The Best Gaming Monitors Under 500 USD (2021 Reviews)

Looking for the best gaming monitor under 500 USD you can get? Check out the best 240Hz, 144Hz, G-SYNC, ultrawide, and 4K models available now.

For under $500, you can get one of the best 240Hz displays for competitive eSports gaming, excellent ultrawide monitors, a great 4K display, or impeccable 1440p 144Hz gaming monitors for the most balanced performance.

Deciding which one is the best for you depends on what type of games you mostly play as well as on your PC configuration.

In this guide, we’ll help you decide which is the best gaming monitor under 500 USD for you!

All of the gaming monitors in this guide can be purchased for between $400 and $500. Depending on your budget, you may want to visit our other gaming monitor buyer’s guides.

TypeMonitorSizeResolutionPanelRefresh RateVRR 
Best 240Hz Monitor27”1920x1080IPS240HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Compatible)
Best 1440p 144Hz Monitor27”2560x1440IPS180HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Compatible)
32”2560x1440IPS170HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
Best UltraWide Gaming Monitors34”3440x1440VA144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)
34”2560x1080IPS144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Compatible)
34”3440x1440IPS144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
Best 4K Monitor32”3840x2160IPS60HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
best value

Gigabyte G34WQC

Gigabyte G34WQC Monitor Front
  • 34″ 3440×1440 144Hz
  • FreeSync and MBR
  • High contrast ratio
premium pick

LG 27GP850

LG 27GP850 Monitor
  • 27″ 1440p 180Hz (OC) 1ms
  • AMD FreeSync
  • Vibrant colors
best overall

Gigabyte M32Q

Gigabyte M32Q
  • 32″ 1440p 170Hz (OC) 1ms
  • AMD FreeSync
  • Vibrant colors

Now, in order to ensure you’re getting the perfect monitor for your needs and preference, stick to our guidelines and tips in the monitor reviews below.

Additionally, you can visit our comprehensive gaming monitor buyer’s guide, where you can learn more about what’s the best panel typerefresh ratescreen size and resolution for you, as well as what other features you should look out for.

Ideally, you should pick a FreeSync monitor if you have a FreeSync compatible AMD graphics card or a G-SYNC monitor if you have a G-SYNC compatible NVIDIA card in order to get variable refresh rate (VRR) which removes screen tearing and stuttering.

In case you have a GTX 10-series or newer NVIDIA GPU, you can also get VRR on FreeSync monitors. However, it won’t work equally well on all monitors.

Displays marked as ‘Stable’ offer stable FreeSync performance with NVIDIA GPUs, whereas those marked as ‘Unstable’ will have certain issues or not work at all.

‘G-SYNC Compatible’ FreeSync monitors should work without any issues as they are certified by NVIDIA.

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

Best 240Hz Gaming Monitor

You can find great 240Hz gaming monitors for around $300 – $350, but if you want some premium features, such as impeccable MBR implementation, you’ll need to spend a bit over $400 for it!

The Pros:

  • AMD FreeSync and MBR up to 240Hz
  • Low input lag and quick response time
  • Fully ergonomic design
  • Rich connectivity options
  • Vibrant and accurate colors

The Cons:

  • Low pixel density

About the Monitor

The ViewSonic Elite XG270 is one of our top recommended 240Hz gaming monitor!

It offers everything a high-end competitive gamer may want including a rapid response time speed, low input lag, AMD FreeSync with G-SYNC compatibility and Motion Blur Reduction.

Image Quality

Not so long ago, if you wanted a 240Hz gaming monitor, you had to go with a TN panel display as only that panel technology was capable of delivering a 1ms GtG response time speed.

This meant that you had to cope with the drawbacks of TN monitors such as narrow 160°/170° viewing angles and inferior image quality due to poor color reproduction.

Nowadays, IPS monitors are basically just as fast as TNs!

Now, while there are 240Hz gaming models with TN panels that are technically faster with specified sub-1ms response time, the ViewSonic XG270 is more than fast enough for 240Hz.

The pixel transitions can keep up with the 240Hz refresh rate, thus providing you with minimal motion blur and visible trailing behind fast-moving objects. At the same time, the IPS panel offers a wide 178° viewing angles and absolutely gorgeous and vivid colors!

Next, other panel related specs include a decent 400-nit peak brightness, a 1,000:1 contrast ratio and 8-bit color depth support with ~99% sRGB color gamut.

Since the monitor has a 27″ sized screen and 1080p resolution, you get a rather mediocre pixel density of 82 PPI (pixels per inch). So, the image won’t be as crisp and sharp as that of a 24″ 1080p monitor.

The ViewSonic XG270 also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range), but it’s software-emulated only.

Basically, you can completely ignore the HDR support here as it won’t improve the image quality of HDR content, nor does it affect the monitor’s price.

Features

amd freesync logo

Moving on, AMD’s FreeSync technology allows you to synchronize the monitor’s refresh rate to your GPU’s frame rate, which will eliminate screen tearing and stuttering up to 240Hz/FPS (Frames Per Second).

The variable refresh rate (VRR) range on the ViewSonic XG270 is 48-240Hz, and it’s certified as G-SYNC compatible by NVIDIA.

Alternatively, you can use the PureXP MBR (Motion Blur Reduction) technology which, when enabled, strobes the backlight for CRT-like motion clarity.

Note that backlight strobing cannot be active at the same time as FreeSync and that it reduces the screen’s maximum brightness while active.

It also introduces screen flickering. Although the flickering isn’t noticeable, those sensitive to it may experience headaches/eye strain. So, enable this feature only when playing fast-paced games.

For most people, though, just using the monitor at 240Hz with FreeSync/G-SYNC or uncapped frame rates will be more than quick and clear enough.

Other useful gaming features include Black Stabilization for better visibility in darker games, customizable crosshairs, pre-calibrated picture presets, Hertz Limiter and five overdrive modes.

Design & Connectivity

Viewsonic Xg270 Back

The ViewSonic XG270 1080p 240Hz monitor has a robust and versatile design with full ergonomic support including up to 120mm height adjustment, -5°/20° tilt, +/- 90° swivel, 90° pivot and VESA mount compatibility.

It also comes with a mouse bungee, sight shields, headphone hook and RGB lighting!

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a headphone jack, two basic built-in speakers and a USB 3.0 hub (1 upstream + 3 downstream ports).

Alternatives

  • ASUS VG259QM – A 24.5″ 1080p 280Hz IPS gaming monitor with a higher pixel density than the XG270. However, its backlight strobing technology is not nearly as good.
  • BenQ XL2546K – A 24.5″ 1080p 240Hz TN gaming monitor with inferior image quality and viewing angles, but a higher pixel density and good backlight strobing implementation.

Want the fastest gaming monitor there is?

Consider invest an extra ~$200 for the Dell AW2521H with a 360Hz refresh rate!

Best 1440p 144Hz Gaming Monitors

The combination of 1440p resolution and 144Hz+ refresh rate is the favorite among most gamers. Here, you’ll find the best such models available under $500.

The Pros:

  • Vibrant colors and crisp details
  • Quick response time
  • AMD FreeSync
  • Ergonomic design and rich connectivity options

The Cons:

  • Design lacks swivel option

About the Monitor

For most people, 240Hz is not necessary.

The difference between 240Hz and 144Hz is not as noticeable as it is between 60Hz and 144Hz meaning that you can enjoy smooth and responsive performance as well as vivid details and better colors with a 1440p 144Hz IPS display.

The LG 27GP850 is hands-down the best 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor you can get for under $500.

Image Quality

First of all, the LG 27GP850 monitor has the perfect screen size for the 2560×1440 screen resolution as it hits the pixel density sweet spot of 108 pixels per inch (PPI) meaning that you get plenty of screen space as well as sharp and clear details without any scaling necessary.

As if that’s not enough, the display boasts LG’s Nano IPS panel technology with an exceptional color gamut of 98% DCI-P3 and 10-bit color depth support. The colors are accurate, consistent and vibrant!

Just like the XG270, the LG 27GP850 supports HDR, but even though it has amazing colors, it lacks local dimming for a higher contrast ratio and deeper blacks.

So, some HDR content may look a bit better, but you’ll mostly prefer HDR disabled.

What makes the LG 27GP850 so good is its excellent pixel response time speed of 1ms GtG for zero ghosting which in combination with its gorgeous colors, high resolution, and wide viewing angles delivers both immersive and responsive gaming experience.

Features

Moving on, AMD FreeSync is supported with a 48-165Hz VRR range over DisplayPort and HDMI.

It is certified by NVIDIA as G-SYNC compatible meaning that VRR will work without any issues with compatible NVIDIA cards.

You can also overclock the monitor up to 180Hz (over DisplayPort)!

Other useful features include Game Mode (FPS, RTS, Reader, sRGB presets + 2 customizable Gamer profiles), MBR, Black Stabilizer, Cross Hair and advanced picture adjustments.

For the best performance, use the ‘Fast’ overdrive preset. For more information about the monitor, visit our LG 27GP850 review.

Design & Connectivity

LG 27GP850 Monitor Design

The design has a fairly good ergonomic support with VESA mount compatibility, tilt, height and pivot adjustments but no swivel to the left/right option.

At the back of the monitor, you will find two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.4, a headphone jack, and a dual-USB 3.0 hub.

Alternatives

We highly recommend the LG 27GP850 as the best 27″ 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor.

The Pros:

  • Accurate and vibrant colors
  • Quick response time speed
  • Plenty of gaming features, such as FreeSync and Aim Stabilizer Sync
  • Ergonomic stand and extensive connectivity options

The Cons:

  • Not as high contrast ratio as that of VA panels

About the Monitor

If you want a 1440p high refresh rate IPS gaming monitor with a 32″ sized screen, the Gigabyte M32Q is the only such models available under $500; luckily, it’s awesome!

Image Quality

1440p resolution won’t look quite as crisp on the 31.5″ viewable screen of the M32Q (93 PPI) as it does on 27″ monitors (108 PPI).

In fact, you get the same amount of screen space and detail clarity as you would with a 24″ 1080p monitor, just a much bigger screen.

A lot of people, especially FPS gamers, also find 32″ monitors to be too big as they have to move their head/eyes more, putting them at a competitive disadvantage.

However, the image still looks quite crisp and since you’ll be sitting a bit further away from a 32″ screen (in comparison to 24″), individual pixels won’t be noticeable and you’ll get a more immersive gaming experience.

The monitor has a wide 94% DCI-P3 gamut (~120% sRGB) with a provided sRGB emulation mode; the contrast ratio is 1,000:1 as expected from IPS technology, while the peak brightness is very good at ~400-nits for HDR content and ~350-nits for SDR.

Finally, it boasts a fast 1ms GtG pixel response time speed that eliminates visible trailing behind fast-moving objects.

Features

The Gigabyte M32Q supports AMD FreeSync and offers stable G-SYNC performance despite not having official certification by NVIDIA.

Gigabyte’s exclusive Aim Stabilizer Sync technology is supported as well, which allows VRR and MBR to be used at the same time in order to minimize the double-image effect.

Other features include custom crosshair overlays, on-screen timers, a refresh rate tracker, Black Equalizer, Dashboard (monitors CPU/GPU temperature, speed, etc.) and a built-in KVM switch.

Design & Connectivity

Gigabyte M32Q Design

The stand of the monitor is basic, but sturdy and versatile with up to 130mm height adjustment, +/- 30° swivel, -5°/20° tilt, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options are abundant and include DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 2.0 ports, USB-C (with DP Alt Mode), a headphone jack, dual 3W integrated speakers, and a dual-USB 3.0 hub.

Best UltraWide Gaming Monitors

Ultrawide monitors allow you to experience compatible games on another level by increasing your field of view for extra immersion. Here are the best models available under $500.

The Pros:

  • High contrast ratio and wide color gamut
  • Plenty of features including MBR and FreeSync up to 144Hz
  • Height-adjustable stand
  • Immersive gaming experience

The Cons:

  • Minor ghosting in fast-paced games, particularly in darker scenes

About the Monitor

If you’re after something a bit different, the Gigabyte G34WQC is one of the best ultrawide monitors under 500 USD! In fact, it’s often available for ~$400.

Image Quality

Thanks to its ultrawide format (21:9 aspect ratio), the Gigabyte G34WQC provides a more immersive viewing and gaming experience as well as an extra horizontal workspace.

Further, it features a VA panel with a high static contrast ratio of 3,000:1, which makes for deep and vivid black shades.

In comparison to IPS panels, the colors aren’t as accurate and consistent, but they are vibrant and rich nonetheless with true 8-bit color depth and 120% sRGB gamut.

Here’s the kicker: 3440×1440 (UWQHD) resolution also provides a rich pixel density of 110 PPI on this 34″ screen, thereby ensuring crisp details and plenty of screen real estate.

The viewing angles are somewhere in between those of IPS and TN. They aren’t quite as wide as that of IPS, but they are a lot better than the viewing angles on TN panels.

Generally, the main downside of VA panels is the response time speed; pixels take a bit longer to change from one color to another, which causes noticeable ghosting, but it isn’t very important in most cases.

However, in fast-paced games where dark pixels are predominant in the picture, there is visible smearing of fast-moving objects which may be tolerable to some, but game-breaking to others.

Overall, if you mostly play fast-paced games competitively, you should avoid VA panels; otherwise, it’s not a big deal as you get an exceptional image quality for the price as a trade-off.

For casual and single-player FPS games, the amount of ghosting will not be an issue either. You can use the 1ms MBR technology (called Aim Stabilizer on this monitor) to further eliminate the perceived motion blur.

Features

Moving on, the Gigabyte G34WQC supports AMD FreeSync up to 144Hz, however, when using FreeSync, there might be some brightness flickering issues depending on your particular unit of the monitor.

Some G34WQC units will work just fine while some may flicker only in certain games and in certain scenarios (for instance, only on loading screens or in menus), but it’s something to keep in mind.

Other features include pre-calibrated picture modes (FPS, RTS, Racing, etc.), custom crosshairs, Black Equalizer (improves visibility in darker games), Color Vibrance (saturation adjustments) and Picture in Picture/Picture by Picture.

HDR is supported as well with VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification, but there’s no local dimming. 

Design & Connectivity

Gigabyte G34WQC Design

Moving on, the Gigabyte G34WQC offers a sturdy design with up to 100mm height adjustment, -5°/20° tilt, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include two DisplayPort 1.4 inputs, two HDMI 2.0 ports, two 2W built-in speakers and a headphone jack.

Keep in mind that HDMI 2.0 is limited to 100Hz at 3440×1440.

The screen has an aggressive curvature of 1500R, which provides a more immersive viewing experience by extending your field of view.

Alternatives

  • AOC CU34G2X – Based on the same panel, it offers a USB hub and its stand can swivel to the left/right, but it’s $50 more expensive.

The Pros:

  • Vibrant and consistent colors
  • Plenty of features including MBR and FreeSync up to 144Hz
  • Height-adjustable stand
  • Quick response time speed

The Cons:

  • Low pixel density
  • Not as high contrast as that of VA panels

About the Monitor

Do you want an ultrawide monitor with smoother fast-paced gaming performance?

The LG 34GL750 is the best 2560×1080 model under $500.

Image Quality

Unlike the Gigabyte G34WQC, this ultrawide monitor has a lower 2560×1080 screen resolution, which results in a considerably lower pixel density on 34″ sized monitors.

So, the picture quality won’t be as sharp and clear, but rather a bit pixelated.

To reduce this pixelated appearance, you can sit a bit further from the screen, which will make the individual pixels less distinguishable. Further, using anti-aliasing in video games will help.

Now, while the lower pixel density is generally tolerable for gaming, watching videos, and other everyday use, we don’t recommend it for those who intended to use the monitor for work as you’ll get a lot less screen space in comparison to a 34″ 3440×1440 monitor.

The IPS panel of the LG 34GL750 also doesn’t have as high contrast ratio as the G34WQC, so blacks won’t be as deep. However, you will get more vibrant colors, wider viewing angles, and, most importantly, a much faster response time speed!

Thanks to its quick pixel response time, you won’t get any prominent ghosting or motion blur at 144Hz! 

Features

Additionally, the LG 34GL750 is certified as G-SYNC compatible by NVIDIA, so you don’t have to worry about any issues regarding variable refresh rate.

AMD FreeSync is supported with a 50-144Hz VRR range over DisplayPort and 60-144Hz range over HDMI.

The monitor also supports backlight strobing via its 1ms Motion Blur Reduction technology for even better motion clarity.

Other features include On-Screen Control, Screen Split, Black Stabilizer, custom crosshairs, picture presets and software-emulated HDR support.

Design & Connectivity

lg 34gl750 monitor back

The stand of the monitor offers height adjustment up to 120mm and tilt by -5°/20°. You cannot pivot or swivel the screen, but it is VESA mount compatible.

Although the screen of the monitor is curved, it has a rather subtle 3800R curvature while the G34WQC has a notably steeper 1500R curve.

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

The Pros:

  • Accurate and rich colors
  • Quick response time speed
  • Plenty of gaming features, including FreeSync and MBR
  • Ergonomic stand and rich connectivity options

The Cons:

  • Inferior contrast ratio to that of VA panels
  • Screen is flat, not curved which some users might have preferred
  • Low peak brightness

About the Monitor

The Acer XV340CKP basically combines the 3440×1440 resolution of the Gigabyte G34WQC with the fast response time and smooth VRR performance of the LG 34GL750, but it has its flaws too.

Image Quality

To start with, the XV340CKP is a flat-screen ultrawide monitor.

Most users would probably prefer a curved screen at this size as it brings the edges of the display closer to you for a more comfortable viewing experience. However, some users also won’t mind this, especially if they’re sitting a bit further from the screen.

The IPS panel of the monitor ensures accurate and rich colors with 99% sRGB color gamut coverage, while the contrast ratio sits at ~1,000:1 as expected.

Another disadvantage of this monitor is the low 250-nit peak brightness. Now, under normal lighting conditions, it gets more than bright enough at its maxed out brightness setting, but if you plan on using the screen in a room with strong studio lighting or next to a big window without blinders or curtains, you might find it too dim.

Other than that, the Acer XV340CKP is a great gaming monitor with a fast pixel response time speed for minimal ghosting in fast-paced games.

Features

While not officially certified by NVIDIA as G-SYNC Compatible, VRR works well with both Radeon and GeForce graphics cards up to 144FPS.

The monitor also supports backlight strobing (Visual Response Boost) and offers gaming features such as Black Boost, custom crosshair overlays, and a refresh rate tracker.

Visit our Acer XV340CKP review for more information.

Design & Connectivity

acer nitro xv340ck p monitor design

The stand of the monitor is sturdy and offers a good range of ergonomics, including up to 150mm height adjustment, 360° swivel, -5°/35° tilt, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

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

Alternatives

A 3440×1440 144Hz IPS ultrawide gaming monitor with a curved screen and a higher brightness will cost you at least $800 – for instance, the LG 34GP83A.

Of course, the LG 34GP83A also has an even faster response time speed and a wider color gamut, among other things.

So, if you want 3440×1440 resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, quick response time, and smooth VRR performance, the Acer XV340CKP is your only choice under $500.

Best 4K Gaming Monitor

There’s only one 32″ 4K IPS monitor you can get for under $500, so if you want high resolution and vibrant colors, look no further!

The Pros:

  • High pixel density
  • Wide color gamut and viewing angles
  • Plenty of features including FreeSync
  • Height-adjustable stand

The Cons:

  • Design lacks swivel/pivot
  • No sRGB mode
  • Not as high contrast as that of VA panels

About the Monitor

The LG 32UN650 is the only 32″ 4K IPS monitor available under $500!

Cheaper 32″ 4K monitors use VA panels with a higher contrast ratio, but they don’t have as consistent colors or wide viewing angles as the LG 32UN650.

Image Quality

Most 32″ 4K IPS monitors go for ~$700 as they’re mainly intended for professional color-critical use with professional-grade factory calibration and other features.

Here’s the deal: the LG 32UN650 allows you to enjoy the advantages of the IPS technology at a more affordable price, but if you want to use it for serious color-critical work, you’ll need a colorimeter since there’s no sRGB mode.

The display covers 95% of the DCI-P3 color space (equivalent to ~125% sRGB), meaning that sRGB content will be over-saturated.

For regular use, be it gaming, watching movies, or anything in-between, this won’t be an issue as you get more vibrant colors with better shade variety. However, as previously mentioned, since there’s no sRGB emulation mode that could restrict the monitor’s gamut to ~100% sRGB, you’ll need a colorimeter if you want accurate sRGB color output.

Next, the LG 32UN650 has 178° wide viewing angles, a 1,000:1 static contrast ratio, a 350-nit peak brightness and a 5ms GtG pixel response time speed, so you won’t get as deep blacks as those of cheaper 32″ 4K VA models. Nonetheless, the image quality won’t degrade at an angle and there won’t be any prominent dark smearing in fast-paced games.

Features

AMD FreeSync is supported with a 40-60Hz VRR range over both HDMI and DisplayPort, and while the monitor is not certified as G-SYNC Compatible by NVIDIA, it does work with compatible GeForce cards (GTX 10-series or newer) over DisplayPort.

Other features include Black Stabilizer (improves visibility in darker scenes), Dual Controller (allows for control over two PCs connected to the display) and advanced image adjustment tools, such as 6-axis hue/saturation, sharpness, four gamma presets and color temperature fine-tuning in increments of 500K.

Design & Connectivity

LG 32UN650 Monitor Design

The stand of the monitor supports height adjustment by up to 110mm and tilt by -5°/20°, or you can detach the stand and mount the screen via the 100x100mm VESA pattern.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 inputs, DisplayPort 1.4, a headphone jack and dual 5W built-in speakers. All ports feature HDCP 2.2 allowing you to stream copy-protected content in native 4K resolution from streaming services such as Netflix.

Conclusion

Still not sure what monitor to get?

Leave us a comment below, and we’ll gladly help you out.

All in all, you can’t go wrong with the LG 27GP850. It provides the perfect balance between image quality and performance.

If you don’t care for fast-paced performance, and would rather have a more cinematic viewing experience, go with the Gigabyte G34WQC.

For a good balance between the two, we recommend the Gigabyte M32Q or one of the IPS ultrawide gaming monitors, while competitive gamers will certainly be satisfied with the ViewSonic XG270. In case you cherish resolution above all else, the LG 32UN650 is for you.

Updates +

  • June 11, 2021:
    – Added the Gigabyte M32Q and the Acer XV340CKP.
    – Removed the Samsung CHG70.
  • May 30, 2021:
    – Improved readability
  • May 26, 2021:
    – Replaced the LG 27GL850 with the updated 27GP850 model.
  • February 10, 2021:
    – Added the LG 32UN650.

Related Reads

Best Gaming Monitors Under 400
The Best Gaming Monitors Under 400 USD (2021 Reviews)
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.