There are a lot of monitors out there on the market, and each of them is designed with different purposes.
One of these purposes is for gaming – thus the term, ‘gaming monitor’.
From how smooth a game performs to how pretty it looks, a gaming monitor enhances a users gaming experience.
Even when we just look at this market segment there is still a huge variety of monitors to choose from and with a wide variety of features.
In fact, there’s so much choice that it often feels almost impossible to make a decision.
And that’s where we come in.
After spending what seems like an eternity developing this article (actually 75 hours!) we’ve come up with the definitive list for the top 15 gaming monitors on the market right now.
If you can’t decide which one is right for you; we’ve also included an extensive buyer’s guide to help you make the right decision.
Best Gaming Monitors 2020
In determining our rankings, we’ve looked at a variety of factors.
- Technical Specifications. This includes factors like refresh rate, input lag, response time, screen size, resolution, connectivity and the type of panel used. They affect everything from image clarity to game-play smoothness.
- Built-In Features. All monitor manufacturers include their own software and features. These include ergonomic suites that protect your eyes, all the way to game-changing improvements like Nvidia’s G-Sync. Physical aspects such as screen maneuverability must also be considered.
- Price. Even though the best monitors tend to be the most expensive, we also consider the price in relation to what you get. Hence we’ve included several models that are relatively inexpensive but provide fantastic bang for your buck.
And so, without further ado, here are our top 15 gaming monitors for 2020.
|1. ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q 27" WQHD Monitor||2560x1440||IPS||144 Hz (Overclock 165 Hz)||Best Gaming Monitor||$$$$||Check Price|
|2. AOC Agon AG271QX 27" QHD Monitor||2560x1440||TN||144 Hz||Best FreeSync Gaming Monitor||$$$||Check Price|
|3. ViewSonic XG2402 24" FHD Monitor||1920x1080||TN||144 Hz||Best Budget Gaming Monitor||$$||Check Price|
|4. BenQ Zowie XL2540 25” FHD Gaming Monitor||1920x1080||TN||240 Hz||Best Competitive Gaming Monitor||$$$$||Check Price|
|5. Acer Predator X27||3840x2160||IPS||120Hz (Overclock144 Hz)||Best Gaming Monitor Money Can Buy||$$$$$||Check Price|
|6. ASUS VG278Q 27" FHD Gaming Monitor||1920x1080||TN||144 Hz||Best Entry-Level 144 Hz Gaming Monitor||$$||Check Price|
|7. Acer Predator XB1 XB241H 24" FHD Monitor||1920x1080||TN||144 Hz (Overclock 180 Hz)||Best Entry-Level G-Sync Monitor||$$$||Check Price|
|8. ASUS VG245H 24" HD Monitor||1920x1080||TN||75 Hz||Best Gaming Monitor Under $200||$$||Check Price|
|9. Acer R240HY 24" Widescreen FHD Monitor||1920x1080||IPS||60 Hz (Overclock 75 Hz)||Best Budget Gaming Monitor Around $100||$||Check Price|
|10. LG 34UC79G-B 34" UltraWide Monitor||2560x1080||IPS||144 Hz||$$$$||Check Price|
|11. AOC G2770PQU 27" FHD Gaming Monitor||1920x1080||TN||144 Hz||Most Affordable 144 Hz Gaming Monitor||$$$||Check Price|
|12. LG 27UD58-B 27" UHD Monitor||3840x2160||IPS||60 Hz||Best Budget 4k Monitor||$$$||Check Price|
|13. HP Pavilion 22cwa 21.5" Monitor||1920x1080||IPS||60 Hz||Best Gaming Monitor Under $100||$||Check Price|
|14. LG 29UM68-P 29" UltraWide Monitor||2560x1080||IPS||75 Hz||$$$||Check Price|
|15. ASUS MG28UQ 28" UHD Monitor||3840x2160||TN||60 Hz||$$$||Check Price|
A note on specifications…
We’ve done our best to showcase the core specifications as accurately as possible.
Resolution, panel type, connectivity and refresh rate can be accurately reported from the manufacturer’s website.
Unfortunately; reliable specifications for lag input, color reproduction and even response times are hard to come by as manufacturers and reviewers alike have their own testing methods.
1. ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q 27″ WQHD Gaming Monitor – The Best Gaming Monitor
Screen: 27″ AHVA IPS, W-LED | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 2560×1440 | Brightness: 350 cd/m² | Refresh Rate: 144 Hz (Overclock 165 Hz) | Response Time: 4 ms | Viewing Angle: 178°/178° | Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI, 2 * USB 3.0, 3.5 mm Mini-Jack | Static Contrast: 1000:1 | Color Support: 8-bit | Stand Manoeuvrability: Tilt -5° to +20°, Swivel -60° to +60°, Pivot 0 to +90°, Height Adjustment: 4.72″ | Features: VESA Compatible, Nvidia G-Sync, Nvidia ULMB, Nvidia 3D Vision, GamePlus, GameVisual, OSD Joystick, Built-In Speakers, Low Blue Light, Flicker Free, Non-Glare | Weight: 15.43 lbs
Similar to Acer, AOC, and other big monitor brands, ASUS have their own series of gamer focused products aptly named ‘Republic of Gamers’ (ROG).
The brand has been around since 2006 and continues to push the boundaries when it comes to bleeding edge gamer-centric performance.
They created the supremely successful PG278QR monitor back in 2014, and have worked on that foundation to create the next iterative step – the ROG Swift PG279Q.
For us, and many others, this monitor lies at the top of the pile and is widely considered the best in the industry.
The input lag and response times are so low, that it’s actually faster than many of the top TN based gaming monitors.
And we all know that TN panels aren’t the best when it comes to image quality or viewing angles. In other words; you won’t be sacrificing your gaming performance just because you also want your game to look as pretty as possible.
You’ll also find a decent selection of connectivity options with a DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, and 2 USB 3.0 ports. An extra HDMI port would have been nice though, just to make connecting multiple consoles or other devices a bit easier.
And of course, you also get the company’s Eye Care Technology to reduce blue light and protect players’ eyes which is handy for those marathon sessions.
On the back of the screen, you get a host of functions including the standard ASUS OSD joystick as well as hotkeys for the GamePlus and GameVisual modes.
Aesthetics and functionality go hand in hand.
The screen is supported by a triangular stand that feels firmer and more durable than those of many competitors and looks every part of a top end gaming machine. As expected, you can tilt, pivot, swivel and perform height adjustments. The gamer-inspired red accents are a nice touch without being too glitzy. If you desire extra movability, the back of the screen is wall mountable thanks to the VESA bracket.
When it’s all said and done, the PG279Q is the best gaming monitor on the market right now. It isn’t cheap, but that’s the price to pay when you want excellent picture quality and gaming performance. It’s a combination that is rare to find but is certainly worth the investment.
2. AOC Agon AG271QX 27″ QHD Gaming Monitor – Best FreeSync Monitor
Screen: 27″ TN, W-LED LCD | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 2560×1440 | Brightness: 350 cd/m² | Refresh Rate: 144 Hz | Response Time: 1 ms | Viewing Angle: 170°/ 160° | Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0 * 2, USB 3.0 * 4, VGA, DVI, 3.5mm Mini Jack | Static/Dynamic Contrast: 1000:1/50000000:1| Color Support: 8-bit | Stand Manoeuvrability: Tilt -20° to +2.5°, Swivel -20° to +20°, Pivot: Yes, Height Adjustment 5.1″ | Features: VESA compatible, AMD FreeSync, Shadow Control, Gamer-Centric Features, Built-In Speakers, OSD Controller, Headphone Hook, Flicker-Free, Low Blue Light, Anti-Glare | Weight: 14.99 lbs
Perhaps you’re not ready to part with the extra cash required for a G-Sync monitor, or maybe you have a preference for FreeSync tech.
Whatever the reason, the AGON AG271QX is the best FreeSync monitor you can get your hands on.
In competing with the other flagship gaming lines, AOC has built a monitor that meets the challenge. And boy, it is beautiful.
The build screams quality. From the black and white color design, thin bezel, sleek V-shaped metal stand and folding hook that you can use to hang your headphones on – AOC has gone all out. It’s a sturdy design that is mechanically pleasing to the eye.
But as the saying goes…”looks aren’t everything, it’s what’s inside that really matters”. In this regard, AOC has delivered a slam dunk.
Even so, you can adjust the screen settings with the QuickSwitch Controller which comes with preset game modes to customize brightness, contrast and other metrics that can be suitable for a variety of game genres.
From all the research we have done, we just couldn’t find a monitor at this price range that was more responsive than the AG271QX.
Surprisingly, the built-in speakers aren’t terrible. Still, you’d be silly not to use your own speaker or headphone set-up when gaming.
We are happy to say that AOC didn’t skip out on connection options. Apart from the standard video inputs, you also get 4 USB 3.0 ports and 2 HDMI ports, which is more than enough options for even the most avid users.
All in all, if you can afford the time to adjust the screen settings to achieve the excellent color reproduction the AG271QX is capable of, then you’ll be glad you made the decision to buy this monitor. It’ll give you that advantage when the difference between winning and losing can be mere fractions of a second.
It has everything a gamer could want, and then some. The price tag is a steal for what you get, and we’d be disappointed if you didn’t at least consider the AG271QX as part of your gaming rig upgrade.
3. ViewSonic XG2402 24″ FHD Gaming Monitor – The Best Budget Gaming Monitor
Screen: 24″ TN W-LED | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920×1080 | Brightness: 350 cd/m² | Refresh Rate: 144 Hz | Response Time: 1 ms | Viewing Angle: 170°/160° | Connectivity: 2 * HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort, 3 * USB 3.0, 3.5mm Audio Out | Static/Dynamic Contrast: 1000:1/120,000,000:1 | Color support: 8-bit | Stand Manoeuvrability: Tilt -5° to +20°, Swivel 90°, Pivot 0° to – 90°, Height Adjustment: 4.72” | Features: VESA compatible, AMD FreeSync, Built-In Speakers, Headphone Hook, OSD Controls, Black Stablization, Blue Light Filters, Anti-Glare, Flicker-Free, Gamer-Centric Features | Weight: 14.8 lbs
If the ASUS PG279Q and AOC AG271QX are a bit too pricey, then your next best shot is the ViewSonic XG2402.
In fact, we’d go so far as to say the ViewSonic XG2402 is the best gaming monitor you can get for under $300.
You get a blazing fast 144 Hz refresh rate, coupled with a decent 1080p resolution. It’s a logical pairing for a 24″ screen and means you won’t struggle to hit a high frame rate at the native resolution.
If you require something a little larger, they also have a 27” version which carries the same specifications. Be warned though as a HD resolution can look thinly spread on such a large screen.
When set up correctly, motion blur and ghosting is virtually non-existent. The FreeSync ability is also welcomed and will guarantee extremely smooth gaming.
You may think ViewSonic may have skimped out on connection options, but no, that’s a pleasant surprise as well. You have a DisplayPort, 2 HDMI inputs and 3 USB connections. At this price; such a selection is unheard of.
Even the TN panel does a good job of color reproduction, with most of the sRGB spectrum being covered to a greater extent than many other TN panel based monitors.
Even the limited viewing angles can be solved by the stands adjustability and VESA mount options.
We’re not sure how ViewSonic managed to create such an outstanding gaming monitor at this price, but we are grateful that such an option exists on a market filled with overpriced screens.
If twitchy, competitive gaming or just gaming in general is what you do most on your PC, this monitor makes for an ideal choice. In fact, we’d even say if you need a gaming monitor under $250, get the ViewSonic XG2402. You won’t be disappointed.
4. BenQ Zowie XL2540 25″ FHD Gaming Monitor – Best Competitive Gaming Monitor
Screen: 25″ TN W-LED | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920×1080 | Brightness: 400 cd/m² | Refresh Rate: 240 Hz | Response Time: 1 ms | Viewing Angle: 170°/160° | Connectivity: DisplayPort ,2 * HDMI, DisplayPort, 4 * USB, Headphone Jack, Microphone Jack, DVI-DL | Static/Dynamic Contrast: 1000:1/12000000:1 | Color support: 8-bit | Stand Manoeuvrability: Tilt -5° to +20°, Swivel -45° to +45°, Pivot 90°, Height Adjustment: 5.51” | Features: VESA Compatible, AMD FreeSync, S-Switch USB, Screen Blinders, Headphone Hook, Gamer-Centric Features, Blue Light Filter, Anti-Glare, Flicker-Free | Weight: 16.53 lbs
If you’re a competitive gamer, look no further than BenQ’s Zowie XL2540.
Where BenQ have separated themselves from the competition is their unrelenting focus on developing nothing more than the best gaming monitor for competitive play.
You see, although other brands like Acer, ASUS, and AOC have their own gamer-centric product lines, their monitors can still be considered for more than just gaming – offering a wide range of features suitable for a larger consumer market.
BenQ has instead solely focused on the needs of the gamer. And this is a good thing.
Apart from that; you also get OSD controls with a complimentary S-switch USB controller that allows you to save visual presets and quickly load them up. Perfect for gamers on the go. Even the construction agrees with this. No bolts or screws are required, making dismantling and assembling a breeze. You’ll also have the option of using the privacy blinders to help prevent reflections, glare and ambient distractions.
Clearly, the XL2540 is a fantastic choice for gamers who regularly attend LAN events, tournaments and other competitions that require you to be there in person.
We also loved that the stand has such a small footprint to take as little desk-space as possible. It’s still surprisingly sturdy even though all of the construction seems to be made out of plastic. It’s an understated design that clearly says ‘look at what I can do’ instead of ‘look at me!’
Really, this monitor is truly made for the performance-oriented gamer…
You also get a great selection of connectivity options including 4 USB inputs (1 being the USB hub). The headphone hook is also handy and is expected for a monitor aimed at the competitive gaming market.
When it all comes together; it’s no wonder the XL2540 (and the other Zowie series monitors) is widely used in eSports. From Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to Overwatch; many gamers trust in the Zowie lineup to give them the competitive edge.
If you’re a professional or competitive gamer, this monitor is 100% worth getting.
But what if you’re just a casual gamer? If you’re the type of person that plays casually online, and say, isn’t associated with a clan, then this monitor is a bit overkill. Still, to just enjoy 240 Hz in all its glory is a sublime experience and a jaw-dropping step up especially if you’re going from 60 Hz.
5. Acer Predator X27 – The Best Gaming Monitor Money Can Buy
Screen: 27″ AHVA IPS, Direct LED | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840×2160 | Brightness: 600 cd/m² | Refresh Rate: 120 Hz (144 Hz overclocked) | Response Time: 4 ms | Viewing Angle: 178°/178° | Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.4, 1 * HDMI 2.0, 4* USB 3.0, 3.5mm Headphone Out | Static Contrast: 1000:1 | Color support: 10-bit | Stand Manoeuvrability: Tilt -5° to +25°, Swivel -20° – +20°, Height Adjustment: 5.11” | Features: VESA Compatible, Nvidia G-Sync, HDR10, Built-In Speakers, OSD Joystick, Screen Blinders, Gamer-Centric Features, Blue Light Filter, Anti-Glare | Weight: 20.50 lbs
If you have deep pockets and the hardware to support it, the Acer Predator X27 is the absolute best gaming monitor you can buy right now.
The X27 is a bit of a landmark in monitor technology. It is one of the first 4K monitors to support a refresh rate greater than 60 Hz and display content in HDR.
This tech lies inside an IPS panel that uses quantum dots for its back-lighting which delivers unprecedented image quality, all the way up to 144 Hz.
But you’ll need a powerful GPU (at least a Geforce GTX 1080 Ti) to take full advantage of what this beast has to offer.
Considering the price tag, it’s a no brainer you also get Nvidia’s G-Sync technology and low input lag and response times to ensure one of the most fluid gaming experiences available, even for an IPS panel.
The X27 is factory calibrated right out of the box but if tinkering is your jam, then the display settings can easily be navigated using the joystick at the rear of the screen.
Most monitors don’t come with fans, but this one does to keep everything cool and ticking over. It’s a bit louder during intense applications like gaming, but nowhere near a level to be considered distracting.
And yes, weighing in at 20.7 lbs, this is a beefy monitor in all aspects. It’s made from a rigid and thick plastic that is supported by an unusually thin and attractive aluminum stand. It does the job well though, with the screen feeling very sturdy once you’ve adjusted it to your liking.
So why isn’t the Predator X27 first on this list?
Well even though it is by far the most technically advanced, it also is the most expensive and least supported; leaving its consumer market to a relatively small bunch of enthusiasts or those with money to burn.
It is indeed a special and gorgeous monitor but its limited availability means it cannot be our top pick.
6. ASUS VG278Q 27″ Gaming Monitor – Best Entry 144 Hz Gaming Monitor
Screen: 27″ TN, W-LED LCD | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920×1080 | Brightness: 400 cd/m² | Refresh Rate: 144 Hz | Response Time: 1 ms | Viewing Angle: 170°/160° | Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, Dual-link DVI-D, Earphone Out, 3.5mm Mini-Jack | Static/Dynamic Contrast: 1000:1/100000000:1 | Color Support: 8-bit | Stand Manoeuvrability: Tilt -5° to +33°, Pivot -90° to +90°, Swivel -90° to +90°, Height Adjustment: 5.11″ | Features: VESA Compatible, AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync Compatibility, GameVisual, GamePlus, Built-In Stereo Speakers, ELMB, OSD Joystick, Flicker Free, Non-Glare, Low Blue Light | Weight: 12.3 lbs
Users have described the difference between going from a 60Hz to a 144Hz monitor as ‘insane’ and ‘amazing’. Indeed, if you’ve never tried one before you’re in for a treat.
And what better way to get into the market than with the ASUS 27″ VG278Q monitor. It’s considered to be the lowest priced but highest quality 144 Hz monitor you can get your hands on.
And here’s why.
Firstly, being an ASUS brand, you get all their inbuilt software features like ASUS Eye Care Technology, ELMB (Extreme Low Motion Blur) as well as GameVisual and GamePlus.
While we can say the last two mentions are gimmicky, we can all be thankful for the first two which can considerably improve your gaming experience.
In terms of hardware; tests have shown a blazing fast response time and input lag which we would expect of a 144 Hz TN panel. Better still, you can use AMD’s FreeSync to smooth anything that’s still a bit bumpy. Keep in mind though that you’ll have to use a compatible GPU.
Frankly, this is a great move by Nvidia and will allow many more customers to take advantage of G-Sync technology without having to succumb to the priciness and limited selection of G-Sync only monitors.
Apart from this huge boon, the monitor itself can tilt, pivot, swivel, and can be height adjusted. Even wall mounting is an option with a VESA mount.
As for as TN panels go, the image quality is fairly decent but you’re definitely going to want to do some screen calibration as some users have complained of initially washed out colors. The OSD is familiar if you’ve ever used an ASUS monitor before and allows you to play with a bunch of settings using the navigation joystick.
However; once you get things going, this monitor is a gamer’s dream. We are confident enough to say that if you’re a serious gamer on a budget who wants to enter the 144 Hz market, the VG278Q is an ideal pick.
7. Acer Predator XB1 XB241H 24″ FHD Monitor – Best Entry-Level G-Sync Monitor
Screen: 24″ TN, W-LED LCD | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920×1080 | Brightness: 350 cd/m² | Refresh Rate: 144 Hz (Overclock 180 Hz) | Response Time: 1 ms | Viewing Angle: 170°/160° | Connectivity: DisplayPort, HDMI, 2.5 mm Headphone Jack | Static Contrast/Dynamic Contrast: 1000:1/100000000:1 | Color Support: 8-bit | Stand Manoeuvrability: Tilt -5° to +35°, Pivot 90°, Swivel 30°, Height Adjustment: 5.91″ | Features: VESA Compatible, Nvidia G-Sync, Built-In Speakers, ULMB, Acer EyeProtect, Headphone Hook, Anti-Glare, Gamer-Centric Features and Hotkeys | Weight: 13.91 lbs
Some gamers won’t settle for anything other than an Nvidia G-Sync capable monitor. Maybe they are a brand purist or want something a bit more finesse than AMD’s FreeSync. Whatever the reason, this monitor from Acer is perhaps the right choice.
Another showing from the Predator series, the XB1 XB241H is arguably one of the coolest looking gaming monitors (just look at those red stand tips!) that represents our number 1 pick for entry-level G-Sync goodness.
Entry level doesn’t necessarily mean cheap. This monitor clocks in at over $300 but is well priced for what you get.
You also won’t need a souped-up PC to achieve the high refresh rates. But you do need a compatible Nvidia GPU to support the G-Sync technology.
Whilst the Predator series does offer monitors that come with IPS panel tech and higher resolutions, we chose this one for the simple reason that it’s more affordable and excels at the primary task of gaming. It offers an unparalleled reactive and smooth gaming experience.
The screen uses a TN panel, and whilst this does have inherent gamer-centric advantages like a low response time and input lag, other aspects like color accuracy and viewing angles take a hit. Still, if you take the time to make a few screen adjustments you’ll be good to go.
G-Sync capable monitors are significantly more expensive (about $100+) than their FreeSync counterparts, so purchasing this monitor really comes down to a) if your budget can accommodate it b) if you already have a compatible Nvidia graphics card and c) if you are happy with using a TN panel.
If you can say yes to the above, then the Predator makes for an excellent foray into G-Sync gaming.
8. ASUS VG245H 24″ FHD Gaming Monitor – Best Gaming Monitor Under $200 And Suitable For Console Gamers
Screen: 24″ TN, W-LED LCD | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920×1080 | Brightness: 250 cd/m² | Refresh Rate: 75 Hz | Response Time: 1 ms | Viewing Angle: 170°/160° | Connectivity: 2 * HDMI, VGA, 3.5mm Mini Jack | Static/Dynamic Contrast: 1000:1/100000000:1 | Color support: 8-bit | Stand Manoeuvrability: Tilt -5° to +33°, Pivot -90° to +90°, Swivel -90° to +90°, Height Adjustment: 5.11″ | Features: VESA Compatible, AMD FreeSync, GamePlus, GameVisual, OSD Joystick, Built-In Speakers, Low Blue Light, Flicker Free, Non-Glare | Weight: 14.8 lbs
If the previous gaming monitors exceed your budget, than the ASUS VG245H represents great value all for under $200.
At a quick glance, you’ll notice the blue accents on the base and the thin bezel. These are classic traits that tell us this monitor is for the gamer.
And, for the most part, the specs match up as well.
Unfortunately; you’ll notice monitors in this price range begin sacrificing the very qualities that make them suitable for gaming. The VG245H is no different.
If you’re leaning more to the PC gaming side, you’ll be able to take full advantage of AMD’s FreeSync. Just make sure you have a compatible graphics card.
Also, being ASUS branded, you’ll enjoy their built-in Eye Care technology that includes a flicker-free display and blue light filter, so you can enjoy marathon gaming sessions with minimum eye strain.
As for the design and its aesthetics, it looks good and works great, allowing users to tilt, swivel and pivot the monitor until it’s exactly how they want it. They can also play around with its GameVisual and GamePlus functions to customize color performance and allow the user greater control over exactly how the monitor performs.
So, is this the best gaming monitor under $200?
Well, we’ve looked at dozens of models within this price range, and we can confidently say ‘yes!’
The only thing in our eyes that falters is the refresh rate. If you need more frames, you’ll have to spend more than a couple 100 dollars. The previously mentioned ViewSonic XG2402 is your next best pick.
The fact that ASUS has managed to chuck in several gamer-centric features is a testament to the quality of their products. Indeed, this monitor will appeal to the budget conscious PC gamers out there, or for those who want a snappy screen for their consoles.
9. Acer R240HY bidx 24″ Widescreen FHD Monitor – Best Budget Gaming Monitor Around $100
Screen: 23.8″ IPS, W-LED LCD | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920×1080 | Brightness: 250 cd/m² | Refresh Rate: 60 Hz (Overclock 75 Hz) | Response Time: 4 ms | Viewing Angle: 178°/178° | Connectivity: HDMI 1.4, DVI, VGA, Audio Jack | Static/Dynamic Contrast: 1000:1/100000000:1 | Color Support: 8-bit | Stand Manoeuvrability: Tilt -5° to +35° | Features: Flicker-Less Technology, Low Blue Light Filter, Anti-Glare | Weight: 6.39 lbs
In comes the first Acer monitor on this list and for good reason.
At a price a little bit over $100, this is one of the best monitors you can get in this range.
The IPS panel does a great job at color reproduction as expected, and an overclock ability to a refresh rate of 75 Hz is a great feature for those wanting to squeeze out every frame.
And that’s not all, users also get to take advantages of Acer’s branded features.
Of course at this price; you have to expect some drawbacks.
Is it a deal breaker though? Well; it seems to vary from user to user. Some report an unacceptable level of glow whilst others don’t notice it. We can say that your best bet is to test the monitor yourself and return it if it’s not up to your standard.
You’re probably thinking why we’ve included this screen considering all these negatives. The truth is; this is the price you pay for a screen at this size and at this price range. Indeed; you’ll be hard pressed to find a better budget 24″ monitor.
If you’re using your monitor equally for casual gaming and other tasks, then the R240HY is a good choice. The only real-world negative we can see is perhaps the excess IPS glow – everything else is easily manageable. If you’re happy with that, then a fantastically affordable monitor awaits you.
10. LG 34″ 34UC79G-B UltraWide Monitor – Good For Lovers Of Big Curved Screens And Console Gaming
Screen: 34″ AH-IPS, W-LED LCD | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 2560×1080 | Brightness: 250 cd/m² | Refresh Rate: 144 Hz | Response Time: 5 ms | Viewing Angle: 178°/178° | Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2, 2* HDMI 2.0, 2 * USB 3.0 | Static Contrast: 1000:1 | Color Support: 8-bit| Stand Manoeuvrability: Tilt -5° to +20°, Height Adjustment: 4.72″ | Core Features: VESA Compatible, AMD FreeSync, Picture Mode, Game Mode, 1ms Motion Blur Reduction, Split Screen 2.0, Advanced Gaming Features, Flicker Safe, OSD Joystick, Anti-Glare | Weight: 18.7 lbs
If you’re looking for a big monitor that is more useful for other applications, as well as gaming, then choosing the 34UC79G-B makes for a good choice.
Compared to the smaller LG 29UM68-P, this monitor has the same 2560×1080 resolution, but gives you an extra 5 inches of screen space, making multi-tasking that much easier. And yes; this being an LG monitor you get their useful SplitScreen 2.0 and On Screen Controls software.
Combine this with VESA compatibility and 2 HDMI inputs, and you have a screen that can work as your one-stop multimedia solution. Whether that be for PC gaming, console gaming, multimedia or office use.
When it comes to actual gaming performance, this monitor performs exceptionally.
Indeed, we’d be shocked to find anyone who has problems with just how smooth gameplay is on this piece of hardware.
Good things don’t come cheap though.
But for most PC gamers and console gamers (where sitting further from the screen is more common), this shouldn’t be an issue.
We actually love the fact that LG opted to skip on the built-in speakers. Would any semi-serious gamer use them over their own speaker system or headset? We doubt it.
As for the resolution, well it still looks gorgeous on the IPS display and doesn’t demand the most powerful of hardware to reach 144 fps on the latest games.
Given the size of this screen, we didn’t expect the stand to be completely adjustable. While the V-shape is aesthetic to the eye and provides much-needed stability, it can’t swivel or pivot. It’s a necessary sacrifice when you’re dealing with 34 inches of screen and we’d be pretty harsh to count this as a negative.
As you would have noticed, this is a curved monitor, and curved monitors aren’t for everyone, but if you’ve tried one before and you enjoyed the experience then you might just have found your new gaming screen.
All in all, there are better monitors out there on the market, but there aren’t many of them that are this good at this price point.
To put it simply; if you’re happy with the resolution and curved screen, then you’d be doing yourself a disservice not to at least consider this gaming monitor.
11. AOC G2770PQU 27″ FHD Gaming Monitor – The Most Affordable 144 Hz Gaming Monitor
Screen: 27″ TN, W-LED LCD | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920×1080 | Brightness: : 300 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 144 Hz | Response Time: 1 ms | Viewing Angle: 170°/160° | Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2,HDMI 1.4, 2 * USB 2.0, 2 * USB 3.0, VGA, DVI-D (Dual Link), 3.5 mm Audio Input, 3.5 mm Headphone Jack | Static/Dynamic Contrast: 1000:1/80000000:1 | Color support: 8-bit | Stand Manoeuvrability: Tilt -5° to +25°, Pivot -90° to +90°, Swivel -165° to +165°, Height Adjustment: 5″ | Features: VESA Compatible, Built-In Speakers, OSD controls, Anti-Glare, Flicker-Free | Weight: 17.64 lbs
Whilst AOC doesn’t enjoy the same popularity in the US as household brands like ASUS or Acer, they have nevertheless made a name for themselves in the Asia-Pacific region.
Why? Because they offer monitors that offer great ‘cost per performance’ value. The G2770PQU is one such monitor.
We won’t blame you for thinking budget monitors equals crap monitors, but with the G2770PQU, nothing could be further from the truth.
AOC has done an excellent job of keeping the costs down by implementing what is essential rather than adding unnecessary (and costly) features.
The result of these specs is ultra smooth game-play even without any inbuilt motion blur reduction.
This is further consolidated due to the 1080p native resolution which doesn’t demand the most powerful hardware. If you have a somewhat recent PC of the last 3 years, you should be able to push 144 frames a second on most of the latest games.
When it comes to the other features that matter to gamers – connectivity and stand adjustability. AOC didn’t skip out. Apart from the standard video inputs, you also get several USB options, as well as the ability to swivel, pivot, tilt, and height adjust the monitor. Did we say it’s also VESA compatible?
If you want something big and budget-friendly then the G2770PQU is a fantastic choice. Considering the price, it comes with all you could need and is suitably engineered to suit those gamers who already have a budget-friendly PC setup.
We would go so far as to say that it is the most affordable 144 Hz monitor you can get your hands on.
Oh, and one more thing. Don’t use the built in speakers. They are terrible. In fact, if you’re a gamer, you shouldn’t be using built in speakers no matter the monitor.
12. LG 27UD58-B 27″ UHD Monitor – Best Budget 4K Monitor
Screen: 27 ” AH-IPS, W-LED | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840×2160 | Brightness: 250 cd/m² | Refresh Rate: 60 Hz | Response Time: 5 ms | Viewing Angle: 178°/178° | Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2, 2 * HDMI 2.0, 1 * Analog Audio Out | Static Contrast: 1000:1 | Color support: 10-bit | Stand Manoeuvrability: Tilt -20° to +5° | Features: VESA Compatible, AMD FreeSync, OSD Joystick, Black Stabilizer, Split Screen 2.0, Advanced Gaming Features like Game Mode, Super Resolution+, Flicker Safe, Anti-Glare | Weight: 12.3 lbs
This is arguably one of the best value 4K UHD monitors on the market, allowing users to tap into resolutions as large as 3840×2160. That’s up to 8.3 million pixels on a single screen – and four times as many pixels as full HD.
When we put this on a screen that is 27″ in size, you get a pixel density of 164 PPI, which results in a very sharp image. Things do look beautiful on the IPS panel, which has excellent color reproduction.
LG has also included FreeSync which is actually worth having at 60 Hz. You also get brand features including the ever so useful On-Screen Controls, Black Stabilizer which brightens dark details like shadows and Split Screen 2.0 that is helpful for multitasking. We also loved the inclusion of a tiny but functional joystick that makes navigating the OSD a breeze.
It’s pretty clear LG intended this screen to be used as much as a console screen as a PC one – especially when they included two HDMI ports but opted out of USB inputs.
And we must say, they have struck a perfect balance that is both affordable and highly functional.
Other reviewers have deemed this model as the best budget 4K monitor, and after doing our own research, we also agree with them. The 27UD58-B is an essential pick for 4K gaming when money is an object.
13. HP Pavilion 22cwa 21.5″ Monitor – Best Gaming Monitor Under $100
Screen: 21.5″ IPS, LED LCD | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920×1080 | Brightness: 250 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 60 Hz | Response Time: 7 ms | Viewing Angle: 178°/178° | Connectivity: VGA, HDMI | Static/Dynamic Contrast: 1000:1/8000000:1 | Color support: 8-bit | Stand Manoeuvrability: Tilt -2° to +25° | Features: HP Enhance+, OSD controls, Flicker Free, Anti-Glare, Low Blue Light | Weight: 8.5 lbs
The HP Pavilion monitor is no where near the best gaming monitor on the market, but it is one of the top all-rounders for its price and it comes with a number of useful design quirks.
Namely, a gorgeous IPS panel (wide viewing angles yay!) and a bezel-less frame to show it all off.
And there is a lot to show. The HD resolution is packed onto 21.5″ screen, resulting in a detailed and crispy 102 PPI. You won’t have any issues with any pixelation or lack of detail.
When you get to this price, you can’t expect the response time or input lag to match up with high-end monitors. Indeed, the response time falls behind, but the input lag is more than adequate.
In the end, we are only talking a difference of 10 ms or so, so any casual gamer won’t mind. If competitive gaming is your jam though, then you’re definitely going to want to take a further look up this list.
The stand and casing are made out of a strong plastic that is sturdy, so you won’t have any issues with the monitor accidentally losing balance unless you really try to tip it over. The open stand is also a smart addition and will allow you to trail any cables through it to keep it tidy.
Considering the excellent price, we can’t be too nitpicky with this monitor, but there have been a few common complaints, and they are mainly to do with the screen.
In terms of connectivity, the monitor comes with a VGA cable for the VGA input, but if you wish to hook it up to an Apple Mac device, you’ll need to buy the thunderbolt adaptor. Similarly, you’ll need to grab a HDMI cable if you want to use the HDMI port. This is pretty standard stuff and we’d be surprised if HP provided anything more than the basic cables.
Overall, this is a solid gaming monitor and likely one of the best, if not the best you can get within a $100 price range. It’s perfect for the casual gamer or your everyday PC user.
A casual gamer won’t mind the refresh rate or the higher response time. If you’re anything but though, we’d recommend at least doubling your budget for something more up your alley.
14. LG 29UM68-P 29″ UltraWide Monitor – Excellent Entry Point for Ultra-Widescreen Gaming
Screen: 29″ IPS, W-LED | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 2560×1080 | Brightness: 250 cd/m² | Refresh Rate: 75 Hz | Response Time: 5 ms | Viewing Angle: 178°/178° | Connectivity: 2 * HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2 | Static/Dynamic Contrast: 1000:1/5000000:1 | Color support: 8-bit | Stand Manoeuvrability: Tilt -5° to +20° | Features: VESA Compatible, AMD FreeSync, OSD Joystick, Reader Mode, Black Stabilizer, Split Screen 2.0, Advanced Gaming Features like Game Mode, Flicker Safe, Anti-Glare | Weight: 11.9 lbs
LG is one of the biggest manufacturers of screens in the world, and so it’s no surprise that they offer a massive line-up of exceptional gaming monitors for the PC gamers out there.
In comes the LG 29UM68-P.
The first thing you’ll notice is it’s UltraWide, meaning you’ll enjoy 2560 horizontal pixels across the screen and a narrower 1080 pixels vertically.
It results in an impressive and productive 21:9 aspect ratio. And of course, that’s the core benefit of such a wide screen.
Using LG’s Screen Split 2.0 software, you can easily divide the screen into several windows which means multi-tasking is a breeze. It’s perfect for running a game and catching up on your emails if you’re so inclined. It’s even better for cleaning up your desk space by using one monitor instead of 2 smaller screens.
LG has kept the build in line with some of its more expensive models, with a matte finish, three side ‘bezel-less’ screen and an ArcLine design that keeps the monitor stable and sturdy by increasing the contact surface area.
This is a gaming monitor after all, and so comes with LG’s inbuilt software targeted at gamers. There are three different gaming modes to choose from that can optimize your gaming experience.
At a more advanced level, you can customize the monitor’s settings using the Black Stabilizer for night/dark scenes and calibrate the screen settings using the On-Screen Control software. Gone are the days where tinkering with the OSD buttons was the only option!
All things considered, this is one of the most affordable models if you want to dip your feet in the UltraWide IPS monitor market.
If you are a casual to moderate gamer (ergo offline gaming or casual online gaming) and also use your monitor for movies, multimedia and work – this is a great choice. If you’re more inclined to use your PC for just hardcore competitive gaming, you’re better looking further up this list.
15. ASUS MG28UQ 28″ 4K Gaming Monitor – Excellent 4K FreeSync Monitor
Screen: 28″ TN, W-LED LCD | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840×2160| Brightness: 330 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 60 Hz | Response Time: 1 ms | Viewing Angle: 170°/160° | Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0, 2 * USB 3.0, 3.5mm Mini Jack | Static/Dynamic Contrast: 1000:1/100000000:1 | Color support: 10-bit | Stand Manoeuvrability: Tilt -5° to +20°, Pivot 0 to +90° , Swivel -60° to +60°, Height Adjustment: 5.9″ | Features: VESA Compatible, AMD FreeSync, OSD Josysitck, GameVisual, GamePlus, Gamer-Centric Features, Built-In Stereo Speakers, Flicker Free, Non-Glare, Low Blue Light | Weight: 17.64 lbs
If ASUS’s premium ROG line poses a bit of a financial challenge, their MG series of monitors offer a great alternative.
Announced back in 2016, the ASUS MG28UQ was part of a new line of monitors aimed strictly at 4K gaming and still represents great value to this day.
Although you may think a 60 Hz refresh rate is low, it’s actually common for a 4K gaming monitor. Unless you have very beefy hardware, it’d be quite the challenge to push many video games up to a triple-digit frame rate.
You can’t put a price on convenience, and the MG28UQ does what it can to make your life easier by including a couple of USB 3.0 ports and an internal power supply so so you can keep everything neat and tidy.
And speaking of size, the fact that you can fully adjust this monitor speaks volumes about the build quality.
There’s a lot to love about the ASUS MG28UQ. One Amazon reviewer said he almost cried when he first hooked it up – and that he went back in to replay a few games just to see what they looked like on the new monitor.
If you want to experience 4K gaming without having to empty all your pockets, this monitor represents the best pick on the market today.
Best Gaming Monitors Buyer’s Guide
If you’re new to the gaming monitor market, it can be a daunting task to decide exactly which model is right for you.
Is it worth getting a monitor with G-Sync? Should you opt for a screen with a higher resolution but a lower refresh rate?
Our buyer’s guide is aimed at helping you answer these types of questions with confidence, and help you make the right purchase.
Do you really need to read this guide?
No, not really, but it will help!
For most people, the monitors we’ve included are all fantastic and a basic knowledge of resolution and screen size is all you need to pick what is right for you.
For those more eager or curious to narrow down what they really want, this guide is a good place to start.
Firstly, let’s explain those technical specifications…
The Factors Explained
Here are the factors you need to consider when purchasing your next gaming monitor.
Resolution and Screen Size
The terms we are all familiar with is resolution and screen size.
Let’s start with the resolution.
The display resolution is the number of pixels that can be displayed. The most common resolutions today are:
The screen will have a total of 1920 pixels horizontally and 1080 pixels vertically. There is also WFHD which is the widescreen version of FHD and uses an aspect ratio of 21:9.
This is a step up from HD and features 2,560 x 1,440 pixels. Some people confuse 2K to be the same as QHD. They are similar but 2K is actually 2,048 x 1,080.
QHD also has its own widescreen variant – WQHD. The aspect ratio is a wider 21:9 as opposed to 16:9. With the resolution being 3440 x 1440.
Lastly, we have UHD which is 3840 x 2160, and features about 4 times the pixels than HD! Again, people often confuse 4K to be the same as UHD. 4K is technically 4,096 x 2,160. The widescreen variant, WUHD is 5120 x 2160.
Is it worth getting a widescreen monitor? If productivity is your primary concern or you want to use one monitor versus 2 or 3, then a widescreen monitor might be for you. You’ll also be able to enjoy a higher resolution. Widescreen monitors are not for everyone, so if you’ve never used one before, you’re best to check them out in person at a store.
Other resolutions include 720p (1280 x 720) and 8K (7,680 x 4,320) but the former is not as commonly used nowadays, and the latter is fairly recent with current computer hardware unable to adequately support it.
A higher resolution means more pixels in one area.
Practically, this means you can enjoy greater image detail and clarity.
What is FPS?
The general rule of thumb is at least 30 – 60 fps for a casual gamer and at least 60 – 120 fps + for competitive gamers.
A good resource is Notebookcheck’s Laptop Video Graphics Cards – Benchmark List which also includes desktop graphics. You’ll get a rough idea of what FPS you can pump out with your GPU. Keep in mind the CPU and RAM, as well as other specifications, also influence the frame rate.
Now, screen size, which is measured diagonally across the screen, works together with the resolution. After all, an HD resolution on a massive 29″ screen will make images appear pixelated as the pixels will effectively be displayed over a larger area.
- FHD resolutions are suitable for screens around 21″ – 25″.
- Screens that are more than 25″ are best paired with QHD or UHD resolutions.
In terms of the size of the screen you should be getting, well that depends on your home setup and what you are comfortable with.
There is no best size for gaming, but the sweet spot can be considered between 24″ and 27″.
With this size, you can sit at a comfortable distance without feeling overwhelmed, and you’ll be able to enjoy HD to UHD resolutions.
Response time and Input Lag
Contrary to popular belief, response time and input lag are actually two different things:
Response time is the length of time it takes a pixel to switch from black to white or switch between different shades of grey.
A better and more accurate definition that many experts use is “the time it takes a single pixel to change from black to white and then back to black.”
Ghosting or motion blur are symptoms of higher response times where the change in pixel colors can’t keep up with the change in the image.
Input lag is the time between a command issued by a controller device (say a keyboard) and the result on the screen.
A high input lag can cause game-play issues where a slight delay makes the difference between losing and winning. Combine this with the lag inherent with online gaming, and you can see why this can easily be an issue.
Measuring is easier said than done…
There is no universal test to determine response time and input lag. Manufacturers will often advertise these metrics favorably using their own testing methods. The best we can do is look at independent reviews to determine the average values.
For example, many response times are advertised as 1 ms (under ideal conditions), but upon independent testing – where a real-world gaming environment is used – many near 10 ms or more.
The refresh rate is an indicator of how often the monitor refreshes the image that’s displayed. It’s measured in Hertz and determines how many frames per second the monitor can generate. Typical refresh rates include 60 Hz to 144 Hz and beyond.
Remember how we mentioned frames per second earlier? Well, if your GPU is pumping out more frames (say 120 fps) than the monitor can handle (like 60 Hz), you’ll be limited to the refresh rate of the monitor.
For example, while a monitors’ refresh rate is constant, a GPU’s frame output is not. Hence; if a GPU sends an image to the monitor during the rendering of an existing image, tearing can occur. There will be essentially two images (although very similar) that will appear in the one frame.
There are technologies out there that are made to combat this issue including V-Sync, FreeSync or G-Sync.
The link between refresh rate, input lag and response time…
Although these terms are all distinct in what they actually mean, they do come together when determining your gaming experience.
Say you have a high refresh rate of 144 Hz and you’re response time is a crispy 1 ms. Well, if you have a high input lag you will be disadvantaged when it comes to gaming.
While the movements on the screen will look super smooth, you’ll experience some delay from your keyboard or controller. It won’t be noticeable, but, in an extremely competitive environment, it could be the difference between winning and losing.
Now that the most common specifications are out of the way, let’s look at something else you should consider – panel technology. But first, we’ll clear up a common misconception.
The confusion of LEDs and LCDs
Some people believe that LED’s (light-emitting diodes) and LCD’s (liquid crystal displays) are two types of screen display technologies.
In fact, an LED is actually part of an LCD screen.
An LCD, as the name implies, involves a layer of liquid crystals held between two pieces of polarized glass.
A back-light (the LED) applies even light to the crystals, and when stimulated by an electric current, different combinations of red, blue and green are reflected.
Effectively, millions of colors can be produced. Hence; you’ll commonly find the term “LED-backlit LCD” when manufacturers describe the screen technology.
Now that we’ve established that distinction, let’s get into the main types of LCD panel technology and what they mean for your gaming experience.
LCD Panel Technology
There are three main types of LCD panel technologies when it comes to gaming monitors – VA (Vertical Alignment), TN (Twisted Nematic) and IPS (In-Plane Switching). OLED (Organic LED) is another one, but for this section, we will be focusing on the 3 you’ll likely come across when purchasing a monitor.
Each type of panel comes with its own distinct advantages and disadvantages:
The IPS panel is the most expensive type of panel and is the best when it comes to color accuracy. The viewing angle is also the widest.
Unfortunately; IPS panels suffer from lower response times and refresh rates.
Best For: Casual or single player gaming, multimedia usage, and image editing. It’s more of an all-rounder pick if your needs are more varied than just purely gaming.
Of course; you can purchase IPS panels with much higher refresh rates and better response times, but be prepared to pay double or more than that of a similar spec TN panel.
TN panels are the cheapest type of panel and also offer a couple of distinct advantages over their rivals.
Namely, they have lower response times and lower input lag. They also support higher refresh rates at a lower cost.
You’ll find many TN panels being able to chug along at 144 Hz, with some reaching 240 Hz. In contrast, the fastest IPS panels can only get up to 166 Hz.
The drawbacks are poorer image production and narrow viewing angles.
Despite this, TN panel technology has come in leaps and bounds and it’s not hard to find a screen that can produce images adequately. After all; there’s a reason why TN panels are so popular. Most people find that the advantages outweigh the negatives.
In any case, a good old image calibration is always recommended.
Best For: Competitive gaming and gaming in general. Also perfect for those with a tighter budget, as these types of screens give more bang for your buck.
VA panels sort of seek a middle ground between TN and IPS panels.
They have excellent color reproduction and decent viewing angles but suffer lower response times.
They also provide the best contrast, with a 3000:1 static contrast compared to 1000:1 that is typical of an IPS panel.
Best For: Multimedia use, since a VA panel can show deeper blacks which is handy for movies.
A look into color space…
You may have read some monitor reviews that mention terms like ‘99% sRGB’ or ‘70% Adobe RGB’.
You’ve probably thought to yourself, ‘what the heck does this mean?’.
Let’s clear it up.
Such terms refer to a monitors coverage of the color space.
A color space is simply a defined range of colors.
The two most common color spaces (or color gamuts) in computing are the sRGB and Adobe RGB color space. These fall inside the CIE XYZ color space which defines the number of colors our eyes can see.
sRGB covers about 30% of the CIE XYZ color space whilst Adobe RGB covers about 50%. It includes cyan, magenta, yellow and black color combinations that are available on printers making it more useful for image editing, photography, and printing.
A higher value for both numbers is better, right? Well, yes and no.
If you’re not a professional image editor, the sRGB color space is all you should worry about.
It came before Adobe RGB and is also more widely supported. In other words; you’d rather have a higher sRGB value than an Adobe RGB – which is almost always the case since the sRGB falls inside the Adobe RGB space.
IPS and VA panels excel at representing the most color space, with TN panels falling a little bit behind (though still adequate!).
What about bit depth?
When referring to LCD’s, bit depth is the number of bits for each pixel that represent each primary color – red, blue and green.
So, 8-bit color results in 256 shades for each color, with a combined total of 16,777,216 colors.
The human eye can distinguish about 10 million colors, so most monitors extend well beyond this range.
Putting it all together…
|Panel||Colour||Contrast||Refresh Rate||Input Lag||Response Time||Viewing Angles||Price|
|VA||Excellent||Excellent||Good||Good||OK||Good||Average to Expensive|
A gaming monitor usually has several connection options when it comes to the transmission of audio and video information:
- DVI. The Digital Visual Interface is an old school connector that is slowly becoming less common. It comes in 3 variants, with DVI-I being the most common today since it supports analog and digital transmissions. A key advantage to DVI is being able to implement a dual-link variety that can support audio and video at 144 Hz and 1080p resolution.
- VGA. Similar to DVI, VGA (Video Graphics Array) is an oldish interface, with many new graphics cards no longer supporting the connection. Handy for when dealing with legacy systems.
- DisplayPort. This is the holy grail for connecting your monitor to your PC tower. There are different versions of the DisplayPort with the 1.4 version being able to support 4K at 120 Hz.
- HDMI. For connecting your PC to the T.V., you can’t look past using the HDMI (High Definition Media Interface) input. For monitors, HDMI comes in handy for connecting up consoles or other hardware. HDMI 2.1 is the latest iteration and can support a whopping 8K resolution at 120 Hz
And a fifth?
USB-C is the new player to the big four connectors, having been introduced since 2014. It’s more and more common in the latest laptops, phones, and tablets, and many monitor manufacturers are now adopting it.
It can transfer video, audio, data, and power…meaning you can use your monitor from your laptop or desktop with the one cable. With the use of adaptors, it’s also offering a replacement for all the other cables we’ve mentioned thus far.
Currently, it’s not as widely supported in monitors as HDMI or DisplayPort inputs, and only time will tell if it truly becomes the new standard.
- For connecting your graphics card to your monitor, go with the DisplayPort. It has superior bandwidth to the other connections and pretty much every graphics card supports it. Both Nvidia G-sync and AMD’s FreeSync are also compatible. Attaching multiple displays is easily possible with daisy-chaining – that is, connecting several devices using a single connection between every 2 devices.
- If you want to use your monitor as a screen for other hardware, such as your XBOX 1 or PS4, the HDMI input is the ideal choice.
But wait…there’s more!
Modern gaming monitors also come with additional input options to provide greater versatility and functionality. Many of these are already standard with a typical motherboard, but it never hurts to have more….if your willing to pay for it:
- USB – Apart from the USB connections on your motherboard, extra USB ports can come in handy to connect peripherals like keyboards and mouse’s closer to the monitor. There are two types. USB port UP Type A connects the monitor to the motherboard and essentially allows the monitor to become a USB hub. Now; you can connect peripherals to the USB IN Type B which is essentially connected to the PC’s monitor through the Type A connection. USB speed standards have increased as the years have gone by, with USB 3.* being the fastest.
- Headphone and Microphone Jacks – This is convenient to connect your headphones, headset, speakers, and microphones to the monitor instead of the motherboard.
Additional Gaming Monitor Features
Gaming monitors, especially the high-end types, come with a plethora of additional features that add to a users experience. Some are gimmicky while others are extremely helpful. We’ve mentioned many of these in our round-up but we’ll include them here again for your reference.
While we explained what G-Sync and FreeSync are, we haven’t established which one might be better for you. Let’s take a closer look…
Nvidia’s G-Sync vs AMD’s FreeSync
“Which one is better? Which one should I choose?”
These are common questions asked by many customers before buying a monitor with either one of these adaptive sync technologies.
Sure, we know that both these technologies help reduce screen tearing and stuttering for a smooth gaming experience, but which one does a better job?
Let’s start with G-Sync.
G-Sync is strictly controlled by Nvidia. They choose which monitors can support it and even use a proprietary hardware module that needs to be installed as part of being granted proper certification
Nvidia extensively tests and tweaks approved monitors to ensure the best gaming experience. This is good and bad. On the one hand, it means you won’t have any issues with a G-Sync monitor in terms of doing what it’s supposed to do. On the other, you’ll have to pay a premium (usually around $100 +).
Now when it comes to FreeSync, AMD takes an opposite approach and allow pretty much any monitor to make use of their technology, without any licensing costs.
It means that FreeSync monitors are more widely available and affordable. But they also suffer from quality assurance issues. Flickering is one such issue as well as stuttering and screen tearing.
Another big issue is that FreeSync’s loose standards mean that you need to keep an eye out for the adaptive sync range of the monitor, especially the lower number. For example, a FreeSync monitor at 75 Hz may only have an adaptive sync range of 48 Hz -75 Hz. This means a game chugging below 48 Hz will experience the very problems the technology is meant to solve. You can check here to see what range your monitor covers.
Similar to Nvidia, AMD has its own technology to deal with this issue called Low Framerate Compensation (LFC). Unlike Nvidia, it’s not mandatory to have this in every FreeSync monitor, but it’s more common in the pricier models.
G-Sync monitors also support frequency dependent variable overdrive which basically prevents ghosting. Such an issue is more prevalent on FreeSync monitors but has been mostly ironed out in the past few years.
However; if you’ve got the money to spare, G-Sync monitors are the best option and offer the ultimate headache free gaming experience.
Over to you
Now that we’ve shared our picks for the best gaming monitors in 2020, we want to hear from you.
What monitor do you use and would you recommend it to other people? Which of the picks on our list is your favorite? And what do you look for when you’re shopping for gaming monitors? Let us know what you think with a comment!