The 5 Best 120Hz Monitors | WePC Buyers Guide

Best 120hz Monitors

The 21st century has played host to some very impressive display options over the years. Gamers, in particular, have benefited hugely thanks to increased specs and reduced pricing across the board. They now have the luxury of choosing between hundreds of monitors with high refresh rates and low response times - the two main features in any display that affect the smoothness of your gameplay.

For that reason, we've decided to go out and find the best 120Hz monitors the market has to offer. That means you won't have to waste your time trawling through the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. We've done all the work for you. Our selections have been chosen based on hard research, in-house testing, and a number of other considerations which will be discussed further down the article.

So, with that in mind, let's take a brief look at what we've chosen as the best 120Hz monitors for 2020.

Best Overall 120Hz Monitor
Alienware AW3420DW Curved Gaming Monitor

Alienware AW3420DW Curved Gaming Monitor

This monitor brings high-performance specs, excellent aesthetics, and true immersion to the table. Wrap that all up in an 1800R curved display and you have a brilliant gaming panel.

Alienware doesn't mess around when it comes to high-end gaming products. This, their AW3420DW curved gaming monitor is a brilliant example of the premium products they've built their brand on.

Best 120Hz monitor for gaming
MSI Optix MPG341CQRV Gaming Monitor

MSI Optix MPG341CQRV Gaming Monitor

If you want all the performance power of the Alienware and more, look no further. MSI have equipped this with specs that outshine everything else in this guide.

MSI has been bringing great gaming monitors to the table for some time now. This one offers all the high-end specs you could want, at a price tag that we find extremely good value for money.

Best 120Hz monitor for console gaming
ASUS ROG Strix XG438Q 43” Large Gaming Monitor

ASUS ROG Strix XG438Q 43” Large Gaming Monitor

This monitor is about as close to a TV as you're going to get. Having said that, it offers an array of top-quality specs that outshine your everyday TVs with ease.

ASUS's XG438Q gaming monitor is the only one that doesn't bring an ultra-wide aspect ratio to the table. Having said that, it still offers fantastic features and is the number one pick for console gamers.

Best 120Hz ultra-wide monitor
Samsung 49-Inch CRG90 Curved Gaming Monitor

Samsung 49-Inch CRG90 Curved Gaming Monitor

At 49", the Samsung CRG90 offers the largest display in this guide. Don't let that scare you though, this thing also comes to the table boasting some high-end specs as well.

The Samsung CRG90 is certainly the widest monitor in this guide. Don't let that put you off though, it offers levels of immersion that can not be replicated on a smaller display.

Best value 120Hz Monitor
AOC Agon AG352UCG6 35″ Curved Gaming Monitor

AOC Agon AG352UCG6 35″ Curved Gaming Monitor

If you're on a tight budget, but still want to reap the rewards of a large curved monitor, then look no further. This one from AOC comes to the table with an impressive range of features at a price that is very good value for money.

With a 120hz refresh rate, 4ms response time, and a bunch of other premium specs, the AOC Agon offers the best value for money in this guide.

How We Choose

Whether we're reviewing new budget monitors or the best GPU on the market, we always like to educate our readers on exactly how we chose the products we come to recommend.

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 GPU that simply 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 product 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

All monitors are different. Some offer fantastic aesthetics and excellent color recreation; others might have a fairly basic design but high-end features for gamers. That makes choosing the right one for your needs a much more difficult task, especially if you aren't fully up-to-speed with the latest tech.

That's why we always like to educate our readers on the main areas to consider when looking to purchase a new hardware component. This will ensure that your next purchase is the right one for you.

So, with that in mind, let's dive into what you should be considering before buying a 120Hz monitor.

Refresh Rates For Gaming

Whenever we discuss the refresh rate of a monitor, it's to explore how it affects your overall gaming experience. That's because a monitor's refresh rate is one of the most impactful factors when it comes to the smoothness of your gameplay.

With esports now being at its most notorious, gamers across the globe look for any advantage they can find over their competition. Even though your PC and peripherals ultimately have the biggest impact on this, your monitor can also play a substantial role in your gaming performance.

Your refresh rate, in the simplest terms, refers to how fast your display can refresh the image it's showing. Today's monitors come with a variety of different refresh rates, which range from 60Hz up to 240Hz.

Now, if you have a monitor with a slower (100Hz or less) refresh rate, it's going to be less efficient at providing smooth video game playback - therefore putting you at a disadvantage. Your monitor won't be able to refresh the image quickly enough, and you will experience screen jitter and screen tearing - two areas that will decrease the smoothness of your gameplay. It may only be slight, but when you're at the top of your game, it's the minute differences that can lead to a win or a loss.

Resolution

Screen resolution is an interesting factor when it comes to gaming monitors. Most people probably think a higher resolution is immediately better (we can thank manufacturers for flogging the 4K dream like it's going out of fashion for that), but that might not always be the case.

Resolution refers to how many physical pixels your monitor can display both vertically and horizontally. A standard 24-inch monitor comes to the table with a 1920 x 1080 max resolution (most of the time), which means it has 1920 pixels horizontally and 1080 pixels vertically. The higher you get up the "resolution ladder," the better the overall picture quality will be. That's because more pixels are being displayed - leading to images that are crisper and more detailed.

That being said, finding the display with the best picture quality doesn't just come down to screen resolution. Due to pixel density and screen real-estate, you won't be able to truly appreciate higher screen resolution on a 24-inch monitor. A larger 32-inch monitor is far better equipped to handle said resolutions.

Response Time

A monitor's response time tells us how fast (or slow) it takes the pixels in the display to change color. It is usually measured in milliseconds (ms), and anything below 5ms is deemed acceptable for gamers. That being said, 2ms is much more desirable when it comes to fast-paced FPS games like CS:GO.

Response time is usually measured using the grey-to-grey transition, with slower response time panels showcasing visual artifacts such as motion blur on fast-moving objects. This is particularly problematic for both casual and professional players as it can distort your image hugely.

The Best 120Hz Monitors

Product Details
Best OverallAlienware AW3420DW Curved Gaming Monitor

Alienware AW3420DW Curved Gaming Monitor

  • size: 34"
  • refresh rate: 120Hz
  • response time: 2ms
  • panel type: IPS
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Runner upMSI Optix MPG341CQRV Gaming Monitor

MSI Optix MPG341CQRV Gaming Monitor

  • size: 34"
  • refresh rate: 120Hz
  • response time: 1ms
  • panel type: VA
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Best 120Hz Monitor for console gamersASUS ROG Strix XG438Q 43” Large Gaming Monitor

ASUS ROG Strix XG438Q 43” Large Gaming Monitor

  • size: 43"
  • refresh rate: 120Hz
  • response time: 4ms
  • panel type: VA
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Best 120Hz ultra-wideSamsung 49-Inch CRG90 Curved Gaming Monitor

Samsung 49-Inch CRG90 Curved Gaming Monitor

  • size: 49"
  • refresh rate: 120Hz
  • response time: 4ms
  • panel type: VA
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Best value 120Hz monitorAOC Agon AG352UCG6 35″ Curved Gaming Monitor

AOC Agon AG352UCG6 35″ Curved Gaming Monitor

  • size: 35"
  • refresh rate: 120Hz
  • response time: 4ms
  • panel type: VA
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#1

Alienware AW3420DW Curved Gaming Monitor

Our best overall 120hz monitor goes to the increasingly-popular Alienware AW3420DW Curved gaming monitor. It doesn't just offer fantastic aesthetic appeal and great gaming specs; it also showcases the highest levels of immersive gameplay and color accuracy in this list.

As far as aesthetics go, this is one of the best-looking monitors in our guide. With a 1900R curvature, the design is certainly striking, but in the best possible way. The Alienware branding works superbly well with a monitor of this ilk, creating a futuristic look that (surprisingly) works with a lot of different settings.

Looks aside, the AW3420DW is a 32inch 1900R curved monitor that boasts a 120Hz refresh rate and 2ms response time all packaged in an IPS panel. As you may already know, IPS panels are highly regarded by creative sorts because they offer the best color recreation. With a 98% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut, this monitor is going to showcase film, TV, and games in superb realism.

From a gaming point of view, this thing handles itself very well. With a 21:9 aspect ratio, you get the sense of real immersion when playing almost every style of game. The 2ms response time is also rapid compared to other curved monitor offerings. Pair this with its high 120hz refresh rate, and you have a serious gaming display.

Ultimately, we've chosen this as the best 120Hz monitor on the market. Unfortunately, due to the price tag, not everyone will be able to indulge in a monitor of this class. However, if you do have the room in your budget, this monitor is going to serve you well for many years to come.

#2

MSI Optix MPG341CQRV Gaming Monitor

Next up, we have the impressive Optix MPG341CQRV gaming monitor from MSI. It gets our runner up spot overall, but for me, this is the best gaming panel in this list. Thanks to high-performance specs and an affordable price point, it also offers some of the best value as well.

The design of this monitor, once again, looks excellent. It's a UWHD panel that shows off a 3440 x 1440 max resolution. Like all curved monitors, this one is extremely striking. It supports MSI's Mystic Light via RGB found under the bottom edge of the monitor. This can be linked up to Steelseries Gamesense to create in-game profiles that can alter the RGB depending on your activity or setting.

Other features include a 3000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, HDR 400, FreeSync support, Night Vision (similar to BenQ's black equalizer), and high-end gaming specs as well. It really does cover both bases when referencing design and performance. With a 120hz refresh rate, rapid 1ms response time, and an immersive 1800R curved panel, we didn't hesitate to call this our best 120Hz monitor for gaming.

 

#3

ASUS ROG Strix XG438Q 43” Large Gaming Monitor

Most people reading this article will already know the quality that ASUS brings to the table. They are one of the biggest names in not only the monitor industry but tech as a whole. This, their XG348Q gaming monitor, is another fine example of the high-performance product they've made their name on.

The first thing that came to mind when seeing this monitor in the flesh was how much this looked like a TV. Unlike the other UW monitors in this guide, the 43inch gaming monitor from ROG comes with a 16:9 aspect ratio. That means it offers a much larger overall screen size. And, thanks to a well thought out design, it actually looks extremely good.

As for specs, the XG438Q comes with a bunch of premium features that include; HDR 600, 90% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut, 4K resolution support, Aura sync, and top-end gaming performance to boot. That makes this monitor one of the best all-rounders in this specific category.

One thing I will say about this monitor, however, is the issues we faced with its size. Because this thing is so big, we really struggle recommending it for PC use, especially in a desk type scenario. With most people usually sitting within a meter away from their screen, a 43" monitor just seems too big. Even with 4K screen real-estate!

Where it does excel, however, would be in a console type scenario. With a high refresh rate and low response time, you're going to experience very smooth gameplay with this monitor. For those looking to purchase a TV, unless you're getting a high-end set, you simply won't recreate the gaming performance of this display.

 

#4

Samsung 49-Inch CRG90 Curved Gaming Monitor

Samsung's CRG90 is the biggest monitor in this list and gets our best 120Hz ultra-wide monitor spot. If you're in the market for maximum screen real-estate, or just want an ultra-wide for entertainment purposes, this could be exactly what you're looking for.

Samsung has given this display a subtle aesthetic that makes use of subtle curves with a matte steel finish. The 1800R curve doesn't just add real immersive value to this monitor; it also gives it a futurist styling that can only be recreated with monitors of this size. Overall, this monitor looks stunning.

With a monitor of this size, you probably think Samsung had to compromise on specs. That isn't the case here, though. A 120Hz refresh rate, 4ms response time, and FreeSync 2 support make this monitor an absolute dream to play on. You might struggle to find games that make use of its aspect ratio, but when you do, you'll experience levels of immersion that surpass smaller displays with ease.

It also comes boasting HDR1000, 95% DCI-P3 coverage, 5120 x 1440 max resolution, and a bunch of handy I/O connections as well. If you need a large display, this should be high on your list of considerations. Just be prepared to fork out for it, though.

#5

AOC Agon AG352UCG6 35″ Curved Gaming Monitor

Finally, we have the Agon AG352UCG6 35" curved gaming monitor from AOC. It offers up the best value for money in this guide (by far) thanks to a combination of high-performance specs and affordable pricing.

Like most other budget-level monitors, compromises need to be made to accommodate either design features or performance specs. In this case, the design has been compromised - but that's good news. That being said, the stand is finished in a light chrome, which contrasts with the dark bezels of this screen nicely. The back, which offers a silver on black color scheme, does look pretty "gamey" if truth be told. Overall, pretty basic, but to be expected.

The specs are where this thing makes up a bit of lost ground. A 120Hz refresh rate, 4ms response time, and G-Sync support are all features that are going to provide a brilliant gaming experience. AOC has used a VA panel with a 1800R curvature rating for this display. Pair that with a 3440 X 1440 max resolution, and you have a great all-around monitor.

Overall, for the price point, we think this monitor is certainly something consumers should be considering, especially if they're on a budget.

60Hz Vs. 120Hz Monitor, Which Is Right For You?

By now, you should have a pretty good understanding of how the refresh rate affects your experience when using a monitor. Having said that, what exactly is a good refresh rate? Why shouldn't I just get a cheaper 60Hz monitor over a 120Hz+ monitor? Well, that's easy. It all comes down to how powerful your PC is, and by that, I mean how much FPS your PC drives in the games you play.

As you know, screen tearing is something that affects the quality of your video playback hugely. It occurs in setups where your monitors refresh rate doesn't match your PC's FPS output — resulting in a distorted image. See below.

Thanks to the increasing performance power of today's hardware components, having a higher refresh rate has never been more essential when it comes to smooth gameplay.

Ultimately, if you're a serious gamer who wants the best gaming experience, don't look for anything less than 100Hz.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it, our complete breakdown of the best 120Hz monitors available right now. Hopefully, the article was easy-to-digest and helped guide you to your next monitor purchase. However, if that was all a little too much to take in at once, here's the shortened version:

  • If you're someone that likes to do it all; video gaming, creative workflows, multi-tasking, TV, & film viewing, then the Alienware AW3420DW curved gaming monitor is going to tick all the boxes and more
  • Not a fan of Alienware, but still want the same performance power and excellent set of features? Why not take a look at MSI's Optix MPG341CQRV gaming monitor?
  • ASUS's ROG STRIX XG438Q gaming monitor takes our number one spot for the best 120Hz monitor for console gamers. It offers a huge display with high-end features that out-perform that of a TV
  • Looking for a huge display with excellent features to boot? Samsung's CRG90 49" gaming monitor offers true immersion at a price we find extremely affordable
  • Finally comes the AOC Agon AG35UCG6 curved gaming monitor. If you want premium features and a curved display at a good price, look no further.

Anyway, that's all for now. If you feel like we've left a particularly good monitor out of this list, why not drop us a comment in the section below. Better still, why not pop over to our Community Hub where you can start a thread and discuss everything 120Hz monitor related!

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