You spent hundreds on a graphics card to render games at the highest detail possible, so why skimp on the display? These screens aren’t like the monitors you use at work to write emails and look at cat pictures, they’re tuned for crisp images and perfect response times, with refresh rates faster than the human eye, special features that will keep you alive longer in Counter Strike, and images so fine you’ll see individual blades of grass in Skyrim. If your rig can handle it.
The 27-inch AOC G2770PQU feels a little generic, from the parts used for the frame around the screen to the buttons and menu system, but it makes up for it with excellent 1080p image quality and an impressively smooth 144Hz refresh rate. For these reasons alone it would be a good choice for gaming, but it also comes packed with a lot of calibration options that make a noticeable difference in performance, an ergonomic VESA stand, a bevy of useful ports, and deep, inky black levels.
Acer’s XR341CK is a relatively huge ultra-widescreen curved monitor with integrated speakers. It’s designed to be a one-stop-shop for your desktop input output needs thanks to an included USB 3.0 hub, and it’s compatible the HDMI, MHL, and DisplayPort. The resolution is “only” 3,440 x 1,440 (a 21:9 design that’s slightly less crisp than 4K), but the IPS panel includes 100 percent RGB reproduction and 178-degree viewing angles. The six-axis stand looks unlike anything else on the market, and the monitor is compatible with AMD’s FreeSync for stutter-free gaming performance. All those features will cost you, though — the XR341CK is currently going for between $1000 and $1100.
The Dell P2715Q won’t turn any heads sitting on your desk; unlike some of the flashier, gaming-oriented displays with extraneous grills and lights, this 27-inch 4K Dell monitor is totally unassuming until you turn it on. The image quality is incredible, especially when you consider the relatively low price point, and the monitor feels durable and well built. The advanced settings are a little on the limited side, but still good enough to calibrate the picture as you desire, and Dell backs the display’s quality with a three-year warranty. This is the way to go if you want 4K on a budget.
If you want to run your games at the highest framerate possible and see the results on your monitor, the Asus ROG (for “Republic of Gamers”) Swift PG279Q is the one you want. The 27-inch panel can set its refresh rate to as high as 165MHz, and the NVIDIA G-SYNC system makes screen tearing a thing of the past (so long as you have a compatible GTX graphics card). The physical design of the monitor is also surprisingly unique: custom air vents keep the housing cool, and the custom stand includes LED lights to match your rig and accessories. It can even overlay a custom crosshair for shooter games. The ROG Swift PG278Q is available for $800 at the time of writing.
Available at: Amazon
If you’re looking for a high-end monitor that doesn’t scream “I have a 2.3 K/D ratio,” check out the S34E790C from Samsung. Easily the best-looking monitor on this list, it also includes some high-end features like a 3,440 x 1,440 21:9 resolution, a 4-port USB hub, integrated speakers, and a “game mode” adjusts contrast on the fly. The 34-inch curved screen is described as “high gloss,” so it might not be the best choice if you have to game in a brightly-lit room. If you already have a desk mount, the S34E790C is VESA-compatible. It goes for around $1000.