Today’s gaming monitors are marvels of technology with microscope response rates, equally blistering panel refresh rates and aspect ratios and dimensions that would render a time traveler from 1990 speechless. It’s no exaggeration to say that your monitor can be the difference between ultimate victory and crushing defeat. So whether you’re a professional gamer or a weekend warrior you’re going to need a monitor that doesn’t wilt in the face of today’s graphics-intensive games. Below are the best gaming monitors for 2019.
The Best Gaming Monitor
With a 32:9 aspect ratio and 49-inch width the CHG90 is the mother of all gaming monitors. In fact, it’s so big it can be a bit intimidating at first. Once you get used to it, however, you may have a hard time slumming it on a 27 inch PC monitor. Fortunately, the CHG90 is more than just a very big pretty face. It features a crowd-pleasing 144Hz refresh rate, Quantum dot color technology, 20 step Black Equalizer to dig details out of the dark corners of your digital world and is a multi-tasking monster with few equals. Buy it for the experience. Keep it for the benefits. Our choice for the best PC gaming monitor. Make sure you also check our guide to the best gaming desks.
Unmatched 49 inch monitor.
32:9 aspect ratio for total visual immersion.
High Dynamic Range technology.
144Hz refresh rate.
Quantum dot color technology.
LED Arena Lighting.
Weight: 33 lbs.
- Weight33.1 pounds
There is no denying the immersive nature of the 32:9 aspect ratio.
The monitor stays firmly put even though it only has the single central support.
The 144Hz refresh rate makes for the seamless gaming experience.
Incredible image quality with bright whites and deep dark blacks.
The 1080 vertical limit might seem limiting to some.
It’s not a behemoth like the CHG90 we just reviewed but what the ASUS ROG Swift Lacks in spectacle it more than makes up for in performance. The picture here is one for the ages with true 4K UHD clarity and NVidia G-Sync to clean up any problems. There are 384 dimming zones to ensure rich contrasts and proper 3D rendering and numerous connectivity options including HDMI 2.0, USB 3.0 and DisplayPort 1.4. The monitor tilts, swivels, pivots and can be easily adjusted for height so that you can position it for optimal visual punch. As long as you have the associated hardware to support it, it’s going to recalibrate your relationship to computer imagery.
4K UHD imagery.
NVidia G-Sync and HDR.
IPS color and contrast management.
Multiple methods of adjustment.
HDMI 2.0 and 3.0, DisplayPort 1.4 connectivity.
144Hz refresh rate.
384 dimming zones.
- Weight27 inches
The 4K resolution and 144Hz refresh rate put it head and shoulders above most of the competition.
The stand enables a full range of adjustments from pivoting to tilting, swiveling and more.
The local dimming is a nice touch that ensures high contrast images across the entire gaming screen.
You’ll need the graphics card to support it.
Go searching for the future sometimes and you wind up finding the past. Such is the case with this beauty. Who would have thought that Dell, left for dead by many who remember their heyday, would reappear on the cultural radar of a new generation with products like state-of-the-art gaming monitors? Not us. But here they are. This 34 inch Dell Alienware 1900R curved IPS panel boasts a 120Hz refresh rate and a 4 ms response time. With an AG-coated game screen capable of 108% sRGB and a 34-inch breadth with 21:9 aspect ratio you’ll see the bad guys coming before they get the drop on you. And with the AlienFX LED lighting scheme, your friends will be coming over just to sit in its ethereal glow. You can combine it with one of the best gaming mouses from our list.
21:9 aspect ratio.
120Hz refresh rate.
4 lighting zones to personalize.
4 ms response rate.
Minimal tearing and stutter.
34 inch IPS panel.
- Weight34 inches
The 21:9 aspect ratio is ideal for both high-end gaming and widescreen movies.
The 120Hz refresh rate produces a silky smooth image.
The Alienware lighting effects are engaging rather than distracting.
The Overdrive technology effectively eliminates ghosting.
The BenQ Zowie 24.5 inch boasts the most insane refresh rates of any monitor out there. A stunning 240Hz. When migrating from other monitors, even 1440 HD monitors, the effect is like night and day. The Zowie leaves no grain of dust unrendered and there are no artifacts or shaking to put a damper on your amazement. Blur and latency are nonexistent, foes are unable to hide in the shadows and the fluidity of the motion is unmatched. In the age of the ultrawide, some may hesitate to embrace a scaled down 1080p PC monitor. But they shouldn’t. The image quality here will make a believer out of you quickly. If we have a quibble here it’s aesthetic. As it’s our consensus opinion that this is one of the least attractive high-performance monitors we’ve seen. Then again, maybe you’ll love it.
Blistering 240Hz refresh rate.
Optimized for professional gamers.
1 ms response time.
Integrated blinkers improve focus.
Convenient carrying handle.
Weight: 16.5 lbs.
- Weight25 inches
The best in class 240Hz refresh rate is a dream (if your PC can handle it).
Adjusts easier than just about any other large gaming monitor out there.
The black equalizer does a great job digging detail out of the shadows.
A look only a mother could love.
The 27 inch Acer Predator features an IPS display that gleans sparkling colors from its combination of 4 ms response time and 120Hz (overclocked to 144Hz) refresh rate. The color is rich and deep with the 10bit Quantum Dot Technology delivering 99% Adobe RGB and 100% sRGB color while NVidia G-Sync banishes tearing to the dustbin of history. There’s plenty of High Dynamic Range support and 384 individually controlled local dimming zones to buttress contrast and enhance your 3D effects. You’re going to pay for the visual experience here. But if you can afford it, you won’t regret it. If there’s a downside besides the price it’s the stand, which seems to sacrifice a bit of stability for sake of looking super-edgy. Oh, and you can sometimes hear the fan over your potato chips. Sit back in your gaming chair and enjoy the image on this monitor.
27 inch IPS gaming display.
NVidia G-Sync image correction.
HDR for tearless gaming.
120Hz refresh rate.
4 ms response time at 4K.
Outstanding color depth and richness.
Weight: 27 lbs.
- ModelX27 bmiiphzx
- Weight27 inches
The 120Hz refresh rate combined with 4K resolution and G-Sync HDR makes for incredible clarity and depth.
At 27 inches it’s not so wide you need to keep whiplashing back and forth to see what’s happening.
The outstanding response rate pretty much eliminates ghosting.
The fan is audible during quiet times.
The LG 27 inch 4K gaming monitor is an outstanding value in a list full of outstanding values. What separates it pretty decisively from the similar sized Acer Predator is the price; which is about 1/3 that of the Acer. But there’s more good news for LG fans because the picture quality here is nearly as good as the more expensive competitor with Black Stabilizer modulating the contrast and the HDR 10 technology sprucing up the rest of the spectrum. While the IPS enabled 4K is as good as you’ll find on any comparably priced monitor. If there’s a downside here it’s the 60Hz refresh rate, which is good but will soon be as obsolete as your incandescent bulbs.
Good value in a 4K Gaming Monitor.
Reduced lag input.
AMD FreeSync anti-stutter technology.
HDR 10 compatible.
Reduced input lag.
Weight: 13.7 lbs.
- Weight13.7 pounds
Although “only” 27 inches wide the picture quality is a revelation.
A variety of game modes for different applications like the photo, cinema, RTS game and more.
Outstanding picture clarity at virtually any viewing angle.
Local dimming is nonexistent.
We’re not sure exactly how ViewSonic is able to create such a high-quality monitor for such an attractive price but we’re not going to question it. We’re just going to enjoy it. This is a 144hz gaming monitor with lightning fast 1 ms response time that gets down to business in a hurry rendering crystal clear stutter free 2 or 3D imagery. That stutter-free performance comes via the FreeSync technology and will be there for you regardless of your chosen gaming platform. The XG2402 is compatible with PCs, Macs, and consoles and boasts an industry best 3-year limited manufacturer’s warranty. If you are a passionate gamer, check out our guide to the best wireless gaming mouses for more great products like this.
1 ms response time.
AMD FreeSync anti-stutter technology.
144Hz refresh rate.
Reduced input lag.
HDMI, USB, DisplayPort connectivity.
A variety of visual mode presets.
Weight: 14.8 lbs.
- Weight24 inches
For such an affordable gaming PC monitor the image quality is pretty amazing.
The 22 level black stabilization gives the picture real heft.
A high degree of connectivity with HDMI 1.4, USB 3.0 and DisplayPort.
They might want to rethink the positioning of the USB3 ports.
The ROG 27 inch IPS 4K Gaming Monitor from ASUS joins a select group of monitors that breaks through the unofficial 144hz gaming monitor barrier. At 165Hz your 3D graphics are clearer than ever. This IPS panel provides 100% sRGB gamut coverage for hyper-realistic imagery. That color depth is buttressed by anti-tearing NVidia G-Sync technology and a 1440p gaming display that’s like a pocket IMAX theater. There’s a 5-way mini navigation joystick to make adjustments, dual integrated speakers and a high level of connectivity via USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort 1.2 ports. This is also a fairly light monitor so you’re not going to throw out your back moving it around.
165Hz refresh rate.
Full sRGB color gamut.
IPS panel with G-Sync anti-tear technology.
Blue light, anti eye-fatigue filter.
1440 vertical resolution.
Weight: 15.4 lbs
- Weight27 inches
Does a great job overcoming environmental glare.
Provides basically all the resolution and clarity that current PCs can actually handle.
Outstanding response times make for outstanding motion handling.
Lower contrast than we’d prefer.
We return one last time to the Land of the Giants for this 35 inch AOC Agon Curved Gaming Monitor. The panel boasts a 21:9 cinematic aspect ratio while the 1800R curve of the Agon provides the optimal viewing experience for gamers; who typically sit closer to their screens than most and need to keep an eye on activity at the edges. To perfect the player/monitor relationship you’re able to adjust the tilt, swivel and pivot as well as the height. With a 120Hz refresh rate and a 4 ms pixel response rate that picture you’re surrounded by is going to be clear as a bell from edge to edge. And with G-Sync technology to reduce game screen tearing you’ll be more productive and more dangerous to your opponents, who won’t be able to slip past you in a blaze of artifacts.
Ultrawide 35 inch PC monitor.
21:9 aspect ratio,
4K Gaming Monitor w/3440 x 1440 resolution.
Convenient carrying handle.
Weight: 26 lbs.
- Weight35 inches
Sit back and enjoy the 35-inch display. There’s nothing else like it.
There’s a variety of connectivity options including USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4, and DisplayPort.
The 120Hz refresh rate and 4 ms response rate ensure the picture flows nice and smooth.
Are you sure your PC can handle 4K and 120Hz refresh?
Our list of best monitors for gaming comes to a close with the Zowie 24 from BenQ. And all we can say is “budget gamers rejoice”. You now have a viable option that doesn’t saddle you with a laggy, muddled, artifact-filled image. There were a lot of great values that made this list and it was hard to pick a “best value”. But in the end, we went with this budget beauty from BenQ. With its 1 ms response time, 144Hz refresh rate and Black eQualizer to carve detail out of even the darkest shadows the picture here is the best you’re going to find at this price point. And as good as what you’ll find in some monitors costing several times as much. Sure, they use last year’s connectors and there’s no G-Sync but for the price, it simply can’t be beaten. If you’re looking for a good entry level monitor for the aspiring gamer in your family here’s one that will serve them well and won’t empty your bank account in the process.
1 ms response rate.
Reduced input lag.
Black eQualizer for enhanced clarity.
USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort connectivity.
Low Blue Light filter.
Weight: 9 lbs.
- Weight24 inches
20 levels of vibrant color allow for a broad range of customization.
The blue light filter is more effective than on similar monitors at reducing eye strain.
The built-in speakers are good. Not great. But good.
Of course the price is going to attract a lot of attention.
At 60Hz it’s not going to excite a lot of pro gamers.
Gaming Monitor Buying Guide & FAQ
How We Chose Our Best Gaming Monitors
Our process for selecting the best gaming monitors involved extensive hands-on testing, interviews with pro gamers and careful consideration of technical, aesthetic and material considerations. To a lesser, but still important, extent we also considered:
Brand - While a great monitor is a great monitor some companies have been producing great gaming monitors longer than others and have a well-deserved reputation for producing reliable, cutting edge technology.
Price - Unfortunately, some of the best gaming monitors are very expensive, which puts them out of the reach of many average gamers. As such we’re always on the lookout for outstanding values we can introduce to our readers.
Reviews - Gaming monitor reviews can become an endless slog through techno-speak. And while that’s understandable, we’re more concerned about the experience the monitor provides rather than whether it ramps up the voltage to artificially inflate response rates.
Features To Look For In The Best Gaming Monitors
Panel Size & Resolution - Until now gamers got around the need for a more immersive experience by linking 2 or more monitors side by side. Today’s ultra-widescreen monitors, however, do away with the need for this type of technical hack. As for resolution, 1080p is the current standard and any monitor you buy should have at least this level of resolution.
Panel Technology - The LCD gaming monitor utilizes a range of different technologies including:
- TN technology - TN panels are the most common type used for gaming today. TN stand for “Twisted Nematic”, which would take too long to explain here. TN technology is what you call “tried and true” because it’s been around since the first LCD monitors hit the market way back when.
- IPS technology - IPS is another type of LCD technology. IPS (In Plane Switching) monitors are considered by most to produce the highest quality colors and the widest array of viewing angles. Graphic designers often seek out IPS PC monitors for their ability to generate accurate color representation. If you are into graphics-intensive gaming an IPS panel can help faithfully reproduce the look and feel intended by the developer.
- VA technology - VA (Vertical Alignment) panels occupy a kind of middle ground between TN and IPS. They typically produce better color reproduction than TN panels but they also tend to suffer from slower response times.
Pixel Response - The response rate denotes how fast a pixel on the gaming screen turns to white and then back to color. The pixel response rate is typically expressed in milliseconds. The lower the pixel response rate number the better. For instance, a response rate of 2 milliseconds, or 2 ms, is better (faster) than a response rate of 8 ms. The faster the response rate the better able the monitor is to handle a rapid refresh rate.
Refresh Rate - The refresh rate indicates how often the image on the monitor is redrawn. It is typically expressed in Hz. So a monitor with a 60Hz refresh rate will redraw the monitor 60 times per second. While a monitor with a 120Hz refresh rate will redraw it 120 times per second. The more frames per second, the sharper the image. As long as your PC can handle it.
Ports - Your gaming monitor should have a variety of different input ports to stay connected with other computers and various gaming consoles as well, such as XBox One and PS4. Most major consoles today use HDMI so it’s essential your monitor have HDMI ports. Both USB 3.0 and DisplayPort connectivity will also likely come in handy when high-end graphics cards are in the mix. P.S. If you can get more than 1 USB port for various peripherals that’s probably a good thing.
G-Sync - G-Sync technology manipulates the time interval between the end of the current frame display and the start of the next one. By regulating response rates in this fashion it greatly reduces visual artifacts that can distract from your gaming performance.
FreeSync - Freesync also manipulates response rates. In this case, the goal is to reduce visual stuttering caused by overlap between the previous frame and the new frame.
Gaming Monitor FAQ
Q: Do I really need a Gaming Monitor?
A: As with most things in life the answer is “it depends”. It depends on how seriously you take gaming. It depends on what type of games you play. It depends on what type of PC you have since a gaming monitor with a refresh rate of 144Hz won’t do you any good if your PC can’t keep up with that level of data flow. It also depends to some extent on your budget, how much space you have to work with and whether you see yourself continuing to game for the foreseeable future. The bottom line is that if you love gaming, are fond of graphics-heavy 3D games and have adequate financial resources then, by all means, you should get yourself a good gaming monitor.
Q: Is it better to use a monitor or TV for gaming?
A: To a large extent it comes down to how important the gaming experience is to you, what you want out of it and maybe most important, what kind of games you’re playing. You can play most games on your HDTV and they’ll look pretty good, especially story-driven games that take you on a journey. However, for fast-paced action-filled games where it does or die in a millisecond the high-performance gaming monitor with that lightning fast response rate we discussed above is going to be needed to really deliver the goods.
Q: What is the best Technology to get?
A: As we said above today’s LDC gaming monitors employ a range of technologies to deliver high-quality images including:
- TN technology - “Twisted Nematic” or TN panels are the most common gaming panels in use today. The technology has been around awhile but is still prized for its ability to deliver crisp, clear game imagery.
- IPS - IPS (in-plane switching) is intended to improve color visibility and light distortion in the TN (Twisted Nematic) monitors most people use for gaming. IPS uses 8-bit color as opposed to the 6-bit color used by TN monitors, which enables a wider range of display colors.
- VA technology - The VA (Vertical Alignment) panel can be counted on to produce better color reproduction than TN panels. On the downside, they aren’t exactly world beaters when it comes to response times.
Q: How Does the Refresh Rate Affect My Gaming?
A: A refresh rate of 60Hz means new images are introduced at a rate of 60 per second. A 144hz gaming monitor is one where new images are introduced at a rate of 144 per second. Obviously, the faster images are introduced the smoother and clearer the action will appear to the brain. Industry standard as of this writing is 60Hz, which is more than sufficient for most desktop applications and things like 2D animated games. But for something like Deus Ex 60Hz just won’t provide the wealth of detail you need to be effective against top-flight competition. The higher refresh rate should make tracking easier and improve your ability to aim quickly and accurately as well.
Q: Do I need overdrive or motion blur reduction?
A: Motion blur reduction addresses an innate weakness in monitor technology; the fact that pixels cannot instantaneously refresh. It takes the average pixel on the average contemporary monitor a couple of milliseconds to do so and, depending on the refresh rate of your monitor, this may create an unwanted blur effect, particularly during times of intense action. There are several ways blur reduction addresses this issue. One of the most common ways is to reduce the amount of time the pixels are displayed. Another way to do so is to turn off the backlight between refreshes. Do you need it? It depends on what type of games you’re playing and the refresh rate of your monitor, as well as your own personal tastes.
Overdrive is a result of manufacturers trying to artificially boost response times by ramping up the voltage. It does work to improve response times but it also creates an unintended effect of increasing input lag and creating what’s called “inverse ghosting”. This effect is so subtle that 99.9% of people won’t notice it. So whether you need your gaming pc monitor to provide overdrive reduction will depend on how seriously you take picture quality, and whether in fact, you’re even able to notice inverse ghosting.
Q: Should I get G-Sync or FreeSync?
A: Both FreeSync and G-Sync perform essentially the same function of removing screen tearing and stutters from gameplay. Which one you choose will depend on your graphics card. G-Sync is only compatible with Nvidia graphics cards. While FreeSync is only compatible with AMD supported cards. Keep in mind you will not likely benefit from either if your monitor refresh rate is too low.
Q: Is an UltraWide Gaming Monitor Worth It?
A: The ultrawide monitor was created for those who typically install 2 or more monitors side by side on their desktop to optimize the gaming experience (though some do it simply to multitask). The thinking behind the ultrawide is to remove the disorienting bezel running down the middle of the image where the two monitors meet. Does it work? Those enamored of ultrawide monitors (and there are many of them) claim that the 21:9 aspect ratio allows for easier multitasking, more immersive gaming experience and a movie watching experience to beat the band. If those things are important to you then an ultrawide monitor might be just what the tech doctor ordered.
Q: What is the best way to clean a PC monitor?
A: For everyday maintenance simply blast the monitor with compressed air to remove dust and environmental debris. From time to time, however, you’ll want to do a more thorough cleaning and for that dampen a clean microfiber cloth with distilled water. Wring it out to the point that no more water can be extracted from it that way. Fluff it up a bit after wringing then wipe the game screen using broad strokes either top to bottom or side to side. Avoid circular motions and don’t spend too much time on a single spot. It doesn’t take much to leave a permanent scratch or scrape on the monitor surface, so be careful how much pressure you’re applying as well.