With GeForce RTX 30 series and Radeon RX 6000 GPUs now out in the wild (best of luck finding one!), it's a good time to revisit the best gaming monitors that complement the performance on offer from next-generation cards. The focus of this buying guide is entirely on gaming monitors. If you’re interested in creator, office or professional monitors, check out our Best PC Monitors guide that covers those categories in greater detail, so if you’re wondering why you won't find a single 60Hz display today, even in the 4K category, that’s why.

One important disclaimer is that this guide is somewhat limited by monitors that we’ve tested. There are hundreds of monitors released every year and it's nearly impossible to test them all. A wide majority of the products featured here have been tested by us, and thus have been put through our benchmark suite. But don’t worry, there’s over 60 displays in our results database of which 30 were tested this past year alone.

We've divided gaming monitors in four key categories: 1440p, 4K, ultrawides and 1080p. For each of these categories we've broken them down further into best in class models, best value, and so forth. If you’re thinking of upgrading to a faster GPU, these are some of the best monitors that will allow you to take full advantage of all that graphics power, while also leaving some headroom for future upgrades.

Best 1440p Gaming Monitor @ 240Hz

Samsung Odyssey G7 32" Curved

Editor's note: We have a dedicated buying guide for the Best Gaming Monitors where we detail more options for 1440p and 4K gaming at different price segments, discuss esports, ultrawide gaming and budget options.

Currently the most popular category for new monitor purchases, 1440p high refresh displays have consistently fallen in price over the last few years to the point where you can now get some really great monitors for attractive prices, while performance at the high-end has opened right up.

We’ve considered many different options for the best overall 1440p gaming monitor and ultimately we’ve settled on the Samsung Odyssey G7. This is not the perfect gaming monitor, but 1440p 240Hz displays are still relatively new outside of TN panels, and the overall great performance of the Odyssey G7 deserves this position for now.

The Odyssey G7 succeeds in many performance areas. It has elite response times, which for a VA display is remarkably impressive. In our testing we found a consistent 3ms grey to grey experience, which is better than most IPS monitors and on par with TNs, and it does this from 240Hz right down to 60Hz. With such a high refresh rate, it's perfect for gaming today and into the future, at a resolution that’s a significant step above 1080p.

The G7 also does well in color performance, with a nice wide color gamut and a great contrast ratio, around double that of IPS equivalents. There is a semi-HDR mode which provides a small gain on the regular HDR mode. And there’s no dark level smearing to worry about. We also like how the Odyssey is available in two sizes – 27-inch and 32-inch – which gives buyers an option depending on their setup.

The main downsides to the G7 are the aggressive 1000R curvature and bad uniformity. What's good news for G7 buyers, Samsung has reportedly managed to fix (via a firmware update) the flickering issue that plagued early adopters. We wouldn’t have been willing to recommend this display had that issue not been resolved.

At $700 for the 27-inch model, or $800 for the 32-inch variant, the Odyssey G7 is a flagship product with a premium price tag. Around this mark you may also want to consider a high-end 4K display. But for what's in offer, we think the price tag is justified as this as the best 1440p monitor on the market today.

Best 1440p Gaming Monitor @ 144Hz

MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD 27"

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The high-end 1440p @ 144Hz monitor market is filled with many great options at around $500. There are two main options here: you can get a monitor based on LG’s Nano IPS technology -- and there are many of them -- or opt for a newer fast IPS display using an AU Optronics panel. It can be hard to separate the two, particularly given pricing is so close.

The best way to go right now in our opinion is the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD. We’ve been testing this display with its new Quantum Dot technology panel and it's very impressive. In most areas it’s at least on par with Nano IPS such as the LG 27GL850 that we’ve recommended in the past, and in key performance metrics it’s better.

The MAG274QRF-QD offers a ~4ms response time experience which is very solid, and it does so at up to 165Hz. But unlike monitors based on LG Nano IPS panels, it doesn’t sacrifice contrast to deliver this performance; in fact contrast is over 20% higher, leading to deeper blacks and a better viewing experience in dark environments. This is complemented by an extremely wide color gamut, the widest we’ve seen from a consumer gaming monitor, with great coverage of both DCI-P3 and Adobe RGB. This makes the MAG274QRF-QD a great dual use monitor for gaming and content creation.

At $550 it's in the higher end of the segment. So if you want a more budget-conscious option that delivers 90% of the performance the MSI model offers, we’d consider the Dell S2721DGF. It uses a Nano IPS panel at 165Hz, which also gives a 4ms response time experience. It does have some downsides like contrast ratio, but Dell frequently has this monitor on sale, sometimes for as low as $400. For the price, it’s hard to go past it and it's currently the best 1440p Nano IPS monitor we’ve tested.

Best Budget 1440p Gaming Monitor

Viewsonic VX2758-2KP-MHD 27"

Budget shoppers after a 1440p 144Hz experience, shouldn't look past the Viewsonic VX2758-2KP-MHD. Our recommendation hasn’t changed since previous updates the Viewsonic offers excellent value and it’s only gotten cheaper since we last checked in.

The VX2758 is popular enough that's out of stock quite often, so you’ll have to be hot on the buzzer to get one, but at $300 we don’t think you’ll find anything that offers better bang for buck. Of course, the VX2758 is slower than the other high-end 1440p monitors we've recommended. Peak performance can be in the ballpark, but on average this display offers a 7ms grey to grey experience, and that’s perfectly fine for a mid-range monitor.

The real selling point here is the 144Hz refresh rate and IPS display, so you’re still getting a nice high refresh rate with adaptive sync, as well as great color performance with excellent viewing angles. It’s a well calibrated display out of the box, which is a rarity. The main drawbacks include a lack of height adjustability with the stand -- ergonomics are very basic -- along with general reductions to performance. But at $300 this is such great value that we continue to recommend it.

You can also be on the lookout for the Pixio PX277 Prime, which is similar to the Viewsonic but offers a higher 165Hz refresh rate, along with a height adjustable stand, at the expense of wide gamut support. It’s a slightly better performing display, but also costs a bit more at $330, and isn’t as widely available. The Gigabyte M27Q has also piqued our interest in this segment but we haven’t tested it yet.

The sweet spot for PC gaming, 1440p high refresh monitors are the most popular category on the market and still growing. This can be explained because in the last year prices for 1440p/144Hz monitors have come down considerably and today you can buy some excellent value options between $250 and $350. We found it really hard to choose between two excellent monitors in this category, so we’ll present both and leave the final decision to you.

Starting with the higher priced item, the ViewSonic VX2758-2KP-MHD has a terrible name, but it’s such a great value choice. For $320 it offers a 27-inch 1440p 144Hz IPS panel. We get many benefits from the IPS tech, including great color performance with excellent factory calibration, decent contrast and brightness, wide viewing angles, a nice flat panel, and superb uniformity.

On top of that, there's the obligatory high refresh rate for gaming with adaptive sync regardless of your GPU, but we also get great response time performance for a relatively low motion blur experience. The panel used isn’t as fast as the latest nano IPS panels used in premium monitors like the LG 27GL850, but the mid-range experience we get from this ViewSonic monitor is still good for gaming.

At 144Hz using optimal overdrive modes, we’re seeing a ~4.4ms average response time with a small amount of overshoot. Performance isn’t as good at lower refresh rates, where it falls back to the pack a bit, but we still get great response time compliance for a true 144Hz experience, and no dark level smearing. Input lag is also outstanding. The VX2758-2KP-MHD is not perfect, as it lacks height adjustability, backlight strobing and the top-end performance of the best IPS displays, but right now there’s no better monitor for around $300.

On the more affordable side, once again we turn to AOC to recommend either the AOC CQ27G1 or AOC CQ27G2, depending on what is available in your region and at what price, with the CQ27G2 being the better of the two monitors. Right now, only the CQ27G1 is available in the US, but for just $250 it’s a great buy.

The CQ27 series are 1440p 144Hz curved VA panels with a 27-inch size, so there are a couple of downsides compared to the more expensive Viewsonic IPS option. Curved panels come down to personal preference, and personally I don’t like them for 16:9 displays, and uniformity can be questionable. VA also tends to be a slower technology than IPS and especially with 1440p monitors, tends to suffer from dark level smearing. At the same time, you get 2-3x the contrast ratio of IPS monitors, making these VAs ideal for those that game in dark environments.

Generally speaking the AOC CQ27G2 doesn’t perform as well as the ViewSonic VX2758-2KP-MHD, but response times aren’t terrible and we still get a borderline true 144Hz experience. While performance figures may not excite speed demons that demand the best response times, it’s far from a bad panel at just $250. We also get a height adjustable stand, acceptable color performance, great contrast and low input lag, with overall brightness being one of this monitor’s weaker points.

Both the AOC CQ27G series and the ViewSonic VX2758-2KP-MHD deliver fitting performance at their price points. As for other options, if you desperately want IPS and 1440p at $250, your best bet is the Pixio PX275h, although you’ll be limited to just a 95Hz refresh rate. It’s a good monitor at a great price, but most gamers will be better served with the higher refresh of the AOC.

The LG 27GL83A is also worth exploring as a faster upgrade to the ViewSonic VX2758-2KP-MHD if you can afford it. It’s priced around $380, which is a good price for what it delivers, but starts to feel less “budget” and more “mid-range”. If you want a larger monitor, there are no amazing options in this price range, with one of the better performers being the LG 32GK650F. It relies on a flat VA panel though generally we'd recommend sacrificing a bit of size to go with the ViewSonic IPS instead due to its better performance.

If you are interested in an affordable 1440p 144Hz IPS gaming monitor, simply buy the ViewSonic VX2758-2KP-MHD, if you can find one. This is a popular budget monitor that is often out of stock, but at $320 offers unbeaten value.

Naturally, the VX2758 doesn’t offer the same performance as our best IPS monitor choice, the LG 27GL850. It uses a cheaper panel, so it ends up providing more mid-range to entry-level performance. But it's still quite good, with best case response times of around 4ms and an average throughout the adaptive sync range of 7ms. That’s typical of a mid-tier IPS panel and quite similar to some more expensive options out there, like the Gigabyte Aorus AD27QD and the Asus VG27AQ. You’re just getting this performance for less.

The VX2758-2KP-MHD, despite its terrible name, offers a true 144Hz experience with low input lag, decent brightness and contrast, excellent viewing angles and well above average factory calibration. It also has much less dark level smearing than cheap VA panels, and is a flat panel, which is ideal considering this is just 27-inch.

As a budget gaming monitor, performance will be behind flagship IPS displays, no wide gamut support, and the stand is more limited, lacking height adjustability. But that’s about it. If you can deal with those concerns, there is no better monitor on the market for $320.

Other monitors to consider in this segment include the LG 27GL83A, though that’s a bit more expensive than the ViewSonic. The Pixio PX7 Prime offers a 165 Hz refresh rate which may tempt some buyers, but performance is mostly the same as the Viewsonic.

For less money, the Pixio PX275h is a cheap IPS monitor that sacrifices a 144Hz refresh rate for just 95Hz to hit its $260 price point. It’s a good monitor that performs well, has excellent viewing angles, and packs 95% DCI-P3 gamut coverage.

Best 4K Gaming Monitor

LG UltraGear 27GN950 27"

If you’re in the market for a 4K gaming monitor, your options are very limited in our opinion. The monitor market is still iterating on high-refresh rate designs and resolving some of the early adopter problems, so 2021 might be a better time to jump into 4K gaming on a monitor. But if you still want to jump headfirst into this premium resolution, there are some options worth considering.

The best 4K gaming monitor on the market right now, and the only 4K gaming display we currently recommend, is the LG 27GN950. This is a high-end display that in most areas delivers excellent performance. LG’s Nano IPS tech delivers average response times of around 4ms, and this holds up at lower refreshes with limited overshoot. This is key on a 4K monitor, where you may not always be hitting the frame rates required for a 144Hz refresh.

The 27GN950 doesn’t suffer from the same low contrast ratio as the Nano IPS 1440p monitors we’ve tested, so while we’re not seeing VA-like deep blacks (no VA offers 4K 144Hz right now with solid performance), this is the best on the market. This is an IPS panel, so we get all the color reproduction benefits like a nice wide color gamut with 95% P3 coverage, excellent viewing angles and good uniformity. Content creators will appreciate what this display can do from a color perspective, making it a display well suited to dual use along with gaming.

LG also resolves one of the main issues with early 4K high refresh monitors through the use of DisplayPort with Display Stream Compression. This allows you to access the monitor’s 144Hz refresh rate, at 4K, over a single DisplayPort cable, without chroma subsampling.

There are a few issues that keep the 27GN950 from being the perfect 4K gaming display: there’s no HDMI 2.1, so console gamers can’t access high refresh rates. There’s also a few problems with the color calibration modes and tools that LG provides, though this should be fixable through software and firmware updates.

At $800 this is a premium-priced display and you may end up choosing between this 4K 144Hz option, and a 1440p 240Hz monitor like the Samsung Odyssey G7. We can’t make that call for you, but either way these monitors should last you quite some time as the hardware provided well outstrips what modern GPUs and games can do for the most part.

Budget 4K?

As a side note, we're not recommending anything for budget 4K monitors. Most "affordable" 4K 144Hz displays fall somewhat close to the LG 27GN950 and often pack significantly inferior performance, or compromises like a lack of DSC. Until we get more 4K gaming displays on the market, it’s not worth investing in a flawed high-end monitor. So if you do have $500 to spend and are interested in 4K gaming, we’d strongly recommend a high quality 1440p display instead.

Best 4K HDR?

Wait for Next-Gen or LG OLED CX 48" TV

In the elusive category of HDR-capable 4K high refresh monitors, we're no longer recommending G-Sync Ultimate displays like the Acer Predator X27 and Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ. These first-generation displays suffer from early adopter issues like a lack of DSC, meaning you can’t access the top 144Hz refresh rate without chroma subsampling, as well as an annoyingly audible fan. When spending over $1,000 on a monitor, we want something with modern technology that will last us for a while, not something compromised.

From that perspective, if you want a true HDR monitor that does 4K 144Hz, we must recommend you to wait for a newer generation of displays, particularly something that supports DSC over DisplayPort and HDMI 2.1.

A second option is to ditch monitors entirely and buy a TV, something like the LG CX 48-inch OLED which honestly looks phenomenal and has become quite popular, though it should be noted it is much larger than what's reasonable for most desktop gaming setups.

The LG CX 48” offers a 4K 120Hz OLED panel with per-pixel local dimming, offering an outstanding HDR experience with deep rich blacks and excellent contrast. Response times in the 1ms range are appealing, as is the inclusion of HDMI 2.1. With Nvidia’s RTX 30 series supporting HDMI 2.1, this means we are getting proper 120Hz with variable refresh at 4K with a combination of the LG CX and an RTX 30 series GPU.

Best Ultrawide Gaming Monitor

LG UltraGear 34GN850 34" Curved

For this category we're primarily focusing on 3440 x 1440 displays as they’re basically the most popular, and we wouldn’t recommend anything that is lower resolution. We are ultrawide gamers, and use LG's 34GK950F on a daily basis.

Currently, the best 3440 x 1440 ultrawide display on the market is the LG 34GN850. This monitor uses LG’s Nano IPS technology, which combines excellent response times and color performance. The 34GN850 ends up around the 4ms mark on average, a strong result for a 160Hz display. This is the fastest 34-inch ultrawide on the market, and is typically quite a bit faster than other options, especially those that use VA panels.

Color performance is fantastic, with a nice wide color gamut of 95% P3, plus excellent viewing angles befitting of an IPS display. The only downside is the contrast ratio which is average, a known issue for Nano IPS, as well as a high price tag of $1,000. The best ultrawides in recent years have been around this price, so it’s not outrageous, but this is definitely a premium display that’s in line with products like the 27GN950 in the 4K category, and Odyssey G7 in the 1440p category.

Four Additional Ultra-Premium Ultrawides

Now, we’ve said the LG 34GN850 is the best ultrawide in this category when technically there is a category of monitors that sit above it, in terms of specs, performance and price.

Two of these displays are the beefy G-Sync Ultimate models that feature true HDR performance with DisplayHDR 1000 certification, 512 zone backlights and quite impressive VA performance. In most respects these monitors, such as the Acer Predator X35 and Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ, are a step better.

However, the Acer Predator X35 is a whopping $2,400, while the somewhat better Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ is an even more outrageous $3,700. These are great monitors, but we find it hard to justify spending twice the amount of the 34GN850 where the only significant additions are HDR and a moderately higher refresh rate. If you can afford them and want simply the best, both are great premium options.

There are two other displays that we'd suggest exploring: one is the LG 38GN950, a larger version of the 34GN850 that brings the panel size up to 38-inches with a 3840 x 1600 resolution, at 160Hz. It uses the same Nano IPS tech as the 34GN850, so we’d expect similar performance, although the price tag is quite a bit higher.

The other display worthy of consideration is the Samsung Odyssey G9.

We actually have one of these in our labs, but we haven't finalized testing. We expect performance to be similar to the Odyssey G7, which would make it very impressive. The G9 is a 49-inch super-ultrawide with a 5120 x 1440 resolution at 240Hz, the same as two 1440p displays side by side. One to look out for.

Budget Ultrawide

Gigabyte G34WQC 34" or Xiaomi Mi Curved 34"

If you are interested in gaming at 21:9, but are on a tighter budget, you don’t have to fork out $1,000 to get a quality mid-range monitor. Decent 3440 x 1440 144Hz displays have come down in price enough that you can often pick one up for below $500.

Our pick for the budget ultrawides right now is the Xiaomi Mi Curved 34. Availability in your region may vary, but it tends to be a very affordable 21:9 monitor that performs reasonably well given its low price tag. It's regularly been available for the equivalent of $350 on sale in Australia, which is a ridiculously good deal.

In terms of performance, naturally we don’t see high-end performance in the range of LG’s 34GN850. Instead, we see pretty typical and respectable mid-tier VA performance, which is perfectly fair for the price. Response times in the 8ms range, up to around 6.7ms at 144Hz, is fine for this sort of monitor and a compromise to hit this price point. You’ll also see a bit of dark level smearing as a result of using an older-generation VA panel. Other aspects are strong, especially the contrast ratio which is excellent, as well as factory calibration which is good out of the box all things considered, and does offer some wide gamut functionality. The build quality is also exceptional for a budget product, which impressed us during testing.

You can also check out the Gigabyte G34WQC, a mid-range to entry-level 3440 x 1440 ultrawide that uses a VA panel. At $400 it's very competitive against the Xiaomi. Gigabyte have managed to tune this display somewhat better than their competitors, peak performance is better if you plan on gaming at a fixed 144Hz, and average performance is also slightly better. The main downside being dark level smearing, which is an issue with basically every VA panel in this price range.

Gigabyte have paid little attention to factory calibration, so out of the box results are below average. This is fixable to an extent through OSD tweaks and ICC profiles, but there is no doubting that both the Xiaomi and AOC alternatives we’ve tested come better configured from the factory. With that said, areas like brightness, contrast and uniformity are all very good so it’s not an outright fail in the color department.

If your preference is response times and gaming performance, we’d choose the Gigabyte G34WQC. If you prefer color performance, the Xiaomi Mi Curved 34 is a bit better in this department, and only slightly worse for gaming performance, while also packing a better build quality.

Best 1080p Gaming Monitor

Asus ROG Swift PG259QN 24.5"

1080p displays are not nearly as popular as they once were, but it still remains an important resolution for some gamers, especially those that want to push the boundaries of refresh rates and frame rates in esports titles.

Currently, the best 1080p monitor on the market is the Asus ROG Swift PG259QN and it’s not even close. This is a phenomenal 360Hz monitor that has been designed specifically to succeed in nearly all areas of performance. Not only is the refresh rate extremely high, but we also get average response time performance in the 2-3ms range, which is class leading among gaming monitors. And that’s all with an IPS display, not TN, meaning we still get great viewing angles and color performance.

In fact, when it comes to color performance, the Asus PG259QN is one of the best factory calibrated displays we’ve ever tested. Factor in the elite input lag... this is the most responsive monitor we’ve ever tested, and overall one of the best. The only downside is the relatively low 1080p resolution and a high price tag of $700.

Mainstream/Budget 1080p

MSI MAG251RX 24.5"

If you don’t want a 360Hz display at a high price tag, then 240Hz might be right for you. The MSI Optix MAG251RX is an excellent 1080p 240Hz IPS monitor with a competitive price tag of just $360. This display has very strong performance with up to 3ms response times at 240Hz, better than similar displays we’ve tested, along with great color quality and viewing angles thanks to its use of IPS technology.

Then for budget monitor buyers, the AOC 24G2 and its larger brother (AOC 27G2) remain our top budget choices for under $200 if you can get them at that price. The Asus VG24VQ might be a better option depending on availability.

The AOC 24G2 packs a 24-inch 1080p 144Hz IPS display with solid performance in this price class. No need to worry about slow IPS panels, this screen can push up to the 5ms range on average, which isn’t too far off some of the best 1440p IPS monitors we’ve tested. Of course, just 1080p, and capped to 144Hz, but the motion handling experience is great, and that’s complemented by excellent viewing angles and color performance overall. With this sort of performance on offer in a sub-$200 display, we don’t see a point in buying an even cheaper 1080p display using VA or TN technology.