Monitors are often some of the more overlooked peripherals for your gaming rig. Sure, just about any display will do, but there are some very good reasons to spend a little bit more. It’s also one of the devices that most separates PC gaming from console gaming. After all, how many consoles can take advantage of a 165Hz monitor running at a 2K resolution?
Best Gaming Monitors of 2017
Budget is a huge determining factor in your choice of gaming monitor, so this list will attempt to offer something from all areas of the spectrum. We’ll have some ridiculously nice, ultra-wide, curved monitors, that will cost you a small child, as well as some budget option that won’t break the bank. Be sure to keep in mind how powerful your PC is so that you don’t waste a bunch of money on a high resolution, high frequency display that your PC can’t take advantage of.
ASUS ROG SWIFT PG279Q 27″ 2K IPS 165Hz 4ms G-SYNC
ASUS’ Republic of Gamers line has been producing some excellent products across the board. The ASUS ROG SWIFT PG279Q 27″ 2K IPS 165Hz 4ms G-SYNC monitor is a beauty that stands out among the many different offerings. It hits all the important checkboxes; speed, clocking in at 165Hz, size, at a solid 27 inches, resolution, at the 2K current sweet spot for gaming, and it also offers G-SYNC. If you want to invest into a great gaming monitor but don’t want to blow money on things that don’t really matter, this is the monitor to get.
ASUS MG279Q WQHD 178° 27-Inch FreeSync
If you’re not a fan of NVIDIA’s proprietary G-SYNC technology or run an AMD video card, then you’ll want to keep an eye out for a good FreeSync monitor. ASUS impresses in this arena as well, with the ASUS MG279Q WQHD 178° 27-Inch FreeSync monitor. The MG279Q monitor packs a whopping 144Hz into its 2K 27″ display, allowing you to get the best of both the speed and resolution worlds. FreeSync support for AMD cards means you won’t have to worry about screen tearing, no matter how many FPS your video card is pumping out.
ASUS VG248QE 24″ Full HD 1920×1080 144Hz 1ms
If you’re sensing an ASUS bias at this point, you wouldn’t be wrong. Fact, however, is, that ASUS just makes damn good monitors. The ASUS VG248QE 24″ Full HD 1920×1080 144Hz 1ms is the perfect monitor for the gamer that’s on a bit of a budget but wants to enjoy high-speed games. Perfect for first-person shooters like Battlefield 1, or any PC that isn’t quite powerful enough to provide a steady frame rate at anything higher than 1080p. This display does not have an IPS panel, so the quality is not quite as high as some of the more expensive options, but it will let you hit 144Hz at a very reasonable price. I have personally used this monitor and enjoyed it immensely.
BenQ PD3200U 32″ 4K Designer Monitor
Let’s talk 4K for a minute. Looking at anything in 4K is stunning, especially when viewed on a gorgeous panel like the BenQ PD3200U 32″ 4K Designer Monitor. The biggest challenge is that in order to achieve high frame rates on a 4K resolution, you’ll need to mortgage your house for video cards. So this model only offers a 60Hz resolution, meaning you’ll max out at 60FPS. However, if you’re into the kind of games that value beauty over speed, or enjoy strategy games more than shooters, this may hit the mark. Don’t forget, that this monitor is a 32″ display, so you’ll get to enjoy that beautiful resolution from a little bit further back than your traditional gaming monitor.
Acer Predator XB321HK 32″ IPS UHD 4K NVIDIA G-SYNC
Acer has quietly worked itself into the gaming monitor market in past years and its Predator line as some serious horsepower. If the BenQ monitor above that isn’t quite fast enough for you, and you’ve already sold an organ or two for the hardware required to run 4K games smoothly, then the Acer Predator XB321HK 32″ IPS UHD 4K NVIDIA G-SYNC may just fit the bill. Its 32 inch IPS panel has a response time that is fast enough for action games and the built-in G-SYNC feature means that your Nvidia GPUs will be able to keep things looking smoothly.
Acer Predator 34″ Curved UltraWide QHD (3440 x 1440) NVIDIA G-SYNC
Granted, we are now entering the silly territory of budgets a little bit. The Acer Predator 34″ Curved UltraWide QHD (3440 x 1440) NVIDIA G-SYNC is a great monitor for trust fund babies and single gamers, or anyone that can justify dropping this kind of cash. The 34 inch ultra wide display, also available in 35 inches, in case this looks too small on your desk, rocks a whopping 100Hz refresh rate when in overclock mode. Let’s face it, you will run this in overclock mode all the time. I know I do. The curved display is a nice touch and the resolution is somewhere in between 2K and 4K, due to the additional horizontal viewing space. Games that are optimized for ultra wide displays will make you drool. It’s that simple.
BenQ ZOWIE 24″ Full HD Gaming Monitor – 1080p 1ms Response Time
Ok, back down to earth for our final entry in the list. The BenQ ZOWIE 24″ Full HD Gaming Monitor is a very budget friendly choice for the gamer that wants a fast display without anything fancy. It doesn’t have G-SYNC or FreeSync, it doesn’t do anything above 60Hz, nor does it take you beyond standard 1080p resolutions, but it does have a fast response time, is geared towards gamers, and will still let you buy food for the rest of the month. It also comes with dual HDMI ports and built-in speakers, so it’s perfect for the multi-platform gamer. Not a bad deal if you ask me.That does it for our holiday shopping guide for gaming monitors. There are many options out there and the key to success is knowing what you want, what you can afford, and what your gaming system can take advantage of. If gaming monitors are a little bit out of your price range for presents, why not check out our other Best of 2017 articles?