VA, TN, IPS Lcd Panels What Are They And Which Is Better?

There is no doubt that many users when they think about buying a new screen, they often may not care much about the type of panel or screen technology they are about to buy, as they are concerned, for example, with response speed, refresh rate, display resolution, and so on, which are important in themselves. Although all of these things “combined” provide what you may really need in your next screen, some important details such as coverage of the color gamut, viewing angle and other things depend greatly on the type of display panel itself (which in turn is divided into IPS, TN, and TN panels). VA basically) is very important, and relieves the user of “some” marketing tricks targeting new users in the world of technology.

So, from the technical side, we can say that the first steps that you as a user must do when thinking about buying a new screen is to know the technology on which this screen is built. Which in turn will save you a lot of time and effort in searching for the best balance between the specifications of each screen you pass by.

From this standpoint also, we can say that understanding the essential differences between the three famous types of LCD screens will save you a lot of effort, as you will know the advantages and disadvantages of each type, and on the basis of this will make it easier for you to choose the best according to your use, and will make you more aware of what What these different terms mean. Shall we start?


LCD panels consist of several layers, including backlights, polarizing filters, and the liquid crystal layer itself. It is this liquid crystal layer that determines the intensity of the light that is allowed to exit the backlight panel, and in what colors, whether red, green or blue “which are the colors of the pixels as we talked about in several previous articles”. To control this particular intensity or intensity of light, a voltage is applied to the liquid crystals, which physically moves the crystals from one position to another. As for how these crystals are arranged when voltage is applied to them and how they move when voltage is applied, this is the fundamental difference between TN, VA and IPS panels.

TN boards

It is the oldest LCD technology and stands for twisted nematics. This name refers to the twisted nematic effect, an effect that allows liquid crystal molecules to be controlled by voltage. Of course, it is not so simple when it comes to the nature of the work of LCD screens that operate with the TN effect, but we can summarize the idea of ​​the work that the TN effect is used primarily to change the alignment or arrangement of liquid crystals when voltage is applied to them. For example, when there is no voltage, which in turn means that the crystals are “stopped”, the liquid crystal molecules rotate by 90 degrees, which allows “with polarization layers” of light to pass through. In contrast, when a voltage is applied, these crystals are not twisted or aligned in the same shape or arrangement, blocking the light.

VA panels or vertical alignment

The second type of panels are VA panels or vertical alignment which stands for vertical alignment. As the name suggests, this technology uses vertically aligned liquid crystals that tilt when a voltage is applied to allow light to pass through. And this is really the main difference between IPS and VA panels. Whereas, with VA panels, the crystals are perpendicular to the following substrates or panels, while they are parallel to them in the case of IPS panels.

IPS Panels

IPS is an acronym for in-plane switching, like all LCD screens, this type of monitor also uses voltage to control the alignment and arrangement of the liquid crystals inside the panel. But unlike TN panels, IPS LCDs use a different crystal orientation, where the crystals are parallel to the glass panels next to them, hence the term “switching”. Where, instead of “twisting or moving” the crystals to adjust the amount of light allowed to pass through, the IPS crystals spin around themselves in place, which really has a range of benefits.

It is also worth noting that there are many variants or sub-versions of these technologies, and some things are often modified more to achieve better results, so you will usually see different brand names depending on the manufacturer of these panels. For example, AU Optronics uses the term “AHVA” to refer to IPS panels, not VA panels as the name might suggest. While the popular Samsung uses the term PLS, brands like LG simply use the same term IPS. On the other hand, for VA panels, AU Optronics calls them “AMVA”, and “SVA” is what Samsung and others call them.

So, we can now say in a nutshell, that TN panels use warp alignment, while IPS panels use parallel alignment and swivel, VA panels use vertical alignment and tilt. Now let’s get into some performance characteristics to discover together the main purpose of the article. Let’s learn together how each technology differs from the other, and see in general what technology is best in the different performance categories and uses.

Viewing angle

The most obvious difference right away when comparing the three panels TN, IPS or VA for the first time is the viewing or viewing angle. Incidentally, it is one of the things that has not changed significantly since these technologies entered the world of technology. TN panels have the weakest viewing angles, as significant shift in color and contrast occurs when viewing the screen from either horizontal or vertical orientations in particular. Although viewing angles are usually rated as 170/160, realistically you will get pretty bad changes when viewing anywhere except in the center of view (right in front of the screen).

But that does not mean that this type of screen is hopeless in this respect, as high-quality TNs tend to be somewhat better but in general this type of TNs remains the worst, and can affect the productivity experience as any Shifts to color accuracy in things like photo editing or clip adjustments.

In contrast, VA and IPS panels are significantly better at viewing angles, with IPS panels generally providing the best overall viewing experience for the viewing angle. This is where you’ll generally see 178/178 ratings for viewing angles, and while that doesn’t mean there’s no color rendering or brightness shifted at off-center angles, those bumps will be much less noticeable than on TN panels, which is less noticeable even with more modern IPS panels.

Finally, VA panels are also good but not quite as good as IPS panels, as they can suffer more from the contrast ratio than IPS panels when viewed from an acute angle. But the thing that affects VA viewing angles more than this is the fact that many VA monitors out there today are curved, which means lower viewing angles due to these curves. This is something to consider when choosing between IPS and VA

Brightness and contrast

In fact, since the liquid crystal layer is separate from the backlight layer in this type of screen, there is no technical reason for TN, IPS, or VA screens to differ in brightness. When you compare 100 monitors using the latest test suite out there, the average SDR brightness for IPS panels will hover around 385 nits, versus 367 nits for TN monitors and 346 nits for VA monitors, so there’s really not much difference in average brightness.

But on the other hand, the contrast ratio has another story. TN panels have the worst contrast ratios, as the twist technique isn’t particularly great at producing deep blacks. In the best case, you’ll see contrast ratios of around 1000:1, but these numbers are usually lower after the actual monitor calibration, in the range from 700:1 to 900:1. Among the screens tested by Techspot, the average TN panels tested have an average contrast ratio of 872:1, which is poor, so if you want a rich, beautiful black, the best solution is of course an OLED screen. Since we are talking about LCD screens, it is best to stay away from TN screens altogether.

IPS screens are the next step this time around, although the contrast ratios of the IPS screens already are not much different from their TN sibling. It’s still a bit better, though, as in the worst case – particularly LG’s current line of Nano IPS panels – you won’t see contrast performance that’s different from typical TN panels, with a ratio just under 1000:1. But because this type of display is a bit of a special case, it’s more common with IPS screens to see contrast ratios hovering around 1000:1 or a bit higher, with some ideal cases where the contrast ratio is 1500:1 The best you can find with IPS panels today. However, among the IPS panels tested by Techspot, their average contrast ratio was 1037:1, 19% higher than the average contrast ratio of TN monitors.

Finally, if you really want to have an LCD that can produce very deep blacks, you’ll have to use a VA panel. These panels are best suited to great contrast ratios, which typically start at 2000:1, higher than the best IPS alternatives out there today. Rather, let me tell you that there are some monitors that have a contrast ratio of up to 5000:1 VA panels. And some TVs can push the contrast ratio even higher. So, it’s also clear that typical or standard contrast ratios for this type is also a bit better than the other two technologies, so when manufacturers include a 3000:1 contrast ratio for their VA monitor, the ratio is usually correct. Whereas, on average, the contrast ratio of the VA monitors tested by Techspot was 2898:1.

So, with that in mind, VA screens usually offer about 2.5-3 times better black output than IPS or TN screens, which means they’re great for night scenes.

And before you ask dear reader about the actual benefit of the contrast ratio, let me tell you that the contrast ratio at the beginning is the ratio between the maximum and minimum brightness, or in other words, the ratio between the brightest white and the darkest black on the screen. To make it more clear, let’s take two different variance ratios for example. A contrast ratio of 1000:1 means that the brightness of a completely white image is 1,000 times greater than the brightness of a completely black image on a monitor. So, monitors with a high contrast ratio, such as 100,000:1, have much darker black levels than monitors with lower contrast ratios, such as 1000:1. It is also worth noting that a higher contrast ratio also produces images with more saturated colors because the difference between black and white Larger.

Practical evidence of this point is that almost all monitors today use some type of matte anti-glare coating, which can effectively reduce contrast in brighter viewing environments (the room or place where the monitor is located). So, if you’re using your screen during the day, or under artificial lights, the difference between TNs, IPS and VAs in contrast ratio will be less noticeable, as natural rays won’t help to make the difference.

But if you typically use your monitor in a darker environment, such as playing with the lights off or enjoying a late-night stealth session, you’ll easily discover VA monitors’ huge advantage in this area.

It’s also worth noting that while IPS panels tend to be a middle ground for contrast, they do suffer from a phenomenon called “IPS glare,” which is an apparent white glow when viewing dark images from an acute angle. You own an IPS screen. To remedy this problem, the best IPS panels out there display minimal glare but it is still a problem on all IPS screens, and glare can also vary from screen to screen.

Color quality

Currently, there isn’t much difference between LCD types when it comes to covering “standard” color spaces like sRGB or Rec. 709, which is the color space that is used by default in the Windows operating system and is also widely used for video content. This small difference is such that even TN panels, which historically had the “worst” color quality of the three, now cover more than 95% of the sRGB color space at a minimum for any monitor worth buying. The exceptions to this are (and I’m sorry to say that) scrap of very economical screens, which unfortunately some OEMs like to penalize users who buy low-cost laptops. It is currently rare for desktop monitors to have less than 90% color coverage for sRGB colors and you certainly shouldn’t buy them if it’s less than that.

For native 10-bit monitors, you’ll usually need to look for an IPS panel, which makes up the majority of native 10-bit panels. Indeed, some VA panels can do this, but they are rare and expensive. As most monitors you buy of this type that claim to be 10-bit, are actually 8-bit + FRC, that’s besides only some high-end professional VA monitors that actually offer a native 10-bit color experience.

The color gamut is the main difference between TN, IPS, and VA panels in terms of color quality. The best monitors these days is one that can cover a wider color gamut, such as DCI-P3 or Adobe RGB, plus two Rec color spaces. 2020. DCI-P3, and Rec. 2020 that are important for HDR videos and games. Whereas Adobe RGB space is more popular for working with large scale images. We won’t go into depth this time about color gamut when we already covered it in a previous article in our Display Technologies series.

In the beginning, IPS screens offer great color coverage, and we can say that they are the best among the three types in terms of color coverage, and this appears in their coverage of all sRGB colors and most of the DCI-P3 colors as well. Of course, this kind of “wide color space” boards provide a great experience with storytelling games, which always show great details in their world and colors play a big part in it. As an example of this point, let’s take the game Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla or Horizon ZD with their world full of natural diversity as an example, we will find many large details that need a screen that provides good colors to display, which is usually provided by IPS screens in this aspect. Which distinguishes it a lot from TN screens, which aren’t too bad right now, but they display very unsaturated colors and are well suited to SDR content.

Perhaps this point is the most important for more than one type of user. As well as content creators and people who work in the design field who will very much respect what IPS screens offer in this regard. However, this feature is also very important for AAA players and we can even say that even some of the most popular esports games for the graphics and color diversity of the environment will inevitably feel the difference.

And in the middle-come VA monitors, with some Level 1 VA monitors providing only sRGB color-field coverage, but today’s wide-range VA monitors typically cover between 85 and 90% of DCI-P3 or up to about 66% of the Rec color spectrum. 2020. This type generally does not have sufficient Adobe RGB coverage (less than 85%), which makes it more suitable for trying out videos or games, considering that some monitors from higher categories with VA panels can cover more than 98% DCI- P3, however, are special cases. But in general, VA monitors are considered to be the mid-range in terms of color gamut coverage.

Response time

So far, we can say that IPS screens are the best overall in terms of the previous factors of image, color, etc. But now some may interrupt me that IPS displays are not the best for the esports world due to other factors, such as response time and refresh rate. But let’s have a little discussion on this. In terms of definition, response time means the time that the pixels inside the LCD screen need to change from one color to another, such as switching from green to red, or to say from a fully activated state (white color) to a state of inactivation (black color) and then back to the state of activation again (i.e. back to the white color again). Usually, the shorter this time, the better the image quality and less noise or ghosting.

You may have noticed before that in the specifications of some monitors the response time is gtg or gray to gray. In fact, this means the response time required for the pixel to shift from one degree of gray to another, and yes, as we have warned now, my friend, this time is much less than the time needed to switch from the two poles of colors (ie from completely white to completely black). So, screens that come with a gtg response time but 1 millisecond come with an RGB or white to black response time more than that.

Previously, IPS screens were considered the least in this aspect, but nowadays most gaming monitors with IPS technology have a response time of 4ms in many cases (which is common with low-priced monitors). Although this does not cause major problems for many games, if you play a lot of racing or shooting games then you may struggle with some screens with low response time from ghosting or ghosting.

But since development is still steady, there are now also some IPS gaming monitors with a response speed of 2ms or 1ms, but they may be slightly higher in price.

All in all, we can say that the VA monitors of the highest category are a little faster, followed closely by the TN monitors with very small differences, and then IPS monitors come next in this category. However, the lower price categories, and we mean here the middle and economic category of screens, the traditional situation is as it is. You will see that TN screens are still the fastest, followed by IP screens, VA screens fall last this time, and the biggest reason is that companies are using panels with older manufacturing techniques in these categories.

So, it’s in the “mid-econ” category where the fastest response times occur on screens that come with TN panels, and are generally best for responsive gaming, such as esports.

Update modifiers

The symbol Hz in the description of the screen, which we see today as a major factor in the specifications of current screens, expresses the refresh rate of the screen (frequency), but what is the refresh rate specifically? Well, the screen refresh rate is the number of times the screen refreshes its own image per second, or more clearly, is the number of images displayed in each screen refresh per second.

Although at first glance it may be similar to frame rate, they are actually different, frame rate is the number of images that the graphic card processes in one second, that is, each of them is specific to a different device, the refresh rate is the part of the screen and the frame rate is a responsibility The graphic card itself.

There are many refresh rates for monitors nowadays, the most popular being 60Hz, 144Hz and 240Hz as well. As we mentioned, the higher this number, the higher the refresh rate of the image, meaning that the images and graphics on the screen will speak faster than other screens. This ultimately means a better experience with fast-moving games, such as FBS first-person shooting games, car games or e-sports games in general, which have gained a lot of attention in the recent period and a lot of popularity among the middle players, which is what other shows statistics.

In the past, IPS screens usually came with lower refresh rates compared to the price. This means that in the given price range, say X, you will find that IPS displays usually have the lowest refresh rates. But at the moment, that is no longer the case. Currently, there are IPS screens with very high refresh rates, as the current fastest monitor in this aspect from AU Optronics has a refresh rate of 360Hz and a resolution of 1080p. All three technologies provide screens with 240Hz refresh rates and 1080p resolution with ease. The main reason behind this is that companies are more interested in working on IPS screens than TN screens because of the less demand for them in the recent period, otherwise it is possible to see more of that from TN screens due to the nature of their design.


In fact, the process of evaluating and clearly comparing the three types of panels is more difficult than before, as we used to simply say that TN screens are the fastest and IPS screens are the best in terms of picture quality and colors, while VA screens are the intermediate solution between them. And to be frank, this description still exists to some extent in the screens of the middle and economic category. Whereas, TN monitors are still the fastest in this category, because even the cheapest TN monitors have a high speed, which makes them suitable for esports. However, it struggles against the other two in image quality, color, brightness, and viewing angle.

In contrast, VA monitors are a mixed bag of features and drawbacks. In the top class of monitors, VAs is very competitive with stellar speeds, no dark level smearing, and provide decent contrast ratios and good colour. Which is why it somewhat replaces IPS panels as an intermediate technology that offers some of everything. However, in the lower segment of the market, VA panels suffer from the large contrast ratios they are known for, but they suffer in speed of performance due to the use of the latest generation panels which makes them the slowest. This is mostly compensated for by the affordable pricing which makes it a suitable buying solution for those on a budget with some monitors.

As for IPS panels, we can say that they are the panels that have received the most attention and continue to improve every year. IPS displays are usually the most balanced option, with strengths in many areas including response speed, refresh rate, color gamut coverage and better viewing angles. You will find these strengths are widely present in all market segments, whether it is the upper, middle or economy segments, which makes IPS panels a great choice in terms of performance for the price.

Therefore, we cannot really give a clear, explicit or comprehensive answer and say this is the best technology. Each of them has certain advantages and suits different working conditions. And if you prefer greater color contrast at faster speeds, then a higher-end VA monitor is the right choice for you, whether for gaming or as a home theater for low-light gaming and viewing. If you want a cheap esports monitor, then TN monitors are best suited in this case. IPS screens remain as a better option in case you want a screen that can provide a balanced gaming, work and viewing experience with wide color coverage and high speed at the same time.


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