Quick Buy Guide For PC Monitor Panel Types
A quick overview of monitor panel type pros and cons.
I hope this quick guide can be useful for anyone looking for a new monitor but has specific needs.
TN- (Twisted Nematic)
- Excellent response times. The lowest it gets.
- Top choice for high-speed games.
- Plenty of decent options.
- The most common panel on the market
- High refresh rates
- Color reproduction
- Contrast ratio is average and not very good for dark scenes.
- Viewing angles are almost non-existent
IPS- (In Plane Switching)
(S-IPS)– Also known as Super-IPS. Better contrast ratios than the original IPS panel. More expensive.
(H-IPS)– Being the newest and most expensive variation. Again better contrast and a small variation of S-IPS.
- Vivid and usually excellent color reproduction.
- Viewing angles up to 178 degrees.
- Top models can have high refresh rates.
- 8 to 10-bit panels available.
- Response times are still average.
- Not recommended for high-speed gaming unless you get one of the few models specifically for gamers (Usually the most expensive).
- Quite a few panels still exhibit light bleed (light coming from the screens edges).
- Contrast ratio though better than TN can exhibit different hues. Not quite as deep blacks as VA panels but darker than TN panels
- Ghosting still an issue with most average IPS panels.
- Top performing models are pricey
VA Panel (Vertical Alignment)
(S-PVA) Super- Patterned Vertical Alignment. A slight upgrade from regular VA with MagicSpeed (overdrive).
(MVA)– The newest of the VA panels.
- Generally better contrast ratios than both IPS and TN.
- Blacks are inkier.
- Fairly good color reproduction. Above TN but a bit lower than IPS.
- No light bleed.
- 8 to 10-bit color panels available (10-bit not available for MVA currently)
- Usually worse response times than both IPS and TN panels. (Outside of the maybe 3 very spendy gaming versions)
- Viewing angles are decent but not up to par with IPS.
- Possible gamma shifting. (can make colors look washed out)
- Possible input lag on the non-gaming version monitors.
- Top performing models are pricey.
- Low refresh rates outside of top models such as the Acer Predators.
Note: Each panel type under various manufacturers can create a large variance to any of the pros and cons stated here.
And that’s the gist without getting too into detail. Hope it can help you make your decision!