive. Here, the liquid crystals of the LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) rotate perpendicular to the monitor surface. This ensures a lower loss of brightness when users do not look at the screen frontally, but at a slight angle. In general, the picture quality is a bit better with VA technology.
IPS: With the even more expensive “in-plane switching” technology, the liquid crystals rotate in one plane with the display. As with a VA monitor, the loss of brightness from an oblique viewing angle is low, so the picture quality is often better than that of TN displays.
Monitor Test: More Hertz for gamers
Many models show the picture with 60 Hertz. For most programs this refresh rate is completely sufficient, whether for working or watching videos. Only in games does a higher rate offer a gain: If the graphics card calculates more than 60 frames per second, the monitor can run at the maximum possible frame rate. This gives gamers in very action-packed games a small reaction advantage, which is often decisive for the game. However, most Display’s capability of 144 hertz rendering only works when connected via DisplayPort. However, the necessary DisplayPort cable is usually missing; it costs around 10 Dollars.
Monitor test: FreeSync and G-Sync
If the graphics card is capable of less than 60 frames per second, techniques such as FreeSync and G-Sync offer advantages: they adapt the frame rate to the speed of the graphics card. So the display always shows a picture when the graphics card has finished calculating it.
Which monitor for different usecase?
|monitor||24 inches||27 inches||from 30 inches|
|Prices||From 100 Dollars and up, better equipped models are only a little more expensive.||From 230 Dollars+, depending on the equipment but also significantly more expensive.||From 390 Dollars+, depending on the equipment, but also significantly more expensive.|
|Picture quality||High picture quality, more expensive monitors are often even better.||Usually a little better than the smaller 24-inch models.||Usually a little better than the smaller 24-inch models.|
|Format||Almost always full HD (1920×1080 pixels) in 16: 9 format.||Available in WQHD (2560×1440 pixels)|
and 4K (3840×2160 pixels), always 16: 9.
|Mostly WQHD or 4K in 16: 9, but also in extra wide formats like 32: 9.|
|Games||The low resolution hardly demands fast graphics cards.||Fast graphics cards are enough for WQHD, for 4K only a few are powerful enough.||Fast graphics cards are enough for WQHD, for 4K only a few are powerful enough.|
|Connections||There is always HDMI, newer sockets like DisplayPort or USB-C are rare, but getting more common.||HDMI always, mostly also DisplayPort,|
less often USB-C.
|HDMI always, mostly also DisplayPort, occasionally also USB-C.|
|Optimal for||On a tight budget, little space for the monitor or multi-screen operation.||WQHD top for gaming, 4K for working and watching movies.||For extra-sharp play, great film experiences, working with many program windows.|
Just buy the best monitor, no matter how expensive? This could be a solution. But if you’re on a tight budget, a cheap 24-inch monitor is a good choice. Passionate gamers, on the other hand, should pay attention to the resolution – a 4K monitor requires an extremely fast graphics card in the PC; WQHD models can be an alternative.