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To help you choose the best gaming monitor for your setup, we have thoroughly researched a multitude of top displays, testing to ensure they truly shined during graphically-intensive gaming applications. To that end, we liked monitors with high refresh rates, speedy response times, and full integration with technology found in modern graphics cards, such as AMD Radeon FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync.
The best gaming monitor we tried was easily the Acer Predator XB273K. This incredible gaming monitor is packed with features, including full Nvidia G-Sync integration, a DCI-P3 90% Wide Color Gamut, an overclocked 144Hz refresh rate, and plenty of highly useful ports, including HDMI and DisplayPort. Keep reading to learn more about other great gaming monitors available for purchase.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: Best gaming monitor with a robust feature set, including a 144Hz overclocked refresh rate, a DCI-P3 90% wide color gamut, and a gorgeous 4K UHD resolution.
The Acer Predator XB273K is the best gaming monitor for PS4 use and for general PC gaming applications, thanks to high-end features like a gaming-friendly 144Hz overclocked refresh rate, full support for Nvidia G-Sync graphics cards, and a DCI-P3 90% wide color gamut. The 4K UHD resolution is particularly stunning for PC gaming or for console gaming, and the wide array of ports along the rear is highly useful.
This is a 27-inch display, which may be great for competitive gamers but may cut down slightly on immersion for the general consumer. Additionally, there is not much here by way of cable management, though there is a simple cable loop. For a more immersive display, try one of the best ultrawide gaming monitors.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: Best ultrawide gaming monitor that offers plenty of connectivity options, including 3 USB 3.0 ports, and integrates fully with Nvidia G-Sync graphics cards.
The Alienware AW3418DW is an ultrawide monitor with an immersive curved design boasting a 1900R curvature. This display integrates fully with Nvidia G-sync-enabled graphics cards and has plenty of ports along the rear for connectivity, including four future-proof USB-C ports. We loved the futuristic aesthetic, which would look great in any gaming room, and a tech-forward design that works to minimize screen tearing, display stutter, and input lag.
We did appreciate that the stand featured a built-in cable management system, helping to reduce clutter, the stand itself isn’t that adjustable, offering some minor adjustability along simple metrics. Also, the response time here is 4ms, somewhat slow, and the refresh rate is 100Hz, though it can be overclocked to 120Hz. For faster refresh rates and curvature as a bonus, try one of the best curved monitors here.
Award: Best Stand
WHY WE LIKE IT: Features a fully adjustable and ergonomic stand complete with a cable management loop, in addition to boasting a 144Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time.
The ViewSonic XG2402 comes with a best-in-class stand that is highly adjustable along a number of useful metrics, including height, tilt, swivel, and pivot, so you can use it in any way you see fit. This stand also has a built-in cable management loop, which is nice, and the rear of the monitor includes a number of useful ports, including USB 3.0, HDMI, and DisplayPort. There are also a number of presets here that adjust color, contrast, and shadow to suit different game genres.
This is a 24-inch display, which may not suit all consumers though this is a sought-after screen size in competitive gaming circles. Additionally, there are no speakers included with this monitor, though there is handy audio in/out.
Award: Best for Visual Fatigue
WHY WE LIKE IT: Proprietary eye care technology helps reduce visual fatigue, with a highly adjustable stand and plenty of gaming-centric specs like a 165Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time.
The Asus TUF VG27AQ features proprietary Eye Care tech to greatly reduce the kind of visual fatigue that occurs with prolonged play sessions. This monitor is also packed to the gills with gaming-forward specs, with a 165Hz refresh rate that can be downsized to 144Hz if necessary and a 1ms response time. This HDR10 capable display also boasts low-motion blur sync integration, otherwise known as ELMB, which helps minimize ghosting and screen tearing.
Though there are some usable ports here, including HDMI and DisplayPort, this monitor does not integrate with HDMI 2.1, nor does it offer any USB ports. Also, there are no built-in speakers here, but it is easy to connect an external audio device via I/O ports.
Award: Best Frameless Design
WHY WE LIKE IT: Gorgeous frameless design via ultra-thin bezels, with an immersive 1500R curved design, a 165Hz refresh rate, and a 1ms response time, making for accurate and lag-free gaming sessions.
This Aorus CV27Q gaming monitor ups the immersion factor thanks to an ultrawide design with a bold 1500R curvature and thin bezels along the side that makes this display nearly frameless. The gaming-centric specs are on point, as this display is HDR-capable and boasts a 165Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time, in addition to featuring a 90% DCI-P3 color gamut. This is also a great choice for PC gaming, as it integrates fully with AMD FreeSync graphics cards.
The width of this monitor comes in only one size, 27-inches, which may not suit all consumers. Additionally, there are no speakers here, though there is an audio in/out and a pass-through jack for the purposes of connecting an external sound system.
Award: Best Aesthetics
WHY WE LIKE IT: Features an aesthetically pleasing solid aluminum design with plenty of high-end specs, such as a 95% DCI-P3 color gamut, HDR400 support, and a robust cable management system.
The Razer Raptor is an extremely attractive gaming monitor, with a solid aluminum base and an industrial design that would look great in nearly any gaming room. The specs here are also impressive, with a 95% DCI-P3 color gamut and HDR400 support to help produce stunning visuals during gameplay. This monitor also boasts a high refresh rate of 144Hz and a 1ms response time, which is assisted by proprietary ultra-low motion blur (ULMB) technology.
Though the solid aluminum base is certainly aesthetically pleasing, it doesn’t offer much by way of adjustability, which could be an issue for some. Also, there are no VESA mounts on the rear of the display, so it would be difficult to hang it on a wall.
Award: Best Value
WHY WE LIKE IT: Value-conscious display with a bevy of high-end features, such as a high 165Hz refresh rate, a quick 1ms response time, and full integration with AMD FreeSync graphics cards.
The Acer Nitro XFA240Q can be purchased at a value-friendly price while offering some serious specs and features, including an incredible 165Hz refresh rate, a 1ms response time, and full integration with AMD Radeon FreeSync and FreeSync 2. This display also comes attached to an ergonomically designed and highly adjustable stand, which can be changed up via tilt, swivel, height, and pivot.
This monitor is on the smaller size, at 23.6-inches, though this size may suit certain types of gamers, such as those who compete in esports. Additionally, there are no USB or HDMI 2.1 ports to be found here, though HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort options are available. This is one of the best gaming monitors under $200.
Award: Best Connectivity
WHY WE LIKE IT: Features a number of handy connectivity options, including a USB 3.0 hub, a simple yet effective cable management system, and full integration with Nvidia G-Sync.
The Dell S2716DGR can act as your entertainment hub, thanks to the inclusion of multiple ports, including HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2, and 4 USB 3.0 downstream ports. The QHD 1440p panel adequately reduces glare, thanks to proprietary tech, and the integrated cable management loop reduces clutter. We loved the specs here as well, which are perfect for gaming, including the 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and full integration with G-Sync.
Dell did start including integrated speakers in recent revisions of this monitor, but they are on they are low-powered. Also, screen sizes here max out at 27-inches, which may not be large enough for every gamer. Still, the Dell S2716DGR is one of the best 1440P monitors.
Award: Best on a Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: Budget-conscious display with a nifty feature set, including a 144Hz refresh rate, a rapid 1ms response time, and proprietary Color Vibrance and Black eQualizer technology to increase visual clarity.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2411P comes in at a budget-friendly price while offering features in line with more expensive competitors, such as a 144Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time. This is the best gaming budget monitor with one of the best ergonomically designed stands that is highly adjustable to suit different play styles. We also loved the proprietary Color Vibrance and Black eQualizer technology, which enhances visual clarity and allows for custom-made color settings.
This particular monitor is only available in two sizes, 24-inches and 27-inches, which may not suit the needs of all consumers. Additionally, there are no USB-C or USB 3.0 ports here, and there is just one HDMI port available for use. This is one of the best budget gaming monitors.
Award: Best Quality
WHY WE LIKE IT: High-quality display with a robust feature set that includes an immersive curved panel, a lag-free 1ms response time, and robust 7-watt integrated speakers that produce fantastic sound.
The Acer XR382CQK features an immersive curved design with an ultrawide 37.5-inch panel and a 1ms response time, which considerably cuts down on lag and stutter while running graphically intensive games, in addition to making this the best gaming monitor for a dark room. This display also comes with a pair of integrated seven-watt speakers, which are surprisingly powerful for built-in speakers, as typically integrated speakers tend to be around two watts or so.
This is a high-end gaming monitor and, as such, it comes in at a high-end price point. Also, the refresh rate here is just 75Hz, which is on the lower end, though this is somewhat mitigated by using a DisplayPort, which helps minimize input lag during gameplay.
The monitor is your window into gaming action, and you want to make sure it is as clear as possible. So, if you feel overwhelmed by all the options while monitor shopping, read this guide so you can find the ideal display to get the best gaming experience possible.
Modern gaming monitors feature an LCD, LED or OLED panel and a number of extra features that work to increase immersion during gameplay. Monitors decode the output from your computer and perform the necessary image rendering to produce video output of whatever you’re doing on your PC, from gaming to watching a video. A gaming monitor is a window into the gaming experience that works alongside the PC, keyboard, and mouse.
Did You Know?
The Evolution Of Gaming Monitors – Nowadays, gaming monitors are all the rage. From console gamers to PC-elitists, the entire industry knows the value of a great display. That said, gaming monitors have come a long way since the days of big gray cathode-ray tube (CRT) displays. Since the 1970s, consumer PC monitors have become thinner, more vibrant, and more equipped to handle high-resolution gaming.
Do you need a new gaming monitor? This depends on your current gaming setup. If you are playing games on a top-of-the-line PC and still using an old-school standard computer monitor, then you should think about getting a gaming monitor. These displays occupy a sweet spot that will offer higher resolutions, higher refresh rates, lower latency, and increased immersion when compared to regular monitors. Other features commonly associated with gaming monitors also include an overall smoother experience, deep blacks for better black levels in dark scenes, infinite contrast ratio, vivid colors and attractive form factor. Stay away from monitors with mediocre contrast ratio if you want vivid image quality and immersive scenes of games and movies.
How Long Do Gaming Monitors Last? – If you’re about to invest in a high-end gaming monitor, you’ll be happy to know that PC monitors last for a pretty long time. Experts state that you can expect to get 30,000 to 60,000 hours of use from your gaming monitor. This means that a monitor will last at least ten years or more.
When shopping for a computer monitor, you should choose between a flat panel design and a curved panel gaming monitor, and you should pick between Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync technologies. Frame rates, aspect ratio, screen size, panel technology, and price range should also be considered.
It’s rare that a person only uses their gaming monitor for playing video games. Therefore, it’s essential to know what else you’ll be doing on your new gaming display. If you’re going to be streaming your gameplay on streaming platforms like YouTube or Twitch, you’ll want to pick up a monitor for streaming with a good refresh rate that’s large enough to help you avoid eye strain and general fatigue. If work from home or run a home business and will be using your gaming monitor to for work as well as play, you’ll want to look into models that reduce eye strain through features such a blue light filtering. Have a look at our top picks for monitors for gaming and productivity.
STAT: 33% of full-time U.S. workers reported playing a PC game at work, based on a 2020 “Gaming At Work” study conducted by Word.tips.
For the most immersive gaming possible, go with a bigger screen size. A larger screen will blow up images to let you appreciate and pick out finer details more easily, similar to larger TVs. In addition, if you pick an ultrawide monitor, you can use the extra real estate of the panel size for non-gaming activities like photo and video editing and expanded peripheral vision. Ultrawide displays and larger screen sizes are also great for multi-tasking in general, such as keeping multiple web windows open for doing research or cross-referencing. Do note, however, that these displays tend to require a more powerful graphics card for doing anything more intense than light application work. If you’re looking for the most immersive experience possible when gaming, compare curved and flat monitors for gaming. Curved monitor panels help create the feeling of the screen “wrapping” around your perspective.
Pro gamers use 24-inch gaming monitors during esports tournaments for many video games.
Higher resolution means more pixels per inch (PPI) and, thus, sharper images. That said, higher resolution comes at a cost, so find your appropriate cross-section between price and picture quality. The most common resolution you’re likely to come across when looking at gaming monitors are 1080p monitors and are considered the “gold standard” for resolution. However, newer monitors have started offering greater resolutions, such as 1440p and 4k monitors, though running video games at the resolution these monitors offer is very taxing and requires a beefy video card and good processor. If you’re considering 4K resolution monitors, it’s important to know how 4K gaming is different from 1080p, as well as what drawbacks it has.
For smooth action and fast-paced gameplay, you’ll need a high refresh rate. Higher refresh rates are the only way to take advantage of running your game at frame rates greater than 60FPS – for example, if you’re running a game at 144FPS, your monitor has to be at least 144Hz to take advantage of the number of frames your game is drawing per second. A high refresh rate is essential for competitive gaming. A monitor with a refresh rate of 144Hz will offer smoother gameplay than a 75Hz monitor, but when you compare 144hz and 75Hz monitors, the former are more expensive. Similarly, comparing 144Hz and 60Hz monitors follows a similar trend, with 144Hz being smoother and faster, but more expensive. If you’ve got room in your budget, you might want to consider gaming monitors that offer variable refresh rates, which use technology to dynamically adjust how fast the screen is refreshing, ensuring the smoothest possible gameplay with no screen tearing.
Adaptive sync technologies like G-Sync and AMD FreeSync provide better response times for competitive gaming. Still, they need compatible a graphics card to work. If you wish to use G-Sync, you’ll also need to have an nVidia graphics card in your system that supports the tech, which means you’ll need to pay a premium, and that means G-Sync may or may not be worth it to you. If you’ve got an AMD GPU, you’re stuck with AMD FreeSync, but nVidia GPU owners can also take advantage of the technology. Both of these technologies work to help do the job of v-sync (vertical synchronization) while offering variable refresh rates that go above 60Hz.
When it comes to gaming monitors, you want the shortest response time possible, especially for fast-paced video games. Slow response times produce more motion blur and make video games less responsive. When you’re looking at the response times available on gaming monitors, you’ll come across values such as 5ms, 2ms and 1ms response times. These values reference the response time the monitor has to change from one color to another. If you compare 2ms and 1ms gaming monitors, the 1ms monitor takes 1 millisecond, while the 2ms monitor takes 2 milliseconds. Input lag is also often mentioned in the same breath as response time, but refers to how long the monitor takes to display an image after receiving signals to do so. Gamers usually try to minimize input lag across every peripheral they own, including monitors.
You’ll need to pick between LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), LED (Light-Emitting Diode), OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode), and QLED (Quantum Dot Light-Emitting Diode) displays. While CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) displays exist, they aren’t relevant in modern setups. When it comes to gaming monitors, it’s most likely that you’ll be looking into the differences between LCD and LED gaming displays.
When it comes to gaming monitors, there are multiple options for connecting devices to your new display. While HDMI is the current standard, options like DisplayPort and USB-C port offer cutting-edge performance. If you’re split on which is better for gaming, DisplayPort or HDMI, many video cards and gaming monitors offer at least one input for both, so the decision isn’t one you have to agonize over.
Brightness levels are an often-forgotten spec that controls how bright your monitor can get. This is important if you’re gaming in a bright room or you want to display HDR (high dynamic range) content. If you game in a room with large windows that let in a ton of natural light, it can be worth it to learn how peak brightness is important to your gaming monitor of choice.
A computer monitor or gaming monitor will be fine for general purposes like surfing the net or answering emails. The main differences lie with the specialized nature of gaming monitors. Gaming monitors have lower response times and much higher refresh rates than standard computer monitors. Moreover, many gaming monitors are now offering adaptive refresh rate technologies like G-Sync compatibility or AMD FreeSync.
STAT: Gamers ages 18 to 25 reported spending more time watching people play video games online each week than watching traditional sports, based on Limelight Networks’ “ The State of Online Gaming 2020” research report.
While most people aren’t trying to make it big in esports, aspiring pro gamers should probably check out what their future competition is using. Even if you’re not trying to go pro, competitive gamers can secure an edge with professional-level gaming monitors. The monitor of choice across the esports sphere isn’t universal either, with different organizations favoring different models and brands, such as the gaming monitors favored by MLG. Meanwhile, former pros turned streamers each swear by different monitors, such Ninja’s monitor of choice. Compare that with the monitor that Shroud swears by.
STAT: Global esports viewership is estimated to grow up to 577.2 million total by 2024, with 291.6 million occasional viewers and 285.7 million esports enthusiasts. —Newzoo’s “ Global Esports Audience Growth”
There are many different types of gaming monitors, including LCD screens, LED screens, OLED monitors, and even the ancient CRT display. Each monitor type offers it own advantages and disadvantages, such as differences in image quality, vertical alignment, more or less accurate colors (color reproduction), wider viewing angles (or more narrow viewing angles), and a flat or curved screen display.
Now that you own a gaming monitor, the work is done, right? Not quite. Ownership has a few important responsibilities to keep in mind if you want to get the most out of your purchase, especially long-term. From proper cleaning and maintenance, to troubleshooting and repairs, owning a gaming monitor has plenty to learn if you want your investment to last. Fortunately, most of the time, the only attention your gaming monitor needs is to be plugged into wall.
Unless there’s some severe damage, people can do most gaming monitor repairs at home. That said, some repairs are dangerous due to electrical charges stored in parts of the monitor. Not every repair poses an electrical hazard to you though, like fixing issues with monitor ghosting that may come up. Similarly, if you’re using two monitors for productivity or screen spanning, you may run into a problem where one of your dual monitors turns black when idling or gaming. Repairs for this can potentially be done in home without having to involve an expensive visit to a repair center.
What height should your monitor be for gaming? You should position the monitor so that your eyes are in line with the upper quarter of the monitor. In addition, once you have also adjusted your chair to the correct position, slightly tilt the monitor to the back to favor your sitting position. Your neck and head should sit neutrally (facing straight ahead) when you’re looking at almost all of the monitor.
Your monitor’s picture settings will have an impact on your gaming experience. We’ve already covered how hardware features (refresh rate, color gamut, etc.) have an impact on how video games look, but it’s also important to know how to set the best monitor settings for gaming to take everything to the next level. Your monitor’s brightness needs to be dialed in to what you find comfortable. High brightness can cause eye strain over time, and low brightness can cause a loss of quality and eye fatigue. While personal taste and your own environment are going to have a major impact on what has to be adjusted, it’s important to calibrate your monitor for the optimal gaming experience.
If you plan on using your PC for heavy multi-tasking, or are an aspiring streamer, you’re going to need two monitors. Running dual gaming monitors has a bit of a learning curve, but most of it relates to setting up both screens correctly so you have everything you need on your “main” display. This option allows you to game on the primary while using the secondary for streaming tools, other windows, monitoring software, etc.
Every gamer gets to choose their optimal gaming monitor setup. That said, some people may need accessories to make their ideal gaming monitor experience possible, and we mean more than just gaming headsets and gaming keyboards. From LED light strips, to capture cards stream decks and stands, we’ve got a useful list of the most common accessories for your new gaming monitor.
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