Best Gaming Monitors 2018 [Ultrawide, 144Hz, 4K, FreeSync, Budget] Buyers Guide
Best Gaming monitor 2018 image

Best Gaming Monitors 2018

We review the best gaming monitors for September 2018

In this ultimate buyers guide, we review the best gaming monitors for 2018 from all the leading manufactures to help you find the best monitor for gaming available. If you're looking for a new display, we have everything you need to make an informed purchase below.

This guide is constantly updated to provide you with the top gaming monitors available on the market for September 2018.

Best Gaming Monitors 2018 Compared

Product

Image

Award

Size

Refresh

Panel

Response

VVR Type

Price

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ

4k 144hz monitor

4K 144Hz Gaming Monitor

27"

144Hz

IPS

4ms

G-Sync

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q 27' 2560x1440 IPS 165Hz 4ms G-SYNC Eye Care Gaming Monitor with DP and HDMI Ports

27"

160Hz

IPS

4ms

G-Sync

ASUS ROG Swift PG348Q 34' 21:9 3440x1440 IPS 100Hz G-SYNC Eye Care Gaming Monitor with DP and HDMI Ports

34"

100Hz

IPS

5ms

G-Sync

ASUS Full HD 1080p 144Hz 1ms DP HDMI DVI Eye Care Gaming LED-Lit Monitor 27' (VG278Q)

24"

144Hz

TN

1ms

G-Sync

Acer Predator XB321HK bmiphz 32-inch IPS UHD (3840 x 2160) NVIDIA G-Sync Widescreen Display (2 x 2w speakers, 4- USB 3.0 Ports, HDMI & Display Port)

27"

60Hz

IPS

4ms

FreeSync

ASUS 27-inch 2k 144Hz WQHD FreeSync Gaming Monitor IPS, 4ms Response Time, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB 3.0, 2560 x 1440 Display with Pivot, Tilt, and Swivel, ASUS EyeCare (MG279Q)

27"

144Hz

IPS

6.5ms

G-Sync

We have put hours of research and testing into this gaming monitor buyers guide of the top 5 displays available for August 2018. Below we review the top products by Asus and Acer for 144hz, 4K, FreeSync, Ultrawide, G-Sync and a budget display.


We have put hours of research and testing into this gaming laptop buyer guide of the 10 best gaming laptops available in 2018.

The best money can buy

The Best Gaming Monitor 2018

1. Asus ROG Swift PG279Q

Hands down 2018's best IPS gaming monitor boasting 160Hz refresh, 4ms response and a 27" IPS screen @ 2560x1440 if you're a gamer, you need this screen...

The Asus ROG Swift PG279Q is, without question, the best 160Hz gaming monitor available in 2018. It really is the only monitor for gamers without compromise. For years now, in fact ever since gamers moved from CRT to LCD back in the day, we have sacrificed color depth and accuracy refresh and and input lag on every display purchase we have made. But Asus have changed that, with the PG279Q's low input lag (160hz, 4ms), IPS 27" panel, providing both color accuracy and a fast enough display to game on without compromise.

While, some of you may be thinking "but it's not 4k", and this is true, it's not a 4K display. But with the markets current graphics cards offerings (September 2018) you would never drive a recent game at 4K consistently over 160fps (note consistently). Given that restriction, we feel this 2560x1440 160Hz monitor by Asus is currently the best monitor for gaming currently available. Offering the best possible color depth, accuracy and speed with 160hz, 3ms + G-Sync. The only other monitor that beats it would be the Asus PG348Q, and that would depend on if you're a fan of the UltraWide format.  

Hardware

Specification

Resolution

2560x1440

Screen Size

27"

Panel Type

Intel Core i7-7700HQ

IPS

Refresh Rate

Intel Core i7-7700HQ

160hz

Response Rate

4ms

VRR Type

G-Sync

Inputs

1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, 2x USB 3.0

Pros

  • 144Hz, capable of 160Hz overclocker
  • Supports Nvidia G-Sync
  • Fast, low input lag IPS display
  • ​Good design, subtle, with thin bezels

Cons

  • Expensive
  • G-Sync only

The Best UltraWide Gaming Monitor 2018

2. Asus PG348Q Ultrawide

A truly awesome display, needs to be seen in the flesh to appreciate the awesomeness of the displays immersion. The Asus PG348Q is the best UltraWide gaming monitor available in 2018.

The Asus PG3428Q is the best UltraWide gaming monitor available, boasting a 34" Ultrawide IPS display with a 100Hz refresh rate and a 5ms pixel response rate.

In fact the only reason this display was not number 1 in our list is due to two reasons, the first being the refresh rate / response rate being slower and the second reason, not everyone is a fan of the Ultrawide monitor form factor.  Ultrawide monitors can cause some issues with certain games and out of the game some people find positioning windows an issue and prefer the productivity from 2 x 27" monitors. 

"The IMMERSIVE gaming experience this panel offers is truly AMAZING..." - BlizzGC

The 34-inch curved panel almost fills all your field of view and provides a feeling of immersion that you didn't get when reviewing any of the other non Ultawide gaming monitors. The large width and the small curve makes a considerable difference when gaming. The ultrawide panel is actually less pixels than 4K, therefore slightly less demanding on the graphics card front. That said, the display is capable of driving a 100hz refresh rate, so dual GTX 1080's + are recommended for this display.

Read the full: Asus PG348Q Review

Hardware

Specification

Resolution

3440x1440

Screen Size

34" Ultrawide

Panel Type

Intel Core i7-7700HQ

IPS

Refresh Rate

Intel Core i7-7700HQ

100hz

Response Rate

5ms

VRR Type

G-Sync

Inputs

1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI

Pros

  • 34" curved Ultrawide display
  • 100Hz, 5ms pixel response time
  • Supports Nvidia G-Sync
  • ​Good design, subtle, with thin bezels

Cons

  • Pricey, but worth it when you see it on your desk!
  • 3440x1440 will likely requre multiple GPU's for higher FPS

The Best Budget 144Hz Gaming Monitor 2018

3. Asus VG248QE

The best budget gaming monitor for 2018, 24" 144hz 1080p display with a TN panel capable of ultra low pixel response rate of 1ms ! 

The Asus VG248QE is the best budget gaming monitor available, despite being several years old now the monitor is still the cheapest 24" 144Hz gaming monitor available in 2018. 

The monitors panel is extremely fast with a refresh rate of 144Hz and a pixel response rate of 1ms, which in our opinion makes it the best cheap gaming monitor on the market. The trade of being the TN panel provides awful color accuracy and washed out colors. The author currently owns two VG248QE's and while they are pretty much the fastest gaming monitor available for first person shooters, be mindful of the fact the colors are extremely washed out. If you are not a professional gamer and are also planning on using the monitor for creative / design or even day to day use we would strongly recommend you purchase one of the IPS screens reviewed on this page.

If you are on a budget and looking for a cheap 144hz gaming monitor, and intend to use it solely for gaming we recommend the Asus VG248QE monitor.

Read the full: Asus PG248QE Review

Hardware

Specification

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

24"

Panel Type

Intel Core i7-7700HQ

TN

Refresh Rate

Intel Core i7-7700HQ

144hz

Response Rate

1ms

VRR Type

None

Inputs

DP, DVI, HDMI

Pros

  • Cheap 144Hz gaming monitor
  • 1ms response time and 144Hz
  • Nvidia Lightboost capable using BlurBusters hack
  • ​Good design, subtle, with thin bezels

Cons

  • TN panel, awful washed out colors with bad accuracy
  • No VVR (G-Sync / FreeSync) 
  • Only a 24" 1080p (1920x1080) display

The Best 60Hz 4K Gaming Monitor 2018

4. Acer Predator XB321HK

The best 4K gaming monitor on the market boasting, 32" 60Hz 4K IPS display.

4K gaming monitors require some serious horse power to drive them, and the Acer predator XB321HK is a 4K UHD IPS display capable of 60Hz. But, even a GTX 1080 won't give you a constant, smooth 60 FPS gaming experience. If you want to drive this monitor at a 60 FPS+ you'll need multiple Nvidia 1080 GTX's, that said G-Sync will help you out when the frames drop and prevent screen tearing.

As with all IPS panels they are a bit slower than TN or VA, with the trade of being better color accuracy and depth. However, the XB321HK panel is pretty fast for an IPS display with a 4ms pixel response rate. Which is not as fast as the TN panels 1ms response rate, but the trade off is worth it for the immersion of the color depth and accuracy the IPS panel displays.

We only recommend this screen for gamers with a pair of GTX 1080's, or higher level cards like the Titan X. If your don't want to shell out for multiple GPU's or your don't want to deal with the other potential issues multi GPU gaming causes such as cooling, compatibility etc, then we would recommend the PG279Q (details above). It should also be noted that ASUS plan to bring out a 4K 144Hz gaming monitor in 2018, however this is likely 6 months+ away from release.

Hardware

Specification

Resolution

3840 x 2160

Screen Size

32"

Panel Type

Intel Core i7-7700HQ

IPS

Refresh Rate

Intel Core i7-7700HQ

60hz

Response Rate

4ms

VRR Type

G-Sync

Inputs

1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, 2x USB 3.0

Pros

  • Large enough display to benefit from 4K
  • Nvidia G-Sync support
  • IPS display, excellent color depth and accuracy
  • ​Fast for a 4K panel, 4ms pixel response and 60Hz 4K IPS UHD

Cons

  • Expensive 
  • 60Hz
  • 4K gaming requires some horse power to push even 60 FPS consistently

The Best FreeSync Monitor 2018

5. Asus MG279Q

The Asus MG279Q is the best FreeSync monitor on the market in 2018. As the MG279Q uses AMD FreeSync, it's considerably cheaper than it's G-Sync brother.

​AMD decided to give away FreeSync to manufactures, meaning Asus (and other OEM's) do not need to pay a licensing fee to use the technology, making the monitor cheaper than it's Nvidia G-Sync brethren.

The monitor supports up to 144hz refresh, but it should be noted that the display only support FreeSync (VRR) from 75-90hz. The monitor will still operate at higher Hz but the rate will only be variably adjusted using FreeSync between 75-90Hz, therefore it's unlikely this will effect a lot of gamers (lower end is where you need VRR). 

The screen uses an IPS panel so you can expect the usual awesome color depth, accuracy and view-able angles the IPS panels provide. If you're an AMD user looking for the best FreeSync monitor for gaming then we highly recommend the Asus MG279Q.  

Read the full: A​sus MG279Q Review

Hardware

Specification

Resolution

2560x1440

Screen Size

27"

Panel Type

Intel Core i7-7700HQ

IPS

Refresh Rate

Intel Core i7-7700HQ

144hz

Response Rate

6.5ms

VRR Type

FreeSync

Inputs

2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, 1x Mini DP

​PROS
  • plus-circle
    ​Excellent Value
  • plus-circle
    ​​144Hz, QHD, IPS panel
    ⦁    Quiet and innovative cooling
  • plus-circle
    ​​Supports ​AMD FreeSync
    ⦁    Excellent speakers and display

​CONS
  • minus-circle
    ​​90Hz upper limit on G-Sync (VVR)
  • minus-circle
    ​​No ULMB
  • minus-circle
    ​​Slightly higher advertised input lag

Pros

  • Excellent value
  • 144Hz, QHD, IPS panel
  • Supports AMD FreeSync

Cons

  • 90Hz upper limit on G-Sync (VVR) 
  • NO ULMB
  • Slightly higher than advertised input lag

About this Top 5 Review Guide

Why are these the best gaming screens?

We didn't just randomly select some monitors we liked the look of, we closely monitor the market and perform stacks of research, read multiple other review sites that we trust (see sources below) and read countless consumer reviews before doing any of our own testing.


handshake-o

Why you should trust this guide?

We are gamers like you, we know how it feels to spend hours performing online research when ultimately all you want to know is what the best product is for your requirements. We created this site to give back to the gaming community and help gamers like you make informed purchase decisions


Where did you get the Data?

When tasked with selecting the best gaming displays we performed research using sites we use and trust provide good honest, well informed.  

database

Gaming Monitor Buyers Guide

Gaming monitor technology is still a bit of a compromise. While it's the best it's ever been, you still can't have the best of both worlds, yet. Currently there are no 4K 144Hz gaming monitors out yet and the same goes for 160hz Ultrawide IPS displays. It's likely you'll need to make a compromise when selecting your new screen and we want you to full understand our reviews, understand any acronyms within this guide and ultimately make an informed purchase decision. So be sure to check out our monitor FAQ below.

Different Panel Types

A quick overview of the three main different panel types available today, TN, VA and IPS.

  • TN Panels are the oldest type of LCD display, they originally replaced CRT screens and as you might expect their color accuracy and viewable angles are poor when compared to IPS or even VA. TN panels are however extremely fast, offering the lowest input lag possible with response rates as low as 1ms and refresh rates of 240hz+
  • VA Panels are a middle ground between IPS and TN panels, providing both reasonable color depth/accuracy and a fast responsive display with good view-able angles. While the color depth is not as good as IPS it's extremely better than looking at a washed out TN panel.
  • IPS Panels, have the best color accuracy, view-able angles and depth of color. However, they are the slowest, while the pixel to pixel response rate has improved significantly, it should be noted they are still the slowest when it comes to refresh rates, response rates and therefore have the highest input lag.
Panel Type FAQ

IPS vs TN

Monitor Sync Types Explained

What is Vertical Sync (V-Sync)

V-Sync works by reducing your graphics cards FPS output to match the monitors input refresh rate in Hz (typically 60Hz). However, if you're playing a new AAA game and your graphics card is struggling to output a constant 60 FPS, your monitor will have to wait for your graphics card to catch up before displaying a new frame. This causes input lag and micro stuttering, which are actually worse for gaming than screen tearing. 


What is G-Sync

G-Sync is a variable refresh rate (VRR) technology made by Nvidia that matches the refresh rate of your monitors output to the frames per second (FPS) your graphics card is providing the monitor. For example if you play the latest AAA games, then it is likely your frames will drop below 144hz. 

Traditionally this would cause screen tearing and micro stuttering, G-Sync constantly matches the monitors refresh rate to the FPS output of your graphics card. Matching the the refresh rate to the FPS output gives the appearance of smooth, stutter free game play. While it might be noticeable for some players when this is happening, it is a considerable improvement over screen tearing. If you're interested in upgrading check out our resource on if G-Sync is worth it before you upgrade.

G-sync in a nutshell: 

  • Matches monitor refresh rate to graphics card FPS output
  • Prevents screen tearing and micro stuttering 
  • Gives the appearance of smooth game play

What is FreeSync?

FreeSync is a technology created by AMD that removes screen tearing without the micro stuttering or increased input lag that V-Sync caused. FreeSync works by utilising a featured included within the display port standard called "adaptive sync". A technology that uses variable refresh rate (VRR) technology that allows the display and graphics card to sync up, and ensure the monitor refresh rate matches the graphics card FPS output, ensuring that only one frame is on screen at one time. FreeSync works between 40 and 144hz refresh rates and requires display port 1.2A input.


G-Sync vs FreeSync

G-Sync

FreeSync

Requires G-Sync display

Requires FreeSync display

Requires G-Sync graphics card

Requires FreeSync graphics card

Requires Nvidia scaler module

Built on top of Adaptive Sync  (open standard)

Costs manufactures money

Free for manufactures 


Sync Type FAQ

Are FreeSync & G-Sync the Same?

Do you need a FreeSync graphics card and display?

Are FreeSync & G-Sync Cross Compatible?

​What is Monitor Response Time?

Pixel response time (aka monitor response time) measures how quickly a pixel can display a change from ​one color to another. The benchmarking metric typically used by monitor manufuctures is GTG which stands for Gray to Gray, displaying how quickly the monitor can change from a gray pixel to another gray pixel. ​When looking for a new monitor you should ensure the monitors pixel response time is as low as possible. In 2018 the ​pixel response times you should be looking for are 1-2ms for a TN panel, and anything less then 6ms for a gaming IPS panel. But this will greatly depend on if the monitor is 24, 27, 4K or ultrawide.

​What is ​Input Lag?

​Input lag is the measurement of time it takes from the click of your mouse, or keyboard button to the time it takes to display on screen. For example, firing a gun on CSGO by clicking your mouse will take several miliseconds for the game to react and fire your weapon. A number of factors affect input lag, from monitors, keyboards, drivers and the game engine or configuration.  Bad input lag can be extermely annoying and feel terrible.

All in all, the Asus ROG Zephyrus tends to set a high bar for thin and powerful gaming laptops and is able to deliver a quiet operation with exceptional performance and a design which has been deemed to be truly innovative. If you’re after a powerful thin gaming laptop with an excellent display we highly recommend the Asus ROG Zephyrus.

Best Value HD Gaming Laptop
Asus ROG Strix GL502

The Asus Stix laptop is a full HD gaming machine, thanks to its excellent built in speakers and the vibrant screen (excellent color depth).

Alienware 13 R3