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The Best Monitors for Gaming (Q4 2019)

Comprehensive List of PC Gaming Monitor Recommendations for All Resolutions


Recommended Monitors for the Best Gaming ExperienceChoosing the best monitor for gaming is a confusing task if you don't know what specs to look for and what they mean

Date Published: November 23, 2019

When you buy or build a new gaming PC, you want a decent display to pair with it so your gaming graphics card isn't let down by a mediocre monitor that gets in the way of your gaming experience. As gamers, not all screens are created equal, and there are certain specs to look for when choosing the best monitor for gaming and spending your money wisely on the right model for YOUR exact needs. The monitor market can get real confusing real fast if you don't know which specs are important as a PC gamer, and it's easy to get lost in research land of doom as you try comparing the vast array of different models, features, and brands out there. 



Plus, monitor models can vary quite dramatically in price so it can be confusing to know how much you should spend, and then there's the other end of the conundrum where so many models can seem so very similar and very difficult to choose between (unless you really closely compare the specs and reviews). Throw in the often-used heavy marketing hype used by companies who're doing everything they can to sell you their wares, and you have a recipe for mass confusion and the tendency for some people to overspend on screens they just don't need when you could have got a better gaming model for the same (or even less) cost had you did a little more research.

Not all monitors are good for gaming so choose wisely

If you want to preserve those braincells of yours and leave the mind-numbing painstaking hours of continually-ongoing research to us, or you want to cross-check the research you've already undertaken with our own findings, this guide to the best gaming monitors for the money as of late 2019 is here to help you save time and pick the perfect monitor for your exact needs.

Choosing a monitor isn't something you want to rush as it could make up a large portion of your overall PC build budget, and it's something you're literally going to be staring at for years to come (hopefully). But while the very best monitors for gaming on a high-performance PC can be really expensive, the good news is that good gaming monitors don't have to cost an arm and a leg and there are plenty of good budget gaming monitors that will satisfy most casual gamers.

Not everyone needs a high-resolution (like 1440p or 4K) or high refresh-rate (144Hz) monitor, and using a standard 1080p 60-75Hz screen can provide a great experience and is still the most popular resolution for PC gamers in 2019 (based on Steam's user surveys). Besides, to provide enough video card power for high resolution gaming, you'd need to build a high-end gaming PC of $1200 or more otherwise it might not be worth it.

Anyway, let's get into the best monitors for gaming as of November 2019 for both the budget crowd searching for maximum bang for buck, and the more hardcore high-end players wanting the very best gaming monitor you can get. See the FAQ at the end too to learn about some of the important specs to look out for on your hunt. Hope this guide helps.

See Also: Recommended Gaming PC Builds




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Recommended Monitors for PC Gaming (November 2019 Updated)

RESOLUTION REFRESH RATE BUDGET TOP PICK PREVIEW RESPONSE TIME PANEL TYPE PORTS
BUDGET

(1080p)
60 / 75Hz (Casual) Under $100 (Cheapest) Acer SB220Q 21.5 Inch (75Hz) 1ms IPS HDMI, VGA
Under $150 (Value) Acer SB230 23 Inch (75Hz) 1ms IPS HDMI, VGA
Under $200 (Best) Asus VG245H 24 Inch (75Hz) 1ms TN HDMI (x2), VGA
Under $200 (Value Large) Acer CB272 27 Inch (75Hz) 1ms IPS HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA
Under $250 (Best Large) BenQ ZOWIE RL2755 27 Inch (75Hz) 1ms TN HDMI (x2), DVI, VGA
144Hz (Pro) Under $200 (Cheap FreeSync) AOC C24G1 24 Inch Curved 1ms VA HDMI (x2), DisplayPort, VGA
Under $200 (Cheap GSync) Acer XFA240 24 Inch 1ms TN HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI
Under $250 (Best FreeSync) ViewSonic XG2402 24 Inch 1ms TN HDMI (x2), DisplayPort, USB Hub
Under $300 (Best GSync) Asus VG248QG 24 Inch (165Hz) 0.5ms TN HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI
Best Large (FreeSync) AOC C27G1 27 Inch Curved 1ms VA HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA
Best Large (GSync) LG 27GL650F-B 27 Inch HDR 1ms IPS HDMI (x2), DisplayPort
240Hz (Hardcore) Best (GSync) ASUS ROG Strix XG258Q 24.5 Inch 1ms TN HDMI (x2), DisplayPort
Best Large (GSync) Acer Predator XB272 27 Inch 1ms TN HDMI, DisplayPort
HIGH-END

(1440p)
60 / 75Hz (Casual) Under $250 Acer V277U 27 Inch (75Hz) 4ms IPS HDMI (x2), DisplayPort
Under $300 ASUS PB277Q 27 Inch (75Hz) 1ms IPS HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI
144Hz (Pro) Budget AOC CQ27G1 27 Inch Curved 1ms TN HDMI (x2), DisplayPort, VGA
Best FreeSync MSI Optix MAG271CQR 27 Inch Curved 1ms TN HDMI, DisplayPort, USB (x3)
Best GSync ASUS ROG PG279Q 27 Inch (165Hz) 4ms TN HDMI, DisplayPort, USB (x2)
240Hz (Hardcore) Best HP Omen X 27 Inch 1ms TN HDMI, DisplayPort, USB (x2)
EXTREME

(2160p/4K)
60-100Hz (Human) Budget (FreeSync) ASUS MG28UQ 28 Inch (60Hz) 1ms TN HDMI (x2), DisplayPort, USB (x2)
Best (GSync) Acer Predator XB281HK 28 Inch (60Hz) 1ms TN HDMI, DisplayPort, USB (x2)
Large Acer Predator Z35P 35 Inch Curved (100Hz) 4ms VA HDMI, DisplayPort, USB (x4)
144Hz (Godmode) Best (GSync) Acer Predator X27 27 Inch HDR 4ms IPS HDMI, DisplayPort, USB (x4)



Picking the Perfect Screen Using Our Monitor Chart

In the far left column of the table/chart above, our monitor recommendations are split into the 3 main resolutions:

  • Budget Gaming Monitors (1080p): Full HD, also known as 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels), is the most common PC gaming resolution in 2019, and unlikely to change in 2020 either. Recommended for most gamers as it's the best bang for buck overall and still more than enough pixels for great visual quality.
  • High-End Gaming Monitors (1440p): A higher quality image, 1440p (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution requires more powerful hardware to take advantage of (especially AAA games on high settings), however these days you can build a budget 1440p gaming PC for $1000 and get good performance. But for setups less than $1000 you should probably stick with 1080p.
  • Extreme Gaming Monitors (2160p/4K): The best PC gaming experience possible right now is 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels) but as you can imagine it will require a beast of a system for good performance.

We then split up each resolution into different refresh rates:

  • 60Hz/75Hz (Fast): Allows you to see up to 60/75 frames per second. The common standard for PC gaming, and just fine for a very smooth experience in most game genres. Recommended for most casual gamers, unless you're a diehard FPS, Battle Royale, or racing gamer in which case you should get 144Hz. But don't let anyone tell you that 1080p 60Hz gaming is dead, as it's just fine for many types of games.
  • 144Hz/165Hz (Super Fast): Allows you to see up to 144 frames per second (if your hardware is powerful enough). 144Hz screens are more expensive, but they make fast-paced action games smoother, but the good news is there are some good affordable models these days. Some monitors will have less common refresh rates of 165Hz or even 100Hz.
  • 240Hz (Lightning Fast): For those wanting the absolute fastest visuals possible to gain every little edge you can in competitive play, and who are willing to pay a premium for it (and who have an extreme PC to reach 240FPS). Only recommended for hardcore/pro gamers.

After drilling down into the resolution and then the refresh rate you're looking for, our monitor recommendations are then further split up into different budgets and sizes. If you get stuck and want someone to help steer you in the right direction, leave a comment below and someone will help a gamer out (though read the FAQ below because it may answer your question).

Buying the best monitor for gaming on your particular setup is not something you should rush, so take your time and choose wisely, although it's hard to go wrong with any of our top picks above as each model has been carefully compared against all other competing models on the market right now for specs, price, and image quality.

See Also: PC Gaming Refresh Rates Explained





FAQ


What is Monitor Response Time and is it Important for Gaming?

The response time (also called the response rate) of a monitor refers to how quickly the screen updates and is one of the most important specs to look for when on the hunt for a good screen. The lower the response rate the better (lower response rates mean that the screen updates faster), and for fast-paced gaming you don't want to get a monitor that has a response rate any higher than around 8ms, though sticking to under 5ms and under is even better (I personally don't recommend any gaming monitors with response times higher than 5ms).

For the fastest possible gaming experience though, 2ms or 1ms is ideal. If you are playing fast-paced action games such as a racing or first person shooter, and your monitor has a slower response rate such as 8-10ms or above, you may experience and actually notice a visual phenomenon known as "ghosting", which is when the previous image displayed on the screen can still be seen as a blur for moments after the image has changed. The lower the response time of your monitor, the less noticeable it becomes, to where you can't notice it at all with response times under 5ms - 8ms.


What is the Best Monitor Size for Gaming?

The size you choose comes down to the gaming resolution you use, your own personal preference (bigger screens can be more immersive), and how much you're willing to cough up for a new screen as bigger monitors cost more. But in terms of resolution, these are the recommended monitor sizes for the best gaming experience:

  • Best Monitor Size for 1080p: 23/24 Inch (21 or 27 inch can work fine too, but 24 if the "sweet spot" for 1080p)
  • Best Monitor Size for 1440p: 27 Inch or Larger
  • Best Monitor Size for 2160p/4K: 27 Inch or Larger

60Hz vs 75Hz: Which is Best for a Budget Gaming Monitor?

If you want to save money AND you're not a competitive gamer wanting to play FPS or Battle Royale games with every edge you can get, you'll want to stick to a standard 60Hz or 75Hz monitor for gaming as high refresh-rate monitors with 144Hz or higher are more expensive (especially ones with GSync for those with NVidia video cards).

So for those on a budget, the question is; should you buy a 60Hz or 75Hz monitor for gaming? Truth is, it doesn't matter, as you're not going to be able to notice the difference between 60FPS or 75FPS unless you have superhuman eyesight. But if you had to choose between the two, just go with 75Hz because your maximum frame rate is slightly higher and so theoretically you will see slightly faster visuals.


60Hz vs 144Hz: Which to Choose for Gaming?

When buying the best monitor for gaming, a key spec to be aware of is the refresh rate (not to be mistaken for the response rate). A higher refresh rate allows you to enjoy higher frame rates in your games without graphical tearing, which can happen when there's a discrepancy between your graphics card's frame rate and the refresh rate of your screen.

Standard monitors have the standard 60 Hz refresh rate, and that is fine if you're gaming on a budget and can't afford a more expensive monitor, but if you want the very best gaming experience you'll want to fork out a little more for a faster refresh rate screen such as 120 Hz or 144 Hz.

The difference between 120 Hz and 60 Hz is definitely noticeable, but if you do settle for a typical 60 Hz monitor then it's not the end of the world and you can still enjoy fast gaming so long as your response rate (explained above) is fast enough. But yeah, if you can, get 120 Hz or more and you won't look back! The only real downside to a higher refresh rate monitor for gaming is that you're going to need very good hardware to be able to reach those higher frame rates, and in demanding games this can require seriously beasty setups. 

See Also: Gaming Refresh Rates Explained: 60Hz vs 144Hz


What is the Best Monitor Brand for Gaming?

While you don't want to solely base your monitor selection based on the brand, and it's more important to compare specific models, there definitely are certain manufacturers that generally stand out from the pack in terms of reliably producing good gaming monitor models such as BenQ, Asus, Viewsonic, Acer, LG and Dell just to name some of the most popular with many good gaming monitors. We generally recommend sticking to these monitor brands, though there are some other decent brands with good monitors for gaming (eg AOC, Spectre), especially if you're on a budget and you don't expect the highest quality screen around.








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