The best gaming monitor
No gaming PC is complete without a monitor to showcase your favorite games in action. High-performing gaming monitors may have up to 4K resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR) support for vibrant and crisp images. In addition, a monitor with a high refresh rate provides smoother and clearer images. Other features, like frameless displays or curved screens, can add a sleek touch to your monitor.
Our favorite pick by ASUS stands out for its fast response rate and IPS technology. To learn more about gaming monitors and their specs, continue reading our buying guide.
Considerations when choosing gaming monitors
Finding the right gaming monitor for your battle station means taking a look at the refresh rate, resolution, screen size, and response time.
More is more when it comes to resolution, which determines the number of pixels on your monitor. Most gaming monitors feature at least 1,080p resolution, but the most coveted monitors feature 4K screens, measuring 3,840 x 2,160 -- four times the number of pixels in a 1,080p screen.
Though you sit right in front of your monitor, you should still consider screen size when weighing your choices. Most gaming PCs fall between 24 and 32 inches, measured from one corner to the opposite corner.
Put simply, this is the number of times per second your monitor updates its image. This is measured in hertz (Hz), so a monitor with a refresh rate of 60 Hz (the common baseline for computer monitors) would refresh 60 times per second. Most gamers generally seek out monitors with refresh rates of up to 120 Hz for the smoothest possible images. Buying a monitor with a higher refresh rate also ensures that you get the most out of games with high frame rates.
This spec can be confusing, as it sounds similar to the refresh rate. The response time of a monitor measures how long it takes an individual pixel to change. Gaming monitors generally have extremely low response times of one to two milliseconds.
Beyond their screen size and resolution, gaming monitors also vary in their overall design and additional features.
One coveted characteristic is HDR support, which brings out the colors and contrast of images, especially when you're watching movies. HDR support is uncommon among games, but if you plan to watch movies and shows on your monitor, this may be a must-have feature for you.
The monitor itself may feature a curved design for a more immersive gaming experience. Some people find that this reduces eye strain since their vision remains perpendicular to the screen -- and at the end of the day, it just looks cool.
Another impressive feature is a frameless or "no bezel" design, which makes for a smooth edge-to-edge screen. Not only does this look flashy, but it also allows for seamless multi-monitor setups.
Gaming monitor prices
Entry-level gaming monitors cost from $300 to $500 and typically fall short on one or more features. Mid-range monitors for $500 to $750 offer improved quality and additional features, and the best models cost from $750 to $1,200 for a state-of-the-art gaming experience.
Q. What connectivity options do gaming monitors have?
A. This depends on the model, but in general, gaming monitors offer more video connectivity options than standard monitors.
Q. Are all games compatible with wide screen and ultrawide displays?
A. No -- this depends on what aspect ratios a game supports. The widescreen aspect ratio is 16:9, while the ultrawide aspect ratio is 21:9.
Gaming monitors we recommend
Best of the best: ASUS ROG Swift 34" IPS 4ms G-Sync Gaming Monitor
Our take: The IPS display makes for colorful gaming, and the moderate response time keeps everything looking smooth.
What we like: As long as you keep the brightness low, the backlight is very easy on the eyes. The gentle curve is noticeable but not overwhelming.
What we dislike: Like many IPS monitors, "IPS glow" is a persistent issue.
Best bang for your buck: BenQ 28" 4K HDR10 Gaming Monitor
Our take: This reasonably priced 4K HDR monitor comes from one of the industry's most trusted brands.
What we like: With a one millisecond response time and vivid images, this affordable monitor looks great.
What we dislike: The 60 Hz refresh rate can cause some games to suffer and may lead to screen tearing or lag.
Our take: Despite the price, this is a reliable curved ultrawide monitor that doesn't sacrifice performance for design.
What we like: With a 144 Hz refresh rate and one millisecond response time, this is a monitor made for smooth, high-speed gaming.
What we dislike: Backlight bleed can be distracting.
Peter McPherson is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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