Choosing the best monitor for your PC and its graphics card can be confusing if you aren’t familiar with the capabilities presented by your hardware. We get several queries regarding these products asking if a particular monitor is suitable for the reader’s specs. This guide is intended to provide tips and knowledge to know what to look for to get the best possible gaming experience out of your cash.
Monitor Specifications to Consider
These are a few parts and features of your monitor you should consider before choosing the best monitor for your GPU:
Connection Type – Most modern monitors and GPUs have at least a single DisplayPort slot along with some HDMI connectors. Older standards such as DVI and VGA are now being phased out, but there still are a few select models that support them. Out of all of these, DisplayPort 1.2 or higher is the best option since it has enough bandwidth to handle higher resolutions and refresh rates.
Resolution – The resolution you choose is directly affected by the GPU you own and its processing power. 1080p is the most common, followed by 1440p and 4K. It’s safe to assume that the required GPU power goes up by 70% and higher between the resolution types.
Refresh Rate – If you want to play at frames above 60 FPS on any title consistently, you need to have a meaty GPU. Some GPU models and generations can get away with a higher resolution with tweaked graphics settings. But, it’s always safe to have a higher ceiling or follow the recommendations below to get optimal performance out of your PC.
G-Sync or FreeSync – This aspect of a monitor is tied to the brand of GPU you are using. G-Sync only functions with Nvidia GPUs while FreeSync is to AMD cards, limiting your options to your brand preference. Of course, all monitors will perform with both cards, but you don’t get to enjoy the smooth and tear-free visuals promised by these technologies.
Best Monitor for GPU Tiers and Models
Each tier will represent best-selling GPUs that are matched with monitors which we think will work best with them. Take note that you are not limited to the specified variants, but you should select something identical for optimal performance.
I. Entry Level
Budget-friendly builds are common because almost anyone can afford to assemble a gaming unit. Entry level PCs are also famous for E-Sports titles such as Dota 2 and League of Legends due to their minimal system requirements.
AMD RX560 and Acer XF251Q
The AMD RX560 and Acer XF251Q are perfect for each other for 75Hz gaming at medium settings. The RX560 is one of the cheapest GPUs available in the market, but what makes it valuable is the ability to activate FreeSync. You get buttery smooth frames and tear-free visuals which cost several hundreds or even thousands of dollars with the other options at a very wallet-friendly price point.
Nvidia GTX1050 and Asus VG245H
The Nvidia GTX 1050 is another budget card that can hold its own in low-spec games such as MOBAs and some shooter titles. Like the RX560, this is a perfect card for a 75Hz 1080p monitor like the Asus VG245H which has been the gold standard of the category. You get a fast and responsive monitor that isn’t expensive for excellent and noticeably improved visual performance.
Nvidia GTX 1050Ti and AOC G2460PF
The Nvidia GTX 1050Ti is the more potent variant of the previous model, allowing gamers to break into the 120Hz-144Hz arena. This model is the cheapest E-Sports GPU we would consider for extra headroom in places where it counts. The AOC G2460PF which is the most inexpensive 144Hz monitor available is an excellent pair that doesn’t even cost over $200.
II. Midrange to Hi-End
The Midrange market all the way to the first few steps of the high-end GPU category is the most popular out of the three groups. This bracket offers the best cost to performance ratio since the cards aren’t too expensive, and yet they provide sufficient power for 144Hz gaming. Some of the models listed will even allow you to test the waters in higher resolution brackets if you are willing to drop some in-game settings.
Nvidia GTX 1060 3GB/6GB and Acer XB241H
The Nvidia GTX 1060 currently has five variants because of its popularity in the gaming industry. The card, especially the 6GB option, offers sufficient power for 144Hz gaming for games, including some competitive titles. We chose the Acer XB241H because it’s the cheapest G-Sync monitor with high-refresh rates for fantastic visuals.
AMD RX570/RX580 and ViewSonic XG2402
The AMD RX570 and RX580 are slightly stronger competitors to the green team’s GTX 1060 when it comes to graphics power. These two cards will power through most titles and put out a consistent 144Hz FPS for responsive gaming in both competitive and casual scenarios. The ViewSonic XG2402 with FreeSync and Rampage Response is the perfect gaming display for these two cards.
Nvidia GTX 1070 and Acer XB241H
The Nvidia GTX 1070 is a meaty card if you want to play at 144Hz in some of the more demanding titles. The Acer XB241H comes into play again, but you can also spend more and get a 240Hz variant like the Acer XB252Q for more headroom. Nvidia’s GTX 1070 is also a viable card for 1440p gaming, so getting a G-Sync monitor like the Dell S2716DGR is another option you can take.
AMD Vega 56 and AOC AG251FZ
The AMD Vega 56 is another perfect card for 144Hz gaming with high graphics settings, but it can also work for 240Hz displays in titles such as CSGO. One of the best FreeSync monitors you can buy for this GPU is the AOC AG251FZ which is reasonably priced but goes as fast as lightning. If you have this card, you can also jump into the 1440p category for more sharpness with monitors like the Asus MG278Q.
III. High-End to Enthusiast
The upmarket segment of gaming GPUs will pretty much open your options to every type of monitor available. The cards in this category are potent, but they are costly at almost double the price of some of the midrange options. Hardware like this deserves the best gaming monitors available.
AMD Vega 64 and Asus XG35VQ
The AMD Vega 64 is powerful enough for 1440p at 144Hz, but it also an excellent card for ultrawide monitors if you tweak some settings. The Asus XG35VQ is built for gaming from the ground up with its 100Hz refresh rate and FreeSync. If you want higher frames and a 16:9 screen, get something like the MSI Optix MPG27CQ instead.
Nvidia GTX 1080 and Asus PG278QR
The Nvidia GTX 1080 is a more viable entry point into 144Hz 1440p gaming for frames that consistently reach higher thresholds. The Asus PG278QR, one of our current favorites, is built to match a monster card for superb graphics and smoothness. You can also go with a 240Hz 1080p variant like the Asus PG258Q if competitive gaming is your cup of tea.
Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti/RTX 2080 and Alienware AW3418DW
The Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti is one of the highest-selling cards from the green team thanks to its capabilities in graphics power. It’s also the first true 4K-capable card, packing enough punch for a decent 60FPS in UHD and 100Hz or more for 1440p. The card and its current-gen counterpart, the RTX 2080 are suitable for 120Hz ultrawides like the Alienware AW3418DW
Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti and Asus PG27UQ
The Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti is currently the world’s most powerful gaming GPU, exceeding the 60Hz limit in some games at 4K. Two of this enthusiast-level cards will power the Asus PG27UQ to its full potential to bring a new definition of high-end gaming. You can also opt for any of the monitors mentioned in this section or something similar since the RTX 2080 Ti will power through all of them quickly.
Editor’s Note: We recommended these monitors to the respective GPUs and their tiers as a baseline to help you determine the best possible option when purchasing. Buying a powerful GPU for a lower-level monitor will always work and enable you to max out graphics settings, but it isn’t practical for most users. On the other hand, buying a gaming display your GPU can’t handle will lead to disappointment, and in some cases, more spending to upgrade the GPU.