When it comes to choosing a gaming monitor, there is no one perfect solution. Different gamers have different needs: hardcore pixel addicts won’t settle for anything less than 4K; frame chasers favor high refresh rates above all else. The list goes on.
The good news for gamers is there are great options available, with bigger and better models popping up all the time. The “bad” news is that all those options make choosing the best gaming monitor a lot more complicated. To help you decide which gaming monitor is right for you, we've put together a list of some of our favorites.
– Best Gaming Monitor Overall: Alienware AW3423DW
– Best 27-Inch Gaming Monitor: LG UltraGear 27"
– Best 4K Gaming Monitor: Samsung Odyssey Neo G8
– Best Value Gaming Monitor: Gigabyte M27Q
– Best Gaming Monitor for PS5/Xbox Series X: Gigabyte M32U
– Best Ultrawide Gaming Monitor: Samsung Odyssey Neo G9
– Best Portable Gaming Monitor: ASUS ROG Strix XG16AHPE
Best Gaming Monitor: Alienware AW3423DW
The best gaming monitor for most people
The Alienware AW3423DW is our choice for the best overall gaming monitor. Not only does it score high on important metrics such as screen resolution and refresh rate, it’s also reasonably priced, meaning it returns tremendous value to customers.
The AW3423DW features a stunning 34" ultrawide QD OLED panel with 3440 x 1440 screen resolution. Unlike many other high-end gaming monitors, the AW3423DW can deliver near-perfect blacks and great HDR picture quality.
Alienware lists the AW3423DW’s gray-to-gray response time as 0.1ms, making it one of the fastest gaming-specific OLEDs on the market. However, gaming lag and other latency issues have traditionally been an issue for many an OLED monitor—not so for the AW3423DW. Thanks to its high 175 Hz refresh rate and G-Sync Ultimate technology, noticeable lag is virtually nonexistent.
One thing missing from the AW3423DW is an HDMI 2.1 port, meaning this monitor is probably a better fit for PC players than console gamers. But regardless of which platform you use, the AW3423DW guarantees incredible color and picture quality.
Best 27-Inch Gaming Monitor: LG UltraGear 27"
The best gaming monitor for speed freaks and frame chasers
The LG UltraGear 27" is our choice for the best 27-inch gaming monitor. Like our top overall selection, the UltraGear 27" features an OLED display. The panel isn’t quite as bright as the AW3423DW, nor is the overall picture as sharp, but it still delivers excellent color, image quality, and black levels.
When it comes to displays, you might be partial to the idea that bigger is better, but that’s not always the case with gaming monitors. Because of their smaller panel size, midsize monitors like the UltraGear 27" make it easier to keep track of what’s going on. Players don’t have to turn their head to see what’s happening on a different part of the screen—it’s all right there in front of them. For competitive gamers, that little bit of saved time can be the difference between a dub and a donut.
Not only is the UltraGear’s 27-inch panel the ideal screen size for competitive gaming, but it also boasts several features designed to make your gameplay as responsive and buttery smooth as possible. The 0.03 ms gray-to-gray response time and support for FreeSync Premium and G-SYNC technologies means input lag, screen tearing, and visual artifacts should all be nullified. Of course, the big draw is the 240Hz refresh rate, which, if your PC is powerful enough to support it, is going to make even the most fast-paced games look incredibly smooth and clear.
Best 4K Monitor: Samsung Odyssey Neo G7
The best color-accurate 4K gaming monitor out of the box
Last year, the Samsung Odyssey G7 was our choice for the best gaming monitor overall. This year, the Alienware AW3423DW took top honors, but that doesn’t mean the G7 disappeared altogether. Carrying on its legacy is the Odyssey Neo G7, an updated version of last year’s winner and our vote for the best 4K gaming monitor you can buy. Without question, the Odyssey Neo G7’s best feature is its gorgeous 32" 1000R 4K panel. Not only does it deliver stunning 4K graphics, but the extreme curvature of the panel makes gaming on the Neo G7 a truly immersive experience—the screen wraps around you, pulling you in.
Another nice quality-of-life update is the upgrade to HDMI 2.1, which means console gamers can now play compatible PS5 and Xbox Series X/S titles in glorious 4K120 (the original Odyssey G7 only had HDMI 2.0 ports, so 4K gameplay was limited to 60 Hz). However, if you’re looking for something with an even higher refresh rate, you might want to check out the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8, which tops out at 240Hz.
One thing to keep in mind is the Neo G7’s larger-than-average footprint. Because of its extreme screen curvature, the Neo G7's legs are flared forward to counterbalance the weight. In other words, you'll have to sacrifice a decent amount of desk real estate if you plan on bringing this monitor home. But trust us: It's worth it.
Best Value Gaming Monitor: Gigabyte M27Q
The best monitor for gamers on a budget
The Gigabyte M27Q is the perfect monitor for gamers who want to hit that 1440p/144 Hz sweet spot, but don't want to break the bank doing it, which is why we think it's the gaming monitor that delivers the best value.
Technically speaking, the M27Q goes beyond the 144 Hz sweet spot, offering a refresh rate of 170 Hz. Your eyes probably won't be able to tell the difference between 170 Hz and 144 Hz but, depending on the games you play, your hands might feel it. Combine that high refresh rate with the M27Q’s low 0.5 ms response time, and you’re talking about an impressively smooth gaming experience for PC and console players.
We're not the only ones who the think very highly of the M27Q. The 27" monitor has been a favorite among gamers for a while. It’s an IPS panel that has wide viewing angles, which also makes this monitor a viable choice for co-op or competitive gaming scenario.
The M27Q is an excellent all-around monitor that fits the needs of gamers looking to spend less, and earns its place as our choice for the best budget gaming monitor.
Best 4K Monitor for PS5 & Xbox: Gigabyte M32U
The best 4K monitor for console gamers
Our pick for the best 4K-capable gaming monitor for PS5 and Xbox Series X is the Gigabyte M32U. We love this monitor for many reasons, but what makes it a good fit for console owners is its HDMI 2.1 ports, which are necessary for unlocking refresh rates higher than 60Hz.
Its large 32-inch screen provides more than enough screen space for an immersive gaming experience, and 4K resolution on a 32" screen provides sharp image quality and excellent text clarity.
The M32U has a 144Hz panel, which we believe is a great point of entry for most gaming, in general. It should be noted that you'll only be able to hit that maximum refresh rate over a DisplayPort connection. Thanks to the previously mentioned built-in HDMI 2.1 inputs, you can still hit 120Hz with 4K resolution on PS5 and Xbox Series X.
Best Ultrawide: Samsung Odyssey Neo G9
The best monitor for a truly immersive gaming experience
Our winner for the best ultrawide curved gaming monitor is the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9. If you've got a computer rig that’s beefy enough to handle it, it's hard to beat the immersion that comes with this monitor, and the extra bells and whistles just seal the deal. It has a 240Hz refresh rate with G-Sync and Freesync support and a 1000R curved VA panel. It also has a 1 ms response time, which makes playing games on it a very smooth experience.
What makes this monitor’s display fantastic to look at is that it's built with mini-LED backlighting, which allows for much greater brightness and makes HDR relevant. Local dimming lets those deep blacks shine and, as a result, the G9 is fantastic for gaming in dark rooms. It has a 32:9 aspect ratio as opposed to a more traditional 21:9 so, technically, that makes this monitor a super ultrawide.
The Neo G9 basically has the real estate of two 27" monitors, which makes multitasking anything a total breeze. The size of the G9 allows you to use that extra display real estate easily to pull up guides or Discord, for example, which is absolutely one of our favorite things about this monitor.
Being a high-end monitor geared toward gamers with unparalleled image quality solidifies the Neo Odyssey G9 as our pick for the best ultrawide curved gaming monitor.
Best Portable Monitor: ASUS ROG Strix XG16AHPE
The best multi-purpose portable display
Portable monitors are still fairly niche, but we've started to see a few more premium models roll out in the last few years, and we think the ASUS Republic of Gamers Strix XG16AHPE is the best of them.
It features a 16-inch display that's not only great for gaming on the go but also doubles as a secondary display for your home setup if you just need to run Discord anywhere other than your main screen, for example.
It's a surprisingly powerful and compact gaming monitor whose specs rival some desktop monitors, with its 144Hz refresh rate, incredibly fast response time, and low input lag—the key features that make a gaming monitor what it is. It also has a great built-in kickstand that works in either orientation.
If you need a higher refresh rate you can opt for the ASUS ROG Strix XG17AHPE, with an even higher 240Hz refresh rate.
What to Look for in a Gaming Monitor
Shopping for a new gaming monitor? Before you purchase your next monitor, be sure to consider the following.
Resolution: A measurement of how many pixels your screen can display horizontally and vertically. For example, a 2560 x 1440 screen displays 2560 pixels horizontally, and 1440 vertically. Higher resolution translates to a sharper, more detailed image.
Screen Size: Measured by finding the diagonal length from the top corner to the opposite bottom corner. Traditionally measured in inches, common screen sizes include 24", 27", and 32".
Refresh Rate: Measured in Hz, the refresh rate tells you how many times per second a monitor refreshes its screen. Higher refresh rates can lead to smoother overall image quality, which is especially important for fast-paced, competitive titles. Refresh rates start at around 30Hz and can go as high as 360Hz. At some point higher, rates will yield diminishing returns in terms of smoothness.
Response Time: The time it takes your monitor to shift a pixel's color from one to another. Usually, this is measured in terms of going from black to white to black again and is measured in milliseconds.
G-Sync/FreeSync: Improves monitor performance and reduces screen tearing by matching the performance of the screen's refresh rate with the frames outputted by a graphics card. Many gaming monitors feature response times within 1-2 ms.
HDR: High Dynamic Range (HDR) is a specification that determines whether a display can render an image that has deeper contrast, a wider color gamut, and generally better representation of brightness than that of a standard dynamic-range (SDR) display
Color Gamut: The color gamut describes a range of colors within the spectrum of colors, or a color space, that can be reproduced on a monitor.
Inputs/Outputs: Refers to the selection of ports available on a monitor. HDMI and DisplayPort are the most common and reliable input types. Output traditionally refers to USB ports or audio connector type.
Panel Type: There are three main categories of panel used on modern LCD monitors: TN, VA, and IPS-type. TN offers decent image performance and high responsiveness. VA sacrifices responsiveness, generally being the slowest current panel type but offering relatively strong contrast and improvements in color performance. IPS and related technologies are the kings of color, offering the most consistent and accurate performance in this area while sporting excellent viewing angles, respectable responsiveness, and reasonable contrast.
That does it for our gaming monitor roundup. Hopefully, you read about something that fits your needs and budget. If you still have questions, or need a recommendation for your personal setup, be sure to let us know in the Comments section, below. For more information and further details, visit the product pages at the hyperlinks above.