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If you want to get the most out of your games, you need two things: A powerful PC and a corresponding gaming monitor.

My team and I have compiled a list of the best gaming monitors 2021 for you to make the right choice while purchasing one  – be it for the tight budget, gaming in 4K resolution, or in ultrawide format.

We’ll also explain what you need to consider when buying a gaming monitor.

Affiliate Disclosure: Just so you know, we are an affiliate. Hence, we’ll earn a commission or reward for any successful purchase through the links embedded on this page.

Best gaming monitors in 2021: all recommendations at a glance

TechGiig price tipThe all-rounderThe best 4K monitorMonitor for eSports enthusiastsThe best ultrawide monitor
modelAcer Predator XB253QGPLG UltraGear 27GL850-BBenQ EW3270UAsus ROG Swift PG259QNSamsung C49RG94SSU
advantageHigh brightnessAdaptive SyncHDR10Low input lagHDR10
disadvantageOnly 24.5 inchesWeak HDR effect60 Hz onlyRelatively expensiveTakes up a lot of space

The best gaming monitors presented

Strangely enough, many gamers save money on buying the monitor, of all places. The screen is crucial here – even with the most powerful gaming computer, poor image quality cannot be compensated for.

It is not just the number of pixels that is important here, but also the type of panel installed, the refresh rate, and many other factors.

TechGiig price tip

Best Gaming Monitors 2021

Acer Predator XB253QGP

advantages

  • Top price
  • Adaptive Sync support (up to 144 Hz)
  • Low response time (2 ms)
  • Integrated USB hub

disadvantage

  • Relatively small at 24.5 inches
  • Full HD resolution only
  • Weak HDR effect (HDR 400)

The Acer Predator XB253QGP offers an affordable entry into the world of gaming monitors.

For less than $300 you get a really successful overall package: an IPS panel with a refresh rate of up to 144 Hz, an extremely low response time, and finally Adaptive Sync. Thus, both the FreeSync standard from AMD and G-Sync from Nvidia are supported and unsightly tearing is avoided.

The monitor only has full HD resolution, which is manageable with a screen diagonal of 24.5 inches. However, if you are looking for a larger monitor, the  AOC Gaming C27G1 would be a good 27-inch alternative. Although G-Sync compatibility was waived here, the model is a bit cheaper overall.

The all-rounder

Best Gaming Monitors 2021

LG UltraGear 27GL850-B

advantages

  • Excellent value for money
  • Adaptive Sync support (up to 144 Hz)
  • Low response time (theoretically 1 ms)
  • Integrated USB hub

disadvantage

  • Operating in the fastest mode will result in ghosting
  • Weak HDR effect despite HDR10 certification

The LG UltraGear 27GL850-B is a true all-rounder. This monitor with QHD resolution has a 27-inch Nano IPS panel and an HDR10 certification, although you shouldn’t expect too much from the HDR mode at this price range.

It also covers 98 percent of the DCI-P3 color space and the refresh rate of 144 Hz makes it ideal for shooters or the like.

But that was not all: The monitor is officially ” G-Sync Compatible “,  so owners of Nvidia and AMD graphics cards can look forward to synchronized frame rates.

The main argument in favor of buying the LG UltraGear 27GL850-B, however, is its extremely low response time. That would not be the case in itself if it weren’t for an IPS panel that normally struggles exclusively with this problem.

I’ve been using the gaming monitor privately for some time, and I can only confirm all positive opinions. Especially in well-optimized shooting games, the LG 27GL850-B is just fun with an almost constant 144 FPS.

Since I switched from a model with 60 to one with 144 Hz, I absolutely don’t want to miss such a smooth gaming experience anymore. So it’s an absolute buy recommendation on my part.

Note:  If you want to achieve the advertised response time of 1 ms, you have to use an overdrive, which leads to overshoot artifacts. We, therefore, recommend that instead of the “ Faster ” option, the “ Fast ” variant should be selected in the menu. This avoids so-called inverse ghosting without causing excessive motion blur.

The best 4K monitor

Best Gaming Monitors 2021

BenQ EW3270U

advantages

  • The built-in light sensor regulates brightness and color temperature
  • FreeSync
  • HDR10
  • Integrated USB hub
  • USB-C connector

disadvantage

  • Relatively high response time (4 ms)
  • 60 Hz only

The BenQ EW3270U may seem rather inconspicuous at first glance, but despite its simple design it still has it all: 4K resolution, lush 32 inches, HDR10, a relatively fast VA panel with a response time of 4 ms, and FreeSync.

Owners of an Nvidia graphics card are unfortunately left empty-handed and therefore have to do without synchronized frame rates, as G-Sync is not supported.

For this, the monitor has another really useful feature – the so-called “Brightness Intelligence Plus”, which automatically adjusts the brightness and the color temperature to your respective environment by means of a built-in light sensor. This is to create the most immersive HDR experience possible.

The BenQ EW3270U can also score with an integrated USB hub and a USB-C port. Such a connection is more than practical, especially for gamers who would like to connect a laptop to the monitor for work purposes.

You only need a single cable to transfer the image at the same time and to charge the device at the same time. The biggest point of criticism is probably the low refresh rate of only 60 Hz. For a price of just over $400, this is still bearable. However, if you primarily play action-packed shooters, you should take this into account before making a purchase.

Monitor for esports enthusiasts

Best Gaming Monitors 2021

Asus ROG Swift PG259QN

advantages

  • IPS panel with up to 360 Hz
  • Native G-Sync including reflex technology
  • Measurable latency through “Nvidia Reflex Latency Analyzer”
  • Extremely low response time (1 ms)
  • Integrated USB hub
  • Space-saving table mount included in delivery

disadvantage

  • Weak HDR effect (HDR 400)
  • Relatively expensive

The Asus ROG Swift PG259QN is certainly no ordinary gaming monitor. It is aimed primarily at eSports enthusiasts or those who at least want to feel that way.

With a maximum refresh rate of 360 Hz and the extremely fast response time of just 1 ms, the monitor easily meets even the highest demands. The built-in Nvidia G-Sync processor also allows you to synchronize your frame rates with an Nvidia GPU. The real highlight is the so-called “Nvidia Reflex Latency Analyzer”.

The technology takes precise measurements of the respective latencies and then optimizes them again. By then at the latest, you will know whether your miserable KD ratio is really due to your hardware or perhaps just a lack of skill on your part.

Jokes aside: The Asus ROG Swift PG259QN offers ambitious gamers pure speed in several ways. At a high price of currently over $600, you should think carefully about whether you actually need that much power.

The best ultrawide monitor

Best Gaming Monitors 2021

Samsung C49RG94SSU

advantages

  • High ergonomics/immersion thanks to the curved screen
  • A refresh rate of up to 120 Hz
  • FreeSync support
  • HDR 1000
  • Integrated USB hub

disadvantage

  • consumes enough space on the desk
  • Relatively high response time (4 ms)
  • High price

What  primarily sets the Samsung C49RG94SSU aside from the competition mentioned so far is its enormous screen diagonal of 124 centimeters. In this case, the ultrawide monitor dispenses with the conventional 16: 9 aspect ratio and instead uses a 32: 9 format.

This means that the 49-inch device is effectively the size of two 27-inch monitors. The resulting resolution of 5120 x 1440 pixels is between that of a QHD and 4K monitor.

The built-in VA panel ensures the necessary viewing angle stability as well as an accurate color display, which can be increased again if necessary using the HDR 1000 functionality. The maximum refresh rate for this model is 120 Hz. FreeSync is also available.

Overall, the Samsung C49RG94SSU succeeded in blowing up our minds, but you should make sure that there is enough space on the desk beforehand. If this screen diagonal is a bit too much for you, you can use the Alienware AW3420DW  in the somewhat more compact 21: 9 format as an alternative.

The best gaming monitors: How did we choose?

When it comes to gaming monitors, the choice is almost infinite these days. As if the decision wasn’t difficult enough, manufacturers advertise a variety of special functions that are supposed to make gamer hearts beat faster. Some of them make perfect sense, others are just a gimmick.

Ultimately, it depends on your individual needs and, above all, your wallet.

In our selection, we deliberately considered models that cover different price segments. So that we can also give you the best possible overview, in addition to our own experience, we have also relied on user ratings and external test institutions.

Buying a monitor: what do I have to consider?

Size, format, and screen diagonal

The size of the monitor is of course also a decisive factor. Since you usually sit very close to a monitor, you should think carefully beforehand about how big it should be. Common models nowadays have a screen diagonal between 24 and 27 inches, i.e. about 61 to 69 cm. If the monitor is too large, it may happen that the game is out of focus.

In addition to the actual size, there are also different formats. The classic among them is still the 16: 9 format. In the meantime, however, more and more exotic formats such as 21: 9 or 32: 9 are gaining ground . Where several screens were previously necessary, a single screen in ultrawide format is now sufficient to provide you with the same image area.

Also, because of their enormous size, ultrawide screens are often curved so that content fits more naturally into the human field of vision. This also ensures increased immersion in games without having to look at unsightly edges of the screen. However, this resolution has one catch: There are still a number of games that do not support the format. So this should be considered before making a purchase.

Resolution: 1080p, 1440p or 4K?

When deciding which resolution the gaming monitor should have, your computer and your future upgrade plans should primarily decide. If your PC is not powerful enough to play games in the native resolution of the monitor, a lower resolution screen may be a better choice.

screen resolutions
screen resolutions

Depending on how your graphics card and monitor handle the upscaling of games in Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) to 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels), the picture may be slightly blurred. For the best end result, it is advisable to use the native resolution of the monitor.

As far as screens with a resolution of 1440p (QHD) or 4K (UHD) are concerned, they are still a lot more expensive than variants with Full HD. It is therefore advisable to always make the question of resolution dependent on your budget.

TN, IPS or VA: advantages and disadvantages of the panels

As far as the built-in panel of a monitor is concerned, there is unfortunately no general answer as to which of these is the best. Each panel has its advantages and disadvantages that need to be weighed up. The following overview therefore lists the most important differences between Twisted Nemantic (TN), In Plane Switching (IPS), and  Vertical Alignment (VA):

  • TN:  Due to their construction, such displays are still the cheapest and also have the lowest response time. In return, however, their image quality and viewing angle stability suffer.
  • IPS:  Models with an IPS panel, on the other hand, are pretty much the exact opposite. They shine with excellent image quality and viewing angle stability, but are significantly more expensive and have longer response times.
  • VA: These displays represent a compromise between the two types mentioned above. The picture quality is better than that of TN panels, but does not come close to that of an IPS panel. The situation is similar with the response time, since it is lower than with IPS displays, but still does not come close to that of a fast TN panel.

Response time, contrast & input lag

With a flat-screen monitor, you were well prepared for the next LAN party. With the boom in LCD technology, however, certain downsides came to the fore, which were a problem for gamers in particular: ghosting (dragging images), washed-out black that could only pass through as dark gray, and so-called “image improvement” functions that were too massive Input lag.

LCD vs OLED

Fortunately, nowadays you don’t have to worry about it if you buy the monitor from a well-known manufacturer. Even inexpensive monitors have a response time of 6 milliseconds and come up with a static contrast value of over 1000: 1.

Refresh rate: 60, 144, 240 or 360 Hz?

The first important question that gamers should ask themselves when purchasing a new gaming monitor: What refresh rate (Hz) do I need? This decision in turn depends on how many frames per second(FPS) you would like to gamble with in the ideal case. The fact is that games appear much more fluid to the human eye if more FPS are currently displayed .

So what does the refresh rate have to do with the FPS? Quite simply, let’s take a monitor with 60 Hz: This can easily display up to 60 images per second. If the FPS of the respective game is now significantly below or above the refresh rate of the monitor, it can lead to stuttering or unsightly artifact formation (tearing).

screen tearing
This is what screen tearing could look like using The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt as an example.

Before making your decision, you should also consider the performance of your computer and the type of games you mainly play. Shooters, especially in the eSport sector, benefit most from increased frame rates.

These are often graphically less demanding titles that crack the magical limit of 144 FPS without any problems, even with average hardware. In such a case, a correspondingly fast monitor with 144 Hz, 240 Hz, or even 360 Hz is definitely worthwhile.

Connections: HDMI vs. DisplayPort

Every modern gaming monitor nowadays has both corresponding HDMI and DisplayPort interfaces. As a rule, these are versions 2.0 (HDMI) and 1.4 (DisplayPort)  – both standards support resolutions from Full HD to at least 4K with refresh rates beyond 144 Hz. So what are the differences?

Choosing the right cable primarily depends on whether you want to use G-Sync or FreeSync. The former only works via DisplayPort (DP) in combination with an Nvidia GPU, whereas AMD’s FreeSync, can be used with both an HDMI and DisplayPort cable.

Due to the higher flexibility, it would make sense in most cases to use DisplayPort directly. Another advantage is that HDR is natively supported, whereas the HDMI standard requires the somewhat newer version 2.0a.

PS5 monitor instead of a gaming TV? In principle this is possible, but so far most models do not support HDMI 2.1. Thus, the refresh rate of your console is only limited to 60 Hz if you play with a resolution of 4K.

On the other hand, if you are already satisfied with Full HD, you can benefit from a fast 120 Hz in most cases. However, it would make sense to find out in advance which monitors and games actually support the increased refresh rates.

G-Sync and FreeSync: a must or just a gimmick?

One problem that high FPS numbers often cause is the aforementioned artifact formation  – also called screen tearing. For a long time, the only solution was the use of Vsync.

In the meantime, manufacturers such as Nvidia and AMD have developed their own solutions: G-Sync and FreeSync. Both technologies work in a similar way and ensure that the images output by the graphics card are synchronized with the refresh rate of the monitor.

Basically, it makes perfect sense to opt for a device with one of the technologies mentioned. The two standards are now relatively widespread, making monitors much more affordable.

For a long time, G-Sync was only compatible with Nvidia graphics cards and FreeSync was therefore reserved for AMD cards. In the meantime, however, many monitors have what is known as “Adaptive-Sync” and therefore support both standards.

Nvidia Reflex: What is this technology is all about?

With Nvidia Reflex, the hardware giant is taking a further step to once again optimize the gaming experience of eSports enthusiasts and shooter enthusiasts in particular.

The new technology is linked to several interfaces, all of which are dedicated to the analysis and reduction of all potentially occurring latencies.

The aim is to determine how long it actually takes from the mouse click to the action visible on your monitor. So far, such values ​​could only be measured with the help of expensive special cameras. That should change in the future.

It should be noted, however, that you need the right hardware for this – both the monitor and your mouse must be compatible with Nvidia Reflex. You also need an Nvidia GPU of the 900 series or newer. After all, not every game is compatible with the new technology.

Which gaming monitor is right for me?

By now it should have become clear how much a qualitative monitor makes a difference. So now it’s time to choose a model. Unfortunately, there is no universal formula for this, as the choice of a monitor depends heavily on your individual requirements.

Still, there are a few scenarios where certain monitors are better suited than others:

  • Do you mainly play shooters and maybe competitively? In addition, image quality is by no means as important to you as precise inputs and maximum FPS? In this case, a monitor with a fast TN panel and a correspondingly high refresh rate beyond 144 Hz is suitable. Ideally, the monitor also has G-Sync or FreeSync. If you really want to get the absolute maximum in precision, opt for a model with the so-called Nvidia reflex technology for measuring and reducing the input lag.
  • For you, attractive graphics are in the foreground that allows you to immerse yourself completely in the game? Here you can either use a monitor in 4K resolution or a model in ultrawide format (21: 9 or 32: 9). However, both options require a powerful graphics card due to the increased pixel density. So that should be included in the price before making a purchase.
  • Do you prefer to grab your controller and then play comfortably from your bed or sofa? If you have the appropriate budget, you can use a  ” Big Format Gaming Display ” (BFGD). A corresponding gaming television would usually be much cheaper and almost as good.

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