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Best 4K Gaming Monitors

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Krivosheev Vitaly)

With great pixels comes great image quality. So it's not surprising when PC gamers drool over monitors with 4K(aka UHD) resolution. A panel packing 8.3 million pixels (3840 x 2160) makes your favorite games look incredibly smooth and realistic. This is the highest resolution you can get in a good gaming monitor today, and it shows. Going to 4K also gives you the ability to expand past 20-inch screens. With that loaded pixel army, you can stretch your screen size well past 30 inches without having pixels so big that you can see them. 

Anyone who's shopped for a 4K monitor before knows they're not cheap, which makes your decision extra important. Yes, 4K is about high-res gaming, but you're still going to want solid gaming specs, like a 60Hz-plus refresh rate, low response time and your choice of adaptive sync (Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync, depending on your PC's graphics card). And don't forget the cost of the pretty beefy graphics card you'll need to game in 4K. 

With all that considered, if you're not 4K-ready yet, we have lower-resolution recommendations for you on our Best Gaming Monitors page.

If you’re ready to invest in high-res gaming, below is our list of the best 4K gaming monitors of 2020, chosen based on our independent testing.

Acer Nitro XV273K (Image credit: Acer)

Acer Nitro XV273K

Best 4K Gaming Monitor Overall

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 4K @ 144Hz | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Response Time (GTG): 4ms

Best Overall

The Acer Nitro XV273K is the best 4K monitor for typical gamers. It won’t disappoint speed-wise, as its 144 Hz refresh rate kept its own among other 144 Hz displays during our benchmarking.    

Image quality is also striking, thanks to added color from the DCI-P3 gamut and high pixel density (163 pixels per inch). This display doesn’t have a full-array local dimming (FALD) backlight, like the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ or Acer Predator X27, so HDR won’t have as big 5of an impact -- or a big impact at all ,in this case. But the Nitro is about $600 - $750 cheaper than those FALD displays.

Acer Predator XB273K (Image credit: Acer)

Acer Predator XB273K

Best 144 Hz 4K Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 4K @ 144Hz | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Response Time (GTG): 4ms

Best 144 Hz

The Acer Predator XB273K is our favorite monitor for gaming in 4K at the premium 144 Hz refresh rate. During fast-paced games with settings maxed, there was no blur. G-Sync worked successfully--with both standard and HDR content-- to fight screen tearing when paired with an Nvidia graphics card. The monitor kept up well with other 144 Hz displays during our testing and even beat the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ and Acer Predator X27 when it came to input lag. 

Of course, Image quality is also important. The Predator delivers with pro-level color accuracy. Again, HDR doesn't look as good as it does on the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ or Acer Predator X27 because those two display pack FALD backlights. But we consider the Predator XB273K the next best thing, plus it’s about $500 - $750 cheaper.

Samsung UR59C  (Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung UR59C

Best Curved 4K Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 32 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 4K @ 60Hz | Panel Type: VA | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Response Time (GTG): 4ms

Best Curved

The Samsung UR59C is the best curved 4K gaming monitor we’ve tested. The 1500mm curve radius on the 32-inch monitor has a tangible impact, even with a 16:9 aspect ratio. When we tested it, we opened up many windows, and those on the periphery were still visible, offering a boost in productivity potential and immersiveness. 

But take note: with a 60Hz refresh rate and no G-Sync or FreeSync, this isn’t for the most competitive players. However, casual gamers can get by. We gamed on the display with a 1080 Ti graphics card and didn’t see any input lag or screen tears with V-Sync on. Overdrive was effective too. But perhaps the best part about the UR59C is its price.

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ  (Image credit: Asus)

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ

Best HDR 4K Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 4K @ 120Hz | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 144Hz with overclock | Response Time (GTG): 4ms

Best HDR

The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ is the best 4K gaming monitor for enjoying HDR. When it comes to mouthwatering HDR delivery, nothing can beat a full-array WLED backlight with zone dimming. We were able to tell the difference in HDR games, like Call of Duty: WWII, through detailed shadows, brilliant highlights and realistic-looking textures. 

Of course, this is also a great monitor for competitive gaming, thanks to its high 120Hz refresh rate at 4K resolution that can climb to 144 Hz with overclock. The PG27UQ's closest rival is the Acer Predator X27, which has that same type of  backlight that makes HDR look its best. But the PG27UQ has a leg up on the X27 with a 1ms faster response time. 

If you have a lot of room in your budget and are seeking the best-looking 4K experience, it doesn’t get better than the Alienware AW5520QF, the first real OLED gaming monitor. With its unprecedented technology, it delivers the best image quality we've ever seen with immeasurable blacks and, therefore, theoretically unlimited contrast. 

But the Alienware OLED still isn’t perfect. Max brightness with regular SDR content is just 130 nits, while HDR only bumps it up to 400 nits. That means its potential is best realized in a darker room. But keep in mind with its large size, 150 nits is acceptable, so the Alienware is just a little off. Of course, as a splurge, it’s also expensive--even by OLED TV standards.