If you’re on a tight budget but want a great monitor for eSports gaming, the Sceptre E255B-1658A is definitely worth considering. Here’s what you need to know about this 25″ 1080p 165Hz 1ms gaming monitor by Sceptre.
The Sceptre E255B is based on a newer-generation 24.5″ TN panel, so it has better colors and slightly wider viewing angles than the older 24″ TN models.
All in all, you get an excellent image quality for the price. It’s not as good as that of some less expensive IPS and VA models, but it’s actually better than that of some more expensive TN variants!
It offers dithered 8-bit color support for 16.7 million colors, a static contrast ratio of 1,000:1, and a peak brightness of 300-nits.
Now, the 25″ 1080p 144Hz 1ms gaming monitors by more popular brands such as ASUS, Acer, HP, etc do have a bit higher peak luminance of 400-nits, but the Sceptre E255B-1658A is sufficiently bright anyway. In fact, you’ll most likely want to reduce the maximum brightness out of the box from 100% to around 70% or less.
Since 1080p resolution is not demanding on your PC rig, it will allow you to reach high frame rates and take full advantage of the monitor’s 165Hz refresh rate. What’s more, it will provide you with a fair amount of screen space and detail clarity thanks to the decent pixel density of roughly 90 pixels per inch.
Note that the Sceptre E255B-1658A 165Hz gaming monitor has DC backlight dimming meaning that it’s flicker-free, and it has a low-blue light filter allowing you to enjoy gaming for hours without straining your eyes.
Moving on, the Sceptre E255B-1658A input lag is on par with the high-end gaming displays with only ~5ms of imperceptible delay while the rapid 1ms response time speed efficiently eliminates trailing of fast-moving objects.
There are only two response time overdrive options: on and off. For minimal ghosting, you should put the Overdrive option to ‘On’. However, this can introduce pixel overshoot (inverse ghosting) at lower frame rates. So, when playing more demanding games where your FPS rate sits around 60FPS, you should set the overdrive option to ‘Off’.
Of course, then you won’t have as fast response time speed, so you’ll have to see what works best for you; it will vary between different games. In eSports games, you should be able to maintain a high frame rate – in which case this won’t be an issue, just make sure Overdrive is enabled.
Thanks to the AMD FreeSync technology, you can synchronize the monitor’s refresh rate with your GPU’s frame rate which results in a variable refresh rate (VRR) that eliminates all screen tearing and stuttering without introducing input lag.
The Sceptre E255B-1658A FreeSync range is 60-165Hz meaning that LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) is supported. So, you won’t get any tearing or stuttering as long as your FPS rate is within the VRR range.
If your frame rate drops below 60FPS, LFC will kick in and double the frame rate (at 59FPS, the refresh rate changes to 118Hz – for example) in order to make the tearing/stuttering less apparent.
FreeSync works with compatible NVIDIA cards (GTX 10-series or newer) as well without any issues.
To set the monitor to 165Hz, all you have to do is change the display settings, no overclocking is necessary. The difference between 144Hz and 165Hz isn’t all that big, but to a hardcore gamer whom every millisecond is important, the 21Hz higher refresh rate is definitely helpful.
The OSD (On-Screen Display) menu of the Sceptre E255B-1658A display is a bit outdated and it’s missing certain gaming features that you can find on the more popular models, such as Black Equalizer, on-screen timers, motion blur reduction, etc.
You will, however, find pre-calibrated picture presets for FPS and RTS games. The monitor also offers advanced picture adjustments including tint/saturation, gamma, and color temperature (manual RGB value input) settings, so you’ll be able to calibrate the display with ease.
There are five monitor hotkeys placed at the back of the monitor at the right side which you can use to navigate through the OSD menu. When the menu is not open, the buttons can be used as shortcuts for cycling between the picture presets (FPS, RTS, Movie, ECO, Standard, User) and to place a fixed crosshair on the screen.
Design & Connectivity
While the Sceptre E255B-1658A has a tilt-only stand (-5°/15°), it is VESA mount compatible with a 75x75mm pattern. The stand is made of metal and it’s quite sturdy while the screen is slim and has ultra-thin bezels. Overall, it’s a surprisingly good design considering the monitor’s price.
Connectivity options include HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, and a headphones jack. For 1080p 165Hz and FreeSync, you can use either HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2 inputs. There are also two 2W built-in speakers.
Price & Similar Monitors
The Sceptre E255B-1658A price ranges from around $165 to $180 which makes it the cheapest 165Hz gaming monitor.
Alternatively, you may want to consider the AOC G2590FX which is available for $190-$230. It offers a bit better image quality, more features, and certified G-SYNC compatibility, but a lower 144Hz maximum refresh rate.
So, which one should you get?
Well, the AOC G2590FX has a wider VRR range (30-144Hz) and it has a better overdrive implementation allowing you to enjoy a smooth gaming performance in more demanding games/at lower frame rates too.
Its certified G-SYNC compatibility also ensures flawless performance when using FreeSync with NVIDIA cards while some units of the Sceptre E255B may flicker for a few seconds when the frame rate drops to below the VRR range.
Finally, the AOC G2590FX seems to have better quality control. When we add up all these things, we recommend the G2590FX over Sceptre’s model. Its upsides are simply more worthwhile than the extra 21Hz. In case you cannot afford it, the E255B-1658A is an excellent cheaper alternative.
These two models, however, have slower response time, so they’re not as good for hardcore competitive gaming, but they’re better if you’re a casual gamer and want a better picture quality.
Overall, the Sceptre E255B-1658A is a solid budget gaming monitor if you cannot afford the more expensive models.
Sceptre E255B-1658A Specifications
1920×1080 (Full HD)
DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0
16.7 million (6-bit + FRC)
- Quick response time and low input lag
- FreeSync up to 165Hz
- Decent image quality for a TN panel
- Tilt-only stand
- Narrow FreeSync range
- Bad overdrive implementation
Sceptre E255B-1658A Review
- Design - 8.5/108.5/10
- Display - 7.8/107.8/10
- Performance - 9.6/109.6/10
- Price/Value - 8/108/10
The Sceptre E255B-1658A is the best budget monitor for eSports gaming. It’s not as good as some of the alternatives when it comes to overall use, but for competitive fast-paced games, it’s exceptionally good considering its price.
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.