Gaming Monitors vs Regular Monitors: Which Should You Choose?

By | August 8, 2023

You may wonder if you should get a gaming or regular monitor if you want a new monitor.

Gaming monitors are designed for gamers and have features tailored specifically for gaming, while regular monitors are more general-purpose.

This article compares gaming and regular monitors to help you decide which is best.

Gaming Monitors vs Regular Monitors: Which Should You Choose?

What is a Gaming Monitor?

A gaming monitor is a type of monitor that is optimized for gaming performance.

They have fast refresh rates, low response times, and extras like variable refresh rate technology to give you an edge in competitive games.

Some key features of gaming monitors include:

  • High refresh rates: Gaming monitors often have refresh rates of 144Hz or higher, meaning they redraw the screen 144 times per second or more. This results in smoother visuals and reduced motion blur. Regular monitors often have 60Hz refresh rates.
  • Fast response times: Gaming monitors aim for 1 ms or lower response times. This refers to how quickly pixels can change from one colour to another. Faster response times reduce ghosting and motion blur.
  • Adaptive sync: Technologies like Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync allow the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the GPU’s frame rate. This eliminates screen tearing and stuttering.
  • Low input lag: Gaming monitors are optimized to have very low input lag, meaning there’s minimal delay between pressing a button and seeing the action on screen.
  • Gamer-centric extras include crosshairs, FPS counters, and genre-specific display settings. Some gaming monitors are curved for increased immersion.

What is a Regular Monitor?

A regular monitor is designed for general usage like browsing the web, watching videos, office work, etc.

They prioritize image accuracy, viewing angles, and screen real estate.

Critical features of regular monitors:

  • Higher resolutions – You’ll find more 4K or ultra-wide monitors in the regular monitor market than in gaming. Great for multitasking and detailed image/video work.
  • Better colour accuracy – Regular monitors for creators and professionals are calibrated for colour-critical work. Gaming monitors value speed over accuracy.
  • Adjustable stand and ergonomics – Stands with height/tilt/swivel adjustments are common in non-gaming monitors but not always present in gaming models. Better for extended work days.
  • Thin bezels – Regular monitors often have slimmer than gaming models, allowing multi-monitor setups.
  • 60Hz refresh rate – Fine for general tasks where high frame rates aren’t needed. Enables lower price points.

Gaming Monitor vs Regular Monitor: Key Differences

FeatureGaming MonitorRegular Monitor
Intended useHeight, tilt, and swivel adjustments commonGeneral use
Refresh rate144Hz or higherTypically 60Hz
Response time1ms or lowerUsually 4ms or higher
Adaptive syncOften present (G-Sync, FreeSync)Sometimes present
Color accuracyDecent but optimized for speedBetter for pro/creative work
Stand adjustabilityLimited adjustment rangeHeight, tilt, swivel adjustments common
Price$200 to $800+$100 to $1000+

Which Should You Choose for Your Needs?

1. For gaming and competitive play

A gaming monitor is the way to go if you play fast-paced competitive games like first-person shooters, racing sims, fighting games, etc.

You’ll fully benefit from the high refresh rates when aiming for high frame rates, and the quick response time will give you a crucial edge against other players.

Features like G-Sync/FreeSync will let you game smoothly without tearing or stuttering.

Hardcore and professional esports players exclusively use gaming monitors for every possible advantage.

Even in single-player games, the gaming monitor specs will provide a much smoother and more immersive experience if your PC can power high frame rates.

2. For office work and general use

If you mainly do productivity work, content creation or need an all-purpose household monitor for web browsing and video streaming, a regular monitor is likely the better choice.

You won’t benefit much from the added gaming features but will appreciate regular monitors’ higher resolutions, colour accuracy, and ergonomic stands.

Some gaming monitors’ limited viewing angles and basic stands make them less ideal than all-around monitors.

Unless all you do is gaming, a regular monitor is a versatile pick for your home or office setup.

3. For creative and professional work

For graphics design, photography/videography, engineering, finance and other jobs where colour accuracy and detail are vital, a monitor tuned for creative professionals is recommended over a gaming monitor.

While some high-end gaming monitors have sound colour reproduction, most regular monitors aimed at design pros are factory calibrated and guarantee greater accuracy out of the box.

Their higher resolutions and HDR support also help visualize fine details.

4. For a dual monitor setup

Having both a gaming monitor and a regular monitor is famous for dual monitor setups.

This lets you benefit from the gaming monitor’s playing capabilities while also having a second monitor optimized for work/productivity tasks.

A thin-bezel regular monitor complements a gaming monitor nicely.

Just be sure your desk has ample space to use both monitors conveniently.

5. Budget considerations

Gaming monitors span various prices, from budget $200 models to premium 4K 144Hz monitors running $800 or more.

There are also affordable regular monitors under $150. Determine how much you can spend, then get the best gaming or regular monitor suited for your needs at that price point.

Don’t overspend on features you won’t utilize.

Conclusion

Gaming and regular monitors have their strengths and are suited for different needs.

Gamers and competitive players benefit significantly from the fast refresh rates, quick response times and adaptive sync of gaming monitors.

For office work, creative jobs, and general home use, a regular monitor is likely the better choice for the accurate colours, ergonomic adjustability and thinner bezels they offer.

Consider what you’ll use your monitor for the most, as well as your budget, to decide which type best fits your needs and will maximize your enjoyment of games, work, or entertainment.

With some gaming monitors now offering accurate colours, the lines continue to blur between gaming and regular monitors.

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