Display Tech Compared: TN vs. VA vs. IPS

madboyv1

Posts: 1,731   +644
Excellent revisit of panel technology. I remember back about 15 years ago when I started buying IPS monitors exclusively, how I always had the tinge of envy of how fast TN panels were (refresh rate and especially input lag) and the contrast of VA panels. At the time I was getting hot and heavy with image editing so the color reproduction was my primary requirement in mind, so the choice was mostly obvious for me. But back then I had figured eventually VA panels would overtake IPS in technology and performance and in general cost less than IPS panels at the time, which helped bolster their rising popularity.

While VA panels (and to a much lesser extent TN) have certainly come a long a way since then, it makes me happy to see I am not left wanting for choices regarding IPS displays and, if I decide my pockets are sufficiently deep, I don't have to sacrifice overall performance anymore.

My only problem is during that span of time I went from having a single screen to three, so... $$$ hahaha.
 

BSim500

Posts: 869   +2,019
Nice article though I'd like to see a more in depth practical test on VA vs IPS in terms of what inverse ghosting, black crush, VA's smearing on dark scenes, etc, looks like with a more visual demonstration. Every time I look at VA monitors, I always end up on videos like this wondering why hardly anyone is mentioning the obvious when comments complain of seeing it on the same Samsung Odyssey G7 that gets praised here for fast G2G response times. Who to believe?... :confused:
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,055   +875
A modern VA is my preferred choice. I’m not a “competitive” gamer, I like to play open world games, preferably with lots of bright colours and contrast - you know like the opposite of Fallout 3. The modern VAs don’t ghost at all and are the closest I’ve seen to OLED in terms of contrast and colour. IPS is better for tablets and phones etc because of the viewing angles but for a fixed monitor desktop gaming solution id pick VA (until OLED models come out).

As for TN I can’t stand it! I can understand why it’s a dying breed.

Great article.
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,895   +2,274
If you are "really" in search of color accuracy, especially if you are printing, spend the extra money and buy something like an x-rite i1 basic pro3.
I have to service production copiers and it just amazes me how many DON'T use those, then complain how the color on their computer screen, isn't what comes out of the printer.
At least the ones that have a fiery box come with one, so I don't get any complaints from them, IF they calibrate it like they are suppose to. PITA, but less work for me.
 

ddferrari

Posts: 534   +266
TechSpot Elite
If you are "really" in search of color accuracy, especially if you are printing, spend the extra money and buy something like an x-rite i1 basic pro3.
I have to service production copiers and it just amazes me how many DON'T use those, then complain how the color on their computer screen, isn't what comes out of the printer.
At least the ones that have a fiery box come with one, so I don't get any complaints from them, IF they calibrate it like they are suppose to. PITA, but less work for me.
999 out of 1000 users have no use for this- and those that do already know about it. Good comment but irrelevant to the mainstream user!
 

ddferrari

Posts: 534   +266
TechSpot Elite
OLED when they fix the burn-in issues will be the next big step.

Otherwise if you already have a good high refresh rate TN model, probably it's not actually going to be worth upgrading from. I know I just went through this and tried.

IPS has that terrible backlight glow, even on higher end models, and I asked around and that is apparently the norm. You can find pictures, most people will put them up if you ask, and it's really not good. VA, at least VA with reasonable prices (I.e. $500ish, maybe it changes at $1k+ but I'm not going to spend that much) is very slow with a lot of blurring and ghosting. And quite frankly, the contrast ratio difference is not at all noticeable. If you put a CRT next to a VA next to a TN, you will immediately notice how great the CRT's contrast ratio is over the other two. VA next to TN is going to be marginal especially compared to that.

As someone above mentions, its also game wise. If you play super modern titles only, and more colorful open world at that, it's going to show more of a difference than playing a game like Fallout 3---the monitor is not going to change older content which generally is not designed to have all that information. This is also true for virtually all TV, movies, streaming, etc. You would need HDR content to take advantage of the color gamut etc. So you'd want to make sure you have a good HDR10 monitor, but none are particularly good and all are crazy expensive. For whatever reason, PCs generally don't like HDR or do HDR that much. Getting an OLED HDTV makes more sense for this as well, since burn-in isn't an issue and the difference is significant over LCDs.

Going back to games, TW3 on 4k vanilla is not going to look all that great. It does have colors of course. But it won't really be that special. You have to mod it up and then it will be a rather marginal improvement. You'll for instance notice in the Orchard inn at the beginning, someone walking outside through the window during a cutscene that you probably would miss on unmodded 1080p. Or maybe you'd have noticed a shape there, but not able to make it out that well. Does this really matter? Probably not.

The viewing angles also really only matter if you're watching with a group, otherwise why wouldn't you be sitting in the middle looking straight on? And if you're in a group, seriously, you want the couch and want to be watching on a bigger HDTV, just go OLED.

But for right now, on PC, most people are probably better off just using a fast TN. It just doesn't have the issues VA and IPS have that MIGHT be mitigated at very high prices. The improvements either makes is so marginal you won't care, but your wallet will. Wait for OLED.
TN is the worst monitor tech available today. Washed out color, horrible viewing angles. This has been stated time after time in numerous reviews.

IPS is clearly the best choice for color and viewing angles. VA does offer slightly better blacks - but at a fairly large gap (slower) in response time. IPS is still the king for accurate colors and best viewing angles. No need for a "group" view to experience this; if you simply lean your head a few inches left or right, TN gets completely washed out. Pass!

As for IPS glow- it's only noticeable on a blacked out screen. Once there's a picture showing, it's virtually unnoticeable.

There IS a reason why expensive monitors use IPS. If TN was superior, why is it only used in budget monitors? You'll NEVER see that tech in any display over $500.
 
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ddferrari

Posts: 534   +266
TechSpot Elite
For everyone who isn't a pro gamer, IPS is superior. Read literally every review- IPS kicks butt over TN in all aspects, minus response time and input lag. And now, IPS has gotten much better. 6.9ms average is nothing to sneeze at for my monitor. I don't do multiplayer online gaming, so it's plenty quick. YMMV

There's a reason why the cheapest monitors use TN and the best monitors use IPS.
 
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jpuroila

Posts: 389   +236
For everyone who isn't a "pro gamer" IPS is superior. Read literally every review- IPS kicks butt over TN in every aspect, other than response time. And now, IPS has even caught up on that.

There's a reason why the cheapest monitors use TN and the best monitors use IPS.

Facts, son.
For most people who aren't professionals, I would say that VA is the best choice. It's a solid compromise between quality and paying out the a** for a quality IPS monitor.
 

ddferrari

Posts: 534   +266
TechSpot Elite
What? So you spaz your head around while playing games, don't play any games with any blacks or dark screens at all, and think "pros" have high input lag, high response time monitors?

Every single pro gamer uses a TN panel
If I have to keep my head in a tiny sweet spot to keep the image from looking awful, that's not a good monitor. Spend a little more next time (if you're able). It's worth it. And, I hope you're not suggesting that TN panels have better black levels than IPS.

Your fledgling 7 posts are off to a pretty rocky start... this ain't IGN. We know our stuff here, and it appears that you're seriously out of your league at the moment. Talk less, learn more is my advise.

PS: I don't mean this as an Ad Hominem attack; I'm simply suggesting that you make sure you've done your homework before starting a sparring match on this site. There are some very knowledgeable members who will shred you if you haven't done your research! :)
 
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Dimitrios

Posts: 951   +760
I wish I had this article when I bought mine a while back. I regret it and rushed since only WALMART had one 27 inch Element 2 or so years ago. The bottom bezel is freakin white and it gets very hot. The glare on black is horrible from most viewing angles so I cheat and change the settings to FPS that's built into the settings

You would think by now monitors would be almost perfect but they aren't. You get what you pay for I guess.