In the era where huge displays and computers dominate the whole world, choosing the right kind of a monitor has become a necessity. Monitors are great. They come in various designs and resolution from different brands in the market. The panels are made up of either IPS or TN or VA technology which provides the best of all colours, sharpness, dynamic range, colour gamut and contrast ration. Let us dive into a comparison between the IPS vs TN vs VA panels.
Short answer: IPS vs TN vs VA
In the era of modern day gaming and high productivity media allocation software, choosing the right kind of monitor is a must. When we go to buy a monitor or order it online, it is essential to look in to matter like the refresh rate, the colour gamut, contrast ratio, dynamic range, sharpness etc.
TN or twisted nematic panel is the most inexpensive of all the panels used in the modern monitors. These panels hold the least of all colours and have an odd viewing angle. Especially when it comes to viewing the monitor from above or below, it tends to wash out the colours.
VA or vertical alignment panels are better than TN panels because it has a better dynamic range and tends to reproduce the colours on this panel better than what the TN panel does. The only drawback here is that it tends to shift the colour when viewed from a different angle.
IPS or In-Plane Switching panels, on the other hand, is the best of the lot and is priced a bit higher than the other two. It is the best for reproducing accurate colour gamut and also has a better contrast ratio. The viewing angles on this panel are also excellent. So in the war between the IPS vs TN vs VA panels, the win is definitely for the IPS panels.
The primary difference between IPS vs TN vs VA
TN, VA and IPS panels are made of different structural mechanisms, and this is the reason why the panels differ from each other over a broad spectrum. The TN panel was introduced first which had certain advantages and disadvantages. This is a budget panel, and then when the VA panel came into the market as a mid-range model, it had swept the user’s preferences. The IPS panel took away the whole market by storm.
Difference #1 Refresh Rates
Refresh rate in monitors is the number of time the monitor takes to update the buffer of the vertical lines of colours in the buffer. These vertical lines form in a row to create the main picture. In the comparison of IPS vs TN and VA panels, the refresh rates in the TN panels used to be the highest with 120-144Hz in total. The other two, namely the VA and IPS panels have refresh rates up to 60Hz which is slowly developing in the IPS panels.
Difference #2 Colour Gamut
Colour gamut in a monitor is the number of colours it can actually reproduce in front of the screen out of the whole range of the colour spectrum. This indicates how well the colours of the images and the graphics a monitor provides an output. In TN panels, the colour gamut is, but in the next upgradations of TN, i.e. the VA panel, it creates a lot better than the typical TN panels whereas the latest premium panels, the IPS reproduces colour like no other. It reproduces the colours of the spectrums clearly and distinctly better than the other two in the lineup.
Difference #3 Viewing Angles
The angles at which the colours of the panels tend to change or fade away is known to be the viewing angles of the various panels. In a comparison of the IPS vs TN vs VA panels, the best angle is provided by all the monitors which are using the IPS display panel at 178 degrees sideways and also from above and below. Whereas in TN and VA panels, viewing the screen from above or below makes the colours fade away into complete dark patches.
IPS vs TN vs VA: complete big PK
There are many monitors which are specially manufactured for different types of enthusiasts. There are monitors just for gaming, for productivity and for regular use. These monitors come in with different types of panels built in which provides the best kind of display output to the users using them.
Over time, the technology of these display panels have changed but are still used in some. Nowadays the most popular are the premium IPS panels while the VA panels are also used sometimes. The cost of the monitors using TN panels is comparatively lower than those using the VA or IPS panels. Let us discuss why and put some light on the critical differences on IPS vs TN vs VA panels.
What is IPS vs TN vs VA?
In order to bring LCDs and to rule out CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors out of the market, the LCDs made use of the TN technology which was a breakthrough in the modern monitor system because it provided a lot of pixels and the refresh rates on this panels could go up as high as 144Hz.
Since these panels were meant for gaming as the refresh rate was high, the games could easily handle the frames per second distribution which has a smooth gaming experience for the gamers.
VA panels just like the twisted nematic ones used liquid crystals and current to produce images on the screen on the monitor with high refresh rates and a better colour gamut than the TN panels. This was later replaced by the IPS panels.
IPS displays have recently been introduced in the consumer market as a premium model to provide excellent depth of colour and also to minimise the disadvantages of the former TN or twisted nematic panels. The disadvantages of using the twisted nematic panels include – not so great viewing angles and poor colour reproduction on the monitors.
This technology is taking a rise in the newer models of the monitors being launched in the market and is also capable of handling resolutions as high a 4K and even 8K. On comparing IPS vs TN vs VA panels, it was found that out of the three, the IPS display provided much better results than the others.
Viewing angles: IPS vs TN vs VA
In a brief comparison between IPS vs TN, the market of LCD monitors has seen advancement in the technology used in these monitors. The monitors formerly used a twisted nematic panel which was good for gaming because of the higher refresh rates, but the viewing angles of the panel were devastatingly poor. Anyone who watched a TN panel from above or below could see nothing but black patches.
This was due to the fall in colour reproduction after a certain degree of tilt. This was later eradicated by a newer version known as the vertical alignment panel. This panel used the same mechanism as used in TN panels but this one had better viewing angles than the previous TN panel. At a tilt of 130 degrees or higher, the VA panels seemed to lose the colour depth when the viewers went beyond that.
The LCD and LED monitors later improvised and used IPS panels which provide a broad angle coverage up to 178 degrees sideways and also on the above and below. This allows the users to view what’s going onon the screen of the monitor even when he or she is sitting almost completely sideways to the monitor.
I personally love the IPS display panel and have been using a monitor with such display, and the results are surprising.
Colour and response time: IPS vs TN vs VA
Colours play an essential role in monitors. Imagine how it would have been if the monitor was capable enough but could not reproduce much of the colours really well. This is the reason why TN panels were replaced by VA or IPS panels. In the comparative study of IPS vs TN vs VA, I found that TN panels could not reproduce the colour that well enough which is why it lost colours when viewed from a particular angle.
This panel, on the other hand, provided a faster refresh rate but a slower response time. Even though the monitor had potential, the response time killed the feature of the super high refresh rate. VA panels, on the other hand, produces colours much better than the TN ones and has a better depth of the colour.
The response time in these panels is slow as well which makes them incapable of being responsive enough. IPS panels are great! These produce the best of the colours and can bring out the real, life-like images in front of the eyes. Even when the refresh rates of the panels are much less than what we saw in the TN and VA panels, the response time of the IPS display is much higher which tends to provide the best responsive gaming experience to its users.
Contrast: IPS vs TN vs VA
With respect to images and videos colour reproduction, contrast also makes an impact on how well the black levels of an image is reproduced. Not every monitor or television is capable enough to provide deeper blacks on their displays. This production of deep levels of black colour on the image and video is known as the contrast ratio of the panels used in the LCD or LEDs.
Twisted Nematic panels and IPS display panels see to contain enough blacks which are restricted to up to 1000:1 ratio or lower. This means that the blacks are prominent but not dark enough. Although on the other hand, VA panels make the best of the colours with regards to the optimum production of blacks being reimaged into the panel.
Deeper blacks are expected in order to view moving pictures or movies better. In comparisonto the IPS vs TN vs VA panels, VA, to my knowledge is capable of providing double the contrast ratio rendered by TN and IPS panels. This is the reason why most televisions make use of VA panels instead of IPS displays.
Even though the colour reproduction and black imaging in IPS displays are excellent, companies are trying their best to make the blacks look even blacker in the modern IPS displays that slowly replacing the VA displays on television and monitor sets.
Gaming: IPS vs TN vs VA
When it comes down to gaming, I can put my hands-down give all the credits to the TN panels if compared with the IPS vs TN vs VA. While most of the modern monitors come with a dazzling IPS display, TN panels still rule the world of gaming monitors. The obvious reasons are: it is cheaper to manufacture the monitors with TN panels as the panel itself comes at a low price.
Secondly, while most of the IPS and VA displays provide a fast response time of 10ms and 4ms respectively, TN panels provide a 1ms of response time, and with a refresh rate of over 144Hz, it can surely make games look fast and worth playing with crisp features and sharp details. With a limitation of the frame rates but higher response time, IPS and VA panels make gaming enjoyable but often creates a jagged motion around the edges which makes the games look sleazy.
If I had to choose between monitors of different panels for gaming purposes, I would definitely choose the one with a TN panel on it. But there are customer preferences, not every monitor is bought for gaming purposes. It is to be noted that the monitor you buy must always suit the preferences for buying one.
There are hundreds of monitors on the market at present each coming with different kind of technology and panels. It is the duty of the user to match all his or her needs while buying a monitor. Not all monitors perform the same.
Each of the panels used has their own advantages and disadvantages. Thus, in order to buy the correct type of monitor for yourself, make sure to run a detailed comparison between IPS vs TN vs VA panels on the internet.
Which one should you choose? Here are the reasons.
It all comes down to what for the monitor is being purchased. If you plan on working on primary productivity and game at the same time, most VA and IPS panel displays will work great for you. But if you plan to game on the machine specifically, the monitors with the TN display on will give you the best results.
Reasons to choose IPS monitor.
- IPS monitors are really great for achieving the best of the colours in the colour gamut of the display.
- It has the widest of all viewing angles which can go as wide as 178 degrees.
- However, the response time cannot go below 4ms which is a bummer.
- The refresh rate has till yet not gone above 60Hz but is sure to develop in the near future.
Thus, users who work a lot with images and videos can opt for monitors with the IPS display and get surprising results.
Reasons to choose TN monitors.
- TN monitors are old, and the components required in building one comes at a meager price. This makes the overall price of the monitor cheaper than the IPS and VA monitors in the market.
- With a response time as low as 1ms and refresh rates going up to 144Hz this type of monitor is a beast for gaming purposes and provides the users with crystal clear display and no jagged movements.
- This type of monitor suffers from poor viewing angles and poor colour reproduction.
If you are more into gaming, then you must always go for TN panel monitors as it provides clearer movement than those found in IPS models.
Reasons to choose VA monitor.
- The colour reproduced in these type of monitors can be easily compared to the IPS displays and some similarity in the colour gamut to some extent.
- The contrast ratio of these type of monitors is outstanding which puts the TN, and the IPS monitors to shame.
- The VA panel monitors have a lower response time of around 10ms, and the refresh rates are also limited to just 60Hz.
These are no more widely seen used in monitors, but in order to enjoy the picture quality of movies, these panels are widely used in television sets nowadays.
The recommendation: comparison tables and top picks
Monitors come in different sizes and technologies. There are LCDs, and then there are LED monitors in the market. The monitors come in with either of the following IPS or TN or VA display units. Each of these has their own specific pros and cons. If I were you, upon seeing the detailed comparison between the IPS vs TN vs VA panel monitors, I would have chosen the IPS ones.
Even though the monitors with the IPS displays provide 4ms of response time and a maximum of 60Hz of refresh rate till now, these monitors prove to be an all-rounder in the market. With Va monitors in being manufactured anymore, TN monitors give a thrilling gaming experience to its users, but with poor viewing angles, this is a negative.
Read ultimate guide
Buying a monitor can sure be confusing, there are so many options to choose from. However, in order to choose the correct monitor for your desktop, you need to consider some key points.
These include checking the response time, the refresh rates, contrast ratio and colour gamut of the monitor. All these features make a monitor good, better and best. Choose wisely and according to the requirements of your work.
Read Definitive Guide: Best Gaming Monitors 2018
Final words: conclusion
As a creative designer,I have always required a monitor which would suffice my needs for colour reproduction and also maintain a good viewing angle with optimum refresh rate and response time. With the evolution of time, IPS monitors are developing into better ones by increasing the response time and refresh rates of the monitors.
Thus we can expect in the near future to get monitors with IP panels with such kind of features. If you are a hardcore gamer, then choosing a monitor with a TN panel would be a better option to look out for. These monitors are also available for cheap even though you’ll need to give up on some of the benefits of a better colour outflow.
If you want to buy a monitor soon, consider the points mentioned above and also consider comparing the IPS vs TN vs VA panels for more information and be sure of what you choose.