Computers & Electronics

Pc monitor vs tv monitor for gaming debate...

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  • Jan 6th, 2020 5:58 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
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Feb 16, 2016
664 posts
259 upvotes
Casselman, Ontario

Pc monitor vs tv monitor for gaming debate...

Hey everyone,

I want to treat myself and upgrade to either 1440p or 4K for gaming. I’m currently using an old 1080p monitor (about 6-7 years old and it’s a 24 or 27 inch) that still works great. I’ll be using my old one as a second monitor, while the new 1440p or 4k monitor will be the primary one.

Now here comes my dilemma, I see some people going for a 1440p monitor (27-34 inches) and some opting to go with a 4K tv. Strangely, the 4K setup with a tv seems cheaper than some 1440p 33 inches monitors. Why is that?

Here’s some additional information about my gaming tastes and my pc specs:

- Running a 1070 gtx gpu.
- Gaming is mostly WoW, RPGs and DBD, occasionally FPS, but not my go to games.
- I sit about 3 feet from my current monitor (but could sit farther if the 4K tv is big).
- Budget, ideally, is around 500$. But I’m willing to spend more for the most advantageous setup.

So what do you guys suggest? TIA!
5 replies
Deal Guru
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Oct 24, 2012
11543 posts
2542 upvotes
Montreal
Televisions make horrible gaming monitors. They have a lot of motion blur and input lag. Console peasants don't notice the lag ;)

4k monitors are much more expensive because they have to perform between (input lag, motion blur).

Also, when watching a movie from 5 feet away from the TV, you aren't watching for tiny details on screen like you would with a RPG, FPS. Personally I find it strains my eyes to sit far away from the screen if playing on the TV.
Sr. Member
Oct 12, 2014
855 posts
419 upvotes
London, ON
I’d go for a 1440p.

With a 1070 you may find you’ll struggle with 4k.

My 1080ti doesn’t always keep 60 frames at 4k, but we’re talking max settings.

I’d also look into higher refresh rate monitors for gaming
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Apr 18, 2017
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I'd suggest 1440p as qell. Def invest in a good monitor, not a television, as for the reasons stated above. Unless your going really big (49"+), 4K for gaming is a waste of money right now.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
29132 posts
9673 upvotes
alkizmo wrote: Televisions make horrible gaming monitors. They have a lot of motion blur and input lag.
This is quite a generalisation here. Not all TVs make "horrible gaming monitors". A lot of them are actually pretty good in this regard. There's also PC monitors out there that aren't great for gaming either, you know.

Some TVs, in game mode, can have input lag in the 10-15ms range and response time as good as <5ms. This may not be as good as gaming monitors but it is practically as good as many non-gaming regular PC monitors, plus outside of game mode these TVs are much better for, well, being TVs. As another note, OLED TVs have response time better than basically any LCD out there. (Granted OLED TVs aren't cheap, are minimum 55" at this time, and aren't totally ideal for gaming due to burn-in concerns, but just saying.)

Choosing the right TV is key and there's a few things to keep in mind:
-You need to make sure you get a TV with low input lag and as fast as pixel response as possible (note however that faster response time = more stutter for movies when using as a TV).
-Even the "good for gaming" TVs, are not going to be as good as PC monitors designed for gaming. (On the flip side, PC monitors don't typically make good TVs--not great for movies, video.)
-You're typically limited to 60Hz with TVs; many 4K sets that have 120Hz panels can also accept 1080p 120Hz signals, but then of course you're only gaming at 1080p.
-For competitive or hardcore FPS gaming, and for HFR gameplay, you're essentially going to need an expensive gaming monitor.
-4K gaming requires a lot of GPU horsepower (depending on the games you are playing and the settings and FR you are after, of course).
-1440p (on TVs that can accept it) doesn't always look so great on a 4K display because it's not an even upscale. 1080p is actually a better idea on a 4K display than is 1440p* because it's just an even/straight 1:4 conversion.
-If you're looking for something like FreeSync there are TVs that support this but at current time it's very few, therefore a monitor is again much better here as tons of them have FreeSync these days.

*Note some games have built-in scalers meaning they can output 4K while running internally (and thus requiring less GPU power) at something lower, like 1440p. This will look better on a 4K display as well as working better with more 4K TVs since not all can accept a 1440p signal. This is what consoles like PS4 Pro and Xbone X do, when they do "4K" gaming--neither can actually game at 4K, they instead do scaling tricks to get there.

Anyway I'm not really sure this is a "debate" per se. There's pros and cons to both. Typically speaking what works great for a gaming monitor doesn't work so great for a TV, so for mixed use (as a TV and for gaming) there's not much out there that's going to be "the best of both worlds". However IMO, for mixed use--combining both a lot of video duty and a good amount of casual gaming--TVs do better here because:
-they offer large sizes for relatively cheap prices--gaming monitors are generally a lot more expensive per unit size
-have modes (i.e. game mode, PC mode) that do away with the "TV processing" and reduces input lag to lower levels (some TVs are much better in this regard than others so read reviews that test for this); sometimes this mode enables stuff like 4:4:4 to be more "monitor-like" as well.
-when game mode is disabled they perform much better for movies, shows, etc.

On the other hand if you're not going to be using the display as a TV at all and are mainly focused with gaming, you should definitely go for a PC monitor more suited for that purpose. If you're looking for 1440p specifically it's better to get a native-res panel for that, and that would mean a monitor. If you're looking for VRR and/or HFR then again a monitor is better suited as stuff like 120-144 Hz inputs are common on gaming monitors and FreeSync, as mentioned earlier, is getting more common even on monitors that aren't specificallymeant for gaming.

In short:
If your main use is a TV? Get a TV.
If you have mixed use? Get a TV. (Get one with as low an input lag in game mode and as good a pixel response time as you can get.)
If your main use is gaming/PC monitor, or you're a hardcore or competitive gamer? Get a gaming monitor.
[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Feb 16, 2016
664 posts
259 upvotes
Casselman, Ontario
ES_Revenge wrote: This is quite a generalisation here. Not all TVs make "horrible gaming monitors". A lot of them are actually pretty good in this regard. There's also PC monitors out there that aren't great for gaming either, you know.

Some TVs, in game mode, can have input lag in the 10-15ms range and response time as good as <5ms. This may not be as good as gaming monitors but it is practically as good as many non-gaming regular PC monitors, plus outside of game mode these TVs are much better for, well, being TVs. As another note, OLED TVs have response time better than basically any LCD out there. (Granted OLED TVs aren't cheap, are minimum 55" at this time, and aren't totally ideal for gaming due to burn-in concerns, but just saying.)

Choosing the right TV is key and there's a few things to keep in mind:
-You need to make sure you get a TV with low input lag and as fast as pixel response as possible (note however that faster response time = more stutter for movies when using as a TV).
-Even the "good for gaming" TVs, are not going to be as good as PC monitors designed for gaming. (On the flip side, PC monitors don't typically make good TVs--not great for movies, video.)
-You're typically limited to 60Hz with TVs; many 4K sets that have 120Hz panels can also accept 1080p 120Hz signals, but then of course you're only gaming at 1080p.
-For competitive or hardcore FPS gaming, and for HFR gameplay, you're essentially going to need an expensive gaming monitor.
-4K gaming requires a lot of GPU horsepower (depending on the games you are playing and the settings and FR you are after, of course).
-1440p (on TVs that can accept it) doesn't always look so great on a 4K display because it's not an even upscale. 1080p is actually a better idea on a 4K display than is 1440p* because it's just an even/straight 1:4 conversion.
-If you're looking for something like FreeSync there are TVs that support this but at current time it's very few, therefore a monitor is again much better here as tons of them have FreeSync these days.

*Note some games have built-in scalers meaning they can output 4K while running internally (and thus requiring less GPU power) at something lower, like 1440p. This will look better on a 4K display as well as working better with more 4K TVs since not all can accept a 1440p signal. This is what consoles like PS4 Pro and Xbone X do, when they do "4K" gaming--neither can actually game at 4K, they instead do scaling tricks to get there.

Anyway I'm not really sure this is a "debate" per se. There's pros and cons to both. Typically speaking what works great for a gaming monitor doesn't work so great for a TV, so for mixed use (as a TV and for gaming) there's not much out there that's going to be "the best of both worlds". However IMO, for mixed use--combining both a lot of video duty and a good amount of casual gaming--TVs do better here because:
-they offer large sizes for relatively cheap prices--gaming monitors are generally a lot more expensive per unit size
-have modes (i.e. game mode, PC mode) that do away with the "TV processing" and reduces input lag to lower levels (some TVs are much better in this regard than others so read reviews that test for this); sometimes this mode enables stuff like 4:4:4 to be more "monitor-like" as well.
-when game mode is disabled they perform much better for movies, shows, etc.

On the other hand if you're not going to be using the display as a TV at all and are mainly focused with gaming, you should definitely go for a PC monitor more suited for that purpose. If you're looking for 1440p specifically it's better to get a native-res panel for that, and that would mean a monitor. If you're looking for VRR and/or HFR then again a monitor is better suited as stuff like 120-144 Hz inputs are common on gaming monitors and FreeSync, as mentioned earlier, is getting more common even on monitors that aren't specificallymeant for gaming.

In short:
If your main use is a TV? Get a TV.
If you have mixed use? Get a TV. (Get one with as low an input lag in game mode and as good a pixel response time as you can get.)
If your main use is gaming/PC monitor, or you're a hardcore or competitive gamer? Get a gaming monitor.
Thank you for the very thorough response! I wish I could give you 10 upvotes lol.

I will be using it strictly as a pc monitor. I’ll be using it for gaming, no movies. So now I suppose I’m on the hunt for a 1440p monitor! 120-144mhz ideally. It sucks that boxing day/week is over! I guess I missed some decent deals out there. Oh well! I’m not in a hurry.

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