When it comes to gaming, a high-quality monitor can be the difference between an immersive, unforgettable experience and a frustrating one.
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the factors you should consider when choosing a gaming monitor, as well as our top recommendations for the best gaming monitors available in 2023.
Whether you’re an avid gamer looking to upgrade your setup or a newcomer searching for the perfect monitor, this guide has you covered.
Factors to consider when choosing a gaming monitor
Explore essential aspects, such as resolution, refresh rate, panel type, and adaptive sync technologies, to select the perfect gaming monitor for your needs.
A monitor’s refresh rate, measured in hertz (Hz), represents how quickly it can update the image on the screen, and it’s a crucial factor in determining how smoothly games will run.
Generally, a higher refresh rate translates to a smoother gaming experience, as it reduces screen tearing and input lag. For competitive gamers, a refresh rate of 144Hz or higher is highly recommended.
Response time measures how quickly a monitor’s pixels can change color, which affects the clarity of fast-moving images and the presence of ghosting or motion blur.
Lower response times, measured in milliseconds (ms), ensure that fast-paced games will appear sharp and clear. For gamers, a response time of 5ms or lower is ideal, with 1ms being the gold standard for competitive gaming.
The resolution of a monitor is defined by the number of pixels displayed horizontally and vertically, which determines the level of detail and sharpness in the images.
Higher resolutions, such as 1440p (QHD) and 4K (UHD), offer stunning visuals and a more immersive gaming experience.
However, they also require more powerful hardware to maintain a smooth gameplay. For most gamers, a 1080p (Full HD) monitor strikes a balance between visual quality and performance.
There are three main panel types used in monitors: In-Plane Switching (IPS), Twisted Nematic (TN), and Vertical Alignment (VA), each with its own strengths and weaknesses for gaming applications.
- IPS panels offer the best color reproduction and wide viewing angles, making them perfect for gamers who prioritize visuals.
- TN panels have the fastest response times, which is crucial for competitive gamers, but they suffer from poor color accuracy and limited viewing angles.
- VA panels provide a middle ground between IPS and TN, with better color reproduction and contrast than TN panels but slower response times than both IPS and TN panels.
Adaptive sync technology
Adaptive sync technologies like NVIDIA’s G-Sync and AMD’s FreeSync help minimize screen tearing and stuttering, providing a smoother gaming experience.
These technologies synchronize your monitor’s refresh rate with your graphics card’s output, ensuring smoother gameplay. G-Sync is compatible with NVIDIA GPUs, while FreeSync is compatible with AMD GPUs.
Some monitors support both technologies, so be sure to choose a monitor that is compatible with your gaming setup and graphics card to fully benefit from adaptive sync features.
The connectivity options available on a gaming monitor play a vital role in compatibility with your gaming setup and the ease of connecting multiple devices.
Common inputs include HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C. HDMI and DisplayPort are the most widely used connections for gaming, while USB-C is becoming increasingly popular for its versatility.
Make sure to check the ports on your graphics card and other devices to ensure compatibility with your chosen monitor.
Top 5 gaming monitors in 2023
Discover our curated list of the best gaming monitors in 2023, catering to various budgets and preferences, to elevate your gaming experience.
1. ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – High-end
The ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q is a high-end gaming monitor that boasts a 27-inch Quad HD (2560×1440) IPS display, delivering exceptional color accuracy and wide viewing angles.
With a 165Hz refresh rate and NVIDIA G-Sync technology, this monitor ensures smooth, tear-free gaming for those with compatible NVIDIA GPUs. The 4ms response time, while not as fast as TN panels, is still impressive for an IPS panel, minimizing motion blur and ghosting during fast-paced gameplay.
The monitor also includes versatile connectivity options, such as HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB ports, making it a top choice for gamers seeking premium performance and visuals.
- High refresh rate: With a 165Hz refresh rate, the ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q ensures smooth gameplay without screen tearing.
- Impressive response time: The 4ms response time is excellent for an IPS panel, ensuring minimal motion blur.
- G-Sync technology: NVIDIA G-Sync compatibility ensures stutter-free gaming for users with NVIDIA GPUs.
- IPS panel: The monitor features an IPS panel for excellent color reproduction and wide viewing angles.
2. Dell S2721DGF – Mid-range
The Dell S2721DGF is a 27-inch gaming monitor that combines performance and value, offering a 2560×1440 Quad HD resolution with an IPS panel for accurate colors and wide viewing angles.
The monitor features a 165Hz refresh rate and a rapid 1ms response time, providing a smooth gaming experience with minimal motion blur.
The S2721DGF supports both FreeSync Premium Pro and G-Sync Compatible adaptive sync technologies, ensuring compatibility with both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. The monitor also offers a variety of connectivity options, including HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB ports.
- High refresh rate: This monitor features a 165Hz refresh rate, providing a smooth gaming experience.
- Fast response time: The 1ms response time reduces motion blur and ghosting in fast-paced games.
- FreeSync Premium Pro and G-Sync Compatible: The S2721DGF supports both FreeSync Premium Pro and G-Sync, ensuring smooth gameplay for users with AMD or NVIDIA GPUs.
- IPS panel: The IPS panel offers great color accuracy and wide viewing angles.
3. AOC C24G1 – Budget-friendly
The AOC C24G1 is a budget-friendly gaming monitor that doesn’t compromise performance. The 24-inch Full HD (1920×1080) display features a VA panel, striking a balance between color reproduction and response time.
With a 144Hz refresh rate and 1 ms response time, the C24G1 delivers smooth, responsive gaming without breaking the bank.
The monitor also supports AMD FreeSync technology, which minimizes screen tearing and stuttering for gamers with compatible AMD GPUs. The AOC C24G1 includes HDMI, DisplayPort, and VGA inputs for versatile connectivity options.
- 144Hz refresh rate: The AOC C24G1 offers a 144Hz refresh rate for smooth gameplay on a budget.
- 1ms response time: The monitor’s fast response time reduces motion blur and ghosting.
- FreeSync technology: The C24G1 features AMD FreeSync technology for stutter-free gaming with AMD GPUs.
- VA panel: The VA panel provides better color reproduction and contrast than TN panels while maintaining a fast response time.
4. Samsung Odyssey G9 – Ultra-wide
The Samsung Odyssey G9 is a premium ultra-wide gaming monitor that offers an unparalleled gaming experience with its massive 49-inch curved display, featuring a 32:9 aspect ratio and a 5120×1440 Dual Quad HD resolution.
The monitor is equipped with a QLED VA panel, providing exceptional color reproduction, deep blacks, and high contrast ratios. The Odyssey G9’s 240Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time ensure smooth, fast-paced gaming without motion blur or ghosting.
The monitor supports both NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro adaptive sync technologies, making it compatible with a wide range of GPUs. The Samsung Odyssey G9 includes HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB inputs for multiple connectivity options.
- Ultra-wide 49-inch screen: The Odyssey G9’s 49-inch 32:9 aspect ratio display offers an incredibly immersive gaming experience.
- 240Hz refresh rate: The Samsung Odyssey G9 boasts a 240Hz refresh rate, providing extremely smooth gameplay even in fast-paced scenes.
- 1ms response time: With a 1ms response time, motion blur and ghosting are virtually eliminated.
- G-Sync and FreeSync Premium Pro: The monitor supports both G-Sync and FreeSync Premium Pro technologies, ensuring compatibility with both NVIDIA and AMD GPUs for a tear-free gaming experience.
- QLED VA panel: The QLED VA panel delivers excellent color reproduction, deep blacks, and high contrast ratios for stunning visuals.
5. LG 27GN950-B – 4K
The LG 27GN950-B is a cutting-edge 4K gaming monitor designed for gamers who prioritize stunning visuals and sharp detail.
The 27-inch Ultra HD (3840×2160) display features a Nano IPS panel, delivering excellent color accuracy and wide viewing angles. Despite the high resolution, the monitor maintains a 144Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time, offering smooth gameplay even in demanding titles.
The 27GN950-B supports both G-Sync Compatible and FreeSync Premium Pro adaptive sync technologies, providing a tear-free gaming experience for users with NVIDIA or AMD GPUs. The monitor also features HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB inputs for versatile connectivity.
- 4K resolution: The LG 27GN950-B features a 4K UHD resolution for breathtaking detail and sharpness in games.
- 144Hz refresh rate: Despite its high resolution, the monitor maintains a 144Hz refresh rate, ensuring smooth gameplay.
- 1ms response time: The fast response time minimizes motion blur and ghosting for a clear gaming experience.
- G-Sync Compatible and FreeSync Premium Pro: The monitor supports both G-Sync Compatible and FreeSync Premium Pro technologies, providing a smooth, tear-free experience for users with either NVIDIA or AMD GPUs.
- Nano IPS panel: The Nano IPS panel offers excellent color accuracy and wide viewing angles, making it ideal for gamers who value image quality.
Making the Choice: Finding Your Perfect Gaming Monitor
In conclusion, the best gaming monitor for you ultimately depends on your preferences, budget, and gaming setup.
With the comprehensive information provided in this guide, you should be well-equipped to make an informed decision.
As you consider our top picks and weigh the factors that matter most to you, you’ll be on your way to selecting the perfect gaming monitor for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dive into frequently asked questions to gain further insights and address common queries regarding gaming monitors and their features.
Is a higher refresh rate always better for gaming?
A higher refresh rate generally provides a smoother gaming experience, but it’s essential to ensure your graphics card can handle the monitor’s refresh rate. If your GPU can’t maintain a consistent frame rate at the monitor’s refresh rate, you may experience screen tearing or stuttering.
What is the difference between G-Sync and FreeSync?
G-Sync is a proprietary adaptive sync technology developed by NVIDIA, while FreeSync is an open-standard technology developed by AMD.
Both technologies serve to synchronize the monitor’s refresh rate with the graphics card’s output for a smoother gaming experience. G-Sync is compatible with NVIDIA GPUs, and FreeSync is compatible with AMD GPUs.
Can I use a TV as a gaming monitor?
While it is possible to use a TV as a gaming monitor, TVs typically have higher input lag and slower response times compared to dedicated gaming monitors.
This can result in a less responsive and less enjoyable gaming experience. If you do decide to use a TV for gaming, look for models with a low input lag and a high refresh rate.
How do I know if a gaming monitor is compatible with my graphics card?
To ensure compatibility between your gaming monitor and graphics card, check the input/output ports on both devices. Common connections include HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C.
Additionally, if you want to take advantage of G-Sync or FreeSync technology, make sure the monitor supports the technology compatible with your GPU (G-Sync for NVIDIA GPUs and FreeSync for AMD GPUs).
What screen size should I choose for a gaming monitor?
The ideal screen size for a gaming monitor depends on your personal preferences, desk space, and viewing distance.
Generally, a 24-inch to 27-inch monitor is suitable for most gaming setups, offering a comfortable balance between screen real estate and desk space requirements.
Ultra-wide or larger monitors, like the Samsung Odyssey G9, are ideal for immersive gaming experiences but require more space and may have a higher price tag.
How important is monitor color accuracy for gaming?
Color accuracy can impact the overall gaming experience, particularly in visually rich games where vibrant colors and details can enhance immersion.
Monitors with IPS panels typically have better color accuracy and wider viewing angles compared to TN panels, making them a popular choice for gamers who value image quality.
However, if you primarily play fast-paced competitive games, you may prioritize response time and refresh rate over color accuracy.
Should I choose a curved or flat gaming monitor?
The choice between a curved and flat gaming monitor comes down to personal preference and the type of games you play.
Curved monitors provide a more immersive gaming experience, especially in larger, ultra-wide models. They can also help reduce eye strain during long gaming sessions by ensuring a consistent viewing distance across the entire screen.
Flat monitors, on the other hand, tend to have less distortion and are often less expensive than their curved counterparts. Consider your gaming habits, preferences, and budget when deciding between a curved or flat gaming monitor.