Whenever you are upgrading to a new gaming monitor, it is important to know what the screen technology is and what would be best for your gaming needs. There are many factors you may need to consider when purchasing a new monitor – resolution, panel type, refresh rates, response times, and backlight technology are all factors that should come into the equation. However, if you aren’t fully up to speed with the latest monitor tech, all these terms and different technologies can become a little confusing. So, IPS Vs. LED – what are they and what is the difference?
With quite a variety of different screen technologies available to gamers, it is important to be able to differentiate the major difference of IPS Vs. LED monitors and that is where WePC comes in.
Before we go over the main differences, let us first look at the basics of what IPS and LED screen technologies are.
VIDEO: IPS vs LED Monitors!
What Is IPS?
Let’s start at the top – what is IPS?
IPS stands for in-plane switching and is a type of panel technology for LCD (liquid crystal display) monitors. IPS monitors have historically offered superior image quality and viewing angles when compared to TN and VA alternatives.
IPS monitors are characterized as having the best color accuracy too, making them a great option for those who do more than just game. These added benefits of an IPS monitor also bring about extra costs, making them generally the most expensive out of the different panel technologies.
What Is An IPS Monitor
Simply put, an IPS monitor is one that comes equipped with an IPS panel. The technology, as mentioned above, has its own unique set of benefits – which often lead to an increased price tag over the alternatives. Having said that, we’ll be going into more detail regarding the intricate differences between TN, VA, and IPS further down the article. Before we do, let’s take a look at LED.
What’s An LED Technology Monitor?
LED stands for light-emitting diode and is a type of backlight technology with displays. This display technology utilizes LEDs to light up each pixel’s content. LED technology monitors offer a brighter display while consuming less power than others.
All LED monitors are technically LCD monitors but not all LCD monitors are LED. This may seem confusing but basically, both types of displays use liquid crystals to help create an image, with the difference being the backlight.
LED monitors are often less expensive, feature a broader dimming range, generally considered quite reliable, feature a higher dynamic contrast ratio, and are less impactful on the environment.
IPS And LED Monitors: What Are The Key Differences?
Now that we have a better understanding of what IPS and LED monitors are known for, let’s look at the areas in which they differ:
Starting off with the main area they differ, IPS Monitors are types of Panel Technology. LED Monitors, on the other hand, are Backlight Technologies.
Although they differ in technology, both can be compatible enough to work together. Until around 2014, plasma displays were the most commonly manufactured until LCD took over. It is worth pointing out, again, that LED and IPS monitor both use LCD (liquid crystal displays).
IPS monitors deliver specific quality images, which means they need more power to keep up with all the on-screen activity.
LED monitors may show brighter screens but they actually consume less power compared to IPS monitors. This is what makes LED monitors a more common LCD backlight technology today.
In the past, it was fair to say an IPS monitor had a much longer response time, but recent releases have shown a dramatic decrease in this, with top models shipping with as low as 1ms. IPS monitors were marketed towards consumers where a slower response time wasn’t a priority, with LED monitors usually being favored by competitive FPS players.
LED monitors, usually with TN or VA panels, feature low 1ms response times but with the viewing angles and color accuracy being worse, we see more and more competitive players moving to IPS as the technology improves.
Can you really notice a slow response time? While 5-10ms may seem small, fast-paced games like CS:GO, PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, Fortnite, Overwatch, and other FPS games in general, will show noticeable differences. This is because the IPS monitor has to process the images accordingly before throwing them back to the monitor.
Now monitors have it all, blistering response times, high-quality IPS panels, 240Hz+ refresh rates, and more, giving gamers the full package for their viewing pleasure.
IPS Monitor Refresh Rates
Like response times, IPS panels were historically much slower than TN and VA alternatives. They seemed to focus more heavily on color accuracy, viewing angles, and color gamut – whereas TN would prioritize speed. That said, and as monitor technology continues to evolve, IPS monitors are closing the gap between themselves and other panel technologies in terms of speed.
Nowadays, IPS monitors can offer upto 360Hz refresh rates, becoming some of the fastest on the market. Pair that with low 1ms response times – thanks to Over Drive and MPRT – and you have an incredibly responsive, color accurate panel.
- LCD monitors that utilize IPS panels paired with LED lights as the backlight
- LED-backlit displays feature in IPS panel or TN panels
- IPS panels utilize either LED or LCD backlight technology
No matter which angle you are looking from, IPS monitors allow you to see the monitor from wide angles (178° to be exact), without seeing color shifting. This means you can look at the monitor anywhere and not worry about changes in color.
LED monitors may not have the advantage of wide viewing angles but you can guarantee you’ll get a brighter screen in all corners.
With the IPS technology delivering clear and crisp images through their vibrant colors, alongside better color consistency too, you get a much more satisfying experience.
LED monitors tend to be poor at accurate reproduction of the color black but still have deep contrasts. The viewing angle of an LED monitor will also be poor, which can play havoc if you aren’t sat directly in front of it, making the colors look rather peculiar. Viewing angles don’t really matter when it comes to gaming so if you are sat directly in front you probably won’t notice much difference between the two technologies.
Without a doubt, IPS monitors are expensive across the board. Despite this, gamers find LCD LED monitors to be a great investment, especially for FPS titles or if you are on a budget.
For those into single-player AAA games or if you create content, video edit, or edit imagery, it is advisable you invest in an IPS monitor, for clear and crispy results.
As previously mentioned, IPS monitors consume much more power, delivering clear images. This extra power consumption means these types also give off more heat than their LED monitor counterparts.
Despite LED monitors featuring a much brighter display, they still boast lower power consumption and lower heat output.
They may differ in technology but you can see a handful that features a combination of the two technologies:
After looking at the differences between IPS and LED types of technologies, it doesn’t really feel fair to compare the two. After all, one is a type of LCD panel, and the other a type of LCD backlight, the bottom line is they are different.
Regardless, IPS monitors are perfect for graphical games, creating content, or professionals that edit imagery and videos. The sharp image display and quality colors may be perfect for gaming but it may not be worth it for pure competitive FPS players.