IPS vs TN vs VA – Which is the Best Technology for Gaming?

IPS vs TN vs VA

Not to mention, when selecting one of these panels, a lot of factors amalgamate to give you the best viewing angles and color ratio. For that, you need to stay alert about refresh rates, color gamut, contrast ratios, and response times.

I personally use the IPS panel and believe me, it’s one of the best panels to date if you are looking forward to running games at 144Hz or higher. But this doesn’t negate the fact that TN and VA panels are equally widespread due to their own reasons.

For what it’s worth, this guide will ensure that you make the best possible decision for your gaming setup and end up with a desirable monitor that will last for years to come.

What do these abbreviations stand for?

  • IPS (In-plane switching)
  • TN (Twisted Nematic)
  • VA (Vertical Alignment)

IPS Panel

IPS Panel

First, IPS panels are rampantly used on devices like Television, smartphones, monitors, etc. The reason for constantly using this panel on most popular devices is its ability to shadow paramount viewing angles. Not to mention, this panel offers wonderful color production and breathtaking visuals if the settings are brought a notch further from its traditional settings.

When you compare IPS panels with TN panels, then the obvious choice is the IPS panels. But what about VA panels? Yes, VA panels do have an amazing contrast ratio, but at times can estrange the overall quality of the picture. Apart from this, the traditional IPS panels always had a response time of 4ms or higher, but now it’s not the case. You can pretty much get your hands on IPS panels that offer a response time of 1ms, which is truly inspiring and appreciating.

In what instances should IPS panels be avoided?

To be honest, there’s no straightforward answer to it, but yeah, people have encountered some drastic issues, and to date, they are irrevocable. For example, IPS panels are known for backlight bleed, leading to “IPS glow.” It’s nothing but the derailed frozen pixels behind the screen. Well, it’s a delicate issue for what it’s worth since it can render your monitor useless at times if you are unable to solve the issue at the earliest. But don’t you worry; you can read our backlight bleed guide if you happen to have an IPS panel and experiencing the same issue.

What are the Pros and Cons of having an IPS panel?

PROSCONS
Withstanding color managementBacklight bleed issue
It offers wonderful viewing angle optionsIt’s expensive as you go for higher refresh rates
Fantastic visualsUsually have a response time of 4ms or above
User-Friendly 

TN Panel

TN Panel

Today, people usually go for TN panels, although IPS can be sufficient enough for high-end gaming. Well, the reason is quite simple. TN panels offer high refresh rates, including 240Hz, with lowered response times. In my opinion, response times matter a lot. Why? Imagine you are into FPS gaming (Read: First-person shooter). For a more concrete example, let’s say it is Apex legends. Now, if the response time is higher, what will happen? Definitely, your character will lag, or the pixels will be rendered more slowly. This way, your in-game death is inevitable.

It’s worth mentioning that the 144Hz TN panels are cheaper than their counterparts (IPS 144Hz). It’s because of the fact that IPS panels above 144Hz are more superior to TN and VA 144Hz panels. Apart from this, do bear in mind that the TN panels can go as high as 240Hz, so yes, you are in good hands if you are looking forward to maxing out in-game settings to 4K.

What are the downsides of buying TN panels?

Like I mentioned initially that the TN panels do not offer withstanding visuals. This means that you might be weirded out due to the un-synch color projection. In simpler words, the colors on the screen are white-washed or just washed out (looks paler). On top of that, the TN panels do not have as reputable viewing angles as that IPS panel. So, this can be a negative point as well for some users who are used to IPS technology.

Last but not least, only a couple of TN panels support HDR options, which means you might not be able to meddle with the light and dark tones of the image.

What are the Pros and Cons of having a TN panel?

PROSCONS
1ms response times (usually)Degraded colors
Cheaper than IPSDistorted viewing angles
Fastest of all the panels 

VA Panel

va panel

VA panels shouldn’t be your priority when it comes to competitive gaming. It’s because of the disorientated color levels and ghosting phenomenon. To avoid this, it’s better to root for TN or IPS panels, but for the sake level, let’s shed light on how VA panels work. For the sake of simplicity, the VA panel’s color reproduction is somewhat similar to that of the IPS panel. But the issue slips in when you are about to view the screen from a different angle.

The only best part about having a VA panel is its ability to render high contrast ratios, blessing your eyes with something extraordinary. However, VA panels are the slowest, even slower than the IPS panel. This means that if you are looking forward to playing games like Fortnite or Apex Legends, then it’s a big no on this VA panel.

What are the downsides of buying VA panels?

First things first, VA panels have limited color production levels and viewing angles. On top of that, the chances of experiencing backlight bleed, clouding, and ghosting are at an all-time high on VA panels; hence, leading to compromised picture/video quality.

What are the Pros and Cons of having a VA panel?

PROSCONS
Amazing contrast ratioHigher response times
AffordableBacklight bleeding
Decent Color generationGhosting

So which panel is best for you? [Usage dependent Scenarios]

For Gamers:

The real clash manifests when you consider between the TN or IPS panel (VA is just out of the equation). Generally, IPS panels are best for viewing angles, where TN panels have withstanding refresh rates. When it comes to eSports, TN panels are preferred due to their ability to reach refresh rates up to 240Hz. Not to mention, as compared to IPS, TN panels are more affordable.

For High-end Gamers:

This category includes those people who are into 4K gaming (narrative-based video games). Keeping this in mind, it’s best if you root for the VA panel because of the higher contrast ratio. This way, you will be able to experience a more riveting storyline with breathtaking images on the screen.

For Digital Artists:

For this niche, I would definitely recommend you to go for the IPS panel because of the enhanced color gamut and viewing angles. On top of that, you get to experience 125% of sRGB and over 90% of DCI-P3 with an IPS panel-perfect for Digital artists.

For Day-to-Day usage:

If your usage is restricted to mundane activities, then it’s always a better choice to root for TN panels because they are cheap, affordable, and decent in quality. However, you can also get hold of VA panels as they are generally superior to TN panels at the same price tag.


Final Verdict

After reading through the article, you must be wondering what panel you should go for. Perhaps, there’s no straightforward answer to it, and it entirely depends on your needs. If you want paramount viewing angles with the best picture quality, IPS is a way to go. If you want something in your budget, and with lowered response times, then TN panel it is; otherwise, for high contrast ratio, VA panel will be sufficient.


Frequently Asked Questions

What’s a Response Time?

Response time is a measure of pixel swapping from one shade of color to another. Basically, how quickly your monitor renders or swaps the pixels. For response times, the lower, the better. Because the monitor’s response time is touching 7ms or 8ms, it’s of no use; you will still experience lags and input delays.

What’s a Refresh Rate?

The refresh rate is a measure of how many cycles your monitor runs to generate frame rates on your screen. For example, 60Hz is a bare minimum, and anything lower than this is an insult to the gaming community. Today, you will come across a myriad of refresh rates, including 240Hz, but 144Hz is widely used due to its close performance to that of advanced monitors, and that too at a subsidized cost.

Read Also: Best Budget UltraWide Monitors For 2021

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