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Best Gaming Monitor Under 500 USD – Buyer’s Guide And Monitor Reviews

For under $500, you can get one of the best 240Hz gaming monitors out there or a decent 4K IPS display. You can also get an excellent ultrawide monitor or a 27″ 1440p 144Hz model with either an IPS panel or 1ms and G-SYNC.

Deciding which is 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!

Top 7 Gaming Monitors Under $500 For 2019

TypeMonitorSizeResolutionPanelRefresh RateVRRG-SYNC 
Best 240Hz Gaming MonitorAcer XB252Q25”1920×1080TN240HzG-SYNCNative
Best 1440p 144Hz IPS Gaming MonitorAcer XV272U
(Editor’s Pick)
27”2560×1440IPS144HzFreeSyncStable
Best 1440p 144Hz 1ms Gaming MonitorDell S2716DG27”2560×1440TN144HzG-SYNCNative
Best Budget UltraWide Gaming MonitorSamsung S34J55W34”3440×1440VA75HzFreeSyncStable
Best UltraWide 100Hz Gaming MonitorMSI MAG341CQ
(Editor’s Pick)
34”3440×1440VA100HzFreeSyncStable
Best 4K IPS Gaming MonitorLG 27UL65027”3840×2160IPS60HzFreeSyncUnstable
Best 32” 4K Gaming MonitorLG 32UD6032”3840×2160VA60HzFreeSyncUnstable

All of the gaming monitors in this table are available between $400 and $500. Depending on your budget, you may want to visit our other gaming monitor buyer’s guides:

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 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, GTX 16-series, RTX 20-series, or newer NVIDIA GPU, you can also get VRR on a FreeSync monitor. However, it won’t work equally good on all monitors. Displays marked as ‘Stable’ offer a stable FreeSync performance with NVIDIA GPUs whereas those marked as ‘Unstable’ will have certain issues or not work at all.

Acer XB252Q – Best Pick For Competitive Gaming

Best Monitor Under 500 2019

About the Monitor

The Acer Predator XB252Q is the best 240Hz model you can get under $500. Its G-SYNC module ensures minimal input lag, variable overdrive, and wide VRR range. Plus, it boasts NVIDIA’s ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur) backlight strobing technology.

Image Quality

Just like most 240Hz monitors, the Acer XB252Q is based on a 24.5″ TN panel. So, you get the common display capabilities of this panel technology including a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, a 400-nit peak brightness, 160°/170° viewing angles, 8-bit color depth with the standard sRGB color gamut, and a rapid 1ms response time speed for zero trailing of fast-moving objects in video games.

1080p looks decent on the 24.5″ screen of the XB252Q. Details are sharp and clear while reaching high frame rates isn’t too taxing on your GPU and CPU. Moreover, according to many gamers, it’s the best monitor size for FPS gaming as you don’t have to move your head/eyes across the screen as much as you would on a bigger screen.

Features

Best 2k Monitors

NVIDIA’s G-SYNC 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).

Alternatively, you can use ULMB which when enabled, strobes the backlight at 100Hz, 120Hz, or 144Hz for better fast-paced motion clarity. Now, some cheaper 240Hz gaming monitor can strobe at higher frequencies (up to 240Hz) but that also introduces strobe crosstalk (duplicate image effect).

Note that backlight strobing cannot be active at the same time as VRR. Further, it reduces the screen’s maximum brightness and introduces screen flickering. Although the flicker isn’t noticeable, those sensitive to it may experience headaches/eye strain. So, enable this feature only when playing fast-paced games.

Using this technology at 144Hz with capped frame rates provides the best gaming experience for competitive first-person shooters, and NVIDIA’s backlight strobing method offers an excellent performance.

It doesn’t sacrifice picture brightness as much as other MBR (Motion Blur Reduction) technologies and it provides you with the Pulse Width option which allows you to adjust the frequency of the strobing (motion clarity vs screen brightness trade-off).

Other useful gaming features include three response time overdrive profiles (Off, Normal, Extreme), Dark Boost for better visibility in darker games, customizable crosshairs, and customizable picture presets. There are also color temperature, saturation, and gamma settings available, among the standard adjustments.

Design & Connectivity

Best 1080p Monitor 2019

The Acer XB252Q 1080p 240Hz 1ms monitor has a robust and versatile design with full ergonomic support (height, tilt, swivel, pivot, and VESA mount compatibility) while its connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4 (max 60Hz), a headphones jack, two 2W built-in speakers, and a dual-USB 3.0 hub (one upstream and two downstream ports).

Alternatives

Overall, the Acer XB252Q is the best gaming monitor under 500 USD when it comes to competitive gaming.

For an extra $50, you can get the BenQ ZOWIE XL2546. It has the exclusive DyAc (Dynamic Accuracy) backlight strobing technology that strobes all the way up to 240Hz and has the least impact on the screen’s brightness. This BenQ gaming monitor also comes with extra features such as a shading hood and a remote device but doesn’t have G-SYNC.

In case you don’t want to pay a premium for the advantages of G-SYNC but still want a 240Hz monitor, we recommend the ASUS XG248Q. It’s a FreeSync gaming monitor, but it’s G-SYNC compatible and offers MBR up to 240Hz for ~$350.

The Pros

  • NVIDIA G-SYNC & ULMB
  • 240Hz
  • Low input lag and quick response time
  • Fully ergonomic design

The Cons

  • Expensive

Acer XV272U – Great Visuals And Smooth Performance

Best 1440p 144 Hz Ips Gaming Monitor

About the Monitor

For most people, 27″ monitors are the perfect size as it’s neither too big nor too small. The ideal resolution for it would be 1440p as it provides the best pixel-per-inch ratio meaning that you get plenty of screen space and details without any need to use scaling.

Plus, 1440p is viable at 144Hz whereas a higher resolution would be too demanding to drive at high frame rates. Add to that the IPS panel technology for vibrant colors, wide viewing angles, and quick response time, and you get the perfect gaming monitor.

The Acer Nitro XV272U is the best such monitor you can get under $500 right now.

Image Quality

Thanks to 1440p resolution, the picture is a lot more detailed in comparison to that of a 24″ 1080p display. Further, the IPS panel boasts 10-bit color depth support (8-bit + 2-bit FRC) with a wide 95% DCI-P3 color gamut (~130% sRGB). It’s also factory-calibrated at Delta E < 2 for professional-grade color accuracy.

The monitor also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) though only entry-level DisplayHDR 400 which is just a peek at what HDR can really do, but an improvement nonetheless.

HDR-compatible content will get a boost in peak brightness to 400-nits as opposed to the standard 350-nits which in addition to the wide color gamut provides a notable increase in image quality.

Features

The Acer XV272U has a response time speed of 4ms (GtG) which eliminates most of ghosting for a smooth fast-paced gaming experience. It also offers the 1ms VRB (Visual Response Boost) backlight strobing technology for an even better performance.

AMD FreeSync is supported within a 48-144Hz VRR range and it also works with compatible NVIDIA cards without any issues. However, FreeSync cannot be active at the same time as VRB or HDR. Other features include customizable crosshairs, Black Boost, and three custom picture presets.

Note that the monitor is limited to 120Hz at 1440p with 10-bit color depth. In order to get 144Hz at 1440p, you will need to use 8-bit color depth which is not a big deal-breaker since most games and apps are 8-bit anyway.

Design & Connectivity

Best Gaming Monitor 2019

The design offers full ergonomic support including tilt, height, swivel, pivot, and VESA mount compatibility. At the back of the monitor, you will find two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.4, a headphones jack, an audio line-in for the dual 2W integrated speakers, and a quad-USB 3.0 hub.

Alternatives

The Acer XV272U is also available without an ergonomic stand. This model is dubbed as the Acer Nitro VG271UP (VG271U Pbmiipx).

For an extra $100, you can get the Aorus AD27QD which is based on the same panel but offers some unique features such as a microphone jack with active noise-canceling, RGB lighting, and simultaneous HDR + FreeSync operation.

You can also get the ASUS ROG Swift PG279QZ which is a 27″ 1440p 144Hz (165Hz overclocked) IPS monitor with G-SYNC, but no HDR and wide color gamut.

All in all, under $500, the Acer XV272U is the best 1440p 144Hz monitor, but if you don’t care for HDR, there’s the Nixeus EDG27S v2 which is also a 27″ 1440p 144Hz IPS gaming monitor with FreeSync available for under $400.

Finally, keep an eye on the LG 27GL850 which is a new 27″ 1440p 144Hz IPS monitor based on a newer Nano IPS panel with a native 1ms GtG response time speed, a wider 98% DCI-P3 color gamut, and certified G-SYNC compatibility.

The LG 27GL850 is also available under $500, but we have yet to review it. If you’re interested in a 27″ 1440p 144Hz IPS monitor, you should wait for the LG 27GL850 reviews. We’ll review it as soon as possible and determine whether it will replace the XV272U (as well as the Aorus AD27QD and the ASUS PG279QZ for that matter) as the best 1440p IPS monitor. It almost certainly will though – due to its better performance and image quality, at least on paper.

The Pros

  • Factory-calibrated colors
  • Wide color gamut
  • AMD FreeSync and 1ms MBR
  • Ergonomic design and extensive connectivity options

The Cons

  • HDR is only entry-level
  • 1ms MBR has only two modes (Normal & Extreme) and no other adjustability
  • Can’t run FreeSync and HDR at the same time

Dell S2716DG – Striking Motion Clarity And High Resolution

Best Computer Monitors For Gaming

About the Monitor

If you don’t care for HDR or IPS, and would rather have a faster response time speed and G-SYNC, the Dell S2716DG is the best 1440p 144Hz monitor for competitive gaming.

Image Quality

The Dell S2716DG is based on a TN panel with 8-bit color depth, a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, a 350-nit peak brightness, and 160°/170° viewing angles. So, you get a similar viewing experience as with the Acer XB252Q, but thanks to 1440p resolution, there will be more details and screen real estate available.

You also get a refresh rate of 144Hz which means that if you want the best performance in competitive games, the Acer XB252Q is a better choice. Now, the Acer XV272U will provide you with a better image quality than the S2716DG, so think of Dell’s model as the option between the XV272U and the XB252Q.

Features

The monitor’s G-SYNC module provides a variable refresh rate option as well as variable overdrive and minimal input lag. There’s also the ULMB backlight strobing technology (works at 85Hz, 100Hz, or 120Hz) and the ULMB Pulse Width option available.

Other than the standard adjustments including brightness, contrast, color temperature, and input source selection, there aren’t any modern gaming features available such as pre-calibrated picture presets, crosshairs, etc.

Design & Connectivity

Best 2k Gaming Monitor

The design quality is excellent while the stand is fully ergonomic (height, tilt, swivel, pivot, and VESA mount pattern). Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4 (max 60Hz), one upstream and four downstream USB 3.0 ports (two at the side, one with fast-charging), a headphones jack, and two integrated speakers.

Alternatives

Note that the Dell S2716DG is the same monitor as the ‘Dell S2716DGR’. The ‘R’ suffix in the latter model just stands for ‘retail’. If you’re interested in a 27″ 1440p 144Hz 1ms gaming monitor with AMD FreeSync instead, you can get the AOC AG271QX under $300.

You also might want to check out 1440p 144Hz gaming monitors with VA panels which are available under $400. These offer higher contrast ratio, but slower response time speed.

The Pros

  • G-SYNC and ULMB
  • Ergonomic design and rich connectivity options

The Cons

  • Calibration required for the optimal picture quality

Samsung S34J55W – Immersive Image Quality On A Budget

Best Pc Monitors For Gaming

About the Monitor

You won’t find many 34″ 3440×1440 ultrawide monitors under $500 yet the Samsung S34J55W is available for a just a bit over $400!

This monitor also goes by the following names: Samsung SJ55W and Samsung S34J550.

Image Quality

Thanks to its ultrawide format (21:9 aspect ratio), the Samsung SJ55W provides a more immersive viewing and gaming experience as well as 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.

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 space.

The viewing angles are somewhere in between 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 which is negligible in most cases.

However, in fast-paced games where dark pixels are predominant, there is evident 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.

Features

The Samsung S34J550 supports AMD FreeSync with a rather narrow 48-75Hz VRR range out of the box but it works with compatible NVIDIA cards without any issues.

Using CRU, it’s possible to extend the lower end of the range to ~35Hz and to overclock the monitor up to 90Hz! However, your mileage may vary depending on your particular unit of the monitor, so don’t take this for granted.

Design & Connectivity

Best 34 Inch Gaming Monitor

The stand of the Samsung S34J550 is tilt-only, but you can mount the screen on a third-party stand via the 100x100mm VESA mount pattern. Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0, and a headphones jack. Note that the screen is flat, not curved like it’s the case with most ultrawide monitors.

Alternatives

If you want a 34″ 3440×1440 ultrawide monitors with an IPS panel, you can check out the LG 34UC80 (curved screen) or LG 34UM88C (flat screen). These have more accurate colors and less ghosting, but lower contrast ratio and higher price tag (~$550).

Another popular ultrawide gaming monitor that’s slightly above the $500 mark is the LG 34UC79G (and the newer LG 34GL750 model) with a 144Hz refresh rate but a lower 2560×1080 resolution.

The Pros

  • High contrast ratio
  • AMD FreeSync
  • Immersive gaming experience

The Cons

  • Tilt-only design
  • Narrow FreeSync range out of the box
  • Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games

MSI MAG341CQ – Stunning Viewing And Gaming Experience

Best Curved Monitor

About the Monitor

The MSI Optix MAG341CQ is a similar ultrawide monitor to the SJ55W, but with a native 100Hz refresh rate that you can potentially overclock to around ~115Hz making it the best ultrawide monitor under 500 USD you can get!

Image Quality

As far as the picture quality is concerned, there isn’t a big difference between the two models.

The MSI MAG341CQ also has a VA panel with a 3,000:1 contrast ratio and 3440×1440 resolution, however, it also has a slightly lower peak brightness of 250-nits as opposed to 300-nits of the S34J550.

While both monitors support true 8-bit color depth, the MAG341CQ does have more saturated colors covering 110% of the sRGB color gamut.

The VRR range of the MSI MAG341CQ is 48-100Hz and FreeSync works without issues with NVIDIA cards.

Note that 100Hz provides a notable improvement in motion clarity and responsiveness as opposed to 75Hz.

Design & Connectivity

Best Curved Monitors

The MSI MAG341CQ has a tilt-only stand as well, but it’s not VESA mount compatible meaning that you will need to purchase an adapter if you wish it to mount the screen. The screen curvature of 1800R also provides a more immersive viewing experience by increasing your field of view and decreasing distortion.

The Pros

  • High contrast ratio
  • AMD FreeSync up to 100Hz
  • Immersive gaming experience
  • Excellent value for the price

The Cons

  • Tilt-only stand
  • Not VESA mount compatible
  • Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games, particularly in darker scenes

LG 27UL650 – Best 4K Monitor For Mixed Use

Best 2k Gaming Monitor

About the Monitor

Looking for a 4K monitor? You can visit our dedicated best 4K gaming monitor for PS4 Pro and Xbox One X and best 4K monitor buyer’s guides for a more diverse selection.

Image Quality

The LG 27UL650 is the best 4K monitor under $500 for overall use. It’s great for console gaming, PC gaming (if you have a good enough GPU), and content creation/consumption.

It’s based on an IPS panel with dithered 10-bit color depth, 99% sRGB color gamut, a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, a 350-nit peak brightness, and 4K Ultra HD resolution for crystal-clear detail clarity thanks to the 163 pixel-per-inch ratio.

The monitor also supports entry-level HDR, however, HDR content only gets a boost in brightness up to ~400-nits. There’s no wide color gamut support or local dimming, so the display only qualifies for VESA’s entry-level DisplayHDR 400 certification.

Features

LG offers a bunch of useful features including On-Screen Control for adjusting OSD settings in a desktop application, Screen Split, Black Stabilizer for better visibility in darker games, and HDR Effect which simulates HDR for non-compatible content.

FreeSync is supported with a 40-60Hz range over both HDMI and DisplayPort which makes the LG 27UL650 the best 4K HDR monitor for Xbox One X under $500 since Xbox One supports FreeSync.

Additionally, FreeSync works with NVIDIA cards as well but only within the ‘Basic’ mode of FreeSync which limits the VRR range to 48-60Hz.

Design & Connectivity

Best Gaming Monitor Under 500

The LG 27UL650 has a fairly ergonomic design with tilt, height, pivot and VESA mount adjustments, but no swivel option. As far as the connectivity is concerned, there are two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.4, and a headphones jack.

The same monitor is also available with a USB-C port that features power delivery up to 60W and DisplayPort Alternate Mode at a bit higher price tag – the LG 27UL850.

Alternatives

Since the HDR support is only software-emulated on the LG 27UL650 due to the lack of display capabilities, you may want to save some money and go with the LG 27UL500 instead. It offers a slightly lower sRGB gamut (98%) and lower peak brightness (300-nits), but it’s $100 cheaper.

We have a detailed comparison between all LG’s UK- and UL-series of 4K monitors in our LG 27UK650 review which you should definitely check out if you’re interested in a 27″ 4K IPS monitor.

The Pros

  • Vibrant colors
  • FreeSync over HDMI and DP
  • Ergonomic design

The Cons

  • No wide color gamut
  • Only entry-level HDR support

LG 32UD60 – Best 4K Monitor For Movies

Best Budget 4k Monitor

About the Monitor

If you want a bigger 4K monitor, the LG 32UD60 is the best 32-inch gaming monitor under $500.

Image Quality

Unlike the LG 27UL650, the LG 32UD60 has a VA panel with a higher contrast ratio (3,000:1) but not as accurate colors. So, it offers a more immersive viewing experience, but it’s not as good when it comes to content creation. It also has more ghosting and smearing in fast-paced games, but it’s tolerable for casual gaming.

Features

Moving on, the LG 32UD60 doesn’t support HDR, but it has a wide color gamut with 95% DCI-P3 color space coverage. It offers the same features as the UL650 including Screen Split, On-Screen Control, Black Stabilizer, and AMD FreeSync (40-60Hz range over both HDMI and DP, but 48-60Hz for NVIDIA cards).

Design & Connectivity

Best Cheap 4k Monitor For Gaming

You can adjust the height of the screen, tilt it, or mount it using the VESA pattern. Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, a headphones jack, and dual 5W integrated speakers.

Alternatives

The LG 32UD59 is the same monitor but without the built-in speakers. If you want a cheaper 32″ 4K monitor, there’s the Samsung U32J590 though it has no wide color gamut.

The Pros

  • High contrast ratio
  • FreeSync over HDMI and DP
  • Height-adjustable stand

The Cons

  • Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games, but tolerable for casual gaming

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 Acer XV272U or its alternatives we’ve mentioned. It provides the perfect balance between image quality and performance, and offers a bunch of extra features.

For a more immersive gaming experience, the MSI MAG341CQ is the perfect pick and an exceptional monitor for the money considering that similar monitors from more popular brands cost nearly twice as much.

Competitive gamers out there will certainly be satisfied with the Acer XB252Q or the Dell S2716DG depending on their taste.

Finally, the two 4K monitors offer incredible detail clarity and striking image quality regardless of which model you pick.

Related Reads

Note that we are currently on vacation and will be back on August 22. Therefore, we are not able to answer your comments before then.

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