Home

 › 

Products

 › 

Vs.

 › 

LCD vs. LED for Gaming: Which One Is Better?

LCD vs. LED for Gaming: Which One Is Better?

Finding the best gaming monitor requires considering several factors. While the best monitor size for gaming is a matter of opinion, another debate revolves around LCD vs. LED for gaming. Which one is better? Fast refresh rates and advanced panel technology are always high on any gamer’s list of priorities. Here’s what you need to know about LCD and LED screens and which one is better for high-end gaming

LCD vs. LED: Side-by-Side Comparison

CharacteristicsLCDLED
Energy EfficiencyUses more energyUses less energy
BuildThicker and heavier designThin and lightweight design
HeatGenerates heatNo heat generation
Response Slower response timesFast response times
ContrastLowerHigher
BrightnessLowerHigher
LifespanShorterLonger
Dimming No local dimmingLocal dimming is available
RecyclingContains MercuryNo Mercury 
Capture More Image Details
Z-Edge 27-inch Curved LED Gaming Monitor
$169.99
  • 1500R curved monitor with FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 3000:1 contrast ratio
  • 200Hz refresh rate on DisplayPort and 144Hz on HDMI ports
  • 1ms response time
  • HDR and AMD Freesync
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/04/2024 02:03 pm GMT

LCD vs. LED: What’s the Difference?

The terms can be confusing. The acronyms LCD (liquid-crystal display) and LED (light-emitting diode) refer to a monitor’s technology or how it works. 

LCD Technology

LCD technology has fascinated scientists as early as the 1800s. In the 1960s, manufacturers learned how to use them in displays on everything from watches to TVs. LCD screens feature two pieces of polarized glass encasing a layer of liquid crystals. Electric currents pass through the crystalline layer blocking different light frequencies. For example, in a small digital watch, the blocked light creates a black display. In a TV or computer monitor, more advanced technology allows for a wider variety of color pixels.

All backlit displays require a light source. Early LCD screens used fluorescent lights. At the time and level of technology, these were some of the longest-lasting and most efficient light sources. Unfortunately, CCFL (cold-cathode fluorescent lamps) light sources contain mercury. Environmental concerns led researchers to look for a better lighting option. Modern LCD monitors now have LED backlighting, allowing them to be lighter, thinner, more evenly lit, and more energy-efficient than before. However, they still require more energy than same-size LED screens. 

LED Technology

LED displays use light-emitting diodes (tiny bulbs) to light the screen. Some modern high-performance monitors use mini-LEDs for very precise lighting control. Most LED screens use full-array LED backlighting or edge lighting. Full-array lighting evenly distributes LEDs across the screen for even lighting in all viewable areas. Edge lighting uses LEDs only around the perimeter of the screen and spreads the light through a plastic sheet. This form of lighting is cheaper to manufacture and less expensive for the buyer. 

LED HDR displays allow users to manually dim parts of the screen for a better viewing experience. This customizable “local dimming” can deepen blackness and create more dynamic color depending on what you’re watching. Local dimming is especially enhanced and more precise with mini-LED monitors because the diodes are only one-fifth the size of a standard LED. These monitors are more expensive. 

True-to-Life Images
PHILIPS 22-Inch Full HD LCD Monitor
$69.99
  • Full HD 1920 x 1080 LCD display
  • 75Hz refresh rate
  • 178 degree extra wide viewing angle
  • Adaptive-Sync technology
  • HDMI and VGA ports
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/04/2024 02:13 pm GMT

LCD vs. LED: 6 Must-Know Facts

  • LCD stands for “liquid crystal display” and LED stands for “light emitting diode.” 
  • Both LCD and LED refer to how a display works.
  • LCD monitors use liquid crystals sandwiched between two layers of glass to create images by changing the colors of pixels.
  • LED monitors use light-emitting diodes (tiny bulbs) to light the screen. 
  • LED displays can distribute diodes evenly across the screen (full-array lighting) or only around the perimeter of the screen (edge lighting). 
  • LED screens with local dimming allow users to customize the display by darkening or brightening portions of the screen.  

LCD vs. LED: Which One Is Better for Gaming? 

Young Woman Wearing Futuristic White Clothes and Neon Rings, Playing Online Strategy Video Game on a Computer with Curved Monitor. Beautiful Girl in Headphones Participating in an eSports Match
Serious gamers prefer the better resolution, refresh rate, and clarity of LED monitors.

Serious gamers prefer LED monitors as the far the better option. Regardless of the display size you prefer, they are brighter, have better contrast, give images more clarity and depth, and are easier on the eyes than LCD screens. LEDs can also display a wider range of colors for a more immersive gaming experience. Modern LED gaming monitors have lighting-fast response times and super-high refresh rates for smoother gameplay in newer, more intense gaming environments. 

LCD monitors offer great performance and visual characteristics for less intense games at a better price point. However, continuing gaming technology and graphics advancements demand a more technologically advanced gaming monitor to enjoy the fullest experience with newer games. 

  1. Z-Edge 27-inch Curved LED Gaming Monitor
    $169.99
    • 1500R curved monitor with FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution
    • 3000:1 contrast ratio
    • 200Hz refresh rate on DisplayPort and 144Hz on HDMI ports
    • 1ms response time
    • HDR and AMD Freesync
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/04/2024 02:03 pm GMT
  2. PHILIPS 22-Inch Full HD LCD Monitor
    $69.99
    • Full HD 1920 x 1080 LCD display
    • 75Hz refresh rate
    • 178 degree extra wide viewing angle
    • Adaptive-Sync technology
    • HDMI and VGA ports
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/04/2024 02:13 pm GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between LCD and LED display?

The light source is the primary difference between an LCD and an LED monitor. LCD screens use liquid crystal technology. An LED monitor uses colored light-emitting diodes.

Is LCD or LED monitors better for gaming?

Both LCD and LED monitors can provide an excellent gaming experience. However, LED screens have better clarity and responsiveness. Their dimming ability will improve screen contrast.

Between LCD vs. LED, which one is better overall?

LED monitors that use LEDs as a light source are better in the long run. LEDs are more responsive and energy-efficient. Their compact size leads to thinner and lighter screens. They also have a longer lifespan, which reduces the long-term cost of operation.

Can I still buy an LCD monitor?

Yes. More affordable LCD displays, such as the example we recommended in this article, are still available.

Can I get an LED monitor in any size?

Yes. LED gaming monitors are available in small to large sizes and in flat or curved designs.

To top