If you are shopping around for a new display, you may be comparing gaming monitors vs computer monitors. Some of the best computer monitors, after all, can easily double as gaming monitors. What makes a gaming monitor different from a traditional computer display? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Dedicated gaming monitors tend to feature beefier specs, with a faster response time and a variable refresh rate.
  • Regular computer monitors can offer higher resolutions than gaming monitors, as UHD displays demand more processing power.
  • Gaming monitors tend to cost more than regular monitors, due to all of the additional gaming-centric features.

Differences Between Gaming Monitors and Computer Monitors

There is not simply one key difference between gaming monitors and computer monitors, as it is more a number of slight differences that add up to a completely different product. As the names suggest, gaming monitors are ideally suited for graphically intensive PC games while standard computer monitors are built for professionals and for those who just want to stream some TV with decent image quality. Both types of monitors come in different shapes and sizes, however, if you are comparing curved monitors vs flat monitors.

Here are some more differences between gaming displays and regular computer displays.

Insider Tip

Gaming monitors make effective standard monitors, but the same may not go both ways.

Response Time and Refresh Rate

Gaming monitors are purpose-built to handle modern competitive computer games, so you will find an uptick when it comes to certain specifications over general monitors. Case in point? Most gaming monitors feature blazing-fast response times and refresh rates and minimal lag. The same cannot be said for standard monitors, which offer a slower response time, though you will likely never notice unless you are playing the latest and greatest PC games.

Resolution

This may come as a surprise to some, but gaming monitors do not always prioritize resolution and graphical fidelity above all else. As a matter of fact, you will often find standard computer monitors with higher resolutions than many gaming monitors. Why is this? Gaming monitors prioritize accuracy and speed, and higher resolutions demand more processing power, which can lower the response time and refresh rate, in addition to increasing lag. 4K gaming monitors do exist, but they do not always offer the tools to get a competitive edge.

Cost

Dedicated gaming monitors are filled with gaming-centric bells and whistles, so they tend to cost more than traditional computer monitors. Keep this in mind before making a purchase or if you are comparing a full warranty vs a limited warranty. If you are spending all that coin on a gaming monitor, you may want to opt for the full warranty.

F.A.Q.S

Do gaming monitors deliver good sound or do I need external speakers?

Some gaming monitors include integrated speakers, but they are generally not as robust or powerful as dedicated external speakers.


Why do IPS panels now offer a good choice for gaming monitors?

IPS display panels offer a decent dynamic range and full compatibility with Nvidia G-Sync and related software. They also excel with a number of different aspect ratio sizes.


Curved vs flat monitors – what are the benefits of curved monitors?

Curved monitors offer wide viewing angles and an improved aspect ratio over flat monitors. Many curved monitors are otherwise known as ultrawide monitors.



STAT: Monitors advertising “99% sRGB” are claiming the screen covers 99% of the sRGB color gamut, which is often considered indistinguishable from 100% when viewed with the naked eye. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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