The Best Gaming Monitors Deliver Crisper, Brighter, and Smoother Game Visuals
Your gaming monitor will always be one of the most important parts of your gaming setup. The visuals they deliver will determine a big part of how well you can enjoy a game, after all. Monitors with poor resolution, low framerates, or high latency can really put a damper on your overall gaming experience, same with monitors that are prone to tearing, flickering, and other motion artifacts.
The best gaming monitors bring features not typically found in your standard graphic design displays, from high refresh rates and HDR contrast to low latency time and adaptive sync support. That’s the whole reason why you opt for a gaming-specific model, instead of simply playing on any traditional office monitor. These features are designed to facilitate the best gaming experience, both in terms of visual fidelity and responsiveness, allowing you to not just appreciate the game’s graphics much better, but to clearly see details in a timely manner.
The best gaming monitors will vary for each individual setup. If your system runs best at 1440p as its highest resolution, for instance, then it really makes no sense to get a 4K display. A 240Hz monitor will, of course, be more desirable than a 120Hz panel, but you might not even be using all that framerate if your GPU can’t handle producing all those frames. Then again, if you plan on upgrading sometime in the near future, it could be a good idea to splurge on a better monitor now to future-proof your setup.
Good news is, it’s a great time to pick up a new gaming monitor. Full HD panels with high refresh rates are more affordable than ever, so you can get a pretty good panel even at the entry level. If you want something better, you can opt for 4K panels, OLEDs, curved monitors, and other displays that pack a healthy number of features.
These are the best gaming monitors available today.
AOC G-Series C27G2Z
The most affordable gaming monitor in this list, this 27-inch curved panel gives you 1080p visuals at 240Hz, ensuring smooth-looking graphics even during fast-paced, high-octane scenes. If you’re a gamer who’s perfectly happy with full HD imagery, this is an incredible monitor for the money, with its 1500R curved design and refresh rate that you just never see at this price point. It uses a VA LCD panel, which brings satisfyingly deep contrast, although it does lack true HDR support, so you don’t get the same expressive details when it comes to brighter and darker scenes. To make up for it somewhat, it does have a mode that can simulate the look of HDR, but it doesn’t really compare to the real thing. Other features include 89.8 percent DCI-P3 coverage, a 16:9 aspect ratio, and a 170-degree viewing angle.
HP Omen 27Q
If you’re looking to stick to a tight budget but still want something better than 1080p, this 27-inch gaming monitor is arguably your best option. It delivers crisp and vibrant visuals at 2,560 x 1,440 pixels (QHD), complete with a 165Hz frame rate, ensuring your stellar-looking pictures are accompanied by smooth transitions at every turn. Color coverage is excellent, as it’s able to reproduce 95 percent of the DCI-P3 color space, complete with HDR support, so everything looks bright and vivid, while the 400 nits of brightness ensures it’s bright enough for viewing even in well-lit spaces. It uses an IPS panel that delivers excellent viewing angles (178 degrees), although the contrast does feel a little lacking, especially once you’re playing in scenes that are either too bright or too dark. Other features include a 1ms GtG response time, AMD Freesync Premium support, and Nvidia G-Sync compatibility (it’s not officially certified, though).
Alienware AW2524H 500Hz
If refresh rate is your overarching priority, then you’ll probably want to stick with 1080p panels to get maximum framerates. Truth be told, we don’t know if there’s any gaming monitor that does more frames than this 500Hz 24.5-inch panel. That’s right, 500 frames for every second you’re playing, so you best have the GPU to actually take advantage of all that refresh rate. Do note, that’s 500Hz overclocked and 480Hz native. Regardless, it’s still an insane spec, especially at this mid-tier price range. Apart from the crazy framerate, this gaming monitor also boasts a 0.5ms response time, 99 percent sRGB coverage, VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification for vibrant color reproduction, Nvidia G-Sync support, and a stellar build quality.
Cooler Master Tempest GP27Q
This gaming monitor uses an IPS panel with mini-LED technology, allowing it to deliver a 50,000:1 contrast ratio and a peak brightness of 1200 nits in HDR mode. That’s right, this is an exceptionally bright monitor with gorgeous HDR performance and amazing contrast, courtesy of its 576 local dimming zones. The 27-inch Ultra-Speed IPS panel has a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, so it delivers sharp images with stunning clarity, while a 160Hz refresh rate ensuring movements look fluid even during hectic, fast-paced action sequences. It has adaptive sync technology that synchronizes your GPU output with the monitor’s refresh rate, ensuring smooth, artifact-free visuals on AMD and Nvidia systems alike, while a 2ms GtG response time ensures precise cursor tracking and overall movement. On the downside, the monitor is pretty slow compared to other panels when you’re fiddling with the settings, so switching inputs, changing modes, and other common tasks can get frustrating.
LG UltraGear 27GN950-B
The first 4K gaming monitor in our list, this 27-inch display combines its high resolution with a 144Hz refresh rate, so you get some fluid-looking movements to go with the crisp and sharp visuals. It uses a Nano IPS panel that delivers 98 percent DCI-P3 coverage, 400 nits of brightness, and 178-degree viewing angle on all directions (including above and below), along with outstanding color fidelity. Seriously, the color reproduction is what really sells this thing, with everything looking bright, vibrant, and accurate right out of the box. HDR performance is not quite up to par though, with its paltry 16 local dimming zones, so contrast isn’t quite as good as some of the better HDR monitors in the list. Seriously, they should have just left off the dimming zones and priced this a tad lower. The monitor supports both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD Freesync Premium Pro, so you get buttery action and movement regardless of your GPU, allowing you to really enjoy those 4K 144Hz graphics with all their vivid colors.
Samsung Odyssey Neo G8
We wanted to include Samsung’s Odyssey G9 in the list, but ultimately decided it’s way too big for the average gaming setup. Sure, the ultrawide profile does a lot to make the 49-inch screen manageable, but you still need a massive gaming desk to handle all that mass. This 32-inch 1000R curved gaming monitor, on the other hand, feels like it can slot easily into most people’s setups, with its 4K resolution and 240Hz refresh rate allowing for some seriously gorgeous gaming visuals. That’s right, this thing does 4K at 240Hz, so you best have a GPU that can actually handle that many frames with that many pixels. It uses a VA LCD panel that incorporates mini LED backlighting and local dimming, enabling intense levels of contrast only outperformed by OLEDs, incredible brightness that peaks at 2,000 nits, and support for HDR10+, allowing for highly-accurate contrast and colors with compatible media.
Corsair Xeneon 27QHD240
One of the best OLED monitors around, this 27-inch panel comes with 2560 x 1440 resolution and a snappy 240Hz refresh rate, allowing it to deliver crisp graphics with buttery soft movement. It’s equipped with an ultra-slim LG OLED panel that delivers truly eye-popping visuals, with beautiful color reproduction, deep contrast, and exceptional brightness. While it’s not the brightest monitor in this list, the 1,000 nits peak in HDR allows for a seriously bright panel, while the 0.03ms GtG response time makes it feel extremely responsive. Suffice to say, there’s nothing bad you can say about the quality of this OLED display. The most unique aspect of this monitor is its flexible design, which allows you to use it as a standard flat display or as a curved panel. That’s right, you can grab it by the corners and pull it inwards to turned it into a curved monitor, then push it back out to make it flat again. Other features include a 16:9 aspect ratio, 98.5 percent coverage of the DCI-P3 color space, and support for both Nvidia’s and AMD’s adaptive sync technologies.
Razer Raptor 27
We love the sleek design of Razer’s 27-inch gaming monitor, which combines a 2560 x 1440 resolution with a 144Hz refresh rate. It looks positively modern, with its wide platform base (that you can use to set down stuff) and unique port placement that lets you access the rear ports from the front. That’s right, you won’t need to walk to the back of the monitor to swap out cables or whatever. It’s pretty sleek. Even the multi-color LEDs on this thing are done tastefully, really making it stand out in that department. We do wish Razer could have priced it more competitively, though, since it’s a pretty good monitor, with an IPS panel that delivers crisp images, a fast 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and 95 percent DCI-P3 color coverage. It also supports HDR400, AMD Freesync, and Nvidia G-Sync, making this a well-rounded gaming display option with a unique design that elevates it from the lot.
Alienware QD-OLED AW3423DW
4K is nice and all, but it will take some serious processing power to produce enough frames at that resolution to make things worthwhile. As such, many gamers today still opt for a 1440p display because of the high refresh rates it will support. This 34-inch curved gaming monitor is one of the best picks at this resolution, bringing a stellar Samsung OLED panel onboard with a 175Hz refresh rate, 0.1ms GtG response time, and stellar contrast (the outfit claims it has “infinite contrast ratio”). We love its ultrawide design and 1800R curvature, which allows it to really fill your periphery with game visuals, while the 99.3 percent DCI-P3 coverage and 1,000 nits of peak brightness combine to produce stellar colors that absolutely pop. Do note, the large panel combined with the 2K resolution doesn’t allow for the highest pixel density, so you don’t get the sharpest, crispest graphics, but it does produce stellar images all the same, especially because of the gorgeous colors, high brightness level, and superb HDR performance. This is the Nvidia G-Sync version of the monitor, by the way, with the AW3423DWF being the AMD Freesync counterpart, which comes in a bit cheaper.
Asus ROG Swift PG42UQ
With its 41.5-inch size and traditional 16:9 aspect ratio, this massive behemoth looks more like a TV than a gaming monitor. But, alas, it’s one gaming-focused display. Equipped with an OLED panel with 4K resolution, it offers a 138Hz refresh rate and a 0.1ms response time, allowing it to deliver crisp, smooth, and fluid graphics with absolutely no lag. Graphics look stellar, with the display’s 1M:1 contrast ratio (yep, there’s no deeper blacks than what you’re going to get here), 98 percent DCI-P3 color coverage, and plenty of brightness (450 nits in SDR and 750 nits in HDR), complete with the option to maintain even brightness throughout every pixel onscreen (just choose the uniform brightness mode). Do note, this is massive, so you’ll only want something like this if you actually have a big desk that can make it comfortable to have around, otherwise it can feel like you’re sitting right in front of the living room TV, which can get strenuous after a bit. It supports Nvidia’s G-Sync, as well as VRR and ALLM for console gamers. For whatever reason, Asus decided to not allow height or swivel adjustments with this monitor’s stand, which, we guess, is one of the consequences of its excessive size and weight, so you’ll probably need your own custom mount if you want more flexibility in positioning and placement.