IPS vs VA vs TN: Which Panel is the Best?

Are you looking to buy a new Monitor but confused about whether you should go for IPS, TN, or a VA Monitor?

We are here to clear all your doubts.

There are dozens of things that you have to consider before purchasing a new monitor. The variety of different display technologies have left consumers more confused than ever.

With the new generations of Nvidia and AMD GPUs hitting the market and advancements in the display technologies, more people will be looking to upgrade to a new display. 

Knowing the exact differences between each of the display panels can make your decision-making process simpler.

In this article, we will be going through all the advantages, disadvantages, and other minor details that should help you choose one.

So, let’s begin!

    Parameters of Comparison

But before getting into the actual comparison, let us first have a look at some of the factors that matter when it comes to displays. Here are some of the parameters based on which we are going to judge the TN, IPS, and VA panels.

Display Quality

Picture quality is something that you wouldn’t want to take a chance with. To be honest, the display quality is an abstract concept. There are a lot of factors like contrast ratio, color gamut, brightness, etc. which contribute to how well the pictures look on a display.

Viewing angles

A display that suffers from minimum color distortion when it is viewed through different angles is preferred. Depending on what exactly you are using your display, the viewing angle may or may not be something you should care about.

If multiple users are going to watch a display for a long time, then it is a good idea to get a display with wide viewing angles.

Contrast ratio

Compared to CRT and Plasma displays, LCDs are known to have poor contrast ratios. The contrast ratio can be thought of as the maximum difference between the brightest color and the darkest color that can be shown on display. 

Anyone who is familiar with the working of LCDs would know that the displays produce color by blocking light rather than emitting light. Hence, it becomes difficult for displays using this technology to block the entire light that is being emitted. 

The result is a far less accurate black color. Having a display that can represent a pitch-black color is desirable.

    Types of Panels

TA, VN, and IPS are currently some of the most popular Display Panels for the Monitors. Let’s jump right into the comparison and look at the pros. and cons. of each.

TN Panels

TN display which is also known as the TN TFT displays is among the most widely used displays in the present times. TN TFT stands for Twisted Nematic Thin Film Transistor display. The reason behind TNs omnipresence is its low cost. 

Asus ROG SWIFT PG27VQ TN

Asus ROG SWIFT PG27VQ with a TN Panel

The most prominent characteristic of a TN display is its low response time. If you see a monitor that claims to have a response time of 1 ms, then chances are that the monitor has a TN panel.

Most of the affordable 144 Hz and even the best 240 Hz monitors these days come with TN panels. 

BenQ GL2780 TN

BenQ GL2780 with a TN Panel

When it comes to the picture quality and viewing angles, TN panels leave a lot to be desired. The worst thing about TN panels is that they don’t come with HDR support.

Pros
  • Low Response Time
  • High Refresh Rate
  • Lower cost
Cons
  • Average Picture quality
  • Bad Viewing Angles
  • No HDR support

IPS Panels

IPS was a technology first developed by Hitachi back in 1996 and later popularised by LG. It stands for In-Plane Switching technology. IPS panels are found on a lot of LED TVs and smartphones. IPS displays have excellent picture quality. 

AORUS FI27Q-P IPS

AORUS FI27Q-P with an IPS Panel

Images on an IPS display look crisp. The accurate color reproduction and wide viewing angles are the biggest advantages of a display that uses an IPS panel. Pairing all these good features with amazing contrast ratios makes IPS panels perfect for creative work. 

The IPS panel is the way to go for video producers, graphic designers, and other designing related work. The cost you have to pay for all the goodness of IPS panels is the response time and refresh rate.

The lowest response time that an IPS panel can go to is roughly 4 ms and the typical refresh rate that they come with is 60 Hz. 

The response time of IPS panels is subpar. Not to forget, IPS displays also suffer from backlight bleeding. If you decide to get an IPS display at home, be ready to see bright spots of light near the edges of the screen. 

Acer NITRO RG0 IPS

Acer Nitro RG0 with an IPS Panel

LG launched the world’s first IPS monitor with a 1 ms response time back in 2019, but its price makes TN panel the only option for competitive gamers who wouldn’t touch anything below 120 FPS.

Pros
  • Best Picture Quality
  • Wide Viewing Angles
Cons
  • Higher Response Time
  • Lower Refresh Rates
  • Backlight Bleeding

VA Panels

VA panels are for those who want the best of both worlds. In layman’s terms, VA panels stand somewhere between TN and IPS panels. VA panels offer decent picture quality and viewing angles without losing much on the response time.

The displays using VA panels do suffer from backlight bleeding, but the problem is less severe as compared an IPS display.

Samsung LC27RG50FQWXXL VA

Samsung LC27RG50FQWXXL with a VA Panel

VA panels are perfect for those who are looking for an all-rounder display which can be used for studies or office related work. This in no way means that VA displays are not fit for gaming.

In fact, VA panels should be your choice if you use your PC for both work and gaming. 

If you like playing graphically intensive games, then this panel will satisfy your needs. Just one thing that you should note here is that these displays are not meant for competitive gaming.

Gigabyte G34WQC VA

Gigabyte G34WQC with a VA Panel

If you are a hardcore competitive gamer, you should only go for a TN display.

Pros
  • Decent Picture Quality
  • Decent Viewing Angles
  • Best for General Purpose Monitors
Cons
  • Not recommended for a specific use
  • Mild Backlight Bleeding

It’s time to summarise everything we have discussed up to this point. We have presented all the key points about TN, VA, and IPS panels in tabular form for your reference.

TN VA IPS
Image Quality Poor Average Best
Refresh Rate Highest Average  Lowest 
Response time [less the better] Lowest (1 ms) High (5 ms) Average (4 ms)
Price Low Average High
Target users Competitive Gamers For casual gamers, office users, and students Content creation, Casual and High-end gaming

    Which one is the best?

It is impossible to answer that one. Each panel has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It is difficult to judge which panels offer the best value. If you are looking for a monitor for around $150, you might have to settle for a TN panel display but if you have a higher budget, say ~$500, then you have a choice between TN, VA and IPS panels.

There is no winner here, and there need not be. All three types of panels have their distinct purpose, and no panel has all the features. The target customers of all three technologies are different. You have to decide which one is right for you.

But for most users who do multiple things on their PC, a VA panel should give you the best of both worlds.

Here is a YouTube video by Hardware Unboxed which explains the difference between TN, IPS, and VA panels:

    Test before you get one!

Since you have read this article up to this point, you already know a lot more than most of the people out there. To get a better feeling of how these displays actually perform in real life, you should visit a local electronics store and look closely at each of the displays. 

What we may call average display quality may be good for some people or absolutely trash for others. So there’s no way of knowing which type of display suits you the best other than visiting a store and watching them in action.

Also, just the panel itself cannot decide how good the monitor actually is. Most of these factors vary from model to model and you’ll have to check out reviews of these monitors in order to find the right one.




Leave a Comment

Pin It on Pinterest