The Best Budget Gaming Monitors (2024 Reviews)

Check out the cheapest gaming monitors that are actually good, including 240Hz, 144Hz, 1440p, ultrawide, 4K models, and more!

While searching for a new gaming monitor, you’ve probably come across an unfamiliar brand that offers a display with the same specs as the one by a more popular manufacturer, but at a lower cost.

Then, you’ve most likely wondered whether the less-known alternative is worth the risk, and what exactly will you lose by taking the cheaper route.

In this guide, you will find the answers to your questions. We’ve compiled a list of all the cheapest gaming monitors that are actually good and have exemplary performance.

MonitorSizeResolutionPanelRefresh RateVRR 
Best Budget 1080p Monitors24”1920x1080IPS100HzFreeSync
24”1920x1080VA144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)
24”1920x1080IPS165HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
24”1920x1080IPS240HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
Best Budget 1440p Monitors27”2560x1440IPS165HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
32”2560x1440IPS144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
Best Budget UltraWide Monitors34”3440x1440VA165HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)
34”3440x1440IPS144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
Best Budget 4K Monitors27”3840x2160IPS70HzNone
32”3840x2160IPS70HzFreeSync
budget pick

BenQ EX240

BenQ MOBIUZ EX240
  • Quick response time
  • Wide color gamut
  • Ergonomic stand
best value

Sceptre E275B-QPD168

Sceptre E275B QPD168
  • Quick response time
  • 1440p resolution
  • Ergonomic stand
best overall

Sceptre E345B-QUN168W

Sceptre E345B QUN168W
  • Quick response time
  • 3440×1440, wide color gamut
  • Ergonomic stand

In the reviews below, we’ll compare these cheap gaming monitors to their counterparts by famous brands, so you’ll know precisely what the advantages and disadvantages are there.

If there isn’t a worthy off-brand monitor available for a specific category, we’ve included the most cost-efficient model by a popular brand instead.

In case you want to view our changelogs for this particular buying guide, you can do so at the end of this guide.

Best Budget 1080p Gaming Monitor

Are you in search of the best budget 1080p monitor? In this category, you will find budget-friendly monitors for gaming that offer exceptional value for the money, as well as reliable performance and decent picture quality.

The Pros:

  • Wide viewing angles
  • FreeSync and MBR up to 100Hz
  • Ergonomic and slim design
  • Built-in speakers

The Cons:

  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)
  • No DisplayPort input

About The Monitor

The Acer SH242Y Ebmihx is our top-recommended 24″ 1080p IPS budget monitor because of its slim VESA-mount compatible design and AMD FreeSync support up to 100Hz.

Image Quality

Based on an IPS panel, the Acer SH242Y Ebmihx delivers rich colors with 8-bit color depth (16.7 million colors), wide 178-degree viewing angles and a quick 4ms response time speed.

So, you get significantly better colors than that of more expensive TN-panel displays as well as wider viewing angles, which ensures perfect image quality no matter the angle you’re looking at the screen.

While the response time speed isn’t as fast as that of some TN panels (1ms), there isn’t any trailing of fast-moving objects noticeable on the Acer SH242Y Ebmihx.

1080p (Full HD, 1920×1080 resolution) is the most widespread resolution and is still considered as the standard, and thanks to the pixel-per-inch ratio of ~92.56 PPI (pixels per inch) it offers on a 23.8″ screen, the Acer SH242Y Ebmihx provides vivid details and a decent amount of screen real estate.

Features

If you have a compatible AMD graphics card, FreeSync will allow the monitor to change its refresh rate dynamically (according to GPU’s frame rate), which in turn eliminates screen tearing and stuttering within the 48-100FPS range.

Other features of the monitor include crosshair overlays and various picture presets.

Design & Connectivity

Acer SH242Y Ebmihx Design

The Acer SH242YE boasts a slim design with ultra-thin bezels making it an ideal choice for multi-monitor setups as well.

It also has good ergonomic support with up to 80mm height adjustment, +/- 360° swivel, -5°/15° tilt and 75x75mm VESA mount compatibility (only two holes).

Connectivity includes one HDMI 1.4 input and one VGA port; for FreeSync, you will need to use the HDMI port. There’s also a headphone jack and two basic 1W integrated speakers.

Note that there are two Acer models with very similar names: Acer SH242Y Ebmihx and Acer SH242Y Ebmihux, the latter offers a USB-C port with DP Alt Mode and 65W Power Delivery for ~$45 more.

Best 1080p 144Hz Gaming Monitors

Competitive FPS gamers out there should definitely invest in a 144Hz gaming monitor. In fact, any video game that you can run at high frame rates will be a lot more enjoyable to play thanks to 144Hz.

Luckily, the prices of these type of displays keep getting lower and lower!

The Pros:

  • Excellent value for the price
  • High contrast ratio and crisp image quality
  • AMD FreeSync and 1ms MPRT
  • 144Hz over HDMI and DP
  • Sturdy and ergonomic design

The Cons:

  • Minor ghosting in fast-paced games, mainly in darker scenes
  • Some units prone to VRR brightness flickering

About The Monitor

The AOC C24G1A is one of the most affordable gaming monitors with a 144Hz refresh rate. What’s more, it has a curved screen with a high contrast ratio and support for AMD FreeSync.

Image Quality

This cheap gaming monitor uses a VA panel with a superior contrast ratio of 3,000:1.

Now, the colors won’t be as accurate as they are on IPS panels, but the higher contrast provides deeper and more vivid black shades.

Further, VA panels offer a lot better color quality and viewing angles than TN panels.

While AOC specifies a 1ms response time speed for the AOC C24G1A 144Hz gaming monitor, the pixel transition in real use is noticeably worse than the 1ms (GtG) response time of TN and IPS panels.

The specified 1ms response time here refers to the MPRT measure, which you get by enabling ‘MBR’ in the OSD menu of the monitor.

Features

lg 1ms motion blur reduction technology

MBR (Motion Blur Reduction) uses backlight strobing to decrease perceived motion blur, but it also reduces the screen’s maximum brightness, introduces screen flicker, and cannot work at the same time as FreeSync.

Overall, there’s some visible trailing and motion blur in fast-paced games, especially in dark scenes, but at this price range – it’s acceptable.

MBR can help clear up some of that smearing, but if you’re a really competitive gamer, you should look for a 144Hz monitor with a faster IPS or TN panel.

In case you prefer having better visuals over topping the scoreboards, the AOC C24G1A will provide you with both a responsive and immersive gaming experience for a ridiculously low price.

It’s actually quite fast for a VA panel monitor, just make sure to set the overdrive setting to ‘Strong.’

The monitor supports AMD FreeSync with a 48-165Hz variable refresh rate (VRR) range with LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) support.

FreeSync also works with NVIDIA cards over DisplayPort. Sadly, some units of the AOC C24G1A (and most other monitors based on Samsung’s VA panels) are affected by the brightness flickering issue when FreeSync is enabled.

This brightness flickering is mostly visible when your FPS fluctuates a lot or when it gets below 48FPS and triggers LFC. It doesn’t affect all units of the monitor, and it’s not visible in all video games.

There are also FPS, RTS, and Racing pre-calibrated picture presets, Shadow Control, Game Color, Low Input Lag Mode, and four response time overdrive modes available.

Design & Connectivity

aoc c24g1a monitor back

The stand is made of metal, and it’s quite steady. It also offers height adjustment up to 130mm, +/- 30° swivel, -5°/20° tilt, and 100x100mm VESA pattern.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 1.4 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, VGA, and a headphone jack.

144Hz is supported over both DisplayPort (165Hz overclock) and HDMI, so the AOC C24G1A is also the best cheap gaming monitor if you want to get 144Hz on your laptop that only has an HDMI port or if you have an Xbox One S/X console and want to game at 1080p/120Hz.

The Pros:

  • Excellent value for the price
  • Rich and accurate colors
  • Plenty of gaming features including VRR and MBR up to 165Hz
  • Ergonomic stand, USB hub, built-in speakers

The Cons:

  • Design lacks pivot option
  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)

About The Monitor

If you’re looking for a 24″ 1080p 144Hz gaming monitor with an IPS panel, the BenQ EX240 offers exceptional value for money!

Image Quality

Thanks to its IPS panel, the BenQ EX240 offers the best color quality and the widest viewing angles. However, its contrast ratio is not as high as that of the AOC C24G1A, so blacks won’t be as deep.

More importantly for all the competitive gamers out there, you won’t get any black smearing in darker scenes like it’s the case with the VA panels.

Moving on, the BenQ EX240 has a wide color gamut backlight, so the colors can be even more saturated and lifelike if you prefer – or you can limit the color reproduction to the standard sRGB color space via the provided sRGB mode in case you want more accurate colors.

So, you can even do some basic content creation with this display too!

Features

Gaming features include AMD FreeSync with a 48-165Hz VRR range over both HDMI and DisplayPort as well as stable G-SYNC performance.

Just like with the C24G1A, you get the MBR technology for clearer fast-paced motion as well as the standard features, including Black eQualizer and Color Vibrance.

For more information, visit our detailed BenQ EX240 review.

Design & Connectivity

BenQ Mobiuz EX240 Review

The monitor also has a sturdy and ergonomic stand with up to 100mm height adjustment, +/- 15° swivel, -5°/15° tilt and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, a headphone jack, dual 2.5W integrated speakers and a dual-USB 3.0 hub. The 1080p 120Hz mode is supported for the PS5 and Xbox consoles.

The Pros:

  • G-SYNC compatible
  • 240Hz 1ms IPS
  • Fully ergonomic stand, USB hub
  • Vibrant colors and wide viewing angles

The Cons:

  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)

About The Monitor

The ViewSonic XG2431 is one of the most affordable 1080p 240Hz IPS gaming monitors yet it offers an exceptional Blur Busters Approved 2.0 MBR implementation!

Image Quality

The ViewSonic XG2431 is often the cheapest 1080p 240Hz IPS gaming monitor you can buy, but it features the same IPS panel as the other more expensive models, so the image quality and performance will be basically identical.

Panel-related specifications include a 350-nit peak brightness, a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, true 8-bit color depth support, 99% sRGB color gamut coverage, and 178° wide viewing angles.

Features

The jump to 240Hz from 144Hz is not as noticeable as going to 144Hz from 60Hz, but the difference can definitely be felt.

However, to take advantage of the 240Hz refresh rate, make sure you can run video games at such a high frame rate, or at least close to it.

Despite its low price, the ViewSonic XG2431 has smooth VRR performance up to 240FPS and Blur Busters Approved 2.0 backlight strobing implementation for CRT-like motion clarity!

Other features include Dark Stabilization (improves visibility in darker scenes) and various picture presets. Be sure to check out our full XG2431 review for more info.

Design & Connectivity

ViewSonic XG2431 Monitor Design

The screen of the monitor can be adjusted vertically by 120mm, horizontally by +/- 90°, pivoted by 90°, tilted by -5°/15° or VESA mounted via the 100x100mm pattern.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.4, a headphone jack, a dual-USB 3.0 hub and two 3W integrated speakers.

Alternatives

If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, check out the Acer XV252QZ or the ASUS XG249CM (sometimes $200 on sale), though these models don’t have as good backlight strobing implementation.

In case you want a budget 360Hz display, check out the Acer Aopen 25XV2QF (Micro Center exclusive) and the Pixio PX259 Prime S.

Best 1440p 144Hz Gaming Monitors

Want a gaming monitor that offers both 1440p and 144Hz, but don’t want to spend a fortune on it? Don’t worry, the following displays offer an amazing gaming experience at a reasonable price.

The Pros:

  • Quick response time speed
  • AMD FreeSync up to 165Hz
  • High pixel density

The Cons:

  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)
  • Tilt-only stand

About The Monitor

If you want a 27″ 1440p 144Hz+ gaming monitor with a fast response time speed and smooth VRR performance, the Sceptre E275B-QPD168 is one of the cheapest IPS models available.

Image Quality

The Sceptre E275B-QPD168 has a 100% sRGB color space coverage for accurate colors without over-saturation.

Additionally, thanks to the wide viewing angles of the IPS technology, the image won’t degrade at an angle, and there’ll be no gamma or saturation shifts from the normal viewing position.

On top of that, you don’t get any smearing behind fast-moving objects nor FreeSync brightness flickering associated with the VA models.

AMD FreeSync is supported with a 48-165Hz VRR range, and it works well with NVIDIA cards.

Design & Connectivity

Sceptre E275B QPD168 Design

The Sceptre E275B-QPD168 has a tilt-only stand, but the screen is VESA mount compatible via the 100x100mm VESA pattern.

Connectivity options include two DisplayPort 1.2 inputs, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a headphone jack and dual 2W integrated speakers.

Alternatives

The Acer XV271U M3 with a fully ergonomic stand and a wide color gamut can sometimes be found on sale for under $200.

The Pros:

  • High contrast ratio, wide color gamut
  • Plenty of gaming features including AMD FreeSync and 1ms MPRT
  • Hight-adjustable stand, USB hub

The Cons:

  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)
  • Tilt-only stand

About The Monitor

If you want a larger monitor, the Sceptre E325B-QPN168 offers exceptional value for the price!

Image Quality

The Sceptre E325B-QPN168 is basically the 27″ sized version of the Sceptre E275B-QPD168. However, since the screen is larger, the 1440p resolution will result in a lower pixel density, so details and text won’t be quite as sharp.

Still, the larger screen size makes for a more immersive viewing experience. On top of that, the 32″ model also has a wide 92% DCI-P3 gamut coverage for more vibrant colors.

VRR is supported up to 144Hz and you also get MBR and PiP/PbP support.

Design & Connectivity

Sceptre E325B QPN168 Design

The stand of the monitor offers up to 95mm height adjustment, +/- 15° swivel, -5°/15° tilt, 90° pivot and 75x75mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 1.4 ports, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, a headphone jack, and dual 2W integrated speakers.

Best UltraWide Gaming Monitors

Ultrawide monitors have an aspect ratio of 21:9 as opposed to the standard 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio.

This provides extra horizontal screen real estate for work, but also extends your field of view in games that support the ultrawide format for a more immersive gaming experience.

Check out our dedicated best ultrawide monitors buyer’s guide for more information.

The Pros:

  • Wide 85% DCI-P3 color gamut
  • High contrast ratio
  • Plenty of features, including VRR and MBR up to 165FPS

The Cons:

  • Tilt-only design
  • Minor ghosting in fast-paced games, mainly in dark scenes
  • Prone to VRR brightness flickering

About The Monitor

The Sceptre C345B-QUT168 is the most affordable 34″ 3440×1440 curved ultrawide gaming monitor!

Image Quality

Even though it’s one of the cheapest 34″ 3440×1440 curved displays, the Sceptre C345B-QUT168 features a VA panel with a high contrast ratio for deep blacks and a wide 85% DCI-P3 gamut coverage for vibrant colors.

Moreover, it has a high 165Hz refresh rate, as well as MBR and VRR support.

However, as is the case with most high refresh rate VA displays, VRR can cause brightness flickering in certain games (mostly in in-game menus, loading screens and scenes with fluctuating frame rates), so it’s not ideal if you’re sensitive to screen tearing.

Note that screen tearing is not nearly as noticeable at 165Hz as it is at 60-75Hz, so a lot of users will be perfectly fine with just gaming without VRR enabled. You also get PiP/PbP support.

Design & Connectivity

Sceptre C345B QUT168 Design

The stand of the monitor is tilt-only, but the screen is 75x75mm VESA mount compatible. The screen has a moderate 1500R curvature for added immersion.

Connectivity options include 2x HDMI 2.0 ports, 2x DisplayPort 1.4 ports, a headphone jack and dual 3W integrated speakers.

Alternatives

You can also find similar 34″ 3440×1440 high refresh rate curved VA models without wide color gamut at a lower price ($250 – $300):

The Pros:

  • Wide 95% DCI-P3 color gamut
  • Quick response time
  • Plenty of features, including VRR and MBR up to 144FPS
  • Ergonomic design, USB hub, integrated speakers

The Cons:

  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)

About The Monitor

The Sceptre E345B-QUN168W is the most affordable 34″ 3440×1440 ultrawide gaming monitor with an IPS panel. However, it has a flat screen and most people prefer curved screens at this screen size, but a curved 34″ 3440×1440 IPS model with a high refresh rate, such as the Acer XR343CKP goes for nearly double the price.

Image Quality

Besides its flat screen, the low 1,000:1 contrast ratio and IPS glow also contribute to the overall less immersive viewing experience in comparison to the VA panel alternatives.

However, the picture is still crisp and you get wider viewing angles, as well as vibrant colors with 95% DCI-P3 gamut and 400-nit peak brightness.

The main advantage of the Sceptre E345B-QUN168W is the faster response time speed, so there won’t be any dark smearing in fast-paced games.

Moreover, there’s no brightness flickering with a variable refresh rate.

Features

AMD FreeSync is supported with a 48-144Hz VRR range and the monitor also supports MPRT backlight strobing.

Picture in Picture and Picture by Picture modes are available as well.

Design & Connectivity

Sceptre E345B QUN168W Design

The stand of the monitor offers height adjustment up to 100mm, tilt by -5°/15°, +/- 15° swivel and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4, three HDMI 2.0 inputs (limited to 100Hz), USB-C (with DP Alt Mode, also limited to 100Hz), a headphone jack, dual 3W integrated speakers and a USB 3.0 hub (3 downstream + 1 upstream).

Best 4K Gaming Monitors

Here are the best budget 4K UHD monitors.

The Pros:

  • Accurate and consistent colors
  • Wide viewing angles
  • Affordable

The Cons:

  • Tilt-only stand
  • No AMD FreeSync
  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)

About The Monitor

The Sceptre U275W-UPT is one of the cheapest 4K monitors with an IPS panel yet it still provides you with outstanding image quality!

Image Quality

The IPS panel of the Sceptre U275W-UPT ensures wide viewing angles, quick response time, and accurate color reproduction with 100% sRGB color space coverage.

4K UHD ensures stunning detail clarity on this 27″ display with a high pixel density of 163 PPI. The monitor also supports 10-bit color depth and has a decent peak brightness of 350-nits.

Sadly, it doesn’t support VRR, but on 60Hz displays, the VRR range is very limited anyway, so if you want smooth gameplay, you should be getting a higher refresh rate display.

Design & Connectivity

Sceptre U275W UPT Design

The Sceptre U275W-UPT has ultra-thin bezels and it’s VESA mount compatible (100x100mm), but the stand is tilt-only (-5°/20°).

Connectivity includes two HDMI 1.4 ports, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, a headphone jack and two 2W built-in speakers.

Alternatives

  • MSI G281UV – 4K 60Hz monitor with a bit larger 28″ sized screen, a wider color gamut and AMD FreeSync support with a 40-60Hz dynamic range.

The Pros:

  • Built-in speakers
  • Wide color gamut
  • Wide viewing angles
  • AMD FreeSync

The Cons:

  • Tilt-only stand
  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)

About The Monitor

If you want a larger 4K monitor, the Sceptre U325W-UPT is the cheapest 32″ 4K model available that offers an immersive viewing experience.

Image Quality

The Sceptre U325W-UPT features am IPS panel with a wide 95% DCI-P3 color gamut for more lifelike/saturated colors.

While the response time speed is a bit slower, it’s more than quick enough for casual gaming at 60Hz.

AMD FreeSync is supported over both HDMI and DP with a 40-60Hz VRR range. Additionally, the monitor supports HDR (High Dynamic Range). Keep in mind that, for the true HDR viewing experience, a monitor would need a much higher brightness and contrast.

Design & Connectivity

Sceptre U325W UPT Design

The monitor has a tilt-only stand, but the screen is VESA mount compatible via the 100x100mm pattern.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 inputs, two DisplayPort 1.4 inputs, a headphone jack and dual 2W integrated speakers.

Alternatives

  • LG 32UL500 – Affordable 32″ 4K monitor with a VA panel

Conclusion

If you’re having second thoughts or if you still aren’t sure what gaming monitor is for you, feel free to leave any questions you might have in the comments below.

For below $150, you can’t go wrong with the Acer SH242Y Ebmihx, but if you enjoy fast-paced games and can run games at high frame rates, we recommend you save up for the BenQ EX240 or the ViewSonic XG2431, depending on just how competitive you are.

In case you have a more powerful PC rig, pick between any of the 1440p, ultrawide, or 4K models according to your preference, though we find that the Sceptre E275B-QPD168, the Sceptre E325B-QPN168 and the Sceptre E345B-QUT168W offer the best value for money.

Changelog +

  • December 22, 2023:
    – Updated the review summaries.
  • November 24, 2023:
    – Updated the table with our recommendations, the rest of the article will be updated soon.
  • November 24, 2022:
    – Replaced the Acer XV272UP with XV272UV.
  • April 28, 2022:
    – Checked up on the guide to ensure that our picks are still the best options available.
  • December 22, 2021:
    – Replaced the ViewSonic VX2758-2KP-MHD with the Acer XV272UP.
    – Replaced the Philips 278E1A with the ASUS VG289Q.
    – Removed the Lenovo G34W-10 and the AOC CQ27G2.
  • November 25, 2021:
    – Checked up on the guide to ensure that our picks are still the best options available.
  • September 22, 2021:
    – Replaced the Philips 22/246E9QDSB with the ASUS VA24DQ.
    – Replaced the Lenovo Y25-25 and the Acer XF250Q with the Dell S2522HG.
    – Added the MSI M32Q and the Sceptre E345B.
    – Replaced the Gigabyte G34WQC with the Lenovo G34W-10 and the Sceptre C305B with the MSI MAG301RF.
  • February 19, 2021:
    – Replaced the AOC CQ32G1 with the Gigabyte G32QC.
    – Replaced the LG 27GL83A with the ViewSonic VX2758-2KP-MHD. We still recommend the 27GL83A for fast-paced gaming, though it is almost $100 more expensive.
    – Added the Lenovo Y25-25.
    – Added the Dell S2721QS as an alternative to the Philips 278E1A.
    – Added the LG 32UN650 as an alternative to the LG 32UL500.
  • December 4, 2020:
    – Replaced the Viotek GNV34DB with the new Gigabyte G34WQC as it offers better image quality, performance, design, and features at the same price.
    – Replaced the AOC C24G1 with the newer AOC C24G1A model with a wider color gamut and a factory-overclocked 165Hz refresh rate at the same price.
    – Added the Gigabyte M27Q as an alternative to the LG 27GL83A.
    – Added the Gigabyte G32QC as an alternative to the AOC CQ32G1.

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Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.