In this guide, we will present 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 2020. 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 2020 | Handpicked by MonitorNerds
Best Budget / Cheap 144hz Monitor 2020
Overall Best Gaming Monitor Fall 2020
Best Professional Monitor for Work and Play 2020
Best Ultra-Wide Gaming Monitor 2020
II. The Best Gaming Monitors (September 2020)
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category. 1080p has been around for ages, but even if some techies and members of the community are claiming that 1080p is obsolete, we believe it has at least, three to four more years before phasing out.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 24G2||24 Inch||1920 x 1080||IPS||144Hz||1ms|
|Acer Predator XB241H||24 Inch||1920 x 1080||TN||188Hz||1ms|
|Acer Nitro XV273 X||27 Inch||1920 x 1080||IPS||240Hz||1ms|
|Asus ROG Swift PG258Q||24 Inch||1920 x 1080||TN||180Hz||1ms|
|BenQ Zowie XL2430||24 Inch||1920 x 1080||TN||144Hz||1ms|
|Samsung C27RG50||24 Inch||1920 x 1080||TN||144Hz||1ms|
|Alienware AW2521HFL||25 Inch||1920 x 1080||IPS||240Hz|
|Asus VG279QM||25 Inch||1920 x 1080||IPS||280Hz|
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.
Acer Nitro XV273 X – First 240Hz IPS Gaming Monitor
The Acer Nitro XV273 X is the world’s first IPS gaming monitor that goes up to 240Hz along with a pixel response time that can rival its TN counterparts. Another fantastic characteristic of the monitor aside from its speed is its already offers superb image quality out of the box. This means less tweaking and more gaming as soon as you unbox and set the monitor up on your desktop.
The Acer Nitro XV273 X also offers one of the lowest input lag ratings we’ve seen in the market. It provides extreme performance, but it’s also well-designed just like its 4K 144Hz brethren which leads in their respective classes. The Acer XV273 X is priced higher than other 240Hz monitors, but its performance, features, and FreeSync/G-Sync compatibility make every penny worth it.
Asus PG258Q – Best 240Hz G-Sync Monitor
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 24G2 – Best Budget 144Hz 1080p IPS Gaming Monitor
The AOC 24G2 is the latest iteration of the brand’s 144Hz 1080p monitors that has always garnered acclaim with their reasonable prices and excellent performance. This model isn’t as fast as TN variants when it comes to pixel response times, but its excellent color quality more than makes up for it. The IPS screen is vibrant, plus it won’t need calibration unless you need absolute accuracy for editing on the side.
But what makes the AOC 24G2 is its sub-$200 pricing which can’t be beat if you are after a top brand with excellent out-of-the-box capabilities. The device also offers an improved overall aesthetic based on its predecessors, so the same reliability and simplicity can be seen with the 24G2U. This model isn’t Nvidia-certified, but its tested to work with FreeSync and G-Sync if you manually activate it.
ViewSonic XG240R – Best 144Hz Gaming Monitor with RGB
The ViewSonic XG240R is one of our recent consistent recommendations due to its performance and design. The monitor is mostly finished in matte black, but what helps it stand out are the RGB LEDs at its rear cover. This decorative feature works with popular RGB implementations such as Razer’s Chroma system and Thermaltake’s RGB plus, allowing users to create a unified lighting ecosystem.
The ViewSonic XG240R isn’t all looks since it has one of the best performance numbers in its category. The 144Hz TN panel provides excellent color accuracy and contrast, while the device’s gaming pedigree involves excellent responsiveness and low latency. This FreeSync monitor also works with G-Sync, so all gamers can enjoy buttery smooth frames and tear-free visuals.
Asus VG279Q – Best 144Hz IPS Gaming Monitor with FreeSync
The Asus VG279Q offers a 1920 x 1080 IPS panel with a 144Hz refresh rate, which makes it a unique model. In retrospect, gamers previously had to make do with TN if they wanted a 1080p gaming screen. This model changes that without sacrificing the brand’s excellent design treatment and reputation for a fantastic performance.
The IPS panel in the Asus VG279Q provides excellent vibrancy and accuracy right out of the box, so you don’t need to calibrate it. This low input lag device is FreeSync and G-Sync compatible, so buying a GPU to match it is easy as peas. It’s also worth noting that there is a TN-based variant called the VG278Q if you want a model with a slightly faster pixel response time.
Samsung C27RG50 – Best Budget 240Hz Gaming Monitor
The Samsung C27RG50 is an excellent upgrade for this year thanks to its reasonable price and blazing-fast 240Hz refresh rate. The product fits into the budget segment based on the former, but its excellent display provides fantastic color quality and contrast that will not disappoint. This model is also FreeSync and G-Sync compliant, making it a practical choice in the long run if in case you want to switch GPU brands.
The only real downside of the C27RG50 is its tilt-only stand which limits your possible view angles. However, this model is a curved display so you only have to sit at dead center to enjoy what it has to offer. Build quality is decent while connectivity can handle your main PC and up to two consoles, so this valuable, high-performance offering should last you quite a while.
Alienware AW2521HFL – Best 240Hz Gaming Monitor
The Alienware AW2521HFL is a beautifully designed gaming monitor with a super-fast 240Hz IPS panel that is great for competitive gaming. It offers excellent color out of the box, but its also one of the most pixel-responsive monitors with low input lag we’ve tested. It also works flawlessly with FreeSync and G-Sync, so you won’t have to buy a new monitor if ever you switch GPU brands.
You have to remember that the L variant comes in white which is more attractive than the gray variant. It also offers RGB lighting so you can fit it into any theme you want for your gaming setup.
Asus VG279QM –Best 280Hz E-Sports Monitor with ELMB
The Asus VG279QM offers a unique 280Hz refresh rate that puts it very close to the next generation of 360Hz gaming monitors. It’s quite expensive for a 1080p gaming monitor, but its currently one of the fastest options around with excellent pixel response times. The IPS panel offers excellent color quality, while the chassis provides excellent reliability and adjustability for the user.
The Asus VG279QM also features the brand’s new ELMB feature which effectively lessens blurs and ghosting. What’s great about it is it doesn’t lock out the Adaptive-Sync feature of the monitor, so you can still enjoy buttery-smooth frames. Its also one of the monitors with the lowest input lags recorded, so every advantage in competitive gaming is guaranteed.
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 June require the best and expensive cards to run at more than 60FPS, so in some instances, you June 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 VG27AQ||27 Inch||2560 x 1440||IPS||144Hz||1ms|
|Acer XB271HU||24 Inch||2560 x 1440||IPS||165Hz||4ms|
|Dell S2719DGF||27 Inch||2560 x 1440||TN||155Hz||1ms|
|Razer Raptor||27 Inch||2560 x 1440||TN||144Hz||1ms|
|Samsung C32HG70||32 Inch||2560x 1440||VA||144Hz||4ms|
|Samsung C32HG70||32 Inch||2560 x 1440||VA||165Hz||4ms|
|Gigabyte G32QC||32 Inch||2560 x 1440||VA||165Hz||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 VG27AQ – Best 144Hz 1440p IPS Gaming Monitor with ELMB
The Asus VG27AQ is one of the best gaming monitors to buy in 2020 thanks to its crisp and clear IPS panel with spot-on color accuracy by default. The screen’s scores approach prosumer-grade capabilities, making this model of the best if you are looking for a dual-purpose computer display. You also don’t have to worry about blurring since the VG27AQ has an agile pixel response time, plus it has a special ELMB feature that doesn’t lock out FreeSync or G-Sync.
The Asus VG27AQ is also one of the few and the proud to get Nvidia certification since day one of its releases. The gaming monitor is a perfect pair for the latest Radeon GPUs, but its G-Sync compatibility will also make it a potent display for the latest Turing cards. The time-tested build quality and design is just a bonus, considering how reasonably-priced this top-ranking pick is in the current market.
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 than 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 S2719DGF – Affordable 155Hz QHD Gaming Monitor
The Dell S2719DGF is one of the cheapest 1440p gaming monitors you can buy right now. But what sets it apart from its strictly functional, all-business look is its 155Hz refresh rate which sets it a few levels apart from its more expensive competition. This model is still based on TN, but it manages to offer fantastic performance out of the box.
Most complain about TN technology’s limitations, but the Dell S2719DGF doesn’t shy away from a challenge. It’s got one of the best color vibrancy and accuracy scores from the factory, plus, it doesn’t deal with slow pixel response times. This affordable model is also compatible with both FreeSync and G-Sync, extending its lead in value further.
Razer Raptor – Best Designed 144Hz IPS Gaming Monitor with USB-C
The Razer Raptor is one of the game-changers when it was announced thanks to a revolutionary design that is poised to change the way gaming monitors will be made. The unique, aluminum-clad stand only offers tilt and height adjustments, but its specialized mechanism will allow you to lift the chassis flat so you can access the fantastic I/O layout at the rear. This monitor is also one of the few gaming-specific models that offer USB-C, making it ideal for a designer or editing setup that uses USB-C laptops.
Of course, the Razer Raptor isn’t all about design since it offers a pre-calibrated IPS panel with a 144Hz refresh rate and excellent image quality once calibrated. This unique entry is also G-Sync and FreeSync compatible, so using any 1440p-grade GPU will surely provide a smooth visual experience.
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 makes 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.
Gigabyte G32CQ – Excellent 32-inch Curved Gaming Monitor
The Gigabyte G32CQ presents a large curved screen with a QHD resolution and a 165Hz refresh rate for smooth and immersive gaming. It offers great image quality right out of the box and it has one of the fastest pixel response times when it comes to VA monitors. We like the Gigabyte G32CQ due to its performance, but what sweetens the deal is its compatibility with both FreeSync and G-Sync.
The Gigabye G32CQ is already comparable to a small TV, so it’s a great option for engrossing yourself in a game’s visuals. The monitor’s connectivity features make it suitable for a gaming PC and up to two consoles, making it a great all arounder.
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|
|Acer XB273K||27 Inch||3480 x 2160||IPS||144Hz||4ms|
|Acer CP7271K||27 Inch||3480 x 2160||IPS||144Hz||4ms|
|Viotek GF127QXA||27 Inch||3480 x 2160||IPS||144Hz||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
Acer Predator XB273K – Best 144Hz 4K Gaming Monitor with DisplayHDR400
The Acer Predator XB273K is the most affordable 4K 144Hz monitor with G-Sync you can buy since it doesn’t include the X27’s HDR features. However, this model makes it count where it matters most, offering gamers the best enthusiast-level experience at a more reasonable price. The screen’s fidelity is suitable for professional use, creating excellent value even if it currently costs a grand.
All the necessary characteristics such as ergonomic design and low input lag are already in the Acer Predator XB273K. The only caveat we can think of is the need for a super computer to run this device at its maximum potential. If you are not ready to sink your teeth into the very expensive HDR1000 variants but want a high resolution and refresh screen, this is your best bet at the moment.
Acer CP7271K – Great 4K G-Sync Ultimate Gaming Monitor
The Acer CP7271K offers a unique aesthetic that conceals high-end gaming performance, starting with the 4K 144Hz screen. The monitor offers one of the best performances in image quality and HDR, making it one of the best choices for gaming and editing. The Acer CP7271K is a G-Sync Ultimate monitor, so it was made to match beautifully with Nvidia’s most powerful GPUs.
The Acer CP72721K is an HDR 1000 monitor so it can provide true HDR performance without the need for an OLED panel. Its backlight can pulse a little over 1000 cd/m2 when HDR is active, but it isn’t as expensive as its competitors. It’s ConceptD aesthetic provides a contemporary appeal that you won’t find on any other models.
Viotek GF127QXA – Affordable 4K 144Hz Gaming Monitor
The Viotek GF127QXA is the cheapest 4K 144Hz model available, making high-end gaming reachable for the masses. The gorgeous IPS screen isn’t particularly accurate, but its wide gamut coverage provides excellent color pop. Viotek also clearly improved their build quality for this model, making them more competitive in the premium gaming monitor space.
This model is noticeably more durable with thicker panels and reinforcement in its stand. You get a full range of adjustments with this model as well, unlike many Viotek budget offerings in the market.
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|
|Asus XG49VQ||49 Inch||3840 x 1080||VA||144Hz||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 June 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.
Asus XG49VQ – Best DFHD Super Ultrawide Gaming Monitor
The Asus XG49VQ is one of the truest mixed-use monitors in the market thanks to its prowess and gaming and suitability for multi-tasking. The gorgeous, 49-inch screen offers a high refresh rate along with a massively wider FOV which is fantastic for streamlining workflows. Asus, of course, did not forget to add their Strix treatment which embodies agility and image quality rolled into one.
The VA panel on the Asus XG49VQ creates vibrant, yet faithfully reproduced images which are perfect for gaming and editing. All of these juicy bits are wrapped in the brand’s latest redesign of its gaming monitors which is functional and sophisticated. It’s also worth noting that this model is a fantastic replacement for dual or triple monitor screens since it consumes less space and energy.
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 June 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 2020 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 June have noticed that contrast ratio is presented two times when looking at the monitor specs. It June 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✅
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About the Author:
Paolo is a gaming veteran since the golden days of Doom and Warcraft and has been building gaming systems for family, friends, and colleagues since his junior high years. High-performance monitors are one of his fixations and he believes that it’s every citizen’s right to enjoy one. He has gone through several pieces of hardware in pursuit of every bit of performance gain, much to the dismay of his wallet. He now works with Monitornerds to scrutinize the latest gear to create reviews that accentuate the seldom explained aspects of a PC monitor.
Eli is the founder of Monitornerds and has been into writing tech reviews for more than six years. His favored testing tools include industry standards such as the DataColor Spyder V Elite and the Leo Bodnar Signal Tester which help create the easy to digest reviews. He believes that technical data and the essential user experience are key ingredients in helping a reader discern which is best for his hard-earned economy stimulators. His steadfast work and dedication have helped six hundred readers via email in the last year, and thousands more via the reviews since the start of the website.