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TV vs Monitor For Gaming: Which Is Better? (Updated 2023)

TV Vs Monitor For Gaming

Both TVs and monitors will work fine when it comes to gaming.

However, there are still notable differences.

And truth be told…

1 of them is much better than the other.

So if you’d like to know which 1 will offer you the best gaming experience…

I’ve got you covered.

Continue reading to find out:

  • Amazing eye-protection technologies that you’ll find on monitors.
  • Particular specs where monitors are far superior compared to TVs.
  • 7 must-know reasons why monitors provide a better gaming experience than TVs.
  • And a lot more…

TV vs Monitor for gaming: Which is better?

A monitor is better for gaming. For one, it has a higher refresh rate than a TV. Because of that, graphics appear much smoother. Monitors also have lower latency. This means games respond faster to input devices. In addition, monitors also pack more pixels per inch. So images there look sharper.

7 reasons why monitors are better for gaming

#1: Higher refresh rate

I’m sure most, if not all, have seen a flip book at some point.

It’s usually small. But it’s thick with illustrations per page. 

And when you flip through those pages, the images would appear as though they’re moving.

I’m saying this because that’s kind of like what a refresh rate is. It’s all about how many images your display can show per second.

And it’s expressed in Hertz (Hz).

In simple terms, when the refresh rate of a display is high…

You’ll get much smoother images on the screen. 

This matters a lot in gaming since games are typically graphics-heavy. And monitors are way better than TVs when it comes to this technical aspect.

Comparing the refresh rate of TVs and monitors

On average, most TVs carry a refresh rate of around 30 to 60 Hz.

Of course, you can also find high-end models that have twice that amount, at 120 Hz. But that’s pretty much the limit of what TVs these days can offer.

With monitors, even budget or mid-range models have at least 120 Hz.

For the more expensive variants…

You’ll get to enjoy 144 or even 240 Hz of refresh rate.

What’s even more exciting?

Some manufacturers, like AUO, are already working on 540 Hz-capable monitors.

Now, that’s over 4 times the refresh rate of even the most expensive TVs.

And you can expect such models to come out in the market soon enough.

That’s why if you want smooth graphics with minimal blurring in your games…

Go with a monitor.

#2: Lower input lag

Imagine playing a first-person shooter game. You spotted an opponent. 

So you pressed your input device to shoot him…

Only for the game to take a split-second longer to respond. And by the time your input action registers on screen, your opponent has gotten away.

Frustrating, right?

That’s why input lag or latency also matters. Essentially, it’s how quickly your display responds to your input device actions.

So when you press a joystick button or click your mouse…

How fast it eventually registers on screen is the input lag.

And this is another specification where monitors are objectively better than TVs.

Latency of monitors compared to TVs

Now, input lags are typically measured in milliseconds (ms). That’s a thousandth of a second.

And when I say monitors have better latency than TVs…

It’s not merely an opinion. It’s something that’s backed up by data.

Let me provide some examples.

Many will agree that the LG OLED65C2 and the Samsung QN65Q90A are some of the best gaming TVs out there.

But as a matter of fact, even those high-end TVs have a latency of around 10 ms. And that’s with their built-in Game Mode option turned on.

With that mode off, they end up with an input lag of about 70 to 90 ms.

Now, let’s compare that to a few of the best gaming monitors. We’ll take the Acer Predator X25 and the BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K as examples.

When measured, both clocked in at just a little over 2 ms of latency.

In other words, that’s 5 times better than what the best gaming TVs can offer. And that’s a significant difference when playing games.

#3: Greater pixel density

1 of the key differences between TVs and monitors is size. 

In general, TVs are much bigger in terms of dimensions.

In fact, many of the best smart TV brands now offer units that are over 100 inches in display size.

And you won’t find monitors that big. They typically measure around 24 to 50 inches.

However, what they lack in size, they more than make up in pixel density.

It’s basically the number of pixels contained in every inch of a display.

Because monitors are smaller but have the same resolution as TVs…

They also pack a lot more pixels per inch (PPI). And that means the images on a monitor are much sharper compared to a TV.

And as I mentioned, games are graphics-heavy. So having a display with a higher PPI can help enhance your gaming experience.

How to compute the pixel density of a display

To fully appreciate the PPI difference between a monitor and a TV…

Let me provide the steps on how to compute it.

Step #1: Take the width and height of a resolution. And multiply each by itself.

So for 4K, its width is 3840. And its height is 2160. 

Get the square of each. You’ll get 14,745,600 for the width. And 4,665,600 for the height.

Step #2: Add the results of the squared width and height.

In our example, that’s 14,745,600 plus 4,665,600. And it equals 19,411,200.

Step #3: Find the square root of the sum. In this example, that’s 4405.8.

Step #4: Finally, divide the result by the size of the display.

So using the formula…

To get the PPI of a 4K 27-inch monitor… 

You’ll have to divide 4405.8 by 27. And the result is a PPI of around 163. 

Meanwhile, a 55-inch TV of that same resolution will have about 80 PPI.

So between the 2, you’d have much better graphics on the smaller monitor.

#4: More options with regard to aspect ratio

Monitors Have More Options With Regard To Aspect Ratio

You’ve probably seen figures such as 4:3 or 16:9 in TV or monitor specs.

But what do they actually mean?

Well, they’re what’s called aspect ratios. Basically, it’s the proportion of a display’s width and height.

If you notice, older TVs are square in shape. That’s why their width-to-height ratio is almost identical, at 4:3.

On the other hand, modern TVs are more rectangular. The width is just under twice as long as the height. And so they all have an aspect ratio of 16:9.

Now, you’ll also find monitors today with that same ratio.

However, there are 2 more options to choose from.

1 of those is the 21:9 screen. This is also known as UltraWide.

The other is a display with a 32:9 aspect ratio. This 1 is called Super UltraWide.

But why does it matter in gaming?

Well, a wider display means you’ll have a better field view of your game. It’s an advantage, especially when playing MMORPGs.

And it’s also another reason why monitors are more expensive than TVs.

#5: Better response time

Many tend to confuse this with input lags or latency. But they’re actually entirely different.

In displays, response time refers to how fast pixels change from 1 color to another. But just like input lags, it’s also measured in milliseconds (ms).

Let’s say a monitor has a response time of 3 ms. That means a pixel going from white to black would be that quick.

Now, why is it important in gaming?

Well, a faster response time means fewer occurrences of ghosting. This is when trails of pixels appear behind moving characters in a fast-paced game.

In other words, response time is also crucial in the quality of graphics that you see.

And as with latency…

Monitors are also ahead of TVs when it comes to this aspect.

However, it’s worth noting that the difference isn’t that big. At least not like monitors’ superiority in refresh rate and input lag.

While the best monitors have a response time of about 2 to 3 ms…

A few high-end TVs like LG OLED models also have similar rates. But they’re rare. And they cost a lot.

Would you like to know more about response time?

If so, check out this video below:

#6: Accurate color reproduction

Still on the topic of pixels.

Monitors not only pack more pixels per inch. And they don’t just have a faster response time.

In addition to those, monitors are also more accurate in producing colors.

This is because TV manufacturers want movies or shows to look as good as possible on their products. Hence they add filters that usually alter the colors of the images. 

Monitors makers, on the other hand, focus more on precision. And it’s because they know their products will also be used for tasks where detail matters.

That’s why when you use a monitor for gaming…

You’ll see the graphics exactly how the developers intended them to look.

#7: Your eyes are better protected

Playing for hours on end can definitely lead to eye strain. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re using a TV or a monitor.

However, if you’re concerned about your eye health…

Playing with a monitor is still the better option.


It’s because gaming monitors these days also come with eye-protection mechanisms.

1 example is the flicker-free technology.

This is a feature that regulates the brightness of a monitor. And it’s effective in preventing headaches or fatigue even after hours of playing.

In addition, most gaming monitors also come with a blue-light filter.

Now, blue light is also called high-energy visible light (HEV). The sunlight, as well as gadgets like TVs and monitors, produce a significant level of it.

And prolonged exposure to HEV is dangerous to our eyes. It may lead to strains or even permanent damage.

But the filter in gaming monitors offers excellent protection against it.

And when you consider that, plus all the other technical superiority of monitors…

It should be an easy decision if you’re a gamer. You’re much likelier to have a better time overall playing using a monitor.