Gaming monitors are often overlooked when talking about essential gaming gear.
But the truth is that having a display optimized for gaming and with low response time, can really enhance your performance.
And a UHD curved widescreen can make your gaming sessions incredibly immersive.
There is no shortage of great gaming monitors on the market. But we do believe that we have managed to find to best among them.
This list will feature what we believe to be the best ones in 2019. All thoroughly tested and reviewed by our dedicated gaming squad.
We tried to have a mix of competitive, casual and high-end screens for this list.
Our Top 3 Picks
Budget strecthed thin? Check out the best budget monitors instead.
Best 24” & 27” Monitors
1. ASUS ROG PG279Q
27-inches / 2560 x 1440 / IPS Panel / 144Hz refresh rate / 4ms response time
- Excellent balance between competitiveness & beautiful graphics
- IPS panel creates absolutely stunning graphics
- Quite powerful for an IPS monitor
- Not as competitive as most TN panel displays
It is incredibly rare to see an IPS panel gaming monitor that also have very competitive capabilities, but the PG279Q from Asus ROG is precisely that. The IPS panel and QuadHD display ensure you get some of the sharpest and most vibrant imagery that a PC monitor can produce — all the while staying very competitive for the more serious gamer.
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IPS panels provide bolder colors, a wider viewing angle, and overall more beautiful images. However, that technology comes at the cost of refresh rate and response time which is why they are usually not a big hit for professional gamers. That is what makes this beauty so unique; it can max out at a whopping 165Hz refresh rate which is almost unheard of among IPS panels, giving you the best of both worlds quite literally. It also has a response time of 4ms which compared to tournament monitors isn’t awe-inspiring but still more than enough for most gamers. It is probably not ideal for first-person shooters like CS:GO but 4ms response time is still fast enough for most competitive games and won’t leave you at a disadvantage.
It is not only in performance but also in features that the PG279Q tries to have it all. It has certified flicker-free tech, Asus eye care for reduced eye-strain, and Nvidia G-Sync. It even has some additional gamer-centric features such as the Asus GamePlus which enhances the imagery for gaming and a unique crosshair overlay. The crosshair overlay gives you four different Asus-exclusive crosshair options for shooters although I will say that competitively these crosshairs are not that great but a fun feature nonetheless.
In terms of design, this is textbook Asus ROG quality with slim-edged screen and a durable and robust feel. It comes with full tilt, pivot, swivel, and height adjustment which is always great. It also has two back-end speakers that are surprisingly good and will let you enjoy gaming without a headset strapped on at all times.
The Asus ROG PG279Q is for those gamers that cannot decide between immersive singleplayer gaming and competitive games. Although the response time is worse than most tournament monitors, it is still great. And combined with the insane 165Hz refresh rate and you have a monitor that will help you win and provide you with top-tier colors and image quality.
2. BenQ Zowie XL2740
27-inches / 1980 x 1080 / TN Panel / 240Hz refresh rate / 1ms response time
- Unparalleled performance for competitive gaming
- Removable side shields helps you focus and immerse yourself in the game
- Exceptional quality & very adjustable design
- A bit over the top for casual gamers
BenQ Zowie has almost become synonymous with Esports and high-end gaming over the past few years with them making some of the most popular mice and monitors among professional gamers. It is not surprising that the Zowie XL series is such a hit at tournaments when you take a moment to look at its specifications. Very few gaming monitors can boast with having a 240Hz refresh rate, 1ms GTG response time, and full G-sync and FreeSync features.
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At first glance, it is evident that this screen was developed to be used at professional gaming tournaments. It has a convenient S-switch that allows you to quickly adjust basic settings without having to use any software or on-screen buttons. It also has two blinders on each side that helps you focus on the screen and block all outside distractions.
The Zowie XL27 has very sharp resolution and incredibly vibrant colors, as well as a black equalizer mode and an array of different game modes. The game modes change the color pallets and performance to better fit a specific genre, such as RTS, FPS, MOBA, etc.
There is no doubt in my mind that the XL27 is one of the best and most potent monitors for high-end gamers. If not the best. I would highly recommend it if you want the best of the best and don’t mind paying a bit extra for the privilege.
3. AOC Agon AG271QX
27-inches / 2560 x 1440 / TN Panel / 144Hz refresh rate / 1ms Response time
- Excellent choice for competitive gaming
- Separate controller for media and audio controls
- TN panel causes slight light bleed
AOC has cemented themselves as one of the best in the business when it comes to gaming monitors, and the AOC Agon is perhaps their best competitive option yet. Without being overly expensive, it has some incredibly powerful specifications that will smoothen out your gameplay and give you an advantage over most other players.
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The AOC Agon is very similar to the Asus Strix and which you prefer will ultimately come down to personal preferences as their performance is almost identical. It has a refresh rate of 144Hz, a response time of a single millisecond and adaptive sync to bind it all together. If you are used to a regular PC screen or perhaps even a laptop, then the AOC Agon will blow you away. You don’t know what smooth gameplay is before you play on a true tournament monitor like this one.
In terms of design, there is not much to say. It is simplistic, yet very classy but without anything overly impressive. It is fully adjustable and feels both sturdy and durable.
4. Asus ROG Strix XG27VQ
27-inches / 1980 x 1080 / VA Panel / 144Hz Refresh Rate / 1ms response time
- A LOT of power for your money
- Official monitor series used at BlizzCon
The Asus Strix from Republic of Gamers is another very competitive option with cutting edge performance and an incredibly pleasing design. It is the official screen used at Blizzcon, the yearly con for Blizzard Entertainment that host all of their biggest Esports event such as the Overwatch World Cup and World of Warcraft Arena Championship. So it is not surprising that it is among the best competitive gaming screens on the market today.
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It comes in four different sizes, but we will be focusing on the 27-inch model as that is the most powerful in terms of specifications and also the one used at professional tournaments.
When considering the price tag, I was honestly a bit shocked at how powerful the Asus Strix 1800R is. It has a curved screen that delivers a stunning refresh rate of 144Hz which is very impressive for a curved option. Combined with the adaptive Free-sync technology it provides an incredibly smooth gameplay experience that very few monitors in this price range can match.
The design is absolutely stunning and even come with customizable backlighting with five custom light patterns. This looks incredible when playing in a dark room and while not performance-enhancing it is still a nice touch.
The screen has multiple gaming specific features that you can adjust and customize as you see fit through the DisplayWidget software. Here you can improve the lighting, control the performance, colors, and play around with the game modes.
When testing it out, it is not hard to see why Blizzard chose this monitor for their most significant Esports events. It is an absolute beast that will without a doubt provide you with a competitive edge and overall improve your gaming experience.
5. Asus MG278Q
27-inches / 2560 x 1440 / IPS Panel / 144Hz refresh rate / 1ms response time
- Very powerful refresh rate & response time
- A ton of gaming-centric features such as Eye Care tech, G-sync, and GamePlus hotkey.
The Asus MG27Q is a real dream for the competitive gamer. With a refresh rate of 144Hz and a response time of only 1ms this monitor can give you a very noticeable edge in games like CS:GO or League of Legends. It also has advanced eye-care technology that helps to limit eye strain so you can train for hours on end without hurting your vision in the long haul.
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This gaming display has everything that you could want with its full QHD resolution, astonishing performance, and flicker-free tech. It provides you with incredibly sharp graphics and a lot of quality-of-life features like the Asus Ultra Low Blue Light filter and six different game visual modes. The game modes ensure that the monitor focuses on the critical aspects of the game you are playing and either enhancing the visual look or performance depending on the which you choose.
The design is fairly standard for Asus gaming monitors. It has a clean, simplistic look and can be tilted and twirled in whichever direction you wish.
People often underestimated how much of a difference a proper report and response time can do for your in-game performance, and if you seek to climb the ladder in games like Overwatch or Dota 2, then this is an excellent pick.
6. Dell S2716DGR
27-inches / 2560 x 1440 / TN Panel / 144Hz refresh rate / 1ms response time
- Premium quality
- Top-tier performance
This luxury monitor from Dell is designed for the serious gamer to enhance performance in competitive games and it does that really well. It is a bit more expensive than other comparable displays but it makes up for it in quality and design.
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If all you care about is straight up performance then you will probably be better off investing in a BenQ or Asus monitor. However, if you value quality and design equally high as specifications then the Dell S2716DGR is a perfect choice.
It’s simple, yet stylish design not only looks great but also feel like it could survive a thousand winters. You pay for luxury and that is exactly what you get. The display is also very adjustable and will allow you to set it up to fit your personal preference.
It has everything you need to compete at the highest level with fantastic refresh rate and response time as well as G-Sync to give you a really responsive and smooth experience.
If you feel like you need to treat yourself with a piece of premium gaming equipment that will last for years to come then the this 27-inch VA display by Dell is among your best options.
7. Omen 27 by HP
27-inches / 2560 x 1440 / TN Panel / 165Hz refresh rate / 1ms response time
- Incredibly sharp image quality
- One of the best looking monitors ever created
- Refresh rate & response time ensures a butter-smooth gaming experience
- Expected a slightly high refresh rate from a TN panel in this price range
No matter what factor you value the highest in your PC screen, performance, quality, or design. This 27-inch wonder from Omen will not disappoint. Its design is slim and stylish, and in terms of performance, it is up there with the very best.
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Both graphically and competitively it has close to peak performance, and it is even the official training monitor for the League of Legends Esports team, Immortals. It’s 1ms response time, and 165Hz refresh rate ensures that you gain a competitive edge over your opponents and the QHD resolution provide you with fantastic graphical prowess.
It comes in four different sizes. 24”, 27” 32”, and 34-inches. Obviously, the widescreen has slightly less performance when it comes to the refresh rate, but overall the four different versions have essentially the same specifications. I would recommend the 27-inch version for competitive gaming and the 32” or 34-inch for the most immersive gameplay.
Whether you enjoy fast-paced shooters or immersive singleplayer games, I would highly recommend this excellent gaming display. It has top-tier performance, the essential features, and stellar graphics.
8. ASUS PB278Q
27-inches / 2560 x 1440 / IPS Panel / 75Hz refresh rate / 5ms response time
- IPS panel creates beautiful on-screen imagery
- Great performance for an IPS display in this price range
- Mostly suited for casual gaming
Asus has been a dominant force in the gaming industry for some time now, ever since their introduction of ‘Republic of Gamers’. Even though this is not from the ROG series, it packs an incredible punch and would serve any gamer well. It is a great budget alternative to the Asus MG278Q from ROG.
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This Asus display brings incredibly lifelike graphics, with its full HD 2560 x 1440 and its RGB coloring. The result is quite stunning.
We tested the monitor in its WQHD version, and there is however also a 4k UHD upgrade. But since that requires a very powerful desktop, which a lot of people do not have, we decided to focus on the version which fitted the most people.
The sound quality was the only real disappointment we found when testing this monitor. An optimized sound system would put this display up there with the best of them. But most people, including myself, use either a separate sound system or a headset. So this can be a non-issue.
Where to begin with this feature-filled gaming monitor? As mentioned earlier it has a full 2560×1440 full HD display, which is backed up with sRGB coloring. For those who don’t know, RGB coloring is a color optimizer, which requires a separate cable, but in return bring more advanced colors. Which result in superior graphics.
Asus once again bring their eye care technology, which reduces flickering, causing less eye strain than regular screens.
This monitor also has a 178° wide-viewing angle, which is rarely used in gaming. But makes it an ideal secondary monitor and great for watching movies/series. It basically means that there is no reduction in visuals, no matter which angle you view the monitor from.
It also comes with a fully adjustable mount. This makes sure you can create precisely the gaming setup you want.
The quality is exactly what we expected from Asus. Everything is of admirable quality, everything from the mount to the screen build itself.
The mount has very thick vessels, which give a nice qualitative feeling, but can be quite annoying when trying to use it as a secondary monitor.
It is definitely a great bang for your buck but not exactly ”budget” either. However, we feel that the endless amount of features and high-end specifications do justify its semi-high pricing.
Can be a bad purchase if you do not intend on using its array of features.
9. MSI Optix G27C2
27-inches / 1920 x 1080 / VA Panel / 144Hz refresh rate / 1ms response time
- Tournament-level specifications at a very affordable price
- Has all the most essential gaming features such as FreeSync
- Occasional dead pixel issue
A competitive gaming screen with an affordable price tag? Sounds like a bit much to ask? Well, the MSI Optix 27 provides both excellent response & rich imagery without compromising too much in either direction.
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We didn’t notice any screen tearing issues during our tests on more moderate environments but when you begin to see what the monitor can do there really is some very slight decrease in quality.
Its performance opens up good possibilities as it is balanced enough to be ideal for everyday gamers & the casual user. The 144 Hz refresh & the curved display comes into its own especially if you are playing FPS games.
The monitor has a respectable response rate in game mode. The eye saver mode which reduces the blues helps the monitor be easy on the eyes. This is a feature we quite liked especially on the 27” variant since fatigue can come about really quickly.
Specs wise it’s quite comparable to many other monitors in the market with the full 1080 HD display & a refresh rate of 144 Hz.
It comes equipped with free sync which is a boon for AMD users. Considering the market is flooded with Nvidia this could be looked at as a downside depending on what hardware you are running. The 178 degrees wide viewing angle is also good if you tend to have your mates over.
The color quality is something that can divide opinion based on expectations. Looking at it from the perspective of an entry level non-4K screen this monitor is definitely a good buy. There are 24” & 32” variants as well, but since they are all 1080 and not 4K we would not recommend going over 27” for the best experience. The overall build quality was top notch with bare instances of clouding or dead pixels being reported by users.
While the MSI is not in the budget monitor range, it’s definitely one of the more affordable curved monitor options in the market. Its primary competitor on our list is probably the Viotek which falls into a similar price category.
10. Viotek GN27DB
27-inches / 2560 x 1440 / VA Panel / 144Hz refresh rate / 5ms response time
- Slim & compact design
- Available in all sizes between 24” & 49”
- Response time is a bit lackluster
The brand new curved VA panel monitor from Viotek is an absolute beauty and has some of the best-in-class performance. Boasting impressive competitive features such as a high response and refresh rate as well as Freesync and dedicated game modes.
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The picture is clear and concise and that WQHD VA display grants excellent immersion.
The VA display is slightly inferior in terms of image and color quality compared to IPS options but creates sharp beautiful imagery nonetheless.
A let down was the sound quality. The audio system with this monitor is one of the features that Viotek chose not to focus too much on. Which is a shame but also not a surprise, since this monitor seems too good to be true on paper, for its low cost. We highly recommend you use a separate sound system if you are demanding when it comes to sound quality. That being said, the sound system is not unusable, and a nice feature for those who are not too perfectionistic about audio.
We kept looking for issues with its performance since we expected there to be quite a lot. But in the end, we did not find any real major problems, apart from the sound system.
The monitor has a game mode, although it is a bit lackluster compared to some of the other screens on this list. But still a great feature, which adds a little extra depth to the gaming graphics.
Viotek also found time to add a movie mode to this screen. It is rarely seen, and personally, I do not watch movies/series on my gaming monitor since I prefer using my 4k TV. But when testing it out, it added a nice amount of quality to the picture and did a great job at eliminating backlighting, which can be a concern when watching movies on a gaming monitor.
The monitor has a 60hz refresh rate, which is not outstanding, but just fine for almost any gamer, and is more than most non-gaming PC screens offer.
We cannot say a bad thing about the overall design, as this monitor is quite stunning. However, even though this screen is excellent for its price class, it does not have the qualitative feel that some of the more high-end monitors do. Which is to be expected, but there is a noticeable difference between this and the more expensive picks.
Outstanding value for money, in fact, it is without a doubt one of the best deals you can find on a 27-inch curved WQHD display.
11. Zowie XL2411P
24-inches / 1980 x 1080 / TN Panel / 144Hz refresh rate / 1ms response time
- Best in class performance
- Incredible value for money
BenQ has time and time again proved that they are one of the masters at making affordable, competitive gaming gear. There is a reason that Zowie monitors remain the most popular option among professional gamers around the world. Despite its stellar performance, it is quite affordable and offers exceptional value for your money.
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The second I hooked this up and went into my first game of CS-GO I felt the raw power this screen has. And my god is it amazing for fast paced FPS gaming!
The combination of 144hz refresh rate, motion blur reduction and 1ms response time makes this screen the best competitive gaming monitor on the market. And these are not just specifications. You can honestly feel how insanely well this screen performs in action.
It’s clear that it is targeted at fast-paced gaming such as FPS’ and Mobas, and it does that perfectly. But it is also an ideal choice for ordinary gaming.
A nice addition is the flicker free and enhanced blue light. This means you can play for endless hours without much eyestrain, which any hardcore gamer will appreciate.
The only sad thing about the BenQ Zowie monitor series is that they have yet to make a real high-end expensive gaming monitor. Which is a real shame, since we are sure they would be capable of making the best one to date.
This screen has been developed in cooperation with professional FPS gamers. And this is something you can feel when gaming on this thing. This is my go-to screen for almost any game type, especially competitive. And I will recommend it to anyone who takes gaming seriously and seeks to perform at their highest level. If you’re a casual gamer I would still recommend it, but not as firmly, because it’s harder to appreciate what this screen does if you’re not playing to perform. But even if you aren’t always looking to play competitively, this screen makes the gameplay so unbelievably smooth.
Despite being quite cheap it has top-tier performance that can compete with options twice or three times as expensive.
The <1ms response time is the most efficient Hz rate out of any monitor in this price range.
The monitor has been developed solely for eSports, but it is also optimized for console gaming. And we would definitely recommend this as a console monitor if you can replace your current TV setup. Since it will definitely outperform your tv in most aspects.
It has a full HD 1080p display, and while BenQ has not focused on the graphics much. It still does a marvelous job compared to an ordinary PC screen. But if you mostly play grand, beautiful games such as The Witcher 3, we would recommend you look into other options.
It has built-in speakers, but we are not sure why. Almost all competitive gamers use a headset or maybe a surround sound system when gaming. Since built-in audio speakers cannot grant the information needed in fps gaming in particular.
The Zowie screen naturally has a reduction in blue light. This is to ensure less eye-strain during more extended gaming sessions.
We cannot think of a better value for money purchase than this PC screen. Its performance is on par with even the most high-end of gaming monitors. The price is close to a budget display.
12. AOC G2460PF
24-inches / 1920 x 1080 / TN Panel / 144Hz refresh rate / 1ms response time
- High value for money
- Refresh rate, response time & FreeSync provides a very smooth gaming experience
A lot of gaming sites and magazines have recommended the AOC monitor, as one of the best gaming display options out there. And with its affordable price and gaming-focused performance, we can see why.
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While it does not have the image quality of the Asus PB27, it does have above average graphics and for the price range, it has extraordinarily powerful specifications for competitive gaming.
What we need to focus on with this screen is not the graphics, however, but the performance. It is optimized for gaming, which is done brilliantly. The 144hz refresh rate grants a delay-free gaming experience and some of the smoothest gameplay imaginable. It is one of the best screens on the market for 60fps gaming. This is all backed up by the AMD free sync technology, which also increases its capabilities in fast-paced gaming
In other words, this is a gamers dream, with a highly reasonable price.
The prominent feature is the aforementioned 1ms response time, paired with the AMD free sync. Which are both features that are incredibly handy in a competitive gaming environment?
It comes with a stand which can be rotated and mounted, whichever you prefer.
The quality is, for the most part, high. The monitor build frame looks and feels rock solid. However, the stand does feel a bit cheap but is not something we ever noticed or had any issues with.
In general, the quality is more than you would usually get for this amount of money.
This monitor is a real bargain, and it is an opportunity for gamers on a budget to get a hold of a real high performing competitive monitor.
The reasonable price and it’s fully adjustable stand also makes for a great secondary monitor.
Best Ultrawide Monitors
1. LG 34UC79G-B
34-inches / 2560 x 1080 / IPS Panel / 144Hz refresh rate / 5ms response time
- Refresh rate & IPS panel works well together to create smooth and sharp graphics
- Pretty affordable for a 34-inch ultrawide monitor with these specifications
- No built-in speakers
This stunning 34-inch curved IPS display from LG proves that you don’t have to pay a thousand bucks for a high-quality ultrawide monitor. The IPS panel provides vibrant, beautiful colors while its stunning 144Hz refresh rate ensures an incredibly smooth gaming experience.
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It has incredible blacks/whites which create a beautiful contrast in the gameplay.
The free sync feature combined with the high refresh rate creates a seamless and smooth gaming experience. It also makes it a decently potent option for competitive games as well.
The curved design combined with the IPS panel creates truly beautiful images and really enhances the immersive feel you want from an ultrawide display.
There is a little backlight bleeding present, but that is mostly an issue if you watch movies/series on your PC monitor. We also feel that even then, it is not a deal breaker. It is very normal with IPS panels and just a small sacrifice you have to make for the improved image quality.
The monitor is 21:9 regarding measures, which is perfect for an ultrawide monitor.
A decent game mode option is also available, which adjust the colors to be more fitting for a gaming environment. While it is not the best game mode we have seen, it does make a difference in making your graphics look better and more fluent. It also offers a unique crosshair feature as well as a black stabilizer mode which makes it easier to see your enemies in the dark. All of these features can be activated through easy-to-use on-screen controls.
The design is sleek and beautiful, honestly, everything you want from an ultrawide gaming monitor. Quality wise, I would be hard pressed to find a more qualitative option in this price range.
Compared to the more high-end ultrawide options the LG 34UC79G has an extraordinary amount of value for your buck. Although it isn’t exactly cheap it is a great deal nonetheless.
2. Asus ROG Swift PG348Q
34-inch / 3440 x 1440 / IPS Panel / 100Hz refresh rate / 5ms Response time
- Extraordinary design & quality feel
- Has every gaming-centric feature you might want(G-sync, Eye-care, etc.)
- Intuitive on-screen controls
This 34-inch curved monitor from Asus Republic of Gamers is as powerful as it is beautiful. The slim, edgeless design makes it arguably the best-looking display on the market and it comes with an array of features that take your gaming experience to a whole new level.
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Both the design and the graphical capabilities of the Asus Rog Swift are pure eye candy and playing something like Assassin’s Creed: Oddysey or the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on it is a spectacular experience.
With a gaming monitor of this caliber, we feel it is important to mention the requirements. You cannot hope to use this screen correctly with a standard desktop since the UWQHD will just don’t function with a low-end PC, it may even crash it. You will need a high-end gaming PC for this to work properly. But if you have the setup to back this monitor up, it provides the best gaming experience imaginable. You will need at least a GeForce GTX 980Ti graphics card or better for it to overclock the refresh rate to 100Hz.
The monitor is pretty expensive and certainly isn’t aimed at casual gamers. However, with its excellent design and high-end performance, I do feel that you get a decent amount of value for your buck. What is the point of having an extremely high-end gaming PC if you can’t max out its performance with a 34-inch beauty like this?
The design of the Asus ROG Swift is perhaps its best feature. It is fully adjustable, has intuitive on-screen controls and just looks absolutely stunning. It also comes with two built-in speakers which provide decent enough sound quality but nothing beyond that. If you already have a high-end PC and are willing to throw a thousand bucks at this screen then you might as well get a great stand-alone PC audio system in my opinion. The built-in speakers just aren’t up to the same quality as the rest of the screen which is usually the problem with monitor sound systems.
The NVIDIA G-SYNC Technology and 100Hz Refresh Rate make for an incredibly smooth and beautiful gaming experience.
The monitor has a curved design with a 21:9 aspect ratio and the slim-edged design really enhances that immersion.
Like any gaming monitor from Asus, it has eye-care technology. The size and power of the screen make this a must-have, so we were pleased to see Asus implement it for this monitor. It basically just limits the amount of damaging blue-light that the display puts out and if you play for hours at a time then you really can’t live without this feature.
Not quite as powerful as the Acer Predator but miles better in terms of design and feel. If what you care most about are the additional refresh rate and slightly better response time then I would recommend the Predator. If you want superior quality then the Asus ROG Swift is uncontested.
3. Dell Alienware AW3418DW
34.1-inches / 3440 x 1440p / IPS Panel / 120Hz refresh rate / 4ms response time
- Best-in-class specifications
- Exceptional slim-edged design
- Feels incredibly qualitative
- Cost a bit more than most ultrawide monitors
This futuristic beauty from Alienware is a high-end monster designed for gamers that won’t settle for anything less than total immersion. It’s 34-inch wide quad HD monitor that delivers some of the sharpest and best resolution imagery on the market.
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As you might expect in this price range, it has some seriously powerful specifications that will turn your regular gameplay into a truly immersive adventure. It’s 3440 x 1440p resolution, and breakthrough display technology creates a buttery smooth and beautiful gaming experience. If you have a PC powerful enough to tame this beast, then it has the potential to create some of the most stunning graphics on the market. It also has a compelling refresh rate of 120Hz and a mere 4 ms response time. Although this a lower response rate is to be expected from a 34-inch widescreen it just doesn’t compete with actual competitive monitors, most competitive displays on the market are down to 1ms, so if you purely play competitive games, then I would recommend another product. However, if you mainly play atmospheric singleplayer games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt or Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice then this is one of the absolute best ones out there.
Its stellar performance is only outdone by its incredibly pleasing design that not only looks good but also feels very qualitative. I would be hard-pressed to think of a more beautifully designed monitor, and it will take your gaming setup to the next level esthetically. It is also highly adjustable with full tilt-and-swivel functionality.
The Alienware AW3418DW comes with full NVIDIA G-Sync, custom lighting effects, and six preset gaming modes. Each gaming mode is explicitly made for different gaming genres such. It has gaming modes for first-person shooters, role-playing games, real-time strategy and so on, with each mode enhancing the most important factors of each genre. So as an example, the RPG mode will focus mostly on the visual part of the game while the FPS mode will max out its performance.
Although it has a lot of cutting-edge features, it is entirely plug-and-play which is always nice to see. The second you plug it in it is good to go without the need for setting it up.
The Alienware AW3418DW is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth every penny. So if you are not pressed for money and want to take your gaming experience to the next level, then this is one of the best 34-inch curved widescreens out there.
4. Acer Predator X34
34-inches / 3440 x 1440 / IPS Panel / 120Hz refresh rate / 4ms response time
- Curve & size provide excellent levels of immersion in-game
- Very good refresh rate and response time considering the size
- Actual good ”game modes”
- Integrated speakers are quite poor
Acer was one of the first brands to start making ultrawide curved monitors with the Predator series and they have absolutely stayed relevant with this new Predator X34 ultrawide monster of a screen.
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The 34-inch curved design grants a fantastic feeling of immersion and realism. While the 120Hz overclockable refresh rate and Nvidia G-sync keeps the image smooth as butter. 120Hz and 4ms response time might not sound like much compared to some of the 27-inch screens on this list but for a 34-inch curved display, it is absolutely top-tier.
I usually play on a 27-inch Asus monitor, and the difference was breathtaking. The ‘Acer Predator gaming monitor‘ turned my entire gaming experience into a cinematic universe.
I imagine this is the closest you can get to virtual reality without losing the feeling of REAL PC-Gaming. After a few hours of play, I thought this screen was out of surprises. But I forgot about the ”Gaming Mode” which is easily toggled on and off. With the press of a button, it was like every pixel and every color sharpened, and the graphics almost doubled. I realize this sound exaggerated and it probably is, but that is only because it feels that good to play on this monitor.
Now that so much positive has been said, it’s time for the negatives. This is an extremely high-end gaming monitor, and the price tag definitely shows that. Secondly, a monitor is only as good as your computer and if you have a very cheap/old computer, this monitor is NOT for you. This screen will more likely than not diminish your experience, without a high-end desktop. This is for people who already have a good gaming setup and seeks to perfect it.
Personally, I don’t perform very well competitively on a huge widescreen, BUT that is just me. If you are acquainted with large widescreen monitors and find them to your liking, this is one of the best there is. And if you enjoy playing games for immersion and beauty, then getting a curved ultrawide monitor is one of the best investments you will ever make.
The game mode was surprisingly efficient, which is more than just a gimmick, as it is on most monitors. But this one really enhances the gaming experience a lot.
Its refresh rate can be overclocked up to 120Hz which is as good as you can expect from a large screen display like this.
The quality is pretty much as good as it gets, but we still feel that the monitor is a little overpriced. This is, however, a typical issue with gaming gear of this caliber. You do not get the same value for money with high-tier equipment as you do with mid/low-tier.
5. LG 34UC80-B
34-inches / 3440 x 1440 / IPS Panel / 75Hz refresh rate / 5ms response time
- IPS panel provide excellent colors, resolution and viewing angle
- Quite affordable for a 34-inch curved monitor
- Lackluster refresh rate
When looking for an excellent ultrawide pc screen you will often have to spend close to or over a thousand bucks, but that is not the case with this widescreen from LG. In the context of ultrawide screens, this is a real steal with good specs and a lot of value for your money. While it doesn’t deliver the same performance as the LG 34UC79G-B, it is a better all-around PC screen if you care about more than gaming.
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It is full QHD and has a curved design that delivers lovely graphics and helps you immerse yourself in your games. This is further enhanced by the fact that it covers over 99% of the color spectrum which helps create some rich and beautiful pictures.
The design is fairly standard but still looks great due to the curved shape. It can be adjusted both in height and tilt to suit your personal preference.
It has a couple of wonderful features that further increase our affection. It has the split-screen feature that allows you to divide the 34-inch display into two separate entities that give roughly the same advantages as having a due-monitor setup.
All and all it is an excellent affordable alternative to monitors like the Asus ROG Swift 34 and Alienware 1900R. It is not as powerful, but it gets pretty close and cost half as much. I would, however, recommend the LG 34UC79G-B if all you care about is gaming.
6. Samsung C32F391
32-inches / 1920 x 1080 / VA Panel / 70Hz refresh rate / 4ms response time
- Beautiful slim design
- A lot of value for your buck
- Not sufficient for the serious competitive gamer
Samsung is known as the biggest brand in the TV industry, so it goes without saying that they know how to make a great PC monitor as well. I would be hard pressed to mention a better value for money monitor in the 32-inch range than the C32F391. A great option for the casual gamer that wants to really experience their games in a more immersive way.
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The imagery is great, especially if you love very vibrant colors. It is hard to imagine a better performance from a screen of this price class, at least when it comes to the image alone.
The integrated speakers do have its issues, however. On rare occasions, they just stop working for a couple of seconds and they also don’t work correctly when the screen is paired with a laptop.
It’s image quality and performance overall is great for a casual gamer but won’t be enough for the serious, competitive player.
1800R Curvature grants a gentle curve which helps improve immersion when gaming.
Although it is not really a gaming monitor it does have a few additional features that focus on pc gaming. This includes dedicated game modes and flicker-free tech.
Lastly, the eye-saver mode is a real lifesaver, no pun intended. During more extended gaming sessions, it can help your eyes feel less strained. It reduces the use of blue lights in the colors and also removes some flicker. This is also much healthier for your eyes compared to regular lighting. We found this feature was crucial for this monitor in particular since it naturally uses more blue light than most PC screens.
In terms of quality, it feels okay. I would still put it in the ”budget” class and there is a noticeable difference between this screen and the other ultrawide displays on this list.
While it is more of a business screen than anything else it is still really good for the casual gamer and definitely worth its price. And then some.
How to Pick the Best Monitor – Buying Guide
When choosing a dependable gaming monitor for your needs, there are a few things you must consider to ensure you get the best performance, as well as the biggest bang for your buck. These are Panel Type, Screen Resolution, Sync Technology, and Refresh Rate. In this guide, we clubbed a few of these together as they can sometimes be interdependent.
There are 3-panel types you find on monitors mainly which are Twisted Nematic (TN), In-Plane Switching (IPS) and Vertical Alignment (VA). All these might sound a bit complicated, but we can focus on what each of them has to offer. Based on that you can determine which display would best suit your needs.
A TN panel is probably the most common one used by gamers as it offers very high refresh rates and response times. Their Achilles heel so to speak lies in the fact that the colors and viewing angles are quite weak. IPS panels are the polar opposite of vibrant colors, viewing angles and a higher price but response times are lower. The VA screens have super high contrast ratios and can produce deep blacks but their response time maybe a bit smaller. OLED is another screen type that is around but is quite rare due to its high price tag. So based on your core and most essential needs you can choose your screen. If you like watching movies with a few friends an IPS might be preferred as the viewing angles are critical. If you alone use it for hard-core gaming or FPS then go for a TN option.
Refresh Rate, Response Rate, and Screen Resolution
Most LCDs come in a standard refresh rate of 60Hz. Gamers are continually seeking higher refresh rates of at least 120Hz. So, what is a refresh rate? It’s only the rate at which the monitor redraws the screen. The quicker this happens, the higher the quality. When we repeatedly refer to pixel response, we talk about a gray to gray response. I.e., the time taken by a pixel to move from 1 shade of gray to another.
When you look through the specs of a monitor, you might find a pattern wherein the response time and refresh rate is lower on monitors with higher resolutions. A tremendous 4K display for instance (for the time being) offers you not more than a 60Hz refresh rate and a 4ms response time. With tech and ports evolving you will see these ramped up to higher rates of 120Hz. There are ways one can try to ramp up the refresh rates but more often than not this will result in image tearing and motion blurring in larger screens.
If a higher refresh rate of 144Hz or 120Hz is an absolute must for your needs, then you will find it in a lot of 1920×1080 resolution screens in the market. These also do tend to offer a 1ms response rate too. If you are a serious gamer, always try to find a 120Hz display. This also has other benefits like 3D tech compatibility.
The newest monitors on the market tackle motion Issues and image tearing by employing synchronization. Displays equipped with G-sync (NVidia) or Free-sync (AMD) give the GPU (graphics card) control of the refresh rate. As a result, a variable refresh rate is achieved. This makes the games lag free and smoother. Before you buy a G-sync or Free-Sync monitor make sure you have a graphics card with a supporting HDMI 2 or display port 1.2 output. We are all hoping that the arrival of the display port 1.3 gives us proper 4K displays at 120Hz refresh rates.
Peripherals are the first thing that comes to mind for us. It can be quite handy if your monitor has ports for peripheral devices or comes with a beautiful set of speakers for your rig setup. Irrespective of how much we plan, we always have to repeatedly reach towards the back of the rig to connect or disconnect peripheral devices. So USB ports in addition to DVI or HDMI is a big bonus. Ports on the side are also better than ports on the back.
The price variance mainly depends on the features you opt for. You can find a crisp, fast, responsive TN screen for $200 approx. If you want a large UHD 34 inches like the ACER on our list with all the bells and whistles like overclocking and adjustable stands, then you must be prepared to spend over $1k. If you opt for the IPS or any of sync compatible screens, then you are roughly looking at $300 to over $500 respectively. We’ve picked some of the best ones for FPS, and all other purposes in the list above so you have all the best options tried and tested for you.
Q&A Gaming Monitors
Questions asked by our community, regarding PC monitors
Q: I play mostly first-person-shooters, to a competitive degree. Are there any specific factors I should be specifically looking for in a monitor, which can give an edge in fps gaming?
A: First of all you should probably not be looking for an ultra-wide-screen. First of all, because they are harder to stay orientated on, but also the refresh/response rate has worse maximum that on ordinary 20-27 inch screens. These are probably the most critical specifications for fps gaming, and even in any other high-paced competitive eSport game. The specific monitor we would recommend is the Zowie from BenQ, which our nr3 spot on this list.
Q: I mainly play League of Legends, and I do so with a competitive mindset. I really wanna buy one of those curved ultra wide screens, but I’m afraid it might hurt my in-game performance.
A: Two things may hurt your competitive performance when playing on a new screen. First of all, the size. Due to its ultra-wide display, it can be a lot harder to be orientated on, but for people with excellent vision, it may even increase your performance and give you a massive edge over your opponents, since you will be able to see more of the game at once. It is worth mentioning that you can just configure the size of the image to be smaller if this becomes an issue, but then again, what would the point of getting a huge monitor be then?
Secondly, the specifications. The general refresh and response rate cannot be as good in an ultra-widescreen as in a regular 23-inch monitor. Which is why you usually don’t see ultra widescreens at competitive eSport events. So unless you have a screen which already has excellent response time etc. It will not hurt your performance.
Q: Does the curve really give any real advantage?
A: Yes and no, you get a real advantage in the increased enjoyment and immersive gameplay a curved monitor can provide. When it comes to competitive gaming, however, it is neither a pro nor a con. So if you want a curved screen, you should know that it is mostly to grant a more immersive gaming experience.
Q: Which monitor do they use at the big eSport tournaments?
A: At eSport events such as the LoL world championship or a Dota 2 major, the most usual is the Zowie monitor series from BenQ. It is a very affordable monitor with outstanding specifications for competitive play.
Q: Would you recommend getting a console specific monitor for my Playstation 4 or should I just stick with my TV?
A: First of all this depends on which tv you have at the moment. Assuming you have a good tv for console gaming, it then comes down to which type of games you enjoy the most. If you just want to immerse yourself in beautiful, grand games such as the Witcher 3, I would stick to my giant TV. If you’re going to perform at a high level in competitive console games such as Overwatch, Call of Duty or even Fifa, we then recommend you look for a console monitor(the Zowie on this list works very well for that). This is because a smaller and more gaming focused monitor has a performance concerning frames per second and response time that a TV just cannot compete with.
Q: I play on a year old 500$ desktop, and I really want to order the Asus ROG monitor. Will my PC be able to run the ultra-widescreen properly?
A: No, we do not recommend you invest in a 1000$+ gaming monitor for your 500$ desktop. The screen may push the computer to the point of meltdown, or it just won’t run at all. You need to get a very decent gaming PC if you want an over the top 4k ultra widescreen. However, some 500$ computers do better than others, if you want to research more extensively upon the subject, we highly recommend this guide.
If you have any further questions, do feel free to ask in the comment section, and you may get featured in our Q&A section.
- Some of the sources and websites we used to research for this buying guide
- Scan.co.uk, all you need to know about monitors, informational gaming, and tech site.
- Rog.asus, PRESS RELEASE: REPUBLIC OF GAMERS ANNOUNCES SWIFT PG27UQ, official ROG Asus monitors web site.
- Revive soft, computer monitor refresh rate and response time explained, online PC software website.
- Cnet, what is 4k? next generation explained, a blog post about 4k screens and how it all works.
- Gamernexus, Display Panel Type Differences defined, an informative article explaining the key differences between TN, IPS, and VA panels.