whats the best gaming monitor

What’s the Best Gaming Monitor for 2018?

One of the most important aspects when it comes to an immersive gaming experience is your display. Trust me, I’ve used a lot of gaming monitors and I always stick to using displays that provide smooth frame rates and accurate gamma.

If you’re still using a crappy display, it’s time to up your game by choosing the best gaming monitor that will fit your needs.

In this buying guide I’ll discuss several gaming monitors and help you pick the right one. Your favorite titles will look spectacular once you decide to buy these solid choices!

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Best Gaming Monitor 

LG 29UM68-P

ULTRAWIDE OPTION

LG-29UM68-P

PRICE: $$$

If 16:9 aspect ratios don’t do enough justice, this Full HD screen’s UltraWide 21:9 aspect ratio will make your favorite games more immersive than ever.

Rated by: 

ASUS ROG SWIFT

BEST 4K MONITOR

ASUS-ROG-SWIFT

PRICE: $$$

The gorgeous 4K resolution, outstanding color reproduction, and overall performance make it one of the best 4K monitors you can buy for your money 

Rated by: 

Acer R240HY

BEST BANG FOR BUCK

Acer-R240HY

PRICE: $$$

Gamers and photo editors who want a color accurate monitor without breaking the bank should take a look at the Acer R240HY - it's our best back for buck of choice 

Rated by: 

ASUS ROG SWIFT PG27AQ 27" 4K/UHD

Best 4k Gaming Monitor!

4k monitors are all the rage today and if you’re looking for the best 4k gaming monitor, look no further than the ASUS ROG SWIFT PG27AQ!

This 27” offering from Asus uses G-sync for smooth gaming visuals which pairs perfectly with Nvidia graphics cards. It’s got a slim profile and thin side bezels at only 6mm which I found perfect for setting up multi-displays.

The color accuracy is on-point thanks to the IPS display that provides 100% sRGB color gamut while also eliminating color loss and distortion when viewed at multiple angles.

Other features like the blue light filter and FPS counter are also great if you’re into long hours of gaming.

I have to say the colors really pop and since I tend to do photo editing a lot, this panel allows true color representation for making accurate edits. Visuals are buttery smooth and the latency is minimal at 30 fps with G-sync. Without a doubt this is my top pick for the best 4k gaming monitor you can buy!

PROS

  • Accurate color representation
  • G-sync provides buttery smooth refresh rates
  • Blue light filter for long hours of gaming

CONS

  • Dead pixels on some units
  • Severe ghosting on high contrast
  • Prone to backlight bleeding

LG 29UM68-P 29-Inch 21:9 UltraWide IPS Monitor

Best ultra-wide gaming monitor!

The LG 29UM68-P is the ultimate choice when it comes to ultra-wide gaming.

If 16:9 aspect ratios don’t do enough justice, this Full HD screen’s UltraWide 21:9 aspect ratio will make your favorite games more immersive than ever.

FreeSync works excellently especially when paired with an AMD graphics card. I rarely experienced any stuttering when playing games but do note that FreeSync only works when you connect it to the Display Port.

The Full HD IPS display also renders colors accurately with an sRGB of 99% and the colors look true to life.

You have on-screen control with this display and it’s capable of running split screen as well for tweaking your monitor layout and displaying multiple windows at the same time. What I like about the LG 29UM68-P is that it has dedicated game modes with three different presets for optimal viewing.

For a display this good at under $300, I’m confident enough to say that the LG 29UM68-P is the best ultra-wide gaming monitor you can buy at that price range.

PROS

  • FreeSync eliminates stutters when paired with AMD GPU’s
  • On-screen controls and split screen
  • Movies look good with the 21:9 aspect ratio

CONS

  • Screen blacks out every now and then
  • No blue light filter
  • FreeSync works on Display port only

Samsung LC32HG70QQNXZA

Best HDR gaming monitor!

HDR monitors are slowly becoming the next big thing and if you’re looking for a new monitor that supports HDR, the Samsung LC32HG70QQNXZA should be the next one on your list.

HDR displays deliver unparalleled improvements in contrast and color vibrancy and this gaming monitor ticks off all the boxes.

Samsung’s QLED monitor delivers a mind-blowing billion shades of color thanks to its Quantum Dot Technology which brings colors to life.

It’s also equipped with FreeSync 2 for easier and low-latency HDR gaming and the 144hz refresh rate makes visuals as smooth as butter. Games run gorgeously and photos come off lively due to the fact that it balances the bright and dark spots without sacrificing detail.

Even Nvidia owners won’t be disappointed with the lack of G-sync as long as you’re not maxing out the monitor’s refresh rate. While HDR isn’t fully integrated into games just yet, buying this monitor solely for HDR is more than enough to justify the purchase. Overall the Samsung LC32HG70QQNXZA is my pick for the best HDR gaming monitor!

PROS

  • 144hz refresh rate makes for buttery smooth visuals
  • Quantum Dot Technology delivers a billion vibrant accurate colors
  • FreeSync 2 for low-latency HDR gaming

CONS

  • Port placements are a bit of a hassle to reach
  • Bezels are a bit large
  • Wide stand takes up too much space on desktop table

ASUS VG248QE

144hz gaming monitor for under $300!

The ASUS VG248QE delivers great performance at a reasonable price point especially if you’re looking to upgrade your gaming experience beyond 60 fps.

You’ll be able to notice the difference right away when you purchase this display with its 144hz refresh rate and a great 1ms (GTG) response time.

It’s got a whole host of connectivity options like DisplayPort, HDMI, and Dual-link DVI making it a versatile monitor for PC and console gaming.

One thing that I didn’t particularly like about it is that it uses a TN panel which isn’t atrocious per se, but lacks the color accuracy that an IPS display delivers. The viewing angles are also affected because of the panel.

I do like the built-in 2W stereo speakers which makes the whole set-up more immersive. The aesthetics aren’t pleasing mainly due to the thick bezels but if you value performance over looks, the ASUS VG248QE will certainly not disappoint you as one of the best gaming monitor on this list.

PROS

  • Fluid 144hz refresh rate
  • Comes with Asus GamePlus for timer functions and crosshair overlay
  • Quick 1ms response time

CONS

  • Thick bezels aren’t aesthetically pleasing
  • TN Panel produces inaccurate colors
  • Flickering horizontal lines tend to appear

Acer R240HY

Bang-for-your-buck IPS Panel

Gamers and photo editors who want a color accurate monitor without breaking the bank should take a look at the Acer R240HY.

This Full HD panel uses an IPS panel that does a great job of accurately displaying colors while also offering wide viewing angles. Acer’s Flicker-less technology also handles flickering quite well and the blue light filters makes the monitor easy on your eyes.

Acer claims that the R240HY has a zero frame design, but I do still notice the bezels which are more prominent on the bottom.

One thing that I would like to point out is that it is not vesa mount compatible. Images look clean and on-point and games run just fine which is what you would expect from a panel that’s under $200.

It doesn’t have the fancy bells and whistles more expensive options offer, but the value it delivers at its price range is definitely hard to beat. If you’re looking for an Full HD IPS monitor without shelling out some top dollar, get the Acer R240HY.

LG Electronics UM57 25UM57

Ultra-wide gaming monitor on a budget!

Some gamers crave for more screen action but aren’t willing to shell out cash for an expensive widescreen monitor.

The LG Electronics UM57 25UM57 solves that by combining a competitive price point with an ultra-wide screen real estate! It uses a WFHD IPS Panel with an aspect ratio of 21:9, providing you with an immersive scale of gaming experience on a budget!

The IPS panel is color accurate at sRGB 99% and has great viewing angles.

What I like about this monitor is that it uses LG’s Black Stabilizer technology which brightens dark scenes for more clarity and vision. I find that movies are a treat to watch with the wide aspect ratio and the good color reproduction off of this panel.

I ran it at 75hz with a resolution of 2560x1080 and it managed to deliver a smooth, consistent performance all around. FreeSync is also supported so you’ll have less stuttering in games especially when paired with an AMD graphics card. The looks and aesthetics of this panel are also great though it’s not bezel-less so do keep that in mind.

The  LG Electronics UM57 25UM57 is the best gaming monitor with a 21:9 aspect ratio under $200. It doesn’t sacrifice screen quality and offers on-point color gamut at a price that’s hard to beat.

PROS

  • IPS panel offers great color reproduction
  • Competitively priced ultra-wide monitor at under $200
  • Black Stabilizer technology brightens dark areas on the screen

CONS

  • Prone to flickering
  • Noticeable backlight bleed
  • Lack of blue light filter

What is a 4K monitor?

A 4K monitor is a display that supports UHD resolution (4k). A 4K monitor is capable of displaying 3,840 pixels horizontally and 2,160 pixels vertically. This means more pixels per square inch and that translates to better visual quality, clarity, sharpness, and vibrancy. The best gaming monitor on the list has a 4K resolution that delivers outstanding visuals.

What is an HDR monitor?

An HDR monitor is a display that supports High Dynamic Range (HDR). What this means for your gaming monitor is that it can handle a wider color gamut as well as more detail in bright and dark spots of an image.

What is an ultra-wide monitor?

An ultra-wide monitor is a display that comes with a 21:9 aspect ratio. Ultra-wide monitors offer more screen real-estate for PC and console gamers by adopting an aspect ratio similar to movie theater screens which means more horizontal viewing space and a much larger-than-life gaming experience.

Factors to consider when buying a gaming monitor:

When choosing a gaming monitor, there are a number of important factors to consider to make sure you get the right display for your gaming needs. Panels today come in myriads of sizes, designs, and varying price tags.

If you’re on the hunt for a good gaming monitor, I’m here to help! In my experience, these factors are important in determining what kind of display you should purchase and if it will fit the budget correctly.

Refresh Rate

Monitors offer different refresh rates which are measured in Herts (hz). What this means is how many times a display can refresh the image per second. And while higher refresh rates means more fluid and smoother visuals, you need to keep in mind your GPU’s capabilities in order to push the required number of FPS.

Adaptive Sync Technologies

Screen technologies like FreeSync and G-Sync offer more fluid visuals and smoother gameplay by reducing screen stuttering and tearing which is often caused by conflicting frames your graphics card renders per second and the number of times your monitor refreshes.

Adaptive Sync Technologies

Think of FreeSync and G-Sync like AMD vs Nvidia. FreeSync works with AMD GPU’s which is free of charge while G-Sync works with Nvidia GPU’s but bear in mind you will have to pay $100 and above for it.

Resolution

One of the most important aspects when it comes to choosing a gaming monitor is its resolution. Displays with higher resolution have more pixels which translate to crisper details and a much higher clarity. Often you will see gaming monitors with resolutions such as:

Resolution
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    Full HD (1080p)
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    Quad HD (2K)
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    Ultra HD (4K)

1080 is the most common choice because hardware limitations are one of the biggest hindrances when it comes to running gaming monitors in 2K and 4K.

QHD is slowly becoming the norm while UHD remains to be a pipe dream for most set-ups and only the most powerful GPU’s are capable of comfortably running it at 30 FPS.

Display Technology

Gaming monitors today use two types of panel technologies which are:

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    IPS LCD panels
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    TN Panels

The advantage of IPS LCD panels over TN panels is the more accurate color reproduction and wider viewing angles. This translates to more real-life colors and more vibrant images when compared to TN panels. The best gaming monitors use an IPS LCD panel for on-point colors.

Screen Size

Screen Size

The size of a gaming monitor should also be taken into consideration. Most gaming monitors today are around 21 inches to 27 inches and depending on how much screen real estate you want, you can choose ultra-wide monitors that have a 21:9 aspect ratio for a much more immersive experience.

Response Time

Response time refers to how much time a pixel need to transition from black to white between shades of gray. This is usually measured in milliseconds (ms) and it affects your gaming experience by offering smoother camera movements the faster the response time is.

One advantage TN panels have over IPS panels is that it’s capable of 1ms response times while IPS panels only go up to 4ms. You have the option of whether you prefer responsiveness versus screen quality. The former goes to the TN panel while the latter goes to the IPS panels.

Your Graphics Card

Some gamers tend to overlook their GPU’s when purchasing a gaming monitor. Pairing a budget graphics card with a high-resolution gaming monitor will lead to frame rate drops and your in-game performance will suffer as a result.

Graphics Card

A general rule of thumb is to know the hardware limitations of your GPU and pair it accordingly with a monitor that will allow it to perform at its full potential.

Wrapping up

Without a doubt the best gaming monitor on my list is the ASUS ROG SWIFT PG27AQ. The gorgeous 4K resolution, outstanding color reproduction, and overall performance make it one of the best 4K monitors you can buy for your money.

The G-sync works amazing when paired with an Nvidia graphics card that delivers stutter-free visuals, low-latency, and buttery smooth graphics.

ASUS-ROG-SWIFT

Other options on this list are solid as well. You just have to weigh in your gaming needs and pick one on the list that suits you perfectly. The best gaming monitor for you shouldn’t be expensive. It just needs to do the job you intend to use it for.

Closing statement

A good gaming monitor is a key element when it comes to high quality, immersive gaming.

While conventional wisdom says that higher resolutions is better, that’s not always the case especially when you intend to use the monitor outside of gaming. 4K displays need graphics cards with serious horsepower to be able to run games at higher settings than their native resolution.

Before heading out to buy your new monitor, make sure to test it out first and if you can, do a side-by-side comparison to determine the differences within each panel. This way you’ll be able to make a sound decision based off of what you see. Using a screen in isolation can be pretty tough to evaluate on its own so it’s best to have another panel to compare it to.

Gaming monitors come in different price points and there’s a panel that will suit every budget. Spend on a monitor you can afford and make sure it matches your gaming preferences.

By keeping all the information I shared here with you in mind, you will be able to make a smart purchase and level up your gaming experience by investing in a well-performing display.