The best gaming monitors in 2020

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The best gaming monitor can bring a whole new dimension to your games. While any old monitor can simply show you what’s going on in-game, one of the models on this page can dazzle you with high-resolution graphics, rapid refresh rates and a gorgeous array of colors. Whether you want something big or small, straight or curved, simple or ornate, the Tom’s Guide team can help you find the best gaming monitor for your particular setup.

At present, Tom’s Guide contends that the Dell S2417DG is the best gaming monitor you can buy. It’s got great colors, fast response times and sleek, adjustable design. If you aren’t looking to spend quit so much money, though, the LG 24MP59G-P offers quick response times and a ton of great features for less than $200. If neither one of those sounds like the right fit, read on for a variety of other gaming monitors that suit your favorite games, your play style, your desk setup and your budget.

Here are the best gaming monitor for every kind of gamer, whether you’re looking for a 4K monitor, a monitor with a 144-Hz refresh rate, a smooth G-Sync monitor or a huge, curved monitor for maximum immersion.

What are the best gaming monitors?

Like a lot of other gadgets, the best gaming monitor you can buy is the one that’s right for your individual needs. For most people and situations, we recommend the Dell 24 gaming monitor: a 24-inch quad-HD display, which can handle resolutions up to 2560 x 1440 pixels. Granted, you won’t be able to see your games and media in stunning 4K, but truthfully, many computers aren’t equipped for that kind of visual output, anyway. The Dell 24 gaming monitor is reasonably priced, easy to position and simple to use. It should hit the sweet spot in most cases.

If you do have a computer that can handle 4K output, you’ll want to buy the Asus ROG Swift PG27A. This 27-inch monitor displays games, movies and TV shows in glorious UHD resolutions, with frame rates up to 60 fps. It offers Nvidia G-Sync technology, so what’s happening on screen should always be in smooth, continuous contact with what your GPU renders (provided you have an Nvidia graphics card, of course). This monitor isn’t cheap, but chances are, your PC wasn’t, either; this is one way to get the most out of your purchase.

Finally, if you have a living room gaming setup, you’ll want to consider the Alienware AW5520QF 55-Inch OLED Gaming Monitor. This huge monitor is the size of a standard TV, but with the refresh rate and depth of color that you’d expect from a full-fledged gaming peripheral. If you’ve constructed a powerful machine that you want to take the center stage in your entertainment center, the Alienware AW5520QF is one of the best possible peripherals to highlight your creation.

The best gaming monitors you can buy today
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1. Dell 24 Gaming Monitor

The best gaming monitor overall


Screen Size and Resolution: 24 inches, 2560 x 1440 | Maximum Refresh Rate: 165 Hz | Response Time: 1ms | G-Sync/FreeSync Compatible: G-Sync | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Panel Type: TN | Inputs: DisplayPort, HDMI

Vibrant quad-HD display

Very responsive

Useful game presets

Highly adjustable

Stiff navigation buttons

If you want something better than 1080p but can’t afford to go full 4K, the Dell S2417DG is the best gaming monitor that hits that sweet spot. This sharp 2560 x 1440 display offers excellent color and brightness, and features useful game modes as well as Nvidia G-Sync support for keeping your games extra smooth. Dell’s monitor looks unassuming enough for the office, but also offers tons of ergonomic adjustment to help you game comfortably.


The Dell S2417DG features a 24-inch screen, a 165 Hz refresh rate and support for both HDMI and DisplayPort connections. In our tests, we were extremely impressed with how good the monitor made games and other multimedia look. We were also pleased with its presets, which let you tweak your visual experience without having to dive too deeply into the menus. The physical buttons on the monitor are a bit stiff, but aside from that, the system has almost no drawbacks, especially for the price.<!–[if mso & !supportInlineShapes & supportFields]> SHAPE  \* MERGEFORMAT <![endif]–> <!–[if mso & !supportInlineShapes & supportFields]> <![endif]–>



2. LG 24MP59G-P


Screen Size and Resolution: 24 inches, 1920 x 1080 | Maximum Refresh Rate: 75 Hz | Response Time: 5ms GTG, 1ms MBR | G-Sync/FreeSync Compatible: FreeSync | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Panel Type: IPS | Inputs: DisplayPort, HDMI

IPS panel

Great brightness

Fast response times

So-so color quality

The best gaming monitor value, the LG 24MP59G-P offers excellent brightness and response times for the price, and is the rare IPS panel you can get for under $200. It also packs AMD FreeSync for eliminating screen tears on AMD-powered machines. Color quality is pretty good, with decent color gamut (93.3 percent) but solid accuracy (Delta-E 0.74). The construction is stylish and sturdy, and a small four-direction joystick set into the bottom edge of the display cabinet lets you navigate menus quickly and also doubles as a power button.


Beyond that, the monitor screen measures 24 inches, and features a refresh rate of 75 Hz. You can connect it to your computer with either a DisplayPort or HDMI cable. There’s no denying that the LG 24MP59G-P isn’t the fanciest or most elaborate monitor you can buy, but for the price, it more than gets the job done.


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3. Asus ROG Swift PG279Q

The king of 4K gaming monitors


Screen Size and Resolution: 27 inches, 3840 x 2160 | Maximum Refresh Rate: 60 Hz | Response Time: 4ms | G-Sync/FreeSync Compatible: G-Sync | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Panel Type: IPS | Inputs: HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.0 (x2)

Gorgeous 4K picture quality

Intuitive interface

G-Sync support

Solid built-in speakers

Fairly pricey

If you’re willing to pay a premium price, the Asus ROG Swift PG27A is one of the best gaming monitors available, complete with 4K resolution and G-Sync support. Its crisp and colorful 3820 x 2160 display will bring out every tiny detail in your favorite games, while its Nvidia G-Sync support keeps everything running smoothly on Nvidia GPUs. The monitor’s ergonomic design makes it easy to adjust it to your gaming setup, while its intuitive onscreen interface and handful of bonus features round out this high-end package nicely.
The ROG Swift PG27A measures 27 inches across, and features a refresh rate of 60 Hz. If you have a sufficiently powerful computer, that means you’ll be able to run games at 4K resolution with frame rates of 60 frames per second. You can connect your systems via HDMI or DisplayPort, and there are even some USB ports, in case you need some extra ways to charge gear throughout your day.
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4. Acer Predator X34

A stunning curved gaming monitor with great sound


Screen Size and Resolution: 34 inches, 3440 x 1440 | Maximum Refresh Rate: 100 Hz | Response Time: 4 milliseconds | G-Sync/FreeSync Compatible: G-Sync | Aspect Ratio: 21:9 | Panel Type: IPS | Inputs: DisplayPort, HDMI

Impressive design

Gorgeous picture quality

Strong G-Sync performance

Pricey

Navigating menus can be a pain

If you’re looking to treat yourself, Acer’s Predator X34 curved gaming monitor is one of the richest, most immersive displays we’ve ever played on. The Predator’s 34-inch, 3440 x 1440-pixel display will fill your field of view with whatever virtual world you choose to get lost in, while its Nvidia G-Sync support ensures that your favorite games will run as smooth as possible. The Predator also just looks cool, with a sharp, angular design and customizable LED lights that will glow nicely over your mouse and keyboard.

With a 100 Hz refresh rate and ports for both HDMI and DisplayPort connections, the Predator X34 is a versatile monitor. The colors and sharpness speak for themselves, especially since you’ll be able to play your games at quad-HD resolutions with frame rates that exceed 60 frames per second. The monitor is expensive, but in this case, you’ll definitely get what you pay for.
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5. ViewSonic XG2401

The best FreeSync monitor


Screen Size and Resolution: 24 inches, 1920 x 1080 | Maximum Refresh Rate: 144 Hz | Response Time: 1ms | G-Sync/FreeSync Compatible: FreeSync | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Panel Type: TN | Inputs: HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA

Super-fast response times

Fast 144Hz refresh rate at 1080p

AMD FreeSync support

Highly adjustable stand with headphone dock

A few extraneous features


If you game on an AMD graphics card and are looking for an affordable display that doesn’t skimp on features, the ViewSonic XG2401 is one of the best gaming monitors available. This 144Hz monitor offers incredibly fast response times for playing competitive games with precision, and supports AMD FreeSync to reduce tears and stutters. It’s also highly ergonomic, offers a handy headphone stand and has some impressively loud built-in speakers.
The XG2401’s screen measures 24 inches, making it an easy fit for most desks. The VGA port is also a nice touch, as the monitor plays nicely with older computers — or simply those who prefer to connect their video and audio outputs separately. While you won’t get 4K resolution, you also won’t have to pay through the nose, so the monitor’s features tend to balance out.

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How to choose the best gaming monitor for you

The best gaming monitor for your needs comes down to three major factors: resolution, refresh rate and price.

How much resolution you need depends on how powerful your PC is. Extremely powerful machines can run games at 4K resolutions (3840 x 2160 pixels), which means you’ll probably want to pony up for a more elaborate monitor. Cheaper machines pair better with 1080p monitors, while those in-between can run at quad-HD resolutions.

Refresh rate is similar, in that more powerful machines will need monitors with higher refresh rates. While refresh rate and frames per second are not exactly the same thing, it’s useful to think of them in the same terms when choosing a monitor. Is your PC powerful enough to get 60 frames per second during gameplay? 120 frames per second? More? The higher the refresh rate, the 
higher number of frames per second the monitor can support.

Price is pretty self-explanatory. Just remember that more expensive monitors will be useful for longer periods of time. A good screen can last for a decade or more, and if you decide to buy or build a new machine in the future, you may not need to replace a monitor that’s sufficiently advanced.

How we test gaming monitors

As we do with TVs, we use our Klein K-10A colorimeter and SpectraCal CalMAN 5 software to extract a range of color, contrast and brightness data from each monitor’s default display modes. Of the data we gather, we weigh brightness (white luminescence), color accuracy (Delta-E) and color gamut most heavily in our reviews.

We also use a Leo Bodnar Lag Tester to measure each display’s latency, a key statistic for those looking for highly responsive monitors.

Qualitatively, we run each monitor through both productivity and gaming tests. You’re not going to switch monitors each time you need to open a word processor, watch a video or send an e-mail, so every monitor on this list must be sharp and responsive for everyday use. As far as gaming goes, we run each monitor through games in a variety of genres, including FPS, RTS, MOBA, RPG and MMO, in order to ensure that it doesn’t favor one genre at another’s expense.

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