If you are an avid PC gamer, having the right HDR monitor will improve your immersion into the game by offering richer colors and more distinct depth. While HDR televisions have been around for many years, HDR monitors have only been on the market for a few. With this helpful guide, you will know why you should consider purchasing an HDR monitor and what to look for.
What Is an HDR Monitor?
HDR stands for high dynamic range, not to be confused with HD. For many, HDR is a somewhat confusing subject. In its most basic design, HDR is meant to increase the richness and color depth of images. While 4K televisions and monitors have been stealing attention over the last couple of years, HDR monitors have the power to dramatically improve the graphic’s resolution of movies, TV shows, and games above what 4K monitors can offer.
Until a couple of years ago, there was no set standard for HDR monitors. In 2017, VESA unveiled its DisplayHDR standards with three certification levels. You can read about those here.
- DisplayHDR 400
- DisplayHDR 600
- DisplayHDR 1000
The numbers you see above stand for the brightness level, measured in nits. Manufacturers must meet these, along with bit depth, black levels, and gamut standards and minimums. These are strict standards that have been put in place by VESA. They are so strict, only around nine HDR monitors meet the standards as of now.
What Should You Look for in an HDR Monitor?
Purchasing a monitor can be a bit confusing, and throwing HDR in the mix makes things even more puzzling for many people. While we cannot offer an exhaustive review of all the monitors on the market, we are here to give you a strong foundation of information to be used in making a purchase. The following offers some insight that should help you better understand what to look for.
Color Gamut – This is one of the first considerations when choosing an HDR monitor. As we mentioned above, HDR has the capability to offer much richer color schemes and it can do that because it shows more colors than an SDR monitor.
When you are looking at the specs for an HDR monitor, you will likely see a percentage of the color gamut. The closer the monitor is to 100%, the better the color range which will offer more detail and brilliance to the images being displayed. It is important you at least purchase a P3 standard color gamut monitor or you will find the images displayed are lacking in color vibrancy.
Bit Depth – Another thing you will want to consider is bit depth. Bit depth is the number of bits of information that will be used by the monitor to display images. When shopping for an HDR monitor, it is important to choose one that is at least 10-bit. If you can find a 12-bit, this will be even better, but there are few on the market at this time.
Backlighting – HDR will never look as amazing as its potential without the right lighting source to offer plenty of brightness. Many monitors today use edge lighting which includes LED lights running down both sides of the monitor. It is these lights that illuminate the pixels on the monitor to be able to show the full gamut of colors. Television manufacturers have recently begun doing away with edge lighting and are focusing on creating televisions with backlit zones that are often referred to as full-array local dimming. This type of backlighting helps to lower darker areas on the screen and make the colors that are at the forefront come to life and seem to “pop” more.
While there are few monitors that offer this backlighting scheme, more manufacturers are stepping up to the plate. When choosing a multiple-zone backlit monitor, it is important to choose one that offers as many backlit zones as possible. With more zones in place, the monitor will be able to display images and offer dynamic range and contrast more accurately.
Brightness – While backlighting is important, it is nothing if the monitor cannot go bright enough. While some televisions and monitors can go as high as 1000 nits, the average low-end monitor is not going to be any brighter than 200-300 nits.
It can be a bit confusing when you are looking at PC monitor specs. Some monitor manufacturers are touting they are HDR without being able to reach the high level of brightness that is needed for ultra-color definition.
As we mentioned above, VESA’s standards for HDR monitors will likely become the standard for all PC monitors in the future. Already, we are beginning to see manufacturers comply with VESA’s standards, including Phillips and AOC.
If you truly want the HDR experience to be fully maximized, you need to choose a monitor that offers around 1000 nits. If the brightness is too low, you really are not going to be able to experience pure HDR in all its glory.
Just to recap the information above, consider the following when purchasing an HDR monitor.
- Try to choose a monitor with 1000 nit brightness. Do not accept any monitor below 600 nits.
- Choose a 10-bit panel for the best results. You can also choose an 8-bit plus 2-bit.
- Pick a monitor with at least 90% coverage of the P3 color gamut.
Look out for imposters. What we mean by this, is manufacturers are stating they are HDR when they are only boasting of an increased color gamut over SDR monitors. While color is important, if you truly want to be able to tell you have an HDR monitor, then it is all about the brightness level.
The Best HDR Monitors
As with any gaming gear purchase, it is crucial you carefully research the options that are available. There are now more HDR monitors available than ever before, and we would like to provide you with a rundown on some of the top choices. Before you even start the process of purchasing an HDR monitor, make sure you have a graphics card that supports HDR. The following are some of the best monitors on the market.
Samsung 32-Inch CHG70
This monitor is one of the very best on the market at present. This 32-inch curved monitor brings the screen a few inches closer to you than other models, putting you right in the midst of the action. Samsung is using the same CHG70 monitor they use in their 4K televisions.
- DisplayHDR 600
- 10-bit color
- Supports AMD Radeon FreeSync 2
- 3,000:1 color ratio
- 144Hz refresh rate
HP Pavilion Gaming 32 HDR
This is one of the best bargains available in HDR displays right now. This 2,560 x 1,440 monitor has a decent refresh rate and can offer some of the benefits of a higher-end monitor without the price. This monitor does not use IPS technology, so it is able to meet the DisplayHDR 600 standard.
- DisplayHDR 600
- 3,000:1 contrast ratio
- 95 percent DCI-P3 gamut
- 75Hz refresh rate
AOC 32-Inch AGON AG322QC4
The AGON AG322QC4 is one of the few monitors that comply with the VESA DisplayHDR 400 standard. Like the HP Pavilion Gaming 32 HDR, this monitor uses VA instead of IPS technology. While it is not one of the best HDR monitors, it is certainly worth the lower price, if you are on a budget.
- DisplayHDR 400
- 8-bit color
- 144Hz refresh rate
- AMD’s FreeSync 2 support
If you are focused on high color demands, this monitor may disappoint, but it is aimed towards gaming performance and that is what most gamers focus on when choosing a monitor.
Samsung 49-Inch Ultrawide CHG90 QLED Monitor
When we first saw this monitor, we named it the beast. It is quite funny to look at because it is so incredibly wide. We are talking about the fusion of two 1080p monitors. This monitor is fast and offers a beautiful and realistic color scheme. The specs will most likely surprise you.
- DisplayHDR 600
- 144Hz refresh rate
- 3,000:1 contrast ratio
- 3,840 x 1,080 resolution
- 32:9 aspect ratio
Best HDR Monitors for Multi Forms of Entertainment
If you have cut the cable ties and are a Netflix or Hulu watcher, you may use your PC monitor for multiple forms of entertainment. If you are one who uses your monitor for more than gaming and computing, you will need a bigger monitor. Thankfully, there is a monitor that is ideal for multi types of entertainment.
Philips Momentum 43-Inch 4K HDR Monitor
Let us introduce the first DisplayHDR 1000 monitor on the market. This monitor is massive, so it is perfect for those who game, watch movies and use their monitor for all types of entertainment. This monitor even has MultiView technology which means you can watch television on one part of the screen while you play a game or work on your computer on the other. (We really like this feature!)
- DisplayHDR 1000
- 10-bit processing
- 97.6 percent DCI-P3
- 80Hz refresh rate
HDR Device Support
Before you go out and spend your hard-earned money on a new HDR monitor, it is wise to check and make sure your devices support HDR. The good news is that most devices are now introducing HDR support. The following are known devices that support this technology, though this list is sure to grow longer in a short amount of time.
- Windows 10
- Certain Roku models
- Apple TV
- Certain FireTV models
If you like watching movies and television in HDR, you will find subscription services like Netflix and Hulu already have quite a lot of HDR titles to choose from. You can also sporadically find videos on YouTube and other streaming sites that have some HDR options.
Right now, you will not find a lot of titles or options available, but this is sure to only be a temporary problem since HDR is expanding in scope and will soon be plentiful. Even the gaming world is getting on board and the many titles that are on the horizon should excite every PC gamer.
HDR Game Support
While it is easier to find HDR supported games on consoles, there is a growing list of game titles that support HDR. This list is increasing each month, as HDR is growing in popularity in the gaming community. Right now, the list includes some of the following titles.
- Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII
- Destiny 2
- Devil May Cry 5
- Far Cry 5
- Halo Wars 2
- Madden NFL 19
- Resident Evil 2
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- Assassin’s Creed Origins
- Resident Evil 7:
Competitive gaming requires the right equipment and skill to get the job done. You never want to come face to face with an opponent without being prepared. There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to gaming gear. Because competitive games are so action-packed, it is imperative your screen has a high refresh rate or you could be ghosting and find yourself killed. With this guide, we will get into some of the specifics of TVs vs. monitors so you can make an informed choice.
What Should You Know About Refresh Rate?
As with many aspects of purchasing gaming gear, there is often a lot of confusion revolving around refresh rate and its importance. This is a feature that doesn’t do anything to the picture quality or color and goes unnoticed if it is working as it should.
So, what is the importance of the refresh rate? Before we delve much deeper into the subject, it is important to understand exactly what the refresh rate is and then we can get into more details on why it matters.
Refresh Rate – The refresh rate is the number of times the screen updates its buffer in any given second. The refresh rate is measured in hertz. What this means is the more times the screen refreshes each second, the smoother the image. If you are into fast action games, you will notice if the refresh rate is too low.
Low Refresh Rates = Problems
Low refresh rates generally equal problems when it comes to graphically demanding games. Being aware of the common problems associated with lower refresh rates will help you to better understand why this is an important consideration when choosing between a TV or monitor.
Motion Resolution is easily one of the most noticeable problems when it comes to low refresh rates. Motion resolution is the ability of the screen to properly display moving images. The lower the refresh rate, the more blurring will occur and this can be detrimental, especially in a live competitive match.
Screen Tearing can be extremely frustrating for gamers. This happens when the refresh rate and frame rate are not compatible. If your graphics card is putting out frames at a rate your monitor or TV cannot handle, it will often split the frames, leading to screen tearing. This issue is very distracting in a match and can have you pulling your hair out with each kill suffered as a result.
Input Response can also be affected by lower refresh rates. While some gamers may not even notice a minor problem with input lag, it can be extremely frustrating in a highly competitive match. In its basic terms, an input response lag is a delay that occurs between the monitor or television receiving the signal and it being displayed. While a few milliseconds of lag might not seem like much, it could mean the difference between you obliterating your opponent or being taken out.
Is a Higher Refresh Rate Always Better?
It would seem the higher the numbers, the better the results, right? While this is most often the case, as we discussed above, there are sometimes problems with the compatibility of the frame rate and refresh rate.
Even with games that are not graphically demanding, the frame rate can rise over 100 FPS. Let’s say you have a monitor or television that is only refreshing at 60Hz. This means there is no way your monitor can keep up with the FPS and you are going to experience frame tearing.
Now, if your monitor refreshes at 120Hz, this means it will refresh twice as fast as a 60Hz monitor and will be able to properly display a game that has a frame rate of 100 or slightly above. A 240Hz refresh rate is going to be able to handle highly taxing games without motion blurs, frame tearing, and input lags.
To get the best results, it would be wise for you to purchase a monitor that has a refresh rate of 120Hz or 144Hz. These displays will be able to handle most games and competitive play should not be interrupted with major lags and annoying frame tears.
Why Not Replace Your Gaming Monitor with a TV?
If you find a TV that has around the same refresh rate as some of the best gaming monitors, it would seem that would be a fair trade, but there is more to consider. Yes, there are gamers who use televisions as their display for PC gaming, but we are here to tell you this likely is not the best idea.
Yes, HD and 4K televisions are now going for insanely good prices. You can sometimes get a huge television for less than the price of a high-end gaming monitor. Unfortunately, there is a problem.
No matter how big the TV, how awesome the refresh rate, or how good the price, the vast majority of televisions only have inputs of around 60Hz. With the input at 60Hz, the TV then goes to work to try to achieve a double refresh rate from the input, going up to 120Hz or trying for even higher.
The way a television achieves a higher refresh rate is through a process called motion interpolation. What happens during motion interpolation, is the display attempts to speed up the frame rate to the TV’s maximum rate.
What Is Motion Interpolation?
To make it easier to understand, let’s break motion interpolation into its simplest of terms. This means the TV will add what is called a predictive frame. It takes the frame before and after and creates a predictive frame to make the motions more fluid and lifelike. While this may seem like a good thing on the surface, it may not be the best for competitive gaming.
So, you are playing a highly competitive online game, using a TV display. The picture looks great and it’s huge, so you are able to see all the competition. As the frame rate begins to rise, you start seeing strange frames in the mix. What you think is a tree turns out to be an opponent. It is easy to see this is not what gamers want!
Even with highly intuitive motion interpolation, your TV can miss and create a frame that is slightly confusing to the eye. While this may not be such a big deal when watching a movie or television show, it is not something you want during a competitive match.
Before you totally rule out using a television to play, you will likely find slow-paced games with immersive storylines are beautifully displayed on a large television. Games like Witcher 3 and Mass Effect are going to be more enjoyable spread out across an HDR or 4K television display.
If you are not a competitive gamer, you likely will not notice the minor frame interruptions that can occur with a high level of motion interpolation. If you mostly play games like God of War, then using a TV as a gaming display will make these games come to life.
Bottom Line – A TV is not going to give you the frame and refresh rates that are needed for highly competitive gaming. No matter how good it looks, don’t try it or you will end up discovering your losses greatly increase.
How to Choose the Right Gaming Monitor for Competitive Gaming
Now that you know competitive gaming just cannot happen on a widescreen television, you are likely wondering how to choose the right gaming display. The right monitor can mean the difference between you getting annihilated every time your character revives and being able to dominate them at every turn.
As we have discussed, there are a few different areas you will need to focus on when choosing a gaming monitor. So, let’s dive right in and discover some key areas that can make a huge difference in competitive gaming.
If you love playing competitive games like PUBG, Call of Duty, or Counter Strike: Global Offensive, you know just how important every second is during the battle. One slight blur or shadowing can spell disaster for your character.
There are a few refresh rates for gaming monitors.
Before you go out and purchase a 240Hz monitor, take a look at the graphics card you are using. Nvidia and AMD make graphics cards that can handle higher refresh rates. As we briefly mentioned above, your graphics card and refresh rate need to be matched as much as possible, or you will be wasting the capability of both.
Another factor to consider when purchasing a gaming monitor is response time. The simple definition of response time is the rate at which each pixel on the screen can change colors. When it comes to response time, lower is always better. Most gaming monitors come with really low response time rates, but it never hurts to check out this spec before you buy. It is important to choose a monitor with no greater than a 6ms response rate. There are even some monitors on the market that offer a 1ms response rate.
Another thing you will need to consider when choosing a gaming monitor is the video inputs. Many gamers overlook this important aspect because they do not realize its sheer importance. There are two main types of video inputs you will see on gaming monitors.
When searching for gaming monitors, you are likely going to find a lot of them offer HDMI connectors. This seems to be the new standard in gaming monitors because they can be hooked up to computers and consoles, depending on the type of gaming you prefer. Unfortunately, HDMI connectors cannot handle a high refresh rate so they can be limiting, especially if you like competitive gaming and want to stay ahead of your opponents.
DisplayPort connectors are the best video inputs for gaming monitors, especially those used for competitive gaming. They can handle fast refresh rates which is what you want in an online competitive match. If your video input cannot handle such high refresh rates, you are going to notice many problems that we have discussed above. The most common version you will see in today’s gaming monitors is DisplayPort 1.2. These can support refresh rates up to 60Hz and resolutions of up to 3840 x 2160 pixels.
Many people are surprised to learn the panel can have a lot to do with their refresh rate. There are three main panel types and they include the following.
TN Panels – These panels are the least expensive, and they also offer the lowest refresh rates. If you are a competitive gamer, you do not want a TN panel.
VA Panels – While these offer great views, they tend to have ghosting issues that can be problematic for competitive gamers.
IPS Panels – These panels offer the best picture quality, with the highest refresh rates. While IPS panels are the best for competitive gaming, they are also the most expensive. Even when choosing an IPS panel, it is wise to still check the specs to ensure the panel offers the lowest response time.
While it may seem reasonable to switch out a gaming monitor with a TV, this can be problematic. With televisions only offering video inputs of 60Hz, it really is a waste of time for competitive gamers to use a television display.
If you love competitive gaming and want to get all the kills and win the game, you need a good gaming monitor. If you take time researching and look for monitors with the above specs, you will find your competitive gaming experience will be more immersive. With the right refresh rates and response times, along with the best video input, competitive gaming will be free of the problems that take away the fun.
While televisions are ideal for slow-paced story games, they can spell disaster for an online competitive match. No one wants to be deep in a game, only to find their monitor just is not up to speed. Looking for the specs above will help you to make a perfect choice.
For avid PC gamers, having the right keyboard is a must. Sure, you could plop down ten bucks and get the cheapest keyboard, but your gaming is going to suffer. When it comes to gaming keyboards, there is a lot to consider. We have compiled a guide to help you find the best gaming keyboard to meet your needs and budget.
Why Do You Need a Gaming Keyboard?
If you are new to gaming, you may be wondering why a special gaming keyboard is so important. Your computer came with a keyboard that works just fine, so why pay big bucks for a gaming keyboard?
A standard keyboard is lacking the macro buttons gaming keyboards offer. These keyboards are specifically designed with customizable buttons that can be assigned to any function. Having access to your own programed buttons will speed up your reaction time and greatly improve your ability to destroy.
Another reason gaming keyboards are superior over standard models is the level of comfort. If you have ever gotten caught up in a game for hours, your wrists have likely been punished. Gaming keyboard manufacturers think like gamers and offer special features that make gaming more comfortable, including comfortable wrist pads, palm rests, and ergonomic designs.
Before you jump into making a purchase, continue reading for the top ten gaming keyboards of 2019. You can also read about other gaming topics on our website.
Top Ten Gaming Keyboards of 2019
When it comes to choosing the right gaming keyboard for your setup, it is important to have all the facts. We cut through the hype and offer you the precise specs and benefits of each of the brands and models listed below. This guide should take the guesswork out of choosing the perfect gaming keyboard, so you dominate every opponent.
1. SteelSeries Apex Pro
The SteelSeries Apex Pro is one of the most powerful and intuitive gaming keyboards on the market. This mechanical keyboard is the first to offer adjustable mechanical switches for precise control and per-key sensitivity.
Not only does this keyboard look amazing, with its rainbow of backlights, but it also offers much more than eye candy. First, let’s talk about materials.
The SteelSeries Apex Pro is not your average plastic keyboard. This model is made from an aircraft-grade aluminum frame, so it is going to be able to stand up to abuse and minor accidents. Try dropping your plastic keyboard one time and you will quickly appreciate such brawn.
The quiet magnetic switches will amaze you, and the detachable palm rest makes PC gaming much more comfortable. With the OLED smart display, this keyboard precisely delivers information from your game, so your keyboard interactions are always on-point. This means you are ready to strike at any time and take down your opponent.
The SteelSeries Apex Pro retails for $199
2. Razer Huntsman Elite
If you are looking for custom actuation in a gaming keyboard, look no further. The Razer Huntsman Elite, aside from its killer name, is a keyboard that will bring out your best skills as a PC gamer. If you stumble around with hit and peck, this keyboard will bring a more intuitive edge to your gaming experience.
Razer has created its keyboard with Opto-Mechanical switches. Each of the switches is connected to an optical light sensor for lightning speed. Forget the delays from your old keyboard. The Razer Huntsman Elite is pure power you must witness.
For those who want to hear the clicks of each switch or key, this model delivers without being too loud. What really sets this model apart is the multi-function digital dial that allows you to program three tactile media keys for instant brightness or volume changes.
You can personalize the lighting looks and the magnetic palm rest keeps you in the perfect ergonomic form so your wrists do not give out in the middle of a battle.
The Razer Huntsman Elite retails for $199
3. ROCATT Vulcan 120 Aimo
The ROCATT Vulcan 120 Aimo was made with avid PC gamers in mind. Just like the top two in our list, the Vulcan is ultra-sleek and will make your gaming rig look sweet. Although looks are certainly important, you are likely even more interested in how this baby performs.
The Vulcan Titan switches were developed by ROCCAT. These switches give you the tactile feel you want, with a minimal sound that is just enough. The structural housing of the switches was developed using German design and engineering, so there is no wobble.
The structural stability of the Vulcan is meant to hold up to millions of keystrokes. With its anodized aluminum plate, the Vulcan is durable and strong. The keyboard lighting is fully customizable and the palm rest and design make this keyboard truly comfortable to use, even after hours of gameplay.
The ROCATT Vulcan 120 Aimo retails for $159.99
4. Logitech G513
The Logitech G513 is a gamer’s keyboard any gamer can learn to master. This mechanical gaming keyboard offers a level of performance that is meant for demanding players.
Logitech allows gamers to choose the type of switches they want to be installed. You can choose between Romer-G Linear, Romer-G Tactile, and GX Blue switches, depending on how you like to play. Each of the switches has been thoroughly tested for at least a 70-million click lifespan.
What is most astonishing about the Logitech G513 is the ultra-fast response times. They are reported at 1 ms. With an anodized brushed finish, this keyboard looks amazing and performs like many in a higher price bracket.
This keyboard is fully customizable and even allows you to cancel the functions of some buttons which is particularly helpful if you tend to fat-finger during gaming. The G513 means no more canceled games because you hit the wrong button.
The gaming keycaps keep you in control during any game and the memory foam palm and wrist rest springs back into action after each use, so the last play always feels like the first. The keycap puller is an amazing tool that puts you in charge of what happens during gaming.
The Logitech G513 retails for $149.99
5. Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard AW768
Alienware is one of the top producers of computer gaming gear and when you think of the name, it is often thought of as expensive. We were quite surprised when we came across this Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard AW768 because of the price alone.
The zone-based RGB backlight ensures you can easily find the switches and keycaps without fumbling in the dark and missing a shot. It can be maddening to hit the wrong button in the middle of a battle, but Alienware has worked to make sure that doesn’t happen with their AW768.
This gaming keyboard offers 15 programmable macro keys so you can set it up to meet your exact needs. The mechanical switches are highly intuitive and respond in lightning-fast speed. This keyboard offers anti-ghosting and N-key rollover on every key.
Alienware made sure gamers are comfortable by offering three leg heights and a palm rest that attaches magnetically. With a high level of comfort and a command center that allows you to fine-tune your settings, this keyboard is perfect for new PC gamers and old pros alike.
The Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard AW768 retails for $84.99
6. Cooler Master MasterSet MS120
The Cooler Master MasterSet MS120 has been masterfully crafted with PC gamers in mind. This keyboard/mouse combo is ideal for hardcore gamers who must keep their competitive edge. With the tactile keyboard and mouse, you will notice a higher level of precision in your gaming.
The Hybrid Mem-Chanical switches are what set it apart from other keyboards in the same price range. These switches are “clicky” and highly responsive, so they offer the highest level of performance. This membrane keyboard has been expertly designed to help you dominate in every battle you fight.
The MasterSet MS120 comes with a full per-key RGB customization with brilliant colors and specialized effects for every key. You set this gaming keyboard up and make it your own from the very beginning.
With its 26-key anti-ghosting, you can rest assured you will never make duplicate keystrokes again because the keys are so intuitive and respond precisely with each touch. The mouse has been tested for a 10-million keypress lifespan. The Avago optical sensor responds with amazing speed, so you always get the kill.
The Cooler Master MasterSet MS120 retails for $90.02
7. Corsair K63 Wireless
The Corsair K63 Wireless gaming keyboard is perfect for gamers who do not want to be tied down with a wire. You can move this keyboard around without losing function. This keyboard features CHERRY MX mechanical switches for the perfect response times, no matter how intense the game becomes.
The switches on the K63 have been tested at 1 ms, offering you the speed that is necessary to beat your opponent and win the game. The tenkeyless design makes the K63 much more portable than other gaming keyboards, so you can take it with you.
If you prefer, you can hook this up with a wired connection. Whether you choose wired or wireless, you will always get the same incredible and reliable speed.
The keyboard features a bright, customizable blue per-key backlight, and the ergonomic design is kind on your palms and wrists for less fatigue. Because the design is so compact, it leaves you with valuable desk room other brands can’t offer.
Corsair has worked to protect gamers by offering this keyboard with 128-bit AES wireless encryption. This means hackers cannot eavesdrop on your keystrokes which protects your personal data.
The Corsair K63 wireless keyboard retails for $159.00
8. Corsair K95 RGB Platinum
Again, we are including another Corsair keyboard in our top ten 2019 gaming keyboard list. The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum is considered the Rolls Royce of gaming keyboards. Like the K63, this keyboard features CHERRY MX Speed keyswitches that are surrounded in a lightweight protective aluminum shell.
The K95 offers 8MB of profile storage so your settings remain constant. This model allows you to store and even playback the most complex of macros and lighting effects on a per-key basis. With this keyboard, you remain in complete control of its style and play mechanisms.
The ultra-fast actuation is tested at 1.2mm. With the 6 dedicated macro keys, you can choose the functions and make the keyboard your own. Corsair even textured these keys differently from the rest for easy finding in low lighting.
With 100% anti-ghosting and full key rollover, you will game like never before. From the palm pad to the ergonomic design, you can play in full comfort.
The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum retails for $199.99
9. Havit Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard
The Havit Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard is an affordable option with loads of power. With its easy-to-install driver, Havit puts you in control of setting up your macros, backlight effects, response times, and more. It seems they have thought of everything when it comes to customization options.
This keyboard has the standard 104 keys, but it is 25% thinner than other keyboards, making it much more comfortable to use. This gaming keyboard will help you to avoid the pain of palm and wrist strain when you are playing your favorite shooter.
The keyboard comes pre-programmed with six backlight settings or you can fully customize it to your liking. The keys have been tested with a 50-million key service lifespan. This keyboard offers anti-ghosting and full key rollover for a quick and intuitive response without double strikes.
The Havit Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard retails for $82.99
10. Razer Cynosa Chroma
Coming in at number 10 is another Razer product. The Razer Cynosa Chroma offers infinite lighting choices and amazingly fast keystroke response. With each key individually backlit, you have full control over the shine.
You can choose from the pre-loaded design options or fully customize it the way you want. The Chroma offers 22 customization areas on the right, left, and front of the keyboard.
The switches are all cushioned for a virtually silent keystroke. This keyboard allows you to target your enemy and strike with immediate deadly force. With the Razer Synapse 3, you will be able to fully customize your keyboard and set up the switches for perfect gameplay. Now, the power is at your fingertips like never before.
The Razer Cynosa Chroma retails from $59.99
You cannot go wrong with any of the above gaming keyboards. Take your time reading over the specs and visit the manufacturer sites to see which keyboard will fit your gaming needs best. A gaming keyboard will up your gaming experience to lightyears and beyond, giving you that competitive edge you’ve been missing by using a standard board.
More than two billion people play online games around the world according to the latest reports. That’s almost two thirds of the Earth’s population. If you’re among the masses, you’re well aware certain types of gaming equipment are essential.
Gearing Up with Gaming Earbuds
Staying at the top of your game and getting the most out of the experience definitely depends on skill and enthusiasm to a certain degree. That being said, aptitude can only go so far. While your game of choice and personal equipment preferences certainly help determine which types of gear you should invest in, some tools are universal.
Keyboards and mice geared specifically toward gaming offer a number of benefits. Gaming mice are far more customizable than standard ones, and they can greatly improve your speed and precision on a number of levels. With extreme functionality and sensitivity, specialized keyboards are bound to have the same impact.
Your chair and the area you’ve dedicated to gaming provide greater comfort and convenience, preventing hurdles and distractions from hampering your concentration and dexterity. Monitors with high resolution and fast response times give you considerable visual advantages while CPUs with ample power, speed and memory support the entire setup.
Of course, none of this does much good if you can’t hear what’s going on and effectively communicate with other players. This aspect falls on your speakers, headset or earbuds. Though every gamer has his or her own inclinations in this department, earbuds are quickly becoming the go-to option for many players.
Taking a Look at the Game Headset Options
As we’ve mentioned, three broad categories of communication equipment are at your disposal. Though the speaker and mic built into your computer or laptop will technically suffice, few people actually stick with this option. It just doesn’t provide the clarity you need to truly excel at your game and can become a nuisance for others around you.
Headsets are a popular choice among gamers. Depending on the type and brand, they can offer far more clarity from both listening and speaking perspectives than standard built-in mics and speakers. They offer full surround sound, so you can hear every pertinent detail. At the same time, they block out background noise, so you’re able to focus on the game more effectively.
Now, let’s take a look at earbuds. Until fairly recently, gamers tried to avoid earbuds when possible because they just weren’t up to par for gaming purposes. Fortunately, they’ve improved a great deal over the years.
At this point, some options offer quality and clarity comparable to that of their bulky predecessors. They’re even required at LANs and tournaments, which is another reason so many gamers are jumping on board the earbud bandwagon.
Benefits of Gaming Earbuds
Gaming earbuds bring you a number of advantages over the other alternatives. They’re much smaller, lighter and less cumbersome than headsets. Mics are typically built in, so you don’t have to continually readjust them or move them out of the way. Some high-end versions give you the same level of verbal and auditory precision as the best headsets on the market.
Some gamers are quick to point out the wires get in the way, and earbuds have a tendency to fall out of their ears or get pulled out. Still, many who’ve made the switch insist these factors aren’t usually much of an issue. Most feel the lighter weight and reduced size far outweigh the downsides, and as is the case with headsets, you just need a little time to acclimate to earbuds.
What to Look for When Purchasing Gaming Earbuds
Obviously, not all earbuds are created equally. Standard models and dollar store varieties aren’t going to cut it in the gaming world. Never buy earbuds for gaming simply because their packaging and advertising say they’re designed for this purpose.
True gaming earbuds have certain integral features that make them better choices than their more basic counterparts. If you’re in the market for gaming earbuds, be on the lookout for the following attributes.
- Sound Quality: Static is never a good thing during gameplay, and with all the earbud options on the market, you don’t have to tolerate it. Good gaming earbuds provide utmost clarity, so you can hear what’s going on around you and what other players are saying.
- Surround Sound: Clarity is important to the gaming experience, but being able to determine which direction those sounds are coming from takes things up a few notches. With surround sound, you’ll have a 360-degree perception of the audible aspects of the game, and that’s sure to give you an upper hand.
- Frequency Response: Sound quality is one thing; depth is an entirely different matter. Decent earbuds can pick up sounds in the 8 to 25,000 Hz range with higher-end models surpassing even that.
- Noise Isolation and Cancelation: Although these two terms are often used interchangeably, they’re actually very different functions. Noise canceling earbuds block out certain sounds but overlook others. This means you might not hear outside noises at lower frequencies, but higher ones like voices and music might filter through. Noise isolating earbuds focus on sounds coming through their speakers while blocking those on the outside.
- Mic Capabilities: In many popular games, vocal communication is key. This means the mic built into your gaming earbuds must be able to convey your voice clearly and precisely. Whether you’re communicating with other players or the game itself, mic quality is key.
- Gaming Platform: Purchasing a set of state-of-the-art gaming earbuds with all the right features means nothing if they’re not designed to work with your gaming platform. Check to see if the earbuds you’re considering support your desired platform and whether they have standard jacks or USB connections.
- Earbud Design: Be sure to consider the style of the earbuds themselves. Traditional earbuds sit outside the ear canal and tend to be a bit precarious. In-ear versions actually fit into the ear canal, making them more secure and more capable of blocking the noises around you. At the same time, both are equipped with various types of cushioning. This can be either a benefit or a downfall.
On top of all this, keep comfort in mind. Think about the style of earbuds you prefer when listening to music or talking on the phone, and try to find a similar version for gaming. After all, if the ear buds aren’t comfortable, you’re not going to enjoy using them, and this would render all their other features useless.
Exploring the Top Five Gaming Earbuds with a Mic for 2019
All that being said, it’s time to take a look at the top five gaming earbuds for this year. Since they’re required for LAN play and tournaments and so many casual players are making them part of their equipment repertoire, a number of manufacturers are now catering to the growing demand. Some stand out from several angles.
1) Philips SHE3590BK/28 In-Ear Headphones
Philips has long been a frontrunner in the electronics industry, and the company has developed a reputation for not only keeping up with the latest innovations but creating them. Though several earbud models are available from Philips, this is one of the best for gamers looking for high-end functionality at a moderate price.
Philips SHE3590BK/28 In-Ear Headphones offer a number of the highly sought-after features gamers are looking for, such as:
- Comfort: Sleek and lightweight with soft cushioning, these in-ear earbuds offer adequate comfort and fit well in most ears.
- Sound: This model has above-average sound quality and frequency range as well as stellar clarity. It’s treble, mid and bass are nicely balanced without the bass being overpowering as it can be in some models. The built-in mic offers equal sound quality.
- Variety: Seven distinctive colors are available, so if you’re a hardcore gamer with color-coordinated gear, matching your earbuds to your other equipment shouldn’t be an issue.
It seems the only complaint with these earbuds is their durability. Though they’re not overly fragile, they don’t hold up as well to repeated use as some other options.
2) Panasonic ErgoFit RP-TCM125 in-Ear Earbuds with Mic
As an international mogul, Panasonic has been a major player in the electronics field for quite some time. This brand has become synonymous with quality and customer satisfaction. Its ErgoFit RP-TCM125-K earbuds are another affordable addition to 2019’s “Best of” list.
Considering its price, this model performs well in all the important categories and even excels in some of them.
- Comfort: These earbuds for gaming are among the most comfortable on the market and are great for long stints at the computer. They also come with three different sizes of speaker sleeves, so they can be adjusted to fit ear canals of almost every size and shape.
- Sound Quality: Though these earbuds don’t offer the same levels of sound quality and frequency range as some of their higher-priced competitors, they’re more than adequate for gaming. Sound is well balanced, and the bass is a bit more prevalent than the previously mentioned Philips model.
- Mic Functionality: The mic on this model allows for clear communication. It’s an inline model with one-touch operation, so it can easily be switched on and off when needed without interfering with the game.
- Durability: As long as you don’t abuse these earbuds, they’ll last for a while even with repeated use.
Despite its high quality and high ratings, this earbud model does have one significant downfall. Its cables are a bit delicate, so they can get tangled fairly easily.
3) KLIM Pulse Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds with Microphone
This company hasn’t been in the game quite as long as some of its competitors, but it’s certainly making a name for itself in the electronics industry. These earbuds are a bit higher in the price range and come with plenty of features.
- Sound Clarity: Both incoming and outgoing sounds are clear, and these earbuds have an acceptable frequency range for added clarity and depth.
- Comfort: Memory foam tips make these earbuds extremely comfortable to use, and 12 pairs of tips in various sizes are included with purchase.
- Noise Isolation: In addition to making these earbuds more comfortable for the user, the memory foam tips work in tandem with their built-in noise reduction features to help keep outside noises where they belong.
- Wireless: One of the main complaints gamers have in regard to earbuds is their wires getting in the way. Since this is a wireless model, this isn’t an issue.
As far as cons go, the primary concern with these earbuds is their platform compatibility. They only work with Bluetooth-enabled systems. Being wireless means they need to be recharged as well. Though they’ll hold out through up to eight hours of gameplay, they won’t last indefinitely.
4) Razer Hammerhead Pro V2
Established in 2005, Razer has risen to the forefront of the electronics industry. The company’s latest earbud model is continuing its tradition of excellence. Also falling into the mid-priced range, the Razer Hammerhead Pro V2 is one of the best gaming earbud models you can get without spending a small fortune.
- Sound Quality: With high-grade drivers and an optimized acoustics chamber, these earbuds are hard to beat in terms of sound quality. Ample bass and superior sound balance further propel this model to the top.
- Frequency Response: Ranging from 20 Hz to 20,000 kHz, this model doesn’t fall short in this category.
- Jack Compatibility: This model works with standard 3.5 millimeter jacks, but similar models with further compatibility are available.
- Mic Features: The inline mic offers excellent sound quality and features a three-button remote for volume control, pause and play.
- Tangle-Resistant Wires: Due to their flat design and extra rigidity, the wires on the Hammerhead Pro V2 won’t tangle as easily as some other options.
- Durability: These earbuds are built to withstand ongoing use, so they don’t tear or fall apart as quickly as some models.
Razer’s latest addition to the earbud world has been met with plenty of praise. Still, its bass is a bit much for some users.
5) TaoTronics TT-EP002
TaoTronics has its hand in a number of different branches of the electronics industry. Sound systems happen to be among its specialties, and its earbuds are proof of its proficiency in this department. As far as features go, TaoTronics TT-EP002 earbuds are in a class all their own.
- Sturdiness: Made from an aluminum alloy, these earbuds are built for true gamers who place a lot of wear and tear on their gear.
- Sound Quality: Sound is one of this model’s greatest strong suits with clarity, frequency range and balance all going above and beyond the norm.
- Noise Cancellation: Despite their small size and sleek design, these earbuds have ample noise canceling capabilities. They also have a unique integral Awareness Monitoring Mode that allows users to adjust the level of noise cancelation as needed.
- Mic Quality: This model’s built-in mic offers noise canceling functionality of its own, helping keep static and background noise from drowning out users’ voices.
Current users have virtually no complaints about this version of TaoTronics’ earbuds. It’s moderately priced and offers many of the same features as much more expensive alternatives.
In a Nutshell
Not very long ago, many people flinched at the though of adding earbuds to their gaming arsenals. Now, though, a number of models have been designed specifically to meet the needs and expectations of gamers. These five models are among the best on the market, and at least one of them is sure to suit your preferences.
To be truly immersed in your favorite video game, you need to have two main components: a large screen to view the game, and a great surround sound system. The advantages of having a large high definition screen are fairly clear and known to the majority of gamers. The advantages of a quality surround sound system tend to get overlooked. A quality sound system allows you to hear footsteps from behind, or know which direction to avoid when the commotion of a grenade explosion happens. Dialogue is easier to understand, and the overall gaming experience is much more enjoyable. These features are especially helpful if you are a competitive gamer, or if you play a lot of online multiplayer games. Getting an advantage on your opponents by being more aware of where they are located, or where something dangerous is located can be significant. There are two main surround sound systems that are head and shoulders above all others: Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Both of these systems can be put in place with a surround sound speaker set up, or with a set of gaming headphones.
The Basics of Dolby Atmos Surround Sound for Gaming
This object-based surround sound system takes the user experience to a new level by including height channels. The object-based system allows game makers or filmmakers to literally place a sound anywhere. This gives the user a multi-dimensional listening experience. The addition of the height channels allows for overhead sounds, such as an airplane, to actually be heard overhead. You will hear the sounds over the top of where you are sitting which will make the entire experience feel more lifelike. This is a huge step up from older surround sound systems that were only able to project sound from front to back and left to right. This type of sound system will really immerse you into the game you are playing, or the movie you are watching. The Atmos system does require the addition of at least two speakers, and it will accommodate up to four height channel speakers. The origins of the Atmos system is in movie theaters where it has been in place for several years. The system received positive feedback from moviegoers so a home-based system was created.
The Basics of DTS:X Surround Sound
DTS:X is also a object-based surround sound system that provides a much better field of sound than traditional surround sound systems are able to do. One main difference between this system and Dolby Atmos is this system does not require any height channel speakers. The processor in this system will provide the same multi-dimensional sounds but in a slightly more efficient manner. Another nice feature of the DTS:X system is that it gives you the ability to change the volume of voices within a game or movie. This could be extremely helpful in gaming situations where hearing dialogue is critical to the success of the game.
What Equipment is Needed?
To make use of the Dolby Atmos sound system, you will need a more specific speaker setup. The typical surround sound system is going to have either five or seven speakers already, so you will simply add to that to take advantage of the height channel sounds. The height channel can be added with upward-firing speakers that bounce sound off the ceiling to give a three-dimensional effect. If you already have speakers mounted in the ceiling, those will work as the height channels. You’ll also need to make sure that your receiver is Dolby compatible. The largest selection of games that utilize Dolby Atmos will come on either a PC or XBox platform.
Another option to use the Dolby Atmos system is to download the Atmos app and then use a set of gaming headphones to enjoy a greater sound experience. This won’t work in the same way as the surround sound speakers, but it will give a virtual surround sound experience that can enhance gameplay quite a bit. In games like Star Wars Battlefront, Battlefield 1 and PUBG the addition of the directional sound takes the gaming experience to a new level.
The one main advantage that you will find with the DTS:X system is that it can be used with whatever your current speaker set up is. The system will run a calibration when it is first used to detect what the speaker setup is. If you like your current speaker configuration this is a nice bonus. The largest selection of compatible games will also be found on the PC and Xbox platforms.
The DTS:X system also has a platform that delivers three-dimensional surround sound through your gaming headphones. The system is called DTS Headphone:X and it is a game-changer. The audio in your games will be heard as it was intended to be.
Improved Gameplay with a Better Sound System
Steven Speilberg said, “Sound and music make up more than half of communicating a story, greater even than what you’re seeing.” The developers of today’s games are treating them more like major Hollywood movies with more nuanced and developed storylines along with more immersive sound recording. The dialogue, soundtracks, and ambient noises are all being prepared more thoughtfully, and this is raising the level of all video games. The best way to get the most out of these new additions to your favorite games is to put some sort of surround sound system in place.
Having a large five, seven or eleven speaker setup for gaming isn’t always the most realistic concept. Playing any type of FPS game without surround sound is also not a great prospect. This is where the DTS Headphone:X technology and the Dolby Atmos app can be just what is needed for a more immersive gaming experience.
There are many sets of gaming headphones that are compatible with the DTS Headphone:X technology and the Dolby Atmos application. When playing a game the headphones will allow you to pinpoint exactly where footsteps are coming from, or exactly where gunfire is coming from. These details can be the difference between life and death while playing. This is especially important when you are playing competitively or when you are playing in an online multiplayer format.
In games like Battlefield 1, the ability to locate planes and explosions above you even when you are not able to see anything on the screen can be very helpful. The addition of overhead sound not only gives a strategic advantage but a cool factor that is off the charts. The added sounds will really make you feel like you are truly in the scene. The ability of game designers to utilize the object-based surround sound enables you as the gamer to not just hear the direction a bullet is being fired from, but actually feel that bullet go past. When you are walking through a scene that has fires in various locations, you’ll be able to not just see them, but tell exactly where they are located.
The accuracy of the sound effect placement within a game can also help to keep you alive in many of the FPS titles that are so popular to play. Many games utilize a warning system when you are getting too close to something dangerous. Having the ability to know you are too close to a grenade launching enemy based on the sounds coming through is an entirely different experience. Hearing footsteps that are coming from behind and to the right or left can also be a life-saving feature. In many games, you would be able to detect an enemy before you are able to see them and react appropriately. The ability to be more aware of your surroundings within a game will help you on your way to becoming a better gamer.
Which Sound System is Better for Gaming?
The short answer is that both systems are going to vastly improve your gaming experience by giving you much more immersive gameplay. There are many game titles available through both PC and Xbox platforms that are compatible with both sound systems, so the variety of games should suit your needs with either system. Both systems also use object-based sounds which is what allows the directionality to go up and down along with forward, back, left and right. Both systems are also going to work well with a large majority of your favorite gaming headphones, although some headphones are set up to be compatible with one system or the other.
The decision on which surround system is better will likely come down to personal preference. A great way to experience each system is to find a local store or do some searching online to find some samples of what the various games will sound like. You might find that your favorite game or games simply sound better with one system when compared to the other. The surround sound offered by both systems is helping elevate the gaming experience to a new level, and that is good news for gamers everywhere.
Adaptive sync technology was first released in 2014 and has come a long way since its introduction. Both AMD and NVIDIA are in the market. Those who are into PC gaming will want to learn as much as they can about these two options to determine which one will be more intuitive and able to provide a seamless feel.
What Is Adaptive Sync?
The vertical refresh rate of a monitor can have a big impact on how well it is able to play a game. If the vertical refresh rate is too slow, there will be subtle lines running through the screen, causing interference.
While your graphics card is an important part of your gaming experience, it can only move images so fast. A traditional monitor is going to have a slow refresh rate. For instance, a 60Hz monitor will refresh every 1/60th of a second. Unfortunately, your graphics card may not be on the same rate which could end up causing multiple frames to be in the same window for a brief second or so. This is called screen tearing and it is something every PC gamer wants to avoid.
Both FreeSync and G-Sync eliminate tearing and stuttering, making your graphics flow like melted butter. Adaptive sync monitors make a huge difference in your gaming experience on the PC. It is amazing to put a traditional monitor and an adaptive sync monitor side-by-side and see how they perform.
Without adaptive sync monitors, there will be stuttering and tearing which can destroy your image play quality and lead to games being less enjoyable. Today’s gaming monitors must include adaptive sync to be labeled as a gaming monitor. There are two main types of adaptive sync technology and this guide will break them both down and help you understand how they are similar and how they are different. You will also learn how they are both used for gaming.
How Does FreeSync and G-Sync Work Monitors Work?
As mentioned above, sometimes your graphics card and monitor refresh rate are not perfectly synchronized which is when you start getting stuttering and tearing. Both FreeSync and G-Sync work with your graphics card to synchronize the refresh rate so there is no tearing or stuttering when your game is graphically intense. Whatever rate your graphics card is generating images at, the monitor will refresh at the exact same rate for a seamless play.
FreeSync Vs. G-Sync: Application
Although FreeSync and G-Sync perform much the same, there are some major differences. Application is one of the areas where these two differ greatly.
Out of the two, FreeSync is the one that is most easily used by monitors. It affixes over the VESA adaptive sync standard which is placed on DisplayPort 1.2a. Because AMD does not charge any royalties or fees for use, there is very little cost for manufacturers to include FreeSync with their monitors. If you are looking for a gaming monitor, you are likely to find this technology in a variety of models and brands, even those on the low end of the cost spectrum.
G-Sync, on the other hand, requires manufacturers to use Nvidia hardware modules and they remain in full control of quality, making it more expensive for manufacturers to use this technology in the production of their gaming monitors. Because of the added cost for manufacturers, you will likely never find a low-cost monitor that features G-Sync. Most manufacturers consider this to be a premium add-on and they charge more for it.
Everything You Need to Know About AMD FreeSync
Before you decide on any adaptive sync monitor, you need to know the pros and cons of each type. Being fully informed on the pros and cons of each type will help you to choose the one that will best meet your gaming needs and stop the screen tearing and stuttering that make you crazy.
Although AMD is not the first to develop a product that addresses screen tearing and stuttering, they are currently the most widely used by gamers and that could be due to cost and availability. As stated before, AMD does not charge royalties, leading to lower costs for manufacturers.
Pros of AMD FreeSync
One of the biggest things AMD Freesync has going for it is the cost. Monitors that feature AMD FreeSync are much more affordable than those with NVIDIA G-Sync technology. The lowered cost means this type of monitor is more widely available to gamers with a range of budgets.
Because it is a software solution, it is easier to obtain and does not cost a tremendous amount of money. You will find AMD FreeSync is available on budget monitors as well as high-end models.
Connectivity is another pro of AMD FreeSync. Monitors that feature FreeSync typically have more ports available. AMD has introduced its FreeSync in HDMI which allows this technology to be used by many more monitors than NVIDIA G-Sync.
Cons of AMD FreeSync
Although it would certainly seem AMD FreeSync is the perfect choice because of its performance and price, there is a con to consider. Unfortunately, AMD FreeSync only works with AMD graphics cards. If your computer has an NVIDIA graphics card, FreeSync will not be able to synchronize the refresh rate.
AMD also has less strict standards which could result in inconsistent experiences with different monitors. AMD does not retain control over their technology which means manufacturers can take liberty in creating their monitors with AMD FreeSync. If choosing a gaming monitor with FreeSync, it is wise to carefully research the manufacturer and read reviews to ensure the right sync level is achieved.
If you are searching for a monitor with AMD FreeSync, make sure you carefully check the specs. AMD has released a Low Framerate Compensation addition to FreeSync that allows it to run smoother when it is being run in monitors with lower than the minimum supported refresh rate.
Pros and Cons: Everything You Need to Know About NVIDIA G-Sync
Having balanced information about both types of adaptive sync manufacturers will help you to make the right decision. Both top manufacturers have their pros and cons, so it is not always easy to make a choice.
Pros of NVIDIA G-Sync
The biggest benefit of using NVIDIA G-Sync is consistent performance. Unlike AMD, NVIDIA retains complete control over quality. Every single monitor must pass NVIDIA’s stringent guidelines for extreme quality and performance. The certification process is so strict, NVIDIA has turned down many monitors.
As mentioned above, AMD has come out with their Low Framerate Compensation, but every single NVIDIA monitor offers the equivalent. Any monitors with G-Sync will also offer frequency dependent variable overdrive. This simply means these monitors will not experience ghosting. Ghosting is what occurs as the frame slowly changes, leaving behind a slightly blurred image that fades as the new frame comes in.
When you purchase an NVIDIA G-Sync monitor, you can rest assured the quality and performance will be consistent among different manufacturers because NVIDIA ensures it will. It does not matter which monitor you purchase, if it includes NVIDIA technology, it will have met the stringent certification standards of NVIDIA before being put on the market.
Cons of NVIDIA G-Sync
As with any product, there are some cons to consider with NVIDIA G-Sync. One of the biggest cons is the expense. On average, you are going to spend much more on an NVIDIA G-Sync monitor than an AMD FreeSync. This limits NVIDIA technology to mostly high-end gamers. NVIDIA requires all manufactures to use proprietary hardware modules, adding to the expense for manufacturers.
There is also the problem with limited ports available. If you have a lot of gaming gear to connect, you may not be happy with the limited ports that are offered. In addition to this problem, just like with AMD, NVIDIA G-Sync does not work with AMD graphics cards. If your computer uses an AMD card, you will be stuck with using AMD FreeSync.
AMD FreeSync Vs. NVIDIA G-Sync: Laptops
If you are looking for a gaming laptop, both AMD and NVIDIA have models that make gaming graphics smoother and more consistent than ever before. For the most part, AMD has been out of the mobile technology industry, so NVIDIA has the market when it comes to laptop availability.
You will be able to find NVIDIA G-Sync laptops from almost every major manufacturer. The new laptops can now handle framerates at close to 120Hz, where they were once limited to 75Hz or lower. This has made laptop gaming much more attractive to gamers who play high graphic-demanding PC games.
Although AMD is a little late to the party, ASUS recently released their ROG Strix GL702ZC which includes an AMD FreeSync display. It will be interesting to see how the competitive landscape changes as AMD FreeSync laptops begin being released in greater abundance.
AMD FreeSync Vs. NVIDIA G-Sync: What About HDR Monitors?
The demand for high-definition is increasing and manufacturers are taking note. With ultra-high-resolution now growing in depth, both AMD and NVIDIA seem to be responding. There are now new gaming monitors hitting retailers and they are bringing the highest resolution that has ever been seen with laptop gaming.
While this is exciting for gamers, it is likely going to be pricey. AMD has always remained rather lax about the use of their technology, but with AMD FreeSync 2, they are committed to remaining more in control. AMD will not give manufacturers the okay unless their monitors include Low Frame Rate Compensation. They have also put in certain standards for low latency and dynamic color displays which produce a double brightness and color richness than the standard sRGB. One of the coolest things about these AMD displays is they automatically switch over to FreeSync as long as it is supported by the game you are playing.
There are announced versions of NVIDIA G-Sync monitors in 4k and ultrawide models that rise as high as 200Hz. These displays offer amazing fluidity which cannot be matched by AMD, even though FreeSync is certainly at the precipice of greatness. Playing a game on one of these models will amaze you because it offers the highest level of brightness, color richness, and crispness of any gaming display you have ever seen.
It is clear these two are at in a battle for gamers’ loyalty. For most people, AMD FreeSync products are a more affordable option, but can they measure up if cost is not involved?
Here’s the Bottom Line
It is clear that screen tearing, ghosting, and stuttering are the biggest irritations for PC gamers. Playing PC games like Mass Effect can quickly send you over the edge if screen tearing is constantly occurring. Screen tearing takes a beautifully exquisite game and turns it into a boxed mess that does not flow as it should. If you’ve experienced this, you know how annoying it can be. Sometimes, the tearing is so consistent it makes the game unplayable. Many people think it is their graphics card alone that is to blame, but this is not always so.
Both AMD and NVIDIA have the same potential, but it seems NVIDIA, in most cases, holds to a higher standard with manufacturers using their technology. Now that AMD has created FreeSync 2, they may be giving NVIDIA more of a run for their money.
AMD FreeSync is featured in many more gaming displays than G-Sync simply because of availability and price. When manufacturers are not held to stringent certifications, they are able to produce more affordable products. With this freedom comes the price of inconsistency.
If you can afford it, NVIDIA G-Sync is likely going to be your best bet. Although it is not superior in concept, NVIDIA keeping close reigns on their products means consistency across the board with all manufacturers.
Just make sure to remember that the type of graphics card you have will determine which will work. Neither AMD nor NVIDIA allow their adaptive sync hardware or applications to work with competitors’ graphics cards. There are some reported workarounds with this problem, but they are not widely recommended. In the end, only you can make the choice based on your budget and needs.
Without the right level of sound, your immersion into any game is going to be lackluster at best. The right gaming headsets are essential for being able to hear every nuance of sound in the game. Many gamers struggle with finding the right gear, especially when it comes to gaming headsets. With this guide, you will learn everything there is to know about gaming headsets and what you should look for when making a purchase.
Research Is Important and Sometimes Overwhelming
Research is crucial when making any purchase, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. Although finding out what your friends use might be helpful, there is no shortcut for taking time to research.
A little research online is going to reveal tons of choices, making the decision process seem more difficult than it must be. This guide will break down the choices you have in a way that is easier to understand.
Wireless or Wired Gaming Headset?
One of the first choices to consider is wired or wireless. This is typically one of the most arduous choices when it comes to purchasing a gaming headset because both have their pros and cons.
- Better sound quality
- Typically, less expensive
- Does not need charging
- No freedom of movement
- Freedom of movement
- More comfortable without wires
- Must be charged
PC gamers are likely to find a wired gaming headset is going to be able to offer them the highest level of performance. Because they are seated at a desk, there should be no problem with the wired connection. With the wired connection, the headset never needs charging, so you will not have to stop in the middle of gaming fun to plug in the headset to charge.
Most console players prefer wireless gaming headsets. Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo all make their consoles with Bluetooth compatibility. This type of gaming headset allows you to enjoy up to eight hours of gameplay before needing to charge the headset. A wireless headset also allows for a greater level of freedom because you can walk away to grab a drink from the fridge and remain in communication with your gaming friends.
In most cases, gamers will find they are going to pay a little more for wireless technology. One is not better than the other when they are compared side-to-side, but the type you choose will depend on what type of gaming you prefer.
Surround Gaming Headphone Sound: Is It Necessary or Hype?
Chances are, you have surround sound in your television speakers. Surround sound offers a more immersive gaming experience because you hear the sounds at different points and in different ears, just as you would in a real-life scenario.
One of the biggest complaints gamers have regarding headsets is the detached feeling they get because the sound seems more one-dimensional when it is coming from the headset. With advanced technology, there are now gaming headsets that offer surround sound options.
How Does It Work?
Surround sound headphones function in much the same way as surround sound speakers. Each headphone cup holds several different speakers that are hidden behind the padding. Almost all modern surround sound speakers offer either 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound.
This technology allows sound to enter the ear at varying degrees so it sounds more natural. With surround sound headphones, you can detect almost precisely what direction the sound is coming from. This is especially appreciated by first-person shooter enthusiasts who need to know where their enemy is at all times.
Without getting too into depth on the explanation, surround sound headphones contain pre-amps and mix-amps that can translate normal stereo signals being sent by the gaming console or PC and turn them into surround sound. Using algorithms, the headphones can split the signals so that it appears the sound is coming from many areas, instead of a single source.
What You Should Know About Mics
There are a few different components of gaming headphones and the mic is certainly an important part. Most gamers choose gaming headsets because they want to be able to communicate with other players during the game. Unfortunately, not all headset gaming mics are created equal.
The mic needs to offer the highest level of clear voice chat. If other players cannot understand what you are saying, the boom mic is going to be a total waste of time. The boom mic should not be obtrusive or annoying against your face. It should also be able to pick up your voice without allowing other gamers to hear every noise in the room, including a dog barking outside your window.
If a boom mic is not going to be used every time you game, it may be wise to consider purchasing a clip-on mic so that it can be removed when not in use. A clip-on mic can be clipped to your shirt and is often considered less intrusive. Some gaming headphones offer detachable boom mics. If you choose a headset that does not offer a detachable boom mic, at least make sure the mic arm is bendable and can be moved out of the way when not in use.
Comfort Is So Essential
One of the last things people think about when purchasing a headset is comfort. Many people consider the sound quality and every other detail before even thinking about how the headphones will feel on their head.
Most every headset is going to feel comfortable when you first put them on. It is only around the fourth or fifth hour of gameplay that they can become painfully uncomfortable. If your earlobes have taken a beating from headphones, then you know how important comfort truly is.
Check to ensure the ear cups are heavily padded. If the ear cups feel under-padded, you are likely going to start feeling pain in a short amount of time. The padding should feel ultra-dense. Also, check to make sure there is adequate padding on the headband because this part will rest across the top of your head and could cause pain. Never purchase a gaming headset without being able to touch it for yourself. Trying it on is even better.
The material covering the headphones is also an important consideration for comfort. While leather certainly is durable and looks nice, it may cause too much moisture against your earlobe. Choose a gaming headset that offers a soft material against your ears for the best results.
The fit of a gaming headset is ultra-important for comfort. If the headset is compressed too tightly against your ears and head, it is going to cause headaches and ear pain that will make gaming too uncomfortable. Choose a headset that adequately fits your head without needing to be overly stretched.
The Seal Is Crucial On Your Game Headphones
You might be asking yourself what a seal has to do with gaming headsets, but it is important. The seal the headphone ear cups make with your ears is crucial for your sound experience. Have you ever worn a pair of headphones and could still hear your family talking loudly in the other room? When this happens, it is not possible to be fully immersed in the game.
A good gaming headset is going to fully cup your ears and seal out all other noises in the room and even outside. You do not want to hear the neighbor’s dog barking when trying to get a headshot on Call of Duty.
Some gaming headsets do not cup the ears well right away, but once they get broken in, the seal becomes stronger. If the padding is simply too big or too small, this will not create a tight seal to drown out other sounds outside of the game.
It would also be wise to choose a gaming headset that offers noise cancellation. Noise cancellation ensures your audio output is crystal clear and not bogged down with other sounds that do not matter while gaming.
Check the Quality of the Materials
The quality of the materials is an important consideration, no matter the budget. While it would be nice to believe expensive pairs of headphones are going to be constructed to last, this is not always the case.
Unfortunately, most gaming headsets are made of plastic and cheap plastic at that. While some types of rigid plastic will provide plenty of durability, it is best to choose a headset that has a metal wire frame. This means the headset is less likely to break.
The headband is the area that takes on the most abuse. If this area is made of cheap plastic, it will crack right down the middle in a short amount of time. If the headset has a metal wire frame, it will bend without breaking and is likely to remain in good shape for a long time.
How Does It Look?
If you have ever checked out gaming headphones, you know some of them look as if the wearer is an airline pilot. While looks should not be the only consideration, they do matter. If you are a streamer, wearing the right gaming headphones is going to be even more important because you are playing in front of a live audience.
The style of the headphones you choose is an important consideration. If you plan to wear your headset around others or on camera, think about the style and choose carefully. There are so many colors, shapes, sizes, and design options available. In the end, choose a style and color that matches your own unique style, even if you get a few snickers from roommates, friends, or family.
What Is Your Budget?
While price alone should never be used to decide on a purchase, there is something to be said of you get what you pay for. Most people will find they are able to get a quality gaming headset for around $100 or less.
Unless you are looking for a truly high-end experience, it is unlikely you will need to pay more than $200. Just because you pay more does not necessarily mean the headset will offer better sound or even comfort.
If you have a budget of under $100, it may be best to consider wired headphones because they are going to be less expensive and give quality sound for all types of gaming. If you are concerned about feeling the need to sit too close to the television, there are extension wires that can be purchased for many wired gaming headsets. These extensions can reach ten feet or longer.
Recap of Must-Haves
Now that you know a little more about gaming headsets and what to look for, it is time to recap the essentials. There are some things that are a must when purchasing a gaming headset. If you are shopping for your next gaming headphones, make sure to remember the following before deciding.
- High-quality sound is essential for gaming headphones. If the sound is lacking, you will not enjoy the experience.
- Comfort is also crucial. No matter how good a pair of gaming headphones may sound, they will not be worn if the comfort is not there.
- Quality materials are always more important than how the headphones look when being worn. Choose a headset that is made of quality materials that are going to be able to stand up to abuse without breaking down in a short period of time.
- Style is important for most gamers, but you should not choose a pair simply because they look better than another. If you can find a pair of gaming headphones that offer all the above, the style will simply be the icing on the cake.
With this guide, you now know more about what to look for in a gaming headset. The best headsets offer all the above at an affordable price. Yes, you may have to pay a little more for the best headset, especially if you want to go wireless. Try on different brands and models and read reviews to ensure the set you are planning on purchasing offers all of the most important components above.
A few years ago, if a person asked someone what they wanted in terms of a monitor, the answer would likely be a 4K option. Today, more people are benefiting from these devices as the price has dropped significantly. Men and women alike discover they wish to make this purchase because the quantity of UHD content continues to increase. Those who make the switch find the experience to be both productive and immersive. Furthermore, the device can be used in place of a 4K TV, which costs a great deal more, so this is one option every person should consider researching. What are the best 4K monitors on the market today, and which one should be purchased? The answer often depends on what the device will be used for.
The LG 27UD88-W
Consumers looking for a beautiful screen at a reasonable price need to look into this model. This monitor is reasonably priced and offers an excellent picture, something not found in many devices within the same price range. Users love that the panel covers almost all of the sRGB color space and does so while offering an incredible contrast ratio. Additionally, the response time cannot be beat, as it allows games to be seen as the manufacturer intended. A person doesn’t miss out on any of the action with this unit.
Graphic designers, professional photographers, and those in need of highly accurate color turn to this device to ensure they obtain exactly what they require. The clarity and details impress all who make use of the device, and the Calibration hardware and Color Calibration Pro work as a team to provide this color and clarity. Color mode presets are able to adapt to the needs of different users as well.
As the monitor requires only a single cable with USB Type-C, users learn they can accomplish numerous tasks without the need for additional equipment. Transfer data using the cable, charge mobile devices or view 4K video. It’s all a matter of what the individual needs at any given time.
It can be frustrating to adjust monitor settings with many units, but that is never an issue when the LG 4K 27UD88-W is purchased. Simply make use of the on-screen control to adjust these settings with the help of a mouse. Display multiple screens at one time, with the option of PIP built into the unit, and maintain visibility even when the scene is dark. This is possible thanks to the Black Stabilizer included in the unit. Finding enemies within scenes in dim lighting has never been easier thanks to this machine. Check it out to see the many other amazing features found in this affordable monitor. Those who do are sure to be impressed.
- Screen size: 27-inch
- Aspect ratio: 16:9
- Brightness: 350 cd/m2
- Color support: 99 sRGB
- Contrast ratio: 5M:1
- Resolution: 3,840 X 2,160
- Response time: 5ms
- Philips Brilliance 328P
Brilliance is the hallmark of this monitor. It offers a gorgeous screen at an affordable price, and this is only one reason people are heading to the store to pick it up. This unit combines a 4K VA panel and acceptable HDR performance, allowing more people to benefit from this technology without breaking the bank. While experts feel the HDR rating isn’t exhibited in the brightness of the screen, the low price helps to overcome any dissatisfaction with this aspect.
High-performance panels are used to provide the Ultraclear screen resolution, making this the ideal choice for those who use 3D graphics apps, CAD programs, or huge files containing large amounts of data. The graphics and images come alive with the help of this monitor.
Philips is the only manufacturer to offer overdrive technology. When the monitor is turned on, the screen automatically adjusts the response time to the application being run. For example, when a movie is played, a faster response time is needed to ensure there is no time-lag or ghost images present on the screen. The monitor accounts for this automatically.
Users love the SmartErgoBase found on this unit, as it allows the individual to customize the monitor’s position based on their specific needs. The height, tilt, rotation angle, and swivel can all be altered by the user to reduce the physical strains associated with sitting at a computer all day. In addition, the cable management system minimizes clutter around the workspace, allowing it to remain clear, neat and professional.
Mobile devices continue to increase in popularity and Philips recognizes this. This monitor comes with the Mobile High Definition Link, an interface that allows the user to directly connect a portable device to the high-definition display. Purchase an optional MHL cable to connect MHL capable devices to the screen and enjoy HD videos with complete digital sound. The mobile device can be charged as it is being used, so running out of power is never a concern either.
These are only a few of the many features found in this monitor. Others include MultiView for using two devices simultaneously, EPEAT Gold to protect the environment and built-in stereo speakers. When researching the device, don’t hesitate to ask for demonstrations of these and numerous other features to learn exactly how this device may be of benefit to you.
- Screen size: 31.5-inch
- Aspect ratio: 16:9
- Brightness: 300 cd/m2
- Color support: 1.07 billion
- Contrast ratio: 3,000:1
- Resolution: 3,840 X 2,160
- Response time: 4ms
Dell Ultra HD 4K Monitor P2715Q
If only one 4K monitor were available on the market today, consumers would want it to be this one. This monitor offers the broadest range of functionality at an affordable price. With more than 8 million pixels hidden within the screen, users can be assured of extreme clarity and color enhancement. Fine details can easily be seen, allowing for more accuracy when editing high-resolution photos and more.
Individuals concerned about the environment love this monitor, which meets the latest environmental and regulatory standards. Not only is it BFR/PVC-free other than the external cables, but it also features an LED panel that is mercury-free and glass that is arsenic-free. The chassis is made of more than 25 percent post-consumer recycled materials, and it is not only is Energy-Star qualified, but it is also EPEAT Gold*** rated.
This machine can be adjusted in a number of ways to ensure user comfort and may be mounted on the wall with the purchase of a separate kit. The colors always appear natural and consistent, thanks to the fine-tuning that is done at the factory before the monitor is shipped out. The hue remains consistent regardless of which angle it is viewed from, and the viewing angle of this device is ultra-wide, something many users will find to be of great help.
- Screen size: 27-inch
- Aspect ratio: 16:9
- Brightness: 350 cd/m2
- Color support: 1.07 billion
- Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
- Resolution: 3,840 X 2,160
- Response time: 9ms
An individual may not want additional features when it comes to their 4K monitor. They might simply need a device that can get the job done, and this monitor is the BenQ PD2700U. While this device is lacking USB-C input, Adaptive Sync, and Quantum Dot tech, it offers the pixels users want and need for their projects. The display is very accurate in terms of color and ideal for many office settings.
Users appreciate being able to connect two devices to the monitor without the need to add an additional keyboard and mouse. Two USB 3.0 ports are found in this model along with an on-screen display menu that allows for switching between items quickly. Furthermore, the DisplayPort MST feature lets a person daisy-chain two monitors without the need for additional cables.
The monitor is loaded with ergonomic features. This includes a room light sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness of the display and a backlight that does not flicker. Task-specific picture modes allow the user to choose which option meets their needs, and one image can be viewed in two modes simultaneously. PIP/PBP are likewise offered to look at two sources at one time, and eye fatigue is eased with the aid of four low-blue-light modes. Users get all of the above at an affordable price, something that can be difficult to find in pro devices.
Calibration controls allow the user to choose from presets or create their own. RGB sliders, when used in the User image mode, ensure the grayscale is precise. Additional, hue and saturation slides permit the user to adjust all six colors at the same time. Enhance images with the help of multiple aspect ratios, overscan, and dynamic control, and make use of three control keys which may be programmed for easy access to often-used features.
Animation is something many individuals are interested in and the BenQ PD2700U makes it easy to obtain great results in this area. Dark images often obscure intricate details, but this monitor overcomes that by enhancing the brightness of these areas without affecting bright portions of the screen. There is no risk of overexposure in these areas, and users love that they can choose from ten levels of brightness on their display to ensure no subtlety is overlooked in ambient lighting.
Anyone looking for reliability and accuracy in a monitor without a high price tag should look into the PD2700U. The color accuracy is outstanding, even when the monitor is first set up, and can be improved with calibration. Individuals who choose this model find they get adequate HDR, an outstanding UHD image, and a monitor that will hold up for years to come.
- Screen size: 27-inch
- Aspect ratio: 16:9
- Brightness: 350 cd/m2
- Color support: 1.07 billion
- Contrast ratio: 1,300:1
- Resolution: 2,840 X 2,160
- Response time: 5ms
Monoprice 27-Inch 4K UHD
If funds are lacking, be sure to check out the Monoprice 27-inch 4K UHD monitor, as it comes with a price that is affordable for most. While this brand is not well-known, it should not be overlooked. The device does not come loaded with features, but it provides the sharp images users want and need. FreeSync tech minimizes screen tearing while the vibrant colors are due to Monoprice’s Pixel Perfect Guarantee. Furthermore, users find connectivity is never an issue, thanks to the two HDMI ports and two Display Ports.
Any person needing a general-purpose and productivity monitor will want to research this unit. Not only does it offer the display size, brightness, and resolution people want and need, the overall video performance is outstanding. Stunning detail is a hallmark of this model, and the color reproduction is both accurate and rich. Wide viewing angles ensure the viewer doesn’t miss anything, and the true 8-bit image quality fulfills all industry standards. The same is true of the high contrast ratio, wide color gamut, and peak luminance of 400 cd/m2.
The screen may be adjusted in terms of the height, the user can swivel the unit, and it may be rotated when needed. This allows for a vertical orientation when required. Furthermore, each device comes with the one-year Pixel Perfect Guarantee. Be sure to include this device in any search for the ideal 4K monitor.
- Screen size: 27-inch
- Aspect ratio: 16:9
- Brightness: 350 cd/m2
- Color support: 1.07 billion
- Contrast ratio: 10,000,000:1
- Resolution: 3,840 X 2,160
- Response time: 5ms
Compare a number of 4K monitors to find the one that best meets your needs while fitting in your budget. With so many to choose from at a variety of price points, every user should be able to find the ideal unit for their requirements. While these five devices are considered among the best, there are many others to choose from. Before making a purchase, be sure to test the different models to learn their advantages and drawbacks. Doing so is the best way to ensure you get the right monitor the first time and that it can meet your needs in every way.
Gamers know the fun of the game all relies on the right gear. While there are many important components of gaming gear, some would argue the monitor is one of the most essential. Choosing between a flat or curved monitor is not always easy. With this information, gamers will learn if the curve is necessary and what it does and does not do for your gaming experience.
What Is a Curved Monitor?
As the name implies, a curved monitor is one that is slightly curved at the edges. Manufacturers of curved gaming monitors argue this offers a more realistic view. After all, the world is not flat. There are many manufacturers that are producing outstanding curved monitors, but are they really worth it or just a hyped-up version of a needless piece of gear?
Advantages of Curved Monitors
There are certainly some advantages to playing games with a curved monitor, whether it be PC or gaming console games. Before you spend your hard-earned cash, it is important you know everything about curved monitors and the benefits they may offer you as a gamer.
One of the primary reasons gamers purchase curved monitors is because of the viewing experience. Because of the curved screen, the gaming images seem more realistic and immersive. The screen wraps around the eyes, giving a more natural feel.
It might not seem like such a big deal having the monitor curved, but it can make a huge difference, especially with today’s intense graphic-driven games. Here are some of the biggest benefits of choosing a curved monitor for gaming.
- The curved shape of the monitor creates a more intensive gaming experience that seems to bring the gamer deeper into the game.
- This type of monitor perfects the images you see on the screen and spreads them out in a more natural way than a flat panel would.
- When players use a curved monitor, they are able to see more comfortably when they are up close, without feeling as if their eyes are being strained.
- Those who use curved monitors report they do not have to deal with unwanted reflections of sunlight, room light, or other objects distracting them from the images being projected from the game.
Gaming from a curved monitor offers an almost 3D-like viewing experience. No, the images produced are not 3D, but it gives you the same look without the headaches and aggravation 3D viewing brings.
Although there are certainly many benefits to gaming with a curved monitor, there are also a few cons to consider before you jump in and make a purchase. Knowing the pros and cons will help you to make an informed decision you are less likely to regret in the future.
Cons of Curved Gaming Monitors
There are just a few cons you need to be aware of before you make a final decision. Most people do not feel these cons are anything major to worry about, but they are worth mentioning for those who may find them deal-breakers.
- Some who are wary of curved monitors talk about the distortion they experience when looking at the monitor off-center. Many curved monitor owners have disputed this. There are reports of marginalized edges and a bow tie effect when the edges are stretched or a person is viewing from an odd angle. These monitors are meant to be viewed fairly up close, and this problem does not occur when viewing the monitor from a normal level.
- Curved monitors can restrict the viewing ability of the monitor when it is being used as a television screen for viewing movies with a group. This monitor is more for personal use and works best when you are sitting right in front of the screen.
- While some people like to hang their gaming monitor on the wall, this is not ideal when it comes to a curved monitor. Curved monitors can be placed on a wall, but they do not always look aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Although the above cons may not be enough to stop a person from purchasing a curved monitor, they are something to consider. Being aware of the pros and cons of this type of monitor will help you make the best choice for gaming gear.
Tips for Choosing a Curved Game Monitor
Taking time to research the options will help in making a purchase decision. Because these monitors can be pricier than flat screens, it is wise to be careful in making a purchase. Consider the following tips before making any purchase decision.
- Size is especially important when it comes to curved monitors. Gamers will likely find 30 to 35 inches is just about perfect for gaming up close and personal. If the monitor is too small, the curve will not wrap around the gamer, and the gaming experience will not feel as immersive as it could with a larger screen.
- Color is another important consideration. The best monitors should have 100% sRGB for the richest and most vibrant colors.
- A fast refresh rate is also important when it comes to purchasing a curved monitor. The faster the refresh rate, the better the images will look on the screen. You should not purchase a curved monitor with less than 100Hz refresh rates. Some of these monitors go up to 240Hz.
- Ports are another important consideration. There should be plenty of USB and HDMI ports for all your gaming consoles and computer gear.
Why Choose a Curved Monitor Over a Flat One?
When it comes to curved vs. flat, there is no easy answer. Most non-gamers are not going to appreciate a curved screen because there really is no need for it unless they watch a lot of movies on their monitor.
Those who are really into gaming will find a curved monitor will take their gaming experience to the next level. Imagine being surrounded by the game screen to a certain extent and feeling the action at all levels of sight. This is what a curved gaming monitor will offer you.
Besides the great cinematic experience with gaming, there is also a big benefit in the reduction of eye strain. Many gamers suffer from eye strain after they have been playing a game for a long period of time.
The arc of the curved monitor is much like the arc of the human eye. Because the images from the screen are already naturally bowed, they are more easily seen by the eyes without leading to strain. The eye does not have to move as much to see the images on a curved screen which will prevent them from growing overly tired during long gaming sessions.
How to Gain the Most Enjoyment from a Curved Monitor
When it comes to the best curved monitor, there are a few tips to consider to gain the most enjoyment. Following these tips will help to ensure a curved monitor lives up to your expectations and is not simply an item that gathers dust.
To gain the most enjoyment, placement is important. A curved monitor is going to provide the best image consistency when it is centered on a desk or entertainment center. For the best results, make sure you are sitting no further back than four to five feet. Much further back and the curve will begin to distort the images slightly and make the gaming experience much less intuitive.
When a curved monitor is coupled with the most comfortable of gaming chairs and surround sound, you will get lost inside the game. A curved monitor offers that “wow” factor that simply cannot be achieved from flat-screen monitors.
What Games Play Best on a Curved Monitor?
Any game will play beautifully on a curved monitor, but there are some that are meant for this type of screen.
- First-person shooters are a definite hit with curved monitors. You will be able to better see the enemies all around and intuitively respond the second they appear on the screen.
- Games that have a lot of menus and text to read will also respond well on a curved monitor.
- Those games with tons of mini maps and directives are much easier to play on a curved screen than a flat one.
If you are expecting a curved monitor to completely revolutionize your gaming experience, it likely will not. Curved monitors do have a place in gaming gear arsenal, and they offer an immersive feel that is definitely noticeable and enjoyable.
If you decide to purchase a curved monitor, try to get the best you can afford. Monitors under 30 inches are not going to be worth paying extra for the curve because the difference will be practically unnoticeable.
Talking with most gamers who own a curved monitor will reveal they are happy with the benefits. Once a gamer has played on a curved monitor for a while, they become accustomed to the curve and can no longer enjoy playing on a flat-screen as much as they once did. Hardcore gamers who love having the latest gear will want to check out a curved model for their setup.