Everyone who ever assembled a brand-new gaming rig knows what this is. As soon as you connect the graphics card to your PC, you realize there’s something wrong with the image on the screen even though everything seems alright at first glance: as if an unknown source of light was shining directly onto your display from behind and beneath it.
Yes, you guessed it correctly. It’s called Monitor Vignetting.
It can be compared to when somebody covers the lens of a camera with their thumb while taking a picture, likewise in this case your screen is being overshadowed by either your monitor stand or graphics card causing the screen to darken in certain areas. This produces the so-called vignetting effect you are experiencing.
Of course, it’s not always the monitor stand that’s to blame, but also other components in your computer case. Since this problem occurs more often than not due to monitor stands blocking part of the screen I will mainly focus on vignetting caused by the monitor stand itself here.
I’ve had my fair share of monitor vignetting throughout the past years, usually, it would show on one of my monitors first and then on the other just a few days later. It’s really annoying to see your beautiful setup being reduced to nothing more than a black screen with lit-up corners. And I’m pretty sure most gamers are thinking “just buy another monitor” when they encounter the problem themselves.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do at all when your monitor stand blocks a part of your screen. And it doesn’t matter if you have a Razer or Corsair model. Even though both brands promise high build quality and perfect compatibility with their products either one could cause vignetting in some cases depending on its design.
As mentioned earlier, vignetting is not only caused by monitor stands but also certain graphics cards and motherboard models. So in order to determine if your problem is being caused by the former or later you’ll have to do a few tests: Disconnect your monitor from its stand and take it out of the equation completely Keep your current monitor stand but remove the monitor from it and put it back on your desk instead. In both cases, you should obviously see a slight improvement regarding vignetting. If so, your problem is being caused by either your graphics card or motherboard.
If you’re still thinking “just buy another monitor”, I can tell you that even if this might solve the problem for you, you won’t be able to do anything about it if your graphics card is blocking part of your screen. It’s simply not possible to replace your current one with anything else.
How Can I Solve Monitor Vignetting?
As long as you’re ok with having to purchase new hardware (monitor stand or graphics card), it’s not that difficult to fix. On the other hand, your current graphics card or monitor stand is probably just fine for you so you might be better off focusing on gaming instead of buying new stuff.
To start with, let’s have a look at what solutions are available when both your monitor stand and graphics card are causing the vignetting.
Solutions For Both Your Monitor Stand & Graphics Card Causing Vignetting:
Buy a monitor stand that is vignette-free At first glance, my favorite solution would be to spend some more money on a new monitor stand instead of replacing the monitor itself. In any case, this isn’t really a great solution because you will probably have to purchase a new one sooner rather than later.
Buy an external monitor stand If your game is too important for you to not use the same hardware over and over again, but it’s also extremely important that there is no vignetting at all, then your best option would be buying an additional monitor stand. Of course, this works only if you’re using a graphics card that’s not the problem.
Solutions For Your Monitor Stand Only:
Just ignore it and keep playing! This one is actually my favorite solution because I neither want to lose money nor start tinkering with hardware even though I’m pretty sure it won’t be too hard for me to fix the problem. I haven’t had any problems playing with vignetting before (apart from the fact that it’s really annoying to see lit-up corners on your screen) so I can continue doing so without caring about my setup looking like something out of the 80s.
Is Vignetting Really A Problem for Gamers?
Before we wrap up the article you might still be thinking that there’s nothing wrong with playing your favorite game with vignetting. It has been a few years since most monitors started coming with thin edges and I’ve never heard of anyone actually trying to fix this problem.