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Technology keeps evolving, and game design doesn’t pose an exemption: video games become increasingly more realistic and true to life, resulting in impressively immersive gaming worlds. One of the latest graphics enhancements is High Dynamic Range (HDR). This feature affects your gaming experience in multiple ways: manifold colour performance, deeper saturation, more diverse contrast, brighter highlights and darker shadows. All these individual tweaks upgrade your immersive experience to the next level with more realistic and lifelike pictures. But not only does the improved quality result in an immersive feeling and eye candy, it can give you a cutting edge in-game, too. Imagine playing a game with a grim, gloomy atmosphere like The Last of Us that also has scenes in bright daylight.
With HDR, the contrast in darker environments is more diverse and allows you to distinguish enemies better than with a display producing rather muddy and blurred colours. When entering daylight again, you can keep your settings throughout the scenarios and don’t have to adjust the brightness levels, as the HDR is able to show both, dark and bright images in detail.
HDR rendering is an advisable tool since it improves the image quality without drawbacks in performance. Three elements have to be HDR-ready to give you the optimal gaming experience: the video game title, your PC or console, and your monitor.
Games reach the next level
HDR becomes increasingly more common in AAA games. Titles such as Gears of War 5, Horizon Zero Dawn, The Last of Us: Remastered, and Mass Effect Andromeda profit from the additional improvement of the breath-taking and immersive worlds they created.
HDR is not only a welcomed option for games set in an atmospheric fantasy scenario. More realistic titles such as NBA 2k20 or Forza Horizon 4 use improved rendering as well.
However, you cannot benefit from all these technological innovations if your gear is outdated. Your PC has to be able to display advanced modern-day graphics. Accordingly, more and more manufactures equip their computers with the necessary hardware.
The key ingredient: a perfect monitor
The last step to get the best graphics possible is to upgrade the device that is actually displaying the image – your monitor. You can’t get the maximum HDR-effect on a display that doesn’t support high rendering.
Another requirement is a sufficient nit rate, which determines the brightness of your screen in candelas per square meter (cd/m). A common monitor has just around 350 nit, or 350 cd/m. HDR monitors come in three different nit options: HDR 400, 600, or 1000. The higher the nit rate, the brighter and more pleasant is the image on your eye.
But HDR-ready devices are not all the same. The wide range of products on the market can differ tremendously in terms of performance and quality. Some manufacturers advertise with HDR-capable products, but these monitors may display flawed images. Bright areas can be glaringly white, while black ones seem way too dark, for example. This is why you should invest in a VESA-certified HDR monitor. The VESA-certification is the established standard for quality guaranteeing real HDR.
AOC’s AGON series comes with the VESA Certified DisplayHDR™ 400 and fulfils all necessary requirements to raise your gaming experience to the next level of immersive aesthetic.