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.
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 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
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
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Asus 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
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
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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 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
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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 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
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Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ
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, 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
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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 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
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HP 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
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Asus ROG Swift PG258Q
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 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
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