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Best Monitors: Enthusiast, gaming, affordable 4K, and value picks

By Jos · 19 replies
Dec 23, 2015
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  1. A good monitor makes all of the difference when you spend several hours a day in front of one, and as we slowly transition into higher resolution panels there’s plenty to be excited about right now. Gamers may want something with refresh rates higher than 60Hz and support for Nvidia or AMD’s variable refresh rate technology, while media professionals will prioritize the best quality panel above all else. Or maybe you’re not strictly in one group or the other and are looking for a nice balance between image quality, features, ergonomics, connectivity and screen size relative to a certain budget.

    After looking at some of the best monitors in the market, and hundreds of professional and user reviews, these are our picks for best monitors in a few distinct categories.

    Read on and check out the best monitors out there.

  2. Experimentongod

    Experimentongod TS Addict Posts: 253   +98

    The Dell U2715H looks very tempting for an upgrade (I currently have the U2312HM), it's an excellent 1440p IPS monitor and Dell customer service and warranty are unmatched.

    The thing is I think it's time to hop on to the 144Hz/G-Sync bandwagon. I like the Acer XB270HU, but the price is excessive and I don't think they have such great warranty service (for this price a 0 dead pixel guarantee should be a given). Furthermore, due to G-Sync it only has DisplayPort so you don't have HDMI available to connect a console for example.

    My next upgrade will be a 1440p/IPS/27"/144Hz/G-Sync display, but when it gets affordable. Maybe Dell will release a good one soon.
    Julio Franco likes this.
  3. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    In all probability Dell will release an IPS G-Sync panel. As for the other checkboxes, the Dell S2716DG (presently $599 at Amazon) does hit the rest: 27" 2560x1440, 30-144Hz refresh, HDMI (1.4), G-Sync - and a few other features ( 1ms GTG response w/ gaming overdrive enabled, true 8-bit colour, W-LED backlighting, four USB 3.0 downstream ports, and virtually no backlight bleed)
    Julio Franco likes this.
  4. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,513   +900

    I was looking at the Samsung U28E590D and one of the CONs says that it lacks a VESA mount. But when you look at the pictures you can see it on the back and even Newegg says it has a VESA mount.
  5. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,907   +592

    BenQ XL2430T for me. BenQ has a month long promotion so I'm saving $70 on it. Gonna order it today after work.
  6. Forebode

    Forebode TS Booster Posts: 105   +12

    I'm in the same boat, after seeing 120 comparison with 60, I don't think I could deal with an upgrade being under 100hz. After seeing the comparison, I see the anomalies found in 60hz all the time now. You might try waiting till the next season of vcards. Who knows, AMD could get itself together and release something equal to nvidia and release the same time. Then you can go freesync, OR perhaps Pascal (nvidia) will support the freesync tech (the vesa name eludes me)

    Say you wanted that ultra-Wide monitor, if win10 lives up to its announcements and can force multi vcards to work in all applications, or at least current games... the differerence in cost is another videocard practically between gsync and freesync.

    G-sync might ultimately be better, but many of us don't want to shell out the cost of gsync, we rather have the top end of the $:performance ratio. example, (prior to Ti) 970 is best per dollar, 980 was just above it.


    freesync may be capable of a lower sync rate, but they haven't released a monitor for it yet. Granted, no with a gaming monitor will live with 9fps. There are, already, more freesync monitors than gsync. The tech will catch-up with popularity.

    I like Nvidia and AMD, I used AMD til their release date: performance was out of wack around nvidia 600series release. IMO Nvidia is shooting themselves in the foot for not supporting Vesa freesync. I understand it's hardware and not software but its,
    Peter Farkas likes this.
  7. Teko03

    Teko03 TS Evangelist Posts: 373   +145

    I picked up two Dell U2515H (25" version of the Dell U2715H) about a month ago. I'm really enjoying it so far, but my only complaint is more of a software issue and the fact that a few things here and there have no support for DPI scaling. ie. Certain power user areas in Windows 10 and well, DPI scaling in Adobe Photoshop is limited to 200% which makes everything WAY to big.

    Just something to consider when your start push past 1080p resolutions.
    Julio Franco likes this.
  8. axiomatic13

    axiomatic13 TS Addict Posts: 120   +50

    Just got my acer predator x34 a week ago and I am still tripping out on how good it is. My single Titan-X seems to have no problem keeping up with the 100hz this monitor offers.
  9. Experimentongod

    Experimentongod TS Addict Posts: 253   +98

    Wow thanks a lot for the information, I didn't know Dell was already making "gaming" monitors!

    That thing with an IPS panel would be insta-buy for me, even at that price
  10. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,786   +1,006

    The Acer X34 is only going to be a good gaming monitor if you are lucky enough to get a unit that doesn't have one of the many defects that users are reporting. Dead pixels, cracked bezels, and extreme backlight bleed just to name a few. Acer won't replace your overpriced monitor either, as they give their X34 the same warranty as all their other monitors (which allows defects like dead pixels).
    Steve likes this.
  11. Rhialto

    Rhialto TS Rookie

    As a 3D Vision user, only one model is compatible in this list? I'm not currently shopping for a new monitor so I don't have all the details for each and don't plan to check specs but I'm surprised.

    Hope for a 2560×1440 with 3D Vision in 2016, that would be a great upgrade from 1080p. Once you start playing 3D, it's 3D and nothing else.
  12. Jahara21

    Jahara21 TS Rookie

    I lucked out and got a U2715H at work, and I liked it so much, I bought one for home. Can't say enough good things about it. Admittedly, I'm not a twitch gamer, so I am ok with the slightly lower response time. Also, as much as I wanted G-Sync, I just couldn't justify the price premium. Currently playing Witcher and Fallout on it, the color accuracy is amazing.
    Julio Franco likes this.
  13. RoosterFish2

    RoosterFish2 TS Enthusiast Posts: 37   +30

    I'm hoping VR like the rift will make giant expensive monitors a thing of the past for consumers like me. I'll keep my 1080 panel to browse the net and shop. Then use my VR device for all gaming or videos that I want to be fully immersed in.
    deemon likes this.
  14. Geforcepat

    Geforcepat TS Booster Posts: 141   +16

    Hmm.. will have to try this on my swift.
  15. ahamling27

    ahamling27 TS Rookie

    I'll second this! Except I saved a few hundered dollars and got the Acer Acer XG270HU, which is the AMD Freesync equivalent. It's still 144hz 1440p and works great with my Nvidia 970. I just can't pay $300 more dollars for G-Sync, I'm sure it's great, but I do believe Nvidia will one day be Freesync compatible, but if not, it's still a 144hz 1440p monitor. :)
  16. robb213

    robb213 TS Addict Posts: 328   +98

    That Dell sure does look nice. Although I've had my eye on a BenQ Gsync monitor. I've been really impressed by BenQ for the past few years...no surprise they're huge in Europe.

    I know I'll keep waiting forever, but I find it hard to believe Nvidia won't ever support Freesync. It's become a VESA standard and so far seems to have a much better market adoption rate compared to Gsync. Figured I'd keep waiting since I still have a 120Hz monitor from 5 years ago that still works perfect, so I have no absolute reason to replace it yet. But damn do I want adaptive sync...
    Evernessince likes this.
  17. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,786   +1,006

    I think the best part about Free-Sync is that it has the potential to leak down to people with a lower budget. I expect that as Free-Sync is more widely adopted, it'll be easier for companies to include it in their monitors. AMD announced that Free-Sync will soon support HDMI, which would be huge for users with HTPCs.
    deemon likes this.
  18. deemon

    deemon TS Addict Posts: 243   +66

    My pick for Best "Value" Enthusiast Monitor:
    LG 34UM67-P

    $429 <= really in an affordable range
    34" <= big enough for good movie experience
    21:9 <= absolutely only format I would buy today.
    2560 x 1080 <= doesn't need titan X for good fps
    freesync <= any adaptive sync is better than none

    refresh rate could be better for gaming.
    no curve
    some may argue the resolution is low for 34"... I disagree, but hey... it's a free world :)
  19. DAOWAce

    DAOWAce TS Booster Posts: 261   +39

    I'll never consider a 4K desktop monitor as "best", as any reasonably sized one for the resolution is too big to be a monitor. Boggles my mind how 5K is already on the horizon.

    I'll also never consider an enthusiast monitor one that comes in a 16:9 aspect ratio. That's a TV, not a PC monitor. Where'd the far superior 16:10 go that was the standard for PC widescreen monitors from the start? 16:9 can't scale 4:3 content properly; 16:10 does. Where's my damn 120Hz 16:10 monitor I've waited over 5 years for?!

    That aside; when are we getting 21:10 monitors? Displays 21:9 movie content? Check. Displays 16:9 TV content? Check. Displays 16:10 PC content? Check. Displays old 4:3 content? Check. That would truly be the ultimate aspect ratio should it ever be developed..

    Also, the article should probably call out the 21:9 aspect ratio as not being supported by numerous games instead of the single 3440x1440 resolution, albeit that has more issues than 2560x1080 in certain engines.
  20. Tom Doncheck

    Tom Doncheck TS Rookie

    I really hate the fact that 16:10 monitors are not popular. The extra length is something I really don't like to do without.

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