Best Gaming Monitors 2019: 4K, Budget and More

With all the options out there, it's easy to get overwhelmed when shopping for a new gaming monitor these days. From competing screen-smoothing adaptive fresh technologies (Nvidia G-Sync versus AMD FreeSync / FreeSync 2 HDR) and visually stunning refresh rates as high as 240Hz, to pixel-packed 4K (aka UHD) screens that are as tough on the wallet as they are on graphics cards.  

On top of that, there are different types of panels vying for your eyeballs—IPS, TN and VA—which each have their own pros and cons. And, of course, you have to consider screen size and aspect ratio, which impact both your desk space and your bank account. How's a gamer to choose? 

For a deep dive into how to make these important decisions, check out our PC Monitor Buying Guide. And if you're only interested in 4K displays, take a look at our Best 4K Gaming Monitors page. Below is a list of our favorite gaming monitors overall, based on our own testing. 

Credit: ShutterstockCredit: Shutterstock

Quick Shopping Tips

When buying a gaming monitor, consider the following:

  • G-Sync or FreeSync? G-Sync only works with Nvidia graphics cards, while FreeSync only works with AMD ones. FreeSync monitors tend to be cheaper, but performance is comparable. For a detailed comparison of the two technologies’ performance, see our Nvidia G-Sync vs. AMD FreeSync article. 

  • For image quality, TN < IPS < VA. Generally speaking. Usually, TN monitors are the fastest but cheapest due to poorer viewing angles. IPS monitors have slightly slower response times and better color than VA monitors. VA monitors have the best contrast overall but slower response times.
  • Refresh rates: bigger is better. This tells you the number of times your monitor updates with new information per second—stated in hertz (Hz)—and therefore the number of frames per second (fps) the monitor can display. Bigger numbers equal smoother images. Refresh rate is especially important for gamers, so you’ll want to shoot for a monitor with at least 75Hz (most monitors designed for gaming offer at least 144Hz), combined with the lowest response time you can find.
  • 4K will push your budget, but image quality suffers with FHD (1080p) screens larger than 27 inches. 4K gaming monitors are popular right now since they’re the highest resolution you can get in a good gaming monitor. But to run 4K, you’ll want at least a 1070 Ti or RX Vega 64 graphics card. FHD is the lowest acceptable resolution for serious gaming (and doesn’t require as beefy a graphics card) and will give you the highest frame rates, but image quality can suffer if the monitor’s too big. Our sweet spot is 32-inch QHD, which offers good pixel density and isn’t too taxing for mid-priced graphics cards.
  • Curved or non-curved? It depends on preference. Curved monitors are supposed to mimic how eyeballs see, but some notice the difference more than others. You may not like the appearance of a curved monitor mounted to a wall (it’ll stick out more) or widescreens, which most curved displays are. Some say a curved monitor is worthless if smaller than 30 inches, which has price implications. Unsure? Try one and see if you notice a difference.

Best Gaming Monitors

Acer Predator XB273KAcer Predator XB273K

1. Acer Predator XB273K

Best Gaming Monitor

Rating: 4.5/5 (Editor's Choice)

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

Pros: G-Sync • Superb gaming performance • Out-of-box color accuracy • HDR • DCI-P3 color • DisplayHDR 400-certified

Cons: Expensive

The Acer Predator XB273K is the best gaming monitor overall because of the value it brings in both gaming performance and image quality. While it doesn't match the backlight power or max brightness of the Acer Predator X27 or Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ, that’s pretty much all those two displays have over this premium display. At the time of writing, the Predator XB273K is about $500-$650 cheaper than those competitors. Plus, it comes with a removable light-blocking hood.

Read Review: Acer Predator XB273K

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

MORE: How to Buy the Right Graphics Card

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQAsus ROG Swift PG27UQ

2. Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ

Best 4K Gaming Monitor

Rating: 4.5/5 (Editor's Choice)

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 37 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 4K @120Hz | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 144Hz with overclock | Response Time (GTG): 4ms

Pros: G-Sync • Stunning image • 144Hz in 4K • Amazing SDR and HDR contrast • Over 90 percent DCI-P3 coverage • Build quality, styling

Cons: Expensive

It doesn't get better than a full-array backlight, 4K resolution and HDR10. In our testing, the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ's gaming performance was virtually identical to the very similarly specced Acer Predator X27. The Acer is more color-accurate out of box, but you can calibrate this Asus to match it. With a response time that's 1ms faster than the Predator X27, the ROG Swift PG27UQ just manages to snatch the title of best 4K gaming monitor. For more of our favorite 4K displays, check out our Best 4K Gaming Monitors page

Read Review: Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ

MORE: Best Gaming Laptops

MORE: How to Buy the Right Gaming Laptop

Dell S2718DGFDell S2718DGF

3. Dell S2718DGF

Best 144K Gaming Monitor

Rating: 4/5

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 24.5 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: QHD @144Hz | Panel Type: TN | Refresh Rate: 155Hz with overclock | Response Time (GTG): 1ms

Pros: FreeSync • Out-of-box color accuracy • Build quality

Cons: Contrast • No gamma adjustment

The Dell S2719DGF is a speed machine that boasts low input lag and can hit an impressive 155Hz with overclock. Its contrast ratio could be higher (and therefore better), but that’s common among monitors with TN panels, which are most known for their speed. On the other hand, this Dell monitor commands a feature list that's greater than its price tag. And it looks more expensive than it really is.

Read Review: Dell S2718DGF

MORE: Best SSDs

MORE: How We Test HDDs And SSDs

Acer XF251QAcer XF251Q

4. Acer XF251Q

Best Budget Gaming Monitor

Rating: 4/5

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 24.5 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: FHD | Panel Type: TN | Refresh Rate: 75Hz | Response Time (GTG): 1ms

Pros: FreeSync • Accurate, saturated color • Contrast • Build quality • Value

Cons: Inaccurate gamma • Narrow FreeSync operation window (55-75Hz)

Despite having a slower refresh rate than more expensive monitors, the Acer XF251Q still delivers strong performance and a well-saturated image. Don’t knock the 1080p resolution; at this size it actually looks great. During our testing, we enjoyed Battlefield IV and Tomb Raider without any motion blur, ghosting or frame tears. This is a great fit for those with a modest gaming rig or a budget PC build.

Read Review: Acer XF251Q

MORE: Best CPU Cooling

MORE: How To Choose A CPU Cooler

Asus ROG Strix XG35VQAsus ROG Strix XG35VQ

5. Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ

Best Curved Gaming Monitor

Rating: 4/5

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 35 inches, 21:9 | Resolution: 3440x1440 @ 100Hz | Panel Type: VA | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Response Time (GTG): 4ms

Pros: FreeSync • Stunning picture • Reference-quality color with calibration • Blur reduction

Cons: No support for HDR or extended color • Expensive

The Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ has an 1800R curvature, and its large resolution lends to ideal pixel density (107 ppi) without the need for a high-end GPU. After calibrating the display, images are very color-accurate and rich, our testing found. We also like the breathing RGB ring on the back and light-projecting stand that should appeal to modders and the style-conscious alike.

Read Review: Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ

MORE: Best Motherboards

MORE: How To Choose A Motherboard

LG 24GK950FLG 24GK950F

6. LG 24GK950F

Best Ultrawide Gaming Monitor

Rating: 4.5/5 (Editor's Choice)

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 24 inches, 21:9 | Resolution: 3440x1440 | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Response Time (GTG): 5ms

Pros: FreeSync 2 • Out-of-box color accuracy • Accurate sRGB mode • DCI-P3 color • HDR10 support • Good blur reduction

Cons: No HDR calibration option • Slight gamma errors

It’s rare to find an ultrawide with a 144Hz refresh rate. The LG 34GK950F has all that and takes things even further with wide gamut color and low framerate compensation (LFC). Despite its wider ratio, our testing revealed that this gaming monitor delivers performance on par with the best 16:9 screens. With a 1900mm curve radius, it's a little less curvy than our favorite curved gaming monitor above. 

Read Review: LG 24GK950F

MORE: Best Gaming Desktops

MORE: How To Build A PC

HP Omen X 65 EmperiumHP Omen X 65 Emperium

7. HP Omen X 65 Emperium

Best Big Screen Gaming Monitor

Rating: 4.5/5 (Editor's Choice)

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

Pros: G-Sync • Pro-level color accuracy • Excellent SDR and HDR contrast • Built-in soundbar delivers excellent audio quality • Sturdy build

Cons: Very expensive

This massive, but pricey, display comes with a bevy of extras, including a built-in Nvidia Shield box with plenty of gaming, TV and movie streaming options, an impressive soundbar, fantastic HDR and premium gaming specs. It's no one-trick pony either; the Omen is also accurate enough for photo and video work. If you can handle the hefty price tag, this BFGD lives up to its promise.

Read Review: HP Omen X 65 Emperium

MORE: Best CPUs

MORE: Intel & AMD Processor Hierarchy

Asus ROG Swift PG258QAsus ROG Swift PG258Q

8. Asus ROG Swift PG258Q

Best 240Hz Gaming Monitor

Rating: 4/5

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 24.5 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 1920x1080 | Panel Type: TN | Refresh Rate: 240Hz | Response Time (GTG): 1ms

Pros: G-Sync • Excellent motion blur implementation • High light output • OSD joystick • Styling

Cons: Expensive • Out-of-box color and gamma • Excessive ghosting at top overdrive setting

The Asus ROG Swift PG258Q is a very tempting display. Just look at its starship and steampunk styling, jaw-dropping refresh rate and groundbreaking control response and motion quality. With FHD resolution, you can expect high frame rates and the ability to game at max settings with the right graphics card. Bonus: the monitor’s base projects a colored symbol onto your desktop for even more fun. 

Read Review: Asus ROG Swift PG258Q

MORE: Best 4K Gaming Monitors

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

MORE: All Monitor Content

This thread is closed for comments
20 comments
    Your comment
  • shrapnel_indie
    waiting for a review on this one: Asus MG28UQ: (Going for as low as $513.54 USD right now) UHD, FreeSync, USB 3.0 that can charge devices, HDMA 2.0 & HDMA 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2? 1.3?


    EDIT: Yay! you did review it! (recently too): http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asus-mg28uq-28-inch-uhd-freesync-gaming-monitor,4683.html
  • Verrin
    I own an Acer XG270HU, great monitor. You have to be careful when buying it though, because some of their early production models had a firmware bug that prevented the overdrive from working properly, leading to some nasty ghosting/blur. I had to send mine in to get the firmware updated, and it wasn't a fun process. But once I got it back, I've been nothing but happy with the quality and features of this panel. IMHO FreeSync/G-Sync is probably the greatest development in gaming in the last decade.
  • rahulkadukar
    When are you planning to review Acer XB271HU, next year ?

    This list is a joke, arguably the best gaming monitor in the world is not even on the list.
  • mortsmi7
    I guess I'm the only one who desires an increase in picture quality/pixel density over screen realestate. I'll take my cheaper 1440p 27" IPS instead of a 1440p 32" LED any day.
  • apertotes
    I wish that you had added contrast to the chart. The same can be said about the professional monitors article. I really believe it is the single most important attribute on a monitor.
  • Achoo22
    I threw up in my mouth a little when I read the first line of the Asus PG279Q review: "Users looking to build a no-holds-barred rig can literally create an all-Asus system made up of premium components that deliver only the highest performance." Guerilla marketing with sponsored content much? Shame on you, Toms, for being complicit.
  • SinxarKnights
    530247 said:
    When are you planning to review Acer XB271HU, next year ?

    It is the same monitor with more inputs (really, it is exactly the same except the inputs).

    Glad I picked the Acer XB270HU, So good. Sadly mine has already developed two dead pixels in the lower left corner. Unfortunately it doesn't count as a defect for the Acer warranty and B&H won't exchange it after 90 days for dead pixels.
  • MorningstarZero
    The link and pricing you have for the AOC G2460PQ in the article is wrong. The link takes you to Amazon for the AOC G2460PQU, a similar monitor to the AOC G2460PQ except for one small problem... the PQU DOESN'T have G-Sync. The pricing appears to be closely made off the PQU which is currently $228 (I'm guessing the price changed after this article was written.)

    Here's the link for the G2460PQ: https://www.amazon.com/AOC-G2460PG-24-Inch-LED-Lit-Monitor/dp/B00SIZ8QDM/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1467372059&sr=1-1
    It's currently selling for $414.
  • sunny420
    You mention in the updates, "This month, LG makes the cut with its 34UC98..."
    I'm not seeing any information about this monitor in the article.
  • Mopar63
    I daily use the Nixeus NX-VUE24A and the BenQ XL2730Z, I ditched my IPS gaming monitors for the amazing smooth game play I can get with both of these. While they are TN panels the game play experience in no way suffers and the Freesync implementation in both is outstanding.

    I wanted to love the Acer XR341CK and bought one, then promptly returned it. Early reviews got cherry picked samples, general consumer buying was a lottery and most ended with an issue. Attempts to get support where treated with bored indifference and I know two different people that went through 3 RMAs before getting a monitor with few enough issues to keep. (They had to pay for shipping each time and Acer would not offer to compensate after the first RAM was a failure as well) Seeing all these horror stories I chose the refund route.

    I am hearing that the QA issues have finally been resolved but I feel that for the price point quality should not be a crap shoot, but the norm.
  • Wamphryi
    I own a Phillips 4K 40 inch Monitor and it is an awesome screen in just about all respects. I got it for just over $1000 NZ and have never looked back. 4K works very well on the 40 inch with no DPI scaling required.
  • sillynilly
    That AOC 24" does NOT have Gsync at that price point. Sheesh Tom's get it straight!
  • misu el gato
    thank you very much for the list guys, just a quick suggestion if i may. is it possible for you guys to put a min-max freesync range on the charts?. for example something like; "Freesync Range 30-144 Hz" instead of just the max refresh rate.

    besides that thank you for always the amazing work
  • DogFarts
    I'm curious why the Dell Gaming S2716DG wasn't included for G-sync monitors? Considering I picked one up on sale last month for ~$480 after seeing some of the quality control issues on some of the Asus monitors.
  • Merry_Blind
    I ordered the BenQ VZ2470h last week. I'm supposed to receive it today or tomorrow. I can't wait!!! You guys better not be exaggerating about its image quality, because I'm expecting it to be stellar!
  • SinisterMessiah
    What is the deal with this? All of these monitors are x1080 resolution. What about those of us that have the hardware to push higher resolution that want 144hz...is there a quality 35 inch gaming monitor out that that can support higher than 1080 and higher than 60hz?
  • kunstderfugue
    If you get a chance to review the AOC G2460PF that'd be great. I suspect it's the same panel as the G2460PQU but it supports freesync and is cheaper at the moment.
  • meric_
    I'm looking for a high hz (120-144) IPS monitor. Don't care for g-sync or freesync. resolution 1080 is enough. 27" would be better ofcourse but dont mind 23" too. Any suggestions? I can't find anyting that needs tons of money cause they all have g-sync or freesync or 2k-4k. I don't mind them. I have gtx 1070 and it can produce more then 100 FPS in most games. I just want to see those frames with IPS quality. that's all I'm asking :)
  • SteveRNG
    Can someone explain why the section on the BenQ XL2430T starts talking about Asus and Quad HD?

    ???
    Asus also includes built-in blur reduction with its ULMB feature...

    On top of that, you get a QHD (2560x1440) panel...
  • Evolution2001
    Christian, in the 60Hz, 28" 4K category, can you help clear up why you/Tom's have chosen the Asus PB287Q over the Monoprice UHD or CrystalPro that you reviewed in Feb'16? They are both TN panels in the same price segment. And the Monoprice unit received a 2016 Editor Approved stamp.