One of the most overlooked aspects of PC gaming is the monitor, many people think that they should just focus on getting the best possible GPU + CPU combo that they can, within the budget that they have. And while this is absolutely true, let’s not forget the fact that in the end, everything that is output by your computer is going to displayed on a monitor. And the quality of the image doesn’t matter if your monitor is incapable of displaying accurate colors or high resolutions.
One of the major decisions that you have to make while choosing a gaming monitor is- high refresh rate, or high resolution? 4k definitely sounds like a surreal experience, after all it contains 4 times the pixel count of standard HD or 1080p. Meaning that in theory, a true 4k resolution image must be four times as detailed as a 1080p image.
But, driving a 4k resolution display isn’t a task that just about any graphics card can manage to do. You would need a top of the line model from Nvidia (GTX 1080, 1080ti, Titan) or AMD (Fury, Fury X) to play games at 4k, even on medium graphics settings, since the load on your graphics card increases exponentially when you pump up the resolution from 1920 x 1080, to 3840 x 2160 (UHD, aka 4k resolution).
But 4k isn’t the end all be all of gaming, there is yet another trend that has caught on quiet well in the PC gaming world, and that is high refresh rate displays. Back in 2010, a refresh rate of 60 Hz would be considered perfectly smooth and fine for even the most hardcore of gamers. But thanks to increasingly powerful hardware, we now have graphics cards and processors that are more than capable of pushing past the 100-fps barrier. Some system configurations are so powerful that they can run AAA games on maxed out graphics settings at 200+ fps.
Now, ignore all the internet trolls who say stuff like “the human eye can’t see more than 60 fps”. They are the same people who claim that the 30-fps barrier on consoles delivers a “more cinematic” experience, which is absolutely ridiculous.
There is a reason why professional gamers only game on monitors with 120 Hz/ 144 Hz refresh rates. Things are much smoother when you go from 60 to 144 Hz, and believe it or not- there are actually 144 Hz monitors available for less than 200 dollars. In fact, we have one such monitor on this list. If you are an avid counter strike, DOTA 2, or Overwatch player, then you are going to love this 144 Hz monitor. It will allow you to react faster, as well see fast moving objects clearly since the screen is refreshing the image 144 times per second, instead of only 60 times.
If you play games that require tons of graphical horsepower to run, and are filled with highly detailed visuals that are best enjoyed on high resolutions- then by all means get a 1440p display since you will gain the best gaming experience for such games (Witcher 3, Watchdogs 2, Assassins Creed, NFS, etc.).
But if you are into competitive games and are fine with 1080p resolution but want the fastest monitor possible, get a high refresh rate display capable of displaying images at 120/ 144 Hz. You will greatly improve reaction times while playing online, and will be able to see fast-moving objects more clearly. Finally, remember this- IPS panels offer the best color accuracy and contrast, along with the widest viewing angles. But TN panels offer the fastest response times and are cheaper.
The ViewSonic VX2457 is without a doubt, one of the best budget gaming monitors ever made. It is a 1080p monitor with AMD FreeSync technology for smooth and tear-free gameplay on AMD graphics. The colors are pretty good for a TN panel based monitor, and it features an 80M: 1 Dynamic contrast ratio.
In terms of inputs, it features- Display Port 1.2a, VGA, and HDMI. With a slick matte black finish and solidly built frame, this monitor is guaranteed to last for several years, and is very easy to clean.
When ViewSonic came up with the VX2457, it was a dream come true for budget gamers everywhere. The reason? Well, this is one of the few ultra-cheap 1080p 24” monitors to offer AMD FreeSync technology.
For all of you who own any recently made AMD graphics card (up to 3 years old), this means that you can enjoy gaming without having to worry about input lag or screen tearing since the monitor refresh rate is synced up directly with the framerate that is being output by the graphics card. Meaning that the AMD graphics chip directly controls your monitor’s refresh rate in real time, so no frames will be skipped and you will also be freed from the input lag associated with conventional sync technologies such as G-Sync.
This monitor utilizes a 24”, 1080p TN panel with a dynamic contrast ratio of 80M: 1. There is an anti-glare hard coating on the panel surface to reduce scratches and oil/ dust accumulation as well as glare from directly incident light beams while you operate the computer.
There is a glossy black finish on the bezels as well as back, along with a special stand that allows you to tilt and swivel the screen. Input options include- Display Port 1.2a, HDMI, and VGA. Included in the package- power cable, audio cable, VGA cable, HDMI cable, and a Quick Start Guide. You will have to arrange a display port cable if you wish to run it via DisplayPort output from your graphics card.
The overall physical dimensions are- 23.2” x 16.6” x 9.0” (with stand). There are various built-in color modes for multiple use cases such as gaming, movies, photos, etc. You can easily access the menu via buttons that are conveniently located beneath the bottom bezel, and there is also a game mode that optimizes black levels and color ratios for gaming.
This monitor is pretty fast, thanks to its 2ms response time. Response time basically means the amount of time it takes for the pixels to react after the monitor receives a signal from the computer. Lower pixel response times result in greater clarity while gaming or watching sports (since moving objects don’t seem as blurry). This monitor comes with a 3-year warranty, and is compatible with Windows/ Mac/ Linux.
Tilt and Swivel capable
DisplayPort 1.2a support
2ms response time for faster reactions
100mm x 100mm VESA mount compatible
Out of the box, the colors are not very good
Glossy bezels attract oil and fingerprints
If you play graphics-intensive games or open world/ third person RPG style games (Witcher 3, Dragon Age), then we highly recommend the Acer G247HYU because of its 1440p IPS panel. Seriously, which other manufacturer provides a WQHD display with an IPS panel for under 200 dollars? And anyone who has used Acer monitors will tell you that these things rarely suffer from issues such as color bleeding, dead pixels, etc. Acer makes great gaming monitors on both sides of the price spectrum- just look up their Predator lineup of monitors and you will understand what we are talking about.
Well, you may not believe it but- we have a 1440p IPS monitor for you, and it costs less than 200 dollars. Meet the Acer G247HYU- a no nonsense, super affordable, gaming oriented display that packs solid features along with incredible build quality.
But it is not just the 1440p IPS that is great about this Acer monitor- the entire frame features a slick silver-like coating that makes it both look twice as costly as it actually is. Finally, a budget gaming monitor that you can proudly place on your desk without having to hide your head in shame whenever your friends come over for a visit.
The 2560 x 1440 resolution makes this monitor perfect for widescreen HD gaming, you will be able to see every little detail and can focus on even the most minute of movements on the screen thanks to the excellent colors and contrast ratio.
Since this is an IPS panel, you get an incredible 100M: 1 contrast ratio, along with a super wide 178° viewing angle that allows multiple people to view the screen comfortably from different angles without any color fading. Acer has minimized the frame thickness, so the actual display itself covers most of the monitor. You can also stack multiple monitors side by side since the bezels are almost nonexistent.
A response time of just 4ms ensures reduced transition times for pixels whenever you issue an input through your keyboard/ mouse. This results in high-quality moving images as well as reduced reaction times in games. The X-shaped stand allows for greater stability while also taking up less space on your computer desk.
There are three input options- HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort. There is no tilt on the fly, rather you have to unbolt the monitor from its stand and remount it with the desired angle of tilt back onto the stand. This is somewhat of a weird design choice, considering that almost every other gaming monitor comes with tilt and swivel on the fly, you just have to place your hand on the frame and turn or tilt it.
1440p IPS panel
4ms response time
X-shaped stand that takes less space
Zero frame technology almost completely eliminates bezels from the sides so you can stack multiple monitors together
DVI, DisplayPort, and HDMI
NO built-in speakers
You have to unbolt the monitor from the stand, and re-adjust the mounting angle it if you want to tilt it.
The name “BenQ” is synonymous with no-nonsense, high quality design. Their Zowie brand caters exclusively to gamers, and contains mouse, mousepads, gaming monitors, etc. BenQ monitors have been around for a long time, and are renowned for their incredible color accuracy, super-fast response times, and low input lag.
There is a reason most professional gamer use BenQ monitors- these things are battle tested, and offer the highest quality components. But what if you are searching for a gaming monitor on a budget? Well, in that case you might want to look up the RL2455 from BenQ. It carries the same gaming DNA found in much costlier BenQ gaming monitors. This is evident from the way this monitor is designed- functionality first, looks second. With a response time of just 1ms (GTG), this is perfect for FPS games and fighter games where each millisecond counts.
It is clear from just one glance that this monitor is designed only for the most serious of gamers- no fancy features, no IPS panels, no FreeSync or G-Sync. Only what a true competitive gamer needs, aka super-fast response time and incredible visual clarity.
BenQ has delivered everything that you could possibly want in a gaming monitor, without sacrificing on build quality or visual fidelity. The response time is just 1ms (GTG), meaning that moving objects will be crystal clear. You can easily aim for the head of a moving enemy in Counter Strike, Quake, Battlefield, etc. without having to readjust your aim every fraction of a second in order to compensate for the blurry after effects that are associated with lesser monitors.
On top of the super-fast response time, this monitor also features a BenQ exclusive feature- Black eQualizer. Other manufacturers use black equalizers too, in fact it is found in just about every monitor by default. But professional gamers claim that no one does it better than BenQ. When you use this feature, you can target enemies hidden in dark environments much more easily. It increases visibility in dark parts of the screen without overexposing bright areas, meaning that every tiny detail is displayed at optimum visual clarity.
There are preset display modes for several types of games- RTS, MOBA, FPS, etc. There is smart scaling to simulate custom screen sizes, and the frame is specially designed to reduce glare and reflection. The angular and compact slip-resistant base acts as a great controller storage space.
ZeroFlicker technology completely eliminates monitor flickering to reduce eye strain, and a Blue Light filter mode reduces the amount of blue light emitted by the screen. Blue light contains the most energy and is responsible for eye fatigue. By activating ZeroFlicker and Blue Light Filter, you can game for several hours at a stretch, without straining your eyes.
1ms GTG response time
Anti-glare coating on frame and panel
Multiple preset display modes for several types of games
Blue Light Filter and ZeroFlicker
Full tilt adjustment, VESA mount ready, built-in speakers
Weighs 9 pounds
Stand is large and will take up a lot of space on the desk
ASUS has always been a top-notch monitor manufacturer, famous for creating some of the best gaming monitors to this date. They have come up with yet another amazing 1080p offering that is designed to cater to the needs of hardcore gamers who want a monitor that is fast and highly reliable.
The VG245H is a 24” 1080p TN panel based monitor that comes with advanced features such as blue light reduction, flicker-free, and ASUS Eye Care in order to reduce the strain on your eyes during long gaming sessions. It also includes an ergonomic stand with full tilt/ swivel functionality.
If you are a fan of ASUS monitors, then it is time for you to take a look at one of their latest offerings in the 24” segment. The VG245H is fast, loaded with technologies that reduce eye strain, and comes with an ergonomic stand that offers full tilt and swivel functionality.
But wait- the biggest selling point for this gaming monitor is the fact that it supports AMD FreeSync/ Adaptive Sync and has a 75Hz refresh rate. While most monitors settle with a 60 Hz refresh rate, ASUS has taken a 60Hz panel that is capable of sustaining image clarity even when overclocked. Basically, this is a 60 Hz monitor that arrives pre-overclocked out of the box. But we did not notice any ghosting while playing games.
The AMD FreeSync support allows people with AMD graphics cards in their computers to enjoy tear and lag-free gaming. If you have been experiencing lag spikes and screen tearing on ordinary monitors, then FreeSync will open up a whole new world of possibilities for you, since you can focus on the visual details and subtle movements within a game instead of being distracted by constant screen tearing or freezing.
FreeSync will allow your graphics card to modify the refresh rate of your monitor dynamically in order to make sure that the display refreshes exactly when a new frame is output by the GPU. Which basically means less lag, no tearing, and more fun.
The response time is 1ms GTG, and there are technologies to reduce eye stress during extended gaming sessions: ASUS Eye Care, blue light reduction, and flicker-free. There are also extensive GameVisual and GamePlus software assisted features to enhance color accuracy. ASUS GameFast input technology utilizes two specialized low input lag HDMI ports. It is a bit on the heavier side, at nearly 11 pounds.
1ms GTG response time
Full tilt and swivel support for a VESA mount
Blue light reduction, flicker free, and ASUS Eye Care
Dual low input lag HDMI inputs
Weighs 11.3 pounds
Built-in speakers are very weak
Simply put, the best 1080p 144 Hz display under 200 bucks. Don’t believe us? Well, why don’t you start by finding another 1080p 144Hz monitor first? If you do, then check if that monitor has 1ms GTG response time along with NVIDIA Lightboost and 3D Vision support. We also want to draw your attention to the fact that this Acer monitor features a unique X-shaped ergonomic stand, comes with full tilt and swivel support, and features three types of inputs- HDMI, DVI, and VGA.
First of all, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that this is the ONLY 144Hz display on this entire lot. Possibly the only 144Hz monitor that you can find for under 200 dollars. Why 144 Hz you might ask? Well- in a regular 60 Hz display, the time between 2 consecutive frames is 16.66 milliseconds. When you upgrade to a 144Hz refresh rate, that gap between frames is reduced by more than half, down to just 6.94 seconds. Can you feel the difference? Yes, you can. Especially if you have only used 60Hz monitors before this.
Imagine it like this- with a 60 Hz monitor, if the enemy runs in front of you while playing online, you can see his body. With a 144 Hz monitor, you can even see his shoelaces. Moving objects are much clearer, since the image is refreshed 144 times per second instead of just 60 times.
Resolution is 1080p, and this is a TN panel. So, if you are into graphical fidelity and color accuracy, then you are better off buying the Acer G247HYU smidp instead. That one is a 1440p monitor and uses an IPS panel. But do you know why it is cheaper despite using an IPS panel and having a higher resolution? After all, this is also an Acer gaming monitor.
Well, 144Hz displays are inherently costlier because of the technology that goes into the panel, and also because they are somewhat of a niche item and fewer people buy them since not everyone is a hardcore gamer. Professionals swear by 144Hz displays, so if you are aspiring to be a CS GO or DOTA 2 pro someday, you better start with a good 144Hz monitor. Besides, there is no point in running games at 200 fps on a 60 Hz display.
The response time is merely 1ms GTG, and the contrast ratio is a staggering 100M: 1. NVIDIA 3D Lightboost technology reduces motion blur and there is also support for NVIDIA 3D vision. So, if you own a pair of 3D glasses, you can enjoy games and movies that support this technology. Input types supported- VGA, HDMI, and DVI-D. Keep in mind the fact that you need a DVI-D cable to drive this monitor at 144 Hz.
144Hz refresh rate
1ms GTG response time
NVIDIA 3D Lightboost support
NVIDIA 3D Vision support
Blue light reduction and anti-flicker technology
Built-in speakers are terrible
Out-of-box brightness is too much
In the end, you need to buy what suits YOU the best. There are various monitor designs and configurations available for similar prices. Some offer 1080p at 144 Hz, others offer 1440p at 60 Hz. Some give you AMD FreeSync for a smoother gaming experience, while the others include IPS panels for the best colors and contrast.
Choose your monitor based on the games that you plan to play, and the budget that you have. If you want the best visuals and a smooth gaming experience, get a monitor that uses an IPS panel and has FreeSync. If you want the fastest and most responsive monitor, go for TN panels and a 144 Hz refresh rate. It is all about personal preference, so take your time and do your research before buying.