Gaming has evolved in recent years, with new 4k screens delivering a more detailed gaming experience. Console and PC gamers alike have embraced this new format, with upgraded consoles released mid-cycle that can take advantage of the greater levels of detail provided by these new screens. This doesn't come without trade-offs, though, as most 4k screens have slower refresh rate and, by extension, slower response times than their lower-resolution counterparts.
We've reviewed over 90 monitors, and below are our picks for the best 4k gaming monitors to buy in 2020. See also our recommendations for the best monitors for Xbox One, the best monitors for PS4, and the best monitors for PC gaming.
The LG 27UK650-W is the best 4k gaming monitor that we've tested so far. Although this 27 inch monitor has a clean and simple design that fits better in an office setting, it can handle gaming pretty well. It doesn't have the fastest refresh rate at 60Hz, but the outstanding response time and input lag make this monitor great for gaming. If that's not enough, LG also included support for FreeSync, which provides a nearly tear-free gaming experience. Those with a recent NVIDIA 10- or 20- series graphics card can also take advantage of this technology with a driver update.
If you're looking for the best HDR experience, however, you won't find it here. While the monitor does support HDR, the experience is limited by the mediocre peak brightness and lack of wide color gamut. For those who like to game in a dark room, you may be disappointed by the IPS panel's poor contrast ratio and subpar black uniformity.
There are some advantages to LG's choice of IPS technology, though, as they're well-known to have wide viewing angles and great color accuracy out of the box. All in all, if you're looking for a great 4k gaming monitor at a decent price, this is our top pick.
If the LG 27UK650-W's size is too small for an immersive gaming experience, then consider the LG 32UD99-W. Both monitors will perform similarly, but there are some notable differences. This larger monitor is capable of displaying a wide color gamut and can get brighter, which results in better HDR performance. Another welcome addition is the USB 3.0 hub and USB-C port, which allows users to display an image from a portable device while charging at the same time. Although this monitor isn't a great performer in dark rooms, either, it still performs slightly better in regards to contrast ratio and black uniformity.
Overall, the 27UK650-W is the best 4k gaming monitor for most people, but if you need something bigger, go with the 32UD99-W.
If you're looking for a monitor with good dark room performance, the LG 32UD59-B is better than the LG 27UK650-W. The VA panel on this monitor has a much higher contrast ratio and better black uniformity, resulting in deeper blacks. There are some tradeoffs, though: the peak brightness is lower, there isn't any HDR support, and the viewing angle isn't as wide. Other minor differences are in regards to motion handling, which is slightly inferior, but still good enough for gaming purposes.
Overall, the 27UK650-W is a better choice if you're after the best gaming experience. However, if you want a monitor that has better dark room performance, then consider the 32UD59-B.
The best 4k G-SYNC gaming monitor we've tested so far is the Acer Predator X27. Although pricey, this monitor is a great choice for anyone who wants a high refresh rate and native G-SYNC support without compromising on resolution. It has a unique design that stands out, but its ergonomics are rather mediocre, as it can't rotate into portrait mode. As expected of most gaming monitors, it has a fast response time and low input lag; however, while it won't be noticeable for most people, input lag is slightly higher if you play at 60Hz.
This monitor uses an IPS panel, which provides good viewing angles, so images remain accurate even if you're not directly in front of the screen. Unfortunately, its contrast ratio is sub-par and black uniformity is poor, making it less ideal for dark rooms, though this is typical of IPS panels. On the upside, it has an impressive wide color gamut and excellent peak brightness to provide a great HDR experience. There are built-in speakers if you need them, and the backlight is flicker-free, which can help reduce eye strain for those long gaming sessions.
All in all, if you're looking for a 4k G-SYNC monitor with all the bells and whistles, get this one.
If the Acer Predator X27's price is out of reach, consider the Acer Predator XB273K. This monitor also uses an IPS panel, but it has a higher native contrast ratio, as well as a more accurate color reproduction right out of the box. Sadly, black uniformity is just as bad, with severe clouding throughout the screen, and it can't get bright enough to really bring out highlights in HDR content. In addition, it lacks a local dimming feature, and its reflection handling is mediocre, so it's best to avoid placing the monitor opposite a source of bright light.
If you can afford it, the X27 is still a better choice, but if you're okay with a few compromises, the XB273K is a good alternative.
The best budget 4k gaming monitor we've tested so far is the LG 27UD58-B. It has a similar design to the LG 27UK650-W, but with a black finish and a stand that isn't as versatile since it doesn't allow many ergonomic adjustments. On the upside, this monitor delivers a good gaming performance thanks to its very low input and FreeSync support that ensures tear free-gaming.
Its response time is slightly slower than the other LG monitors, and some people might notice a little more blur in fast-motion. When compared to other LG monitors, it's lacking HDR support, which doesn't add much anyway.
Overall, this is a good 4k gaming monitor that will please most casual gamers, and it's the best 4k gaming monitor in the budget category.
03/30/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best 4k 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 4k 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.