What size would you like to play with?
If you are seriously into your First Person Shooters, then you may enjoy the realism of actually having to move your head to see all of the screen at once. I have a buddy who plays Call of Duty on a 60 inch flat screen. Though this is certainly not the ideal setup for everyone.
Playing a game is different from watching a movie or tv show. Sometimes bigger is not actually going to be better. It is far more about trying to find a size that is comfortable to play with.
What Resolution Do You Want?
Wait… isn’t resolution the same thing as size? Wrong.
Resolution may be related to how many pixels are available for the screen to use but this does not mean that it is as simple as being the size available. You may find one monitor that is 22 inches, that has a resolution of 1920×1080 but then at the same time you can have this resolution on a 23 inch monitor.
It is not as simple as the more pixels the better either, even though this can be a useful guide. If two screens have the same resolution but are a different size, then this simply tells us that the pixels are smaller on one or further apart.
The way a human eye can focus on these differences actually become quite subjective for many people, as the discernible difference between a pixel that is actually .027 inches wide can look quite different to a pixel that is .0303 inches wide.
The main thing to keep in mind when deciding on a resolution is that it is not the same as the size, and it can also be a subjective experience. Try out a few different resolutions ratios and see what feels best for yourself!
Refresh Rate vs Response Time?
Refresh rate (measured in Hz) is the rate at which the monitor will refresh the images that it is showing. If the refresh rate for your monitor is 120Hz this means that the image that is being displayed changes 120 times every second.
Typically, the higher the refresh rate then the better the experience will be, however keep in mind that having a higher refresh rate will actually use up your GPU quicker, which may place additional strain on your system.
It is also important to note that having a higher Hz alone is not enough to make sure that your screen is updating frequently enough to show what is happening in the game. The Hz is the frequency with which the image is updated, but does not actually dictate whether the new image will be the correct image.
Picture this, you are playing a game of League of Legends, every second counts and your reaction speed is crucial to being able to get the upper hand.
The time between seeing an attack coming, and you being able to react comes down to many factors (some of which have not a great deal to do with your monitor).
So, there is a spell coming at you, you need to use flash asap to get away. The point in which the other player casts the spell instantly sends the attack your way.
Your monitor must then take an input from the game that is instructing it to show the attach coming, you will see the attack come once the screen refreshes the display.
This however, is not necessarily the same as the Hz of your monitor. Even if a 120 Hz monitor refreshes 120 times per second, that is not to say that each and every one of those refreshes is actually new or updated information. It can quite often be the same thing simply being repeated.
The missing metric to this conundrum is the response rate.
The response rate is measured in milliseconds (ms) and dictates how quickly the monitor can respond to new information.
Now, we know your 120 Hz monitor is going to refresh itself 120 times per second, however if it is taking 5 milliseconds to receive new information, then it is going to take longer to show you that incoming spell than if it had a refresh rate of 2 milliseconds.
The key takeaway from this is that you can not judge how responsive your monitor will be on Hz alone, you also need to judge it by ms also.
Understanding each of these metrics can take time, and then matching the metrics up against your available budget can take even more time and research! You can check out this highly detailed run down of the best gaming monitors if you need some assistance with matching your budget to your needs in a gaming monitor.
When it comes to purchasing the ideal monitor it always helps to know exactly what each of the various metrics are that people are advertising with. This can help you avoid the pitfalls and simple mistakes such as a massive screen with low resolution, or a screen with a massive and impressive seeming refresh rate, that still has a sluggish response rate.