A powerful gaming computer will still display low-quality graphics if you hook it up to a cheap monitor. In this article I’ll cover the best monitors for gaming so you don’t make the mistake of pairing a cheap monitor with your gaming computer.
Even if you have the greatest gaming computer in the world, it will be all for not if you are hooking it up to a crappy monitor. Your monitor is essentially the place where you will see all of the hard work that you put into your gaming computer pay off.
And, not all monitors are created equal.
If you’re going to go all out and build a high-end gaming computer, then you definitely don’t want to go with a monitor that has less than 1920×1080 resolution. In fact, if you’re spending over $1,000 on your gaming PC, you are probably not getting your money’s worth with anything less than 1440p—or a 144Hz 1080p monitor.
Also, you’ll want to get a monitor that has a decent response time. Response time basically means how quickly a monitor can refresh the image that is being displayed on the screen. The faster the response time, the more smoothly your games flow, and the less lag there is between hitting buttons and seeing the actions created by hitting those buttons.
And, if you’re really into competitive shooters, a higher refresh rate will also be a feature you want to look into.
Finally, you’ll need to pick out a monitor that is an optimal size for your viewing pleasure. For some people this is as big as they can possibly get. For others, it’s about 23-24″. You should pick whatever size you feel most comfortable with.
In this post, we will take a look at the best monitors for gaming in 2016 at various different resolutions. I’ve broken down the categories into the following categories: 4K monitors, 1440p monitors, and 1080p monitors.
There are multiple choices for each resolution and I’ve highlighted some of the options below.
It should be noted that, as of right now, we are in a strange transition period between 1080p monitors and higher-res monitors (1440p & 4K) because while the higher-res monitors can display stunning pictures, they are not yet able to provide higher refresh rates (except for a couple of 1440p monitors.)
So, taking this into consideration, rather than seeing a descending rating in these resolution categories, the best overall monitor for gaming (in my opinion) is actually a 1440p 144Hz monitor. And, there are some highly rated 1080p monitors as well.
4K has been around for a few years and it is definitely becoming more accessible. However, it still takes a fairly significant commitment (in terms of the hardware to support it and the monitor itself).
Prices are continuing to drop, though, and there are quite a few 4K monitor options under $500. (Though, the cheaper 4K monitors may not provide the best all-around gaming experience.)
Not to mention, with the release of video cards like the GTX 980 Ti, and the Radeon R9 Fury line of cards (and also with the newer NVIDIA and AMD cards that will be released in the near future), we finally have a single GPU solution to handle 4K resolution.
Ultimately, if you’re someone who likes to spend a little money to stay ahead of the curve, these monitors will suit your needs.
Best 4K Monitors (CLICK ‘READ REVIEW’ TO EXPAND)1440p monitors are currently the sweet-spot resolution for gamers.
Not only do 1440p monitors look great, but they have also come down quite a bit in price and they don’t require a multi-GPU high-end gaming computer to run properly.
In fact, even a ~$700 gaming PC (not including the monitor itself, or the OS) can land you a system that can handle 1440p gaming quite well.
So, if you want an excellent picture and you have a decent budget–but you don’t want to spend a ton of money–then a 1440p monitor is probably a good choice for you.
Best 1440p Monitors (CLICK ‘READ REVIEW’ TO EXPAND)For gaming, the most popular monitor resolution right now is 1920×1080. However, this resolution is quickly conceding to higher resolutions like 1440p and 4K.
Still, though, 1920×1080 resolution looks great.
Also, if you’re working with a budget, then a 1920×1080 monitor is your best bet. Not just because it costs less, but because the hardware required to max out games on a 1920×1080 monitor will cost a lot less as well.
Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with a solid ~$150 1920×1080 monitor to start out with. You can always upgrade later.
Best 1080p Monitors (CLICK ‘READ REVIEW’ TO EXPAND)
WHICH MONITOR IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
You have a few different choices you need to make when choosing a gaming monitor. For starters, you need to decide how much you want to pay for your monitor. And, then from there you need to determine what resolution you want (and can afford), and whether or not you need a high refresh rate (for competitive shooters.)
If budget is no concern and your main priority is picture quality, then a 4K monitor would be a good option. On the other hand, if you have an unlimited budget and you want a high-res monitor that also has a high refresh rate, then you will have to settle for a 1440p monitor (there aren’t any 4K monitors with 144Hz refresh rate as of yet.)
On the other hand, if you are working with a tight budget, or you don’t have the hardware to accommodate a high-res monitor, then you need to choose a high quality 1080p monitor. And, fortunately, there are plenty of affordable 1080p monitors that will serve you well.
In the end, this list doesn’t have every single one of the best monitors currently listed on the market. However, with five quality monitor options in each resolution range, one of the options listed here should serve you well.