Exploring the Different Types of Monitors: TN vs. IPS vs. VA

Exploring the Different Types of Monitors: TN vs. IPS vs. VA

Monitors are popular electronic output devices that help display images, videos, texts, and many other information formats. Although they look much similar to a regular television screen, the resolution and other specifications differ for monitors.

From the initial stages of cathode ray tubes, monitors have progressed significantly. The new generation monitors are iconic for their higher technical aspects and premium quality components.

The article below provides details on several popular types of monitors and which of them are the best options for gaming.

Exploring the Different Types of Monitors: TN vs. IPS vs. VA

Best panel type for gaming

While purchasing a gaming monitor, one of the crucial decisions to make is regarding the type of panel to choose. Many different kinds of panels are available in the market today. Many pros and cons characterize each of them. 

The total gaming experience changes significantly depending on the panel you buy. The three popular panel types are:

  • Twisted Nematic (TN)
  • Vertical Alignment (VA)
  • In-Plane Switching (IPS)

Which panel is best, VA or TN, or IPS?

Twisted Nematic (TN)

TN panels are one of the oldest kinds of monitor panels. They are also known as the most affordable panel. The characteristic features of TN panels are the high refresh rate and response time.

The high pixel update response rate of TN panels enables them to work as great options for gaming. The quick response feature of these panels prevents general monitor issues like smearing, motion blur, ghosting, etc.

Another feature for which the TN panels are popular is their great accuracy in the dark and black levels. Despite the high number of pros and positives, TN panels possess certain downsides too.

They are only able to cover the standard RGB gamut colors. They also generally don’t go beyond a contrast of 1000:1. These aspects cause the TN panel to exhibit significant limits in its display capabilities.

One of the significant issues that the TN panels suffer from is the limitation regarding the viewing angles. It is not possible for TN panels to be viewed from a relatively wide angle. When you look at the TN panels from a wide angle, you will experience significant image fade and color shift.

The current generation of TN panels has addressed the issues with the viewing angle and has managed to sort the issue to some extent. But the issue is still not completely solved; thus, better options have taken over TN panels in the market. 

Exploring the Different Types of Monitors: TN vs. IPS vs. VA

In-Plane Switching (IPS)

IN-plane switching monitor panels are famous for their excellent color performance and picture quality. They have one of the broadest color gamuts currently available on monitors.

It is observed that even the basic models of IPS panels exhibit 20% to 30% better color performance than the best TN panel model. The IPS panels’ 178/178 watching angle is the best in the industry.

IPS panels are the best options for community viewing and shared viewing experiences. Despite the number of viewers, IPS panels perform the best when viewed from any angle. They also maintain a reasonably impressive refresh rate and response rate. 

The only major downside of the IPS panels is the color contrast. The accuracy of black on the IPS panel monitors is comparatively minimum. 

Vertical Alignment (VA)

Vertical Alignment panels are an excellent option for monitors, especially for gaming monitors, as they are a perfect combination of the best features in the industry. They support a wider color gamut, which is much better than the TN panels.

The color contrast on the VA panels is also impressive. VA panels generally exhibit a contrast of 3000:1. They support a 178/178 viewing angle, which is the best in the category. 

One of the rare downsides of VA panels is the relatively low response time. They only support a response time less than that of the TN panels. Despite the low response time, they perform reasonably well with the advanced technology used in them.

Exploring the Different Types of Monitors: TN vs. IPS vs. VA

IPS vs. VA vs. TN for gaming

Due to their excellent operating speed, TN panels are a great choice for gaming needs. They are especially great for multiplayer games that demand a high response time. Any games that need a high frame rate, like shooting, fighting, etc., can be conveniently played using TN panels. The only downside would be the limitations regarding the color and picture quality. 

Despite having specific issues with portraying black on the screen, IPS panel monitors are great options for gaming enthusiasts. The wide color gamut enables gamers to enjoy the details of the images on screen, adding to a better gaming experience. Games with heavy graphics and picturesque backgrounds are best for IPS panel monitors.

VA panels are the best gaming options as they are suitable for almost all kinds of games. The reasonable speed and high image quality make them the best option for games of multiple genres. But if you are a highly competitive player keen on operational speed and quick response time, VA panels might not be the best option.

Exploring the Different Types of Monitors: TN vs. IPS vs. VA


Based on the technology used in the building of panels, three different types of monitors are available now: TN, IPS, and VA. TN stands for Twisted Nematic, whereas VA is Vertical Alignment and IPS is In-Plane Switching.

Depending on the panels used, the gaming experience on each monitor changes. TN panels are the best option if you need better gaming response time. IPS panels are excellent with colors and shade, and thus, for games that need high picture quality, IPS panels are the ideal options. VA panels are the most flexible option, providing a reasonable response time and high picture quality.


1. Is TN better than the VA panel for gaming?

TN panel has better response time, while VA panel has better picture quality. Both panels are suitable for specific kinds of games. TN panels will be the better option if you plan to play games like shooting, requiring high response time. VA panels would be the right choice for games that involve heavy graphics and picturesque backgrounds.