The Best Budget Gaming Monitors (2021 Reviews)

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

budget pick

AOC 24G2

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

ViewSonic VX2768-2KP-MHD

ViewSonic VX2768 2KP MHD Monitor
  • Affordable 1440p 144Hz
  • IPS panel
  • AMD FreeSync
best value

Lenovo Y25-25

Lenovo Y25 25 Monitor
  • 240Hz + 1ms GtG
  • Vibrant colors
  • G-SYNC Compatible

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.

TypeMonitorSizeResolutionPanelRefresh RateVRR 
Best 1080p Gaming Monitors22”1920x1080IPS75HzFreeSync
32”1920x1080IPS60HzNone
Best 1080p 144Hz Gaming Monitors24”1920x1080VA144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)
25”1920x1080TN165HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
24”1920x1080IPS144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
Best 240Hz Gaming Monitor25”1920x1080TN240HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Compatible)
25”1920x1080IPS240HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Compatible)
Best 1440p 144Hz Gaming Monitors27”2560x1440TN144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
27”2560x1440VA144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)
27”2560x1440IPS144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
32”2560x1440VA165HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)
Best UltraWide Gaming Monitors30”2560x1080VA200HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
34”3440x1440VA144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)
Best 4K Gaming Monitors27”3840x2160IPS60HzNone
32”3840x2160VA60HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)

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.

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.

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

Best Budget Gaming Monitors

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 reliable performance and decent picture quality.

The Pros:

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

The Cons:

  • Tilt-only stand and no VESA mount

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:

  • Affordable
  • Vibrant colors and wide viewing angles

The Cons:

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

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 a much better 24″ 1080p monitor with 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.

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:

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

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 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) 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 C24G1A 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 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 headphones 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:

  • Quick response time speed
  • 165Hz
  • AMD FreeSync

The Cons:

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

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 C24G1A, 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:

  • 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

About The Monitor

The AOC 24G2 offers a good balance between the AOC C24G1A 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 C24G1A, 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 C24G1A.

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 C24G1A, 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.

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.

The Pros:

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

The Cons:

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

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

The Pros:

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

The Cons:

  • No MBR

About The Monitor

For less than $50 added to the price of the Acer XF250Q, you can get a 240Hz gaming monitor with an IPS panel, which offers wider viewing angles and more vibrant colors.

Image Quality

The Lenovo Legion Y25-25 is 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 400-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

Despite its low price, the Lenovo Y25-25 is officially certified by NVIDIA as G-SYNC Compatible thus ensuring flawless VRR performance up to 240FPS.

Other features include a refresh rate tracker, HDR support (via software emulation), various pre-calibrated picture presets, and Dark Boost (for better visibility in darker scenes). Sadly, there’s no MBR.

Design & Connectivity

Lenovo Y25 25 Monitor Back

The Lenovo Y25-25 even has a fully adjustable stand with up to 130mm height adjustment, +/- 30° swivel, +/- 90° pivot, -5°/22° tilt, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options are abundant as well and include HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, a headphones jack, and a quad-USB 3.0 hub!

Alternatives

If you want a model with Motion Blur Reduction, consider the ASUS VG259QM for ~$30 extra.

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:

  • 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

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:

  • 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

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:

  • Quick response time speed
  • AMD FreeSync up to 144Hz
  • Wide color gamut
  • High pixel density

The Cons:

  • Tilt-only stand

About The Monitor

As an IPS panel display, the ViewSonic VX2768-2KP-MHD 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 ViewSonic VX2768-2KP-MHD has a wide 96% DCI-P3 color gamut (equivalent to ~131% sRGB) for more saturated and rich colors.

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.

Features

AMD FreeSync is supported with a 48-144Hz VRR range, and it works with compatible NVIDIA cards despite lacking the official G-SYNC Compatible certification.

Other features include Black Stabilizer (for better visibility in darker scenes) and various pre-calibrated picture presets.

Design & Connectivity

ViewSonic VX2768 2KP MHD Monitor Back

The ViewSonic VX2768-2KP-MHD has a tilt-only stand, but it’s VESA mount compatible via the 100x100mm pattern.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, a headphones jack, and two 2W built-in speakers.

Alternatives

If you can afford something pricier, we recommend investing in the Gigabyte G27Q with a height-adjustable stand, a USB hub, and slightly better performance.

In case you play a lot of fast-paced games, consider the LG 27GL83A with the impeccable 1ms GtG pixel response time speed, but no wide color gamut.

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:

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

About The Monitor

If you want a 32″ 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor for ~$300 – $400, you can only get one with a VA panel at that price range. The IPS variants, such as the ASUS PG329Q, go for over $700.

The Gigabyte G32QC is essentially a 32″ version of the previously-mentioned AOC CQ27G2. So, you get a 1440p 144Hz (factory-overclocked to 165Hz) curved VA-panel display with AMD FreeSync and a bigger screen, but a lower pixel density.

It has a wide 94% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage, a 3,000:1 static contrast ratio, and a 400-nit peak brightness for HDR content (350-nit typical) therefore earning VESA’s entry-level DisplayHDR 400 certification.

Image Quality

AMD FreeSync is supported and it works with compatible NVIDIA cards. The Gigabyte G32QC FreeSync range is 48-165Hz, but some units have brightness flickering, unfortunately.

Other gaming features include Black Equalizer, custom crosshair overlays, various picture presets, a refresh rate tracker, and the Aim Stabilizer motion blur reduction technology.

Design & Connectivity

gigabyte g32qc design

The Gigabyte G32QC has a tilt (-5°/20°) and height-adjustable stand (up to 100mm), while the screen is VESA mount compatible (100x100mm) and has a 1500R curvature.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 2.0 inputs, a headphones jack, and a dual-USB 3.0 hub.

Alternatives

  • LG 32GN650 – with a flat-screen VA panel, but no wide color gamut

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:

  • 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

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:

  • Excellent value for the price
  • High contrast ratio and pixel density, wide color gamut
  • Plenty of gaming features including AMD FreeSync
  • Height-adjustable stand

The Cons:

  • Minor ghosting in fast-paced games

About The Monitor

If you want both a high ultrawide resolution and a high refresh rate, the Gigabyte G34WQC is the most affordable option available.

Image Quality

The Gigabyte G34WQC 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 144Hz 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 48-144Hz 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

Gigabyte G34WQC Design

The Gigabyte G34WQC has a height-adjustable stand (up to 100mm), while its screen can be tilted by -5°/20° or VESA mounted (100x100mm).

Connectivity options include two DisplayPort 1.4 inputs, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a headphones jack, and two 2W speakers.

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.

The Pros:

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

The Cons:

  • Tilt-only stand
  • No AMD FreeSync

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
  • Dell S2721QS – a 27″ 4K IPS model with a fully ergonomic stand, FreeSync, and the standard sRGB color gamut

The Pros:

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

The Cons:

  • Tilt-only stand
  • Narrow viewing angles
  • Minor ghosting in darker scenes

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, but some black smearing can be detected.

Further, the VA panel of this monitor has a bit narrower viewing angles than it’s usual for this panel technology. So, the image will degrade at an angle, but this won’t be an issue as long as you’re in front of the monitor.

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
  • LG 32UN650 – the cheapest 32″ 4K monitor with an IPS panel (~$450) with more consistent colors, a faster response time speed, and wider viewing angles

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, the Acer XF250Q, or the Lenovo Y25-25, depending on just how competitive you are.

In case you have a more powerful PC rig, the AOC CQ27G2, the ViewSonic VX2768-2KP-MHD, the Gigabyte G32QC, and the Gigabyte G34WQC (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.

Changelog +

  • February 19, 2021:
    – Replaced the AOC CQ32G1 with the Gigabyte G32QC.
    – Replaced the LG 27GL83A with the ViewSonic VX2768-2KP-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 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.