9 best gaming monitors 2016: super-fast, retina-searing displays

Give your gaming a boost with a marvellous monitor

we've gathered together the best monitors for you right here. If however, you just want an instant recommendation, rather than a list of potentials to browse through, then we consider the Acer Predator XB271HU to be the best gaming monitor on the market right now.

Compatible with Nvidia's killer G-Sync feature, the Acer Predator is simply the best among gaming displays. Colours also look awesome, whether you're in-game or just zipping around the desktop. The poor quality speakers are a bit of a drawback, but it'll hardly be a big issue if you've got decent gaming headphones or a separate sound system (which you should have, of course).

How to choose the best gaming monitor for you

PCs are the pioneer when it comes to gaming graphics, but it doesn't matter how good your graphics card is if you don't have a monitor that can keep up with all those pixel-pushing improvements.

After all, if you want to get serious about your gaming you need more than just a beefed up hard drive. You need a good a screen - afterall, that's what you'll be staring at.

It has to look good, but most importantly it has to give you the specs that can give you a jump on your opponents: quick refresh rates, high picture quality and those all-important slick response times. The monitors that follow have these qualities and plenty more besides:

Most important is response time (listed in ms) and low input lag. Response time is how long it takes a pixel in your LCD to change colour. After all, one of the main requirements for a gaming monitor is the ability to handle fast-paced action.

We've rounded up the best PC monitors for gaming here, from the vibrant colours of the Acer Predator XB271HU to the 4K delights of the Samsung U28E590D 28 inch, so you can stay one step ahead of the competition.

The 9 best gaming monitors you can buy today

These are the best gaming monitors to buy, in order of preference.

1. Acer Predator XB271HU

Silky smooth gaming

Acer Predator XB271HU

Compatible with Nvidia's G-Sync feature
Up to 144Hz panel
Poor quality speakers
Limited inputs

Offering excellent gaming performance, the 27-inch Acer Predator XB271HU is compatible with Nvidia's killer G-Sync feature, which smooths gaming by synching the monitor's refresh rate with the GPU. In other words, if you have a PC equipped with one of Nvidia's GTX graphics cards, you'll get silky smooth gaming at up to 144Hz (compared to the regular 60Hz that most monitors are capable of). The difference is astounding. Whether you're gaming or undertaking productivity work, colours look vibrant on the XB271HU's IPS panel, which also boasts excellent viewing angles.

2. Samsung U28E590D 28 inch 4K LED Monitor

Over 8 billion pixels

Samsung U28E590D 28 inch 4K LED Monitor

4K display
1ms response time
Slightly reduced viewing angles
No USB port

The U28E590D is a slick 28-inch 4K gaming monitor that sports a sharp picture and eye-catching angular design. If your PC has the power, this panel brings the pixels — all 8.3 billion of them. Images are both detailed and clear thanks to a brightness of 370cd/m, and Samsung's decision to fulfil the 1ms response time will let you swiftly pick off enemies in the darkest corners. Picture settings can be tweaked using the on-screen menu, or you can sit back and allow its Game Mode and Dynamic Contrast modes to do the heavy lifting. DisplayPort 1.2 gives the green light for fluid 60Hz gaming at 4K, and smart port placement means you won't have to bend backwards to connect cables or peripherals around the back. Surrounding the display is a super-thin bezel too that lets you see the bigger picture.

3. BenQ XL2720Z

Play like a pro gamer

BenQ XL2720Z

Lots of inputs
Fantastic for gaming
No feel sync

The rise of 4K panels has led to 1080p monitor makers upping their game. While most ordinary people get by with 60Hz screens, gamers seeking a higher level (or two) of accuracy are turning to ultra-responsive 144Hz monitors — and the 27-inch BenQ XL2720Z is one of the best. Those extra hertz are complimented by a ton of features including motion-blur reduction, ZeroFlicker technology that makes gaming easier on the eyes and three genre-specific settings (two for first-person shooters and one for real-time strategy titles). Like the Samsung U28D590D, it has an unbeatable 1ms response time, and a button to easily flick through 12 aspect ratios means you can alter the screen to play like professional gamers who narrow their line of sight in shooters by switching to 4:3 in competitive tournaments. At £329 it's a fair bit more expensive than your regular 1080p monitor, but if you're into gaming the XL2720Z's feature set makes it a solid offering.

4. BenQ GL2450

The power-saving option

BenQ GL2450

Power saving mode
5ms refresh rate
No HDMI port

Boasting a dynamic contrast ratio of 12M:1, colour depth and definition is super impressive on this 1080p, 16:9 monitor. You'll also get a quick 5ms refresh rate for smooth images and Senseye tech with a specific colour mode that'll make your games pop. An eco mode helps you save power, a must if you spend much of the day glued to the screen.

5. AOC G2770PF 27 inch 144 Hz LED Gaming Monitor

The low-cost option

Integrated USB hub
Good value for money
No motion blur reduction

AOC also fulfills the 1ms response and 144hz refresh benchmarks, and accompanies that with a classic, clean design and a very nice Full HD LED display. The real USP here though is the integrated USB hub, which features four USB ports for your mouse, keyboard et al, and a fast-charging port for your phone. Nifty.

6. Asus VG248QE

Plenty of USB ports

Asus VG248QE

144hz refresh rate
Reduced viewing angles

AOC also fulfills the 1ms response and 144hz refresh benchmarks, and accompanies that with a classic, clean design and a very nice Full HD LED display. The real USP here though is the integrated USB hub, which features four USB ports for your mouse, keyboard et al, and a fast-charging port for your phone. Nifty.

7. BenQ XL2430T LED 24 inch Gaming Monitor

Vibrant colours

BenQ XL2430T LED 24 inch Gaming Monitor

144hz refresh rate
Motion blur reduction tech

Not only does the XL2430T have a 144hz refresh rate, but it also comes packing motion blur reduction tech, refresh rate optimisation management and a 20-level colour vibrance setting. A new angular, compact base and monitor stand also ensure that the monitor is placed in golden ratio to perfectly counter balance the display.

8. Dell U2715H 27 inch LCD Monitor

Crystal clear QHD

Dell U2715H 27 inch LCD Monitor

Solid audio output
Poor stand design

At 399 queen’s heads, the Ultrasharp range sure isn’t cheap. But if you’re looking for crystal clear QHD and top quality picture definition, then you’ve got to be willing to pay the big bucks. Only an 8ms response time mind you, but a 2560 x 1440 resolution panel, a host of connections in the rear and near 180 degree viewing angle make this a more media-friendly option.

9. Philips Brilliance 242G5DJEB

Slick refresh rates

Philips Brilliance 242G5DJEB

144hz refresh rate
Game-specific picture enhancement

Features the same retina-searing 1920 x 1080 resolution as the Asus monitor, and a slick 144hz refresh rate. Although the typical response time is 5ms, this shouldn't put you off - Philips' SmartResponse can boost this to 1ms, the benchmark response time for gaming. And with SmartImage’s game-specific picture enhancement, everything looks great too... definitely worth the price tag.