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Whats the difference in color between an IPS and a TN?

sorry if i sound dumb, I have very little experience with monitors.


Most people I have talked to have told me to go for IPS if I can because they have better color.  However, If both an IPS monitor and a TN monitor have 2^8 or 16.7 million colors, how are the displays different in terms of color?


Does it have to do with blacks, contrast or white balance? Is there any difference at in that particular example?

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The difference is in the reproduction of colours. An IPS will more accurately reproduce the actual colour.


Side by side you will probably notice that the TN panel appears washed out and dull.

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You will notice a change in the quality and color of the image on a TN when you re-position where your head is.

For instance if you elevate you head up or down while looking at the monitor you will notice that some colors that are somewhat close to each other will washout and will almost look the same color.

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And also, IPS will give you a sharper image.

If you have a TN panel monitor, flip in portrait mode, if you can can, and tell Windows to flip accordingly (see Screen Resolution panel in Windows for option), you'll notice that text will be a bit blurry compared to before. The reason for this, is that IPS panel fill the pixel more than TN panel. The Sharpness difference isn't really big in reality, so it's not talk much about it, unless you set your monitor in portrait mode often.


Another, thing, is that IPS panel can be true 8-bit panel (~16.7 million colors), or 10 (~1.07 billion colors), or 12 or 14 or 16-bit colors.


While TN panels are only 6-bit panel (262 144 colors). All content we interact with (pictures, web, games, videos) are all done in 8-bit colors. To emulate the missing colors, a TN panel, or a more budget IPS panels, as they are both 6-bit panels, uses something called Frame Rate Control to emulate the missing color. This image trick takes 2 colors that the monitor can produce, and switch between them, up to the speed of the response time of the monitor to trick your brain in seeing the right color, but the emulation is not perfect. The colors are off. However, due to how IPS panels work, even the IPS 6-bit panel, are better at colors representation than TN.


Another advantage, is that because IPS panels are more targeted at the high-end consumer grade market, you tend to find in many high-end models, a color processor, and Look Up Table, which both assist the panel in representing colors better.


IPS panels also block the back light much better than TN. So you have better contrast, and much less, to no, back light bleeding. You do however, have the IPS glow effect, where only a full screen black screen, and you move to look your screen at an angle, you'll see on the furthest corner of the screen something that looks like back light bleeding... but it's not.  They are process that can reduce this glow effect, but it's reserved on select high-end professional grade monitors, as it is very costly. As most people won't see it's not pushed on to have.


White balance is based on panel color adjustment, but mainly also the backlight technology.

You have 4 kind of back light technology in the market: While LED, CFL, GB-LED and RGB-LED


White LED

  • Most commonly found on inexpensive monitor, as white LEDs are virtually dirt cheap.
  • While they are different grades of white LEDs, where the higher end one produces a more white than another, a level of white that can be undeniably be called white, doesn't exists. It produces a very blu'ish white, cold white at best.
  • Sometimes, although rare, a manufacture can apply a layer or yellow phosphor to make the back light more white.. but this is seen on higher end panels.


  • Like white LED's you have low and high grade and everything in between.
  • Low grade CFL have visible warm up time, and output a very yellow'ish white.
  • High grade CFL doesn't have a visible warm up time, and turns on from cold at near max brightness. Also, it produce an excellent white. High-grade CFL is a preferred budget for professional grade monitors to get a great white.
  • This technology makes the monitor much heavier and bigger, making shipping cost more expensive, driving up cost even further.
  • As the CFL need to be directly behind the panel, naturally, the contrast of the monitor won't be as good as any LED base back light, which are just a row of lights at the bottom, with a light distribution sheet to push the light upwards.



  •  A new back light technology, that is costly, but not as pricey as RGB-LED. GB-LED backlight is Green and Blue LED's put very very close together, with a layer of red phosphor applies to them, to output a white light.
  • The while outputs is pretty good. The white has a hint of green to it, however. But, it can be called white.



  • Like GB-LED, but is formed of red, green and blue LED's (red phosphor not needed).
  • Costly, as you need to add a good red LED to the mix of good green and good blue LED, which drive the cost much higher.
  • Output the best white color.
  • High-end professional grade monitors, have the ability, from the monitor on screen menu, to adjust the intensity of each color set to adjust the backlight white temperature/color


Hope that answers your questions

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Hope that answers your questions


I think it may have also blown his mind! I'll do my best to remember all this.

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Thanks Goodbytes!  I can't even tell you how much that helped me.


Hope that answers your questions

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”    -Henry Ford


Please do BOINC. no matter how small a contribution it can make a difference. 

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i think  the tn panel has an 6 bit panel while the ips/pls and other higher quality panels have a 8,10,12 bit colours, the tn panel will try to reproduce the colours by blending two colours

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Correct. All TN panels are 6-bit panels. However, they are 6-bit IPS/PLS panels as well. But, the color reproduction of these IPS/PLS 6t-bit panel are still better than then TN panels.

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