Gaming monitors are getting more sophisticated and feature-filled every year, so T3 has an up-to-date list of some of the best displays you can buy right now. We're huge PC gamers here at T3, and that means we're always on the look out for the best monitors to do our passion justice.
Our test rig is outfitted with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GPU (an amazing best graphics card), enabling us to really push every display to its limit with the very best PC games on the market in 2019. So, whether you're looking for a high-end gaming monitor with all the bells and whistles, or something that walks the line between great specs and affordability, T3 has you covered.
From ultra-wide, curved displays to 4K-ready machines, there's a really wide variety of top gaming monitors on the market today and, by following this guide and doing your own research, we're sure you can narrow down the options and land the perfect panel for you.
After all, we've put together this gaming monitor guide with both PC and console gamers in mind, and as such on top of great PC options you can find recommendations for the best gaming monitor for PS4, best gaming monitor for Xbox One, and best gaming monitor for Nintendo Switch, too.
Plus, now is a great time to either invest in a gaming display for the first time or to make a tidy upgrade. That's because we are now in the Winter Holiday Season period of 2019 and, as such, there's some superb savings and reductions to be had in the world of gaming monitors if you shop smart. And, talking of shopping smart…
Best Gaming Monitor Black Friday deals: What We Are Expecting
For years resolution was king when it came round to PC gaming. Gaming monitors, graphics cards and games were sold largely on the high resolutions that they could handle, with SD, HD, FHD, QHD, 4K and now 8K the jargon du jour.
And, while no-one is going to say that having a high resolution isn't appreciated, having a monitor that can handle high frame rates / refresh rates, as well as one that boasts a top response time (ideally 1 ms), is just as important when gaming today.
The level of immersion delivered by a game running at a frame rate north of 60fps and on a quality, high refresh rate monitor is just an order of magnitude greater than a game running at 4K at 23.7 fps on a panel with a duff response time and refresh rate.
Finally, though, after three or four years of high Hz monitors costing a small fortune, in 2019 we've reached an affordable point in terms of the tech's roll-out. 144Hz monitors, such as the Dell S2419HGF pictured above, have been retailing at affordable price points all year and now, in the wake of the Black Friday deals bonanza, are at very, very attractive price points.
The Dell S2419HGF, for example, is currently discounted by a whopping 50% over at Walmart, a fact that means it can be picked up for a mind-blowingly low $149.99. And, as that is a 24-inch 1080p panel, you won't need a RTX 2080 Ti in order to game a super high frame rates on it.
Which, in a long way round, brings us round to what we are expecting this Black Friday. And the answer is quite simple, we're expecting a raft of quality discounts on 144Hz or greater gaming monitors. Asus, Acer, Dell, BenQ, LG and more are expected to go large with gaming monitor discounts, so our advice is to avoid lesser gaming monitor deals this Black Friday and settle only for the best. Just remember that the best doesn't necessarily mean the highest resolution.
What is the best gaming monitor?
However, if you're looking for an instant recommendation, we consider the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ to be the best gaming monitor on the market right now. It's an incredible piece of kit that's worth every penny of its hefty price tag.
There's also plenty of other options from all the biggest and most-trusted brands, including Acer, Philips, Samsung, BenQ, Dell and more. Whatever your budget, we've curated models from across the price spectrum. We've also gathered together some helps tips to consider when buying a new gaming monitor.
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.
And be under no illusion, 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 - after all, that's what you'll be staring at.
Naturally, a great gaming monitor 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, though, 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.
And, lastly, make sure you get a gaming monitor that comes with ports, modes, and connectivity options that you'll ideally want to use. It's no good spending money on a quality gaming monitor only to find out it doesn't have a specific input or auxiliary function you need.
The best gaming monitors you can buy today
1. ASUS ROG SWIFT PG27UQ
The money-no-object best gaming monitor on the market today
Reasons to buy
If you have the money to ring it up then the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ is the best gaming monitor on the market today.
Indeed, when appraising the PG27UQ it is tricky to know where to begin, with the system so strong across the board in terms of hardware and features.
The monitor delivers a stunning 27-inch 4K Ultra-HD display, which allows gaming at a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution, and one that also comes loaded with HDR 10, Nvidia G-Sync and a 144Hz refresh rate, too.
There's also the panel's quantum-dot tech to consider as well, which delivers a wide DCI-P3 colour gamut to enable more realistic colours to be reproduced. And, speaking of colour, the PG27UQ also comes loaded with Asus' Aura Sync system that allows immersive ambient lighting.
Naturally, as you would expect from a monitor equipped thus, providing you can hook up a system capable of pushing 4K resolutions (hello Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti!) then playing great PC games on the Swift is a simply stunning experience. Play a title like Metro Exodus on it, which supports the awesome next-gen Ray Tracing lighting tech, and the immersion generated is truly next level.
Of course, even the best products tend to come with at least one caveat, and in this case it is the PG27UQ's price, which is undoubtedly high. If you can stretch to it, though, it will leave nothing to be desired.
2. Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB
A do-it-all 4K monitor of simply epic proportions
Reasons to buy
For gamers the Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB delivers simply astonishing gaming bang for your buck.
For just a shade over £500 the Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB delivers a simply huge 43-inch, 4K, HDR panel that also boasts a crazy-high 1000 nits peak brightness.
A very tidy 4 ms response time, as well as Adaptive-Sync technology, mean that even the most frantic, high-speed gaming sessions remain lag and blur free, while the screen's Quantum Dot tech means colours really pop, too.
A fantastic selection of connection options, including HDMI, DisplayPort, mini DisplayPort and USB-C, also means that no matter what type of gaming system you need to hook up then you can, while the inclusion of Philips' Ambiglow lighting means the monitor can add to immersion with in-sync ambient colours.
A rock solid all-round performer that can be used for gaming, entertainment and productivity alike.
3. BenQ EX2780Q
1440p never looked so good.
Reasons to buy
The BenQ EX2780Q is absolutely packed with features that gamers are going to love – like that 144Hz refresh rate for super-smooth action, the HDRi (basically HDR with BenQ's own tweaks), FreeSync support, 5ms response rate, and the extensive 27 inches (maximum resolution 2,560 x 1,440 pixels) of screen space. It's immediately one of the best gaming monitors we've ever tried.
Design-wise, the monitor manages to be elegant without really blowing you away: we like the polished metal frame, though the buttons and control system take a few minutes of working out (you get a remote bundled with the package too). The two HDMI ports, one DisplayPort port, and one USB-C port are a little awkward to get to, but that's par for the course with monitors like this.
The QHD picture is superb, with strong, vibrant colours, excellent viewing angles, and sharp, well-defined contrast. That HDRi we mentioned – which essentially adapts HDR to suit the ambient light – makes games and other content really stand out. The integrated 2.1 audio system is punchy and clear too, making this an excellent all-round package if you want your sound integrated with your visuals.
With the 10-bit panel capable of showing more than a billion colours across 95 percent of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, the BenQ EX2780Q impresses on paper, but it's also a monitor that impresses in reality too – a combination you don't always get. It's a little on the expensive side, and there's no 4K of course, but we're happy to recommend it as one of our top choices for gamers and pros alike.
4. BenQ EX3501R
HDR goes ultra-wide in 2019
Reasons to buy
BenQ has established itself as one of the go-to names in gaming displays, with the excellent EX3203R offering a 2560 x 1440 resolution with a lovely 1800R curve, so it's no surprise to see the Taiwanese manufacturer is making more waves with the release of the EX3501R. Combining an ultra-wide display ans support for HDR, this monitor is poised to upgrade your gaming setup for the better.
HDR (High Dynamic Range) is a feature that's really taken off in console gaming and regular TVs, but it's been less prevalent in gaming monitors. BenQ has included the utility in the EX3501R, giving colours and tones a sense of vibrancy and depth they simply didn't possess before. Add in that impressive curve and you've got one powerful, if slightly fiddly, gaming monitor.
5. Acer Predator XB271HU
Delivering silky smooth gaming and excellent build quality
Reasons to buy
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.
6. AOC AGON AG352UCG6 BLACK EDITION
A great ultra-wide gaming monitor just got even better
Reasons to buy
Building on the already impressive performance and specs of the AOC Agon AG352UCG, the revamped and revitalised AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition comes out swinging with a improved refresh rate and those very on-trend ultra-wide angles.
Sure, it's quite the outlay, with other monitors in this list retailing for under half the cost. But if you do pick up the 35-inch AG352UCG6 then you're getting one of the best colour performances you can buy right now, which when combined with the monitor's 3,440 x 1,440 resolution, tidy 4 ms response time and 2,500:1 contrast ratio, means that gaming picture quality is consistently top shelf.
And, with that super-wide 21:9 aspect ratio, you'll be able to enjoy Spaghetti Westerns to the full, too. Clint would approve!
7. Dell UltraSharp UP3218K
The best gaming monitor for 8K action
Reasons to buy
At over £3,000 the Dell UltraSharp UP3218K is quite insanely expensive, but when you look at what it delivers, that price suddenly seems more apt. That's because the UP3218K is a 8K resolution monitor that not only delivers jaw-dropping fidelity and crispness, but also some of the highest quality colour reproduction available on any monitor.
Naturally, because it is Dell, build quality is also superb. Obviously it isn't for everyone, the price largely sees to that, but if you've got the cash and the gaming setup to deal with outputting games at a resolution of 7,680 x 4,320, then this is the monitor for you.
8. ViewSonic Elite XG240R
The best gaming monitor for 144Hz, 1080p gaming on a budget
Reasons to buy
When it comes to 1080p 144Hz gaming monitors, ViewSonic has already made plenty of noise with the already impressive XG2402. But, in true monitor manufacturing form, the American firm is back at it again with an even better display offering - the Elite XG240R. It's not a huge overhaul, with much of the same features as the previous model in residence, but the additions are welcome ones and serve to make an already impressive formula that bit better.
Which is interesting in itself considering this is a TN model, rather than an IPS or VA panel. Even without the colour depth or contrast of a VA, the XG240R has a super swift 1ms response time so your on-screen gaming is always going to have the best technical experience. When coupled with Adaptic-Sync, that 144Hz refresh rate and a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, this 24-inch display really performs really well. Colours are rich, blacks are deep and with a selection of viewing modes to choose from, it's often incredibly easy to get the best out of your current setup and game.
Some of the biggest changes comes in the XG240R's physical design. ViewSonic has gone for more of a 'stealthy' look this time around, replacing the red of the XG2402 with an all-black look that helps the thick bezels blend in with the rest of the monitor. The mixture of matte black plastic and brushed-effect plastic make for a decent if not particularly striking combo, but the overall design is elevated by the two arrowhead LEDs at the rear of the model.
The in-built menu system has also been given an overhaul of sorts, and it's a much more intuitive experience than the one shipped with the XG2402. Flitting between picture modes and adjusting image quality to suit the game you're playing and the console/PC you're playing on is so much easier. Again, the display itself isn't that far removed from the previous model, but with an adjusted responsiveness and an improved build quality, the XG240R is a quality and reliable display.
9. ASUS ROG Strix XG27VQ
Big gaming performance for an attractive price point
Reasons to buy
Asides from the Asus ROG Strix XG27VQ gaming monitor only delivering a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution rather than something a little higher and more exotic (see the PG27UQ for that), there really isn't anything else to dislike.
You get a rock solid 27 inches of screen to play on, which boasts a lush 1800R curve too, a high 144Hz refresh rate with Adaptive Sync and Free Sync for a super smooth gaming experience, and a varied selection of ports including DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI, too.
As it is a monitor geared towards gamers, you also get a pretty darn powerful LED lightning system, including a very bright downward firing base projection. A really futuristic and weighty stand with swivel, tilt, and height adjustability complete a very attractive package.
10. Eizo CG319X
The cutting ColourEdge is a post-production monitor with serious gaming credentials
Reasons to buy
The successor model to the CG318-4K, Eizo's CG319X takes an already incredible DCI-4K package to an even higher level by adding in even more features to the mix.
That 4096 x 2160 DCI-4K resolution comes with HDR gamma support as standard, so its 31-inch display as well a providing a very crisp and visually-arresting gaming experience, can also provide a cutting edge canvas for those working in professional video editing. It includes PQ (perceptual quantization) and HLG (hyper-log gamma), which work with those optimised gamma curves to render a true image on-screen.
Ideal for those editing HDR video content in a post-production setting, the CG319X comes with a set of sensor wings as well, which fit around the top and side of the display, and it can self-optimise in order to create the truest representation of your footage.
It's a very high-end model for very high-end use, hence the eye-wateringly high price point. But if video post-production is your bread and butter, and you also are a keen PC gamer, too, then this model is the best gaming monitor you can buy today.
11. LG 34UC79G
The best gaming monitor for ultra wide action on a budget
Reasons to buy
For this money you rarely get a quality ultra wide panel, but that's what LG has managed with the 34UC79G.
A 21:9, curved, 2,560 x 1,080 resolution display with AMD FreeSync (tech which eliminates tearing and stuttering), 1ms Motion Blur Reduction, 144Hz refresh rate, and rock solid stand that offers high levels of adjustability combine to produce a top draw monitor that, not 4K resolution aside, leaves very little to be desired.
If you are looking to go ultra wide and don't have a premium-level budget, then this is the monitor for you.
12. BenQ EX3203R
A HDR-ready curved display packed with loads of top features
Reasons to buy
BenQ continues its run of good form in the world of gaming focused monitors with the EX3203R, which packs in a high refresh rate, a curved display and support for HDR. The latter ensures your gaming exploits have the brightest of colours and the deepest of contrasts for a vivid display on-screen.
That 144Hz refresh rate offers a fluid performance, too, while the use of AMD FreeSync 2 technology eliminates choppy tearing and broken frames and ensures silky smooth gameplay. The EX3203R is also a looker, too, with a clean and minimalist aesthetic delivering a welcome dose of class.
The BenQ EX3203R also comes with support for USB-C, enabling SuperSpeed USB data transfer and 2K video delivery on one cable. Regardless of your game of choice, this robust 32-inch display will ensure you're doing it justice, as well as deliver for you in terms of general use, too.
13. Alienware AW3418DW
Alienware quality in ultra-wide display form
Reasons to buy
Alienware may be one of the biggest and most formidable names in gaming laptops, but it’s also proving a brand to be reckoned with in the world of gaming-focused monitors.
The AW3418DW features a powerful 120Hz refresh rate, the highest you can get right now in the ultra-wide range, and with a lightning-fast 4ms response time this 21:9 display makes for one powerful monitor for all your PC gaming needs.
It comes with NVidia G-Sync as standard, which helps reduce screen-tearing, and four customisable lighting zones for that extra layer personalisation (this is Alienware after all).