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Best Gaming Monitor – 2021

Written by September 4, 2020

Monitors have quite a fantastic history. First made in 1922, it wasn’t until 32 years later that they began selling the first CRT monitors commercially. About 50 years later, the LCD was released in the 2000s.

Today, the best gaming monitors that display your gaming adventures without blurring, flickering, or tearing can be found anywhere. It is time you invest in a top monitor to add excellence and energy to your gaming rig. That is one sure way to elevate your gaming exploits or have the edge over your opponents.

Every gamer desires a monitor that will play FPS, car contests, open world, or any other fast-paced games. Which monitors are the best in the market today? Later we will look at the perfect gaming monitors you can get right now.

First, let’s see which factors will help you land a fantastic monitor.

Best Value

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ

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Best Overall

Samsung CRG9

Samsung CRG9

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Read Review

Best Budget

Pixio PXC273

Pixio PXC273

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Read Review

1. Samsung CRG9

Samsung CRG9

Best Overall

“If you are looking for a more immersive gaming experience, this is the monitor for you.”

Excellent screen quality

Speakers not included

High resolution

Lower refresh rate

Outstanding HDR performance

Fast OSD

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Samsung CRG9 is among the best gaming monitors. If you are looking for a more immersive gaming experience, this is the monitor for you. Though it is costly, it is entirely worth the cash if you can afford it. The monitor runs on a very advanced gaming PC setup, meaning it is suitable if you have the extra money to spend.

The monitor is big, 47 inches, hence if you are looking to pick a monitor for your home gaming setup, you may need to consider your space. But, with enough space available, the monitor is a beautiful piece. It has bezels that are thinner than most gaming monitors; hence, you will be lost in a sea of pixels.

The picture by picture mode yet again adds another cool feature to the monitor. Enabling the mode allows you to use two different inputs, which simulates a borderless dual monitor display. With this feature, you can play your game on one side of the screen while you have something else open on the other. Samsung CRG9 also does not disappoint when it comes to performance. It produces images that are of very high quality, and you do not need to go to change settings from time to time. The brightness of the monitor of 1,000 nits helps deliver on this aspect.


  • Screen: 34-inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 21:9
  • Brightness: 300cd/m2
  • Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440
  • Refresh Rate: 120Hz
  • Response time: 4ms
  • Price: $1499

2. Alienware AW3418DW

Great Overall

” It is an ultrawide display monitor that offers game experiences that are captivating on the horizontally widescreen.”

Highest refresh rate

Takes a lot of space

Sleek design and build quality

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Alienware AW3418DW is undisputedly among the best gaming monitors. It is an ultrawide display monitor that offers game experiences that are captivating on the horizontally widescreen. It is a pricey monitor considering ultrawide monitors rarely come cheap, with a $999 price. This widescreen enables you to have many windows open, meaning you can perform other tasks while gaming. The monitor is a good-looking monitor with a sleek design that suits gamer needs. It is also easily set up and can be adjusted with ease for comfort. The large size of the monitor means that you will need adequate space to put it on.

One of the things you will notice about the monitor is how smooth it performs. This remarkable performance is because of the high refresh rate of 100Hz and G-sync technology, which provide high frame rates. 100Hz is a high refresh rate. It may not be the highest possible for G-sync monitors, and it is quite a reasonable rate for 21:9 monitors. It also has an overclock setting that ups the refresh rate to 120Hz. Alienware AW3418DW has standard image qualities though some people find the screen a little bright. Fortunately, this can be easily adjusted in the settings because the onscreen menu is easy to use.

The Alienware AW3418DW is overall a remarkable gaming monitor because of its excellent performance and high-quality images. Overclocking it to 120Hz makes it the fastest ultrawide monitor.


  • Screen: 34-inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 21:9
  • Brightness: 300cd/m2
  • Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440
  • Refresh Rate: 120Hz
  • Response time: 4ms
  • Price: $999

3. AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition

AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition

Most Technologically advanced

“It is the best monitor if you are looking for a monitor that has the latest screen technologies.”

Excellent color performance

Old fashioned menu

120Hz refresh rate

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It is the best monitor if you are looking for a monitor that has the latest screen technologies. AOC has the latest tech with high specs. The AOC Agon AG352UCG was one of the best gaming monitors, and with black edition being an advanced edition, it is quite updated. The AOC Agon AC35UCG6 Black Edition has a higher refresh rate and color contrast, and it takes over the original’s best features but advances these features. You will enjoy a stunning display and experience ultra-wide gaming with this monitor. Though expensive, if you like enjoying a good gaming time, you will not regret investing in this monitor.

It is an excellent looking kit with a fancy borderless chassis with the display surrounded by 15mm plastic borders on the top and sides. With a refresh rate of 120Hz, your gaming experience and other activities on the monitor are exceptionally smooth. It also has a low blue light mode and a flicker reducing setting to have your night gaming sessions comfortable. The color profiles and settings on the monitor are great.


  • Screen: 35-inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 21:9
  • Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440
  • Refresh Rate: 120Hz
  • Brightness: 300cd/m2
  • Response time: 4ms
  • Price: $890

4. Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ

Best Value

“All its great features value for its expensive pricing, and if you are a game enthusiast willing to spend the money, this monitor will most definitely impress you.”

Excellent image quality


Remarkable performance

Small display of 27-inch

Great HDR

Great 4K detail

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The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ is an advanced monitor and might be a great one to purchase for your gaming. Its specs make it one of the most remarkable monitors to use, and once you see use it, you will be impressed. All its great features value for its expensive pricing, and if you are a game enthusiast willing to spend the money, this monitor will most definitely impress you.

The monitor’s look is eye-catching. It has a 27-inch screen and an aspect ratio of 16:9. It is large enough to have you immersed in the gaming experience without dominating your space like larger monitors. You will enjoy impressive visuals with the monitor’s refresh rate of 144Hz accompanied with a 4K UHD resolution and G-sync HDR technology. It also makes an excellent productivity monitor you will have Windows 10 scaling to 4K.


  • Screen Size: 27-inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz
  • Response time: 4ms
  • Price: $ 1,999

5. BenQ PD3200U

Best for viewing Angles

“Your friends can watch your game comfortably due to the wide viewing angles.”

4K UHD resolution

Some people may find the design dull

Large screen

A quite narrow gamut support.

Competitive price

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The BenQ PD3200U is equally a great monitor for gaming though it was originally designed for CAD professionals. Its graphic design is superb, offering a wide range of viewing angles. Your friends can watch your game comfortably due to the wide viewing angles. Also, every unit on the monitor is individually calibrated, meaning that you do not have to keep changing the settings to get the best visuals.

The BenQ PD3200U design makes it look simple but elegant. The monitor has none of the ornate design features found on most gaming monitors, an indication that it is made for productivity. The makers of BenQ describe it as ‘a simple, functional design for increased efficiency.’ The monitor is 32 inches with thin bezels around it. It will not take up too much space, and its adjustable stand makes it easy to set up.

The most outstanding feature of the monitor is the 4K UHD resolution, which will provide you with excellent image quality and excellent gaming experience. It also allows you to open multiple windows at once if you are working. The performance of the monitor is also impressive in gaming because of the high resolution. Both the simple design and numerous features make the BenQ PD3200U a productive monitor.


  • Screen size: 32-inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 3,849 x 2,160
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Brightness: 350 cd/m2
  • Response time: 4ms
  • Price: $1000

6. MSI Optix MPG341CQR


Best Curved Monitor

“The MSI Optix MPG341CQR is a 34-inch curved LCD panel that stands out in the market among the best gaming monitors.”

Innovative design

Video quality is so low

Wide gamer features

High refresh rate

RGB Lighting

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The MSI Optix MPG341CQR is a 34-inch curved LCD panel that stands out in the market among the best gaming monitors. It has a 144Hz refresh rate and adaptive sync. It also comes with some extra gamer-friendly features at a price that is quite reasonable compared to other monitors.

The design of the monitor is appealing, and its stand is easily adjustable for height and tilt. Its slim bezels on three sides of the panel together the RGD LEDs along the lower bezel make it very slick. The other features that add to the beautiful design are the 34-inch screen VA panel with a 1800R curve and 144Hz rate. The colors on the monitor are of high quality. The 3,440 x 1,440 pixels and 144Hz refresh rate make the performance of the monitor great, and you will have a high-end gaming experience with this combination. This combination provides a bit of detail in almost all games.


  • Screen: 34-inch
  • Aspect ratio: 21:9
  • Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440
  • Refresh Rate: 144Hz
  • Brightness: 400 nits
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Price: $799

7. BenQ Zowie XL2540

BenQ Zowie XL2540

Best Frames per Second

“While most of these features improve the gaming experience, they could also be a hindrance for serious gamers who high frames per second and fast responses are a priority.”

The simplicity of the design

Expensive considering its specs.

High refresh rate


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Many monitors target professional gamers with high resolutions, large screens, and flashy glowing LEDs. While most of these features improve the gaming experience, they could also be a hindrance for serious gamers who high frames per second and fast responses are a priority. It is where the BenQ Zowie XL2540 comes in.

The monitor focuses on image quality and a high refresh rate, which makes it outstanding compared to the other monitors. It will provide you advanced pro gaming features. The monitor has a simple design and a functional look, which is the pro gamer’s advantage. It is easy to set up, and the stand connects to the base in a secure way considering the absence of screws. The power that this offers to pro gamers is that a player that travels from place to place can easily set up the monitor. For example, if you are in an e-sports team that goes from tournament to tournament, you can quickly and easily set up your monitor at the different locations making it very easy for you. The 24.5-inch screen may seem small, but it ensures that the monitor is not bulky and can be carried with ease from place to place.

The monitor also comes with an extraordinary display. It has the S Switch, which is a small control pod that enables you to switch from one input to another quickly. You are also able to switch between three configurations presets, which helps if you play many different games. The screen is adjustable vertically by 140mm and can be spun at the base by 45 degrees in all directions.

The BenQ Zowie XL2540 will require that you perform some tweaking before you get the desired picture appearances. But with the S Switch button, this is easy to achieve. There are also preset configurations that can help you achieve your desired image quality.


  • Screen: 24-inch
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
  • Refresh rate: 240Hz
  • Brightness: 400cd/m2
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Price: $399

8. AOC Agon AG322QC4

AOC Agon AG322QC4

Great Frames per Second

“Its refresh rate is up to 144Hz and has a 32-inch curved panel and adaptive sync capability.”

Excellent VA Panel that packs a lot of contrast

Lower HDR standards

Quick refresh rate

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The AOC Agon AG322QC4 is full of great features. Its refresh rate is up to 144Hz and has a 32-inch curved panel and adaptive sync capability. For game enthusiasts, this is a dream monitor with an immersive gaming experience. The monitor majorly targets gamers like AOC’s Agon range of monitors. It is evident in the look and the features of the monitor.

The monitor has slim bezels on three sides of the panel, a sleek style, and fancy red-lit LEDs at the bottom bezel. It has also included a mouse-like signature plug-in controller that makes the menu easy. You can also access the HDR functionality of the panel through the controller. And with the monitor, you get a DispalyHDR 400, which has less stringent demands for color reproduction compared to other HDR standards. The performance of the monitor is highly smooth, with a 144Hz refresh rate. The contrast of the monitor is excellent with the VA panel at 3000:1, which produces lovely inky black tones. With the factory calibration, you get vibrant images and contrast together with excellent detail at both ends of the brightness scale. This means high frame rates and smoother gaming along with a responsive feel.


  • Screen: 49-inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 32:9
  • Resolution: 3,840 x 1,080
  • Refresh Rate: 144Hz
  • Price: $549

9. MSI Optix MAG271CR

MSI Optix MAG271CR

Best for First Person Shooters

“Equipped with very smooth gameplay at an excellent speed as long as you have the right hardware to drive it.”

Fast refresh rate

Expensive for a 1080p

Backlight strobing

HDR-like contrast and high color

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If you are interested in playing competitive first-person shooters, for example, Overwatch, you need a high-speed monitor for full functionality. A display like MSI Optix MAG271CR is recommendable for this kind of gaming. It has a 144Hz refresh rate and 1080p resolution, and this means that with this monitor, you are equipped with very smooth gameplay at an excellent speed as long as you have the right hardware to drive it.

The MAG271CR is easy to set up. It comes in three parts, which requires that you attach the back to the panel then attach it with screws. The base is then attached to another thumbscrew, and the monitor is suitable for use. It can be vertically adjusted and tilted but cannot be rotated. The monitor is 27-inches with a curved screen and a VA panel with a high-quality color production. The refresh rate of 144Hz enables smooth running both when gaming and when using Windows. This monitor will offer you a great gaming experience.


  • Screen: 27-inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 1,920x 1,080
  • Brightness: 300cd/m2
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Price: 383euros, not for sale in the US

10. Acer Predator XB273K

Acer Predator XB273K

Great Value

“The monitor offers you a decent picture quality and a great gaming experience with its great performance.”

Excellent HDR brightness

Poor viewing angles compared to other IPS panels.

Fast response time

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It is close to the Acer Predator X27 with almost similar excellence but for a better value. The XB273K is a remarkable panel with high-quality images. Though it has lesser HDR capabilities compared to the X27, the monitor produces great colors and contrasts.

The monitor offers you a decent picture quality and a great gaming experience with its great performance. The XB273K is G-sync enabled, meaning it will offer you stable pictures and functions very smoothly in faster games. The refresh rate of 144Hz also contributes to its smoothness as a gaming monitor. The monitor has a good number of ports available for whatever external gear.


  • Screen Size: 27-inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz
  • Response time: 4ms
  • Price: $798

11. Acer XR382CQK

Acer XR382CQK

Best Large Monitor

“The big size of the monitor means you can game from a distance and still get an immersive gaming experience.”

Huge Display


Multi-window use is easier and better


The curved screen offers accurate color

Excellent gaming performance

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This is one of the best screen curved monitors. It is a huge 38-inch curved screen with an aspect ratio of 24:10 and a 3,840 X 1600 resolution. The big size of the monitor means you can game from a distance and still get an immersive gaming experience.

The monitor looks absolutely elegant with a zero frame bezel-less screen. But this is again one of the monitors where you will need to consider your space as it takes up much space. With the availability of space, this is a great monitor if you are looking for a widescreen gaming monitor. The display has FreeSync technology and a refresh rate of 75Hz, meaning that runs smoothly and fast enough for gaming. With an aspect ratio of 24:10, the monitor produces high-quality images. For a game that supports ultrawide resolutions effectively, the monitor will have you completely immersed with the 38-inch panel completely filling your view. The monitor is expensive, but its wide range of features and the huge screen are value for the price.


  • Screen: 37.5-inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 24:10
  • Resolution: 3,840 x 1,600
  • Refresh rate: 75Hz
  • Response time: 5ms
  • Price: $1,029

12. Pixio PXC273

Pixio PXC273

Best Budget

“If you are looking for a faster monitor which is cheap and within your budget, Pixio PX273 is the way to go.”


The stand is tilt-only

Excellent contrast and gamut

Low vibrancy

Sleek design

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If you are looking for a faster monitor which is cheap and within your budget, Pixio PX273 is the way to go. The Pixio PXC273 is among the greatest gaming monitors. It has a 27-inch curved screen with a 1080p panel and a 144Hz refresh rate.

The monitor is easy to set up as it requires assembling of the stand and attaching it to the back of the display, then you are good to go. The stand, however, does not allow vertical adjustment. The monitor is slim and looks elegant, and the bezels are also thin adding to the elegant look. The performance of the Pixio PXC273 is great, and it runs smoothly. This is attributed to its high refresh rate of 144Hz, which makes it possible for gamers to experience speedy reactions and a good 4ms response time.


  • Screen: 27-inch
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz
  • Response time: 4ms
  • Price: $199

Factors to Consider

1. Screen Size

20 or so years ago, you wouldn’t have had much choice with size. The monitors came in 14-inch and 15-inch CRT monitors. Younger people who have never seen one will be amazed by their bulkiness. With the advent of technology came a variety of flat-screen monitors that you can choose from today.

The size is measured in inches, and you measure from the screen’s diagonal length. With gaming monitors, a big sized screen sometimes leads to a better gaming experience because screens with larger displays will create better visuals and more captivating specifications for gamers.

This is not always the case. In the end, you may narrow down your choice to two things: display resolution and the kind of games you play. So bigger may not always mean better when it comes to gaming monitors. The best monitor size is the one that suits your gaming preferences. There are many monitor sizes in the market, with the most preferred being the 24-inch and 27-inch.

  • 24-inch Monitors.   

The 24-inch monitors will be fantastic for you if you prefer sitting close to the screen. That way, you can view the entire screen, which is strategic if you play first-person shooter games like Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Are there moments when important details slip your eye? Get a quality 24-inch screen and do not let any mini-map being displayed on the edges of the screen miss your eye.

Do you want sharp images? We would recommend a resolution of 1080p (Full HD). The 1080p resolution will give you a pixel density of close to 92 pixels per inch (PPI) in the 24-inch screen.

Check out AOC Agon AG241QX, which is a 24-inch display with a higher resolution of 1440p. You can also find monitors with a 2160p resolution (4K), but they are not the best for gaming. At least not in the 24-inch category.

  • 27-inch monitors.   

27-inch displays will also be exquisite with you close to the monitor. Stay like four feet away. Sitting too close to a 27-inch gives you a hard time viewing the entire screen. The details in the game will seem too close, which may be unsuitable for fast games.

For a 27-inch monitor, choose the 1440p resolution with a pixel density of around 109 PPI. Your images and texts will be more detailed and sharper.

A right combination will be a 27-inch QHD display with a 144Hz refresh rate, and in the market, Asus ROG Swift PG279QZ fit the bill. If you usually play both fast games and the slower story-driven ones, the 27-inch QHD monitor with a rapid refresh rate has quite a reputation among gamers.

  • 32-inch monitors.

With the 32-inch monitors, you can stay further away from the screen, as far as five feet. If you love multiplayer monitors that are best for games with more exceptional graphics, this large screen will allow great multiplayer exploits with friends.

Some may not like the 32-inch for competitive gaming because of the distraction. You need to move your head a lot to view the entire screen.

The recommended resolution for these monitors is 4K UHD. Choose one whose high pixel density is impressive. A 32-inch with QHD display won’t be a wrong choice since it still gives you the same pixel density to a 24-inch 1080p.

A higher pixel density ensures you get sharper images, discernible lines, better quality, and right fonts.

  • 34-inch Ultrawide monitors.

Are you looking to lose yourself in the vast world of gaming with a broader field of view? Go for the 34-inch monitors. For a grander experience when playing, most manufacturers have made curved 34-inch screens such as the Dell Alienware AW3418DW. The display’s specifications are so advanced you can game from one end of the room. But a distance of five feet would be best.

Many 34-inch displays have a 1440p resolution, which gives a pixel density of around 109PPI. If you are a professional looking for the best monitor for various tasks other than gaming, the 34-inch display is suitable for you. You can then open multiple windows at a time and be able to multitask.

2. Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio of a monitor is what determines the size of the display. You calculate the aspect ratio of a monitor from a ratio of its width to its height. Older CRT monitors had an aspect ratio of 4:3, which is somehow outdated for gaming purposes unless you want to play to take a trip down memory lane.

Today, widescreen monitors mostly have an aspect ratio of 16:9.

When it comes to gaming monitors, ultra-wide monitors with an aspect ratio of 21:9 have gained popularity among some quarters. They offer you a broad view of your game. Consider them the next time you are buying.

Do not dismiss the 16:9 monitors yet. They are still the most bought, and you find most manufacturers are always releasing games that fit these monitors. One of the advantages of this ratio is that you can easily downscale to other resolutions. An avid gamer looking for an aspect ratio strictly for gaming purposes will enjoy the16:9. The masses are also flocking to the 16:9 because the games they love may fail to be compatible with the 21:9 displays. If you try to play incompatible games on the 21:9, your screen will stretch, resulting in unclear and unappealing images.

What 21:9 displays offer that others can’t is the full screen. It can draw a gamer into a world where they immerse into exotic games, something the smaller aspect ratio may struggle to achieve. A curved 21:9 monitor amplifies that feeling tremendously.

When carrying out other tasks such as editing or chatting, the ultrawide 21:9 may also come in handy. You will easily open multiple windows at once and work on each of them with ease if you have the skill to run the pages simultaneously and get more out of limited time.

One thing you guessed right about the 21:9 displays is that they don’t come cheap. That’s another reason more gamers go for the 16:9. If you can afford one, it will be great, especially if you are a professional who needs a balance between work and gaming.

3. Resolution

Resolution refers to the number of pixels you have on the screen horizontally and vertically. The more there are, the more precise the image will be. Higher-resolution numbers mean that the objects are sharper and more precise. With a lower resolution, you will notice that the pictures and text become more pixelated on the monitor because the pixels are more scattered.

The three most popular resolutions are: Full HD (1080p), Quad HD (1440p), and Ultra HD (2160p). The monitor’s aspect ratio usually determines the resolution.

  • Full HD

Full HD (1080p) is a term that is thrown around often not only with seasoned gamers but also in other areas like sports. You probably remember Full HD was once the most advanced display technology when the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 were released. It remains popular, even among the pros, to this day for many good reasons.

First, they require less computational power, especially compared to Ultra HD. Do you own a powerful PC? If no, then stick with Full HD for now. Why do pro gamers favor 1080p? With the screen, your eyes travel less. Trivial as that may seem, it can make a huge difference in competitive gaming.

If you choose to stick to 1080p, use a monitor that is 27-inches or less. Anything larger, and you will start seeing independent pixels on the monitor.

Watch out for low-quality monitors. The ubiquity of these monitors makes it is easier to get an ‘amazing’ deal that never was. You do not have to buy at a moment’s notice. A little research will be beneficial.

  • Quad HD (1440p)

Does Quad HD have any advantages over Ultra HD or Full HD? Quad HD makers are making more upgraded options, and it might become your preferred resolution. The 1080p is a shortened form of (1920-by-1080), and similarly, the 1440p gets its moniker from its resolution (2560-by-1440).

With 1440p, the picture quality will be better than 1080p. But factors such as the type of monitor you have and the distance you are from the screen make this difference unnoticeable. If the monitor is far from you, say 10 feet, it will not be easy to see the difference unless the screen is 65-inches or more. If you are closer, like 2 feet, a 27-inch monitor will show a stark contrast between 1080 and 1440.

The advantage 1440 has to offer over Ultra HD (4K), and it relatively doesn’t use much computational power.

  • Ultra HD (4K)

The 4K monitor working performance is higher than the two. Why not go for it then? For gaming, this may prove useless if your gaming rig is incompatible. You have to do a little research to see whether your setup can support any increased resolutions. Mostly, a powerful GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is what you need.

Cost is another factor. There are 4K monitors in the market where you have to part with twice as much as you can for 1440p. Experts also concluded that if a screen is 32-inches or smaller, the difference between the 1440p and the 4K is insignificant. Do not forget that if your setup isn’t powerful enough, you have to sacrifice fps (frames per second) to use 4K. In short, playing with 60 fps (or more) at 144op will be better than using low settings to play 4K.

No, I am not an advocate against 4K. If you love resolution over anything or if you own a powerful GPU, go for it. It will undoubtedly give you deep color, better clarity, and sharper images.

4. Refresh rate

If you play first-person shooter games like Counter-Strike, the refresh rate of the monitor plays a significant role in the outcome. The refresh rate is how fast your monitor can switch from one image to another. A video is usually a set of still images that change at a very rapid pace, and the refresh rate is what determines how the video will play. A high refresh rate, therefore, enables your video to perform smoothly without flickers that may disrupt your game.

The speed at which the images switch is measured in hertz (Hz). It means that if you have a 120Hz, the photos will refresh 120 times per second. The standard refresh rate for most monitors today is 60Hz. But more expensive monitors have refresh rates of 120H, 144Hz, and more.

A higher refresh rate means the monitor can support more frames per second (fps), and gamers should not forget that when buying. Other refresh rates, such as 144Hz and 200Hz, are gaining prominence, slowly replacing the universal 60 Hz one.

5. Panel type

A monitor’s panel type is what determines its response time, refresh rate, and the clarity of its images. When going through the specs of a monitor, you will come across different panel types, such as TN, VA, and IPS. You might be wondering, what does this panel type present for your gaming monitor? What is the major difference between the three? Well, these panel types have their differences, and each has its pros and cons. Each of these panel types will affect the quality of your gaming monitor differently.

Make sure you are conversant with the panel types, including their various specs and their performance. Knowing this will push you a step closer to choosing a gaming monitor that will suit your particular needs. Nowadays, the standard panels are TN (Twisted Nematic), VA (Vertical Alignment) and IPS (In-plane Switching)

I. TN (Twisted Nematic) panels


  • Inexpensive.
  • Lesser latency levels.


  • Low color reproduction.
  • Smaller viewing angles.

You will find TN panels in most gaming setups. It is especially the case in monitors with high refresh rates. What makes them universal is that they are manufactured cheaply and have the fastest response time. Use them, and you reduce input lag, blurring, or ghosting when playing your games.

TN panels may not have the best color qualities, and their smaller viewing angles may bother some buyers. But, some brands have tried to upgrade the color quality in some TN panels. For example, I find the ones certified by NVIDIA to have better standards of color accuracy.

With TN panels, you have to be right in front of your screen. If you stay on either side, the images become unclear. Multiplayer games where you have to you sit with friends in a circle will prove a bit difficult. Get a TN panel with a vertically adjustable stand, and it may offer some reprieve.

II. IPS (In-Plane Switching) Panels

Unlike TN, this monitor has a high color accuracy. You also get wider viewing angles in comparison with the rest of the monitors. With these panels, you will enjoy tasks that need lots of colors, like gaming. Their wide viewing angles mean your images remain clear even when you are not directly looking at the screen.

What pits some people against the IPS panels is their response time, which is relatively slow, mostly at 4ms. Most people overlook this. The panel’s response time, in most cases, never affects your gaming. Are you willing to choose excellent panel color and unique viewing angles over response time? That is a matter of preference.

IPS panels are also more expensive than TN panels, but if you have you can buy, this might be the better panel type to purchase.

III. VA (Vertical Alignment) panels


  • Greater color reproduction.
  • Greater viewing angles


  • Costlier.
  • Higher latency.

There are different types of VA panels in the market. The most common ones in gaming monitors are the MVA (multi-domain vertical alignment) and the AMVA (Advanced MVA).

When it comes to high contrast ratios, MVA panels have better technology than IPS screens. They also offer you better viewing angles than TN panels. The color quality is not good compared to IPS. They also have slow response times compared to TN screens.

That is where AMVA stepped in beautifully. They have improved color accuracy alongside the high contrast ratios. Its viewing angles, while still better than TN panels are still a notch below IPS panels. The response times are still slower. There are features such as a monitor’s Overdrive function, which has made VA response times faster. That is the reason you will find the VA panels being used in gaming monitors, especially the curved ultra-wide displays.

6. Input Lag

Input lag, measured in milliseconds, is the time that your monitor will take to respond to your command. It is the time difference when you press your keyboard, controller, or mouse and the time your screen displays your commands.

Imagine throwing a ball, and the action takes half a second or more to appear on the screen. Input lag is vital for a good gaming monitor. And you want it to be less. You do not have to be a pro gamer to want to reduce it. Even when playing alone, it is not pleasant. You require instant responses to commands because a noticeable delay will prove a challenge to playing fast games. Your monitor should immediately respond once you press a key.

For most devices, however, the manufacturers will not state the input lag. It is the reason you should research thoroughly on the features before purchasing your monitor.

How do you reduce input lag?

  • Turn on game mode. You will likely find this in factory settings. Then you can fine-tune the settings to your liking.
  • Use higher fps. It gives your monitor a better retrieval chance of the latest commands. Do not forget to have the fps a little higher than the refresh rate (Hz).
  • Press CTRL+SHIFT=N. You will see the SIM number in the right corner of the monitor, usually as number ms. Adjust to a lower SIM number (10 milliseconds or less), which leads to a lower lag.
  • 1080p resolution is ideal if your delay is constant.
  • Use full screen.
  • Tune the shadow details a bit.
  • Turn on reduce buffering then turn off triple buffering.
  • Don’t use ambient occlusion.
  • Turn off dynamic reflections.

7. Response time

How quickly does it take a pixel on a monitor to change from one color or shade to another? That is what response time is all about. We measure it in milliseconds. For instance, the response time measures how long it takes to change from black to white and vice versa. It also measures how long it will take to change from one shade of gray to another.

In simple words, this is what determines the clarity and accuracy of an object on your screen. The best monitors have a low response time, which will give you faster actions with little or no input lag. Higher response time will provide you with the very opposite.

TN monitors have a response time of about one millisecond. The newer IPS monitors, on the other hand, have a slower response time of 4ms. For gamers, keeping the response time low is crucial so that you can get to show off those quick reflexes.

Low response times and the slow-moving images may give you blurred images on your screen resulting from motion blur or ghosting. And what exactly do motion blur and ghosting mean?

  • Motion blur

Faster response time often results in motion blur. Yes, too much of it is not good either. It results from a lack of enough time for pixels to switch colors leading to blurred images on your screen. It may be particularly unpleasant if you suffer from motion sickness.

  • Ghosting

A simple explanation for ghosting is the scenario where images change way too slow. Probably you have seen the effect where one picture sort of inserts into the other. The result is usually a ghost-like image on your monitor. Ghosting affects your gaming experience. The interference on the new images distorts your game, making it slow and unplayable.

8. Viewing angle

The larger the viewing angle, the better. Some people play games in front of their monitors, but your buddies may join. You then have to play around the monitor. A monitor’s viewing angle will help you know the views for a better vantage point.

You determine the viewing angles of a screen from its horizontal and vertical angles. Closer to 180 degrees, viewing angles means better viewing experience from the sides of the monitor or from above and below.

For example, let’s say the specs of the viewing angle are 180/150. The first number marks the horizontal viewing position. It means that you can see 180 degrees from the sides, and up and down, you can go 150 degrees.

9. G-Sync and FreeSync

The best monitors are either G-Sync or FreeSync enabled or both. These technologies keep the monitors running smoothly by keeping the frames per second (fps) smooth and minimizing input lag. They also prevent screen tearing.

Will G-Sync make any difference in your screen? G-Sync and FreeSync work by eliminating any overlaps between the screen’s refresh rate and the frames received from the graphics cards (GPU). A computer that has G-Sync and FreeSync will work faster and provide clearer images.

Let’s say you have a 144 Hz monitor. With G-Sync, it will change to maybe 140, 135, or 143 Hz monitor as you play. The refresh rate thus changes from time to time, depending on the GPU performance. This PC ‘adapts’ to its surroundings to work better.

Do the two have any discernible difference?

NVIDIA makes G-Sync, and it requires an NVIDIA GPU. The tech being inbuilt makes the monitor more expensive. NVIDIA were the pioneers of this technology in union with Acer, Asus, and AOC. Remarkable as their technology is, the disadvantage is that you have to have G-Sync compatible hardware. And that can take you back $100-$300.

FreeSync, on the other hand, is an AMD product, and other manufacturers are allowed to use it, making the monitors less expensive. You may also only need a screen that has a DisplayPort 1.2a (and above), and you are good to go. Currently, Realtek, Novatek, and Mstar are the third-party manufacturers that make the compatible FreeSync hardware. Such competition is always good for pricing.

10. Connectors

A monitor has to have inputs and outputs to work.

  • DisplayPort 1.4- It is among the most popular ports for video/audio transfer.
  • HDMI 1.4 OR 2.0- You can’t compare its refresh rates to that of DisplayPort 1.4, but it still offers an excellent transfer of audio/video. It is useful for mid-range PCs.
  • 5 mm Audio Out- Creatively made so that you can use speakers and headphones straight to the monitor. You won’t have to use the PC ports.
  • You may find monitors with other connectors like the 3.5 mm audio, but the abovementioned are enough for the gaming basics.

11. How much are you willing to spend?

D you have a great PC? Do you feel compelled to buy a monitor that complements it, maybe a 2160p? When you are new, the cost is also something to keep in mind. You can get all the best devices for your rig, but you have to spend big. Sometimes you may spend on the wrong component.

Gaming monitors can cost you a decent $100 or less. You can also decide to go tenfold and buy one at $1000. It depends whether you are going for aesthetics, or maybe you have a specific feature in mind that will upgrade your gaming system.

Here is a breakdown on the different pricing categories

I. Good Budget monitors- They range from $100-$500.

II. Mid-range monitors- $600-$800.

III. High-end build- Over $1000. You may go a little lower to $800.

  • Aesthetics

Sometimes prettiness and functionality go hand in hand, but other times you will be disappointed. Are you looking for beauty? These specs will point you in the right direction:

  • IPS- Its beautiful color reproduction and excellent viewing angles will be enchanting.
  • HDR and in-depth color array- It may take you some searching to find this but will be worth it when it settles on your desk.
  • 4K- Talk about clearness and sharpness.
  • Response time- A response time of 5 ms or less gives you an unforgettable gaming experience.
  • G-Sync/FreeSync– Although optional, particularly for budget monitors, it provides you real gameplay smoothness.
  • Functionality

Lovers of functionality over aesthetics watch out for these factors when shopping:

  • Refresh rate- Nothing less than 120 Hz,
  • Response time- should not exceed 3 ms.
  • G-Sync and FreeSync
  • Resolution- 1080p for cheap options and 1440p from mid-range monitors.
  • HDR and deep color array- Optional.

12. Backlighting

The popular LED backlighting is bound to catch your eye here. These screens are compact and light, produce lesser heat, and they warm up quicker. You can’t compare them with the old-fashioned CCFLs, which have mercury, are cold, use more power.

13. Ergonomic Flexibility

Wouldn’t it be a shame for a gamer to buy a striking gaming monitor only to put it on the floor or an old desk or even worse on books? The platform where you are going to put it is as crucial as any other factor. Do you have a stable and well-placed platform? By well-placed, I mean a level where your neck won’t be hurting every time you finish gaming.

Buying a good monitor stand or desk may save not only your gameplay but also your health.

Many budget or mid-range monitors only allow you a little twist or tilt. Get a first-rate monitor, and you may tilt, twist, swivel, and other lovely stuff, which should be a great comfort.

14. Do I need more than a single monitor?

I don’t think that anyone needs two monitors for gaming. Of course, maybe you need the other for the internet, chatting with other gamers, documents, among other things. If that is the case, there is no problem at all.

Playing games on two monitors will mean that you have a bezel in the middle, thin as it may be; it still obscures your view ruining your fun and visibility. It also means you have to play with fewer fps when sharing the graphic card between two monitors.

Make sure your GPU supports two monitors if you plan on buying.

Do you want to know how monitors evolved for 100 years from CRTs to great OLEDs? Let’s dive in.

Types of Monitors

We will talk about the following monitors. Some of them are common, while others will be harder or costlier to get.

1. Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)

2. Liquid Crystal Display(LCD)

3. TFT Monitor

4. Light Emitting Diodes (LED)

5. DLP Monitors

6. Plasma Screen Monitors

7. OLED Monitors

1. CRT Monitors

Being the pioneer monitors, you can’t talk about monitors without including them. From the black and white ones to the colored ones, they have been around a century. There is also a sudden enthusiasm among tech technicians about CRTs in 2019!

The Cathode Ray Tubes used electrons to transfer images that they got from the antennas. The CRT later incorporated CRTs with phosphorus and a cannon where the image passed, and the color TV came to be.

The bigger question is, can you play modern games on CRT monitors? Unless it is for experimental purposes or as a collector, I don’t think the game appearance will be amazing. Some claim the Sony TrinitronFW900 is a great CRT monitor for gaming with its resolutions and low latency, but it is colossal, quite hefty (92 pounds), or almost impossible to get.


  • Resolution and low latency. You don’t need to rescale the objects on the screen.
  • Aspect ratio.
  • Black-level and contrast. This means that you can watch comfortably in dark areas.
  • Quick response time making them great for quick-moving images.
  • Cost.


  • Lack of Sharpness.
  • The CRT has the Moire effect in color TV, where you see a series of lines that seem overlaid. They can be disturbing.
  • They do not work well in bright locations.
  • The spherical shape of the older models is not appealing.
  • CRTs emit electrical, magnetic, and electromagnetic fields.

2. LCD Monitors

With its thinner structure, it conjures images through a sequence of monochrome pixels that display images through light. They are everywhere. Apart from gaming monitors, you get them in almost every household appliance calculator included.


  • Lightweight.
  • Use little space and can be fitted almost anywhere.
  • Use lesser power than CRTs.
  • It offers around 165 degrees of viewing angle.
  • Long life span.
  • Work well in brightly lit locations.


  • Less contrast than CRTs because of the little black-quality.
  • Low response time for rapid moving images.

3. TFT Monitor

It is a variation of the LCD monitor. With TFTs, you have a larger screen that allows the combination of some excellent CRT tech with modern LCD tech. For example, the transmission of images is not done in a pixelated way. The result is an LCD monitor with high resolutions.

4. LED Monitors

LED monitors will be more energy-efficient, saving 20% more power than LCDs. If you still have a CRT monitor get an LED or LCD to save power.


  • Excellent dynamism and resolution.
  • Colorful and life-like images.
  • High-resolution images that are visible from far.
  • More energy efficient.
  • Long life span.
  • They are very energy efficient. They can save up to 70% of the power consumed by Plasma TVs.
  • Great viewing angle.


  • Low quality LED monitors are toxic to the environment.

5. DLP Monitor

If you are a high definition enthusiast, DLP has the highest among monitors. It produces images using DMD or Digital Micro-mirror devices, where about 2 million micro-mirrors control the light. It will be an ideal screen for gamers and video editors.


  • You can easily maintain DLP projectors.
  • It Produces colorful and sharper images. It doesn’t have bigger spaces between pixels.
  • You also get accurate pictures with no shadows.


  • It has fewer pixels.
  • LCD is brighter.

6. Plasma Screen Monitors

They produce big images and excellent color through fluorescent sheets or cameras that are inside. The balance between contrast and brightness enables high resolutions and sharper images.


  • You can have them in bigger sizes.
  • Excellent color accuracy.
  • Great contrast ratio. They can display a deeper black color.
  • It has excellent motion tracking tech and little lag.


  • Use more power, and that means more heat produced than LCDs.
  • Shorter life span than LCDs.

7. OLED Monitor

They show images using organic light-emitting diodes.


  • The organic layers of OLEDs are thinner and flexible than both LCDs and LEDs.
  • It produces its light, meaning that it does not need backlighting like LCDs. They use less power than LCDs as a result.
  • You can get bigger versions of OLEDs because the materials used are easier to use.
  • They have a more significant field of view than LCDs.


  • The blue light OLEDs have short life spans than red and green OLED films. LCDs, on the other hand, last longer.
  • Expensive to produce because the materials don’t come cheap.
  • The monitor spoils easily when in contact with liquids like water.


Finding a monitor that fits your gaming needs is a lot easier when you have the tips. Panel size, screen size, aspect ratio, type of monitor, resolution, and response time are some of the factors to consider when buying a monitor. It is prudent to find a monitor that is also great for your health, especially your eyes.

The list provided is not conclusive, but it is more of a parameter to use when you are searching.

  • Authentic reporting, expertise, and voice.

  • Driven to continually improve the audience experience.

  • Approachable, by explaining today’s technology in everyday terms.