Best Budget Gaming Monitors 2020 – Buyer’s Guide And Monitor Reviews

budget pick

AOC 24G2

aoc 24g2 monitor
  • Affordable 144Hz monitor
  • Vibrant colors
  • AMD FreeSync
best value

AOC CQ27G2

aoc cq27g2
  • Affordable 1440p 144Hz
  • High contrast ratio
  • AMD FreeSync
best overall

LG 27GL83A

Lg 27gl83a
  • 1440p 144Hz 1ms
  • Vibrant colors
  • AMD FreeSync

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 evaluated 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.

We also 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 alternative instead.

The 14 Best Budget Gaming Monitors For 2020

TypeMonitorSizeResolutionPanelRefresh RateVRR 
Best 1080p Gaming Monitors22”1920×1080IPS75HzFreeSync
32”1920×1080IPS60HzNone
Best 144Hz Gaming Monitors24”1920×1080VA144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)
25”1920×1080TN165HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
24”1920×1080IPS144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
Best 240Hz Gaming Monitor25”1920×1080TN240HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Compatible)
Best 1440p 144Hz Gaming Monitors27”2560×1440TN144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
27”2560×1440VA144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)
27”2560×1440IPS144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Compatible)
32”2560×1440VA144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)
Best UltraWide Gaming Monitors30”2560×1080VA200HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
34”3440×1440VA100HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)
Best 4K Gaming Monitors27”3840×2160IPS60HzNone
32”3840×2160VA60HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)

In case you’re looking for the best budget monitors that aren’t off-brand, check out our following buying guides:

We will go into details about every monitor listed in the table above as well as about its alternatives.

However, if you are unsure what panel typescreen sizeresolution, and refresh rate is ideal for you, we recommend having a look at our complete gaming monitor buyer’s guide.

Best 1080p Gaming Monitors

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 a reliable performance and a decent picture quality.

Acer SB220Q - Rich Colors & Smooth Performance On A Budget

acer sb220q monitor

About the Monitor

The Acer SB220Q is the best monitor you can get under $100. It has an IPS panel for vibrant colors and wide viewing angles, 1080p resolution for clear and sharp details, and AMD FreeSync for a fluid performance.

Image Quality

Based on an IPS panel, the Acer SB220Q 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 wide angles, which ensure the 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 TN panels (1ms), there isn’t any trailing of fast-moving objects noticeable on the Acer SB220Q.

1080p (Full HD, 1920×1080 resolution) is the most widespread resolution and still considered as the standard, and thanks to the pixel-per-inch ratio of ~102 PPI (pixels per inch) it offers on a 21.5″ screen, the Acer SB220Q provides vivid details and a decent amount of screen real estate.

Features

amd freesync logo

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 48-75FPS range.

Since the Acer SB220Q doesn’t have a DisplayPort input (as it’s the case with all monitors under $100), you cannot use FreeSync with compatible NVIDIA cards.

Other features of the monitor include the Aim Point customizable crosshairs, Black Boost for better visibility in darker games, and pre-calibrated picture presets (Action, Racing, and Sports).

Design & Connectivity

acer sb220q monitor back

The Acer SB220Q monitor features a very slim design with thin bezels, but its stand is tilt-only and not VESA mount compatible. Connectivity options include one HDMI 1.4 port and one VGA (D-Sub) port.

Alternatives

  • AOC 22V2H – same IPS panel as the SB220Q and FreeSync support up to 75Hz, but different design with a headphones jack included
  • Philips 226E9QDSB – same IPS panel and FreeSync up to 75Hz, but different design with 75x75mm VESA mount, a headphones jack, and an extra DVI port
For more alternatives under $100, visit our best gaming monitor under $100 buyer’s guide.

The Pros

  • Good value for the price
  • Vibrant colors and crisp image quality

The Cons

  • Tilt-only stand and no VESA mount

ViewSonic VX3276 – Best Gaming Monitor For PS4 & Xbox One

viewsonic vx3276 mhd monitor

About the Monitor

Now, if you want a bigger monitor than the 22″ Acer SB220Q, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First of all, if you get a larger monitor, for instance, a 27″ display, but retain the 1080p resolution, you get a lower pixel-per-inch ratio i.e., pixel density.

So, in a nutshell, for the price of a cheap 27″ 1080p display, you can get an above-average 24″ 1080p monitor and, therefore, a better image quality due to the higher pixel density as well as a smoother performance and extra features the better panel provides.

Image Quality

When it comes to console gaming, you will be sitting a bit further from the screen, so you won’t be able to distinguish individual pixels as you would from up-close, which allows you to take advantage of a bigger screen.

For 1080p consoles, the ViewSonic VX3276-MHD is a great gaming monitor. It’s basically a small TV with the responsiveness of a gaming display; plus, it’s affordable!

The monitor is based on an IPS panel, so you get wide viewing angles, vibrant colors, and a quick response time speed for minimal ghosting. No TV could even come close to the input lag and response time performance of the ViewSonic VX3276 at this price range.

Features

In the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu of the monitor, you will even find some exclusive gaming features including pre-calibrated picture presets for FPS, RTS, and MOBA genres as well as three customizable profiles.

There’s also a feature called Black Stabilization which changes the gamma curvature in order to increase the visibility of objects in darker video games.

Design & Connectivity

viewsonic vx3276 mhd monitor back

The stand is tilt-only, but you can mount the screen on a third-party stand via the 100x100mm VESA mount pattern. Connectivity options include HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, a headphones jack, and two 2W built-in speakers.

Alternatives

  • LG 32ML600M – A more expensive 32″ IPS monitor with wide color gamut and HDR support
  • Philips 328E9QJAB – A more expensive 32″ curved display with a higher contrast ratio and FreeSync

For more information, visit our best gaming monitors for PS4 and Xbox One guide.

The Pros

  • Affordable
  • Vibrant colors and wide viewing angles

The Cons

  • Tilt-only design
  • No AMD FreeSync
  • Low pixel density for PC use

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!

AOC C24G1 – 144Hz For Only $150!

aoc c24g1 monitor

About the Monitor

The AOC C24G1 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 C24G1 144Hz gaming monitor, the pixel transition in real use is noticeably worse than the 1ms (GtG) response time of TN 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

MBR (Motion Blur Reduction) strobes the backlight of the monitor to decrease the 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 visible trailing and motion blur in fast-paced games, especially in scenes with a lot of dark pixels, 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 TN panel and 1ms GtG response time; you will get a worse image quality, but a smoother performance.

In case you prefer having better visuals overtopping the scoreboards, the AOC C24G1 will provide you with both responsive and immersive gaming experience for a ridiculously low price.

The monitor supports AMD FreeSync with a 48-144Hz 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 C24G1 (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 c24g1 monitor back

The stand is made of metal, and it’s quite steady. It also offers height adjustment up to 130mm, +/- 35° swivel, -5°/20° tilt, and 100x100mm VESA pattern.

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

144Hz is supported over both DisplayPort and HDMI, so the AOC C24G1 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.

Alternatives

There’s a newer model of this monitor, the AOC C24G1A, which supports a wider color gamut (~120% sRGB) and has a factory-overclocked 165Hz refresh rate.

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

  • Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games, mainly in darker scenes

Sceptre E255B – Best $150 Monitor For Competitive Gamers

sceptre e255b 1658a monitor

About the Monitor

Sceptre also offers an exceptional high refresh rate gaming monitor with a TN panel. The Sceptre E255B-1658A is a 24.5″ gaming monitor with 1ms response time, AMD FreeSync, 1080p, and a 165Hz refresh rate.

Image Quality

Since it has a TN panel, the Sceptre E255B offers somewhat washed out colors in comparison to the IPS and VA counterparts as well as narrow 160°/170° viewing angles.

However, it also offers a fast response time speed for virtually zero ghosting in fast-paced games. If you want the best performance in first-person shooters, this is the best budget gaming monitor you can get under $200.

Features

Just like with the AOC C24G1, there are FPS and RTS pre-optimized picture profiles available in the OSD menu. AMD FreeSync is supported up to 165Hz over both DP and HDMI and it works well with compatible NVIDIA cards.

Design & Connectivity

sceptre e255b 1658a monitor back

You can tilt the screen by -3°/15° or mount it using the 75x75mm VESA pattern. Connectivity options include two HDMI ports (one HDMI 2.0 port and one HDMI 1.4 port), DisplayPort 1.2, a headphones jack, and two 2W integrated speakers.

Alternatives

  • AOC G2590FX – A similar monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate, more gaming features, certified G-SYNC compatibility, and a slightly better picture quality

In case the Sceptre E255B is not available and the AOC G2590FX is out of your budget, check out the Acer KG241QP, the LG 24GL600F, and the BenQ XL2411P.

These use older 24″ panels, so they won’t have as good image quality and viewing angles as the 24.5″ variants.

The Pros

  • Quick response time speed
  • 165Hz
  • AMD FreeSync

The Cons

  • Tilt-only design
  • Narrow viewing angles
  • Inferior image quality to IPS and VA panels

AOC 24G2 – Vibrant Colors & Fast Response Time

aoc 24g2 monitor

About the Monitor

The AOC 24G2 offers a good balance between the AOC C24G1 and the Sceptre E255B.

Image Quality

Thanks to its IPS panel, the AOC 24G2 offers the best color quality and the widest viewing angles. However, its contrast ratio is not as high that of the AOC C24G1, so blacks won’t be as deep.

In comparison to the Sceptre E255B, the 24G2 has a slower pixel response time speed, so some minor motion blur will be visible in fast-paced games, which is negligible for casual gaming.

More importantly, you won’t get any black smearing in darker scenes like it’s the case with the AOC C24G1.

Moving on, the AOC 24G2 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 profile 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 48-144Hz VRR range over both HDMI and DisplayPort as well as stable G-SYNC performance.

Just like with the C24G1, you get the adjustable MBR technology for clearer fast-paced motion as well as AOC’s standard features including Shadow Control, Game Color, crosshairs, Low Input Lag Mode, and pre-calibrated picture presets.

For more information, visit our detailed AOC 24G2 review.

Design & Connectivity

aoc 24g2 monitor back

The design quality of the monitor is superb considering its price. Full range of ergonomics is supported as you can pivot the screen by 90°, elevate it up to 130mm, swivel by +/- 30°, tilt by -5°/22°, and VESA mount it via the 100x100mm pattern.

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

Alternatives

The AOC 24G2 is also available as a 27″ variant, the AOC 27G2. However, we recommend going with the 24″ model as it’s more affordable and offers a higher pixel density for sharper image quality.

Both models are also available with the ‘U’ suffix: the AOC 24G2U and the AOC 27G2U, which also include a USB hub and integrated speakers, but these versions are not currently available in the US.

If you can’t find the AOC 24G2, check out the ViewSonic XG2405, which is based on the same panel, but without the wide color gamut.

The Pros

  • Excellent value for the price
  • Vibrant and accurate colors
  • Fully ergonomic design
  • Plenty of gaming features including FreeSync and 1ms MPRT

The Cons

  • Joystick for OSD navigation would’ve been better than the included buttons
  • Not as fast as TN panels, minor motion blur in fast-paced games

Best 240Hz Gaming Monitors

Want the absolute best performance in competitive video games? A 240Hz gaming monitor will ensure you get the most responsive gaming experience possible.

Acer XF250Q – 240Hz Under $300!

acer xf250q monitor

About the Monitor

There aren’t any 240Hz monitors by Viotek, Sceptre, and similar brands, but luckily, there is no need because Acer offers a very affordable model; Its price is often below $250, which is over $50 less expensive than any other 240Hz display.

Image Quality

The Acer XF250Q Cbmiiprx is the cheapest 240Hz gaming monitor which doesn’t mean it’s not good. Quite the contrary, it’s one of the rare 240Hz FreeSync monitors that’s officially (certified by NVIDIA) G-SYNC compatible.

As far as the image quality is concerned, you get 1080p, a 400-nit peak brightness, a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, 160°/170° viewing angles, and 8-bit color depth – the same as with most 240Hz models.

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.

Moving on, the Acer XF250Q offers the Black Boost (gamma curvature) and Aim Point (custom crosshairs) gaming features as well as the advanced gamma and 6-axis hue/saturation color adjustments.

Design & Connectivity

acer xf250q monitor back

Another surprising thing about this cheap monitor is the design versatility.

You can elevate the screen up to 150mm, tilt it by -5°/35°, swivel by +/- 60°, pivot by 90°, and VESA mount it.

At the back of the monitor, you will find HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, a headphones jack, and an audio line-in port for the built-in speakers.

FreeSync is supported over both DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0.

Alternatives

  • Acer KG251Q – Depending on region and availability, the Acer KG251Q may be more affordable than the XF250Q. Make sure you get the 240Hz model, as there are many different KG251Q variants
  • Acer XF252Q – A newer 24.5″ 240Hz gaming monitor with a 0.5ms response time speed plus MBR

You should also consider investing in one of the 240Hz gaming monitors with IPS panels. They have just as smooth performance, but much better colors and viewing angles:

The Pros

  • G-SYNC compatible
  • 240Hz 1ms
  • Fully ergonomic design

The Cons

  • Narrow viewing angles
  • Inferior image quality to IPS and VA panels

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.

Viotek GFT27DB – 1440p 144Hz 1ms Under $300

viotek gft27db

About the Monitor

The Viotek GFT27DB is the cheapest 1440p 144Hz 1ms gaming monitor yet it’s based on a newer TN panel with wide color gamut support.

Image Quality

Since the monitor has a TN panel, you get the narrow 160°/170° viewing angles and the inferior contrast and color quality to VA and IPS panels, respectively.

Having said that, the Viotek GFT27DB does actually offer a decent image quality for a TN panel display thanks to its wide 115% sRGB color gamut.

What’s more, you get the rapid 1ms response time speed which makes this monitor ideal for those who enjoy fast-paced games, but also want an excellent picture quality with vivid details thanks to the 1440p resolution.

Features

Moving on, the Viotek GFT27DB 1440p 144Hz 1ms gaming monitor supports AMD FreeSync with a 48-144Hz VRR range over both HDMI and DP, and it works well with compatible NVIDIA cards.

Other features include customizable crosshairs, pre-calibrated picture presets with different gamma curvatures for better visibility in dark games, and PiP/PbP. 

Design & Connectivity

viotek gft27db back

The stand of the monitor is tilt-only, but you can mount the screen via the 75x75mm VESA pattern. Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, two HDMI 1.4 ports, a headphones jack, and dual 2W integrated speakers.

The Pros

  • Plenty of gaming features including FreeSync
  • Quick response time speed
  • Decent image quality for a TN panel

The Cons

  • Narrow viewing angles
  • Inferior image quality to IPS and VA panels
  • Tilt-only stand

AOC CQ27G2 - Affordable 1440p 144Hz Curved Gaming Monitor

aoc cq27g2

About the Monitor

For around the same price as that of the Viotek GFT27DB, you might want to get the AOC CQ27G2 instead.

It’s based on a VA panel with a high contrast ratio and better colors – but slower response time.

Image Quality

The AOC CQ27G2 offers a 3,000:1 contrast ratio for deep blacks, and it has an extended (120%) sRGB color gamut for more vibrant and lifelike colors.

However, it has a slower response time speed, so you will be able to notice the trailing of fast-moving objects in video games. Overall, the amount of trailing is tolerable as it’s mostly noticeable when dark pixels are involved.

If you’re mostly playing FPS games competitively, though, you’d be better off with the Viotek GFT27DB or a 1080p 240Hz display at this price range, whereas the AOC CQ27G2 is more suited for mixed use.

That’s not to say that you won’t be able to enjoy fast-paced games, the fast motion just won’t be as clear as that of the TN or IPS panel alternatives.

Features

AMD FreeSync is supported over both HDMI and DisplayPort with a 48-144Hz VRR range, and it works with compatible NVIDIA cards, but some units suffer from brightness flickering.

Other useful features include customizable crosshairs, pre-calibrated picture presets, and Picture in Picture/Picture by Picture.

There’s also the 1ms MPRT backlight strobing technology, which can reduce the perceived ghosting in fast-paced games a bit, but it cannot be active at the same time as FreeSync, and it decreases the monitor’s maximum brightness while active.

Design & Connectivity

aoc cq27g2 back side

The design of the AOC CQ27G2 is excellent, considering its price.

You get a sturdy metal stand that offers height adjustment up to 130mm and swivel by +/- 30°. You can also tilt (-5°/20°/) the screen or VESA mount it (100x100mm).

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and a headphones jack. It also has a steep 1500R screen curvature for added immersion.

Alternatives

If the AOC CQ27G2 is not available, you may want to check out Samsung C27JG50/56 and the older AOC CQ27G1 with a more subtle 1800R screen curvature.

The Pros

  • High contrast ratio and wide color gamut
  • AMD FreeSync up to 144Hz
  • Plenty of additional features including 1ms MPRT
  • Ergonomic design

The Cons

  • Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games, mainly in darker scenes

LG 27GL83A – Best IPS Gaming Monitor Under $400

Lg 27gl83a

About the Monitor

As an IPS panel display, the LG 27GL83A offers the perfect balance between the Viotek GFT27DB TN-panel model and the CQ27G2 VA-panel display, but for a bit higher price.

You get both vibrant colors and a quick response time speed as well as wide viewing angles, but its contrast ratio isn’t as high as that of VA panels.

Image Quality

The LG 27GL83A is factory-calibrated and covers 99% of the sRGB color space for accurate, precise, and rich color reproduction which is even fit for entry-level color-critical work.

It is also one of the fastest IPS panel display with a rapid 1ms GtG response time speed meaning that you won’t get any prominent ghosting or motion blur in fast-paced games.

Features

Moving on, the monitor supports AMD FreeSync with certified G-SYNC compatibility and a 48-144Hz VRR range over DisplayPort and 48-100Hz over HDMI.

Other gaming features include Black Stabilizer, customizable crosshairs, pre-calibrated picture presets, and HDR10 support (through software-emulation).

For a more detailed review, visit our LG 27GL83A review.

Design & Connectivity

Lg 27gl83a back

The LG 27GL83A has a fairly ergonomic design with up to 110mm height adjustment, 90° pivot, -5°/15° tilt, 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility, but no swivel to the left or right option.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.4, and a headphones jack. HDMI support 144Hz at 1440p too, but you must disable FreeSync.

Alternatives

We highly recommend saving up for the LG 27GL83A, but if you cannot afford it, check out the ViewSonic VX2758-2KP-MHD as the best budget 1440p 144Hz IPS alternative.

The Pros

  • Precise and accurate colors
  • Quick response time speed
  • AMD FreeSync up to 144Hz
  • Ergonomic design

The Cons

  • Limited FreeSync range over HDMI
  • Design lacks swivel option

AOC CQ32G1 – Affordable 32″ 1440p 144Hz Gaming Monitor

Aoc Cq32g1

About the Monitor

If you want a 32″ 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor, you can only get one with a VA panel when it comes to this screen size.

The AOC CQ32G1 is essentially a 32″ version of the previously-mentioned AOC CQ27G2. So, you get a 1440p 144Hz curved VA-panel display with AMD FreeSync and a bigger screen, but a lower pixel density.

Image Quality

AMD FreeSync is supported and it works with compatible NVIDIA cards. The AOC CQ32G1 FreeSync range is 48-144Hz over both HDMI and DP. Some units have brightness flickering, unfortunately.

Other gaming features include Shadow Control, Game Color (quick saturation adjustments), custom crosshair overlay, four overdrive presets, customizable picture profiles, and the 1ms MPRT motion blur reduction technology.

Design & Connectivity

Aoc Cq32g1 Back

The stand of the AOC CQ32G1 is tilt-only, but you can mount the screen via its 100x100mm VESA pattern. Connectivity options include HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, and a headphones jack.

Alternatives

Depending on region and availability, you may want to check out the following 32″ 1440p 144Hz gaming monitors as well.

  • AOPEN 32HC1QUR – A more expensive model, but without 1ms MPRT
  • Acer ED323QUR – basically identical to the AOPEN
  • LG 32GK650F – with MBR and a flat screen. This one uses a flat VA panel by AU Optronics which doesn’t suffer from brightness flickering

If you want a 32″ 1440p gaming monitor, but can’t afford any of the 144Hz models, check out the AOC Q3279VWFD8 with a 75Hz refresh rate.

The Pros

  • High contrast ratio
  • Plenty of gaming features including AMD FreeSync and 1ms MPRT

The Cons

  • Tilt-only stand
  • Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games, mainly in darker scenes

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.

Sceptre C305B – Best Budget UltraWide Gaming Monitor

sceptre c305b 200un monitor

About the Monitor

The Sceptre C305B-200UN is the best budget-friendly ultrawide monitor for gaming and other everyday use such as watching movies.

Image Quality

Based on a VA panel with an 8-bit color depth and 2560×1080 resolution, you get deep blacks and crisp details with plenty of screen space available thanks to the display’s above-average pixel density.

What makes the Sceptre C305B the best pick for gaming though is its rapid 200Hz refresh rate at such an affordable price.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, VA panels suffer from noticeable black smearing of fast-moving objects. In reality, the pixels can’t keep up with the 200Hz refresh rate, but they are good up to 144Hz.

So, in some games, you may want to set the refresh rate to 144Hz instead of 200Hz which isn’t really an issue as the display would be well worth the price even if it had a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz.

Features

Moving on, the Sceptre C305B-200UN supports AMD FreeSync with a 48-200Hz VRR range and stable G-SYNC performance over DisplayPort, and 48-165Hz over HDMI. It uses a VA panel by AU Optronics.

Design & Connectivity

sceptre c305b 200un monitor back

The Sceptre C305B-200UN curved monitor is tilt-only, but it’s VESA mount compatible via the provided adapter. There are also two red LED strips at the back of the monitor, dual 3W integrated speakers, a headphones jack, HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 1.4 ports, and one DisplayPort 1.2 input.

Alternatives

  • LG 29WK600 – A 29″ 2560×1080 flat-screen ultrawide monitor with an IPS panel and a maximum refresh rate of 75Hz. If your FPS rate doesn’t exceed 75FPS in most games, the LG 29WK600 may be a better choice for you as it offers more accurate and vibrant colors. In video games where you can get at least 100FPS, the Sceptre C305B-200UN will offer a lot more immersive and responsive gaming experience.

The Pros

  • High contrast ratio and pixel density
  • AMD FreeSync up to 200Hz

The Cons

  • Tilt-only stand
  • Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games, mainly in darker scenes

Viotek GNV34DB – Budget 100Hz UltraWide Gaming Monitor

viotek gnv34db ultrawide gaming monitor

About the Monitor

If you want both a high ultrawide resolution and a high refresh rate, the Viotek GNV34DB is the most affordable option available.

Image Quality

The Viotek GNV34DB has a screen resolution of 3440×1440 pixels which results in a rich pixel density on its 34″ screen.

In addition, its high contrast ratio of 3,000:1 delivers deep blacks for vivid details in shadows and dark parts of the image.

Finally, the 100Hz refresh rate provides a notable boost in motion clarity in comparison to the standard 60Hz/75Hz displays.

As with all VA panels, the response time is a bit slower, so there is visible smearing of fast-moving objects, but it’s tolerable – unless you’re primarily a competitive FPS gamer.

Features

AMD FreeSync is supported with a 48-100Hz VRR range and it works with compatible NVIDIA cards, though some units have brightness flickering.

Other features include various picture modes (FPS, RTS), custom crosshairs, and Picture in Picture/Picture by Picture.

Design & Connectivity

viotek monitor back

As with most cheaper gaming monitors, sacrifices had to be made to save on the price.

The Viotek GNV34DB has a tilt-only stand, but luckily, it’s VESA mount compatible (100x100mm). Plus, it has a steep 1500R screen curvature.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, two HDMI 1.4 ports, and a headphones jack.

Alternatives

  • AOC CU34G2X – The cheapest 34″ 3440×1440 ultrawide model with a 144Hz refresh rate

The Pros

  • Excellent value for the price
  • High contrast ratio and pixel density
  • Plenty of gaming features including AMD FreeSync

The Cons

  • Tilt-only stand
  • Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games

Best 4K Gaming Monitors

There aren’t any good 4K UHD off-brand monitors we can recommend. Instead, we’ve selected the following popular and reliable yet affordable 4K displays.

Philips 278E1A - Best Budget 4K Monitor

philips 278e1a monitor

About the Monitor

The Philips 278E1A is the cheapest 4K monitor with an IPS panel yet it will still provide you with an outstanding image quality!

Image Quality

The IPS panel of the Philips 278E1A ensures wide viewing angles, quick response time, and accurate color reproduction with a wide 109% sRGB gamut that you can manually limit to 100% for color-critical editing.

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.

Features

Unfortunately, the Philips 278E1A doesn’t support FreeSync, so if you want a 4K monitor mainly for gaming, you might want to check out the alternatives below.

Keep in mind that most 4K FreeSync monitors have a VRR range of only 40-60Hz. So, Xbox One games limited to 30FPS at 4K UHD won’t benefit from FreeSync anyway.

Further, if you have an NVIDIA GPU and want to use FreeSync on a 4K monitor, you will most likely be limited to the Basic range of FreeSync which is 48-60Hz. 

Other features of the Philips 278E1A 4K monitor include PiP/PbP and pre-calibrated picture presets (FPS, RTS, Racing, and two custom modes).

The monitor also supports HDCP 2.2, so you can stream copy-protected content from Netflix and similar services in 4K UHD resolution.

Design & Connectivity

philips 278e1a monitor back

The stand is tilt-only, but the screen is VESA mount compatible (100x100mm). At the back of the monitor, you will find two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, and a headphones jack.

Alternatives

  • Philips 276E8VJSB – the previous model of this monitor with a different design and no VESA mount compatibility
  • ASUS VG289Q – A 28″ 4K IPS monitor with a fully ergonomic stand, 90% DCI-P3 wide color gamut, HDR, and AMD FreeSync; priced around $330

The Pros

  • Affordable 4K monitor
  • Vibrant colors and wide viewing angles

The Cons

  • Tilt-only stand
  • No AMD FreeSync

LG 32UL500 – Affordable 32″ 4K Monitor

lg 32ul500 monitor

About the Monitor

If you want a larger 4K monitor, the LG 32UL500 is the cheapest 32″ 4K model available that offers an immersive viewing experience.

Image Quality

The LG 32UL500 features a VA panel, so you get the superior contrast ratio (3,000:1) for vivid blacks and an overall better relation between the brightest and the darkest tones.

It also supports 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.

Features

AMD FreeSync is supported over both HDMI and DP with a 40-60Hz VRR range. FreeSync compatibility with NVIDIA cards will vary between different units.

It may work well or not at all, though most users manage to get it working with a bit of tweaking.

Additionally, the monitor supports HDCP 2.2 and HDR (High Dynamic Range). Keep in mind that, for the true HDR viewing experience, a monitor would need a much higher brightness and contrast.

So, the LG 32UL500 provides just a glimpse of HDR. Some HDR content will actually look notably better thanks to the monitor’s decent static contrast ratio and wide color gamut.

Design & Connectivity

lg 32ul500 monitor back

The LG 32UL500 has a tilt-only design, but it’s VESA mount compatible. Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, a headphones jack, and two 5W built-in speakers.

Alternatives

  • LG 32UK550 – the same monitor, but with a height-adjustable stand and a higher price

The Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Crisp image quality and high contrast ratio
  • FreeSync up to 60Hz
  • Wide color gamut

The Cons

  • Tilt-only stand

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 ~$100, you can’t go wrong with the Acer SB220Q or one of its alternatives, but if you enjoy fast-paced games and can run games at high frame rates, we recommend you save up for the AOC 24G2, the Sceptre E255B-1658A, or the Acer XF250Q, depending on just how competitive you are.

In case you have a more powerful PC rig, the AOC CQ27G2, the LG 27GL83A, and the Viotek GNV34DB (depending on your budget and preference) offer exceptional value for the price and an immersive gaming experience while console gamers can choose between two excellent yet affordable 4K displays.

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Rob Shafer
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.