The best gaming monitors: Level up your display

Any monitor can be used for PC gaming, but a display built for productivity will likely leave you underwhelmed. Limited contrast, blurry motion, and slow refresh rates still hold basic productivity monitors back. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of excellent gaming monitors available at a wide range of price points—and the best of them embrace cutting-edge technology unavailable in any other PC display. 

Here are the best gaming monitors of 2022 so far. (If you aren’t sold on a gaming monitor, check out our recommendations for the best monitors overall and the best 4K monitors.)

Updated 08/05/2022 Check out our latest review of the LG DualUp 28MQ780-B. This unique 16:18 aspect ratio monitor isn’t really built for gaming, but if you happen to moonlight as a content creator, it just might have what you’re looking for in a secondary display.

1. Alienware AW3423DW – Best gaming monitor overall

Pros

Class-leading contrast and black levels

Excellent color accuracy and wide color gamut

High refresh rate with crisp motion

Attractive and sturdy design

Fantastic warranty

Cons

Stand is too large

Disappointing connectivity

HDR performance is mixed

Text clarity could be better

It’s rare to see a PC monitor rewrite the rules of computer displays. The Alienware AW3423DW does exactly that.

Alienware’s 34-inch ultrawide is the first (and, as of summer 2022, still the only) monitor with a QD-OLED panel, which fuses Quantum Dots and OLED panel technologies into one glorious, colorful, high-contrast display. The AW3423DW has great color performance, can reach deep black levels, and looks especially nice in HDR.

It also benefits from OLED’s near-instant pixel response times. This provides excellent motion clarity, which is great for gamers who like fast-paced titles. This is further enhanced by a refresh rate of up to 175Hz (though only over DisplayPort). It supports Nvidia G-Sync Ultimate and AMD FreeSync.

And here’s the kicker: it’s a good value! The Alienware AW3423DW is pricey, but no more expensive than other premium gaming monitors with similar features and worse image quality. It’s an easy recommendation for PC gamers who want the best of the best.

Read our full
Alienware AW3423DW review

2. Acer Nitro XV272 – Best budget gaming monitor

Pros

Very accurate color  

Great out-of-box image quality 

Good range of image adjustments 

Smooth, clear motion performance 

Cons

Expensive for a 1080p monitor 

Bland, basic design  

Modest SDR brightness 


Best Prices Today:


$209.99 at Amazon |
$399.99 at Acer

Gaming monitors are often expensive, but they don’t have to be. The Acer Nitro XV272 has everything a PC gamer needs for under $250.

The Nitro XV272 is a 27-inch, 1080p monitor with a refresh rate of up to 165Hz. It’s G-Sync Compatible and supports AMD FreeSync Premium. This feature set makes it well-suited to handle competitive games. The monitor’s IPS panel shows some motion blur, but clarity is as good as you’ll find for under $250. 

Image quality is excellent. The Nitro XV272’s contrast and color performance is in league with some gaming monitors sold for twice as much. It does fall behind in brightness and isn’t a good choice for HDR games—but this is true of all budget gaming monitors. 

This monitor throws in a stand with significant ergonomic adjustment and a variety of image-quality controls that help you tweak the picture to your liking. These perks push the XV272 ahead of the competition.

Read our full
Acer Nitro XV272 review

3. Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX – Best HDR gaming monitor

Pros

Excellent gaming performance

4K resolution

Dimmable mini-LED backlight

Ergonomic adjustment options

Cons

High power consumption

Extremely expensive

The best HDR games, like Forza Horizon 5 or Microsoft Flight Simulator, are transformed by a great HDR display. Unfortunately, most PC monitors fall short—except for Asus’ ROG Swift PG32UQX.

This monitor has a mini-LED backlight with 1,152 LED light zones that can turn on or off independently, boosting contrast and brightness. The monitor achieves extreme brightness in both small areas of the display or across the entire display and does so without noticeable fluctuations in brightness, a problem sometimes visible on the otherwise excellent Alienware AW3423DW. 

It’s got top-tier color performance, 4K resolution, and a refresh rate of up to 144Hz. It doesn’t support HDMI 2.1 but can handle 120Hz when connected to a Xbox Series X|S console thanks to a chroma subsampling mode. 

The ROG Swift PG32UQX’s superb HDR performance comes at a high price. You can expect to pay around $3,000 for this monitor. Viewsonic’s XG321UG is a similar and slightly less expensive alternative, but it lacks 120Hz support for Xbox Series X|S consoles.

Read our full
Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX review

4. Gigabyte M27Q X – Best 240Hz gaming monitor

Pros

Massive color gamut and great color accuracy 

Excellent motion clarity at 240Hz 

Value pricing for a 1440p 240Hz monitor 

Cons

Unimpressive build quality 

Stand only adjusts for height and tilt 

KVM feature is not impressive


Best Prices Today:


$419.99 at Amazon

PC gamers looking for a mid-range monitor with excellent motion clarity and a high refresh should pick up the Gigabyte M27Q X.

This 27-inch monitor has 2560×1440 resolution, a refresh rate of 240Hz, and officially supports AMD FreeSync Premium Pro (Nvidia G-Sync Compatible was tested to work, as well). This provides excellent motion clarity in competitive titles.

Gigabyte’s monitor delivers high maximum brightness, good contrast, and excellent color performance. Its color performance is so strong that you’ll be hard pressed to find better performance at any price. The M27Q X can serve double-duty as a photo or video editing monitor (if you don’t mind 1440p resolution).

Excellent image quality at a reasonable price comes at the compromise of build quality. The M27Q X looks mundane and the stand only adjusts for height and tilt. Still, most gamers buy a monitor to play games—and that’s where the M27Q X excels.

Read our full
Gigabyte M27Q X review

5. Dell G3223Q – Best HDMI 2.1 gaming monitor

Pros

Bright, sharp SDR image

Good color gamut and accuracy

Solid build quality and ergonomic stand

Great motion clarity at 120Hz or 144Hz

Cons

Disappointing HDR performance

Odd menu choices for creators 

Modest USB connectivity


Best Prices Today:


$769.99 at Dell |
$824.99 at Dell Home

The Dell G3223Q is a large, attractive 32-inch gaming monitor that’s ideal for PC gamers who also want to connect a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X|S.

It supports 4K resolution at a refresh rate of up to 144Hz and has two HDMI 2.1 connections. You can connect a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S console simultaneously. DisplayPort is also available for your PC. The monitor supports AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and Nvidia G-Sync.

Image quality is strong with excellent brightness, good contrast, and great color performance. These traits, combined with the sharpness of 4K, makes for an excellent SDR experience. HDR isn’t impressive, which could be a concern for console gamers. Most monitors in this price range aren’t great at HDR, however, so we think this issue can be overlooked (for now).

The Dell G3223Q is a good value, too. Typically priced around $825, the G3223Q is among the more affordable HDMI 2.1 monitors with a 32-inch, 4K display panel. We also appreciate the monitor’s design, which feels more durable and looks more attractive than similarly priced alternatives.

Read our full
Dell G3223Q review

What to look for in a gaming monitor

Gamers have unique needs that exceed an average user. Here’s what PC gamers should look for in a gaming monitor.

Resolution

Most widescreen gaming monitors have a resolution of 1920×1080 (1080p), 2560×1440 (1440p), or 4K (3840×2160). A higher resolution improves sharpness and clarity, which helps games look more detailed and lifelike. Increasing resolution also increases demand on your video card, however. Gamers with less powerful hardware may want to avoid 4K. 

Refresh rate

A higher refresh leads to smoother motion by increasing the number of frames that can appear each second. It also reduces input lag, as each frame appears more quickly. A 144Hz refresh rate is a big improvement over the standard 60Hz, and 240Hz is better still. The improvement becomes more difficult to notice after 240Hz, but 360Hz monitors exist for those who want the lowest input lag possible.

DIsplayPort and HDMI 2.1

DisplayPort is the best connection for PC gaming. Even DisplayPort 1.4, which is rather old, can support 4K at 144Hz. HDMI 2.1 can handle 4K at 120Hz and is an acceptable connection for PC gaming, though most gamers will use it for a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X|S game console.

How we test gaming monitors

We test all monitors with a DataColor SpyderXElite calibration tool. This tool can report objective measurements for brightness, contrast, color gamut, color accuracy, color temperature, gamma, and other metrics. 

Our results are recorded and compared to the results for past monitors. Though we rely on our eyes for initial impressions, comparing objective results lets us evaluate monitors against hundreds of older models from past reviews and testing. 

We examine motion clarity by quickly moving the camera across the map in Civilization VI, playing a round of Rocket League, and panning the camera across the landscape in Final Fantasy XIV—among other games. Finally, we use the popular UFO Test for an apples-to-apples comparison between displays.

In addition to gaming prowess, we consider a monitor’s on-screen menu, ergonomic stand (or lack thereof), and overall build quality—all important qualities irrespective of use case.

Monitors

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