HDR gaming monitors are becoming an increasingly sought-after device in the realm of console and PC gaming. While HDR features traditionally restricted to top-of-the-line televisions, new gaming-grade monitors with HDR support have flooded the market, offering enhanced visuals and performance for a reasonable price. But are these monitors worth the investment? This article will explore the benefits and drawbacks of HDR gaming monitors, so that you can decide for yourself.
When it comes to discussion of HDR gaming monitors, the first point of discussion centers around visual quality. Specifically, these monitors are capable of creating a broader range of colors, significantly enhancing the range of on-screen tones and shades. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, HDR gaming monitors boast a much higher peak brightness to effectively show these colors, making dark and dim scenes appear more distinct and detailed. Practically, this means a more visually engaging gaming experience, allowing you to experience games in a whole new way.
Of course, high peak brightness is ultimately the primary benefit of HDR gaming monitors, so it’s important to spend some time considering the implications. Namely, increased brightness can lead to eye strain and headaches, particularly when playing for extended periods of time. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to combat this if it becomes an issue, such as reducing overall brightness settings, using blue light filters, and even investing in a pair of sunglasses designed to block out harsh blue light from screens. It is worth exploring these options in order to further perfect your gaming setup and to truly capitalize on the benefits of an HDR monitor.
Aside from potential health risks, HDR gaming monitors can be expensive. Despite recent cost decreases, it’s likely that these monitors are still more expensive than traditional gaming monitors. As such, prospective buyers must consider how all of the monitor’s features and capabilities – not just HDR – fit into the overall price of the device. For those users who lack a powerful enough computer to run demanding games at the highest settings, this may be the wrong investment. Investing in better hardware, or waiting for price drops, could be a better way allocate one’s spending.
Finally, it’s worth considering the range of ports available on a particular HDR-enabled gaming monitor. Since HDR gaming typically necessitates the use of HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.4, gamers must verify that their monitor is compatible with their GPU’s output ports. This is especially the case for older GPUs, as the latest version of HDMI is 2.1 and many GPUs do not support this version. Ultimately, it’s important to analyze the entire setup to ensure that all components of the gaming setup work in harmony with each other.
Benefits of HDR Gaming Monitor
The main benefit of buying an HDR gaming monitor is an improved visual experience. Not only can colors appear more vibrant and detailed due to the extended range of colors supported, but brighter, more distinct scenes can also be rendered – offering gamers a truly captivating in-game experience.
Likewise, games with HDR support often benefit from better contrast and improved depth. In certain scenes, this can make dark or shaded objects (such as characters or scenery) appear at a higher detail level than on standard monitors, making them easier to distinguish.
In terms of performance, HDR gaming monitors can offer gamers a smoother experience due to higher frame rates. GDDR5 memory – commonly used in many gaming monitors – has the potential to increase frame rates, allowing for faster loading times and slicker gameplay.
Finally, gamers with multiple displays can enjoy an even greater gaming experience with HDR monitors. Dual or multi-monitors setups are perfect for a more immersive gaming experience and can be further enhanced by the brightness and color accuracy of HDR.
Disadvantages of HDR Gaming Monitor
The primary disadvantage of HDR gaming setups is their cost. HDR technology can be expensive, especially when features like higher resolutions are included, and therefore may not be worth the investment for some. Additionally, gaming monitors are still an emerging technology, so cost fluctuations can be expected as the market matures.
The second issue when considering an HDR gaming monitor is compatibility with other equipment. Since HDR gaming typically necessitates the use of HDMI or DisplayPort, users must verify that their current GPU is compatible with the port they’re using. In many cases, this may require an upgrade in the form of a new GPU.
In addition to high resolution and multiple display support, HDR monitors can be exceedingly bright, to the point that extended usage can lead to eye strain and headaches. As previously mentioned, there are a number of ways to combat this if it becomes an issue, but always remember to take regular breaks and to adjust brightness settings as needed.
Finally, some individuals may find certain aspects of HDR gaming monitors jarring or unpleasant. For example, a variety of different special effects, such as light bloom, can appear overly exaggerated and cause some users to experience a loss of immersion or difficulty in gameplay. Fortunately, these effects can often be disabled in the monitor’s settings.
Advantages of Buying a High-End HDR Gaming Monitor
For those who are serious about gaming or have the budget for it, choosing a high-performance HDR gaming monitor can be incredibly rewarding. Such monitors often boast resolutions of 4K or 1440p and support for G-SYNC and/or