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Best 4K Gaming Monitors for PC 2020: 144Hz, Curved and More

Best 4K Gaming Monitors
Breaking down the best 4K gaming monitors we've tested. (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 resolution. A panel packing 8.3 million pixels (3840 x 2160) makes your favorite games look incredibly sharp and realistic. In addition to being the highest resolution you can get in a good gaming monitor these days, going 4K also offers 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. 

But that image quality comes at a steep price. Anyone who's shopped for a 4K monitor before knows they're not cheap. 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 system's graphics card). And you can't forget the cost of the decently beefy graphics card you'll require to game properly in 4K. 

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 (lucky you), below is our list of the best 4K gaming monitors of 2020, selected based on our own testing.

Best 4K gaming monitors at a glance:

1. Acer Nitro XV273K
2. Acer Predator XB273K
3. Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q
4. Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ
5. Acer Predator X27
6. Acer Predator CG437K
7. Acer ConceptD CP7271K
8. Alienware AW5520QF
9. HP Omen X 65 Emperium 

Quick Shopping Tips

When buying a 4K gaming monitor, consider the following:

  • G-Sync or FreeSync? A monitor’s G-Sync function will only work with PCs using an Nvidia graphics card. FreeSync will only run with PCs carrying an AMD card. Only FreeSync monitors work over HDMI (for more, see our DisplayPort vs. HDMI analysis), but we've seen negligible differences in mainstream gaming capabilities. For an in-depth comparison between the two’s performance, see our Nvidia G-Sync vs. AMD FreeSync comparison .
  • 4K and HDR go hand-in-hand. 4K monitors often support HDR (high dynamic range) content for extra bright and colorful experiences. But for Adaptive-Sync optimized for this material, you'll want a G-Sync Ultimate or FreeSync Premium Pro (formerly FreeSync 2 HDR) display. For a noticeable upgrade from an SDR monitor, opt for at least 600 nits brightness. You can learn more in our article on HDR's meaning and our buying guiding for picking the best HDR monitor.

For more help picking a monitor of any resolution--gaming or otherwise--check out our PC Monitor Buying Guide.

Best 4K Gaming Monitors 2020

The Acer Nitro XV273K is the best 4K gaming monitor for the typical user.  (Image credit: Acer)

1. Acer Nitro XV273K

Best 4K Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 4K @ 144Hz | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Response Time (GTG): 4ms | Adaptive-Sync: FreeSync 2 HDR, G-Sync Compatible

144Hz refresh rate
Super bright at over 500 nits
Accurate DCI-P3 color gamut
Solid build
No dynamic contrast means HDR only looks slightly better than SDR
Inaccurate white point in sRGB mode

For the typical player, the Acer Nitro XV273K is the best 4K gaming monitor, achieving a balance between price and performance. Speed-demons won't be disappointed. In our benchmarking, the Nitro XV273K's 144Hz refresh rate kept its own among other 144Hz displays we've tested. 

Image quality was also striking, thanks to added color from the Nitro XV273K's use of the DCI-P3 color gamut and the panel's 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 of an impact -- or a big impact at all. The plus is the Nitro is about $600 cheaper than those two displays.

Read: Acer Nitro XV273K review

The Acer Predator XB273K is the best 4K gaming monitor at a 144Hz refresh rate.  (Image credit: Acer)

2. Acer Predator XB273K

Best 144Hz 4K Gaming Monitor

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

Superb gaming performance
Out-of-box color accuracy
HDR
DCI-P3 color
Expensive

The Acer Predator XB273K is our favorite monitor for gaming in 4K at the premium 144Hz 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 144Hz 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 $600 - $650 cheaper.

Read: Acer Predator XB273K review

Asus VG289Q Ultra HD HDR (Image credit: Asus)

3. Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q

Best Budget 4K Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 28 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 60 Hz | Response Time (GTG): 5ms | Adaptive-Sync: AMD FreeSync

Good value
Accurate color
Good build quality
Average contrast
HDR looks only slightly better than SDR

You don’t often see the word budget associated with a 4K monitor, but the Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q isn’t just affordable, it’s a great gaming monitor too. Despite being just $330 as of writing, the display offers a great amount of performance, making it a fantastic value for gamers looking to get to 4K without breaking the bank. 

There was no ghosting when we gamed on the VG289Q, and overdrive successfully helped eliminate motion blur. SDR titles looked extra colorful, but there was hardly any improvement when moving over to HDR games. 

With the VG289Q priced so cheaply, it’s not surprising that its refresh rate is limited to just 60 Hz (FreeSync works down to 48 Hz). Hardcore gamers will want more Hz, but casual players can get by with fast-paced scenes showing sufficient detail and great pixel density. 

Read: Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q review

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The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ is our favorite HDR 4K gaming monitor.  (Image credit: Asus)

4. Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ

Best 4K Gaming Monitor for HDR

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

Stunning image
Amazing SDR and HDR contrast
Over 90% DCI-P3 coverage
Build quality, styling
Expensive

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 144Hz 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 small leg up on the X27 with a 1ms faster response time. 

For more on picking an HDR monitor and additional recommendations, see our How to Choose the Best HDR Monitor buying guide. 

Read: Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ review

Acer Predator X27 (Image credit: Acer)

5. Acer Predator X27

Best 4K Gaming Monitor for HDR

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 4K | Panel Type: VA | Refresh Rate: 120Hz, 144Hz with overclock | Response Time (GTG): 5ms | Adaptive-Sync : G-Sync

Excellent HDR
Extended color
Stellar gaming experience
Build quality
No brightness adjustment in HDR mode
Expensive

The Acer Predator X27 offers near-identical performance to the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ above. The Asus edges the Acer out spec-wise with a 1ms shorter response time, but in our testing we found the monitors comparable in both gaming capabilities and SDR and HDR quality. On the other hand, the Predator X27 showed a slight edge over the PG27UQ in out-of-box color accuracy and comes with a light-blocking hood. If you’re stuck between the two, your best bet is likely to opt for the one currently selling at the lower price. 

Like the PG27UQ, the Predator X27 has a FALD backlight with zone dimming that produces mouth-watering HDR. Its insane gaming specs ensured tear-free gaming at high frame rate during our testing. If you’ve got the graphics horsepower to make the most of it, this monitor sits atop the 4K gaming displays list. 

Read: Acer Predator X27 review 

Acer Predator CG437K (Image credit: Acer)

6. Acer Predator CG437K

Best Big-Screen 4K Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 43 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 4K @ 120Hz | Panel Type: VA | Refresh Rate: 144Hz with overclock | Response Time (GTG): 4ms | Adaptive-Sync : G-Sync Compatible

Perfect size for desktop gaming
Excellent contrast
HDR at 1,000 nits brightness
Great speakers
Good value
144Hz requires two DisplayPort cables and sacrificing G-Sync Compatibility and HDR support

If you’re looking for a 4K gaming monitor that’s big but still able to fit on your desk, the Acer Predator CG437K is a great fit (pun intended). During our testing, the monitor proved big enough to fill our peripheral vision from 3-4 feet away, and there’s even a remote. It’s like having an ultra-wide without the curve but with the extra height you crave.

Its gaming credentials are out of this world too. The Predator CG437K comes with G-Sync Compatibility from 48-120 Hz, and the monitor can hit 144 Hz with overclock --if you have two DisplayPort cables and don’t need G-Sync or HDR. With a big-screen VA panel boasting 4,000:1 contrast, games looked lifelike and proved a different experience than when using other premium 4K displays, including the Acer Predator X27 and Acer Predator X35.

Read: Acer Predator CG437K review 

The Acer ConceptD CP7271K is the best 4k gaming monitor for professionals.  (Image credit: Acer)

7. Acer ConceptD CP7271K

Best 4K Gaming Monitor for Professionals

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

Reference-level color accuracy
Huge color gamut
Tremendous contrast
HDR with FALD backlight at 1,000 nits brightness and G-Sync Ultimate
No portrait mode
No selectable color gamuts

The lines separating the monitor needs of gamers and professionals is blurring. Additionally, there’s nothing wrong with a video wanting to game during their free time, right? The Acer ConceptD CP271K is the best 4K gaming monitor for professionals because it boasts impressive gaming specs coupled with accurate color space coverage. 

Creative professionals can get work done with the monitor’s 110% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space, although nitpickers may find that to be slightly too colorful. You can, however, reduce color with a software look-up table. You also get great HDR output with a FALD backlight that reaches 1,000 nits. At the same time, the ConceptD CP271K brings gamers,accurate sRGB coverage (96.3%) and powerful performance that kept up with 144 Hz gaming monitors in our response time and input lag tests. 

Read: Acer ConceptD CP7271K review 

Alienware's AW5520QF OLED display is the best 4K gaming monitor for those with cash to spare.  (Image credit: Dell)

8. Alienware AW5520QF

Best 4K Gaming Monitor Splurge

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 55 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 4K @ 120Hz | Panel Type: OLED | Refresh Rate: 120Hz | Response Time (GTG): 0.5ms | Adaptive-Sync: FreeSync

Unmatched contrast, color and image quality
Phenomenal game performance
No sRGB color option
No FreeSync 2 HDR
Audio could be better
Not very bright

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 delivered the best image quality we've ever seen, boasting 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 that with its large size, 150 nits with SDR would've been acceptable, so the Alienware is just a little off. Of course, as our resident splurge, the AW5520QF's also expensive--even by OLED TV standards. And for better audio, consider the HP Omen X 65 Emperium, which features a built-in soundbar. 

Read: Alienware AW5520QF review

 HP Omen X 65 Emperium  (Image credit: Amazon)

9. HP Omen X 65 Emperium

Best 4K Monitor for Couch Gaming

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 64.5 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 4K | Panel Type: VA | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Response Time (GTG): 4ms | Adaptive-Sync: G-Sync

Pro-level color accuracy
Excellent SDR and HDR contrast
Built-in soundbar delivers excellent audio quality
Sturdy build
Very expensive

If you’re a couch gamer, you need a monitor that’s fit for replacing your TV. With a 64.5-inch display, the HP Omen X 65 Emerpium is amply equipped to do just that. This juggernaut of a gaming monitor offers larger-than-life gaming. In testing, performance matched its high price tag with zero gaming hiccups and high frame rates at high settings. 

HP also included some unique bonuses that make this monitor even more fitting for the living room. An included soundbar featuring four 4-inch woofers, two 1-inch tweeters and two passive radiators add to the feeling of immersion. The monitor also comes with Nvidia Shield Android-based streaming interface, which means gaming, TV and movie-streaming options are built right into your gaming display. A remote completes the living room package. 

And if you’re into HDR, the Omen X 65 Emperium would make a great HDR display with high contrast, according to our tests, and certification to play HDR at a minimum brightness of 1,000 nits. 

More: HP Omen X 65 Emperium review 

MORE: Best Gaming Monitors

MORE: How We Test Monitors

MORE: All Monitor Content

MORE: HDMI vs. DisplayPort: Which Is Better For Gaming?

  • Muggi1909
    hey nice job there, but can you pls take a look on this monitor too, I think personal its the best buy for the bucks if you want a 4k 144hz gaming monitor for around 800 dollars or less :)
    Acer Nitro XV273
    Reply
  • spoidz
    Did Prices just explode all of a sudden?

    Some of the best are back up to $2000 MSRP and not far below at retail. I thought we were seeing lower $1000's a week or so back.
    Or maybe I just haven't been noticing, but I have been web "window shopping" these last weeks or so.
    Reply
  • ryzengamer
    The ASUS VP28UQG freesync 1ms gaming monitor is good and affordable. It comes with a 3 years on site warranty here.
    Reply
  • BulkZerker
    spoidz said:
    Did Prices just explode all of a sudden?

    Some of the best are back up to $2000 MSRP and not far below at retail. I thought we were seeing lower $1000's a week or so back.
    Or maybe I just haven't been noticing, but I have been web "window shopping" these last weeks or so.

    This list looks like the same one they released last time. If they haven't reviewed any standout 4kmonitors why change it?
    Reply
  • fry178
    anything past 500$ is kind of useless, unless you also using it to "work" on it.
    i can buy a 49" 4K tv with 120hz and local dimming for sub 1000 (even brands like sony),
    and use a lower res like 1080 to play (tvs upscale 1080p content properly),
    which would also reduce (4K related) input lag a bit and will not require a 1070.
    Reply
  • ivoleiden
    What about the Samsung CRG90 ? 49", super ultra wide 5120 x 1440 , HDR 1000, 120hz (overclockable to 144), native freesync. I ordered one, it's coming tomorrow to replace my 32" QHD 60Hz NoHDR really looking forward!!! only 1,200 Eur!!!
    Reply
  • bendvis
    Why is the Razer Raptor 27 listed as the best 4k gaming monitor when it's a 1440p screen?
    Reply
  • JonnyDoom
    Anything less than 32 inch is to small for 4K. Things will be small and far away. 2k works though at around 28 inch.
    Reply
  • mac_angel
    spoidz said:
    Did Prices just explode all of a sudden?

    Some of the best are back up to $2000 MSRP and not far below at retail. I thought we were seeing lower $1000's a week or so back.
    Or maybe I just haven't been noticing, but I have been web "window shopping" these last weeks or so.

    Typically stores will jack up the prices before Black Friday and then they can list a sale price and post a bigger difference - "Now $800 off the previous price"
    Reply
  • mac_angel
    I'm curious with TomsHardware is going to start reviewing FreeSync TVs for gaming. You're bringing up the future of 4k OLED monitors coming, and Alienware's 55" being around $4000. Samsung's 8000 series and up (55" and up) have 4k, HDR and FreeSync. And LG's new firmware for most of their OLED TVs also enable FreeSync. All are much cheaper than Alienware's, even at bigger sizes.
    Reply