In this guide, we will present to you the best gaming monitors available right now.
Our list of the best gaming monitors includes 144Hz monitors, 1440p monitors for gaming, 4K displays, FreeSync displays and G-SYNC monitors as well. If you are looking for the best gaming monitors for PC gaming, then you have come to the right place.
We also include more monitors for gaming with different features, including the best IPS monitor for the money.
Monitors vary widely in terms of features and price, but we have found the best monitors for gaming available today, which you can see in the table below.
With all the different gaming monitors out there that vary in terms of both features and price, it can be difficult to pick the best gaming monitor for your budget and specific needs. We are experts in the field and have researched the huge market of gaming monitors for you to select the best of the best.
We’ve reviewed monitors, discussed in forums, checked customer reviews, experts reviews and even more so. This has allowed us to find the best gaming monitors out there in 2018.
You can comfortably select one of the monitors listed below as you will have experts backing your choice. Our picks in the table below are updated every month to reflect the latest additions to the gaming monitor market.
You can use the list below to pick the best gaming monitor easily.
oto editing, browsing and work. This monitor will be perfectly suited for an office.
The monitor is also adjustable with options for height, swivel, pivot, tilt and has built-in cable management.
Connectivity options include an HDMI (2.0), MHL, Mini-DisplayPort, DisplayPort 1.2, four USB 3.0 downstream ports and two USB 2.0 upstream ports that you can use to charge your phone, etc.
It also has some high-quality in-built 2x9W stereo speakers. All in all, this is a monitor unbeaten in its class, and the perfect choice for non-gamers.
- 1 The Best Gaming Monitor- Asus ROG Swift PG279Q
- 2 The Best FreeSync Monitor-Asus MG279Q
- 3 The Best 1080p Monitor For Gaming-Asus VG248QE
- 4 The Best 4K Monitor For Gaming-Acer Predator XB321HK
- 5 The Best widescreen gaming monitor- Asus PG348Q
- 6 Best Gaming Monitor – Buyer’s Guide
- 7 How we test gaming monitors and others we tested
- 8 PANEL TECHNOLOGY
- 9 What to look for
- 10 Testing gaming monitors
- 11 Future testing
The Best Gaming Monitor- Asus ROG Swift PG279Q
The Asus ROG Swift PG279Q is the best gaming monitor you can buy right now. For years, gamers have been forced to make a choice between picture quality and refresh rate.
Cheaper, faster TN panels delivered fast refresh speeds up to 144Hz, while IPS screens offered more vibrant colors and dramatically better viewing angles, but at much slower refresh rates.
But as monitor technology has improved, there’s now a handful of monitors available that pair an IPS screen with a 144Hz refresh rate.
The PG279Q is a 27-inch monitor with a 2560×1440 resolution, which we currently consider the sweet spot for high-end gaming. It offers substantially more pixels than 1080p without being as demanding as a 4K panel, meaning games look sharp at 27 inches but won’t bring a good GPU to its knees.
Plus, you can still get higher than 60Hz refresh rates, which isn’t possible on the current crop of 4K displays. You can also comfortably run at 100 percent scaling in Windows, something that isn’t always desirable with 4K panels.
Panel size: 27-inch
Native resolution: 2560 x 1440
Panel technology: IPS
Refresh rate: 165Hz
Pixel response: 4ms
Inputs: 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, 2x USB 3.0
Like its primary competitor, the Acer Predator XB271HU, the PG279Q is an IPS panel with a refresh rate that can be overclocked up to 165Hz. (The difference between 144Hz and 165Hz is mostly negligible though.)
Inputs include DisplayPort 1.2a as well as HDMI 1.4 (one of each), a nice addition over our previous best monitor pick. Both displays also feature Nvidia’s G-Sync technology for variable refresh rates, assuming you’re using an Nvidia GPU.
If you’re an AMD user, however, you won’t benefit from G-Sync and should consider a FreeSync monitor instead. Our pick for that is below.
The PG279Q gets the edge over the XB271HU thanks to Asus’s build quality and superior menu system. Its footprint also occupies slightly less desk real estate, thanks to a standard square base as opposed to the Predator’s large, angular feet.
Nvidia’s G-Sync is the first to synchronize GPU and monitor.
It’s a way to avoid screen tearing without the stutter or slowdown of V-Sync.
The G-Sync hardware added to compatible screens allows the GPU to synchronize with the screen so that it will only deliver full frames when the screen is ready to display them.
Because it’s a proprietary tech and requires additional hardware installed in the monitor, there is a price premium attached.
The best argument for the PG279Q’s dominance as a gaming monitor comes from TFTCentral’s exhaustive review.
The review dives into the panel’s refresh rate, color balance, and every one of its features.
Here’s the conclusion: “Very fast response times for an IPS panel, 144Hz native refresh rate support, no lag, NVIDIA G-sync capability, ULMB blur reduction mode, and a few nice gaming extras all add up to an excellent gaming offering.
”The biggest drawback to such a fine monitor, of course, is the price.
The PG279Q can be found for less than $800/£700, but not by much. Having said that, we consider a monitor an investment.
Don’t buy something cheap you’ll want to replace in two years.
Buy a great monitor that will still be going strong half a decade from now. There are 144Hz IPS monitors similar to Asus’s offering, only with FreeSync instead of G-Sync, but the Asus ROG Swift PG279Q is the best choice and worth every dollar.
The Best FreeSync Monitor-Asus MG279Q
Right now there’s really no competition for the Asus MG279Q: this is absolutely the best monitor for AMD users who want a FreeSync display. It’s a 1440p IPS screen that can refresh up to 144Hz, like our favorite monitor above.
But because it uses the open FreeSync technology instead of G-Sync, it doesn’t cost as much (though price differences have narrowed of late).
Thanks to that IPS screen, colors look great even from off-angles.
The base is sturdy (and allows for lots of tilting, pivoting, and height adjustments) and the bezel is fairly thin, which is nice for a 27-inch monitor that’s already taking up a good deal of space.
Like most other gaming displays, it also has a light anti-gloss coating, which I like; some older IPS displays went too heavy on the coating and affected image quality, but the MG279Q doesn’t have that problem.
Panel size: 27-inch
Native resolution: 2560×1440
Panel technology: IPS
Refresh rate: 144Hz
Pixel response: 6.5ms
Inputs: 2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, 1x Mini DP
In TFTCentral’s review of the MG279Q, they found the monitor neck-and-neck with the Acer XB270HU (our previous pick for favorite monitor) in terms of performance, although the Asus is missing the blur reduction feature available on the Acer monitor.
Here’s a quote from their MG279Q review:
“Input lag is very comparable at the maximum 144Hz refresh rate (very low lag), but because of the scaler present in the MG279Q there is more lag at the lower refresh rates. The Acer has a wider dynamic refresh rate range between 40 and 144Hz, whereas the Asus is more limited at 35-90Hz. To be fair, it probably doesn’t make much difference to normal users as that range is more than adequate, and in fact the slightly lower minimum range might be useful to a lot of people as opposed to the higher upper limit.”
The dynamic refresh ranges they mentioned are pretty standard for G-Sync and FreeSync monitors, but the most important thing to note is that performance is nearly identical, which is great for a cheaper screen.
Still, it is a bit of a drawback that the MG279Q doesn’t support the adaptive refresh rate all the way up to 144Hz. You have to choose between 144Hz and a lower (but still good) 90Hz cap if you want a dynamic refresh rates.
The contrast ratio is also great, and the ability to support multiple inputs makes this screen better for people who might want to connect a second system, like a gaming console. This is thanks to the presence of the internal scaler, one of the main differences you’ll find between G-Sync and FreeSync offerings. With no other IPS FreeSync displays that can match the MG279Q on specs, this is a great monitor and an easy choice for anyone with an AMD graphics card.
The Best 1080p Monitor For Gaming-Asus VG248QE
Sometimes you’re forced to make compromises, like not being able to run at high resolutions or maxed out image quality on older graphics cards. For displays, one of the biggest compromises is often giving up features in order to save money.
You don’t have to lose out on everything in pursuit of lower prices, however, as the Asus VG248QE still supports up to 144Hz refresh rates and FreeSync, all on a 24-inch 1080p TN display.
Finding a great budget gaming display is difficult. Features like an IPS panel and Nvidia’s G-Sync technology come with a several-hundred-dollars price premium.
The Asus VG248QE keeps prices low by opting for FreeSync instead of G-Sync, and its TN panel gives washed out colors compared to the IPS panels we’ve selected elsewhere.
But the inclusion of 144Hz refresh rates makes this a better choice for gaming than most 60Hz 1080p displays, and pairs perfectly with our cheap and budget build guides—both of which use AMD GPUs.
It also comes very highly reviewed, with a 4.5 star rating on Amazon with more than 2,000 reviews.
Panel size: 24-inch
Native resolution: 1920×1080
Panel technology: TN
Refresh rate: 144Hz
Pixel response: 1ms
Inputs: DP, DVI, HDMI
AMD’s FreeSync has been billed as a less expensive alternative to G-Sync, and with prices on G-Sync starting at over $350, clearly AMD and their partners are succeeding on the pricing front.
Meanwhile, the Asus VG248QE is nearly half the price of the least expensive G-Sync display.
If you want to save even more money, the 23-inch Viewsonic VX2370Smh includes an IPS panel and is only ~$150 online, though it’s not without drawbacks and is harder to find in the UK.
It’s still an IPS bargain, which means there’s none of the washed out colors you get with a TN panel. Of course, going that route means you lose out on a fast refresh rate.
The Best 4K Monitor For Gaming-Acer Predator XB321HK
Let’s face it, gaming at 4K is a premium endeavour. You need a colossal amount of rendering power to game at decent frame rates and such high resolution.
Even the high-end GeForce GTX 1080 fails to consistently produce 60+ fps across all games—that pursuit is better founded with twin 1080s at your disposal.
With that in mind, it seems fitting that a super-powerful rig should have an equally exquisite monitor to match.
A good 1440p screen will generally offer around twice the frame rate of a 4K monitor because of the demands it puts on your graphics card (assuming you’re playing at native resolution).
So, is a G-Sync 4K monitor worth the money or the effort?
The Acer Predator XB321HK answers that question with a resounding yes. At 32 inches, the XB321HK gives you enough screen real-estate to actually put its 3840×2160 4K UHD resolution to good use.
(There’s also a slightly cheaper 27-inch variant in the XB271HK.) It’s also an IPS display, so colors are vibrant, regardless of your viewing angle.
Panel size: 32-inch
Native resolution: 3840 x 2160
Panel technology: IPS
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Pixel response: 4ms
Inputs: 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, 1x USB 3.0
The downside to IPS panels is that they’re generally slower than their TN brethren.
The XB321HK, however, has a 4ms response time—not the absolute fastest around, but certainly nothing to slouch at.
Unfortunately, opting for 4K means compromising on refresh rate as well (60Hz here), which might be an issue for people who have grown accustomed to 120Hz or 144Hz on lower-res displays.
Of course, it would take an insane gaming rig to produce enough FPS to take advantage of that at 4K.
Having said that, the XB321HK does come equipped with Nvidia’s G-Sync technology, which makes your picture silky-smooth, even at lower framerates.
It’s a premium feature, and unfortunately only useful if you’re on an Nvidia GPU, but definitely the kind of thing you want on such a high-end monitor.
Other bells and whistles include built-in speakers that are surprisingly loud and crisp, alongside the standard HDMI, USB 3.0, and DisplayPort hookups (one of each).
Overall, the Predator XB321HK is an absolute beast of a monitor.
The price is still a big hurdle to overcome, but this is a luxury monitor with luxury features. It’s built for people that want the best, and if you’ve shelled out on a pair of GTX 1080 (or Titan X) cards, it’s a fitting match.
For mere mortals, until our graphics hardware gets to the point where you can run a 4K display from a modestly-priced single GPU, I’d recommend sticking with a lower resolution screen like the PG279Q or MG279Q we mention above.
That way you get great gaming frame rates and are better able to take advantage of the benefits of the 144Hz and G-Sync/FreeSync technology.
The Best widescreen gaming monitor- Asus PG348Q
If the price of your display isn’t a critical factor, or if you simply want the best monitor you can buy, the Asus ROG PG348Q belongs at the top of the list. It’s an absolutely stunning display, with an ultrawide 3440×1440 curved IPS panel.
Still not content to end there, the display also features G-Sync technology with up to 100Hz variable refresh rates.
If you’re looking for something to really turn heads, this is the best widescreen gaming monitor. And boy, is it wide.
The 34-inch span across its diagonal is measured with a 21:9 aspect ratio (even though it’s technically 21.5:9). It’s the same height as the XB270HU but almost a third again as wide.
The native resolution is a nice compromise as well, since it’s not as demanding as 4K. More importantly, it’s a dramatic change to your gaming experience—in a good way.
Panel size: 34-inch
Native resolution: 3440 x 1440
Panel technology: IPS
Refresh rate: 100Hz
Pixel response: 5ms
Inputs: 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI
Sat at your desk, the 34-inch panel will almost entirely fill your field of view.
That makes a big difference in-game, adding another level of immersion that the standard 16:9 aspect ratio cannot manage. What’s more, the PG348Q has an absolutely beautiful IPS panel.
It’s a stunning screen, with glorious color reproduction and contrast levels, and the 1440 pixel height makes it just as effective on the Windows desktop as it is playing games.
This is something of the kitchen sink approach to displays, giving just about every feature you could possible want…unless you’re using an AMD graphics card.
If that’s what you’re after, take a look at the similarly equipped Acer XR341CK, a less expensive curved display with FreeSync support (though it’s only guaranteed to support a 75Hz refresh rate; more than that requires overclocking of the display signal and may not always work).
As another alternative, the Acer X34 is a G-Sync display that’s virtually identical to the PG348Q, other than the stand and a few minor differences; if you prefer Acer to Asus, you can safely go that route.
There is another minor drawback for ultrawide dispalys: some games don’t provide native 21:9 support. This can lead to images being stretched or unsightly black bars being placed around your screen.
Thankfully, the PC gaming community has come to the rescue as always with the excellent Flawless Widescreen application. It’s a piece of third-party software that is continually being updated with to support games that don’t have native 21:9.
The PG348Q is also an incredibly high-priced display, currently going for $1180/£888).
That’s a bitter pill to swallow, but the good news is the beauty of this screen will wash away the nasty taste that leaves in your mouth the instant you boot up your favorite games in its full 21:9 glory.
And unlike your graphics, which will likely be replaced in two or three years, this display should keep you happy until 2025 (barring hardware failure).
Best Gaming Monitor – Buyer’s Guide
Need the best gaming monitor?
We hope this article helped you find the best gaming monitor for you.
We made sure to appeal to as many gamers as possible by including a range variety of gaming displays with different features and sizes.
We included 144Hz monitors, 1080p monitors, 1440p monitors, IPS monitors, 4K gaming monitors, competitive monitors and more.
Also, if you are a competitive gamer, then we hope that you found the best monitor for competitive gaming in our buying guide.
If you need the best gaming monitor for newer-generation consoles like the Playstation 4 Pro (PS4 Pro) or the XBOX One S, we recommend getting a 4K display instead, since it is supported by these consoles, and we are sure you will like it.
You will also have no need for a monitor upgrade for the Playstation Neo and the XBOX Scorpio as 4K UHD resolution is naturally supported on these as well.
Without further ado, we will now guide you into making the perfect purchase of the best gaming screen for you.
Which Response Time Should I Aim For?
If you are into TN monitors, you should aim for a 1ms response time.
Response time is a factor of input lag, which also includes other factors as well and input lag is the most important factor for competitive gamers.
Due to the nature of IPS and VA panels, you will most likely see them go as low as 4ms, which is also great.
A lot of 4ms IPS monitors have been found to have lower response times than 1ms TN gaming monitors so don’t let these numbers fool you.
Should I Buy a 1080p Gaming Monitor, 1440p Gaming Monitor or a 4K Gaming Monitor?
As we are moving beyond 1080p resolution and graphics cards getting even more powerful, we recommend that you buy a monitor with at least 2560×1440 resolution (1440p, WQHD) in 2017.
That way, you can still enjoy 144Hz and 165Hz gaming monitors, while also enjoying a larger resolution.
4K gaming monitors will also become mainstream later, but as of the beginning of 2017, they can only be found with support for a maximum of 60Hz. Perhaps, we’ll even see OLED monitors next year.
You should go for a 1080p resolution monitor if you only want a high refresh rate monitor, the resolution doesn’t matter to you or you are on a budget.
AMD FreeSync or NVIDIA G-SYNC
These technologies are also known as Adaptive-Sync.
If your monitor supports Adaptive-Sync, you will not get any screen tearing and it will not come with any performance penalties, unlike V-Sync.
If you have a FreeSync-compatible AMD graphics card, you should aim for a FreeSync monitor if you don’t want screen tearing.
Likewise, if your NVIDIA GPU supports G-SYNC technology, you should aim for that if you have the budget for it.
AMD FreeSync will not add any cost to the original price of the monitor, whereas G-SYNC adds about $100-$150 to the original cost of the monitor without the technology.
This is because G-SYNC requires the monitor to have a proprietary module inside it, whereas AMD does not.
Essentially, these technologies synchronize the refresh rate of the monitor with the output of frames that your graphics card produces. There’s always a range in which these technologies operate so try to see if you can find the range before purchasing your best gaming monitor.
Which Panel Technology Should I Get?
There are different types of panel technologies that you should be aware of and know the cons and pros of each one of them before searching for a gaming screen.
Let’s start with TN, which stands for Twisted Nematic. This panel technology produces the worst colors and viewing angles of all the others. On the flipside, they are cheap to produce and the response time can get as low as 1 millisecond.
VA, or Vertical Alignment, is another panel technology that sort of lies in the middle ground. AHVA is based on VA panel technology, but it is slightly better.
VA panels benefit from high contrast ratios and the color quality is better than TN panels. Viewing angles are also better than TN panels, but not suited for work that requires good color accuracy.
Moving on, we have IPS panels, which are the preferred panel technology of 2017 until OLED becomes popular and mainstream. IPS panels have the best viewing angles and color accuracy but suffer from backlight bleed issues and IPS glow.
Finally, we have the best panel technology of all time, OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode).
They are not that mainstream today and very expensive as well because the factories producing them are mostly making them for smartphone displays. We expect this panel technology to become more and more popular as panel technologies evolve.
Is an UltraWide Gaming Monitor Worth It?
If you wish to have a more immersive gaming experience while gaming on your PC, you should buy an UltraWide gaming monitor if you have the budget.
With this wider resolution, the game will feel closer to you and it’s overall a great experience on your UltraWide gaming monitor.
Note that not all games support the 21:9 aspect ratio so you’ll just get black bars. This also applies to competitive games, where having a wider monitor will gain you an advantage.
If you’re into normal gaming and perhaps want to use multiple monitors side-by-side, you should aim for a 16:9 Widescreen monitor as usual, but with thin bezels. You can read our recommendations above on the best UltraWide monitors.
You can read more about computer monitors on Wikipedia.
Note: Comments are moved every month to the newest buying guide so a lot of comments may be old.
How we test gaming monitors and others we tested
The search for the best gaming monitor is a tough challenge. There’s no perfect screen, and there’s a whole lot of exciting new technology being squeezed into current monitors, so finding a panel that combines everything is an impossible mission. A mission so impossible (because 70’s TV shows have taught us there are gradations of impossibility), we might need to get Leonard Nimoy and Tom Cruise on the case.
There are three main types of panel technology: twisted nematic (TN), vertical alignment (VA), and in-plane switching (IPS).
You might be reading this on a slow, dull, washed-out TN panel. Our eyeballs are lazy, and they quickly become used to whatever panel they’re looking at. Why upgrade? Because a good gaming monitor will improve your gaming experience just as much as a new graphics card. And it will last longer.
Seeing Doom or Rise of the Tomb Raider running on a high-res, 144Hz G-Sync or FreeSync IPS display will make you question why it’s taken you so long to make the change. A great panel will likely outlast your entire PC. Possibly twice over. I’ve got a decade-old 2560×1600 HP LP3065 30-inch panel that’s still going strong, and in some ways I prefer it to the modern 28-inch 4K and QHD displays.
What to look for
There are three key items of interest for any gaming monitor. First is the native resolution—but while it’s tempting to simply assume that higher resolutions are better, that’s not always the case, particularly outside of gaming use.
4K displays for example require seriously powerful graphics cards to run games at higher quality settings at their native resolution, and when you’re at the Windows desktop, sometimes the resolution ends up looking a bit too fine. That means you’ll need to use DPI scaling, which still isn’t a perfect science.
And sometimes it’s better to step down a notch on resolution in order to get other features.
One item that you have to experience to fully appreciate is high refresh rates. 60Hz was the standard for LCDs for so long that many became blind to its drawbacks, but before the LCD switch, gamers often sought after better refresh rates.
I remember owning a 21-inch 1600×1200 CRT back in the mid-90s that had an 85Hz refresh rate, and when I finally upgraded to a 1920×1200 60Hz LCD, the drop in refresh rate was immediately noticeable.
Now we have 144Hz and higher LCDs, though, and even without G-Sync or FreeSync, such displays are preferable to 60Hz panels.
Even running at a static refresh rate of 144Hz, for gaming purposes the lower latency and faster updates (screen updates every 6.9ms instead of every 16.7ms) covers a multitude of sins. Gamers all know about disabling V-Sync to reduce latency, but that can cause noticeable image tearing.
Here’s the thing: tearing with a 144Hz refresh rate is far more difficult to detect, and the pixel response times often make it a non-issue with a 144Hz display.
That brings us back to resolutions. 4K generally means giving up high refresh rates…or at least, it does until the next generation displays arrive with DisplayPort 1.3 support.
The best current 4K displays are going to be G-Sync or FreeSync, but we should see true 120Hz 4K panels with DP1.3 later this year. Just don’t be surprised if the price premium is massive.
The final item is the panel technology. TN panels traditionally have the fastest response times, but colors and viewing angles are the worst. IPS is at the other end of the spectrum, with great viewing angles and colors, but they cost more and response times may be slightly lower.
In between those two is VA, which offers great contrast and colors, but again slower response times. We’re working to do additional validation and testing of gaming displays to really see how fast they are. OLED is another panel type that we’d love to see in more gaming displays, but it can be prohibitively expensive.
Dell’s UP3017Q is a 4K 120Hz 30-inch OLED that should be out this year, which ticks all the right boxes. It’s a real beauty, judging by CES 2016, but it will sell for $5000. We can dream, right?
Testing gaming monitors
There are two main ways to test out our screens to determine the best gaming monitor.
The first is by playing games on it, obviously. Subjectively testing the gaming performance of each panel isn’t necessarily going to give you the lowdown on the specifics of a particular screen, but it will let you test the functioning aspect ratio, native resolution, and any particular gamer-centric technologies they’re sporting.
Side-by-side comparative testing in this manner is also incredibly valuable for keying into the sometimes subtle differences between each panel.
When you use a screen in isolation it’s easy to become blind to its comparative faults as you simply get used to them. Testing screens back-to-back allows us to discover and highlight specific issues between them.
Objective testing can be great, but it’s also far more difficult. To do it properly, you need hardware for testing the true latency, color accuracy, and other metrics. Most gamers don’t have access to any of this, but you can do a semblance of objective testing using the LCD calibration pages here.
This site offers several test screens you can bring up on any web connected panel to make some qualitative assessments. The days of actual retail space for such things are dwindling, but if you can get a look at a screen before purchasing it, plugging a notebook or such into it and checking out the Lagom pages is very handy.
We tested a huge range of monitors to get a bead on the best panels to recommend, so we can be confident in our choice of the best gaming monitor. We think a gaming monitor is a serious investment, and it’s worth spending money now on a great display rather than ‘getting by’ with a lesser option.
A good display will make your gaming experience better and still be great years from now.
Obviously this isn’t a complete list of every single monitor available—not by a long shot—but we’ve covered a wide variety of different panel technologies, sizes, aspect ratios and manufacturers. Right now the Asus PG279Q/MG279Q represent our top choices, depending on your graphics card, with the Asus PG348Q and Acer XB321HK right behind with their mega-wide aspect ratios.
The monitor landscape is moving pretty fast, and new panels will soon arrive, so we’ll make sure we take a look at the very best on offer. In particular, we’re looking forward to testing the ultra-fast 240Hz Asus ROG Swift PG258Q, as well as the pair of upcoming 4K 144Hz displays that were unveiled at CES earlier this year: the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ and the Acer Predator XB272-HDR, both of which are expected in Q2 .
If there are some we simply must check out, let us know in the comments. We’ll be updating this guide as we game on new screens.