With the advent of modern display technologies such as Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs), Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLEDs), as well as NVIDIA’s and AMD’s efforts to smoothen gameplay with their respective solutions, people expect a lot when a monitor is tagged as a gaming one. Often, gamers invest in expensive but feature-packed gaming monitors that have high refresh rates, low input lag and fast response times while maintaining a smooth experience. Moreover, today’s modern gaming monitors often feature higher native resolutions, wider color gamut and better viewing angles compared to their predecessors that were released 5-10 years ago.
But with so many gaming monitors to choose from, it is difficult to pinpoint which of them are good value for money and those that can be considered overpriced for the specs that they come with. It can get trickier if you have plans of entering the professional scene as most organizers have set hardware standards for the tournaments they host. Thus, in this guide, we list not only the top 5 monitors for competitive gamers, but the some of the best cheap gaming monitors you can get your hands on today.
The ViewSonic XG2401 is geared towards both casual and professional gamers who are looking for a monitor that is both affordable and reliable – what most gamers on a budget define as the basic criteria for the “best” gaming monitor. The ViewSonic XG2401 features a TN (Twisted-Nematic) panel with a diagonal display of 24 inches and supports 144 Hz refresh rate and 1-millisecond response time for a smoother and more responsive gaming experience. The ViewSonic XG2401 has a configured resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with a maximum brightness of up to 350 CD/m2 (Candela per square meter), which ought to be ample for consistent screen legibility throughout gaming sessions and even productive tasks. Furthermore, the ViewSonic XG2401 boasts impressive static and dynamic contrast ratios of 1000:1 and 120,000,000:1, respectively. This translates to better, more vibrant colors and deeper, darker tones of any object projected on the screen.
Moreover, the XG2401 monitor has a 170-degree horizontal and 160-degree vertical viewing angles. It has a color depth of 16.7 million pixels for a crispier and more detailed screen output. This monitor also has a stacked I/O. There is a wide selection of ports that includes a full-sized display port, 2 HDMI ports, a USB Type B and 2 USB Type A ports, a single 3.5 mm Audio Out/Headphone Jack, and a CEE22-Certified 3-Pin Power-In Plug. ViewSonic also fitted it with a dual, 2-watt speakers for immersive audio experience during gaming or any audio-visual related activities. During normal usage it can consume roughly 32 watts, which can go up to 36 watts when the settings are calibrated for maximum performance.
The ViewSonic XG2401 approximately weighs 14.5 lbs while measuring about 22.3 x 17.0 x 9.1 inches in width, height, and depth, respectively. The monitor includes technologies such as AMD’s FreeSync that effectively synchronizes both the graphics card and monitor’s frame rates to eliminate game stuttering and image tearing, bringing about a smoother gameplay. The monitor also has the SmartSync technology for automatic selection of best refresh rates and response times for various, intensive games. In addition to, the monitor features ViewMode, which offers different calibrated screen presets including Game, Movie, Web, Text, and Mono.
Additional features of the ViewSonic XG2401 include customizable game mode settings, an integrated headphone hook for headphones, a cable management ring to reduce clutter, a Kensington Lock Slot and a Vesa-Compatible wall mount. The monitor is available online with a suggested retail price of $300. Some major outlets have it at $250, which is a good deal with all the features packs.
With a $349.99 price tag, the LG 24GM77 is a 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels) gaming monitor that boasts a balance of reliable performance, accurate color reproduction, a bunch of useful features and affordability. It has a 24-inch TN panel with a 3H Anti-Glare coating for better sunlight legibility. With a contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1 and a maximum brightness of 350 cd/m2, the 24GM77 not only ensure that viewing experiences are bright enough for comfortable gaming sessions, but also provide a better setting for prolonged, productive tasks. Moreover, this monitor boasts a 1 ms response time, which is expected considering the price range.
The LG 24GM77 offers a number of ports, including a full-sized DisplayPort, 2 HDMI ports, a D-Sub and DVI-D ports, three USB 3.0 Type A ports, and a 3.5mm Audio Out/Headphone Jack. The monitor is VESA-Compatible and can be installed on walls with its built-in mounting points and included VESA wall mount. Meanwhile, the monitor’s power consumption ranges from 20 watts (Eco mode) to a maximum power of 36 watts with an average of 32 watts for typical usage. The LG 24GM77 approximately weighs 14.5 lbs and measures 22.34 x 9.76 x 15.80 inches (Width x Height x Depth).
One of the great features of this LG monitor is its built-in ergonomic stand with swivel, pivot, tilt, and height adjustments. This provides users more control and precision in their desired monitor position. Some useful features of the monitor include Motion 240, Black Stabilizer, Super Resolution, Intelligent Auto, Reader Mode, Flicker Safe Option, Six Axis Control and Response Time Control. For its price and the specs it packs, it’s definitely one of the best gaming monitors available.
Asus ROG SWIFT PG278Q
A 27-inch, 1440p monitor with a 16:9 aspect ratio is considered as the most ideal gaming display setup at the moment. The 2560×1440 resolution offers a wider field of view, which can be handy for shooting games, compared to 1080p and the 27-inch display can showcase the resolution perfectly – pixels are not wasted and nor is it pixelated. The Asus ROG SWIFT PG278Q ticks these boxes. However, it’s not the only reason why some eSports pros prefer it over other offerings.
There’s no denying that this monitor was built for performance since Asus opted for a TN panel over an IPS one; sacrificing color precision and better viewing angles for a faster response time. With that choice comes the 1ms rapid response time that goes so well with its 144Hz refresh rate. Asus also included its Eye care technology that reduces eye fatigue, GamePlus onscreen crosshair/timer, a 5-way OSD navigation joystick and turbo key.
Thanks to its ergonomically-designed stand, height adjustments, titling and swiveling are all possible with the PG278Q. It can also be wall-mounted, which shouldn’t cause issues since it’s just 7 Kg. One of its major problems, however, is the $700 price tag, which can be attributed to the inclusion of Nvidia’s G-Sync technology. Albeit, you’ll also be getting 3D capabilities thanks to Nvidia’s 3D vision technology. Just bear in mind that with 3D mode, the refresh rate will be limited to 120 Hz.
For a $700 monitor, the PG278Q has a limited I/O collection – only has a DisplayPort 1.2 and 2 USB 3.0 ports. Some people also take issue with its overall design. With personal preferences aside, however, the PG278Q’s thin bezels are perfect for multi-monitor setups. With that said, among premium 27-inch gaming monitors, this is one of the ones that offer the best value for money. If you want the best gaming monitor, look no further.
With its 27-inch diagonal size, impressive 1440p (2560 x 1440) screen resolution in a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1 ms response time, the Acer XG270HU is a gaming monitor that’s perfect for both pros and enthusiasts. Priced at $499.99, the Acer XG270HU is quite expensive for a 27-inch that doesn’t have G-Sync. However, the cost is quite justified since it features a TN (Twisted Nematic) panel that has a 16.7 million color gamut and a contrast ratio of 100,000,000:1. The XG270HU display is covered with a medium AG (Anti-Glare) coating that doesn’t reflect ambient light to the user when exposed to the sun, but diffuses it instead to avoid unwanted glaring on the viewing surface. The monitor also has maximum viewing angles of 170 degrees horizontal and 160 degrees vertical, which allow it to maintain an acceptable level visual clarity even at extreme positions.
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The XG270HU has its own share of commonly used ports, including a DisplayPort, 2 HDMI ports, a DL-DVI port, and a 3.5mm Audio Out slot. It also has a dual, 2-watt built-in speakers for audio output. The monitor’s power consumption is a modest 21 watts on average while a maximum of 48 watts can be attained when calibrated accordingly. Similar to other Acer 27-inch offerings, the XG270HU measures 24.17 x 14.49 x 1.48 inches (Width x Height x Depth) and weighs about 7.72 lbs. The Acer XG270HU features AMD FreeSync, which, as explained earlier, completely eliminates screen tearing, game artifacts, and choppy gameplay during gaming by effectively syncing the refresh rates generated by a monitor and the graphics card.
This one, again, ticks all the right boxes, which makes it one of the best gaming monitor options. It’s a serious contender for a spot on your desk.
In a recent review by TechRadar, the LG 34UC79G is included as one of the 10 best monitors and displays of 2016. It mainly features a 21:9 aspect ratio, 34-inch AH-IPS (Advanced High Performance – In-Place Switching), curved display with a native resolution of 2560 x 1080 pixels. With a 144 Hz (Hertz) refresh rate, games run smoother and respond faster to user input. At the same time, the monitor’s 1 ms response time and Motion Blur Reduction Technology eliminates “ghosting” during gameplay and maintains visual clarity throughout the gaming experience. All these features make it one of the best gaming monitors for shooters and open-world games, which takes advantage of the wider field of view.
The 34UC79G has a minimal selection of ports for connectivity that include a DisplayPort™, 2 HDMI ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports, and a standard 3.5mm Audio Out jack. Like most high-end gaming monitors, the LG 34UC79G features dual, 7-watt Maxx Audio speakers that emit rich and loud audio output, especially in gaming. For its power consumption, the LG 34UC79G discharges at an average rate of 41 watts and rises up to a maximum output of 52 watts at heavy graphic loads. Meanwhile, the LG 34UC79G weighs about 14.11 lbs and measures an approximate 32.70 x 14.58 x 2.97 inches (Width x Height x Depth).
As a high-end gaming monitor, the LG 34UC79G comes with the following technologies: AMD FreeSync, Crosshair for better firing accuracy in first-person shooters, Black Stabilizer to reveal superior detail in dark scenes, and Dynamic Action Sync for smoother, more fluid gaming action. LG also fitted it with a Picture Mode that contains presets for various display scenarios, Ratio Selection, Game Mode, Flicker Safe, Smart Energy Saving Mode, Color Calibration Modes, OSC Modes that include Screen Split, Custom Display Preset and On Screen Control. Other features include a VESA-Compatible wall mount, ergonomic stand with tilt and height adjustment, Quick Charge for mobile devices, Picture-by-Picture, 6-Axis Control, HDCP, and Anti-theft stand lock slot. The LG 34UC79G can be purchased online or in stores worldwide starting at $699.99 USD.
As technology continues to advance, gamers are expected to be on a constant lookout for the latest and best gaming monitor. But while it’s certainly a joy to upgrade to something better, gamers need to be wise enough to recognize whether the features can justify the price or not. The top gaming monitors on this list are not only great value for money for they provide the best gaming experiences.