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The hunt for the best gaming monitor is afoot. There’s a new visual fidelity milestone available for wanton coveting. The exalted 4K (3820×2160) display resolution is very slowly inching toward affordability with some of the industry’s newest and most capable PC monitors. A 4K display resolution is virtually 4-times that of the old 1080p standard and produces richer more detailed images thanks to the increase in pixels present horizontally and vertically. This is why we love the best gaming monitors. For more quality products like this, check out our guide to highly-rated 4k gaming monitors.
Yet resolution is not the “end-all, be-all” of this particular tale. It is definitely a major deciding factor when evaluating a potential monitor purchase for gaming. However, other features and functions such as high refresh rates to smooth out gameplay, low response times to prevent after-image ghosting effects, 3D capabilities and G-Sync support are on our checklist when scrutinizing our next big gaming monitor. This way, you can still have solid gaming experiences on a 1080p gaming monitor if some other boxes are checked off.
For clarity here is a bit of insight on NVIDIA G-Sync and refresh rates.
Measured in Hz, refresh rate is the frequency at which a display can draw the information it is receiving from the output source, i.e. your video card. Higher or faster refresh rates result in smoother gameplay movement and performance. Today’s standard is 60Hz found on most displays. The first 4K televisions and monitors to ship were only 30Hz, which is much too slow for even moderately fast gaming. When for a 4K gaming monitor, 60Hz should be your limit for smoother playback and gameplay. The best external monitor will give you hours of gaming joy.
This has been called “the missing link between a computer system’s video processing unit (GPU) and the monitor. G-Sync allows NVIDIA Kepler- and Maxwell-based GPUs to dynamically control the refresh rate of monitors that support G-Sync. Images are then displayed the moment they are rendered for smoother playback. The viewer sees visibly increases clarity and smoother gameplay. Enabling V-Sync was the best way to prevent jerky inconsistent frame rates on lower-powered GPUs. Yet it too came with its own set of hurdles. NVIDIA explains, “With V-Sync, the GPU and display are synchronized to the vertical blanking interval where the GPU sends rendered frames to the display on a fixed cadence (60 times per second at 60Hz display refresh).” If you’d like to see G-Sync in 120hz refresh action, then check out this guide to the top 120hz refresh rate gaming monitors.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at 8 of the best monitors for gaming at 27-inches and above. We begin with today’s premium modern computer monitors for gaming.
The 27-inch display supports 2560 x 1440 and uses a TN panel type for its display. That resolution is arguably the new standard for gamers, with superb image quality. The ASUS ROG Swift can also hit the coveted gaming grail of 120Hz-144Hz refresh rates on the fly via a simple-included button toggle. The response time is also an attractively low 1ms. NVIDIA has included an exclusive GamePlus onscreen timer/crosshair, 60-120-144Hz refresh rate turbo key, and intuitive 5-way OSD navigation joystick. The monitor features full ergonomic tilt, swivel, pivot, and height adjustment by way of VESA mount capability for ideal positioning.
Related: Check our list of the best 4K monitors.
The ROG Swift PG278Q 144Hz G-Sync gaming display also features several gaming-specific perks, some of which can be found on our list of the 10 best monitors for Xbox one X. The most interesting of these is the onscreen virtual crosshair. The included Gameplus hotkey enables 4-selectable crosshairs that stay fixed to the middle of your screen. This is great for games where crosshairs and iron sights are too faded or hard to discern to be useful. No wonder it is the best gaming monitor.
Main Attraction: G-Sync, 1440p, 120Hz, and 144Hz refresh rates
Here we have another G-Sync monitor. Yet, while the ASUS ROG Swift excels with both G-Sync and super high refresh rates at 120Hz and 144Hz, the ACER XB280HK opted for a supreme 4K (3820×2160) display resolution at a strong but familiar 60Hz. This is something you’ll see when comparing LCD vs LED gaming monitors. This is the first 4K monitor to support NVIDIA’s G-Sync. It’s important to note, that G-Sync is probably best served in this particular case. A 4K resolution is demanding on GPUs and gobbles up available VRAM like crazy. G-Sync will help maintain a smooth 60 frames per second at 4K when using mid-high-end video cards. That’s a major selling point. 4K made easy with consistent FPS? YES!
These two are very close competitors with both often mentioned during journalist reviews. Each monitor costs a healthy and exorbitant $800 retail. At this price, you may want to consider a cheaper monitor, like the one you’ll find in our Sceptre E255B 1658A review.
Related: We also recommend the best 24-inch monitors.
We should also note, that this display only takes DisplayPort cable connection types. The unit does not have ports for HDMI or DVI as neither has adequate bandwidth for 4K resolutions. If you are looking for the best gaming monitor for PS4, this is a great choice.
Main Attraction: 4K resolution @ 60Hz, NVIDIA G-Sync support
No G-Sync for this 28-inch monster. This is the premiere 4K gaming display from ASUS. It sports a 1ms response time and 60Hz. When 4K displays first went on sale, all were only capable of 30Hz, which honestly, makes most fast-paced games unplayable. So it’s nice to see both ASUS and ACER kicking out 60Hz monitors capable of 4K resolution. The PB287Q also features 157 pixels per inch in 10-bit color. Moreover, there are connectivity options aplenty, including HDMI 1.4, HDMI/MHL, and DisplayPort.
Main Attraction: 4K resolution @ 60Hz, 10-bit color, 157ppi, sub-$600
Here we have another G-Sync monitor. However, this one is only capable of a 1080p display resolution. That said, this is still an impressive monitor for gamers. It also uses a TN panel, which is great for speed and low latency and can push 144Hz as a standard with a 1ms response time. While this one has not dropped in the States just yet, it is highly coveted albeit due to the heavy price tag. Speaking of price, also read about the best cheap monitor.
Main Attraction: 144Hz, G-Sync, 1Ms response time, 3D ready
The company boasts that this little number was designed specifically for competitive first-person shooting style gaming and with a 144Hz refresh rate, we can see why. The BENQ XL27207 uses motion blur reduction technology, Low Blue Light, patented ZeroFlicker feature, and Gaming Refresh Rate Optimization (GROM) features for gamers. This is another TN panel type selected for speed and low latency. The response time is a super low 1ms. But unfortunately, the display resolution tops out at 1080p. It is just as good as the BenQ Zowie model, which you can read in our review of the BenQ Zowie XL2411P 24-inch 144Hz gaming monitor.
Main Attraction: 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, Motion Blur Reduction
Here’s a true behemoth for us gamers. The LG 34UM95-P is a massive 34-inch IPS panel display that puts out an unusual native resolution of 3440×1440. This creates an equally odd aspect ratio of 21:9 with its extra-long horizontal length compared to the much shorter vertical. This one hits at 99% of the RGB gamut whereas the BENQ XL27207 only achieves 72% of the color gamut. There is also little or low input lag. Connectivity options include dual HDMI ports, DisplayPort, and two 10Gbps Thunderbolt input/output ports, which makes this also a Mac-compatible solution. The LG 34UM95-P also supports the company’s Dual Link-Up feature. It allows you to connect portable devices like laptops, cameras, smartphones, and more to the display where both the portable device screen and the monitor can display the same content simultaneously. It’s definitely a handy feature. This display screen can also be divided into four ways with each section displaying a different application. Finally, the LG 34UM95-P can be specially tuned for ultimate color accuracy using compatible hardware calibration devices.
Main Attraction: 3440×1440 resolution, Connectivity options, Dual Link-Up, Mac compatibility, hardware calibration, 4-way split-screen, 16:9 ratio, and the perfect screen size for console gaming.
Overlord is the newest company on our list. They specialize in high refresh rate monitors and overclockability. Inspired by the wave of overclockable monitors being imported from Korea, a team of U.S. PC enthusiasts set up shop and created the Overlord Computer company based here in the States. What sets them apart from their Korean counterparts, Overlord offers 1-yr warranties and 90-parts replacements on their models, with a strong return policy. Overlord orders panels from Korea, and then outfits them in their own bezel and stand. The 27-inch Tempest X270OC can be overclocked up to a 120Hz refresh rate. It connects to your PC or laptop via a single DVI capable and the display does not feature any sort of on-screen display.
Main Attraction: Low price, overclockable refresh rate to 120Hz, 1yr warranty
This one offers THE best cost-to-performance ratio of virtually any gaming monitor available and is one of the most talked-about Korean 120Hz overclocking monitors for gamers. X-Star is boasting 100% color accuracy (which is probably closer to 95-98%). The unit can be overlocked to a speedy 120Hz and can be found for under $300. It features very similar specs as the Overlord Tempest monitor above, overclocking capable but with no assurance, that it will achieve 120Hz and DVI connectivity-only (multi-input variants are also available.) Note: these models are imported with the most success and reliability being from Ebay’s Dream-Seller. It features Plug Type-C for Korea. Make sure you confirm the frequency (Hz) needs for your home or office and obtain the proper AC adapter for your country. I strongly suggest you Google this one and do some research for reviews and testimonials before buying.
Although, if space is an issue for you, you’ll probably want to check out a smaller size by comparing a 24 vs a 27-inch monitor.
Main Attraction: Dirt cheap, overclocking to 120Hz possible,
What we’re shooting for here is pixel density beyond 1080p, speedy low-latency video playback with crisp sharp silky smooth images display at high frame rates, or in the case of G-Sync, unquestionably even and consistent 60 frames per second. This is why each of the monitors selected features one or a combination of our desired features. These are supported for NVIDIA G-Sync, and/or high display resolutions (4K) and/or extreme refresh rates at 120-144Hz. There’s no need to go as high as 240Hz. Each of our best gaming monitors listed holds one or more of these tricks up its digital sleeve.
So which is the best computer monitor for your well-honed gaming needs?
Also Read: Best TVs For Gaming
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