in ,

Best Gaming Monitor of 2020: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

best gaming monitor
Photo by Niclas Illg on Unsplash

Gone are the days where we used to game on those bulky CRT monitors with no concept of a higher resolution. With the high demanding gaming titles coming out every year, the need to upgrade your hardware seems even more essential.

Fast-paced action games and RTS are some of the genres that require a gaming monitor with high refresh rates and low response time to ensure minimal blur, ghosting, or image tearing.

If you want to have an enjoyable gaming experience that is also visually appealing or simply want to have a frame rate advantage while playing in the competitive leagues, then do consider buying a gaming monitor.

Researching, narrowing down your choice and actually comparing monitors against each other to get the best value possible can be a daunting task.

But don’t worry, in this article, we will walk you through the essentials – what to look for in a gaming monitor, reviews of some of the best gaming monitors on the market right now and some frequently asked questions to clear all your doubts.

Quick Look At The Factors You Need To Consider Before Buying One

Curved vs Flat screen

Viewing content on flatscreen becomes a challenge as screen size increases because it decreases the field of vision if you’re sitting in front of it. A curve that matches a user’s peripheral vision increases the screen real estate without having to turn the head.

Curvatures range between 1000R to 1800R with the initial one being a tighter curve while the 1800R is a much more gradual curve.

A curved screen is also easier on the eyes due to its equal image distancing and the colors look amazing.

However, curved screens are relatively more expensive than flat screens and you would need a larger monitor than a 24-inch to take advantage of the field of vision.

Monitor Resolution

Monitor resolution refers to the number of pixels packed in per square inch. Generally, the more pixels there are, the more realistic and smoother are the images.

A higher resolution is important if you are looking to get a monitor larger than 27 inches. This is because, the low resolution on larger screen distorts images and tears them leading to an unpleasant viewing experience.

There are different types of resolutions available on the market and the most common are:

  • HD or 720p – 1280 x 720
  • Full HD or 1080p – 1920 x 1080
  • 2K or 1440p – 2560 x 1440/ 2048 x 1080
  • 4K or 2160p – 3840 x 2160

The general rule of thumb when selecting monitors is that more pixels are better. However, if you’re going to get a monitor with resolution more than 1080p, especially 4K, you require a graphics card with higher processing power.

Viewing experience on 4K might be stunning but if you do not have the right system to run at 4K, your overall experience will suffer.

Types Of Panels

There are three different types of panels that you can choose from and they are:

Twisted Nematic or TN

It is the fastest amongst the three offering low response times and high response rate eliminating motion blur, ghosting, and low input lag. TN panels are also the cheapest of the three, however, the viewing angles are not that good and so are the color representations when comparing it to the other two. TN panels are widely used by gamers.

Vertical Alignment or VA

VA panels typically have longer response times and higher refresh rates. The contrast on these panels is great and the imaging dept is the best when compared to the other two.

They do have good viewing angles, better than TN panels but worse than IPS. VA panels are considered to be a general use monitor.

IPS

In-plane switching or IPS panels are better than VA panels when referring to response times but slower than TN. The colors on IPS panels stand out while the viewing angles are the best when compared to the other two.

It is an expensive panel and used by professionals for video editing and more.

Refresh Rates and Response Times

These two are important factors when considering which gaming monitor to purchase. It has a big impact on the gaming experience. It is recommended that you get a monitor with at least 75Hz or more with the lowest response time available.

Most gaming monitors come with a refresh rate of 144Hz with a 5ms or lower response time. However, there are some excellent gaming monitors with a 60Hz refresh rate and many 4K resolution monitors are restricted to 60Hz. Ideally, you do need to have FreeSync or G-Sync on a 60Hz monitor to ensure minimal blurs and ghosting.

G-Sync or FreeSync

Gaming monitors usually come with a G-sync (for PCs with Nvidia graphics card) and FreeSync (for PCs with AMD graphics card) features. These types of features help reduce image tearing and stuttering, however, monitors with such features usually run at a higher price tag than those without.

The difference between the two is that G-Sync works with a DisplayPort while FreeSync can work with both, a DisplayPort and HDMI. Also, G-Sync comes at a higher price tag than its competitor.

Now that we’ve gone through what to look for in a gaming monitor, here is our list of top 10 best gaming monitors of 2020 and their reviews.

Best Gaming Monitors In 2020

1. ASUS ROG Swift- Best G-Sync Gaming Monitor

ASUS ROG Swift PG278QR

Asus ROG Swift PG278QR is a 27 inch, absolutely stunning monitor with a thin bezel design. It has an ergonomic stand that is designed for long gaming sessions allowing for it to tilt, swivel, pivot, and height adjustment.

The stand does seem bulky but that is because it needs to be sturdy enough to hold the large 27-inch screen in place. The inputs have enough options like a single 1.2 DisplayPort, a single 1.4 HDMI port, a 3.5 mm audio input, and 2 USB 3.0 ports but it would’ve been great to see a wider array of options that includes USB-C and more.

The monitor has a 2K resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate with 1 ms response time resulting in minimum bleeding and next to zero ghosting.

Although it is a TN panel, it is one of the best TN panels out there in the market for gamers. The colors and contrast of the unit is simply fantastic.

With a DisplayPort connectivity, this monitor is able to touch refresh rates of 165Hz. With the G-Sync compatibility, you will experience a sublime smooth gaming experience like none before.

Many might be distracted by the TN panels and the viewing angle issues, however, if you look past that, the ASUS ROG Swift PG278QR is the best G-Sync gaming monitor on this list targeted at competitive gamers. This is the real deal.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen Size: 27 inches
  • Technology: NVIDIA G Sync 
  • Resolution: 2560 x 1440p
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz to 165Hz

Pros

  • Overclocking up to 165Hz
  • Great design with an ergonomic stand
  • G-Sync compatible

Cons

  • TN panel

2. Samsung C32HG70 – 32-inch QLED Curved Gaming Monitor

Samsung C32HG70 32" HDR QLED

The Samsung C32HG70 is a 32-inch QLED curved gaming monitor. The thin bezel screen has matte plastic with anti-glare eliminating reflections. The stand is quite bulky however offers a lot of wiggle room when it comes to tilting and height adjustments.

The monitor itself hosts a single 1.4 DisplayPort, 2 HDMI, 2 USB ports, and a headphone and mic jacks.

The VA panel has a 1800R curvature that looks absolutely stunning, immersing the user completely. The image quality is great on this device due to its HDR capabilities while the contrast ratio of over 20,000 is impressive.

It features a high 144Hz refresh rate with a 1ms response time. The response time is not gray to gray but moving picture response time. That means this cannot be used at the same time with HDR or FreeSync enabled leading to minor smearing.

However, these are common with VA panels and are hardly noticeable to casual gamers. The monitor comes with an eye saver mood, allowing gamers to play at night in dim light situations or complete darkness without straining their eyes.

The Samsung C32HG70 is the best-curved gaming monitor on this list and worth considering if you’re in the market for a curved monitor.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen Size: 32 inches
  • Technology: AMD Freesync 
  • Resolution: 2560 x 1440p
  • Response time: 1 ms
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz

Pros

  • Fast refresh rates
  • AMD FreeSync support
  • Great HDR support
  • Great color and contrast

Cons

  • Subpar viewing angles
  • Bulky stand
  • No built-in speakers

3. BenQ EL2870U 28-inch 4K Monitor

BenQ EL2870U 28-inch 4K Monitor

BenQ EL2870U is a 28-inch monitor with simple cabinet looks due to its thick side borders. It has a stand that is capable of tilting but does not provide any height adjustments.

It hosts a single 1.4 DisplayPort, 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, and audio input. These connectivity options can be found at the back of the device faced downwards which can be an inconvenience for some.

BenQ EL2870U has a TN panel with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 4K, a refresh rate of 60Hz, and a response time of 1ms. This is the best 4K gaming monitor on this list since it has top-notch specs for gamers that results in non-existential blurs, ghosting or input lag.

The colors are average since it looks pale when watching movies, however, it is fine for everyday use. The images are of good quality but it can be better.

Perhaps tweaking it from the list of settings can help change the viewing experience according to your needs.

The HDR mode on this monitor switches on automatically when it detects an HDR source while the blue light settings can help users with reducing eye strain when gaming.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen size: 28 inch
  • Technology: AMD Freesync 
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz

Pros

  • UHD resolution
  • Good price
  • Low input lag with a relatively fast pixel response

Cons

  • Subpar color performance
  • Limited movements with the stand

4. Sceptre 30-inch Curved Gaming Monitor 

Sceptre 30-inch Curved Gaming Monitor (C305B-200UN)

Sceptre C305B is a stylish subtle curved monitor with red accents on the back appealing to gamers. It has a sturdy stand that is only capable of tilting. The monitor has a superb thin-bezel display making it stand out from its competitors.

It has connectivity options ranging from a single 1.2 DisplayPort to 2 2.0 HDMI ports and an audio input jack for headphones.

Sceptre C305B is a 30-inch VA panel with refresh rates up to 200Hz and a response rate of 5ms. The aspect ratio of 21:9 is perfect for gamers looking for a larger screen real estate.

The colors on this unit are not so bright but the contrast ratio makes for deeper blacks and is great for darker rooms.

Due to its VA panel, there is some ghosting with darker images or trails on 200Hz, however if you reduce it to 144Hz the ghosting becomes unnoticeable.

The idea of having flexibility with refresh rates is with the type of game you’re playing. Sceptre offers amazing settings for first-person shooters and RTS games.

The aspect ratio is the star here, allowing for a great immersive experience. Hence this monitor is not only suited for casual gamers but for general use and playing movies is a great added advantage.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen size: 30 inch
  • Technology: AMD Freesync 
  • Resolution: 2560 x 1080
  • Response time: 5ms
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz to 200Hz

Pros

  • Refresh rate at 200Hz with DisplayPort
  • AMD FreeSync compatible
  • Picture in picture mode

Cons

  • Low color accuracy due to VA panel
  • Might face slight ghosting at higher refresh rates

5. LG Electronics UltraGear – Best 240Hz Gaming Monitor

LG Electronics UltraGear 27GN750-B 27 Inch Monitor

The LG UltraGear 27GN750 has a simplistic black look with red accents targeted at gamers. It has thin bezels that make the unit stand out. The stand feels a bit shaky due to its thin profile but it does support tilt, swivel and height adjustments.

The connectivity ports can be seen at the back of the monitor hidden in a small compartment. There are 2 HDMI ports, a single DisplayPort, an audio input, and a USB 3.0.

The LG UltraGear 27GN750-B is the industry’s first IPS panel (27 inches) offering a high refresh rate of 240Hz and a 1ms response time along with G-Sync technology.

The monitor has great color accuracy and superb brightness resulting in sharp crisp images. Games are highly responsive on this 240Hz gaming monitor with great clarity and motion handling.

There are 3 different modes, normal, fast, and overdrive. Users can switch between these modes depending on the type of game they are playing. The monitor does have a low contrast ratio, where the blacks look more like dark grays.

These can be noticeable in a dark room and can put off some gamers, however, it is not noticeable during the day.

There is some compromise that needs to be made when providing great features and LG has chosen to compromise on its contrast ratio. All in all, LG UltraGear is a great monitor for gamers.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen size: 27 inches
  • Technology: NVIDIA G Sync
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Refresh rate: 240Hz

Pros

  • Fantastic response time
  • Great brightness and color accuracy

Cons

  • Low contrast ratio resulting in disappointing blacks

6. Acer Nitro 27″ UHD Monitor

Acer Nitro XV273K Pbmiipphzx 27" UHD Monitor

The Acer Nitro XV273K design is relatively simple with thick bezels and a few trims. It comes with a hood that is hooked on to the display using screws. The base is sturdy and the ergonomics allow for tilting, swiveling and height adjustments.

The monitor has large connectivity options with 4 USB connections, 2 DisplayPorts, 2 HDMI ports, and a headphones jack.

The monitor with its 27-inch UHD resolution has amazing brightness and great color accuracy. Movies are stunning on this IPS display and games deliver amazing visuals.

The monitor can touch 144Hz refresh rate, however, it does come with a lot of complications. You would need to connect it via 2 DisplayPorts and if you do, FreeSync will not work.

There are few workarounds around this, but we suggest that you stick to 120Hz refresh rate. The difference is not noticeable and there is no hassle.

The Acer Nitro might be expensive; however, it is the cheapest in its class of best 4K gaming monitors.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen size: 27 inch
  • Technology: NVIDIA G Sync & AMD Freesync
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Response time: 4ms
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz

Pros

  • Great brightness
  • Accurate colors
  • FreeSync and G-Sync compatible

Cons

  • No dynamic contrast
  • Expensive

7. Alienware 25

Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor - AW2518Hf

Alienware has a strong brand name associated with gaming and they have entered the gaming monitor market with their AW2518Hf.

It is an absolutely beautiful monitor with its thin bezels and stunning craftsmanship. When it comes to ergonomic stands, the monitor has 3 LED lights at the back and their signature prominent logo while the stand allows for tilting, swiveling, and height adjustments.

The monitor has its connectivity ports at the back facing downwards and hosts 1.2 DisplayPort, 1.4 HDMI, four USB 3.0 with an audio port for headphones.

These are more than reasonable options when comparing to other monitors on the market.

The Alienware 25 gaming monitor is a 25-inch TN display 240Hz gaming monitor, that might not sound impressive at first since its resolution is limited to full HD only but it certainly delivers.

With a massive 240Hz refresh rate and a response time of 1ms, the monitor provides stunning clarity.

The black and white colors are easily managed by the powerful hardware and there is no grayness when viewing in a dark environment.

Due to the fast response time and high refresh rate, the images don’t tear and there is no motion blur.

Watching movies or playing games on this monitor looks fantastic and vibrant.

The limited resolution or 1080p might deter some buyers, but other than the resolution, this is one great gaming monitor that comes at a price.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen size: 25 inch
  • Technology: AMD Freesync
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Refresh rate: 240Hz

Pros

  • Great design
  • Fast response time and high refresh rates

Cons

  • Resolution limited to 1080p
  • Expensive

8. MSI Optix MAG24C

MSI Optix MAG24C 24-inch Curved gaming monitor

MSI Optix MAG24C is a stunningly beautiful monitor with red accents just like the Acer monitors, however, this looks meaner.

The back of the monitor has LED lights that can be customizable according to your build needs. The Y shape stand feels solid and sturdy and is an upgrade over its predecessors.

It offers tilt, swivel, and height adjustment capabilities. The ports can be found at the back consisting of a single 1.2 DisplayPort, 1.4 HDMI, DVI-DL. Unfortunately, there are no USB ports or audio input.

The MSI Optix MAG24C features a 1800R curvature screen that is stunning to look at. The contrast is high and the colors are vibrant.

The blacks are deeper eliminating grayness when viewing in dark environments. With fast refresh rates and a lower response time, games feel as real as possible without any blurs or input lag.

This is great for hardcore gamers. The curved screen captures the attention of the user and creates a more immersive viewing experience.

Fast action games are perfect while RTS games are smooth as ever. The MSI monitor is an absolutely solid buy since it hosts great features, amazing design and comes at a fraction of the cost.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen size: 24 inch
  • Technology: Adaptive AMD Freesync
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz

Pros

  • High contrast and rich colors
  • FreeSync compatible
  • High refresh rate

Cons

  • No USB ports
  • Limited to only 1080p

9. ViewSonic XG2401 24 Inch 1080p gaming monitor

ViewSonic XG2401 24 Inch 1080p gaming monitor

ViewSonic XG2401 is a black and bold gaming monitor that stands out with its strong and sturdy stand. Red accents can be found along the stand to give it a striking look.

The monitor has relatively thicker bezels compared to its competitors but that is a signature cabinet look of the ViewSonic gaming monitors.

Its stand is the real talk of the town offering a lot of flexibility in terms of tilting, swiveling and height adjustments.

At the rear of the monitor, you can find a DisplayPort input, 3 USB 3.0 ports, 2 HDMI, and a standard 3.5mm audio input.

The ViewSonic XG2401 is a 24-inch 1080p TN panel with 144Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time.

Although 1080p can seem so yesterday, many gamers still prefer playing at this resolution and the monitor also features amazing specs for its price. Games on this device look fantastic, blur-free with no visible ghosting.

FPS games can be highly demanding visually, but the ViewSonic is able to tackle it with ease. There is no oversaturation of colors and colors on this device are well defined, sharp, and crisp.

Even the grayscale performance of this unit is good. One issue with the ViewSonic is that with different viewing angles, color shifts are noticeable.

However, that is expected of a TN panel. All in all, it is a great gaming monitor able to handle demanding titles with ease and costs less than its competitors.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen size: 24 inch
  • Technology: AMD Freesync
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz

Pros  

  • FreeSync compatible
  • High refresh rate and low response time
  • Adjustable stand

Cons

  • Subpar viewing angles
  • Limited to only 1080p

10. AOC 24G2 24-Inch Frameless Gaming IPS Monitor

AOC 24G2 24-Inch Frameless Gaming IPS Monitor

The AOC 24G2, at first stare is quite impressive. The design stands out with its unique thin bezels on 3 sides of the monitor and an attractive stand colored in black with red highlights.

The stand is quite sturdy and has cable management properties which are an added bonus for all those gamers with lots of cables cluttered around the desk.

The stand is able to tilt, swivel, and provide height adjustments. At the back of the display unit, connectivity options such as a single DisplayPort VGA, 2 HDMI ports, and an audio jack can be seen.

AOC 24G2 is a 24-inch 1080p IPS display panel with 144Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time.

The viewing angles are great and color accuracy is on point. The IPS panel is great in this case compared to a VA or TN panel because it does not have black smearing.

The 1080p display works great with this monitor since it is not highly demanding graphics wise but it is able to actually pump out 144Hz refresh rate with ease.

This monitor is suitable for gamers on a budget looking to finally crackdown on a competitive FPS game without any lags or stutters.

There is an AOC desktop application that you can download and use to customize your display settings according to your liking. This is great since many monitors on the market do not offer 100% customization options.

AOC 24G2 is an amazing gaming monitor that deserves to be on our list of the best gaming monitor.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen size: 24 inch
  • Technology: AMD Freesync
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz

Pros  

  • Rich colors
  • FreeSync compatibility
  • Great thin design
  • High refresh rates and low response times

Cons

  • Average brightness
  • No USB-C connection

FAQ’s:

Is 1ms or 4ms better?

A rule of thumb when it comes to response times is that lower is always better. However, currently only TN panels are able to go as low as 1ms while IPS panels can go as low as 4ms. This means that for competitive gaming that requires low response time, a 1ms TN panel is your best bet. If you’re a casual gamer or non-competitive, then response time is not an issue since it can be hardly noticeable. Therefore, consider getting an IPS panel since it has a far superior image quality and amazing viewing angles.

Are curved monitors better for gaming?

A curved monitor is an advancement over the flat screen as the curvature is able to take advantage of peripheral vision creating a more immersive visual experience. The curvature also ensures that all images are equally distanced from the eyes helping reduce strain on the eyes. If you happen to have headaches while viewing the flat-screen monitors for long hours then we would highly recommend investing in curved monitors as it helps reduce the severity. These types of monitor also offer better color accuracy than flatscreens. However, curved monitors are really expensive, especially if you’re looking towards getting a larger size monitor.

Is 240hz worth it over 144hz?

A 240Hz monitor might be superior over a 144Hz monitor but it is really pricey. When you see the difference between a 60Hz monitor and a 144Hz, it is very clear and evident that the leap in image quality is substantial.
However, if you transition from a 144Hz to a 240Hz monitor, there is a slight difference but it is unnoticeable unless you’re an esports competitive gamer. You would also need a strong graphic card to push out your desired frames per second on a 240Hz monitor.
We recommend getting a 144Hz simply because of its performance, need for less demanding hardware, and a cheaper price.

Conclusion

Many people invest heavily in their gaming hardware especially on a GPU so that they are able to run upcoming demanding titles. However, they forget that a gaming monitor is as important as any other hardware since monitors are going to ensure whether or not you have an enjoyable experience.

Your budget and needs will help you narrow down the perfect gaming monitor for you. For example, if you are a competitive gamer and have the budget for it, then consider getting a 240Hz monitor but if you’re simply looking for casual gaming once in a while a 60Hz monitor will do the job just fine.

The monitors listed here are our version of the best gaming monitors of 2020. Do let us know if we missed a gaming monitor that you think deserves a spot on this list.

Written by Mickey

Mickey is a hardcore gamer and a tech enthusiast. He loves writing and talking about the latest tech know-how.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Best Soundbar under $100

The 10 Best Soundbar Under $100 in 2020

Best Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

13 Best Mechanical Gaming Keyboards in 2020 (Updated List)