If you haven’t purchased a new gaming monitor for a few years, you’ve missed out on big advances that can make your games look great: the latest models have gorgeous colors and contrasts that will rival your living-room TV, higher resolutions that pack more pixels into the panel to give you sharper visuals, and an incredible combination of high refresh rates and adaptive sync technology for smooth, consistent gameplay.
We tested 11 of the best-reviewed gaming monitors across four separate categories — 1080p, 1440p, 4K, and ultrawide — to find the best monitors for gamers of all types. We tested each monitor’s color accuracy and response times, and used each one to play games, watch HDR movies, and perform everyday tasks within Windows 11. From gamers that need low lag and high frame rates to climb the ladder in their Valorant matches, to gamers that want a gorgeous, wide display for multi-tasking and movies, we have a pick for most desktop preferences.
The best 1440p gaming monitor
For gamers who don’t have the fanciest systems — and that’s a lot of us — the 27-inch Alienware delivers excellent performance, with a better combination of color accuracy and fast response time than any other monitor we tested.
The best 4K gaming monitor
Asus’s top of the line 4K monitor has the best picture quality we tested along with incredibly low input lag — it’s expensive, but it’s the best gaming monitor we’ve found, and for serious gamers who can make the investment, it’s the one to get.
The best ultrawide gaming monitor
With an incredible picture and speedy performance, this ultrawide OLED from Dell delivered the fastest response times in our testing and should satisfy any gamer looking for an immersive experience.
The best 1080p gaming monitor
For gamers on a budget — especially first-person shooter fans — this small monitor with great color accuracy, HDR support and a fast 360 Hz refresh rate really delivers.
If you don’t like ultrawide displays, and your system can’t handle a 4K resolution, your next best option is to pick up a strong 1440p display. Of the monitors we researched and tested, Dell’s Alienware AW2721D floated to the top for its excellent out-of-the-box picture quality and strong response times. As an HDR 600-certified display, which gives it more peak brightness to work with and requires it to support local dimming in some capacity, it’s better than most 1440p displays that support the more lackluster HDR 400 standard.
Out of the box, this 27-inch, 240Hz IPS display delivered great performance on our color accuracy tests, reaching a DeltaE of 2.19 and 1.05 for our sRGB and DCI-P3 tests, respectively. That’s partly due to the strength of the monitor’s accuracy on its grayscales; looking just at the DeltaE average for colors on the sRGB version of our test, its score of 3.34 is a little higher than we’d prefer to see. However, the monitor doesn’t come with an sRGB clamp, or a mode that would restrict its color space. So, it’s expected that there’d be some aberrations given its wider default gamut. This isn’t a huge issue, but the monitor may appear slightly more saturated at times.
Dell’s display supports HDR10 and is certified for the HDR 600 standard, which gives you approximately 32 local dimming zones—a better setup than you’d typically find on an HDR 400 display, but outpaced by our pricier ultrawide and 4K gaming monitor picks. As with most displays, the monitor’s incredibly high maximum refresh rate, 240Hz, will actually max out at 144Hz if you’re using 10-bit color, though we doubt you’ll see much of a difference between 8- or 10-bit mode. Its total luminosity range was a whopping 476 cd/m2 in our tests (44.3–520.4 cd/m2)
No other 1440p monitor we tested had such a strong combination of default color accuracy and great average response times—5.46 milliseconds, which was among the top of all the monitors we tested for this guide. The display supports G-Sync and FreeSync across its entire refresh rate range if you’re using its single DisplayPort 1.4 connection. We recommend that over the display’s two HDMI 1.4 ports. The display’s input lag is so low, as measured by TFT Central, that you’ll be able to play twitchy first-person shooters without any issues whatsoever.
The AW2721D doesn’t come with any built-in speakers, which we don’t miss, and it has four USB 3.2 ports split between its rear and bottom. RGB lighting is integrated as well, but it’s not the display’s focus, more a subtle, “nice to have” add-on than something you’ll be using to spice up the look of your Twitch streams.
Aside from the display’s so-so local dimming for HDR, which won’t necessarily wow you, and the lack of an sRGB emulation mode, the AW2721D otherwise performs well for most gamers’ needs. It’s a little on the expensive side compared to other 1440p monitors we tested, but it’s as color-accurate as it is responsive right out of the box.
Asus’ ROG Swift PG32UQX has a gorgeous Mini-LED backlit display that gives you near-perfect picture quality and supports 4K resolution at refresh rates as high as you’re likely to encounter for the smoothest performance we saw in testing. You won’t find a better mix of size, image quality, gaming capabilities, and HDR performance — and we’d expect nothing less than near-perfection for its eye-popping price tag, which is the PG32UQX’s only real downside. If your gaming PC can handle a 4K resolution and you can afford it, Asus’ PG32UQX is the display to get.
This 32-inch, IPS display supports 4K gaming at a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz, which is higher than the frame rates most gamers will probably ever see when playing their favorite games at their highest quality settings. Its factory-calibrated picture is practically perfect out of the box, and the PG32UQX is compatible with both Nvidia’s G-Sync and AMD’s FreeSync adaptive sync technologies for buttery-smooth gameplay. On our testing, it delivered a huge luminosity range of 377.4 cd/m2 (41.2–418.6 cd/m2 ), which makes it as good to use in a brightly lit room as a darker gamer den.
The PG32UQX gives you an incredible picture quality right out of the box. That said, unlike most displays, it doesn’t come with a simple “Standard” preset, so you’ll have to choose based on what you’re using it for, plus once you do select a preset, (we started with “Racing”) you will have to pick the color space “clamp” or limit you need for the games you’re playing (we recommend sticking with the monitor’s sRGB or DCI-P3 presets for everything you’re doing).
Whichever you select, you’ll get great color accuracy. We measured the PG32UQX’s color gamut at 98.8 percent and 99.9 percent for sRGB and DCI-P3, respectively, so you’re basically getting a full color space to work with no matter what you pick. The PG32UQX’s sRGB mode achieved an average DeltaE — a measure of color accuracy — of 0.74 across our grayscale and color-swatch tests, which is incredible performance for a consumer monitor. Its color accuracy dropped to a DeltaE of 2.16 when we switched over to DCI-P3, but even that is simply more in line with average monitors, and wouldn’t cause us any concern for everyday use or gaming. (You’re more likely to notice the oversaturated colors of DCI-P3 if you’re using this broader color space with apps and content that were built for more limited sRGB colors.)
When tested on its default settings, the PG32UQX’s average gamma-corrected response time of 11.91 milliseconds was on the slower side of all the monitors we tested (double some of the speedier displays we evaluated). That’s the average of all the measurements we took for the display’s “grey to grey” times, or how long it takes a pixel to move from one specific shade of grey to another. For a gamer, the faster a pixel can transition, the faster you’ll notice it (and be able to react accordingly in whatever you’re playing).
Though its response time is on the slower side for a gaming display, this shouldn’t cause issues, as the monitor’s incredibly low input lag (measured by TFT Central) doesn’t incorporate any signal-processing lag thanks to the display’s built-in G-Sync module. In practical terms, this means that you’ll be able to play fast-paced, competitive first-person-shooters without issue. We’d expect nothing less from a display that costs more than an incredible living-room TV.
We love the built-in OLED display on the monitor’s front, which can tell you your current frames-per-second, input source, or other system stats if you install the supplemental LiveDash software.
You get two USB 3.0 ports on the display’s back panel, as well as another one on the very top of the monitor for your webcam — a design we’ve can’t ever remember seeing elsewhere and which we found very handy.
The display’s only omissions are minor. It doesn’t come with any built-in speakers, but we’re fine with this omission given that integrated monitor speakers usually sound terrible and if you’re going to be putting this much money into a monitor you’re likely going to be shopping for a great gaming headset or better desktop speakers anyway.
There’s also no HDMI 2.1 input; just one DisplayPort 1.4 connection and three HDMI 2.0 ports, which is slightly harder to swallow given the price of this display. Though the monitor supports both HDR10 and DisplayHDR 1400, which is excellent, Dolby Vision is absent. This inclusion would have been the cherry on top of an otherwise killer display, but you’ll probably get by just fine with “regular” ol’ HDR10. You can’t spin the 32-inch display into portrait mode, and we hate that its RGB lights stay on in its standby mode.
If the PG32UQX is simply beyond your gaming budget, Asus has a lower-priced alternative, the PG32UQ, that is otherwise similar but trades the Mini-LED setup for a more standard edge-lit backlight. However, we think Gigabyte’s M32U is a better option. It typically costs a few hundred dollars less than the cheaper ASUS PG32UQ, and it supports the same 144Hz maximum refresh rate, but it has stronger color accuracy in its sRGB mode. Both displays support HDR 600; by default, the PG32UQ has worse response times, but cranking up the Overdrive level to four (of five) makes it competitive to the M32U. You get HDMI 2.1 ports on either display, great for gamers looking to connect up one of their next-gen consoles for 4K gaming. We still recommend sticking with Gigabyte’s display if you need a less-expensive 4K gaming monitor than our top pick.
Price aside, there are other valid reasons why you might not want to buy the PG32UQX, The most important one is its 4K resolution. If your system isn’t capable of outputting a decent frame rate at this resolution in your favorite games, then a 4K display might not be the best choice for you. You’ll have to reduce your image quality via your in-game settings to make them playable, and we don’t think it’s worth slapping a worse-looking image on such a gorgeous, pricey display.
Dell’s Alienware AW3423DW is an incredibly good-looking Quantum Dot OLED monitor (QD-OLED) that has a few minor quirks, but gives you a great picture quality and rich HDR performance across its 34-inch, 3440-by-1440-pixel ultrawide display. It’s one of the cheapest and best ways to get OLED performance on your desk, so long you aren’t bothered by an ultrawide resolution in general—a matter of personal preference that’s the main reason why this display wasn’t our top pick for everyone.
The display supports a refresh rate up to 175Hz, but you’ll have to drop from a 10-bit to an 8-bit color depth to achieve it. While most people are unlikely to notice this difference, it’s also true that most gamers will probably be just fine bumping the refresh rate down to 144Hz, or the highest refresh rate supported for 10-bit color.
A built-in G-Sync module means that adaptive sync triggers across the monitor’s entire range of refresh rates, and the AW3423DW also works just fine with FreeSync. Just make sure you’re using the monitor’s single DisplayPort 1.4 connection if you want the best G-Sync or FreeSync performance; you’ll be more restricted over its two HDMI 2.0 ports.
On our display quality tests, the monitor’s default settings produced an average DeltaE of 2.81 on our sRGB test, which is slightly below the point at which you’d probably notice any color inaccuracies. It fared much better on our wide-gamut, DCI-P3 test with a DeltaE of 1.66, but it’s up to you whether you prefer more universal accuracy (sRGB) or a wider gamut, but potentially oversaturated colors in apps and games that weren’t designed for it (DCI-P3). We measured the monitor’s luminosity range at 221.2 cd/m2 (23.4–244.5 cd/m2).
The monitor’s sRGB mode improved its color accuracy considerably, achieving a DeltaE of 1.24, but its DCI-P3 mode appeared worse, reaching a DeltaE of 3.7. We recommend sticking with the monitor’s sRGB mode, which is good enough that you don’t really need to do any extra calibration or fiddling, aside from adjusting its brightness to your preference.
We did notice that on-screen text felt a little fuzzier in Windows 11 than other monitors we’ve reviewed, mainly a result of the AW3423DW’s RGB sub-pixel layout. If this bothers you—some notice it, some don’t—you can easily correct it by grabbing the free Better ClearType Tuner app, enabling RGB font antialiasing, and bumping up the contrast. (We set ours to 1800, and it solved any slight text issues we saw.)
The slightly curved AW3423DW supports HDR10 (but no Dolby Vision), and has two official HDR “modes” you can select within the monitor’s on-screen display: HDR 400 and HDR 1000. We recommend sticking with HDR 1000. Even though HDR 400 is the more-impressive HDR 400 True Black VESA certification, itself an improvement over normal HDR 400 (which isn’t very good on any monitor), the improved highlights you get with HDR 1000 makes games and movies look noticeably better. HDR 400 can lead to a “blown-out” look in brighter parts of whatever you’re staring at (like, say, a nuke going off in your favorite first-person shooter).
On our response time tests, Dell’s display delivered the best response times of all 11 monitors we tested by a wide margin: an average of 2.46 seconds for all gray-to-gray measurements, which was twice as fast as the next-best display (non-OLED, to be fair). Input lag, as measured by pcmonitors.info, was 5.17 milliseconds. That’s higher than we’d expect for a panel with an integrated G-Sync module, but still good enough to deliver a responsive gaming experience for nearly everyone.
We mostly disliked the setup of the AW3423DW’s on-screen display. For example, the monitor will occasionally prompt you to perform a pixel refresh if you haven’t powered it down in some time. It’s worded to suggest that the refresh will happen when the monitor is off, but the prompt fails to warn you that picking “proceed” turns the monitor off immediately and begins a multi-minute refresh—an annoying UX issue that will trip you up the first time, but never again. Sometimes, a pixel refresh box will pop up on your screen that doesn’t have a “cancel” option on it, just “proceed,” and that’s really irritating to deal with when you’re in the middle of a game (like a World of Warcraft raid, in our case).
There’s no way to update the AW3423DW’s firmware, which is especially annoying given our version of the display had a quirky bug where leaving its “Eco” mode enabled, its default state, would sometimes switch the monitor from sRGB to DCI-P3 mode when it woke up. It’s a bummer to know that the monitor, in its as-shipped state, will never get any better. (Turning off Eco mode fixed our issue, at least.)
The AW3423DW isn’t perfect, but its quirks—including the slightly longer than normal time it takes to switch from SDR to HDR modes in Windows 11, and the lack of a KVM switch or picture-in-picture mode for the monitor’s display connections and four USB 3.2 ports—aren’t any more annoying than the normal amount of “getting used to it” you’ll have to put yourself through when switching to an ultrawide display. The AW3423DW’s picture quality, especially for its price, is worth a little hassle.
For its small size, Asus’ ROG Swift PG259QNR gives you a lot to work with. This 25-inch, 1080p display has a huge 360Hz refresh rate and out-of-the-box color accuracy that’s impressive for its price. The display even supports HDR (albeit the standard with the least-impressive visual performance, HDR 400), and it comes with a free desk clamp if you don’t want to use its provided stand.
The PG259QNR isn’t a wide-gamut display—more on that in a bit—so we only tested its color accuracy for the sRGB color space, where it delivered an amazing average DeltaE of 0.97 on our grayscale and spot-color tests. When we flipped to the monitor’s “racing,” mode, we found it performed just as well as its default preset, which was great to see. Its response times were among the fastest of all the monitors we tested, and TFT Central measured the input lag of its nearly identical sibling, the PG259QN, at 1.75 seconds. Given this monitor screams “first-person-shooter fan,” given how it prioritizes refresh rate over resolution, that’s a great result for gamers that need the best timings in their favorite titles.
We love that the PG259QNR is compatible with both G-Sync and FreeSync across its full refresh rate range, but you’ll have to use its single DisplayPort 1.4 connection to benefit from the full 360Hz instead of its two HDMI 2.0 ports. Though the display accepts an HDR signal, and supports 10-bit color depth, it’s not really built for HDR at all, since it only covered roughly 66 percent of the DCI-P3 color space in our testing. We wouldn’t recommend purchasing this monitor if you want a quality HDR image from your games, movies, and other media.
Though we couldn’t adjust the display’s brightness on its sRGB setting, an annoyance for those buying the monitor in California, we measured its total luminance range on its Racing setting at 377.4 cd/m2 (41.2–418.6 cd/m2). That should give you plenty to work with, whether you’re using the display in daylight or a dim, murky gaming room.
If the PG259QNR’s price feels steep, consider checking out the PG259QN. It’s the exact same display minus a built-in Nvidia Reflex Latency Analyzer, which probably isn’t worth the extra if you don’t care about benchmarking your display. Whichever version you go with, you’re getting a great, color-accurate display for everyday use and an incredibly responsive, high-refresh-rate, for all the Valorant and Counter-Strike matches you’ll be playing after you’re done with work for the day. Given its small size and resolution, this display definitely isn’t for everyone, but if you know that’s the setup you need for your quasi-competitive gaming, Asus’ display is the one to pick up.
Gaming monitors come in a wide range of configurations to suit different types of gaming setups and tastes, and there’s no monitor that’s going to be perfect for everyone, every time. However, when it’s time to upgrade, some attributes are worth prioritizing above others.
A monitor that supports whatever adaptive sync matches your graphics card—Nvidia’s G-Sync or AMD’s FreeSync—is one of the more noticeable upgrades you’ll experience, so long as the display supports adaptive sync over a wide range of refresh rates. If FreeSync kicks in at 48Hz, and you can barely push 30 frames-per-second in your favorite titles, you won’t get the buttery-smooth, stutter-free picture you were expecting. Combine these technologies with a display that supports a refresh rate of 120Hz, at minimum, and you’re on your way to a noticeable increase in image clarity and smoothness.
In general, being able to game at as high a resolution as possible can also give you a noticeable quality boost: just compare any “fuzzier” 1080p display to a 4K monitor. But there can be trade-offs. Bigger resolutions don’t always mean better quality. A panel that struggles with color accuracy, ghosting, lag, or any number of other issues won’t be saved by having a huge resolution. And if your system can’t output frame rates at a game’s highest quality settings, the demands of a 4K display might force you to lower your settings to make your favorite games playable—a trade-off we don’t think is worth it.
IPS panels, OLED displays, or the various OLED-like derivatives can deliver great picture quality, but to have a better shot of achieving great visuals without having to buy expensive calibration hardware of your own, consider displays that arrive pre-calibrated from the factory. That’s not a guarantee they’ll be perfect, but it helps.
HDR — high dynamic range — isn’t a necessity for a gaming monitor, but it sure looks great when it’s done right—like when you’re taking a break from gaming with your favorite HDR-friendly movie. If you’re planning to use your monitor for multiple purposes, or you’re going to hold onto your new gaming monitor for a few years, consider getting one that offers an HDR mode that supports the wide color gamuts you’ll probably encounter in the future.
HDR 400 offers less brightness and a narrower range of colors, so you’ll want to look for HDR 600 support at minimum, while HDR 1000 has the potential to give you a much better picture since it supports an increased number of local dimming zones these displays typically support. In other words, the more places the monitor can make dark scenes really dark and light parts really bright. Look for a display with an 8-bit picture; 10-bit is even better, but you probably won’t notice the difference.
Low response times and input lag are important if you’re playing twitch-based shooters, but are less relevant if you’re spending all your time in front of your computer playing Hearthstone, Satisfactory, or other games that don’t require rapid reflexes. That said, most good gaming monitors are fast enough that this shouldn’t be much of a concern to anyone; you’re more likely to notice issues with overshoot, or when a monitor goes too far past its target when transitioning between colors. This can create an unpleasant blurring or “ghosting” effect in moving content. Look to independent reviewers for these response time and input lag measurements, as manufacturers tend to goose these figures (or not report them at all).
We started our research by tracking the most highly-reviewed displays from TFT Central, RTINGS, PC Gamer, Tom’s Hardware, PCMag, and various YouTube enthusiasts, which helped us narrow down to a list of 11 finalists across four overall categories.
Once we received each monitor, we measured each display’s maximum and minimum luminance using a ColorChecker Display Plus colorimeter in the free DisplayCAL software. We then set each display to a luminance of 120 cd/m2, whenever possible, and measured its gamut coverage for the sRGB and DCI-P3 color spaces. We then measured the color accuracy of each monitor’s default, as-shipped settings for sRGB and DCI-P3 (if applicable), which produced an average for 21 grayscale values and 29 colors, as well as a total average. We then ran those same tests for a display’s sRGB- or DCI-P3-specific presets, if they existed, and measured each display’s grayscale accuracy in its HDR mode(s).
We then fired up the Open Source Response Time Tool, built for us by TechTeamGB’s Andrew McDonald, to measure each display’s gamma-corrected average response time and visual response rating. Though this tool can also measure input lag, that can be sensitive to each reviewer’s individual setup, so we relied on others with more comprehensive, consistent databases of results to get a sense of each display’s potential lag.
We used all of these measurements, as well as a display’s specs and our hands-on time with each (playing games and using them for day-to-day work) to come up with our overall evaluation.
The M32U was a contender for our top pick, but this 4K display’s color accuracy wasn’t as great as Asus’ ROG Swift PG32UQX without some fiddling around – it’s good, but not great. Its sRGB mode improved its color accuracy considerably, making it as good as our primary pick, but that was the only mode we tested that performed as well. Its average response times were worse than the high-end Asus’, and its HDR 600 capabilities, while good, don’t give you anywhere near as gorgeous contrasts you’ll enjoy with the PG32UQX’s Mini-LED backlight. The M32U is a solid display that costs a lot less, but it’s not the very best 4K gaming display you can get.
The Ultragear 27GP950is a 27-inch display that maxes out at a 144Hz refresh rate, much like our primary pick, Asus’ ROG Swift PG32UQX. The color accuracy of its default options was slightly above a DeltaE of 3, or the point at which you might notice discrepancies if you had a good comparison point. Our pick, in contrast, was nearly perfect out of the box; LG’s display only improved to those levels when we switched it over to its sRGB mode, which clamps the wide-gamut display to that color space. Not only were LG’s average response times slightly worse than our primary pick, but this HDR 400 monitor didn’t wow us when we watched movies or played games in that mode.
Asus’ display, though wickedly expensive, also has much stronger HDR capabilities and contrast ratios as a result of its Mini-LED backlight than either of these IPS displays can produce with their edge backlights. Gigabyte’s display is only certified for HDR 400, which isn’t great, and LG’s bumps up to a more pleasant HDR 600–”good-enough” HDR performance, but nothing we’d get overly excited about. Both monitors work with G-Sync and FreeSync.
We also tested Samsung’s Odyssey Neo G8, a 4K Mini-LED display, but its color accuracy was bad enough to be potentially noticeable on any of its presets we tested. The monitor’s average response times, on its default settings, were tied for worst of all 11 displays we evaluated for this guide, and we encountered an annoying and obvious ghosting effect in moving images as a result of the display’s significant overdrive. Oddly, the display also had no sRGB or DCI-P3 clamp whatsoever, which likely contributed to its color-accuracy issues. This 240Hz, 32-inch gaming monitor was a surprising letdown.
Gigabyte’s M34WQ, a 34-inch ultrawide 144Hz 1440p display, had so-so color accuracy out of the box, but this greatly improved when we switched this HDR400 display over to its sRGB preset (slightly less so, its DCI-P3 preset). However, its maximum potential refresh rate was much less than our pick, Dell’s Alienware AW2721D. Itts response times were worse, its HDR grayscale accuracy was worse, and it had worse gamut coverage and volume for DCI-P3 than our pick. We liked that the display supports G-Sync and FreeSync, and it has a built-in KVM switch, which makes it simple to use one mouse and keyboard combination with multiple connected desktops.
MSI’s 27-inch, 1440p Optix MAG274QRF-QD had terrible color accuracy out of the box–the worst of the 11 monitors we tested across the sRGB and DCI-P3 color spaces. We saw considerable improvement when we switched to its sRGB or DCI-P3 modes, but these didn’t even exist on our monitor as-shipped. We had to install a firmware update to unlock them, and we suspect most people (even gamers) won’t go this far to unlock these better presets. While its average response times were great, this 27-inch, 165Hz monitor only supports HDR400, and its measured HDR grayscale accuracy was worse than our primary pick’s.
Dell’s 27-inch, 1440p S2722DGM had decent color accuracy out of the box, but its average response times were among the worst we saw of all the monitors we tested, and it doesn’t even support HDR. We don’t think this 27-inch display, which has a 165Hz refresh rate and is compatible with G-Sync and FreeSync, is worth exploring.
The 1080p Acer XF243Y performed well on our color accuracy tests out-of-the-box, but this 23.8-inch monitor maxes out at a 165Hz refresh rate. While that should be plenty for most gamers, those looking for an ultra-responsive, high-refresh-rate, 1080p display would be better served by our primary pick, Asus’ 360Hz PG259QNR. It’s also a slightly larger display, at 24.5 inches, and performed every-so-slightly better on our average response rate tests. Both displays struggle to display a wide color gamut, so we wouldn’t count on either for HDR gaming (or movie-watching).