Are TN panels as bad as they used to be?

snowysnowcones

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Currently considering moving to a 144+ he monitor. I’m coming from an ASUS 60hz IPS monitor. I’m wondering if TN’s have improved their color reproduction in the last 7-10 years and it wouldn’t be as noticeable if a switch, or if I should exclusively consider another IPS.

Thanks
 

Geforcepat

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Nope. my original rog swift has a 8 bit TN i don't have any complaints. but i think most are gonna recomend the ips version of it.
 

kirbyrj

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I have a TN panel (144hz) coming from a VA TV Samsung panel. It's definitely different. If you sit right in front of the monitor and don't move it's fine. If you look at it from different angles the color does shift...even at sometimes slight angles.
 

sharknice

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Depends on the panel. If you're straight on some higher end TN panels can look better than some IPS panels. I have some cheap IPSs at work and my TNs at home look way better. But if you don't have a straight viewing angle with a TN it's going to look worse.

I have a 10 year old very expensive pro series ViewSonic with a TN panel that had amazing color reproduction for the time. As long as you're sitting straight on. Tilt the monitor a little and it's terrible.
 
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partikl

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I would only consider a TN if you need the absolute lowest response time for competitive gaming. If not, the tradeoffs aren't worth it.
 

Sancus

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TN is only appropriate at small screen sizes IMO, like 24". Maybe 27" if you're being very permissive. The larger you go, the more likely you are to see different angles towards the sides and top/bottom which ruins it. Better TN panels like the one in the PG278Q can indeed have color accuracy as good as some IPS panels, but it's the color shift that will get you.

On the other hand, IPS panels have IPS glow, and VA panels have the best black levels but have severe ghosting on dark pixel transition. In the end, you pick your poison.
 
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my FW900 (CRT) is on par with my PB287Q (TN) and PB279Q (IPS), but nothing beats my 75" Z9D (VA-Local Dimming)
 

MistaSparkul

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TN panels can have good colors nowadays. The main issue is that the out of the box settings on most of them are complete garbage compared to out of the box settings on an IPS/VA and people are just too lazy to try and tweak/calibrate it. Viewing angles have also improved but are still nowhere near an IPS. Personally I only use a TN for online games like Apex Legends and PUBG, I don't think its worth it to use one for anything else.
 

sethk

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Yes they are better than they used to be. No they are not as good as IPS panels. Off axis colors and contrast drop, and that’s from just looking at the sides even when it’s being looked at dead on. In games you won’t notice it but for productivity I wouldn’t pick a TN as my only monitor. IF you can fit 2 monitors then a TN can work as the gaming display.
 

kasakka

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Nope. my original rog swift has a 8 bit TN i don't have any complaints. but i think most are gonna recomend the ips version of it.
I have one of those too and I'm very happy with it. It has none of the really annoying viewing angle issues that many cheap laptop screens still have. There is very little color shift when sitting in front of it, you need to duck under the table or stand up to have it really show up. It is accurate for sRGB too. Since an IPS version is available I would probably buy that right now unless you desire the fastest response times.
 

Armenius

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TN panels in general were never bad. They just got a bad rap because for a long period of time the majority of them were using 6-bit color panels.
 

Ryun

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I tried moving from a 23", IPS screen @ 1080p60Hz to a 144Hz TN and I couldn't stand the color shifting. IPS ruined me. Currently on a 144Hz IPS @ 1440p and am very happy with it.

Unless you really want the faster response time I don't think TN is worth the cost savings.
 

kasakka

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TN panels in general were never bad. They just got a bad rap because for a long period of time the majority of them were using 6-bit color panels.
They had a number of issues. Horrible, horrible viewing angles and the dithering of 6-bit panels. For example the first non-Pro unibody Apple Macbook had a TN panel and it was awful to look at. You were turning into an owl moving your head trying to get the colors and contrast to look right as it was constantly shifting. Lots of cheap laptops are still almost as bad.

8-bit TN panels found on gaming displays are so far removed from them that I wish they had marketed them as something like SuperTN or Advanced TN.
 

cybereality

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TN panels can be alright, it just depends on the quality. Definitely a lot better than things used to be but the downsides are still there, just lessened.
 

Aix.

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I started with an ASUS VG248QE + DIY G-Sync kit and thought it was great while I used it, even though the panel type was a downgrade from my previous monitor, as was the 1080p resolution. From a gaming perspective, I felt that the increase in fluidity was well worth any sacrifice in color/viewing angles, and I had exclusively bought IPS for years for those reasons. It was a little less good for general browsing but I never considered going back to a slower IPS after purchasing a 144 Hz monitor. If gaming isn't your focus or you need color representation for photo editing then I would probably not recommend it.

If budget is no issue you can also consider the various 1440p 144+ IPS monitors out there and have both things you want.
 

cybereality

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Also, I'm using a 166 Hz IPS panel. You can definitely have both.

I will say that TN is smoother/clearer even at the same refresh rate, but this IPS is good enough for me.
 

Rifter0876

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Yeah they still suck. I got a 144hz TN monitor for gaming because i was getting tired of not having freesync. Before i was using a dell IPS monitor meant for photo editing(i calibrate it every year). And on its own the TN may not be so bad but with my Dell sitting beside it with the same background picture its just horribad. Great for games but id stab my eyes out with a dull butter knife if i had to use it every day, and god help my poor clients if i ever had to use it for photo work.
 

kasakka

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Yeah they still suck. I got a 144hz TN monitor for gaming because i was getting tired of not having freesync. Before i was using a dell IPS monitor meant for photo editing(i calibrate it every year). And on its own the TN may not be so bad but with my Dell sitting beside it with the same background picture its just horribad. Great for games but id stab my eyes out with a dull butter knife if i had to use it every day, and god help my poor clients if i ever had to use it for photo work.
I'll say this again: 8-bit TN panels can be accurate for sRGB color space. If you need or prefer wide gamut then look elsewhere. If you put a wide gamut display next to it you will think it looks "dull" or "colors don't pop" but in reality it is accurate for sRGB while your wide gamut may be less accurate for that color space. Color accurate does not mean you will prefer how it looks.
 

Lepardi

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I'll say this again: 8-bit TN panels can be accurate for sRGB color space. If you need or prefer wide gamut then look elsewhere. If you put a wide gamut display next to it you will think it looks "dull" or "colors don't pop" but in reality it is accurate for sRGB while your wide gamut may be less accurate for that color space. Color accurate does not mean you will prefer how it looks.
They can be accurate, but in practice for example Dell has decided that gamma needs to be inaccurate and bright for gamers, with no way to adjust gamma.

This results in the TN panels still being washed out, even if the technology itself doesn't cause it.
 

Spun Ducky

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TN panels in general are usually poor quality as they are made to be cheap most of the time, however there are some high end TN panels that beat out IPS/VA by a fair margin outside of viewing angle. The Lenovo Thinkpad T530 I have with a FHD TN panel is considered to be one of the best TN panels ever built. Even being an old laptop the screen is above and beyond quality of many newer stand alone IPS/VA panels and laptops. The only area it doesn't consistently win is viewing angle and even then I have mistaken it for IPS angles.
 

Greyson

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I'll say this again: 8-bit TN panels can be accurate for sRGB color space. If you need or prefer wide gamut then look elsewhere. If you put a wide gamut display next to it you will think it looks "dull" or "colors don't pop" but in reality it is accurate for sRGB while your wide gamut may be less accurate for that color space. Color accurate does not mean you will prefer how it looks.
Color reproduction is about more than just coverage, it's about uniformity. Even if a TN panel claims to have 100% sRGB coverage, it will never have the color or luminance uniformity of any decent IPS, this is seen strongly in solid shades of color which tend to change around the top, bottom, or edges of the display due to the uneven uniformity of TN-type panels.
 

gan7114

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Color reproduction is about more than just coverage, it's about uniformity. Even if a TN panel claims to have 100% sRGB coverage, it will never have the color or luminance uniformity of any decent IPS, this is seen strongly in solid shades of color which tend to change around the top, bottom, or edges of the display due to the uneven uniformity of TN-type panels.
This is very true. And I'll add, while color gamut coverage is important, color volume coverage is just as, if not more important. If coverage is the xy axis, then volume represents the z axis - e.g. a 3D color space. I really wish manufacturers would focus more on this, as it doesn't do any good to achieve >98% coverage if the volume is lacking.

Very few TN panels -- at least older ones -- are able to accurately represent both color gamut coverage and volume. We're talking sRGB here -- not exactly a high bar to cross. We can see this with Rtings' search filter. By searching any panel type + any resolution + any Hz, and then at least 92% sRGB color gamut coverage and volume (which is quite low), only 8 TN monitors turn up. The best among them is the Viewsonic XG2402, which hits 98% sRGB coverage, and 97.6% volume. I know the XG2402 was released within the last couple of years, so this may represent what newer TN panels are capable of.

That said, IPS and VA regularly achieve very high sRGB gamut coverage and volume. The BenQ EW3270U hits 99.2% for both, and is a 4K VA.
 

sethk

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An accurate sRGB panel will look a lot better than an inaccurate wide gamut display especially since most content (outside of games) that you are likely to consume on a pc is referenced to sRGB. Color space aware apps and properly calibrated monitors mean that you can get the best of both from an accurate calibrated 10bit IPS panel with a wider gamut but it’s very easy to see neon grass and unrealistic skin tones and blown out highlights on an inaccurate wide gamut panel that the end user never adjusts (in some cases it can’t be fixed completely)
 

somebrains

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I played on a recent Dell sd1716dgr. It felt good, my snipes were definitely crispier and twitchy close up team wipes felt easier than the 1st Gen X34 I'm on now.

I tried out an XB2, was maxing out around 180-200hz. If you are capable of almost godlike flow in a shooter I can see using that as a daily driver.

The X34 splits it's time gaming at 100hz + actually working so it's the best compromise until I build a replacement. It was used, and cost me $350.

I don't have the desk space for a 27" tn gaming panel and a 34-43" IPS panel.
 
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