Coming into 2018, monitors are going to be one of the most expensive pieces of hardware you purchase to finish your PC build, but also one of the most important. Making your way through the best gaming monitors, especially when there are so many to choose from, comes down to a few different options.
You have your choice from all types of monitors currently available, ranging from 144Hz monitors, 1440p monitors for gaming, 4K displays, FreeSync Displays, and G-Sync monitors, as well. We’ll help you understand the differences between each of them, so you know exactly what you need that fits well within the budget that you have available.
Picking the best monitor for gaming can be difficult because there are so many to choose from and they all claim to be the best. That’s why we’ve researched multiple different monitors, checked customer reviews, resorted to asking other experts, and put more time and money into the research process than our competitors.
The amount of research that went into this guide allows us to find the best of the best, as well as the best for your budget. You can use the list below to find the best gaming monitor available in 2018 and match up your budget, to your needs, and save yourself a ton of time and money in the process.
As you can tell from the list above, choosing the best gaming monitor isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do. There’s no one-size-fits-all and choosing the right monitor comes down to the features you’re looking for, the size you want, and the budget that you have available to purchase it.
As you make your way through the list, you’re going to encounter various categories. Each monitor that we recommend was tested by us and ranked based on our experience with them. The final result was calculated based off of our research, compared to other expert reviews, and then reviews left by customers on major shopping sites.
This buyer’s guide includes everything from the best 1080p monitors, to the best 1440p monitors and top of the line 4K monitors. We’ve also included multiple 144Hz monitors, G-SYNC displays, FreeSync screens, UltraWide and Curved displays, as well.
At the top of the list, you’ll find the most budget-friendly options available. As you begin working your way towards the bottom of the list, you’ll find the cream of the crop and more high-end monitor options.
When it comes to choosing other hardware for your build, the answers are fairly straightforward. For instance, one video card may produce 40 FPS in a game, while another more expensive card produces 100 FPS in the same game. The card you choose, in that scenario, is easy.
However, choosing a monitor isn’t as easy. You’ve got a ton of different variables that work together to determine the quality of the monitor. Things like the contrast ratio, input delay, response time, pixel pitch, refresh rate, and resolution all determine how well the monitor is going to work and look when you’re playing your favorite games or streaming HD video content.
Since your monitor is more of a long-term purchase and typically outlasts the system that you’ve built around it, making the right choice upfront is even more critical. Needless to say, the number of variables and the price tag associated with most monitors means that the decision can be intimidating, to say the least.
We hope the guide helps you find the perfect monitor to fit your budget and your needs, and have put in extensive work to make it through all of the monitors that are available for gamers today.
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, leave a comment at the end of the guide and let us know what you think of our recommendations. In the end, you’ll find the criteria we used to rank the monitors, as well as what you need to be looking for if you want to come to your conclusion and find a monitor other than ones that we’ve reviewed.
- 1 The 1# Gaming Monitor in 2018: Acer Predator XB271HU
- 2 Best 144Hz Monitor For Gamers On A Budget: ASUS VG248QE
- 3 Budget Everyday / Gaming Monitor: Acer R240HY
- 4 Best Entry Level 144Hz Monitor: ASUS V248QE
- 5 Best Entry Level 1440p Monitor: Acer G257HU
- 6 Best 1440p Overclocking Display: Crossover 2795
- 7 Budget 4K Monitors: Samsung U28E590D
- 8 Budget G-Sync Gaming Monitors: Acer Predator XB241H
- 9 Budget FreeSync Gaming Monitor: Acer Predator XG270HU
- 10 4K G-Sync Monitor: Acer XB280HK
- 11 1440p G-Sync Gaming Display: Acer Predator XB271HU
- 12 1440p FreeSync Gaming Display: Asus MG279Q
- 13 FreeSync Monitor: LG 34UM67
- 14 UltraWide G-Sync Monitor: Acer Predator Z35
- 15 Best UltraWide Curved Monitor: Dell UltraSharp U3415W
- 16 UltraWide Curved 144Hz Monitor: BenQ XR3501
- 17 UltraWide 1440p G-Sync / FreeSync Monitor: Acer XR341CK
- 18 Best Gaming Monitor Buyer’s Guide
The 1# Gaming Monitor in 2018: Acer Predator XB271HU
Hands down, the best gaming monitor in terms of budget and performance in 2018 is the Acer Predator XB271HU. When you’ve got a demanding 4K gaming on the menu, very few other monitors can compete at the level of the Predator.
It’s a 27” monitor that offers nearly everything you could wish for in today’s digital landscape. It provides 1440p resolution, NVIDIA G-SYNC, an IPS panel and 144Hz refresh rate which can be boosted to an even higher 165Hz when G-SYNC is active.
You will need to use DisplayPort to connect the monitor since it is the only included interface, so before you purchase you want to make sure that your video card has a spare DisplayPort available.
Acer does include a DisplayPort cable in the box, so you won’t necessarily need to worry about spending extra on one unless, of course, you need one that’s longer than what Acer has included in the price you’re paying.
If you’re thinking about buying this monitor and can find it available online, you will want to jump on the purchase. It’s in high demand and routinely out of stock so if you find a retailer that has it, it’s in your best interest to make the purchase.
The only downside to this fantastic piece of hardware is the fact that it is capped at a 4ms response time. This is more due to the nature of IPS panels themselves, and not necessarily something that Asus has control over.
The award-winning XB271HU is the successor to the highly popular Asus Predator XB207HU, which only supported a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz and boasted a much thicker bezel around the screen.
The newer Predator XB271HU is built with a thinner bezel, so you get more digital real estate, and makes multiple monitor setups look flawless when the monitors are paired close to each other, or even touching one another.
One of the monitors that are typically compared to the Predator XB271HU is the ASUS ROG SWIFT PG 279Q, and while the monitors are similar in the panels and refresh rates, the build quality in the Acer is much higher than what ASUS delivers.
Best 144Hz Monitor For Gamers On A Budget: ASUS VG248QE
When you’re on a tight budget but only the best will do, look no further than the ASUS V248QE. It sports a high 144Hz refresh rate and a blazing fast 1ms response time to deliver the smoothest performance in games that provide high framerates.
The refresh rate alone will give you the competitive advantage that you’re looking for in games like Counterstrike: GO, Call of Duty, Battlefield, Starcraft 2, League of Legends, and more since these games require quick response times and minimum input lag.
On average, the ASUS VG248QE has been reported with an input lag of less than 12ms and comes with support for NVIDIA LightBoost to eliminate motion blur and give you that CRT motion clarity that so many gamers are looking for.
Unfortunately, it’s only available with refresh rates up to 120Hz.
Because this is a budget based monitor, some sacrifices were made to keep the price as low as ASUS has. They sacrificed the IPS panel for a TN panel and capped the resolution at 1920x1080p. This is common among all of the budget monitors that we’ve tested.
If all you’re looking for is a 144Hz monitor, the 1080p resolution of the VG248QE is excellent. If you’re looking for higher resolutions, you are going to need to spend more money on the panel. There is no other way around it, unfortunately.
BenQ ZOWIE XL2411Z
The honorable mention in this category is the BenQ ZOWIE XL2411 monitor. It sports the same features as the VG248QE but is slightly more expensive in most cases. If you’re able to find this monitor for less than the VG248QE, it is a better buy.
The ZOWIE XL2411 features BenQ’s Blur Reduction technology, which performs slightly better than LightBoost and works at 144Hz. So if the 120Hz is a deal breaker for your gaming, and you absolutely have to have 144Hz and can find the BenQ monitor cheaper than the Asus, get it.
The BenQ monitor is also built with a flicker-free backlight, which helps you get more hours in on your favorite games without straining your eyes or causing headaches from overexposure.
However, the BenQ has no built-in speakers, which isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker for most people, but one feature on the VG248QE that some enthusiasts will love.
In third place for the best budget gaming monitor category, we have the AOC G2460PF. While it’s not on the same level as the Asus or even BenQ monitor, it is worth the mention because of its 144Hz refresh rate and supporting AMD’s FreeSync technology.
If your video card supports AMD FreeSync, this monitor could outperform both the Asus and the BenQ panels. With AMX FreeSync enabled, this budget-friendly monitor surprised us and delivered results that made us think it should be priced a lot higher.
The FreeSync range on this monitor is between 30Hz and 144Hz and can be overclocked to 160Hz, even with FreeSync enabled. You’ll need to know, though, that overclocking the monitor will instantly void the warranty, so it’s a practice you should perform at your risk.
As time goes on, this monitor may well become our preferred pick in the budget category, especially those with AMD FreeSync enabled video cards. It sports a newer panel than other, more expensive monitors.
The Asus VC239H monitor is a budget friendly, a 23-inch panel that performed great during our testing. If you’re a console gamer, this monitor is incredibly friendly to your preferred style of gaming and will display console games without stuttering, and comes in a few different versions.
The VC239H-P is perfect for people looking to mount the monitor on the wall or to a pivot arm. The VC239H-P also comes with a built-in DVI-D connector to allow you more options when it comes to how you plan on connecting it to your system.
With the low price tag of the monitor, you can’t expect a lot regarding features like overclocking and high refresh rates, but in stock form, this is an excellent way to spend your money when you’re on a tight budget. It’s currently our #1 choice for budget monitors in the 23-inch range.
Budget Everyday / Gaming Monitor: Acer R240HY
When you spend equal amounts of time working on office-based programs as you do playing high end, graphics intensive games, you need a monitor that is an equal trade off for both situations. The Acer R240HY is perfect, providing wide viewing angles and excellent color representation.
It’s built with an IPS panel and capped at 60Hz, which is perfect for casual gamers that may not necessarily notice the increased 120Hz or 144Hz refresh rates. Even though the monitor was released in late 2015, it is still one of the best budget panels that fall perfectly into the everyday use and casual gaming categories.
It supports full HD resolution and comes with Acer’s stylish ZeroFrame design, which means it has almost no bezel, making it incredibly easy for you to mount two of these monitors side-by-side for increased productivity.
The 1080hp, 60Hz refresh rate makes it perfect for console gaming, too. At only 4ms response time, it provides you the same quickness that older CRT monitors provide, with even more updated features that aren’t available in dated CRT or TN panels.
The input lag is low, which is good enough for casual gaming, but at the sub $150 price range, you have to make some trade-offs to keep the price down. Connection options consist of VGA, DVI, and HDMI inputs.
The IPS panel includes flicker-less technology that reduces your eye strain and built with Acer ComfyView technology to reduce glare and prevent you from getting headaches after staring at it for extended periods of time.
It does not currently have VESA mounting holes, so you will be required to keep it on your desk or table, rather than mounting it to the wall or on a pivot arm. It’s also only currently available in the United States, so if you live outside of the US, you will need to look into the Asus VC239H monitor instead.
Best Entry Level 144Hz Monitor: ASUS V248QE
When it comes to entry-level monitors with high refresh rates, the ASUS V248QE is a great buy. It features a 1ms response time and maximum 144Hz refresh rate, giving you smooth performance at high frame rates.
With a reported input lag of only 12ms, this is one of the best monitors that you’ll get in this size and at this price range. It comes with support for NVIDIA’s LightBoost to eliminate motion blur, but can only be run up to 120Hz.
This isn’t a 4K monitor, due to the maximum 1920x1080p resolution and the somewhat dated TN panel. If you’re switching from a 60Hz monitor, you’re going to love what the ASUS V248QE delivers, and won’t break your budget in the process.
If you’re looking for a monitor that uses motion blur reduction technology at higher refresh rates than the ASUS V248QE can deliver, the BenQ XL2411Z is an excellent choice, and only costs slightly more than the ASUS V248QE.
BenQ’s blur reduction technology works better than LightBoost, and the XL2411 is built with a flicker free backlight that helps you reduce your eyestrain and minimize the chances for headaches to develop when you’re using the monitor for extended periods of time.
Best Entry Level 1440p Monitor: Acer G257HU
The first entry in the higher-end, but still entry level 144Hz monitors that support 1440p resolution is the Acer G257HU. Even though it’s only 25”, compared to the standard 27” of most 1440p monitors, it is still very impressive.
It’s built with an IPS panel, similar to the same PLS panel that Samsung has won awards for. It features a DisplayPort, HDMI, and DVI connectors to give you multiple options. It’s also built with speakers inside the monitor and boasts an impressive 4ms response time. That’s unheard of with IPS panels.
The design of the Acer G257HU is elegant and functional. It features a zero-frame design to provide more digital real estate without getting eaten up by a thick bezel. Since most local retailers won’t have this in stock, buying online is your best option, especially if you want to save the most money. You can typically find free shipping deals for it if you know where to look.
Best 1440p Overclocking Display: Crossover 2795
When it comes to overclocking displays that are large and capable of handling the extra heat generated by overclocking, the Crossover 2795 is one of the best choices that are currently being offered.
It’s a 27” display with an IPS panel that supports 1440p WDHD resolution and delivers a sharp image. It doesn’t use LED PWM Dimming, which can provide some issues at lower brightness levels, causing light amounts of flickering, but at higher brightness levels, this monitor is hard to beat.
You will be required to use a DL DVI-D cable to run the monitor, and most adapters will not work. However, you can overclock the monitor to 120Hz, giving you amazingly smooth gameplay at higher frame rates.
We’ve found that it is most stable at a lower 100Hz refresh rate, though. Overclocking it to 120Hz could present other issues, or highlight the flickering that you may experience at lower brightness levels.
At the price level, the Crossover 2795 is being offered at; you’re going to be hard pressed to find a 1440p monitor that can be overclocked to a comfortable 100Hz to 120Hz and still manage to provide smooth gaming. It’s currently our top choice in the 1440p overclocking monitor category.
Budget 4K Monitors: Samsung U28E590D
In 2016 and going into 2018, 4K resolution is a huge focus point for both gamers and manufacturers. It’s the next logical advancement in technology and will become commonplace in homes and offices around the world once the pricing meets the technological advances.
As it stands right now, a high-quality 4K monitor still isn’t necessarily considered a “budget” panel, but there are competitively priced models available that can keep you from busting your budget while still delivering the sought after 4K resolution.
In the “budget” 4K category, the Samsung U28E590D monitor wins, hands down. It is a 4K UHD monitor that uses slightly older TN panels and provides 170-degree viewing angles. It also features a speedy 1ms response time to help prevent ghosting effects.
The U28E590D boasts a 60Hz refresh rate via both HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2. It also supports 1 billion colors, which means that you’ll always receive stunning visuals, glare and particle effects in both video streaming and graphic intensive video games.
The U28E590D also supports AMD FreeSync, making it great for gaming by improving your overall experience. The adaptive refresh rate, 1ms response time, and AMD FreeSync support make this one of the best choices in the “budget” 4K monitor category.
While the price tag may seem hefty at nearly $450, especially when you’re looking for a budget monitor, this is one of the most sought out 4K monitors in the price range.
It is built with enough future proof features to keep it relevant in the coming years – even as prices begin to drop.
Budget G-Sync Gaming Monitors: Acer Predator XB241H
The NVIDIA G-Sync category is owned by the Acer Predator XB241H monitor. It’s known for its incredible performance and budget-friendly price tag, while still keeping the features high and remaining untouched by the competition’s next best offering.
The XB241H monitor replaces the outdated and no longer manufactured XB240H and XB270H. The newer monitor supports the full 1440p resolution and NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology to provide a much better experience at the same price tag as the older versions.
If you’re unfamiliar, G-Sync allows the monitor to synchronize the refresh rate with the same frame rate that your graphics card is producing, giving you a perfectly smooth and tear free gameplay experience.
It works the same as AMD’s FreeSync technology, just under a new name from a different company. AMD’s FreeSync based monitors are also usually more expensive than the comparable NVIDIA G-Sync versions.
The 24-inch panel boasts a full HD resolution and maximum 144Hz refresh rate, along with a 1ms response time and Ultra Low Motion Blur technology, like most other G-Sync monitors that we’ve reviewed.
Ultra Low Motion Blur allows the backlight to strobe and gives you the same motion clarity that you’ve grown to love in older CRT monitors, but much better. Unfortunately, G-Sync and Ultra Low Motion Blur cannot be activated at the same time.
If you want to run G-Sync in the Predator XB241H, you’re going to need to connect through the DisplayPort. The monitor comes with the cable that you need to achieve G-Sync support right out of the box. It’s also one of the only monitors in this category that has speakers built into the panel.
Budget FreeSync Gaming Monitor: Acer Predator XG270HU
If you’ve been paying attention for any length of time, you know that AMD and NVIDIA are both competing with their FreeSync and G-Sync technologies, respectively.
AMD uses DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync protocols to pull off their technological magic tricks while NVIDIA uses proprietary hardware to sync the refresh rate with the frame rates being delivered by the graphics card.
With this being said, you can expect to pay less for FreeSync monitors than you’ll pay for G-Sync monitors because proprietary technology tends to jack up the price tags and requires you to buy additional connectors.
Luckily, Acer has come to the rescue and doesn’t make you choose sides with their Predator XG270HU line of monitors. They support the much more budget friendly FreeSync technology, so you’ll only need one connector – which is also included in the box.
The XG270HU is a 27-inch TN panel that performs flawlessly at 1440p resolution and a maximum 144Hz refresh rate. It also delivers a low 1ms response time, giving you the low input lag that you’ve come to know with CRT monitors.
When you look at the price tag and realize that not only does it support FreeSync, it also comes with speakers built in, along with HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort connectors, you can start to see how the XG270HU has won in the category.
If you’re looking for something smaller than the massive 27” XG270HU, you may want to consider the AOC G2460PF panel that we’ve mentioned earlier. It’s smaller, at only 24”, and in the same budget friendly category as the XG270HU.
The G2460PF is a TN panel that supports a maximum resolution of 1080p, with response times of 1ms in the 35Hz to 144Hz range. The smaller size also makes it a little more friendly on your budget than the larger XG270HU.
4K G-Sync Monitor: Acer XB280HK
Achieving high frame rates while maintaining a 4K resolution isn’t easy, or inexpensive. Advancing technologies are making it possible to achieve, though, and Acer is attempting to their-their hate into the 4K G-Sync monitor category with the XB280HK line of panels.
The launch of the AMD RX480 and NVIDIA GTX 10XX series cards, especially the GTX 1080 means that monitors are being forced to step up and meet the advances that are being made. Acer understands the screen is just as important as the graphics card, especially when enthusiasts are spending so much money on a high-end gaming build.
The Acer XB280HK is a large 28” display with full 4K capabilities. It’s built with a TN panel that boasts a 60Hz refresh rate and 1ms response times when using NVIDIA G-Sync via the DisplayPort connection.
You can tell by the features that this monitor was built specifically with gamers in mind which, unfortunately, means that the price tag has been lifted to suit. It is competitive in the category, as far as pricing goes, but is much more expensive than some lower end monitors.
If you’re looking for even higher end 4K G-Sync displays, consider the Acer Predator XB271HK monitor that’s built with an IPS panel, and received awards as one of the top 10 gaming monitors by CNET in 2016. It came onto the scene strong in 2015 and had held its spot even as newer technology has been released.
1440p G-Sync Gaming Display: Acer Predator XB271HU
Gaming at 4K sounds great at first, but when you realize that not all video cards are capable of handling the increased load placed on them at 4K resolutions when it comes to delivering high frame rates, you tend to understand why the 1440p G-Sync gaming display category.
When you’re gaming at 1440p, Acer has the category won with their XB271HU monitor. It’s a 27” IPS panel that offers nearly everything you could wish for: NVIDIA G-Sync technology, 1440p resolution, IPS panel, and a 144Hz refresh rate that can be boosted to 165Hz when G-Sync is active.
You will need to use a DisplayPort connector when you’re running this monitor since that is the only interface included on the panel. Acer ships one in the box, so you don’t necessarily have to worry about buying a new one.
The only downside to the monitor is that it has a 4ms response time, which is pretty much standard when it comes to IPS panels. It’s the successor to the ever popular Acer Predator XB270HU monitor, which only support 144Hz and had a much thicker bezel.
The newest iteration of the monitor features a thinner bezel, making it perfect for multiple monitor setups or creating walls of screens.
While the runner-up in this category is the ASUS ROG SWIFT PG279Q, it’s worth noting that the ASUS panel did not perform as well as the Acer Predator, even though it’s capable of handling 165Hz refresh rates with G-Sync enabled.
1440p FreeSync Gaming Display: Asus MG279Q
As is the case with 4K FreeSync monitors, 1440p FreeSync monitors have fallen behind G-Sync when it comes to the prices being asked for them. As it stands right now, the best option is the ASUS MG279Q panel that offers very similar specs to the XB270HU featured earlier.
It’s a 27 inch IPS panel with a maximum resolution of 1440p and supports a refresh rate of up to 144Hz with AMD’s FreeSync technology.
You should know, though, since FreeSync isn’t as advanced as G-Sync, the monitor currently only supports between 35Hz and 90Hz when you’re running FreeSync. This isn’t necessarily a limitation of FreeSync itself since it supports up to 240Hz, but more of the monitor itself.
There are hacks available that allow you to ramp up the refresh rate when you’re running FreeSync so that you can achieve between 57Hz and 144Hz, which many users have reported working great with no signs of detriment to the monitor itself.
If you’re more budget-minded and looking to save around $100, the Acer Predator XF270HU is a decent monitor in the same category. It can operate a FreeSync range of 40Hz to 144Hz out of the box, which makes it more friendly to those not looking to run hacks to optimize their display.
FreeSync Monitor: LG 34UM67
Even though the LG 34UM67 monitor has been out for a while, it remains undefeated in the UltraWide FreeSync monitor category. It boasts an amazing IPS panel that sports standard UltraWide 2560x1080p resolutions, with support for AMD FreeSync to give you a tear free, clear, and amazingly responsive gameplay experience.
The LG 34UM67 is Energy Star qualified, making it one of the only monitors in this category to sport that designation, and provides a 5ms GtG response time. It also includes dual 7W speakers and an ultra-thin bezel to provide more digital real estate.
With Dynamic Action Sync, the monitor gives you minimal input lag, making it an excellent choice for competitive gamers where mere milliseconds matter more than ever.
The only downside to this panel is that it currently only supports a 60Hz refresh rate, which can be a huge difference if you’re coming from a 144Hz enabled monitor. Other than that, this beautiful 21:9 FreeSync monitor has yet to be shaken from its throne, particularly in this price range.
Something else to take note of is that the monitor currently only operates with a DisplayPort connector, which is included in the box. Some users have reported that the included DisplayPort cable is too short, which means you could need to buy a separate one after you’ve received the monitor.
UltraWide G-Sync Monitor: Acer Predator Z35
The Acer Predator Z35 holds the cream of the crop in UltraWide gaming monitors with G-Sync capabilities. It’s an UltraWide curved gaming monitor that supports 144Hz refresh rates without missing a beat.
This was one of the first UltraWide G-Sync based monitors ever to be announced and still manages to keep the crown, even as competitors have advanced their technologies to dethrone the Z35.
The only downside to the Z35 is the resolution that it handles. If you’re looking for a higher resolution UltraWide G-Sync enabled monitor; you may want to look towards other options in the same category.
For instance, the ASUS ROG SWIFT PG348Q is a close competitor to the Z35 and handles the higher resolutions easily, with some minor tradeoffs regarding build quality and the price tag.
The Z35 sports an IPS panel and a maximum resolution of 3440×1440, known as UltraWide Quad HD, which when combined with NVIDIA’s G-Sync provides an amazing, beautiful gaming experience that other monitors can only dream about delivering.
The 35-inch panel supports 100Hz, and a thin bezel, providing much more real estate than some of the other leading competitors. With G-Sync enabled, you can achieve a maximum refresh rate of a blazing fast 200Hz.
As with other G-Sync enabled monitors, you will be required to use a DisplayPort connector, which is also included in the box but may not be the right length for your system. Keep that in mind when you’re making your purchase.
Best UltraWide Curved Monitor: Dell UltraSharp U3415W
Without a doubt, one of the best UltraWide curved monitors you can get right now is the 34 inch Dell UltraSharp U3415W. It won out the category over the older Samsung S34E790C and sports an IPS panel with a maximum resolution of 3440×1440.
The display boasts a GtG response time of less than 5ms in FAST mode and 1000:1 contrast ratio. As an IPS monitor, you can expect to receive amazing viewing angles and color accuracy over older CRT monitors and newer TN panels.
This is a great all-in-one monitor that allows you to easily switch between gaming, office use, graphic and video editing, and internet browsing. It’s got built-in options for height and swivel pivot, along with tilt and built-in cable management.
When it comes to mixing up office and gaming use, the Dell UltraSharp U3415 Curved 34 inch monitor fits the bill perfectly. You can connect it using HDMI 2.0, MHL, Mini DisplayPort, and DisplayPort 1.2, along with using up the four USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports to charge your phone or connect other peripherals to your system.
There are very few (if any) monitors that can compete at the same level as the Dell UltraSharp U3415W in the UltraWide Curved monitor category.
UltraWide Curved 144Hz Monitor: BenQ XR3501
With a 2000R, one of the best UltraWide Curved monitors that can support a blazing fast 144Hz refresh rate is the BenQ XR3501. As it currently stands, there are no competitors even in the same category, making this monitor an easy choice.
It’s the world’s first UltraWide monitor that supports a maximum 144Hz refresh rate and coming in a 35-inch panel. It handles a maximum resolution of 2560×1080, which may sound weak to some people, but the lower resolution allows you to achieve that coveted 144Hz when you’re in graphics intensive games. Flight simulators, especially, can benefit from the curvature and high refresh rate.
When it comes to pushing the monitor to its limits, you aren’t going to need dual graphics cards, which saves you, even more, money when you’re thinking about budgeting for a new build. A single GeForce GTX 960/70/90 is going to be sufficient for getting optimal performance out of this panel.
The 144Hz refresh rate coupled with the 21:9 aspect ratio and the amazing 2000R curvature give players an advantage over their competition with a larger field-of-view and more screen refreshes to deliver pinpoint accuracy.
Since this monitor is a bit on the pricey side, here’s a tip for you. Follow one of our links to find a manufacturer that has it and then browse to the monitor after clicking one of our Amazon links. Amazon will price match any written price tag, so you can get the monitor for much cheaper and get Amazon’s amazing warranty and customer service on top of your purchase.
In 2016, and going into 2018, the BenQ XR3501 is going to continue holding the throne when it comes to the best UltraWide Curved monitors. Right now, there are no competitors even close to playing on the same field as BenQ in this category.
UltraWide 1440p G-Sync / FreeSync Monitor: Acer XR341CK
Simply having 1440p, 4K, G-Sync, FreeSync, 144Hz, or true IPS panels isn’t enough when you’re looking to buy a great monitor at an affordable price. Most gamers tend to get caught up focusing on these specific metrics when they’re looking for a high-end monitor without realizing that there is a new kid in town.
Upcoming technology, specifically the UltraWide 21:9 format, allows you to take your gaming to a whole other level. Having an increased number of pixels on the screen means you have more digital real estate that you can take advantage of, that your competition doesn’t have.
At the highest level of gaming monitors, you can expect to pay the highest price tags. These monitors are for gamers with a no-expenses-spared budget, and when you see the price tags associated with most of the monitors in this category, you’re liable to do a double-take.
That being said, the best monitors in this category are the Acer XR341CK for FreeSync enabled systems and the Acer Predator X34 for G-Sync enabled systems. They are both very similar in specifications since Acer does not necessarily team up with NVIDIA or AMD.
Both the Acer XR341CK and the Acer Predator X34 are, by far, ahead of the competition, and have price tags to prove it. The XR341CK is in the $900 price range while the Predator X34 is going to cost more around the $1,100 price range. Remember, though; you get what you pay for.
Both monitors are 34 inches and UltraWide, providing a maximum resolution of 3440×1440, with a refresh rate of 75Hz and a fast response time of 4ms or less. They also both have integrated 7W speakers and HDMI 1.4 ports, DisplayPorts, and four USB 3.0 ports.
The Acer Predator X34 can be overclocked with the G-Sync module, which means you can achieve up to 100Hz maximum refresh rate. On the FreeSync enabled XR341CK you’ll be able to achieve from 30Hz to 100Hz with FreeSync active.
The Acer Predator X34 and XR341CK are both recognized as the ultimate in high-end gaming monitors due to their specifications and the features they bring to the table that their closest competitors are unable to provide.
It’s worth noting that the X34 is going to be getting a refresh sometime in the future, so you will want to keep an eye out for the Acer Predator X34P.
As it stands, these are the two best gaming monitors in the industry right now. While other monitors maintain the lead in their respective categories, when it comes to the all-around best monitor that you can purchase for a high-end system, the Acer Predator X34, and XR341CK are both top notch, and the best monitors you can spend your money on.
Best Gaming Monitor Buyer’s Guide
A lot of time, money, energy, and patience went into creating this guide for you, so we hope you’ve been able to get your questions answered and find the perfect monitor for your exact system, budget, and your wants and needs.
We’ve made sure that our guide is appealing to as many gamers and office users as possible, so we took into account different features, sizes, and specifications to ensure that nearly every possible base has been covered.
We’ve included everything from budget to high-end 144Hz monitors, 1080p monitors, 1440p monitors, IPS panels and TN panels, 4K gaming monitors, competitive, UltraWide and much, much more. We’ve even included options for console gamers that use their monitor for office work, too.
Which Gaming Monitor Is The Best For Me?
This is a question that gets asked quite frequently, and one that we figured we should directly address for those that come here looking for specific answers. As it is, the general rule of thumb when buying a monitor, along with most technology, is that the more money you’re able to spend, the more monitor you’re going to get.
The first point of interest should be figuring out how much money you have available to spend on it, and then narrowing down different features that you’re looking for until you land on a good sweet spot that has a solid monitor while covering most of your wants and needs.
The higher specifications you want from the monitor, the more money you can expect to spend on it. This is a given, unfortunately. If you want the best of the best, you’re going to be paying for it. There’s no way around that fact.
However, as you can see through the various monitors that we’ve featured here, there are trade-offs that you can make to lower the price tag of the monitor you want to get, while still getting most of the features that you’re looking for.
Therefore, the answer to the question of “what is the best monitor for gaming?” comes down to how much money you have available, what you want out of a monitor, and what you’re willing to sacrifice to get the price tag low enough to be affordable for you.
Budget: $1000+ – Best Overall Gaming Monitor
When you have $1,000 available to purchase a monitor, your options are almost unlimited. At this price range, you’ll easily be able to afford a 1440p UltraWide 100Hz gaming monitors with either G-Sync or FreeSync support, depending on the video card you are running.
At this price range, the Asus Predator X34 and upcoming X34P are going to be the perfect monitor for you. They’re large, have high resolution, high refresh rates and low response times, so your gaming experience will step up a level or two.
Budget: $600 Gaming Monitors
This is going to be the sweet spot for most people looking to build a system with a budget in mind, but still wanting the maximum performance possible out of their monitor. The last thing they want is to have the monitor bottlenecking their build.
At $600, you can easily afford a 27 inch 1440p resolution monitor with a low input lag and high refresh rates. Most of the monitors that we have featured fall into this category, so we’ll get you to revert to the mini guides located throughout this article.