Best Gaming Monitors 2018

Product Use case Rating
Dell 24 Gaming Monitor Best Overall Gaming Monitor 4
LG 25UM57-P Best Under $200 4
AOC Agon AG241QG Best G-Sync Monitor 4
Samsung CHG70 Best HDR Gaming Monitor 4
Asus ROG Swift PG27A Best 4K Gaming Monitor 4
Acer Predator X34 Best Curved Gaming Monitor 4.5
ViewSonic XG2401 Best FreeSync Monitor 4

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 landing a crucial headshot in Fortnite: Battle Royale or dropping a key combo in Dragon Ball FighterZ 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. If you're on a budget, the Asus VG245H offers impressive responsiveness and a ton of great features for less than $200.

After testing a variety of monitors from the top brands in the market, we've selected our top picks for every kind of gamer.

Latest News and Updates (August 2018)

  • We just reviewed the BenQ EL2780U, which offers 4K and HDR support for an attainable $499 price. However, the monitor's relatively dull color holds it back.
  • Nvidia has unveiled its RTX-series graphics cards. The new line, which includes the RTX 2070, 2080 and 2080 Ti, will launch in September starting at $499.

How We Test Gaming Monitors

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.

How Much Gaming Monitors Cost

A solid 1080p monitor will run you as little as $150, though features such as G-Sync and FreeSync can jack up the price significantly. Monitors with a 2560 x 1440p resolution — a good sweet spot for most gaming setups — typically cost between $300 and $500, depending on the features.

4K monitors can be found for as low as $400, but you'll be paying between $600 and $800 if you want a solid gaming model with G-Sync. Finally, there are curved monitors, which run the gamut from $300-$400 1080p models to insanely tricked out ultrawide sets that will run you well over $1,000.

Panel Types, G-Sync and HDR

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 also notice more and more monitors that feature High Dynamic Range (HDR), which allows for better color and brightness and is supported by the Xbox One S,  Xbox One X, all PS4 models and select PC graphics cards.

1080p or 4K?

If you have a modestly powerful gaming PC or do most of your gaming on a PS4, Xbox One or Nintendo Switch, a 1080p monitor will suit you just fine. The PS4 Pro and Xbox One X can both game in 4K (the Xbox One S just plays 4K video), so you'll need an ultra-HD display to get the most out of those systems. 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

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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • DFWallace
    At the 27" size reference point, IMHO, the Acer Predator XB271HU and the Asus PG279Q are the two best choices... WORD...
  • 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
  • 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.
  • javidali
    hi which monitor will b perfect for the xbox one x...would the x34 be worth it for dat?
  • Sam Hain
    Anonymous said:
    hi which monitor will b perfect for the xbox one x...would the x34 be worth it for dat?

    The "X" is an HDR capable machine, therefore you'd want to invest your budget into an HDR capable display.. The only monitors at the moment (on the U.S. market that I know of) that purportedly support HDR are made by Samsung:

    All would be more cost-effective options to a 4K TV obviously BUT may not have built in speakers, which to be honest, most monitor audio is horrid to be polite. If you already own an audio solution, you're set... Otherwise, you'd need to invest in a soundbar, 2.1, surround system etc.

    Option two: Nab a 4K 120Hz HDR TV within your budget with a screen-size that will work within your desired mounting-space/location for it.