Choosing a gaming monitor can be difficult. With so many choices and so many buzzwords being thrown around, it can get confusing. Size, viewing distance, and even the type of games that you play can all impact your decision. As most people won't be using the monitor just for gaming, it's also important to consider how else you plan on using the monitor, not just now, but in the long-term as well.
We've reviewed more than 85 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best gaming monitors in each size. See also our recommendations for the best gaming monitors.
At a time when screens keep getting bigger, some still prefer a smaller size. With the smaller footprint, 24-25 inch monitors are often limited to a 1080p resolution. A handful of 1440p and 4k variants do exist, but some elements onscreen don’t scale well at times and end up being too small to read. Luckily, at this size, 1080p is somewhat considered the “sweet” spot; large enough to be comfortable, but not so big as to be able to identify each pixel.
Small doesn’t necessarily mean lacking in features, though. Monitors that cater to gamers generally have low input lag, fast response time, and high refresh rate. Where these monitors do fall short is on multitasking capabilities, with screen real estate being the limiting factor. On the upside, they're easier to manage for multi-monitor setups.
If a 24-25 inch monitor is what you're looking for, then the Dell S2417DG is our top recommendation. Not only does it have all the features mentioned above, but it also supports NVIDIA’s G-SYNC variable refresh rate technology. For our other recommendations, check out our list of the best 1080p monitors.
It’s not a surprise that 27 inch monitors have become extremely popular among gamers. With 1440p being the most commonly used resolution at this size, it delivers a crisp image without overburdening your computer and without the price premium of running games at 4k; of course, your choice may vary depending on your usage. Monitors this size also allow for comfortable multitasking with multiple windows open and offer an incredible game immersion. Most if not all of the advanced gaming features can be found in this form. Overall, it’s one of the best gaming monitor sizes.
As for our recommendation, the ASUS VG279Q is the best 27 inch gaming monitor we’ve tested so far. Along with the usual fast response time and low input lag, it also supports AMD’s FreeSync and is compatible with NVIDIA’s G-SYNC with a driver update. See also our recommendations for the best 1440p gaming monitors.
When considering a 32 inch monitor, it’s also worth considering bumping the resolution up to 4k, as we're now entering the territory of small TVs. That said, a 1440p resolution is still very respectable and should do just as well. These monitors are usually limited to a 60Hz refresh rate; however, given the sheer graphical horsepower needed to run games at a high frame rate in 4k, it’s not a major drawback. This combination of size and resolution is truly breathtaking for RPGs, atmospheric games, and turn-based games that don’t require the fastest reaction time.
Like a piece of fine art, these monitors are meant to be enjoyed at a distance, or at least further than you would with a smaller monitor. When up close, the viewing angles may impact color reproduction and look non-uniform at the sides.
The best gaming monitor available in a 28-32 inch size is the Samsung C32HG70. Although we tested the smaller 27 inch version, we expect the 32" model to deliver a similarly exceptional gaming experience. This 1440p monitor has excellent motion handling, a fast refresh rate, and outstanding low input lag. It also supports FreeSync for a nearly tear-free gaming experience. See our other recommendations for the best 28-32 inch monitors.
If you have space and are willing to spend a bit more for the ultimate immersive experience, there are monitors above 34 inches targeted at gamers that can also excel at productivity and media consumption. Many of them have great refresh rates and fast response times, making them a versatile choice for almost any type of game. At this size, there tends to be more variety in terms of aspect ratio as well, with 21:9 becoming more and more popular among gamers.
Usually with a minimum resolution of 1440p, these large monitors allow multiple windows to be opened side-by-side. Some models even support picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture, so that you can work from multiple sources at once. Modern movies shot in 21:9 stretch from edge to edge, with no presence of black bars.
The best 34 inch gaming monitor we've tested so far is the LG 34GK950F-B. This 34 inch, wide-format monitor delivers a great gaming experience with excellent motion handling, including a fast response time, optional black frame insertion feature, and support for AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology. For other options, see our recommendations for the best 4k gaming monitors.
Super ultrawide gaming monitors deliver a far more immersive gaming experience in general, and also make for great general purpose monitors when you're not gaming. With a 32:9 aspect ratio, this large format allows you to see a wider field of view in most games, but may not be suited for every game genre. It's also worth noting that not all games support this aspect ratio, so black bars may be present in some games.
The wide nature of these monitors is great for day-to-day use, as it's very easy to work with multiple windows open. Multitasking is a breeze with many of the features that we talked about with 34-inch monitors being implemented too, such as picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture. Unfortunately, due to the large size, these monitors typically require very large working spaces. Most super ultrawide monitors also have a curved screen, which helps to alleviate some concerns regarding viewing angles.
The best super ultrawide gaming monitor we've tested is the Samsung C49RG9/CRG9. It has an outstanding response time, delivering crystal-clear motion with very little blur. It also has a 120Hz refresh rate, and it supports AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, even when connected to a recent NVIDIA graphics card.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best gaming monitor sizes. They are adapted to be valid for most people. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price and feedback from our visitors.
If you would prefer to make your own decision, here is the list of all of our monitor reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. Most monitors are good enough to please most people, and the things we fault monitors on are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.
11/13/2019: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.