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Best gaming monitor in 2017

So you’ve got yourself a nice, powerful gaming PC with your favourite accessories. The next step? Getting yourself the best gaming monitor to match your rig. Finding the perfect gaming monitor is not by any means an easy task, though, as there are countless different versions. So which ones are the best gaming monitors for your money? Let’s take a look.

So what should you be looking for in a monitor when your primary use will be to play video games? It all depends on the type of gamer you are as well as what your personal preferences, desk space, and a number of other factors. Is the size of the screen more important to you than getting a 4K display? Perhaps you’d want to go for one the up and coming 21:9 aspect ratio ‘Ultrawide’ monitors? If you have a GeForce branded graphics card, you may want to take advantage of the cutting-edge G-Sync technology available in some monitors?

As with all things, though, a lot of decision making will come down to budget. Buying a gaming monitor is not a cheap thing to do, with new monitors running a wide gamut of pricing anywhere from a couple hundred all the way up to a grand for a single monitor. It’s fine to have dreams and reach for the stars but at the end of the day, it might be better to settle for something you can comfortably afford that still performs well rather than bankrupting yourself in getting the newest and fanciest.

With all of this in mind, we’ve put together a list of our picks for what we feel are the best gaming monitors out there right now, listed against their individual strengths. We’ve got sections for the best 21:9 monitor, the best monitor on a budget, the best 4K monitor and more. So, without further hesitation, scroll on as we go through our top picks for the best gaming monitor on the market right now.

Best Budget Monitor

Asus VG

 Asus VG248QE 24-inch LED 3D monitor

Screen size: 24 inch
Max resolution: 1080p
Refresh rate: 144Hz
Features: 3D, 1ms response time

To start the list off, we have a bit of a technical marvel. The Asus VG248QE is a monitor that’s on the smaller side of things when it comes to screen real estate. Coming in at just 24-inches of a display, it would be easy for a lot of gamers to write this one off purely based on screen real estate or lack thereof. This would be a mistake, though, as this monitor packs a lot of technological punch, especially for the price.

Disregarding the fact that a slightly smaller scale monitor will be much more able to fit into a variety of work spaces and living situations,  this Asus also manages to achieve a blindingly fast 1ms response time, meaning your actions are as real-time as is at all possible. Add to that its ability to render 3D images using NVIDIA’s 3D vision (albeit with the use of a glasses that are of course sold separately) and it’s rather fantastic, top of its class 144Hz refresh rate and you have a massively powerful, capable gaming monitor that will deliver a superb 1080p pictures while rendering images to look smooth, crisp and fast enough to keep up with whatever action you can throw at it.

All of that for the bizarrely low price of around £300 / $300. It may be a smaller monitor and fit into the oddly titled ‘budget’ category – especially compared to some of the higher-end monitors further down this list – but it’s certainly no slouch on any front. Especially if you’re looking for a dual-monitor setup, getting two of these may be cheaper than getting one bleeding edge tech monitor. Definitely worth a look.

Where to find this monitor –

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Best Overall Gaming Monitor

Asus ROG

Asus ROG Swift PG279Q 27-inch IPS monitor

Screen size: 27 inch
Max resolution: 1440p
Refresh rate: 165Hz
Features: G-Sync, 178-degree viewing angle, 4ms response time

Although it might be one of the harder categories to decide an overall ‘best’ of, we ultimately landed on the Asus ROG Swift PG279Q monitor as out best all-rounder. This monitor comes freakishly close to being the absolute best monitor of its size that you can get and in many ways, it achieves that. The IPS panel display ensures that images never looked washed-out of drained of colour (as they sometimes can do on a TN display). On top of that, this is a monitor that can have its refresh rate bumped up to an insanely high 165Hz if need be.  Add in G-sync support and you’re looking at an undeniably fantastic gaming monitor, jam-packed full of the kind of features a gaming monitor should be.

Of course, there must be downsides. If you’re looking for the ultra crispness of a 4K display, you’re out of luck here sadly. Although the ROG Swift boasts a formidable 1440p display, it’s not quite the same as a full 4K screen. That being said, the vast majority of games right now will still look blisteringly good at 1440p, especially while blending G-Sync and a high refresh rate into the mix. This monitor performs magnificently in every capacity it can and doesn’t quite top out the budget scale as much as some other options can.

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Best 21:9 Monitor

ACER Predator

Acer Predator X34 Curved Ultrawide LCD monitor

Screen size: 34 inch
Max resolution: 1440p
Refresh rate: 100Hz
Features: G-Sync, IPS screen

While the Acer Predator X34 may be the most expensive monitor on this entire list, you’ll soon see why. This one is a bit of a monster, frankly. Not only is it one of the latest breed of ‘Ultrawide’ 21:9 monitors, it features G-Sync, a crystal clear 1440p IPS display, a 100Hz refresh rate, DTS audio built-in and a massive 34-inch frame. It looks every bit as much like a beast as it seems to be on the inside too, featuring a formidable (and spiky) stand.

Make no mistake, the Predator X34 is the most premium of premium technology monitors. This may be a luxury but it’s possibly the most luxurious you could get. The extra screen space you’ll receive from the ultrawide form-factor gives you a surprising amount of peripheral vision when playing first-person shooters and driving sims, among many other genres. Until you see an ultrawide monitor in the flesh, you may not quite understand how this can impact games as a whole. Suffice to say, once you make the switch to 21:9 it will be nearly impossible to go back to a standard widescreen display.

With a high-performing (though not quite top of the range) 100Hz refresh rate, games run at blistering speeds while the curved display attempts to immerse you in the action as best it can. Of course, you’ll have to lay down some serious cash for the privilege of this experience, so keep that in mind before you make any steps.

Where to find this monitor –

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Honourable mention: LG 29UM68

LG Ultrawide 260

Screen size: 29 inch
Max resolution: 1080p
Refresh rate: 75Hz
Features: IPS screen, Freesync

Since the Predator X34 is relatively astounding but, let’s face it, far out of most people’s budget ranges, you may want to take a look at some lower priced 21:9 monitors that still manage to deliver in spades. Here we have the LG 29UM68, a 29-inch ultrawide monitor featuring Freesync, an IPS display, a max resolution of 1080p and a refresh rate just shy of the Predator’s performance, coming in at 75Hz.

The biggest advantage that LG has over Acer, though, is the fact that its range of 21:9 ultrawide monitors are affordable and with that, is a much bigger chance that ultrawides will be more widely accepted in gaming communities. Largely, the LG performs similarly to the Acer Predator with a few caveats. This monitor could even be seen as a stepping stone to move to a higher-end 21:9 monitor later down the line, since it is a solid choice and a supremely impressive ultrawide to have as a first choice.

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Best G-Sync Monitor

Acer XB

Acer Predator XB281HK 28-inch monitor

Screen size: 28 inch
Max resolution: 4K
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Features: G-Sync, 1ms response time

The other Acer monitor bearing the ‘Predator’ branding is this 28-inch 4K display that has managed to find its way into prime position in our ‘Best G-Sync monitor’ category. With good reason, too. Not only is this model G-Sync enabled, but it also boasts a 4K display along with a hugely impressive 1ms response time. Refresh rates may not quite match some of the other monitors on this list – this model reaches a perfectly serviceable 60Hz – but that is certainly to be expected when the resolution is so much higher.

This model seems to be a lot easier to get ahold of in the UK than in the US for some strange reason, but if you can find it, it’s definitely worth a look. G-Sync performance has never quite looked as good as it does on this display, with a game pushed all the way up to 4K and not a hint of any screen tearing – you’ll need a powerful PC to pull it off but it’s a sight to behold.

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Best 4K Monitor

Dell 27

Dell P2715Q 27-inch Ultra HD 4K LCD monitor

Screen size: 27 inch
Max resolution: 4K
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Features: Adjustable display

Finally, we’ve gotten to the 4K display recommendation. While the Acer Predator above is a fantastic 4K model, our proper suggestion of which is the best 4K gaming monitor out there right now goes to this Dell 27-inch display. While it may lack some of the frills and angular designs of many of the brands that design with ‘gamers’ in mind, the Dell leaves little to be desired in terms of performance.

Instead, this monitor opts for a sleek design and focuses everything it has on delivering a near-faultless 4K display packed with USB ports and every kind of connectivity you could ask for. On top of stellar performance, crystal clear screen quality and a fantastic colour range. you’re also not going to be paying the exorbitant prices that most 4K monitors are asking for. Instead, you’re getting a decently priced, respectable package that looks deceptively simple for just how obscenely powerful it is when it comes to displays.

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That’s our list of the best gaming monitors, at least the ones that are available on the market right now. As is the case with most techy bits and pieces, new monitors with fancy new features are being released all the time, so we’ll do our best to update this list as often as we can and when brand new must-haves are released. Most importantly, with highly priced tech hardware, make sure you take your time and read as much as you can before deciding on which monitor is right for you and your set-up. A high-quality monitor can make as much difference as going from SD to HD did all those years ago and you owe it to yourself to make sure you get the right one for you.

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