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What is a Gaming Monitor? A Comprehensive Guide!

Gaming has become one of the most popular forms of entertainment today. Advances in technology have allowed video games to achieve cinematic graphics and immersive gameplay that truly makes you feel transported into another world as you play.

The latest triple-A titles like Starfield, Baldur's Gate 3, Diablo 4 and Assassin's Creed Nexus feature stunning futuristic worlds, dark gothic fantasies and historically rich open environments rendered in sharp 4K high-definition.

But in order to fully experience the cutting-edge graphics and gameplay of these next generation games, gamers need a high performance monitor that can keep up with displaying all of that visual fidelity.

Having a gaming-grade monitor transforms the experience when playing these newest blockbuster games. 

Essential features like high 120Hz-360Hz refresh rates, 1ms response times, Nvidia G-Sync/AMD Freesync and Quad HD/4K resolutions make these expansive virtual worlds come alive. 

Open world action RPGs like Assassin's Creed Nexus demand high resolutions so you don't miss a single detail of the landscapes. 

Cinematic masterpieces like Starfield should be played on HDR monitors to achieve proper contrast between light and dark cosmic scenery. And fast-paced competitive first person shooters like Diablo 4 require buttery smooth animation for responsive demon-slaying.

But not all monitors are designed for high intensity gaming. Standard office monitors or even most 4K TVs will feel sluggish, ghosty and laggy trying to keep up. That's why you need a monitor built specifically to render all the real-time graphical effects that today's advanced game engines churn out without dropping a frame.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide everything you need to pick the perfect gaming monitor to match how and what you play to unlock the full potential of your gaming PC.

Difference Between Gaming Monitor vs. Regular Monitor

Gaming monitors and regular monitors may look similar at first glance, but they are designed with different priorities in mind. Gaming monitors are made to provide a smooth, responsive, and immersive gaming experience, while regular monitors prioritize color accuracy and workplace productivity.


Gaming monitors have very fast response times, often 1ms or less, which allows the pixels to change colors rapidly with minimal ghosting or blurring. This quick responsiveness gives a competitive edge in fast-paced games. Regular monitors usually have slower 5ms or more response times.


Gaming monitors often prioritize high refresh rates over resolution, but many newer models have both. Popular gaming resolutions include 1080p, 1440p, and 4K. Regular monitors focus more on higher resolutions like 4K for multitasking and detailed image/video editing work.


Common gaming monitor sizes range from 24 to 49 inches. Large 27, 32 or 34-inch sizes help immerse players in the game. Regular monitors meant for office work typically max out at 32 inches.


Gaming monitors are specifically designed for gaming or entertainment. Regular monitors are made for general computer use like work, web browsing and basic content consumption.


Gaming monitors often have aggressive “gamer” aesthetics with angular shapes and RGB lighting. Regular monitors have simple, versatile designs to match various décor.


Gaming monitors use panels focused on speed, like TN and IPS. Regular monitors may use cheaper TN panels or color-accurate IPS/VA panels better suited for photo/video editing.


Specialized gaming features drive costs up, so gaming monitors are generally more expensive than similarly sized regular monitors. Entry-level gaming monitors start around $200-300 USD.

Refresh Rate

Gaming monitors need fast refresh rates, typically 144Hz-360Hz, for smooth gameplay. Regular 60Hz monitors refresh too slowly for gaming purposes outside of casual use.

Input Lag

Gaming monitors are engineered to have extremely low input lag to instantly reflect your clicks and movements on screen. Input lag is less prioritized for regular monitors.


Gaming monitors are designed to feel immersive when sitting close up, often with thin bezels and ergonomic stands. Regular monitors use a functional style for productivity-focused tasks.


Gaming monitors often include bonus gaming features like RGB accent lighting, multiple gamer-centric USB ports and adjustable stands. Regular monitors have basic stands and few ports.


Upgrading to a high performance gaming monitor can truly take your gameplay experience to the next levels of responsiveness, graphical fidelity and immersion. Make sure to assess your gaming habits and priorities to pick the right display specs for the types of titles you play. With the perfect gaming monitor matched to a capable gaming rig, you’ll finally experience your library of games as the developers intended - and gain an edge over your competitors both in-game and on the leaderboards!

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