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 tested over 145 monitors, and below are our picks for the best 4k gaming monitors to buy. Also, see our recommendations for the best monitors for Xbox One, the best monitors for PS4, and the best monitors for PC gaming.
The best 4k gaming monitor we've tested is the LG 27GN950-B. It has a large 27 inch screen that provides incredible immersion and plenty of space for multitasking. Its IPS panel has wide viewing angles, so images remain accurate when viewed from the side, great for sharing content or playing co-op games. It doesn't handle reflections all that well, but it gets bright enough to overcome glare easily. The ergonomics are somewhat disappointing, though, as it doesn't allow for swivel adjustment at all.
Motion handling is fantastic thanks to its exceptional response time and high refresh rate, resulting in clear images in fast-moving scenes. However, it requires a graphics card with Display Stream Compression technology to achieve its full 144Hz refresh rate since there's no HDMI 2.1 port. The flicker-free backlight helps minimize image duplication, and it has both FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing.
It can deliver a pretty decent HDR experience. It has a good wide color gamut and gets bright enough to bring out some highlights. Unfortunately, it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray in the dark, and even though it has a local dimming feature, it performs poorly. On the upside, it has two USB 3.0 ports for charging and a Picture-in-Picture mode that lets you display two input signals at once. Overall, it's a great gaming monitor that should satisfy casual and serious gamers alike.
If you find the LG 27GN950-B's 27 inch screen too small, then check out the LG 32UD99-W. It's a more versatile 4k monitor as it's designed primarily for office use, but it can deliver a pretty good gaming experience, albeit at a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz. It has a good response time, low input lag, and VRR support to reduce screen tearing. It has better ergonomics, built-in speakers, and a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, which lets you display a signal from a compatible device and charge it simultaneously.
Overall, the 27GN950-B is a better choice due to its higher refresh rate and faster response time. However, if you want a bigger screen for better immersion and don't mind compromising a bit, then go with the 32UD99-W.
The best 4k monitor for gaming in dark rooms we've tested is the LG 48 CX OLED. This is technically a TV, but modern TVs have low enough input lag to make them suitable for PC gaming. As for its dark room performance, it has an OLED panel that can turn off individual pixels to produce perfect blacks. And since it doesn't have a backlight, there's no blooming around bright objects in dark scenes. It has wide viewing angles, so the image remains accurate at the sides even if you sit up close.
Response time on OLED panels is near-instantaneous, delivering clear motion in fast-moving scenes. On top of that, it has a Black Frame Insertion feature to further improve clarity. It has a 120Hz refresh rate and low input lag to provide a smooth and responsive gaming experience, and it supports variable refresh rate technology to minimize screen tearing. It can display 1080p and 1440p signals, allowing you to play at a lower resolution if your graphics card can't maintain a playable frame rate.
The most common concern about OLED is the risk of permanent burn-in. This happens when static elements like the user interface of a game or desktop remain on the screen for an extended period. It shouldn't be an issue for most people, though, and there are built-in features that can help mitigate the risks. So, if you aren't worried about the risks of burn-in, this is definitely worth checking out.
The Acer Predator XB273K is the best 4k gaming monitor with native G-SYNC support that we've tested. It's a great gaming model that provides an incredibly immersive experience with its 4k resolution and large 27 inch screen. It's impressively well-built with a tripod-like stand that feels very sturdy. It allows for height, swivel, and tilt adjustments so that you can place the screen easily at your optimal viewing position. It has decent viewing angles to maintain image accuracy when viewed from the side, making it great for sharing content and playing co-op games.
Motion handling is good thanks to its great response time and 144Hz refresh rate, resulting in clear images in fast-moving scenes. It supports G-SYNC natively to deliver a nearly tear-free gaming experience; however, it doesn't support FreeSync at all, which means that it might not work if you upgrade your graphics card in the future to one that only has FreeSync. There's HDR support, but unfortunately, it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop. Also, it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look grayish, making it less ideal for gaming in the dark.
There are quite a few additional features, including a pair of speakers and four USB ports. There's even some customizable RGB lighting that shines onto the desk to set the mood. It handles reflections well and gets bright for most lighting conditions, and if it isn't enough, it includes two anti-glare panels to further reduce glare. Overall, it's a feature-rich and versatile monitor that should please most people.
The best 4k gaming monitor in the budget category we've tested is the Dell S2721QS. It's a great 27 inch model designed for productivity but with enough gaming performance to satisfy most casual gamers. It has a good build quality despite its budget price and a stand that allows for all manner of adjustments so that you can place the screen at your optimal viewing position. It has wide viewing angles, making it a great choice for co-op gaming, and it gets bright enough to provide good visibility in well-lit environments.
Input lag is very low, which results in a responsive gaming experience. It has a reasonably fast response time, but the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz. It supports FreeSync to minimize screen tearing and is compatible with NVIDIA's G-SYNC too. There's HDR10 support; however, it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop, and it lacks a local dimming feature. Also, it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray.
There are only a few additional features. There's a pair of integrated speakers if you don't have dedicated ones, and its Picture-in-Picture mode lets you display images from two input sources at the same time, which can be useful for multitaskers or streamers running on two computers. The backlight is entirely flicker-free, great for reducing eye strain on long gaming sessions. All in all, it's a versatile and wallet-friendly monitor that's worth checking out.
01/18/2021: Removed Acer Predator X27 because it has been out of stock for a long time.
12/18/2020: Removed BenQ EL2870U and LG 27UK650-W, added LG 27GN950-B and Dell S2721QS.
11/19/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
10/23/2020: Replaced BenQ EW3270U with LG 48 CX OLED.
08/18/2020: Moved the BenQ EW3270U to a main pick; replaced the LG 27UD58-B with the BenQ EL2870U.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best 4k gaming monitors currently available. They're 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.