1440p monitor with best picture? (Movies, work, gaming)

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Aug 27, 2021
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I'm looking to buy a new PC monitor. It will be my only screen, so I will be using it for everything. I do a lot of web browsing, watch movies and YouTube, do some university work, and some gaming. I am not a competitive FPS gamer, I play a variety of games but mostly single player AAA games and RPGs (The Witcher, Divinity OS2, Cyberpunk 2077, Resident Evil..)

It seems that a lot of "gaming" monitors sacrifice on picture quality in exchange for improved response times and high framerates for highly competitive games. I would prefer the opposite - a monitor with a great and impressive picture quality for watching movies and playing RPGs, even if this means slower response times. I think for my usage and the games I play, improved picture will be more noticeable than super-fast response times. I want a screen that I look at when playing games or watching movies and think wow, that looks amazing.

I am specifically looking for a 27" 1440p monitor. 144hz would be preferable as I would appreciate the smoothness and the option to play games at higher framerates. My budget is around £350 and I am based in the UK so availability here is important!

Thank you, I greatly appreciate your advice!
 

XoR_

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Messages
1,318
You do not need to worry about image quality or slow response times as long as you get gaming IPS screen.

Even cheap ones will have decent image quality.
Speeds on some of these 1440p 144Hz panels vary and you probably won't get twice as sharp moving objects at 120fps vs 60fps but everything will be twice as smooth and will have half of the input lag.

In any way 350 pounds should be enough. Friend got two years ago some 27" 1440p 144Hz Acer, probably this model and image on it looked very good in sRGB mode. Response times were similar to my then 60Hz LCD monitor and it was visible at 60fps. At >100fps games ran much much better and visibly sharper, though not as much improvement as on faster panel like the LG I currently have.

27" 1440p 144Hz is currently a gaming sweet spot. Not only you need to pay serious premium for anything larger or higher resolution but also 108 PPI is pretty reasonable pixel size.
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2021
Messages
2
You do not need to worry about image quality or slow response times as long as you get gaming IPS screen.

Even cheap ones will have decent image quality.
Speeds on some of these 1440p 144Hz panels vary and you probably won't get twice as sharp moving objects at 120fps vs 60fps but everything will be twice as smooth and will have half of the input lag.

In any way 350 pounds should be enough. Friend got two years ago some 27" 1440p 144Hz Acer, probably this model and image on it looked very good in sRGB mode. Response times were similar to my then 60Hz LCD monitor and it was visible at 60fps. At >100fps games ran much much better and visibly sharper, though not as much improvement as on faster panel like the LG I currently have.

27" 1440p 144Hz is currently a gaming sweet spot. Not only you need to pay serious premium for anything larger or higher resolution but also 108 PPI is pretty reasonable pixel size.
Thank you for your reply.
Yes my main reason for 1440p 27" is the pixel density. I do also think that I would find 32" too large up close, but maybe not with a curved monitor.

IPS screens do seem the way to go but I worry about the lower contrast in comparison with VA screens. I play a lot of darker games (RPGs and horror) and watch a lot of movies - and I have read a lot of posts from people saying that their IPS screens ruin darker scenes due to the lower contrast greyish blacks and IPS glow. What is your experience with this?
 

XoR_

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Messages
1,318
I would not be able to recommend VA screen and have a good night sleep because they do not display image correctly. Gamma should be the same everywhere on the screen and on VA it never is
qFRvYDX.jpg

This was image of vertical scrips of #000000 and #040404 I gave to people to make some photos. All VA screens of the time showed it pretty much like this.

Does this look like something which would make darker scenes look better?
I mean having dark details being overblown?

On perfect contrast ratio display something like #040404 would be barely visible on #000000 background. On IPS it always is as much barely visible from any angle. Black level is not perfect and subject to change due to viewing angle issues but it is always relatively as much visible on black (or any other color) background and this stays true for all colors.
If you go to lagom lcd then all the dark colors are visible on IPS panel. Barely visible mind you but they would be barely visible regardless of contrast ratio/black level. On VA this image from this site can shows darker colors brighter depending in your head position and if it is central and you put image to the side the dark colors are not 'barely visible' but very distinct, especially from black background. It is complete lack of quality and it shows in dark scenes as overblown details to the popint you can see places where nothing is rendered (pure black)

On IPS nothing in dark scenes is "ruined". Presentation is not as good as we could have on eg. OLED (though those panels also have some slight issues, especially in motion but anyway) but you always see as much as you are supposed to see. What ruins experience is expectation that you could get VA panel which would have better blacks. And this is fine assumption but VA panels are even worse for black content. On IPS you can use some small ambient light behind monitor (which is recommended for eye and mental health anyway) in which case blacks appear much blacker. On VA you cannot correct any gamma shift issues by any other mean than getting very very far away from monitor.

And here is the kicker: the same effect is with #000000 and #010101 strips and as you can imagine this will make seeing where nothing is rendered very visible. This the worst effect I have ever seen and all VA panels have it. Almost everything we watch have literally black spots (this can be checked by increasing gamma in your GPU control panel to maximum) so games, videos and photos, and these spots can be seen on VA and will be seen on VA unless you sit so close to the screen it is taking very small angle in your overall view that gamma error is not enough to make this effect visible. On IPS just like on CRTs this effect is never visible.

And that is my opinion about that topic: terrible for one thing they are supposed to be better at, dark scenes 🤣
That is why I recommend only IPS monitors.
At least until OLED monitors are available and not cost fortune. Especially if they will have reduced life-time due to burn-in issues I would rather not have to worry about them costing too much. And they should not cost more than LCDs as they are simpler to manufacture than multi-layer LCD which require ridiculous precision. I say this because it is IPS and OLED and nothing else from the displays comes close to achieving compliance with the standards. VA panels measure correctly but do not look correctly. You do not get calibrated gamma on VA panel on 99.9% of the screen :) And gamma shift of course means all colors are wrong.

ps. I am exagerrating here a little.
Exact amount of issues depend on panel type. This is also true for IPS off angle glow. Always get monitor with the best viewing angle you can get withing given price range.
For VA if you are really interested RTINGS do close-up photos of panels and you should look for a kind of scanline -like effect in the subpixel photo and look for viewing angle - this is downside for text clarity especially but this is what is preferred for VA as it is S-PVA-like panel type as opposed to cheaper to make MVA-like which do not have this effect.
cleartype-on-large.jpg

Also response times and photos of motion do show issues which are visible. Not always issues with overdrive and how it looks are mentioned though. I did see more disturbing VA overdrive artifacts than ever on IPS but that depends on implementation so might not be too bad on all screens. Response times are generally worse on VA thus overdrive is tuned more agressively to make them appear faster - though somehow neither for IPS nor VA and not even for TN any measurement matched boombastic manufacturers claim regarding response times. Maybe they scan all transitions and if one of them is in 1ms with strongest overdrive they will put sticker on the box :D
 
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