In this guide, we will present you the best gaming monitors currently available, including 144hz monitors, 1440p monitors, top 4k monitors, best ultrawide monitors and more. Monitor technology has matured drastically in the past two years. 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.
Best Gaming Monitors 2018 | Handpicked by MonitorNerds
Best Budget / Cheap 144hz Monitor November 2018
Overall Best Gaming Monitor November 2018
Best Professional Monitor for Work and Play November 2018
Best Ultra-Wide Gaming Monitor November 2018
II. The Best Gaming Monitors (November 2018)
You can find the best gaming monitors in the following sections of this comprehensive guide. Each product offers unique features and advantages, so we arranged our selection according to their native resolutions comprising of 1080p, 1440p, 4K, and Ultra-Wide so you can easily find a suitable product for your needs and system specs.Note: If you want to learn more about choosing the best gaming monitor, please see Section III and IV of this Buying Guide.
1. 1080p/FHD (1920 x 1080)
1080p or Full HD (1920 x 1080) is still the format of choice for professional and sponsored gaming tournaments such as ESL, so avid gamers are no stranger to this resolution and have no qualms in investing in this category. 1080p has been around for ages, but even if some techies and members of the community are claiming that 1080p is obsolete, we believe it has at least, three to four more years before phasing out. Another benefit of staying at FHD is that these products usually stay below $300 (except for premium G-Sync offerings) so going this route will not cost you an arm and a leg. This resolution is also past its point of maturity, so for most applications, 1080p is optimized so the pixel count runs easier on any GPU, even the entry-level models.
|Monitor (Click for Review)||Best Price From Amazon||Size||Resolution||Panel||Refresh Rate||Response Time|
|AOC G2460PF||24 Inch||1920 x 1080||TN||144Hz||1ms|
|Acer Predator XB241H||24 Inch||1920 x 1080||TN||188Hz||1ms|
|Asus VG245H||25 Inch||1920 x 1080||TN||240Hz||1ms|
|Asus ROG Swift PG258Q||24 Inch||1920 x 1080||TN||180Hz||1ms|
|BenQ Zowie RL2755||27 Inch||1920 x 1080||TN||60Hz||1ms|
|BenQ Zowie XL2430||24 Inch||1920 x 1080||TN||144Hz||1ms|
|ViewSonic XG2401||24 Inch||1920 x 1080||TN||144Hz||1ms|
Acer Predator XB241H – Great 180Hz G-Sync Monitor
Acer’s Predator line of displays is some of the best gaming products you can get on the market. Currently, the company is trying to catch up to Asus, the worldwide leader in this regard, but you can’t consider their products to be secondary. The Acer Predator XB241H is one such product, and we can compare it as an equal to the amazing PG248Q from Asus. This model also has a maximum refresh rate of up to 180Hz, G-Sync and an aggressively styled exterior making it worthy to sit next to your uber-powerful gaming rig.
One big point to consider the XB241H over the Asus option is that most enthusiasts and the gaming community know Acer to have better quality control over its competitor. If you can get this model for a lower price, you can’t go wrong since it is one of the best products your money can buy in this category.
ViewSonic XG2530 – Best Priced 240Hz Competitive Gaming Monitor
It’s no secret that ViewSonic is one of the top names when it comes to value per dollar gaming monitors which at times, surpass the competition when it comes to quality. The ViewSonic XG2530 is another one of the company’s fantastic offerings that come with a 240Hz refresh rate and FreeSync for unmatched responsiveness and graphics smoothness. This monitor takes advantage of the capabilities of a super-fast TN panel and takes it further to provide E-Sports levels of gaming enjoyment to the masses.
Another one of ViewSonic XG2530’s natural advantages is its Rampage Response technology which is one of the best blur reduction overdrives we have ever tested. With this affordable model, you sacrifice premium aesthetics and a few other knick-knacks, but you get to enjoy what matters most. Full adjustability, robust build quality, plus a solidly reliable performance makes this one of the greats in the 240Hz segment.
Asus is no stranger to the top of the line, so it is safe to say that your best bet for an FHD option with G-Sync is the all new Asus ROG Swift PG258Q. The older PG248Q was impressive since it could reach 180Hz via an overclock, but this latest model can display a native 240Hz which is double the previous standard. Aside from the class-leading speed and responsiveness, the Asus ROG Swift PG258Q now boasts the 2nd version of the ROG design treatment which includes the ergonomic helix stand, LED projector, and an aggressive design which screams ultra premium gamer.
240Hz already exceeds expectations when it comes to curing motion blur and other issues, but with the PG258Q, you still get Nvidia’s G-Sync to cure stutters and tears. These two characteristics work hand in hand to produce the best visuals your money can buy. Finally, much like its predecessors, the Asus ROG Swift PG258Q is built to last thanks to its robust build quality and material refinement.
AOC G2460PF – Best Budget 144Hz Monitor
Getting a display with 144Hz refresh rate could demolish your hard-earned funds, but there are a few excellent choices which over around the $200 mark. If you have budget constraints but want buttery smooth gaming goodness, your choices lie with the AOC G2460PF. For what it lacks when compared to high-end offerings, this model provides fast refresh and response rates for a smoother and tear-free visual experience at a considerably low price point.
If that’s not enough, this model also packs Freesync, so your graphics-heavy titles are also insured to have smooth-flowing eye-candy. The G2460PF looks like a typical enterprise offering dressed in red in black, but AOC did not skimp on adding useful features such as USB 3.0 ports and a multitude of signal input options with included cables. All these features make the AOC G2460PF one of the dollars per dollar champions in this roundup, so you can’t go wrong.
BenQ Zowie RL2755 – Best Lag-Free Console Gaming Monitor
For ages, consoles like the Playstation and Xbox were designed to tether to TVs to play games. That kind of setup isn’t bad for a lot of users, but for those who are sensitive to input lag, the BenQ Zowie RL2755 is your solution. This model only has a 60Hz refresh rate and an input lag which hovers around 10ms on average, making it quicker than your average LCD TV. Using TVs are also unsuitable for PCs due to the lower pixel density, so texts and small objects will usually appear jagged or edges will look serrated.
The RL2755 alleviates this since it is primarily a monitor, making it a two in one product for users who are looking for a flexible and space saving visual solution. We also know BenQ Zowie to produce products with fantastic build quality, so the external features such as ergonomics and details such as extra I/O ports make the RL2755 one of the better and flexible multi-input gaming displays in the market.
BenQ Zowie XL2430 – Fast 144Hz E-Sports Monitor
One of the reasons users acquire gaming-grade monitors is that they want the fastest performance and snappiest response. Products with these capabilities are usually the weapon of choice for prestigious tournaments. The BenQ Zowie XL2430 isn’t a stranger to these events since it is one of the fastest 1080p gaming displays we have seen to date. Apart from the fantastic gaming performance, BenQ Zowie also did not forget to include some of the best gamer-centric features we saw in a display, which includes blur reduction, genre-specific presets, and a fully adjustable stand with a dedicated OSD remote (S-Arc Switch).
The addition of small details such as the pop-out headset hanger, increment markers on the point of adjustment, and a clean, no frills design makes the XL2430 one of the best monitors you can get to maximize your gaming needs, making this model one of the top choices for a lot of prominent professionals.
ViewSonic XG2401 – Fantastic Freesync Monitor
The ViewSonic XG2401 is one of the less traditional but excellent performing gaming monitor we have in this product since this model is known to edge out the offerings from bigger brand names. One of this option’s acclaimed capabilities is its superb motion blur implementation which has minimal image flaws when used at a higher setting. The XG2401 is also popular for its improved color and gamma accuracy, two characteristics which are usually not associated with hyper-fast TN panels. This monitor also has refresh speeds of up to 144Hz and Freesync to go along with the fantastic color performance to provide a visual fiesta for any user.
The outside look of this model is dull when compared to competitors, but upon testing this product, we noticed it had a more stable and robust stature and built quality, making it a great mainstay for your battle station. If these positive notes aren’t enough to convince you, the ViewSonic XG2401 is also one of the cheapest Freesync monitors you can get, but it’s better than most visual performance at a more affordable price point quickly makes it to the top of the list.
AOC Agon AG251FZ – Best 240Hz FreeSync Gaming Monitor
The AOC Agon AG251FZ is one of the best gaming monitors we have tested in both performance and exterior design. What makes this model stand out its minimalist design which the brand equipped with utilitarian features such as the remote and the ergonomic and metallic stand which adds a certain level of flavor to the model. The combination of matte black and red was smartly used since the device doesn’t look tacky or cheap at all.
Performance-wise, the AOC Agon AG251FZ I one of the fastest monitors around with a 3.6ms input lag result when the overdrive function is turned on. Color performance is reasonably accurate and vibrant enough to keep games enjoyable, but as usual, we tend to focus on TN tech’s speed more than its imaging output. If these selling points aren’t enough, rest assured that your graphics and eye candy will be smooth if you have an AMD card since FreeSync functions from 48Hz up to 240Hz for this model.
BenQ XL2546 –Best 240Hz E-Sports Monitor with DyAc Technology
The BenQ XL2546 is a gaming monitor built with accuracy and speed minus extra features that matter less when in-game clashes happen at a split second. For the price, this option includes every aspect that we love from the XL line such as the S-Switch Arc and the ergonomic, but sturdy and attractive design. To enhance its purpose in the competitive gaming scene, the XL2546 adds BenQ’s wing-like flaps which help to maintain focus and avoid glare.
What makes the BenQ XL2546 a top choice is it can produce a 240Hz refresh rate which helps to reduce blurring while reducing delays in your controls. Every aspect of the monitor such as latency and color accuracy aced our test, so choosing this monitor means you get the cream of the crop performance worth every dollar spent. But what differentiates this offering is its Dynamic Action Sync technology which is actually a new and improved version of BenQ’s faulty Blur Reduction feature which corrects all the flaws without affecting output such as backlight brightness.
2. 1440P/2K/QHD (2560 x 1440p)
1440p Monitors present the next logical step in upgrading or building a new system since this resolution will be the next mainstream 16:9 standard when 1080p finally ages out. This category is for people who want to step up with better clarity, image detail, and an upsized viewing space without having to upgrade the system. By today’s standards, QHD is already optimized to run from midrange to semi-high end GPUs so that you could get away with a $300 to $450 graphics card. Keep in mind that some titles November require the best and expensive cards to run at more than 60FPS, so in some instances, you November not have enough power to maximize a $500 144Hz display from this list. Pricing for these products also increase considerably when compared to 1080p offerings, so you might need to put that into consideration if your budget is limited.
|Monitor (Click for Review)||Best Price From Amazon||Size||Resolution||Panel||Refresh Rate||Response Time|
|Asus ROG Swift PG278QR||27 Inch||2560 x 1440||TN||144Hz||1ms|
|ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q||27 Inch||2560 x 1440||IPS||165Hz||4ms|
|Asus MG278Q||27 Inch||2560 x 1440||TN||144Hz||1ms|
|Acer XB271HU||24 Inch||2560 x 1440||IPS||165Hz||4ms|
|Dell S2417DG||27 Inch||2560 x 1440||TN||165Hz||1ms|
|BenQ Zowie XL2730||27 Inch||2560 x 1440||TN||144Hz||1ms|
|Samsung C32HG70||32 Inch||2560x 1440||VA||144Hz||4ms|
Asus PG278QR – Best G-Sync 1440p TN Panel Monitor
The Asus ROG Swift PG278QR is the upgraded version of the acclaimed Asus ROG Swift PG278Q which was our best overall monitor for quite some time. This product still sports the same high-quality TN panel capable of incredible color reproduction and contrast, dispelling the age-old argument that TN will always suck compared to IPS. This model can now put out up to a 165Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and a little over 3 seconds of input lag making it one of the fastest gaming monitors available on the market. G-Sync is also involved in the ecstatic capabilities of this display, so 1440p gaming with AAA titles such as Battlefield where the maximum threshold cannot be easily reached or if FPS always varies, Nvidia’s proprietary VRR tech will save the day, providing gamers with buttery smooth images and transitions in the game. One significant advantage of TN products is that they are less prone to ghosting or artifacts, due to the faster pixel response.
To top all these specs off, the brand includes their gamer-focused features such as GamePlus and genre-based presets, plus an aggressive and well-designed exterior which we consider as among the best in the market. Another feature we love about this model and its fellow ROG Swift displays is the inclusion of a multi-direction joystick which provides a convenient way to navigate the OSD. This characteristic is a feature sorely needed by high-end monitors with a lot of submenus in their OSDs. The performance, excellent craftsmanship, materials and design at the current price point makes the Asus ROG Swift PG278QR one of the top choices gamers could acquire for their visual needs.
ASUS PG279Q – Great IPS Gaming Monitor with G-Sync
The Asus PG279Q is one of the best 27-inch 1440p IPS panel monitors we have seen to grace the gaming market to date, making one of the key contributors to the company’s rise as the number 1 brand for this niche. The gorgeous IPS panel is capable of a 165Hz refresh rate and 4ms pixel response time, making it slightly better than the regular 144Hz competitors trying to steal the crown. The screen also has excellent color and contrast performances, and to match the high refresh rate, we have tested the PG279Q to only have an unnoticeable 3.25ms of input lag. 1440p isn’t as easy to run on just any graphics card, so for Nvidia owners, this product also carries G-Sync functionality to keep games silky smooth as the FPS climbs or drops. IPS panels are also prone to ghosting due to the slower pixel response, but Asus also includes their Trace Free option to apply an overdrive solve the image defects caused by this flaw. As if the bleeding-edge specs of this product weren’t enough, Asus also includes their gamer-centric features such as GamePlus features and genre-specific presets. We do, however, prefer to tweak the settings based on our terms, for improved color accuracy and saturation in different situations. Another essential characteristic of this fantastic product is its outstanding build quality, with its graphite black exterior and excellent range of ergonomics. To further elaborate on the gaming pedigree of this model, Asus also incorporated subtle decorations such as the pulsing light in motion feature on the base, along with angular and aggressive lines to complement the ROG moniker.
Asus MG278Q – Best TN Freesync 1440p Monitor
If you are in the red (AMD) team, and you want the performance and features of the G-Sync exclusive PG278Q, your best choice is the Asus MG278Q, which is easily one of the best TN 1440p monitors we have seen to date. Color reproduction is superb for a TN panel, although viewing angles are still worse than other types. Still, the mechanism of the MG278Q’s stand which is a direct copy of the premium PG versions minus the lighting, allows users to adjust the 27-inch screen to get a perfect and comfortable view for your enjoyment. This model utilizes Freesync at 42Hz to 144Hz, which means you can enjoy buttery-smooth imagery if you have a compatible AMD card. Another thing we love about the MG278Q is its fair pricing, which can sometimes dip below $500 in the market. If you want the IPS version, you can opt for the MG279Q at a considerably higher price point, and this is the main reason why we chose the TN version since it is more affordable and easier to find at this time.
Acer Predator XB271HU –Best IPS 1440p G-Sync Monitor
Asus has always dominated the market and lists like this, but when you visit the different forums and ask its enthusiast netizens which are the best option for the money, they will gladly answer that it is the Acer Predator XB271HU. This model applies a similar IPS panel from AU Optronics found on the PG279Q, but what sets these two apart from the design is implementation. A lot of users argue that the XB271HU has a better color performance that its competitors, but what made us add this model to this list is its long-standing reputation as one of the products with the best quality control. The IPS lottery challenge still applies, but feedback suggests that most of the customers who opted for the Predator offering suffered fewer image defects such a IPS glow or Back Light Bleed.
The design of the XB271HU is also equally stunning in its right; it uses a famed black and red theme to maximize the gamer effect it has when it sits beside your monster rig. Ergonomics are also excellent on this product, but another design characteristic we like on the XB271HU is its three-side Zero Border Design which virtually gets rid of the plastic strips that sit on the face of a monitor that we all hate. Couple that with the 165Hz refresh rate, G-Sync functionality and the stunning image qualities of IPS, the Acer XB271HU is indeed the best 1440p monitor you can buy at this point.
Dell S2417DG – Best Compact 1440p G-Sync Monitor
What makes the Dell S2417DG a top choice aside from its gamer-centric features is its excellent pixel density of 122.38PPI, which is a result of its massive 2560 x 1440 resolution neatly tucked in a table top-friendly 24-inch form factor. This characteristic provides an unrivaled level of detail for games and basic home and office applications, at just the right size making small items visible enough. To complement this, Dell includes a hyper-fast TN panel capable of 165Hz for silky smooth image transitions, so your games, window panning or movies will appear crisp thanks to the resolution, but tear and judder free as well. It is a fact that TN suffers from color degradation and poor viewing angles, but the panel in this model is a highly improved iteration over what other cheap monitors offer. Colors and contrast are amazing enough and a few steps closer to IPS capabilities, but of course the latter is still better overall.
Also, the 2560 x 1440 resolution will require a substantial amount of rendering power for its massive field of view, so even the best midrange graphics cards November find it difficult to produce stable FPS rates. For this dilemma, Nvidia’s G-Sync comes to the rescue. This tech adds a price premium to the package, but for what it’s worth, it does a fantastic job at resolving image defects and judders without inducing any dreaded input lag. All these awe-inspiring characteristics are neatly wrapped in a subtle and professional looking and exterior, with the right amount of functionality in a more compact form factor making the Dell S2417DG suitable for any environment without emphasizing on gamer-centric looks which do not always appeal to some users.
BenQ Zowie XL2730 – Best 1440p Monitor for Competitive Gaming
E-Sports products have spread in popularity faster than a zombie apocalypse can, so it’s no surprise that brands like BenQ Zowie arise to provide gamers with the best cutting edge products that can imbue some advantages for any competition. Although usually monitors for this type of application are 1080p and 24 inches in size, BenQ Zowie did not forget players who would want a bigger field of view and extreme levels of clarity you can get from 1440p. So they went on ahead and released the XL2730, one of the fastest 144Hz TN displays we have seen to date. Aside from having 144Hz, this model is also known to have less than 10ms of input lag which slightly pushes it past a lot of competing offerings.
Aside from the snappy response, you also get Freesync and an acceptable color performance which is suitable to FPS titles you would use this product with. One of the best aspects that make this option great is its exterior design and functionality that we all love here at Monitornerds, from the superb ergonomics to the gamer-centric extras like the S-Switch Arc, an integrated headset hanger, and a range of ergonomics with demarcations that all improve the gamer’s visual experience. Aside from the stellar performance and design, you can rely on the XL2730’s robust build to provide you with years of service for ultimate Freesync gaming enjoyment.
Samsung C32HG70 – Curved 144Hz Gaming Monitor with Quantum Dot
The Samsung C32HG70 combines superb colors and profound contrast levels with its Quantum Dot backlight-equipped VA panel. This combination boosts the screen’s vibrancy to help it produce HDR compatibility that enhances your visual experience with eye-popping vibrancy and depth. The combination of a 144Hz refresh rate and FreeSync make it a must buy if you want a larger QHD gaming monitor, since the two guarantee a smooth, and blur-free gaming session.
One of the things we absolutely love about the Samsung C32HG70 is its unique minimalist design with thoroughly engineered features. The flexible armature-type stand provides decent stability and studio-esque flair to the product, while the nicely hidden I/O ports are a godsend to cable management nuts. To top it off, the Samsung C32HG70 also features a gently pulsing lighting feature on the VESA mount that provides bias lighting for comfort and eye safety during extended use.
3. 2160p/4K/UHD (3840 x 2160)
4K monitors represent the next generation in this business since it presents a considerable increase in the aspects of a panel’s resolution while also being highly sought-after by enthusiasts. We can also treat UHD as a futuristic concept since, in reality, almost all CPU and GPU systems are still unable to run games at an optimized level. To run 4K smoothly, you will need a top-end graphics card costing over $600, but even then, some titles cannot even run stable at 60FPS. This category is where adaptive sync technologies become so important to ensure games run smoothly without tearing and additional input lag. So if you have the raw power required to produce 4K eye-candy, then the following models are your best bets if you want a UHD display for gaming.
|Monitor (Click for Review)||Best Price From Amazon||Size||Resolution||Panel||Refresh Rate||Response Time|
|ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ||27 Inch||3480 x 2160||IPS||144Hz||4ms|
|Asus MG24UQ||24 Inch||3480 x 2160||TN||60Hz||1ms|
|Acer Predator XB271HK||27 Inch||3480 x 2160||IPS||60Hz||4ms|
|ViewSonic XG2700-4K||27 Inch||3480 x 2160||IPS||60Hz||4ms|
|LG 27UK650||27 Inch||3480 x 2160||IPS||60Hz||4ms|
|BenQ EW3270U||32 Inch||3480 x 2160||VA||60Hz||4ms|
|Asus PA32UC||27 Inch||3480 x 2160||IPS||144Hz||4ms|
|Philips 436M6VBPAB||43 Inch||3480 x 2160||VA||60Hz||4ms|
Asus PG27UQ – Best 144Hz 4K Gaming Monitor with G-Sync
The Asus PG27UQ is touted as the perfect gaming monitor by many due to its unique 4K screen that refreshes all the way up to 144Hz. This flagship model is also capable of HDR1000 visuals with excellent scores in color, contrast, and input lag. G-Sync HDR is one of the key features for this model since you are going to need the tear and stutter-solving tech since the display is outrageously hungry for GPU power.
The Asus PG27UQ achieves its jaw-dropping imaging performance with the help of a FALD backlight with multiple individual LEDs and Quantum Dot treatment. This model is technologically impressive, but of course, Asus did not forget the signature ROG aesthetic that hardcore gamers love. The helix stand comes standard with the display, plus there is a unique ROG LED logo that can sync with Asus Aura for RGB effects
Asus MG24UQ – Budget-Friendly and Compact 4K Monitor
The Asus MG24UQ is a unique model since it has a 4K resolution in a compact 34-inch form factor. This iteration is proof the company is bent on dominating every aspect of the display business, since they are blazing the trail with this unnoticed but highly specialized niche. The pixel density in this product is on an unimaginable scale, so images are ultra-crisp and edges appear sharper than ever. The 8-bit color interface provides a stunning array of shades, but not as extensive as we have seen on bigger models. One good thing about this product is there are no visible ghosting artifacts or image defects immediately noticeable in gaming, plus our review unit did not display signs of severe IPS glow.
Freesync is also included to keep frames steady and smooth, but functionality is limited to a 40Hz – 60Hz range. To add to the gaming pedigree of the product, Asus also includes GamePlus features and genre-based presets to match your playing needs. The acclaimed build quality of the brand’s products is also present in this smaller model, so buyers cannot expect anything less from a unit made by one of the leading brands in the industry today. Physical adjustments are great overall, and the material quality and mechanical features feel smooth when adjusting, but robust enough to hold the stature of the display. The Asus MG24UQ is a great option for gamers looking to enjoy 4K visuals with its fantastic level of detail and cleanliness, but in a compact form factor which will not hog your precious desktop space.
Acer Predator XB271HK – Great 4K G-Sync Monitor
The Acer Predator XB271HK is the 4K variant in the G-Sync enabled line of Predator monitors from Acer. This product sports a beautifully designed exterior with a matte black finish, and red accents all in the right places. The stand included in the package offers an extended range of adjustments to suit most needs, plus movements are smooth but sturdy enough, so the screen does not lose your preferred posture. The face of the display features a sleek borderless design, enabling users to focus on the action in the video output. Aside from the aesthetics, XB271HK is also capable of incredible visual performance with its IPS 4K display which has a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz. That threshold is low by today’s standards, but currently, there are no available input specifications that can raise the bar.
Also, a lot of GPUs available today are still not optimized for 4K gaming, so frames will still vary across your gaming experience. For this dilemma, Acer includes Nvidia’s G-Sync solution to fix the gaps between the FPS and the cycle of the screen, enabling a tear and stutter-free visual experience. The high-quality IPS panel in this model is also capable of incredible contrast and color accuracy, just by simply lowering the brightness and the gamma. To complement these characteristics which are fantastic for gaming, this product also includes Predator GameView options which offer another dimension to your playing enjoyment. All these superior facets make the Acer Predator XB271HK one of the top 4K monitors you can purchase today.
ViewSonic XG2700-4K – Affordable Freesync 4K Gaming Monitor
The ViewSonic XG2700-4K is a great 4K gaming monitor which we consider to be affordable than most, since, at the time of this writing, the price point sits just below what other top companies are asking for their versions. For its price, this model packs a 4K IPS panel with 60Hz maximum refresh rate with an acceptable response time and input lag level. Out of the box, color accuracy and contrast appear to be poor at first, but after putting in a little effort by tweaking the included settings, this model provides its users with an ideal image performance with almost perfect color saturation and a balanced contrast ratio.
Freesync with a limited 40Hz to 60Hz functional range is also present to help keep the picture smooth for AMD GPU users, and a lot of games at 4K can benefit from this feature. The Exterior of the XG2700-4K does not look like much, and apart from the red accepts, most consumers could mistake it for a regular office monitor. That is not a deal breaker at all, since the build quality is robust in this product, and the range of motion the stand provides is more than adequate for different situations. At its friendlier price point, the ViewSonic XG2700-4K is a top pick for gamers looking for 4K eye candy in a robust but high-performing package.
LG 27UK650 – Great HDR 4K Display For Work and Play
The LG 27UK650 is an excellent 4K IPS monitor that builds on the LG 27UD68-P which for the longest time, was our favorite 4K monitor for work and play. This new model produces vibrant colors with professional-grade accuracy, making it suitable even for professional applications such as photo editing. This combination of capabilities also makes the LG 27UK650 a superb choice for high-end gaming, whether if its on a PC or a 4K HDR console like the Xbox One X.
Yes, the LG 27UK650, despite its reasonable price, also offers HDR compatibility to enhance your visual experience. This model doesn’t come with special lighting solutions, but the implementation in this model is one of the best we have seen so far. Simply give it an HDR signal and the 27UK650 will take care of the rest, adding extra vibrancy and range to the images on the screen. We love the fact that LG sells this monitor for almost the same price as the predecessor. If USB-C is in your requirements list, you can check out the LG 27UK850 which performs similarly, but includes the single cable connector for your modern laptops.
BenQ EW3270U – Best HDR-Ready 4K Monitor for PC and Console Gaming
The BenQ EW3270U is a well-rounded 4K monitor that offers excellent visuals via its crisp, 32-inch screen and HDR capabilities. The display’s deep and lush vibrancy makes it ideal for RPGs or story driven titles where extended contrast ratios and gamma settings play key roles in conveying an atmosphere or ambiance. Color accuracy isn’t perfect for professional use, but the extra color pop makes gaming all the more enjoyable.
Feature-wise, the BenQ EW3270U doesn’t disappoint since it comes with a healthy array of options to suit every type of user. One advantage of this device is its rich I/O layout that even includes a USB-C connector for the latest laptops. To top it all off, the EW3270U’s Brightness Intelligence Feature also works quite well to keep your eyes comfy and safe while helping the image output to keep up with the changing ambient lighting.
Asus PA32UC – Best HDR Monitor for Gaming and Design
The Asus PA32UC is your best bet if you are in the market for an extremely accurate display with fantastic gaming and HDR performance. The product comes with a perfectly executed factory calibration for superb imaging and panel quality. This model comes packaged with a 384-zone FALD backlight which enables HDR1000-ready capabilities such as a contrast ratio that exceeds 20000:1.
While it isn’t a gaming variant like the PG27UQ, the Asus PA32UC handles our favorite hobby decently thanks to a slightly faster panel that doesn’t leave clouding or image retention behind. Input lag is limited to reasonable levels, but the responsiveness is still better than a dedicated HDR TV. This model is perfect for designers who want a capable monitor for after-hours enjoyment whether if it’s on a gaming console or PC.
Philips 436M6VBPAB – Best HDR Monitor for Console Gaming
The Philips 436M6VBPAB boasts an impressively large screen that’s comparable to a typical LCD TV, but without the requisite downsides such as high input lag. This display is designed for couch gaming or consoles like the Xbox One X, but it’s also an excellent PC monitor if you want something larger than the usual. But what we love about this product is its true HDR performance which includes full HDR1000 compliance and superb visual quality.
The Philips 436M6VBPAB isn’t designed to be an ergonomic monitor, but it does have a few additions to make up for the loss of adjustments. The package includes a full-sized remote for convenience, along with VESA compatibility that’s perfect for its sleek proportions. The icing on the cake is its Ambiglow feature which synchronizes with the image on-screen to create immersive and bias lighting effects you can enjoy while gaming.
4. Ultra-Wide/UW-QHD/UW-UXGA (3440 x 1440 and 2560 x 1080)
|Monitor (Click for Review)||Best Price From Amazon||Size||Resolution||Panel||Refresh Rate||Response Time||Input Lag|
|Acer Predator X34||34 Inch||3440 x 1440||IPS||100Hz||4ms|
|Asus PG348Q||34 Inch||3440 x 1440||IPS||100Hz||4ms|
|Samsung C34F791||34 Inch||3440 x 1440||VA||100Hz||4ms|
|Acer XR341CK||34 Inch||3440 x 1440||IPS||75Hz||4ms|
|Acer Predator Z35P||35 Inch||3440 x 1440||VA||120Hz||4ms|
|Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ||35 Inch||3440 x 1440||VA||100Hz||4ms|
|Alienware AW3418DW||34 Inch||3440 x 1440||IPS||120Hz||4ms|
|BenQ EX3501R||35 Inch||3440 x 1440||VA||100Hz||4ms|
21:9 screens or more popularly known as Ultra-Wide monitors share the premium space in the market plus the hearts and minds of enthusiasts with 4K. Pixel count and density are lower when compared to the latter, so generally, most games are easier to run with a good GPU in this resolution. Detail and sharpness take hits, but what makes these products interesting is that they provide an additional field of view coverage which incorporates peripheral vision. These types of displays are also attractive for those who seek the massive viewing space of multi-head setups, but would rather have a single and space-saving device on their desk. Another promise from manufacturers of these models is an increase in immersion, so it isn’t surprising that most modern iterations are also curved screens. It November seem subjective, but these ultra-wides are some of the best gaming peripherals we have seen in the business.
Acer Predator X34 – Best Overall Ultra-Wide G-Sync Gaming Monitor
The Acer Predator X34 is the flagship representative from Acer, another top-ranking option for ultra wide monitors with G-Sync. The brand went with a sophisticated, and streamlined design direction with this product, which is accentuated by the borderless screen and the boomerang-shaped stand finished with an aluminum texture. Ergonomics are excellent on this model as well, although, pivoting isn’t part of the movements since it negates the purpose of the curved display. The 3800r curved IPS panel has a refresh rate threshold of 100Hz, which is excellent for immersive gaming purposes. The fantastic 10-bit interface is capable of 1.07 billion colors, enabling perfect color coverage of the sRGB spectrum.
The 4ms response time is more than adequate, so the screen does not display ghosting issues in our gaming tests, and this fact further proves the level of quality the panel involved. 3440 x 1440 will drive your GPU nuts, so to solve stuttering and tearing issues, the X34 includes G-Sync into its high-tech features. Gaming at the native 21:9 aspect ratio is fantastic with the smoothness and no-frills display capability of the X34, plus the added peripheral visual space enhances the level of immersion this product provides. Finally, Acer also includes two 7 watt DTS speakers which are better than most, but still less ideal if you want your audio to complement the immersive gaming experience you can get with this excellent product. The Acer X34 is expensive, but the level of enjoyment it provides is worlds apart from what typical displays can offer, plus the bleeding-edge features enable users to maximize the promised encounter your hard earned money will provide.
Asus PG348Q – Great Ultra-Wide Gaming Monitor Option with G-Sync
The Asus PG348Q is the flagship beast of the fantastic ROG Swift line, with its sexy 3800r curved ultra-wide IPS screen. The gorgeous 3440 x 1440 display has a maximum refresh rate of 100Hz, and a respectable 5ms of response time. That result is quite small when considering standards for shooter games, so Asus includes a Turbo hotkey which accelerates the responsiveness of the screen output. The native resolution is near 4K levels of GPU power requirements, so this top of the line offering’s G-Sync function inclusion is rather unsurprising. The VRR tech’s capabilities are very useful for keeping frames smooth since video cards will be squeezed to the absolute limit by the massive pixel count of the screen. Images also come to life with the full sRGB coverage of the monitor, so colors appear accurate and vibrant, with a perfect amount of saturation.
The panoramic view enables the addition of the peripheral vision previously only experienced through multi-display setups, allowing users to experience a level of immersion found only on one screen. The gorgeous display is encased in a high-tech cabinet with a cutting-edge design pattern racing across the rear, held by the attractive but functional stand which offers height, tilt, and swivel adjustments for ergonomics. There is also a lighting feature which projects the ROG logo on your desk, which is more of decoration rather than a functional characteristic. This product is very expensive, but its fantastic range of performance capabilities, futuristic design, and extensive usage of ROG design hints make the Asus PG348Q’s price worth your hard earn cashed.
Samsung C34F71 – Quantum Dot 100Hz Ultra-wide with Freesync
The Samsung C34F791 changed the face of the ultra-wide gaming monitor when it introduced 100Hz visuals at a 3440 x 1440 native resolution with Freesync involved, since it was the first to combine these features. But instead of an IPS panel like its G-Sync counterparts, this much more affordable option utilizes a VA panel combined with a Quantum Dot backlight. These characteristics enable fantastic levels of contrast and vibrancy you normally can’t enjoy on other types. Cinematics and environments in the game appear much more alive than they are on TN panels.
Another factor to appreciate on the Samsung C34F791 is the gorgeous contemporary design it uses which veers away from the gaudy norm. The white furniture with silver accents make it a perfect monitor for an executive office with an awesome gaming pedigree hidden underneath. Freesync’s ability to keep your game buttery smooth even at 3440 x 1400 completes the package, but as if these facts aren’t enough, the best thing about the Samsung C34F791 is it’s particularly affordable.
Acer XR382CQK – Best Freesync UltraWide Gaming Monitor
The Acer XR382CQK is a phenomenal 38-inch behemoth which offers a panoramic view with a premium package which was built to both last and impress its owners. The 38-inch screen is supported by an architecturally appealing stand which offers excellent ergonomics and durability. The product looks more like it was meant for designer studios more than gaming, but its performance and specs cannot hide the gaming pedigree.
This model isn’t as fast as the other options at this tier, but the Acer XR382CQK aces them when it comes to its size which also has the performance to match. The screen has one of the best out of the box performances we have seen in ultrawides making this model suitable for professional applications as well. The combination of an expanded resolution and refresh rate plus FreeSync makes immersive gaming that much more exciting on this device.
Acer Z35P – Best 120Hz VA Ultrawide Monitor for Immersive Gaming
The Acer Z35P builds on the success of the X34’s formula but turns up the ante with a VA panel that has the extra headroom in contrast, vibrancy, and refresh rate. This model goes up to 20Hz via overclocking at the press of the button to improve the smoothness of the graphics and the blur reduction. The VA panel’s properties also help to create eye-popping visuals with thick colors, satisfying blacks, and superb grayscale performance.
The Acer Z35P lives up to the Predator moniker with its slightly aggressive design that doesn’t go overboard to keep the identity of the product line. The black and red scheme is sparingly used in this model, while the gunmetal steel stand with excellent flexibility keeps the massive screen steady. The Acer Z35P is a great alternative to the similarly-priced X34 if immersive qualities such as deep colors is one of your top priorities.
Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ –100Hz FreeSync UltraWide Monitor with Aura Sync
The Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ aims to bring smooth visuals with its 3440 x 1440 100Hz screen and FreeSync functionality for responsive and immersive gaming. The VA panel wields eye-popping capabilities such as 115% sRGB gamut coverage and a 2000:1 contrast ratio. Despite this model’s hardcore gamer appeal, the out of box performance is decently accurate enough even for basic color critical work. Like the other best gaming monitors in this guide, the Asus XG35VQ is lag-free with a latency rating of only 4ms which equates to fast and responsive play.
Another enticing aspect of the XG35VQ is its Gen.2 ROG exterior which comes with a black and red theme to separate it from the ROG Swift series. The helix stand is fully ergonomic and removable, plus the hidden I/O panel under it is well-equipped with connectivity options. The latest addition to the aesthetics of this amazing product is the RGB LED lighting feature that works with Aura Sync to provide an RGB light show or bias lighting to help keep your eyes safe.
Alienware AW3418DW – Best 100Hz G-Sync Ultrawide Monitor
The Alienware AW3418DW is an exclusive ultrawide gaming monitor from Dell’s extreme gaming arm. This gorgeous device is oozing with space-aged appeal with its metallic aesthetics and sharp, but clean angles and edges. This infinity edge gaming monitor also includes RGB LED strips along with its excellent ergonomics and build quality to give gamers the premium experience.
Of course, the Alienware AW3418DW isn’t all looks since it boasts enthusiast-grade specs that start with a 3440 x 1440 resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. This model is also capable of excellent visuals thanks to its comprehensive gamut coverage with decent accuracy. Input lag is measured at only 3.8ms which places the AW3418DW as the fastest gaming ultrawide we have ever tested. Let’s not forget that this model is equipped with a G-Sync module that works hand in hand with your Nvidia GPU to smoothen out the graphics while preventing tearing and stuttering.
BenQ EX3501R – Best HDR-Ready Ultrawide Monitor with USB-C for Gaming and Work
The BenQ EX3501R is one of our current favorites for its excellent visual capabilities and a feature suite that caters to all types of users. The monitor comes with a gorgeous metal stand with sufficient adjustability and a modernized I/O layout which includes DisplayPort 1.4 and USB-C. This model also includes BenQ’s signature Brightness Intelligence Plus feature, which helps alleviate eye strain while keeping the color balanced through changing ambient light settings.
The BenQ EX3501R might look like a monitor suitable for your boss, but it is actually quite capable for gaming enjoyment. The screen’s 3440 x 1440 resolution with a 100Hz refresh rate is fantastic for smooth graphics with brilliant details while complementing the immersive aspect of the curved screen. The HDR filter does a great job for compatible content, while the properties of the VA panel make images stand out with rich colors and oily blacks.
III. How to Choose the Best Gaming Monitor: Our Comprehensive Guide
There will almost always be a trade-off between specs and price. Meaning that if you want all the 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 features 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 small 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 screen 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 you to check out each of the following specs when choosing a monitor for gaming:
1. Refresh Rate
Refresh rates dictate how many frames your screen can display against your graphics card’s FPS output. This characteristic defines how clear and smooth images can be, so this factor can profoundly affect your decision and budget. Typically, faster monitors have lower input lag than the conventional 60Hz models, but for casual gaming and a small budget, choosing a 60Hz model with fantastic image quality isn’t a wrong decision. For competitive advantage and very smooth gameplay, choose a 144 Hz monitor.
2. 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. If you choose a slower model, image defects such as ghosting or blurring will occur since the pixels cannot transition quickly. This issue is called pixel persistence. Usually, 5ms to 6ms is adequate for casual gaming applications such as playing RPG titles wherein colors and contrast affect gameplay more than speed does. For competitive applications and fast-paced such as shooters, quicker panels with 1ms to 4ms are the best choice.
3. Input Lag
For casual gaming choose an input lag of under 30ms, and those who would want a competitive edge in gaming should choose a model with an input lag of 15ms or less. 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 players would like an input lag time of maximum 10ms.
For sufficient image sharpness and details (pixel density), choose at least: 1080p Full HD. 1080p is still the current standard format today and for a few more years, so buying an FHD product is still viable. If you want to step up and choose something with improved image sharpness and details, you should select 2560×1440 1440p (WQHD) resolution. For extraordinary image sharpness and details select an Ultra HD (4k) resolution. If you want a specialized and immersive option, you can choose Ultra-wide displays with 2560 x 1080 (UWFHD) and 3440 x 1440 (UWQHD).
Do take note that increasing the resolution also exponentially increases the number of pixels. This factor will affect GPU performance, so it is best to check for benchmarks based on your current or planned GPU before taking the plunge. For example, gamers who demand the latest in sharpness, color performance, and overall image quality, should go for a monitor with a 4K resolution. Going with 4k would be a welcome hardware addition to your gaming rig, but you will notice that the GPU requirements are significantly higher than other screen resolutions.
5. Screen size
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. Also, you should consider your desk size and position/distance from the screen. Typically, larger screens will require you to sit 6 to 12 inches further. This result varies from person to person, and the best way to find out is to see a demo unit for yourself before ordering. You can also choose a product with improved ergonomics such as height and swivel adjustments so you can find your perfect comfort spot when you finally get a new monitor.
6. Panel type
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 worlds. But they are more expensive and slower than TN panels.
7. 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 3440 x 1440 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).
8. Adaptive Sync
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 Freesync 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 since this solution requires an additional proprietary chip to be installed, calibrated and licensed by Nvidia before selling. Both G-sync and Freesync need a DisplayPort on your GPU to run.
The main issue these technologies exist for is tearing and stuttering. This happens when your monitor is slower or faster than your game’s frame rate, and the visual result is usually displayed as a slice in the picture or a stutter/fraction of a second pause in the fluidity of the video. Adaptive Sync aims to solve this by controlling your display’s refresh rate to match the frames when it dips or rises, resulting in a silky smooth and cleaner image. This issue was originally V-Sync’s purpose, but that solution induces massive input lag which potentially destroys the gaming experience. Both VRR solutions solve issues without any delays in your monitor’s response time.
9. Freesync vs. G-Sync: What’s the Difference?
Freesync and G-Sync both aim to solve similar issues, but their differences lie in each one’s implementation. G-Sync relies on adding a proprietary control chip called an FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) chip with independently takes control of the screen’s cycle to synchronize with your system’s frame output. Nvidia requires its partners to go through a strict calibration and certification process before selling G-Sync certified products on retailer shelves, and naturally, this process incurs additional costs. This option requires consumers to pay an additional $150 to $250 on top of a gaming monitor’s price, instantly making it a premium model. G-Sync functions from 30Hz to 144Hz, but as soon as your frames go out of range or reach 144Hz, V-Sync which adds input lag takes over. One way to go around this is to cap your monitor’s refresh rate at 140Hz and optimize your graphic settings so frames don’t dip below 30Hz to make sure G-Sync does not deactivate. Finally, G-Sync incurs a 2% performance penalty on your GPU which is barely noticeable.
On the other hand, Freesync relies on a built-in controller inside the GPU which runs via a compatible driver’s programming. Compatible monitors do not go through the same process Nvidia requires from its partners, so no price premium is added to each model. Freesync is also based on VESA’s free for all Adaptive Sync standard, and according to AMD, this concept is where the word Free is based on. Adaptive Sync is included in the DisplayPort 1.2 standard, so as long as your monitor utilizes this feature, it will work with the red team’s VRR tech. Freesync is implemented in different ranges, some as short as 42Hz to 60Hz while others as much as 30 to 144Hz. When your framerates go below or beyond the specific limits, your screen will revert to its maximum cycle so tearing will once again become an issue. Optimizing your graphic settings is critical to avoid this issue so make sure you turn down the unnecessary settings to free up some GPU power.
These two fantastic capabilities are excellent at solving the issues they were made for even if the methods are stark contrasts of one another. There really are no advantages between the two, so making the choice between them usually relies on preference or dependent on how you can live with the caveats that exist on each one. If you want to learn more, you can check out our G-Sync guide here and Freesync guide here.
IV. 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 hundreds of monitors. 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 PG278Q. We will recommend this monitor for a gamer in one of these categories or more.
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
- 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
- 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.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. 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 November 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.
2. 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 November 2018 is the Asus ROG Swift PG278Q.
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.
3. Is Screen Resolution Necessary for Performance?
Resolution dictates how your current or planned GPU will be able to handle the graphics requirement of each title. As you go higher, pixel count exponentially increases resulting in improved detail and sharpness of the image. Of course, your GPU will have to render more pixels to create a larger field of view and expanded detail so your frames will take a hit. 1080p is still widely favored since it does not take a lot to push 140 frames or more, making it ideal for E-Sports setups. 4K and Ultra-Wide are mostly luxury options since they both require a ton of horsepower to run, so they are mostly chosen by gamers who value immersive experiences and eye-candy more than performance. 1440p sits as the happy medium in between the divide, since it does offer improvements graphics-wise while requiring substantial but lesser processing than 4K.
4. 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 the commands from your controls 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 XL2730Z. Combined with its low response time and 144 Hz refresh rate makes the BenQ XL2730Z (includes Black Equalizer as well) a good choice for all level of gamers. See this monitor on Amazon here.
5. 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 November have noticed that contrast ratio is presented two times when looking at the monitor specs. It November 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.
6. 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.
A. TN panel: Twisted Nematic
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.
B. VA Panel: Vertical 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.
C. IPS 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
V. Final Thoughts
To be fair, there also other excellent options aside from what we have chosen to represent the cream of the crop. But during our testing, reviews, research, and feedback from various users in the web, these are the current best the market has to offer. Buying a gaming monitor will almost always cost you a lot of money, and even the affordable options for each category will still be too costly for a vast majority. It is imperative that you get the best performance per dollar out of a product you are willing to bet your cash on.
You can still enjoy your games on standard 60Hz monitors, but what these products offer for their prices is the maximization of what developers and their works have to offer. Some games like RPG rely on immersive environments to tell a deep and dark story, so a capable display with a fantastic contrast ratio is your best bet. Or if you are into FPS titles where success is determined by a fraction of a second, fast refresh rates and snappy responses are some of the best tools that can help you attain victory.
Whether casual or competitive, buying these products will enhance your experience further. After all, gaming is supposed to be an escape from the real world’s day to day troubles and challenges. In our book, that is a worthy purpose for investing your hard earned cash into the enhancement of your enjoyment. So if you are ready to invest in a new monitor and achieve unparalleled visual stimulation, let our hard work and dedication which culminates in this guide aid you in your quest for the best gaming monitor.
✅ ✅ 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