Best gaming monitor in 2023 – picks for 4K, budget and overall
Are you searching for the Best Gaming Monitor? You’ve landed at the right place. In this article, we will meticulously guide you through the top gaming monitors available in the market, ensuring you make a well-informed decision that matches your gaming needs. A gaming monitor is pivotal in enhancing your gaming experience, affecting your performance and overall immersion. A good gaming monitor should not only provide stunning visuals but also seamlessly align with your gaming style and system configuration. So, let’s delve into finding the monitor that will elevate your gaming escapades to new heights of excellence and satisfaction.
Early Christmas monitor deals
Before we get into it, we’ve been scanning the biggest retailers online to find the best early Christmas monitor deals. Below we’ve found a selection of top offers worth considering.
Products at a Glance
Things to consider with the best gaming monitors
No matter how powerful your gaming PC is, your monitor will always have the biggest impact on your gaming experience. It doesn’t matter if you can max out Cyberpunk 2077 at 4K and 60 FPS if your monitor has poor color reproduction. And it doesn’t matter if you’re pushing Overwatch 2 at over 200 FPS if your gaming display is limited to a mere 60 Hz.
Your monitor is very literally your window into the world of the game you’re playing, and like a real-life window, its size and clarity will determine what you see. The quality of your gaming experience will be limited first by your monitor, and then by your hardware. Even if you aren’t buying a super high-end gaming PC now, there may still be benefits to buying a more future-proof monitor to account for upgrades or your next build. In general, the farther you shoot now, the longer you’ll remain happy with your selection and not feel the need to replace it.
We’ve more specific guides available for you to really pick what’s right for you. Check out our best 4K monitor guide, our best G-sync monitors, or, if you specifically want OLED, you can check out our best OLED monitors guide.
How we picked the best gaming monitor
Our selection process for identifying the Best Gaming Monitor is meticulous and grounded in thorough research. We sift through a plethora of publicly available benchmarks and reviews, scrutinizing the performance, reliability, and user experience of each monitor.
We also pay close attention to user feedback and reviews, as they offer invaluable insights into the day-to-day performance and reliability of the monitors. It’s not just about impressive specifications on paper; a monitor’s functionality, durability, and ability to meet gamers’ various needs and preferences are paramount in our evaluation process.
Best gaming monitor in 2023 – picks for 4K, budget and overall
- Exceptional image quality with deep blacks
- Wide color gamut for vibrant visuals
- Premium, user-friendly design
- Premium pricing
- Limited ergonomics
Starting with a marvel in gaming display technology, the Alienware 34 QD-OLED. Technologically, it’s a titan, featuring a 34-inch Quantum Dot OLED panel that brings games to life with deep blacks and vibrant colors. It sports a 3440×1440 resolution, ensuring that images are razor-sharp and filled with detail. Its refresh rate goes up to a swift 175Hz, paired with NVIDIA G-SYNC compatibility to deliver fluid, tear-free gaming experiences.
Tailored for enthusiasts who seek immersive and breathtaking gaming visuals, the Alienware monitor excels in delivering a cinematic experience. Its wide color gamut and exceptional contrast ratios allow for remarkable image depth, making it ideal for gamers who prioritize visual fidelity.
- High refresh rate for smoother gaming
- Responsive with a 1ms response time.
- Solid build quality and design
- Limited to 1080p resolution
- HDR support is quite basic
- OSD menu and options can be cumbersome
For budget-conscious gamers, the BenQ Mobiuz EX240 emerges as a winner. This 24-inch monitor features an IPS panel with a 1920×1080 resolution, ensuring clear images and good viewing angles. With a refresh rate of 165Hz and a 1ms response time, it prioritizes smooth and responsive gaming, enhanced by FreeSync Premium technology to minimize screen tearing and stuttering.
The BenQ Mobiuz EX240 shines for competitive gamers who want snappy performance without draining their wallets. Despite its affordability, it packs a punch with strong color reproduction and responsiveness, making it apt for fast-paced gaming genres like FPS or MOBAs. Its speedy refresh rate and low latency ensure that you stay ahead in the competitive arena, where every millisecond can be the difference between victory and defeat.
- Stunning 4K resolution
- High refresh rate and low response time
- G-SYNC and FreeSync compatibility
- Premium price segment
- Requires a powerful GPU
- Limited USB ports available
The LG Ultragear 27GN950-B makes its mark with an impressive 27-inch 4K Nano IPS display, boasting a resolution of 3840×2160 that ensures crystal-clear images with impeccable detail. With a remarkable 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, this monitor is not just about stunning visuals but also about high-speed performance, enhancing the fluidity and responsiveness of your gaming sessions.
This monitor is ideal for gamers seeking to elevate their gaming experience with vivid 4K visuals without compromising on speed and performance. The color accuracy and image clarity make it a fabulous choice for games with rich environments and detailed graphics, allowing the user to immerse themselves deeply in their gaming worlds.
- Massive screen
- Outstanding refresh rate
- Enhanced local dimming for better contrast
- A considerable investment
- Ergonomics may not suit all setups
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC is a spectacle of innovation with its enormous 57-inch VA panel, offering an ultra-wide 32:9 aspect ratio with a breathtaking resolution of 7680×2160. Its refresh rate peaks at a remarkable 240Hz, and with a response time of 1 ms, the monitor is engineered to deliver a gaming experience that’s both visually astounding and exceptionally fluid.
This monitor is a palace for gamers who crave immense screen real estate and unparalleled clarity. Its vast, curved display provides an encompassing gaming environment, leading to a highly immersive experience. It practically merges two 32-inch 4K monitors into a singular ultra-wide panel, thereby making it a luxurious centerpiece for a high-end gaming setup.
Things to consider about the best gaming monitors
When on the hunt for the Best Gaming Monitor, several crucial features and considerations should influence your decision. First and foremost, resolution and screen size matter immensely. A higher resolution, like 4K, offers stunning image clarity and a rich visual experience, essential for immersive gaming.
Refresh rates and response times are equally vital, particularly for fast-paced games where every millisecond counts. A higher refresh rate, paired with a lower response time, ensures smoother and more responsive gameplay. We’ve covered the areas you need to consider in more detail below – with the hope you get the very best gaming monitor for you!
How to pick the best gaming monitor for you
If you’ve ran through our picks and aren’t sure which monitor to choose, don’t worry: we have you covered. We’re going to walk through the most important factors to take into consideration when buying a monitor to make it easier to pick one that’s right for you.
Size, Resolution, and PPI
Monitor screen size is measured diagonally, from corner to corner. So a 24-inch monitor isn’t 24 inches wide, it’s 24 inches diagonal. Its actual width is right around 20-to-21 inches. If you want to more easily visualize or measure how a display may fit on your wall or desk, finding the actual width may help you figure this out.
Resolution is a measure of pixels. Specifically, the number of pixels on the display that will make up the full image. The bigger the display, the more pixels you will need to prevent visible pixelation. In general, 1080p at 24 inches (for standard widescreen displays) is understood to be the recommended resolution for that size, as is 1440p for 27 inches. 4K is common in both 27-inch and larger displays, but usually isn’t seen in smaller displays for good reason.
Finally, let’s talk about PPI, or Pixels Per Inch. The higher this number is, the better. For your average desktop usage scenario, you’ll want at least 85 or so to avoid blurry text, images, and games. We’ve provided PPI measurements in our reviews above to better indicate the level of image quality you can expect from these monitors in relation to one another, as opposed to relying solely on resolution numbers.
Refresh rate, VRR technology, and response time
Refresh rate is measured in Hertz and counts the number of times the image on the screen “refreshes” in a single second. While not the same as Frames Per Second (fps) in video games, higher refresh rates will allow your display to output higher in-game framerates, leading to a great increase in smoothness. Many eSports pros swear by higher refresh rate displays as a competitive advantage for this reason.
Your average modern monitor will have a 60 Hz refresh rate. While this does provide a smooth image, it still doesn’t match the responsiveness of 144 Hz or even 240 Hz monitors. For truly competitive gamers, a high refresh rate monitor is a must-have, no questions asked.
VRR stands for Variable Refresh Rate, and it refers to technologies that enable displays to switch refresh rates on the fly. These include DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync, Nvidia’s G-Sync, and AMD’s FreeSync. These technologies all function in fundamentally the same way: the prevent screen tearing by changing the refresh rate of the monitor (or skipping in-game frames) to match the in-game framerate.
If that sounds familiar to you, you may have heard of V-Sync. V-Sync also manipulates in-game frames to prevent visual screen tearing, but at the cost of a performance penalty and increased input latency. Due to the manner in which V-Sync works, it also greatly worsens performance dips when enabled.
With VRR technology, you get the benefits of V-Sync (a smoother gaming experience without visible screen tearing) without its input latency or performance downsides. It is especially recommended when you are running games significantly below or significantly above 60 fps since these are the scenarios in which you will most likely experience screen tearing.
Response time measures the amount of time it takes for a pixel to change color, usually Gray-To-Gray (G2G). A good number for this is considered to be 5 ms, while lower numbers are considered better and higher numbers are considered worse. However…
Response time isn’t always the most accurate way to measure latency. Specifically, many people mistakenly believe that response time directly corresponds to input lag, which it does not. There are scenarios where a display with a lower response time will actually have the same or worse input lag when compared to a display with a higher response time…because there are many other factors to take into consideration. The biggest determining factor of input lag will almost always be the refresh rate. At 5 ms response time and below, the gains will become more and more marginal without corresponding refresh rate boosts.
Panel type refers to the type of panel used in the display. In monitors, there are three main types of panels being used, each with its own pros and cons, that you need to consider when buying a gaming display.
- Higher refresh rates and lower response times
- Suited for competitive gamers
- Poorer viewing angles and color reproduction
- Great viewing angles and color reproduction
- Suited for all gamers and recommended for most
- Not capable of super-high refresh rates (like 240 Hz) and has higher response times
- Balances TN and IPS benefits
- …but doesn’t quite achieve the best of either
Last up is HDR, or High Dynamic Range. HDR-enabled displays utilize technology that allows for clarity in even the brightest (or darkest) scenes. This technology is most commonly seen alongside 4K in the latest TVs, and has been embraced wholeheartedly in the world of console gaming.
In PC gaming and PC as a whole, it’s seen a much slower adoption, and unfortunately at the time of writing, a much poorer one. Even our best HDR gaming monitor isn’t all that great when compared to the best HDR TVs; of course, the monitor, as a whole, is still worlds better in terms of input lag and your actual gaming experience.
Ultimately, this is probably the least important thing to take into consideration when buying a monitor… at least for now. If you also happen to play the latest and greatest console games (on PS4 and Xbox One specifically), however, an HDR-enabled monitor may very well be worth a buy.
What to prioritize?
Unfortunately, you aren’t going to find a gaming monitor that checks every box for every possible gaming experience. To wrap up this guide, we’re going to explain which things to prioritize depending on your needs.
If competitive gaming is your livelihood, prioritize…
- High refresh rates (TN Panels)
- Low response times
- VRR technology
If you value single-player games and immersion, prioritize…
- Better color reproduction (IPS Panels)
- Higher resolutions and PPI
- VRR technology
If you’re somewhere in-between, prioritize…
- Better color reproduction
- High refresh rates
- Low response times
No matter what kind of gamer you are, you should be able to find the best gaming monitor for you on our list. Comment below and let us know if you need help picking one.
Is 1080p or 1440p better for gaming?
1080p is better for competitive and pro gamers who prioritize higher FPS. In gaming scenarios where every frame counts, a 1080p resolution allows the computer to achieve higher frame rates. 1440p, on the other hand, offers a richer, more immersive gaming experience with clearer and more detailed images, but it requires a more powerful computer to maintain higher frame rates.
In a highly competitive field, the Alienware 34 QD-OLED stands out as our Editor’s Choice, shining with its Quantum Dot OLED display that offers extraordinary visual richness and immersion. Its superior color reproduction, coupled with a fast refresh rate, ensures both visual brilliance and performance prowess, fitting for gamers who yearn for a top-tier gaming experience.
In recap, our selection caters to diverse needs and preferences. For budget-conscious gamers, the BenQ Mobiuz EX240 is a fantastic choice, balancing cost with commendable performance features like a 165Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time. If stunning 4K resolution is your aim, the LG Ultragear 27GN950-B meticulously combines high resolution with dynamic gameplay. Lastly, for an epic expanse of gaming real estate, the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC’s colossal ultra-wide display and unmatched resolution promise an unprecedented gaming spectacle, albeit at a premium.