We frequently receive emails from people asking, “What monitor should I buy?” Even after reading all of our posts and guides, the intelligent reader is still left wonder what monitor to get. It’s understandable because this area is so confusing.
Here is an email from Trent:
Seriously, What Monitor Should I Buy?
We think our response will be helpful to many, so we posted it here.
Judging from your requirements, I’d say your best bet is indeed a 27” monitor with a 2560 x 1440 or QHD resolution. The substantial increase in viewing space and pixel count will help with your photo editing, and overall usage of a monitor, plus games will look smoother and crisp since edges and details will appear cleaner. Of course, your GTX 960 will take a noticeable hit on performance, so you might end up dialing down on the in-game graphics settings.
Ideally, you should get a product with 100% sRGB coverage as a middle ground for your photo editing and gaming needs. The more sophisticated Adobe RGB-capable options are mainly non-ideal for gaming because of slow response times and input lag, while the faster TN-based gaming monitors do not have a wide enough gamut coverage for color-criticalwork. If you want to get a product which includes top-end capabilities, you might end up spending over a thousand dollars at least.
As for panel types, you can go with either Vertical Alignment (VA) or IPS options depending on pricing and specs you like. VA has fantastic contrast levels while IPS offers clarity and color fidelity which you cannot experience on TN panels. Here are three options you can get, depending on budget or personal preference:
1. Asus PB278Q (Budget Option)
The Asus PB278Q is an entry-level professional monitor from the brand’s PB line of enterprise models designed to cater to a wider audience. The Samsung PLS (IPS) panel in this product offers 100% sRGB coverage and a decent 60Hz refresh rate with 5ms pixel response time. You also get Asus’ quick fit virtual scale function, which previews documents and images on-screen to show their actual size. All of these features are wrapped in a flexible and robust exterior design for a user-friendly experience.
The Asus PB278Q isn’t a gaming model per se and the 5ms response time is quite slow for games on paper, but for casual after-work enjoyment, we think this monitor will do the job adequately.
2. HP OMEN 32 (Mid-Range Option)
The HP OMEN 32 is a massive QHD monitor with 75Hz refresh rates and 5ms response time. You get a lower pixel density (PPI or pixels per inch) in this model when compared to the 27-inch options, but we think 1440p still looks good on bigger screens. The VA panel is capable of 100% sRGB coverage and an 8-bit color interface which provides 1.07 billion colors. The inky blacks you get will enhance the grit of the titles you play. This model uses Freesync which does not work with Nvidia graphics cards, but tweaking to get more or less 75 FPS to maximize the display’s capacity isn’t very difficult even at 1440p.
The build quality is superb all across the monumental HP Omen 32, plus we are sure you will love the minimalist look of this product. Personally, I like how they presented the OMEN logo on the bottom bezel; it just looks so bad ass! Although, keep in mind that you don’t get a lot of ergonomic options except for tilt, so placement on your desk could get tricky since this monitor will eat up a lot of space.
3. Asus PG279Q (High-End Option)
If your budget permits, this is the top monitor to get. The PG279Q has a whopping 165Hz refresh rate instantly separating it from the two options we presented above. It would be difficult to reach even half of that limit with a GTX 960 at 1440p, so you either upgrade your GPU to at least a GTX 1070 or use G-Sync. G-Sync will keep your games smooth and stutter free if your FPS varies a lot which is a typical situation you will experience since your current GPU performs better at 1080p. The Asus PG279Q is easily one of the fastest IPS gaming monitors of the market regarding input lag, so your controls are always precise in any game you play.
You also get 100% sRGB coverage and the clear viewing angles and colors of a high-quality IPS panel, so you still can work on your photo editing with the Asus PG279Q. To top it all off, you get other gamer-centric features such as GamePlus modes and the ROG design treatment which completes the flexible and durable design from the stand to the cabinet which is one of the reasons why this model is a personal favorite of mine.
We hope this mini guide helps you find the perfect monitor you need for your setup and requirements. Let us know further if you have other questions, or if you want to share your choice with us once you get it. Thank you!