budget pick

Acer XF252Q

acer xf252q monitor
  • Best for competitive gaming
  • 1080p 240Hz 0.3ms
  • FreeSync and MBR
best value

ASUS VG259QM

asus vg259qm
  • Best for mixed used
  • 1080p 280Hz 1ms IPS
  • FreeSync and MBR
best overall

LG 27GL83A

Lg 27gl83a
  • Best for immersive gameplay
  • 1440p 144Hz 1ms IPS
  • FreeSync

Got a budget of $300-$400 for a new gaming monitor?

In this guide, you will find all the available combinations of display specifications you can find in this price range as well as the best monitors currently available.

Top 7 Gaming Monitors Under $400 In 2020

TypeMonitorSizeResolutionPanelRefresh RateVRR 
Best 240Hz Gaming Monitors25”1920×1080TN240HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
25”1920×1080IPS280HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Compatible)
Best 1440p 144Hz Gaming Monitors27”2560×1440IPS144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Compatible)
32”2560×1440VA144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)
Best UltraWide Gaming Monitor34”3440×1440VA100HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)
Best 4K Gaming Monitors28”3840×2160IPS60HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
32”3840×2160VA60HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)

If you’re on a different budget, you may want to visit our other buyer’s guides:

Since you have quite a diverse selection at this price range, it’s important that you pick the right panel typescreen sizeresolution, and refresh rate according to your preference.

Visit our dedicated monitor buyer’s guide for more information.

We’ll cover everything in the monitor summaries below, so as long as you stick to our guidelines and tips, we guarantee that you’ll be satisfied with your new gaming monitor. However, ensure that your PC system will be able to properly run video games at the resolution and refresh rate you want.

A variable refresh rate (VRR) technology such as AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-SYNC can greatly improve performance by synchronizing monitor’s refresh rates to GPU’s frame rates thus eliminating screen tearing and stuttering with virtually no input lag penalty.

For G-SYNC, you will need a compatible NVIDIA graphics card while FreeSync works with both AMD and select NVIDIA (GTX 10-series, GTX 16-series, RTX-20 series, or newer) graphics cards.

While the FreeSync monitors we’ve included aren’t officially G-SYNC compatible, most of them offer a smooth VRR performance without issues. These are marked as ‘G-SYNC Stable’ under the ‘VRR’ column in the table.

VRR on FreeSync monitors marked as ‘Unstable’ work with compatible AMD cards, but won’t have a stable performance with NVIDIA GPUs out of the box, though you will likely be able to get them to work by tinkering with the drivers and using third-party software.

Note that these monitors will work with NVIDIA cards without issues, except when using FreeSync.

Best 240Hz Gaming Monitors

If you’re looking for a 1080p gaming monitor, you can head over to our best gaming monitors under $200/$300 guide. The only 1080p displays that are worth over $300 nowadays are the 240Hz models and the following monitor offers the best value for the money in that category. 

Acer XF252Q – Best 240Hz Monitor For Competitive Gaming

acer xf252q monitor

About the Monitor

The Acer XF252Q is the best 240Hz gaming monitor for serious gamers. It’s equipped with 240Hz, sub-1ms response time, FreeSync, and a backlight strobing technology with up to 240Hz strobing frequency.

Image Quality

Since it’s based on a TN panel, the Acer XF252Q has narrow viewing angles meaning that the picture will shift in color, contrast, and brightness when you look at it from skewed angles. As long as you’re sitting directly in front of the screen though, this won’t be an issue.

You also won’t get as vibrant picture quality as that of the other gaming monitors included in this guide which have higher resolutions and IPS or VA panels which offer wider viewing angles and better colors and contrast.

But the Acer XF252Q is not about image quality, it’s all about performance and thanks to its 240Hz refresh rate paired with a ~0.3ms response time speed, you will get the most responsive gaming experience possible!

It’s based on a newer 240Hz TN panel with a ~0.5ms native GtG response time speed as opposed to 1ms of the slightly older models. Visit our Acer XF252Q review for more information.

Keep in mind that the jump from 144Hz to 240Hz isn’t as noticeable as going from 60Hz to 144Hz, but the difference is definitely there and it can be crucial for competitive gaming.

So, if you’re a hardcore FPS gamer, this is the monitor for you. However, if you’d rather have a smooth performance as well as a good image quality, there are better options included in this guide.

Features

amd freesync logo

The Acer XF252Q supports AMD FreeSync with a 48-240Hz VRR range and it will work with compatible NVIDIA cards without any issues.

Alternatively, you can use its backlight strobing technology called VRB (Visual Response Boost) which can operate at 120Hz, 144Hz, and 240Hz; most 240Hz models with MBR can only strobe at 144Hz maximum!

You cannot use MBR and VRR at the same time, and using backlight strobing reduces the monitor’s brightness. However, the amount of sacrificed brightness for motion clarity on the XF252Q is minimal.

What’s more, the monitor offers additional useful gaming features including Black Boost (improves visibility in darker games) and Aim Point (customizable crosshair overlays).

You also get pre-calibrated and customizable picture profiles and advanced picture adjustment tools such as 6-axis hue/saturation and gamma/grayscale.

Further, the Acer XF252Q supports HDR (High Dynamic Range). 

While it can accept the HDR10 signal, the image enhancement is done via software emulation as the display lacks proper color gamut, contrast, and brightness for a noteworthy HDR viewing experience.

So, you can basically ignore HDR on this monitor. It won’t improve the image quality of HDR content, but it also doesn’t increase the monitor’s price.

Design & Connectivity

acer xf252q monitor back

The Acer XF252Q features a fully ergonomic design with -5°/20° tilt, +/- 360° swivel, up to 120mm height adjustment, 90° pivot, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, a quad-USB 3.0 hub (four downstream ports plus one upstream port), a headphones jack, and two 2W built-in speakers.

Alternatives

For more alternatives, visit our dedicated buyer’s guide on best monitors for FPS games, though the Acer XF252Q offers the best value/price by far if all you want is the fastest 240Hz display.

The Pros

  • FreeSync and MBR up to 240Hz
  • Quick response time speed
  • Ergonomic design and rich connectivity options

The Cons

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

ASUS VG259QM - Affordable 280Hz IPS Gaming Monitor

asus vg259qm

About the Monitor

The ASUS VG259QM doesn’t offer quite as fast response time as the XF252Q, but it’s quick enough for casual to semi-serious gamers who want more vibrant colors and wider viewing angles.

Image Quality

Thanks to its IPS panel, the ASUS VG259QM delivers vivid and accurate colors that make the colors on the XF252Q look washed out in comparison.

Additionally, IPS monitors have 178° wide viewing angles both horizontally and vertically, so the image quality won’t degrade regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen.

Now, the ASUS VG259QM has a specified pixel response time speed of 1ms GtG, so it’s not as fast as the XF252Q, but it’s fast enough for most pixel transitions at 280Hz.

This means that in some scenarios, particularly where dark pixels need to change to lighter pixels, some ghosting and minor overshoot will be noticeable.

However, this only occurs in rare cases and it’s mostly negligible.

So, if you’re a really serious FPS gamer, the XF252Q is still the best option for you.

If you can let some motion blur slide, the ASUS VG259QM will provide you with almost as responsive gaming experience, plus a more immersive image quality with gorgeous colors and wide viewing angles.

Features

The ASUS VG259QM supports AMD FreeSync with a 48-280Hz VRR range and it’s certified by NVIDIA as G-SYNC compatible.

Other useful features include Shadow Boost (for better visibility in darker games), pre-calibrated picture modes (FPS, RTS, RGB, etc), customizable crosshairs, and a refresh rate tracker.

It also supports backlight strobing up to 280Hz via its ELMB (Extreme Low Motion Blur) technology!

You can even use ELMB and FreeSync/G-SYNC at the same time using the exclusive ELMB-Sync technology, however, unless you can maintain constant 200FPS+, there will be noticeable inverse ghosting.

For more information, visit our ASUS VG259QM review.

Design & Connectivity

asus vg259qm monitor back

The stand of the ASUS VG259QM monitors offers height adjustment up to 130mm, tilt by -5°/33°, +/- 90° swivel and pivot, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

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

Alternatives

If you want a 240Hz gaming monitor for a buttery-smooth fast-paced gaming experience, but don’t want to sacrifice image quality and viewing angles, the ASUS VG259QM is for you.

Since it has an IPS panel with accurate and consistent colors, it’s also the ideal display for those who want a single monitor for both work and gaming.

In case the VG259QM is not available, check out the MSI MAG251RX as an alternative 240Hz IPS model.

The Pros

  • FreeSync and MBR up to 280Hz
  • Quick response time speed
  • Fully ergonomic stand
  • Vibrant colors and wide viewing angles

The Cons

  • Disappointing ELMB-Sync performance

Best 1440p Gaming Monitors

2560×1440 WQHD resolution provides the perfect pixel-per-inch ratio on 27″ screens. You get plenty of screen space and crystal-clear details without any scaling necessary.

1440p on a 32″ screen offers the same pixel density as 1080p on 24″ displays, you just get a lot bigger screen. Keep in mind that 1440p is also more taxing on your GPU/CPU.

Visit our best 1440p 144Hz gaming monitors buyer’s guide for a more diverse selection.

LG 27GL83A – Smooth Motion And Striking Colors

Lg 27gl83a

About the Monitor

Not a fan of narrow viewing angles and inferior color quality of TN panels, but would like a rapid response time speed as well as a high screen resolution?

The LG 27GL83A is an affordable 27″ 1440p 144Hz 1ms model with an IPS panel!

Image Quality

The LG 27GL83A features an IPS panel with 99% sRGB gamut, so the colors are vibrant, precise, and consistent.

It’s also one of the fastest 1440p IPS displays with a rapid 1ms GtG response time speed meaning that you won’t get any prominent ghosting or motion blur in fast-paced games.

Overall, the LG 27GL83A offers the perfect balance between image quality and performance. You get vibrant colors, sharp details, fast response time, and a high refresh rate.

Features

Besides AMD FreeSync with certified G-SYNC compatibility and VRR range of 48-144Hz, the LG 27GL83A monitor offers plenty of additional features including Black Equalizer, custom crosshairs, and pre-calibrated picture presets.

It also supports HDR, though only via software-emulation. For more information, visit our LG 27GL83A review.

Design & Connectivity

Lg 27gl83a back

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and a headphones jack. Note that FreeSync is limited to 100Hz over HDMI. With FreeSync disabled, you can get 144Hz at 1440p over HDMI while DisplayPort supports FreeSync all the way up to 144Hz at 1440p.

The stand of the monitor offers decent ergonomics with up to 110mm height adjustment, -5°/15° tilt, 90° pivot, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility, but there’s no swivel option. 

Alternatives

If you want a 27″ 1440p 144Hz IPS gaming monitor, the LG 27GL83A is hands-down the best option under $400. In fact, we highly recommend it even over certain $600+ models which are based on the slower IPS panel by Innolux.

The LG 27GL83A is also available with a wide color gamut backlight (98% DCI-P3) and a USB hub for around $500 as the LG 27GL850.

Looking for a cheaper 1440p 144Hz IPS display? Check out the ViewSonic VX2758-2KP-MHD. It has a bit slower response time, but it’s more than fast enough for casual gaming.

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

AOC CQ32G1 – Affordable 32" Curved Gaming Monitor

Aoc Cq32g1

About the Monitor

Want a big 32″ gaming monitor? The AOC CQ32G1 offers an exceptional value for the money. Note that there are no 32″ 1440p 144Hz models with TN or IPS models, so you’ll have to settle for a VA panel if you want a 32″ display.

Image Quality

Now, because the 2560×1440 resolution is displayed on a larger screen in this case, you won’t get as much screen space and details as you would on a 27″ 1440p monitor.

However, you get a bigger screen which can make the gaming experience more immersive for some users. Keep in mind that a 32″ monitor is quite big and that you will have to sit a bit further from the screen.

Other panel-related specifications include a 3,000:1 contrast ratio, a 300-nit peak brightness, and ~125% sRGB color gamut.

While the colors on the CQ32G1 aren’t as accurate and consistent as that of IPS panels, they are rich and vivid – much better than that of any TN model.

The 3,000:1 static contrast ratio of the monitor results in deep blacks as well as more vivid relation between the darkest and the brightest shades.

Alas, when pixels need to change from one color to another, they can’t quite keep up with the monitor’s refresh rate.

This leads to visible trailing of fast-moving objects that’s particularly noticeable in dark scenes where dark pixels are involved.

Some people can tolerable this as in return you get a great image quality, but others who play fast-paced games competitively won’t be able to stand it.

So, if you’re a casual gamer, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Features

The AOC CQ32G1 monitor has a motion blur reduction technology that can be enabled by setting the Overdrive setting to ‘Boost’.

You can also adjust the frequency of the backlight strobing via the ‘MBR’ setting. This can greatly help clear up the motion blur, but this feature cannot be active at the same time as FreeSync.

FreeSync is supported over both HDMI and DP with a 48-144Hz VRR range.

Unfortunately, some units of the AOC CQ32G1 (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.

In addition, you will find pre-calibrated picture presets (FPS, RTS, Racing, and three customizable Gamer profiles) as well as Shadow Control and Game Control for gamma/saturation adjustments.

Design & Connectivity

Aoc Cq32g1 Back

The AOC CQ32G1 has a tilt-only design but it can be mounted to a third-party stand via the 100x100mm VESA pattern. 

At the back of the monitor, you will find HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0, and DisplayPort 1.2 inputs as well as an audio jack. The HDMI 1.4 port is limited to 75Hz at 1440p.

Alternatives

The AOC CQ32G1 is the best 32″ 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor you can get under $400. If you want a similar monitor but with a flat screen instead, check out the LG 32GK650F.

We’re also keeping our eyes on the new Gigabyte G32QC.

If you’re looking for a 27″ 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor with a VA panel, check out the AOC CQ27G1 which is essentially a 27″ variant of the CQ32G1. It has an ergonomic design and goes for only ~$250.

You can also get a 27″ 1440p 144Hz VA gaming monitor with a flat screen, the MSI MAG272QR.

Finally, in case you want a good HDR gaming monitor, consider investing a bit extra over $400 for the Samsung CHG70 with DisplayHDR 600 which implies localized dimming, wide color gamut, and a peak brightness of 600-nits for HDR content.

The Pros

  • Big 32″ curved screen
  • AMD FreeSync & MBR
  • High contrast ratio and wide color gamut

The Cons

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

Best UltraWide Gaming Monitors

Ultrawide displays have an aspect ratio of 21:9 as opposed to the 16:9 ratio of standard widescreen monitors. This provides you with extra horizontal space that (in games that support 21:9 natively) widens your field of view for a more immersive gaming experience.

Viotek GN34CB - Best UltraWide Gaming Monitor Under $400

viotek gn34cb monitor

About the Monitor

The Viotek GN34CB/W is available in two colors: black (Viotek GN34CB) and white (Viotek GN34CW). It’s the best value for money ultrawide monitor under $400 as it offers both a high resolution and a fast refresh rate.

Both the Viotek GN34CB and the Viotek GN34CW are upgraded models of the original Viotek GN34C.

Image Quality

3440×1440 resolution hits the pixel density sweet spot on the 34″ screen of the Viotek GN34CB. With roughly 110 pixels per inch, you get plenty of screen space as well as sharp and clear details, without any scaling necessary (roughly the same PPI as 1440p on 27″ monitors).

Further, the superior 3,000:1 contrast ratio ensures vivid black tones for an immersive viewing experience, especially in dark or dim-lit environments.

The color reproduction is not as precise as that of the IPS models, but the colors are rich and lifelike thanks to the 115% sRGB color gamut.

Just like with all VA gaming monitors, pixel response time isn’t perfect. So, you’ll get some noticeable ghosting of fast-moving objects, mainly in darker scenes, but it’s tolerable considering the image quality you get. 

Features

Moving on, the monitor supports AMD FreeSync with a 48-100Hz VRR range and it works with compatible NVIDIA cards, but brightness flickering may affect some units.

Using CRU, you may be able to further extend the range to 40-100Hz depending on your particular unit.

Other features include Picture in Picture/Picture by Picture, customizable crosshair overlays, pre-calibrated picture presets (FPS, RTS, Game, Movie, Text, and Standard), and advanced picture adjustments including three gamma presets and 6-axis hue/saturation.

Design & Connectivity

viotek gn34cb back

The Viotek GN34CB has a tilt-only stand with ultra-thin bezels. You can also mount the screen on a third-party stand via the 100x100mm VESA pattern. Connectivity options include HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, DVI, and a headphones jack.

Alternatives

You may want to consider investing extra ~$50 for the AOC CU34G2X which has a higher 144Hz refresh rate, a more aggressive 1500R curvature, and a better design.

If the Viotek GN34CB/W and the CU34G2X are not available (or overpriced in your country), check out the Samsung S34J55W as an alternative, but it only goes up to 75Hz without overclocking.

LG’s 34UC79G and 34GL750 gaming monitors are also sometimes available under $400.

They feature IPS panels with 144Hz for more vibrant colors and smoother motion clarity, but they also have a lower 2560×1440 screen resolution, so the picture won’t be as sharp and clear.

For more ultrawide gaming monitors, visit our best ultrawide monitors buyer’s guide.

The Pros

  • High resolution and contrast ratio
  • AMD FreeSync up to 100Hz

The Cons

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

Best 4K Gaming Monitors

Here, you will find the most affordable 4K monitors. For a more thorough selection, visit our best 4K monitors and best 4K gaming monitors for Xbox One X and PS4 Pro buyer’s guides.

Keep in mind that if you’re interested in a 4K monitor for PC gaming, you will need a high-end GPU in order to run newer games at steady ~60FPS at 4K UHD with decent picture settings.

ASUS VG289Q – Best 4K Monitor For Mixed Use

asus vg289q monitor

About the Monitor

If you want a 4K gaming monitor with an IPS panel, the ASUS VG289Q is the best option in this price range.

Image Quality

This 28″ monitor provides striking detail clarity and sharpness thanks to its rich pixel density of 157 PPI.

Further, it supports 10-bit color depth (8-bit + 2-bit FRC) and a wide 90% DCI-P3 color gamut for vibrant and consistent colors. For more accurate color output, you can simply use the provided sRGB emulation mode.

Its stunning colors in addition to 4K UHD resolution make this monitor great for content creation and consumption including color-critical work, watching movies, gaming, and other multimedia purposes.

Features

It supports AMD FreeSync over both HDMI and DisplayPort with a 40-60Hz VRR range, so it’s great for both PC and console gaming. VRR works with compatible NVIDIA cards without issues, but your mileage may vary here as the monitor is not certified by NVIDIA as ‘G-SYNC Compatible’.

Other features include Shadow Boost (alters the gamma curvature for better visibility of objects in shadows), customizable crosshairs, pre-calibrated picture presets, and on-screen timers.

HDR is supported as well, but with a peak brightness of 350-nits, it doesn’t quality for VESA’s entry-level HDR support. Regardless, thanks to its wide color gamut, colors will look a bit better on some HDR content which is actually more than what certain VESA HDR400-certified displays offer!

Design & Connectivity

asus vg289q monitor back

You can adjust the height of the screen by up to 150mm, pivot the screen by 90°, tilt by -5°/20°, swivel by -/+ 62°,  and VESA mount it (100x100mm).

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, a single DisplayPort 1.2 input, two 2W integrated speakers, and a headphones jack. The monitor also supports HDCP 2.2, so you’ll be able to watch copy-protected content in native 4K UHD resolution on streaming services such as Netflix.

The Pros

  • Vibrant and rich colors
  • Affordable 4K IPS monitor
  • AMD FreeSync up to 60Hz
  • Fully ergonomic stand

The Cons

  • Entry-level HDR only

LG 32UK550 – 32" 4K Monitor With Superior Contrast

Lg 32uk550

About the Monitor

Nowadays, you can even get a 32″ 4K monitor under 400 USD, but with a VA panel, not IPS – which has both its advantages and disadvantages.

Image Quality

The LG 32UK550 features a VA panel with a 3,000:1 static contrast ratio and wide 95% DCI-P3 color gamut. So, its colors may not be accurate and consistent as that of the IPS models, but you still get an immersive picture quality with rich colors and vivid black shades.

The bad thing is that you get a slower response time speed which means there’ll be more trailing and motion blur in fast-paced video games. However, unless you’re playing competitive first-person shooters, the amount of ghosting is tolerable.

Features

As far as the features are concerned, you will find all the standard LG features such as Black Stabilizer, Screen Split, On-Screen Control, etc.

The monitor also supports HDR and even though it has no local dimming, its wide color gamut, high contrast ratio, and decent 400-nit peak brightness provide a notable boost in image quality for HDR content making it a great gaming monitor for PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.

AMD FreeSync is supported as well over both HDMI and DP with a 40-60Hz dynamic range, but VRR with NVIDIA cards will work only in the Basic mode (48-60Hz range).

Design & Connectivity

lg 32uk550 b monitor back

The stand of the LG 32UK550 monitor can be elevated up to 120mm, tilted, and VESA mounted. Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, a headphones jack, and dual 5W integrated speakers.

Alternatives

  • LG 32UL500 – The same monitor, but without the height-adjustable stand. It’s also cheaper.
  • Samsung U32J590 – A more affordable 32″ 4K monitor without the wide color gamut and HDR

The Pros

  • Affordable 32″ 4K monitor
  • High contrast ratio and wide color gamut
  • AMD FreeSync over HDMI
  • Height-adjustable stand

The Cons

  • Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games

Conclusion

Did you find the best gaming monitor under 400 USD for you? Feel free to leave any questions in the comment section below if you need further assistance.

On balance, the Viotek GN34CB offers the best value/money under $400. If you don’t want an ultrawide or VA-panel display, the LG 27GL83A and the AOC CQ32G1 are excellent picks as well.

If you’re a competitive gamer, the Acer XF252Q offers the best performance whereas the ASUS VG259QM provides a good balance between fast-paced gaming performance and image quality.

Finally, if you have a 4K capable console or PC, you can simply pick one of the included 4K monitors according to your panel type and screen size preference.

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