Best Gaming Monitors For 2021

Definitive Buyers Guide To the Best Gaming Monitors.

From 144hz and 1440p Monitors to 4k Gaming Monitors, G-sync and Freesync plus much much more!

When building a PC, most gamers skimp on the computer monitor, purchasing whatever looks the biggest and best at the electronics store. After all, as long as it displays a decent looking picture, that’s all you need, right? Wrong. A high-quality gaming monitor will not only present a stunning picture but will also take your gameplay to the next level. There’s a reason why professional gamers cite their monitor as a valuable tool in their arsenal, and it’s not just because they want their games to look good. In this ultimate buying guide to gaming monitors, we’ll show you exactly what you need to look for when choosing your new display.

 

Best Gaming Monitors – Comparison Table

 

Product Image
Product Name
Features
Specification

Acer Predator XB271HU 27-Inch NVIDIA G-Sync Widescreen DisplayVESA Standard Mount Interface600mm x 400mm

Flicker-less Technology

Reduces annoying screen flickering
27 Inches

QHD Wide 1440p

LCD

BenQ RL2455HM 24-Inch Console Gaming MonitorFlicker free technology

Special bezel frame to minimize

Compatible with Console and PC platforms
24 Inches

FHD 1080p

LCD

BenQ 24-Inch IPS 1080P MonitorIntegrated cable management system

Patented Eye-Care for extended use

Edge to edge slim bezel design
23.8 Inches

FHD 1080p

LED

HP Pavilion 21.5-Inch IPS LED HDMI VGA MonitorAdjustable viewing

Plug and play for all OS

Certified monitor that meets strict energy-efficiency guidelines
21.5-inch

Full HD monitor

LED

ViewSonic VX2457-MHD 24-Inch 1080p Gaming MonitorFlexible Connectivity

Flicker-free Technology

Blue Light Filter For All-day Comfort
24 Inches

FHD 1080p

LCD

Spectre 27” Curved 75Hz LED MonitorBlue Light Shift

Tiltable Display

Built-in Speakers
27 Inches

FHD 1080p

LED

LG Electronics UM57 25UM57 25-Inch Screen LED-lit Monitor21:9 ultra wide IPS display

SRGB over 99 percent

PIP mode in screen split
25 Inches

FHD Ultra Wide 1080p

LCD

Acer GN246HL Bbid 24-Inch 3D Gaming DisplayTiltable Display

Blue Light Shift reduces blue light

Edgeless Design
24 Inches

FHD 1080p

LED

Asus VG248QE 24-inch Full HD Ergonomic Backlit LED Gaming MonitorErgonomically designed stand

Comfortable viewing experience

Ergonomic tilt, swivel
24 Inches

FHD 1080p

LED

LG 27-Inch Ultragear Gaming MonitorNVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible

3-Side virtually borderless design

Tilt / Height / Pivot adjustable stand
24 Inches

FHD 1080p

LCD

Acer G257HU 25-Inch WQHD Widescreen MonitorDelivers excellent detail

With DVI & HDMI inputs

Rapid 4ms response time
25 Inches

QHD Wide 1440p

LCD

BenQ ZOWIE 14-Inch 144Hz Gaming MonitorMultiple connectivity options

Featuring DisplayPort, Dual-Link DVI-D

Exclusive Color Vibrance
24 Inches

FHD 1080p

LCD

Dell Ultra HD 4K Monitor P2415Q 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit MonitorWith 99% sRGB color coverage

Factory color calibration report

Height adjustable stand
24 Inches

4K UHD 2160p

LCD

ViewSonic VX2475SMHL-4K 24-Inch 4K Ultra HD LED MonitorModern design

Muted black finish

Adjustable forward/back tilt
24 Inches

4K UHD 2160p

LCD

Acer Predator XB241H 24-Inch NVIDIA G-Sync DisplayTwisted Nematic Film (TN) Technology

Flicker less technology

Swivel angle 30 degree
24 Inches

FHD 1080p

LCD

ViewSonic VX2257-MHD 22-inch 1080p Gaming MonitorWith modern design

An arsenal of pre-set customizable visual modes

Flicker-Free technology
22 Inches

FHD 1080p

LCD

AOC G2460PF 24-Inch Free Sync Gaming LED MonitorAMD FreeSync technology

Provides the smoothest gaming

Height & Swivel Adjustable
24 Inches

FHD 1080p

LCD, LED

Acer Predator 34-inch Curved UltraWide QHD NVIDIA G-Sync Widescreen DisplayDesigned to support refresh rate overclocking

G-Sync technology

Curved screen
34 Inches

QHD Ultra Wide 1440p

LCD

Acer Curved 34-inch UltraWide QHD DisplayDesigned to support refresh rate overclocking

G-Sync technology

Curved screen
34 Inches

QHD Ultra Wide 1440p

LCD

Acer XG270HU 27-Inch WQHD AMD FREESYNC Widescreen MonitorHigh quality images with excellent detail

With AMD Free Sync

Delivers very smooth gaming experiences
27 Inches

QHD Wide 1440p

LCD

LG 29UM68-P 29-Inch 21:9 UltraWide IPS MonitorsRGB over 99%.OS Compatibility-Windows

Game Mode and Black Stabilizer

IPS Monitor
29 Inches

FHD Ultra Wide 1080p

LCD

AOC 24” Curved Gaming Monitor3-sided frameless design

Ultra-narrow borders

Optimum ergonomics
24 Inches

FHD 1080p

LED

Dell UltraSharp U3415W 34-Inch Curved LED-Lit MonitorUnrivaled usability

Plug and play

Unrivaled usability
34 Inches

QHD Ultra Wide 1440p

LCD

Samsung S34E790C 34-Inch Curved WQHD Professional LED MonitorErgonomic

Height adjustable stand with Tilt functionality

4-port USB hub for easy access to peripherals
34 Inches

QHD Ultra Wide 1440p

LED

BenQ XR3501 35-Inch Curved UltraWide Gaming MonitorColor Vibrancy, Black equalizer

Ban's Revolution Eyes- Zero Flicker

Low Blue Light
35 Inches

FHD 1080p Ultra Wide

LCD

 

The Different Types of Gaming Monitors

Despite the fact that most gaming monitors look remarkably similar on the outside, on the inside, there is a world of difference. You can classify most gaming monitors into one of seven categories:

  • 4K, best described as an ultra-high resolution, which guarantees a beautiful picture
  • Quad HD, or 1440p monitors, a slight step down from 4K
  • A curved monitor, where the screen is in a crescent shape
  • FreeSync/G-Sync, two technologies that guarantee a smooth picture
  • 144Hz, a monitor with a higher refresh rate than your average monitor
  • UltraWide, a monitor that displays 25 percent more picture than your average monitor

Keep in mind that most gaming monitors do not slide neatly into one category and are usually a combination of three or more. For example, you can have an UltraWide curved Quad HD monitor or a 4K 144Hz monitor that uses FreeSync technology.

The first step to choosing a gaming monitor is deciding which of these categories is important to you and which you don’t need based on your personal gaming habits.

 

25 of the Best Gaming Monitors Available Today

Below, you’ll find an extensive list of the 25 absolute best gaming monitors available on the market today. We’ve covered every category possible to appeal to a broad range of gamers; no matter what type of PC gamer you are, there is a monitor on this list for you.

 

Best Gaming Monitors 1440p IPS 165Hz G-SYNC

 

Acer Predator XB271HU 27-Inch NVIDIA G-Sync Widescreen Display

If you’re a competitive gamer who obsesses over first-person shooters, the Acer Predator XB271HU 27-Inch NVIDIA G-Sync Widescreen Display is an ideal fit for you. With a whopping 165Hz refresh rate, this monitor will let you get the drop on your enemy before he even has a chance to react. The G-Sync technology will ensure your picture is smooth as butter while the larger screen will let you view all angles of the battlefield at once. The IPS panel provides excellent viewing angles and a stunning degree of color accuracy and, while the IPS panel isn’t ideal for FPS games, the 165Hz refresh rate makes up for the panel’s deficiencies.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

Best Gaming Monitors: Below $300

 

BenQ RL2455HM 24-Inch Console Gaming Monitor

Even though the BenQ RL2455HM 24 inch Console Gaming Monitor specifically states it’s for consoles, PC games will find a lot to love in this monitor as well. This 1080p monitor features an RTS mode specifically designed for games like League of Legends and StarCraft II along with a 1ms response time to ensure that you’ll dominate the competition. Console gamers will love the fact the BenQ RL2455HM 24 inch Console Gaming Monitor sports two HDMI slots, letting you hook up both your PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to it at the same time.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

BenQ 24-Inch IPS 1080P Monitor

Save money on a gaming monitor that has all of the must-have features for gamers with this BenQ model. Thanks to the adaptive brightness technology, the monitor automatically adjusts the brightness of the screen based on the amount of available light in the room. With a 178-degree viewing angle, it allows you to see everything that happens on the screen. As it does not flicker or buffer the way other monitors do, it helps you avoid eye pain and fatigue. You also get a mount for using it on the wall along with built-in cable management to organize all of the cables that you need.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

Budget Monitors: Under $150

 

HP Pavilion 21.5-Inch IPS LED HDMI VGA Monitor

If you’re a gamer on a budget, the HP Pavilion 21.5-Inch IPS LED HDMI VGA Monitor is an excellent choice. This monitor, typically retailing for $90 to $100, offers a vibrant picture with minimal ghosting thank to its IPS screen and 8,000,000:1 contrast ratio. With both HDMI and VGA ports, you can use this monitor for your PC and console alike. The thin profile of the HP Pavilion 21.5-Inch IPS LED HDMI VGA Monitor allows you to place it in even the tightest of spots, such as on a kitchen counter or a cluttered desk.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

ViewSonic VX2457-MHD 24-Inch 1080p Gaming Monitor

At only $150 and boasting a 2ms response time, the ViewSonic VX2457-MHD 24-inch 1080p Gaming Monitor is an excellent gaming monitor for gamers without a lot of disposable income. In addition to a small response time, this monitor also includes AMD FreeSync technology, little input lag, Game Mode visual settings and integrated dual speakers. Lastly, the ViewSonic VX2457-MHD 24-inch 1080p Gaming Monitor includes blue light filter technology to ensure that you can pull off an all-nighter without dry eyes or headaches at the end of the night.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

Best Cheap Everyday/Gaming Monitors

 

Spectre 27” Curved 75Hz LED Monitor

Spectre gives you some of the best features that gamers need in this 27” curved monitor. The fast response time reduces some of the common pixel problems that happen when you move through a game, including ghosting and stuttering. It also prevents the blurring that happens when you move rapidly and allows you to keep an eye on other players. You get both VGA and HDMI ports that work with the refresh rate when you connect the monitor to different consoles. When you need to do work or want to kick back with a game or movie, you’ll like that the built-in speakers deliver impressive sound quality. Designed for immersive gameplay, this monitor has a tilting stand that helps you find the perfect spot.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

LG Electronics UM57 25UM57 25-Inch Screen LED-lit Monitor

The LG Electronics UM57 25UM57 25-Inch Screen LED-lit Monitor is a budget monitor designed to make all PC games look great rather than focusing on one particular genre. The 2560 x 1080 resolution makes the colors pop off the screen while the IPS panel ensures this gaming monitor has fantastic viewing angles. The LG Electronics UM57 25UM57 25-Inch Screen LED-lit Monitor includes two HDMI inputs, making it an ideal monitor for both PC and console gamers alike. With a 5ms response time, this isn’t a monitor that professional players will flock to, though casual gamers shouldn’t notice the input lag in their games.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

Best Entry-Level Newbie Gamer 144Hz Monitors

 

Acer GN246HL Bbid 24-Inch 3D Gaming Display

If you’re looking to see what all the buzz is about with 144Hz refresh rates, then you’ll want to check out the Acer GN246HL Bbid 24-Inch 3D Gaming Display. This 1920 x 1090 monitor has a 1ms response time to ensure smooth images, quick reactions and a beautiful picture. Not only is the Acer GN246HL Bbid 24-Inch 3D Gaming Display perfect for PC gamers but even console gamers can enjoy it thanks to the included HDMI video connection.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

Asus VG248QE 24-inch Full HD Ergonomic Backlit LED Gaming Monitor

The Asus VG248QE 24-inch Full HD Ergonomic Backlit LED Gaming Monitor is packed full of features, all designed to complement its speedy 144Hz refresh rate. ASUS puts your health first with this ergonomic gaming monitor, allowing you to tilt, swivel and pivot the screen to the right height for your neck and eyes. It’s no problem if you’re running short on desk room, as you can just attach this monitor directly to your wall. Without a doubt, the Asus VG248QE 24-inch Full HD Ergonomic Backlit LED Gaming Monitor is one of the best 144Hz gaming monitors available under $300.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

Best Entry-level Newbie 1440p Monitors

 

LG 27-Inch Ultragear Gaming Monitor

All of your favorite games come to life on this LG UltraGear monitor, which has a 2560 X 1440 resolution and an IPS display that removes the borders from the edges of the screen. You no longer need to worry about missing out on things in the background because the edges hide them. Compatible with G-SYNC from NVIDIA, it has a 144Hz refresh rate and a one millisecond response time. With Dynamic Action Sync, the monitor reduces lag and runs in real-time to help you respond as quickly as you need. It also has an ergonomic design when you use the included stand that lets you pivot the monitor by 90 degrees and change the tilt and/or height.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

Acer G257HU 25-Inch WQHD Widescreen Monitor

While the Acer G257HU 25-Inch WQHD Widescreen Monitor may not have as many features as other 1440p monitors, it still offers a fantastic picture that will make even the tiniest details in your games and movies stand out. The 4ms response time is ideal for gamers who don’t plan on doing a lot of competitive gaming while the 100,000,000:1 contrast ratio provides extremely dark blacks and bright whites. With both an HDMI and DVI video connections, the Acer G257HU 25-Inch WQHD Widescreen Monitor is compatible with a broad array of gaming devices.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

Best 1440p Overclocking Display

 

BenQ ZOWIE 14-Inch 144Hz Gaming Monitor

With a 144Hz refresh rate, this BenQ monitor is perfect for gamers. Whether you play action or racing games, you’ll find that it automatically refreshes the action as it happens. As the HDMI has a maximum output of only 60Hz, this monitor is great for using with old-school consoles, but it is not compatible with newer consoles. Thanks to a one-millisecond response rate, it prevents lag and reduces the ghosting that you often encounter. BenQ also gives you a custom equalizer for changing the color and contrast ratio as you need as well as ports for connecting the monitor to headphones and other devices.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

Best Budget 4K Monitors (less than $500)

Dell Ultra HD 4K Monitor P2415Q 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor

If you’re looking for a 4K resolution without needing to empty your bank account to afford one, you’ll find that the Dell Ultra HD 4K Monitor P2415Q 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor is an excellent budget 4K gaming monitor. Dell offers a guarantee that their factory settings are so accurate, that you’ll get a clear image and vibrant colors without even needing to tweak any display settings. Keep in mind that the Dell Ultra HD 4K Monitor P2415Q 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor does not include any built-in speakers, so be sure that you have a pair of standalone speakers before purchasing this budget 4K monitor.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

ViewSonic VX2475SMHL-4K 24-Inch 4K Ultra HD LED Monitor

Like the Dell Ultra HD 4K Monitor P2415Q 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor, the ViewSonic VX2475SMHL-4K 24-Inch 4K Ultra HD LED Monitor is another excellent budget 4K gaming monitor. This gaming monitor packs the same amount of features as monitors twice its price:

A vivid 3840 x 2160 resolution with a 60Hz refresh rate
Wide 178-degree viewing angles
Technology that reduces both flickering and blue light
Proprietary display modes that offer better color accuracy than other 4K monitors in its price range
A PLS screen that provides crystal-clear images

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

Best Budget G-Sync Gaming Monitors (less than $400)

Acer Predator XB241H 24-Inch NVIDIA G-Sync Display

The Acer Predator XB241H 24-Inch NVIDIA G-Sync Display prides itself on offering a smooth picture free of motion blur, ghosting and screen tearing thanks to the G-Sync technology nestled inside of it. With a response time of 1ms, your button presses will display onscreen almost instantly, letting you get the drop on nearly any opponent. With a refresh rate of 144Hz, this monitor is perfect for first-person shooters such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch and Doom.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

Best Budget FreeSync Gaming Monitors (less than $200)

 

ViewSonic VX2257-MHD 22-inch 1080p Gaming Monitor

FreeSync is one of the most important features a gaming monitor can possess, as it guarantees a smooth picture no matter how hectic the action is on the screen. The ViewSonic VX2257-MHD 22-inch 1080p Gaming Monitor allows even gamers on a tight budget to enjoy FreeSync technology, with this monitor coming in at the low price of $129.99. In addition to FreeSync technology, the ViewSonic VX2257-MHD 22-inch 1080p Gaming Monitor also features low input lag, technology to reduce blue light and flicker and pre-calibrated display settings for your video games.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

AOC G2460PF 24-Inch Free Sync Gaming LED Monitor

If you’d rather spend your money on video games instead of your monitor, the AOC G2460PF 24-Inch Free Sync Gaming LED Monitor gives you all the features of a high-quality gaming monitor at a low price. The AOC G2460PF 24-Inch Free Sync Gaming LED Monitor packs the following features:

A 144Hz response rate
AMD FreeSync technology
A 80,000,000:1 contrast ratio
Four USB ports
DisplayPort, DVI, VGA and HDMI video connections
A 1ms response time
4K G-Sync Monitors

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

Acer Predator 34-inch Curved UltraWide QHD NVIDIA G-Sync Widescreen Display

It’s one of the most expensive gaming monitors on the market today, but the Acer Predator 34-inch Curved UltraWide QHD NVIDIA G-Sync Widescreen Display is worth every penny. Not only does this monitor feature G-Sync technology but it also includes a curved screen that is 25 percent bigger than the competition.

You can overclock the 60Hz refresh rate to 100Hz, perfect for those times when you’re itching to play an FPS game. The 21:9 aspect ratio is perfect for both games and movies alike, with the wide viewing angles ensuring that no matter where you sit, this monitor will treat you to an amazing picture.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

Best 1440p G-Sync Gaming Displays

Acer Curved 34-inch UltraWide QHD Display

With its 1440p resolution and curved screen, the Acer Curved 34-Inch UltraWide QHD Display presents a crystal-clear picture with gorgeous colors. This monitor can change its color settings to match whatever is on the screen, perfect for games with day-to-night cycles like Grand Theft Auto V. While most gaming monitors struggle with low-quality speakers, the Acer Curved 34-Inch UltraWide QHD Display boasts two 7W DTS speakers that rival the speakers you’d find on most HDTVs. With five video connections, including HDMI and DisplayPort, you can connect nearly any device to this gaming monitor.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

Best 1440p FreeSync Gaming Displays

 

Acer XG270HU 27-Inch WQHD AMD FREESYNC Widescreen Monitor

At a light 8.5 pounds and sporting a proprietary Zero Frame design, the Acer XG270HU 27-Inch WQHD AMD FREESYNC Widescreen Monitor is a gaming monitor that, despite its larger stature, can fit almost anywhere in your home. You’ll want to find a location for this gaming monitor as soon as possible to take advantage of features such as a stellar 1440p display, FreeSync technology, minimal flickering and a 1ms response time. The Acer XG270HU 27-Inch WQHD AMD FREESYNC Widescreen Monitor is one of Acer’s most expensive gaming monitors but its worth every penny.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

Best UltraWide FreeSync Monitors

 

LG 29UM68-P 29-Inch 21:9 UltraWide IPS Monitor

With 29 inches of display space and a beautiful 2560 x 1080 resolution, the LG 29UM68-P 29-Inch 21:9 UltraWide IPS Monitor presents an eye-catching picture that is nothing short of mesmerizing. The IPS panel combines with the FreeSync technology to offer one of the smoothest images possible: You’ve never experienced racing games until you’ve played them on the LG 29UM68-P 29-Inch 21:9 UltraWide IPS Monitor! This gaming monitor also features three preset display modes for games and the ability to display multiple video sources at one time.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

Best UltraWide G-Sync Monitors

AOC 24” Curved Gaming Monitor

With a full HD resolution of 1980 X 1060, this curved monitor from AOC brings you deeper into the excitement of your favorite games. The DP 1.2 port increases the response time up to one millisecond to ensure that you respond as fast as you need to when fighting or competing against others. This port also increases your refresh rate up to 165Hz and works with FreeSync to keep the monitor from buffering and lagging. While you can use it with any type of VESA mount, it comes with a handy stand that tilts and moves to different angles. You also get a three-year warranty against certain types of damage and dead pixels as well as a one-year warranty towards accidental damage.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

Best UltraWide Curved Monitors

Dell UltraSharp U3415W 34-Inch Curved LED-Lit Monitor

Whether you’re watching movies or playing games, the Dell UltraSharp U3415W 34-Inch Curved LED-Lit Monitor delivers an outstanding picture courtesy of its 3440 x 1440 maximum resolution. With the Picture in Picture feature, you can have a walkthrough open at the same time you’re playing a video game, perfect for those instances when a tricky puzzle is stumping you. The 21:9 panoramic view lets you see the whole battlefield at a glance, meaning that in an FPS game like Overwatch, you won’t need to worry about enemies sneaking up on you. With both an HDMI and a DVI port, the Dell UltraSharp U3415W 34-Inch Curved LED-Lit Monitor is a perfect fit for both console and PC gamers alike.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

Samsung S34E790C 34-Inch Curved WQHD Professional LED Monitor

Samsung is known for their high-quality gaming monitors, and the Samsung S34E790C 34-Inch Curved WQHD Professional LED Monitor is no exception. This gaming monitor boasts a 21:9 curved panel that is capable of a maximum resolution of 3440 x 1440. The ability to display multiple video sources on one screen lets you watch a movie or television show while you grind in an MMORPG, turning a tedious task into a fun one. In addition to two HDMI inputs and a DVI port, the Samsung S34E790C 34-Inch Curved WQHD Professional LED Monitor also offers four USB ports for your flash drives and other devices.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

Best UltraWide Curved 144Hz Monitor

BenQ XR3501 35-Inch Curved UltraWide Gaming Monitor

When you want to be the best player on the professional FPS eSports circuit, you need the best hardware, like the BenQ XR3501 35-Inch Curved UltraWide Gaming Monitor. With its 144Hz refresh rate, Black eQualizer technology, 21:9 aspect ratio and minimal input lag, this gaming monitor not only lets you see your enemies even in the darkest hiding spots but also destroy them before they even knew what hit them. The BenQ XR3501 35-Inch Curved UltraWide Gaming Monitor is one of the most expensive BenQ gaming monitors available, but you’ll agree that the price is worth it when you start quickly ascending the virtual rankings.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

Conclusion

With these monitors boasting features ranging from a speedy response time to a beautiful 4K resolution, you’ve never experienced PC gaming like this before. It’s worth upgrading your monitor as soon as possible; without one of these high-quality monitors, you might as well be gaming on a CRT. As long as you follow this ultimate monitor buying guide, we guarantee you’ll get the perfect monitor for your gaming needs.

 

Which Gaming Monitor Should You Buy?

The gaming monitor that is best for you is largely dependent on the type of games you’ll want to play on it. For example, fans of RPGs won’t need a 144Hz monitor while indie gamers won’t necessarily benefit from an UltraWide gaming monitor. Knowing which gaming monitor suits your playstyle will help you maximize its benefits.

4K and Quad HD monitors are excellent for all gamers, as every game can benefit from increased visuals. RPGs, in particular, look stunning on a 4K monitor

Curved monitors are ideal for those who game with friends, due to the increased viewing angles ensuring that everyone sees the same great picture 144Hz and FreeSync/G-Sync monitors are perfect for fans of RTS, FPS and MOBA games. UltraWide gaming monitors are perfect for fans of FPS, action and adventure games

Some types of PC games, such as RPGs, don’t need extra features like a higher refresh rate or a wider view in the crucial way that genres like the MOBA and FPS genres do. If you don’t see your preferred genre on this list, such as turn-based strategy or independent games, then you’re safe to buy whichever style of monitor you prefer.

 

Understanding the Specs of a Gaming Monitor

Now that you know which categories you’re looking for in a gaming monitor, you’re ready to begin the arduous task of actually picking one out. Unfortunately, narrowing down the overall categories still leaves you with hundreds of gaming monitors to choose from, with each one boasting about specifications such as high refresh rate and low response time. Knowing in-depth what each specification means can help you purchase a gaming monitor that is ideal for you. These are the seven monitor specs that you need to know about when looking at any gaming monitor:

The refresh rate
The pixel response time
The contrast ratio
The display lag
The resolution
The proprietary technology inside each monitor
The type of panel the monitor uses

Let’s break down each of these specifications so you know what you’re looking at when checking out any gaming monitor.

 

Refresh Rate

In simple terms, the refresh rate is the number of frames your monitor can display per second. The more frames your gaming monitor can display, the more you’ll see and the faster you can react. The measurement used for refresh rates is hertz and the higher the number, the better the refresh rate. In first-person shooters, a 144Hz gaming monitor is an essential purchase, as it gives you a huge advantage over opponents with a 60Hz or even a 120Hz monitor.

The refresh rate is also where the FreeSync/G-Sync technology comes into play; when your graphics card sends too many frames for a monitor to render, the result is a grotesque flickering of the displayed image, often called screen tearing. The FreeSync/G-Sync technology forces your monitor and graphics card to work together, eliminating screen tearing altogether.

 

Pixel Response Time

If the refresh rate is the most important factor to guaranteeing a smooth picture, then the pixel response time is a close second. The pixel response time is how fast a colored pixel turns white and then back to a different color. A high pixel response time can result in things like ghosting, smearing and motion blur, especially among fast-paced games such as first-person shooters and racing games. The lower the milliseconds, the better the pixel response time, with a 1- or 2-millisecond pixel response time being ideal.

 

Contrast Ratio

The contrast ratio is the difference between the darkest black and the brightest white on a monitor. A high contrast ratio means that your gaming monitor will have crisper blacks and whites than a display with a lower contrast ratio. For example, a monitor with a contrast ratio of 5,000,0000:1 will look much better than a monitor with a contrast ratio of 5,000:1.

 

Display Lag

Display lag, also called input lag, is the fourth most important feature to look for on a gaming monitor. In basic terms, input lag is the amount of time it takes for a button press to display on your screen. A high input lag means that there is a noticeable delay from the time you push a button to when the action appears on the screen; in a twitch-based game like League of Legends, this means you’re at a huge disadvantage as fast actions mean the difference between victory and defeat. Like the pixel response time, manufacturers measure the display lag in milliseconds, with a lower number preferable to a larger one.

 

Resolution

Simply put, your screen resolution directly correlates to how detailed your image looks. For example, a resolution of 1920 x 1080 will show far more details than a resolution of 640 x 480. The standard resolution on most gaming monitors is 1920 x 1080, with the maximum being four times number for 4K monitors. However, don’t just buy the monitor with the biggest resolution that you can afford: Your computer’s hardware also dictates screen resolution as well. For example, to correctly display a 4K image, you need a beefy graphics card and tons of RAM; otherwise, your game is going to appear is a choppy, unplayable mess. While most modern gaming PCs can easily handle a 1920 x 1080 resolution with mid-range gaming hardware, make sure you have newer, powerful hardware before buying a monitor that supports a higher resolution than that.

 

How Important is Proprietary Technology?

A lot of gaming monitors, especially high-end ones, share a lot of the same specifications. Ultimately, the decision on what gaming monitor to buy will come down to a brand’s proprietary technology. For example, BenQ has the Black eQualizer technology, a feature that lightens shadows without washing out the rest of the color, and ASUS has the GamePlus feature, a set of onscreen reticles that will help you aim more efficiently. As you’d expect, there isn’t a lot of overlap in proprietary features, so weighing the pros and cons of each one is crucial before making a final decision.

 

What Panel is Best for a Gaming Monitor?

When it comes to gaming monitors, there are two different types of panels used for the screen: TN and IPS. While many experts prefer IPS over TN, both have their advantages and disadvantages.

TN panels are often used by eSports gamers for FPS games due to their fantastic refresh rate and low response time, but it comes at a cost: mediocre color and poor viewing angles. Viewing a TN panel at any angle other than directly from the center will cause the color to become washed out, making the TN panel an awful choice for family movie night or local multiplayer games. If you’re planning on being the sole user of the monitor and staring at the screen directly from the center at all times, however, a TN panel is an excellent choice.

IPS panels are the opposite, offering superior color and viewing angles but slightly weaker refresh rates and response times. If you’re the sort of gamer who plays mostly single player games like The Witcher 3 and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, then you’ll love how an IPS panel makes your games pop. However, for professional eSports gamers who mostly play FPS and MOBA games, an IPS panel will end up being a detriment.

 

What Brands are the Best?

While there are a wide variety of gaming monitor brands, three stand out among their peers: BenQ, Samsung and ASUS.

Founded in 2001, BenQ has quickly risen to the top of the pack when it comes to computer gaming monitors. Not only do their monitors sport some of the best refresh rates and color accuracy but their proprietary features are among the best. One example of these excellent exclusive features is the auto-brightness setting, a feature that automatically adjusts your display’s colors based on the current scene in your game.

As one of the oldest gaming monitor companies still in existence today, Samsung packs years of experience and knowledge into every gaming monitor they make. Their gaming monitors typically feature more video connections, a superior Game Mode display setting and a lightweight, thin frame.

Most companies prefer to make a one-size-fits-all gaming monitor, though hardware manufacturer ASUS goes in a different direction: Monitors that tailor themselves to specific genres. For example, an ASUS monitor for FPS gamers focuses more on speed over picture while a monitor for RPGs focuses more on providing a stunning image. ASUS also places a big emphasis on safety, with their monitors sporting less blue light output and more ergonomic features than the competition.

 

Plan on Buying Standalone Speakers

Nearly every gaming monitor sold today includes a pair of built-in speakers, conveniently located on either side of the monitor’s screen. However, if you’re thinking of saving a few bucks and using these as your primary source of sound for PC games, you may want to think again. The built-in speakers in most gaming monitors are around 2W each, which makes them substandard speakers compared to standalone speakers, which usually average 50W. Built-in speakers on a gaming monitor typically produce a sound that has no bass and a very monotone feel, which makes it tough to pinpoint where sounds are coming from on the battlefield. Even if you’re a casual gamer, you’ll want to invest in buying a pair of standalone speakers as soon as possible.