The gaming industry continues to deliver exceptional games that gamers around the world can enjoy. In an effort to improve the overall gaming experience, the gaming industry now develops games that are full of exceptional details, excellent graphics and oftentimes a good story. Demanding games require better hardware so that gamers can leverage a game’s fullest potential. However, one question puzzles a lot of gamers and that is: which device is the best for displaying such games?

Should you opt for a high-end TV or a gaming monitor? Up until now, the general rule of thumb among gamers was that TVs are for consoles while monitors are for PCs. Nowadays though, you can choose either. The choice comes down to personal preferences based on your needs. There are a couple of differences you should be aware of before you make a decision. Therefore, monitors vs. TV, which device will provide the best gaming experience? Let’s find out.

Does size matter?

Technically speaking, size doesn’t matter when looking at screen size, unless you prefer neck pain. This is especially true if you decide to own one of these monstrosities. Yeah, a 146-inch TV would provide an awesome experience, but you’d need a large wall to fit it nicely.

Back to the matter at hand, monitors are generally smaller than TVs. Monitors range in size from 14.1 inches all the way to 40 inches. On the other hand, TV screen size ranges from 32 inches to 85 inches for commercial use. In short, a TV may provide a better experience for split-screen multiplayer games. Other than that, it’s down to personal preferences and needs.


If you’re checking which device has better resolution, then you should know that both TVs and monitors excel at this feature. Resolution plays a vital role when it comes to gaming experience. The better the resolution, the more detailed the graphics will be. There’s a slight difference between monitors and TVs when it comes to resolution, though.

  • Monitor Resolutions
    • 1080p or Full-HD
    • 1440p or QHD (Quad), also known as 2K resolution
    • 2160p or UHD (Ultra), also known as 4K resolution
  • TV resolutions
    • 720p or HD-Ready
    • Full-HD
    • UHD

TVs have outdated 720p resolution that’s no longer suited for gaming and they lack the 2K resolution feature. Therefore, it’s either Full-HD or Ultra 4K when it comes to TVs.

Additional features

The downright difference between TVs and gaming monitors, when it comes to the gaming experience, can be seen in the additional features. Gaming monitors are designed for gaming with a focus on improving the entertainment and experience features. On the other hand, TVs are designed for the general population and displaying images in high-quality. For example, the refresh rate, which is important to gamers, of today’s standard gaming monitors is 144Hz to 240Hz, while TVs have either 60Hz refresh rate or 120Hz.

There are a few exceptions, of course. For instance, Nvidia is planning on developing a 65-inch TV/Gaming monitor hybrid with 4K resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. Also, Asus has similar plans in mind with their Asus ROG Swift PG65. However, while TVs are trying to keep up, gaming monitors are already there. Modern gaming monitors also offer additional features for a customized experience, such as adaptive sync technology provided by Nvidia’s G-Sync and AMD’s FreeSync.

That annoying lag

People say that violent games make gamers violent, but everyone knows it’s the lag that really sets you off. In this case, it’s not the ping or network latency but the input lag on monitors and TVs. Input lag is shown in milliseconds (ms). The lower the input lag is, the better the gaming experience is. To clarify, input or display lag determines the time required for a monitor or TV to react to commands given by a controller, keyboard or a mouse and display those commands properly.

Modern gaming monitors have display lag of 1 to 5ms, while TVs have a display lag of 15 to 20ms. At first glance, it may not seem like a huge difference, but it’s very frustrating for competitive gaming. It can mean a difference between “Bullseye – right in the kisser!” and “Take that tree – you leafy bastard!” Therefore, if you’re a temperamental person, you should avoid TVs for gaming, even on “Game mode”, which is a feature a few TV models have.

When deciding between a TV and a gaming monitor for an improved gaming experience, monitors are definitely better. After all, they’re designed for that kind of things. However, if you’re not too picky about the details, you can opt for a TV if you wish.

Posted by Elaine Bennett