Buying the best gaming monitor in today’s market can sometimes be a tricky task – especially if you aren’t fully up to speed with the latest monitor-related technology. Monitors can vary dramatically from one display to another, with panel specifications having a huge effect on the overall performance they provide. For this reason, it’s critical that you pick a monitor that offers a balance of features and specifications that actually benefits your needs. If not, you could end up with a monitor that simply doesn’t suit your needs or budgetary requirements.
As this can be quite a daunting task, we’ve decided to hand-select only the best monitors the market has to offer – putting each into a specific category or price point. This way, you won’t have to go through the stress of learning what every specification offers, you can simply choose what category best suits you!
So, with plenty to get through, let’s waste no further time and dive straight into it!
Our Top Picks
Best Gaming Monitors Of 2021
The Alienware AW2720HF is by far the most all-round gaming monitor on this list. Not only does it showcase fantastic performance specifications, but it also displays superb aesthetics and pretty good value for money too.
The Alienware AW2720HF is a highly sought after gaming monitor – and for good reason. Our editor’s pick has it all, stunning aesthetics, great color recreation, and lightning-quick response – everything you can want to take your gaming to the next level. Whilst this monitor isn’t the cheapest on the market, it still provides great value for money – even if it is an Alienware!
Console gamers will be happy to hear that more 4K monitors with high refresh rates are becoming available. The LG 27GN950 is what they’re classing as the world’s first 4K IPS 1ms display, giving it an advantage over other panels in the 4K spectrum. Ultimately, whilst this isn’t the cheapest monitor on the market, it is right up there with the very best.
The LG 27GN950-B is a stellar monitor, bringing high-end specifications to the table. With a 4K screen resolution and high 144Hz refresh rate, this monitor does not come with a cheap price tag.
Whilst this is true, the LG 27GN950-B still showcases great value for money – even when priced at around $700.
Whilst this isn’t the fastest monitor in our guide, it certainly offers more than enough speed to offer you a very lucid and responsive gaming experience. With great value, good adjustments, and a solid panel in its locker, the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ is still one of the best 144Hz monitors in today’s market.
Just shy of the best gaming monitor in terms of speed is the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ. This is an incredibly popular IPS monitor and rightly so, it is superb. It sports a 144Hz refresh rate (which can be overclocked to 165Hz) with a 1ms response time for a well-rounded, responsive experience.
If what you’re looking for is a high refresh rate paired with a 4K resolution, look no further, the Acer Predator X27 offers it all. It’s one of the most impressive monitors on the market, but beware, it’s also one of the most expensive too.
The Acer Predator X27 is by far the most expensive gaming monitor on this list, however, it offers everything you can think of from a gaming monitor. If this was more affordable it would be sitting as the best gaming monitor due to its powerful specifications – 4K resolution, HDR 1000, IPS panel, G-Sync Ultimate, 144Hz, what more could you want?
LG continues to impress us with the high-performance gaming monitors they bring to the table. Their 34GN850-B is one of the best of the bunch, providing all the specs you could need for the most immersive gaming experience possible.
LG has cleverly paired the immersive nature of a 34″ ultrawide gaming display with the high response needed for a truly outstanding gaming experience. The IPS panel used on this panel offers stunning colors right out the box, whilst the low response time ensures that no ghosting is experienced when playing fast-moving titles. A great all-round monitor.
Whether we’re reviewing the best gaming monitors or the best GPU on the market, choosing the right hardware can always be a tricky task.
It requires hours of product research, PC 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!
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.
Here is a short list outlining some of the most important specifications that come with a monitor. This should help you decide which monitor is best for your needs:
- Higher refresh rates are better for fast-paced games
- Quicker response times reduce screen artifacts like ghosting
- Higher screen resolutions will require more powerful PC components
- TN for speed, IPS for color accuracy, VA in the middle
- Larger displays are more immersive
- Curved monitors are better for single-player titles
- Budget monitors start at around $100
- Mid-range monitors start at around $250
- High-end monitor are anything over $350
Choosing the right monitor for your setup can be a tricky old process, even more so when you consider the amount of value for money options that currently flood today’s market. So, before deciding which is the best for you, make sure you ask yourself the following questions:
Is Higher Refresh Rate Better?
The refresh rate of your monitor is a unit of measurement that lets you know how many times the monitor physically refreshes the image it’s displaying. It’s measured in hertz (Hz) and can have a serious impact on the overall gaming experience the monitor provides.
It goes without saying that a higher refresh rate provides a smoother gameplay experience. If you primarily play FPS games, you’ll want a monitor with a higher refresh rate (at least 144Hz) for a smoother, more immersive experience. On the other hand, casual gamers are usually fine with a 60Hz monitor.
If you are a serious gamer then we definitely recommend a 240Hz monitor, you can check out our best 240Hz monitor recommendations.
Which Resolution Is Best?
The resolution represents the number of pixels displayed on the screen. A monitor with a higher resolution provides sharper pictures and better visuals when gaming – just keep in mind that this is also more taxing on your graphics card.
In today’s market, these are three of the most popular monitor resolutions you can choose from:
- Full HD (1080p)
- 2K / QuadHD (1440p)
- 4K / UltraHD (2160p)
Your selection should be based on the type of graphics card you have and what types of games you like to play. Most of the modern GPUs can handle 1080p resolution, but only higher-end graphics cards can handle 4K resolution gaming.
You can read our guide to finding the best 4K gaming monitor right here.
If you play competitive games, then you’ll likely want a higher refresh rate instead of a higher resolution. That means you’ll either want a 144Hz monitor or higher.
If you only care about graphics, then you might as well get a monitor with a higher resolution.
Picking the right monitor is a balancing act between your build and what you want to do with your system. You can also browse our best graphics card article to learn which graphics card is best for your needs.
What Screen Size Do I Need?
Monitors come in different screen sizes, all tailored to address different needs and requirements.
Today, a 27” gaming monitor is the sweet spot if you wish to play games at 1080p resolution, although there are some brilliant higher resolution monitors out there.
If you want a full rundown on other monitor sizes, then check out our complete guide to the best monitor sizes.
What Aspect Ratio Do I Need For Gaming?
The aspect ratio is the monitor’s width and height. Older monitors, like the square CRTs, have an aspect ratio of 4:3 while most widescreen monitors these days have an aspect ratio of 16:9. On the other hand, ultrawide monitors have aspect ratios of 21:9.
Monitors with a 4:3 aspect ratio will likely look outdated in 2021 as monitors with a 16:9 aspect ratio are recognized as the standard in the gaming industry. Ultrawide monitors or displays with an aspect ratio of 21:9 are quickly gaining popularity because of the wide view when playing games.
Panel Technology – Which Is Best?
A monitor’s screen is referred to as a panel. The three main panel types offer a variety of different pros and cons which allow them to cater to different scenarios. The three main panel technologies are as follows:
- TN (Twisted Nematic)
- IPS Monitor (In-panel Switching)
- VA (Vertical Alignment)
TN panels have high refresh rates, but worse color reproduction than IPS panels. TN panels also have worse viewing angles, although this should rarely be an issue so long as you are sitting at your desk. IPS panels may have surreal color reproduction and image quality, but they have lower refresh rates. VA panels are sort of a jack of all trades. They are a little faster than IPS panels and a little nicer looking than TN panels, broadly speaking. Having said that, that doesn’t make them the best of the bunch.
If you play FPS games primarily, TN panel monitors are the way to go. But if graphics matter more than performance, IPS will give you stellar visuals.
We compared the three different types of panels in a separate article you can check out for further information.
Does A Fast Response Time Matter For Gaming?
Last but not least, response time. This is the rate that a monitor changes colors, and it’s measured in milliseconds (ms).
It’s hard to notice the difference between a 5ms monitor and a 1ms monitor, but competitive players and their trained-eyes will know. If you’re an FPS player, you’ll want a monitor with a 1ms response time to stay ahead. Casual gamers will usually be fine with monitors with 5ms response time.
Putting Theory Into Practise
So, now you know most of the important aspects that come with buying a gaming monitor, it’s time to see what our best gaming monitor guide has to offer.
Please note: every monitor on this list has its own unique category that it adheres to. Also, all the monitors have been judged on a predetermined set of criteria to make sure the results are as unbiased as possible. We will touch upon the criteria after our reviews.
Best Gaming Monitor: First Look
Accurate color recreation
Excellent gaming performance
High end price tag
The Alienware AW2720HF is a monitor that comes equipped with the perfect balance of high-end features and specifications – making it an easy choice for our Editor’s pick and the best gaming monitor in today’s market. With a high refresh rate, low response, and G-sync support, any gamer using a Nvidia GPU will fall in love with the performance this panel provides.
It’s an IPS panel with a base refresh rate of 240Hz, making it one of the fastest monitors in this guide. Furthermore, it also comes equipped with an extremely low 1ms response time and fantastic colors right out of the box. The G-sync compatibility this monitor offers also provides gamers using one of Nvidia’s GPUs a silky smooth gaming experience – ranging from 40Hz to 240Hz, respectively.
The design of this monitor is, as you’d expect from Alienware, absolutely fantastic. Utilizing Alienware’s new Legend design language, the AW2720Hf offers stunning aesthetics from front to back – including some nicely placed RGB that adds added ambiance if placed near a wall.
In terms of adjustment, you can do all four: height adjustment, swivel, pivot, and tilt. And if you’re concerned about connectivity, you should have no worries as it comes with: 3 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.0 (downstream; BC 1.2), 1 x USB 3.0 (Type-B), 1 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 1 x 3.5 mm audio jack (line out), 1 x 3.5mm audio jack (headphone).
Ultimately, what we have here is the complete gaming package. This monitor is absolutely fantastic for individuals looking to take their competitive gaming to the next level. And whilst it isn’t the cheapest on offer, it certainly brings great value for money to the table.
Impressive 4K picture clarity
Excellent aesthetic design
Great gaming performance for both console and PC gamers
Expensive price point
LG has impressed us over the years by creating some of the best gaming monitors the market has to offer. At the top of that pile lies the LG 27GN950-B, a powerful 4K gaming monitor that pairs a high refresh rate with a rapid 144Hz refresh rate.
Aesthetically, the 27inch gaming monitor from LG offers everything you could expect from a high-end monitor – characterized by sharp ‘gamey’ edges with a premium finish. It follows the previous red on black color trend which would suit most gaming or office settings.
Looking at performance, this is one of the best monitors on the market, bringing rapid response times and refresh rates to stunning 4K picture clarity. For me, this is the perfect balance of specifications when it comes to gaming – non-competitive anyway. It provides levels of immersion that really are head and shoulders above lesser resolution panels. Furthermore, it supports HDR10. This allows the panel to display brighter whites and darker blacks, giving the panel a greater contrast ratio and more realistic colors right out the box.
The only downside to this monitor is the price tag. That being said, when compared to other 4K 144Hz monitors, it’s actually considered a bargain.
Highly responsive Panel
Excellent picture quality
1440p IPS display
Bordering on the expensive
Blacks look a little off in dark rooms
As far as 144Hz monitors go, the ASUS VG27AQ sits firmly at the top of the list. With an excellent variety of specs paired with a ‘value for money’ price tag, it’s hard to find any real negatives with this great gaming monitor.
As you’d expect, the VG27AQ comes with the classic TUF Gaming styling we’ve come to expect over the years. Whilst this isn’t flashy in any way, it still offers just enough gaming aesthetics to please most individuals. Design aside, however, specifications are where this monitor truly comes into its own. With an IPS panel that offers a high refresh rate, this monitor packs the perfect balance of high-response and vibrant colors needed for a great gaming experience. The 1440p screen resolution also means image clarity is also excellent.
Like always, the stand on this TUF Gaming monitor is extremely versatile, offering height, tilt, swivel, and pivot adjustments. Alongside great adjustments, the stand also offers fantastic robustness with very little wobble (if any) during usage.
For me, if you’re in the market for a good 144Hz monitor that offers great picture clarity alongside high responsiveness, the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ should definitely be high on your list of recommendations.
Great 4K picture clarity
Rapid refresh rate
Fantastic build quality
Bright and vibrant colors
Excellent levels of immersion
Extremely high price point
The Acer Predator X27 is by far the most expensive gaming monitor on this list. However, when you discover what’s under the theoretical hood of this monitor, you’ll soon realize why. The Predator X27 comes jam-packed with high-end features that seriously justify the price. The Predator X27 is undoubtedly one of the most powerful gaming monitors money can buy, however, it doesn’t come cheap.
The overall design is, as you would expect, pretty damn good. It comes with Acer Predator’s outlandish signature design and a really aesthetically pleasing stand.
This monster of a 4K gaming monitor is a serious bit of kit and the HDR 1000 brings an unbelievable level of quality to the table. When you pair the HDR with the G-Sync support it offers, you get one of the most fluid gaming experiences ever. As already mentioned, this monitor is jam-packed with features that allow you to enjoy 4K content at its very best.
It is worth noting that with the 4K resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, and G-Sync you are going to need a pretty decent computer to take advantage of a monitor like this. If you have the PC and the cash though, this is simply the best 4K gaming monitor available for casual and hardcore gamers alike.
144Hz refresh rate
Large 34 inch IPS display
Excellent adjustment options
Curved display that adds immersion
Sub par contrast ratio
High price point
If you’re in the market for a highly responsive ultrawide gaming monitor, look no further, the guys at LG have you well and truly covered. The LG 34GN850-B really does offer a stunning visual experience from start to finish.
From the moment you unbox this monitor, you won’t be disappointed. It offers a tonne of style that would suit almost any scenario – characterized by sharp edges that are cut with a futuristic curve that finishes things off nicely.
Whilst design is a big plus, the real positives come from the performance this monitor provides. With a 144Hz refresh rate (overclockable to 160Hz) and an IPS panel, you really do get the best of both worlds. Alongside great colors and excellent responsiveness, it also offers FreeSync support to ensure a smooth gaming experience at all times.
The stand is both solid and adjustable, offering more than you’d expect from a monitor in the 34″ ultrawide category. It just feels rock-solid which, when compared to others in this size bracket, isn’t something you always get.
That said, immersion is probably the number one selling point of this monitor. With a 34″ IPS panel, your entire vision is filled by the virtual reality you’re viewing. For me, whilst it is expensive, the LG 34GN850-B is one of the best monitors you can buy.
Are gaming monitors worth it?
When it comes to gaming, the monitor you use definitely has an impact on the quality of your gameplay. We all know that PCs and consoles are not cheap to purchase, and you will want to get as much out of the console as you can.
If you are stuck using a regular monitor, even if your PC has the highest spec fps, this will be limited by the monitor itself. Ideally, the monitor that you use will have a very good refresh rate, so that it can keep up with fps of the PC or console.
While regular monitors do the job, they have a far lower response time and refresh rate. Given this, they are not the best option for gaming, especially if you are looking to take your gaming to the next level.
Are gaming monitors better than TVs?
On the whole, for gaming, a gaming monitor is likely the better option in comparison to a TV. This is due to a number of different reasons. The main reason is that monitors have a lower input lag. This will ensure that the PC and monitor connect quicker, and you are not waiting for the monitor to catch up.
In addition to this, the refresh rates of a TV are not comparable to a gaming monitor. Refresh rates are important for gaming, as they will ensure that your game is running as smoothly as possible. While the refresh rates of a TV are still good, gaming monitors on the whole are better.
Tying both of these aspects together, the response times of monitors are better for gaming. This is because they are built with gaming in mind, whereas a TV is not. While there are some models of TV with lower input lag, generally speaking, gaming monitors are a better option.
Is VA or IPS better for gaming?
When it comes to choosing between a VA or IPS monitor, IPS is by far the superior choice. IPS monitors tend to be the top choice for gamers because their specifications are better than VA monitors.
The response times and specifications of IPS monitors are higher, and the color reproduction is impressive. The images produced are crisp, and the colors are vibrant.
While the response times for IPS monitors used to be a lot lower, over recent years they have improved significantly. The viewing angles tend to be a lot better than the VA too.
While VA monitors are reasonable if they are your only option, the older panels do have a lower refresh rate, and the newer ones are not as good as IPS. However, they both do provide good angles and color depth.
Why do pros use 24 inch monitors?
Pros use 24-inch monitors because for tournaments, this is the monitor size that is used. In addition to this, the resolution used at tournaments is 1080p.
In tournaments, a standard size, resolution, and refresh rate is used in order to make it fair for all players. The last thing you would want in a tournament is for someone to be at an unfair advantage in comparison to someone else because they have a better monitor.
When you take into consideration practicing for tournaments, and gaming in general, it makes sense for pro gamers to use this size monitor on a general basis too.
While you may assume that a larger inch monitor would be a better option, this is not necessarily the case. On the whole, this size of monitor is optimal because it allows the gamer to see the screen clearly, without them having to move their heads to see all the screen.
Is 144hz worth it for casual gaming?
If you follow any pro gamers, it is likely that you have heard them discuss using a 144 Hz monitor. While these monitors are great if you are playing games at a professional or competitive level, on the whole it is not really needed.
You can use standard gaming monitors with little to no issues. Even shooter games can be played when using non 77 Hz monitors, for example. In general, the average person is unlikely to notice the improvements with 144 Hz monitors.
Given this, it is not necessarily worth the extra cost. While it does provide a better image, it is an investment, and one that is only really necessary if you want to take gaming more seriously.
Is 240Hz worth it over 144hz?
When it comes to choosing between 144 Hz and 240 Hz, they both have very good refresh rates. If you are looking for a monitor to use as a pro, they are both great options. However, the 240 Hz undeniably has a better refresh rate in comparison to the 144 Hz, though the 144 Hz is impressive to begin with.
While there is a difference between the two, and the 240 Hz is better, the differences are minimal and are not drastic, especially in comparison to the step-up from 60 or 70 Hz, to 144 Hz.
Given this, it is down to the individual about whether the increase in price for a relatively small difference is worth it. It is worth noting that the image will be more fluid when using 240 Hz, in comparison to the 144 Hz.
Is 75Hz enough for casual gaming?
If you are looking for a monitor to game on casually, rather than professionally, you do not necessarily need to purchase a monitor with the highest specs. Generally speaking, 75 Hz is more than enough to game on with no issues.
Even if you choose a gaming monitor that is only 60 Hz, this is still capable of displaying games well. The only reason why you would want to purchase a monitor with a higher Hz is if you are looking to take your gaming to the next level.
The majority of pro gamers will use a higher spec monitor while gaming, but for casual use, this is not really necessary.
So, there you have it, our comprehensive run-down of the best gaming monitors the market has to offer. It was a difficult process compiling this list because there are so many options to choose from – however, by using previous knowledge and a new streamlined testing process, we have managed to come up with what we believe are the best out there.
Let us know what your favorite monitor was and which you are currently using by leaving us a comment in the section below. Better still, you can now head on over to our Community hub and discuss everything monitor related with our team and like-minded individuals!