What’s the Difference Between Gaming Monitors & Regular Monitors?

What’s the Difference Between Gaming Monitors & Regular Monitors?

The world of peripherals understates its importance for a seamless gaming experience. High refresh rates are second nature to PCs due to needing the hardware to reach those frames. With incredible work done by manufacturers like ASUS, Gigabyte, and others, the market has flooded consumers with multiple options.

While the construction method is the same within most IPS (In-Plane Switching) monitors for both the gaming and business sphere, the main difference is the added display features oriented toward color and display capabilities. Any monitor can play video games at the expense of some potentially unsupported display features.

Let's look at the most important factors when differentiating between a gaming-oriented monitor and an office monitor. 

Refresh Rates

Having the highest refresh rates aren't the end all in a monitor. There are many settings and hardware that determine a monitor's performance. Three major functions determine the refresh rate for gaming:

  • The wired connection from the GPU to the monitor. 
  • Windows supported display settings.
  • The video games' internal settings.

Some games lock at specific refresh rates due to screen resolution. This behavior is common depending on the connection and display type.


Let's go over the type of cables types and versions supporting different resolutions. Here are the three most popular connections for media in recent years:

Connection Type

Maximum Supported Resolution

Maximum Refresh rate

HDMI 2.1

3840x2160 (4K UHD)/7680x4320 (8K)

120htz (4K)/60htz (8K)

Display Port 2.0

10240 × 4320 (10K)/3840x2160 (4K)

60htz (10K)/240htz (4K)

USB Type C Thunderbolt 2

3840x2160 (4K)/7680x4320 (8K)

240htz (4K)/240htz (8K) 

As you can see above, there are some impressive resolution sizes for both enterprise and gaming-oriented displays. Among these three, the most popular for gaming is Display Port and HDMI, depending on preference and need.


While monitors are available for cheap, purchasing a new monitor starts at around $200 for an office-gaming hybrid type. Here are two popular choices that I have come across in my search as this article has a lot of comprehensive tests.

Free Sync and G-Sync Support

An often marketed feature in most gaming monitors is the support for AMD’s FreeSync or NVidia’s G-Sync. These features use NVidia and AMD’s seamless experience for monitors that encounter screen tearing or rendering issues due to the GPU. While these services do assist in making a game's experience smooth, the minimum supported refresh rate is 120htz which is a significant threshold to pass with hardware depending on the game.

Aspect Ratio 

The most popular aspect ratio for office and gaming-oriented monitors is 16:9. Depending on what media is playing on a given monitor, the viewing experience may need a 4:3 aspect ratio. There is nothing wrong with playing 4:3 media on a 16:9 screen. However, there will be more oversized black bars on the top and bottom of the screen.

Viewing Angles

Contrary to popular belief, this is an optimal way to view desktop monitors that go hand in hand with viewing ability and proper posture.

Your eye level should be even with the monitor's top bezel to provide a more responsive peripheral for a single or multiple monitor setup. Seeing your monitors above or below will contribute to more visible LED light bleed and neck issues.

Going into more detail, LED bleed is when specific IPS screens project passive light for pixels that can accumulate in different areas depending on the panel’s construction. While this is more prevalent when displaying darker pixels, almost every monitor has minor to moderate LED bleed.

What is the Advantage of A Gaming Monitor?

Aside from the differences listed above, there is a lot of supported software and firmware for gaming-oriented monitors that support a variety of issues that can come up over the display's lifetime. Suppose a display issue is happening with a particular monitor on a specific game. In that case, the solution could be as simple as a firmware update from the manufacturer or a driver re-installation.

Conclusion-Are Gaming Monitors Worth it?

Gaming monitors have made themselves a significant contender for their value, performance, and support for the slight premium that they run. While there are other options with higher prices, different resolutions, and expanded support via hardware, the features on lower-end 1080P monitors should be taken advantage of for the price.

Apex Gaming PCs acknowledge that the adoption of peripherals can often have an unforeseen cost attached to them when purchasing a new PC. We offer multiple bundle deals for saving that we pass to the customer, including an accommodating 5 in 1 peripheral value for only $309 in our customizer! Whatever your monitor needs, we hope to fulfill them at Apex!

Written by Will Wilson

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