Best Gaming Monitor Under 400 USD For 2020 – Buyer’s Guide And Monitor Reviews

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 8 Gaming Monitors Under $400 In 2020

TypeMonitorSizeResolutionPanelRefresh RateVRR 
Best 240Hz Gaming Monitor25”1920×1080TN240HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
Best 1440p 144Hz Gaming Monitors27”2560×1440TN165HzELMB-Sync
27”2560×1440IPS144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
27”2560×1440VA144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
32”2560×1440VA144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
Best UltraWide Gaming Monitor34”3440×1440VA100HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
Best 4K Gaming Monitors27”3840×2160IPS60HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)
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 Monitor

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 Value 240Hz Gaming Monitor

Best 240hz Monitor Under 400 Usd

About the Monitor

The Acer XF252Q is the best 240Hz gaming monitor for the money. 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 is 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

Best 4k Monitor For Gaming

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), Aim Point (customizable crosshair overlays), pre-calibrated and customizable picture profiles, and advanced picture adjustments such as 6-axis hue/saturation and gamma/grayscale.

The Acer XF252Q also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range). It can accept the HDR10 signal, but 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.

Design & Connectivity

Best Monitor For Csgo Under 400

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.

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

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.

ASUS VG27BQ – Crisp Graphics With Fluid Motion

Best 1440p 144hz 1ms Gaming Monitor

About the Monitor

If you want a non-144Hz 1440p model, you can find the best options in our best 1440p monitor buyer’s guide, or in our best gaming monitors under $300 guide.

The ASUS VG27BQ is the best 27″ 1440p 144Hz 1ms gaming monitor under $400.

Image Quality

Out of all 1440p 144Hz TN panel models, the ASUS VG27BQ offers the best value for the price. First of all, it’s overclockable up to 165Hz and it has a GtG response time speed of 0.4ms!

Further, it’s one of the first gaming monitors to be able to simultaneously utilize VRR and MBR thanks to ASUS’ ELMB-Sync technology with a 48-165Hz dynamic refresh rate range. Note that this technology works with both AMD and compatible NVIDIA cards.

Since it’s a TN panel display, you still get the narrow 160°/170° viewing angles and mediocre color reproduction, but 1440p makes everything look crisp and sharp while the sub-1ms response time speed eliminates all trailing and motion blur in first-person shooters and racing games.

Features

Besides ELMB-Sync, you’ll find pre-calibrated picture presets (FPS, RTS, RPG, MOBA, sRGB, etc), customizable crosshairs and timers, an FPS counter, and Shadow Boost for better visibility of objects in dark parts in video games.

The monitor also supports HDR via software emulation as it only covers 99% of the sRGB color space and has a contrast ratio of 1,000:1 and a peak brightness of 350-nits.

Design & Connectivity

1440p 144hz 1ms

Moving on, the design is robust and versatile with full ergonomic support (tilt, pivot, swivel, height adjustment, and VESA mount compatibility) while connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, and two 2W built-in speakers.

Alternatives

If you just want the best performance in competitive games, the Acer XF252Q 240Hz monitor is the way to go. The ASUS VG27BQ is more of an in-between option between the 240Hz models and the following 1440p 144Hz displays with IPS/VA panels which have better image quality but slower response time.

In case you want a cheaper 1440p 144Hz TN gaming monitor check out the AOC AG271QX and the Dell S2719DGF.

The Pros

  • Overclockable to 165Hz
  • Quick response time speed
  • Innovative ELMB-Sync feature
  • Fully ergonomic design and plenty of connectivity options

The Cons

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

Nixeus EDG27S V2 – Smooth Motion And Striking Colors

Best 27 Inch Monitor Under 500 2020

About the Monitor

Not a fan of narrow viewing angles and inferior color quality of TN panels? The Nixeus EDG27S v2 is an affordable 27″ 1440p 144Hz model with an IPS panel!

Image Quality

The Nixeus EDG27S v2 features an IPS panel, so the colors are a lot more vibrant, precise, and consistent.

It’s also the only FreeSync monitor that supports adaptive overdrive which will minimize the amount of ghosting and inverse ghosting with AMD FreeSync enabled.

When you set its response time overdrive setting to ‘Off’, the monitor will automatically change the best response time preset according to the current frame rate.

This way, there’s no pixel overshoot at lower frame rates and no motion blur at high frame rates. It’s not as effective as NVIDIA’s G-SYNC variable overdrive, but it’s a very useful feature nonetheless.

While the response time of IPS panels isn’t as fast as that of TN displays, it’s still fast enough to eliminate any prominent ghosting; and unlike VA panels, you won’t get any black smearing or noticeable motion blur of fast-moving objects.

Overall, the Nixeus EDG27S v2 offers the perfect balance between image quality and performance. You get vibrant colors, sharp details, a fast response time, and a high refresh rate.

Features

Besides AMD FreeSync with adaptive overdrive and a wide dynamic range (30-144Hz), the Nixeus doesn’t offer any gaming features such as pre-calibrated picture presets for different gaming genres, customizable crosshairs, and the like.

More importantly though, it has the best FreeSync implementation and it’s G-SYNC compatible which we prefer over the gimmicky gaming features anyway.

Design & Connectivity

Best Gaming Monitors In 2019

Connectivity options include two DisplayPort 1.2 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a headphones jack, and two integrated speakers while the stand is tilt-only but VESA mount compatible. FreeSync works over both HDMI and DP with a 30-144Hz VRR range.

Alternatives

If you want a 27″ 1440p 144Hz IPS gaming monitor, we highly recommend you save up additional $100 and get the LG 27GL850 which has a wider color gamut, a faster response time speed, and more cool features.

Another 1440p 144Hz IPS display worth mentioning is the Acer Nitro VG271UP which has a bit slower response time speed than the Nixeus EDG27S v2, but it offers more features including Motion Blur Reduction and entry-level DisplayHDR 400 support.

However, note that the quality control of the VG271UP is not good. Many units have flickering issues and/or severe IPS glow. So, if you decide to go this route, make sure the place you’re ordering from has a good return policy.

The Pros

  • Vibrant and accurate colors
  • AMD FreeSync with variable overdrive and wide dynamic range

The Cons

  • Tilt-only design

MSI MAG271CQR - Curved Screen With High Contrast Ratio

Best Curved Gaming Monitor Under 400 Usd

About the Monitor

The MSI Optix MAG271CQR features a VA panel. So, it doesn’t have as fast response time as TN and IPS panel, but it has the best contrast ratio performance.

Image Quality

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, however, 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.

You can use the Anti Motion Blur backlight strobing technology of the monitor to remove some of the ghosting in fast-paced games though it’s not as effective as the native pixel response time of IPS and TN panels. Thanks to the monitor’s peak brightness of 400-nits, the image will be more than bright enough even when using backlight strobing. 

Moving on, while the colors on the MAG271CQR aren’t as accurate and consistent as that of IPS panels, they are rich and punchy, much better than that of any TN model. The monitor boasts a wide color gamut with 90% DCI-P3 color space coverage (115% sRGB).

Features

The MSI MAG271CQR curved gaming monitor supports AMD FreeSync with a 48-144Hz range and there are no issues when it’s used with compatible NVIDIA GPUs.

Other features include pre-calibrated picture presets (FPS, RTS, RPG, and Racing), Black Tuner, Screen Assistance (custom crosshairs), and Picture in Picture/Picture by Picture.

You’ll also find RGB LEDs at the back of the monitor which use MSI’s Mystic Light technology with plenty of customization available including synchronization with other Mystic Light compatible peripherals.

Design & Connectivity

Best 1440p 144hz Monitor Under 400

When it comes to design, the MSI MAG271CQR is robust and sleek. You can elevate its screen by up to 130mm, VESA mount it, and tilt it by -5°/20°, but you cannot rotate or swivel it.

Connectivity options include a single DisplayPort 1.2 input, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a dual-USB 2.0 hub, and a headphones jack.

Alternatives

Another advantage of VA panel displays is the price. You can get an even cheaper 27″ 1440p 144Hz VA gaming monitor such as the AOC AG273QCX which has FreeSync 2 and HDR support.

However, FreeSync doesn’t work well on certain AG273QCX units when using NVIDIA cards. But, if you have an AMD GPU, you should definitely check out the AOC AG273QCX.

If you have a FreeSync-compatible NVIDIA card and want something similar but cheaper, check out the AOC CQ27G1. It’s cheaper than the MAG271CQR, but it has a bit lower peak brightness.

The Pros

  • AMD FreeSync & MBR
  • High contrast ratio and wide color gamut
  • Rich connectivity options

The Cons

  • Design lacks swivel/pivot options
  • Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games, mostly in darker scenes

AOC CQ32G1 – Best 32" Curved Gaming Monitor

Best Budget Monitor 2020

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.

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 dynamic refresh rate range with a stable G-SYNC performance.

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

Best Monitor 2019

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.

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

Best Ultrawide Monitor Under 400 Usd

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 without any issues with compatible NVIDIA cards. 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

Best Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Under 400 Usd

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 $40 for the MSI Optix MAG341CQ which is based on the same panel, but has better build quality although it’s not VESA mount compatible.

If the Viotek GN34CB/W and the MAG341CQ 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.

Another ultrawide monitor that may interest you in this price range is the Viotek GN35DA.

This slightly bigger 35″ monitor has a 144Hz refresh rate that’s overclockable to 200Hz, but it has a lower 2560×1080 resolution. Such low resolution for a 35″ monitor results in a more pixelated picture (only 79PPI) and its response time speed is too slow for its rather ambitious 200Hz refresh rate. So, we suggest going with the Viotek GN34CB.

For more ultrawide gaming monitors, visit our best gaming monitor under $300 guide or 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.

LG 27UL550 – Best 4K Monitor For Mixed Use

Best 4k Monitor Under 400 Usd

About the Monitor

If you want a 4K gaming monitor with an IPS panel, the LG 27UL550 is the best option in this price range.

Image Quality

This 27″ monitor provides striking detail clarity and sharpness thanks to its rich pixel density of 163 PPI. Further, it supports 10-bit color depth (8-bit + 2-bit FRC) and it is factory-calibrated, so you get 1.07 billion colors covering 98% of the sRGB color space!

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, so it’s great for both PC and console gaming.

FreeSync works with compatible NVIDIA cards as well, but only within the Basic mode which has a very narrow 48-60Hz range. For AMD cards and Xbox One, the VRR range is 40-60Hz.

Other features include On-Screen Control, Screen Split, Black Stabilizer, and pre-calibrated picture presets.

The LG 27UL550 also supports HDR, but it’s software-emulated only meaning that you won’t get a big improvement in picture quality. It’s just a ‘pseudo’ HDR marketing gimmick which doesn’t even affect the monitor’s price.

Design & Connectivity

27 Inch 4k Ips Monitor

You can adjust the height of the screen by up to 110mm, pivot the screen by 90°, tilt by -5°/15°, and VESA mount it (100x100mm), but you cannot swivel the stand to the left/right.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, a single DisplayPort 1.2 input, 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.

Alternatives

Alternatively, you may want to check out the LG 27UL500 which is the same monitor but without the ergonomic stand. If you want to save even more money, check out the Philips 276E8VJSB though it has no FreeSync nor VESA mount compatibility.

The Pros

  • Vibrant and rich colors
  • Affordable 4K IPS monitor

The Cons

  • HDR is software-emulated only

LG 32UD59 – 32" 4K Monitor With Superior Contrast

Best Gaming Monitor Under 400 Usd

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 32UD59 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.

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

Best Gaming Monitor For Ps4

The stand of the LG 32UD59 monitor can be elevated up to 120mm, tilted, and VESA mounted. Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, and a headphones jack.

Alternatives

Depending on the region, availability, and pricing, you may want to check the following two 32″ 4K models as well.

  • LG 32UD60 – Essentially the same monitor but with built-in speakers (2x5W)
  • Samsung U32J590 – A more affordable 32″ 4K monitor without the wide color gamut

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 display, the Nixeus EDG27S v2, the MSI MAG271CQR, 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 VG27BQ 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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