IPS vs OLED Display: Which is better for Gaming, Reading, and Photo Editing?
August 6, 2023
The quality of the panel display will directly affect the user’s experience. Display technology has been an ever-intriguing space, evolving dramatically since the days of the first television sets.
OLED and IPS screens appear in almost everything that has a screen in everyday life.
OLED vs IPS LCD is a question that arises whenever a consumer chooses a new TV, monitor, tablet, smartphone or laptop.
You want to choose an IPS or OLED? But confusing to decide which is better for for gaming, reading, photo editing, drawing and more?
Here, I’d like to introduce these two main display panel and screen technology, to make everybody can distinguish them easily.
What is IPS ?
In-Plane Switching is what IPS is short for. It is a type of LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) technology that is used in budget computers, tablets, TVs, and smartphones.
There are two other LCD panels, the TN (twisted nematic) and the VA (vertical alignment), which usually perform much worse. IPS allows for better colors, wider viewing angles, and a much higher picture quality over both of them.
What is OLED ?
Organic Light-Emitting Diode is what OLED is short for. It is a type of screen technology that is used in flagship computers, tablets, TVs, and wearable devices. People know OLED screens for their bright colors, deep blacks, and high contrast ratios.
The Difference Between IPS and OLED
Is OLED the king of monitor panels or does it still make sense to buy an IPS monitor? Let’s see how these monitors compare for gaming, content consumption and productivity.
One of the main differences between OLED and IPS is how they produce and emit light.
IPS uses Passive panel that need the support of the back light. where each pixel is controlled by a liquid crystal molecule. These molecules can rotate to control the degree of light passing through, displaying the image.
OLED screens are based on a series of emitting organic materials. Each pixel is an emitting diode that can illuminate itself without a backlight source.
Contrast and Black Performance
The light-emitting principle of the OLED monitor makes it have excellent contrast and black performance. Because each pixel can emit light independently, OLED monitors can achieve true black, that is, turn off the pixels completely.
Due to the backlight is always on and light leakage is inevitable, even the best IPS displays depict blacks as slightly gray, making the contrast and black color performance inferior to that of OLEDs.
Color gamut refers to the full range of colors that can be handled by a given display. following professional standards like Adobe RGB, NTSC, DCI-P3 or sRGB.
Speaking of color gamut coverage, most OLED panels cover 98% of the DCI-P3 color space (~95% Adobe RGB).
Entry-Leverl IPS screen may comes with 75% Adobe RGB (100% sRGB) color gamut, while some high end IPS screens have wider 100% Adobe RGB coverage.
Even the best IPS screens can produce more accurate and natural colors than OLED monitors, but they may not be as vibrant or have as deep blacks.
Also, sDue to its advantages of pure color display, OLED has regained a place in “color accuracy” and is widely used in color-critical work in the professional field.
In terms of viewing angle, although there is little difference between OLED and IPS panels in terms of “visibility”, but if it is a “viewing angle without brightness attenuation effect”, then the OLED display can reach a maximum of 84 degrees, while IPS cannot.
Response time refers to the amount of time it takes for pixels to change from one color to the next.
If you’re a gamer, you definitely want a fast response time monitor because it’s hard to react to an image when it’s delayed.
Between the OLED and the IPS, the OLED has a faster response time. It takes less than 1 millisecond for a pixel to change colors and not susceptible to streaking.
Nonetheless, the IPS is not so bad, with a response time of approximately 15 milliseconds or 4 milliseconds if you use the overdrive.
The reason why higher refresh rates provide a better experience is because they increase the fluidity of motion.
These facts affect consumption of videos with high frame rates or when playing fast-paced computer games.
OLED displays generally have higher refresh rates than IPS displays do.
The refresh rate of OLED displays is usually 120 Hz but can reach higher in newer models, which is fast enough for most cases.
A display with IPS generally has the lowest refresh rate of 60Hz. But as technology has improved, You can now find hign-end IPS displays with refresh rates well into the 240Hz range.
IPS Screens use a powerful backlight which also lets them get much brighter than their OLED counterparts. Moreover, those that use Mini-LEDs or Micro-LEDs that can be brighter.
Fortunately, modern OLEDs have better brightness levels than before, and make them able to compete with LCD panels in general. This can be found on OLED smartphones, tablets and laptops.
OLED displays use more power than IPS panels, at least when displaying bright scenes with lots of whites.
Theoretically, IPS displays should use more power because the backlight is always turned on, but in practice OLED tends to use more power because so much content is bright and thus requires more pixels to be turned on.
Since it does not require a bulky backlight plane, in shape OLED is much thinner than an IPS screen. It can even be used in flexible displays as well.
The IPS panel, since it has more complex layers, is generally thicker than OLED. Moreover, its rigid crystalline structure does not make it flexible.
In terms of durability, OLED displays may have a slightly shorter lifespan than IPS displays due to the organic materials used in their construction.
The organic materials which are used in OLED can degrade over time due to the intense heat and light produced by the display. This can result in a phenomenon known as “burn-in,” where certain areas of the display appear to be permanently faded or discolored.
In contrast, the backlight used in IPS displays is typically positioned behind the LCD panel and is typically made up of LED lamps. These lamps have a longer lifespan compared to the organic materials used in OLED displays, which can contribute to the longer lifespan of IPS displays.
While OLED displays are slowly becoming more affordable, they’re not as affordable as IPS panels.
IPS panels are highly available and commercialized, making the competition between manufacturers stiff. They are available at every price point so you can buy a cheap or expensive one.
Is IPS or OLED better for eyes?
Pulse-Width Modulation, or PWM, is one of the ways display makers can use to adjust the display’s brightness.
Unlike IPS screens, OLED displays should actually have a higher PWM frequency (i.e. 240 Hz) at lower brightness, which is more manageable. Still, users who are sensitive to PWM may experience eyestrain or headaches during extended exposure.
People with very high flicker sensitivity may need to switch to IPS displays, which have relatively slow response times that will dampen any flicker.
OLED is more advanced technology than IPS, But It ultimately comes down to your individual needs, budget and priorities.
If you prioritize true black levels, excellent contrast, higher refresh rate and respond time, OLED is the way to go.
If you prefer a display with good overall performance, lower budget and a long lifespan, an IPS display may be a better choice.
However, it’s also important to note that the seemingly disadvantages of OLED and IPS displays can vastly vary depending on a number of factors, including the quality of the materials used, the manufacturing process, and specific technical parameters.
About the author : Clinton Kane
A technical content writer, passionate about sharing high-quality knowledge of pc technology, software, and creative workflows.