The best time to upgrade your gaming monitor depends on what kind of computer equipment you have or plan to get. If you’re on a tight budget, you shouldn’t get a display which your graphics card cannot fully utilize; Then again, you wouldn’t want to waste money on a monitor with too low specs for your gear. Continue reading to make sure you don’t overkill or bottleneck your setup with your new monitor. If budget is of no concern to you, and you seek only the high-end technology, dig through our website for the latest previews of upcoming gaming monitors with release dates and prices.
Picking a new monitor isn’t as simple as it used to be back in the day when all you wanted was that it had a thin cabinet and bezels to replace the ugly ol’ CRT display, and you maybe wanted it to be as big as possible. Nowadays, there are so many things to take into consideration, such as panel type, adaptive-sync technology, refresh rate, response time, etc. The combinations of all of these specifications offer a unique gaming experience but demand certain computer requirements, all of which we will cover in the article.
Certainly, the best time to upgrade your monitor is right now. Or, you could wait for the Black Friday. All kidding aside, you can actually wait for the perfect opportunity to snatch a great monitor on sale. When a monitor manufacturer releases a new series of the already existing line of monitors, the previous series is likely to drop in price.
For instance, LG has released the LG 27UD68 (4K, IPS, FreeSync) display some time ago, and its predecessor, the LG 27UD58 is now (July 2017) available at nearly half the price. Naturally, the upgraded version will have slightly better specs and maybe a better appearance – in this case, the difference is in 300 nits of brightness as opposed to the 250 nits of the 58-series, but the LG 27UD58 is still worth much more due to its low price for an amazing value.
Another way to shop the smart way is to wait for a similar monitor to be released. Say, you’re looking for a 100Hz ultra-wide gaming monitor and you have your eyes on the HP Omen X 35, and then you find out that Acer and ASUS plan to released a similar display as well. Obviously, you should wait for all of the monitors to be released and watch as the prices drop as an aftermath of market competition. To always keep up with the latest monitor releases, simply follow our website.
Given that the 1920×1080 resolution has been the standard for quite a while now – if you still happen to use a 720p display, you should definitely upgrade to a 1080p monitor as soon as possible. These days you can get a high-quality Full HD monitor under 100 USD. Although most people don’t upgrade their gaming monitors as often as their graphic cards and CPUs, there comes the time when a new monitor will have the biggest impact on improving your gaming experience.
FreeSync vs G-Sync
If you plan on upgrading both your display and your graphics card, we highly recommend you opt for the Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync (depending on your budget) combination. These technologies synchronize the refresh rate between the GPU and monitor in order to eliminate screen stuttering and tearing. G-Sync monitors are more expensive but have a wider dynamic refresh rate range while FreeSync monitors don’t add extra cost and are hence ideal for those on a tighter budget.
In order to gain the dynamic refresh rate, both the monitor and graphics card must be FreeSync or G-Sync compatible. You can use an AMD FreeSync card with a G-Sync monitor, and vice versa, but you won’t benefit from the variable sync technology.
Requirements for Gaming at 1080p, 1440p, 2160p
In a nutshell, you should upgrade your gaming monitor according to the computer equipment you have or plan to get. Obviously, there’s no point in getting a 144Hz gaming monitor if you play slow-paced video games or if your GPU cannot push 144 FPS (Frames Per Second). On the other hand, if you play competitive FPS games and have a great GPU and CPU but only a 60Hz monitor, you would benefit more from a higher refresh rate monitor than from any other upgrade.
So, for a fluid performance at 1080p and 144Hz, be ready to invest in the Nvidia GTX 1060 or the AMD RX 580 whereas, for 60FPS on 1440p with high-ultra settings, you should save for the GTX 1070. For smooth 144Hz performance on 1440p, we recommend the GTX 1080 which is also great for 4K resolution gameplay, but not as effective as the GTX 1080 Ti.
These requirements apply to the latest games, so be sure to research the specific requirements of your favorite games before making any purchase as some games are more CPU sensitive than others, some are better optimized, etc. You can visit our buyer’s guides on graphics cards and CPUs for more information.
For those who are looking to upgrade their high-end displays, there are some quite exciting gaming monitors expected to be released by the end of 2017. The first 4K 144Hz monitors, the Acer Predator X27 and ASUS PG27UQ will deliver the ground-breaking performance by combining the stellar 4K resolution with smooth 144Hz and G-Sync HDR. Without a doubt, these are looking to become the best gaming monitors in 2017 and years to come. However, you will also need next-gen graphics cards in order to use these machines to their full potential.
In the end, it’s always a good time to upgrade your monitor as long as you’ve got the budget for it. Just what kind of upgrade you’re looking for in a monitor depends on what kind of games you play and other personal preferences. I, myself, enjoy the ultra-wide curved monitors with high-contrast VA panels while others are repulsed by those and strictly look for displays with the fastest response time and highest refresh rates possible.