If you enjoy playing shooters, you care less about perfect colour rendering or energy-efficiency and more about fast response times without blurring and ghosting. Hardware.Info asked 14 manufacturers to send their best gaming monitors, and in the end tested 17 different screens with lots of different results.
How you define a good gaming monitor depends on who you ask. It also depends on the type of video game you play, and whether you are sensitive to imperfections. One person might scoff at even the possibility of ghosting, while another couldn't care less about an input lag of a few milliseconds.
Thanks to the 3D revolution, there are 120 Hz monitors now in addition to the typical 60 Hz ones. Some gamers won't use anything else, while others are completely indifferent.
There is one requirement for gaming monitors everyone can agree on, and that's a fast response time so rapid movements don't cause ghosting. Response time is how long it takes for a monitor to change the colour of a pixel, and is indicated in milliseconds. You can measure this in a variety of ways. You can measure from all-black to all-white, but also from 79 percent grey to 80 percent grey. Manufacturers tend to use the method that gives the most favourable results, a reason why you only find 2 ms and 5 ms nowadays.
To gain a more accurate picture, Hardware.Info measures four different colour transitions. From all-black to all-white and back, and from 20 percent grey to 80 percent grey and back again. Then we combine the individual results, which is what you're supposed to do according to the official definition of response time. Many monitors are very fast when you measure one direction, but are quite slow in the opposite direction.
Input lag is also a factor. This is cause by slow hardware that causes a delay between the time the signal is received and when it is displayed on the screen. None of the participants in this round-up suffered from input lag.