The Best Gaming Monitors For 2020

The best gaming monitors can do more than just give you access to higher resolutions. Better refresh rates unlock smoother play and lower input lag, frame syncing technologies like Freesync and G-Sync can kill stuttering and screen tearing for good, and better physical designs can lead to better cable management or alternative mounting options.

The Samsung CRG9 is an ultrawide monitor that curves around into your peripherals.

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A great gaming monitor isn’t going to make you a better gamer, but it can let you bring all of your gaming skill to bear. There’s no doubt that an upgrade to one of the best gaming monitors can make the whole gaming experience feel that much better. Below are five of the best gaming monitors you can buy in 2020.

Best Overall Gaming Monitor

LG Ultragear 27GL850

  • Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz
  • Response time: 1ms

The best gaming display doesn’t have the best of everything. It can’t, without its cost ballooning outside of anything reasonable. Instead, for this fantastic Ultragear 27-inch monitor, LG combines the most important of features in a display that’s both attractive and affordable.

While graphics cards catch up with the ability to render 4K games at high frame rates, the sweet spot for detailed, high speed gaming is 1440p resolution. This screen hits that while offering a 144Hz refresh rate and an amazingly quick 1ms response time. That’s doubly impressive, because this screen is based on an IPS panel, giving you the best of both worlds in speed and color clarity.

It doesn’t matter which graphics card camp you belong to either, as it supports both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD Freesync, guaranteeing a stutter and screen-tearing free, experience. Its viewing angles are great too, and with an excellent input lag of just over four milliseconds, this display makes for a fantastic gaming display where speed matters, whether you’re playing alone, or in a hot seat or split screen game with friends.

Its only real weakness is relatively low contrast ratio, which is something anyone used to OLED gaming will notice, especially in darkened rooms. But if you don’t tend to play in the pitch black, it shouldn’t be a huge problem.

Best Ultrawide Gaming Monitor

Samsung CRG9

  • Resolution: 5,120 x 1,440
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz
  • Response time: 4ms

There are ultrawides, and then there are ultrawides. The Samsung CRG9 falls into that latter camp by emulating twin 27-inch, 1440p monitors in a single curved panel. The wraparound isn’t just for immersive purposes. When you’ve got this much screen to work with, having it curve around into your peripherals actually means you don’t need to turn your head as much!

But don’t let a little neck rotation put you off what is one of the most stunning gaming displays ever seen. Packed within that 49-inch display are over seven million pixels (5,120 x 1,440 resolution) for extreme detail and expansive views, whether you’re playing an overarching strategy game, or a close-to-the-action shooter or RPG.

It also ticks the high-speed gaming boxes with its refresh rate of 120Hz (if you have a graphics card that can handle the higher frame rates) and with a brightness that can reach 1000 nits, this monitor is a fantastic HDR solution for games and movies. It’s also compatible with both G-Sync and Freesync, so whether you’re an AMD or Nvidia fan, you’ll get a gaming experience that is stutter and tearing-free.

Most reviews suggest some color tweaking out of the box is necessary to make the most of this display, but how you do that and by how much will depend on your personal preferences. A little time at setup can go a long way though, taking a great display and turning it into something truly special.

Best Budget Gaming Monitor

ViewSonic XG2402

  • Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz
  • Response time: 1ms

While budget technology always means making some sacrifices, that doesn’t mean you end up with a bad experience. Indeed, the ViewSonic XG2402 is a perfect example of that rule. It offers a fantastic 1080p gaming experience, with a 144Hz refresh rate and has full support for AMD’s Freesync technology too.

It has a low response time and low input lag, making this a great display for competitive gaming on a budget. While some displays will slow you down by a few milliseconds, that’s not the case with this screen, and it’s far cheaper than most, too.

Surprising for this price point too, is the capable stand, which allows for minute and larger adjustments to height and position, meaning that you’ll never find this screen causing you posture problems.

It also comes with a solid selection of HDMI, USB, and DisplayPort connections and its menu is intuitive and easily navigable, letting you make personalized adjustments to the picture, and even save them for specific game or genre profiles, making this display a great pairing for whatever it is you’re playing.

Best 4K Gaming Monitor

Acer Predator X27

  • Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz
  • Response time: 4ms

While 4K gaming is hard on your system, if you have the GPU for it, there’s nothing quite like it. You need a great 4K monitor to take advantage of it, though, as there’s little point pairing a monster graphics card with a budget display. If you want the pinnacle of 4K gaming in 2020, the Acer Predator X27 is right up there with the best gaming monitors.

Alongside its native 4K resolution, this monitor supports refresh rates all the way up to 120Hz as standard, and 144Hz when overclocked, meaning that if you’re playing anything outside the latest AAA games, you’ll be able to enjoy buttery smooth gameplay at higher frame rates. That’s great for competitive play too, making sure that you don’t miss out on the lowest input lag just because you’re playing on a 4K panel.

It also enjoys full support for G-Sync and Freesync, so you need not worry about stuttering or screen tearing, and with a peak brightnes of 600 nits, it’s a pretty solid HDR monitor too. It can’t quite hit the brightness of the best HDR displays, and its 4ms response time does see it fall behind the fastest of gaming monitors, but when you consider the overall package, there’s nothing quite like the Acer Predator X27 for a premium gaming experience.

Especially now that it’s seen such a heavy drop in price. When it originally debuted it was almost twice what it is now, making it an absolute steal in 2020. It still feels premium, though, and alongside its gorgeous panel it also enjoys a highly versatile and super sturdy stand that helps it standout among its contemporaries.

Best Gaming Monitor for Esports

MSI Optix MAG251RX

  • Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
  • Refresh rate: 240Hz
  • Response time: 1ms

When it comes to competitive gaming and Esports, it’s all about speed. You need a high refresh rate, low response time, and low input lag. If that’s what you want to give yourself the best competitive edge over your fellow players, then there’s nothing quite like the Alienware AW2518Hf.

While this monitor is 1080p, that’s with good reason. It means you’ll have no trouble hitting its impressive 240Hz refresh rate, letting you take full advantage of high frame rates to get ahead of the game. Combined with a 1ms response time and an input lag that in some tests is under 3ms, there is almost nothing out there that’s faster.

At 25-inches wide, too, it’s a perfect fit for 1080p. It’s not recommended to go much higher at that resolution, but this combination of size and detail gives you plenty of screen real estate within your games and without.

This display doesn’t have a great contrast ratio, and the way it handles blacks is sub-par, but this isn’t a screen that’s targeting immersive, expansive gaming experiences. It’s built for speed and it has that in droves. It doesn’t fall flat on its face outside of competitive games, though. It still enjoys a brightness of up to 400nits, and its Freesync compatibility means you’ll never see your screen stutter, even if frame rates do drop lower in more detailed games.

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