Pull up your preferred search engine and type in ‘the best gaming monitor’ and you’ll be bombarded with an assortment of advertisements for sales, expensive monitors with the latest (but ultimately useless) features such as extra USB ports, etc… Really, who’s looking for a top quality gaming monitor and doesn’t have an equally nice case with plenty of USB 2 and 3?
Sure the little extra features can be nice to have just in case, but they aren’t what you should be basing your purchase on. Picking out a top notch gaming monitor takes a bit of research and time. After all, there’s a lot to consider.
Gamer’s typically find that their monitor needs are quite different from the other computer enthusiast’s. If you’re like most gamers, you’ve got a few hundred to a few thousand invested in your case components already. But even if you’ve built the best gaming PC, it isn’t enough without a monitor.
A subpart gaming monitor makes all of this fancy tech practically useless. If the screen can’t keep up with the processors, refresh rate, etc… then your experience will be severely limited.
We’ve put together this fantastic guide to help you navigate your way through the sea of seemingly endless monitor models. So if you’re ready to jump straight into a list of the absolute best gaming monitors available right now, read on! We’ll even explain the differences in features so that you can decide which one is the perfect monitor for you!
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Gaming Monitor?
It’s a common misconception that when it comes to gaming, bigger means better. This isn’t necessarily true, however. A large monitor without the appropriate specs to run heavy duty game software will be a huge disappointment for gamers. This situation typically results in flickering, ghosting, graphic tears, etc… It is important to check out each of the following specs and features before making your purchase. This will ensure that you get the most out of your gaming monitor, for years to come!
Gaming monitors between 19 inches and 24 inches are considered the sweet spot for gaming. That doesn’t necessarily mean that a larger monitor won’t work well. Part of the problem in choosing a size is technical, but it’s also a matter of personal preference.
A lot of gamers make the mistake of going as big as they can afford to, however; thinking that it will create a more immersive experience. Rather, it can make it difficult to keep track of motion along the screen sides (such as enemy flanking), and can cause a host of other complications such as flickering or resolution problems.
Consider how much power your system itself has before buying a new monitor. This is the best way to gauge whether or not your new gaming monitor will work optimally with the rest of your gear.
When it comes to resolution considerations, you can always count on it that monitors with higher resolution (or higher density of pixels on the screen display) will provide you with higher definition. Assuming that you have the right PC gear to run it.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that anything labeled High Definition will get the job done. High Definition offers a pixel count of 1920 x 1080 (aka 1080p). The number of pixels does not change based upon the increase or decrease of screen size. They simply become smaller/larger as appropriate to fit.
So smaller HD screens provide greater clarity than larger ones. However, if you’re interested in the 25”+ size gaming monitors you can always go with QHD which offers a pixel count of 2560 x 1440 (aka 1440p). Most gamers prefer to stick with the QHD resolution, even for monitors smaller than 25” because of the depth of detail that it provides.
There are other forms of HD available as well, such as UHD which provides 3840 x 2160 pixels. While 4K UHD, QHD, WQHD, etc. are less common amongst computer monitors, they are becoming increasingly easier to find. These display resolutions are fantastic for larger monitors, so long as you ensure that your PC itself is powerful enough to handle the task.
To learn more on how to decode HD-speak, check out this great guide on the differences.
LED vs LCD
Choosing between an LED and an LCD monitor is mainly a matter of user preference. It basically boils down to a matter of the difference in color quality, and the range of contrast. Most gamers prefer an LED; but if you’re on a budget an LCD can still definitely get the job done. There are a surprising number of technologies that go into LCD panels, which you can read more about here.
If you predominantly play colorful, vibrant games on your PC, an LCD will do the job nicely, in fact. However, if you play a wide range of games with varying contrast and color temperatures, you’ll be much happier with an LED.
What’s the actual difference? Not much. An LED monitor is an LCD with additional backlighting. When you’re playing a dark palette game with high density shadows, shading, etc. however, this small difference can mean a lot.
You’re jamming through your favorite platformer, everything is going according to plan – and suddenly you’re dead. And you have no idea what happened. Sound familiar?
This is what happens when your monitor doesn’t have a fast enough response rate. The time that it took to render the images of your attackers was greater than the amount of time that it took them to kill you. There practically is no greater frustration in gaming.
Avoid tech rage by checking the response rate of the monitor your considering, before you buy. Ideally, you want a range of 5 milliseconds or less; with 1 millisecond being the best.
Although they are frequently confused with response rates, refresh rates are completely different. The refresh rate is the rate at which frames update while you are playing. While you won’t ‘lose’ any time in game if your frame rates are low, you will likely experience graphic tears.
You’ve probably seen this before on a standard 60Hz monitor. The graphics appear to have rifts; or missing sections. As a result, graphics appear in ‘chunks’.
For gaming, you’ll want to avoid 60Hz completely. Consider something in the 120Hz or 144Hz range (or higher) instead.
10 Best Gaming Monitors in 2017
Asus ROG Swift PG279Q
The Best of the Best PC Gaming Monitor Models by Asus
The Asus ROG Swift PG279Q is truly a masterpiece worthy of display in even the most tech-rich gaming kingdom. It swivels, pivots, and tilts to provide you with the most ergonomic positioning possible. You can also adjust the monitor’s height, or mount it to a wall.
The ultra-thin ISP panel provides 178 degree viewing angles, so that you don’t get a lot of color distortion, glare, etc. when repositioning for extreme viewing angles. If that doesn’t sound like enough tech to keep you comfy; just wait; there’s more!
ASUS EyeCare technology also removes major eye stressor elements; such as high blue lights and flickering. This makes it possible to play for much longer periods of time without feeling the repercussions of eye stress (like headaches).
We also really love the GSYNC tech that is integrated into this awesome ASUS monitor. It makes for the smoothest, glitch and error free experience available on the market today.
- Huge 27 Inch screen is very immersive
- Comes with an excellent stand that isn’t wobbly
- Boasts an impressive 165Hz refresh rate
- Full sRGB gamut for real life coloration
- Some users have made complaints about backlight bleeding
- Pixels will be much larger on a 1440p, 27” monitor
Acer Predator XB321HK
Ranked the Best 1440p Gaming Monitor of the Year
The Acer Predator XB321HK is one of those slightly rarer models that we discussed earlier- a 4K UHD; or 3840 x 2160-pixel count. This is essential for a gaming monitor of this size, if you expect to have any image quality.
Remember, increased screen size doesn’t mean more pixels. Increased resolution is what balances out increased screen size. This 32 inch NVIDIA GSYNC, widescreen display is also equipped with the finest LED tech, so that you can see even the finest detail and depths of color in your gaming experience.
Acer’s EyeProtect Flicker-less tech helps take the strain off of your eyes during long periods of gaming. All the while, a 4ms response time and 180 Hz of refresh power ensure that you have a seamless, smooth gaming experience on this huge, immersive gaming monitor.
This Acer monitor has 2 signal input options, for your convenience.
- 1 HDMI
- 1 (v1.2) Display port
- Mercury-free white LED backlights reduce power consumption by roughly 65%
- Excellent, ergonomic design that is adjustable for your comfort
- Includes extra features such as speakers, 4 extra USB 3 ports, etc…
- Some users experience problems with using the HDMI 1 port
This Just May Be the Best Budget Gaming Monitor Out There
Asus seems to really be on a role this year with producing high quality gaming monitors at various price points. For those who love the brand, but can’t quite afford the Asus ROG Swift PG279Q, the Asus VG248QE is an awesome deal! At under $300, this just may be the best budget gaming monitor out there right now.
Asus’ budget gaming monitor is still equipped with enough great specs to pack a punch when it comes to gaming. It’s adjustability, ergonomic positioning, sturdy stand, and Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) just can’t be beaten, for the price. Some of the other impressive features of this particular gaming monitor include ideal response times of 1 millisecond, a very reasonable and functional 144Hz refresh rate, and port support for all of your various devices.
Whether you want to connect with a (v1.2) Display port, HDMI, or Dual-link DVI-D; you’re set and ready to go with this monitor. Another of our favorite fluff features are the speakers. They provide a clean, clear sound; unlike many other budget monitor speakers.
- An ideal 1 millisecond response rate
- Beautiful LED lit display
- You can tilt, swivel, or adjust the height easily
- Supports multiple connection types
- Very lightweight and less solid feeling than some other models
Yet Another of the Best 1440p Gaming Monitor Options
This 1440p wide quad HD, 27-inch gaming monitor is sure to impress. It’s packed with all of the necessities for gaming; and has a 2 millisecond response rate, which ensures that you’ll have the smoothest graphic experience possible. While this monitor is an LCD; which is devoid of the highly preferred LED backlighting. However, it is equipped with a Dark Boost function which is designed to help you target enemies lurking in the shadows.
One of our favorite things about this particular gaming monitor is the ‘Game’ mode setting. This setting utilizes optimization tech that increases visuals for FPS, MOBA, and RTS. Other cool extra features include; an awesomely ergonomic stand, adaptive contrast control, integrated headphone hook, and NVIDIA GSYNC technology.
Overall, this monitor is a really great deal and we think it’s perfect for gamers looking for a top shelf setup without a top shelf price. It’s difficult to find a deal quite like this for under a thousand.
- Multiple display types
- Excellent refresh and response rates
- 2 quality built in speakers
- No LED backlighting
Certainly Amongst the Best 1080p Gaming Monitor Choices
For those curved LED screen enthusiasts out there, this is an incredible gaming monitor. At 35 inches and a 178 degree viewing angle, this is definitely one of the largest, best gaming monitors out there. Especially for the price! You won’t find another curved screen this large at this price – anywhere.
This particular monitor boasts 160Hz refresh rate, which is well over the recommended specs for a top notch gaming monitor such as this one. When paired with the integrated 4 millisecond refresh rate, you have a pretty decent set up going; in spite of the relatively low resolution of 2560 x 1080 for this extra-large monitor.
- Integrated dynamic contrast ratio makes a much more dramatic display
- Extra-large screen for players who prefer to see every single detail
- Affordable curved screen technology
- Low resolution for screen size, pixel enlargement may be bothersome
BenQ ZOWIE XL2720
The Best PC Gaming Monitor BenQ Makes!
Easily the absolute best monitor for gaming that BenQ makes; the ZOWIE XL2720 is definitely getting some well-deserved attention from the gaming community. With a resolution of 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels) and the best response and refresh rates around, this monitor is ready to play all of your favorite games with clarity, color accuracy, and real life-like details. The LED backlighting nicely accentuates this large, 27-inch screen, making it easy to see even the darkest corners of dungeons while playing.
While this monitor is great for any game you may desire to play on your PC, it’s specialty is definitely e-sports PC games. In fact, this monitor has been named the official gaming monitor worldwide for e-sports games; including illustrious competitions such as; ESEA, UMG, EVO, and MLG CS:GO Major Championship.
With so much confidence from the gaming community, you really can’t go wrong with a monitor like this. If word of mouth isn’t enough for you, however, there are many other great features and specs to be mentioned.
144Hz of refresh rate power, and a response rate of 2-3 milliseconds are also good indicators that this gaming monitor is equipped with the right gear to enjoy all of your favorite fast-moving games. And the monitor is ergonomic and comfortable to use. You can adjust it as necessary, although you shouldn’t need to move it around too frequently. It has integrated anti-glare tech as well as anti-flicker and low blue light so that it won’t hurt your eyes to play for long periods of time.
- Beautiful LED display
- Excellent response and refresh rates
- Much more affordable than similar models made by better known brands
- Wobbly stand
The Best 24-Inch Curved Gaming Monitor by Samsung
Samsung has been around for quite a while now, and they’ve certainly established a reputation for excellence in both product design and customer service. So it comes as no real surprise that they’re producing affordable, beautiful display, curved gaming monitors that are creating a real stir amongst gamers on a budget who aren’t willing to sacrifice quality for price.
The Samsung CFG70 is a curved, 24-inch gaming monitor is backlit with the finest LED lights in order to maximize the potential of the Quantum dot sRGB 125% technology, which is integrated at a highly affordable price. With a top notch response time of 1 millisecond and 144Hz of refresh rate power, you really can’t go wrong with this gaming monitor.
Some of the neat extra features of this monitor include a unique Game mode and Arena lighting; which is awesome for both arena and sports style games.
- Incredibly affordable for the size and tech
- Top of the line response rate
- Quantum dot technology
- Stand isn’t very sturdy
AOC Agon AG271QG
One of the Best 1440 Resolution Gaming Monitors of the Year
Another of our favorites made by AOC; the Agon AG271QG is a 27-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) gaming monitor that is ready to plug and play. LED backlighting highlights even the darkest passages and corners in all of your favorite games, so that you can easily see when enemies are flanking you, etc… Want to hook it up to multiple devices for different types of play?
No problem! It’s equipped with HDMI and a (v1.2) display port. Play all of your favorite games with the added benefits of NVIDIA GSYNC technology and a very reasonable 165Hz of refresh rate power, and you’ll definitely notice the difference that the NVIDIA GSYNC makes. This monitor will give you years of great, flicker and graphic tear free use.
- Very large display with great resolution
- 165Hz refresh rate
- Flimsy and wobbly stand
LG Electronics 25UM57
The Absolute Best Gaming Monitor Under $200
LG; another brand notorious for their extremely affordable but quality products, makes this UM57 model; which is a WFHD (2560 x 1080 pixel count) 25-inch LED backlit display. You can’t find tech like this for gaming under $200 anywhere else. So if you’re on a budget, this is truly the mother load.
With a widescreen display (and the pixels to fill it out) using AMD FreeSync technology, it will be a pleasure to play all of your favorite games. Whether you prefer genres with bright, saturated colors; or darker, dungeon style games, this monitor is ready to go as soon as you plug it in.
In spite of the budget price sticker on this gaming monitor, it still has awesome specs. 144Hz refresh rate and an incredibly impressive 1 millisecond response rate both lend to a smooth, tear-free, and immersive experience for gamers of all types.
- Has a perfect ratio of screen size to pixels per square inch
- Integrated speakers of reasonable quality
- Top of the line response rate of 1 millisecond
- Cheap plastic base
- Isn’t currently shipping outside of the US
This is Another Good Gaming Monitor in the $200 Range
At just over $200, the Acer XFA240 sports a 24-inch widescreen TN display with the absolute latest AMD FreeSync tech. This goes hand in hand with the 144Hz refresh rate and response time of 1 millisecond to give users a truly excellent gaming experience. This Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) gaming monitor is perfect for serious gamers on a budget.
Really, we can’t rave enough about how great of a deal this is.
Want to connect with multiple device types? No problem. This monitor is equipped with input ports for (v1.2) display port, HDMI, MHL, and DVI, so that you can connect with pretty much anything you please.
- Super affordable
- Great ratio of screen size to pixel count
- Highly adjustable- rotate, adjust height, ect…
- Considerably smaller than some others on our list
- Relatively low quality speakers
Whether you are on a budget or have all of the money in the world to blow, it is simple to find the right elements to put together a top notch system that works for you. You just have to look in the right place!
While you’re in the market for a new gaming monitor, you might also consider checking out our lists of the best gaming mouse selection; as well as our list which covers the best wireless keyboard selection currently available. These additional purchases are incredibly cheap in comparison to the purchase you’re already considering, and will exponentially amplify your gaming experience!