Our favorite gaming displays
For uninterrupted gaming, it is essential that the top gaming monitors of 2016 should be of high-performance. When going through the fires of hell, dodging bullets or battling ancient warriors, you do not want your screen to blur. You want to be able to see every arrow, every clue and every blast in crisp and clear detail. It is easy to mess up looking for a good gaming monitor, so definitely take the time to do your research. Below, we listed our picks for the best gaming monitors under different budgetd. Truth is, these are 3 monitors that I hold in high regard and recommend to a lot of colleagues and clients so the value is really in the quality.
So what do I look for in a gaming monitor?
To find that sweet spot between getting the ultimate desktop monitor and buying at a reasonable price can make you want to pull your hair out. But wait, we could save you that entire dilemma and just tell you how you can pick one. You should look out for:
- Response time: A good gaming monitor (like the Pavilion 27XW) should be able to handle fast-paced action. New screens will avoid ghosting and blurring and this means you should look for something that is under 10ms. If you play a lot of simulation, first-person action-packed games should be looking for monitors whose response time is right around 3-4ms but lower is always better.
- Low Lag: The other things you should check for is low input lag. This is the time taken for the monitor to process the image before it finally displays it. If you’re spending money to buy PC parts like fast processors, graphics cards, etc., then why stop in quality at your gaming monitor?
- Contrast ratio: While it is OK to look out for high ‘dynamic’ contrast ratios you should be looking out for standard ratios. Consider the option of a matte screen if you’re gaming in a bright environment.
- TN Panels: This is a popular choice among gamers as they are easy on the pocket and have good response times. If you are using your monitor for other needs as well, then you might want something that is more precise with color and produces a higher quality image. IPS-based screens are better, despite being more on the expensive side. Either way, absolutely do not cheap out on a gaming monitor.
What are some of the top gaming monitors?
Let’s get down to business. Here’s our list of 3 of the best gaming monitors 2016 has to offer:
- High end gaming monitor
- Solid IPS color
- The viewing angles are delightful
- Sleek exterior design coupled with a beautiful screen
- Dual HDMI ports.
- No USB ports.
- Definitely high-end (expensive)
The AOC i2757fh is a new entrant in the world of gaming monitors. I put it in a higher tier of monitors and it should only really be purchased if a) you will not be buying another PC monitor for a few years or b) you are really in the market for a lofty 27″ display.
The widescreen 27 inch screen has IPS technology. Through testing and benchmarking, the i2757FH gives deep, saturated colors, fantastic grey-scale reproduction and wide overall viewing angles.
As mentioned previously, the $399 retail pricetag is hefty, so make sure you are building out your PC set for the longterm. Its bezel-less design and overall gaming performance makes it a great purchase.
I played on this monitor using the Alienware Aurora R4, which we reviewed here, and our test game, Dying Light, played fantastically. Graphics were crisp and gameplay was smooth, not to mention I loved the immersion in the open-world setting of Dying Light even more because of how wide the screen was.
2. The 27″ BenQ XL2720Z
- Outstanding performance during benchmarks and play-tests
- Quick pixel response alongside a 144Hz refresh rate
- Adjustable height gives you flexibility to get comfortable
- Sturdy build
- It is not an ‘affordable monitor’ by definition, especially for a 24″ display
- Not as wide a viewing angle as the AOC above, but definitely not something that makes the BenQ monitor a “pass”
This Benq gaming monitor is a pleasure to play on. The enhanced response time and reduction of visual distortion during our custom, in-house benchmarking and testing makes it truly a competitive monitor in the market. There are multiple ergonomic adjustments, like the height that make it feel designed specifically for you.
It is quite expensive for a 24″ monitor and should only be considered for high-end and long term purposes. If you are looking to up the ante even more, the BenQ XL2720Z is also available on Amazon here.
3. The 24″ LED Asus VG248QE
- Excellent pixel response during playtests
- Very sturdy exterior build
- The most affordable monitor in this list — a must-buy if all you are looking for is a 24″ screen
- Capable of playing in 3D
- Won’t be the flashiest gaming display you buy, but maybe it doesn’t have to be
If you are looking for a high quality gaming monitor but don’t need the flashiest features or the best overall display, the ASUS VG248QE is going to be the product you’re after. Ghosting and image lag were not visually perceptible during my game playthroughs and my bench results indicated a smooth ride through 3 graphically intense games.
The color and pixel density of this model won’t be the best around, but really for the price, you are getting a very nicely-manufactured product. Alongside the quality and value, ASUS included 3D capabilities for those interested. I did have one 3D-capable game tested on this monitor and it worked decently, with just a couple of minor stutters that I didn’t notice until the benchmark replay.
Note: We used the IdeaCentre K450 to test this monitor out. A total of 3 games were tested, one of them 3D capable. We have not yet written a full review on the VG248QE, but the other two monitors above have their own.
Split for choices
We’ve just reviewed our top three PC monitors for gaming. But there are plenty of other monitors like the Acer B276HUL 27″ LED or the ViewSonic VX2452MH that focus on a more affordable, budget-friendly price. These two screens could help you with your gaming needs, especially if you have to hold out some money for other PC pieces like a video card or RAM (gotta get more RAM!)
I hope you found this article helpful! Write me a comment below or contact us if you have any questions or comments!