The video game industry is booming, and video games are not just an entertaining pastime as professional gamers now compete with each other in eSports. Whether recreational entertainment or esports, the choice of hardware naturally varies for different needs such as monitor selection, where there are casual gaming monitors that focus on the visual experience and professional eSports monitors for professional gamers.
BenQ offers two types of monitor series for both users. The E Series is a range of casual gaming monitors that meets the average user's desire for the latest specifications, such as 4K resolution (3840×2160), 32-inch monitor or curved screen surface. The ZOWIE professional esports gaming monitor was designed on the principal of helping gamers gain the final victory with improved monitor speed performance, color adjustment, and in-game smoothness. BenQ ZOWIE is the top choice monitor brand for both professional gamers and tournament organizers.
Below are common criteria for users to consider when purchasing a gaming monitor:
The panels currently available on the market are typically TN, VA, and IPS. The TN panel has the fastest response time and is often used by professional esports gamers, but has the disadvantages of a marginally smaller viewing angle and poorer color performance. The IPS panel performs the best in terms of viewing angle and color but has the slowest refresh rate. The VA panel has a good response time and contrast, and in terms of visual performance, the level of detail is more distinct. BenQ designs products to match the most suitable specifications according to their use. Therefore, the E Series casual gaming monitors use mostly VA panels, while the ZOWIE professional esports gaming monitors use TN panels, allowing users to choose according to their needs.
The average user usually chooses a monitor with a size of 27 inches to 32 inches to get a better gaming experience along with a resolution of 4K, and even a curved screen surface design that corresponds to the human eye. Unlike the casual gaming monitor, which focuses on the visual experience, the main appeal of the professional esports monitor is to help professional gamers gain the final victory. The popular monitor size is 24 to 27 inches. Compared with 4K resolution and curved screen surface design, the clarity and smoothness of the monitor are of utmost importance, and that is related to the monitor’s refresh rate.
With the advancement of graphics card technology, the game graphics performance has greatly improved, so the monitor refresh rate cannot be too low, otherwise the game graphics will not be smooth and screen tearing will occur. Users might miss out much information from the PC if the refresh rate is too low. Refresh rate is especially important in first person shooting games, such as CS:GO, APEX Legends, PUBG, to name a few. A monitor with a higher refresh rate allows users to enjoy a smoother game experience.
Professional esports gamers are recommended a refresh rate of 144 Hz, or 240 Hz, or higher and with a response time of less than 1 ms, so that when performing various kinds of intense movement, gunfights, and other big and fast swiping motion, they get smoother and clearer images, discover enemy trails, and react more quickly.
If users play AAA games, they can enjoy the full visuals of the graphics quality in masterpiece titles such as: Resident Evil 2, Devil May Cry 5, and Tom Clancy's The Division, using a 4K HDR (High Dynamic Range) monitor that makes the game’s graphics darker and deeper, more vivid and saturated, and more realistic. However, HDR may render images that are too bright especially in a dark or dimly lit room. To alleviate the discomfort that may be caused by the eyes trying to adjust the brightness amidst the dark ambient light, BenQ's exclusive Brightness Intelligence Plus (B.I.+) technology adjusts the brightness according to the ambient light source and the game content, avoiding overexposure and at the same time enhancing the details of the dark areas on the screen. Adjusted brightness and hue on the monitor can reduce eye strain, allowing users to maintain the maximum comfort while getting the best visual experience.
NVIDIA’s G-Sync and AMD's FreeSync are designed to reduce screen tearing while playing video games. The BenQ E Series casual gaming monitor and a few ZOWIE professional esports gaming monitors support AMD's FreeSync. NVIDIA announced the G-Sync compatible function in January 2019 and will gradually add the Adaptive-Sync models to the list of G-Sync Certified Compatible models, so users will have more options to choose from when deciding to get a monitor.
When buying a monitor, in addition to the hardware specifications, the technology and product design also affects the game performance and overall comfort level. The BenQ E Series casual gaming monitor focuses on the visual enjoyment of the graphics. Users can also watch high-definition quality videos as well as playing video games. The ZOWIE professional esports gaming monitor is designed to bring gamers one step closers to the final victory, so there is more professional and practical technology built-in, including: Black eQualizer and Color Vibrance to balance bright and dark area details, allowing gamers to easily identify enemies hiding in dark corners or out in the field; and DyAc™ proprietary technology increases movement clarity during in-game actions with vigorous screen movement such as spraying of weapons. This makes it easier for gamers to aim at the target and handle recoil control easier. Every brand has its own technology; it is recommended that users go to the physical store to experience the difference so that they can make a more informed comparison and choose the gaming monitor that suits them best.