Time to rip and tear as one of the biggest shooters of 2020 screams out of hell and onto a gaming PC near you. Developed by id Software and published by Bethesda, Doom Eternal uses the id Tech engine. The game’s gory innards have been optimized for high framerate performance on a wide range of PCs, which means if you’re in the market for a new monitor and have a specific kind of gaming experience in mind, you may want to match a monitor to this demon of a shooter. Doom Eternal follows directly from the events of Doom 2016 and of course carries the torch for the entire Doom franchise, which began in 1993 and arguably was the game to make first person shooters what they are today. Let’s looks at the perfect gaming monitors for this tour de force, one being the QHD 144Hz EX2780Q, the other the 4K 60Hz EW3280U.
The epitome of QHD 144Hz gaming, the 27” EX2780Q has everything you need to enjoy Doom Eternal at an unlocked framerate and in vivid color. And being Doom, there’s going to be a lot of color. Especially hell spawn red. That’s OK, as QHD on a 27” screen lands in the goldilocks region of pixel density so you’ll get just the right dosage of despair, or delight.
With the EX2780Q even mid-range gaming PCs have a screen that supports an essentially free-flow refresh rate. Up to 144Hz should be more than enough to get a bead on even the sneakiest evil intruder to ever step out of a Martian portal, and the EX2780Q’s lovely 10-bit IPS panel captures every wicked detail with precision.
Doom’s id Tech engine continues to improve and remains one of the most scalable designs in modern gaming. The engine works wonders on everything from a Nintendo Switch to a cybernetically-enhanced, ghoulish mega PC, so you can choose whether you prefer unrestrained speed for twitchy reflex-heavy gameplay, or a more toned-down pace with an emphasis on graphical beauty.
Remember, the EX2780Q has AMD FreeSync to ensure variable refresh rate and no v-sync worries. If you want to enjoy Mick Gordon’s guitar licks (and the anguished screams of the damned) then the sound system on this monitor is nothing to cackle at: dual 2W speakers plus a 5W subwoofer. That’s genuine 2.1 channel mayhem with no external speaker hassles. There’s even a remote so your hands never need to leave the keyboard/mouse or controller for more than a second in case you need to adjust the way hell looks or sounds. Because adjusting hell is what Doom’s always been about.
That’s right, the EW3280U provides an ideal canvass for carnage. Virtual carnage, that is. The EW3280U comes in as pretty much a 4K BFM (big fine monitor), catering to your gaming needs. While not as fast as its 27” EX2780Q sibling, the 32” EW3280U likewise provides a pixel density sweet spot. For its size, the 10-bit IPS panel’s brilliant 3840 x 2160 4K UHD display allows id Tech 7 to stretch its claws with extra space and more pixels.
Sure, there’s a lot to be said for high refresh/frame rates, but a masterful 4K image at a locked 60Hz provides an impressive way to experience Doom Eternal. If your PC has a recent four or six-core CPU and a reasonably powerful graphics card (GTX 1080/RTX 2070 and up or RX 590/ RX 5700XT) plus at least 16GB of RAM, you can run Doom Eternal at 4K in high or even ultra settings. On the EW3280U every pixel in that 4K resolution comes (back) to life.
The EW3280U also features rich 2.1 channel audio with the same 2W+2W speakers and 5W sub, and has a nifty remote for extra comfort. The perks of a doom slayer know no bounds!
Both the EX2780Q and EW3280U have HDR good enough to make even the most obscure secret ammo pack stand out against mounds of mushy ex-demons. The new generation of Doom that began in 2016 has gained a reputation for being an HDR showcase, what with its contrast between industrial-military UAC installations and the craggy, sandy landscapes of the dimension of torment. You need a good HDR effect to properly appreciate this series. Lucky then that the EW3280U in particular has been officially DisplayHDR 400 certified so you know you’re getting a high dynamic range worthy of a real cyberdemon.
So which will you choose? Better hurry, Doom Eternal arrives March 20, 2020.
USB-C has DisplayPort built in for 4K gaming, audio, high speed data, and even 100W power delivery. You should most definitely choose a monitor with USB-C if you can for an all-in-one-cable solution.
Gaming monitors are so-called because they’re built for the very specific needs of video games. They have panels with high speed response and refresh rates. They keep input lag to a bare minimum and don’t add any fluff to your image. They have audio just in case you want to use it. Plus gaming monitors have the image quality that lets games shine with accurate colors and true HDR on the native level and without any superfluous processing that slows you down.