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Best Gaming Monitors 2021: Budget, Curved, G-Sync and More

Best Gaming Monitors
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Gaming monitor options keep growing with new brands, features and ever-growing capabilities. It's an exciting time to be a PC gamer, but that 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 reach 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 for you, 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. 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. 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:

  • 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 number explains 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 mean 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

Balancing performance and price, Dell's S3220DGF is the best gaming monitor for most. (Image credit: Dell)

1. Dell S3220DGF

Best Gaming Monitor

Specifications
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 32 inches, 16:9
Resolution: 2560 x 1440 @ 165 Hz
Panel Type: VA
Refresh Rate: 165 Hz
Response Time (GTG): 4ms
Adaptive-Sync: FreeSync Premium Pro
Reasons to buy
+High contrast and brightness+165Hz refresh rate+Color-accurate+Nice build quality
Reasons to avoid
-No sRGB mode-No gamma presets

The Dell S3220DGF is the best gaming monitor for most (currently available here). For starters, it boasts a fast refresh rate, low response time plus FreeSync Premium Pro 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. 

More: Dell S3220DGF review

best gaming monitor budget cheap

The Gigabyte G27F is cheap, yet offers premium image quality and overdrive. (Image credit: Gigabyte)

2. Gigabyte G27F

Best Budget Gaming Monitor

Specifications
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Panel Type: IPS
Refresh Rate: 144 Hz
Response Time (GTG): 1ms
Adaptive-Sync: FreeSync Premium
Reasons to buy
+Good contrast+Superb overdrive
Reasons to avoid
-Slightly dark gamma-No sRGB gamut option

If you can find it for around $250 (we tested it when it was $220) Gigabyte's G27F is the cheapest 27-inch on this page but still offers stellar 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. 

If you really want to stay under $200 though, check our our review of the Acer XFA240, which is usually $200 or cheaper

More: Gigabyte G27F review

This 144Hz IPS panel makes for the best gaming monitor in 4K for most.  (Image credit: LG)

3. LG 27GN950-B

Best 4K Gaming Monitor

Specifications
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches,16:9
Resolution: 4K
Panel Type: IPS
Refresh Rate: 144 Hz
Response Time (GTG): 1ms
Adaptive-Sync : G-Sync Compatible, AMD FreeSync Premium Pro
Reasons to buy
+Excellent HDR+Wide and accurate color gamut+Fast and responsive
Reasons to avoid
-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. 

More: LG 27GN950-B review

The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is the most colorful monitor we've ever tested.  (Image credit: MSI)

4. MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD

Best Gaming Monitor for Color

Specifications
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches / 16:9
Resolution: 2560 x 1440
Panel Type: IPS
Refresh Rate: 165 Hz
Response Time (GTG): 1ms
Adaptive-Sync : G-Sync Compatible
Reasons to buy
+Huge color gamut+Fast response
Reasons to avoid
-No sRGB mode-Backlight strobe creates artifacts

If you like your games to look extra colorful, the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is the best gaming monitor for your rig. This monitor posted the widest color gamut we’ve ever recorded: 112.19% of DCI-P3 after our recommended calibration. 90% of DCI-P3 would be impressive, so this is one color-saturated screen. 

Contrast is also strong for an IPS panel, hitting 1,129.1:1 after our calibration. And for those concerned about speed, this 165Hz screen kept up with the 170Hz Gigabyte M27Q in our testing 

Color purists, however, will lament the lack of an sRGB mode, considering the MAG274QRF-QD’s sRGB coverage is at 166.33%. Its backlight strobe for fighting motion blur is also a disappointment. You can’t use Adaptive-Sync with it, brightness goes down by about 50% and it created ghosting that resulted in a parallax effect with fast motion. On top of that, this is yet another gaming monitor to offer HDR but without any noticeable image boost over SDR.

But if you can get past those caveats, you’ll enjoy the most colorful monitor to ever hit our lab. 

More: MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD review 

The Viotek GNV34DBE has the curves you want and a good price for the specs. (Image credit: Viotek)

5. Viotek GNV34DBE

Best Curved Gaming Monitor

Specifications
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 34 inches, 21:9
Resolution: 3440 x 1440
Panel Type: VA
Refresh Rate: 144 Hz
Response Time (GTG): 4ms
Adaptive-Sync : FreeSync
Reasons to buy
+Contrast+Effective overdrive+HDR
Reasons to avoid
-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 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. 

More: Viotek GNV34DBE review

High contrast meets sharp 1440p resolution in the Aorus CV27Q. (Image credit: Aorus)

6. Aorus CV27Q

Best 1440p Gaming Monitor

Specifications
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9
Resolution: 2560 x 1440
Panel Type: VA
Refresh Rate: 165 Hz
Response Time (GTG): 1ms
Adaptive-Sync: FreeSync Premium Pro
Reasons to buy
+Contrast+Color accuracy+Speed and responsiveness
Reasons to avoid
-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. The Asus ROG Strix XG279Q on this page is a hair faster. 

Read: Aorus CV27Q review 

Asus' ROG Strix XG27AQ is the best of the best 1440p gaming monitors.  (Image credit: Asus)

7. Asus ROG Strix XG279Q

Best 1440p Gaming Monitor Splurge

Specifications
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9
Resolution: 2560 x 1440
Panel Type: IPS
Refresh Rate: 144Hz (170 Hz with overclock)
Response Time (GTG): 1ms
Adaptive-Sync: G-Sync Compatible
Reasons to buy
+Excellent dynamic contrast+ELMB blur reduction works in tandem with Adaptive-Sync+Better than average HDR
Reasons to avoid
-Needs calibration for best accuracy

If you have extra room in your budget and want to squeeze out that extra drop of performance from your 1440p screen, the Asus ROG Strix XG27AQ is the best gaming monitor for you. This screen is ready to compete with the speediest of screens, competing well against other 165-170 Hz screens in our response time test and falling just 1-3ms behind in our input lag test.

Out of the box, we recorded solid IPS contrast (1,158.4:1). You’ll want to calibrate to get rid of some visible grayscale tracking errors, but our recommended settings can help you there. Plus, this is also an excellent HDR monitor, thanks to a dynamic contrast feature that bumps contrast up to a whopping 22,506.9:1. 

Not only does it have the sharper resolution of your dreams, but it’s one of the rare monitors to allow you to run blur reduction alonsiger side screen tear-fighting Adaptive-Sync. 

Alternatively, the Asus ROG Strix XG279Q is another fantastic 1440p option with similar performance. But for slightly less money as of writing ($500 versus $570, respectively), the XG279Q features one of the best motion blur implementations we've seen and the rare ability to run motion blur alongside Adaptive-Sync. 

More: Asus ROG Strix XG27AQ review

With supreme 1440p image quality, this is the best 144Hz gaming monitor.  (Image credit: Razer)

8. Razer Raptor 27

Best 144Hz Gaming Monitor

Specifications
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9
Resolution: 2560 x 1440 @ 144Hz
Panel Type: IPS
Refresh Rate: 144 Hz
Response Time (GTG): 4ms
Adaptive-Sync: G-Sync Compatible, FreeSync
Reasons to buy
+Excellent HDR contrast+Saturated color+Near-100% DCI-P3 coverage+Fantastic style and build quality
Reasons to avoid
-No true sRGB color mode-User must manually switch between SDR and HDR modes

The Razer Raptor 27 is the best gaming monitor for 144Hz 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 144Hz refresh rate, the Raptor 27 was able to stay competitive with 165Hz 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 120Hz, reduces brightness by 40% and grays out FreeSync and G-Sync Compatibility. 

If you like the Raptor 27's design but want more speed, the 2021 Razer Raptor 27 has  a 165 Hz refresh rate for $100 more. 

More: Razer Raptor 27 review

If you want 240Hz, Samsung's 27-inch CRG5 is the best gaming monitor for you.  (Image credit: Samsung)

9. Samsung 27-inch CRG5

Best 240 Hz Gaming Monitor

Specifications
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Panel Type: VA
Refresh Rate: 240 Hz
Response Time (GTG): 4ms
Adaptive-Sync: G-Sync Compatible
Reasons to buy
+Good contrast and color accuracy+240 Hz VA panel+Superb gaming performance
Reasons to avoid
-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. Plus, the only form of Adaptive-Sync is G-Sync Compatibility. But besides those small caveats, our gaming experience was a record-breaking pleasure.

More: Samsung 27-Inch CRG5 review

It's expensive, but the Samsung Odyssey G7 32-inch is nearly perfect.  (Image credit: Samsung)

10. Samsung Odyssey G7 32-Inch

Best 32-inch Gaming Monitor

Specifications
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 32 inches, 16:9
Resolution: 2560 x 1440
Panel Type: SVA
Refresh Rate: 240 Hz
Response Time (GTG): 1ms
Adaptive-Sync: G-Sync Compatible, FreeSync Premium Pro
Reasons to buy
+Size and shape ideal for gaming or work+Low input lag
Reasons to avoid
-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-inch 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. 

More: Samsung Odyssey G7 32-inch review 

Viotek's GFI27DBXA is an extra colorful 27-incher.  (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

11. Viotek GFI27DBXA

Best 27-Inch Gaming Monitor

Specifications
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9
Resolution: 2560 x 1440
Panel Type: IPS
Refresh Rate: 180 Hz
Response Time (GTG): 1ms
Adaptive-Sync: FreeSync
Reasons to buy
+Best-in-class overdrive means no motion blur+Solid build quality
Reasons to avoid
-Switching to HDR is clunky-Needs calibration for best picture

The 27-inch gaming monitor competition is crowded, but the Viotek GFI27DBXA stands out with an incredibly colorful image that’s also bright and sharp. The 1440p panel covers 101% of the DCI-P3 color space, according to our testing. Contrast, meanwhile, proved comparable to your typical IPS panel, but the dynamic contrast feature helped when gaming. Combined with the wide color coverage, the image impressed during gaming. 

Speed-wise, the GFI27DBXA isi ready to play. In our benchmarks, it showed a competitive 6ms response time. With a 180 Hz refresh rate, it fell behind 165 and 170 Hz screens from more premium brands but only by 2-6ms. Plus, its overdrive is one of the best we’ve seen, ensuring zero perceivable delay for mainstream players. Plus, the monitor feels strong and reliable, despite its lower price.

For a strong alternative, consider the MSI Optix MAG272CQR, which may also be cheaper.

More: Viotek GFI27DBXA review  

Samsung's massive ultrawide is an extremely premium option.  (Image credit: Samsung)

12. Samsung 49-Inch Odyssey G9

Best Ultrawide Gaming Monitor

Specifications
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 49 inches / 32:9
Resolution: 5120 x 1440
Panel Type: SVA (VA)
Refresh Rate: 240 Hz
Response Time (GTG): 1ms
Adaptive-Sync : G-Sync Compatible, FreeSync
Reasons to buy
+Accurate color out of the box+Tight curve delivers maximum immersion
Reasons to avoid
-No motion blur reduction-No speakers

The Samsung 49-Inch Odyssey G9 is one of the most extreme monitors on this page. Not only is it a massive 49 inches diagonally, it also carries a 1000R curve, the most dramatic curve offered on a gaming monitor today. From a 2-3-feet distance, this panel will entirely fill your view. It’s like having two 27-inch, 1440p monitors in one.You'll need nearly 4 feet of desk width and 17 inches of depth to accommodate it, but if you do, you’ll enjoy a wraparound gaming environment without image distortion. Looking for a smaller ultrawide? The Acer Predator X38 is also excellent. 

Testing of the 49-Inch Odyssey G9 revealed excellent contrast (2,152.9:1 after calibration), which climbed to 58,881.7:1 when it came to HDR testing. This is a bright monitor with a sharp picture and accurate DCI-P3 and sRGB color. 

At this price though, we’d expect a little more. The monitor doesn’t offer any blur reduction; although, we typically opt for Adaptive-Sync over motion blur reduction and motion blur shouldn’t be an issue if you have a powerful enough graphics card. You also don’t get any speakers or, oddly, a framerate counter. But with solid image quality and a whole lot of speed for an ultrawide, some sacrifices are worth making.

More: Samsung 49-Inch Odyssey G9 review 

The ViewSonic Elite XG350R-C is an ultrawide value that's hard to top.  (Image credit: ViewSonic)

13. ViewSonic Elite XG350R-C

Best Budget Ultrawide Gaming Monitor

Specifications
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 35 inches, 16:9
Resolution: 3440 x 1440
Panel Type: VA
Refresh Rate: 100 Hz
Response Time (GTG): 3ms
Adaptive-Sync: FreeSync
Reasons to buy
+Excellent contrast and accurate color+Fast response from 100 Hz refresh rate+Good build quality+Loud speakers
Reasons to avoid
-No additional contrast in HDR mode-No extended color

Currently going for $660, the ViewSonic Elite XG350R-C is cheaper than many other 35-inch ultrawides and ultrawides with less features (there’s even RGB lighting on the back of the XG350R-C). But what you’ll really love about the the XG350R-C is its 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 a 21:9 aspect ratio, the Elite XG350R-C employs an 1800mm curve radius that engulfed us with strong image quality, making for an immersive ultrawide experience. 

More: ViewSonic Elite XG350R-C review

The ViewSonic Elite XG270QC offers strong HDR for cheaper than most.  (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

14. ViewSonic Elite XG270QC

Best Budget HDR Gaming Monitor

Specifications
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9
Resolution: 2560 x 1440
Panel Type: VA
Refresh Rate: 165 Hz
Response Time (GTG): 3ms
Adaptive-Sync: FreeSync Premium Pro
Reasons to buy
+Build quality+Accurate color+Adaptive-Sync with HDR
Reasons to avoid
-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 (available here) 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. ViewSonic's 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.

For the ultimate HDR gaming though, you'll definitely want to visit our Best 4K Gaming Monitors list. 

More: ViewSonic Elite XG270QC review

The 280Hz Asus TUF VG259QM packs plenty of speed.  (Image credit: Asus)

15. Asus TUF VG259QM

Best High-Refresh Gaming Monitor

Specifications
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
Adaptive-Sync: G-Sync Compatible
Reasons to buy
+Phenomenal gaming with simultaneous Adaptive-Sync and ELMB 
Reasons to avoid
-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 (despite lacking certification) 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 $319, the VG259QM is favorably priced. 

More: Asus TUF Gaming VG259QM review  

Ready for eSports, this is the fastest monitor we've ever tested.  (Image credit: MSI)

16. MSI Oculux NXG253R

Best Gaming Monitor for eSports

Specifications
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 24.5 inches / 16:9
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Panel Type: IPS
Refresh Rate: 360 Hz
Response Time (GTG): 1ms
Adaptive-Sync: G-Sync
Reasons to buy
+Good contrast with variable backlight+Incredibly smooth and fast
Reasons to avoid
-No extended color-No speakers

If you're the kind of gamer who can take advantage of things like 8,000 Hz mice, the most advanced GPU and play at a competitive level, the MSI Oculux NXG253R is as good as it gets. We’ve tested a few 360 Hz monitors, namely the Asus ROG Swift PG259QN, Alienware AW2521H and Acer Predator X25, and they’re all amazingly fast and impressive. However, MSI’s 360 Hz monitor  stands above them all as the fastest screen we’ve ever tested. 

Our benchmarking recorded the NXG253R’s absolute input lag at 17ms, 1ms faster than the next fastest 360 Hz monitor (Asus’ PG259QN). When it came to response time, the NXG253R matched the other 360 Hz screens with a 3ms result. You also get Nvidia’s Reflex latency analyzer, plus G-Sync all the way down to 1 Hz. There’s nothing missing for gaming performance here.

There are some things missing though. Despite the high price, (especially for a 1080p monitor), the NXG253R doesn’t have speakers. And its color gamut is sRGB, rather than the more colorful DCI-P3 that’s increasingly popular among gaming monitors. But this is still a bright screen with decent contrast (1,190.6:1) for an IPS panel. HDR is aided by a variable backlight, which brings contrast to a high 7,972.5:1 with HDR content. 

If you’re ready to make the leap to 360 Hz, the fastest refresh rate currently available on a PC monitor, the NXG253R is the best of the best for speed. 

More: MSI Oculux NXG253R review 

The AOC PD27 makes 240Hz look good.  (Image credit: AOC)

17. Porsche Design AOC Agon PD27

Best Gaming Monitor Splurge

Specifications
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9
Resolution: 2560 x 1440
Panel Type: VA
Refresh Rate: 240 Hz
Response Time (GTG): 0.5ms
Adaptive-Sync: FreeSync Premium Pro
Reasons to buy
+Wide, accurate color gamut+Build quality, styling
Reasons to avoid
-Backlight strobe causes some smearing-Expensive

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. 

More: Porsche Design AOC Agon PD27 review 

Savings on Best Gaming Monitors

When shopping for any gaming monitor, including those above, you may save some money by checking out our lists of best computer monitor deals, Dell Coupon Codes, Lenovo coupon codes, LG coupon codes or Newegg coupon codes.

Scharon Harding

Scharon Harding is a Senior Editor at Tom's Hardware. She has a special affinity for gaming peripherals (especially monitors), laptops and virtual reality. Previously, Scharon covered business technology, including hardware, software, cyber security, cloud and other IT happenings, at Channelnomics, with bylines at CRN UK.

  • 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): http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asus-mg28uq-28-inch-uhd-freesync-gaming-monitor,4683.html
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
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  • 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.

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  • 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: https://www.amazon.com/AOC-G2460PG-24-Inch-LED-Lit-Monitor/dp/B00SIZ8QDM/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1467372059&sr=1-1
    It's currently selling for $414.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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