Competition is intensifying among gaming panel makers and it is pushing prices down "sharply," according to a recent report. While this has mostly affected gaming monitors with up to 144Hz panels, the increased competition could soon impact even faster displays, with refresh rates ranging from 165Hz to 240Hz.
According to research conducted by Digitimes, prices on displays with 144Hz panels and lower fell 10 percent on average last year, and then another 5 percent so far in 2019. Unnamed sources told the site that the price drops are a direct result of China-based suppliers focusing on that particular segment.
Once a niche market that was mostly served by Samsung, LG, and Au Optronics (AUO), several panel makers in China have jumped on board, including BOE Technology, CPC-Panda LCD Technology, and China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT).
It's not clear why there is sudden interest, though I imagine it has to do with the increased popularity in esports and streaming in general. If that is the case, it makes sense that even faster displays will draw the attention of China's panel makers, as Digitimes predicts.
It's also about the graphics hardware. Nvidia recently launched a new generation of Turing-based graphics cards, including models with and without RTX technology baked in, and AMD is expected to launch its Navi GPU later this year. These launches will help ensure a demand for gaming monitors with fast refresh rates.
Having more suppliers entering the mix is an interesting twist to what has become a competitive landscape. Just recently, Nvidia opened up its G-Sync technology to FreeSync displays. While Nvidia has only certified 15 out of several hundred tested monitors without a G-Sync module so far, there are non-certified displays that work. Just as importantly, the move paves the way for cheaper displays to work with G-Sync, which in turn could further drive down panel pricing.
In short, it's a pretty good time to be in the market for a monitor, and it's only going to get better.