The best gaming monitors for under $300 are in the sweet spot of price and performance – offering up a nice balance of features and specifications that deliver excellent picture quality and fast gaming responsiveness. Our aim in this guide is to select the best gaming monitors we can find for under $300 – recommending an array of options that cater for a plethora of scenarios.
We’ve tested a tonne of gaming monitors in the past, allowing us to confidently select five of the best monitors for gaming the market has to offer. The following selection will feature high-end specifications such as; refresh rates of 144Hz – 240Hz, quick 1ms response times, and 4K UHD screen resolutions too.
Luckily, there are plenty of monitors within the $300 spectrum that display unique pros and cons. That said, we came to the conclusion that the Alienware AW2720HF was the best gaming monitor for the price – showcasing a unique looking design, quick response time, and a competitive 240Hz refresh rate.
The best gaming monitors for under $300 start to show some class but if you are looking for the best monitors currently available then you may want to check out the best gaming monitors available today. If the $300 price range is still a little out of your price range then don’t worry – we compiled a list of the best monitors for under $200 for those on a tighter budget.
Best monitor under $300 video
Our Top Picks
Acer Nitro VG271
To make sure we’re not just buying and testing random monitors, we made an initial search on which monitors are most suited for gaming. We then went over several online customer reviews from retailers for honest feedback. Once happy with the consumer census we checked through product reviews to give us a better overall impression of the products to see if they back up what paying customers are saying.
We decided to create an article to showcase the best gaming monitors for under $300 since this is the sweet spot for most gamers when buying a monitor. After gathering all the potential monitor models, we then purchased each of them and got down to some gaming.
We want to make sure you’re purchasing the right monitor for your personal needs. While it’s true that most of you today know what features matter, picking the right monitor to go with your setup can sometimes give some a bit of a headache.
Screen Size And Resolution
Often, one of the first things that people think about when getting a monitor is the size but the quality of your image is tied in with the resolution.
For most, a resolution of 1080p will more than suffice, especially for gaming but for more detail 1440p becomes ideal. 4K is also great, but kind of still out of the $300 price range unless you compromise on the refresh rate.
You can check out our guide to the best 4K gaming monitors right here.
If you’re going to opt for a 1440p monitor then you may want to take performance into consideration. Your GPU may be fine at 1080p High settings, but can it chug out stable performance with a 78% increase in resolution?
Keep your system’s limitations in mind when choosing a monitor and you should be good!
Response time refers to pixel response time, and in short, it determines how quickly your monitor responds to inputs. The lower the response time the better.
5 ms is considered acceptable by most, especially on larger displays. 5ms may be the max recommendation but it is worth noting that competitive players prefer a low response time of 1ms for less perceivable lag.
A refresh rate, which is measured in hertz, refers to how often the screen can refresh its image, or update to reflect changes that have happened.
A higher refresh rate appears to our eyes as a much smoother motion. So getting a 144Hz monitor could give you an advantage over someone with a 60Hz monitor. This is because 144Hz is much closer to real-life motion than 60Hz is, allowing for better vision, a greater experience, and quicker reactions.
You can check out our guide to the best 240Hz gaming monitors here.
However, it will only work in supported games. And, obviously, it will tax your CPU and GPU much more if you don’t get the best FPS in-game already however if your GPU makes light work of games then you won’t notice any issues at all.
IPS Or TN?
There are two main types of monitors: IPS and TN. IPS panels offer greater color reproduction and viewing angles than the typical TN counterpart. Because of this, IPS panels are a favorite among video editors, movie watchers, and single-player gamers who want to enjoy the best colors their graphics card have to offer.
However, IPS comes with a few key downsides: Lower response times and refresh rates, along with a higher price point. To get an IPS display that is also competitively-ready for serious gaming costs much more than what’s available in this price range.
In other words, IPS monitors offer a better viewing experience at the expense of a competitive edge in gaming. If you aren’t a particularly competitive gamer, this shouldn’t be a problem for you.
If you are competitively-oriented, though, and don’t have an extra $300 to spend, you’re probably better off with a TN panel in a 144Hz monitor.
Image quality and out-of-the-box color calibration is another thing that we carefully evaluated. Most of the monitors we have on the list are factory calibrated and didn’t require too much adjustment to get it right.
Testing TN Panels
For the TN panels, we also placed them side-by-side and loaded up some competitive titles such as CSGO, Overwatch, and PUBG.
For the IPS panels, we loaded up some graphically nice looking games such as Battlefield 5, and also loaded some high definition movies and images to see the colour differences and quality compared to some of the other monitors in the office.
We invited some of our friends, certified hardcore gamers, to sit down with us and play some games. After spending too much time playing games and not enough time working we have finally come up with the 5 best gaming monitors available for under $300.
Best Gaming Monitors Under $300
Acer Nitro VG271
ASUS VP28UQG 4K Monitor
1920 x 1080
One of the nicest looking monitors available
Very high refresh rate
This sleek monitor from Alienware is the HF version which is Freesync compatible and of course the cheaper model. This monitor is a seriously good looking one and has some great features to go with it, which includes some well thought out RGB lighting. The thin bezels look fantastic and the sharp edges on the stand and feet do wonders for the aesthetics. The branding is subtle and attractive and goes well with the simple design.
It’s an incredibly sturdy stand and had almost no wobble when the desk is shaken, which is largely down to the monitor having some weight to it. The monitor is packed with great features like a USB and audio pass-through, making plugging in peripherals less of a chore. The 240Hz refresh rate should create some of the smoothest gameplay you will see if you have the machine to power it. It’s rare we see hardware from Alienware for such a reasonable price and this has to be considered one of the nicest looking Freesync monitors on the market.
Design is unreal on the AW2720HF and the performance is not too bad either! This monitor sports a 240Hz refresh rate which is unrivaled at this price, when you add in the fact it has a low response time too, it makes for a great competitive gaming experience. The monitor also comes with AMD’s Freesync technology meaning you can get some buttery smooth gaming with a max FPS set to 240!
Acer Nitro VG271
1920 x 1080
144Hz refresh rate
The Acer Nitro VG271 is a 144Hz monitor with a very generous 27″display. This is the largest display in the Nitro range and we have already had good things to say about the smaller 24″ version so with this having more features for gamers it should stack up fairly well.
This monitor was one of the more surprising on the list and that it’s down to the number of features packed into this sleek frame. Inside the slim bezels is an IPS panel with a fantastic response time of just 1ms. The display is superb, you get true 8-bit colour depth with 99% sRGB gamut and a 400-nit brightness! What is impressive for a monitor at this price point is the fact it also has HDR support in its wheelhouse. This HDR support is entry level though and comes under the DisplayHDR 400 certification but it does lack in quality compared to more premium HDR monitors. The 27″ IPS panel makes up for the fact it is only 1080p and this is a very cost effective way of getting some great image detail for a fraction of the price.
The 1ms VRB does a good job of removing any motion blur from fast-paced games and movies which is always welcome for a better viewing experience. The monitor boasts 144Hz refresh rate which is perfect for gaming and general use as it just appears buttery smooth and an absolute joy to use. The monitor does feature AMD’s Freesync which if you pair with the brilliant refresh rate can give you tear-free gaming at a very high frame rate(144fps).
Overall, the Acer VG271 is one of the best budget monitors on the market with great value for what you get. If you want all the advantages of an IPS panel with vibrant colors, wide viewing angles, and quick response time then this responsive monitor could be the right option for you.
1920 x 1080
4-way Ergonomic Stand Adjustment
5-Way OSD Navigation Joystick
With AMD FreeSync Technology
Poor Speaker Quality
Doesn’t Have a DVI-D Cable
The ASUS VG278Q is a fantastic choice for any gamer. It features a high refresh rate and a low response time bringing a great product for competitive gaming.
Our favorite thing about this monitor is the 144Hz refresh rate. You can instantly notice the difference if you have been laboured with 60Hz and you will never go back once you try some E-sports on a monitor like this.
You are getting a very premium feeling monitor here for a fraction of the price and its largely down to the brilliant build quality. The speakers aren’t that great considering the price, but the OSD controls make adjustments convenient. It also comes with venting holes and a smart cable management hole at the base of the stand so you can conceal the hideous cables on your desk.
This is a 27-inch 1080p resolution gaming monitor. While there are higher resolutions, 1080p is still great for competitive FPS gaming. The stand is brilliant too, you can do a tilt, swivel, pivot, and adjust the height for the best viewing angle. You can also have this mounted on the wall since it’s VESA compatible.
For connections, you have a DVI-D port, a DisplayPort, HDMI, and aux ports. Make sure you get a separate DVI-D Dual Link Cable if you don’t have one already because this doesn’t come with a DVI-D cable which is a shame as you will need this for higher hertz usage.
Lastly, this has an AMD FreeSync technology that removes stutters and screen tearing when gaming which is a great feature to include. If you’re looking for a highly responsive 1080p monitor for under $300 that has a 144Hz refresh rate, this is for you.
1920 x 1080
144Hz refresh rate
The Asus ROG Strix XG27VQ is a curved beast spanning at 27″ in size, with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. You are also getting a VA panel from Asus which supports Freesync, reasonable response time, and a very good refresh rate.
The monitor looks like most with the ROG Strix name. You are getting the classic stand with the 3 arms sprawling out from the middle which features a customisable red LED image emitting from beneath. The monitor oozes a ‘gamer’ vibe which is more prominent on the back of the monitor. The monitor features a very slim design with minimal bezels and a thin profile to match. The design can seem a bit over the top and many may prefer a more subtle approach to monitor design but the performance from this is exemplary. The monitor features Aura RGB lighting on the back which isn’t the most useful feature to have on a monitor, especially on the back but if you turn the main light off in the room you are in it does sort of illuminate the area behind the monitor quite nicely.
The monitor is, of course, curved and gives the user a greater viewing experience by immersing you further into the game you are playing or movie you are watching. Naturally, the viewing angles are a bit worse off due to the curved nature of the monitor but the VA panel is great with a high enough brightness of 300-nits and decent enough colour gamut. The response time is a bit weak at 4ms but it isn’t the end of the world and you are getting a great compromise of a VA panel. The refresh rate is the magic 144Hz which is optimal for a lot of gamers and it does feature Freesync so you can pair it with that for smoother gaming.
Overall we have a solid monitor here as you would expect from Asus and it is full to the brim with key gaming features. It may be slightly over the $300 budget but it’s a worthy contender, to say the least.
ASUS VP28UQG 4K Monitor
Fast response rate
With Adaptive/FreeSync technology
With Asus Eye Care Technology
Easy-to-navigate 5-way OSD joystick
With GamePlus and GameVisual setting
Poor viewing angles
Not VESA compatible
Only has tilt adjustment
This 4K gaming option from Asus is our budget pick with a price tag that is pretty impressive for a 4K display. PC and console gamers alike can get a bit of enjoyment in 4K out of the Asus VP28UQG for a seriously low price.
This monitor may have a TN panel but it is it for purpose in the realm of gaming and will give many out there a chance to experience 4K resolution gaming. Whether you are a casual gamer after some crisp 4K displays or just on a budget then this could be a great option, to begin with as it’s relatively inexpensive and will still give you some amazing looking gameplay. Do bear in mind the quality is what you pay for so if you have extra in the budget consider an IPS display. Negatives aside, overall this 28-inch monitor has a lightning-fast response time and is Freesync compatible so well worth a look for the 4K enthusiast!
Picking the best gaming monitor for you is never easy. Since we all have our own personal preference, the right monitor can either make or break your gaming experience.
- The top pick offers gamers a highly responsive option but keep in mind it has 240Hz and if this is overkill for your system then something a little lower on the list may be better suited to your needs. That being said the Alienware monitor is hard to beat from a design and performance standpoint.
- If you would prefer a better quality type of panel for colours and viewing angles then our runner up the Acer Nitro VG271 is a solid choice that doesn’t compromise on gaming features and it’s one of the cheaper options in this category.
- If you aren’t the most serious of gamers however want to dive into some 4K gaming then the Asus VP28UQG is a serious contender offering the impressive resolution for just under $300!