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27" or 24", WQHD or FHD, IPS or TN panel?


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I'd like to replace my generic 24" 60Hz BenQ V2410Eco monitor with something more adequate for my use. As I'm a bit more than a casual gamer, high[er] refresh rate and pixel response rate and low display lag would be my main priorities. But at the same time I wouldn't want to sacrifice color accuracy. Most if not all gaming monitors use TN technology, which provides the best pixel response and supports refresh rate of 120Hz and higher but at the same time is the worst in terms of viewing angle, contrast and color accuracy. So far I've seen only one gaming monitor (Eizo Foris FG2421) with VI panel that seems like a great compromise between the TN and IPS screen technologies. I consider monitors within 500 euro price range but I'm prepared to stretch my budget if this would make a difference.

 

My system specs:

CPU Intel Core i7-860 2.8GHz

RAM Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB dual-channel DDR3

Video card ATI Radeon HD7870XT (GPU chipset Tahiti LE) with 2048MB VRAM

Primary drive Intel SSD 330 180GB

I sit some 0.8-1 m (2.62-3.28 feet) from the monitor.

 

1) If I want to buy 27" monitor what resolution should I get? I've read that 1920x1080 can look quite pixelated and blocky on 27" monitor and is not as good for general day to day office work.

2) Will my video card be able to run games on high settings at 2560x1440 with acceptable frame rate if I get 27" 2560x1440 monitor?

3 Provided that in games the frame rate at 2560x1440 resolution will not exceed 60, would I be better off with 60Hz monitor that has better color accuracy and viewing angle than TN panel or will I totally lose on gaming side of things with IPS panel, for instance?

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Okay first resolution, your video cvard is to light to be good at 1440 for gaming.

 

Next as to TN vs IPS (and others). The color reproduction is not nealry as bad as people make it out to be. I have a TN and an IPS monitor next to each other and color reproduction between to two is close enough to not matter. As for viewing angles, that might be an issue if you spend your time walking around while you game. Most people sit directly in front of the monitor and play which means those nice extra viewing angles are not nearly as big a deal as people make them out to be.

 

If your going to buy a 27" monitor then go IPS and stay at 60 on the refresh. However your video card does not have the chops to do well at 1440. A 7950 is the MINIMUM I would suggest at 1440 and even it is pushed to it's limit. A 7970/280 can get the job done but the 290 is the sweat spot.

 

Now the real question is do you need the faster response rate? Unless you are a pro gamer the odds are it will have little impact on your gaming experience.

 

You could go another route with this and get a lower price and improved quality if you think you need it. Get a 24" IPS at 1080 and you can keep cost down.

 

I can tell you though that the Philips 144Hz gaming monitor I have is a TN panel at 24" and the image quality is as good if not better than my Auria 27" IPS 1440 monitor.

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As a rule of thumb using the AMD line up the cards break down like this..

 

R7 250, 260, 265: These are solid gaming cards and give really decent performance at 1080 with normal to high settings in a few games

 

R9 270X, 280X: These are the 1080 work horse cards. They can take stuff from normal to high and ultra at 1080 and give you an amazing gaming experience.

 

R9 290, 290X: These are the enthusiast level cards and rock out at 1440 resolutions.

 

At 1440 the 280X can do the job but in my opinion it is a bit light and the 290 is the bang for the buck. The 7870 you have is essentially a 270X. At 1080 it will deliver a solid performance but at 1440 you will find it really running a race it is not equipped to run.

 

Now the above holds true until you decide you want a 144Hz monitor. With a 1080 at 144 Hz you need a minimum of a 280X to really make use of that high refresh rate and if you want high and ultra then you had better move up to a 290 or even 290X. The reason is that the cards as listed can do a  good job of throwing around 60FPS or even a little better as listed. However with a 120Hz or 144Hz monitor they benefit is kind of lost until you start spiking near 100 FPS and to do that at 1080 with modern games you need some serious horsepower to deliver a consistent frame rate.

 

As for TN vs IPS, if the only factor is the viewing angle I would ask how often you need that? I mean for my gaming rig I am never going to be looking at it from off center while gaming. If this is about gaming then the viewing angle ability of IPS is meaning less. As for color reproduction there is a difference. I am doing some testing using a TN and IPS 27" monitor both set at 1080. I can tell you that with using HD picture the color on the TN panel can have a slightly grainy look to it during some of the more subtle transitions. It is not an OMG this is terrible effect but if you look for it you can see it. However during typical gaming, which DOES NOT use HD level of color transitioning the effect is much less noticeable.

 

There is also the issue of the quality of the panels. For example I have an Auria 27" IPS that looks really good but I also have a high end Philips TN Gaming monitor 24" that in my opinions actually has better color to it.

 

The simple truth is, at the end of the day there is NO one right answer as to what is best. Viewing a monitor is a very personal experience, same as listening to music with headsets or speakers, using a mouse or even a keyboard.

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Since your main preference is gaming (and I'm guessing first-person shooters), you'll want a combination of low response times, low input lag, and higher refresh rate. Unless you're going to upgrade the HD 7870, there's no reason to get a 120Hz or higher monitor.

 

For panel types, IPS panels can have as low input lag as TN panels, but you'll typically see 5ms response times or higher, whereas TN panels will have 1-2ms response times. You'll want a combination of both. Having a 1ms response time is great, but if your input lag is 22ms, you might actually benefit more from having a 2ms response time with 10ms input lag.

 

Here's a good site for comparing some input lag. It doesn't have a lot of other great monitors, but if you're looking at a specific monitor that's not on that list, just go read a review, most times they'll measure input lag. 

http://www.displaylag.com/display-database/

 

For IPS panels, you're also trading higher response times and refresh rates for better color accuracy, contrast, and viewing angles, etc. Like ComputerEd said, are you going to place the monitor not exactly in front of you? So viewing angles should be a non-issue. As for color accuracy and contrast, that's the tradeoff TN panels have for speed. You won't get as good of contrast, and maybe only up to 95% of the sRGB color spectrum after calibration.

 

I actually don't mind 1920x1200 at 28 inches. If you find a 27" at 1080P, I don't think you'll have any issues, but most professional gamers prefer smaller monitors just because they don't want to turn their heads a little to see what's going on in their slight peripheral vision, lol.

 

Anyways, my recommendation for you is to settle on a 24" TN panel that has 2ms or faster response times, less than 20ms input lag, at 1080P resolution at 60Hz Refresh rate.

 

If you know you'll upgrade your card within the next two years, then find one with 120Hz Refresh rate.

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I have and recommend the Qnix 2710 27" IPS 2560x1440 monitor, matte screen and paid extra for the ultimate perfect pixel.  From reviews (from people that seem to know more than I do on the subject) it has great color accuracy and super low input lag.  In my experience, it's great although not as mind blowingly awesome as some like to bill it.  I had twin gtx560ti cards at first, comparable to 7870s in crossfire I believe, and it ran most everything really great except for hitting the 1gb vram limit.  Thing is, even if something doesn't run very well for you at 1440, you can easily just run it at 1080.  So making the jump to 1440 isn't dangerous or limiting or anything, its just that it may be underutilized with a single 7870 card until your next upgrade. 

 

Plus this monitor is overclock-able often up to 120hz.  I personally have mine OC'd to 96zh 24/7 and get to use the extra frames in several games.  The thing is, you have options, [email protected]/96/60 or even [email protected]/96/60 depending on what your pc can do.  Probably the only downside is the single DVI-D input.  There is a model out there that has a display port but it can't be oc'd at all and has increased latency.

 

I know your budget is bigger than this but I don't know if you can get more for your money:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Ultimate-Perfect-Pixel-Qnix-27-QX2710-Evolution-II-Slim-2560x1440-Monitor-/321376073626?pt=Computer_Monitors&hash=item4ad381b79a

 

 

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I have been playing a lot with monitors the last few weeks. I have two 1440 monitors, two 144Hz monitors and an Ultrawide in house right now.

 

27" at 1080 is not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. The key though is the need. For me my monitor sits a bit over 3' from my face while gaming. At this distance a 1440 display is way to small. I can do some scaling but have to really scale up to make it work. A 1080 at this distance however works really well and I am sitting far enough back that the pixels are not visable.

 

As for the high refresh rate with a 7870, I will disagree on it having not effect. I am finding that I do get a smoother experience with the 144Hz displays even when the game is only pushing 60 FPS or less. Also a 7870 CAN push 1 144 refresh if the settings are done correctly.

 

Thias video is awesome at explaining why settings make a difference depending on play style

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2w0MuEdraA

 

There are some solid monitors at the 24" range with 120/144 refresh. Asus has a great lineup and BenQ is starting to take gaming seriously with in my opinion the best lineup of gaming monitors.

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