So you have decided to buy yourself a new monitor. Regardless of what you want to do you need to make one fairly big decision, whether you buy a TN panel or IPS panel monitor. In short, if you are buying a monitor for gaming and are a competitive gamer and NEED high-speed screen refreshes then a TN panel is advised. If you aren’t a pro-gamer or don’t play twitch like FPS games then you can choose between TN or IPS. but… If you using the same monitor for work especially if you do anything design related then you really do need an IPS panel. That goes for if you want your games to look the best they can, then IPS is best for you.
What is TN?
The TN Panel (Twisted Nematic) is the oldest and most common technology when it comes to monitors, that makes it the cheapest to manufacture as well. The main advantage to a TN panel monitor is the response time being incredibly low, in some cases as low as 1ms. This low response time makes it perfect for those gamers who rely on twitch like reactions – although this has come into a debate as the brain can only compute around 25 frames per second and the twitch response also slows with age. That being said, we aren’t doctors!
There are reasons that you would prefer to stay away from a TN panel. Its all down to quality. If you want your games to look their best and you don’t need to rely on your slowing twitch response on a FPS game then TN really isn’t for you. TN monitors suffer from very poor viewing angles, in some larger screens even be dead center will still show washed out colours. At this point in time no matter how much money you throw at a TN panel monitor the screen quality will never be as good as an IPS monitor. Why not check out our recommendations in our best gaming monitor buying guide.
What is IPS?
The biggest advantage of an IPS (In-Plane switching) monitor is the increase in screen quality, colour reproduction and great viewing angles. IPS monitors used to suffer from making blacks actually black not to mention the price used to be though the roof. These days though IPS monitors are only slightly more expensive than a TN monitor but when compared to a TN monitor considered a gaming monitor then the price difference is negligible. Overall we prefer IPS monitors so why not have a look at the IPS monitors we recommend for gaming.
The only real draw back for IPS display is the response time, although even that is steadily getting better with each generation of monitors.
What one should I buy?
Deciding which to buy is a preference choice more than anything else. For example if you rely on getting the best colours for your games or even use the same monitor to work on then IPS is what you need. That being said, if you play games competitively you should consider a TN panel – it might not look great but it will give you a very small speed advantage.