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

(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(aka UHD) resolution. A panel packing 8.3 million pixels (3840 x 2160) makes your favorite games look incredibly smooth and realistic. This is the highest resolution you can get in a good gaming monitor today, and it shows. Going to 4K also gives you 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. 

Anyone who's shopped for a 4K monitor before knows they're not cheap, which makes your decision extra important. 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 PC's graphics card). And don't forget the cost of the pretty beefy graphics card you'll need to game in 4K. 

With all that considered, 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, below is our list of the best 4K gaming monitors of 2020, chosen based on our independent testing.

Quick Shopping Tips

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

  • 4K monitors are even more expensive if you want 144Hz. If you want to save some money, take a look at monitors with a lower refresh rate. You can get away with a 60Hz if it has G-Sync or FreeSync.
  • 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, 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 and what it means for your monitor.

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

Best 4K Gaming Monitors

Best 4K Gaming Monitor

Acer Nitro XV273K (Image credit: Acer)

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

Super bright at over 500 nits
Accurate DCI-P3 color gamut
144Hz refresh rate
G-Sync Compatible (without HDR)
Solid build
No dynamic contrast means HDR only looks slightly better than SDR
Inaccurate white point in sRGB mode

The Acer Nitro XV273K is the best 4K monitor for typical gamers. It won’t disappoint speed-wise, as its 144Hz refresh rate kept its own among other 144Hz displays during our benchmarking.    

Image quality is also striking, thanks to added color from the DCI-P3 gamut and 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 5of an impact -- or a big impact at all ,in this case. But the Nitro is about $600 - $750 cheaper than those FALD displays.

Read Review: Acer Nitro XV273K

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Best 144Hz 4K Gaming Monitor

Acer Predator XB273K (Image credit: Acer)

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

Superb gaming performance
Out-of-box color accuracy
DCI-P3 color
DisplayHDR 400 certified

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 $500 - $750 cheaper.

Read Review: Acer Predator XB273K

Best Curved 4K Gaming Monitor

Samsung UR59C  (Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung UR59C

Best Curved 4K Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 32 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 4K @ 60Hz | Panel Type: VA | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Response Time (GTG): 4ms

Stunning picture
Accurate after calibration
Quality build
Effective curvature
No G-Sync or FreeSync
No USB ports
Needs calibration

The Samsung UR59C is the best curved 4K gaming monitor we’ve tested. The 1500mm curve radius on the 32-inch monitor has a tangible impact, even with a 16:9 aspect ratio. When we tested it, we opened up many windows, and those on the periphery were still visible, offering a boost in productivity potential and immersiveness. 

But take note: with a 60Hz refresh rate and no G-Sync or FreeSync, this isn’t for the most competitive players. However, casual gamers can get by. We gamed on the display with a 1080 Ti graphics card and didn’t see any input lag or screen tears with V-Sync on. Overdrive was effective too. 

But perhaps the best part about the UR59C is its price. Relatively speaking, this is a cheap 4K monitor, currently selling for just $450.

Read Review: Samsung UR59C 

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Best HDR 4K Gaming Monitor

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ  (Image credit: Asus)

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ

Best HDR 4K Gaming Monitor

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

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

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

Read Review: Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ

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Best 4K Gaming Monitor Splurge

 Alienware AW5520QF  (Image credit: Dell)

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

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 delivers the best image quality we've ever seen with 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 with its large size, 150 nits is acceptable, so the Alienware is just a little off. Of course, as a splurge, it’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 Review:  Alienware AW5520QF

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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
  • 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.
  • ryzengamer
    The ASUS VP28UQG freesync 1ms gaming monitor is good and affordable. It comes with a 3 years on site warranty here.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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!!!
  • bendvis
    Why is the Razer Raptor 27 listed as the best 4k gaming monitor when it's a 1440p screen?
  • 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.
  • 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"
  • 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.