Best Gaming Monitors of 2018

Updated on August 20, 2018
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I've been gaming for over 25 years. Now I play and write about it full-time. Have a question? Feel free to ask it in the comment section.

Ignorance is bliss. So, if you haven't tried a new gaming monitor in a few years, you might be completely satisfied. Unfortunately, I've had my hands on a few and can no longer use my cheap, low input lag option.

That being said, there are some great 144Hz options that include FreeSync at a very reasonable price point.

In this post, I'll take you through some of my favorites in late 2018, and give you options for various price points. Before you go, be sure to vote for your favorite and let me know if there's a monitor you think belongs on this list.

Budgets Under $200

Don't have $1,000 to spend on a gaming monitor? No problem. These options are ultra-responsive and look fantastic.

Acer XFA240 BMJDPR Gaming Monitor

For a budget monitor in the under $200 range, this is my first choice. It's the Acer model XFA240 BMJDPR.

For the money, you get:

  • 144Hz refresh rate
  • 1ms response time
  • FreeSync technology
  • Monitor stand with height adjustment, pivot, swivel, and tilt adjustment.

So, you get a monitor that looks and feels like a much more expensive option.

FreeSync

If you don't have an AMD graphics card, you won't be able to use FreeSync. However, I'd still recommend using this monitor for the high refresh rate and the great looking display.

TN Panel and Final Verdict

No, it's not an IPS panel, so wider viewing angles aren't available, however; it looks good straight on. Again, don't expect the crispness of an IPS panel. This is a 1080p TN monitor. If you understand and accept its limitations, you'll see overall it's one of the best options you'll come across in this price point.

Asus VG245H

Another good monitor to consider in this price range is the Asus VG245H. It's similar in price to the Acer model above but, it often comes on sale for around $20 less.

Like the Acer model above, the Asus VGH245H is super responsive with a low input lag. It includes:

  • 1ms response time
  • FreeSync
  • Height adjustment, swivel, pivot, and tilt adjustment

The monitor itself goes up to a 75Hz refresh rate. This is a bit lower than the Acer model above, but I still found it to be a significant improvement. Plus, many games I play don't go above 75 frames per second, so it's not that big of a deal to me.

A 144Hz version of this monitor is also available in the Asus VG248QE. However, the extra $100 won't be worth the price to many especially considering there's a 144Hz Asus 27" model, the VG278Q, for the same price. This is especially true if you have an AMD graphics card and use FreeSync.

Best Display Settings

The colors on this model are good, especially if you're willing to tweak them a bit. I recommend you use the Splendid Theater Mode with 0 Blue Light Filter as was recommended by a forum user. From there, adjust the brightness to around 60, the contrast to around 83, and the saturation to 50. Turn the Skin tone to natural, smart view to off, and adjust the color temp to around 90 for RGB. Lastly, set the sharpness to 60, trace free to 80, and turn ASCR off.

The Final Verdict

This Asus model screams quality. It's hard to not want to go with the 144Hz model above, but if you don't have a high-end GPU or plan to use this with your console I'd recommend this model due to it's great color.

Want a bigger option? The Asus VG275Q 27" monitor is around $40 to $60 more. For 144Hz, as I mentioned above, go with the 27" Asus model VG278Q.

G-Sync, 144Hz, IPS Options

Have to have the best? These monitors have G-Sync, are 144Hz-165Hz, have IPS panels, and incredible color.

Acer Predator XB271HU

If you’ve followed the trend of gaming monitors in the past, you’ll know that a lot of IPS panel monitors were left out of the question simply because their response times created too much ghosting. TN panel monitors were cheaper, had faster response times, and became the portal of choice. When the move to higher refresh rates happened, manufacturers chose these same TN panels, at least initially, to use for gaming monitors.

Enter the Acer Predator XB271HU.

Modern technology brings the best of all worlds together in the Acer XB271HU. ULMB or ultra low motion blue technology in an IPS panel along with a 4ms gray to gray response time gives us a responsive monitor with wide viewing angles and color accuracy.

What’s more is that the Acer XB271HU incorporates G-Sync from NVIDIA to eliminate tearing. While I don’t have the exact input lag numbers of the XB271HU, the unbelievably low input lag classification of 2.75ms by TFT central of the XB270HU gives you an idea of what to expect from this monitor.

If you can get the previous model the Acer XB270HU at a good price, it’s a good option as well.

Acer Predator XB271HU vs. Asus PG279Q ROG Swift

If you’re in the market for a 1440p g-sync gaming monitor, you’ll more than likely be comparing Acer’s XB271HU with Asus’ PG279Q ROG Swift. Last year, I reviewed the PG278Q TN panel monitor. The backlight bleed we got with our first two models was simply too much for us to look past.

Unlike the TN panel used in the previous generation, the PG279Q uses an IPS panel with beautiful colors and wide viewing angles. The contrast is nothing short of fantastic. In addition, the 144Hz refresh rate technology that was present in the first model has been pushed to 165Hz with a turbo mode on the PG279Q.

With that in mind, we were more than curious to look at the updated PG279Q in hopes that it eliminated any of these problems we saw with the first generation.

For the menu screen, Asus has improved upon the old design by adding a joystick design that makes it easy to navigate the menu. The Acer, on the other hand, is much more difficult to navigate. As far as design, the PG279Q is the better-looking monitor when compared to the XB271HU. In addition, the bezels are extremely thin.

Color

In terms of overall color, both the PG279Q and the XB271HU are good, while the PG279Q seems slightly more vibrant to me, especially out of the box.

The Final Verdict

With all of that being said, if I had something bad to say about the PG279Q it’s that there is some slight IPS glow on most models. Then again, many do not have this, so it may just be luck of the draw. For some, that will be a deal breaker. For many others, they may not even be bothered by it.

Other than the backlight bleed issue, the monitor itself is one of the more fantastic I’ve witnessed. It’s definitely worthy of consideration.

4k IPS G-Sync Picks

Asus ROG Swift PG27AQ

If you've got the system that will run 4k and want the best 4k Gaming monitor available, I truly feel like it's the Asus ROG SWIFT PG27AQ.

Unlike the 1440p options above, these 4k options have only a 60Hz refresh rate right now. There will be a high refresh rate option that comes out fairly soon, but you can expect the price point to more than double that of this monitor.

Considering how hard it is to drive AAA titles at 4k, we think you'll still want to go with this option.

Simply put, the colors, the viewing angles, and responsiveness of this monitor are unmatched. The onscreen display is easy to use, and the monitor has tilt, swivel, height adjustment, and pivot adjustment, as well as all the connectivity you need.

In addition, it has G-SYNC which makes your gaming butter smooth.

The Final Verdict

Overall, I feel that the ROG Swift PG27AQ is the best 4k gaming monitor on the market right now. So, if you want 4k, this is the monitor to own.

Acer Predator XB271HK

Any time you’re gaming in 4k you’re going to get fewer frames per second and, therefore, need to rely on technologies like G-Sync or FreeSync to get you through. While I prefer a 1440p monitor at 144hz, I certainly understand why many are going towards 4k monitors.

If you’re going that direction in 2018, the Acer XB271HK and the Asus ROG Swift PG27AQ are the two models to look at.

The XB271HK has fantastic color and viewing angles with its IPS UHD panel and is responsive enough for competitive gaming. A gray to gray response time of 4ms limits any issues you might have with it being IPS.

Not for Everyone

While this monitor is really good, I can really only recommend it to the crowd that’s either playing low-end titles and enjoying movies, or those who have a powerhouse gaming PC with perhaps even dual 1080s or better. If you’re not in that category, I’d recommend you start with XB271HU as 1440p is much easier to drive.

The Final Verdict

You'll find that this monitor is around $200 cheaper than the Asus model. If you've already got a system worth several thousand dollars, it's hard not to recommend the Asus model over this one. It's more seamless, and I like the picture overall. So, unless that $200 really matters, avoid this one.

Best Console Gaming Monitor

BenQ RL2455HM

Looking to go pro? The BenQ RL2455HM is a 75Hz response time, 1 ms GTG response time, super low lag option that is regularly used for MLG tournaments.

It has black eQualizer for better clarity in dark scenes as well as smart scaling for quick size screen adjustment. In addition, the screen color and brightness are simply fantastic at this price point. In addition to that, it works incredibly well with consoles out of the box.

While I’ve had some issues with other monitors in the past, this one is ideal for console gamers. Use the low lag mode for even better responsiveness.

Overall, I can’t say enough about this monitor. No it isn’t IPS and no it doesn’t have 144Hz, but it will give you a competitive advantage while gaming.

A Good PC Gaming eSports Gaming Monitor

BenQ Zowie XL2411P

If you're gaming competitively on PC and want a responsive 144Hz experience, I really like the BenQ Zowie XL2411P. At this same price point, I also like the Asus VG248QE; however, this one has a few more features.

It's your standard TN 144Hz 1080p monitor option with all the right features. BenQ's eSports monitors include Black eQualizer which is helpful in dark situations. This monitor is also simply vibrant in its color.

The Final Verdict

This monitor is good enough to be used in eSports tournaments by professional players. If you're headed in that direction, it's hard to argue that this is one of the most responsive and versatile 1080p 144Hz monitors on the market.

Asus VS239H-P

A monitor I recently recommended is the Asus VS239H-P. For under $150, you get an e-IPS panel monitor with great color accuracy and viewing angles. In addition, the input lag is very good at under 1 frame.

For an IPS panel, it also has a low response time with 5ms GTG.

Overall, it’s the only cheap IPS gaming monitor I’d recommend. It's well worth a look if you’re not willing to fork over the kind of money it takes to buy one of the G-Sync options above.

Vote for your favorite gaming monitor!

See results
Model
Highlights
Connectivity / G-Sync / FreeSync
Acer Predator XB271HU
The XB271HU is the successor of my favorite monitor of 2015, the XB270HU. It has incredible responsiveness, negligible input lag, an overclockable refresh rate of up to 165Hz, and is reasonably priced for these features.
1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 4 x USB 3.0 G-Sync
Asus PG279Q ROG Swift
The Asus PG279Q is one of the better looking monitors I've ever seen. Color reproduction as well as viewing angles are fantastic. This is a huge leap from the PG278Q TN panel of last year. It has a few additional premium features when compared to the XB271HU and also has an overclockable refresh rate of up to 165Hz.
1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x USB 3.0 G-Sync
Acer Predator XB271HK
If you're looking for a 4k G-sync option, the XB271HK from Acer is what you should go with. It features 100% sRGB color reproduction as well as a 4ms response time.
1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 4 x USB 3.0 G-Sync
Viewsonic VX2457-MHD
The VX2457-MHD is a budget FreeSync option. The color and brightness are average, but the price gives you a lot of features for the money you spend.
1 x D-Sub, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort. FreeSync
Viewsonic XG2401
If you're looking for a 144Hz FreeSyc option that won't break the bank, the Viewsonic XG2401 is a perfect option. It's about $100 more for the 24" than the VX2457 model above, but is better quality overall.
2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x USB 3.0, FreeSync
Asus VG248QE
This monitor was originally released to showcase NVIDIA's G-sync technology along with a kit. While the kit is probably something of a secondary option at this point, the monitor itself is still very good with a low input lag and 144Hz refresh rate.
1 x DVI-D, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, G-Sync Only with Kit
BenQ RL2455HM
If you're a console gamer and want something to use for competitive tournaments, this is what I'd recommend. It's responsive, looks great, has a lot of gaming modes and features, and will work with your console easily.
1 x D-Sub, 1 x DVI-D, 2 0x HDMI / None
Asus VS239H-P
Want a responsive IPS monitor but don't care about all the extras? The VS239H-P is what you want. It's responsive e-IPS panel has low lag and a fairly low response time of 5ms GTG. It's a great deal at around $130.
1 x D-Sub, 1 x DVI, 1 x HDMI / None

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Brandon Hart

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      • profile image

        limpstar 

        2 weeks ago

        Hey first of all thx for the comparisons. I am in a big dilemma because I dont know whether to buy the PG279Q or a BenQ RL Model. Why? Because I play on Computer AND on Xbox... So my question is: With the expensive Gsync Asus model, will I get a smooth image from my Xbox One? Cause the Xbox (not the S or the X) only pulls 1080p at 60Hz, and this monitor is 1440p. Do you know if there will be any disadvantage? I mean the monitor works well at 1440p and 144Hz with a PC, but will it do as well with a 1080 p / 60 Hz input or wlil this cause motion blur and ghosting and stuff like that?

        I've been using an old 60 Hz monitor now for years, and it's time for me to upgrade and I am really looking forward to using 144Hz and Gsync, but I don't wanna have a worse game experience with my Xbox than on a "normal" 1080p 60 Hz monitor. It's so important to me because I play FPS, and therefore I'd hate if there was ghosting or things like that.

        Greetings

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