Curved vs. Flat Monitors: Things You Should Know Before Buying A Gaming Monitor

By Jerry |
When buying a computer monitor, in addition to factoring in price, the most crucial decisions as far as specifications go involve picking the size, resolution, refresh rate and display aspect ratio of a monitor to fulfill your needs. With the advancement of technology—though newer when compared to standard flat monitors—curved monitors have now been around for a good while.

Competition today is fiercer than ever with major brands launching their own curved monitors, making their prices more and more affordable, i.e., two monitors with similar specifications will be quite close to each other in terms of affordability, regardless of whether they’re curved or flat.

As you look to upgrade your monitor, have you noticed curved monitors in the market? Let’s take a look at the characteristics of curved monitors, and explore the benefits they can offer.
 

Curved Displays: From Movie Screens to Your Computer Monitors

Everybody enjoys the immersive experience of watching movies on the big screen in a movie theater. If you take a closer look, you'll notice that these big screens are not flat, but are in fact, concave, curved surfaces with a slight arc. It is due to this arc design that the picture presented and the viewing distance remain consistent — no matter where you’re sitting. This eliminates extreme viewing angles and allows for an extremely comfortable visual experience.

As display panel technologies advance, curved screen design is starting to become more prevalent. First, this design was applied to televisions, improving the quality of audiovisual entertainment in the living room. Since then, its popularity has spread to the PC market, with more and more computer monitors opting for a curved screen design.

 

Larger Screen and Optimal Curvature for Immersion

In order to get the best viewing experience, viewing distance and monitor screen size must also be considered. Curvature is usually denoted by “xxxxR”, with common curvatures including 4000R, 3000R, 1800R, and 1500R. “1800” indicates the radius, with “mm” as the units of measure; the smaller the radius, the larger the magnitude of bending. Therefore, the smaller the curvature number, the larger the magnitude of bending: 3000R is more curved than 4000R, and 1800R is even more curved.

The typical viewing distance for televisions is further back than with computer monitors, so their magnitude of bending doesn't need to be very large. A computer monitor is much closer to the user; a larger magnitude of bending will result in a better viewing experience. The 1800R curvature is the so-called “gold standard curvature," and is emphasized by many brands as such when it comes to computer monitors.

The shift to larger displays has been gradual but steady as well. Various improvements in display technologies, as well as the surge of affordable high-resolution panels, have made bigger monitors (27 inches and higher) more accessible to buyers. They offer a much better visual experience to gamers and are becoming extremely popular. These larger gaming monitors are definitely more immersive, but they come with a set of new problems when using a flat display. Fortunately, curved monitors can mitigate these concerns. Let us explore more about the benefits in the following paragraph.
 

Curved vs. Flat: The Benefits of Curved Monitor

More Comfortable: Less Eye Strain

Whether you’re gaming, working, studying, or even just browsing, chances are, you’re looking at your screen. Multiple studies have shown that people across the globe spend a good chunk of their waking hours staring at a screen. In fact, this study by Penn State found that Americans spend an average of up to 10 hours a day in front of a screen!

Since this trend doesn’t seem to be dipping anytime soon, you have to make sure that you’re reducing strain on your eyes using any means necessary.

Here's where curved monitors can help. Researches conducted across the globe have found that people using a curved monitor for a prolonged period reported less/no ‘eye pain’ or ‘fatigue’ compared to those using a flat screen monitor of the same size and specifications.
 
"Among the nine factors in the questionnaire, the score of “eye pain” was significantly higher for the flat monitor versus the 1000R curved monitor after the visual tasks" –
Published Paper in the US National Library of Medicine


Gaming often requires your eyes to keep up with fast-paced motion and is considered an intense visual activity. You’re bound to experience fatigue or discomfort when playing on large flat screen monitors for an extended duration of time. A curved monitor considerably reduces this strain on your eyes.
 

More Immersive: Better Viewing Experience

Being seated at the center of all the action is an experience that can be truly appreciated by those who’ve used curved displays.

Picture yourself standing directly in front of the screen's center while using a flat monitor: the distance from your eyes to the middle of the screen differs from the distance between your eyes and the sides of the screen. The uneven distance of those edges in flat screens causes images and objects at the far end of your vision to appear distorted.

The arc design of curved monitors means both sides of the monitor are slightly bent inwards, so the viewing distance remains the same. Curved monitors mimic the human field of view so that every detail remains within your line of sight. The optimum use of your peripheral vision considerably enhances immersion. For a moment, you might even forget that you’re staring at a screen during your gaming sessions!
 

Better Color Consistency and Viewing Angles

Looking at a large flat display comes with certain caveats. One of those is that you’ll often have to look at the edges of these monitors at extreme angles. Due to the nature of certain displays, you’ll see substantial color variation across the screen. Some edges might even seem blotchy or drained of color.

A curved display can come to the rescue yet again. The curve on these monitors allow you to see every part of the screen at almost the same angle, and what's more, it completely eliminates extreme viewing angles. This ensures that colors remain more consistent across the monitor. Whether you’re looking at the edge or dead center, the picture will look as gorgeous as ever.
 

Better Game Awareness for Fast-Paced Games

You might miss an enemy lurking at the periphery of your large display when looking at a flat screen. Due to their size, you often have to move your whole head to see what’s happening at the edge of the screen. Even when you do, the lack of color consistency is bound to throw you off. This means that you miss a lot of what’s happening inside your game.

The more realistic, immersive viewing experience provided by curved monitors is not only great for watching movies, but also enhances video game action of fast-paced game genres, suche as the NBA 2K18 basketball matches, GTA5 car chases, nail-biting PUBG battle royale games, League of Legends games, etc.

If your main focus is playing video games and watching videos, a large 1800R curved monitor is your best bet. You might even consider splurging on three curved monitors and bringing them home to build yourself a triple monitor setup. This will allow you to experience a surround curved screen view with no blind spots, taking entertainment and multitasking to a completely new level!
 

Why Not Curve Your Next Monitor?

We’ve established that large curved displays are popular and affordable than you thought. Gaming with curved monitors also come with a host of neat benefits that will make your gaming sessions much more enjoyable.

According to WitsView of TrendForce, MSI has named as the world’s fastest-growing gaming monitor brand. In just two years, We has come a long way in gaming monitors industry, elbowing out fierce and more experienced competitors in this space. We attribute this success to our formidable lineup of gaming monitors that address most gamer requirements to perfection, uncompromising build quality, industry-leading specifications, wide color gamut, and superb design.

If you are considering to have your first curved gaming monitor, have a look of our Optix MAG271CQR 27” Gaming Monitor or our latest 4K Gaming Monitor - Optix MAG321CURV- an astounding 4K resolution (2160p) pairs perfectly with the 1500R curved display to enhance your in-game visuals like never before. All support for AMD FreeSync further ensures that your gaming sessions aren’t marred by screen tearing and frustrating input lag.

Or do you want a chance to try out the best curved monitors for free? Head on down to WhyNotCurved and fill out your details. You stand a chance to be chosen to test our latest curved monitors and also meet a famous influencer in person!
 

Find out more MSI Curved Gaming Monitor
https://www.msi.com/Landing/best-monitor-for-gaming
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