Gaming Monitors Under $200 – The Best of 2020 & 2021
Gaming monitors, for obvious reasons, are one of the most important parts of any gamers setup. A good gaming monitor can not only increase immersion with your AAA titles but it can also boost responsiveness and give you a competitive edge over other players. Gaming monitors are not cheap though and with so many people having a variety of budgets, it is important to find the best for different gamer's needs, so we have narrowed down some of the best gaming monitors for under $200 we could find.
In this price range, we start to see monitors with higher refresh rates and fewer compromises on those key gaming features compared to those models for under $100.
Despite having a bit more money to play with in this price range, it can still be difficult to sift through the options and come out with a solid gaming monitor. This article aims to provide you with the best choices out there and a few key factors to consider before buying, ensuring you get the best possible monitor for your money.
Without further ado, let’s hop right into it!
Best Gaming Monitors Under $200: First Look
The "frameless" AOC G2590FX doesn't just look great, it features high-performance specs for a variety of gamers. The 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time make this a competitive game beast. Despite being a TN panel, it is highly responsive and also comes with G-Sync compatibility for smooth gameplay.
The Acer XFA240 is a superb 1080p 24" display. This monitor ships with a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time for highly responsive gaming, making it a great option for fast-paced gameplay. This monitor also comes with G-Sync compatibility for tear-free gaming and the ergonomic stand has some great adjustment features for this price category.
This Sceptre 24" gaming monitor only sits in the third spot due to its average response time of 3ms. Aside from that, this gaming monitor comes with a beautiful curved panel and ultra-thin bezels. This ships with a rapid 144Hz refresh rate and can combine with Freesync technology to give you zero screen tear while gaming.
We see another addition from budget kings Sceptre here in the form of the U279W monitor. This isn't strictly for gaming but it provides you 4K lovers a budget option to get the best out of those 4K games. Aside from the massive 4K resolution, this 27" IPS panel has superb color accuracy and a decent 5ms response time to go along with it.
Last but not least, this IPS panel from BenQ brings an abundance of quality from a manufacturer you can truly trust. This monitor handles colors exceptionally well and the wide viewing angles make this great for more than gaming
How We Choose
Whether we're reviewing the best gaming monitors under $200 or the best GPUs on the market, choosing the right hardware can always be a tricky task.
It requires hours of product research, performance benchmarking, and reviewing user feedback to get anywhere close to a definitive conclusion on what to recommend.
If you aren't tech-savvy and struggle to put the time aside to go through the above requirements, you may end up purchasing a gaming monitor that isn't right for you.
Fear not though, friends! Here at WePC, we like to take the stress of research away, and transform the whole process into an easy-to-follow, complete buyers guide. That's right, our team of PC enthusiasts has done all the hard work for you!
How We Test
Testing the products we recommend is a huge part of the overall selection process in our best of guides. It's a way to make sure what we recommend is, without a doubt, the best option in its specific category.
To be sure a gaming monitor is "the best," it must show excellent performance in our tests, and display better qualities and features than the competition it faces.
Most of the products we recommend here at WePC have gone through a strict testing process that involves everything from the price and performance, to build quality, efficiency, and aesthetics. Each product is pushed to the limit to see how it performs under intense stress to make sure it warrants our coveted top spot.
Doing this enables us to provide you with the most accurate review of how the product performs and, ultimately, whether it's worth your hard-earned cash.
Things To Consider
Whether you are purchasing the best gaming monitor money can buy or one that costs under $200, there are a few key factors to consider first. It is crucial to understand what makes a gaming monitor a "best" gaming monitor, to better understand what is important for gaming and your personal needs.
Below, we have outlined the main areas for your consideration to assist in the buying process and to ultimately ensure you walk away with the perfect gaming monitor for under $200.
Refresh Rate and Response Time
The refresh rate of a monitor measures the number of times the image changes, or refreshes, in the span of a single second. The higher the number, the smoother and more responsive using your PC will feel.
60Hz is the standard for most displays, and probably what most of you are used to using. It’s generally fine but isn’t quite fast enough to pass as a real motion to our eyes.
144hz is a high-end standard, common in gaming monitors, and fastly becoming more available so they mostly feature in the under $200 price range and up.
144hz boosts the refresh rate so much that people who use it report great improvements to their reaction time and overall user experience. This is because, thanks to being closer to real motion, your reflexes are effectively being given twice the time to take in information versus a player with a 60hz monitor.
Response time, meanwhile, determines how quickly your monitor responds to inputs. The lower, the better and you can expect quick 1ms response times in this price category almost entirely across the board depending on panel type.
In the past, gaming monitors for under $200 would mostly only feature 1080p displays. These days, thanks to technological advancements, we start to see the odd drop in price for 1440p and 4K resolutions too.
Knowing what resolution to go for is another big factor to consider before buying any monitor. A resolution can have a massive impact on your systems hardware and FPS output, so for those that play graphically demanding games, the higher the resolution, the less FPS your system can theoretically output. Of course, when we are dealing with a budget of $200 it is less likely you will see 1440p and 4K monitors of a high standard and in actual fact, most products on this list feature a 1080p resolution.
Most modern monitors are manufactured using TFT-LCD technology. There are others out there and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Certain panel types work better for certain situations, with some being more responsive than others, whereas others will feature better viewing angles and color reproduction.
When we are dealing with a price category like we have here with the best gaming monitors for under $200, choices are limited and you will often find a lot of the panel types ar the cheaper TN (twisted nematic). TN is one of three main panel types, with the others being; VA (vertical alignment), and IPS (in-plane switching). To better understand the differences take a quick look at the table below.
The Best Gaming Monitors Under $200
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- G-sync/ Freesync
- VESA compatible
- Sleek design
- Ultra thin
- Highly responsive
- 144Hz refresh rate
- TN panel
- Stand only supports tilt
The AOC G2590FX is full to the brim with features and comes in at a reasonable price too! The monitor is G-sync and Freesync compatible whilst also being highly responsive.
This 1080p monitor features a TN panel, so viewing angles may not be the best but it is primarily for gaming, and as long as you sit anywhere in front of your monitor while gaming you shouldn't have any issues. You get the decent color performance and a peak brightness of 400-nits but the colors just aren't as good as an IPS or VA panel.
The monitor sports a refresh rate of 144Hz but you will have to tinker with the settings to set it to this. The high refresh rate, when paired with the G-sync module, leads to some brilliant gaming performance and completely eliminates screen tearing and input lag for an altogether smooth experience. The response time as you would expect for this price sits at just 1ms completing the needs for your competitive FPS heads out there.
The design is geared towards gamers with its red accents but it's not over the top and looks quite nice. The bezels are super thin and match the overall slim nature to the monitor which is a well-thought-out design touch, adding some style points! The stand is pretty basic but does offer some tilt at the least.
AOC also has featured 'Clear Vision' and 'Game Colour' which are settings in the monitor's menu you can set. Clear Vision will enhance the quality of what you are watching to make it as HD as possible which is great if you enjoy playing older retro game titles. Game Colour basically adjusts Greyscale and has several levels to find the best settings in games or for those movies.
Overall a great monitor and arguably one of the best budget G-sync monitors available.
- G-Sync Compatible
- Highly responsive
- 144Hz refresh rate
- Ergonomic stand with tilt, swivel, and pivot
- Poor viewing angles
- Not the best color reproduction
The Acer XFA240 is primarily aimed at competitive gamers and the feature set shows this. It's a great choice for any competitive gamers out there with fast response times, G-Sync compatibility, and an adjustable stand.
The design isn't anything to shout about, it is a pretty standard looking monitor from the front with regular looking bezel edges. That being said, the stand it comes with does a superb job for the price, with you being able to tilt, pivot, and swivel the display. Aside from that, the simplistic look is quite nice and overall we have a very low profile monitor here.
The features are where the Acer monitor comes into its own. The monitor boasts a high refresh rate of 144Hz, which is perfect for any gamer, and if that wasn't enough it also has a high response time of 1ms! So in terms of gaming, the performance is great and it can only get better with the inclusion of G-Sync compatibility, giving you some satisfying tear-free gaming.
This Acer gaming monitor gives off the impression this is for hardcore gamers and it delivers, every feature enhances your overall gaming experience and this is well worth investing in.
- Freesync compatible
- VESA mount
- 144Hz refresh rate
- Curved display
- No G-sync
- Average response time
The Sceptre C248B-144R monitor sports a curved display that works wonders for immersion into your games and movies. This option is also packed with enough features to get gamers seriously considering this monitor as their next purchase.
The first thing you notice is the wonderful curve to the screen, which looks great whilst also adding to your overall viewing experience but the viewing angles are narrow due to this curve when you compare it to others in this category. Despite this, the monitor is actually responsive enough at 3ms and brings the benefit of being a VA panel monitor which rivals similarly priced IPS displays for colors. This monitor also brings Freesync into the mix which goes well with the high refresh rate of 144Hz, to bring consumers a buttery-smooth gaming experience and minimal to no lag input.
In the looks department, the monitor is fairly plain-jane apart from that curve, that being said, the minimalist approach is quite attractive and the design is certainly not a negative. The monitor also features an anti-flicker feature, stopping the backlight from flickering periodically. The stand is pretty basic but looks sleek and suits the style of the monitor.
Here from Sceptre, we have a monitor way under budget and it offers some fantastic value for what you get, a worthy option!
- 4K at an affordable price
- VESA wall mountable
- 5ms response time
- IPS panel
- Not the best stand
A rare 4K resolution monitor for under $200 here comes in the form of the Sceptre U279W. While this is marketed towards graphic design it also offers gamers at a pinch a 4K gaming monitor.
The design is simple but looks very sleek and modern, making it a great addition to any gamer's desk. The stand is hollowed out and is very aesthetically pleasing but unfortunately doesn't offer much in terms of adjustment other than tilt.
The monitor comes with custom set display settings from Sceptre and goes a long way to enhancing specific gamine experiences. Furthermore, this features a 5ms response time, which may not be the quickest but it is certainly more than adequate for 4K gaming.
This 27" monitor runs at 60Hz but features DVI that can run 4K up to 30Hz, HDMI for 4K at 60Hz, HDM2 for 4K at 30HZ, and DisplayPort for 4K at 70Hz. This display is VESA wall-mountable and features speakers for those who are still saving for a headset or quality standalone speakers.
For a 4K gaming monitor on a strict budget, this option from Sceptre is well worth considering.
- Great color reproduction
- IPS panel
- Great Overall Build Quality
- Mediocre response time
- 60Hz refresh rate
The BenQ GW2780 monitor is more optimized for home and office use but its IPS panel, incredible color accuracy, and 5ms response time give gamers a great low-cost option.
The design is that classic BenQ look, with thin bezels and a sturdy stand to boot. While the stand only features a bit of tilt, there is a compartment to hide your cables inside, leaving your setup looking cleaner than ever.
While there may not be many gaming features for this budget option, the 27" IPS panel is beautiful and delivers colors with incredible accuracy for the price. Surprisingly this comes with a 5ms response time, which we consider to be the upper limit for gamers but you aren't going to notice any difference unless you play a lot of competitive games.
As this is a BenQ, you get their proprietary eye-care technology and some built-in speakers for use straight out of the box. The viewing angles are very wide thanks to the IPS panel, leaving you with a monitor you can use for much more than just gaming.
Overall, this 1080p monitor is a great budget option, coming way under the $200 mark. While it may not be the best for gaming, it has plenty of fo features for the price, plus that BenQ build quality.
When it comes to the best gaming monitor for under $200, as you can see, there is a nice variety of choices. The specifications of these monitors do suit competitive gamers rather than those looking for a more immersive experience, with high refresh rates and low response times featuring in the majority of the models. If under $200 is still a bit of a stretch for your budget, you may want to look into the best gaming monitors for under $100. Alternatively, if you would like a better quality gaming monitor, check out the options for under $300.
The standout winner was the AOC G2590FX gaming monitor. This 144Hz gaming monitor sports a 1ms response time and features a 1080p resolution. This 24 inch IPS display features thin bezels and also comes with G-Sync compatibility, making it great for smooth gameplay.
Our runner up features all the same superb gaming specifications as the top spot and while it isn't " frameless" it does feature a superb stand. The Acer XFA240 comes with a rapid 144HZ refresh rate, a low response time of 1ms, and comes with G-Sync compatibility.
The Sceptre C249B-144R is another solid monitor and only sits in third due to its average response time of 3ms. This display is the only curved option in our round-up and features a refresh rate of 144Hz and a VA panel with excellent color accuracy for the price.
For the 4K lovers out there, we have managed to find a 4K gaming monitor for under $200! The Sceptre U279W-4000R sports an IPS panel with a wonderful 4K resolution to bring vibrant colors into this 27" display. It may not have the best stand in the list but it is VESA wall-mountable and comes with a reasonable 5ms response time.
For a budget focused gaming monitor that doesn't compromise on quality, the BenQ GW2780 is the way to go. This monitor may not feature all the wonderful gaming specifications of some of our top sections but the IPS panel features incredible color accuracy and wide viewing angles.
So, that is our breakdown of the best gaming monitors for under $200. Are you on the hunt for a new gaming monitor with a strict budget? Head over to the WePC Community and share what bargains you have found!