Best Gaming Monitor – 10 PC Screens Tested & Reviewed in 2017

Gaming monitors are often overlooked when talking about the most important gaming gear.

But the truth is that having a display optimized for gaming and with low response time, can really enhance your performance.

While a UHD curved widescreen can make your gaming sessions incredibly immersive.

There is no shortage of great gaming monitors on the market. But we do believe that we have managed to find to best among them.

This list will feature what we believe to be the best ones in 2017. All fully tested and reviewed by our dedicated gaming squad.

We tried to have a mix of competitive, casual and high-end screens for this list.

Top 10 Monitors for Gaming in 2017


10. Samsung CF591 Curved

Image of the best gaming monitor by Samsung

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Samsung is known as the biggest brand in the TV industry, so it goes without saying that they know how to make a great PC monitor as well. This curved monitor bolts the same vibrant colors and sharp imagery that Samsung TVs are known for.

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Image/Performance

The imagery is great, especially if you love very vibrant colors. It is hard to imagine a better performance from a screen of this price class, at least when it comes to the image alone.

The integrated speakers do have its issues, however. On rare occasions, they just stop working for a couple of seconds and they also don’t work properly when the screen is paired with a laptop.

If you use this monitor with a great desktop and try to pair it with a laptop. Its performance is great.

Specifications/Features

1800R Curvature grants a nice curve which really helps improve immersion when gaming.

The monitor has built-in 5-watt speakers, which is really quite excellent. Except for rare stutter issues.

AMD free sync is a feature we were quite surprised to see a non-gaming specific monitor have. However, it does a fantastic job at removing image tearing and stutter during gaming sessions. It is not the best free sync function compared to real gaming monitors, but it does a decent job.

Lastly, the eye-saver mode is a real life saver, no pun intended. During longer gaming sessions, it can really help your eyes feel less strained. It reduces the use of blue lights in the colors and also removes some flicker. This is also much healthier for your eyes compared to regular lighting. We found this feature were extremely important for this monitor in particular since it naturally uses more blue lighting than most PC screens.

Quality

The quality is as good as it gets for its price class. The entire screen has a nice white metallic body and feels very sturdy.

The screen is easy to set up and don’t really have elements that feel poorly made.

Value for Money/Price

It is not a budget monitor, nor is it a high-end gaming monitor. But it hits the spot in between quite nicely, especially the picture gives it great value for money. A nice choice for those looking for a curved gaming monitor, that won’t break their budget.

Samsung 1800R Curvature
7.8 Editors Raiting
Pros
+ Curved
+ Beautiful vibrant colors
+ Integrated speakers
+ Freesync integration
+ Eye-saver mode
Cons
- Issues when paired with laptops/Macs
- Occasional stutter with speakers
Image/Performance8
Spec/Features7.5
Quality8
Price7.5

9. Dell Ultrasharp LED Monitor

Image of ultra sharp Pc monitor by Dell

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This high-end PC screen by dell provides some of the best and clearest imagery on the market. While it is not optimized for gaming, it still does a very decent job for the avid gamer.

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Image/Performance

This beautiful piece of equipment is a godsend for an artist, and relaxed gamers, the colors provided by this monitor is outstanding. It provides a different and new shade of colors, you never knew existed.

The viewing angles are amazing and there is absolutely no color shift when looking at a different angle.

We tested the 27-inch model and found it to be a very pleasant experience, but you can also go down to a 25 or 24-inch if you prefer it smaller or wanna save a few bucks.

While games do look incredible on this monitor, it can feel a bit lackluster for competitive gaming. If you’re looking for a pro gaming monitor we will still recommend the AOC or BenQ monitors. 

Specifications/Features

Due to the IPS panels, the image is very stable and clear.

There is DC violate controlled backlight LED’s which prevents flicker, this is very easy on your eyes, so headaches are unlikely.

Thanks to the HDMI, DisplayPort, and mini-DP connectors this monitor will run great on laptops.

VESA 100×100 gives more tablespace and is compatible with most monitor stands.

Plenty USB ports.

Quality

When looking purely at the quality of the build and the design, this is likely the best on our entire list.

The quality feels good and the monitor has a sleek and sexy look.

 Value for Money/Price

It is undeniably overpriced, but also of undeniable quality.

Price is at the higher end, but we feel that the quality imagery this monitor provide, it can be money well spent if you ain’t on a budget.

Dell UltraSharp
7.9 Editors Raiting
Pros
+ Color accuracy and viewing angles are fantastic
+ Sleek & Sexy design
+ Top-tier quality
+ Provides amazing imagery
Cons
- Pricey
- Disappointing response time/refresh rate
Image/Performance9
Spec/Features7.5
Quality10
Price5

8. LG 34 inch UltraWide Gaming Monitorimage of LG gaming monitor

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Not everyone has the PC or the money to buy a curved UHD monitor. If you are one of those people, this is one of the best ultra wide monitors for gaming as of 2017.

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Image/Performance

This gaming monitor is the best of the best, of its respective price range. Actually, it performs on par with most 600$ screens, at the price of 400$. This beauty from LG has amazing graphics and runs really smoothly. I particularly enjoyed playing ‘The Witcher 3’ since the monitor’s size and clean graphics made it really immersive.

Why not get a curved ultra HD widescreen instead? it’s quite simple. Using UHD monitors are extremely expensive, especially the curved ones and they require a very high-end PC to run smoothly. Which means you have to use an extraordinary amount of cash before it’s better than an ordinary widescreen.

This monitor is for you if you’re looking for an amazing, huge widescreen but don’t have a high-end PC. I also highly recommend it if you’re simply not willing to pay that considerably bigger price tag for an ultra HD monitor. It is VERY important that you don’t buy an ultra HD monitor before checking whether your PC can run it smoothly. Since it takes quite the machine to run smoothly on UHD screens.

Personally, I prefer the UHD curved widescreen, but I am also very committed to my craft and therefore have a high-end gaming setup. But even though I am used to the UHD curved widescreen, I really enjoyed myself, testing this screen out.

Specifications/Features

This LG display has a max. resolution of  2560 x 1080, which is a perfect fit for any avid gamer.

Unfortunately, it only has a refresh rate of 60hz, which is what limit it for high-paced competitive gaming. And also why it did not rank higher on our list. However, for most gamers, this will be more than enough.

Unfortunately, we feel this screen is a little outdated in its specifications. With its lack of free sync, RGB coloring etc.

Quality

While the quality of its performance is undeniable, the build can feel a bit cheap compared to others on the list. This is due to its very light weight design, but how often do you actually have to move or pick up your monitor?

We feel LG should have valued weight and quality over its lightweight design.

Value for Money/Price

It performs on par with monitors that are 50% more expensive, making it a great value for money buy.

But we also do have better value for money deals on this list. Which might be more worth looking into.

Specifications

  • Screen size: 34″
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Aspect Ratio: 21:9
  • Resolution: 2560 x 1080

LG 34 Class
8 Editors Raiting
Pros
+ Great resolution
+ HD
+ Very light weight
+ Great value for money
Cons
- No special features
- No gaming mode
- Build can feel a bit cheap
Image/Performance9
Spec/Features8
Quality7.5
Price7.5

7. Viotek 1800R Curvature

Image of budget curved gaming widescreen

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Never have a full HD curved gaming widescreen been so affordable. And the performance and imagery are truly admirable for a monitor of its price class.

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Image/Performance

The picture is surprisingly clear and concise, really what you want from any gaming monitor.

The full HD is a bit inferior to the LG monitor, but still way above what it should be from such an affordable gaming monitor.

A let down was the sound quality. The sound system with this monitor is one of the features that Viotek chose to not focus too much on. Which is a shame but also not a surprise, since this monitor seems too good to be true on paper, for its low cost. We highly recommend you use a separate sound system if you are demanding when it comes to sound quality. That being said, the sound system is not unusable, and definitely a nice feature for those who is not too perfectionistic about audio.

We kept looking for issues with its performance since we expected there to be quite a lot. But in the end, we did not find any real major issues, apart from the sound system.

Specifications/Features

Beautiful 32 inch 1800R curved display with a decent full HD image.

The monitor has a game mode, although it is a bit lackluster compared to some of the other screens on this list. But still a great feature, which adds a little extra depth to the gaming graphics.

Viotek also found time to add a movie mode to this screen. It is rarely seen, and personally, I do not watch movies/series on my gaming monitor since I prefer using my 4k TV. But when testing it out it added a nice amount of quality to the picture and did a great job at eliminating backlighting, which can be a concern when watching movies on a gaming monitor.

The monitor has a 60hz refresh rate, which is not outstanding, but just fine for almost any gamer, and is more than most non-gaming PC screens offer.

Quality

We cannot say a bad thing about the overall design, as this monitor is really quite stunning. However, even though that this screen is excellent for its price class, it does not have the qualitative feel that some of the more high-end monitors do. Which is to be expected, but there is a noticeable difference between this and the more expensive picks.

Value for Money/Price

Outstanding value for money, in fact, it is probably the best deal you can find for a curved widescreen anywhere.

Viotek 1800R Curvature
8.1 Editors Raiting
Pros
+ Superb value for money
+ Integrated game and movie mode functions
+ Great image
Cons
- Sound quality is poor
- Not as qualitative as the more high-end monitors
Image/Performance8.5
Spec/Features8
Quality7.5
Price8.5

6. LG 32 inch

Image of widescreen for PC gaming by LG

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A newer and more expensive version of the LG monitor on the number 10 spot. Which basically does everything the other one does, but a lot better, as well as some brand new features and improvements. Making the extra buck, well worth it.

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Image/Performance

It has incredible blacks/whites which create a beautiful contrast in the gameplay.

The free sync is excellent with this screen and creates a smooth, treat of a gaming experience.

Even though it is not a UHD monitor, the full HD creates an image almost on par with most UHD screens.

Easily one of the best imagery for a widescreen of this cost. Making it an ideal choice if you want an excellent monitor, but don’t have the CPU/GPU for a UHD screen.

There is a little backlight bleeding present, but that is mostly an issue if you watch movies/series on your PC monitor. We also feel that even then, it is not a deal breaker.

Specifications/Features

The monitor is 21:9 in terms of measures, which is perfect for a ultrawide monitor.

It bolts a full HD experience, that is truly immersive, and among the best, you can get when it comes to full HD. It is almost comparable to that of UHD screens.

The screen split mode is excellent for anyone who likes to multitask at their computer. Allowing you to split the screen up into 2 regular sized images, as if you had 2 monitors or you can choose to use 2 PCs with the once monitor. Which may sound bad, but the 21:9 ultrawide make it feel quite natural. Although it is sometimes annoying to get this feature to work properly.

A decent game mode option is also available, which adjust the colors to be more fitting for a gaming environment. While it is not the best game mode we have seen, it really does make a difference in making your graphics look better and more fluent.

Easy to use and very intuitive on-screen controls.

Quality

The design is sleek and beautiful, truly everything you want from a ultrawide gaming monitor. Quality wise, this screen is decent, but not impressive. Some of the materials feel a bit poor, but we have had zero issues with it, and how often do you really touch your screen?

Value for Money/Price

Just like the aforementioned LG monitor, this too is a great bang for your buck. Even with the bigger price tag.

LG 29 inch freesync ultrawide monitor
8.1 Editors Raiting
Pros
+ Stunning ultra wide design
+ Plenty of features, such as game mode, split screen and more
+ Full HD
+ Optimized for gaming
+ Great freesync optimization
Cons
- Occasional backlight bleeding
- non-curved
Image/Performance9
Spec/Features8.5
Quality7.5
Price7.5

5. ASUS PB278Q 27

Image of Acer UHD gaming display

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Asus has been a dominant force in the gaming industry for some time now, ever since their introduction of ‘Republic of Gamers’. Even though this is not from the ROG series, it packs an incredible punch and would serve any gamer well.

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Image/Performance

This Asus display brings incredibly lifelike graphics, with its full HD 2560 x 1440 and its sRGB coloring. The result is quite stunning.

We tested the monitor in its WQHD version, there is however also a 4k UHD upgrade. But since that requires a very powerful desktop, which a lot of people do not have, we decided to focus on the version which fitted the most people.

The sound quality was the only real disappointment we found when testing this monitor. An optimized sound system would definitely put this display up there with the best of them. But most people, including myself, use either a separate sound system or a headset. So this can be a non-issue.

Specifications/Features

Where to begin with this feature-filled gaming monitor? As mentioned earlier it has a full 2560×1440 full HD display, which is backed up with sRGB coloring. For those who don’t know, RGB coloring is a color optimizer, which requires a separate cable, but in return bring more advanced colors. Which result in superior graphics.

Asus once again bring their eye care technology, which reduces flickering, causing less eye strain than normal screens.

This monitor also has a 178° wide-viewing angle, which is rarely useful in gaming. But makes it an ideal secondary monitor and great for watching movies/series. It basically means that there is no reduction in visuals, no matter which angle you view the monitor from.

It also comes with a fully adjustable mount. This makes sure you can create exactly the gaming setup you want.

Quality

The quality is exactly what we expected from Asus. Everything is of admirable quality, everything from the mount to the screen build itself.

The mount has very thick vessels, which give a nice qualitative feeling, but can be quite annoying when trying to use it as a secondary monitor.

Value for Money/Price

It is definitely a great bang for your buck, but by no means a cheap monitor. However, we feel that the endless amount of features and high-end specifications do justify its semi-high pricing.

Can be a bad purchase if you do not intend on using its array of features.

ASUS 27'' WQHD RBH Display
8.3 Editors Raiting
Pros
+ Endless array of features
+ Incredible sRBG powered imagery
+ 178° wide-viewing angle
+ Implemented eye-care tech
+ 16:9 2560 x 1440 display
Cons
- Semi-pricey
- Annoying menu
Image/Performance9
Spec/Features9
Quality8
Price6.5

4. AOC Freesync Gaming Monitor

Image of Freesync pc monitor for gaming

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A lot of gaming sites and magazines have recommended the AOC monitor, as one of the best gaming display options out there. And with its affordable price and gaming focused performance, we can see why.

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Image/Performance

While it does not have the image quality of the Asus monitor above, it does have above average graphics.

The full HD LED display gives outstanding imagery for its price class.

What we need to focus on with this screen is not the graphics, however, but the performance. It is clearly optimized for gaming, and it is done brilliantly. The 144hz refresh rate grants a literally delay free gaming experience and some of the smoothest gameplay imaginable. It is one of the best screens on the market for 60fps gaming. This is all backed up by the AMD free sync technology, which also increases its capabilities in fast paced gaming

In other words, this is a gamers dream, with a highly reasonable price.

Specifications/Features

The big feature is the aforementioned 1ms response time, paired with the AMD free sync. Which are both features that are incredibly handy in a competitive gaming environment?

It comes with a stand which can be rotated and mounted, whichever you prefer.

Quality

The quality is, for the most part, great. The monitor build frame looks and feels rock solid. However, the stand does feel a bit cheap but is not something we ever noticed or had any issues with.

In general, the quality is more than you would usually get for this amount of money.

Value for Money/Price

This monitor is a real bargain, and it is an opportunity for gamers on a budget to get a hold of a real high performing competitive monitor.

The reasonable price and it’s fully adjustable stand also makes for a great secondary monitor.

AOC 24'' Freesync Monitor
8.4 Editors Raiting
Pros
+ 144hz 1ms response time
+ Ideal for competitive gaming
+ Great freesync technology
+ Affordable
Cons
- Stand feel a bit cheap
- No eye strain tech
Image/Performance9
Spec/Features8.5
Quality7.5
Price8.5

3. BenQ Zowie Competitive Gaming Monitor

Picture of the best pc monitor for competitive gaming

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BenQ has time and time again proved that they are one of the masters at making affordable competitive gaming gear. There is a reason this is the monitor being used at most eSport tournaments across the world.

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Image/Performance

The second I hooked this up and went into my first game of CS-GO I felt the raw power this screen has. And my god is it amazing for fast paced FPS gaming!

The combination of 144hz refresh rate, motion blur reduction and 1ms response time makes this screen the best competitive gaming monitor on the market. And these are not just specifications, you can truly feel how insanely well this screen performs in action.

It’s clear that it is targeted at fast paced gaming such as FPS’ and Mobas, and it does that perfectly. But it is also an ideal choice for ordinary gaming.

A nice addition is the flicker free and enhanced blue light. This means you can play for endless hours without much eyestrain, which any hardcore gamer will appreciate.

The only sad thing about the BenQ Zowie monitor series is that they have yet to make a real high-end expensive gaming monitor. Which is a real shame, since we are sure they would be capable of making the best one to date.

This screen has been developed in cooperation with professional FPS gamers. And this is definitely something you can feel when gaming on this thing. This is definitely my go-to screen in almost any game type, especially competitive. And I will recommend it to anyone who takes gaming serious and seeks to perform at their highest level. If you’re a casual gamer I would still recommend it, but not as strongly, because it’s harder to appreciate what this screen does, if you’re not playing to perform. But even if you aren’t always looking to play competitively, this screen makes the gameplay so unbelievably smooth.

It even outperforms that of the Acer Predator and Asus ROG monitors. Simply because of it optimized gaming refresh rate.

Specifications/Features

The <1ms response time is the most efficient Hz rate we have yet to experience with any gaming monitor.

The monitor has been developed solely for eSports, but it is also optimized for console gaming. And we would definitely recommend this as a console monitor if you are able to replace your current TV setup. Since it will definitely outperform your tv in most aspects.

It has a full HD 1080p display, and while BenQ has not focused on the graphics much. It still does a marvelous job compared to an ordinary PC screen. But if you mostly play grand, beautiful games such as The Witcher 3, we would recommend you look into other options.

It has built-in speakers, but we are not sure why. Almost all competitive gamers use a headset or maybe a surround sound system when gaming. Since built-in audio speakers cannot grant the information needed in fps gaming in particular.

The Zowie screen naturally has a reduction in blue light. This is to ensure less eye-strain during longer gaming sessions.

Quality/Price

We cannot think of a better value for money purchase than this PC screen. Its performance is on par with even the most high-end of gaming monitors. Yet the price is close to a budget display.

Specifications

  • 1ms Response Time 
  • Black eQualizer 
  • Display Mode and Smart Scaling – Quick screen size adjustment
  • 1080p resolution

BenQ Zowie Competitive Monitor
8.8 Editors Raiting
Pros
+ 1ms respond time
+ Targeted at competitive gaming
+ Motion Blur Reduction
+ 144hz refresh rate
+ Insane value for money
Cons
- Mount can get stuck at times
Image/Performance9.5
Spec/Features9.5
Quality8.5
Price7.5

 


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2. Acer Predator 34-inch Curved UltraWide QHDImage of huge curved gaming monitor

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This Acer UHD curved gaming monitor may be pricey, but it is an equally amazing experience to play on.

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Image/Performance

The 34-inch curved design grants a fantastic feeling of immersion and realism. While the 100hz overclocking makes it incredibly smooth, although 100hz is a bit of a let down for a monitor this expensive.

I usually play on a 27-inch Samsung monitor, and the difference was breathtaking. The ‘Acer Predator gaming monitor‘ turned my entire gaming experience into a cinematic universe.

I imagine this is the closest you can get to virtual reality without losing the feeling of REAL PC-Gaming. After a few hours of play, I thought this screen was out of surprises. But I forgot about the ”Gaming Mode” which is easily toggled on and off. With the press of a button, it was like every pixel and every color sharpened and the graphics almost doubled. I realize this sound exaggerated and it probably is, but that is simply because it feels that good to play on this monitor.

Now that so much positive has been said, it’s time for the negatives. This is an extremely high-end gaming monitor and the price tag definitely shows that. Secondly, a monitor is only as good as your computer and if you have a very cheap/old computer this monitor is NOT for you. This screen will more likely than not diminish your experience, without a high-end desktop. This is for people who already has a good gaming setup and seeks to perfect it.

Personally, I don’t perform very well competitively on a huge widescreen, BUT that is just me. If you are acquainted with large widescreen monitors and find them to your liking, this is definitely the best there is. And if you enjoy playing games for the immersion and beauty, this is the best choice you’ll ever make. Because it does perform in a way that reflects the price tag, which is a huge accomplishment.

Specifications/Features

34-inch Curved Display with a 21:9 Aspect Ratio, which is the textbook ultra wide-screen ratio. The resolution goes up to 3440 x 1440, which is basically the max in every game settings.

Surprisingly efficient game mode, which is more than just a gimmick, as it is on most monitors. But this one really enhances the gaming experience a lot.

It has a 60hz standard refresh rate, which can be overclocked to 100hz. We would have liked to see more from such an expensive monitor but is still performs incredibly smooth.

Quality/Price

The quality is pretty much as good as it gets, but we still feel that the monitor is a little overpriced. This is, however, a normal issue with gaming gear of this caliber. You do not get the same value for money with high-tier equipment as you do with mid/low-tier.

Specifications

  • 34″ Curved Display – At 21:9 Aspect Ratio
  • 3440 x 1440 – Resolution.233mm Pixel Pitch
  • 60Hz – Can even overclock up to 100Hz
  • 1 x Display Port and 1 x HDMI 1.4 Port

Acer Predator 34-inch Curved UltraWide QHD
8.9 Editors Raiting
Pros
+ Amazing resolution and pixel pitch
+ Effective 'GAME MODE' option
+ Superb graphic and picture capabilities
+ High-tier quality
Cons
- Very Pricey
- Does NOT work unless you have a high-end computer
Image/Performance10
Spec/Features10
Quality9.5
Price3.5

1. Asus Republic of Gamers 34inch Curved

Image of the best curved widescreen gaming monitor

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This popular UWQHD monitor by Asus ROG is a true monster. Both its design and performance are real works of art. And it is our favorite gaming monitor of 2017.

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Image/Performance

It’s hard to explain just how excellent this masterpiece of a display performs. It has the best possible graphic capabilities of our time and the high-end gaming performance of a BenQ monitor.

It has a Max. Resolution of 3440 x 1440, which is real life eye candy to behold.

With a gaming monitor of this caliber, we feel it is important to mention the requirements. You cannot hope to use this screen properly with a normal desktop since the UWQHD will simply not function with a low-end PC, it may even crash it. You will need a high-end gaming PC for this to work properly. But if you have the setup to back this monitor up, it provides the best gaming experience imaginable.

Even though this is our absolute favorite gaming monitor to date, it has 2 issues. The price is simply too high, which is a general problem for large curved gaming monitor with this kind of power. But we feel that for most gamers it will simply not be worth over some of the other great displays on this list. Secondly, it is a fantastic gaming screen, but not the best for competitive gaming. The size is something that can seriously hurt your performance in high-paced gaming, although it can be fixed in settings. But it’s not much fun to buy such a large display, only to diminish it.

The BenQ and AOC monitors both have a greater Hz refresh rate, at 1/4 the price. This is something you will not notice unless you are used to 144hz though, and the response time on the Asus ROG monitor is still superb.

Specifications/Features

The NVIDIA G-SYNC Technology and 100Hz Refresh Rate makes for an incredibly smooth and beautiful gaming experience.

The monitor has a curved design with a 21:9 aspect ratio.

5-Way OSD joystick for the menu and settings. Never again do you have to configure your settings through those annoying buttons on the bottom of the screens.

Like any gaming monitor from Asus, it has their eye-care technology. The size and power of the screen make this a must have, so we were very happy to see Asus implement it for this monitor.

In short, this screen has the best possible graphic specifications on the market.

Quality

The quality is undeniable, but not surprising. When you spend this amount of money on a gaming display, it has to be expected.

The design is what really set this one apart from the Acer predator. Both in terms of beauty and qualitative feel it is off the charts. Not to say that the Acer predator is not high-tier quality, but it does have a quite boring design comparatively.

Value for Money

This monitor is extraordinarily pricey, but we feel it almost have the performance and specifications to back it up.

But this quality tier of gaming gear will almost, in any case, feel overpriced.

Asus ROG 34'' Curved UWQHD
9.0 Editors Raiting
Pros
+ Unparalleled image & graphic performance
+ Innovative design
+ UWQHD
+ Amazing Nvidia G-Sync technology
+ Joystick for settings menu
Cons
- Very Pricey
- Requires a high-tier PC to run properly
Image/Performance10
Spec/Features10
Quality10
Price3.5

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 How to Pick the Best Monitor – Buying Guide

When choosing a solid gaming monitor for your needs there are a few things you must consider to ensure you get the best performance, as well as the biggest bang for your buck. These are Panel Type, Screen Resolution, Sync Technology and Refresh Rate. In this guide, we clubbed a few of these together as they can sometimes be interdependent.

Panel Type

There are 3-panel types you find on monitors mainly which are Twisted Nematic (TN), In-Plane Switching (IPS) and Vertical Alignment (VA). All these might sound a bit complicated but we can focus on what each of them has to offer. Based on that you can determine which display would best suit your needs.

A TN panel is probably the most common one used by gamers as it offers very high refresh rates and response times. Their Achilles heel so to speak lies in the fact that the colors and viewing angles are quite poor. IPS panels are the polar opposite with rich colors, viewing angles and a higher price but response times are lower. The VA screens have super high contrast ratios and can produce deep blacks but their response time maybe a bit lower. OLED is another screen type that is around but is quite rare due to its high price tag. So based on your core and most important needs you can choose your screen. If you like watching movies with a few friends an IPS might be preferred as the viewing angles are important. If you alone use it for hard-core gaming or FPS then go for a TN option.

Refresh Rate, Response Rate, and Screen Resolution

Most LCDs come in a standard refresh rate of 60Hz. Gamers are constantly seeking higher refresh rates of at least 120Hz. So, what is a refresh rate? It’s simply the rate at which the monitor redraws the screen. The quicker this happens the higher the quality. When we repeatedly refer to pixel response we basically talk about a gray to gray response. I.e. the time taken by a pixel to move from 1 shade of gray to another.

When you look through the specs of a monitor you might find a pattern wherein the response time and refresh rate is lower on monitors with higher resolutions. A great 4K display for instance (for the time being) offers you not more than a 60Hz refresh rate and a 4ms response time. With tech and ports evolving you will see these ramped up to higher rates of 120Hz. There are ways one can try to ramp up the refresh rates but more often than not this will result in image tearing and motion blurring in larger screens.

If a higher refresh rate of 144Hz or 120Hz is an absolute must for your needs, then you will find it in a lot of 1920×1080 resolution screens in the market. These also do tend to offer a 1ms response rate too. If you are a serious gamer, always try to find a 120Hz display. This also has other benefits like 3D tech compatibility.

Sync Technology

Motion Issues and image tearing is tackled by the newest monitors on the market by employing synchronization. Basically, displays equipped with G-sync (NVidia) or Free-sync (AMD) give the GPU (graphics card) control of the refresh rate. As a result, a variable refresh rate is achieved. This makes the games lag free and smoother. Before you buy a G-sync or Free-Sync monitor make sure you have a graphics card with a supporting HDMI 2 or display port 1.2 output. We are all hoping that the arrival of the display port 1.3 gives us proper 4K displays at 120Hz refresh rates.

Other factors

Peripherals are the first thing that comes to mind for us. It can be quite handy if your monitor has ports for peripheral devices or comes with a nice set of speakers for your rig setup. Irrespective of how much we plan, we always have to repeatedly reach towards the back of the rig to connect or disconnect peripheral devices. So USB ports in addition to DVI or HDMI is a big bonus. Ports on the side are also better than ports on the back.

The price variance mainly depends on the features you opt for. You can find a cool, fast, responsive TN screen for $200 approx. If you want a huge UHD 34 inches like the ACER on our list with all the bells and whistles like overclocking and adjustable stands, then you must be prepared to spend over $1k. If you opt for the IPS or any of sync compatible screens then you are roughly looking at $300 to over $500 respectively. We’ve picked some of the best ones for FPS, and all other purposes in the list above so you have all the best options tried and tested for you.


Q&A about Gaming Monitors

Questions asked by our community, regarding PC monitors

Q: I play mostly first-person-shooters, to a competitive degree. Are there any specific factors I should be specifically looking for in a monitor, which can give an edge in fps gaming?

A: First of all you should probably not be look for an ultra-wide-screen. First of all, because they are harder to stay orientated on, but also the refresh/response rate has worse maximum that on ordinary 20-27 inch screens. These are probably the most important specifications for fps gaming, and also in any other high-paced competitive eSport game. The specific monitor we would recommend is definitely the Zowie from BenQ, which our nr3 spot on this list.

Q: I mainly play League of Legends, and I do so with a competitive mindset. I really wanna buy one of those curved ultra wide screens, but I’m afraid it might hurt my in-game performance.

A: There are two things that may hurt your competitive performance when playing on a new screen. First of all, the size. Due to its ultra-wide display, it can be a lot harder to be orientated on, but for people with excellent vision, it may even increase your performance and give you a huge edge over your opponents, since you will be able to see more of the game at once. It is worth mentioning that you can simply configure the size of the image to be smaller if this becomes an issue, but then again, what would the point of getting a huge monitor be then?

Secondly, the specifications. The general refresh and response rate cannot be as good in an ultra widescreen as in a regular 23-inch monitor. Which is why you usually don’t see ultra widescreens at competitive eSport events. So unless you have a screen which already has excellent response time etc. It will not hurt your performance.

Q: Does the curve really give any real advantage?

AYes and no, you get a real advantage in the increased enjoyment and immersive gameplay a curved monitor can provide. When it comes to competitive gaming, however, it is neither a pro nor a con. So if you want a curved screen, you should know that it is mostly to grant a more immersive gaming experience.

Q: Which monitor do they use at the big eSport tournaments?

AAt eSport events such as the LoL world championship or a Dota 2 major, the most usual is the Zowie monitor series from BenQ. It is a very affordable monitor with outstanding specifications for competitive play.

Q: Would you recommend getting a console specific monitor for my Playstation 4 or should I just stick with my TV?

 AFirst of all this depends on which tv you have at the moment. Assuming you have a good tv for console gaming, it then comes down to which type of games you enjoy the most. If you just wanna immerse yourself in beautiful, grand games such as the Witcher 3, I would stick to my large TV. If you want to perform at a high level in competitive console games such as Overwatch, Call of Duty or even Fifa, we then recommend you look for a console monitor(the Zowie on this list actually works very well for that). This is because a smaller and more gaming focused monitor has a performance in terms of frames per second and response time that a TV simply cannot compete with.

Q: I play on a year old 500$ desktop, and I really want to order the Asus ROG monitor. Will my PC be able to run the ultra widescreen properly?

A: No, we do not recommend you invest in a 1000$+ gaming monitor for your 500$ desktop. The screen may push the computer to the point of meltdown, or it simply won’t run at all. You need to get a very decent gaming PC if you want an over the top 4k ultra widescreen. However, some 500$ computers do better than others, if you wanna research more extensively up on the subject, we highly recommend this guide. 

If you have any further questions, do feel free to ask in the comment section, and you may get featured in our Q&A section. 


Sources

Some of the sources and websites we used to research for this buying guide

Scan.co.uk, all you need to know about monitors, informational gaming, and tech site.

rog.asus, PRESS RELEASE: REPUBLIC OF GAMERS ANNOUNCES SWIFT PG27UQ, official ROG Asus monitors web site.

reviversoft, computer monitor refresh rate and response time explained, online PC software website.

Cnet, what is 4k? next generation explained, a blog post about 4k screens and how it all works.

 

 

Comments(5)
  1. Steve August 24, 2016
    • Malf August 24, 2016
  2. John February 21, 2017
    • Malf February 21, 2017

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