There are almost too many options when looking for a new gaming monitor these days. From competing screen-smoothing adaptive fresh technologies (Nvidia G-Sync versus AMD FreeSync and FreeSync 2 HDR) and visually stunning refresh rates as high as 240Hz to pixel-packed 4K (aka UHD) that are as hard on the wallet as they are graphics cards.
Then there are the different panel technologies vying for your eyeballs—IPS, TN and VA—which each have their own advantages and weaknesses. And, of course, there's the screen size and aspect ratio, which have as much impact on your desk space as it does your bank account. How's a PC gamer to choose?
For a deep dive into all these screen choices, check out our PC Monitor Buying Guide. And, if you're only interested in UHD displays, check out our list of the best 4K gaming monitors. Below is a list of our favorite gaming monitors overall, based on our own testing.
Quick Shopping Tips
When buying a PC 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. Typically, 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. Gaming monitors with 4K resolution are hot 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 need as beefy of a graphics card) and will give you the fastest frame rates, but image quality may 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 the manner in which eyeballs see, but some notice the difference more than others. And you may not like the appearance of a curved monitor mounted to a wall (it’ll stick out more) or if you don't like 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 out and see if you notice a difference.
Best Gaming Monitors
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
We're crowning the Acer Predator XB273K as the best gaming monitor overall because of the value it delivers in both gaming performance and image quality. While it doesn’t pack the backlight power or max brightness capability of the Acer Predator X27 or Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ, that’s pretty much all those two displays have over the Predator XB273K. At the time of writing, the Predator XB273K is about $500 (£382) cheaper than those competitors' MSRP. Plus, it comes with a removable light-blocking hood.
Read Review: Acer Predator XB273K
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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
A full-array backlight behind 4K resolution and HDR10 is as good as it gets. 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 has enough to win out 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
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3. Dell S2718DGF
Best 144K Gaming Monitor
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 better, but that’s common among monitors with TN panels, which are more known for their speed. On the other hand, this Dell monitor's feature list is greater than its price tag. It also looks pricier than it actually is.
Read Review: Dell S2718DGF
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4. Acer XF251Q
Best Budget Gaming Monitor
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 offers strong performance and a well-saturated image. Don’t knock the 1080p resolution; at this size it acually 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 build.
Read Review: Acer XF251Q
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5. Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ
Best Curved Gaming Monitor
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. As a bonus, there's a breathing RGB ring on the back and a light-projecting stand that should interest modders and the style-conscious.
Read Review: Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ
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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, while taking things further with wide gamut color and low framerate compensation (LFC). Despite its wider ratio, our testing showed this display 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
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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 certainly no one-trick pony; 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
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8. Asus ROG Swift PG258Q
Best 240Hz Gaming Monitor
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 pretty tempting with starship and steampunk styling, a jaw-dropping refresh rate and groundbreaking control response and motion quality. At FHD resolution, you can expect high frame rates and the ability to play at max detail with the right graphics card. The monitor’s base also projects a colored symbol onto your desktop, adding even more fun to the experience.
Read Review: Asus ROG Swift PG258Q
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