Discover more from The Shortcut
Best gaming monitors: the top displays for gaming
PC gaming is nothing without the best gaming monitors
If you’re going to play PC games, you’re going to need the best gaming monitor you can muster. Because even if you have the best GPU in the land, it means nothing if you don’t have a monitor that can properly take advantage of the horsepower.
Luckily, there are plenty of amazing gaming monitors out there that will make a wonderful companion to your shiny new RTX 4080. No matter what resolution you want to play the best PC games at, there’s a gaming monitor out there for you – even if you want to play games at a super high frame rate.
Many of the best gaming monitors are affordable too, at least much easier to buy than a TV, especially if you don’t need the fancy features that gaming companies love to shove into high-end panels. I’ve recommended some of my favorite gaming monitors here, at every price point and for every type of gamer. And if none of these gaming monitors strike your fancy, reach out and I’d love to help you pick the best gaming monitor for your needs.
Check out the best gaming PCs
How to buy the best gaming monitor
🥰 The most important thing is what you want
🧮 The higher the resolution, the more powerful your PC needs to be
🏃♀️ If you play esports, you should prioritize refresh rate over resolution
💄 4K is pretty, but 1440p is the sweet spot for PC gaming
❌ HDR is almost never worth it on a computer monitor
💸 High-end monitors are all about the prettiest image possible, you can save by compromising on screen technology
1. Alienware AW2723DF gaming monitor
A 1440p masterclass
Excellent 1440p image
Lightning fast refresh rate
On the expensive side
Gaming monitor specs:
Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 | Refresh rate: 280 Hz | Response time: 1ms | Ports: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 2.0, 3 x USB3.2 Gen 1, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x Audio line-out
When it comes to PC gaming in 2023, refresh rate is king, and nowhere is that more evident than with the Alienware AW2723DF. This is a 1440p gaming monitor with a lightning-fast 280Hz display. But even with that extremely fast refresh rate, you’re still getting an extremely color-accurate display that hits 100% of the sRGB spectrum and 95% DCI-P3. It’s fast and beautiful.
Playing games on this gaming monitor is an absolute dream come true. Even when I’m powering it with an Nvidia RTX 4090 it doesn’t feel like a waste of that graphics card’s potential. Because not only does the 1440p resolution make it easier to max out all of my games, but the 280Hz refresh rate makes me feel rewarded for having a 4K GPU powering a 1440p display.
It is a little on the pricey side, carrying a $649 price tag, but it’s genuinely a gaming monitor that will last you years and years. Plus, it’s equipped with G-Sync and is absolutely packed with ports.
2. Razer Raptor
Making cable management a breeze
✨ Gorgeous 1440p display
🧹 Convenient design for cable management
Gaming monitor specs:
Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 | Refresh rate: 165Hz | Response time: 1ms | Ports: 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x USB-C, 2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
I’ve used so many gaming monitors in my life, and the Razer Raptor continues to stand out as the one I want on my desk the most. While there’s an absolute deluge of 1440p monitors out there, the Razer Raptor stands out for having the best image quality, combined with a blistering 165Hz refresh rate.
I’ve used several different iterations of this monitor over the years, and while I don’t have it on-hand right now, I can say without a doubt in mind that it provides a premium gaming experience that few monitors can match.
3. Dell S3223 1440p gaming monitor
High refresh gaming at a decent price
✨ Beautiful image quality
📏 Large screen is perfect for gaming
💸 Not the cheapest monitor on the block, but getting there
Gaming monitor specs:
Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 | Refresh rate: 165Hz | Response time: 1ms | Ports: 2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x USB-C, 2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x 3.5mm audio
If the Razer gaming monitor is a little too pricey for you, the Dell S3223 has the same resolution and refresh rate, behind a larger display. The kicker? It’s $300 cheaper. Now, with that cheaper price, you are compromising on image quality a bit, with Razer’s display having better screen tech, and you’re also not getting RGB lighting.
But if you’re just looking for a solid gaming monitor that can give you a 1440p resolution plus a fast refresh rate, you really can’t go wrong with this Dell monitor. When I was reviewing it for Decidedly, it took me way too long to review it for the buying guide, mostly because I just didn’t want to package it up to switch to the next monitor. It’s simply a fantastic display, and perfect for anyone that wants a mid-range gaming monitor from a brand you can trust.
4. Samsung Odyssey Neo G9
The gaming monitor equivalent of a McLaren
✨ Absolutely stunning QLED display
😍 Immersive 32:9 aspect ratio
🤑 Costs more than I pay for rent
Gaming monitor specs:
Resolution: 5,120 x 1,440 | Refresh rate: 240Hz | Response time: 1ms | Ports: 2 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x 3.5mm audio, 2 x USB 3.0
PC gaming is a hobby where some folks spend upwards of $2,000 on a graphics card, just to have the most premium possible experience. And while I don’t really recommend everyone bankrupt themselves just to make their video games pretty, I do kind of see the appeal of these ultra-premium gaming products. Well, as long as you can actually afford it.
But the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is a perfect example of why I look forward to what Samsung has to offer at CES every year. I’ve reviewed all of the iterations of its G9 over the years, dating back to the Samsung CRG9, which I reviewed at TechRadar in 2019.
Every single year, Samsung has improved on an already near-perfect monitor to the point where the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is still the best gaming monitor I have ever reviewed (also at TechRadar). If I was just going off of the quality of the display, this would be my number one pick. However, with its $2,299 MSRP, I can only recommend it to folks with a huge budget.
If that’s you though, treat yourself: This monitor is a blast to play games on.
5. Samsung CR50
A budget gaming monitor that isn’t awful
⤵️ Curved display
🧹 No gimmicks
😴 Not the most exciting display
I’m going to be honest with this one, this is the only monitor on this list that I haven’t actually tested myself. However, it’s a 32-inch 1080p monitor with a curved screen and a VA panel. It’s incredibly solid for the price, and is about as cheap as I’d go for a gaming monitor.
There are absolutely more affordable gaming monitors out there from brands like Sceptre or Monoprice, but the quality is hit-or-miss. My philosophy always is, you might as well spend a little bit more now, so you don’t have to spend even more money in the future. With a Samsung monitor like this, you can trust that it will last you a few years.
Plus, once you sit down in front of a curved gaming monitor, you’re never going to want to go back.
Why can you trust my Gaming Monitor recommendations?
I’ve been reviewing computer hardware for years, which means I have first-hand experience with hundreds of gaming monitors. While companies only really like to send out their fanciest devices, I’ve seen enough bad monitors to know what to look out for. Plus, when I test monitors, I use them as my main display for a few weeks, which is usually long enough to see whether or not any serious quality issues appear.
Let me help you buy a gaming monitor
If you have any questions about gaming monitors, or anything else PC gaming, please leave a comment or reach out to us on Twitter. I’ll do my best to reply in a timely manner to help you find the perfect monitor for your setup.
The Shortcut is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.