When people boast about their gaming computers, you often don’t hear them listing off all of the great features about their monitors. You’ll likely hear about their CPU, RAM, hard drive space, graphics card, and even their power supply unit. Unfortunately, the monitor in a gaming PC setup is usually an afterthought even though it’s just as integral as any other component in the build.
The monitor you choose for your gaming computer can and will dramatically affect your overall experience with graphics and gaming. Don’t just choose the monitor that looks the prettiest or seems the cheapest; use this guide to find out which features will give you the most bang for your buck in the long run.
Best Gaming Monitors Compared & Reviewed
|Asus VS278Q-P Ultrafast LED Lit Monitor||Inputs of D-Sub, 2xHDMI and DisplayPort and Built In 2W X 2 Speaker
27-inch Full HD LED monitor, with extremely quick 1ms response time
|$$||BUY ON AMAZON|
|Acer Predator 34-inch Curved UltraWide QHD||34" Curved Display (21:9 Aspect Ratio)
3440 x 1440 (native and maximum) Resolution.233mm Pixel Pitch
60Hz (Overclocking up to 100Hz)
Signal Inputs: 1 x Display Port and 1 x HDMI 1.4 Port
|$$$$||BUY ON AMAZON|
|BenQ ZOWIE 24" Console eSports Gaming LED 1080p HD Monitor||Low Blue Light and Flicker Free technology for reduced eye strain
DisplayPort 1.2, mini-DisplayPort 1.2 and 4x HDMI 2.0 inputs
|$$||BUY ON AMAZON|
|ASUS VG248QE 24 Inch LED-Lit Monitor||Ultra smooth action with 144Hz rapid refresh rate and 1ms (GTG) response time
Built-in 2W stereo speakers
|$$$||BUY ON AMAZON|
|MX279H 27-inch monitor by ASUS||Full HD AH-IPS display with 178° wide-view angle
ASUS SonicMaster Technology, co-developed with Bang & Olufsen ICEpower for premium immersive audio
|$$$||BUY ON AMAZON|
|Samsung 28-inch Ultra Definition LED Monitor||Flicker Free and Eye Saver Mode
Realistic UHD Picture Quality. AMD FreeSync with 1ms Response
Resolution: 3840 x 2160. Mega DCR Contrast Ratio
|$$$||BUY ON AMAZON|
If you are a gamer like me, you probably know that current graphics are everything for the current generation of PC games. Many of the most recent games certainly deliver in that department, but that means nothing if you don’t have a top-quality monitor. I recently had the opportunity to use the Asus VS278Q-P Ultrafast LED lit monitor, and it certainly delivered.
Like any consumer item, the Acer Predator 34-inch Curved UltraWide QHD lit monitor has its pros and its cons. But this monitor, it’s safe to say the pros outweigh the cons here.
This monitor has a 21:9 aspect ratio and 34 inch curved screen. For gamers, this is an ultimate delicacy. This monitor is extremely crisp, and color reproduction is simply amazing. The curved monitor brings you a world first with its NVIDIA G-Sync technology. What is this you may ask? Well it’s a great feature that prevents screen tearing which is a rather valid thing to consider when you see the price tag. It’s the full 3440 x 1440 quality and 60 HZ (Overclocking to 100HZ) refresh rate that you would expect from an absolute beast. This could well be the ultimate gaming monitor.
The on-screen display gives a full 178 degree viewing angle, great for first person shooters and RPGs such as Fallout or EVE. The monitor also sports 5 USB ports and 2 Signal Inputs.
Like I said, with the Acer Predator 34-inch Curved UltraWide QHD, the pros far out weigh the cons, and with 4.5 stars out of 5 in Amazon reviews, most people seem to agree. The only real thing to mention here is the price. It’s not cheap, but then you shouldn’t expect that from a monitor that’s built to sit amongst the best.
Those monitor masters at BenQ seemingly have a monitor for every need. On the gaming front, the RL2455 is one of their game-oriented monitors that checks in at around $200. It is a 24-inch flatscreen that includes D-Sub, DVI-DL, and HDMI inputs. It also includes ports for line in/headphones.On the speed front, 1ms GTG(gray to gray) is about as fast as they come in monitors. The RL24455 boasts this speed, and it virtually eliminates blur in high-speed video. This HD monitor runs at 75Hz, so screen flicker should not be an issue. The monitor also an internal flicker dampening feature to further enhance graphical smoothness.
Ever have to adjust a monitor brightness level because the images were too dark to be seen? That is a non-issue with this monitor due to the deep black equalizer that allows the background and shadowed areas to remain dark while illuminating the colored objects more brightly.
This screen is fine to use for ordinary applications but really shines in high-demand gaming apps or when displaying fast-moving HD video. It is as impressive as many high end HDTVs, rendering colors and movements with both clarity and fluidity. Try watching an old DVD or Blu-ray on this monitor and there will be details that were not found on ordinary monitors.
The RL2455 even has a specific mode for RTS gaming. Fans of that genre will find the settings allow gamers to spot enemies or crucial items with greater ease. It also helps during team battles, where it can be difficult to determine who is who and what is happening. The speed and detail help keep gamers one step ahead.
For gamers, this is a great monitor for the price. While it may be a bit of overkill for users who simply surf the web or chat with friends, the gaming features in this monitor makes it a good buy for those looking for a premium display.
While some might complain that the ASUS VG248QE is simply too small, 24 inches is really large enough for pretty much any gamer. The LED-lit screen is perfect for those who have been having trouble with screen tearing but don’t want to mess around with vertical synchronization options.We weren’t able to notice any screen tearing problems even when we tried playing a first-person shooter at a ridiculous 144fps setting.
With a response time somewhere around a single millisecond and a very short latency, the VG248QE is one of the faster and more responsive monitors around today. Individuals with an Nvidia card can hack their graphics card driver to turn on a strobe backlight option in order to eliminate motion blur even when playing 2D games.
This option is obviously not recommended for those with any sort of sensitivity to certain light patterns. Those who enable it claim that it makes the monitor every bit as good as a CRT model.
The colors are a bit lacking, but this is generally expected of a TN panel monitor design. Those who are used to IPS panels might want to use the monitor menu settings and do a little hardware calibration before they actually use it to do any serious gaming. Further calibration through software can help to improve color definition.
Most gamers will want to stick to the standard mode. While the monitor does support a variety of night view settings, these have a tendency to ruin the monitor’s black levels. Those who play first-person shooters will especially need to ensure that they have good definition when it comes to black areas of the screen.
Some people might want to try calibrating the monitor with a Spyder4 suite, but few gamers will actually need to do this even if they’re very serious about multiplayer online games.
ASUS’s MX279H is an affordably priced mid-level gaming monitor which features a 27-inch 1080p LED display, dual HDMI ports, and several built-in speakers. The MX279H also features VGA and DVI inputs.Sleek and minimalistic, the chrome coated MX279H features a miniscule bezel width of only 0.8mm and a panel thickness of only 17mm. Though beautifully designed, the MX279H omits some standard design features. For example, the panel height is adjustable panel which may be problematic for some gaming setups.
In order to achieve a wide viewing angel of 178 degrees, the MX279H employs IPS (in-plane technology). Buyers should be aware that IPS technology is known to result in light-bleed which is characterized by a slight glowing affect around the panel’s corners.
The MX279 also features ASUS’s proprietary “Tracer Free Technology” which ASUS claims reduces the panel’s response rate to 5ms. “Tracer Free Technology” is available as a setting which may be enabled or disabled in the MX279’s internal menu. Some users report that enabling “Tracer Free Technology” results in significant artifacting in some games.
While functional and powered by an internal amplifier, the MX279H’s internal 3-watt 32mm speakers leave much to be desired, and the Sonic Master audio technology was co-designed with Bang & Olufsen. Impressive.
Available for under $300 from multiple online sellers, the MX279 is a beautiful designed monitor suitable for mid-level gaming. With features not found in similarly priced 27-inch monitors, the MX279H is a good choice for users searching for a reasonably priced gaming monitor. If you’re searching for something smaller, the model is also available in 25-inch and 23-inch panel sizes.
The Samsung 28-inch Ultra Definition LED Monitor provides crystal clear graphics and beautifully natural looking color with an easy plug and play setup that works with virtually any system. Made with gamers in mind, it boasts a respectable refresh rate and a superior design that gives it an edge over traditional HD display, and the included stand supports it at the ideal angle for perfect performance.This high-performance screen has a resolution of 3840 x 2160, which is four times that of normal HD, ensuring the most natural and fully realized viewing experience for your games, movies, photos and other media.
With over 8 million pixels, this monitor is capable of providing perfect realism, down to the finest details, with stunning clarity and color. The ultra high definition also provides one billion colors, 64 times that of standard high definition. This unparalleled color output means that transitions and fades are smoother, colors are richer and more realistic, and shading is more complex and true to life than ever before.
This Samsung LED monitor comes out of the box with its own T-shaped stand designed to hold it at a viewing angle that ensures the best visual results. This monitor is not designed to support VESA mounting and cannot be mounted to a wall, but works fine for desktop display. The plug and play interface makes it extremely easy to install and start enjoying right away, and the hookups include HDMI, DisplayPort and 3.5mm audio out, which allow it to function with almost any system. However, the powerful ultra HD of this monitor requires a superior graphics card to get the full effect of the graphics display. Paired with a graphics card that can support its exquisite detail, lush color and high refresh rate, this monitor is a stunning addition to any gaming rig or other personal computer.
What to Look for in a Gaming Monitor
Monitor Screen Size
Right off the bat, you can significantly narrow your gaming monitor search by determining an ideal screen size. Simply put, larger screens are much better at deeply immersing players in their games. However, larger screen sizes come with heftier price tags. Sizes ranging anywhere from 24-27″ will generally fit most any budget, but it helps to do a bit of hands-on research to find special deals. If you’re having trouble finding a happy medium between a comfortable screen size and a reasonable price, determine a definitive size range in which you’d like to shop and limit your search to those variables.
LED vs. LCD
In a perfect world, the choice between LCD and LED would be easy; you would choose the latter. However, LED technology is a bit pricier than LCD technology, and that is a deal breaker for many people. LED panels generally last longer, hog less electricity, and use better, more efficient technology to display graphics. To the casual user, there really is no huge difference between the two. You should only really go with LED if you have the extra money to splurge.
The black levels and contrast ratios of LCD panels are less impressive, but this won’t make a significant difference when it comes to gaming.
Gaming monitors that support higher resolution sizes will always offer better gaming experiences. Ideally, you should try to snag a monitor that can support 1080p HD (1,920 x 1,080). However, 720p (or even 1080i) is enough for those who want to stick closely to a conservative budget. Remember, a gaming monitor that can support higher resolution sizes will always deliver a crisper, more clean image.
Fast Response Time
In a gaming monitor, the response time is an extremely important aspect to pay attention to. In monitors, response time represents how long it takes for the device to update the image on the screen so that the most current information is reflected. Quite simply, a slow response time will result in terrible screen lag. This is detrimental to both single player and multiplayer facets of gaming.
Most monitors are equipped with refresh rates of 60hz, but manufacturers are now beginning to offer monitors with 120hz refresh rates. This change dramatically improves fast-paced gameplay and picture clarity. In order to enjoy the benefits of a 120hz refresh rate, you’ll need a graphics card that can also keep up. This means the card should be able to display a high rate of FPS (frames per second) at large resolutions (1080p HD).
Serious gamers should look for models that offer anywhere from 2-5 ms in response time. 6ms in response time is fine if the monitor features S-IPS panel technology.
The contrast ratio of a gaming monitor is simply a reference to how well it displays the “blackest black” and the “whitest white.” To easily understand this, you can try displaying a black screen on your monitor. Turn all the lights off in the room, and examine your monitor. You can be sure that your monitor has a high contrast ratio if it’s hard to detect your monitor in the dark. However, if the screen appears to be illuminated and gray in color, you can easily determine that the monitor has a lower contrast ratio.
Monitors with high contrast ratios will always be better at displaying colors than those with low contrast ratios. This is important for extremely immersive games that rely heavily on color display to engage users. For example, a game that features lots of darkly lit passageways or scenes will heavily benefit from a high contrast ratio. Your decision on the ideal gaming monitor shouldn’t directly hinge on contrast ratios, but they can definitely help steer that decision.
Keep in mind that the gaming monitor you ultimately choose should be able to connect to your computer, as well as many other devices. Modern displays offer connections such as HDMI, DVI-D, and DisplayPort. A VGA connection is useful, but this is only really true if you plan to connect older technology to the monitor. Newer computer builds will almost always offer either DVI-D and HDMI connections, so narrow your search to monitors that support these inputs. The last thing you want to do is purchase a monitor that is practically incompatible with your graphics card.
Over the past few years, 3D gaming has quickly managed to make its way onto the scene. While some people prefer old-fashioned, traditional gaming, others are intrigued by this new captivating style of play.
While 3D capabilities can introduce a whole new facet of gaming to users, the overall concept is still in its infantile stages. This means that it might not be quite worth the money for some users to delve into it just yet. It’s definitely not something you should base your overall buying decision on, but it’s something to look into if it piques your interest. Before shelling out the extra money for 3D capabilities, give the technology a try in order to see how it affects your gameplay style.
Luckily, most any modern gaming monitor you come across will offer widescreen capabilities. Because almost any game on the market is currently designed for wide screen viewing, it’s best to shop only for monitors that support it. Also, widescreen resolutions are great for simply watching movies or online video.
Of course, you’ll want a gaming monitor that can withstand quite a bit of gameplay over the years. Once again, LED monitors tend to outlast LCD monitors due to their more efficient technology, but they tend to cost more. With that being said, it’s worth it to note that even a basic LCD monitor can be expected to last anywhere from 40,000 to 60,000 hours. Be sure to do your research on the longevity of various models before making any purchases. In a more general sense, there’s quite a bit of truth to the old saying, “You get what you pay for.”