Is a gaming monitor better than a TV? I’m sure that you have a TV at home already and are now wondering if there is any point is getting a gaming monitor or if you can just continue using the TV. To that question, I can only answer one thing: Get yourself a gaming monitor.
In this article, you will learn why a gaming monitor is much better than a TV to game on. It’s not just a marketing thing, but a gaming mentor actually has a lot of features that are good for gaming and will assist you. Yes, it’s nice to game on a 65” TV but there are solutions to that as well. Continue reading to learn more.
Better Refresh Rate
One of the biggest differences between TVs and gaming monitors is the refresh rate.
If you are not familiar with the term “refresh rate”, then you can think of it as how fast the monitor processes data. The higher the refresh rate, which is measured in hertz (Hz), the more quickly the data is processed and broadcast to the screen.
Higher refresh rates will result in a crisper image and quicker response times. After all, when the information is processed more quickly, you will be able to react to things more easily. This is why you are going to want to find something with a high refresh rate.
This begs the question though: does a gaming monitor or a TV has a higher refresh rate? The television seems larger, which could either increase or decrease the refresh rate, depending on how you look at things.
High-quality TVs can reach around 120Hz, which is just below the standard Hz for gaming monitors (144Hz). This means that you can purchase a high-quality monitor and chances are that it is going to have a better refresh rate than the TV for a better price.
Gaming monitors are also capable of reaching higher refresh rates with some of the higher-end monitors reaching 240Hz or even surpassing that. There are even rumors that a 480Hz monitor prototype is in the works and being tested. Televisions have yet to reach this point.
The truth is that getting a gaming television is a horrible idea even if you can find a 120Hz TV. After all, TVs that are capable of having this type of refresh rate are going to be well into the thousands of dollars. By comparison, you can get a 240Hz monitor for around $500.
If you are looking for the large display that TVs have, you can do some math. Will two or four 144Hz monitors beat the price of one 120Hz television? Would two 240Hz monitors beat the price of one 120Hz television? The answer is yes, yes it can.
Considering the differences between refresh rates on gaming monitors and TVs, there is one clear winner and that is gaming monitors. Gaming monitors were designed for gaming, which means that they are going to have better specs than a television.
If you want to read and learn more about refresh rate and why you should bother with it, you can read one of our previous articles: The Best Refresh Rate for Gaming, where you will learn more about it and how you benefit from it.
Lower Input Lag
During intense sessions of gaming, a tenth of a second on your ability cooldowns can mean the difference in a tournament. Being able to respond in that amount of time is key to being successful in games.
Input lag is something that is commonly confused with response time. The two are similar, even connected, but are not quite the same. The difference is where the signal is going.
With response time, you are measuring the amount of time that it takes for a pixel to switch from being white and then switching to black. Input lag is how long it takes for your actions, whether it’s the press of the key or a click of the mouse, to register on the screen.
Poor response times and high input lag can result in blurred images, screen tearing, and many more visual issues that can hinder your gameplay, especially when you need to pay attention to the finest details. Sometimes the biggest screen isn’t always the best one to choose from.
The two are connected through the fact that they both affect the display of your monitor. When you are searching for a monitor or TV for gaming, you will want low response times and input lag. Sadly, it is clear that one will trump the other in capabilities again.
TVs are usually far larger than monitors, often several times the size of even large monitors. This means that there are more pixels on a TV. This also means that there are many more pixels that have to change color and then respond to whatever input you put in.
This takes time. It might only be a couple of milliseconds but that is still time. In fact, depending on what your setup is, it could even take closer to a tenth of a second or even a whole second for your television to respond.
People who have used televisions as gaming monitors often report the severe input lag. This is common with console games as well. Developers on console games have a lot more work to do because of the inherent input lag that comes with using such a large television as a gaming monitor for fast-paced, intense games.
Adaptive-Sync Technology (G-Sync & FreeSync)
The way the screen syncs plays an enormous role in the image that appears on the screen and how you can interact with it. A common problem to have when a monitor has a low refresh rate can be ghosting and lag.
In later years, this problem has become much smaller thanks to adaptive sync, a technology that tries to solve those issues, and have successfully done so as well. In gaming, there are two techniques for adaptive sync, and that is G-Sync and FreeSync.
Having a monitor that support any of these technologies, together with a supported graphics card, will make your experience much better. The technology helps the monitor and graphics card to talk to each other, syncing up so that the graphics card isn’t trying to push more frames to the monitor than it can handle.
G-Sync is the technology that was first, and it was developed by the huge graphics card manufacturer Nvidia. A monitor that use G-Sync needs to have extra hardware in it, that the manufacturer of the monitor purchase from Nvidia. This is not something that is true for FreeSync and will make monitors with G-Sync more expensive than FreeSync.
FreeSync, on the other hand, is made by AMD, the other big graphics card manufacturer. This technology does the same thing but without extra hardware, meaning that that monitors with FreeSync is not as expansive as G-Sync monitors.
But the thing is that this is almost an exclusive feature for gaming monitors. There are currently no TVs that has adaptive sync built in, which is a huge letdown for most gamers. Nvidia has started a new type of product that they call BFGD, Big Format Gaming Display, which is like a gaming monitor, but they are 65” big and doesn’t have the features of a TV. They are also very expensive.
The answer to the age-old question of is gaming monitor better than TV is a simple one. The answer is yes. Gaming monitors have better performance, offer more options, are cheaper, and have more choices when it comes to syncing the device
If you are looking at TVs only for the sheer size of them, I highly suggest that you look at some of the BFGD monitors instead, like this HP Omen X Emperium. They have everything from a gaming monitor but in the size of a TV.
Generally, if you are looking for gaming gear, the best thing you can do for both yourself and your wallet is to look at gear that has been specifically designed for gaming as this will have the most features for you to benefit from.
What do you prefer? A gaming monitor with a high refresh rate or a TV with a big screen?