These days, the best PC games can take you to places and let you see things that you never thought possible, which is why you should think about picking up one of the best gaming monitors to bring your gaming experience to the next level.
What makes the best gaming monitors better for gaming, you ask? Well, everything ultimately boils down to what you want to get out of it. The market is jam-packed with many different types of monitors these days, and the best gaming monitor for you will depend on the kind of games you play.
For example, there are those that just want to sit and get absorbed into their favorite single player games like Devil May Cry V or Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. If you’re one of these people, you may want a 4K Ultra HD gaming monitor with HDR. On the other hand, if you’re all about the esports life, playing Overwatch, you’ll want one of the best gaming monitors with a high refresh rate and low response time.
Finding the best gaming monitor can be hard work, and that’s why we’re here. We gathered all the best gaming monitors we’ve tested and reviewed over the last year or so. So, no matter what kind of PC games you typically play, we’ll help you find the best monitor for your gaming needs.
1. BenQ EX3501R
HDR and Ultra-Wide together at last
Screen size: 35-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440 | Brightness: : 300 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 100Hz | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 2,500:1 | Color support: sRGB 100% | Weight: 23 pounds
Great screen size
Menu can be tricky
Needs tweaking out of box
HDR has been a major selling point for the best TVs for sometime now, but the feature has been suspiciously absent from the best gaming monitors. Until now. The BenQ EX3501R takes HDR and runs with it, crafting a curved ultra-wide that is not only what we would deem ‘attainable’, but beautiful as well. BenQ bills this monitor as a ‘video enjoyment monitor’, but from the moment you launch your favorite HDR-enabled games, you’ll see straight away why it tops our list of the best gaming monitors.
Read the full review: BenQ EX3501R
2. Alienware AW3418DW
The fastest ultrawide yet
Screen size: 34-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440 | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 | Color support: sRGB 100% | Weight: 26 pounds
Highest refresh rate in an ultrawide
Alienware design and build quality
Takes up a lot of space
The Alienware AW3418DW is one of the few gaming monitors that offers that level of immersion that only a 21:9 aspect ratio can, while also featuring a high refresh rate. With a dense 3,440 x 1,440 resolution, lightning fast 4ms response times and a stunning 120Hz refresh rate, the AW3418DW offers the best of both worlds. However, all these features come with a steep price, so it may not be the best choice for gamers on the budget. Still, it’s not hard to see why it’s one of the best gaming monitors 2019 has to offer.
Read the full review: Alienware AW3418DW
3. AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition
Screen size: 35-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440 | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 2,500:1: | Color support: sRGB 100% | Weight: 26 pounds
Phenomenal color performance
120Hz refresh rate
Clunky OSD menu
The AOC Agon AG352UCG was one of the best gaming monitors we’d used, so when we heard that a follow-up was on its way, with a higher refresh rate and better contrast, we couldn’t wait. The AOC Agon AC352UCG6 Black Edition inherits original’s best features and turns those up to 11, making it one of the best ways to experience ultra-wide gaming. It’s pricey, yeah, but if you have the hardware to back it up, you might be doing yourself a disservice by not buying it.
Read the full review: AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition
4. Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ
The Rolls Royce of gaming monitors
Screen size: 27-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Brightness: 600 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 50,000:1 | Color support: Adobe RGB 99% | Weight: 28 pounds
G-Sync and HDR
Fantastic image quality
The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ may just be the most advanced and best gaming monitor out there – as long as you have the budget for it. Not only does it feature a gorgeous 4K Ultra-HD resolution and HDR, but it also boasts G-Sync and a 144Hz refresh rate. These specs make for one of the most impressive gaming monitors that’s ever existed – and when you see it in action, your mind will be blown. The only thing that holds this gaming monitor back from true greatness is its insane price tag. But, then again, if you have this kind of cash lying around, you should be able to afford a PC powerful enough to drive it.
Read the full review: Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ
5. BenQ PD3200U
A large 4K screen for your desk
Screen Size: 32-inch | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Brightness: 350 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Response Time: 4ms | Viewing Angle: 178/178 | Contrast Ratio: 1,000:1 | Color Support: sRGB 100% | Weight: 19 lbs
4K UHD resolution
Design is a little bland
Professional tools are niche
Takes up a lot of space
Primarily designed for CAD professionals, the BenQ PD3200U is still one of the best gaming monitors you can buy today. This is due to its a rock-solid focus on graphic design, so it’s able to offer fantastic viewing angles – meaning your friends can watch you play in comfort. Plus, unlike a lot of 4K monitors on the market, you won’t have to mess around with the settings in order to get the best picture – every unit is individually calibrated by BenQ before it’s shipped. This is one of the best gaming monitors out there, even though it’s not actually a gaming monitor.
Read the full review: BenQ PD3200U
6. Acer Predator X27
The finest picture for the finest price
Screen size: 27-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Brightness: 600 Nits | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 | Color support: SRGB 100%, Adobe RGB 99% | Weight: 27.12 pounds
Beautiful 4K HDR picture
G-Sync and high refresh rate
There’s a certain subset of PC gamers out there that need the absolute best hardware money can buy, and the Acer Predator X27 might be the best gaming monitor for them. The list of high-end features packed into the panel is almost as long as our arm – 4K resolution, HDR-10, G-Sync, 144Hz refresh rate – and you’d be hard pressed to find a more advanced monitor. And, once you get a look at this monitor in person, you’ll be sold. That is, until you see the price tag – at two grand, only recent lottery winners need apply. Still, there’s nothing wrong with dreaming.
Read the full review: Acer Predator X27
7. BenQ Zowie XL2540
A monitor tailored to the needs of professional gamers
Screen size: 24-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Brightness: 400 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 240Hz | Response time: 1ms | Viewing angle: 170/160 | Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 | Color support: NTSC 72% | Weight: 7.5kg
High refresh rates
Limited appeal beyond pro gamers
With its blinders, the BenQ Zowie XL2540 might rub you the wrong way in the beginning, but trust us when we say it’s right up there with the best gaming monitors on this list. It sacrifices flashy lighting effects for a speedy 240Hz refresh rate, and lightning-fast 1ms response time. There aren’t any adaptive sync options, unfortunately, but if you have a rig that’s capable of keeping up with this refresh rate, you’ll go a long way. The BenQ Zowie XL2540 keeps things simple by supplying you with lots of visual presets, an “S Switch” control pod for managing those presets and even a pair of adjustable light screens. If you’re a professional gamer, then this is the best gaming monitor you can get.
Read the full review: BenQ Zowie XL2540
8. Samsung CHG90 QLED
Screen Size: 49-inch | Aspect Ratio: 32:9 | Resolution: 3,840 x 1080 | Viewing Angle: 178/178 | Contrast Ratio: 3,000:1 | Color Support: N/A | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Weight: 33 lbs
Flawless image quality
Impressive Color reproduction
Smooth 144Hz refresh rate
Only 1080p vertically
With this display, Samsung not only brings QLED to gaming monitors in a massive way, but they also offer the widest ultra-wide monitor on the market today. Coming in at 49.5 inches, this behemoth may take up a lot of space, likely jutting out over the sides of your desk, but with its impressive 3,840 x 1080 resolution and HDR, you’ll at least be blown away by the image. Even if you decide not to play in this resolution (it will require a beefy rig), you can still use all of the extra screen real estate so you have a browser or a movie playing on the same screen. The only real drawback is the monstrous price tag. Still, for a display this premium, it may very well be worth it.
Read the full review: Samsung CHG90 QLED
9. Samsung CHG70 QLED
Gaming with all the colors
Screen size: 32-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 | Brightness: 350 cd/m2 | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Response time: 1ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 3,000:1 | Color support: 1.07B | Weight: 21.16 pounds
Quick response time
Takes up a lot of space
If you have a powerful graphics card that you want to take full advantage of, Samsung’s got something just for you – you don’t mind missing out on 4K Ultra HD, that is. The Samsung CHG70 is a curved 1440p monitor with a blazing fast 1ms response time and 144Hz refresh rate, which makes it one of the best gaming monitors you can buy in 2019. And, considering it’s regularly going on sale, this screen is a bargain as well, making it a worthwhile investment.
Read the full review: Samsung CHG70 QLED
10. MSI Optix MAG271CR
Gotta go fast to save the world
Screen size: 27-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Response time: 1ms | Viewing angle: 178/160 | Contrast ratio: 3000:1 | Color support: SRGB 115%, 90% DCI-P3 | Weight: 9kg
Fast refresh rate
Expensive for 1080p
When you’re playing competitive first-person shooters like Overwatch or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, you’re going to require speed more than anything to stay on top of the leader boards. That’s where monitors like the MSI Optix MAG271CR come in handy. With a 1080p resolution, 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms of latency, you’re going to have super fast, very smooth gameplay as long as you have the hardware to drive it. After all, 60Hz panels are so 2014 – the best gaming monitors embrace high refresh rates.
Read the full review: MSI Optix MAG271CR
How to buy the best gaming monitor in 2018
When you are in the market for the best gaming monitor 2019 has to offer, there are a few things that you must consider before making a decision on what display should grace your desk.
By familiarizing yourself with the following terms and specifications, you can ensure that you’re picking the best gaming monitor for your needs – which also means you’re not paying extra for additional features that you don’t actually need.
Screen size: When shopping around for the best gaming monitor, one of the most crucial things to consider is the screen size. Larger display sizes can lead to more immersive gaming experiences since the game fills more of your field of vision, but you’ll need to make sure you have the room to store a large monitor. It also goes without saying that larger monitors will usually mean a higher price.
Aspect ratio: The aspect ratio of a gaming monitor dictates the width and height of the screen. Most widescreen monitors have an aspect ratio of 16:9, while older monitors have a more square format of 4:3, which will likely look pretty outdated in 2019. Ultra-wide monitors with aspect ratios of 21:9 are rapidly gaining popularity – they offer a wide view of your games, which is why many ultra wides have made our list of the best gaming monitors 2019.
Resolution: Another important factor to consider when looking for the best gaming monitor for your needs is resolution. Here, the higher the numbers, the sharper the picture.. You will, however, require a more powerful graphics card for anything over full HD (1,920 x 1,080), even if many gaming monitors feature resolutions as high as 2,560 x 1,400 (WQHD) and 3,840 x 2,160 (4K).
Refresh rate: When you’re primarily looking to play Counter-Strike and other first-person shooters like it, refresh rate is especially important. The higher the refresh rate, the more frames per second (fps) the monitor can support, which leads to a butter smooth gaming experience on. A 60Hz refresh rate is most common, but refresh rates of 144Hz and even 200Hz are becoming more and more popular.
Response time: The best gaming monitors boasts low response times, which means the action remains fast and fluid, with little to no input lag. The lowest response time for TN monitors (we’ll get to this in the next section) is 1 millisecond, whereas the newer IPS monitors usually have slower 4ms response times. When you’re playing games competitively, it’s crucial to keep this number as low as possible in order to combat latency.
Panel type: This is where things get a little technical. The type of panel a gaming monitor uses will largely contribute to its response time and image clarity. TN panels (twisted nematic) have the lowest response times, and they are usually cheaper as well. However, they generally don’t have great viewing angles. IPS panels (in-plane switching), on the other hand, have fantastic viewing angles and color reproduction, but usually have higher response times. Meanwhile, VA panels (vertical alignment) sit between the two, though its slow response times makes these panels rare in the gaming world.
Viewing Angle: Though most people play games directly in front of their gaming monitor, this isn’t always be the case, particularly when you’re among spectators. A monitor’s viewing angles tell you what angle you can look at the monitor from and still make out a clear image. The closer these numbers are to 180, the better your viewing experience will be when standing further to either side of the monitor or looking at it from above or below.
G-Sync and FreeSync: You’ll likely notice that many of the best gaming monitors in 2018 come with either G-Sync or FreeSync technology – sometimes both. This helps keep frames per second (fps) smooth, combats screen tearing and diminishes input lag. G-Sync is developed by Nvidia, so you’ll require an Nvidia GPU, and the tech is built into the monitor, which can bump up their price tag. On the other hand, there’s FreeSync, which was developed by AMD. Since it is free to use by manufacturers, these monitors are typically cheaper.
Check out our HDR Explained video below.
Gabe Carey and Bill Thomas have also contributed to this article
Image Credit: TechRadar
- Looking for a more general monitor? Check out our list of the best monitors