Best Gaming Monitors 2017

Product Use case Rating
Dell 24 Gaming Monitor Best Overall Gaming Monitor 8
Asus VG245H Best Under $200 8
Acer Predator X34 Best Curved Gaming Monitor 9
Asus ROG Swift PG27A Best 4K G-Sync Monitor 8
Acer B286HK Best 4K Monitor 8
ASUS MG278Q Best FreeSync Monitor 8
Gaems Vanguard Best Portable Monitor 6

When it comes to gaming, your display matters. A good gaming monitor will not only provide enough color and brightness to immerse you in your favorite titles, but also will be smooth and responsive enough to ensure that you always play at your best. For competitive gamers, having the right monitor can mean the difference between pulling off a last-minute win in Overwatch or dropping a clutch Street Fighter combo and losing it all.

Of the monitors we've reviewed and tested, the Dell S2417DG is our overall favorite thanks to its great colors, fast response times and sleek, adjustable design. The Asus VG245H is an excellent budget pick, while those seeking a premium curved monitor should check out Acer's Predator X34

Some displays are optimized for console gaming or specific genres, and there are even portable displays such as the Gaems Vanguard that let you play your PS4 or Xbox One anywhere. Upcoming monitors such as the Asus PG27UQ bring 4K HDR to the mix, while ultrawide displays such as the Samsung CHG90 provide incredible immersion. After testing a variety of monitors from the top brands in the market, we've selected our top picks for every kind of gamer.

What to Consider

Given how varied and specialized gaming monitors have become, it's important to consider your personal needs before buying one. Many monitors come in either 24-inch or 27-inch variations — the latter size makes it easy to see all the action at once, while the former allows for a bigger, more immersive picture. There are also curved, ultra-wide monitors for those looking to get fully sucked in.

The PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch max out at 1080p resolution, so you'll be fine using them with a standard full-HD monitor. However, both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One S can output certain content in 4K. Likewise, if you have a high-end gaming PC that can play games at their highest settings, there are plenty of quad-HD and 4K monitors to suit your needs. 

Refresh rate and response times are key: The former determines how many frames per second a monitor is capable of displaying, and the latter dictates how quickly it can react to input. If you're more concerned with playing games at high framerates, a 1080p or 1440p monitor is probably the way to go (depending on your graphics card). If you're willing to sacrifice smoothness for picture quality, go for 4K.

MORE: 1080p vs 4K Gaming: What You Need to Know

There are two common panel types for gaming monitors: TN (twisted nematic) and IPS (in-plane switching). TN panels are the most common and offer solid response times and refresh rates for fairly low prices, but they can suffer from bad viewing angles and color reproduction issues. IPS panels typically offer better colors and contrast, but at the expense of worse response times and higher prices. TN panels tend to be better for competitive games, while IPS panels favor immersive experiences.

You'll want to check if a monitor supports Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync, which are technologies that allow the screen to sync up with your graphics card for smoother performance. You'll even start to see monitors that feature G-Sync HDR, which allow for better brightness and color while retaining the same smoothness that G-Sync displays are known for. It's also worth considering a display's inputs — some are limited to HDMI, while others offer more versatility via DVI and DisplayPort connections.

How We Test

As we do with TVs, we use our Klein K-10A colorimeter and SpectraCal CalMAN 5 software to extract a range of color, contrast and brightness data from each monitor's default display modes. Of the data we gather, we weigh brightness (white luminescence), color accuracy (Delta-E) and color gamut most heavily in our reviews.

We also use a Leo Bodnar Lag Tester to measure each display's latency, a key statistic for those looking for highly responsive monitors. For a deeper dive on our display testing methodology, check out How We Test TVs.

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6 comments
    Your comment
  • Computered
    This has some solid choices on it though I would disagree with two of them. The high end Acer ultra-wide has been plagued among consumers with quality control issues for both the Freesync and Gsync model. The monitors sent to reviewers are with more research starting to appear to be cherry picked which means Acer had some awareness of the issues. For the cost a certain level of quality control is expected. Hard to see how anyone can suggest them to consumers right now.

    As for the Freesync chose The Asus monitor is a good choice but my experience with both has shown the Benq XL2730Z delivers a better experience.
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  • narsos
    The link to amazon for the Best Over Gaming Monitor BENQ XL2420G links to the XL2420Z. A difference of no G-Sync and about $400 between the 2.
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  • DFWallace
    At the 27" size reference point, IMHO, the Acer Predator XB271HU and the Asus PG279Q are the two best choices... WORD...
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  • Ghork
    None of these are 16:10 the traditional computer widescreen format, unfortunately Console gaming made TV formats popular, but 16:9 is TERRIBLE for computers, there's too little vertical space/or if big enough it's too wide so you'll miss stuff at the sides for gaming. So all these monitors are basicly worse than 10 year old monitors in my book, wish someone would take note and actually make a 16:10 gaming high refresh rate monitor
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  • axlrose
    This is the first I've heard anything solid on the 4k 144hz front. Where is the Q3 info from? That's the monitor I'm waiting for.
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  • javidali
    hi which monitor will b perfect for the xbox one x...would the x34 be worth it for dat?
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