In this guide, we will present you the best gaming monitors currently available, including 144hz monitors, 1440p monitors, top 4k monitors, best ultra wide monitors and more. PC gaming displays can range widely both in price and features; it can be difficult to know which of them are worth buying. That is why we have extensively researched hundreds of gaming monitors in forums, customer reviews, expert reviews and tested all of the monitors we recommend in our list below. These are also the best monitors in general. You can learn more about PC gaming screens and how to choose the right one for you further down this page.
Best Gaming Monitors 2016 | Handpicked by MonitorNerds
|Type and Monitor||Latest Price||Size||Resolution||Panel||Ref. Rate||Res.time||Input-lag|
|Best Gaming Monitor 2016 - with G-syncAsus PG278Q Review||Latest Price||27" inch||2560x1440||TN||144Hz||1ms GTG||6ms|
|Best G-sync Monitor|
|Best Price||27 inch||1440p||TN||144Hz||1ms||9ms |
|Best Gaming Monitor with Freesync BenQ XL2730Z||Latest Price||27" inch||2560x1440||TN||144Hz||1ms||7ms|
|Best 144hz monitor for the price|
Asus VG248QE Review
|Latest Price||24" inch||1920x1080||TN||144Hz||1ms||3ms|
| Premium G-sync Gaming Display|
Acer Predator XB271HU
|Latest Price||27 inch||1440p||IPS||165Hz||4ms|
|Good G-sync Monitor|
|Latest Price||24 inch||1080p||TN||144Hz|
| Good Gaming display 1ms Freesync |
|Latest Price||24 inch||1080p||TN||144Hz||1ms||11ms |
|Best 75Hz Monitor |
|Latest Price||24 inch||1080p||TN||75Hz||9ms |
| Great IPS 1440p Monitor with Freesync|
|Latest Price||27" inch||2560x1440||IPS||144Hz||4ms||7ms|
|Best Gaming Monitor Under 200|
|Latest Price||24" inch||1920x1080||TN||60Hz||1ms||14ms|
| Top 1440p Display with FreeSync|
|Latest Price||27" inch||2560x1440p||TN||144Hz||1ms||10ms|
| Top-rated Ultrawide 1440p Monitor|
|Latest Price||32" inch||2560x1440p||VA||75Hz||4ms||14|
| Top Budget Gaming Monitor|
|Latest Price||24" inch||1080p||TN||144Hz||1ms|
| Excellent 144hz Monitor 1080p with Freesync|
|Latest Price||24" inch||1920x1080p||TN||144Hz||1ms||13ms |
|Top Budget 144hz Monitor with Freesync|
|Latest Price||24" inch||1920x1080p||TN||144Hz||1ms||n/a|
|Console Gaming Monitor|
|Latest Price||27" inch||1920x1080||TN||60Hz||1ms||n/a|
| Excellent Budget IPS Monitor|
Acer R240HY bidx
|Latest Price||23.8" inch||1920x1080||IPS||60Hz||4ms||13ms|
|Amazing 144hz Monitor|
|Latest Price||24 inch||1920x1080||TN||144Hz||1ms||11ms|
| Best 4k gaming monitor with G-sync TN|
Acer XB280HK bprz
|Latest Price||28" inch||3840x2160p||TN||60Hz||1ms||n/a|
|Excellent Curved Gaming Monitor - G-sync|
ACER PREDATOR X34
|Latest Price||34" inch||3440x1440p||IPS||100Hz||4ms||n/a|
| Premium 4K Gaming Monitor with TN|
|Latest Price||28" inch||3840x2160||TN||60Hz||2ms||n/a|
| Top 4k Gaming Monitor with G-sync IPS|
Acer Predator XB271HK
|Latest Price||27" inch||3840x2160||IPS||60Hz||4ms||n/a|
| Best 4k Gaming Monitor with IPS G-Sync|
ACER PREDATOR XB321HK
|Latest Price||32" inch||3840x2160p||IPS||60Hz||4ms||n/a|
| Great Asus gaming Monitor - G-sync|
Asus PG348Q Review
|Latest Price||34" inch||3440x1440||IPS||100Hz||5ms||n/a|
|Good Budget 60Hz Monitor |
HP Pavilion 22xw
|Latest Price||21.5" inch||1080p||IPS||60Hz|
|Good Cheap gaming display Ultrawide|
|Latest Price||29 inch||1080p||IPS||60Hz|
|Incredible 144Hz Ultrawide Monitor|
Acer Predator Z35
|Latest Price||35" inch||1080p||VA||144Hz|
|Cheap gaming Display|
|Latest Price||24" inch||1080p||IPS||60Hz|
| Outstanding Cheap 27 Inch Monitor|
Acer G276HL Gbd
|Latest Price||27" inch||1080p||TN||60Hz|
| Awesome Gaming Monitor Curved 144Hz|
|Latest Price||35" inch||1080p||VA||144Hz|
|High-end Ultrawide 1440p Monitor|
Dell UltraSharp U3415W
|Latest Price||34" inch||1440p||IPS||60Hz|
|Good Ultrawide Monitor|
|Latest Price||34 inch||1080p||IPS||60Hz|
|Good 1440p Monitor|
Acer Predator XF270HU
|Latest Price||27 inch||1440p||IPS||144Hz|
|Top Freesync Monitor|
Acer Predator XG270HU
|Latest Price||27 inch||1440p||TN||144Hz|
|Console E-sports Monitor|
BenQ ZOWIE RL2455
|Latest Price||24 inch||1080p||TN||60Hz|
Disclaimer: When you click on a monitor or the “Latest Price” button you will be redirected to either Amazon.com (.co.uk, .ca etc.). There you can see the latest price and learn more about the monitor.
Overall Best Gaming Monitor of December 2016 – 1440p Monitor
Best budget / cheap 144hz Monitor 2016
Our best picks include 1080p, 1440p monitors and 4K displays. We have also added 144hz monitors, FreeSync monitors, and G-Sync monitors. The best gaming display must have a lot of features. For example, the best 4k gaming monitor of 2016 must have at least a 60hz refresh rate and fast response time under 6ms; we will explain more further down.
We have done extensive research for you and collected a comprehensive list of the best gaming screens available in 2016. We have qualified these monitors based on the most important factors related to gaming.
This list is presented based on price and specifications, starting with the cheapest and most basic monitors, then gradually increasing in both price and specifications. In the end, we have also included Curved, 1440p monitors and Ultra HD 4K monitor for gaming E-sports monitor.
Each category will begin with TN panel monitors for speed and finish with IPS panel monitors for those who value color quality and viewing angles.
We are not able to provide exact prices because of price changes, country variations, discounts, etc. But the links we have provided will redirect you to the appropriate Amazon page where you can check the latest price and customer reviews for that particular monitor. Read our gaming monitor reviews to learn more about the specific models. Also check out our guide on best motherboards for gaming in 2016.
Best Gaming Monitor under $300
Top budget 1080p Monitors for Gaming / Cheap Gaming Monitors:
If you are an average gamer with a small budget and just want a decent monitor for casual gaming and other everyday purposes, then at least a 60 Hz, Full HD (1080p) screen will be sufficient enough. You don’t need a 1440p monitor with high refresh rate and other frills.
Best Budget 144hz Monitor:
If you have a low budget, but still want a smoother gaming experience and a competitive edge in games such as Counter-Strike, Battlefield, and Call of Duty, you should prioritize the refresh rate as well as the response time above anything else.
1080p resolution and TN panel:
|Price||Brand-Model-Size||Response Time||Input Lag|
|Check Latest Price||ASUS VG248QE, 24"||1ms||3.5ms|
|Check Latest Price||AOC G2460PQU, 24"||1ms||21ms|
|Check Latest Price||BenQ XL2411Z, 24"||1ms||10ms|
|Check Latest Price||AOC G2770PQU, 27"||1ms||8.5ms|
Read our complete review of ASUS VG248QE
Best Budget Freesync Monitor for Gaming:
The Freesync technology helps to eliminate screen tearing, especially during heavy graphical games such as The Witcher, Fallout 4 and Skyrim.
Refresh rate of 75 Hz, 1080p resolution, and TN panel:
|Price||Brand-Model-Size||Response Time||Input Lag|
|Check Latest Price||ViewSonic VX2257, 22"||2ms||n/a|
|Check Latest Price||ViewSonic VX2757, 27"||2ms||n/a|
|Check Latest Price||AOC G2460VQ6, 24"||1ms||16ms|
Great Budget 144hz Monitor with Freesync:
To eliminate screen tearing and increase smoothness for a relatively low price.
1080p resolution and TN Panel:
|Price||Brand-Model-Size||Response Time||Input Lag|
|Check Latest Price||Nixeus Vue NX-VUE24A, 24"||1ms||29ms|
Budget IPS Panel Monitors for Gaming:
IPS panels can contain about twice as wide of a color range as TN panels. IPS panels have their strengths in color accuracy and color saturation, thus have the best color performance of all panels. An IPS-based screen is viewable from every angle with a minimum effect on the color accuracy.
Refresh rate of 60 Hz, 1080p resolution, and IPS Panel:
|Price||Brand-Model-Size||Response Time||Input Lag|
|Check Latest Price||Acer R240HY, 24"||4ms||n/a|
|Check Latest Price||ASUS MX239H, 23"||5ms||n/a|
|Check Latest Price||Dell P2414H, 24"||8ms||13ms|
|Check Latest Price||Samsung S27D390H, 27"||5ms||n/a|
Competitive Gaming Monitors under $600 (
If you want a competitive edge and a better gaming experience, a budget gaming monitor will not be sufficient for you. All TN panel based monitors in this category will, at a minimum, support a 144 Hz refresh rate and additional gaming features. All IPS panel based monitors will include at least a 1440p monitor ( WQHD ) resolution. Check out our guide on best mechanical keyboards 2016.
Competitive 144hz Display:
1080p resolution and TN Panels:
|Price||Brand-Model-Size||Response Time||Input Lag|
|Check Latest Price||BenQ XL2420Z, 24"||1ms||2ms|
|Check Latest Price||ASUS VG278HE, 27"||2ms||10.5ms|
|Check Latest Price||BenQ XL2720Z, 27"||1ms||3.5ms|
Read our complete review of BenQ XL2720Z.
144hz displays with Adaptive-Sync:
1080p resolution and TN Panel:
|Price||Brand-Model-Size||Response Time||Input Lag||Adaptive Sync|
|Check Latest Price||AOC G2460PF, 24"||1ms||n/a||Freesync|
|Check Latest Price||Acer Predator XB240HAbpr, 24"||1ms||n/a||G-Sync|
|Check Latest Price||Acer Predator XB270H, 27"||1ms||n/a||G-Sync|
|Check Latest Price||Philips 272G5DYEB, 27"||1ms||4ms||G-Sync|
|Check Latest Price||BenQ XL2420G, 24"||1ms||9ms||G-Sync|
144hz screens with 1440p (WQHD) 2560 x 1440 resolution and Freesync:
|Price||Brand-Model-Size||Response Time||Input Lag|
|Check Latest Price||Acer XG270HU, 27"||1ms||3ms|
|Check Latest Price||Benq XL2730Z, 27"||1ms||4ms|
Read our complete review of Acer Predator XG270HU.
IPS Panel with 1440p Monitor (WQHD) 2560 x 1440 resolution:
For excellent color quality, wide viewing angles and high image details (pixel density).
Refresh rate of 60 Hz:
|Price||Brand-Model-Size||Response Time||Input Lag|
|Check Latest Price||Acer H257HU, 25"||4ms||10ms|
|Check Latest Price||Benq GW2765HT, 27"||4ms||22ms|
|Check Latest Price||ASUS PB278Q, 27"||5ms||17ms|
Premium Gaming Monitor Over $600
If the price is no option and you want the best gaming monitor, this category is for you. There are no compromises in this category. Both IPS and TN panel based monitors will have at least a 144 Hz refresh rate, G-sync and 1440p Monitor (WQHD) 2560×1440 display resolution.
Premium Monitors with TN Panels
|Price||Brand-Model-Size||Response Time||Input Lag|
|Check Latest Price||Dell Gaming S2716DG, 27"||1ms||5ms|
|Check Latest Price||ASUS ROG PG278Q, 27"||1ms||4ms|
Read our complete review of Asus ROG PG278Q.
Curved and Ultra Wide Monitor for Gaming
Curved gaming monitors are ultra-wide monitors with an aspect ratio of 21:9. These monitors can almost cover your whole field of view and provide a very immersive gaming experience. Choose them especially if you like to play a lot of racing games and other similar games. Non-curved ultra-wide monitors are also included in this category. Ultra-wide and curved monitors are usually equipped with either VA or IPS panels.
4K (Ultra HD) Gaming Monitor
For extraordinary image sharpness and details, choose an Ultra HD (4k) resolution. But be aware that 4k monitors are very slow and require a good GPU to run, they will not be your primary choice.
IPS Screen and 60 Hz Refresh Rate:
|Price||Brand-Model-Size||Response Time||Input Lag|
|Check Latest Price||ViewSonic VX2475SMHL-4K, 24"||3ms||n/a|
|Check Latest Price||DELL Professional P2415Q, 24"||6ms||12ms|
|Check Latest Price||DELL Professional P2715Q, 27"||9ms||9ms|
TN Panel and 60 Hz Refresh Rate:
|Price||Brand-Model-Size||Response Time||Input Lag|
Check Latest Price
|ASUS PB287Q, 28"||1ms||11ms|
4K (Ultra HD) Monitor with Freesync:
IPS panel and 60 Hz refresh rate:
|Price||Brand-Model-Size||Response Time||Input Lag|
|Check Latest Price||LG Electronics MU67 27MU67, 27"||5ms||10ms|
There will almost always be a trade off between specs and price. Meaning that if you want all specs and features in your monitor, you can have it, but it will be very expensive. So if you are willing to sacrifice some specs for others that you don’t need, then you can have an excellent gaming monitor for a reasonable price. It all depends on what your needs are and what your budget is.
If you have a high budget (over $600) and want the best monitor for gaming, then choose a monitor with a big screen ,about 27”, with an IPS panel, 1440p (WQHD) 2560 x 1440 monitor resolution, low input lag (under 15ms), 144hz monitor, adaptive sync with a very low response time (under 4ms). If you belong to this category of buyers, then there no reason to look further. You can see our list of the best gaming displays on the top. 1440p monitors are also called 2k monitor.
If you have a limited/average budget ($300 to $600), but still want a very competitive monitor for gaming, then you must be willing to trade some of the specs mentioned above for some other specs that are more relevant to your needs. In this budget category, you can still have a nice big screen, 144hz monitor, with adaptive sync, low response time, low input lag, etc. but you can’t have them all at the same time.
If you are an average gamer with a low budget (under $300) and just want a decent monitor for casual gaming and also other daily uses. Then you probably don’t need all the specs above. But your monitor must still meet some requirements to qualify it as a decent PC monitor for gaming.
For those of you that haven’t or can’t decide which monitor to choose and what budget to set, we can help you with that. In the following, we will give you our recommendations, for the most important specs to choose from.
We recommend the following specs when choosing a monitor for gaming.
For casual gaming and a small budget, choose at least 60 Hz of refresh rate.
For competitive edge and very smooth gameplay, choose a 144 Hz monitor.
For an average gamer with casual gaming needs, select a maximum response time of 10 ms.
For competitive edge choose a response time under 4ms.
All monitors in this list will have under 10ms of response time
Response time describes the speed at which the pixels can change color. An obvious important factor when playing a fast-paced game where you move around various environments and expect the pixels to show the correct color value at the instant it is required. The fastest response times range from 1ms – 5ms. The pro gamer will notice the difference in this speed.
For casual gaming choose an input lag of under 30ms.
For the competitive edge in gaming chose an input lag of 15ms.
All monitors in our list will have under 30ms.
Input lag time is the time it takes from starting a process to performing the process (showing it on the monitor). Basically, from pressing the mouse button to seeing the action appear on the screen. Input lag time is only the internal lag time, but as you might know, internet connection a significant contributor for online games as well – note the difference. For the average gamer, an input lag time of 30ms and less would be adequate while the pro gamers would like an input lag time of maximum 10ms.
For sufficient image sharpness and details (pixel density), choose at least: 1080p Full HD.
For excellent image sharpness and details, select a 2560×1440 1440p (WQHD) resolution.
For an extraordinary image sharpness and details select an Ultra HD (4k) resolution. But be aware that 4k monitors are very slow and require a good GPU to run.
For the gamers who demand the latest in sharpness, color performance and overall image quality, a monitor with a 4K resolution would be a welcome hardware addition to the RPG gamer. Notice that the GPU requirements for running 4K monitor are significantly higher than other screen resolutions.
Usually, bigger screens are more expensive, and different gamers prefer different sizes. But we recommend at least 23” of the screen. If you choose a big screen, then choose a high resolution to go with it.
For a competitive edge, where speed is essential, select a TN panel. They have lower color quality, and viewing angles are bad, but they are much cheaper than the other panel types and much faster for the price.
For good color quality and viewing angles, choose IPS panels, which are slower and more expensive than TN panels. If you also want to use your monitor for photo/video editing and other graphical work, or you just value better color quality in games over a competitive edge, then an IPS panel is for you.
There are also monitors with VA panels, which fall, spec-wise, between TN and IPS panels. Usually, they are on curved screens. They are a good choice if you want a bit of both world. But they are more expensive and slower than TN panels.
We recommend a monitor with adaptive sync if you enjoy playing fast-paced games with high graphical needs. It will eliminate screen tearing and provide a much better gaming experience. G-sync or free sync depends on which type of graphics card you have. Freesync will only run with AMD graphics cards. G-sync will only run with Nvidia but is more expensive. Both G-sync and free sync require a display port on your GPU to run.
According to technicians from both companies, although they work in different ways, they should perform at the same level. Subjective opinions differentiate their performance reviews, and it is up to your preferences which one you desire.
More Information about Gaming Screens:
This section will include Asus gaming monitors and other popular brands. It will include 144hz monitors, 1440p monitors, 4k gaming monitors and more.
If you don’t want to read our complete guide for 144Hz monitors, then you can read this much shorter version. But for a full understanding of all the gaming monitor factors, we still recommend you to read the full version. This guide will provide you with comprehensive answers to many questions that might arise in the context of gaming monitors. We will give you detailed descriptions of the effect of different technologies in regards to gameplay. You can read more about our website on the about us page.
In this part, we will briefly introduce the different concepts and technologies. We will explain them in more detail further down the page.
Depending on what types of games you play and which requirements you demand, you will need to prioritize the specifications accordingly. Monitors with high refresh rates, low response time, and low input lag, are usually ideal for FPS and quick-reacting games (mostly shooting games). For these kinds of games, the best choice will be a 144 Hz monitor, which have a very high refresh rate.
Response time is another important aspect to consider when playing games that require quick reactions. We recommend a response time under 5ms. However, to eliminate screen tearing, technologies like G-Sync and Free-Sync are necessary. TN panels are known to have higher refresh rates and low response times while IPS panels show their strengths in color display and sharpness. IPS panels are thus more ideal for games where graphical beauty and smoothness have a significant role in the gameplay experience. The reason we favor IPS panels for console gaming is that console games run at maximum 60 Hz. So to buy a monitor that supports higher refresh rates than 60 Hz is overkill, and usually a tradeoff for more important things like, color accuracy, viewing angle and sharpness – parameters which you don’t want to compromise as a console gamer.
The contrast ratio is also an important parameter to look at since it can show a clearer difference between black and dark blue/gray objects. Sharpness, smoothness and response time should be prioritized parameters for racing games or similar games where objects fly by rather quickly, if you want to avoid ghosted or blurred images. Eye-caring features like blue light reduction are also quite important when playing for longer periods of time or when playing in dark rooms, as it can cause headaches both during but especially a while after gameplay where you really can sense it. Thus, the blue light reduction will also be a necessary feature to consider for the gamers that play for several hours in a row.
Where Can I Find My Next Gaming Monitor?
After a lot of research, we have collected a list of the best gaming monitors in their respective categories. You can find our best picks in our main menu under Gaming monitors. Here you can choose the right type for you and view all our best picks in detail. We also have links to where you can buy them. The best monitor for gaming in 2015 is the Asus ROG Swift PG279Q.
We have compared service, prices, quality, reliability, customer reviews, etc.sor, and found that Amazon is a good place to buy from based on the mentioned points. So we will only show relevant ads and links from Amazon.
Our Complete Guide to find the Best Gaming Display for you
Our choice of top 10 gaming monitors 2015 can be found in our latest buyers guide. A good gaming monitor is a vital part of a good gaming experience. That’s why we have created this website and this guide to help you, our fellow gamers, to find the perfect PC monitor for you. These days there is a lot to consider when choosing a good monitor, and most of us gamers have a limited budget to use on a gaming monitor. We will help you to get the most for your money, without compensating on your gaming experience.
Why Have We Created This Guide?
Computer hardware becomes increasingly more complicated as new features are developed, and upgrades come along. That makes it confusing for most of us gamers to fully understand and choose the right monitor for us. A lot of questions can arise that make it difficult to decide which monitor is the right buy for you. Manufacturers would, of course, like you to buy the most expensive and latest technologies from them. But do they meet your needs and give you the most for your money? But does an expensive PC display make a difference in your gaming experience? Which monitors have 144 Hz, G-sync, Free-sync, 3D, 4K, very fast response time, small input lag, etc. for example. If you can’t experience the difference between a 144 Hz monitor and 60 Hz because of a limited GPU capability, then why waste money on them? Instead, you could use the money to buy a monitor that has excellent color accuracy and high resolution or some other combination that fits your needs. We know it may sound like we’re going into too many details, but we’re nerds, and we believe this is necessary information that can help our fellow gamers get the best gaming experience for them. But don’t worry we will guide you in this buyers guide and after reading this, you will know exactly which gaming monitor is perfect for you. We have also collected a list of the best monitors for you to select from, on our website. You can look for them at the main menu item called PC display after you finish reading the guide.
What Should I Consider When Choosing a Monitor For Gaming?
The technology behind gaming monitors is becoming increasingly sophisticated. It’s important to know a thing or two about gameplay, and the experience nowadays deeply depends on the collaboration between the GPU (but also the rest of the hardware such as CPU and RAM) and the monitor. Some things are more important to understand than others, such as the difference between adaptive sync and V-Sync, refresh rate, input lag time and response time, while others are less important, such as the difference between a grey-to-grey and a black-white-black pixel response time, etc., which we will focus upon.
If you choose an expensive gaming monitor because you think expensive is good, then you may be disappointed. Expensive and a high-tech screen doesn’t necessarily mean its the right one for you and your gaming needs. You wouldn’t want to buy a monitor that is better than what your graphic card can output and compliment. That would be a waste your hard earned money, and a disappoint. On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to have a monitor that doesn’t fully exploit your graphic card capabilities. The first thing to ask yourself is (when specifically looking for a gaming monitor) what are the kinds of games you like to play; are you a high FPS gamer, like Counterstrike and Call of Duty, or a strategy game player? Or maybe racing games is your thing. Because of the enormous differences under the broad term of gaming monitors, the gaming monitor you need depends highly on your other hardware capabilities as well as the types of games you play. There are many things to consider. But don’t worry, we will guide you.
Which Kind of Gaming Display is Perfect For You?
Different levels of gamers have different needs, requirements, and budgets. That’s why we have created various categories for each type of gamer. It makes it easier for you to identify your level and find the monitor that suits you best without the headache of searching through 100s of d. For every category, we increase the minimal requirements accordingly from an average gamer to a professional gamer. We will also use these classes in our gaming monitor reviews to recommend which type of gamers the screen is ideal. For example, when we review a particular monitor like the Asus VG248QE. We will recommend this monitor for a gamer in one of these categories or more. Read our Asus VG248QE review here. Find out more about this monitor in Amazon. Ok, let’s move forward now. Below is a presentation of the requirements for the different categories.
This class is created with the average gamer in mind, who has a limited budget. We have identified the minimum necessary requirements for an average-good gaming experience. We believe that price is a priority here, but without compromising the performance.
- Max price: $250
Max response time: 8ms
Min refresh rate: 60 Hz
Max input lag time: 30ms
Min. screen resolution: Full HD (1920×1080)
The final requirement is our subjective opinion on whether or not it deserves to be called a gaming monitor in the first place. That means that we will be handpicking the monitor for you so that you won’t see 100 monitors per category, but only the ones that we have reviewed and found good enough for gaming purposes.
Competitive Gamers Need 144hz Monitors:
This category of gamers likes to play games competitively and requires higher demands from their monitor. You set a higher budget and want more to give you an edge in your gaming. You prioritize high performance, but also picture quality, resolution and high contrast to see better the details. We have still set a max price range for this category since price, is still an important aspect. Here we will present the best monitors for you guys. The requirements are as following:
- Max price: $450
Max response time: 5ms
Min refresh rate: 120 Hz
Max input lag time: 20ms
Min. screen resolution: Full HD (1920×1080)
Of course, subjective opinions matter here, as well, for the convenience of gamers that don’t want to waste time looking at several monitors. That goes for all the categories; we handpick them in addition to our core requirements.
This category will focus on screens that deliver the best performance overall. The requirements here will be very high in regards to performance. In this class, we have not taken price into consideration since we don’t want to compensate for performance in any way. So these monitors are the best of the best but usually have a higher price. These screens are necessary for gamers who are competitive in their gaming and only accept the best hardware. The requirements are as stated:
- Price: N/A
Min refresh rate: 144 Hz
Max Response time: 4 ms
Max input lag time: 15ms
Adaptive sync technology
Small blue light emission feature
Fully adjustable stand (height, swivel, and tilt)
As previously mentioned, we won’t put every monitor with these specs on our list, as we handpick the ones we find suitable. It means that there also could be a case where a monitor has 20ms of input lag time, but for a professional gamer, it could contain features valuable enough to put on the list as well.
How Does the Refresh Rate Affect My Gaming?
The best-rated gaming monitor on Amazon is listed in our latest buyers guide. The refresh rate of your gaming monitor matters a lot when it comes to gaming experience. Whether it is for heavy graphical games like Battlefield, Call of Duty or less GPU demanding games like League of Legends. Since refresh rate is the number of frames the monitor is capable of showing per second, it is a relevant parameter to look for when browsing for a gaming monitor to fit your gaming needs. Keep in mind that console games only use a maximum of 60 Hz, so that is the exception. But if you play online against an opponent that uses a 60 Hz monitor on a computer game, the odds of you being able to react faster than him is significantly increased by the refresh rate alone. It makes the difference between shooting where the opponent was and where he is. Imagine that for every 60 frames that your opponent has seen, you have seen 144 frames with a 144 Hz monitor, thereby laying the foundation for you to react quicker.
Screen Tearing and Adaptive Sync
The screen displays frames at a constant rate (always the same amount of frames per second). While your graphic card will produce frames at a dynamic rate (depending on various factors like the internet connection, hardware ability, and the complexity of the pixels that needs to be shown on the screen). So in reality, your viewable frames per second will vary anything from 30-144 Hz in split seconds on a 144 Hz monitor. If the monitor is set to produce 144 Hz and the GPU at a given time is showing 200 frames in a split second, a phenomenon called screen tearing is likely to occur. During gaming, screen tearing is easy to spot and very annoying for the gameplay experience. It looks like an awkward cut off objects (see the picture below).
What happens is, to explain it simply, that the monitor has to show a new frame every 6.94ms (1000/144). Meanwhile, by this time the GPU has produced 1.3 frames (1 frame every 5ms). The monitor now scans the GPU’s 1.3 frames and therein lies the potential for screen tearing. Adaptive sync technology is a new thing designed, as the name implies, to adapt a synchronization of the frame rate requirement between the monitor and the GPU, so that it adjusts its Hz according to the GPU ability at any given time. Currently, only two adaptive sync technologies are available, NVidia’s G-Sync and AMD’s Free-Sync. Both eliminate screen tearing. Both had initial problems, though, but are continuously upgraded to reduce the flaws. You can read more about adaptive sync further down, in this buyers guide.
The Trade-off Between Refresh Rate and Image Quality
The gameplay experience of Battlefield, Call of Duty, Counter-Strike, and all other games in that genre (online shooting), and racing games are highly dependent on the refresh rate. The higher refresh rate your monitor can show, the smoother the gameplay. Secondly, the response time. These games tend to be fast paced, where many objects are moving rapidly, or maybe you have moved a lot in the game. To avoid as much motion blur as possible, the pixels has to change color as fast as possible.
Skyrim, Fallout, Crysis, Northern Shadow, Final Fantasy and even World of Warcraft (RPG) types of games rely on overall image quality for optimal gameplay experience. Image quality depends mostly on the range of colors able to be displayed and the accuracy of them as well (saturation). RPG games thus require a monitor that can show the ‘art’ of the game to the gamer as it was intended and not limited by the monitor with a small color display range or accuracy. The refresh rate does not have a say, but the response time does since the color production rate obviously has a lot to say as well.
Hz is, as previously described, the maximum amount of fps that the monitor can view. The fastest refresh rates in monitors are based on the panel technology. TN panels make fast refresh rates and response times possible while picture quality is compromised. The viewing angle, which is the angle of which you can see colors on the screen, are very limited and usually only focused on the center of the monitor. That means, if you move you head away from the center, either horizontally or vertically, you will notice that the picture quality significantly reduces and it becomes harder to see what is on the screen. They are (generally) capable of producing 72-75% of the NTSC color gamut spectrum, which equals the sRGB color gamut range. In everyday English, that means that the TN panel’s ability to produce accurately saturated colors within the range of red, green and blue is quite limited compared to other panel technologies, such as VA or IPS.
On the other side of the trade-off, you find the IPS panels. Arguably the most expensive displays (within the gaming monitor sector), the IPS panel thrives on its ability to produce a broad range of colors with high accuracy. They have lower refresh rates and response times and are mainly designed for the graphical designer, animator or photoshop enthusiast, but has increasingly made its way into the gaming monitor community, simply because of the image quality that the IPS posses. Click here if you want to know more about IPS panels.
We do see a trending development of gaming monitors with IPS panels that still are capable of having a fast refresh rate and response time. These monitors are much more pricey than their TN-based competition, but they do get rid of the trade-off, making it possible for gamers to have both of best worlds. As the last piece of information, VA panels are regarded as the middle panel, meaning they have a balanced compromise between refresh rate and image quality. They are typically found in curved monitors, which is a high color production requirement, but also need a high refresh rate to satisfy the larger gamer market.
Should I Choose a 144 Hz Monitor?
Higher refresh rates equal greater smoothness in gaming. The 144 Hz refresh rate is the new trending phenomenon in the industry and with good reason, since the graphic cards now commonly support more than the standard 60 Hz. Without a gaming monitor that can utilize the capabilities of your GPU, you will not experience the optimal performance your hardware can deliver.
It certainly has divided gamers, where some love to see perfect color production, others are blown away by the smoothness 144 Hz monitors can deliver. Some gamers state that ‘once you try 144 Hz, you will never go lower (on refresh rates).’ What you get for a higher refresh rate is valued greater than the compromise you get on color accuracy if you are a fan of online shooting games, for example. On the other hand, we see other gamers say ‘once you try IPS, you will never go back to TN’, so it is pretty much up to each to identify their preferences and purpose of the monitor.
What is Pixel Response Time (Response time) – and How Does It Affect My Gameplay?
A smooth gaming experience is most likely to include a minimum of ghosting, among other things. Ghosting occurs when the pixels are too slow to react to the changes required by the game, and thus will look like the item is still there when it shouldn’t be. The difference between motion blur and ghosting should be apparent. Motion blur looks like a trail because the fps ratio is too slow to accommodate the fast paced requirements while ghosting is the result of the pixel response time being too slow to change to the required color. In the picture above to the left, a car is shown apparently driving fast. Now, there is no trail (maybe a bit), but the car looks a little ‘blurred’ because the pixels are too slow to react, and so the colors are not vividly showing. If there were a clear sign of motion blur, the car would be more stretched because the frames would come at a rate way too slow.
Ergo, the lower pixel response time, the less ghosting and smearing during gameplay, which makes it an obvious aspect to consider. Pixel response time can be measured in two ways; grey-to-grey (GtG) or black-white-black (BWB). The grey-to-grey pixel response time means the time it takes for 1 pixel to change from one color value of gray to another color value of gray while the black-white-black pixel response time means the time it takes for 1 pixel to modify the color value from black to white and back to black again. Most commonly used, is the grey-to-grey pixel response time because it is, for obvious reasons, the method that provides the fastest possible time to a pixel response time, since it is only one color value change that is measured and because the color value is closely aligned. When checking for the pixel response time, most manufacturers will just put the phrase “pixel response time” or “response time” which in both cases means the pixel response time measured with the grey-to-grey method. Otherwise, it is stated quite clearly, if the black-white-black method is used. The BWB pixel response time will tell the most about the response time performance, though, so keep this mind.
What are the other aspects worth knowing?
Okay, so we have now explained the importance of refresh rate and pixel response time. If you base your purchase on these two factors alone, you should be okay, assuming that you mainly want performance. But to help you choose the perfect monitor for gaming, we will continue our elaboration of all the factors necessary, when searching for the perfect gaming monitor.
How does Contrast Ratio make a difference in gaming?
Contrast ratio means the difference between the darkest and brightest color value the monitor can project. It is the difference between the white and black color value, but since all monitors use a backlight when turned on the black is in reality, a very dark gray since black is by definition the absence of light. You may have noticed that contrast ratio is presented two times when looking at the monitor specs. It may look something like 1000:1 and then beneath it is a number that could look like 1,000,000:1. The smaller number (first one), is the static contrast ratio, which is defined by the difference between the darkest and brightest color value as-is (the brightest color value is 1000 times brighter than the darkest color value). The higher number ( the second one) shows the difference between the darkest color value at the lowest brightness possible compared to the brightest color value at the highest brightness the monitor is capable. The most useful information between the two is the static contrast ratio since you have no use of the dynamic contrast ratio during gaming (you can only have one brightness setting at a time). IPS panels can have a higher contrast ratio than TN panels, but additional brand-specific features can also have an effect on the contrast. Acer is well-known for the contrast ratios on their monitors for example. BenQ has developed a feature called Black Equalizer, which is very convenient during gaming.
One would then think that the higher the contrast ratio, the wider color display range but there are numerous examples of this not being true – mainly because there is no standard for measuring the contrast ratio (no room lamination of reflection standards), so every manufacturer has their way of measuring the contrast ratio. However, regardless its sincerity, it should still be regarded as an important factor when deciding upon a gaming monitor. You don’t want a situation where you can’t see the difference between a dark blue and a dark gray or black pixel as it can have a tremendous effect on your gameplay when playing in a dark room where brightness is reduced.
BenQ’s Black Equalizer
Most gaming monitors from BenQ will have a feature called Black Equalizer. It is a characteristic that they have developed to compensate for the lack of color accuracy and range since they mostly use TN panels. The Black Equalizer will locate dark areas of the screen and highlight then, making it easier to spot campers in shooting games for example. In this way, BenQ can still use the cheaper and faster TN panels while still being able to provide gaming monitors that also seem to have an excellent contrast ratio.
What is Input Lag/ Display Lag and Why is it Important?
Input lag time is, in regards to monitors, the time it takes from pressing a button (on the keyboard or mouse) to that signal being processed through the I/O (input/output) ports of the cables and viewed on the screen. It just tells how much time it takes for that monitor to process the image received from your graphics card and show it on the screen. For professional or even average serious gamers, an input lag time of more than 30ms becomes the limit where it is noticeable, especially when playing FPS and racing games or generally games requiring quick actions. Besides the internet connection, high input lag is proclaimed as one of the reasons for mess-ups or in calculated mistakes during games. Therefore, input lag time, although not being a standardized unit of measurement for monitor general performance, is included as a factor in this guide and our reviews as it is quite important for most gamers. We recommend you to stay below an input lag time of 30 ms, of course depending on which level of gamer you are, as described before. An excellent gaming monitor with a very low input lag of 10 ms is the BenQ XL2720Z. Combined with its low response time and 144 Hz refresh rate makes the BenQ XL2720Z (includes Black Equalizer as well) a good choice for all level of gamers. See this monitor on Amazon here.
Is Screen Resolution Necessary for Performance?
The resolution tells you how many pixels can fit into a fixed 2-dimensional space (the screen). The higher resolution, the more pixels are available. So for a 24″ monitor, a display resolution of 1080p will be able to show more details than a resolution of 720p. The detail ability is apparently linked to the size of the screen as well. The bigger the screen, the higher resolution is necessary to maintain the same level of detail. In that sense, the resolution has a say when it comes to image quality. Gaming monitors of 24″ usually have the Full HD (1920x1080p) resolution, but according to comments from users from various gaming forums, the fun begins at a WQHD 2560x1440p resolution, because of the significantly increased quality in detail. A notable fact about resolution is that it is not as vital as many might think. It is still very possible to achieve an excellent image quality with a lower resolution and vice versa. BenQ has proved that in their 35″ Benq XR3501 (curved), which has a resolution of a relatively few 2560×1080.
The different resolutions have been named, as it is easier to write ‘Full HD’ or simply 1080p, instead of 1920x1080p. Just ensure that when you come across such an abbreviation, you know what it means. Resolution accounts for the level of detail that being said; it is not responsible for blurred or ghosted images (which was covered previously). What can happen if your resolution is too low, is that images can seem pixelated (squared spots become visible). Referring to YouTube, if you watch a clip in 720p, it is much more detailed and sharper than the 240p. On the same screen, the resolution also has a say when it comes to the range of which you can see. A 4K monitor (3840x2160p) resolution can show much more of an image than a Full HD resolution if the monitor is the same size. The picture above showcases this. Say the screen size is that of the 720p (on the picture), the 4K resolution picture would fit in that screen size – ergo, the 4K resolution can view the whole lake and the hill while the 720p is only able to show a bit of a sky.
We feel some general information about the resolution-to-size ratio would be nice to know. Generally, 24″ monitors should have a resolution of minimum Full HD and as you move up the ladder (in terms of “), 27″ looks significantly better with WQHD resolution. Although many gaming monitors are equipped with Full HD on their 27″ screen (and still performs rather well), we at monitor needs, believe that WQHD is the way to go from 27″. Above that, we have come to see a trending phenomenon in 4K resolution. Although, most commonly found in larger screen sizes (mostly 31.5″), Samsung and ASUS has, in their UE590 and PB287Q models, introduced 28″ gaming monitors with 4K resolution (the Samsung UE590 has Free-Sync as well).
A bit about aspect ratio
Aspect ratio tells you about the wideness of the monitor. Most monitors have an aspect ratio of 16:9, which means that the width is almost 1.8 times longer than the height. Curved monitors typically have an aspect ratio of 21:9 (ultra-wide screen) when the screen is larger than 27″. Generally in the sense that there are exceptions such as the Samsung S32E590C, which is a 31.5″ monitor with Full HD resolution and an aspect ratio of 16:9. Ultra-wide screens require more pixels for it to perform the same level of detail on the width than the wide screen. It is thus, not uncommon, to see a resolution of 3440x1440p in many curved monitors, one of the most promising ones being the Acer Predator XR341CK (with Free-Sync) or the Acer Predator X34 (with G-Sync).
The successor of 4K is the 8K resolution, which is named Full Ultra HD, or FUHD and has a resolution of 7680 x 4320p. Not too long ago, the Japanese company Japan Display introduced the first 8K monitor for computers, which is only 17”. It is expected that 8K monitors will be available in mid-2016.
The Method of Adaptive-Sync Technology
So I guess you have heard the word Free-Sync and G-Sync a couple of times already, if not in this buyers guide, then somewhere else. It is a trending and much-appreciated technology that not only eliminates screen tearing but also reduces input lag and response time.
As previously mentioned, screen tearing occurs during the mismatch between the refresh rate of the GPU and the monitor. Since the GPU has a dynamic refresh rate counter to the constant refresh rate of the monitor, screen tearing is a well-known phenomenon for, dare I say, every gamer.
As the illustration above so clearly shows, a fixed rate versus a dynamic rate is bound to create screen tear. Before adaptive sync technology, the software was designed to eliminate the screen tearing through the vertical synchronization or V-Sync. What it did (or does for that matter, since it still exists), is to put a cap on the maximum refresh rate of the GPU. Say the monitor produces 60 Hz, and the GPU produces 120 Hz at a given period. Enabling V-Sync will have show one whole frame from the GPU every time the monitor refreshes, so if the GPU provides twice as many frames as the monitor, the V-Sync will only allow one frame, and then wait for the next time the screen asks for a frame from the GPU.
If you understand my not-so-easy way of explaining it, then you can imagine the stuttering that can appear when the refresh rate of the GPU drops below 60 Hz, say for example 30 Hz. The monitor will then have to show the same frame twice since the GPU haven’t completed the next frame in time. Lag and stuttering are the results of such a scenario because the game has to ‘freeze’ before the next frame is available. So you have a choice; input lag and stuttering versus screen tear. Depending on the type of game you play you will have different priorities, but generally, during online gaming, lag should be avoided by all means.
Adaptive sync is a technology that is here to stay, and so far only nVidia and AMD has managed to develop adaptive sync features, which will be explained below.
G-Sync and Free-Sync – the difference
Nvidia’s G-Sync was the first product for a demanding market; that was set to eliminate screen tearing for good. Since the way it works is so similar to one another, we will not go into further details on how it perform its magic. G-Sync relies on a module chip; that is to be inbuilt in the monitor during production. For that reason, AMD released its version of adaptive sync called Free-Sync. The name probably refers to the fact that AMD wished that its adaptive sync should be open source, neglecting the need for an additional chip to coordinate GPU and monitor. The coordination between GPU and monitor is instead handled through the integrated display controller with Free-Sync.
G-Sync is a proprietary which means that monitor manufacturers should pay a license fee to nVidia when installing the G-Sync module. That makes the G-Sync module more expensive than Free-Sync, and it is not uncommon to see two almost identical monitors, but with each, their adaptive sync method, have a difference of $100 in price. An example could be the price difference between the 2 AOC monitors, the G2770PF which has Free-Sync and costs $299, and the g2460Pg which has G-Sync (and Motion Blur Reduction Technology) and costs $417. Other specs are almost identical (except for brightness, 300cd/cm2 versus 350cd/cm2).
Another difference is the way it is used. As previously mentioned, Free-Sync requires an integrated display controller from the GPU while G-Sync, because of their chip, does not require such a feature. That evidently means that Free-Sync can only be used by GPU from AMD that has the integrated display controller included while G-Sync can run on older GPU as well. NVidia claims that G-Sync is compatible with most of the GTX 600 series and up. Free-Sync is only compatible with the newest GPU from AMD, which has the integrated display controller.
The table below shows the GPU’s that currently supports AMD’s Free-Sync.
Another, maybe less noticeable difference, is the refresh range between the two technologies. G-Sync has a range of 30 – 144 Hz while Free-Sync ranges from 9 – 240 Hz. While it does not mean that the fps will drop to 9 Hz, it just signals the range at which monitor manufacturers should be aware when developing screens for each of these technologies.
The G-Sync module chip also limits a bunch of features which normally is adjustable on a regular monitor. A G-Sync monitor will most likely only have a DisplayPort output for connection, although some G-Sync monitors have the luxury of including HDMI, the G-Sync feature is only applicable through the DisplayPort. Audio port is not possible for G-Sync monitors either. Free-Sync allows for all connections imaginable, but just like G-Sync, it is only applicable through the DisplayPort.
Last notion valuable to know, is what happens when the GPU refresh rate drops below the range of the adaptive sync. When the fps drops below 40 Hz, say 25 Hz, the G-Sync module will show the frame at twice the rate of 25, making it 50 Hz. Showing the same frame twice, giving an illusion of 50 Hz, to work (can cause flickering if it stays like that for too long). Free-Sync resets the fps to the monitor maximum when it drops below the adaptive sync range of the Free-Sync.
When the fps reaches the above maximum range, the two adaptive sync technologies also differ in reaction. Free-Sync gives you the option of enabling V-Sync while G-Sync automatically allows it (V-Sync that is).
So which one is best? Well, that’s a subjective question. Even here at monitor needs, we have different opinions and research on various gaming forums didn’t provide us with a satisfied answer. It seems that both sides argument equally well for their choice but the support for G-Sync appears to be larger than that of Free-Sync in general. Toms Hardware tried an experiment to find out which one was perceived as better and discovered that G-Sync was regarded more enjoyable during Battlefield 4, for example. However, they explicitly state in their conclusion that Free-Sync is newer, and updates are expected as a reaction to the widespread publicity.
TN and IPS Panels
The first panel types that became the standard for LCD screens was the TN panels. Specially designed for massive online games, they provide the highest refresh rates and significantly low response times when compared to the IPS panels. However, the disadvantages of TN panels is the color display and color accuracy. Viewing angles are the worst of the panel technology currently out there. But when playing games, you are usually viewing the screen from the center. So the viewing angle just becomes a problem when the screen is larger than 27” – However, TN panels are still being upgraded to improve their color display and viewing angle abilities so don’t neglect a monitor based on the panel technology alone.
How IPS Differs from TN
To counter the problems found in TN panels (standard color display and poor display when viewed from sharp angles), IPS was developed. It provides excellent color display and display maintains its quality regardless of viewing angle. However, the refresh rates and response time are slower than that of TN panels in general. When I write “in general,” I say that in all its seriousness since the technology is being upgraded continuously so do not neglect a monitor based on the panel technology alone. In general, IPS is more suitable for the graphic designer than the gamer, but we see IPS technology on more and more gaming screens, thus the need to explain briefly it here. The BenQ XL2430T is a high rated screen among gamers, read more about it on Amazon here.
Other panel technologies are:
- Plane-to-Line Switching (PLS) Panel
Samsung’s own IPS inspired panel technology.
Vertical Alignment (VA) Panel
Described as a medium between the TN and IPS panels. The tradeoff is the color accuracy, contrast and viewing angle viewability with that of the worst response time of all the panels but high refresh rates. Benq XL2430T has an IPS panel and could be a qualifier as your next monitor, considerings its specs and low price.
Which Brands of Monitors Are Best for Gaming?
There are many different brands in the gaming monitor industry. They all have their pros and cons, but some are still more superior than the others when it comes to gaming. The most prominent brands are BenQ, Asus, Acer, Samsung, LG, Dell. They all have their brand-specific features that can support gaming. We will give you an introduction to the three biggest brands in gaming monitors, BenQ, Asus, and Acer. Asus MG279Q review is very an excellent choice for premium gamers.
What is Unique About BenQ Gaming Monitors?
We and many other gamers would choose BenQ gaming monitors to deliver the best performance. BenQ has developed many excellent features that are specially designed for gaming. BenQ is impressive when it comes to gaming monitors; they have a broad range of monitors specially designed for gamers. Many BenQ monitors have a blue light reduction option, which is very helpful to reduce strain on your eyes when playing prolonged hours. Almost all BenQ monitors also have many adjustability options including, height adjustment, tilt adjustment, Turning range, Pivot. All these design features are essential for good ergonomics. Another nice design feature of BenQ monitors is their mat, and nonreflective plastic around that encapsulates the display. It is much demanded from our gamers because a glossy finish can be enjoying to look. Most of their gaming monitors also have an anti-glare/ nonreflective display, which is another nice feature, especially when playing in the light-rich environment. The technical characteristics of their monitors are also impressive, including
Active motion blur reduction, Gaming Refresh rate Optimization Management (GROM), 20-Level Color Vibrance Setting, Flicker-free Technology and much more.
One of the best features in BenQ gaming monitors is the option to change the size of the
Display area. It can be very useful for competitive and professional gamers, who like to shift the size of the display area to gain more viewing angle during different games. Another excellent feature is the Dynamic Black eQualizer and Automatic Brightness Adjustments. This feature automatically adjusts the brightness and black color levels to give you maximum visibility during different situations in games. A nice design feature is the headphone holder, which comes with all monitors. Overall our brand of choice is BenQ, when it comes to gaming monitors, because of the mentioned reasons. Do you agree with our brand choice?. Some of the most exciting models from BenQ include BenQ XL2420G, BenQ RL2755HM, and BenQ XL2730Z. You can read more about them and many other models from BenQ in our monitor database. Let’s have a look at some of the other brands too.
Just a last thing to mention, BenQ now lets you download preset gaming calibrations to match your BenQ monitor settings to those of some of the best gamers in their respective fields. Read more about BenQ here.
How about Asus gaming monitors?
Asus is the another brand with some of the best gaming monitors on the market. Asus gaming monitors have evolved a lot over time and are getting better and better. As with BenQ, Asus also have many helpful features specially designed for gaming. Including, Flicker-Free, GamePlus, and GameVisual, in-plane switching technology display. All these features can improve the gaming experience. If you want to know more about these particular features, you can read more about them on Asus own website for their gaming monitors here: www.asus.com.
Asus have also had more and more focus on the ergonomics of their monitors, which have resulted in many adjustability options in their latest monitors. They also provide the cheap blue light option like BenQ, mostly in their latter gaming monitors. The have also gone from glossy designs to more mat materials to give a better design impression; it’s also mostly on their latter monitors. Overall Aus gaming monitors can compete with BenQ, and either brand is a good choice. Especially their latest gaming monitors are impressive, with WQHD, good color accuracy, g sync, free sync and much more. Our reviews will probably include many Asus and BenQ monitors, so keep an eye on our website. Let’s look at one more prominent brand. If you are looking for an Asus monitor, then we can recommend you the Asus VG248QE. Check Asus website is you want to know more about them.
And Acer Gaming Display?
Acer is also defiantly with mentioning as a reputable brand. Acer gaming monitors are getting better, and many of the latest can be leveled with previously mentioned giants Asus and BenQ. When it comes to ultrawide curved monitors user is the king 2015. They have a significant range of impressive ultrawide curved gaming monitors. Especially the Acer Predator X34 review is something from another world, which we will review in details later. Acer also has some excellent technology features for gaming, including free sync, Flicker-less technology, Acer ComfyView, etc. but not as much as Asus and BenQ. Compared to BenQ and Asus they have very limited ergonomic design features, which is very disappointing. Since gamers spend many hours in front of the screen useful ergonomic features are essential. They still provide some decent features, so it’s no big deal. Most of their monitors have glossy colors, which many gamers don’t like so much.
How to Find the Best Monitor for Your Color Critical Work\Photo Editing Monitor\Video Editing screen
If you are in the field of graphics designing, video editing or photo editing, choosing the right monitor for your work is key.
The answer is one of a lot of technicalities – all that can be summarized in two simple words:
If you are in the field of editing, details are crucial. Hence, the need for a monitor that suits your requirements in just the right way. There are a lot of professional monitors out there for you to spend your money on. But finding what’s perfect for you without professional help is like finding a needle in a haystack.
With hundreds of manufacturers and thousands of choices, it can get confusing. Here is the gist – all the necessary information that you need to know if you are planning on buying a monitor for photo editing:
What Is Most Important?
Three things – Resolution, Size and the monitor’s ‘ability to show colors.’ Everything else is pretty much a blur. These are the specifications that focus on these three things the most, and make up for a great monitor:
IPS: In Plane Switching monitors are true 8 bit, and they have the best color accuracy and reproduction of the four types of monitors that are manufactured (Twisted Nematic, IPS, MVA, and PVA). If you start your hunt with going after an IPS monitor as the first step, you are already halfway through.
8-bit colors: We are talking about a ‘minimum amount’ here.
Widescreen: You should always prefer a widescreen instead of the square screen. This is because most DSLR cameras produce high-quality widescreen images.
Color specs: There should be a good uniformity of colors. Color tinting and shifting needs to be at a minimum, or not at all. An extended color gamut for a superior range of colors is a must. Ideally, IPS monitors that have 16.7 million colors or have a specification of 10-bit, supporting 1.07 billion colors are good. A coverage of sRGB color gamut that is 99% or more is ideal.
Monitor Size and Resolution: The size of the monitor needs to be 21 inches and above. Recommended size for high quality is 24 inches, and the minimum resolution needs to be 1920×1080. A calibration option is always a plus.
Response time: It matters a lot when it comes to video editing, so it needs to be way above average.
Wide viewing angles and depth: These are crucial for image viewing, editing, and reproduction. A good Black depth is also mandatory.
Connector and ports: The monitor should have a minimum of 1 DV1 connector. Additional USB ports or connectors are always a better idea.
While you are hunting for perfection, your pockets also affect the output. Let’s divide the budget into three categories and based on that, list some options that might suit the budget:
Low: The formula is simple – if you have a small budget, the key is to compromise the screen size for a good Panel type. Go with an IPS Panel that is 21” or lower in size. There are numerous good e-IPS (economic IPS) monitors available on the market under $300, the Viewsonic VP2365-LED and the Asus PB238Q being two such examples. Remember- you can compromise size, but you can’t compromise the quality of a monitor.
Medium: This is the price range of the majority of buyers. The best thing to do with a medium budget is to pick an IPS monitor between 24″-27″ that has more than 100% color gamut and a short response time. One such example is the Dell UltraSharp U2715H – which is a 27″ professional monitor that costs less than $800.
High: If you are planning to spend more than $1000 on a monitor, a lot depends on the size as most high-end monitors are equipped with excellent color capacity, gamut, accuracy, and reproduction. One good example is the 24″ ColorEdge CG246-BK – an Eizo monitor that costs around $2200.
Designing is delicate work. For a monitor that is tailored to suit your needs, all you need to do is be on the lookout for the above things and make a choice based on them. The world of technology is changing fast – and with this rise in competition, comes products that suit the budget of most people. While making a purchase, act cleverly. Do your research and remember – you can’t put a price tag on quality!
Best Gaming Monitor – Panel Type
In the forthcoming series of articles, we will explore the different important aspects of selecting a gaming monitor. We will keep the information relevant and only present the most significant of them, so we don’t get distracted with necessary information. We will create separate articles explaining them in details if you would want to know more about them.
As we go along with these articles, you will get closer to exactly knowing which specifications your monitor should have. In the last article, we will present you with our handpicked list of the current best gaming monitors you can choose. We are still in the process of testing and reviewing this list, and it will be ready soon.
Which panel type should you choose for your gaming monitor?
The Panel type is one of the most important aspects when you select a gaming monitor. There are three main types of panels- TN panels VA panels and IPS panels. We will explore the most significant differences and find out which suits you best.
TN panel: Twisted Nematic
The video below shows the viewing angles of a TN panel monitor.
TN panels usually have static contrast ratios of 1000:1, which is much lower than VA panels and about the same as IPS panels.
They have the lowest prices of the three-panel types. If you compare three identical monitors with the only difference being the panel type, the monitor with TN panel will have the lowest price.
TN panels have the lowest response times and the highest refresh rates for the money.
They have the worst viewing angles and color performance of the three-panel types. The color distortion can be noticed even a few degrees away from the center of the screen.
When to choose TN:
Select a TN panel if you want the highest performance for your money and you don’t care as much about the viewing angles color accuracy and color consistency of your monitor. Since most of the time we sit right in front of the screen, the wide viewing angles are not that necessary for the majority of us. But when you use bigger screens you will experience color distortion on the sides of the monitor, even while sitting right in front of the screen. If you mainly play FPS, racing or other similar fast paced games, you have a limited budget, and you don’t want a bigger screen then about 24″ inches, then go for TN panel, and you will get the most for your money.
When not to choose a TN panel:
If you also use your gaming monitor for other purposes like video/photo/graphical work or similar where the color accuracy is essential, then never choose a TN Panel. Or if you value color quality and wide viewing angles, then a TN panel is not the right choice for you. And we don’t recommend a TN panel for bigger screens, because of the color distortion on the peripherals of the monitor.
VA Panel: Verticle alignment
Some of the main advantages of VA panels include high contrast ratios typically of 2000:1 and 5000:1. They have much better viewing angles and color reproduction than TN panels but still lower than IPS Panels. VA panels are also less prone to “backlight bleed” or “clouding” since they are good at blocking backlight leakage. The entire surface of an LCD panel is light from behind by a light source (CCFL or LED). Backlight bleeding occurs when this light is not completely blocked from reaching the surface of the screen.
They are more expensive than the TN panels.
VA panels still don’t have the best color reproduction and viewing angles.
VA panels have significantly higher response times than TN panels, which can lead to more motion blur. Although the Backlight strobing technology has reduced the visual appearances of this issue a bit.
When to choose them:
Choose VA if you want a panel that has better color reproduction and viewing angles than TN. They are also good if you were watching a lot of movies and series on your monitor, especially because of their high contrast ratios. VA panels are usually found in many curved monitors. The latest and most popular screens now in days either have TN, or IPS panels and not as many monitors are equipped with VA panels. VA panels are still not ideal for color-critical work.
IPS type panels: In- Plain switching
IPS panels have the best viewing angles, best color accuracy and best color consistency of all the different panel types. This makes IPS panel monitors ideal for color-critical work. In the recent years, IPS panels have got the same high refresh rates as the TN panels. And the pixel responsiveness has also got better, as well as the prices are getting lower. This also makes IPS panels an excellent candidate as a gaming monitor. Whether it is for gaming, photo editing, graphical work, video or watching movies IPS panel can handle them all at the same time. Many modern IPS panels are more responsive ( have lower response time) than VA panels.
There is almost always some cons when there are pros, so let’s explore them. First of all, the price of IPS panels are significantly higher than their counterpart TN panel monitors, but in our opinion, it is worth it. The another thing is that IPS panels still don’t have as low response times as TN panels, but they are getting there. So if you play faced paced games, then there occur more motion blur and ghosting compared to TN panels. Another weakness of IPS panels are the relatively lower contrast ratios compared to VA panels. Nothing less modern IPS panels have a typically static contrast ratio of 1000:1 similar to TN panels. IPS glow is another con of these panel types, which is a glow of light when viewing dark content from off angles.
When to choose them:
IPS panels are the only right option for you if you also want to use your gaming monitor for color critical work besides gaming. Off course also, if you value color quality. You should also consider an IPS panel if you want a bigger screen than about 24” inches if you don’t want distorted colors on the peripherals of the monitor. And if you often watch movies with friends or when yourself or other people have to view the screen from different angles. We think that the modern IPS panels are the ideal choice for our gamers if you have the budget for it. When we buy a monitor, we keep it for extended periods of time and us usually only have that one display that we use for many other purposes than just gaming. You will never go wrong with a modern IPS panel monitor.
Pixio PX277 Review: Almost the Perfect Gaming screen
Launching 144Hz Freesync gaming monitor at a price as affordable as $390, Pixie is an up-and-coming brand that is becoming increasingly popular among the gamers. Pixio has been developed by the Korean-American company ‘Patchworks’ in an attempt to shake things up in the market regarding both quality and cost.
The company’s motto is to provide users with high-end products at very affordable costs. Now a gaming utility such as the Pixio PX277, which has all the features of a $600 monitor (an IPS panel, a 144Hz refresh rate, AMD’s FreeSync technology, and a 1440p resolution), being available for less than $400 sounds too good to be true. However, this is made possible by Pixio spending less on middlemen and overhead costs, and shipping the monitor to the end used directly.
“Pixio presents high standard products for less, by eliminating all middle excess such as salespersons, extravagant shops, or a fancy advertising. We focus on fulfilling your high standard without overly unfulfilling your resources.”
(Pixio’s Mission Statement)
Let’s deep dive into Pixio’s PX277 and take a look at what this monitor has to offer.
Panel Type: IPS
Screen size: 27 inches
Refresh Rate: 144 Hz
Response time: 4 ms
Contrast Ratio: 1,000:1
Viewing angles: 178(H), 178(V)
Input/Output: HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2a, mini DisplayPort 1.2a
Power: 12V 5A
Speakers: 5Wx5W (in-built)
Mounting: 100mm x 100mm (VESA)
First of all, let’s talk about firepower. The biggest reason this monitor is blowing people’s minds away is that it is a gaming monitor that is besting other displays 1.5 times its cost. The Pixio PX277 measures 27 inches, has an IPS panel, a 2560 x 1440p native resolution and a pixel density of 109 pixels per inch. Now this kind of a pixel concentration on a big display results in the images appearing crystal-clear. The browsing experience on the Pixio PX277 is amazing, thanks to these specs being backed up by 16:9 aspect ratio and a 4ms response time. This response time also gives the monitor the ability to game in Ultra high definition without tearing issues.
The Flicker-free technology featured in this monitor allows the frames on the screen to change at such a high rate that it eliminated the perception of ‘screen flicker.’ However, gaming on more than 1080p without adjusting some settings first can strain your graphics card. So what you need to do is to find a right balance of settings first before you go all crazy with the gaming part.
The refresh rate of the PX277 is a stunning 144Hz, and the AMD’s FreeSync technology (ranging from 55 to 144Hz) makes the gaming experience as good as it can be. If you chose to dip below that range, you’re covered by AMD’S ‘Low Framerate Compensation’ that adjusts the graphics card output and refresh rate in order to stop screen tearing and motion juddering. No worries there!
To add to the gaming experience, the Pixio PX277 features a Game Mode, which provides a heightened visibility and detail by brightening the dark scenes. There are 5-Watt in-built speakers for gamers who hate wearing headsets! There just aren’t any complaints with the Pixio PX277 when it comes to gaming.
Now, let’s dig into the panel and the build of the monitor. The PX277 uses the same IPS panel that monitors like ASUS MG279Q and Acer XB270HU use. Now these monitors cost way over $550 easily, but there is no difference in the panels or the functioning of the monitors. An IPS panel provides a way better output regarding color reproduction and wider viewing angles as compared to a TN panel.
The screen is a 27-inch WQHD (Wide Quad High Definition), and the build of the monitor is sturdy and frill-free. There is nothing fancy going on here – this display is made for performance alone. The Pixio logo on display is modest and is more of a darker burgundy color than a bright red. The large bezel around the monitor can be an eyesore, though.
When talking about the build, we have to mention comfort. The stand of the Pixio PX277 allows you to adjust the monitor’s tilt, but there is no height or swivel adjustability, that can be an issue for some people. There are built-in buttons that you can use to adjust some settings, but when you do, you realize that the stand is also a bit wobbly. The IPS panel gives you the advantage of having a wide 178X178˚ viewing angle. This, combined with PX277’s VESA mounting capability provides you with the power of gaming with a lot of comforts. You can use a third party arm mount to position the monitor as per your comfort. These features also make this monitor ideal for multi-monitor setups, since the viewing angles are wide and excellent.
The monitor also features Glare Light Anti-Reflection coating. An AR coating is a type of optical coating that is done on the surfaces of a monitor to reduce reflection and glare. Because of this coating, since less light is ‘lost,’ the contrast of the image is improved by the elimination of this light. PX277 also has Low Blue Light Technology that helps reduce the strain exerted on the eyes while using the monitor in a dark room/at night. We all know that the infamous and invisible UV rays can be harmful to the eyes. But the wavelength of visible blue light is the closest to that of the UV, making it less ideal for the eyes. It can cause eye fatigue and dryness fast. What this technology does is, it lowers the amount of blue light coming out of the monitor without affecting the user’s experience. Subtle, but very effective.
Combine these features with Pixio’s Flicker-free technology, and we have a monitor that is suitable for those long overnight sittings.
With an excellent On Screen Display, Pixio PX277 also has a broad range of options for the user to connect and interact. The seven buttons on display are a little bit clunky, though. On the back of the display, there are two HDMI inputs, one Display Port, one mini-Display Port, and one DVI input. So that takes care of all the basic needs of the end user. With the monitor, you get a Display Port cable, an audio cable and an external power supply (which can sometimes run hot).
144 Hz Refresh Rate (High-performance FPS gaming)
4ms Response time (Stutter free, Tear free, Flicker free gaming)
16×9 display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440p
Adaptive sync technology (AMD’s Freesync)
Excellent connectivity (DVI, 2 HDMI, 1 Display Port, 1 Mini-display Port)
Shipped directly from the company to the user
The buttons on display are clunky
There is no height or swivel adjustability
The stand is a little bit wobbly
The power supply runs a bit hot
The warranty provided by Pixio is valid only for one year
The Bezel around the monitor is a bit too large
The Pixio PX277 is the cheapest 27-inch IPS gaming monitor on the market, and it has no performance issues as such. If there is a concern here, it’s only the absence of the fancy-fancy. But what you lose in looks, you gain in massive gaming firepower. So if you have a love for gaming, the PX277 is a thing of beauty, despite its modest looks.
✅ ✅ We have done an extensive research and collected a list of the Best Gaming Monitors available now. 144hz monitors, 4k Gaming Monitors✅
Learn more about computer monitors on Wikipedia