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Best Gaming Monitor Buying Guide

You might be a serious hardcore gamer, or even a skilled weekend PC warrior, but if your hardware is not up to the task, you will be staring defeat in the face no matter how good you are. Sure, you can play the latest FPS games on older equipment, but it lags, leaving you vulnerable when playing competitors online. To get a smoother playing experience, a gaming PC which has a powerful graphics card combined with a quality, flicker and blur free monitor are needed. This guide is dedicated to helping you choose a display which will enhance your gaming experience. 

How to choose a gaming monitor?

Size and Resolution

You may already have a monitor size in mind. Perhaps you want a large 27 inch monitor for your desk, or maybe even two of them! Perhaps a smaller one would suit your needs and situation more? Whatever size you decide on, the most important thing, is what resolution the monitor is. The resolution of a monitor indicates how many pixels it displays, and this in turn reflects how sharp the image is. 1080P monitors are very common, and at screen sizes up to 23″ produce nice, sharp images. On biggers screens, such as 27” though, the image quality is not so great. A higher resolution is needed such as 2560×1440 in order to get that ‘sharp’ screen. This resolution also provides more screen space for your icons, browsers, and other things. ResolutionLastly, keep in mind that while most monitors are 16:9—like an HDTV—there are other aspect ratios out there. Some monitors, for example, have a resolution of 1920×1200, which is about the same sharpness as 1080p, but gives you an extra vertical 120 pixels, making it (essentially) a taller screen. These can be particularly great for browsing the web and writing, but are a bit harder to come by.

Panel Technology

There are several different sorts of dislay technologies available today, and each one has its pros and cons. Twisted Nematic (TN) panels are currently the most popular with gamers, and are also the most affordable. One of the major pros, is that they have fast refresh rates and pixel response. The downside, is that when looked at from an angles, the colors shift. Vertical Alignment (VA) panels boast robust colors along with the capability to show deep blacks, and a high native contrast ratio. The downside to these, is that they also produce ghosting effects, which is a serious problem for gamers. In-Plane Switching (IPS) panels have the best overall color quality, strong gray-scale performance, and nice wide viewing angles. Their downside though, is that the pixel response is no match for TN panels.

Pixel Response and Refresh Rate

A good gaming monitor should have a high refresh rate along with fast pixel response. Pixel response is most commonly measured in the amount of milliseconds it takes to change from one shade of grey to another. (Note ?some companies still make use of the old black to white measurement,so it’s worth checking).Monitors which have a low pixel refresh rate are better. They have less smearing of images, and produce a smoother picture overall. Ideally, the pixel response should be less than 2 milliseconds. 4 milliseconds could be considered adequate, but not the first choice of pro-gamers. The refresh rate rate is measures in Hertz (Hz), and refers to the amount of times per second the entire screen is redrawn. It is important to note, that most standard monitors refresh at 60Hz, which means that even if you are playing a game which advertises itself as having 100 frames per second, you will only ever see 60 of them on a 60 Hz screen. For gaming, a 120Hz monitor is ideal, as it provides a far smoother experience. You might want to keep in mind that the higher refresh rates normally only come with TN panels, so you would need to work out if this is more important to you than a better looking IPS display.

G-Sync and FreeSync

The latest development in gaming monitors is to use synchronization technology as a means to lower input lag, and reduce tearing. Monitors which come with Nvidia’s G-Sync or AMD’s FreeSync modules take control of the screen’s refresh rate away from the monitor, and give it to the GPU. This then permits the display to use a variable refresh rate. This is absolutely perfect for gaming, as it provides a very smooth experience with minimized input lag. The one downside to this system, is that monitors using this tech have to rely on the PC having a compatible graphics card with a DisplayPort 1.2 output.

Video Inputs

A good gaming monitor should be able to offer a multitude of video inputs. This means that you can connect up different PC’s and consoles without having to unplug when you want to use a different one. As most major consoles now use HDMI, a monitor should have a dual HDMI port. DisplayPort and DVI connectivity are also useful, and USB ports never go to waste as it makes life easier when connecting all manner of peripherals.


Of course, the higher the spec, the higher the price will be! So, you can expect to pick up a 24 inch monitor with TN technology for around $170, but it will be pretty basic. As soon as you start looking for monitors with adjustable stands, USB hubs and multiple video inputs, the price will rise. A 27“ screen, with all the above and S-Sync or FreeSync ability can set you back $600 or more, and when you start entering into the realms of 30?UHD monitors, you can start writing a check for upwards of $3000. In the middle of that range, a big screen ultra-wide monitor with a curved panel, can cost over $1,100.

Best Gaming Monitor Recommended:

Best Gaming Monitor above 500 dollars:

Asus ROG Swift PG278Q ($750) ASUS PG278QG-Sync monitors arrived on the market and we cannot ignore a solution such as the ROG Swift PG278Q from Asus. It is a premium product and it’s priced accordingly, but every passionate gamer will appreciate the specs. Besides the G-Sync, it has a 144 Hz maxiumum refresh rate. Asus introduced the motion blur reduction on account of the ULMB. The expert users know that LED backlight can impact brightness; Asus’ ROG swift has more settings able to balance brightness and motion blur reduction. Most importantly, the monitor features a QHD panel (2560×1440). High resolution and an unseen speed, along with the G-Sync, make this monitor our favorite so far. Philips 272G5DYEB ($549) Philips 272G5DYEBThe Philips 272G5DYEB is a 27 inch monitor, with a TN panel at 1080p. This is really pushing the 1080p due to the size of the monitor, the 27 inch size may too big for such a 1080P resolution, but Philips have thrown in some quite attractive features to win gamers over. One of these, is the Nvidia G-Sync support, which hits at a 144Hz refresh rate. This, combined with a 1ms response time, makes it look good. At around $600, it will appeal to people who haven’t quite got the funds to buy the WQHD-equipped ASUS PG278Q ROG Swift which costs about $180 more. BenQ XL2420G (539) This screen is Full HD, 24’ wide, 144Hz and provides flicker, motion blur and G-Sync technologies. What else? Our tests confirmed that it’s like having two monitors in a single product. The Classic mode works as a regular 144Hz gaming display. The G-Sync mode eliminates screen-tearing and stuttering. Blur reduction performs below expectations, because it impacts brightness by 65%. In order to solve this problem, simply activate the feature and aim for a high refresh rate. Along with an excellent color accuracy and a low input lag, this product is worth attention.

Best Gaming Monitor between $200 – $500

BenQ XL2430T ($379) BenQ XL2430TIf you’re not only looking for a G-Sync monitor and you want the benefits of a 144 Hz refresh rate and motion blur reduction, then the BenQ 24’ XL2430T Full HD is what you need. This monitor has a TN panel and provides excellent performance, as well as great quality. It is very bright and the motion blur reduction doesn’t impact it heavily, compared to the competition. The motion blur reduction impacts about 50% of the brightness. Contrast is close to 1000:1. Our test revealed that colors are excellent and the grey scale is good without calibrating it. The gem of this monitor is its S-Switch, a device that allows you to manage the OSD even better. LG 24GM77 (289) is a LG monitor 24’ Full HD with a 144 Hz refresh. These specifications, along with the price point, automatically rank it among the best products for gaming. The motion blur reduction is great: Motion 240 uses LED back light, like the competitors, but reduces brightness only by 15% thanks to the PWM. The 24GM77 offers a Dynamic Action Sync, which must not be confused with G-Sync or FreeSync. The DAS reduces the imput lag by half, although you’ll have to give up on the 240Hz motion smoothing. Just like BenQ, the south-Korean company offers excellent controls for the OSD, with a special keypad located in the bottom center of the frame. A superb product. AOC G2460PQU (250) AOC g2460PQU 144 Hz refresh rate monitors are expensive, but you can save some money by choosing a 24’ model. The best solution is the Asus VG248QE, but competitors are coming out fast with other models.

The AOC g2460PQU is a TN panel that operates with a maximum refresh rate at 144 Hz. It has a complete set of ports, but in order to take advantage of the speed or the low input lag you might want to use DisplayPort or DVI. AOC does not include blur reduction in this model, but you won’t need it if you use a 144 Hz refresh rate. AOC recently introduced a G-Sync model that integrates all the characteristics of g2460PQU, but comes at a higher cost. Users with Nvidia GTX 650 Ti graphic cards and up might want to have a look at that model AOC G2460PG. If you’re on a budget, or you have an AMD graphic card, the G2460PQU deserves your attention. BenQ XL2720Z BenQ XL2720Z G-Sync monitors are slowly coming out, but if you want to expand your options, go for something that has a quick refresh rate. There are several products at 120 and 144 Hz, most of which start at TN FHD panels (1920×1080). Considering the power that fluid rendering requires, especially at QHD and Ultra HD resolutions, monitors such as the BenQ XL2720Z provide interesting option. BenQ built into this monitor a variety of specs aimed to players. Besides the refresh rate at 144 Hz, there is the motion blur reduction linked to the LED backlight. There is an on/off control that restricts brightness losses to about 58%. This is a feature very few monitors have. You’ll be able to enjoy a steady backlight, with complete calibration controls, several image settings and a S-Switch device to control the OSD. The XL2720Z permormed well in our tests concerning contrast ratios (over 1000:1) and showed great accuracy in colors. Overall, it matched the expectations. It is a great choice for high-performing gaming with a low input lag and almost non-existent motion blur.  

Best Gaming Monitor under 200 dollars

BenQ RL2455HM ($199) BenQ RL2455HMIt is easy to pass the BenQ RL2455HM by when looking for a monitor. This is probably because its specs are pretty indistinguishable from hundreds of other monitors on the market. A 60Hz 1080p display is the norm now, but on closer inspection, it does perform quite well. Gamers on a budget might like this for a console, as it is flicker free, and has a 1ms response time. The display quality is adequate for gaming, but perhaps not ideal for anyone into processing images or video (IPS panel monitor is advised. Read More: Best Monitor for Photo Editing). To be fair though, BenQ has included little extras that make it an excellent choice of display for a budget gamer. BenQ RL2240HE (Gaming Monitor under 150 dollars) BenQ RL2240HEThe BenQ RL2240HE has been aimed squarely at RTS gamers, but not at FPS gamers. So, if you are an RTS gamer that is looking for an affordable monitor, this one might just fit the bill. It can keep up with the action, providing smooth, blur free motion. It also has a low input lag which means that you can still stay competitive when playing online. There are a few key features missing that stop it being an instant choice, such as an adjustable stand, and surprisingly, there is no USB connectivity. If these things are important to you, you should perhaps look at the BenQ RL2460HT instead, which comes with a larger 24” screen.

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