Monitor specs for gaming: What to look for in a gaming monitor: Specs that matter

What to look for in a gaming monitor: Specs that matter

Running a gaming PC is a lot like being a car enthusiast. You want to get the best parts available, tune them to your liking, and then get out onto the open road, so to speak. The funny thing is, even with the best graphics card and CPU, a gaming PC can’t demonstrate its full glory without a solid gaming monitor to bear witness.

But what to look for? Display shelves are packed with myriad choices, and a variety of specs: 1080p, 2160p, 4K, HDR, refresh rate, response time, color gamut, IPS, ultrawide, curved, and so on.

With so many options, where do you begin and how do know what matters most? Choosing the ideal gaming monitor gets easier once you decide on the resolution you want, and understand how different features will affect your experience. Price matters too, of course, but with sale periods like Black Friday, Prime Day, and general deals throughout the year, pricing can be more flexible for the patient shopper.

Here’s a look at the key features you want in a monitor, as well as some recommendations on what to buy. 


Brad Chacos/IDG

Choosing the right resolution for gaming is all about the capabilities of your graphics card.

The first thing to think about is the monitor’s resolution, and this depends entirely on what your graphics card is capable of. There’s no point getting a 4K monitor, for example, if your graphics card can only handle the lower resolution of 1080p. The only caveat to that would be if you plan on upgrading soon and want to “future proof” by getting a higher-resolution monitor before you get the new GPU.

If you’re shopping for a new graphics card to go with your new monitor, read our roundup of the best graphics cards for PC gaming at every resolution (it has budget recommendations too!).

1080P: Standard 1080p monitors have a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. This is still the most popular resolution for gaming, according to the Steam hardware survey. Graphics cards in this range include the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super, GeForce GTX 1660 Super (our favorite 1080p GPU), and the AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT.

The benefit of 1080p is that it’s the most affordable kind of monitor you can get and is readily available pretty much anywhere.

1440P: The step up from 1080p is 2560×1440 pixels, a nice middle ground between 1080p and 4K. These 1440p monitors are widely considered PC gaming’s sweet spot, providing a noticeable fidelity boost over 1080p monitors without forcing you to break your budget. Solid choices for graphics card in this range include our favorite 1440p graphics card the GeForce RTX 3070, as well as the Radeon RX 6800.

4K: Finally, there’s 4K, which is also called UHD (ultra-high definition) and has a resolution of 3860×2160 pixels, offering four times the number of pixels of 1080p (double the density in both width and height). It’s the most coveted resolution because of its supreme clarity and, when paired with HDR (high dynamic range), 4K offers an incredible image. To game on a 4K display without visual compromises, you need a high-end graphics card such as the GeForce RTX 3080 or AMD’s Radeon RX 6800XT.

8K: We’re also in the very early days of 8K, which offers four times the pixel count of 4K. But gaming at 8K is expensive, and the gaming industry isn’t there yet. Enthusiasts can, of course, adopt early with the GeForce RTX 3090, but it’s not cheap and you’re likely to get better value from 4K at the moment.

Refresh rate and response time

Refresh rate is one of the key features for gaming since it’s so closely tied to frame rates. A monitor’s refresh rate indicates how often it displays a new image measured in hertz. Essentially there’s a 1:1 relationship between the refresh rate produced by the display and the frames per second (fps) pushed out by the graphics card. So a monitor with a refresh rate of 60Hz can display up to 60 frames per second, which is considered the minimum standard frames-per-second for PC gaming. A game at 30fps is still playable, but 60fps is always the goal. 

In general, with higher frame rates, game motion appears smoother, responds faster, and just generally looks better. That’s why higher refresh rate monitors are popular choices. A 144Hz monitor, for example, can display more than double the frames of a 60Hz monitor with the appropriate graphics card.

Once you’ve tried a 120Hz or 144Hz, it’s hard to go back to 60Hz, even for productivity tasks. If you’re an e-sports enthusiast, blistering 240Hz and even 360Hz panels are available, but they’re very expensive and limited to 1080p resolution.

In addition to refresh rate, response times are also an important factor. It dictates how fast it takes a monitor at the pixel level to shift from one color to the next. A lower number is better here, as a poor response time can cause ghosting and other visual artifacts to appear. Many monitors have a 5ms or 4ms response time, which is acceptable, although 1ms (or sometimes even lower) is best for gaming.

Here are some good high refresh-rate monitors:

  • Asus ROG Swift PG279Q ($849). This 1440p monitor has a refresh rate of 165 Hz, it’s rocking G-Sync and it supports the full sRGB color gamut, with 4ms response time. 
  • Acer Predator XB271HU ($510). Another 1440p monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate and Nvidia G-Sync, with 4ms response time.

Adaptive sync


The Dell S2417DG.

Next up we have adaptive sync. This feature syncs the refresh rate between your graphics card and your display. The idea is that when both the graphics card and your monitor are synced up there is less chance of screen tearing and stutter for what we love to call “buttery-smooth gaming.” 

Adaptive sync comes in two flavors: Nvidia G-Sync and AMD’s royalty-free FreeSync. The latter is by far the most common and the cheapest for manufacturers to add, which is perhaps why Nvidia’s GeForce graphics cards now work with FreeSync. Using FreeSync with a GeForce card is fine, but for the truly best performance it’s still better to use G-Sync with Nvidia cards.

Here are two good monitors to consider, one rocking FreeSync and one with G-Sync:

  • Dell S2417DG ($470). This is a 24-inch 1440p monitor with a 165Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time. It also supports G-Sync.
  • AOC G2590FX ($214). This 25-inch 1080p monitor features FreeSync, a 144Hz refresh rate, and a 1ms response time.

Display size


The AOC C32V1Q.

Display size for computer gaming really comes down to personal preference. The one thing to keep in mind is that screen size, resolution, and pixel density are all related. Generally, the larger the number of pixels per inch (ppi), the better the image. Density correlates with sharpness. There are all kinds of ppi calculators online to figure out what you can expect at each resolution.

If you have a 24-inch 1080p display, for example, then your count is going to be a little less than 92 ppi, which is respectable for 1080p. At 32-inches, however, the ppi drops below 70. Upgrade to 1440p, and a 32-inch monitor gets about the same ppi as that 1080p 24-inch monitor, and a 4K monitor at 32 inches is nearly 138 ppi.

In general, any modern monitor that’s between 24 and 32 inches will be just fine for gaming. Obviously, the higher the resolution, the higher the pixel count, which does improve image quality. But if you love the notion of a large display, and can only afford a 1080p display at that size, just go for it.

  • Dell S2421HGF ($171). A 24-inch 1080p monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate, FreeSync, and a 1ms response time.
  • Asus VG278QR ($249). Going up in size, we have this 27-inch 1080p display with FreeSync, a 165Hz refresh rate, and a 0.5ms refresh rate.
  • AOC C32V1Q ($200). Go big or go home with this budget 31.5-inch 1080p monitor with an above-average refresh rate, and a 4ms response time.

High dynamic range


The Acer Predator CG437LK.

Anyone in the market for a 4K monitor should seriously consider the addition of high dynamic range if they can afford it—HDR monitors come at a steep premium. HDR allows for a drastically wider range of color variation, which means a better picture overall. The difference between HDR and non-HDR is simply stunning.

The secret, however, is that the quality of HDR is dependent on the display’s brightness level. If an HDR monitor is less than 1,000 nits, you’re really just buying into marketing hype. The picture on an “HDR-ready” monitor may be marginally better than an average 4K monitor, but to get true HDR you need a bright display and that will cost you.

Here are some good choices for monitors with 4K resolution and HDR:

  • Acer Predator CG437LK ($1,300). This is one heck of a display at 43-inches, with G-Sync, a 120Hz refresh rate, a 1ms response time, and DisplayHDR 1000.
  • Philips 436M6VBPAB Refurbished ($655). This monitor is hard to come by, but this refurbished version at Newegg offers a lot of value.

Panel types and color gamut


The LG 27GL850-B is a new breed of IPS display with faster response times.

There are two major types of panels used for gaming displays: TN and IPS (short for twisted nematic and in-plane switching, respectively, which describes their different underlying pixel-rendering technology.) Both can be suitable for gaming, so it really comes down to what you prefer. (There’s a third panel type called VA—vertical alignment—which largely splits the difference between TN speeds and IPS color reproduction, with excellent contrast ratios.)

TN panels tend to have lower response times, which means less chance for “ghosting” issues, where visual artifacts briefly remain on the screen. But TN panels have a narrower viewing angle, so if you are viewing from outside the sweet spot—say, your monitor is angled slightly—it might be harder to see details, especially in darkly lit scenes.

TN panels also have a more “washed out” look, where the colors don’t pop the same way they do on an IPS display. Still, some gamers prefer having those lower response times despite the color and viewing angle tradeoffs.

IPS, meanwhile, is a visual treat, but you don’t get those 1 millisecond response times as with TN. At least, not typically. For about a year now, there have been IPS displays with 1ms response times, but they tend to be more expensive.

Color space, meanwhile, is how faithful a monitor is to a defined set of colors such as sRGB or AdobeRGB. Accurate colors are always better, but it’s most important for content creation work.

Here are some good TN panels for gaming:

  • BenQ Zowie XL2411P ($200). A 24-inch 1080p monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate, and a 1ms response time. It lacks FreeSync or G-Sync, but it does come with a height- and tilt-adjustable stand.
  • Acer KG271 ($260). This 27-inch 1080p monitor features a 144Hz refresh rate, FreeSync, and the TN panel’s tell-tale 1ms response time.

If you want to go with an IPS display, give these a try:

  • LG 27GL850-B ($447). This is one of the early IPS displays featuring a 1ms response time. It also has a 1440p resolution, a 144Hz refresh rate, and FreeSync.
  • HP Vh340a ($125). A classic example of a budget monitor. It’s 24 inches, 1080p, a 60Hz refresh rate, and a 5ms response time. It’s not powerful, but for a little over $100, it’ll do a respectable job.

Curved displays, ultrawide monitors, and aspect ratios


The Samsung Odyssey G5.

For the most part, when you look at a standard display, you are looking at a screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio. But when you start looking at curved displays, you’ll come across ultrawide monitors with aspect ratios like 21:9. These types of displays are generally more immersive, but they do look different than what you’re used to, and have a “learning curve” of a few days before they feel natural.

Curved monitors are intriguing since they add depth simply by changing the shape of the screen. The curve of a monitor is displayed as “R,” which stands for radius, or how big the monitor would be if it formed a complete circle. A 1000R monitor would form a circle with a radius of 1,000mm, or 1 meter, for example.

Some people love these types of monitors, especially with games that feature large vistas, such as driving games or flight simulators.

Curved monitors and ultrawides are nice to look at, but they are also 100 percent a “luxury” features. Specs such as adaptive sync, display resolution, and HDR are all things that should take priority before venturing into this territory. Admittedly, many of these important features are common on premium curved and ultrawide monitors.

  • Samsung Odyssey G5 ($290). This 32-inch monitor has an immersive 1000R curvature, a 144Hz refresh rate, 1440p resolution, a 1ms response time, and FreeSync. This monitor is still within the usual range of viewing ratio at 16:9.
  • Acer Nitro XZ342CK ($500). A 34-inch display with a 1500R curvature, 1440p resolution, FreeSync, a 144Hz refresh rate, a 1ms response time, and a 21:9 aspect ratio.

What to Look For in a Gaming Monitor

Author: Adam Simmons
Last updated: September 22nd 2022


This is an in-depth informational article. If you’re looking for specific model recommendations, please visit this page.

Table of Contents


Home entertainment is a hot industry and whilst some will be happy playing games on their smart phone, others prefer the experience of using a PC or games console. Some will choose to hook their machine up to a TV, whilst others will prefer a monitor. There’s plenty of crossover between the two, with size preferences tending to dictate the ‘correct’ choice there. One area of tight focus is gaming monitors, screens specifically built to appeal to gamers. There are usually many bold claims made by such screens and plenty of jargon thrown in the mix. Here we focus on the key areas to consider in this niche, complete with links to our ‘deeper dive’ articles on some of the more technical aspects.

The need for speed

Refresh rates have been pushed up in recent years. With 144Hz, 240Hz and even 360Hz+ displays on the market – plus a range of refresh rates between these. High refresh rate alone won’t win you any battles, but it can certainly give you an edge as your screen can pump out more visual information every second. A high frame rate is also important to gain real advantage from that high refresh rate. The improved ‘connected feel’, which describes the precision and fluidity you feel when interacting with the game world, can be very nice indeed. It’s important that this is coupled with low input lag as otherwise the experience will feel anything but ‘connected’ – particularly if you’re sensitive to latency. The high refresh rate and high frame rate combination also decreases perceived blur. These are the sorts of things competitive gamers can really appreciate, but so can more casual gamers.

Pixel responsiveness is also important to reduce perceived blur. Models with IPS (In-Plane Switching) type panels in particular have really pushed things when it comes to responsiveness, offering an experience that can keep even competitive gamers happy. As a result, the once ubiquitous TN models have largely fallen out of favour and new releases with this panel type are few and far between. OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) monitors are exceptionally strong in this area. Though pixel responsiveness itself is important, specified response times are best taken with a large pinch of salt, more so for LCDs. As the linked article explores, the actual pixel response time depends on the shades involved in the transition (grey levels) and measurement method used. VA (Vertical Alignment) models are particularly prone to such variation, with sluggish pixel responses often causing ‘smeary’ trailing where darker shades are involved. You need to consider overly aggressive pixel overdrive which can lead to potentially distracting overshoot (inverse ghosting) as well. Real-world testing such as that we provide in our reviews paints a far more accurate picture.

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Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) technology

For some this is a make-or-break feature. The ability of the monitor to dynamically adjust its refresh rate according to the frame rate of the content, removing tearing and stuttering from the frame and refresh rate mismatches you’d otherwise have. Adaptive-Sync is the most common form of this, leveraged via AMD FreeSync on compatible GPUs and systems – including Microsoft consoles such as the Xbox Series X/S. Compatible Intel hardware can also make use of Adaptive-Sync, as can modern Nvidia GPUs via ‘G-SYNC Compatible Mode’. VRR support is also included as an optional HDMI 2.1 feature, something that can be leveraged by systems such as the PS5 where Adaptive-Sync isn’t supported. Some models feature a G-SYNC module which provides a more tightly-tuned experience, including variable overdrive. And some models are marketed as ‘G-SYNC Ultimate’, with a focus on enhanced HDR performance as well. Our G-SYNC article explains the various iterations of Nvidia’s VRR technology.

Strobe backlights for motion clarity lovers

By having the backlight (or pixels for self-emissive displays) pulse at a frequency matching the refresh rate of the display, perceived blur is minimised. By mechanisms explored in our responsiveness article. Manufacturers will give this capability various names such as; ‘Aim Stabilizer’ (Gigabyte)’, ‘ULMB’ (Nvidia), ‘ELMB’ (ASUS), and ‘Blur Reduction’ (BenQ). Monitors supporting the technology will often have a specified MPRT (Moving Picture Response Time) rather than or in addition to a traditional GtG or G2G (grey to grey) measurement. Such settings are generally only appreciated by a fairly slim number of people, but for competitive gamers or those who seek the highest level of motion clarity they can be considered essential. Such settings are quite widespread but often include a range of compromises such as; limited if any brightness adjustment, colourful flashes and fringes, strong overshoot, strobe crosstalk (‘double images’) and of course flickering. They’ll usually replace any VRR capability and you need to have the frame rate matching the refresh rate exactly to avoid obvious stuttering. Some strobe backlight solutions allow VRR to be activated at the same time, but we’ve yet to see a model that gives a really solid strobe backlight experience with VRR active.

Detailed worlds (resolution)

The 1920 x 1080 (Full HD or 1080p) resolution has been something of a standard for monitors for quite some time. As system power and capability has improved, things have been pushed higher with plenty of models with resolutions such as 2560 x 1440 (WQHD or 1440p) and 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD) available. And some variations such as 3440 x 1440 (UWQHD) for UltraWide models. The improved pixel density offered by these increased resolutions delivers a nice boost to detail and clarity. Or allows a step up in screen size for extra immersion, whilst maintaining the same crispness of a much smaller Full HD screen. Our article on the ‘4K’ UHD resolution shares our subjective experiences with the resolution, reinforced by our reviews of such models. We share our thoughts on the 3440 x 1440 experience and the FOV (Field Of View) benefits that provides as well, essentially delivering the WQHD experience with more of the game world visible at the sides. Whilst games consoles don’t support UltraWide resolutions currently, they certainly support some of the higher 16:9 resolutions. The Xbox Series X/S supports 1440p output, whilst the Xbox Series X and PS5 both support ‘4K’ UHD gaming.

Colourful worlds

It’s widely appreciated that IPS and OLED panels offer enhanced viewing angle performance. But what’s less well understood is that these strengths apply even when you’re sitting directly in front of the monitor. VA (Vertical Alignment) and moreover TN (Twisted Nematic) models show shifts in saturation depending on where the shade is displayed on the screen. IPS models show very little of this behaviour, with a given shade appearing with its full saturation or closer to that throughout the screen. This idea of colour consistency is a key thing we focus on in our reviews and in our panel types article. During fast-paced gaming this might be the last thing on your mind, but if you game more casually having the colours maintain their richness throughout the screen can be very attractive.

Another aspect which impacts your colour experience is colour gamut, determined by the backlight or light source used by the monitor. The gamut describes the range of colours a monitor can display and defines the limits of saturation. When gaming, a wider gamut such as DCI-P3 or Adobe RGB delivers extra ‘pop’ and vibrancy – a ‘vivid and lively’ look. Whereas a gamut closer to sRGB – the standard used for games under SDR – will deliver a more faithful representation of shades. One that’s closer to the developers’ intentions. Perhaps just a bit of extension in the gamut beyond sRGB, providing what we dub a ‘rich and natural’ look. These characteristics are accentuated if colour consistency is strong. Which looks the best is really a matter of taste and sometimes one look may suit certain games better than others. The look provided by a wide gamut is very different to simply increasing saturation via the graphics driver (including via Nvidia’s ‘Digital Vibrance’), which pulls shades closer to the edge of the gamut without expanding the gamut itself. Such a digital saturation boost doesn’t achieve greater peak saturation and simply crushes things together at the expense of shade variety. It’s possible to reduce the colour gamut using sRGB emulation, but as explored in our article on the topic that’s not always without its flaws.

Colour gamut comparison

The image above shows the colour gamuts mentioned here to give you an idea of how wide they are. The red triangle is the monitor being measured, green triangle is sRGB, blue triangle is DCI-P3 and purple triangle is Adobe RGB.

Strong contrast

Having blacker blacks and darker dark shades can help deliver a more atmospheric look to dark scenes in games. And give extra ‘pop’ to bright elements set against darker backgrounds. It can also help improve shadow definition, giving a clearer ‘3D structure’ to things if you like – extra depth to those cracks in rocks and intricate shadows within dense foliage, for example. It can even help provide a more solid or ‘inky’ appearance to medium shades which is reflected in-game even in daylight scenes. Backlightless technology such as OLED is the real master of this, whilst also being strong in other key areas such as colour reproduction and responsiveness. But that’s far from mainstream when it comes to monitors. In the world of LCD panels, it’s really the VA models are the strongest performers here with static contrast ratios typically around 3 times as high as IPS or TN models. Or ~1000:1 vs. ~3000:1 with some models showing a bit of variation either side. Sometimes you’ll see much higher figures quoted, but these are typically dynamic contrast ratios. Where the backlight dims for darker content and brightens for brighter content. Usually as one single unit. The dynamic contrast ratio involves a measurement of pure black and pure white at different times, so it gives little to no indication of real-world contrast performance. Regardless of LCD panel type, more precise luminance control such as local dimming with a good number of dimming zones can also provide a situational contrast boost.

There are other intricacies to be aware of besides just static contrast. ‘IPS glow’ is the best-known example, a haze which is usually most concentrated in the corners of the screen and especially lower down from a normal seated position. Eating away at detail and atmosphere when viewing darker content or shades in affected regions. ‘VA glow’ is also a thing, with a similar but generally milder effect. The intensity of both types of ‘glow’ varies between models and is more intense if sitting closer to the screen or using a higher brightness. It’s also brought out more strongly by elevated backlight bleed or clouding, which varies between units of the same model. As with weaker contrast, it’s under dimmer lighting conditions where these issues become most noticeable. Regardless of how strong the contrast performance of the monitor may be, if you like to view in a mainly dark room we’d recommend situating some lighting behind the monitor. Some models include lighting features integrated into them which creating an aura of light around the monitor – if that’s strong enough it can really aid perceived contrast. Some users will get creative using LED strip lighting on models without such a feature neatly integrated into them, which may be less convenient but can also work effectively.

Well-tuned and consistent gamma performance is also important when it comes to detail levels in dark scenes. IPS models offer the strongest gamma consistency, helping them maintain appropriate detail throughout the screen for darker content. Without the top (high perceived gamma – masked detail) to bottom (low perceived gamma – too much detail) shifts observed on TN models for dark scenes. Or the central ‘black crush’ where dark shades blend into each other too readily (high perceived gamma), with some extra unintended detail revealed further out (low perceived gamma) as typical on VA models.

HDR (High Dynamic Range)

HDR is something of a buzzphrase that ties together a strong contrast performance and vibrant colour output from an appropriately used wide gamut. Or would do this, in an ideal world. HDR10 is the most commonly supported format for monitors, but this really just defines a very broad set of boundaries covering a massive range of HDR hardware capability. 10-bit colour processing (1.07 billion colours) is required, either entirely on the monitor or with the help of GPU dithering to ‘fill in the gaps’. Regardless of how the 10-bit processing is achieved, it enhances the nuanced shade variety compared to the typical 8-bit (16.7 million colours) output in games under SDR. Enhancing shadow detailing with a natural uplifting and smoothing out fine gradients. It also allows the monitor to make better use of the wider colour gamuts associated with HDR. HDR10 has an ideal or long-term target of a massive gamut known as Rec. 2020 (BT.2020), with DCI-P3 a nearer term target which developers will also have in mind. Currently, very few current backlight technologies can deliver strong Rec. 2020 coverage whereas strong DCI-P3 coverage is much easier to achieve.


Things are refined further by VESA’s DisplayHDR certification levels, which are based on the HDR10 pipeline but focus on specific additional criteria. The lowest level is DisplayHDR 400, which only requires a 400 cd/m² peak luminance (brightness). This is pretty bright by SDR standards, with most users preferring 100 – 200 cd/m², but low by HDR standards. Some users prefer a higher brightness and some lower based on their own sensitivity, room lighting and preferences. An important part of a true HDR experience is also the use of effective local dimming, allowing bright shades to appear brilliant and dark shades deeper at the same time. This isn’t required at all by the VESA DisplayHDR 400 level. Some VESA DisplayHDR 400 models employ Dynamic Contrast. With precision enhanced by HDR metadata, so it responds more precisely and appropriately to changes in scene brightness. This helps give darker areas a more atmospheric look than if the backlight simply pumps out its full brightness all the time, which is what some DisplayHDR 400 models do. It’s still a compromised solution, though, as the backlight can still only dim and brighter all at once.

DisplayHDR 600 requires local dimming is used, whilst pumping up the minimum luminance requirement to 600 cd/m². At this level it’s common for relatively few dimming zones to be used, perhaps 8 – 32 with some a bit below and some above that number. A decent local dimming implementation with even a relatively low number of dimming zones can provide a nice situational edge in contrast. And coupled with the higher brightness for bright elements, can really help those stand out. The colour gamut requirements are stricter as well, with a minimum 90% DCI-P3 coverage. It’s possible for VESA DisplayHDR 400 displays to exceed this, just like they could exceed 400 cd/m² and may even have some basic local dimming. But you need to tick all boxes for certification at a higher level, not just some of them.

DisplayHDR 1000 and DisplayHDR 1400, as the names imply, bump up the peak luminance requirement to at least 1000 cd/m² and 1400 cd/m², respectively. DisplayHDR 1400 also requires a minimum 95% DCI-P3 gamut. Both tiers are stricter in their contrast requirements compared to lower tiers, more so with DisplayHDR 1400. A lower black point (superior black depth) is required at some parts of the screen whilst other parts are pumping out very high brightness. This generally requires a more complex local dimming solution such as FALD (Full Array Local Dimming) with hundreds of dimming zones. Or a specialised variant of this such as Mini LED offering 512+ zones. Typically 1152+ zones at the DisplayHDR 1400 level. This can help with more intricate mixtures of bright and dark which are common in many game scenes. Ideally, you’d have per-pixel illumination for ultimate precision – offered by backlightless technologies such as OLED. This sort of thing is required for the so-called ‘True Black’ DisplayHDR tiers which focus more on pure contrast than high brightness.

Comfortable gaming

Viewing comfort is important for your extended gaming sessions and indeed during your breaks away from the action. This is something manufacturers are increasingly focusing on. Flicker-free and Low Blue Light (LBL) solutions are now common, promoting a more relaxing viewing experience. Screen surface is also something we’re quite fussy about and cover in detail in our reviews. Some users seek high levels of glare handling, particularly if the monitor is situated in a bright room or a lighting environment that’s difficult to control. But some prefer a ‘lighter’ matte or even glossy solution, aiding clarity and vibrancy. Providing more direct emission of light, for a smoother look to lighter content with less layering in front of the image. And hopefully less graininess due to a relatively smooth finish to the surface. There are very few glossy options available on the market now, although there are some options with ‘light’ or ‘very light’ matte surfaces which we recommend here.

Another aspect which manufacturers will often tout for viewing comfort reasons a curved screen. By creating a more uniform viewing distance between the edge of the screen and the centre. The inclusion of a curve can also draw you into the experience a bit and enhance the feeling of depth and immersion when gaming. Curvature is measured as a radius (‘R’) in millimeters, with a smaller value such as 1000R indicating a steeper curve than a larger value such as 1900R. In our experience most moderate curves (1500R+) tend to draw you into the experience a bit but are easy to adapt to – you might forget the curve is even there. The curve seems more at home on relatively wide screens, particularly UltraWides. Steeper curves, such as 1000R, tend to have a more pronounced effect. Some people will really enjoy the extra sensation of depth this brings, but it can be trickier for some to adapt to and is something you tend to be more conscious of. Particularly when scanning the eyes from the centre to edge of the screen horizontally. It’s again something that makes to make the most sense on relatively wide screens.

Gaming-focused additions

Manufacturers will often include an array of additional features which can be accessed through their OSD (On Screen Display), designed to enhance play time. These include on screen crosshairs, which can sometimes be customised using software from the manufacturer – Gigabyte’s OSD Sidekick being a good example of this. On screen refresh rate displays which act as ‘frame counters’ may also feature, displaying your FPS in a VRR environment. Another popular addition for a competitive edge are gamma enhancement features designed to improve the visibility in dark areas, with names such as; ‘Black Equalizer’, ‘Light Tuner’, ‘Black Stabilizer’, ‘Dark Boost’, ‘Shadow Boost’, ‘Shadow Control’ and ‘Night Vision’. Sometimes these target dark shades well without upsetting contrast – with pure black or extremely dark shades remaining appropriately dark. Other times they simply make everything look flooded by raising the black point or having a significant negative impact on brighter shades. Some models will include a saturation slider which allows you to increase or decrease digital saturation – with names such as ‘Color Vibrance’, ‘Game Color’ or simply ‘Saturation’. These settings never expand the colour gamut, they just pull shades closer to it if increased – so you lose shade range and the most saturated shades remain the same when using them.

Conclusion and recommendations

Monitor manufacturers have homed in on the desire of many people to get involved with gaming, be it as a casual means of relaxation and escapism or something more competitive. They’ve built a range of sub-brands to reflect this image – Gigabyte AORUS, AOC AGON, ASUS ROG and TUF, Acer Predator and Nitro to name but a few. And along with this, they’ll throw in exciting buzzphrases or overblown specifications – with ‘HDR’ and ‘1ms response time’ being particularly open to abuse and in many cases misleading. It certainly isn’t ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to such screens, with a huge diversity available. Our dedicated recommended gaming monitors section contains a frequently updated shortlist of models we feel are worth of particularly close consideration.

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Buying a Gaming Monitor: What You Need to Know

Specs for gaming monitors and other computer components require sorting through a lot of numbers. It makes the process of buying anything computer related extremely tough. Gamers may be a bit more tech savvy than everyday users, but still, monitors and their technology have gotten extremely complex. Here is a guide to help you understand the basics so you can find a monitor that will help you see everything you need when the game is on the line.

A word before we get started. Computers are all limited by their slowest component. If you have the greatest graphics card in the world but a slow monitor with poor color, gaming is still not going to be a perfect experience. On the other hand, if you have an amazing display paired with an ancient graphics card you won’t be able to make the most of it. Make sure your entire chain is solid before you spend more money. Monitors will usually outlast your cards, so spending a bit more to get a feature you might use after a future upgrade does have value.

The Basics

There are numerous features to consider when it comes to buying a monitor for gaming.

    • Resolution
    • Screen Size
    • Refresh Rate
    • Response Time
    • G-Sync/FreeSync
    • HDR
    • Color Gamut
    • Inputs/Outputs
    • Panel Type

This isn’t the order of priority, but it is likely how things will be presented to you as you shop for a monitor.

Screen Size and Resolution

I’m lumping resolution and screen size together because they play off each other. Depending on your desk, your decision for screen size might already be made, but I’m guessing it’ll be between 24-32″. As for resolution, you’ll have another range of Full HD to 4K. Bigger is obviously, well, bigger, while higher resolution provides a sharper more detailed image.

ASUS VA24EHE 23.8″ 16:9 75 Hz Adaptive-Sync IPS Monitor

Screen size will likely determine your resolution. If you need/want something smaller, a 24″ Full HD display will do great. The mid-range and likely best for most people is a 27″, 2560 x 1440, also known as 1440p or QHD, monitor. Then at the top end is 32″ with a 4K resolution. Obviously, there are other options available, such as 4K 27″ displays and QHD 32″ displays and things outside these sizes and resolutions and aspect ratios, but we are trying to keep it simple.

LG UltraGear 27GL850-B 27″ 16:9 144 Hz HDR FreeSync IPS Gaming Monitor

For gaming, the 27″ 1440p is best for many reasons, even compared to the theoretical improvements that come with bigger sizes and greater resolution.

    • 27″ size is reasonable for most configurations
    • 1440p is sharper than Full HD and puts less strain on graphics than 4K
    • 1440p is able to hit higher refresh rates

Technically, these advantages get even better if you move down to the 24″ Full HD displays, but I think the extra screen real estate of a 27″ display is worth it. Also, if you do move up to a 4K display, you have to think about the extra processing you need to power it. All those extra pixels will need to be rendered and that can put a drag on any system. Keep this in mind, sometimes more pixels is not better.

BenQ PD3200U 32″ 16:9 4K IPS Monitor

You aren’t limited to these types of displays. Among the fun upgrades are ultra-wide and curved monitors, or simply larger displays or TVs (not recommended unless you have good reason). Ultra-wide monitors introduce other potential complications, because they use less conventional resolutions and this, in turn, can result in lower refresh rates and longer response times, both of which we will get into next.

Curved and dual-screen setups:

  • If you want a larger display, curved makes a lot of sense for immersion.
  • Curved displays have unusual resolutions and not all games support wide field of view.
  • Curved displays have no seam.
  • Dualscreen setups have a seam, which is a big problem for gaming.

Refresh Rate and Response Time

Ah, now for the real gaming specs. When you look for a gaming monitor, you will absolutely want to check out the refresh rate, measured in hertz (Hz). This reflects how many times the monitor will refresh the screen each second. Higher numbers are better. Basic displays and televisions hit around 30 Hz, with some going up to 60 Hz. For gaming, 60 Hz is recommended as the bare minimum.

If you want the real-world explanation, higher refresh rates benefit gamers by making sure what you are seeing on screen matches what is happening on the computer. Think about it this way: If someone is running in front of you in a game with a low refresh rate of 30 Hz, the image on screen might not be showing you where they are in the game world at that precise moment. This may seem like an incredibly short time differential—it is—but games require incredible precision to make your shot and human response times recognize the difference.

Samsung 27″ G75T 16:9 240 Hz Curved VA Gaming Monitor

Now, 60 Hz is considered the bare minimum, but there are many 144 Hz displays now on the market. This is highly recommended for serious gaming. You can tell the difference between 60 and 144 Hz, and this difference can help you improve your own response times. There are even 240 Hz monitors if you want to go for the top of the line, though it remains to be seen whether there is a benefit for average gamers.

Reiterating an earlier point—if your graphics and processing can’t reach these high frame rates, you won’t see the benefit by using a high-refresh-rate display. Make sure the entire graphics pipeline can support your resolution and refresh rates. You can always bump down resolution in settings to boost frame rates.

The notes:

    • Higher refresh rates are better.
    • 60 Hz is the bare minimum, but 144 Hz will give a boost to performance.
    • 240 Hz is nice but is unlikely to give as large a jump in performance as the 60-144 Hz jump.
    • You need graphics powerful enough to run games at these frame rates to benefit fully from a fast monitor.

The other time-related spec is response time. It is right there in the name. This refers to how long it takes each pixel to change from one setting to the next. This is commonly measured in milliseconds (ms) from one shade of gray to another shade of gray (GtG). For gaming, you are looking for sub 5 ms, but getting down to 2 ms, or even 1 ms, is preferred.

Response time is important because during fast motion a slower response time can lead to motion blur or ghosting, since the monitor isn’t keeping up with the game. You want a nice, crisp image at all times, and a high refresh rate combined with a fast response time will do it. These are generally the features that make a gaming monitor a gaming monitor.

Things to keep in mind for response time:

    • Keep response times at 5 ms or faster.
    • 1 ms is a now-common option that is advised.
    • Fast response times minimize motion blur and ghosting.

Adaptive Sync, aka Variable Refresh Rate

If you’ve seen any frame-rate benchmarks for games and gaming computers, you’ve likely seen frame rates fluctuate depending on the action on screen. With minimal action, frame rates shoot up while in high action they can drop dramatically. Without any smart technology help, this can result in screen tearing.

LG UltraGear 34GN850-B 34″ 21:9 Curved 160 Hz Adaptive-Sync HDR IPS Gaming Monitor

Screen tearing is when the monitor displays a part of one frame and the following frame at the same time. You’ll notice it, for sure, since the image looks split where the sync is broken. This happens because displays are set to run at a set refresh rate, and they don’t always know what to do when the frame data they receive doesn’t match up with their hard-wired settings.

One option has been VSync, which is simplistic because it tells the monitor to wait for the entire next frame before switching. This isn’t a perfect solution since it can introduce lag, which is very bad for gaming.

AMD and NVIDIA have both developed adaptive sync, or variable refresh rate solutions, to help monitors maintain smooth playback even when the graphics cards are putting out non-standard frame rates. AMD has FreeSync while NVIDIA has G-Sync. Both do a great job of eliminating tearing but require compatible hardware to do so.

AMD’s FreeSync is more widely available and is cheaper to implement, meaning you will often find it on more affordable monitors. NVIDIA’s G-Sync, on the other hand, requires certification and goes through quality control to guarantee performance and usually results in a premium on the display. You’ll likely have to choose based on your graphics cards. If you have an AMD card, get a FreeSync monitor. If you have NVIDIA, get G-Sync.

Is one better than the other? Well, you could argue that G-Sync is technically better since it has additional certifications and guarantees of performance compared to the open FreeSync that allows for inconsistencies from monitor to monitor. However, G-Sync displays are more expensive.


    • NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSync help fix screen tearing with adaptive sync tech.
    • Screen tearing happens when the frame rate doesn’t match the monitor’s refresh rate, causing two frames to load on top of each other.
    • G-Sync monitors require NVIDIA GPUs and are more expensive, but can be more reliable.
    • FreeSync monitors require AMD GPUs and are affordable, but can have major differences from one display to another.
    • Adaptive sync, or variable refresh rate, is great for gaming.

FreeSync (left) and G-Sync (right)


A lot of people think that more resolution is the best move for better quality. I would argue that High Dynamic Range, or HDR, will make a bigger difference to your image quality than more resolution. The extra pop and more vivid colors available in HDR imagery represent a huge jump compared to older display systems. If you haven’t seen an HDR display yet, you really are missing out.

HDR on computer monitors is a bit unusual, still. True HDR requires a specific maximum brightness and minimum brightness to guarantee the dynamic range it promises, but many affordable displays can’t hit these targets. That has led to the introduction of DisplayHDR standard with alternative maximum brightness. If you are shopping, DisplayHDR 400 or higher is likely a reasonable purchase and will give your images a more vibrant feel.

LG 34WL550-B 34″ 21:9 UltraWide FreeSync HDR10 IPS Monitor

You will need to make sure your OS, graphics card, and monitor all support HDR to get it working. And then, each game will need to have its own support for the format. Be careful with this, but it is highly recommended because it is quickly becoming a more standard feature.

What you should know:

    • High Dynamic Range (HDR) displays offer greater contrast with brighter highlights and deeper shadows while still maintaining detail in each. Also, they support more vivid colors.
    • HDR requires a compatible imaging pipeline, including the operating system, graphics card, display, and game, to function properly.
    • HDR has many standards, so make sure you have supported options, such as HDR10. Having a monitor rated with the DisplayHDR standard helps here, as well.
    • HDR is highly recommended because it is becoming more and more popular.

Color Gamut

This is a rough one. I don’t want to get too in the weeds here—I did write an article on color gamuts already. So, I will say that at the bare minimum, you will want something with close to 100% sRGB coverage. This is a solid baseline and will provide good color that nobody will complain about.

If you want to use it for video editing, or watching movies in HDR, or simply want the best, you will want to see good coverage of Adobe RGB and Rec.2020 color spaces.

In summary:

    • Look for a minimum of ~100% sRGB coverage.


This one should seem relatively straightforward; luckily, computers have so many standards! This is good in this case, because we seem to be moving toward a few specific standards that are objectively better nowadays. Those are DisplayPort, HDMI, and USB Type C/Thunderbolt™ 3. The tricky thing is that each one has multiple versions, and the latest are what you want.

Starting with the most popular monitor inputs, we have HDMI and DisplayPort. Practically everyone has seen HDMI—it’s everywhere these days—though DisplayPort is a very close neighbor. Historically, DisplayPort has been more efficient because it has granted better refresh rates and resolutions. The latest versions of HDMI have caught up, though DisplayPort does have an advantage with its locking connector to prevent accidental disconnects. Anyway, most monitors come with both.

What you will likely find today is DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0. Both of these are reliable and have enough throughput for high resolutions of 4K and refresh rates of 60 Hz, or even more, if you are using lower resolutions. In the future, we will start to see DisplayPort 2.0 and HDMI 2.1, bringing even higher resolutions and frame rates, like 4K at 120 Hz or even 8K imagery. Today, you’ll be just fine with HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4, which are the recommended connections.

The new alternative is USB Type-C/Thunderbolt™ 3. Technically, these are different connections, but they look the same. Using adapters, both of these can transmit essentially the same formats as DisplayPort and HDMI. With the right computer you can use USB and/or Thunderbolt™ to transmit data, video, and power using a single cable.

Other considerations are things like audio output, USB ports for general use, and how many connections it has. If you only plan to use your monitor with a single computer, you likely won’t worry too much. But if you want one display to connect a desktop, occasional laptop, and then have a game console on the side, you’ll want to think ahead here.

What to know:

    • HDMI and DisplayPort are common standards and safe bets.
    • HDMI 2.0 is current and solid, but 2.1 is best if you want to future-proof.
    • DisplayPort 1.4 is current, but 2.0 is coming soon and will help you to future-proof.
    • USB Type-C and Thunderbolt™ can offer support for DisplayPort and HDMI via adapters.
    • Think about how many connections you need.
    • Don’t forget USB and audio connections.
    • Cables matter here; you’ll need compatible cables to match the versions of the connectors you have.

Panel Type

To be honest, some people will put great emphasis on the panel type, but as long as you hit the other specs you want/need, you don’t need to care too much. Here’s the summary.

    • IPS (In-Plane Switching) panels generally offer good color reproduction with solid contrast and fast response times but can get pricey for advanced features.
    • TN (Twisted Nematic) panels have better pricing for faster response times and refresh rates but are not as good when it comes to color rendering and viewing angles.
    • VA (Vertical Alignment) panels offer great contrast, but often lose out on gaming-critical performance compared to TN and IPS and aren’t highly recommended.

You will very likely be pushed into one or the other, based on your own requirements and budget. There’s no problem with either one, though if you are deciding between two different panel types, then you’ll want to know which you personally prefer—and that’s when you should know the above.

This should be a solid guide to help you go from knowing nothing about gaming monitors to finding one that is the best fit for you. If you want more help or specific recommendations, please contact our sales team or stop by the Comments section, below.

The Best Gaming Monitors for 2022

Whether you’re a serious PC gamer or a casual after-hours warrior, your hardware can be the pivot point between victory and defeat. To get the most from the latest first-person shooter (FPS), sports, racing, and other fast-action games, you’ll not only need a gaming PC with a powerful graphics card, but also a monitor that can render the action without subjecting you to blurred images, flicker, tearing, and other motion artifacts.

In this guide, we’ll help you choose a display that gives you an edge over your opponents while delivering a smooth, immersive gaming experience. Here are the factors to consider when choosing a gaming monitor, as well as our current favorites from our extensive hands-on testing.

More About Our Picks

MSI Oculux NXG253R

4.5 Outstanding

Best Gaming Monitor for Everyday 1080p Play

Bottom Line:

Fast IPS has come a long way in a short time, elevating extreme esports-focused 360Hz monitors like MSI’s Oculux NXG253R to new heights in color and contrast.


  • Rich colors in game and content testing
  • Very low input lag
  • Full array of additional features
  • Nvidia Latency Analyzer support


  • Low Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 color gamut coverage
  • Huge Nvidia sticker on the back

Read Our MSI Oculux NXG253R Review

ViewSonic Elite XG270QG

4. 5 Outstanding

Best Gaming Monitor for Everyday 1440p Play

Bottom Line:

ViewSonic’s Elite XG270QG gaming monitor delivers everything that 1440p gamers could want, and a bunch more. It’s a premium panel that, despite the price, still packs tremendous value for serious high-speed play.


  • Exceptional visual results.
  • 1ms response time from an IPS panel.
  • Fast refresh rate.
  • Low input lag.
  • Highly flexible stand.
  • Subtle use of RGB.


  • A smidge pricey.
  • Housing could use a little more flair.

Read Our ViewSonic Elite XG270QG Review

Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A

3.5 Good

Best Gaming Monitor for Everyday 4K Play

Bottom Line:

While Asus’ Rapid IPS-based TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A is a fine gaming monitor, its release is overshadowed by the latest quantum-dot panels.


  • Sturdy, gamer-friendly design with many features for console players
  • Strong gaming performance across all tests
  • Exceeds SDR brightness rating
  • Full-featured OSD


  • Weak HDR performance overall
  • Poor contrast ratio results

Read Our Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A Review

Dell 27 Curved Gaming Monitor (S2721HGF)

4. 0 Excellent

Best Budget Gaming Monitor

Bottom Line:

The Dell 27 Curved Gaming Monitor (S2721HGF) offers great 1080p gaming performance in an affordable 144Hz display.


  • Inexpensive for a 27-inch high-refresh gaming panel
  • Very low input lag
  • Excellent Nvidia G-Sync performance


  • Mediocre contrast

Read Our Dell 27 Curved Gaming Monitor (S2721HGF) Review

LG C2 48-Inch Evo OLED TV (OLED48C2PUA)

4.5 Outstanding

Best Big-Screen Gaming Monitor (40 to 50 Inches)

Bottom Line:

The outstanding LG C2 Evo OLED offers one of the best pictures we’ve ever seen on a TV, with nearly cinema-perfect color out of the box, as well as incredibly low input lag for gamers.


  • Most accurate digital cinema color we’ve seen on a TV
  • 120Hz panel with incredibly low input lag
  • G-Sync Compatible and supports AMD FreeSync Premium
  • WebOS offers Apple AirPlay, multiple voice assistants, and a web browser


  • Remote control and WebOS are a bit clunky
  • No hands-free Google Assistant

Read Our LG C2 48-Inch Evo OLED TV (OLED48C2PUA) Review


4. 0 Excellent

Best Big-Screen Gaming Monitor (30 to 40 Inches)

Bottom Line:

Ultra-fast refresh freaks may want to look elsewhere, but for those on the hunt for the best-balanced large-panel gaming monitor, the Aorus FI32Q nears perfection on every feature front.


  • Innovative design and wide gamer feature set.
  • Decent color results.
  • Very low input lag.
  • Aggressively priced for its class.


  • Overall HDR and movie quality is so-so.
  • Contrast ratio tested lower than advertised.
  • Built-in webcam is nifty but works only for facial recognition feature.

Read Our MSI Optix MPG341CQR Review

Asus ROG Swift 360Hz PG259QN

4.5 Outstanding

Best Gaming Monitor for 1080p Esports Competition

Bottom Line:

The Asus ROG Swift 360Hz PG259QN is among the fastest gaming monitors you can buy today, and its stratospheric 360Hz refresh rate is only part of a near-flawless total package.


  • Tip-top 360Hz refresh rate
  • Fast IPS (FIPS) panel
  • Stellar color accuracy and DCI-P3 results
  • Solid ergonomics
  • Full-featured OSD
  • Aura Sync RGB LEDs on the back


  • Pricey for a 24.5-inch panel
  • So-so Adobe RGB results

Read Our Asus ROG Swift 360Hz PG259QN Review

Alienware 27 Gaming Monitor (AW2721D)

4.5 Outstanding

Best Gaming Monitor for 1440p Esports Competition

Bottom Line:

If you want your multiplayer and single-player games to look their best at 1440p, the Alienware 27 Gaming Monitor should be a top pick on your list.


  • Highly ergonomic and functional design
  • Beautiful, vivid color reproduction
  • Stellar gaming performance
  • Snappy OSD menu
  • Exceeds rated contrast ratio


  • Minor light bleed along bottom edge
  • Expensive

Read Our Alienware 27 Gaming Monitor (AW2721D) Review

Samsung Odyssey G9 Gaming Monitor

4. 0 Excellent

Best Ultrawide Gaming Monitor for Flight/Racing Sims

Bottom Line:

Flight-sim and racing fans will go ga-ga over Samsung’s Odyssey G9, a gaming monitor with a curved 49-inch screen that gets incredibly bright while delivering smooth motion and vivid color.


  • Huge, luxurious wide-screen panel
  • Very bright
  • Strong color performance


  • Expensive
  • Input lag could be lower

Read Our Samsung Odyssey G9 Gaming Monitor Review

Alienware 34 QD-OLED (AW3423DW)

4.0 Excellent

Best OLED Gaming Monitor

Bottom Line:

The Alienware 34 QD-OLED is a fine start for this new panel technology, and it shows that with just a few more refinements to its configuration settings and performance peaks, QD-OLED could be the only display type we’re playing on five years from now.


  • Gorgeous and sturdy design
  • Beautiful picture quality in SDR and HDR
  • Competitive price for the feature set
  • Exceptional gamut and color coverage results
  • Snappy and responsive gaming performance
  • Significantly lower input lag than previous OLED monitors


  • Finicky settings will take time to get used to
  • Lower peak brightness than advertised in HDR mode
  • Added image presets could detract from HDR experience

Read Our Alienware 34 QD-OLED (AW3423DW) Review

HP Omen X Emperium 65

4. 0 Excellent

Best TV-Size Gaming Monitor for the Ultimate Gaming Den

Bottom Line:

The HP Omen X Emperium 65, the first Nvidia Big Format Gaming Display (BFGD), is an epic, extravagant high-refresh mega-monitor. It’s impossibly pricey and far from flawless, but play on it is unmatched, if you have the monster PC to support it.


  • Astounding image quality.
  • Size and refresh rate combo is unique for a 4K gaming monitor.
  • Nvidia Shield streaming built in.
  • Matching, bundled soundbar.
  • Nifty proximity lighting on ports.


  • Wildly expensive.
  • Shield UI can be obtuse in places.
  • Soundbar audio is ho-hum considering display cost.
  • Meager default warranty.

Read Our HP Omen X Emperium 65 Review

Razer Raptor 27

4.5 Outstanding

Best Gaming/Content-Creator Crossover Monitor

Bottom Line:

Razer’s Raptor 27 gaming monitor is, quite simply, a 144Hz HDR triumph. The company has broken into the gaming-display space with a bang.


  • Exceptional color results.
  • Functional and beautiful design.
  • Restrained use of RGB.
  • Very low input lag.


  • A bit on the pricey side.

Read Our Razer Raptor 27 Review

Panel Size and Resolution

When it comes to gaming monitors, bigger is almost always better. That said, in some cases you’ll want to keep the size of your screen to no more than 27 inches measured diagonally.

If you’ve watched any esports tournaments lately, you’ve likely noticed that all the players are focused on screens smaller than that size. (24.5 inches seems to be the sweet spot, especially for esports-focused displays like the Asus ROG Swift 360Hz PG259QN.) Why? Well, if you’re playing a highly competitive title such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive or League of Legends, having a smaller screen means you can keep the monitor closer to your eyes while also keeping more of the frame in view. Being able to see every element on screen at once is a vital advantage in a competitive multiplayer environment. The larger your screen, the more difficult it is to keep every enemy combatant in your peripheral vision.

(Photo: Chris Stobing)

If you have the room and don’t care so much about ultra-competitive gaming, however, a larger monitor provides plenty of space for your avatars and characters to roam and offers the opportunity to go beyond full high definition (known as full HD or 1080p and measuring 1,920 by 1,080 pixels). Many newer models are Wide Quad High-Definition (WQHD) monitors with 2,560-by-1,440-pixel resolution (also dubbed 1440p).

The higher pixel count provides sharper imagery than full HD, but you’ll need a reasonably powerful graphics processor to play the latest games at the higher resolution, especially if you have all the visual effects and eye candy enabled. This goes double for 4K or ultra high definition (UHD) screens with a resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 pixels, such as the Acer Predator XB3.

If desk space is tight, there are plenty of 24-inch monitors available, but with most of them you’ll be limited to 1080p resolution. If you have lots of room and money is no object, jumbo monitors are tempting. A 30-inch 4K display will deliver a stunning picture with amazing resolution; you can go all out with a 34-inch ultrawide monitor with either a flat or curved panel; or you can splurge on something larger still. (We’ve tested displays up to 65 inches.)

(Photo: Zlata Ivleva)

Ultrawide monitors typically have a 21:9 aspect ratio (as opposed to the 16:9 ratio of 1080p, 1440p, and 4K) and offer a much wider field of view than a standard monitor, but they take up a lot of room. A curved widescreen monitor enhances the immersive aspect by making you feel a bit closer to the action, and in some games the wraparound view will also give you a competitive edge.

Battle-royale titles like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Apex Legends both support 21:9 resolution. Rather than simply squashing and stretching the image as some games do, these games (and others with native 21:9 support) will actually show more of the battlefield on either side than you’d see on a 16:9 panel. Battle-royale players in particular will benefit from this increased real estate. A player on a 16:9 panel may not see an enemy standing on a hill far off in the periphery, but a 21:9 player might be able to spot the threat without having to turn their character.

Panel Technology

You’ll see several main panel technologies used in different gaming monitors, and each has its pluses and minuses.

Twisted nematic (TN) panels are the most affordable and are popular among gamers because they offer fast pixel response times and refresh rates. Their biggest drawback? They’re prone to color shifting when viewed from an angle.

Vertical alignment (VA) screens are known for their high native contrast ratios, robust colors, and ability to display deep blacks, but they’re also known to produce noticeable ghosting effects or blur fast-moving images, which can hurt gaming performance. It depends on the model, which is where reading PCMag’s and other reviews comes in.

In-plane switching (IPS) panels provide superb all-around color quality, strong grayscale performance, and wide viewing angles, but they can’t match the fast pixel response of TN panels and are subject to motion artifacts. They’re the best general-use monitor type, but discriminating gamers or competitive esports types may want to avoid IPS. This changed in 2019, however, when LG developed a new variation (dubbed Fast IPS, Rapid IPS, and Nano IPS by various manufacturers) that claims 1-millisecond gray-to-gray response time with overdrive turned on. These panels use a thin layer of nanoparticles applied to the backlight that enables wider color-gamut coverage and reduces response time, a combo that now makes Fast IPS the dominant choice for almost every midrange and premium gaming monitor. If you have room in your budget, Fast IPS monitors currently offer the best balance of gaming performance and image quality.

Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) and Quantum Dot OLED (QD-OLED) panels are the latest to arrive to the gaming display party, and also one of the most anticipated. OLED tech has been a staple in HDTV sets since 2018 or so, but it wasn’t until 2021 that the first OLED TV/monitor hybrids in LG’s C series gained traction. The same design also made it into the Alienware 55 OLED, a monitor we marked down for its minimal brightness and overall HDR performance. Most recently, though, Samsung has spiced up the competition with Dell’s help, launching the Editors’ Choice award-winning Alienware 34 QD-OLED. This ultrawide, curved QD-OLED panel is both less expensive and faster than the Alienware 55 and brings QD-OLED into the gaming-panel conversation right out of the gate.

Because TN, VA, IPS, and OLED each have their pros and cons, we recommend looking at samples of each at your local electronics mega-mart if possible. That way, you can get an idea of their «feel» (visually speaking) and learn which compromises matter the least to you. Also bear in mind that not all panels of a given type are created equal, so seeing the actual monitor you’re considering in person is always desirable.

Pixel Response, Input Lag, and Refresh Rate

Gaming monitors should have a fast pixel response time and a high refresh rate, the latter commensurate with the frame rates your PC can push. (More on that in a moment.)

The most commonly used pixel response spec is gray-to-gray, which is measured in milliseconds (ms) and signifies the time it takes a pixel to transition from one shade of gray to another. (A few companies still use the older black-to-white measurement.) A fast pixel response will help eliminate smearing of moving images and provide a smoother overall picture. A gray-to-gray response of 2ms or less is ideal, but even a 4ms gray-to-gray response is usually adequate for single-player gaming.

(Photo: Chris Stobing)

Input lag is another important factor to consider when buying your next gaming monitor, especially for competitive players. Input lag refers to the amount of time it takes for an action (such as keypress or mouse click) to be reflected onscreen. Since the middle of 2019, we’ve been testing all gaming monitors using the HDFury 4K Diva(Opens in a new window) and consider any screens that score below 5ms to be a good fit for players who rely on lightning-quick reflexes to best their opponents.

Then there’s refresh rate. A monitor’s refresh rate refers to the number of times per second it can redraw the entire screen, measured in hertz (Hz). Most standard LCD monitors (including older gaming panels) have a peak refresh rate of 60Hz, which means the screen is refreshed or redrawn 60 times per second. Fast-moving images may appear blurry at this rate, or the panel may suffer from screen tearing, an artifact that occurs when the monitor displays misaligned pieces of two or more screen draws at once. (This can be alleviated by a synchronization technique called variable refresh rate, more about which in a moment. )

(Photo: Chris Stobing)

The trend in gaming panels over the last couple of years is toward refresh rates substantially higher than 60Hz. The most common increments we see today in so-called high-refresh-rate gaming displays are 75Hz, 120Hz, and 144Hz, with panels up to 240Hz and even 360Hz and 390Hz now available.

Most of the 240Hz panels we’ve seen peak at 1080p resolution, with 1440p and 4K panels topping out at 165Hz and 144Hz respectively. This is due to the throughput limitations of the two most popular cable technologies, HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4b. This should start to change in 2022 as the faster HDMI 2.1 spec becomes more widespread, but that could take a while since we only saw the first instance of HDMI 2.1 in a gaming graphics card with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 and subsequent RTX 30 series cards.

(Photo: Zlata Ivleva)

Games that run at frame rates higher than 60 frames per second (fps) can benefit from one of these monitors. The higher refresh rate can show motion more fluidly when in sync. Esports players who specialize in games that aren’t especially demanding in terms of 3D rendering (and therefore run at very high frame rates) will especially want to take note.

Just because you have a high refresh rate, however, doesn’t guarantee your gaming graphics will be free of tearing and artifacts. That leads us to the other big PC-centric trends in late-model gaming monitors: Nvidia’s G-Sync and AMD’s FreeSync.

G-Sync and FreeSync: Technologies in Flux

The newest gaming monitors use synchronization technology to help reduce tearing and other motion artifacts while lowering input lag. Displays equipped with Nvidia’s G-Sync or AMD’s FreeSync technology hand off control of the display’s refresh rate to the graphics card or graphics processing unit (instead of the monitor), which lets the display operate at a variable refresh rate (VRR) matching what the card is capable of pushing at any given moment. The result is a smooth gaming experience with decreased input lag and no tearing. Note, however, that G-Sync and FreeSync monitors require a compatible graphics card with a DisplayPort 1.2 or HDMI 2.0/2.1 output (an Nvidia card for G-Sync or AMD card for FreeSync).

(Photo: Zlata Ivleva)

In 2017, AMD announced an enhanced technology called FreeSync 2, which higher-end monitors have been transitioning to since 2018. FreeSync 2 has the same basic aim as FreeSync—synchronizing the frame rate of the signal from a compatible AMD graphics card with the refresh rate of the monitor—but adds HDR support, low input lag (i.e., latency), and support for low-frame-rate compensation. The last is the ability to sync the frame rate of a GPU with that of a monitor even when the GPU falls below the display’s minimum frame rate.

Meanwhile, the shape of VRR on the Nvidia side of things took a turn in early 2019. That’s when Nvidia released a new version of its GeForce driver that let users of FreeSync monitors turn on G-Sync in the driver software. The results may vary, but in essence, owners of FreeSync panels can now try out VRR with an Nvidia rather than AMD graphics card. Nvidia has also extended a sort of G-Sync certification to a select group of FreeSync monitors. At last check, roughly 270 monitors fall under the company’s G-Sync standard(Opens in a new window). That should mean less or no screen tearing, ghosting, and other artifacts during variable-refresh-rate gameplay, as well as support for a wide range of refresh rates (for example, 60Hz to 144Hz) according to the monitor’s specifications. Certain models at the link above are labeled as G-Sync Compatible. Where supported, you can try to switch G-Sync on from the Nvidia software control panel and see if, and how well, its adaptive sync works.

(Photo: Zlata Ivleva)

G-Sync has gotten more complicated in another way, too. The addition of the G-Sync Compatible category brings Nvidia’s number of monitor compatibility levels to three. G-Sync Compatible is the lowest tier. Next are monitors that meet Nvidia’s traditional G-Sync standards, containing specialized circuitry to support the standard; they’ve passed some 300 image-quality tests and are capable of operating over the full VRR range.

The top tier is G-Sync Ultimate (formerly known as G-Sync HDR), which bolsters the G-Sync standards with high-end features such as extreme luminance (1,000 nits) and a refresh rate of at least 144Hz. One of the first panels to qualify for G-Sync Ultimate branding was the Acer Predator X27, but more have appeared since, especially with the introduction of 65-inch Big Format Gaming Displays (BFGDs) from HP and others. (See our review of the most notable of these, the HP Omen X Emperium.)

HDR: Brightness Deluxe

High dynamic range (HDR) technology isn’t just for making movies and TV shows look good. It can also turn a dimly lit, washed-out game into something vibrant and full of contrast, with sharply defined edges around every part of the environment. You can find four levels of HDR in gaming monitors right now: DisplayHDR 400, DisplayHDR 600, DisplayHDR 1000, and DisplayHDR 1600. The figure refers to the number of nits or the brightness level at which the display should be capable of maxing out.

But while there are plenty of HDR 4K monitors to choose from these days, Windows’ implementation of HDR is still, well, lacking. If it ever works the way it’s supposed to, apps that are compatible with Windows (those from the Windows App Store seem to offer better HDR compatibility than those found outside that ecosystem) will get the HDR treatment, as will the operating system itself.

(Photo: Zlata Ivleva)

While consoles like the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PlayStation 5 deliver flawless HDR in almost all their games, the PC still lags behind in terms of the number of game titles and monitors that support HDR. How well the tech is implemented varies on a case-by-case basis. That said, when done well (especially in titles developed since the tech took off in gaming monitors around the end of 2017), HDR adds a striking aspect to gameplay.

In testing at PC Labs, we’ve found DisplayHDR 400 is generally sufficient to get a nice visual effect, but the DisplayHDR 1000 and 1600 specs take the technology to an entirely new level.

Can It Create?

When we test monitors for their gaming capabilities, we also look at what they can do in general-use cases like watching movies or browsing the web, as well as how accurately they can reproduce color in a number of chromaticity tests.

The sRGB color gamut or palette acts like a baseline for how content on the internet will appear, while DCI-P3 is a measure of how well a monitor does at reproducing the color spectrum most often used for movies and TV shows. For still rather than motion images, there’s also the Adobe RGB gamut, which measures how well a monitor does at reproducing accurate color in professional content editing software such as Adobe Photoshop.

Color accuracy is also measured via a figure known as Delta E, which expresses the distance between, say, the theoretical most accurate orange and the orange that you see on screen. If you want to watch (or produce) a lot of movies on your gaming monitor, its percentage of DCI-P3 coverage should be your top concern; the Delta E and Adobe RGB numbers are the priority for creators who work in photography, 3D design, game production, modeling, or other creative fields where color accuracy is paramount.

Video Inputs and Other Features

A gaming monitor should be equipped with a variety of video inputs, so you can connect it to a variety of PCs and gaming consoles. Dual HDMI ports are ideal, since the major game consoles use HDMI, while most high-end graphics cards released in recent years offer DisplayPort and HDMI 2.1 connectivity. The older DVI connector has all but died out, though you may still see it in budget hardware.

A few extreme enthusiast monitors capable of 4K resolution, such as the Acer Nitro XV3, actually require two DisplayPort 1. 4b cables plugged in at once to pipe a 4K 144Hz signal from a PC to the display. So far, the Nitro is the only display we’ve seen that has this requirement, but if you plan on buying this particular monitor you’ll want to check that your GPU has two DisplayPort 1.4b outputs first.

(Photo: Zlata Ivleva)

USB ports on a monitor are also a nice feature, as they make it easy to connect gaming controllers, mice, flash drives, and other external peripherals. You can often charge handheld devices by plugging them into a USB port. Side-mounted USB ports make it easier to plug and unplug peripherals than ones located on the back of the display.

A powerful speaker system with a built-in subwoofer will enhance your gaming experience and save desktop space, and a stand with height, tilt, and swivel adjustments offers ergonomic comfort for all-night frag-a-thons. That said, if you tend to game with a gaming headset, a conveniently situated USB port might be more useful than middling built-in speakers.

(Photo: Zlata Ivleva)

Finally, there’s RGB lighting. While some shoppers can’t stand the stuff (to this writer’s eyes, it washes out the game visuals on screen), plenty of gamers like to sync their gaming monitor with other RGB-illuminated components such as their PC case, graphics card, or memory modules. (Heck, you can even find RGB solid-state drives these days.)

(Photo: Zlata Ivleva)

Some of the software utilities that can sync your monitor to the rest of your RGB setup include Asus Aura Sync(Opens in a new window), Acer DisplayWidget(Opens in a new window), and MSI Mystic Light(Opens in a new window), as well as Alienware’s Command Center. More advanced options like SteelSeries’ GameSense work in tandem with monitors like the MSI Optix MPG27CQ to display in-game information like your ammo and health levels via RGB LED strips on the monitor. The number of GameSense-compatible games and apps is limited, but it’s a neat look into a possible future of functional, not just decorative, RGB bling.

So, Which Gaming Monitor Should I Buy?

Screen size, panel technology, and features will determine how much you’ll pay for a gaming monitor. You can snag a 24-inch model with TN technology and a fast gray-to-gray pixel response time for around $200, but you won’t get much in the way of features or brilliant image quality. Expect to pay more than $200 if you want a higher-than-60Hz refresh rate and some subset of perks, such as an adjustable stand, a USB hub, multiple digital video inputs, and either G-Sync or FreeSync support.

A full-blown 27-inch gaming monitor with all the bells and whistles, including G-Sync or FreeSync and a Nano IPS display, can cost north of $500, while a 34-inch UHD monitor will run you more than $700. If you’re looking for a big-screen, ultrawide monitor with a curved panel, plan on spending even more.

For more of our monitor picks, check out our top monitors overall. Players can also check out our favorites among other peripherals such as gaming keyboards and gaming mice to finish outfitting their game dens.   

The 7 Best Monitor Sizes For Gaming — Fall 2022: Reviews

  1. Table of Contents
  2. Intro
  3. 12-17 Inch

    1. 24-25 Inch

      1. 27-Inch

        1. 32-Inch

          1. 34-38 Inch

            1. Large

              1. Super Ultrawide

                1. Recent Updates
                2. All Reviews
                3. Discussions

                Updated Jun 15, 2022 at 04:06 pm

                By Adam Babcock

                When looking for the best monitor size for gaming, it can be easy to get confused with all the buzzwords and features manufacturers put into their marketing. With so many choices and so many models, it’s not easy to decide which size is best for you. The resolution, viewing distance, and even the games you play can all impact your decision. As you likely won’t be using the monitor only for gaming, it’s important to consider how else you plan on using the monitor when you’re looking for the best size you need for gaming.

                We’ve bought and tested more than 240 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best screen size for gaming. See our recommendations for the best gaming monitors, the best gaming monitors for Xbox Series X, and the best gaming monitors for PS5.

                1. 12-17 Inch Portable Gaming Monitor

                  ASUS ROG Strix XG17AHPE

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                  Although portable monitors aren’t as popular as full-sized desktop models for gaming, there’s growing interest in them. Whether you’re gaming on the go in a coffee house or just don’t have much space, portable monitors have a lot to offer. Most portable monitors offer a lackluster gaming experience, with slow response times, poor picture quality, and few gaming features. They also tend to have limited connectivity, focusing on compact inputs like USB-C, meaning you might need adapters if you want to connect your favorite console or even some older laptops. There are a few exceptions, and there are even a few models available that perform just as well as desktop models.

                  Portable monitors aren’t ideal for highly detailed, graphically intense games. Unlike portable gaming devices like the Nintendo Switch or the Steam Deck, you’re not holding the screen close to your eyes, so smaller models are best-suited for action games that don’t have a lot of UI elements, as those elements will likely be too small to see many fine details. There are larger portable monitors available, and those models are a bit better for more graphically intense games.

                  The best portable gaming monitor we’ve tested is the ASUS ROG Strix XG17AHPE. It’s a surprisingly great gaming monitor that outperforms many high-end gaming monitors, with a fast refresh rate, an incredibly fast response time, and outstanding low input lag. It’s feature-packed, with FreeSync and G-SYNC Compatibility, ensuring a tear-free gaming experience. It has a built-in battery pack, ensuring you can keep gaming even if the power goes out, assuming your source also has a battery.

                  You can also see our full list of recommendations for the best portable monitors for other options.

                  See our review

                2. 24-25 Inch Gaming Monitor

                  ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM

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                  Larger-sized monitors are the norm now, but smaller models have their benefits and are popular for some uses. 24 and 25-inch monitors offer enough screen space for gaming, and it’s easier to see everything in your field of vision, like maps, during competitive gaming. These monitors are great for fast-paced FPS games but not as good for more immersive ones like adventure or RPG games.

                  Also, a smaller screen results in a higher pixel density, which translates to better text clarity than larger screens with the same resolution.
                  Most models we’ve tested in this size have a 1080p resolution. This relatively low resolution puts a lighter load on the graphics card, allowing it to push out more frames per second. Recent models support refresh rates as high as 360Hz, delivering an incredibly smooth and responsive gaming experience. The downside with a small 1080p screen is that you don’t get much room for productivity, especially for split-screen multitasking.

                  The ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM is the best 25-inch gaming monitor we’ve tested. It has an extremely fast 240Hz refresh rate that you can overclock to 280Hz, and coupled with its outstanding response time, it delivers extremely clear motion in fast-paced games. It also has incredibly low input lag, good for even the best esports gamers. Although it natively only supports FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR), it’s certified by NVIDIA for G-SYNC compatibility on recent NVIDIA graphics cards, meaning you can get the most out of it regardless of your choice of graphics card.

                  You can also see our full list of recommendations for the best 24-25 inch monitors for other options.

                  See our review

                3. 27-Inch Gaming Monitor

                  ASUS ROG Swift PG279QM

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                  Many people will say that a 27-inch option is the best monitor size for gaming, and that’s because most gaming monitors are available in a 27-inch model. You can find anything from basic 1080p screens to high 4k resolutions, and you can also find monitors with 60Hz refresh rates or with stunning 240Hz refresh rates. 27-inch monitors are good if you want more screen space than a 24 or 25-inch display, and you find 32-inch screens are too big.

                  There are 27-inch models for different types of gamers. If you’re a PC gamer, you can easily find a 27-inch monitor with a high refresh rate and VRR support to reduce screen tearing, and while most have native FreeSync support, some have native G-SYNC support, too. If you tend to play on a console, there are some 4k options available with HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, and there are also a few 28-inch models with a 4k resolution if you want something slightly bigger.

                  The best 27-inch gaming monitor we’ve tested is the ASUS ROG Swift PG279QM. It’s an excellent gaming monitor with a 1440p resolution for immersive gaming, and it has an incredibly high 240Hz refresh rate. If you have an NVIDIA graphics card, you can take full advantage of it thanks to the native G-SYNC support. It has NVIDIA’s Reflex Latency Analyzer feature that measures the latency of your entire PC setup. You can use it to its full capabilities over a DisplayPort connection, but it’s limited to 144Hz over HDMI.

                  You can also see our full list of recommendations for the best 27-inch monitors for other options.

                  See our review

                4. 32-Inch Gaming Monitor

                  Samsung LC32G75TQSNXZA

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                  If you want something even larger, 32 inches is the best gaming monitor size as it offers more space while maintaining the 16:9 aspect ratio. It’s not the most common size, but they have plenty of options to choose from, with a wide range of features, so there’s something for everyone. At this size, you can find models with both 1440p and 4k resolutions, as a 32-inch 4k monitor delivers high pixel density for productivity. You won’t find many 1080p monitors in this size because the pixel density is so low.

                  With many options to choose from, 32-inch monitors are versatile. 1440p models are available with high refresh rates and fast response times, making them a great choice for fast-paced gaming. With HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 2.0 models starting to hit the market, some high refresh rate 4k models are available but require high-end graphics cards to take full advantage of them, so most people are probably best looking at 1440p models instead.

                  The best 32-inch monitor for gaming that we’ve tested is the Samsung LC32G75TQSNXZA. This monitor delivers an outstanding gaming experience, thanks to its high refresh rate, fast response time, and outstanding low input lag. It’s available in 27 and 32-inch variants, both with a 1440p native resolution. If you’re after more screen space, go for the 32-inch model. Both models are great choices for almost any type of game, but the 16:9 ratio might be a bit limiting for gamers looking for a more immersive gaming experience.

                  You can also see our full list of recommendations for the best 32-inch monitors for other options.

                  See our review

                5. 34-38 Inch Gaming Monitor

                  Dell Alienware AW3423DW




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                  Ultrawide monitors usually have the same height as traditional smaller sizes but offer more horizontal screen space. They’re great for gaming, as the wider format makes it easier to see more of your surroundings at once, delivering a more immersive gaming experience overall. They’re best suited for immersive first-person games like RPGs and some shooters, but keep in mind that not all games support the 21:9 aspect ratio of most ultrawide displays. Most ultrawide monitors have a 34-inch screen size with a 3440×1440 resolution, but there are some 38-inch models with a 3840×1600 resolution instead; those are generally for office use.

                  Another advantage of an ultrawide screen is that you can open multiple windows side-by-side. Some of them also support multiple input display features like picture-by-picture, allowing you to display two sources at once. On the other hand, ultrawide monitors usually have worse ergonomics as you can’t rotate them into portrait mode. Also, gaming consoles don’t support the ultrawide format, so they’re better if you’re a PC gamer and your games support this format.

                  The best 34-inch ultrawide monitor we’ve tested is the Dell Alienware AW3423DW. It’s an amazing gaming monitor with a new QD-OLED panel that delivers a nearly instantaneous response time, resulting in crystal-clear motion with no noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects. It also has outstanding low input lag and native G-SYNC variable refresh rate support for a nearly tear-free gaming experience. Its OLED panel delivers an incredible dark-room experience, with nearly infinite contrast and perfect uniformity, with no distracting blooming around bright objects.

                  You can also see our full list of recommendations for the best 34+ inch monitors for other options.

                  See our review

                6. Large Screen Gaming Monitor

                  LG OLED42C2PUA

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                  If you find typical 24, 27, or 32-inch monitors too small, you should look for larger displays. Although you can easily game on a 55-inch TV, you might find that too big for a desk, so monitor manufacturers are starting to release more large-screen monitors in the 40 to 50-inch range. There are LED options with a 43-inch screen like the Gigabyte AORUS FV43U, and there are slightly larger OLEDs at 48 inches. The advantage these sizes bring you is that they maintain the typical 16:9 aspect ratio, meaning you won’t get black bars on the side in certain games like with an ultrawide.

                  There are a few downsides to this screen size, though. They tend to be expensive, and there aren’t many models available, but they’re growing in popularity. Also, these monitors don’t usually have good ergonomics as they come with fixed stands, so it’s harder to move the screen around to share with a friend for co-op gaming unless you have the desk space to move the entire monitor.

                  The best large-screen gaming monitor we’ve tested is the LG 42 C2 OLED. It’s technically a TV, but it’s mainly marketed to gamers and delivers an impressive gaming experience. The OLED panel delivers incredibly smooth motion, with no noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects. It also has a slew of great gaming features, including support for FreeSync, G-SYNC, and HDMI Forum VRR technology, reducing distracting screen tearing in games. It supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on all four of its HDMI ports, so you can connect multiple new consoles and enjoy 4k @ 120Hz gaming from all of them.

                  See our review

                7. Super Ultrawide Gaming Monitor

                  Samsung Odyssey Neo G9

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                  A super ultrawide monitor is good for those who have multi-monitor setups and would rather get one monitor instead. These monitors are rare, but they have a staggering 32:9 aspect ratio and 49-inch screen size, which is the equivalent of placing two 27-inch monitors side-by-side. Naturally, with a bigger screen, you can achieve a larger resolution. Most super ultrawide monitors have a 5120 x 1440 resolution, the same vertical resolution as a 1440p screen, but with more horizontal pixels.

                  Since these super ultrawide monitors are so large, they’re curved so that the screen’s edges are easier to see. However, there are often uniformity issues, and due to the larger size, the stands don’t offer much in ergonomics. You’ll need a big desk to place it on, and not all content works with a 32:9 aspect ratio; it’s not a problem if you’re opening multiple windows side-by-side, but you will see black bars at the sides when watching movies or playing certain games.

                  The best super ultrawide gaming monitor we’ve tested is the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9. It features Mini LED backlighting and has a good local dimming feature, making it a great choice for dark room gaming. It has a fast 240Hz refresh rate that you can achieve over a DisplayPort connection, and it delivers a great HDR experience thanks to its high peak brightness. However, you need to ensure it’s updated to the latest firmware for the best HDR experience, as HDR is over-brightened before the update.

                  You can also see our full list of recommendations for the best ultrawide gaming monitors for other options.

                  See our review

                Recent Updates

                1. Jun 15, 2022:
                  Added a new category for the ‘Best 12-17 Inch Portable Gaming Monitors’. Replaced the Dell S3422DWG with the Dell Alienware AW3423DW and the LG 48 C1 OLED with the LG 42 C2 OLED and refreshed the text throughout.

                2. Mar 25, 2022:
                  Replaced the Gigabyte M27Q with the ASUS ROG Swift PG279QM because it has a higher refresh rate.

                3. Jan 26, 2022:
                  Created a new ’27 Inch’ category and added the Gigabyte M27Q. Renamed the Samsung Odyssey G7 as the ’32 Inch’.

                4. Nov 26, 2021:
                  Replaced the LG 34GP83A-B with the Gigabyte M34WQ because the LG is hard to find; replaced the Samsung Odyssey G9 with the newer Odyssey Neo G9; added the LG 48 C1 OLED in a new ‘Large Screen’ category.

                5. Sep 28, 2021:
                  Verified accuracy of picks. No change in recommendations.

                All Reviews

                Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best gaming monitor sizes. They’re adapted to be valid for most people. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price and feedback from our visitors.

                If you would prefer to make your own decision, here is the list of all of our monitor reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. Most monitors are good enough to please most people, and the things we fault monitors on are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.


                Best monitor size for gaming in 2022

                We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

                Written By
                Mike Epstein

                Published Jun 30, 2022 12:15 PM

                It’s easy to go into a store and get seduced by the biggest, brightest screen in the room, but the best monitor size for gaming varies from person to person and setup to setup. There are very good reasons to limit yourself to a smaller size display, and plenty of valid reasons to go extra large and ultrawide. The important thing is that you adjust your expectations for your monitor’s performance and price to match the size you’re looking for.  

                At Popular Science, we’ve looked at gaming monitors of every shape and size, rating them by resolution, form factor, and function. If you need a quick recommendation on the best gaming monitor for a certain size, we’ve got you covered. And if you want a longwinded explanation for why certain specs work better for some monitor sizes than others, I can help out with that, too.

                • Best 24-inch: Dell Alienware AW2521H
                • Best 27-inch: Samsung Odyssey G7
                • Best 32-inch: Gigabyte M32U
                • Best 40-inch or larger: Samsung Odyssey Neo G9
                • Best ultrawide: Dell Alienware AW3423DW
                • Best budget: Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ

                How we picked the best gaming monitor by size

                We here in Popular Science’s gear department spend a lot of time thinking about screens—particularly TVs and monitors. In the last year, we’ve published dozens of recommendation lists like this one about monitors, and I have edited the vast majority of those stories. As such, I have teased out, concentrated, and absorbed countless hours of testing and research about the nuances of display technology.

                In addition, my primary background as a critic is gaming and gaming hardware. Prior to joining PopSci, I reviewed games and peripherals for PCMag, IGN, Gamespot, GamesRadar, LaptopMag, Lifehacker, Gizmodo, and more. Needless to say, I play games every day and scrutinize them closely.

                What to consider when buying a gaming monitor

                Clearly, the size of your gaming monitor is important, but it is actually just one of many specs that make a gaming monitor good or great (or terrible). In fact, you should pick your monitor by balancing screen size, resolution, price, and a number of other factors.

                I bet you’ve already got your heart set on a specific size, so rather than running you through a crash course in what each spec means, I’ll simply provide some general insight into why you might want to pick each individual size.

                If you’re interested in some deep dives into PC display specs, please check out some of our other monitor-focused explainers, such as the best cheap gaming monitors and the best monitors for color grading.

                24-inch monitors

                The baseline small size for PC monitors, gaming or otherwise, is 24 inches. There are two reasons to go for a 24-inch monitor. The first, unsurprisingly, is price. Not only are 24-inch monitors generally less expensive because of their size, but they’re also small enough that you can stick with a more affordable 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080), and still achieve the sharpest possible image. Depending on your system and your desired frame rate, a 1080p may be the perfect fit for your system. If that’s the case, it makes sense to focus on a 24-inch display.

                Speaking of frame rate, competitive players often also choose to scale down to a 24-inch, 1080p monitor to get the fastest possible refresh rate. Refresh rate, which indicates how many times your monitor can update what’s happening on screen each second, sets the high bar for your games’ frame rate. A 144Hz refresh rate translates to 144 frames per second. That’s enough to allow most players to play many games at the highest frame rate their systems can handle. Though a higher frame rate delivers diminishing returns to visual fidelity above 144Hz, splurging on a 1080p monitor with an even higher 240Hz, 300Hz, or even 360Hz refresh rate may generate an imperceivable but meaningful improvement to their reaction time. In the last couple of years, 240Hz monitors have shown up in larger sizes and higher resolutions, but you still need a smaller, lower-resolution monitor to unlock the highest possible refresh rate.

                27-inch monitors

                In my mind, the 27-inch, 1440p gaming monitor is the closest thing to a universal monitor recommendation I can give for dedicated PC gamers. If you built or bought a new mid- or high-budget gaming PC in the last five years, there’s a good chance you can play most games in 1440p (2560 x 1440) at 60fps or higher. While a 24-inch, 1440p monitor will look excellent, we feel that you get a better bang for your buck at that resolution on a 27-inch display. It’s also a large enough display that it feels immersive on its own but small enough to comfortably pair with a second monitor.

                Some players may be able to justify a 27-inch, 4K display. As with a 24-inch, 1440p monitor, it will look very nice, but may be overkill in a lot of cases. That said, 4K monitors are, by and large, still very expensive. If you feel you need 4K but want to spend a little less, this is a good way to cut costs.

                32-inch monitors

                The largest of the three major widescreen gaming monitor sizes, the best 32-inch monitors are almost always an exercise in luxury. In order to achieve a high pixel density and, thus, a sharp image, we recommend going right for 4K on a 32-inch display. Given that, you should really expect to pull out all the stops and reach for the most expensive, color-accurate, feature-rich gaming monitor you can get.

                40-inch monitors (and larger)

                Do you still want to go bigger!? There are a number of extra-large displays, which range from 40-inches to as 65-inches, the same size as a big-screen TV. Some of the smaller monitors in this range, particularly some XL curved, ultrawide displays, make sense as an alternative to using a dual monitor setup. 

                Once you get above 50 inches, you have no choice but to treat your monitor the same way you would a TV. You’ll want to sit further away and use a lapboard or play games with a controller. You also need to consider its specs the way you would a TV. You want a much higher max brightness, 1000 nits or higher, versus 600 nits on a 24-32-inch monitor, to ensure a vivid picture and proper HDR support.

                After replacing my TV with a gaming monitor for a while, I can tell you that it has some advantages and some drawbacks. It isn’t something I would do without giving it some thought, though.

                What about ultrawides?

                In addition to conventional, 16:9 displays, there’s a whole range of 21:9 and 32:9 ultrawide gaming monitors, which can extend your game out to the edges of your vision and enhance your immersion. Ultrawide monitors come in their own range of sizes, and tend to trend larger to accentuate their expanded reach. A large ultrawide can take the place of two monitors, providing a similar amount of screen real estate for work, while allowing for a bezel-free experience in games, 

                With curved monitors and ultrawides, we usually recommend buying the largest option that’s comfortable and compatible with your setup, as the overwhelming immersion is the selling point. Just make sure there’s room on and around your desk for it.

                The best gaming monitors, by size: Reviews & Recommendations

                If you were on the fence about what size monitor you wanted, I hope my brief rundowns helped you narrow down your choice. Now that we theoretically know what we want, here are the monitors that take the best advantage of their size. From a small, speedy 24-inch esports display to a massive TV-like monitor, we have an option for each of the major screen sizes. If you’d like to drill a little deeper and check out a wider range of monitors by resolution or utility, we’ve put together many types of monitor recommendations.

                Best 24-inch: Dell Alienware AW2521H

                Buy it used or refurbished: Amazon, eBay

                Why it made the cut: The Alienware AW2521H offers the fastest possible refresh rate you can get right now, with the fewest compromises.


                • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
                • Refresh rate: 360Hz
                • Panel type: Fast IPS
                • Response time: 1ms
                • HDR/brightness: HDR10 (400 Nits)
                • Ports: HDMI 2.0 x 2, DisplayPort 1.4, USB 3.2 with upstream, USB 3.2 with battery charging, USB 3.2 x 3, Audio line out, 3.5mm headphone jack


                • Extremely high refresh rate
                • Fast IPS panel gives you high speed and better color gamut
                • Lots of extra USB ports


                • Expensive for a 24-inch display
                • Low max brightness

                There are only a handful of 1080p monitors that can run games at 360Hz, which is the fastest refresh rate available from a monitor right now without overclocking. (There is a 500Hz gaming monitor on the way, though.) Of the current displays offering that arguably overblown spec, the Alienware AW2521H has the most polished look and balanced performance. Thanks to a “Fast IPS” panel, you’ll see brighter colors than other 360Hz displays, which feature fast, but muted TN panels. 

                It also features numerous quality-of-life features, including a thoughtful and suitably sci-fi-inspired design, as well as a shocking number of connection options, including five USB 3.2 ports. The AW2521H’s only glaring flaw is its poor brightness, which isn’t sufficient for playing games with HDR. That said, most players interested in prioritizing the highest possible frame rate over everything else won’t lose sleep over the loss.

                Best 27-inch: Samsung Odyssey G7


                Check Price

                Buy it used or refurbished: Amazon

                Why it made the cut: The Samsung Odyssey G7 hits all the right specs, including an esports-grade refresh rate and an extra-bright QLED panel.


                • Resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixels
                • Refresh rate: 240Hz
                • Panel type: QLED (VA)
                • Response time: 1ms
                • HDR/brightness: VESA DisplayHDR 600
                • Ports: HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4 x 2, USB 3.0 x 2, 3.5mm headphone jack


                • 27/1440p is a good size/resolution pair
                • QLED-enhanced panel
                • HDR-ready brightness
                • 240Hz refresh rate


                • Curved displays may not be for everyone

                The Samsung Odyssey G7 is one of our favorite monitors. It’s our top curved monitor, our top 240Hz monitor for esports players, and popped in many other conversations. Why? Well, we love a 27-inch, 1440p monitor: It’s a great baseline spec for most players who have a mid-range or powerful gaming PC bought or built in the past few years. It’s fast, hitting a competition-ready 240Hz. It’s bright, topping out at an HDR-ready 600 nits. The Odyssey G7’s panel features a 1000R curve, which comes close to fully encompassing your field of view. Not all players love curved displays, particularly deep curves like this one, but it is a perfect fit for those who do. And if you’ve never tried one? Well, you may as well start something that nails all the other specs. (After trying it in a store, of course.)

                Best 32-inch: Gigabyte M32U

                Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

                Why it made the cut: The Gigabyte M32U has nearly every feature you’d want in a 4K gaming monitor, and it doesn’t even cost that much.


                • Resolution: 3840 x 2160 pixels (4K)
                • Refresh rate: 144Hz
                • Panel type: Fast IPS
                • Response time: 1ms
                • HDR/brightness: VESA DisplayHDR 400
                • Ports: HDMI 2. 1 x 2, DisplayPort 1.4, USB 3.0 x 3, USB-C, USB-B, 3.5mm headphone jack


                • Affordable for size and resolution
                • Built-in KVM Switch
                • Strong color gamut
                • Supports USB-C connection
                • Multiple HDMI 2.1 connections


                • Low max brightness
                • USB-C video connection doesn’t charge laptop

                Gigabyte’s M32U isn’t the flashiest 4K monitor by the most coveted gaming peripheral brand, but specs speak louder than branding. The 32-inch 4K display features a fast IPS panel that achieves a 90 percent DCI-P3 wide color gamut for bold, vivid color. It also features a tremendous range of connection options, including two HDMI 2.1 ports, allowing you to play compatible PS5 and Xbox Series X games in 4K at 120Hz. It also works as a USB-C monitor thanks to DP Alt mode support, though it doesn’t deliver power so you’ll have to charge your laptop separately. Twitch streamers with day jobs will appreciate its built-in KVM switch, so you can plug your keyboard and mouse into the monitor’s USB ports and automatically switch them from device to device when you change inputs.

                Though 4K monitors aren’t as exorbitant as they once were, it’s still very impressive to find such a fully featured monitor for less than $1,000. Even with a few flaws, like a poor max brightness of 400 nits, you’re getting incredible value here.

                Best 40-inch or larger: Samsung Odyssey Neo G9

                Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

                Why it made the cut: The 49-inch super ultrawide Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is the height of curved ultrawide decadence.


                • Resolution: 5120 x 1440 pixels (32:9)
                • Refresh rate: 240Hz
                • Panel type: VA
                • Response time: 1ms
                • HDR/brightness: DisplayHDR 2000
                • Ports: HDMI 2.1 x 2, DisplayPort 1.4, USB 3.0 x 2, PC in, 3.5mm headphone jack


                • Gigantic curved ultrawide display
                • Mini-LED backlighting provides immense brightness.
                • Esports-ready 240Hz
                • Deep 1000R curve


                • Extremely expensive
                • You may have trouble fitting it on a desk

                For curved ultrawide obsessives, the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is a grail display. It’s an absolutely massive 49-inch, 32:9 panel that somehow manages a 240Hz refresh rate. (Such speed is usually reserved for smaller monitors.) With Quantum Mini-LED backlighting, it achieves TV-level brightness that’s perfect for HDR. Obviously, such a large monitor comes with some eccentricities: It’s big and very bright but features a 1000R curve that demands you sit very close to it to stay in the sweet spot. Also, at 49 inches, it may not even fit a smaller, more compact desk setup. On the other hand, it’s big enough to replace two 27-inch monitors. If you’re willing to build/adjust your setup to accommodate it, the Odyssey Neo G9 is an extremely curved ultrawide gaming experience.

                Best ultrawide: Dell Alienware AW3423DW


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                Why it made the cut: Dell’s first QD-OLED offers refined sharpness and bold color in a curved ultrawide form factor.


                • Resolution: 3440 x 1440 (21:9)
                • Refresh rate: 175Hz
                • Panel type: QD-OLED
                • Response time: 1ms
                • HDR/brightness: DisplayHDR TrueBlack 400/1000 nits
                • Ports: HDMI 2.0 x 2, DisplayPort 1.4, USB 3.2 Gen 1 downstream x 4, USB 3.2 Gen 1 upstream, Audio line out, 3.5mm headphone jack


                • QD-OLED screen generates incredible color, brightness, and contrast
                • Speedy 175Hz refresh rate
                • Lots of USB ports


                • Expensive
                • No HDMI 2.1

                Until 2022, companies haven’t really offered OLED gaming monitors. OLED TVs have occupied store shelves for years, and we’re seeing companies put OLED displays in phones, game consoles, and laptops. Still, dedicated monitor manufacturers have held off on making the jump. Alienware is the first of a handful of manufacturers to do so this year.

                The AW3423DW features a hybrid QD-OLED technology, which combines the color-enhancing “Quantum Dot” layer found in QLED TV panels with the backlighting technology of the OLED screen, where each pixel features its own, independently controlled backlight. The combination, in theory, enhances the inherently low brightness of the ultra-sharp OLED display.

                As such, the AW3423 is capable of generating an incredibly vibrant picture, with an unprecedented 99 percent DCI-P3 wide color gamut for tremendous color accuracy, and some of the best contrast you can get in a gaming monitor. That alone makes it worthy of special consideration, but it’s also a well-rounded display, with a high 175Hz refresh rate and a whopping five USB ports for extra connectivity. Since this is a “first” for gaming monitors, the AW3423 is tremendously expensive, and some users may want to wait until a wider range of QD-OLED monitors launch later this year to see if there are any kinks in the technology. Still, we expect (read: hope) that this could be the first step toward a “quantum” leap for high-end gaming monitors in all shapes and sizes.

                Best budget: Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ

                Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

                Why it made the cut: The Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ gives you a well-balanced, 27-inch, 1440p monitor that can hit 165Hz for less than $400.


                • Resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixels
                • Refresh rate: 165Hz
                • Panel type: IPS
                • Response time: 1ms
                • HDR/brightness: HDR10/350 nits
                • Ports: DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm headphone jack


                • Great value
                • Strong balance of screen, resolution, and refresh rate
                • Lots of adjustability options


                • DisplayPort 1.2, not 1.4
                • Low max brightness

                A perennial pick when you want strong core specs on a tight(ish) budget, the TUF Gaming VG27AQ gives you a great value with well-balanced core specs for a lot less money than our other picks. The 27-inch IPS panel delivers decent color performance, with 99 percent sRGB coverage, and a great trio of core monitor specs: 27-inch screen size, 1440p resolution, and 165Hz refresh rate. Since this is an older model display—Asus makes a newer version—it is missing a couple of things we’d like, including up-to-date HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort connections. That said, if you don’t want to splurge on a killer monitor, this one will give most players what they need for an affordable price.


                Q: How much do gaming monitors cost?

                How much do you want to spend? We’ve researched, tested, and reviewed gaming monitors that run the gamut, from under $200 to over $2,000. I’ve found that—when factoring in value for specs, but without anticipating anyone’s individual budget—many of our top picks range between $400-$1,300, depending on size, resolution, brand name, and other factors.

                That said, there are a lot of great options at every price point, so long as you set your expectations appropriately.

                Q: Can you use a gaming monitor with a laptop?

                Of course! It varies from model to model, but many gaming laptops feature an HDMI port on the side specifically to allow you to connect to a monitor or TV. If your laptop doesn’t have an HDMI or DisplayPort connector built in, you can always buy a USB hub with an HDMI port.

                Q: How high should I have my gaming monitor?

                Ideally, you should position your gaming monitor so you’re staring directly at the top of the screen when sitting up straight. This allows you to see the whole screen without twisting or craning your neck.

                Most monitor stands feature some amount of adjustability, including horizontal and vertical tilt, as well as height adjustment. We’ve found that the best way to perfectly position your monitor, is to switch to an adjustable monitor arm, which offers more fine control.

                Q: Can you use a gaming monitor as a TV?

                Technically, that depends on your definition of a “TV. ” You can absolutely set up a gaming monitor in place of a TV in your living room or bedroom and plug a cable box into it via HDMI, so it fills the role a TV normally would. The one thing that a monitor can’t do, but a TV can, is plug into an older cable signal via coaxial cable. You won’t be able to use a digital TV antenna to get local channels over the air.

                It’s also worth pointing out that a standard 24- to 32-inch gaming monitor won’t be ideal for most living room setups. When placing a TV (or monitor you plan to use as a TV), the ideal screen size is often based on how far away you sit from it. According to a TV distance calculator, you should sit approximately 3.5 feet away from a 24-inch TV, or 4.5 feet away from a 32-inch TV. Considering that many people usually sit very close to their monitor(s)—myself included—I can’t imagine most people will be satisfied sitting further away than that.

                Final thoughts on the best monitor size for gaming

                Without knowing details like what kind of gaming PC you’re running and how much money you’re looking to spend, no one can really tell you what monitor size you should buy. You should make that decision based on what you have and how important it is that your games look their absolute best. It is very easy to overspend on a gaming monitor, especially if you’re into hardware, so the most important thing is to be honest and realistic with yourself.

                And if that doesn’t help … a 27-inch, 1440p 144Hz monitor falls right in the middle. If it’s overkill, maybe it won’t be on your next system.

                How to choose a gaming monitor in 2022

                How to choose a gaming monitor in 2022 — instructions from Delta Game.

                When assembling a new computer, many people often first of all select a video card and processor, thinking about the monitor almost in the last place. But the monitor is the thing that you have to look at almost always when you are sitting at the computer. It depends on the monitor how you see the graphics of games, what impression you get from it, and the fact that your vision depends on it is also important. So when buying a gaming PC, it’s worth budgeting for a monitor of the right caliber to get your ideal build. In this article, we will analyze in detail the characteristics of a gaming monitor, taking into account the latest trends from manufacturers.

                Diagonal and resolution

                The first thing you pay attention to when choosing a monitor is its diagonal. The range from 21 to 27 inches is optimal and common, it makes no sense to take less, more is possible, but only if you are ready for it. Above 27 inches, you’ll have to move your neck a little, and the price will be much higher. The average balanced size is 24 inches, excellent impressions from the 27th inch.

                When choosing a screen resolution, you should be aware that there must be a balance between diagonal and resolution. The initial resolution with which you can take the monitor is 1920×1080 (Full HD). An image with this resolution will look good at 21-25 inches. With a large monitor in FHD resolution, the picture will be fuzzy, blurry, pixels will be noticeable due to their lower density. Therefore, when choosing a monitor from 27″ to approximately 31. 5″, you need a higher resolution — 2560×1440 (Quad HD). Modern video cards are quite capable of showing good FPS at this resolution. And finally, the leader among resolutions is 3840×2160 (Ultra HD), which is also 4K. Taking a 4K monitor only makes sense if you have a suitable, very powerful computer, and the monitor itself is 32 inches or larger. The price of such a monitor is correspondingly high, and the content is still not enough.

                Keep in mind that the higher the screen resolution, the more powerful your graphics card needs to be. Additionally, you need to know that when buying a monitor with a resolution of 2K or higher, in most cases you will have to enable screen scaling in the Windows settings, otherwise the image may be too small, for example, a 27-inch monitor with a resolution of 2560×1440 will require a screen scaling of 125%.

                What happens if I get a monitor with too high a resolution? Imagine that you have purchased a 27-inch 4K monitor. In this case, the content will be too small, you will have to turn on the scaling to 200%. As a result, you will get an ultra-clear image that cannot be distinguished from an image obtained at 2K resolution and a similar diagonal, but you will not have additional screen space. In addition, the video card will be loaded harder and you will get less FPS.

                Matrix type

                Another key feature of a monitor is its matrix. There are a lot of types of matrices, but all stem from the following:

                TN matrices are the oldest and cheapest. It is not recommended to take a monitor with such a matrix. Cons: low color reproduction, small viewing angles, low maximum brightness. Of the pluses, only the shortest response time. But it’s not worth taking such a monitor because of this, take care of your eyes. The only option is to put such a monitor second, third, if you already have it, but it’s a pity to throw it away. The exception is TN monitors with a refresh rate of 200 Hz or higher, which is popular with professional players in fast-paced games.

                IPS-matrices — ideal in terms of color reproduction, contrast and viewing angles — 178 degrees. Previously, they had a high response time, but now this problem is no longer there. IPS matrices have been constantly improved, various modifications have been produced. The latest type is called AH-IPS, it has improved color reproduction, resolution and PPI, increased brightness and reduced power consumption, the response time does not exceed 5-6 ms. It is this type of IPS that is worth taking.

                MVA/VA matrices are in the middle between TN and IPS. Plus in comparison with IPS — excellent contrast ratio, plus in comparison with TN — good viewing angles. In addition, good color reproduction and the cost is lower than that of IPS. Of the minuses — a long response time, which also grows rapidly with a decrease in the difference between the final and initial states of the pixel, so these monitors are not very well suited for dynamic games.

                Response time

                Response time is measured in milliseconds and indicates how long it takes the monitor to change frames. The parameter directly affects how many frames per second your monitor can display. The average on good monitors is 5ms. A higher value is fraught with the fact that the image will be blurry and leave a trail of moving objects in dynamic games. It is ideal to take a monitor with an even lower response time — 1-2 ms.

                Backlight Brightness and Contrast

                Brightness is measured in candela and represents the amount of light emitted from a completely white monitor screen. The optimal value for a gaming monitor is 250-300 cd / m2. More — you can, less — we do not recommend.

                Monitor contrast can be static or dynamic. Static displays the ratio of the brightness of the darkest and brightest point on the screen. The optimal value is 1:1000. Dynamic Contrast is a marketing ploy, meaning the black level at minimum backlight (the screen is completely off) to the white level at maximum backlight (brightness at full). You can ignore this option.

                Screen refresh rate + G-SYNC / FreeSync

                Refresh rate refers to how many times per second the monitor completely redraws and displays the image. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the motion. Thus, if you have a monitor with a refresh rate of 60 Hz, then you will not be able to see more than 60 FPS on the monitor. For example, if your graphics card is 300 FPS and your monitor is 60 Hz, then you will only see 60 FPS. If you have a powerful computer, then it makes sense to take a monitor with a frequency of 120 Hz and higher.

                Monitors with a refresh rate of 120Hz, 144Hz, 240Hz display a smoother image. Therefore, if your video card gives out in games, respectively, 120, 144, 240 FPS or more, then it makes sense to get such a monitor.

                We invite you to watch the following short video to understand the difference in screen refresh rate:

                Graphics card manufacturers NVIDIA and AMD have invented dynamic refresh rate technologies — G-Sync (NVIDIA) and FreeSync (AMD). These technologies allow you to change the refresh rate of the image on the monitor, depending on the rendering frame rate in computer games. Visually, this is expressed in a noticeable increase in the smoothness of movements at a rendering speed of 30 — 60 frames per second or even lower, which is typical for most modern games. They also get rid of the «tearing» that occurs when vsync is turned off.

                The difference between G-SYNC and FreeSync is that the first technology from NVIDIA is paid, and the second technology from AMD is free, which means that monitors with G-SYNC are more expensive. A gaming monitor usually uses one of two technologies (and some use both), and for it to work you need to have an appropriate video card: from NVIDIA for G-SYNC or from AMD for FreeSync.

                Screen Coating

                Glossy coating has better color reproduction and richer colors, but it does show reflections and glare. The matte screen has an anti-reflective coating, so you won’t see the reflection and the sun shining on the monitor screen. Therefore, when choosing a monitor, evaluate where it will stand, if the sun does not shine on your monitor, then it makes sense to take a model with a glossy finish, otherwise we recommend a matte finish.

                Curved screen

                One of the latest monitor trends is the curved screen. Curved monitors mimic the field of view of the human eye. Therefore, the curve of the monitor screen creates the most comfortable conditions for the eyes, which will be much less tired from prolonged sitting at the computer, which is confirmed by research conducted by the Harvard Medical School.

                In addition, this monitor has much less distortion, because they provide the same distance from the eye to any area of ​​the monitor. Such monitors have a parameter — the radius of curvature (1800R, 4000R, 2300R, 3000R). The smaller the radius of curvature, the more the screen is concave. Since the game monitor is located next to us, the radius should be minimal. The maximum recommended distance from the monitor is equal to the radius of curvature in millimeters, i.e. if the radius is 1800R, then we should sit at a distance of no more than 1.8 meters from the monitor. In general, curved monitors have many pros and almost no cons.

                However, at the moment, most curved screens are made on VA matrices, and only expensive models use IPS. If you’re on a budget, then you’ll have to choose between a curved VA screen or a flat IPS screen.

                And there is another interesting point — if you switch from a curved monitor to a flat one, then for some time (1-2 days), until your eyes get used to it, the flat monitor will seem convex to you, like an old kinescope TV.


                Bezels are not one of the main features of a monitor, but they make an important contribution to the overall aesthetic. When choosing a monitor, take a closer look at frameless options. The absence of thick panels on three sides of the image (top and sides) looks very nice and modern.


                We hope this guide has helped you in choosing the perfect gaming monitor for you. Before buying such a thing that will always be in front of your eyes, we recommend that you carefully study all the characteristics of the monitor that you like. Look at the reviews on it, read the reviews of people who have already purchased such a monitor. Pay attention to the manufacturer — we recommend making a choice in favor of one of the proven brands.

                Buy a gaming monitor

                What you need to know when choosing a gaming monitor in 2021 / Graphics Cards & Monitors / iXBT Live

                With a limited budget, many people when building a gaming PC are primarily puzzled by the choice of video card, CPU, and other computer components. And already based on the cash balances, they select a monitor for themselves. I think this approach is obviously wrong, because you will look at the monitor literally all the time when using a PC. The perception of pictures and graphics, games in general depends on this, not to mention the fact that the right monitor can reduce eye strain and, finally, increase the effectiveness of your game. Therefore, you should not save here. In the publication below, I will try to talk about the important technical characteristics of gaming monitors based on current trends.

                As for the screen resolution, it is worth starting to consider monitor models with a resolution of at least Full HD 1920×1080. With this resolution, you can choose a good monitor model for all characteristics and price, in the range of diagonals of 21-27 inches. If your choice falls on models with a screen diagonal of more than 27 inches, you should definitely take a monitor with a resolution of at least Quad HD 2560×1440. Modern video cards, if necessary, will be able to process a picture in this resolution. I also draw your attention to the fact that if you take a screen with a low resolution and a large diagonal, the quality of the final picture will suffer greatly from this, it will be, as it were, smeared. This is due to the lack of pixel packing density, conventionally per unit area of ​​the screen.

                Matrix type

                Now let’s see what types of matrices are and what it affects in the final result. The matrix type is also one of the key parameters of the monitor, you can write a separate publication on this topic, but I will try to briefly talk about the basic types.

                TN matrices — these matrices are not as unambiguous in detailed analysis as it might seem. Usually this type of matrix is ​​highly discouraged, it is a rather old technology and the cheapest. The matrix has poor viewing angles, low maximum brightness, contrast and color reproduction are also lame. However, their undeniable advantage is their high response time, we are now talking about monitors with a frame refresh rate of 200 Hz and higher. These monitors have a frankly poor picture, but are popular with professional gamers. It seems to me that for home use it is not worth taking such matrices. Still, sometimes you want to watch a movie or sit on youtube. However, if every millisecond is important to you and a mega smooth picture in the game, then maybe this is your choice.

                IPS panels — these panels have excellent color reproduction and excellent contrast. Also, this type of matrix has wide viewing angles, which reach up to 178 degrees, which is really a lot. In the not so distant past, these matrices had one significant drawback, namely, a high response time. However, now technology is developing rapidly, and designers have created an offshoot of this type of matrix. The new modification is called AH-IPS. It even better worked on color reproduction, resolution, and PPI. Additionally, the designers managed to reduce power consumption and increase the maximum possible brightness. And most importantly, the response time is now about 5-6 ms. I will add that the new modification of the AH-IPS matrix should be preferred when choosing.

                MVA/VA matrices — these matrices are a kind of compromise between IPS and TN matrices in terms of characteristics. So, the advantage of MVA / VA in comparison with TN matrices is increased viewing angles. If we compare MVA / VA with IPS matrices, then their advantage is improved contrast. But the main disadvantage of this type of matrices is the long response time, which can increase in certain situations. Based on the above, this type of matrix should be avoided for gaming purposes.

                Response time

                Response time is a parameter that displays how long the monitor is able to change the frame on the screen. That is, in fact, you can find out how many frames a particular monitor will show in 1 second. For example, an acceptable average is a response time of 5 ms. In more advanced monitors, this figure is 1-2 ms. The longer the monitor needs time to change frames, the jerkier the final picture will be.

                Backlight brightness and contrast

                Also, when choosing a monitor, you should pay attention to such parameters as brightness and contrast. The brightness of all screens is measured in a unit called candela per square meter. Read more about the measurement technique and why this particular unit of measurement is used, if you wish, it is better to read on Wikipedia. However, I will add that a brightness of about 250-300 cd / m2 can be a great solution for a gaming monitor. Brighter monitors are always welcome, but less bright ones are no longer worth buying.

                Next, you should pay attention to the contrast of the monitor, which in turn is divided into static and dynamic. Static contrast represents the ratio of brightness between the darkest and brightest point on the screen. The best option is considered to be the value of static contrast equal to 1:1000. dynamic contrast. In order not to confuse you much, I will say that this parameter can be missed when choosing. Since the value of dynamic contrast is much higher, sellers often take advantage of this and give one for the other. Therefore, I repeat once again, pay attention first of all to static contrast.

                Screen refresh rate

                This value shows how many times per second the monitor is able to redraw the picture, that is, refresh the frame. Everything is quite simple here, the higher the refresh rate, the better, more pleasant and smoother the picture displayed by the monitor will be. For a better understanding, let’s look at a small example. If you have a monitor with a refresh rate of 60 Hz, then in one second, it is able to refresh 60 frames, in other words 60 FPS. Even if your video card is capable of correctly processing 100-200 or more FPS, and at the same time you have a monitor installed with a refresh rate of 60 Hz, whatever you say, you will not see more than 60 FPS. If you have taken care of a powerful video card and other PC components, then the monitor should also be purchased with a refresh rate of at least 120 Hz, and even higher if possible (144 or 240 Hz).

                From my own experience, I will add that with the transition from 60 to 120 Hz at first you don’t even notice the difference. But as soon as you try to switch the monitors back after a while, your eyes will begin to noticeably twitch in discomfort, even during normal surfing the sites.

                I’ll add a short video where the above is more clearly shown.

                How to choose a gaming monitor?

                Many gamers start building their gaming PC by looking for a powerful graphics card, powerful processor and other features. And at the same time, the choice of a monitor for games is undeservedly overlooked. But it is on the screen that you have to look during many hours of gaming sessions. Therefore, it is so important to choose the model that will ideally suit you in all respects, including resolution, diagonal, screen refresh, etc.

                In order not to waste time studying unnecessary characteristics and not to fill your head with knowledge that probably cannot be applied anywhere else, it is important to be able to understand the key parameters. There are not so many of them, so after spending quite a bit of time, you can choose the most suitable monitor for yourself.

                Display diagonal

                If you ever had to choose a modern TV, then you are already familiar with this characteristic. The first thing that most gamers pay attention to is the size of the display. It is irrational to take less than 21 inches: such monitors are more likely to be designed for work, and the detail of high-performance games will be lost on them. The optimal size for a gaming monitor is between 21 and 27 inches.

                Note: If you decide to buy a gaming monitor larger than 27 inches, be prepared to turn your head a lot to keep an eye on what’s unfolding left and right.

                Monitor resolution

                The second important parameter is the screen resolution. But this characteristic directly depends on the type of video card. Everything is simple here: the higher the resolution, the more productive the video card should be. For an entry level, a monitor from 19 is also suitable.20×1080 (Full HD). This resolution is sufficient for displays up to 27 inches. However, the best monitors for gaming are 2560×1440 (Quad HD). With this resolution, you can not be afraid of the graininess of the image.

                Matrices 3840×2160 (Ultra HD), or 4K, have the highest resolution. However, a technique with such indicators requires really productive hardware.

                Please note: monitors may also differ in screen shape. For example, special curved models are perfect for gaming. They can be safely taken and larger than 27 inches, since the extreme points of the screen are closer to the eye than in the case of a flat monitor.


                If you’re planning on playing games for many hours, consider purchasing a monitor with eye protection mode. And be sure to pay attention to the following key parameters:

                1. Contrast. If you want to get a clear picture, you should purchase a model with a contrast ratio of at least 1000:1.
                2. Light type. Bright or artificial light in the room requires a monitor with a brightness of at least 250 cd / m2 so that the picture on the screen is clearly visible.
                3. Coating type. Glossy monitors glare, but at the same time make the picture «juicier», while matte monitors do not shine, but do not decorate the image.

                Tip! If there are no bright light sources in the room that fall directly on the monitor screen, feel free to take a glossy model.

                Which type of matrix is ​​best

                Which monitor matrix is ​​best for gaming? Or maybe you’re more interested in what monitor response is best? Our table will help answer all these questions, in which we compared the three most popular types of matrix TN, VA and IPS.

                Viewing angle

                The smallest of all.

                Higher than TN but less than IPS.

                The highest viewing angle is 178 degrees.

                Contrast and brightness

                Lower than peers.

                Better contrast than IPS.

                Good contrast and brightness.

                Response time

                Due to the fastest response time, these monitors are often used for dynamic games.

                Quite a long response time, so it is not recommended to use them for dynamic games.

                The latest models show response times that are almost on par with TN.


                Are the most affordable.

                Medium price range: cheaper than IPS and more expensive than TN.

                Due to the most advanced and balanced characteristics, they are more expensive than analogues.

                Thus, the best type of matrix for gaming sessions is IPS. If you plan to play a lot of fast-paced games, then TN with a lower response time can be taken as an additional monitor.

                Frame rate (Hz)

                Frame rate is measured in Hertz. And this indicator also affects the rating of gaming monitors: the more frames a display can display in one minute, the higher this value. For example, having a monitor with a frequency of 60 Hz, you will be comfortable playing only simple single-player games. What monitor frequency is best for online battles? 2 or even 3 times higher, for example, at least 120 (and preferably 240) Hertz.

                G-Sync/FreeSync support

                Graphics card companies implement adaptive sync. This helps provide the smoothest picture. There are two types of such technologies:

                • G-Sync, which is compatible with NVIDIA.
                • FreeSync supported by AMD.

                The presence of this parameter is not essential, but it will not make it worse. Moreover, manufacturers are constantly improving and updating software, which allows you to constantly improve image quality and gradually get rid of visual defects.

                Connectivity and additional features

                Modern graphics cards are connected via HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort and Mini DisplayPort. The previously common VGA port is now quite rare. Please note that 4K 30 fps requires HDMI 1.4 support, 4K 60 fps requires HDMI 2a or Displayport 1.3/1.4.

                The top gaming monitors often include models with various additional parameters. For example, there are often monitors with built-in speakers, but it is obvious that the sound quality in them will leave much to be desired.

                So, summing up all the above, let’s answer the question of what should be a monitor for games:

                1. diagonal from 21 to 27 inches with an aspect ratio of 16:9;
                2. response time 1-5 ms;
                3. frame refresh rate of at least 120 Hz;
                4. G-Sync/FreeSync and HDMI and DisplayPort interfaces for connecting the latest graphics cards.

                The best gaming monitors at the beginning of 2022


                Choosing a PC monitor is not easy these days. The variety is confusing. When it comes to gaming monitors, the choice is more complicated. In our top, we will tell you which gaming monitors you should pay attention to and why.

                Key parameters to consider when choosing a gaming monitor

                For the best and most accurate choice of a gaming monitor, you need to understand the main parameters. Thanks to this knowledge, you will not overpay and be sure of the expediency of your purchase.

                Screen Size : Choosing a gaming monitor is one of the most important details. The larger the screen, the greater the immersion in the gameplay (within reason, of course). But, it is necessary to take into account the dimensions and the fact that the cost grows proportionally.

                Aspect Ratio : This is the screen’s scaling in relation to height and width. The modern ratio is 16:9 (most games work on this indicator), the 4:3 ratio is already outdated. Many developers of modern games do not optimize for it. But monitors in a ratio of 21:9present field for discussion. On the one hand, they are gaining popularity, but to put it mildly, they are not very suitable for gaming.

                The latest generation of consoles do not support this format, or support it with limitations. The picture is stretched to full screen and at the same time “flattened”. Not all video cards of past generations can also work normally with this format. Thus, 21:9 is still more about office monitors, in order to be able to work normally with large tables, for example.

                Permission : there are two sides to the coin. On the one hand, the higher the resolution, the sharper the image, and on the other hand, higher resolution (4k+) requires powerful hardware. Also, consider the diagonal of the monitor. There is not much point in chasing 4k resolution at 24 inches. There will be plenty of FHD / 2k.

                Fun fact: according to current Steam statistics, almost 80% of users play in FHD resolution

                Update rate : If you are a fan of online FPS, then the screen refresh rate will be a huge advantage for you. Many players in this genre sacrifice graphical settings in favor of screen refresh rate for faster action. «Office» 60 Hz is not enough for this. It is worth paying attention to monitors with a frequency of 144 and 240 Hz. Frequency from 144Hz gives smoothness and clarity of the picture, especially in shooters. By the way, there are more and more such monitors, for example.

                Response : the eternal theme for holivars. Although it is still considered to be one of the most important parameters of a gaming monitor. The faster the response, the faster and clearer the picture. The best indicator for TN monitors is 1 ms. IPS panels give out about 4ms. For high-speed gaming, the lower the response, the better.

                Panel type : This important parameter affects the picture frequency and response time. The fastest are TN (twisted nematic). They have the shortest response time, inexpensive, but the weak point is the viewing angles. IPS (in-plane switching) monitors have better color reproduction and viewing angles, but they are slower than TN matrices.

                VA panels (vertical alignment) are the golden mean. Viewing angle: this is not a critical parameter because people look at the monitor in front of them. The viewing angle is important when someone is watching your actions. A number closer to 180 is a good indication of the viewing angle and there will be no distortion. G-Sync and FreeSync: These are sort of monitor frameworks that influence your PC’s graphics card choice.

                G-Sync is a development from Nvidia. You will need a video card from this brand and a monitor that supports this technology. These monitors are more expensive because the technology is built into them. FreeSync is an AMD development and is free.

                Current Best Gaming Monitors

                ASUS TUF GAMING VG27AQ

                Screen size : 27” | Aspect ratio : 16:9 | Resolution : 2560 x 1.440 | Brightness : 350 cd/m2 | Frequency : 165 Hz | Response time : 1ms | Viewing angle : 178/178 | Color Range : sRGB 100% |

                This is an excellent and affordable gaming monitor that has earned the respect of gamers. Its main advantages are: support for G-Sync, HDR10 and a high refresh rate. All this «explosive» set of characteristics will allow you to fully enjoy the gameplay.

                LG 34GL750

                Screen size : 34” | Aspect ratio : 21:9 | Resolution : 2560 x 1080 | Brightness : 300 cd/m2 | Frequency : 144 Hz | Response time : 1ms | Viewing angle : 178/178 |

                An ultra-wide and curved monitor will give you a new gaming experience. The pluses include a fast response, like for IPS matrices, excellent color reproduction, HDR support, flexible picture settings for certain games.

                One of the disadvantages of IPS matrices is uneven illumination. Check it out when buying.

                MSI OPTIX MPG341CQR

                Screen size : 34” | Aspect ratio : 21:9 | Resolution : 3440 x 1440 | Brightness : 400 nits | Refresh rate : 144 Hz | Response time : 1 ms | Viewing angle : 178/178 | Color Range : sRGB 105% |

                This monitor has a VA matrix, which is the golden mean, providing the gamer with a clear picture and good color reproduction. The entire gaming suite is also present: excellent response time, 4k resolution and an aspect ratio that is coming into vogue. At the same time, the monitor has a democratic price tag.

                Moving on to more expensive solutions

                SAMSUNG C49G95TSSI

                Screen size : 48.7” | aspect ratio: 32:9 | Resolution : 5120 x 1440 | Brightness : 420 cd/m2 | Refresh rate : 240 Hz | Response time : 1 ms | Viewing angle : 178 / 178 |

                Samsung makes very high quality curved monitors. With a diagonal of 49 «, you will get great pleasure, both from the gameplay and while watching movies. Pro gamers will appreciate the high screen refresh rate and fast response.

                ACER PREDATOR CG437KP

                Screen size : 43” | Aspect ratio : 16:9 | Resolution : 3840 x 2160 | Brightness : 750 cd/m2 | Refresh rate : 144 Hz | Response time : 1 ms | Viewing angle : 178 / 178 |

                In addition to the excellent and large 4k display, users get HDMI 2.1 support, which will allow you to play on modern game consoles. The monitor supports HDR 1000 and NVIDIA G-SYNC.

                Of the additional «buns» in this monitor is a built-in light sensor that adjusts the backlight, and a presence sensor. The device goes into sleep mode when the user leaves the room.

                Dell AW3821DW

                Screen size : 37.5” | Aspect ratio : 21:9 | Resolution : 3840 x 1600 | Brightness : 600 cd / m2 | Refresh rate : 144 Hz | Response time : 1 ms | Viewing angle : 178 / 178 |

                One of the best gaming monitors of our time from a renowned manufacturer. Dell products have always been famous for their quality and manufacturability. This monitor is no exception. It has excellent build and design, NVIDIA G-SYNC and HDR support, high refresh rate and fast response.

                HP M24fw

                Also, I would like to note the line of HP monitors with a new eye protection function. HP Eye Ease support allows you to reduce eye strain while working with a built-in and always on filter that reduces the intensity of radiation in the blue spectrum without affecting the accuracy of the reproduction of original colors.

                We hope our selection will make it easier for you to choose a gaming monitor. We wish you victories with high-quality equipment!

                How to choose a gaming monitor? Here are some important technologies to look out for

                Choosing the right monitor can be more difficult than updating the contents of your entire computer. Someone says that it is impossible to save, and someone will say that there is no point in overpaying. Both parties are equally right, so we are trying to figure out the nuances of choosing a new gaming monitor. We talk not only about the basic parameters, but also about the technologies that are important to pay attention to in the reviews.

                Is the fridge screen playable if DOOM is running there? It is unlikely, because it is quite inconvenient to play in front of him. Gaming monitors are a story about comfort and a pleasant experience for gamers. Due to the nature of video games with their dynamic frame rates, gaming monitors have received a ton of technology to improve gameplay and unleash the potential of your graphics card and processor. We deal with important selection parameters that you should pay attention to in the Catalog and monitor reviews.

                • Matrix
                • Diagonal and resolution
                • Screen refresh rate
                • Response time
                • Motion blur reduction
                • Variable update rate. FreeSync and G-Sync
                • Color and HDR
                • Bonuses: adjustments, ports and other little things


                There are 4 big categories of matrices: TN, IPS, VA and OLED (so far the unicorn in the world of monitors). With all their pros and cons, the quality is highly dependent on the specific monitor model. Nevertheless, it is important to know the distinguishing features in advance.

                TN monitors have a very low response time, which will definitely appeal to gamers. But traditionally poor viewing angles, especially vertically, and not the best color reproduction compared to IPS and VA competitors.

                AOC G2590FX Gaming Monitor

                13 reviews

                24.5″, 16:9, 1920×1080, TN+Film, 144Hz, NVIDIA G-Sync/AMD FreeSync Premium Compatible, HDMI+D-Sub (VGA)+DisplayPort


                BenQ Zowie XL2411K Gaming Monitor

                2 reviews

                24″, 16:9, 1920×1080, TN+Film, 144Hz, HDMI+DisplayPort, Height Adjust, Portrait Mode

                Buy Now

                HP Omen X 27 Gaming Monitor 6FN07AA

                26″ :9, 2560×1440, TN+Film, 240Hz, AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, HDMI+DisplayPort, Height Adjustable


                IPS is the sweet spot for performance and price. More than 60% of users buy IPS monitors in the Catalog. And among the gaming models of such 50%. Top-end displays with the highest refresh rate and gaming features are made just on IPS matrices. Given how quickly and actively this technology is developing, there will be even more improvements in the future. What can not be said about TN-matrices.

                One of the complaints about IPS monitors is the effect of glowing at the edges or corners of the matrix (IPS Glow). In one form or another, it is in most panels, but not everyone notices it.

                ViewSonic XG2405 Gaming Monitor

                4 reviews

                24″ 16:9 1920×1080 IPS 144Hz AMD FreeSync Speakers HDMI+DisplayPort Height Adjust Portrait

                17 reviews

                23.8″, 16:9, 1920×1080, IPS, 144Hz, AMD FreeSync Premium, Speakers, HDMI+DisplayPort, Height Adjust, Portrait Mode

                The second most popular type of matrix is ​​VA. These monitors have a noticeably higher contrast ratio, which is clearly visible in dark scenes. VA panels suffer from black smearing of moving objects (dark smearing or black smearing). This is due to the long response time of such panels during the transition from black to gray. But there are exceptions, like the Samsung Odyssey G7, which has a low response time and no problems with smearing.

                Samsung Odyssey G7 C27G75TQSI 9 Gaming Monitor0003

                11 reviews

                26.9″, 16:9, 2560×1440, VA, Curved (1000R), 240Hz, AMD FreeSync Premium Pro/NVIDIA G-Sync Compatible, HDMI+DisplayPort, Height Adjust, Portrait Mode

                Buy Now

                Dell S2721HGF Gaming Monitor

                6 reviews

                27″, 16:9, 1920×1080, VA, Curved (1500R), 144Hz, AMD FreeSync Premium/NVIDIA G-Sync Compatible, HDMI+DisplayPort, Height Adjustable

                Buy Now

                For a long time, TN-matrices were considered the benchmark for performance among gaming monitors. Over the past few years, the situation has changed, and today you can safely choose between really fast IPS and some VA matrices. Here is a visual Russian-language video.

                All the benefits of high hertz can be fully appreciated if you have a computer and video card capable of delivering high frame rates at the selected resolution settings and graphics quality. Frame rate in video games is measured in frames per second (in English fps — frames per second).

                You can play at high fps on a 60Hz monitor, someone will even notice the difference between the conventional 120 fps and 60 fps. But if your hardware can deliver more than 60 frames, then it makes sense to look at monitors with a higher screen refresh rate.

                Therefore, the designations of 144 or 240 Hz on the boxes are completely for marketing, but one of the main features. It is unlikely that this will greatly affect your game rank, but your own gaming experience will definitely become more comfortable.

                There are already monitors on the market with a frequency of 390 Hz. In our office, we had an ASUS ROG Swift PG259QN with a frequency of 360 Hz. At the time of its release, it was the first of its kind. After 60 Hz, the monitor is perceived as some kind of spaceship. True, it’s scary to imagine what kind of hardware is needed to play at maximum settings with 300+ fps.

                ASUS ROG Swift PG259QN Gaming Monitor

                24.5″ 16:9 1920×1080 IPS 360Hz NVIDIA G-Sync HDMI+DisplayPort Height Adjust PortraitQN has shown excellent performance and will definitely appeal to professional players and esports players. The monitor has one of the fastest IPS panels on the market with excellent response times and minimal artifacts. The 360Hz refresh rate ensures that moving objects are undeniably clear and fluid. The review notes a significant difference over 120/144Hz, as well as a small but noticeable advantage over 240Hz.

                Reviews indicate that the PG259QN is aimed at a very narrow niche of demanding gamers who want the best gaming performance, high refresh rates, fast response times and excellent image quality within a 24-inch 1080p panel.

                Video review on The Tech Chap shows the difference between 144Hz and 360Hz on the PG259QN. How much in reality all this can be seen depends on individual perception.

                In January 2022, its upgraded version ROG Swift PG27AQN was announced — a 27-inch model with a 1440p screen and 360Hz. ASUS promises that this will be the fastest gaming monitor they’ve ever made. TFTCentral believe that this is something more than a marketing ploy. And the monitor will again be the first of its kind with such characteristics.

                ASUS ROG Swift PG259QN Gaming Monitor

                24.5″, 16:9, 1920×1080, IPS, 360Hz, NVIDIA G-Sync, HDMI+DisplayPort, Height Adjust, Portrait Mode

                Buy Now

                Response Time

                9 the transition of a pixel from one color shade to another, measured in milliseconds.The lower the value, the less visual artifacts in the form of blur or trails behind moving objects (so-called «ghosting» — English ghosting).The response time must be fast in order to keep up with the screen refresh rate, for example, on a 144Hz screen, a new frame appears every 6.9ms. Here is a good test with a UFO for clarity.

                The most common reference is «GtG 1ms response time», that is, the time it takes a pixel to switch from gray to white and back to gray. There is no common standard, so each manufacturer only gets this cherished 1 millisecond in a known way.

                Reality is very different from advertising in this parameter. Independent reviews that measure the response time over a wide range of shades show very different values. If the specified 1 millisecond is reached, it is most likely due to the maximum overdrive setting.

                Overdrive (overdrive, otherwise RTC — Response Time Compensation) — a technology to reduce response time and combat ghosting. In order for the pixel to switch colors faster, an increased voltage is applied to it. If this process is configured well, then there is no problem. Response time is reduced and moving objects look great.

                In the monitor settings, overdrive can be called differently: “response time” (Response Time), Overdrive (or simply OD), Trace Free. Adjustable by numbers or modes like «slow», «fast», «normal». The quality of the overdrive implementation depends on the specific monitor model. Usually, the minimum or average value of it gives the best performance in games over the entire range of screen refresh rates, whether it be 60 or 240 Hz.

                But the maximum overdrive mode with a low response time can make the monitor completely unusable. If the increased voltage is not removed in time, then the pixel will become brighter than necessary, and the so-called “overshoot” will appear — an unpleasant artifact of a bright glow behind a moving object or when the camera is abruptly moved. If you can still not notice or put up with ghosting, then overshoot, judging by the reviews and reviews, is a real problem with maximum overdrive.

                Medium overdrive mode

                Ghosting test with different overdrive settings, at 240 Hz and with ULMB mode,

                The refresh rate of the gaming monitor screen can fluctuate over a wide range. Therefore, it is important to understand whether the response time will change and overshoot along with it. In such a situation, it may be necessary to switch between different overdrive settings. But no one will climb in the middle of the battle in the monitor menu.

                Overdrive setting in ASUS PG259 monitorQN

                A good option is when one overdrive setting works correctly over the entire range of screen refresh rates. Posted once and forgotten. Pay attention to this feature in the reviews.

                Another way is to change the overdrive setting dynamically. This is where variable frame rate technology comes into play. Monitors with a G-Sync module are equipped with a Variable Overdrive feature. It changes overdrive settings on the fly depending on the current refresh rate and frame rate. Let the response time increase, but the main problem with overshoot will be solved. Judging by the reviews, on monitors with a G-Sync module, the Variable Overdrive function works well.

                There are monitors with basic adaptive sync like FreeSync that have excellent overdrive settings, resulting in low response times across a wide range of refresh rates and no overshoot.

                Because of these features of gaming monitors, after filtering models by price and basic features, the best way is to turn to independent reviewers who take real response time measurements. For example, Rtings, Hardware Unboxed and TFT Central.

                «MPRT 1ms» is another popular solution that confuses users. Despite the presence of «1 ms», it has nothing to do with the value of GtG, and therefore they cannot be compared. MPRT (Motion Picture Response Time, «moving image response time») — the time during which one frame is visible on the screen. Typically, this abbreviation means technology to improve the clarity of movement.

                Here is a good test for MPRT visibility. Keep your eyes on the bottom cymbal and the vertical stripes will be blurry. With the MPRT reduction technology turned on, the bands will be clearly visible. How does it work and how effective is it?

                Motion Blur Reduction (MBR)

                Unpleasant ghosting and blurring of objects can be removed by reducing the amount of time each frame is on screen. For this, strobe backlights have long been invented. It really makes moving objects sharper and easier to track. You can find it from manufacturers by the words Motion Blur Reduction or by marketing names: Aim Stabilizer (Gigabyte), ELMB (ASUS), Visual Response Boost (Acer), ULMB (NVIDIA), 1ms Motion Blur Reduction (LG).

                ASUS PG259QN MBR setup example using NVIDIA ULMB utility

                How does it work? The backlight simply turns off between frame updates in sync with the screen frequency. This significantly reduces the frame display time, and when moving, no trails will be visible. Due to being tied to a fixed refresh rate, the strobe cannot be used with G-Sync or FreeSync. This raises a problem: if the frame rate is unstable, then with the MBR mode enabled, visual artifacts may appear. You will have to choose one thing: gameplay without frame breaks or smooth and clear moving objects. The function is enabled/disabled in the monitor menu.

                There are already technologies to synchronize the backlight speed with the screen refresh rate, simultaneously using VRR. For example, ASUS ELMB-Sync, Gigabyte Aim Stabilizer Sync and MSI MPRT-Sync. How effectively they cope, already depends on the specific model.

                ASUS PG329Q ELMB-SYNC,

                GIGABYTE M32Q Aim Stabilizer Sync, blurbusters. com

                In general, the idea behind all MBR technologies is useful and often effective in dynamic games. However, some users may experience discomfort due to the flashing backlight, and the brightness level is noticeably reduced. Keep this in mind.

                Variable update rate. FreeSync and G-Sync

                Variable refresh rate (VRR) adjusts the refresh rate of the monitor screen, synchronizing with the frame rate of the video card and completely solving the problems of tearing and image delays.

                Manufacturers’ favorite pictures to demonstrate the benefits of monitors. Reality May Differ

                There is a basic industry standard for this purpose called DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync. AMD branded it FreeSync and added HDMI functionality. Since 2020, it has been divided into 3 gradations: FreeSync, FreeSync Premium and FreeSync Premium Pro. Most gaming monitors support FreeSync.

                FreeSync Premium complements regular FreeSync with technology to compensate for low frame rates when frames fall below the minimum screen refresh rate. For example, with a sharp drawdown to 40 frames per second, the monitor starts to duplicate frames, and the screen refresh rate immediately increases from 40 to 80 Hz.

                FreeSync Premium Pro — Added HDR capabilities for supported games and monitors and more attention to monitor brightness and color reproduction.

                G-Sync is NVIDIA’s implementation of VRR. Mutual support of the video card, monitor and drivers is also required. Monitors with G-Sync support are equipped with a special module, which, although it increases the cost of the monitor, has several advantages compared to FreeSync. For example, an important advantage of G-Sync is Variable Overdrive. This feature has already been discussed above. FreeSync does not have it by default, and AMD’s presence leaves it to the monitor manufacturers’ conscience.

                An advanced version of G-Sync with the Ultimate prefix also supports HDR content, a wide color gamut, and so far this is a privilege of very expensive monitors.

                ASUS ROG Swift PG259QN gaming monitor

                24.5″, 16:9, 1920×1080, IPS, 360Hz, NVIDIA G-Sync, HDMI+DisplayPort interfaces, height adjustment, portrait mode — «G-Sync-compatible» monitors (G-Sync Compatible). NVIDIA, through the drivers of their video cards, allowed enabling variable frame rate on monitors with FreeSync. And there are a lot of them on the market, and if the manufacturer or NVIDIA indicates such compatibility, then it will be listed in the Catalog

                G-Sync Compatible is a stripped-down G-Sync that lacks Variable Overdrive and ULMB. However, the main task in synchronizing the hertz and frame rate remained unchanged.

                NVIDIA already has a huge list of tested monitors that guarantee adequate variable frame rate performance. As experience and reviews show, even if the monitor is not in the list, then G-Sync can be enabled by observing the conditions.

                True, NVIDIA honestly says that the function may not work at all or only partially if the monitor is not in the list of tested ones.

                DisplayPort connection required by default. But with GeForce GTX 16xx or RTX 20xx cards, variable refresh rate can work over HDMI on monitors or TVs that support this feature over HDMI 2.1. For example, the compatible list includes LG OLED TVs from 2019-2022.

                Color and HDR

                No specific gaming technologies or features. In terms of color display quality, gaming monitors are chosen in the same way as conventional ones. It is important to understand several definitions.

                The monitor should ideally display smooth transitions between color tones, without banding or offsets. This ability of a monitor to display many shades is measured by color depth , and the data itself is measured in bits. Most modern monitors have a matrix color depth of 8 bits, which gives 16.7 million colors.

                Difficulties arise when encountering 10-bit matrices, since they are usually installed in professional monitors for working with photo and video content and therefore are very expensive. More common «fake 10 bits» , where in a conventional 8-bit matrix, using FRC technology, the brightness of the backlight quickly changes and visually the color shades seem to increase.

                If color depth determines how many colors to display, then color gamut specifies exactly which colors will appear on the screen. Core standards include sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3. The first is most often used in the characteristics of conventional monitors, including gaming ones, and almost all digital content. For example, on a monitor with 100% sRGB color gamut, sRGB content will display exactly as intended by its creators.

                HDR in monitors is a strange and expensive story. Strange — because it is not always adequately supported, although it is actively advertised. And expensive — because the price tag for real HDR monitors is simply sky-high. HDR requires headroom, improved contrast, including using multiple backlight zones (more is better), and a wide color gamut (typically over 90% DCI-P3). As a result, the image becomes brighter and clearer in bright scenes and darker in dark scenes without loss of detail. As you can see, the requirements are very serious, and not every monitor satisfies them.

                Illustrative image by Philips

                In 2018, VESA announced the HDR standard for monitors that are specifically tested and then labeled with the VESA DisplayHDR number. To date, there are five of them: VESA DisplayHDR 400, 500, 600, 1000 and 1400. They differ from each other mainly in peak brightness. DisplayHDR 400 is the most questionable so far, because to get that label, a monitor may not have local dimming, not improve dynamic range, and only have a standard sRGB color gamut and 8-bit color depth.

                In most cases, HDR support in monitors comes down to receiving HDR content, but not being able to adequately reproduce it due to the lack of basic HDR tools. Therefore, it is worth approaching the choice of a monitor for this function carefully.


                Ease of working with the monitor, adjustments, connection of peripherals and other points for which there are no universal tips. Other things being equal, they will help you make the right choice.

                Light. As they joke on the Internet, skills, high frame rates and screen refreshes will not make you an advanced player. But RGB lighting will definitely do it.

                Curved. A matter of purely personal preference. If you want only a curved monitor and at a low price, then you will choose among VA panels. If you don’t like VA, then you may not need a curved monitor, because curved IPS and TN panels are very expensive. In general, it is much more valuable to pay attention to the quality of the panel itself, and not to its curvature.

                Wide monitors most take for work. There are gaming wide monitors with similar functionality as described above. But the gaming experience on them is certainly very different, for example, in car or flight simulators.

                Forza Horizon 5 on Samsung Odyssey G9 Widescreen Monitor, @Reave1905

                Samsung Odyssey G9 Gaming Monitor LC49G95TSSIXCI

                48. 7″, 32:9, 5120×1440, VA, Curved (1000R), 240Hz, FreeSync Compatible NVIDIA G-Sync, HDMI+DisplayPort interfaces, height adjustment

                All widescreen gaming monitors in the catalog

                Stand adjustments Useful option to adjust the monitor to your physical features, changing the viewing angle or position at the table. height, portrait mode, or swivel sideways on a stand.

                Ports including headphone jack. An obvious fact — foresee what you will connect to the monitor. Many models are now equipped not only with the usual video inputs, but also with USB ports and a headphone output. USB connectors are suitable both for end-to-end data transfer to a computer, and simply for charging external devices.

                Speakers. A simple and useful item for movies, YouTube or games. Quality may vary depending on the model.

                Cable management. Often, monitors have special channels for easy wiring to make the desktop a little prettier.

                • What is the resolution of the console monitor?

                The Xbox Series X console can display 4K, 1440p, and 1080p content. Therefore, it is easy to find the right monitor for it, especially 1440p / 1080p with a refresh rate of 120 Hz. The PlayStation 5 does not currently support native 1440p resolution. Through experience, the Internet community found out that the PS5 outputs 4K on a 1440p monitor, and it already downscales the image to native resolution. But not all monitors can do this, here is the confirmation. Games that support 120 fps will run at 1080p on the PlayStation 5.

                • Is a gaming monitor harmful to eyesight?

                Everything is good to use in moderation, so taking a break from the screen and adjusting the ambient light will help your eyes much more than filters or “monitor glasses”. Of course, there is a category of people who are sensitive to backlight flicker. Unfortunately, manufacturers do not indicate this in the specifications, and this can only be learned from reviews. If we are talking about strobe lighting, then many can feel discomfort, especially outside of gaming scenarios.

                • Should I get a 1440p monitor for an FHD system?

                Yes and no. Judging by the reviews, many take 1440p monitors for the future. And it happens that users are satisfied with the quality. At the same time, there is a risk of blurring the picture when it is scaled from 1080p to the monitor’s native resolution. Another option is to leave the game at 1440p but lower the texture rendering resolution. The Internet is full of tips, instructions and reviews about this.

                AOC 24G2U/BK 9 Gaming Monitor0003

                17 reviews

                23.8″, 16:9, 1920×1080, IPS, 144Hz, AMD FreeSync Premium, speakers, HDMI+DisplayPort interfaces, height adjustment, portrait mode version)

                38 reviews

                34″, 21:9, 3440×1440, VA, Curved (1500R), 144Hz, AMD FreeSync Premium, HDMI+DisplayPort interfaces, height adjustment


                LG UltraGear 27GN800-B Gaming Monitor

                7 reviews

                27″, 16:9, 2560×1440, IPS, 144Hz, AMD FreeSync Premium/NVIDIA G-Sync compatible, HDMI+DisplayPort interfaces

                Buy Now

                ViewSonic VX2705-2KP-MHD

                Gaming Monitor 2 reviews

                27″, 16:9, 2560×1440, IPS, 144Hz, AMD FreeSync Premium, speakers, HDMI+DisplayPort interfaces


                All gaming monitors in the Catalog

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