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Best Gaming Monitors 2021: Budget, 144Hz and More

Best Gaming Monitors
Breaking down the best gaming monitors, from 4K to budget (Image credit: Shutterstock / OHishiapply)

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. You can technically run G-Sync on a FreeSync-only monitor, but performance isn't guaranteed. 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 because it balances price and performance.  (Image credit: Dell)

1. Dell S3220DGF

Best Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 32 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 @ 165 Hz | Panel Type: VA / W-LED, edge array | Refresh Rate: 165 Hz | Response Time (GTG): 4ms

High contrast and brightness
165Hz refresh rate
Nice build quality
No sRGB mode
No gamma presets

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 144Hz gaming monitor, boasting fantastic image quality.  (Image credit: Razer)

2. Razer Raptor 27

Best 144 Hz Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 @ 144 Hz | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 144 Hz | Response Time (GTG): 4ms

Excellent HDR contrast
Saturated color
Near-100% DCI-P3 coverage
Fantastic style and build quality
No true sRGB color mode
User must manually switch between SDR and HDR modes

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

If you want the best 4K gaming monitor, check out the LG 27GN950-B (Image credit: LG)

3. LG 27GN950-B

Best 4K Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches,16:9 | Resolution: 4K | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 144 Hz | Response Time (GTG): 1ms

Excellent HDR
Wide and accurate color gamut
Fast and responsive
Oversaturated sRGB mode

For a sharp, high-res, premium gaming experience, the LG 27GN950-B is the best 4K gaming monitor. This screen achieved some of the best input lag scores we’ve ever seen, with response time numbers falling in line with other 144 Hz monitors. If you have a powerful enough graphics card to support high frame rates in 4K, this monitor will have no problem keeping up. 

Games will look extra colorful on the LG 27GN950-B, thanks to a color gamut that extends up to a whopping 133.9% of sRGB. HDR, meanwhile, looks amazing, due the monitor’s edge array backlight and local dimming feature. HDR content enjoyed a 8,475.3:1 contrast ratio, making this a great substitute for a pricier FALD monitor.

But if you're looking for a larger 4K screen or other features, check out our best 4K gaming monitors list. 

Read: LG 27GN950-B review

best gaming monitor esports

The Asus ROG Swift PG259QN gaming monitor lets you hit a mind-blowing 360Hz.  (Image credit: Asus)

4. Asus ROG Swift PG259QN

Best Gaming Monitor for eSports

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 24.5 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 360 Hz | Response Time (GTG): 1ms

Excellent IPS contrast
Unparalleled speed and response
No extended color

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. Gaming at 360Hz on the Asus ROG Swift PG259QN ($700 as of writing) 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, the PG259QN 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 

Note that there's a version of this monitor with the Nvidia Reflex latency analyzer, the Asus ROG Swift PG259QNR. It's more expensive ($880) but also comes with a compatible Asus mouse.

Read: Asus ROG Swift PG259QN review  

The Alienware AW2521H is one of the best gaming monitors you can get for eSports.  (Image credit: Alienware)

5. Alienware AW2521H

Best eSports Gaming Monitor Alternate

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 24 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 360 Hz | Response Time (GTG): 1ms

Fastest refresh rate you can get 
Nvidia Reflex performance analyzer
Average SDR contrast
No FreeSync

The Alienware AW2521H offers a very similar experience to the other 360Hz monitor on this page, the Asus ROG Swift PG259QN. If only one is available, you can’t go wrong. Both offer equal image quality; however, at the time of writing, the Asus is available for a little cheaper. The biggest difference between the two is that the Alienware includes Nvidia’s Reflex latency analyzer. With a current price of $725, that makes it a better value over Asus’ s ROG Swift PG259QNR, which includes Nvidia Reflex and a compatible mouse for $880. But you’ll have to buy your own mouse to reap the full benefits of the latency analyzer if you opt for the Alienware.

But just like the Asus, the Alienware provides noticeable input lag improvements. With a 3ms draw time, there was absolutely no motion blur to be found. The AW2521H  lives up to our expectations for a 360Hz screen. Alienware didn’t include FreeSync, but G-Sync’s available down to 48 Hz. Contrast with SDR content (890:1 out of the box) could be better, but HDR looks great, thanks to the AW2521H’s edge array backlight 

Read: Alienware AW2521H review

 The Acer XFA240 is a budget gaming monitor with accurate colors.  (Image credit: Acer)

6. Acer XFA240

Best Budget Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 24 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Panel Type: TN | Refresh Rate: 144 Hz | Response Time (GTG): 1ms

Out-of-box color accuracy
Smooth tear-free gameplay
FreeSync and G-Sync Compatible
Good build quality
Low pixel density
Gamma slightly off the mark

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

If you care to splurge, the Samsung Odyssey G7 is nearly perfect.  (Image credit: Samsung)

7. Samsung Odyssey G7

Best Gaming Monitor Splurge

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 32 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Panel Type: SVA | Refresh Rate: 240 Hz | Response Time (GTG): 1ms

Size and shape ideal for gaming or work
Low input lag
No speakers

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. 

Read: Samsung Odyssey G7 32-inch review 

best gaming monitor 27 inch

With premium image quality and overdrive the Gigabyte G27F is the best 27-inch gaming monitor.   (Image credit: Gigabyte)

8. Gigabyte G27F

Best 27-inch Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 144 Hz | Response Time (GTG): 1ms

Good contrast
Superb overdrive
Slightly dark gamma
No sRGB gamut option

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 Acer Predator X35 is the best ultrawide gaming monitor if you can afford it.  (Image credit: Acer)

9. Acer Predator X35

Best Ultrawide Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 35 inches, 21:9 | Resolution: 3440 x 1440 | Panel Type: VA | Refresh Rate: 180 Hz (200 Hz with overclock) | Response Time (GTG): 2ms

512-zone FALD backlight
1,000 nits brightness with HDR
Jewel-like build quality

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

The ViewSonic Elite XG350R-C gaming monitor is a fantastic ultrawide value.  (Image credit: ViewSonic)

10. ViewSonic Elite XG350R-C

Best Budget Ultrawide Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 35 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 3440 x 1440 | Panel Type: VA | Refresh Rate: 100 Hz | Response Time (GTG): 3ms

Excellent contrast and accurate color
Fast response from 100 Hz refresh rate
Good build quality
Loud speakers
No additional contrast in HDR mode
No extended color

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. 

Read: ViewSonic Elite XG350R-C review

The Viotek GNV34DBE is both curvy and affordable for the specs.  (Image credit: Viotek)

11. Viotek GNV34DBE

Best Curved Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 34 inches, 21:9 | Resolution: 3440 x 1440 | Panel Type: VA | Refresh Rate: 144 Hz | Response Time (GTG): 4ms

Effective overdrive
Needs calibration for best results
Wobbly stand
Low, with no height adjustment

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

The Aorus CV27Q delivers powerful contrast at 1440p resolution.  (Image credit: Aorus)

12. Aorus CV27Q

Best 1440p Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Panel Type: VA | Refresh Rate: 165 Hz | Response Time (GTG): 1ms

Color accuracy
Speed and responsiveness
FreeSync & G-Sync (unofficially) with HDR
Inaccurate sRGB mode
No image controls for HDR

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 can splurge, the Asus ROG Strix XG279Q is one of the best gaming monitors for upgrading from 1080p.  (Image credit: Asus)

13. Asus ROG Strix XG279Q

Best 1440p Gaming Monitor Splurge

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 2560 X 1440 | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 170 Hz with overclock, 144 Hz native | Response Time (GTG): 1ms

FreeSync & G-Sync support
Excellent HDR
Blur-reduction works with Adaptive Sync
High brightness
Slight ghosting in ELMB mode
Default grayscale and gamma need adjustment

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. 

Read: Asus ROG Strix XG279Q review

The Asus TUF VG259QM is one of the fastest gaming monitors we've ever tested.  (Image credit: Asus)

14. Asus TUF VG259QM

Best High-Refresh Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 24.5 inches / 16:9 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 240 Hz (280 Hz with overclock) | Response Time (GTG): 1ms

Phenomenal gaming with simultaneous
Adaptive-Sync and ELMB Build quality
Light gamma
HDR doesn’t pop

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.

But if you want one of the fastest monitors on the market, the VG259QM is up there. There are 360Hz monitors now, but 280 fps is more achievable than the 360 fps. And at $330, the VG259QM is decently priced. 

Read: Asus TUF Gaming VG259QM review  

 The Aorus FI27Q  is the best gaming monitor for 27-inch IPS fans.  (Image credit: Gigabyte)

15. Aorus FI27Q

Best 27-Inch IPS Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 165 Hz | Response Time (GTG): 1ms

High color saturation and accuracy
Good contrast
Premium gaming performance
Good build quality
HDR doesn't bring a noticeable improvement over SDR
Cheaper rivals may offer better value

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

(Image credit: AOC)

16. Porsche Design AOC Agon PD27

Best 240Hz Gaming Monitor Splurge

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Panel Type: VA | Refresh Rate: 240 Hz | Response Time (GTG): 0.5ms

Wide, accurate color gamut
Build quality, styling
Backlight strobe causes some smearing

The Samsung 27-inch CRG5 provides amazing speed at 1080p resolution, and the Porsche Design AOC Agon PD27 takes things to the next level, including a higher resolution, shorter response time and a price tag that’s more than twice the size. 

For most, the CRG5 is in the sweet spot for a 240Hz monitor. Its 1080p resolution will require less graphics power than the 1440p PD27. When it came to our speed benchmarks, the PD27 was 1ms faster than the CRG5 in the response time test and 2ms slower in the absolute input lag test. Performance there is comparable, but the PD27 is also in a different style class.

With a unique metallic stand reminiscent of a racecar’s roll cage, LED lighting, including a projector that casts a customizable Porsche Design logo, and even its own remote, this monitor is as much about premium looks as it is about premium performance. If you want a little bit of it everything, it’s tough to beat this stylish monitor. 

Read: Porsche Design AOC Agon PD27 review 

The Samsung 27-inch CRG5 is the best gaming monitor for hitting 240Hz.  (Image credit: Samsung)

17. Samsung 27-inch CRG5

Best 240 Hz Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Panel Type: VA | Refresh Rate: 240 Hz | Response Time (GTG): 4ms

Good contrast and color accuracy
240 Hz VA panel
Superb gaming performance
No USB or speakers

For speed demons, a 240 Hz monitor hits the spot. Up until recently, that level of speed required 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.

Read: Samsung 27-Inch CRG5 review

The ViewSonic Elite XG270QC offers great HDR at a cheaper price than most competitors.  (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

18. ViewSonic Elite XG270QC

Best Budget HDR Gaming Monitor

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9 | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Panel Type: VA | Refresh Rate: 165 Hz | Response Time (GTG): 3ms

Build quality
Accurate color
Adaptive-Sync with HDR
No sRGB mode

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.

Read: ViewSonic Elite XG270QC review

  • 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):,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
    18202963 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:
    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.