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Best gaming monitor 2021

With GPUs like the Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti and AMD’s RX 6000-series pumping out great frames at any resolution, you needn’t scrape by when gaming at 4K. These cards can take it. But if you want to save a buck and a bunch of time searching for stock, we still consider 1440p at 144Hz a reasonable target for a gaming monitor; these offer great performance at a reasonable price. We’re also now seeing awesome 4K 144Hz monitors hitting the market, perfect if you really want to make your graphics card work.

If you’re looking to prioritize higher resolutions or frame rates, a mediocre monitor can act as a bottleneck for your pro-gaming exploits, so if you’re after the best high refresh rate monitor, we’ve also got you covered in even more detail.

Best gaming monitor

LG 27GN950-B
The fastest, most responsive 4K gaming monitor

SPECIFICATIONS
Screen size: 27-inch – Panel type: Nano IPS – Aspect ratio: 16:9 – Resolution: 3840×2160 – Response time: 1 ms – Refresh rate: 144 Hz – Weight: 16.9 lbs

REASONS TO BUY
+ Bright vivid colors
+ G-Sync/FreeSync compatible
+ Excellent Response time for a 4K monitor

REASONS TO AVOID
– Oversaturated sRGB mode

4K gaming is a premium endeavor. You need a colossal amount of rendering power to hit decent frame rates at such a high resolution. But if you’re rocking a top-shelf graphics card, like an RTX 3080, RTX 3080 Ti, or RTX 3090, then this dream can be a reality, at last.

The LG UltraGear is the first 4K Nano IPS 1ms gaming monitor that’ll properly show off your superpowered GPU. This 4K 27-inch HDR monitor has a 144 Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, which is kind of wild for a 4K monitor. What is most impressive, however, is the Nano IPS tech that offers a wider color gamut and stellar viewing angles.

The LG UltraGear 27GN950-B bags you a terrific panel with exquisite IPS image quality. Despite the lesser HDR capabilities, it also nets beautiful colors and contrast for your games too. G-Sync offers stable pictures and smoothness, and the speedy refresh rate and response times back this up too. The whole package, and truly the best gaming monitor going.

Gigabyte G27Q
The best FreeSync gaming monitor

SPECIFICATIONS
Screen size: 27-inch – Panel type: IPS – Aspect ratio: 16:9 – Resolution: 2560×1440 – Response time: 1 ms – Refresh rate: 144 Hz – Weight: 20.9 lbs

REASONS TO BUY
+ Fantastic Picture Quality
+ Excellent gaming performance
+ Lots of useful utilities

REASONS TO AVOID
– Bland design
– Pedestrian refresh rate

The G27Q proves that you don’t need to spend a fortune for a decent IPS 1440p display. At $330, Gigabyte’s 27-inches packs in many sought-after features, but more importantly, it provides rich color and smooth gameplay. The 144Hz refresh rate doesn’t hurt, either.

The Gigabyte G27Q is a bit of a plain Jane when compared to other more pricey options. It’s a flat, 27-inch display and a design that wouldn’t stand out in an office environment. But it’s actually one of the best gaming monitors I’ve had the pleasure of using. Not only does it have a gorgeous, vibrant panel, but it’s also HDR capable and packs plenty of useful features designed to enhance your gaming pleasure.

Pixio PX277 Prime
The best budget 1080p 144Hz gaming monitor

SPECIFICATIONS
Screen size: 27-inch – Panel type: VA – Aspect ratio: 16:9 – Resolution: 2560×1440 – Response time: 1 ms – Refresh rate: 165 Hz – Weight: 16.3 lbs

REASONS TO BUY
+ Affordable
+ 165 Hz refresh rate

REASONS TO AVOID
– Barebones feature set
– Not the best contrast

The Pixio PX277 Prime is about as barebones as it comes in regards to gaming monitors. This 27-inch 1440p panel provides frames at a stable 165Hz and is also FreeSync certified for a tear-free gaming experience with compatible graphics cards. The screen itself is advertised as anti-glare and holds up in most brightly lit environments, and the thin bezel is always a plus in our book.

The biggest selling point of the PX277 Prime, though, is its low price point. A great entry-level option for those looking for a larger screen with a high refresh rate and don’t want to be left totally broke.

While the build quality isn’t as robust as a higher-spec screen, the Pixio panel is perfect for the budget gamer who doesn’t mind missing out on some of the bells and whistles of a higher-end monitor but is keen for top performance.

Acer Predator X38
The best widescreen curved gaming monitor

SPECIFICATIONS
Screen size: 37.5-inch – Panel type: IPS – Aspect ratio: 24:9 – Resolution: 3840×1600 – Response time: 1 ms – Refresh rate: 144 Hz (175 Hz overclocked) – Weight: 21 lbs

REASONS TO BUY
+ Expansive resolution
+ Quality, responsive IPS panel
+ 175 Hz Refresh rates

REASONS TO AVOID
– Weak HDR

If your mantra for displays is ‘go big or go home,’ Acer hears you, and its Predator X38 is a massive 38-inch curved screen that looks stunning. It features a not-quite-4K QHD ultrawide panel with a 3840×1600 resolution. With an aspect ratio of 24:9, the IPS panel looks great, and the size means you have a lot of screen real estate for gaming.

The display also features G-Sync technology with up to 175Hz variable refresh rates. That’s a huge boost over lower refresh rate curved gaming monitors. It’s a big, bold, and beautiful-looking display, and the zero-frame bezel-less approach is another welcome addition. If you’re looking for something to turn heads, this is one of the best widescreen gaming monitors out there.

It’s taller than the 27-inch 16:9 displays we’ve already mentioned and nearly half again as wide, but the higher resolution means the dot pitch is slightly lower than, the lesser panels. And for games that properly support ultrawide resolutions, the surround effect of the XR382CQK is incredibly immersive—sitting at your desk, the 38-inch panel will fill your field of view.

ROG STRIX XG17AHPE Portable Monitor
Best portable monitor for gaming

SPECIFICATIONS
Screen size: 17.3-inch – Panel type: IPS – Aspect ratio: 16:9 – Resolution: 1920×1080 – Response time: 3 ms – Refresh rate: 240 Hz – Weight: 2.3 lbs

REASONS TO BUY
+ Easy to use
+ Lightweight and thin
+ Speedy 240 Hz display
+ Decent battery

REASONS TO AVOID
– Flimsy Smart Case

Portable monitors have always existed as a novelty. Whenever you see one out in the wild, it’s usually attached to someone’s boring work laptop and tasked with displaying mind-numbing spreadsheets. Portable monitors give you a second screen during travel without the fuss. The ROG Strix XG17AHPE takes that same portability but also adds the performance of a premium gaming monitor.

This thin and lightweight 17-inch IPS display has a 240Hz refresh rate, along with a 3ms response time, making it the perfect gaming monitor for a LAN party. Shooters like CS: GO, and Apex Legends will benefit from the buttery smooth refresh rate, and you needn’t sacrifice battery life for it. The built-in 7800mAh battery will give you a couple of hours of gameplay, at least.

Alienware 25 AW2521HF
The best 240Hz gaming monitor

SPECIFICATIONS
Screen size: 25-inch – Panel type: IPS – Aspect ratio: 16:9 – Resolution: 1920×1080 – Response time: 1 ms – Refresh rate: 240 Hz – Weight: 7.8 lbs

REASONS TO BUY
+ Great viewing angles
+ Extremely fast response times

REASONS TO AVOID
– No HDR

It may have once been a niche, but 240Hz gaming has quickly become more widespread, and Alienware has set itself ahead of the pack with the gorgeous AW2521HF gaming monitor. While not the cheapest on the market, it has the style and performance to make you want it on your desk.

Gamers will dig the Alienware 25’s lightning-fast response time in games like Valorant and Destiny 2 with little to no ghosting or artifacts. This 1080p IPS panel is bright and vivid too.

If you work or game in a bright room, the Alienware 25 handles even the most obnoxious glares. More importantly, the AW252HF has some impressive viewing angles regardless if you have it set in the middle of your desk for gaming or off to the side as a second monitor in portrait mode while you work. Our only real complaints are the lack of HDR support, along with a lack of contrast, but it remains one of the best gaming monitors.

ROG Swift PG259QN
The best 360Hz gaming to date

SPECIFICATIONS
Screen size: 24-inch – Panel type: IPS – Aspect ratio: 16:9 – Resolution: 1920×1080 – Response time: 1 ms – Refresh rate: 240 Hz – Weight: 7.8 lbs – Variable refresh rate: G-Sync, FreeSync compatible

REASONS TO BUY
+ 360Hz refresh rate
+ Excellent response time

REASONS TO AVOID
– Requires high-end GPU

If you’re a fan of flat-out overkill, the ROG Swift PG259QN will check those boxes. This ludicrously fast 360Hz display even lets you analyze your gaming ecosystem to figure out which one of your devices affects your latency, thanks to Nvidia Reflex (if you’re using an RTX card). Seeing if your hardware or accessories gives you terrible input lag is good information and will keep you from making frivolous upgrades.

This makes the cut on the best gaming monitor guide because it’s a competitive gamer’s dream. Anyone looking for a competitive edge and values speed over anything else will be overjoyed with this Swift gaming monitor. If you already own a 240Hz monitor, you’re probably ok with what you have, but once you see this monitor in action, that’s a different story. Just make sure you’ve got a beefy enough GPU that’s capable of spitting out a high number of frames.

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