Best gaming monitors of 2018

The best gaming monitors will transport you to another dimension

best gaming monitors asus pg279q

best gaming monitors badgeYour gaming PC is only a third of the equation. Not only do you need hardware to create the most immersive experience possible, you also need reliable hardware to control your actions in those environments. But you need an exceptional viewing portal into those virtual worlds too, so we’ve generated what we believe are the best gaming monitors you can purchase right now. They’re not cheap, but they also don’t rocket into four-figure price tags.

Most of what you will find include Nvidia’s G-SYNC technology, which synchronizes the refresh rate of the display with the frames-per-second output of GeForce-branded graphics cards/chips. This synchronization eliminates the ugly screen tearing created when both components aren’t in sync, and eliminates stutter and latency issues stemming from using V-Sync. AMD’s version for Radeon cards is called FreeSync.

Our list of displays also mostly rely on In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology, with provides wide viewing angles and rich colors. It’s become the standard, and is newer than the previous Twisted Nematic (TN) technology used in displays for many years.

When looking for the best gaming monitors, panel technology and refresh rate control are important factors in the decision-making process. Refresh rates, resolutions, brightness levels, and gray-to-gray response times are also critical. The ports will depend on the output of your PC, but DisplayPort and HDMI are typically the standard inputs on most monitors.

That all said, let’s get started!

At a glance

Best gaming monitors Category Our rating
Asus ROG Swift PG279Q Best gaming monitor overall 4 out of 5
Acer Predator Xb1 Gaming XB271HK Best 4K gaming monitor In progress
Acer Predator Z35 Best ultrawide gaming monitor 3 out of 5
Asus MG279Q Best FreeSync gaming monitor In progress
AOC G2770PQU Best budget gaming monitor 4 out of 5

Asus ROG Swift PG279Q

The best

best gaming monitors

Why you should buy this: This display provides a great visual experience for GeForce gamers, especially after overclocking the refresh rate for a DisplayPort connection.

Who’s it for: PC gamers with a GeForce graphics chip and a budget capped at $900.

How much will it cost: $859

Why we picked the Asus ROG Swift PG279Q:

This Republic of Gamers-branded display from Asus provides a QHD resolution, and a refresh rate you can overclock to 165Hz. This combination can be viewed through a DisplayPort connection, while you’ll get a QHD resolution at 60Hz through an HDMI connection. This panel has one of the highest brightness levels in our batch and supports a four-millisecond response time to boot.

Other features packed into this display include a handful of ports, and built-in GamePlus components such as a timer, FPS counter, crosshairs, and more. GameVisual provides six presets that optimize the screen for different types of games and media, such as RTS/RPG, FPS, sRGB for photo/video edition, Cinema, and a few others. This panel great for a multi-monitor layout too thanks to its super-narrow bezels.

Read our full Asus Rog Swift PG729Q review

Display size (diagonal): 27 inches
Display type: In-Plane Switching
Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 @ 165Hz via DisplayPort (overclocked)
2,560 x 1,440 @ 60Hz via HDMI
Refresh rate control: G-SYNC
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Pixel pitch: 0.233mm
Maximum brightness: 350 nits
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Response time: 4ms gray to gray
Supported colors: 16.7 million
Audio: 2x two-watt speakers
Ports: 1x HDMI
1x DisplayPort
1x 3.5mm headphone jack
2x USB-A (Gen 1)

Acer Predator XB1 Gaming XB271HK

The best 4K gaming monitor

best gaming monitors

Why you should buy this: It’s a great 27-inch solution that supports an UHD resolution at 60Hz, and Nvidia’s G-SYNC technology.

Who’s it for: PC gamers with a GeForce graphics chip and a budget capped at $800

How much will it cost: $700

Why we picked the Predator XB1 Gaming XB271HK:

This display serves up an UHD resolution in two flavors: with a 60Hz refresh rate through a DisplayPort connection, and a 24Hz refresh rate through an HDMI connection. Otherwise, the standard refresh rate is 60Hz, which presumably applies to every resolution from QHD and lower. These resolutions are backed by Nvidia’s G-SYNC technology that only works on Nvidia’s graphics chips, and a decent response time of four milliseconds.

Acer’s panel provides plenty of ports, including four full-size USB-A (Gen. 1) ports to help better manage all the cables running across your desktop space. It also includes Acer’s GameView technology, which adds on-screen crosshairs, adjustable dark boost levels, a timer, and more. Predator EyeProtect adds a second feature layer with flicker-free backlighting, a blue light filter, low-dimming technologies, and other eye-strain-reducing technologies for long gaming sessions.

Display size (diagonal): 27 inches
Display type: In-Plane Switching
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 @ 60Hz via DisplayPort
3,840 x 2,160 @ 24Hz via HDMI
Refresh rate control: G-SYNC
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Pixel pitch: Unknown
Maximum brightness: 300 nits
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Response time: 4ms
Supported colors: 1.07 billion
Audio: 2x speakers
Ports: 1x HDMI
1x DisplayPort
4x USB-A (Gen 1)

Acer Predator Z35

The best ultrawide gaming monitor

best gaming monitors

Why you should buy this: The Predator Z35 provides an awesome ultrawide experience for GeForce gamers wanting a 35-inch panel, a high resolution, and an overclocked refresh rate.

Target audience: PC gamers with a GeForce card wanting an ultrawide experience without the four-number price.

How much will it cost: $840

Why we picked the Acer Predator Z35:

The Predator Z35 is a huge, curved monitor for the price, and it shoves in Nvidia’s G-SYNC technology to boot. The resolution is a weird 2,560 x 1,080, technically making it a ultra-wide Full HD-class device. But that’s okay: there’s plenty to love at that size and resolution, and given that you can overclock the refresh rate to 200Hz via a DisplayPort connection, you get a lot of bang for the big bucks. But hey, if you’re willing to dish out another $200, an ultra-wide QHD version has your name on it here.

Outside the sheer size, curvature, and resolution, this panel is packed with game-centric features. There are five USB-A (Gen. 1) ports for starters along with a high contrast ratio, a four-millisecond response time, and support for 16.7 million colors. The two nine-watt speakers are backed by DTS Sound and Acer TrueHarmony technology to complement the high-definition graphics. Other goodies include on-screen crosshairs, dark boost level adjustment, precise color adjustments, and more.

Read our full Predator Z35 review

Display size (diagonal): 35 inches
Curvature: 2000R
Display type: Vertical Alignment
Resolution: 2,560 x 1,080 @ 200Hz via DisplayPort (overclocked)
2,560 x 1,080 @ 60Hz via HDMI
Refresh rate control: G-SYNC
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Pixel pitch: 0.32025mm
Maximum brightness: 300 nits
Contrast ratio: 3,000:1
Response time: 4ms
Supported colors: 16.7 million
Audio: 2x nine-watt speakers
Ports: 1x DisplayPort
1x HDMI
5x USB-A (Gen1)

Asus MG279Q

The best FreeSync gaming monitor

best gaming monitors asus mg279q

Why you should buy this: The MG279Q is a great, affordable solution for Radeon gamers, packing a QHD resolution at 144Hz if its connected via DisplayPort.

Target audience: AMD Radeon card owners with a budget capped at $600.

How much will it cost: $538

Why we picked the Asus MG279Q:

Here’s the only display in our batch that supports AMD’s FreeSync technology, which will adjust the refresh rate to the output of a supporting AMD Radon graphics chip. The Asus panel is capable of supporting a QHD resolution at a 144Hz refresh rate through a DisplayPort connection, and a Full HD resolution at a 120Hz refresh rate via an HDMI connection.

Asus says this panel is eSports-ready due to its highly adjustable design. It also includes exclusive technologies to improve the viewing experience, such as a blue light filter, and flicker-free backlighting. It even provides a five-way navigation joystick to surf through the display’s settings, and access special features like on-screen crosshairs, a timer, an FPS counter, and more.

Display size (diagonal): 27 inches
Display type: In-Plane Switching
Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 @ 144Hz via DisplayPort
1,920 x 1,080 @ 120Hz via HDMI
Refresh rate control: FreeSync
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Pixel pitch: 0.233mm
Maximum brightness: 350 nits
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Response time: 4ms gray to gray
Supported colors: 16.7 million
Audio: 2x two-watt speakers
Ports: 1x HDMI
1x MHL
1x Mini DisplayPort
1x DisplayPort
2x USB-A (Gen1)

AOC G2770PQU

The best budget gaming monitor

best gaming monitors

Why you should buy this: It’s a great 27-inch monitor for less than $260 with a fast response time and plenty of connectivity options.

Target audience: Any gamer who can’t afford to sink more than $250 on an external monitor.

How much will it cost: $249

Why we picked the AOC G2770PQU:

This is the only display on our list that relies on older panel technology. You won’t get the same full viewing angles, but this display makes up for that loss by providing the fastest response time of the group at one millisecond. It also has the largest assortment of ports ranging from old-school VGA connectivity to the more recent DisplayPort v1.2 port. There are even four USB-A (2.0) ports to clean up your desktop environment.

The display’s big selling point is its 144Hz refresh rate, but there’s no built-in technology to sync that rate with graphics chips built by Nvidia or AMD. The one-millisecond response time is another big feature, which means a pixel can switch from one color to another and then back to the first color within a span of one millisecond. The result is cleaner movement on screen and less “smearing” or “ghosting.”

Read our full AOC G2770PQu review

Display size (diagonal): 27 inches
Display type: Twisted Nematic
Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 @ 144Hz via DL-DVI, DisplayPort
Refresh rate control: None
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Pixel pitch: 0.311mm
Maximum brightness: 300 nits
Contrast ratio: 50M:1 dynamic
Response time: 1ms gray to gray
Supported colors: 16.7 million
Audio: 2x two-watt speakers
Ports: 1x VGA
1x DL-DVI
1x HDMI
1x DisplayPort
4x USB-A 2.0