In recent years, IPS has been far more popular than VA and is often considered the more dividend option, but in fact, both panel types have benefits and drawbacks that you should consider before purchasing. The response time of VA panels used to be faster than IPS panels.
Regarding response time and refresh rate, IPS panels can reach 4ms and 280Hz, respectively, without sacrificing color accuracy, brightness, or viewing angles. Because of this, IPS panels are the best choice for gaming, while the lower cost of VA may make it the best choice for the office.
Let’s figure out more about VA & IPS panels through this detailed comparison.
VA Panel: An Overview
Vertical alignment (VA) panels are liquid crystal display (LCD) technology that uses vertically aligned crystals. The nematic liquid crystals are thus vertically aligned concerning the glass substrate.
When power is applied, the crystal molecules tend to arrange themselves perpendicular to the electric field and thus parallel to the substrate surfaces. When the panel is turned off, the axis of the LCD molecules is vertical to the substrate, preventing light from passing through the screen like window shades.
VA was developed following IPS to create a hybrid of the two technologies. It improves the contrast ratio and incorporates the wide viewing angles of IPS LCD panels. VA panels are best known for achieving high refresh rates at a low cost, which is ideal for budget gamers.
Vertical alignment panels are notorious for ghosting. When a VA panel TV or monitor is left on an unchanging image for an extended time, the image can be burned into the screen.
Some users may be familiar with this because movie DVD menus were accidentally left on overnight, resulting in a burnt picture. This is referred to as “ghosting.” Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent this other than to turn off the panel when not in use.
VA Panel Pros & Cons
- The highest color contrast ratio available.
- VA panels have much darker blacks than TN or IPS panels.
- Capable of high refresh rates of up to 360 Hz.
- It is reasonably priced.
- The color gamut is narrower than that of IPS.
- The viewing angle is more limited than IPS.
- Response time is slow.
IPS Panel: An Overview
In-Plane Switching (IPS) is one of the display technologies used in TFT-LCDs (Thin Film Transistor Liquid Crystal Displays). It was designed to be an alternative to twisted nematic display panels. Hitachi was the first to develop IPS.
They discovered a method to alter the physical behavior of the liquid crystal layer by moving the liquid crystal molecules in parallel with the thin film transistors. Compared to traditional TN panel technology, this resulted in significantly wider viewing angles.
LG has taken IPS to the next level with S-IPS, super in-plane switching, and AH-IPS, advanced high-performance in-plane switching, since then.
The first version of IPS already had a much wider color gamut than TN display panels, but decades of development have brought IPS to the point where TN only outperforms IPS displays in response time.
IPS panels typically have a response time of 4ms. TN panels still have a consistent response time of 1ms. The difference in response time will be insignificant for office work, school projects, home management, and organizational purposes. A user who enjoys PC gaming will quickly notice the difference between racing or competitive Shooters.
IPS displays are also far superior for entertainment. The wide viewing angle is ideal for watching TV and movies with a large seating arrangement. The viewing angle prevents image quality loss when viewers are not directly in front of the screen, so even guests at the far ends of the group can see the movies or TV shows.
IPS panel Pros & Cons
- A fantastic color palette.
- Broad viewing angles.
- Quick response time Capable of up to 280Hz refresh rates.
- Efficient use of energy.
- It is frequently refreshed. You’ll have a fun and fluid gaming experience.
- Response time is slower than that of TN & VA panels.
- At extreme, unrealistic viewing angles, IPS glow can be costly.
- There is a lack of black homogeneity.
Significant Differences Between VA and IPS Panel
- At all times, the liquid crystals in IPS are horizontally aligned. Liquid crystals are vertically aligned in VA panels.
- IPS provides greater viewing angles with no color shift between horizontal and vertical directions. VA panels have limited viewing grades, resulting in image degradation.
- IPS panels have a 1000:1 contrast ratio, whereas VA panels have a color contrast ratio of 3000:1 or 6000:1, which is the best available.
- The black-level management on IPS panels is poor. The blacks in VA panels are much darker.
- Compared to Vertical Alignment or Twisted Nematic panels, In-Plane Switching boards have a more comprehensive color range and the best viewing angles.
- Although In-Plane Switching panels can respond much faster than Vertical Alignment panels, they are still slower than twisted Nematic panels.
- Vertical Alignment panels provide the highest contrast and image depth of any monitor.
- For graphic design and professional use, IPS displays are the preferred technology.
- Although less expensive than IPS displays, VA monitors are not as widely available as IPS or TN displays.
- IPS and TN panels outperform VA panels in terms of gaming performance. TN panels are frequently referred to as the “go-to” gaming technology.
IPS vs VA: Detailed Comparison of Features
The contrast ratio is a metric that measures how dark the color black appears on display, expressed as an x:1 ratio: the more significant the x, the better. Although IPS are excellent at color accuracy in general, it struggles to produce true black, and even the best IPS monitors and TVs can only display a very dark grey rather than true black.
Most IPS monitors have a 1000:1 contrast ratio, which isn’t terrible but isn’t great. However, some monitors can achieve a contrast ratio of around 2000:1. Local dimming and HDR can improve the contrast ratio on some displays.
Local dimming enhances the appearance of IPS and VA displays by using a more complex backlight with multiple LEDs that can be turned on and off. HDR, however, boosts brightness for colors that require it.
When these two factors are combined, some displays can significantly increase the contrast ratio. However, these features will not improve an IPS display’s contrast ratio to a typical VA display. Poorly implemented local dimming can backfire by causing more visual issues than it solves.
Image Quality & Viewing Angles
We will focus on the consent colors of IPS and VA panels, how the two panels contrast light and dark areas, and their viewing angles. An IPS gaming monitor has wide viewing angles, so you can see sharp images even if you’re sitting far away from the screen. A VA panel has a nearly identical color gamut.
However, the viewing angle of a VA screen is slightly narrower than that of an IPS monitor. VA gaming monitors have the intensity of their contrast ratio. We can notice how distinct the distinction between dark and light areas is, and how this may aid in the rapid identification of situations that may endanger your chances of winning.
Color accuracy and coverage on VA displays can be good (even at wide angles), but colors on VA displays aren’t always uniform. The center of VA monitors often has more gamma than the edges of the screen, making colors less accurate depending on the viewing angle and distance between the viewer and the display.
Although IPS are generally superior to VA in terms of color accuracy and coverage, VA panels are perfectly adequate for most users. Only professional photo and video editors will be disappointed by a VA monitor that only covers 90% of the DCI-P3 color space, which is quite adequate for gamers and content consumers.
Pixel response time is measured in milliseconds and refers to how quickly a monitor can switch from one color to another (typically black to white or gray to gray). A quicker response time results in less motion blur and a clearer picture in games with fast-moving scenes.
IPS panels have the lower response times of the two, typically ranging from 1 to 3ms for the fastest panels (some even going as low as 0.5ms).
Some VA monitors have been specifically as low as 1ms GTG with overdrive. However, faster response times can result in inverse ghosting, which causes bright artifacts to appear behind fast-moving objects on a screen.
IPS has significantly faster refresh rates than VA. IPS can reach 500Hz, whereas VA can only reach 240Hz. However, the vast majority of VA displays can only do 144Hz or 165Hz; only a few VA monitors can do 240Hz. IPS is the clear winner for those who require extremely high refresh rates.
Even if VA was capable of 360Hz, it would probably not be very good due to its short response times. A 360Hz display refreshes every 2.7ms, which is significantly less than what VA is capable of.
VA vs IPS: Choose the Best Panel According to Your Work Type?
1. For Programming
IPS panels are superior because of the wide range of viewing angles they offer.
2. For Studies & Learning
The use of VA monitors is preferable in this particular scenario. You can save money if the system has a quick response time, and having a high refresh rate is not that important.
3. For Editing Videos & Images
Because they provide superior color reproduction, IPS monitors are increasingly popular. Some VA panels have expansive color gamuts, although these displays typically exhibit motion blur.
4. For Competitive Gaming
Because of their quick response times and refresh rates, which are essential for playing competitive games, IPS panels are preferable for use in gaming.
Which is Better for Gaming? VA vs. IPS
Before deciding on a panel type, it is crucial to give careful consideration to many factors because both IPS and VA panels have benefits as well as drawbacks. Examine displays made with VA panels if you want a monitor with an exceptional contrast ratio.
You can find screens that provide a satisfying gaming experience in the vast majority of games, and this is made possible by the availability of VA monitors that have a slower response time. Monitors with an IPS panel are something to consider if you want excellent color reproduction, a wide viewing angle, and overall picture quality that is appealing to the eye.