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A PC gaming experience can be only as good as the equipment that facilitates it. In other words, unless you have a high-quality, high-performance monitor along with an ergonomic keyboard/keypad, your virtual adventure may fall short of the thrill and adrenaline rush. Avid gamers will agree that it makes sense invest in a good, branded monitor. If you're buying one for the first time or not sure how to go about the process, here are some tips.

Screen Size
A large sized monitor offers a more dynamic gaming experience, and is recommended if you anticipate spending a couple of hours playing games regularly. Keep in mind that the price of the monitor is directly proportional to its size. Depending on your budget, preference and desktop space, you may want to invest in a 30-inch screen or be content with a 24-inch monitor.

Resolution and Contrast Ratio
When it comes to resolution, keep in mind that games render best on native resolutions. Basically, a monitor's native resolution is the sum of its horizontal and vertical pixels. So, even if you don't opt for resolutions as high as 1920x1080 or 1920x1200, you may want to play games at the native resolution. Contrast ratio is the difference in brightness between the maximum black and the maximum white a monitor can produce. A higher contrast ratio offers improved color resolution, with darker colors rendering better on the screen and adding to the gaming experience. Some of the best gaming monitors offer a superior viewing experience, so you may want to make this one of your priorities during the selection process.

Panels
Popular panel technologies like TN, VA and IPS have their pros and cons.

TN panels are cheap and have fast response times (good for fast-paced action) but poor color reproduction and viewing angles. This type of panel is recommended if you have a modest budget.
VA panels have a poor response time and some motion blur, but offer better color reproduction and viewing angles.
IPS panels offer good viewing angles and color accuracy though their response time is not that great. They are a bit pricey as well. If your budget is sizeable, you can invest in this panel technology.

You can opt for lcd or led monitors. The latter is advised if you can spare the extra cash for extended durability, energy-efficiency, better viewing angles and better contrast ratios.

Connections
Most present-day gaming monitors come with an array of ports such as HDMI, DVI-D and DisplayPort. You can easily connect your game console or Blu-ray player for a top-notch and immersive gaming experience. Note: The graphics card you use should support either of these connections, especially if yours is a 120Hz monitor.

Some of the best gaming monitor brands that deliver good value for money include Asus, LG, Acer, Samsung and Viewsonic.

Browse All Top Gaming Monitors »

Samsung Series 9 S27B971D

Samsung Series 9 S27B971D Monitor


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Samsung Series 9 S27B971D
Samsung Series 7 S27C750P
Asus VG248QE
AOC Q2963PM
Hannspree HL249DPB
Samsung Series 9 S27B971D Monitor
Samsung Series 7 S27C750P Full HD Monitor
Asus Vg248qe 3d Monitor
AOC Q2963PM LED Monitor
Hannspree HL249DPB Monitor
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Release Date
Jul 2013
Apr 2013
Jan 2013
Feb 2013
Dec 2013
Response Time
5.0 ms
5.0 ms
1.0 ms
5.0 ms
5.0 ms
Aspect Ratio
16:9
16:9
16:9
21:9
16:9
Brightness
300.0 cd/m^2
300.0 cd/m^2
350.0 cd/m^2
300.0 cd/m^2
250.0 cd/m^2
Contrast Ratio
1000:1
3000:1
80000000:1
50000000:1
1000:1, 30000000:1 (Dynamic)
Max. Resolution
2560 x 1440
1920 x 1080
1920 x 1080
2560 x 1080
1920 x 1080
Screen Size
27.0 inch
27.0 inch
24.0 inch
29.0 inch
23.6 inch
Color Depth
16.7 million colors
16.7 million colors
16.7 million colors
16.7 million colors
16.7 million colors
Monitor Type
LED PLS
LED
LCD monitor / TFT active matrix
IPS LED
LED
Viewable Picture Size
23.6 in.
24.0 in.
29.0 in.

  • The Samsung Series 9 S27B971D is an attractive 27-inch PLS monitor that delivers bold and accurate color reproduction and very dark blacks. It is well equipped and offers wide viewing angles but it has trouble at the dark end of the grayscale and is very expensive.


  • If you just want accurate color, and you want it without going through the effort and expense of calibration, then the Samsung Series 9 might be for you. But we also think that the "average" user looking for an exceptional all-purpose monitor will be better served by less expensive competitors.


  • When compared to last year's S27B970D monitor, the new Samsung S27B971D changes just one feature - swapping its predecessor's distractingly glossy display for a matt one, which makes a big difference when using it on a daily basis for photography. In all other regards the two monitors are exactly the same, sharing the beautiful design and high-specification, along with 99% sRGB colour gamut coverage and a very respectable 77% of the AdobeRGB spectrum.


  • The Samsung Series 7 S27C750P is an attractive 27-inch monitor that uses MVA panel technology to deliver rich colors and sharp viewing angles. It is equipped with a flexible stand and two HDMI ports but lacks a few features and has trouble displaying the darkest shades of gray.


  • This stylish display features an MVA panel and it can pivot to portrait mode, but we wouldn't recommend using it for applications where color accuracy is paramount.


  • It's not an open and shut case, but the Samsung S27C750P monitor just about earns our recommendation mainly on the strength of its anti-glare finish and outstanding design. There's better value to be found elsewhere, but this is a very good monitor for the discerning shopper.


  • The Asus VG248QE is a 24-inch gaming monitor featuring a 144Hz refresh rate, a speedy pixel response, and a highly adjustable stand. It's a good performer but could use a few more gamer-centric features.


  • I think most of us will agree that a decent 120-144Hz screen is a rather desirable little gaming panel, minus forking out for an Nvidia 3D Vision bundle. Sure, Asus has got some impressive screen technology in its monitor range, but it needs to get a lot more competitive on the price front given the value on offer from both BenQ and Iiyama at the moment.

  • Rating Unavailable

    ASUS are fairly unambiguous in their marketing of the VG248QE on their website, on their printed materials and on the base of the monitor itself. This is designed to be a gaming monitor that delivers a super-responsive experience in fast paced games. With its super-low input lag, very good pixel responsiveness (with configurable overdrive) and 144Hz refresh rate the monitor does deliver a superbly smooth gaming experience.


  • The AOC Q2963PM brings ultra-wide display capabilities to your desktop at an affordable price. It offers a wealth of video ports and reasonably good performance but its vertical viewing angle performance needs work.


  • Brightness consistency was very good, with the bottom right side corner being the only area of much difference, the worst part being 6.2% dimmer at 100% Brightness and at 50% Brightness there was only one area at 3.5% dimmer. Colour uniformity was good, if not great, with the bottom left and middle areas showing variation up to 4.5 Delta- E, the bottom right being 3.0 and everywhere else at under 2.5 at 100% Brightness. With the Brightness at 67% this improved to the bottom left at 2.4 Delta-E and everywhere else under 2.0.


  • The biggest "problem" if you want to call it that with the AOC Q2963PM is the price. For $500, you can get two smaller displays and put them side by side. Sure, it isn't one, ultra-wide display, but it will probably cost you less than $500. For example, if you just use the 16:9 with a 1080p input, you end up with an image that is 23.75" diagonal. Right now, AOC's own 24" e2460Sd will run you less than $150 on Amazon (the MSRP is $190). Two will cost you less than the price of the Q2963PM and you'll have much more screen space.


  • It's very cheap, but this screen's poor default colour accuracy means it needs a colour calibrator to bring out its potential.