Why you'll love it: The Acer Predator XB271HU monitor has the perfect list of specs for gamers with a WQHD resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, and G-Sync built-in.
Acer is a common name when it comes to gaming monitors, and the Predator XB271HU is big reason why. This 27-inch gaming monitor ticks all of the right boxes, combining high refresh rates, good resolution, and low response time in a value-stuffed package.
The monitor has a 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution. It’s one and a half times the resolution of a full HD display, which is nice, but 4K is preferred. Given how much else the Predator XB271HU has going for it, though, the WQHD resolution more than suffices.
Mainly, that’s because the panel has a 144Hz refresh rate, providing ultra smooth gameplay. Refresh rate measures how often a panel can update its buffer, and a higher refresh rate means more defined motion when action is on screen. While it ships with a 144Hz refresh rate, the panel can actually be overclocked to 165Hz.
Even at high frame rates, the monitor is clear, and that’s partly aided by G-Sync. This Nvidia technology allows Nvidia graphics cards to power variable refresh rate. In short, the refresh rate of the display changes based on the frame rate it’s putting out, avoiding the dreaded screen tearing and artifacting that result from frame rates changing during fast motion.
What sets this display apart, though, is its color accuracy. The Predator XB271HU uses an IPS panel, whereas most other gaming displays use a TN panel. Out of the box, the color accuracy is, frankly, terrible. However, after calibration, Rtings found that the display is very color accurate, earning a 9.6 out of 10 score from them.
Pros: G-Sync, high refresh rate, capable of high color accuracy
The ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ is the Rolls Royce of gaming monitors, and it knows that. With a high price tag of $1,999.99, it's one of the most expensive monitors you can buy. However, for the smoothest gameplay at the highest resolutions, there's no suitable replacement.
ASUS monitors strike an impressive balance of style and specs. The Swift PG27UQ still screams "gamer" in every possible way, but it does so with grace. The integrated ROG logo on the back can be customized and synced with ASUS Aura, as well as the underglow lighting that comes from the stand.
As far as performance goes, the Swift PG27UQ is unmatched. The UHD panel ships with a 144Hz refresh rate, but you can overclock it to 165Hz. It also supports G-Sync, so computers outfitted with Nvidia graphics cards can take advantage of variable refresh rate.
What's most surprising about it, though, is its color accuracy. Out of the box, the Swift PG27UQ has enough color accuracy for content creators to take advantage of. After calibration, the colors are near perfect, making the the Swift PG27UQ an excellent choice for gamers who want to do some content creation on the side.
The monitor is also certified with Vesa's DisplayHDR 1000, which is the highest possible tier. With HDR enabled, the the Swift PG27UQ has a contrast ratio of 50,000:1. Furthermore, since the panel uses quantum dot technology, it can achieve deeper blacks than most other gaming monitors.
Pros: High resolution, HDR support, G-Sync
Cons: At nearly $2,000, it's one of the most expensive displays available
Why you'll love it: Despite its modest resolution, the ASUS VG248QE monitor is an excellent affordable gaming monitor.
While ASUS takes the cake for the most expensive monitor in our guide, it also takes the title of best budget gaming monitor. The ASUS VG248QE is the perfect affordable gaming monitor, combining enough resolution and a high enough refresh rate into an inexpensive package. While miles away from the other options on our list, this monitor is the best one you can get for the money.
For around $250, you're getting a 24-inch, full HD monitor with a refresh rate of 144Hz. The refresh rate is what makes the difference. While you may be able to get slightly higher resolution or a larger size for the same price, you're not going to find another monitor with as high of a refresh rate, which makes the ASUS monitor perfect for gamers on a budget.
While most other aspects of the monitor are unimpressive, the ergonomics are anything but. The included stand offers 90 degrees of swivel, 110 millimeters of height adjust, 15 degrees of tilt and 90 degrees of pivot. For those who didn't pay attention in geometry class, that means the VG248QE is fully adjustable, so you can even turn it sideways.
As far as budget monitors go, that makes the VG248QE unique. It's a good choice to get started, but also a budget option if you're wanting to add a second display to your rig. You could, for example, buy into it now and, once you upgrade, turn it sideways to have chat open during a Twitch stream or just browse Reddit with maximum efficiency.
You can't expect a lot out of it, though. The VG248QE has mediocre image quality, horrible viewing angles, and only the standard range of inputs. However, for the price, it's excellent. With a full HD panel at 144Hz, ASUS has made one of the few monitors that offers a truly excellent gaming experience shy of $300.
Pros: Inexpensive, high refresh rate, quality stand
Why you'll love it: While it doesn’t have the gamer aesthetic of Acer or ASUS, the Massdrop Vast packs most of the specs you need for around half the price.
The Massdrop Vast combines all of the essential elements of an excellent gaming monitor in an ultrawide package with a low price tag. While the Acer Predator X34 does the same thing with a higher overclocked refresh rate and better quality panel, it does so at around twice the price. Factoring value into the equation, the Massdrop Vast comes out as the best ultrawide monitor for gaming.
The chassis looks like something out of an Ikea display, but despite its humble appearance, the Vast a lot of specs under the hood. The TN panel has a resolution of 3,440 x 1,440 pixels with a standard refresh rate of 100Hz. The display is 35-inches, too, so you have a little more screen estate than other leading ultrawides.
However, the most surprising thing about the Vast is its price. Massdrop has broken price barriers when it comes to 4K ultrawide gaming monitors. At a little over $500, the Vast is around half the price of similar monitors from Acer and ASUS while putting up similar specs. The largest difference between them is the design of the chassis and quality of the panel.
Even with its somewhat boring design, the Vast isn’t lost when it comes to ergonomics. The 1800R curved display can be mounted on any stand that supports the standard 100 x 100 VESA mount, but the included stand should be enough. The stand supports tilt and spring-actuated height adjustment, as well as a full 90 degrees of rotation. When put in the upright position, the name gets a whole new context.
With Nvidia's announcement to support Freesync monitors, there’s very little downside to the Vast. It has mediocre color accuracy out of the box, which shouldn’t matter for gaming, but comes with full coverage of the sRGB spectrum.
Pros: Inexpensive, high refresh rate, support for Freesync
Why you'll love it: The ASUS ROG Swift PG279QR monitor comes with all of the specs of a good gaming monitor, with the addition of G-Sync to top it off.
The ASUS ROG Swift PG279QR monitor strikes a balance that few other G-Sync monitors have. It’s relatively inexpensive — given how pricey G-Sync monitors can get — has a 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution, can be overclocked up to 165Hz, and has a full 178 degrees of viewing thanks to the IPS panel.
While Nvidia now supports Freesync displays on its cards, the mark of a G-Sync display generally means that it’s very high quality. G-Sync requires a proprietary board in the monitor, and Nvidia has strict requirements as to which products it approves. As opposed to Freesync, which uses software to accomplish variable refresh rate built into the DisplayPort standard, G-Sync uses a hardware module.
The strict standards mean certain issues, like ghosting, that come up with some Freesync displays will not come up with G-Sync ones. The Swift PG279QR has no such problems. With a refresh rate of up to 165Hz via DisplayPort or up to 60Hz via HDMI, it can deliver an ultrasmooth gaming experience with no unintended drawbacks.
As far as the other aspects of the monitor are concerned, the Swift PG279QR is, frankly, excellent. With nearly perfect color accuracy out of the box and full coverage of the sRGB spectrum, the Swift PG279Q is great for gaming and content creation. After calibration, it could go toe-to-toe with expert level monitors.
For gaming, the response time is important, and the Swift PG279QR succeeds on that front, too. With an 80% response under 5ms and 100% response under 10ms, the Swift PG279Q ensures that whatever you’re doing on screen feels fluid and natural.
Pros: G-Sync support, IPS panel, high color accuracy