Gaming monitor options keep expanding with new vendors, models and features. Yes, it's an exciting time to be a PC gamer, but it also means that picking the best gaming monitor for your rig is more complicated than ever. The selection can be overwhelming, from screen-smoothing technologies (Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync), to visually stunning refresh rates that can climb up to a mind-blowing 360 Hz. For pixel addicts, there are 4K screens that are as hard on the bank account as they are on graphics cards. Anyone else feeling like a kid in a toy store told to only "pick one?"
Choosing the Best Gaming Monitor for You
When seeking the best gaming monitor, there are different panel types vying for your eyeballs — IPS, TN, VA and even OLED — each with their own pros and cons. You can't forget about screen size and aspect ratio, which affect your views, desk space and, again, bank account. And we haven't even discussed bonuses like speakers, RGB or port selection (for the latter, check out our gaming analysis on DisplayPort vs. HDMI). How's a gamer to choose?
For a deep dive into how to pick the best monitor--gaming or otherwise--check out out PC Monitor Buying Guide. For those only interested in 4K displays (lucky you), visit our Best 4K Gaming Monitors page for our top picks.
Below is a list of the best gaming monitors out right now, based on our own testing.
Quick Shopping Tips
When trying to buy the best gaming monitor for your PC, consider the following:
- G-Sync or FreeSync? G-Sync only works with PCs with Nvidia graphics cards, while FreeSync only works with systems using 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 comparison article.
- For image quality, TN < IPS < VA. Generally speaking. Typically, TN monitors are the fastest but cheapest, due to weaker viewing angles. IPS displays have slightly slower response times but better color than VA monitors. The best gaming monitors for contrast are VA, but VA also has 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, how many 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 75 Hz (most gaming monitors offer at least 144 Hz), combined with the lowest response time you can find.
The Best Gaming Monitors You Can Buy Today
The Dell S3220DGF is the best gaming monitor for most. For starters, it boasts a fast refresh rate, low response time plus FreeSync 2 HDR for fighting screen tearing with both standard and HDR content. On top of that, this 32-inch monitor offers plenty of vertical screen real estate without the need for scrolling and 1440p resolution, the current sweet spot between image quality and gaming performance. Its 1800R curve also lends well to immersion, and in addition to gaming, we found that this is also a great monitor for general productivity and anything in between.
Our testing proved the display has low input lag and quick panel response for competitive gamers, and we even got G-Sync Compatibility to work on it, despite it not being certified to do so. This is a fantastic monitor for those with mid to high-budget gaming PCs.
Read: Dell S3220DGF review
The Razer Raptor 27 is the best gaming monitor for 144 Hz refresh rates. It'll make any gamer you know jealous with premium touches, like an RGB stand, flat green cables for cable management and drool-worthy build quality. Plus, HDR delivery is some of the best we’ve seen in an edge-lit panel yet.
Despite its 144 Hz refresh rate, the Raptor 27 was able to stay competitive with 165 Hz monitors in our benchmarking. There wasn't significant motion blur, but finicky, pro-level players will have to choose between dealing with it or activating the backlight strobe, which limits you to 120 Hz, reduces brightness by 40% and grays out FreeSync and G-Sync Compatibility.
Read: Razer Raptor 27 review
The Acer Nitro XV273K is the best gaming monitor for enjoying the sharp detail that 4K resolution affords. FreeSync and G-Sync Compatibility mean you can use Adaptive-Sync with both AMD or Nvidia graphics cards to fight screen tears. In our testing, it kept up with its 144 Hz rivals with just slightly more input lag, which only the most keen competitive players would notice.
Image quality looks great with the Nitro’s high pixel density, 163 pixels per inch (ppi), and the extra boost of color from its native DCI-P3 color space adds to the monitor's fantastic image depth. HDR content won't look as good as on a display with a full-array local dimming (FALD) backlight dimming, like the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ or Acer Predator X27. But it’s also significantly cheaper than those aforementioned displays. For more 4K recommendations, see our Best 4K Gaming Monitors breakdown.
Read: Acer Nitro XV273K review
While 360Hz is more speed than most gamers need and graphics cards can handle, if you're an eSports gamer (or hopeful) and want the fastest of the fast, a monitor with a 360Hz refresh rate is now the way to go. Debuting this year, gaming at this refresh rate actually brought a noticeable impact to our gameplay. With backgrounds and objects being completely blur-free no matter how fast the movement, we were tricked into thinking we were better gamers.
You can get higher-res monitors, of course, but at this speed we quickly forgot what we were missing. The monitor is also lacking extended color and is pricey, especially considering it’s a 24.5-inch, 1080p display. However, this is still a versatile monitor, thanks to great contrast (1,265:1, according to our testing) for an IPS panel that enabled productivity and other non-gaming tasks
Keep in mind that there are other 360Hz monitors coming out soon, and those also include Nvidia Reflex Latency Analyzer. That includes a version of this monitor, the Asus ROG Swift PG259QNR. Other 360Hz displays are the Acer Predator X25, Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor (AW2521H) and MSI Oculux NXG253R, but this Asus is the first one readily available.
If you’re seeking an affordable monitor that you can immediately get to gaming with right out of the box, the Acer XFA240 is for you. At 24 inches, this is the smallest monitor on our Best Gaming Monitors list, but it delivers colors true to the creator’s design, along with Adaptive-Sync with both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards.
During our testing, the Acer XFA240’s input lag and response time competed well with 27-inch 144 Hz rivals. Color was accurate before tweaking, although we can’t say the same for gamma. Another weak point is the monitor’s pixel density (911.8ppi compared to our preferred 110ppi).
But when gaming tear-free at 144 fps for $200 as of writing, it’s hard not to consider the Acer XFA240.
Read: Acer XFA240 review
The 32-inch Samsung Odyssey G7 is in a class all its own. It’s one of Samsung’s 1000R screens, meaning it’s one of the curviest gaming monitors you can find on the market. If you’re a fan of the immersive feel of a curved monitor, the 32” Odyssey G7 will elevate this experience even higher.
At 32 inches, the Odyssey G7’s amazing 1000R curve drew us in, whether we were playing games or doing work. With this curvature we could view productivity apps without any image distortion, and when gaming our vision was filled with the action. The 32-inch, 16:9 build offers ample height for productivity and, coupled with 1440p resolution, hits a sweet spot for gaming.
In terms of image quality, the 32” Odyssey G7 proved accurate before we even calibrated it while boasting a 2,121:1 contrast ratio, according to our testing.
In our response time benchmarking, this monitor kept up with similarly specced screens, doing justice to the 240Hz category. If you’re looking for high-end speed, image quality and form factor, this is it.
The best 27-inch gaming monitor is the Gigabyte G27F. It’s the cheapest 27-inch on this page but still offers steller gaming performance, elevated by a fantastic overdrive that’s one the best implementations we’ve seen lately. At max setting, the monitor’s overdrive offered a picture void of visible blur or ghosting artifacts.
In terms of speed, this 1080p screen held its own against other 144 Hz monitors when it came to response time and input lag. And speaking of that FHD resolution, the G27F’s fast refresh rate made up for its low pixel density when reaching 144 fps.
In terms of image quality, this screen offers rich and saturated color ratio and contrast that hit an impressive 1,165:1 after our recommended calibration settings (see page 1 of our review). At this price, the G27F is hard to top in the 27-inch category.
Read: Gigabyte G27F review
The ViewSonic Elite XG350R-C is less expensive than some other 35-inch ultrawides and ultrawides with less features (tere’s even RGB lighting on the back). But what you’ll really love is the vivid and accurate color that makes textures pop, skin tones look natural and everything look more realistic.
If you want life-changing HDR or to use HDR with Adaptive-Sync), look elsewhere. But in addition to boasting a 21:9 aspect ratio, the Elite XG350R-C employs an 1800mm curve radius that engulfed us with strong image quality.
The Viotek GNV34DBE is a well-performing and affordable curved gaming monitor. Its 1500R curve proved to add an immersive touch while gaming, helping to fill our peripheral vision. Despite its tight curve, we still found the GNV34DBE fit for working. There was no distortion, and we enjoyed having multiple windows open for boosted productivity.
But it’s not just about the GNV34DBE’s curve. You also get a 144 Hz refresh rate and response times and input lag that kept up with 144 Hz rivals during our testing. On the battlefield, we realized the high pixel density of a 1440p screen and smooth gaming without any screen tearing, thanks to help from AMD FreeSync. Color and contrast was competitive with pricier gaming displays too.
With its edge-lit backlight, the GNV34DBE also makes a good HDR display, offering a noticeable improvement over your typical SDR monitor. At its low price, the build quality of the stand is lacking. But for a speedy gaming monitor with an effective curve, the Viotek GNV34DBE is a solid deal.
Read: Viotek GNV34DBE review
Gigabyte’s Aorus CV27Q is the best 1440p gaming monitor when it comes to high-speed gaming performance. With its impressive specs, it shined in our input lag and response time tests when pitted against 144 Hz rivals. Sure, you could get slightly better performance from the 1080p version, the Aorus CV27F, but then you wouldn’t be getting that sharper QHD resolution or higher pixel density (109ppi).
With a VA panel offering 3,000:1 contrast, image quality is no joke either. The CV27Q has a low black level that made image depth look great, particularly with HDR titles. But as far as HDR goes, this monitor only goes up to 400 nits brightness; we prefer HDR displays that hit at least 600 nits.
Bonus features include Aorus’ active noise cancellation (ANC) feature, which uses two mics on the front bezel to reduce background noise others may hear coming from your gaming headset, a 1500R curve and RGB lighting on the back. But if money is (somehow) no object, the $2,300 Acer Predator X35 is a dream come true, and the Asus ROG Strix XG279Q on this page is a hair faster.
Read: Aorus CV27Q review
If you want to upgrade from 1080p to 1440p but don’t want to sacrifice speed, the Asus ROG Strix XG279Q (usually about $600 but currently available for $630) needs your attention. It’s the priciest of the 27-inch 1440p monitors here but offers the extra oomph in gaming performance that a hardcore enthusiasts might demand. In our testing, this monitor edged out the Aorus CV27Q on this page in response time by 1ms and beat the Aorus CV27Q and Aoris FI27Q (both on this page) in our absolute input lag testing. The typical gamer won’t notice these differences, but if you insist on the best of the best, you won’t want to overlook this pricey monitor.
That said, the ROG Strix XG279Q isn’t flawless. We noticed ghosting with motion blur on and blur when we opted for overdrive instead of motion blur (you can’t run both). Plus, you’ll likely need to do some tweaking. But you also get crazy sharp gaming with the combination of motion blur and FreeSync or G-Sync Compatibility, plus fantastic HDR due to edge-lit backlighting and a healthy dose of RGB.
The Asus TUF Gaming VG259QM isn’t the only 240 Hz monitor here, but it’s the only one that overclocks to an impressive 280 Hz so impressively. It’s not only about the high refresh rate though. It’s also the ability to incorporate FreeSync or G-Sync Compatibility alongside Asus’ Extreme Low Motion Blur (ELMB) feature that bests any monitor’s overdrive. With those features and 280 Hz, our inputs almost felt predicted. This is the kind of monitor that could actually help your game. Asus’ VG259QM topped our response time test and did admirably in terms of absolute input lag.
One of the downsides of this monitor is its HDR capability. Using an IPS panel with 1,000:1 contrast and only DisplayHDR 400 certification, HDR won’t look much better than SDR content. And, of course, you’ll need a decent graphics card to make the most out of this high-refresh screen.
If you’re looking for the best gaming monitor with an IPS panel at 27 inches, the Aorus FI27Q won’t disappoint. It has one of the best overdrive implementations on the market, and we saw no ghosting or motion blur with the right settings -- even without the blur reduction feature. The FI27Q goes the extra mile with a 165 Hz refresh rate, plus FreeSync and G-Sync Compatibility. It also bested 144 Hz rivals and even 165 Hz ones, including the Aorus CV27Q And Dell S3220DGF on this page, in our response time test. And it held its own in our input lag test too.
IPS panels are known for great color, and the FI27Q's color implementation is near-perfect. It outshines in accuracy, besting also excellent competitors, like the Asus ROG Strix XG279Q above. With DCI-P3 being the FI27Q's native color space, the FI27Q packs extra color than what you’re used to on a native sRGB monitor. With SDR games, we enjoyed high color saturation, even if it wasn’t totally accurate. You don’t get the same contrast as you would with VA (1,000:1 contrast ratio), but black levels are better than any other IPS gaming monitor we’ve tested.
This monitor supports HDR content, but isn’t the best HDR monitor. In fact, we hardly noticed a gain over an SDR monitor. Plus, you’re likely to find rivals offering more value. But the FI27Q ultimately delivers a superb image with premium gaming capabilities.
Read: Aorus FI27Q review
For speed demons it doesn’t get better than a monitor with a 240 Hz refresh rate (we're still waiting for 360 Hz monitors from Asus and Alienware). Usually, that level of speed requires two things: settling for 1080p resolution and a TN panel. But the Samsung 27-inch CRG5 (there’s also a 24-inch CRG5) is the best gaming monitor in this class. It's special because it manages that speed in our favorite type of LCD panel, VA. Not only does it deliver the high contrast and saturated color that makes VA popular, it’s the fastest monitor we’ve ever tested.
We encountered few flaws during testing. The biggest one in terms of image quality was an inaccurate HDMI Black Level setting. Additionally, the only form of Adaptive-Sync is G-Sync Compatibility. But besides those small caveats, our gaming experience was a record-breaking pleasure.
For a big-screen experience, the Acer Predator CG437K is the best gaming monitor. It filled our peripheral vision (horizontally and vertically) better than an ultra-wide. You can also still fit it on a desk; the image will sit about 6 inches above your desktop -- ideal for sitting approximately 3 feet away. It also comes with a handy remote and great speakers, making it fitting for a living room.
But besides its flattering size, the CG437K’s gaming performance is on point. Its 120 Hz refresh rate is overclockable to 144 Hz, and in our tests that overclock competed well with 144 Hz displays and even the 165 Hz Dell S3220DGF above, although you won’t be able to hit that while running G-Sync Compatibility or with HDR content.
The Predator CG437K supports HDR at the premium level of 1,000 nits max brightness without any halo effect. Of course, this monitor doesn’t come cheap: It's about $1,2404 s of this writing. But it checks a lot of boxes at a drool-worthy size.
A monitor at this price is out of the question for many, but the Acer Predator X35 is exemplary of the type of monitor we’d love to have if price weren’t an object. With an impressive 180 Hz refresh rate and 2ms response time, it surpassed expensive rivals, such as the Acer Predator X27a and Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ in our response time and input lag tests.
After calibration, contrast on this VA panel was 2,237:1, and HDR was fantastic, due to the Predator X35 full-array local dimming (FALD) backlight. Combined with certification to hit a max brightness of at least 1,000 nits, the Predator X35 greatly outperformed other screens when it came to HDR gaming.
Read: Acer Predator X35 review
If you’ve been wanting to try out an HDR monitor but can’t afford the best HDR monitors with FALD backlights, the ViewSonic Elite XG270QC is worth a look. It’s not quite FALD-quality, but with edge-lit backlighting, the runner-up, and a VA panel, this monitor’s HDR performance will definitely give you a noticeable upgrade over SDR.
In our benchmarks, this monitor kept up with other 165 Hz screens, such as the Dell S3220DGF above. For under $500, the XG270QC also delivers 1440p resolution with on-point gamma. Even without HDR, contrast hit 2,897:1 with our calibration settings. Plus, you get a surprisingly loud pair of 3W speakers.