TN vs IPS vs VA: Which is the Best Monitor Display for Gaming?

In this article i will try to go in to details as deep as possible to clear some doubts for choosing your next monitor based on your usage and performance you required out of it, You can join me over discussion below this article in comment section, so join me and we shall go together now from this point, we’ll go over the differences between the most common monitor panels. We’ve compared IPS panels, TN panels, and VA panels to help give you more insight on your upcoming purchase.

Every individual has special requirements with their hardware, and in this particular case monitor, today i am going to compare 3 monitor types,and try to come up on one option, which Monitor is the most suited and best choice for gaming usage.

Most gamers are aware of the fact that monitors come in different resolutions and screen sizes, or that monitors can have either a glossy or matte screen surface, and can offer other features such as 3D capabilities and 144HZ refresh rates.

Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Monitor Panel Type

What will you be using the monitor for? Gaming? Graphic design?

This is an important question because the type of usage your monitor will see will be a big determining factor in which type of panel you can get. If you are going to use your monitor solely for competitive gaming—I’m talking CS:GO, LoL, COD, Dota 2, etc.—then a TN panel with a high refresh rate and low response time will be your best bet.

On the other hand, if you are more of a casual gamer, or you are planning on doing a lot of graphic design work on your monitor, you might want to look into a VA panel or an IPS panel. These panels don’t quite perform on the same level as a TN panel (in terms of response rate) and they cost a lot more for the same refresh rate. However, their picture quality is much better than TN panels and therefore, they are better-suited for graphics design work.

Are you a competitive gamer or a casual gamer?

This kind of ties into the question above, but it is worth considering as well. As I mentioned above, if you are a serious gamer and you are playing competitive games where every split-second could be the difference between victory and defeat, you might want to forego better visuals for a better performing monitor.

And, for that, a TN panel is your best bet as they offer lower response rates and higher refresh rates (at least, for the price you pay) than IPS or VA panels.

On the other hand, if you’re not playing super competitive games and you really enjoy the visual aspect of gaming, you’d be better off going with a VA or IPS panel as they offer better technology for displaying richer and more detailed visuals.

Different Monitors for Different Needs

The other bit you ought to understand is that it is quite difficult, if not completely impossible, to find a monitor that is the best solution for every individual.

Some display types are appropriate for gaming, while others are best suited for graphics design. Other monitors are good for gamers who want the best visuals, while a different set of monitor panels work better for competitive gamers who need the most performance possible.

What is a TN (Twisted Nematic) Display?

TN (twisted nematic) display is one of the most common types of LCD monitors currently on the market. They are built with a nematic liquid crystal that sits between two sheets of polarized glass.

Almost every LCD monitor you’ll come across on the market today has a TN panel in it.

They’re the most affordable panels there are and, as such, are the most readily available.

If you are looking at a monitor and it doesn’t clearly state what kind of panel it is, it’s probably safe to assume it’s a TN panel. What I mean by this is that, in most cases, for IPS panels and VA panels, the monitor manufacturer will include the panel type in the name of the monitor in an effort to make them stand out.

However, since TN panels are so common, manufacturers typically don’t state the fact that they are TN panels, as it is not a major selling point.

As I mentioned above, TN Panels owe their popularity to low manufacturing costs.However, they are also known for being able to deliver much higher response rates than IPS or VA panels. However, they are also known for being able to deliver much higher response rates than IPS or VA panels.

And the exceedingly high level of responsiveness is thanks to the pixels changing quickly, thus, helping to make the moving images appear smoother.

Because of their affordability, Twisted Nematic Displays with higher refresh rates (a feature you will pay more for) are more readily available than competing panels with high refresh rates.

Some Flaws of TN Panels

The TN technology isn’t without its flaws, though. The most significant drawback of the TN technology is its poor image quality (at least when compared to the image quality of competing technologies).

While a decent TN monitor can produce crisp and vibrant images with a sharp contrast, its viewing angles are quite restricted.

The viewing angles on a TN panel are touted to be 160 degrees vertical and 170 degrees horizontal: these angles are considerably lower than the viewing angles presented by other panel technologies

And taking into consideration the fact these screens come in larger sizes nowadays, the limited viewing angles can even affect people who are sitting right in front of the monitor.

The eyes, for instance, will perceive a different viewing angle if you look at the center of the screen instead of the peripheral regions of the monitor. In this instance, a color shade can be represented to be a different shade depending on its position on the screen. It may appear darker when it is on the upper side of the screen or lighter when it is towards the bottom.

Because of these problems, the consistency and color accuracy on a TN panel will suffer in comparison to IPS and VA panels, which, ultimately, makes this panel type less ideal for color-critical work such as photography and design, or even for gamers who want the best visuals possible.

What is an IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel?

IPS stands for In-Plane Switching and it is a type of LCD monitor panel. It was manufactured to improve on TN panel technology by improving image quality.

The most notable selling point of In-Plane Switching panels is their consistency, improved viewing angles, and superior color accuracy when compared to other LCD technologies. Every color shade retains its unique identity and distinctiveness regardless of its position on the monitor.

These factors make IPS panels suitable monitors for graphic design work, as well as for gamers looking for the best visuals possible (but who don’t mind a drop in response rate.)

One significant glitch of IPS displays is a glow or sheen on the monitor when viewing dark content. This glitch becomes more noticeable when you are viewing the monitor from wider angles.

What is a VA (Vertical Alignment) panel?

A VA (vertical alignment) panel is a type of LCD panel that utilizes liquid crystals and electrical current. They are manufactured similarly to TN panels, but have some improvements to help produce higher quality visuals.

Perhaps the greatest strength of a VA panel is its ability to block light from the backlight when it isn’t wanted. This ability results in higher contrast ratios and deeper blacks which are several times better than that of the other LCD technologies discussed in this guide.

As power users already understand, one problem with LCD monitors is light from the backlight. When an LCD monitor wants to display black, the color filter will be positioned in such a manner that very little light from the backlight will seep through. While they try to do a reasonable job, their filters aren’t always perfect, thus, incapable of rendering the blacks deep as they should be.

Thankfully, VA panels are magnificent at that task. And thanks to the fact that they are susceptible to clouding or bleeding towards the edges of the screen, the screens are often considered as ideal candidates for movie enthusiasts and suitable for general purpose work.

The VA panels also feature improved viewing angles and good color reproduction. Their excellent color reproduction abilities make the monitors ideal devices for color-critical work, or for gamers who want to play their games with the best picture quality possible.

A considerable drawback of the VA panel is its low level of responsiveness with its pixels transitioning from one state to the next. This can cause more noticeable blurring when gaming.

Thankfully, the more modern versions of VA panels use a superior pixel overdrive feature that is not susceptible to the problems of the earlier versions.

As far as price goes, VA panels cost more than TN panels and about on par with IPS panels.

Viewing Angle Comparison: VA vs IPS vs TN

IPS vs VA: Overall Picture Quality versus Balanced Offering

Both VA and IPS panels are commonly used in LED-backlit TVs today. Though they are both Liquid Crystal Display types, there are vast differences between their performances. The differences touch on contrast, viewing angle, response time, and black uniformity.

Viewing Angle

IPS Panels are a clear winner when it comes to viewing angle. IPS Panels, as already explained, have a wide viewing angle without any noticeable drop in image quality on the monitor.

VA panels, on the other hand, will have a considerable degradation of about 20 degrees to the side, which is seen as a dramatic loss of saturation.

Contrast

VA panels recoup their losses when it comes to contrast. Contrast, as you might be aware, is one of the most important factors when it comes to picture quality. VA surpasses IPS panels when it comes to contrast.

When in a dark environment, black images or shades will appear gray on an IPS panel, considerably undermining the experience. VA contrast ratios are usually in the range of 3000:1 to 6000:1 while IPS contrast ratios are around 1000:1.

Clearly, the winner here is VA panels.

Response Time

Neither VA panels or IPS panels are ideal if one of the main features you are looking for in a monitor is response rate. However, of the two, VA panels offer a slightly faster response time than IPS panels.

TN vs VA: Overall Performance versus Balanced Offering

Response Rate

As already covered above, TN panels are the kings when it comes to response time.

VA panels, on the other hand, were built specifically to address the deficiencies in both TN Panels and IPS panels. Their response time is slightly faster than the response time of IPS panels yet considerably lower than the response time of TN panels.

Viewing Angles

On the other hand, VA panels have viewing angles that are slightly wider and better than TN panels.

There have been improvements on TN panels to make them more suitable for color-critical work such as photo editing, but even with the said improvements, TN panels are still far from ideal when it comes to these types of tasks.

Graphics and Visuals

From a visual standpoint, VA panels are better than TN panels as they are capable of 8-bit color depth as well as wider viewing angles. They also feature better black uniformity and high contrast ratios as compared to TN panels.

In my opinion, though, the choice between a TN panel and VA panel is somewhat similar to the choice between a TN panel and an IPS panel: choose an IPS panel if you are mostly into competitive gaming and pick a VA panel if you want better visuals.

Wrap Up

While a lot of people are unlikely to spot the difference between an 8ms VA panel and a 5ms IPS, TN panels are, at least from our experience, noticeably clearer in motion. The slowness of VA panels also limits their real world refresh rate: a 144 Hz panel that only manages a 9ms response time, is actually delivering an image most equivalent to a 110 Hz panel. Whereas most 144 Hz IPS panels can transition faster than the 6.94ms refresh window, leading to a true 144 Hz experience. So that’s something to consider.

As a quick summary, TN panels are the fastest and have the highest refresh rates, however they have the worst viewing angles by far, as well as weak color performance and typically the lowest contrast ratios. TNs are typically used for ultra-fast gaming displays, as well as budget class displays, for both desktop monitors and laptops.

IPS is a middle-ground technology. They typically have the best color performance and viewing angles, mid-tier response times and refresh rates, along with mid-tier black levels and contrast ratios. Due to its top-end color output, IPS panels are the go-to choice for professionals, but you’ll also find them in entry-level displays, office monitors, most laptops and a small handful of gaming monitors.

VA panels are the slowest of the three, but have the best contrast ratio and black levels by far. Color performance isn’t quite at the level of IPS, but they still offer a significantly better experience than TN in this regard.

With response times for the best modern VAs approaching the level of a typical IPS, along with broad support for high refresh rates, VA monitors are commonly used for gaming monitors. Entry-level VAs also tend to be superior to entry-level TN and IPS panels, though you won’t find VA used in laptops.

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Written by Navdeep Patel

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