Best Gaming Monitors 2018

The Best Gaming Monitors 2018

Best Gaming Monitors 2018

This year (2018), owning the best monitor you can get your hands on is as important as having a CPU. Even with the best desktop in the world, whatever you’ll be using your computer for, it will have to be done through the lens of your monitor. No matter if you’re scrolling your Twitter Feed, updating your work calendar, playing PC games or writing like us, you need a monitor that will serve you right. So bottom line, your choice of monitor directly affects your work and social performance. A great choice should therefore protect you against strain and headache that go hand in hand with not using the very best monitors.

Since you spend a huge part of your time working or playing in front of your monitor, it pays being picky when searching for the right screen. That’s why we’ve made this list to walk you through the latest trends in display technology and guide you through your next monitor selection.

Admittedly, this list covers a huge list of monitors that could be preferred for home/office use. But there are a couple of honorable mentions in the gaming section, especially for users looking for 4K gaming monitors. Additionally, if you’re planning to have an immersive gaming experience with AAA titles like Final Fantasy XV, we have just the perfect options for you. So before rushing to make a purchase, check out our lab tested list of gaming monitors that should help launch your favorite games just right.

ProductSizeResolutionPanelRefresh RateResponse TimeAdaptive sync
ASUS VG245H241920 x 1080TN75 Hz1 msFreeSync
ASUS VG248QE241920 x 1080TN144 Hz1 ms
ASUS MG248Q241920 x 1080TN144 Hz1 msFreeSync
ASUS PG248Q241920 x 1080TN180 Hz1 msG-Sync
LG 34UC79G-B342560 x 1080IPS144 Hz5 msFreeSync
DELL S2417DG242560 x 1440TN165 Hz1 msG-Sync
Acer S277HK273840 x 2160IPS60 Hz4 ms
Alienware 2524.51920 x 1080TN240 Hz1 msG-Sync
LG 34UC79G-B342560 x 1080IPS144 Hz5 msFreeSync
BenQ Zowie XL254024.51920×1080TN240 Hz1ms
ViewSonic XG2700-4K273840 x 2160IPS60 Hz5 msFreeSync
BenQ XL254624.51920 x 1080TN240 Hz1 ms
ASUS MG279Q272560 x 1440IPS144 Hz4 msFreeSync
Acer Predator XB271HK273840 x 2160IPS60 Hz4 msG-Sync
ViewSonic XG2703-GS272560 x 1440IPS165 Hz4 msG-Sync
ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q272560 x 1440IPS165 Hz4 msG-Sync
AOC AGON AG352UCG353440 x 1440MVA100 Hz4 msG-Sync
BenQ PD3200U323840 x 2160IPS60 Hz4 ms
LG 34UC98-W343440 x 1440IPS60 Hz5 msFreeSync
Acer Predator XB321HK323840 x 2160IPS60 Hz4 msG-Sync
Samsung CHG90 QLED493840 X 1080VA144 HzFreeSync
Acer Predator X34343440 x 1440IPS100 Hz4 msG-Sync
ASUS ROG Swift PG348Q343440 x 1440IPS100 Hz5 msG-Sync
LG 38UC99-W383840 x 1600IPS75 Hz5 msFreeSync

How to buy the best gaming monitor in 2018

Before making a solid purchase decision for your next screen, it’s wise to research on what the best gaming monitor 2018 has to offer. And there are a host of aspects you need to know before adding to cart.

By going through our gaming monitor guide, you can make sure your next choice of monitor is well thought and provides the best value before it graces your desk top. Here are the terms you need to know to choose the right display to make most of your movies, games or work. There is an outline of specifications to consider for every category of use: gaming, home, office and budget.

Best Gaming Monitors 2018 side by side
A sample of the best monitors this year

Screen Size

When shopping for the perfect monitor to grace your living room, you need to consider what size you need. Size is a very crucial aspect in your choice for monitors because it decides how immersive your gaming experience will be or not. Large screens offer a more indulgent experience while gaming, as the game fills a larger portion of your viewing field. As a result, the larger your screen size, the deeper you’ll have to dig through your pockets.

Aspect Ratio

In relation to an image on your screen, the aspect ratio describes the proportional relationship between the image width and height. For a gaming monitor, its aspect ratio ratio will determine the width and height of the screen you’ll be using. Older monitors has a square 4:3 ratio which now is outdated. Most widescreens come with a 16:9 ratio while the ultra-wide immersive monitors have a 21:9 ratio. We’ve featured a good blend of these ultra-wides and 16:9 on our best gaming monitor 2018.

Resolution

An image on your monitor’s display is made up of thousands or millions of pixels. The screen builds up an image you see by consolidating and changing the colors of these tiny squares. Resolution is therefore the number of pixels your screen displays horizontally versus vertically. Normally, the higher the number, the sharper the picture. Most decent monitors come with 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) and the most powerful ones with higher resolution: 2560 x 1400 (WQHD) and 3840 x 2160 (4K). For a monitor with anything higher than Full HD, you’ll most likely need a powerful graphics card to back it up.

Refresh Rate

One of the most important aspects when looking for the best gaming monitor for your needs is the refresh rate. Refresh rate refers to the number of times per second that a video screen is updated. Generally, a higher number is usually preferred and usually yields butter smooth, more natural-looking motion. Usually, the higher the refresh rate, the more frames per second it can support.

So if you want to play a shooter game like Counter-Strike and Battlefield 4, looking out for refresh rate should be top of your list. 60Hz refresh rate monitors are the most common but 144Hz are slowly making headway into the gaming scene too.

N/B When looking for a gaming monitor, refresh rate is important but be weary of faked numbers. In more cases than one, quoted numbers is only half the story. Plenty of other factor including color and contrast ratio should be considered in determining the quality of the video on display.

Best Gaming Monitors 2018 3
Three of the best gaming monitors 2018 side by side view

Response Time

This is the measure of how fast a single pixel can display changes from black to white or from a single shade of gray to another. For a monitor to be considered quality especially for gaming, lower response times are required in order to avoid lag. Usually, normal response time for IPS screens is much lower at 4ms and 1ms for TN panels (meaning TN panels are preferred for gaming, but we’ll get to that below).

More often than not, response time is misunderstood with input lag. Input lag is that delay between keystroke or mouse click and the result happening on your screen. It’s also important because it too much input lag could mean slower reactions to an opponent while gaming. This is yet another aspect manufacturers fail to advertise on monitors so it’s advisable to look out for it or rather take the response time with a grain of salt.

Some monitor companies cherry-pick measurements especially response time. And when you purchase and hook up the monitor at home you end up getting disappointed by its real performance.

Panel Type

The panel type of your monitor is crucial because it determines the response time, image clarity and viewing angle your monitor will end up with. There are three types of panels; TN, VA and IPS.

TN (Twisted Nematics) have the lowest (best) response time and they are usually cheaper. Their ultimate caveat is that they offer poor viewing angles. As a general rule of thumb, TN panels have a quicker response time and can get as low as 1ms while IPS only 4ms. However, TN panels suffer from bad color accuracy and poor viewing angles as compared to IPS screens.

IPS panels (In-Plane Switching) have the best viewing angles and color reproduction, but suffer from higher response times.

Meanwhile, VA (Vertical Alignment) fall right in between the two but with slow response time. VA monitors are rare and are seldom used on monitors.

Viewing Angle

The viewing angle refers to the maximum angle the monitor’s display can be viewed at with acceptable visual performance. Most people play games and don’t necessarily move from their position in-front of their monitors. For such people, their monitor’s viewing angles aren’t important. But when gaming among spectators, viewing from the side becomes important. Hence, the closer these numbers are to 180, the better viewing experience for the audience.

G-Sync and Free-Sync

It’s common to find that many gaming monitors either come with G-Sync or FreeSync technology or sometimes even both. Adaptive Sync technology supercharges your monitor’s performance by giving higher frames per second (fps), combating screen tearing and reducing input lag.

The difference between the two is that G-Sync is a product of Nvidia which means you’ll require a Nvidia graphics card while FreeSync is developed by AMD. Ideally, you will need an AMD graphics unit for an AMD monitor.

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