Finding the best gaming monitor is all about matching up your style of play, the horsepower behind your PC and all the added features you may want, and eventually, need. It is a balancing act at the best of times but when we start talking about resolutions, budgets and sizes it can become very difficult to find the top choice for you in 2017. This is why we have put together this rather handy gaming monitor buying guide, so you don’t have to spend weeks researching every possibility.
Best Gaming Monitors – December 2017
|Top 1440p G-Sync Monitors |
|Asus ROG Swift PG279Q - Review||2560x1440 (1440p)||IPS||27"||165Hz|
|Acer Predator XB271HU||2560x1440 (1440p)||IPS||27"||144Hz|
|Best Budget & 1080p Monitor||Acer R240HY||1920x1080 (1080p)||IPS||24"||60Hz|
|Asus VG248QE||1920x1080 (1080p)||TN||24"||144hz|
|BenQ GL2460HM||1920x1080 (1080p)||TN||24"||60Hz|
|Acer G276HL Gbd||1920x1080 (1080p)||TN||27"||60Hz|
|ASUS VC239H||1920x1080 (1080p)||IPS||23"||60Hz|
|Top Cheap/Budget 144Hz||Asus VG248QE||1920x1080 (1080p)||TN||24"||144hz|
|BenQ ZOWIE XL2411||1920x1080 (1080p)||TN||24"||144Hz|
|BenQ RL2455HM||2560x1440 (1440p)||TN||27"||144Hz|
|Best 4K IPS G-Sync Gaming Monitors||Acer Predator XB321HK||3840 x 2160 (4K)||IPS||27"||60Hz|
|Best 4K TN G-Sync Gaming Monitors||Acer XB280HK -G-Sync||3840 x 2160 (4K)||TN||28"||60Hz|
|Top Budget 4K Gaming Monitor||Samsung U28E590D||3840 x 2160 (4K)||TN||28"||60Hz|
Ask any PC gamer what their most important computer component is and you will probably hear graphics card, or maybe they have the best CPU for playing games depending on the type of gamer. Very few will tell you their gaming monitor is the most important part or even best part, which is strange considering its the one part of your rig that you look at and use constantly. Think about the amount money it costs to build a PC, would you really want to pair that up with a cheap, sub-par monitor? Ideally, you should be looking for the a gaming monitor that you can afford in order to get the full use of your expensive graphics card and processor.
So with all of that in mind do you know what makes a monitor worthy of being used for gaming? In our guide below we have listed the models we rate as a worthy of your hard earned cash. If you are in need of a specific size, shape resolution (1080p, 1440p and 4K gaming) or feature then scroll down a little and read our specific guides.
One of the main things to consider when looking for a gaming monitor is, there different from every other part of your computer. Your graphics card can become outdated within 1 or 2 years whereas a good quality monitor with all the usual features could keep you going for 4 to 8 years easily providing you’re not the type of gamer than needs the newest and best tech every year! It makes sense to spend a little more on a gaming monitor you can afford to ensure you don’t have to update it every year.
In our buying guide, we’ll have a list that will help you find the best gaming monitor. These models come in varying sizes, specifications and features not to mention differing resolutions like 4K.
Looking for the “chosen one” is difficult, especially in 2017 when we have different models for different types of computer users – gamers, workers, creators, professional gamers etc. Having been through this process numerous times as well as being in the games industry has meant we have access to some of the latest technology, research and professionals. Meaning we have been able to create a list with the best gaming monitor that is backed up by independent reviews, user feedback, professionals and normal gamers like you and I.
Bear in mind the monitors we list below don’t fall into any one category so if you’re looking for a specific type of panel e.g. 27-inch, 1080P etc. then be sure to scroll through our list and read through our reviews where you will find the answers to all of your questions.
The most important part of having a good gaming PC setup, out with hardware (Graphics card, RAM, SSD Hard Drive etc.), is to ensure you have a gaming monitor compliment your system. It is very important to have a good display, or at the very least you should look to get a reliable and good gaming monitor within your budget from a brand you recognise. Prices, specifically for gamers, can get rather high purely based on the added features they come with! Just like when you put the word wedding in front of something the price goes through the roof, video games are very much the same!
Have you ever noticed your gaming monitor getting a little fuzzy, colours not showing as they should or do you feel there is a lag? That is down to the monitor you are using, it isn’t really suitable to be used for playing games. Just like when you need to choose a mouse to suit how you play and what you need, you also need to choose a “type” for how you play, what you expect and if you would prefer great picture quality or would you prefer a better response time with very little lag.
There are lots of options on the market at different price brackets which do a great job, but we will aim to answer the question of which one is most suited for your needs.
Best Types of Monitors For Gamers in 2017?
If you are looking to buy the best monitor then I highly suggest you invest in the absolute best you can afford. Why? Well, think about it, when did you last buy one? In most cases, they can last 4 or 5 years without needing to be replaced. Spending a little extra now will mean you get the benefits when you likely upgrade your hardware every year or so. They are also long term purchases, so they deserve to have a little bit extra budget. Picking a good one isn’t an easy task, that is why we have put this guide together for gamers.
This page will list all the models and makes we feel are the top on the market for gaming specifically, with some honourable mentions for those that require a screen for work and play. Our lists are split into the overall best and also 24-inch, 27-inch, IPS and TN, 1080p and 1440p. Not to forget we will also provide the top choices for console gamers and high frame rate PCs, for example, 144Hz as well as the best budget models under $200/£150.
Best on a Budget Gaming Monitor
So you are looking for a monitor on a budget as your on a tight budget and don’t want to break the bank. Well, we have some absolutely perfect budget options for you. I actually own one of these bad boys for my gaming laptop. Oh, when we say best cheap display we mean below $200 (£150 for the UK), but prices do change daily so you are always best checking prices yourself. What is budget today might be super cheap tomorrow!
When you are looking for the best budget gaming monitor got gamers you really do need to pay attention to a few details – one being reviews always read the reviews. Amazon is great for reviews so when you do decide to buy you should ensure the reviewers on Amazon are enjoying their purchase. In most cases, if you are a casual gamer then a good budget option with 60Hz refresh rate is more than enough.
With all of that in mind, the gaming monitors we recommend for those on a budget are Acer R240HY and the BenQ GL2460HM.
The Acer R240HY is very popular with gamers for its IPS panel, super cheap price and overall performance. The display is a 60Hz, 1080p panel with an impressive 4ms response time. The connectivity options are great with HDMI, DVI and VGA all options. This monitor also boasts a very nice thin bezel design. The Acer R240HY can usually be found for around $120 mark at most online shops.
The BenQ GL2460HM is one of the most popular cheap options on the market. It boasts a 24-inch display, 1080p, 60Hz, 2ms response time and a TN panel. For gamers looking to get into semi-competitive PC gaming on the cheap then this screen is ideal. The panel also looks great given the low cost and can also be considered a thin bezel monitor. The BenQ GL2460HM can be found between $120 to $135 from most online sellers.
High Refresh Rate – 144Hz Gaming Monitor
Many gamers like to game with a high refresh rate meaning finding the best 144Hz monitor is super important. With more powerful computers and gaming laptops come more frames per second meaning the viability of a high Hz display comes into play. Games such as CS:GO, Battlefield Call of Duty and other fast paced games are perfect on the best 144Hz gaming monitor. If you are looking for a cheap or budget 144Hz gaming monitor then you are in luck as some of the main brands have been releasing high-quality models with 144Hz refresh rate. Bare in mind you will need to ensure you have an I7 7700K CPU to push 144 FPS. THis usually means you need to get yourself some solid water cooling and the best motherboard for 7700K to ensure it has the power capable of overclocking as close to 5GHz as possible.
Do I need a 144Hz gaming monitor?
Upgrading to 144Hz is something that you need take a little consideration with. First off you need to make sure your graphics card is pushing the frames per second to warrant a 144Hz screen. If you can’t get past 60 to 80 FPS then you have no real need what so ever for 144Hz you would be best served looking for a panel that fits your requirements and performance. Whereas if you’re a player of games like Counter Strike then you likely get frame rates pushing 144+ meaning you’re the ideal candidate for one of these monitors.
Now you need to ask yourself if it will make a difference to your gaming style, easier asked than answered when you don’t have access to a 144Hz to test. We have included an image comparing 60Hz to 144Hz (provided by Asus). You can clearly see the slight blurriness of the 60Hz screen compared to 144Hz. These high refresh rate panels help with both clarity and allowing a gamer to react faster to what is happening on screen. Something that is vital for fast paced online games. A high-quality 144Hz monitor with G-Sync or FreeSync is an absolute requirement for those looking for an eSports gaming monitor for competitive competitions. It is also a well-known fact that those twitch responses reactions are completely lost at 60Hz, Whereas 144Hz and even 240Hz the twitch response to a shot on Counter Strike, for example, will come off more often than not.
If you are looking to upgrade to a 144Hz gaming monitor and are looking at getting on the best model possible then we suggest you look at the Asus ROG Swift PG279Q. It boasts a 144Hz refresh rate, 1440p resolution and G-Sync. The Asus ROG Swift PG279Q is also considered one of the leading models on the market.
If on the other hand though you are looking to get setup with an entry-level or budget 144Hz instead then the Asus VG248QE monitor is a fantastic option. This model comes with a 1080p resolution, 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, the big drawback is the TN panel – it’s not the best for colour reproduction. If you were to visit the likes of Reddit then you would see this being thrown about as being the most popular model available to bang for the buck gamers.
Both of these 144Hz’s will provide a terrific boost to those that play competitive games such as COD, CS: GO etc. The Asus VG248QE has a reported 12ms input lag which makes this model a great 144Hz option. This Asus VG248QE does come with a couple of “cons”, it has a TN panel and can only be bought in a 1080p resolution. With that in mind, this monitor is still a great purchase based on its price and the features it does come with.
If you’re looking to get bang for your buck on a 144Hz screen then this is the monitor we suggest as of right now. We suggest you take a quick look at the Asus VG248QE customer reviews here.
1440p Gaming Monitor (WQHD)
Like all the other types we have talked about you can get a cheap, best for the money and even premium 1440p monitor for gaming. If you’re looking for a 1440p panel then you should be looking at 27-inch panel size to get the most out of your new display. From a gaming perspective, the IPS panel means both fantastic colours and sharp picture quality which will benefit any gamer when used at its full 1440p resolution. The screen has a 5ms response time which is great. With the increase in 4K interest, it has become apparent that 1440p is the sweet point for both performance and resolution. If you’re looking for a screen that your PC can power and last you a few years then we highly suggest looking at the latest monitors listed as 1440p resolution.
Budget & Entry level 1440p
The ASUS PB278Q is a fantastic entry level 1440p monitor which comes with an IPS panel, 27-inch size and of course the 1440p resolution. The screen also functions between 50Hz and 75Hz. Boasting an ergonomic design with adjustable height.
In terms of connectivity, the ASUS PB278Q has HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2 and dual DVI ports. As an added feature the panel also features built-in speakers which are surprisingly decent for built-in speakers.
Best Value 1440p Monitor
The ASUS MG279Q is by far the best value for money, the only caveat to that statement is for gamers who want to utilise G-Sync, as the ASUS MG279Q is a FreeSync enabled gaming monitor. If though you don’t care, then great! Go buy it!
The ASUS MG279Q is a 27-inch 1440p screen with a 144Hz refresh rate and an IPS panel. In terms of connectivity, you are looking at DisplayPort (necessary for FreeSync), HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0 and dual-link DVI. Like most gamers, I can’t recommend this screen high enough, by far the best value for money for FreeSync users (G-Sync scroll down).
Best 4K Gaming Monitor
Buying a 4K gaming monitor is still expensive but in all honesty, it is well worth the investment. Find the top gaming monitor at a 4K resolution though is both difficult and expensive though. First, you must ensure you have a gaming PC with a powerful graphics card and CPU to run your games at such a high resolution. Otherwise, you will end up paying for a 4K screen and getting very few of the benefits. As technology grows and adapts prices do naturally fall. With that being said, these monitors although expensive are steadily falling in price as the adoption level increases.
|Acer Predator XB321HK||IPS||3840 x 2160 (4K)
27 - 32inch
Resp Time: 4ms
Ref. Rate: 60Hz
|Acer XB280HK||TN||3840 x 2160 (4K)
Resp Time: 1ms
Ref. Rate: 60Hz
|Samsung U28E590D||TN||3840 x 2160 (4K)
Resp Time: 1ms
Ref. Rate: 60Hz
In 2017 4K gaming monitors are a major focus for gamers and screen manufacturers, especially those looking to buy the best. As of right now though the best 4K gaming monitor can still be incredibly expensive. That is without taking into consideration that in order to power a 4K monitor a gaming computer requires a current gen graphics card. In most cases, a graphics card equal or greater than a GTX 1070 should be enough in most games to achieve stable frame rates. That being said most high-resolution gamers have been moving to Ryzen recently in order to stabilise frame rates and provide higher minimums so it might be worth while looking at the super affordable Ryzen lineup, we have recently reviewed the best Ryzen motherboards which will be handy for those upgrading.
If you are looking to get your first step on the 4K gaming ladder with an affordable monitor then we STRONGLY suggest looking at the Samsung U28E590D. This screen uses a TN panel with an outstanding 170 degrees horizontal and 160 degrees vertical viewing angles. This model also comes with a 1ms response time and 60Hz refresh rate.
The Samsung U28D590D also comes with AMD FreeSync which dramatically reduces image tearing and stuttering in games.
The price of the Samsung U28E590D does vary but as of the time of this writing, it looks like the model has reduced in price making it one of the hottest monitor available.
Cheap 4K Monitor For Gaming
2017 feels like the year that 4K resolutions started becoming mainstream with new graphics cards, TVs, consoles and even 4K streaming on things like Netflix, YouTube etc. Gamers are paying a lot of attention to 4K too, games at 4K is a real possibility now. The problem with such a high resolution though is the amount of processing and graphics power you need in order to push a game at high quality to 4K. We’re talking something like a GTX 1080 at least just to push the pixels, that is before you start thinking about what 4K monitor you want to buy. I will be brutally honest, if you have the cash to buy the hardware for 4K then you REALLY don’t want a cheap or budget 4K monitor. That doesn’t mean you can’t get an affordable monitor but I would suggest staying away from bargain bucket 4K monitors.
A 4K monitor for gaming should come with at least 60Hz, ideally more. You should also be looking to pair up your graphics card with FreeSync or G-Sync. Likely the more controversial spec, you really should be looking at an IPS panel. If you’re going for 4K then you want your games to look the absolute best, a TN panel will not do that.
There is a specific monitor that can be considered cheap/budget for 4K gaming, the Samsung U28E590D. The screen is 28 inch, 4K and comes packed with FreeSync so in theory, it does have a gaming technology to help. Is it the best 4K gaming monitor on the market? Absolutely not but it is the cheapest 4k monitor that I could recommend. The biggest con is it’s a TN panel and limited to 60Hz – in other words, all the pros that given with a TN panel (1ms response time) is stripped out with a 60Hz refresh rate. For those of you wondering, the TN panel was likely used to keep the costs down – TN panels are cheaper than IPS.
|Samsung U28E590D||TN||28inch||3840 x 2160 (4K)
Resp Time: 1ms
Ref. Rate: 60Hz
A very quick point about 4K, it is still expensive. In some cases double if not triple the price of a really good 1440p screen. 4K is still very new, you need a lot of GPU power to run stable frame rates meaning overall the costs will be sky high regardless. Personal advice would be to either wait it out a little until the GPUs can produce stable frame rates and until the technology is more mainstream.
If you are adamant that you want the best gaming monitor in the 4K category right now, then I am afraid you will be looking at stumping up some serious cash even at budget levels.
Ultra Wide Monitor for Gaming
As well as having 1080p and 4K resolutions we now have a what is called the Ultra wide gaming monitor which has a 21:9 aspect ratio instead of the now standard 16:9. Something to keep in mind is that widescreens are simply “normal” 16:9 whereas the Ultra wide is the larger 21:9 – so be aware that if you’re buying a wide screen your not getting a wider than a normal screen, your actually just getting the normal width!
Once you have seen an Ultra wide monitor in person you will instantly understand the benefits of owning one. An ultra wide monitor will allow you to have more on-screen space for multi-tasking, games or even just have a larger workspace in general, many use it to increase the level of immersion. For the most part, it will be gamers and programmers that would make most use of a single ultra wide monitor.
So you have decided that you want to buy an ultra wide monitor for your gaming, are you sure you know what other features you need to look for? Luckily we do and are happy to help!
Ultra wide gaming monitors come with a whole host of features and specifications that make playing games an absolute dream. In an ideal world you would be looking to get a screen with a low response time (less than 6ms is ideal), high refresh rate (120Hz or 144Hz or at the very least 60Hz+). Depending on your choice of graphics card you can also look at G-Sync and Free-Sync modes.
Ultra wide Monitor Screen Resolution
When talking about screen resolution you generally have two options. 2560 x 1080 or 3440 x 1440 are the resolutions you will see deployed in most cases. These sizes provide you with a lot more width to allow for multi-tasking, or whatever you need. Most will use the extra screen size to allow for side-by-side programs, videos and even games to run at high resolutions.
The Two Port Misconception
There seems to be some sort of misconception that an ultra wide monitor will use more than one HDMI or Display Port but that is completely false. Unlike dual screens, you only need one cable meaning cable management is easy. Honestly not sure where this one came from but it seems to pop up a lot these days.
27-inch Monitors For Gaming
Is bigger better? Well, not always. In most cases, a 27-inch gaming monitor may increase the resolution from 1080p to 1440p which is the ideal resolution for a 27-inch panel. In other cases, it may upscale a 1080p resolution to a 27-inch gaming monitor – this generally looks OK for normal tasks but video games can look a little unusual with large pixel visible and “jaggies” visible on the screen, especially if you sit close to your screen. In our opinion, if you have the budget for a 27-inch monitor then you should only be looking for 1440p resolutions – that being said you need to ensure your PC has a powerful enough graphics card to run your games at a higher resolution while maintaining a high level of frames-per-second – anything above 60 FPS. We have included a short listed of the greatest monitors in the 27-inch category in our buying guide.
Above we have included the top 27-inch panels, 4 of which are 1440p and the other one is more of an honourable mention for a 1080p – never ideal at 27 inches but it is worth noting for those that want a 1080p 27-inch screen. As you can see there is a mix of budget and high performing monitors in our list.
24-inch Monitors For Gaming
In our opinion, a 24-inch gaming monitor is more than ample and is likely the size most gamers will want, need and utilise the most especially for those on 1080p. A 24-inch display will give you enough real estate to look at when deep in games mode so not to feel cramped. Not to mention 24-inch screen often provide the best bang for your buck based on quality, features and price making them the best monitor available to casual and eSports players.
A few things to consider is which panel is best for you, TN or IPS? In most cases again we suggest IPS as we all want our games to look great especially now that technology is getting better and prices are getting lower! I advise you read our quick guide about TN and IPS panels before making a choice on the screen you want.
1080p Monitors For Gaming
In most cases, gamers will be looking to keep costs down while also having a panel that compliments their gaming style, as well as being affordable. In that case, picking the top gaming monitor at 1080p comes up trumps, for most gamers. You will have an option between IPS and TN panels and with a 1080p resolution, you get more than enough screen real estate. 1080p (Full HD) has been the go-to resolution for a while now but with the increase in panel sizes, 1080p might not be wise (read our 27-inch section above for more details). Basically, if your screen size is 24 inches at most then 1080p is the way to go. If you want a larger screen then ideally you should be looking at a 1440p resolution – trust us an upscaled resolution on a 27-inch can look terrible if you sit at a normal computer desk! Distance from the screen means everything!
Games Console Monitors – PS4, PS4 Pro and XBOX One
Finding the best gaming monitors for consoles is just as important to a PC but it usually focuses on slightly different aspects.
Read our exclusive best console monitor guide for more information and help.
IPS Gaming Monitors
Buying an IPS Panel makes sense when you are looking to get the best colour and picture quality possible. In 2017 getting the best look and feel from games is just as important as getting low response times and high resolutions. Choosing the best IPS panel for your needs can be tricky, though. Above we have listed IPS panels that are affordable, reliable and provide everything you need.
TN Gaming Monitors
Playing competitively or simply want to keep your twitch reflex as quick as possible? Then a TN panel is likely the best choice. With that being said there are hundreds, if not thousands of TN panels. We have included our 5 top TN Panels, although we here do prefer IPS 🙂
Do you have a Nvidia graphics card? Then you should really be looking to make the most of it and buying a panel that supports G-Sync. In our opinion, the overall best for the money option is the Acer Predator XB241H. It costs around the $400 mark at most online shops. It is a 24-inch 1080p screen with a TN panel. There is also the Acer Predator XB271HU a 27 inch 1440p that come with an IPS panel – all the good things! That being said it is more expensive but if you’re after a 1440p screen then I would say this is your go-to option.
G-Sync is a feature found on many of the best gaming monitors have that will allow your panel and graphics card to synchronise the frames to the refresh rate. This means you get rid of that horrible shudder and tearing that can happen when your graphics card pushes too many frames at a monitor without proper frame pacing or v-sync enabled. G-Sync is a more premium feature for gamers that really want the best experience so it can come at an added cost. In my opinion, that added cost is well worth it if you’re able to pick up a high refresh screen with g-sync.
Back to the Acer Predator XB241H, as mentioned it comes with a 1080p resolution and 144Hz refresh rate. As the panel is a TN you also have the luxury of 1ms response times although the doubled edge sword does mean colour reproduction isn’t exactly as an IPS panel. The XB241H also boasts a pair of decent speakers, again there decent not great.
The AMD version of G-Sync is called FreeSync. Both technologies are effectively the same in they try to solve the same problem using different types of techniques. All us as gamers need to know is FreeSync is supported by AMD graphics cards. Overall the FreeSync panels can be a little cheaper than their equivalent G-Sync models. The trade off though is that FreeSync, although is well supported there, are times when it’s not supported as well as it should be.
Again, Acer comes to the rescue. The Acer XG270HU is one of the best FreeSync monitors that comes in a 1440p, 27 inch, 144Hz and on a TN panel. SO if you’re paying attention you can get a 1440p screen on free sync for roughly the same price as a G-Sync at 1080p – or at least we are comparing these two models as they do provide the best value for money.
1440p G-Sync Monitors
If you’re like most gamers then you have likely started moving towards 1440p. 4K might be new and shiny but let’s be honest it’s super expensive just to get up and running on medium quality settings at a decent frame rate. 1440p is much more achievable with a decent computer.
Finding a 1440p monitor for gaming with G-Sync is difficult… Oh, actually, no it’s not. We are going to assume if your aiming for 1440p and G-Sync then you have both the hardware and budget to back it all up. So with that in mind, the best value for money 1440p g-sync screen is the Acer XB271HU. Again, good ol’ Acer are top of the list. The XB271HU is a 27-inch monitor with a 1440p resolution, IPS panel, 144Hz refresh rate and importantly Nvidia G-Sync. The bonus of this model is that when G-Sync is enabled the refresh rated can be boosted from 144Hz to an eye-watering 165Hz! Acer also includes a DisplayPort cable in the box as the monitor doesn’t support any other display options. Let’s be honest, if your looking for a 1440p, 144Hz panel then DisplayPort is almost an absolute requirement. But, for Acer to include a cable in the box is just a very nice touch.
There is a slight con to this model, but only for a few competitive games. If your not a professional gamer then you really can ignore this point. The screen comes with a 4ms response time. This is simply due to the IPS panel as they are slower to update. If you reading this paragraph trying to figure if a 4ms response time is something that will bother you then you can safely assume it won’t. The people it will effect already know it.
There is also the very popular ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q which for all intended purposes comes with the same spec as the Acer XB271HU. If they were both the same price then I would say pick the one you think looks the same but generally, the Acer XB271HU can be found a bit cheaper these days. Then again, if you have the budget and like the looks of the ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q then go for it. Personally, I do prefer the ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q and I would be happy to pay a small premium for something I thought looked better but then again I’m the type of person that is happy shed out cash for pretty RAM sticks.
1440p FreeSync Panel
So if you’re on the other side of the wall and want an AMD FreeSync 1440p monitor then you’re in luck. The ASUS MG279Q is a 27-inch FreeSync monitor that can be found for around the $600 mark. It is expensive and it’s not leaps and bounds cheaper than the G-Sync selection we have recommended but it is around a $100 cheaper depending on where and when you buy it. The ASUS MG279Q does come with an IPS panel which again results in a 4ms response time but it also comes with a 144Hz refresh rate.
This model does have a quirk though where without a fix hack, you will only get around 30 to 90Hz when FreeSync is enabled. Apparently, this is an issue with this specific model and not the technology although I can not confirm this 100%. As I have said there is a fix that seems to be fairly reliable and most gamers have used it to boost the refresh rate.
Should I buy a 1080p, 1440p or a 4K monitor?
I see this being asked all over the forums and Reddit so thought I would help. If you’re not working on a small budget then I suggest aiming for 1440p. In most games, you can likely target high or even ultra quality settings with a GTX 1080 or 1070 while on a 1440p resolution. Most of the gamers I know with 4K monitors end up downgrading their resolution to 1440p just so they can upgrade the quality settings, even those with a GTX 1080 ti!
If on the other hand your looking for the best value for money then I would suggest a high refresh rate, 1080p on an IPS panel. You can generally pick up a great 1080p panel for very cheap these days, just scroll up and have a look through our guide.
When do I recommend 4K? Generally, I don’t, unless you’re an enthusiast or you have the cash for a powerful computer. That being said, if you on a GTX 1080 or 1080ti then you can probably push into the 4K realm of gaming but you shouldn’t expect frame rates higher than 60fps – not right now at least. In a year or two when the new generation of GPUs are out then, I fully expect 4K to be the new 1440p and 1440p top be the old 1080p – if that makes sense.
AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync
As mentioned previously both technologies try to solve the problem of frame pacing and screen tearing. If you have an AMD graphics card then I would generally suggest trying to find a FreeSync monitor and again of you have a supporter Nvidia GPU then I suggest you look for a G-Sync panel. FreeSync is generally cheaper than G-Sync but generally speaking it’s not something you choose based on a panel – you will likely have a GPU and will need to fit your panel to that.
Is V-Sync the same?
In a word, no. V-Sync will cap the FPS at 60 in a bid to pace frames to a capped 60Hz monitor resulting in no screen tearing. Both FreeSync and G-Sync don’t cap the FPS. Well, they do but its a lot higher than your screen can reach. Both technologies try to pace frames so they synchronise with the refresh rate of the panel. Which results in no tearing and more responsive gaming than V-sync can provide.
What should you consider before buying?
You have come across this website because you are looking to buy a new monitor, more so you probably want the best that you can afford – correct? With hundreds of monitors on the market, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a standard display and a screen for gamers. This is where we come in, we have put together a feature checklist below but also have a post dedicated to showing our readers what to look for on a monitor.
- The most important spec required is the response time. Gaming is fast paced where ever millisecond counts so you are on the hunt for the best monitor for gaming with a low response time. Anything below 6ms is considered more than good enough, with competitive gamers looking at <2ms when looking for their a screen.
- 60Hz, 120hz or 144Hz? This is a complicated question, but there is a short answer that I tend to use myself. If your PC is consistently producing less than 60 FPS (Frame Per Second) then 60Hz is best for you. And if you are consistently getting more than 60 FPS then maybe 120Hz will be the answer for you. If you have a top of the range PC then you might be looking for the best of the best, so you should be able to start looking at a 144Hz screen. I would always urge you to go with the highest Hz you can afford, purely because it provides you with room to grow your PC!
- G-Sync – this has been a godsend for gamers everywhere. G-Sync pretty much stops your monitor from showing tearing when V-Sync is disabled meaning you get fast inputs and no tearing of the monitor. V-Sync can reduce tearing but it will also increase lag time meaning twitch responses needed for fast paced games can be affected.
- Another rule is down to resolution if you have a 24-inch monitor then go with a 1080p screen. Whereas if you want a 27-inch screen then you should be looking at 1440p at least. You also have the option to for a 4K monitor, although make sure your PC will handle it!
- Do you use dual or multiple monitors? If so then you really will need to invest in a thin bezel display. This is basically the small black margin that is on the left, right and top of a monitor. Making sure these are either non-existent or at least thin will give your setup a flawless look. Something to note: If you are measuring the exact bezel width make sure you double the width because when you have two screens next to each other both will have a side bezel – this is something I have seen a lot of gamers trip over.
Be sure to check out all of our suggested models in our constantly updated best gaming monitor list at the top of this page! Also, do leave a comment and let us know what you have chosen to buy and why. We would love to know.
Updated 8th December 2017