The monitor lends vivacity to your PC system; it is a prerequisite of functionality. Without a competent monitor, your tasks are undoubtedly devoid of functionality. Typically monitors are marketed without a usage specification.
Creating a vision board of the kind of engagement your monitor is subjected to will make your investment worthwhile. It is safe to say that a monitor and the overall PC system undergo erratic alterations. You do have the upper hand when there are plenty of options to choose from. However, you can undoubtedly get lost in the bounty.
How do you make an expensive purchase, what makes a specific Monitor better for you over its counterparts? To save you from the plight and disappointment, we will break down the three basic types of the monitor – VA, TN and IPS monitors, in the market today.
The IPS Monitor Panel
IPS monitors are your best bet when your goal is to have a stunning display. These monitors anchor the liquid crystals in a parallel format, enabling you to achieve vibrant colors. The quavering patterns of the liquid crystals is a significant characteristic of the IPS monitor. The design is targeted to cope up with technical limitations in TN monitor panels.
IPS monitors are infamous for their consistent color accuracy. The forthcoming viewing angles enable the monitor to deliver outstanding colors when viewed from multiple angles. There are several variants to an IPS monitor panel, including S-IPS, H-IPS, e-IPS, P-IPS, and PLS. The PLS panel is the latest technology among IPS monitors panels.
TN Monitor Panel
TN or the Twisted Nematic monitor panel follows an LCD technology. These panels are well-loved among professional and general users for its cost-effectiveness and higher refresh rates that results in a speedy performance. Besides, the widespread usage, TN monitors are a gamer-favourite, which is why they are typically advertised as gaming monitors. On the contrary to the IPS panel, a TN panel suffers by a large margin in terms of below-average viewing angles and color contrast.
The VA Monitor Panel
The Vertical Alignment or the VA monitor is another LCD mechanics. VA monitor panels are known for their unmatched contrast ratio and image depth. The most apparent disparity for a VA panel is that it has the longest response time compared to the TN and IPS monitors. If you skim through the market of monitor panels as a gamer, a VA panel, might not be the most suitable choice. However, if you appreciate contrast and image quality, the VA monitor is a competitive choice.
Spec-wise Evaluation between an IPS, VA and TN monitor panels
For a more decisive approach, you must understand the characteristics, performance, and technical differences between an IPS, VA, and TN panel. We apply a more comprehensive approach to the three different types and their unique features in the section below.
The Viewing Angles
The viewing angle is essentially the most distinct attribute that differentiates the three types of monitors. The TN panel has the faintest viewing angles; there is a significant deviation in terms of colors, contrast, and both directions. If you still want to invest in a TN panel, you will need to spend more, which is not viable in some cases.
On the other hand, VA and IPS panels have better viewing angles when compared to the TN monitor. For streamlining your choice even further, VA panels do offer competitive angles. However, they still cannot match the ones provided by the IPS monitor panel.
The Brightness and Contrast
Since all the three panels have backlight quality, brightness cannot be considered a deciding feature. But the contrast ratio is the conclusive margin for choosing between the three types of panels.
TN and IPS panels have a similar contrast ratio of 1000:1. Among the two, the TN panel still has the most stunted contrast ratio. Most basic TN panels have a 700:1 which can stretch out to 900:1 if you invest more. A VA panel offers the best contrast ration, and on that front, even the infamous IPS panel cannot compare. Most entry-level, VA panels begin at a contrast ratio of 2000:1. The forthcoming display ability of the VA panel makes it your best bet.
The Color Quality
The color quality is a significant difference than helps differentiate between the TN panels and both VA and IPS monitors. For a more comprehensive approach, you need to understand the two concepts that mark color quality. We can better understand the color quality as color depth and color gamut.
Typically, all TN displays, even the entry-level models start at 6-bit supplemented with frame rate control technology. If you invest a more massive amount, you can achieve an 8-bit scale with the TN panel. This again might not be the smartest choice when the IPS and VA panel offer standard range under more competitive prices.
The Refresh Rates
So far, in our deliberations, the TN has the worst performance in terms of color contrast and viewing angles. But it fares better than the two other types in the context of higher speed. TN panels are known for the best response and refresh rates.
The present, latest models of the TN panel, can hit, the 240 Hz at both 1080p and 1440p resolutions. VA panels can reach the 200 Hz mark with ease with ultra-wide screens. However, most entry-level VA panels are limited to 165 Hz. IPS panels have a minimum refresh rate of 60 Hz.
Here is LinusTechTips explaining expanding on the topic of Refresh Rates in a 5 minute YouTube video.
As an average buyer, it is highly unlikely that you will notice the subtle differences in more complex spec types of the three monitor panels. While VA panels have a functional limitation in terms of refresh rates, most IPS panels can fare better even with minimal readings.
If you wish to have a subtle advantage or the best of both world experiences, the IPS panel is a suitable choice. However, if you want a monitor panel for a more specific purpose, the TN panels offer speedy performance. They are ideal for a stellar gaming experience under a budget; however, you compromise over the display attributes. VA panels have the last in the race when it comes to response rates, but they have stunning displays. There is, in fact, no decisive yes or no when it comes to monitor panels. Once you know the primary task you assign to your newly bought panel, you will most certainly make the right choice.
Did you decide which monitor panel suits you the best? If so, then we have also reviewed five of the best gaming monitors under $300 you can buy in the market today! Have a read through the article where we review cost-effective monitors that deliver excellent performance for your needs.