Out with the old, in with the new. Yes, we’re waving goodbye to the long-standing standard gaming resolution, which is 1080p.
In just a span of a few years, 1440p has slowly taken the place of this once-popular standard, and for a good reason: 1440p monitors are easily accessible and affordable now, not to mention how easy it is to run games at such resolutions.
We’ve rounded up the best 1440p gaming monitors of 2020, so read along to find the option tickles your fancy the most!
What is 1440p Gaming?
Gaming in 1440p resolution means that you have 2560×1440 (3440×1440 for ultrawide panels) pixels to work with. This equates to a whole lot more detail on a monitor’s screen than, say, a 1080p unit would have. As such, the pixel density allows your game to improve graphic quality output, resulting in more vivid colors and smoother details. It is also referred to as 2.5K or QHD(Quad High Definition), as it is four times as large as the High Definition resolution, 720p.
Do bear in mind that as you go up in the ranks of monitor resolutions, the demand for more performance also goes up. Ensure that your PC can output the needed frames or has the necessary power to make 1440p gaming a viable experience. That being said, here are some of the best 1440 gaming monitors around to take your gaming sessions to another level.
1440p is something that is only relevant for PC gamers. Playstation and Xbox currently can’t output games to this display ratio due to scaling.
The Best 1440p Gaming Monitors 2020
When it comes to gaming peripherals, ASUS doesn’t disappoint especially with their gaming-dedicated sub-brand, ROG. The ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q is one of the best 1440p high-performance monitors around, thanks to its competitive blend of specifications and features that will suit the needs of a high fps gaming setup.
This monitor sports a decent 27-inch panel that works well with the 2560×1440 resolution, not too small that it completely defeats the purpose of improved image quality, nor too large that pixel distinction is noticeable at normal viewing distances. It also boasts a high-quality IPS panel that offers a wide viewing angle of about 178° while providing a vivid color reproduction versus its panel counterparts.
You also get the benefit of smooth, high framerate gaming thanks to the 144 Hz refresh rate it sports, and knowing the ROG lineup, you can even ramp it up to 165 Hz by overclocking to take advantage of more powerful graphics cards. You also get the added benefit of Nvidia’s proprietary G-Sync technology (only works with Nvidia graphics cards) to combat screen tearing without worrying about added input lag that occurs when you use in-game Vertical Sync instead.
Connectivity is on the low side, however, as the ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q only features one HDMI and DisplayPort ports each, along with a 3.5 mm audio jack and two USB 3.0 ports. It also has a wide range of adjustability thanks to its swivel stand to provide you with optimal angle positioning.
Another ASUS entry, but this time from the TUF (The Ultimate Force) family comes the ASUS TUF VG27AQ. TUF is known for providing viable gaming solutions for reasonable prices, unlike the steep figures of the ROG series. It still comes with an IPS panel to provide you with great viewing angles and an improved level of color reproduction.
Just like its ROG counterpart, the ASUS TUF VG27AQ sports a 144 Hz refresh rate that can be overclocked to 165 Hz, maximizing the ability of your graphics card to output the needed frames for a buttery-smooth gaming experience. This makes the monitor viable for first-person shooters and competitive esports titles that rely on fast reflexes to emerge victoriously. Paired with low input lag and response time, you can rely on it to deliver an accurate and enjoyable gaming performance no matter the task at hand.
It also makes use of AMD’s own variable refresh rate technology, Freesync, which takes the load off the graphics card in lining up its frame output with the monitor’s refresh rate, resulting in a tear-free gaming experience. It does have a low contrast ratio and its HDR mode can’t fully utilize the technology due to the lack of lighting power, but for what it’s worth, the ASUS TUF VG27AQ already has a great color profile out of the box.
In terms of ergonomics, the ASUS TUF VG27AQ monitor has a slim device footprint with an excellent swiveling stand to allow you to reposition the panel at your desired angle. You also get two HDMI 2.0 ports and one DisplayPort 1.2 port.
While most 1440p monitors sport the standard 2560×1440 pixel count, ultrawide options stretch the horizontal dimensions of the display greatly, like the LG 34GK950F. This particular unit hosts a whopping WQHD resolution of 3440×1440, allowing you to enjoy your game’s in-game periphery to great effect.
It features an IPS panel that provides great color reproduction capabilities and improved viewing angles versus its counterparts. Along with that, you are greeted by a 144 Hz refresh rate to allow you to enjoy a crisp and smooth gaming experience, especially with titles that need high framerates like esports games and competitive shooters. Paired with very low input lag and response times, you get a blur-free, responsive display that you can game on casually or competitively.
It supports AMD’s variable refresh rate technology, Freesync, which synchronizes the frame output of your graphics card with each refresh of the monitor’s panel, resulting in a tear-free gaming experience and more consistent graphics performance, as the graphics card is offloaded of the said function and is instead provided by the monitor itself. What’s amazing about Freesync-equipped panels is that they are compatible with both AMD and Nvidia’s cards, unlike G-Sync which is only exclusive for Nvidia products.
Apart from that, the LG 34GK950F offers a wide color gamut for HDR gaming and is very color accurate out of the box, which isn’t only good news for gamers, but for content creators as well. For ergonomics, it has a slender swivel mount that doesn’t take much of your desk space and offers tons of connectivity with 2 HDMI ports, 1 Display Port, 3 USB ports, and an audio-out headphone jack port.
For those on a tight budget, we have the affordable yet competitive AOC AG271QX monitor. AOC is a known brand for producing displays for various applications, and just like Asus, has their own sub-brand dedicated for gaming – the AGON series. This particular monitor is slightly smaller than the other options on this list, but don’t let it fool you, as it still provides the same performance and resolution as the others in a smaller panel area.
The AOC AG271QX sports a TN panel, which doesn’t have the same viewing angles as an IPS, as well as color reproduction, as they are often worse. The tradeoff, however, is that TN panels are cheaper to come by and offer the lowest input lag and response time for in the budget section. Competitive gamers like those in first-person shooters or esports fields prefer TN panels for the absurd response level and smoothness they offer – this is important as high stakes are on the line in these tournaments.
Also, it is equipped with a 144 Hz refresh rate to maximize the high framerate output of your graphics card. As such, ensure that you have a capable system of utilizing the power of this output device. More than that, you get dual compatibility with the variable refresh rate technologies Freesync and G-Sync, allowing users of AMD Radeon and Nvidia cards to use the monitor with great ease.
It is also one of the sleekest-looking models around, boasting ultra-thin bezels, a rotating mount with thin legs, and a matte display finish. For connectivity, you get 2 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, and 2 USB ports, ensuring you have a lot of options for your high refresh rate gaming setup.
While Dell is mostly known for its products in the office and productivity markets, it holds its own in the gaming scene quite well. The Dell S3220DGF is one of the brand’s offerings for all the hardcore gamers out there, rocking a 32-inch display that is larger than most 1440p monitors. This means that you can enjoy and appreciate the level of detail in games more due to the larger screen area, as it brings out even the most obscure of in-game elements without marring the image quality with pixel stretch.
It sports a VA panel, which is sort of a middle ground between TN and IPS panels, as it has better viewing angles than a TN but has slightly poorer color reproduction versus an IPS – all while retaining low response time and input lag figures. You are treated to a blur-free, responsive gaming experience that is further enhanced by the 165 Hz refresh rate for that slick and seamless video performance that’s suited to both competitive or triple-A games.
Furthermore, the Dell S3220DGF is equipped with variable refresh rate technologies like Freesync 2 HDR (which works with both standard and HDR content) and G-Sync (although not officially announced). This allows you to enjoy gaming by eliminating screen tearing without adding input lag and maximizing graphics card power to pushing out consistent frames. Its high native contrast and brightness also compensate for the slight amount of color detail unattainable for VA panels.
You get basic HDMI and DisplayPort connectivity, which is already more than enough if you have one gaming PC or console. This is also the first curved monitor on our list, with a 1800R rating that improves immersion, as well as adding multiple-monitor functionality thanks to its sleek and seamless borders.
We’re throwing some love the way of our ultrawide connoisseurs again, this time with the ViewSonic Elite XG350R-C. This 35-inch curved beauty has a 1800mm curve radius to wrap around your peripheral vision quite nicely without being too intrusive, improving gaming immersion greatly. While it features a VA panel, you’ll have no problem with viewing angles due to its curved structure and high contrast/color accuracy out of the box.
However, it only sports up to 100 Hz in refresh rate capabilities, which might be lacking for competitive gamers looking to run their shooters or esports games on this monitor. That being said, hitting the 100 Hz ceiling with your current frame rate is quite a leap from, say, 60 Hz. This will suffice for triple-A or sandbox titles that do not demand as much frame performance due to the casual nature of the gameplay.
It has low input lag fora accurate in-game feedback and has a 3 ms response time to avoid the occurrence of blurring. Also, the monitor comes with support for AMD’s Freesync technology, which helps in eliminating screen tearing without adding input lag altogether. This also offloads some of the work from the graphics card to the monitor itself, allowing it to dedicate more of its rendering power to the game and push out a consistent, high frame rate.
While the ViewSonic Elite XG350R-C offers HDR capabilities, its difference from standard mode is negligible. The design is as gamer-y as it gets, with sleek accents in the back, a notable thin bezel layout, and hints of some RGB lighting adorning the rear. You get plenty of connectivity options as well, with 2 HDMI ports, one DisplayPort, and 4 USB 3.0 ports – whose cables you can tidy out with the included cable management loop in the monitor mount.
While Gigabyte was mainly involved in manufacturing PC components in the past years, the brand recently branched out to the gaming display market with the likes of the AORUS CV27Q monitor. This gaming display adopts the standard 27-inch format and is armed with a VA panel, boasting great color representation and color contrast in comparison to TN variants.
One of the main selling points of this gaming monitor is the uber-fast 1ms response time and super-low input lag, which when paired with its 165 Hz refresh cap, makes it one of the best competitive gaming displays in the 1440p arena. It also supports variable refresh rate technologies like Freesync and G-Sync (unofficially), which improves the gaming experience further thanks to the non-existent screen tearing promoted by these features.
The AORUS CV27Q offers decent reproduction of blacks to add more distinction with image depth, but its HDR mode doesn’t offer as much brightness versus competing models. It does come with nifty features like active noise cancellation via two microphones and some RGB bling on the back for added style points. You get basic connectivity as well, like HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB, which are often the most needed for gaming monitors.
If you want to step up into IPS territory without sacrificing gaming performance, the Aorus FI27Q is one of the best high-refresh-rate solutions in the market right now. While it does come at quite the price, the level of craftsmanship, and how it translates your game visually puts it in a league above the competition.
As mentioned above, the Aorus FI27Q has an IPS panel to provide the best viewing angles possible without compromising image quality, especially its high contrast and accurate color reproduction. It also comes in a 165 Hz refresh rate buffer, allowing both casual, high-definition games and competitive titles to be run at silky-smooth goodness. Of course, this can’t be achieved if not for the crazy low input lag and 1 ms response time of the monitor, eliminating motion blur and enhancing reflex-based actions in games.
It also boasts a DCI-P3 native color space, which offers a wider range of colors versus native sRGB monitors. This means improved color saturation in SDR mode, as well as improved black levels over other IPS channels. HDR is another story, however, as there is hardly any significant improvement over SDR when activated.
It offers 2 HDMI ports, 1 DisplayPort, 2 USB ports, and an earphone jack for connectivity. As it is part of the Aorus gaming sub-brand of Gigabyte, the Gigabyte AORUS FI27Q sports a gamer aesthetic thanks to its ultra-thin bezels, a customized swivel mount with a light-up Aorus logo, and RGB lighting accents on the back of the display.
If you’re confident that your rig can output a bajillion frames per second, why not put it to the test with the HP Omen X 27 240Hz? This gaming monitor from HP has one of the highest framerate buffers in the industry, clocking at a whopping 240 Hz – this is made possible due to the utilization of a TN panel. Of course, you get the tradeoff in color reproduction and viewing angles, but who needs beauty when frames win games?
It boasts a low 3 ms response time and close to zero input lag, providing minimal ghosting while seamlessly syncing your real-time reflexes to in-game actions. It also supports AMD’s Freesync 2 HDR technology, offering screen tearing resistance in both SDR and HDR content. With all of these features working together, competitive gamers will find landing that perfect headshot or releasing that final power-up flawlessly smooth.
It offers a single HDMI port and DisplayPort for video connectivity, with two additional USB 3.0 ports for your convenience. The HP Omen X 27 240Hz holds one of the sleekest designs in this list, with a thin panel and bezels, a simple swivel neck, and minimalist stand mount that emphasizes the monitor’s neat edges.
Another option that’s hard to ignore in the 1440p playing field is the BenQ EX2780Q. This 27-inch workhorse sports an IPS panel to provide you a good level of color accuracy out of the box, as well as optimal viewing angles. This is great for immersive titles and triple-A games as these usually feature detail-rich environments that are best enjoyed in IPS-equipped displays.
That being said, the BenQ EX2780Q isn’t a slouch in competitive gaming as well, providing a 144 Hz refresh rate for those who want to use it for first-person shooters and esports titles. Of course, response time clocks in at 5 ms while input lag is very low, providing gamers a blur-free and instantaneous reflex translation experience.
You also benefit from the Freesync support it offers, allowing both AMD Radeon and Nvidia graphics card users to experience a tear-free gaming experience, which can be frustrating at high refresh rates. The BenQ EX2780Q also boasts its HDRi technology, which is an intuitive version of HDR that can sense the lighting conditions of your surroundings to adapt the current screen’s output to an optimal image boost level.
The BenQ EX2780Q keeps its aesthetic simple, which is enhanced by the thin side and top bezels. The bottom is notably thick due to the built-in 2.1 channel speakers that you can use in case headphones aren’t your thing. You get 2 HDMI, a DisplayPort, one USB Type-C, and a 3.5 mm audio port for connectivity.
Factors to Consider When Buying
Choosing your very first 1440p gaming monitor might seem to be a daunting challenge at first due to the technical jargon that manufacturers incorporate in their marketing copy. Fret not, however, as we’ll simplify the terms and factors to look out for before you jump the gun.
Capable Gaming Rig
Before anything else, ensure that your gaming PC can handle the demands of a 1440p monitor. As these monitors usually carry resolutions of 2560×1440 or 3440×1440, the demand for graphical rendering power is increased. Make sure that your rig has a capable mid-range or high-end graphics card to push out the needed frames per second for a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience.
Refresh rate is the number of times a display “redraws” the whole screen image per second and is measured in Hertz (Hz). Most monitors carry the standard 60 Hz refresh rate, which is already decent in providing a smooth gaming experience. However, gaming monitors are slowly climbing up the refresh rate ladder starting with the new 144 Hz standard. 144 Hz offers significant gains in movement smoothness over 60 Hz and is a no-brainer choice for casual and competitive gamers alike.
Input Lag and Response Time
Input lag and response time are also vital aspects that gaming monitors should prioritize over other features, and are often mistaken as either one. Input lag refers to the amount of delay between a key or button press on your keyboard/mouse/controller and its translation into in-game action. Most gaming monitors have super-low input lag figures that make them viable for competitive games as a split-second can often dictate the entire course of a match.
Response time refers to how fast a single pixel can go from inactive (black) to active (white) to inactive. This determines the amount of ghosting that occurs, which blurs the screen during high motion movements and scenes, which can be quite irritating to the eyes and can often cause headaches. A good gaming monitor should have no more than 5 ms of response time to improve image quality and performance, as well as user convenience.
Panel type matters depending on what you are trying to achieve with your game. There are three main panel technologies used in most gaming monitors: IPS, TN, and VA. Each of these panels has its own pros and cons, so take into account the games you will be playing before deciding on a monitor.
IPS is best known for its impressive color representation and viewing angles, making it a great choice for open-world games and triple-A titles. Meanwhile, a TN panel has poor color representation but has the lowest response time to make up for it – which makes it a popular choice for competitive gamers. Lastly, a VA panel lies in the middle of the two, boasting a high native contrast ratio but is often plagued by the highest response time and is often preferred by casual gamers.
While most gamers usually have one gaming PC connected to a monitor, it doesn’t hurt to have extra ports at the ready. HDMI is one of the most popular media standards for gaming monitors now – having 2 or more means you can connect your console or laptop to it as well. DisplayPort is also gaining popularity due to its significant improvements in terms of data bandwidth and overall gaming performance. Gaming monitors usually have one DisplayPort option, but some high-end units carry 2 for extra connectivity for, say, streamers.
Most gaming monitors also accommodate the connection of other devices such as keyboards, mice, and speakers through built-in USB ports. This can be handy especially when your gaming PC’s USB ports are fully populated with devices.