Best Gaming Monitors

Technology is always on the move, and there's no area where you can see the benefits of upgrading more than by going with a modern display. From FreeSync to 4K to ultra-wide, there's something new and better at every pricepoint! And for Fall 2020, our Monitor Buyer's Guide continues to feature all the latest and greatest offerings, a total of ten models in all, running the gamut from home office PC monitors under $150 to ultra-elite gaming models approaching the $1,500 pricepoint!

The models we profile in this guide cater to various users, including home users, office users, designers, and gamers. They include models ranging in size from 23" to 65", and just about every resolution you can think of, from 1920 x 1080 to four times that (3840 x 2160 or 4K). But there's more to monitors than just size and resolution. Therefore, we've broken down our picks into two main categories:

  • Home- and Small-Office Monitors: The first five monitors on our list fit into this category, offering prices, features, and designs for any office environment. They start at around $100 and go up to $800.
  • Gaming Monitors: The last five monitors on our list are gaming-specific monitors, which at this point must feature both frame syncing technology (AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync) and high refresh rates (typically 144Hz, but our picks now go up to 240Hz). There's no reason to buy a "gaming monitor" that doesn't have both of these features today. While Acer and Asus used to dominate the gaming monitor market, there's more competition than ever, including from names like LG and Samsung, which is pushing innovation forward and bringing prices down. It's an exciting time to be a gamer!

Now, before we move onto our product recommendations, we should explain the concept of frame syncing. This method of displaying images on screen matches a monitor's refresh rate to frames rendered, rather than refreshing at a locked 60Hz. Sounds simple, but it's actually revolutionary. By eliminating lag and screen tearing caused by too many or too few frames being displayed, frame syncing provides truly fluid images. There are two types: Nvidia's G-Sync, which requires additional hardware in the monitor along with a licensing fee that drives up the price, as well as AMD's FreeSync, which uses capabilities built into the DisplayPort standard. While this led to confusion among gamers for years, Nvidia finally relented in early 2020 and unlocked FreeSync compabitility in its modern GPUs via drivers. Today, any monitor marketed as "G-Sync Compatible" actually works on either Nvidia or AMD GPUs! With that said, "G-Sync" monitors still only work on Nvidia GPUs, and we typically only recommend those in the ultra-high-end market.

As always, prices are shown in real-time from our preferred vendors in the U.S., along with country-specific links for our readers in Canada, the UK, and Germany. If you decide to purchase any of the models we profile, please support this site by using the links we provide.

Monitors - Fall 2020

Home/Small Office

  • The 23-inch General-Purpose Monitor:

    HP VH240a IPS

    Offering mind-blowing value in the mid-range segment, this monitor packs in all the features you've come to expect from $150+ monitors, but for a lot less money. That includes a high-quality 24" IPS panel with excellent viewing angles, a 1920 x 1080 resolution, and built-in speakers, plus a height-adjustable stand, which really all the difference in terms of getting the proper ergonomic setup.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This model can accept HDMI (digital) or VGA (analog) inputs, but not the common DVI input.

  • The 24-inch Small Office Monitor:

    Acer BW257 bmiprx

    This stylish 25" model from Acer is ideal for home or small office use. It features an ultra-narrow bezel, along with an extended resolution of 1920 x 1200 (rather than 1920 x 1080), which is extremely rare nowadays, despite its usefulness when actually working on long documents (think Word and Excel here, not YouTube). In addition, this model offers up extensive tilt, swivel, and height adjustments, along with portrait mode, making it ideal for just about any office environment.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This monitor accept DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA cables, and actually includes the DisplayPort and VGA cables right in the box!

  • The 32-inch 4K Monitor:

    LG 32UD60-B 4K

    Looking for the best productivity monitor for around $400? This is it! It gives you a great view of your desktop, thanks to its massive 32" 4K panel! In its price range, it does battle against 27" 1440p models that are no longer even worth considering.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This monitor includes a height-adjustable stand, which we think is critical at this pricepoint, and uses DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0 connections, which are the only connections that can support 4K input.

  • The 34-inch Widescreen Monitor:

    Dell U3419w 34-Inch Ultra-Wide

    While 4K monitors have gotten all the press, the 21:9 screen format is making a name for itself among those who typically would run dual monitors side-by-side. With a breathtaking 3440 x 1440 IPS panel, this model provides a wholly-different view on the PC experience. It's ideal for anyone who needs to work on multiple documents at the same time. It even has a modern USB-C with 90W Power Delivery for viewing from and charging the latest laptops simultaneously!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Due to its curvature, you have to sit further back from this monitor than you would a flat screen. We recommend a desk no smaller than 3-feet from front-to-back to achieve a comfortable viewing distance.

  • The Ultimate Professional Monitor:

    ViewSonic VP3881

    For a high-end content creation experience, step up to this 38" 3840x1600 beauty from ViewSonic. With more vertical pixels than most ultra-wides, plus that huge 38" panel, you'll find plenty of space to work on this model. With its IPS 14-bit panel, it's able to achieve 100% of the sRGB and Rec. 709 color space, making it ideal for photo and video work. It also offers HDR10 certification.

    The Guru's Tip:

    We particularly like the VP3881's stylish, highly-adjustable stand.

Gaming

  • The 25-inch 144Hz Gaming Monitor:

    Sceptre E255B-1658A

    Delivering unbeatable value in the gaming market, this monitor checks off all the boxes of its higher-priced competitors. It sports a 25" 1920x1080 IPS (not TN!) panel, a refresh rate of up to 165Hz (if you use DisplayPort), plus a 1ms response time. And of course it has FreeSync to make sure your frames are kept in sync with your GPU!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that AMD's FreeSync now works on both AMD and Nvidia GPUs!

  • The Gamer's Dream Monitor:

    LG 27GL83A-B

    Offering a big 27" IPS panel, a 2560 x 1440 resolution, and an incredible 144Hz refresh rate (plus 1ms response time), this monitor offers amazing motion clarity and image quality. But most importantly, it has frame syncing technology compatible with both Radeon and GeForce GPUs, which will ensure that there's no tearing or skipping of frames!

    The Guru's Tip:

    We also really like that this model includes a fully adjustable stand.

  • The 34-inch Widescreen Monitor:

    Acer Nitro XZ342CK

    Are you ready for the next big thing in gaming? Then feast your eyes on this 34" monitor from Acer, which breaks new ground in terms of features and performance per dollar. Offering up specs that used to cost $700+, the Nitro packs in a 1500R curve, an ultra-wide 3440 x 1440 resolution, an awesome 144Hz refresh rate, HDR400 certification, and FreeSync technology to keep your frames running smoothly. 

    The Guru's Tip:

    You can drive this monitor using either DisplayPort or HDMI 2.0, and both cables are included!

  • The Ultimate 34-inch Widescreen Monitor:

    LG Ultragear 34GP83A-B 34-Inch 1ms Ultra-Wide

    This is the ultimate 34" ultra-wide. It uses a nano IPS panel with an incredible 1ms response time along with a 144Hz refresh rate, and offers 98% of the DCI-P3 Color Gamut plus DisplayHDR 400 certification. It's also compatible with both AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that most gaming monitors have moved from 4K to ultra-wide resolutions, which is why we don't recommend true 4K monitors for gaming. Yes, "4K Gaming" is still a catch phrase, but no, most people aren't actually gaming in 4K, in part because there's been virtually no advancement in 4K monitors over the past 3 years.

  • The Ultimate G-Sync Gaming Monitor:

    Samsung Odyssey G9

    This super-ultra-wide monitor from Samung offers bleeding-edge features at a very reasonable price. We're talking a huge 49" panel with 5120 x 1440 resolution (that's like two 1440p monitors side-by-side), a 240Hz refresh rate, and an incredible 1000R curvature to wrap you in graphics!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Be sure you have space for this monitor on your desk - it's about 17" deep!

  1. The 23-inch General-Purpose Monitor HP VH240a IPS ($125.00)
  2. The 24-inch Small Office Monitor Acer BW257 bmiprx ($196.00)
  3. The 32-inch 4K Monitor LG 32UD60-B 4K ($406.00)
  4. The 34-inch Widescreen Monitor Dell U3419w 34-Inch Ultra-Wide ($699.00)
  5. The Ultimate Professional Monitor ViewSonic VP3881 ($950.00)
  6. The 25-inch 144Hz Gaming Monitor Sceptre E255B-1658A ($180.00)
  7. The Gamer's Dream Monitor LG 27GL83A-B ($380.00)
  8. The 34-inch Widescreen Monitor Acer Nitro XZ342CK ($500.00)
  9. The Ultimate 34-inch Widescreen Monitor LG Ultragear 34GP83A-B 34-Inch 1ms Ultra-Wide ($850.00)
  10. The Ultimate G-Sync Gaming Monitor Samsung Odyssey G9 ($1480.00)