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Why IPS panels now offer a good choice for gaming monitors

BenQ
2020/03/13

Developed by savvy engineers to address the faults of older LCD technologies like popular TN or twisted nematic panels, IPS has long had a reputation as a non-gamer’s choice. In-plane switching, or IPS to its friends, largely corrects TN shortcomings like bland colors and poor viewing angles.

However, until recently IPS was considered a no-no for gaming due to slow response times and high input lag on top of high cost and backlight issues. But all of that has changed and now you’re very likely to find your nearest premium gaming monitor has ditched TN or VA (vertical alignment) for an IPS panel. That’s because modern IPS panels combine lovely colors and superb viewing angles with impressively quick response and low input lag – in fact there’s barely any noticeable difference compared to the fastest LCD technology, TN, which still suffers from color depth and view angle problems. 

Improved manufacturing opens up new opportunities for IPS

Previously reserved for designers, artists, and cinephiles, IPS has gradually entered the gaming scene thanks to manufacturers like BenQ working hard to improve the core technology behind it. With more efficient power delivery, faster pixel switching, and enhanced image processing, IPS has been able to emerge as a desirable path for gaming monitors. 

  • Response time accelerated: while older IPS panels routinely clocked in at 8ms or more compared to the usual 1ms of TN monitors, today’s IPS gaming screens average 4ms. To all intents and purposes that’s more than fast enough and the average person won’t even notice the difference compared to 1ms. Every IPS panel-based gaming monitor worth its salt gives you that 4ms with input lag of less than 16ms, meaning no appreciable delay when gaming. 
  • Cost efficiency increased: another burden upon previous IPS panel generations was a high cost of production and subsequent sticker shock for consumers, which is why they were relegated to deluxe pro-grade monitor and TV segments. No longer! Growing markets and expanding demand for quality gaming displays combined with improved manufacturing techniques to bring the cost of IPS panels down to levels comparable to the other two main LCD types. Not only do IPS panels no longer cost much more than other varieties, they also don’t demand a lot of power to run as they did in the past. Current IPS panels require only marginally more power to operate compared to TN/VA, and you certainly won’t notice this in your power bill.
  • Backlight issues addressed: the IPS panels of days passed tended to have typical light bleed aka IPS glow. You see (sorry for the pun), IPS panels allow more light through than TN or VA panels, especially around the edges of the screen. That’s part of why they have more vivid colors, because there’s more light available to show said colors. The downside used to be really bad light bleed that became obvious when looking at dark scenes in a dimly-lit room. Rejoice! Today’s IPS gaming monitors have largely banished this bane through improved manufacturing and materials, leading to layers that allow light through more consistently.

Recommended Product

BenQ EX2780Q 144Hz Gaming Monitor with HDRi Technology

  • 27 inch QHD 16:9 IPS Display 
  • HDR and FreeSync for smooth gameplay
  • USB-C™ One-Cable Connectivity

The clear pros of IPS in gaming monitors

Speaking of advantages, while IPS panels have improved in the three key areas listed above, those improvements did not come at the cost of existing qualities.

With an IPS gaming monitor you get the best colors hands down. Regardless of color space, an IPS panel gets you closest to the original intent of the artists than any other panel type. In other words, you get the most accurate color depiction with IPS. If you want to enjoy your games in the liveliest color possible, choose IPS.

Viewing angles! That’s another area where IPS stands head and shoulders above all competitors. With 178/178 degrees on the vertical and horizontal axes, IPS gaming monitors consistently retain brightness levels even from extremely low angles. You could be standing five meters off to the side of your IPS monitor eating an apple on a break from a gaming session and still not notice much difference in image quality, whereby with a TN or even VA most of the picture would be reduced to mush. That makes IPS gaming monitors great for flexibility in where you place yourself while gaming and for local coop if you have several people gaming on one screen or at the very least looking on when you game. IPS is thus the most sociable LCD technology.

In summation, IPS gaming monitors aren’t just viable, they’re now advisable. The technology has outgrown past limitations and currently offers its advantages of great colors and viewing angles with no strings attached, unless you count the HDMI or DisplayPort cable. 

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