The 7 Best Gaming Monitors - Winter 2021 Reviews

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Best Gaming Monitors
148 Monitors Tested
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When it comes to gaming monitors, there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach that works. Every user requires something different that's reliant on everything from the equipment you use to the games that you play. Some of the best gaming monitors have fast response times that produce very little motion blur and extremely low input lag to make sure every keypress matches what's happening on the screen. In recent years, new gaming technologies have emerged that have drastically changed the way we game, such as variable refresh rate (VRR) support. Also, there are so many models out there with such a wide variety of features that it can be hard to choose.

We've tested over 145 monitors, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best gaming monitors for a variety of needs and budgets. For the best console gaming monitors, see our articles about the best gaming monitors for PS5, the best gaming monitors for Xbox Series X, and the best curved gaming monitors.


  1. Best FreeSync Gaming Monitor

    8.8
    Gaming
    Size 32"
    Resolution 2560x1440
    Max Refresh Rate
    240 Hz
    Pixel Type
    VA
    Variable Refresh Rate
    FreeSync

    The best gaming monitor with native FreeSync support that we've tested is the Samsung Odyssey G7. It has a VA panel that can produce deep blacks, making it an ideal choice for dark rooms, and it gets bright enough to overcome glare easily in well-lit environments. It has reasonably good ergonomics for a curved screen model; however, the viewing angles are mediocre, resulting in images that look washed out from the sides.

    It stands out thanks to its exceptional motion handling. It has an incredibly fast response time, a Black Frame Insertion feature, and a 240Hz refresh rate to deliver clear images in fast-moving scenes. It supports FreeSync variable refresh rate technology to reduce screen tearing, and it's compatible with NVIDIA's G-SYNC as well. It can deliver an okay HDR experience as it has a good color gamut, but its edge-lit local dimming performs terribly and can be somewhat distracting.

    The additional features can enhance your gaming experience. You can add a virtual crosshair, a frame rate counter, and there's a black stabilizer feature that makes objects more visible in dark scenes. It has a Picture-in-Picture mode that lets you display two input signals at once, which can be useful for streamers using two computers. There are two USB 3.0 ports to charge your mobile devices, and the backlight is entirely flicker-free. Overall, it's a feature-rich monitor that should please most people.

    See our review

  2. Wide Viewing Angle Alternative

    Size 27"
    Resolution 2560x1440
    Max Refresh Rate
    165 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    FreeSync

    If you often share content or play co-op games, then you should consider something with wider viewing angles, such as the ASUS TUF VG27AQ. Although it has the same 1440p resolution as the Samsung Odyssey G7, this is a very different monitor. It has an IPS panel with much wider viewing angles so that images remain accurate when viewed from the side, and its excellent ergonomics allow you to adjust the screen however you like. It has an excellent response time, and even though it has a lower 165Hz refresh rate, fast-moving objects look clear with almost no blur trail behind them. The downside is that it can't display a wide color gamut for HDR content and doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop. Also, it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks appear gray, which isn't ideal for dark rooms.

    Overall, the Samsung is a better choice for most people due to its higher refresh rate and faster response time. However, if viewing angles are important to you, the ASUS is a great alternative.

    See our review

  3. Best G-SYNC Gaming Monitor

    8.5
    Gaming
    Size 27"
    Resolution 2560x1440
    Max Refresh Rate
    165 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    G-SYNC

    The ViewSonic Elite XG270QG is the best gaming monitor with native G-SYNC support that we've tested. It's an excellent gaming model packed with features such as built-in speakers, RGB illumination, and the ability to add a virtual crosshair in your game. It even has three USB inputs, which is great for charging your devices.

    It has native G-SYNC support to get the most out of your NVIDIA graphics card, and it's FreeSync compatible. Its 144Hz refresh rate can be overclocked to 165Hz and its response time at its max refresh rate is incredible, resulting in minimal motion blur. Even at 60Hz, the response time is really fast, so you shouldn't notice any motion artifacts in fast-moving scenes. Input lag is really low, and even though it's higher than other gaming monitors at 60Hz, most people shouldn't notice a difference. Its IPS panel provides wide viewing angles and performs well in well-lit environments because it has good peak brightness and great reflection handling.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't support HDR and has a low contrast ratio, so blacks appear closer to gray. The out-of-the-box color accuracy is terrible, but this may vary between units. On the upside, the 27 inch, 1440p screen provides an immersive gaming experience and delivers crisp images. If you have an NVIDIA graphics card and want something with native G-SYNC support, this is one of the best gaming monitors we've tested.

    See our review

  4. Best Gaming Monitor For Esports

    8.6
    Gaming
    Size 25"
    Resolution 1920x1080
    Max Refresh Rate
    360 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    G-SYNC

    The best gaming monitor for esports is the Dell Alienware AW2521H. This is an excellent compact gaming model that delivers a remarkably responsive gaming experience for esports players. It's well-built, and it has a clean and modern design that fits easily into most settings. The stand allows for a good amount of ergonomic adjustments, and its IPS panel has wide viewing angles, making it great for sharing content and playing co-op games.

    Motion handling is superb. It has an incredibly fast response time and a 360Hz refresh rate, resulting in almost no blur trail behind fast-moving objects. It has a Black Frame Insertion feature; however, it only works within a narrow refresh rate range, and you can't use it while variable refresh rate is active. Regarding its VRR, it supports G-SYNC natively, but it isn't FreeSync compatible. One thing to note is that you can only get the full 360Hz over a DisplayPort connection, so it's important to make sure your graphics card has the same port.

    It supports HDR, but it can't display a wide color gamut and doesn't get bright enough to make highlights stand out. It has four USB 3.0 ports to charge your mobile devices, and you can add a virtual crosshair or timer on the screen. The backlight is entirely flicker-free, which helps minimize image duplication and reduce eye strain. All in all, it's an excellent choice for both casual gamers and professional esports players.

    See our review

  5. Best Ultrawide Gaming Monitor

    8.4
    Gaming
    Size 34"
    Resolution 3440x1440
    Max Refresh Rate
    144 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    FreeSync

    The best gaming monitor with an ultrawide screen that we've tested is the Acer Nitro XV340CK. This is an impressive choice for gamers, as it has a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz and supports FreeSync and G-SYNC to help reduce screen tearing. It features a 34 inch screen, and its 1440p resolution immerses you in the action or allows for multiple windows to be opened side-by-side.

    It has excellent response time at the maximum refresh rate, which makes fast-moving content appear crisp. The response time is also really good when gaming at 60Hz. It also has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature to help reduce motion blur. It has decent viewing angles, though unfortunately, it doesn't have a curved screen, so you may notice some slight image degradation on the far sides of the screen if you sit too close. It has okay peak brightness but good reflection handling if you need to use it in a bright room.

    Unfortunately, it lacks local dimming, and its IPS panel has a low contrast ratio, which makes blacks appear grayish. Also, while it supports HDR, it can't display a wide color gamut, and it can't get bright enough for HDR content to really pop. That said, its high refresh rate and VRR support help make this the best ultrawide gaming monitor we've tested.

    See our review

  6. Super Ultrawide Alternative

    Size 49"
    Resolution 5120x1440
    Max Refresh Rate
    120 Hz
    Pixel Type
    VA
    Variable Refresh Rate
    FreeSync

    If you want to take immersion to the next level with an even wider monitor, check out the Samsung C49RG9/CRG9. Unlike the LG 34GN850-B's 21:9 aspect ratio, this one is much wider at a whopping 32:9, which is equivalent to two 27 inch, 1440p screens placed side-by-side. Its VA panel has a decent contrast ratio, but black uniformity is rather poor, as there's noticeable clouding throughout the screen. As with most VA panels, viewing angles are disappointing, but its curved panel does help, making it easier for you to see the sides. As for HDR performance, it has a decent wide color gamut and an impressive peak brightness to make highlights pop in HDR content. In terms of gaming, it has a great response time, low input lag, and native FreeSync support with a 120Hz panel.

    Overall, the LG is a better choice for an ultrawide gaming monitor, as the size fits easily on most desks, but if you want the most immersive experience you can get, consider the Samsung.

    See our review

  7. Best Budget Gaming Monitor

    8.6
    Gaming
    Size 24"
    Resolution 1920x1080
    Max Refresh Rate
    165 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    FreeSync

    The best gaming monitor available in the budget category that we've tested is the Acer Nitro XF243Y. This excellent and versatile gaming model is one of the few with a 165Hz refresh rate in its price range. It has wide viewing angles so that you can easily share content, and it allows for an incredible amount of ergonomic adjustments, including a full 360-degree swivel range. It handles reflections well and gets bright enough to fight glare, so visibility shouldn't be an issue in well-lit rooms.

    It has a 165Hz refresh rate with exceptional response time, resulting in clear motion and almost no blur trail behind fast-moving objects. It supports FreeSync natively to reduce screen tearing and is compatible with NVIDIA's G-SYNC. It has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature that can improve image clarity; however, it can't be used while VRR is active. There's HDR support, but unfortunately, it can't display a wide color gamut and doesn't get bright enough for a true HDR experience.

    In terms of additional features, it has a pair of speakers built-in, as well as features that let you add a virtual crosshair, a frame rate counter, and a blue light filter to reduce eye strain. It's available in a 27 inch size if you need the increased screen real estate, but it has the same 1080p resolution, which results in a lower pixel density. Nonetheless, it's an excellent gaming monitor that should please casual and hardcore gamers alike, and best of all, it won't break the bank.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • LG OLED48CXPUB: The LG 48 CX OLED is a TV that we tested as a monitor. It's excellent for gaming, but it's more costly than most gaming monitors, and the lack of ergonomic adjustments might be an issue for some. See our review
  • ASUS VG279QM: The ASUS VG279QM is an excellent 1080p gaming monitor that should be on the list, but the refresh rate isn't as fast as the Dell Alienware AW2521H's. That said, it's a better choice if you want a bigger screen and don't mind dropping to a 280Hz refresh rate. See our review
  • Samsung LC49G95TSSNXZA: The Samsung Odyssey G9 has an impressive 240Hz refresh rate, but it performs very similarly to the Samsung C49RG9/CRG9 and is significantly more expensive. Also, the 240Hz refresh rate is difficult to achieve, even with top-end hardware. See our review
  • LG 34GN850-B: The LG 34GN850-B is a good alternative to the Acer Nitro XV340CK but is significantly more expensive. See our review
  • Dell S2716DG: The Dell S2716DGR/S2716DG is a great gaming monitor with native G-SYNC support, but its TN panel doesn't have wide viewing angles like the ViewSonic Elite XG270QG, making it less ideal for sharing content or co-op gaming. See our review
  • Dell S2721QS: The Dell S2721QS is the best budget 4k monitor for gaming that we've tested. It isn't on this list simply because we have a limited number of categories. See our review
  • ASUS ROG Strix XG279Q: The ASUS ROG Strix XG279Q is similar to the ASUS VG27AQ with a 170Hz max refresh rate, but it's not worth the price difference. See our review
  • LG 27GN950-B: The LG 27GN950-B is an excellent 4k gaming monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate, but it requires a graphics card that supports Display Stream Compression to reach its max refresh rate. See our review

Recent Updates

01/15/2021: Replaced the ViewSonic XG2402 with the Acer Nitro XF243Y because the Acer performs significantly better and is less expensive.

12/17/2020: Switched Samsung Odyssey G7 and ASUS VG27AQ. Replaced ASUS VG279QM with Dell Alienware AW2521H, replaced ASUS VG279Q with ViewSonic XG2402.

11/25/2020: Replaced the ViewSonic XG2402 with the ASUS VG279Q; replaced the Samsung CHG70 with the Samsung Odyssey G7.

10/26/2020: Added the Acer Nitro XV340CK as 'Best Ultrawide Gaming Monitor' and moved the LG 34GN850-B to Notable Mentions. Added the Samsung Odyssey G9 to Notable Mentions.

09/25/2020: Removed the Samsung Odyssey G7, moved the ASUS VG27AQ to the Best Free Sync pick, and added the Samsung CHG70 as an alternative; removed the Dell S2716DG.

All Reviews

Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best PC gaming monitors currently available. They are adapted to be valid for most people, in each price range. 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 gaming 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.

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