Should I Buy A Gaming Monitor Or A TV? Here's What WE Think

When it comes to whether you should buy a gaming monitor or a TV there's a whole lot more to the decision than you'd think, and we're here to give you the 'gamer' perspective on the matter.

Gaming monitors are fast becoming popular with console gamers around the world, thanks to a few obvious and a few not-so-obvious reasons.

TVs are also starting to deliver the goods with brand new gaming modes, HDMI 2.1 ports, and even VRR, making the decision a little less clear.

If you're also trying to figure out which one to go for, keep reading, as we'll break down what we think are the key areas of comparison between the two...and which one we ultimately think comes out on top...

Gaming Monitor vs TV Refresh Rates

Refresh rates, measured in Hz, are always worth noting on any display. A simple way of thinking about it is that the more Hz there are, the smoother the gameplay can be (depending on the device).

For competitive gamers, having more frames can give you a bit of an edge, and for more casual players, high refresh rates can give animations a 'silky smooth' type of look, which adds a unique fluidity to certain types of games (racing games and action titles for instance).

With TVs, even though there are some great 120hz TVs for gaming, they will usually fall short of monitors in the refresh rate department, with 144hz - 240hz monitors being commonplace in the market today (and more 360hz monitors on the way too).

If you're after the highest refresh rates you can find we'd say heading for a monitor is your best bet.

Gaming monitor vs TV
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Credit: BenQ
144hz is fast becoming the norm with monitors

Gaming Monitor vs TV Input Lag

Input lag (sometimes referred to as input latency) is the amount of time it takes for a signal to result in an action. In the case of monitors and TVs, this would be between the console/ PC and the display.

Monitors typically have lower input lag than TVs, so if you're gaming and need to be responsive and hyper-reactive, then we'd say lean more towards a monitor.

Some of the best TVs for PS5 do have lower input lag than what you'd usually see and there are different TV modes you can put them in to ensure it is as responsive as it can be.

Upcoming TVs like the LG C2 series will have these features too, and for most gamers it won't be much different from a monitor, visually speaking.

But overall, most of the best gaming monitors are super responsive and worth investigating for your next upgrade.

Gaming Monitor vs TV Resolution

Gaming monitors and TVs are pretty much even when it comes to resolution, but monitors provide a little more variety.

Unlike TVs which are usually 1080p, 4K, and 8K, gaming monitors can offer resolutions of 1440p and on occasion 5K.

Some of the best 1440p monitors provide a sweet spot between high refresh rates and high resolution, especially when you pick an optimal screen size (28" is a good place to be in our opinion).

But what if you don't fancy playing on the small screen?

Gaming Monitor vs TV Size

You'll find monitors coming in at anywhere between 23" - 43" nowadays, the bigger sizes of which are usually 4K displays.

You can get bigger, as is the case with some of the upcoming OLED HDMI 2.1 monitors set for release this year, but for 43" and above you'll need to check either the best 4K TVs or a standout 8K TV.

Size is important based on what type of game you're playing, but the general consensus is that small screens are better for competitive gaming and larger is better for a more immersive experience.

For the big screen, it's TV all the way...
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Credit: LG
For the big screen, it's TV all the way...

Gaming Monitor vs TV Price

When it comes to price, both TV and gaming monitors have a large range making them suitable for practically any budget.

The most expensive gaming monitors can be upwards of $1300 easily (and some non-gaming monitors are even more expensive).

On the other hand, TVs can tip the scales at literally tens of thousands of dollars (just check out our top 8K picks to see for yourself.

On the budget end, you can find decent FHD monitors for anywhere between $150 - $200, but features like higher refresh rates, lower response time, panel type and resolution will all drive the price up - not to mention advanced ergonomics, speakers, and RGB too.

For TVs, you can actually get some decent 4K sets for under $400. They may not be super slim or have an OLED or QLED screen, but some of the best TVs for under 400 are more than good enough for gaming and streaming, especially if they're 60hz.

Which Display Should You Buy For Gaming?

For gaming from a purely technical view, monitors are the winner here. They're more responsive, have higher refresh rates, and a whole host of other features that make them fantastic for gaming.

You've also got a huge advantage of being able to double it up as a work monitor too, especially since many gaming monitors have amazing resolution, color accuracy, and offer various blue light reducing features to help with eye strain.

If you're interested in a TV, we wouldn't blame you though, especially with some of the offerings from brands like LG, Sony and Samsung boasting low input lag and 120hz refresh rates.

A difficult decision to make, but we're sure that whichever one you go for, it'll be great.

Read More: The best TVs for Xbox Series X

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