When it comes to Monitor panels, the choice of TN vs VA vs IPS panel might confuse you. If you are looking to purchase a monitor and want to know which panel type will best fit your needs, this is the only article you need to read.
We will compare IPS vs VA panels with respect to gaming performance, office work, productivity, and programming.
Monitors generally come in three main panel types IPS, VA and TN. Each type has its own merits and demerits.
If you are in hurry, this table provides the gist of the article.
|Panel Type||Response Type||Refresh Rates||Colors||Contrast||Viewing Angle||Suitable For|
|IPS||2nd overall with|
with 1ms-5ms response time
|2rd overall. But Now available 60 Hz to 240 Hz||Best overall|
Supports RGB+DCI-P3+ Rec. 2020
|2nd overall with contrast ratio of 1000:1 and up||Best Overall. Proivde 178/178 vertical & horizontal||Photo editing, multi-player gaming, movies, color grading and video editing|
|VA||3rd overall with Response time of 2 ms to 7ms||2nd overall. Now capable of 60 hz-200 Hz||2nd Overall|
Supports RGB+ some DCI-P3
|Best overall with contrast ratio of 3000:1||2nd overall. But latest models provide 178/178 angles||Home and office work and gaming|
|TN||Best overtall with response time of 1 ms-2ms||Best overall. Fastest Refresh Rates of Up to 240 Hz||3rd oversall |
Only standard RGB
|3rd overall with 1000:1 contrast ratio||3rd overall.|
170/160 for horizontal & vertical viewing angles
|Best for esports competitive gaming|
- What is TN Panel?
- What is IPS Panel?
- What is VA Panel?
- Video: TN vs IPS vs VA Comparison
- Important Factors for Comparing IPS VS VA VS TN Panel
- TN VS IPS VS VA Panel: Gaming Performance Comparison
- TN vs VA vs IPS Panel: Office & Study Performance Comparison
- TN vs VA vs IPS Panel: Photo Editing & Color Grading Comparison
- TN vs VA vs IPS Panel: Movies Performance Comparison
- Final Verdict:
What is TN Panel?
TN stands for Twisted Nematics and these were the earliest panel types. They were flat-screen panels and they largely replaced cathode ray tubes technology. But they had some glaring demerits that led to the invention of VA and IPS panels. So far their biggest shortcoming remains their small viewing angles.
If you view a TN panel monitor or TV from the side, you will see a change of colors. Since most of the time Monitors and TVs are watched with friends and family, in that scenario they miserably fail to provide real visuals and colors.
But viewing angles were not the only drawback of TN panels, they also lacked in terms of color reproduction. These panels cannot portray a 24-bit true-color while their successors such as VA and IPS are superb in this area as well.
Similarly, their color gamut or range is also poor as compared to VA and IPS. So they have color accuracy problems. That makes them unsuitable for photo editing and color grading applications.
Also, check our guide on the best eye care monitors.
What is IPS Panel?
IPS technology was developed to sort out the drawbacks of TN panels. Limited viewing angles and poor color reproduction were the most notable limitations of the TN panel.
In IPS or In-plane switching panels, there is a parallel arrangement of liquid crystals to glass substrate instead of a vertical arrangement. Electrode placement and crystal structure difference from VA panel. The contrast ratio is lower due to more space occupied by the electrodes.
IPS panels are best for shared viewing because they’re wide almost up to 180-degree viewing angles. Wide viewing angles will give you impressive image quality maybe you are watching the screen from the side.
20 to 30% more color space is offered by the basic IPS panel as compared to the finest VA panel. The high refresh rate of the IPS panel will give you a more smooth image and enhance your fluid gaming experience.
Black uniformity of IPS panels is poor as compared to VA panels. VA and especially TN offer more accuracy of black levels. You will not see a bright image in the center of the screen in the IPS panel-based monitor. IPS glow is another drawback of the IPS panel type. You will see some distractive light patches on the screen.
Check our review of the best monitor under 150 dollars.
What is VA Panel?
In VA or vertical alignment panel type, the alignment of liquid crystals to the glass substrate is in the vertical direction. The most phenomenal strength of the VA panels is their contrast ratio, which makes them most suitable for media consumption.
The contrast ratio is much greater in the VA panel as compared to the IPS panel. Due to the high contrast ratio, most TV manufacturers use VA panels. Which means you can see a brighter image. The black uniformity of the VA panel is better than the IPS panel so you will see the more perfect image in the screen center with no light effects.
VA is relatively less expensive than the IPS monitors but it is by no means cheaper. VA has a slower response time than IPS panels.
You can find high refresh rates but more latency effects result in more ghosting and motion blur. Due to the above-mentioned reason, competitive gamers should avoid this panel. VA has the best advantage over the IPS in its contrast ratio.
Video: TN vs IPS vs VA Comparison
Important Factors for Comparing IPS VS VA VS TN Panel
Let’s first discuss 6 key factors for comparing different panel types. These factors impact picture quality, colors, contrast, and gaming performance.
1-Response time Comparison:
It is the time that the monitor usually takes to shift from one color to another. It is measured in terms of going from black to white and black again. Most of the monitors have less than 10 milliseconds of response time. The lower the response time, the better it is! And TN panel provides the lowest response time of 1 ms, followed by IPS and VA. Though today IPS panels can also provide 1 ms panel, it becomes a little costly.
2-Refresh rate Comparison:
Refresh rate means the number of times your monitor updates new images in one second. A 75 Hz refresh rate means that the display updates 75 times per second. You need a higher refresh rate for smoother image quality and experience. Here again, TN leads with a max refresh rate of 240 Hz while IPS and VA are almost close to each other.
3-Image quality & Color Comparison
Image quality is typically described in pixels per inch. Higher resolution means more pixels per inch are present, which will create a high-quality image. IPS panels are the best in this category due to their great color quality.
4-Contrast ratio Comparison
The contrast ratio is the luminance between the brightest white and the darkest black that a monitor can produce. Usually, monitors have a contrast ratio of 1000:1. A higher contrast ratio means a deeper black. Here VA panels are better with a 3000:1 contrast ratio while TN and IPS both have a 1000:1 contrast ratio.
5-Viewing angles Comparison
Wider viewing angles mean you will feel no difference whether you are watching the screen from the front or sides till 180 degrees. This becomes critical when more people are watching the screen. So everybody will see the same quality image while sitting at the front or at the side. So always go for wider viewing angles. And here IPS leads the game with 178-degree angles and VA is the second. Here TN panels fail miserably and this is one of the biggest faults of TN.
6-Black uniformity Comparison
Black uniformity means the ability of the monitor to show solid black over the entirety of the screen. Better black uniformity means a monitor will not show distracting colors or light glow over the screen.
TN VS IPS VS VA Panel: Gaming Performance Comparison
If you are a gaming geek and you need the best monitor for your existing setup. You need to go with either IPS or TN panels. Since TN panels have fewer viewing angles as compared to IPS, but they have insane refresh rates and the lowest response time, they are best for competitive online gamers.
While for casual PC gaming IPS is the best choice. Here is the detailed analysis.
Firstly, you need a slower response time and a higher refresh rate for gaming use. When we compare the panel type for their response time and refresh time, the TN panels are far ahead in the game. So Esports and competitive gaming prefer TN panels.
But refresh rate and response time are not all that matters! Some people prefer image quality, color, and viewing angles.
And when it comes to the image and color quality, the IPS panel has the highest color gamut and best image quality. In this field, it is much better than VA and TN.
Another factor where IPS and VA perform better than TN is the black uniformity. This one is also an important factor when you are using the screen in a dark room. Here VA is much better, but we have to compromise a little.
Now comes the viewing angle. IPS is the undisputed winner in this department. When you are playing a game on the screen with your competitor or friends. You might be seeing the screen from the side, not exactly from the front. So the wider viewing angles become vital here.
As the IPS panel has wider viewing angles almost up to 178, the IPS panel has a competitive edge over the VA panel. While TN panels are absolute losers in this department.
In sum, for competitive gaming TN is preferred but for PC high-end gaming IPS is the best.
Also, check our guide on the best monitors for RTX 3080.
TN vs VA vs IPS Panel: Office & Study Performance Comparison
When you are using your setup for the study or office use. Still, you need to specify what type of work you will do on the system. Then you will be able to find out which panel type will fulfill your need of the hour.
But overall, VA panels do great with office and study needs. As the contrast ratio of the VA panel is much higher as compared to the IPS panel. When you are reading a book of your study material or an official document, you need a brighter screen. So you will definitely prefer a VA panel over the IPS panel. By taking the result from the above-given details review, you can conclude that VA is the winner in this aspect.
The only thing you need to look at is the refresh rate. if your study or office work has much involvement of videos then you need a higher refresh rate to see a smoother visualization. So you have to go for the IPS panel type which has a higher refresh rate. If your work does not require great refresh rates, then you can go with IPS. Overall a 75 Hz refresh rate will do a great job for office and study work.
TN vs VA vs IPS Panel: Photo Editing & Color Grading Comparison
LCD monitors are widely used in photo and video editing due to their high-quality contrast ratio, brightness level, wider viewing angles, and color gamut compatibility. The aspect of the color gamut and color accuracy is important in the photo and video editing.
The IPS panel delivers a larger color gamut and precise color reproduction as compared to the VA panel. So for the purpose of photo and video editing you need an IPS panel. By following the above-detailed features review you can declare the IPS panel as the winner of this aspect.
When you are using your system for photo and video editing, you need at least a 7ms response time for your photo and video editing system panel type.
As the IPS panel has more response time than the VA panel, so you need to take the IPS panel for the editing of photos and videos.
You don’t need all the high refresh rates for the photo and video editing work. A refresh rate of 60Hz is just fine for this purpose. So the consideration of the refresh rate aspect for selecting the required panel is not very much important. So you can select the panel type of either IPS
When you are sharing a screen with your partner either for help or coordination while doing the photo and video editing work. Wider viewing angles are significant features of the screen on which you are working.
As the IPS panel has wider viewing angles than the VA panel so it will give you a more perfect experience of sharing a working screen. So you can conclude from the discussion that IPS is a winner for the viewing angle aspect.
TN vs VA vs IPS Panel: Movies Performance Comparison
Different panel types used in liquid crystal displays have their different advantages and disadvantages based on the purpose for which you are using this panel type. So when you are going to select a panel type for your setup. Then you have to keep in mind the main purpose of using the monitor.
Now we need to look at the factors that matter more in movies. These factors image quality, color gamut and accuracy, refresh rate, and viewing angles. So let’s dive into details.
Refresh rate mainly described how many frames of the video source will move per second. So the refresh rate has an important part of watching a movie. So if you are going to choose a panel type for you to watch a movie or a video on it.
So you need a panel type with a higher refresh rate. As IPS panel has a higher refresh rate as compared to the VA panel type. So the winner in this aspect for the movies watching is the IPS panel type.
If you are using a monitor for watching a movie then the image quality is your most important aspect. IPS panel type has more color gamut. So the image quality of the IPS panel type will be much better than the VA panel type. Best image reproduction needs in watching movies.
So for movie watching, you can prefer the IPS panel type over the VA panel type. Which will give you the best experience of image quality. By following the above discussion, the winner concerning this aspect is the IPS panel type.
When you are watching a movie in a huge gathering, then viewing angles are more important. Everyone can see the scene exactly, doesn’t matter where that person is sitting. Either at the front of the screen or at some angle. That person will enjoy the charm of the movie the same as others. So the result of the above discussion is that the winner of the aspect is the IPS panel.
We have gone through a detailed discussion of every aspect of the TN vs VA vs IPS panel. All panel types are very very different technologies with their own strengths and weaknesses.
The IPS panel is overall a superior technology to the VA and TN panel due to its wider angles and colors.
But in certain cases, VA is still the best option. And in other cases, TN is still the no. one choice.
Here the main deciding factor is your usage and requirement. You have to pick the panel type that fulfills your purpose in the best possible manner.