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The best gaming monitor 2019: the 10 best gaming screens of the year

Pick up one of the best gaming monitors so you can bring your gaming experience to the next level. After all, you need the best display for the best PC games, perhaps snagged on Amazon Prime Day, to really take you places, immersing you in worlds and epic adventures you never thought were possible.

Before buying, you need to understand makes the best gaming monitors better for gaming. Everything ultimately boils down to what you want and need to get out of it. The market is full of many different types of displays, and the best gaming monitor for you will essentially hangs on the type of games you play.

Are you someone who wants to get immersed in your favorite single player games like Devil May Cry V or Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice? You’ll want a 4K Ultra HD gaming monitor boasting HDR. Are you all about the esports life and playing Overwatch? Get yourself one of the best gaming monitors with a high refresh rate and low response time.

With so many options and features to consider, finding the best gaming monitor can be a little tricky, which is why we’re here. We put together a list of all the best gaming monitors we’ve tested and reviewed over the last year or so for you. So that no matter what kind of PC games you typically play, you’ll find the best gaming monitor for your specific gaming needs.

BenQ EX3501R

BenQ EX3501R

1. BenQ EX3501R

HDR and Ultra-Wide together at last

Screen size: 35-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440 | Brightness: : 300 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 100Hz | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 2,500:1 | Color support: sRGB 100% | Weight: 23 pounds

Great screen size

HDR

Menu can be tricky

Needs tweaking out of box

HDR has been a major selling point for the best TVs for a while now. Unfortunately, the feature has yet to gain popularity in the best gaming monitors sphere. Yet the trailblazing BenQ EX3501R takes HDR and runs with it, creating a curved ultra-wide that is not only what we would call ‘gaming monitor goals,’ but a stunner as well. BenQ bills this monitor as a ‘video enjoyment monitor.’ However, from the moment you launch your favorite HDR-enabled games, you’ll know straight away why it tops our list of the best gaming monitors.

Read the full review: BenQ EX3501R 

Alienware AW3418DW

Alienware AW3418DW

2. Alienware AW3418DW

The fastest ultrawide yet

Screen size: 34-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440 | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 | Color support: sRGB 100% | Weight: 26 pounds

Highest refresh rate in an ultrawide

Alienware design and build quality

Expensive

Takes up a lot of space

The Alienware AW3418DW is one of the few gaming monitors that offer a level of immersion that only a 21:9 aspect ratio can, while also touting a high refresh rate. With a dense 3,440 x 1,440 resolution, lightning-fast 4ms response times and a fast 120Hz refresh rate, the AW3418DW gives you the best of both worlds. All these features do come with a steep price, so it may not be the best option for budget-minded gamers. Still, it’s not difficult to see why it’s one of the best gaming monitors 2019 has to offer. And, it’s definitely worth saving up for.

Read the full review: Alienware AW3418DW

AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition

AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition

3. AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition

Blacker than black

Screen size: 35-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440 | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 2,500:1: | Color support: sRGB 100% | Weight: 26 pounds

Phenomenal color performance 

120Hz refresh rate 

Clunky OSD menu 

The AOC Agon AG352UCG was one of the best gaming monitors we’d ever used, so when we heard that a follow-up was on its way – one that comes with a higher refresh rate and better contrast – we could hardly wait. The AOC Agon AC352UCG6 Black Edition has inherited the original’s best features but turns those up to 11, making it a dazzling display to experience ultra-wide gaming on. It’s costly, yeah, but if you have the hardware to back it up, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice by not buying it. 

Read the full review: AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition 

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ 

4. Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ

The Rolls Royce of gaming monitors

Screen size: 27-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Brightness: 600 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 50,000:1 | Color support: Adobe RGB 99% | Weight: 28 pounds

G-Sync and HDR 

Fantastic image quality 

Prohibitively expensive 

The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ may just be the most advanced – not to mention, best – gaming monitor to add to your arsenal... as long as you have the budget for it. This display boasts a stunning 4K Ultra-HD resolution and HDR, as well as G-Sync and a speedy 144Hz refresh rate. These specs add up to one of the most impressive gaming monitors that’s ever existed – and when you see it in action, it will blow you away. The only thing that holds this gaming monitor back from true greatness is its insane price tag. But, then again, if you have this kind of cash lying around, you should be able to afford a PC powerful enough to drive it.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ 

BenQ PD3200U

BenQ PD3200U

5. BenQ PD3200U

A large 4K screen for your desk

Screen Size: 32-inch | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Brightness: 350 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Response Time: 4ms | Viewing Angle: 178/178 | Contrast Ratio: 1,000:1 | Color Support: sRGB 100% | Weight: 19 lbs

4K UHD resolution

Large Screen

Inexpensive relatively

Design is a little bland

Professional tools are niche

Takes up a lot of space

While mainly designed for CAD professionals, the BenQ PD3200U is also one of the best gaming monitors you can buy today. This is mostly thanks to its rock-solid focus on graphic design so it’s able to offer incredible viewing angles, which means that your friends can watch your game in comfort. And, unlike a lot of 4K monitors on the market, you won’t have to mess around with the settings to get the best picture, as every unit is individually calibrated by BenQ before shipping. This is definitely one of the best gaming monitors out there, even though it wasn’t technically designed for gaming.

Read the full review: BenQ PD3200U

Acer Predator X27

Acer Predator X27

6. Acer Predator X27

The finest picture for the finest price

Screen size: 27-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Brightness: 600 Nits | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 | Color support: SRGB 100%, Adobe RGB 99% | Weight: 27.12 pounds

Beautiful 4K HDR picture

G-Sync and high refresh rate

Eye-watering price

There’s a certain group of PC gamers out there that need the absolute best hardware that money can buy, and the Acer Predator X27 might be the best gaming monitor for them. The menu of high-end features packed into this display is almost as long as our arm – 4K resolution, HDR-10, G-Sync, 144Hz refresh rate – and you’d be hard pressed to find a more advanced display. Once you get a look at this monitor in person, it’ll be hard to look back. That is, until you see the price tag – at around $1,600, only those with deep pockets need apply. Though you can always save some money to take it home.

Read the full review: Acer Predator X27

BenQ Zowie XL2540

BenQ Zowie XL2540

7. BenQ Zowie XL2540

A monitor tailored to the needs of professional gamers

Screen size: 24-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Brightness: 400 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 240Hz | Response time: 1ms | Viewing angle: 170/160 | Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 | Color support: NTSC 72% | Weight: 7.5kg

High refresh rates

Easy setup

Expensive

Limited appeal beyond pro gamers

Don’t be put off by its imperfections, as the BenQ Zowie XL2540 definitely deserves its place right up there on the best gaming monitors list. It sacrifices flashy lighting effects for a lightning-fast 240Hz refresh rate and rapid 1ms response time. There aren’t any adaptive sync options, unfortunately, but if you have a setup that’s capable of keeping up with this refresh rate, this gaming display take you a long way in gaming. The BenQ Zowie XL2540 keeps things easy by supplying you with lots of visual presets, an “S Switch” control pod for managing those presets and even a pair of adjustable light screens. This is one of the best gaming monitors to consider, if you’re a pro gamer.

Read the full review: BenQ Zowie XL2540

Samsung CHG90 QLED

Samsung CHG90 QLED

8. Samsung CHG90 QLED

The widest ultra-wide

Screen Size: 49-inch | Aspect Ratio: 32:9 | Resolution: 3,840 x 1080 | Viewing Angle: 178/178 | Contrast Ratio: 3,000:1 | Color Support: N/A | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Weight: 33 lbs

Flawless image quality

Impressive Color reproduction

Smooth 144Hz refresh rate

Expensive

Only 1080p vertically

With this monitor, Samsung not only brings QLED to gaming displays in a massive way, but also gets bragging rights to the widest ultra-wide monitor on the market today. Coming in at 49.5 inches, this goliath takes up a lot of space – it’s likely to jut out over the sides of your desk. However, with its impressive 3,840 x 1080 resolution and HDR, you will be blown away by the image. Even if you decide not to play in this resolution (it will require a beefy rig), you can still use all that extra real estate to browse the internet or watch movies on the same screen. Its price tag is Herculean as well, but for a monitor this premium, it may very well be worth it.

Read the full review: Samsung CHG90 QLED

AOC Agon AG322QC4

(Image credit: Future)

9. AOC Agon AG322QC4

A gaming monitor with a little HDR goodness

Screen Size: 49-inch | Aspect Ratio: 32:9 | Resolution: 3,840 x 1,080 | Viewing Angle: 178/178 | Contrast Ratio: 3,000:1 | Color Support: N/A | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Weight: 33 pounds

Punchy VA panel packs lots of contrast

Both 144Hz and FreeSync 2

Not really a ‘true’ HDR monitor

A little HDR is always a welcome treat, even if it’s not true HDR. And yet, the AOC Agon AG322QC4 has more than that ace up its sleeves. With 144Hz refresh rate, FreeSync 2 and a 3,000:1 contrast ratio, this is among the best gaming monitors of 2019, offering users gorgeous, super smooth visuals and looking good while doing so. While it’s not exactly a steal, the Agon AG322QC4 is still pretty affordable for gamers who aren’t looking around in the bargain basement.

Read the full review: AOC Agon AG322QC4

MSI Optix MAG271CR

MSI Optix MAG271CR

10. MSI Optix MAG271CR

Gotta go fast to save the world

Screen size: 27-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Response time: 1ms | Viewing angle: 178/160 | Contrast ratio: 3000:1 | Color support: SRGB 115%, 90% DCI-P3 | Weight: 9kg

Fast refresh rate

RGB lighting

Expensive for 1080p

When you’re doing competitive first-person shooters like Overwatch or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, you’re going to need speed more than anything to stay on top of the leader boards. That’s where displays like the MSI Optix MAG271CR come in handy. With a 1080p resolution, 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms of latency, you’re armed with super fast, super smooth gameplay, as long as you have the hardware to drive it. After all, 60Hz panels are so 2014 – the best gaming monitors in 2019 are all about the high refresh rates.

Read the full review: MSI Optix MAG271CR

How to buy the best gaming monitor in 2019

Are you in the market for the best gaming monitor 2019 has to offer? Before you make that purchase, you must know that there are a few things to consider before choosing which display should grace your desk.

Familiarize yourself with the following terms and specifications to help guarantee that you’re investing in the best gaming monitor for your needs. It also means you're not paying extra for additional features that you might not actually need.

Screen size: When shopping around for the best gaming monitor, one of the most important things to consider is the screen size. Larger display sizes can lead to more immersive gaming experiences since the game fills more of your field of vision, but you'll also need to make sure that you have the room to keep a large monitor. Of course, it goes without saying that the larger the monitor, the higher the price.

Aspect ratio: The aspect ratio of a gaming monitor dictates the width and height of the screen. Most widescreen monitors have an aspect ratio of 16:9, while older monitors have closer to a square format of 4:3, which might feel pretty outdated in 2019. Ultra-wide monitors with aspect ratios of 21:9 are rapidly growing in popularity, as they offer a wide view of your games, which is why many ultra wides have made our list of the best gaming monitors 2019.

Resolution: One other essential factor to consider when looking for the best gaming monitor for your needs is the resolution. The higher the number, the sharper the picture. You will, however, need a more powerful graphics card for anything over Full HD (1,920 x 1,080), even if many gaming monitors feature resolutions as high as 2,560 x 1,400 (WQHD) and 3,840 x 2,160 (4K).

Refresh rate: When you’re mostly looking to play Counter-Strike and other first-person shooters like it, refresh rate is even more important. The higher the refresh rate, the more frames per second (fps) the monitor can support, leading to a much smoother gaming experience. A 60Hz refresh rate is most common in 2019, but refresh rates of 144Hz and even 200Hz are becoming more and more prominent.

Response time: The best gaming monitors offers low response times, which means fast and fluid actions, with little to no input lag. The lowest response time for TN monitors (we’ll get to this in the next section) is 1 millisecond, whereas the newer IPS monitors typically have slower 4ms response times. When you’re playing games competitively, it’s vital to keep this number as low as possible in order to avoid latency.

Panel type: This is where things get a little technical. The type of panel a gaming monitor uses will largely contribute to its response time and image clarity. TN (twisted nematic) panels, which are typically more affordable, have the lowest response times. However, they usually don’t have great viewing angles. IPS (in-plane switching) panels, on the other hand, have fantastic viewing angles and color reproduction. They usually have higher response times. Meanwhile, VA (vertical alignment) panels sit between the two, although its slow response times makes these panels rare in the gaming world.

Viewing Angle: While most people play games directly in front of their gaming monitor, this isn’t always be the case, particularly when you have an audience. A monitor’s viewing angles tell you what angle you can look at the monitor from and still make out a clear image. The closer these numbers are to 180, the better your viewing experience will be when standing further to either side of the monitor or looking at it from above or below.

G-Sync and FreeSync: You've probably notice that many of the best gaming monitors in 2019 come with either G-Sync or FreeSync technology – sometimes even both. These help keep frames per second (fps) smooth, combat screen tearing and diminish input lag. G-Sync is developed by Nvidia, so you'll require an Nvidia GPU, and the tech is built into the monitor, which can bump up their price tag. FreeSync, on the other hand, was created by AMD. Since it is free to use by manufacturers, the monitors that have them are typically less expensive.

Check out our HDR Explained video below.

Gabe Carey, Bill Thomas and Michelle Rae Uy have also contributed to this article

Image Credit: TechRadar

Looking for a more general monitor? Check out our list of the best monitorsRead More



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