July 28, 2020

Scottsdale Living

How is game performance affected by a monitor?

With so much of the action focused on the controller held in the gamer’s hands, it can be easy to overlook the fact that each finger and wrist movement is almost entirely determined by what is viewed on the monitor. A player can get quickly knocked out of a game if the display skips or freezes at an important moment, or if blur makes it impossible to use precision aiming.

There are four standard monitor specifications that are important for gamers:

Display resolution: Although games can be played on a standard HD monitor (729p), a majority of gamers demand to have a Full HD (1080p) at least for things like aiming and clarity. Gaming monitors with UHD (2160p) and QHD (1440p) are available. However, to get the maximum from them, they must be paired with very advanced graphics processors.   

Refresh rate: In general, the minimum refresh rate for gaming (i.e. how quickly a display is able to change the color of an individual pixel) is 60Hz. However, for competitive players, 120Hz is vastly superior, especially for 3D games.  Also, there are 144Hz models that numerous gamers prefer. They not only offer a slightly faster rate but also max-out the refresh capabilities of the DVI-D connections that carry 1080p video, which is a very popular combination. Today, you can’t go wrong if you decide to go for the best 1080p 144hz monitor. There are monitors available with 240Hz refresh rates. However, gamers debate how much value they offer, with some appreciating their extra game-action precision, while others make the decision that 144Hz or 120Hz is well-suited for the games that they enjoy playing.

Response time: Regular monitors are sufficient as long as they offer 6-8ms response times (the amount of time it takes for moving from one still image to another). Typically, gamers demand 5ms or less response times. There are models that have response times that are low as 1ms. However, they are expensive.

Connection options: Unless you are purchasing a PC or game box and a new monitor at the same time, you will need to choose a connection option for your gaming monitor that matches the output(s) of your current system.  The most common options are DisplayPort, DVI-D, and HDMI, and vary by manufacturer. A multi-functional, newer connection option called the USB Type-C (or USB-C) is being offered as well and is able to transmit signals that are compatible with previous formats without needing adapters.

FInd out more about the best monitors at www.fifthgeek.com.

Solutions for stuttering and tearing

There are two monitor performance issues that gamers are plagued by:

Tearing: When one frame displays parts of two or more frames. Sometimes tearing is caused when the frames-per-second performance goes under the standard 60 FPS that is needed to display on-screen action smoothly. 

Stuttering: This occurs whenever the generation of new frames gets disrupted by slow rendering (or some other processing issues), but the monitor keeps refreshing at its standard rates. This causes frames to get skipped or appear to repeat.

In general, stuttering and tearing diminish as the display’s refresh rates increases. However, the problems continue to persist even with rapid-refresh models. Therefore, adaptive synchronization solutions have been designed by manufacturers such as Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync. Basically speaking, those technologies force a monitor to adapt settings such as the refresh rate on the fly, in order to meet the GPU performance, instead of the standard rate being refreshed and potentially causing visual disruptions. However, be aware, that G-Sync and FreeSync are specific to the manufacturer’s GPU, so if you need to match a new monitor with your current PC, be sure to choose synchronization technology that matches the Nvidia or AMD GPU that you are currently using.