With that said then you could argue that the £100 limit is a bit tight in this instance - you should really be spending as much as you can afford to pick up the best monitor you can. Prices of monitors though are at a point where you can grab a 22-inch screen for a ton - and we're not talking the VGA-only, 1,680 x 1,050 screens here either. You can pick up a full HD panel with all the inputs your heart could desire. Okay, maybe not if your twisted heart desires the newness of DisplayPort or Thunderbolt, that is.
The only difficulty is that graphics performance is inextricably linked to monitor resolution, and with flatscreens you really want to be gaming at the native res of your screen for the best results. If you've been gaming on a lowly 1,280 x 1,024 screen, then there's a good possibility that your GPU won't be able to keep pace with a full HD panel. If you've been running at 1,680 x 1,050, then there's not a lot more strain being placed on your graphics card moving up to a 1080p resolution.
And a larger resolution isn't just great for gaming, that extra screen real estate is incredibly liberating when it comes to regular desktop use too. Having more displayed on screen is always a bonus, and with the widescreen setup having multiple windows sat side-by-side, it makes things easier too.
If you're not bound by a tight £100 limit though there are alternatives out there too. At the moment there's a glut of affordable IPS screens around, offering response times around the same speed as the budget TN panels, but with far better viewing angles and colour reproduction.
There's no denying IPS screens give better visual fidelity than a budget TN screen, and Viewsonic's excellent VX2370Smh is available for just around £136. It's quite incredible how cheap IPS screens have become.
But if £100 is your limit, the Iiyama E2278HD is a great budget screen too and wont leave you too far behind, it's a full HD monitor with a decent display. It may be a lowly TN, but with a full HD panel and an LED backlight it's still a very crisp, reliable monitor. And if you're making the step up from something smaller with a low resolution, the 22-inch Iiyama will definitely satisfy those big screen cravings.
It may not have the top-end tech of an IPS screen, or the styling of an expensive bezel-less panel, but for £100 it's a bargain. There's also the fact that multi-screen desktop set ups are far more useful than having just a single screen.
Being able to pick up a 22-inch, full-HD monitor for just £100 is incredible and will help any and all kinds of multi-tasking you care to throw your PC's way. So whether it's a main screen upgrade or the addition of a second screen to your desktop set up, £100 is all you need to spend.
Panel tech: TN
Native resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Response time: 5ms
Input: 1x DVI-D, 1x VGA
Bargain armour for your gaming gear
Buying a new chassis for your PC is less of an upgrade and more of a full body transplant, but a new case can make it feel like an entirely new machine. And while you can spend an absolute fortune on a new chassis, it can also be one of the most inexpensive upgrades for your PC.
It need not just be a cosmetic change either, a new chassis can be upgraded for entirely functional reasons. When you're putting together a machine yourself, chances are you've allocated more of your budgetary resources to the internal components. You know, the ones that make all your games look awesome like your graphics card - so you may well end up with a bit of a dog of a chassis once you've assembled your new machine.
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