The best gaming monitors for 2022

The best gaming monitors for 2022

May 4, 2022 0 By Jacob Roach

It’s not enough to pick up one of the best monitors if you’re a gamer. The best gaming monitors are tricked out with high refresh rates and low response times to keep your gameplay fluid. Our top pick is the Alienware 34 QD-OLED, but there are several other options depending on your needs and budget.

We rounded up the best monitors for gaming, including displays ranging from 1080p to 4K and options from as little as $200 to well over $1,000. If you need a gaming monitor, we have the right displays for you.

Alienware 34 QD-OLED

The best gaming monitor

QD-OLED contrast is unbeatable

Fantastic HDR performance

Excellent color saturation

Attractive, minimalist design

Surprisingly affordable

SDR brightness is a bit low

Color accuracy isn’t perfect

Why you should buy this: The Alienware 34 QD-OLED provides the best gaming experience you can buy in 2022.

Who’s it for: Ultrawide fans who want to experience OLED with PC games.

Why we chose the Alienware 34 QD-OLED:

The Alienware 34 QD-OLED is the ultimate gaming monitor in 2022, and that’s because it finally makes an attempt to shake up the massively stale market. How? Quantum Dot OLED. The Alienware 34 QD-OLED isn’t content with poor HDR, washed-out colors, and low peak brightness. It wants to provide the best image quality possible.

And it succeeds. The Alienware 34 QD-OLED has stunning contrast due to the deep blacks that are characteristic of OLED displays. Games look stunning on the display, especially if you’re playing one of the best HDR games available on PC.

The display gets everything else right, too. It’s certified with G-Sync Ultimate for tear-free gaming, and it can top out at a 175Hz refresh rate. The resolution is great, too, with the 21:9 aspect ratio offering up a resolution of 3440 x 1400 across the 34-inch screen.

Although the ultrawide form factor may not be for everyone, the Alienware 34 QD-OLED is worth adjusting to. It offers the best image quality out of any gaming monitor you can buy, it’s not too expensive, and it comes with the essential features PC gamers need.

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

MSI Optix MPG 32 QD

The best 4K gaming monitor

Excellent color coverage and accuracy

G-Sync compatible

HDMI 2.1 with variable refresh rate and [email protected]

Solid HDR color response

Large selection of USB ports

Poor contrast

Big and heavy

Issues with GamingOSD

Why you should buy this: It has excellent color quality and accuracy, and it’s under $1,000.

Who’s it for: 4K gamers who want to do content creation on the side.

Why we chose the MSI Optix MPG 32 QD:

The MSI Optix MPG 32 QD uses quantum dot, but it misses the OLED bit of the Alienware 34 QD-OLED. That means it has much poorer contrast by comparison, but the quantum dot layer still makes colors pop in a way that few other gaming monitors can manage.

It makes HDR games look fantastic, which is shocking considering the Optix MPG 32 QD is a 4K gaming monitor under $1,000. With DisplayHDR 600 certification, G-Sync compatibility, and a refresh rate of 144Hz, the Optix MPG 32 QD rarely sacrifices to hit that price.

Outside of gaming, this monitor is a monster. It has an extended gamut, allowing it to cover 99% of the Adobe RGB color space and 143% of the sRGB color space. Based on our testing, it comes with excellent color accuracy out of the box, striking a balance between a creator and gaming display.

Few monitors even come close to what the Optix MPG 32 QD offers, and none do it at the price MSI has set. There’s no shortage of excellent 4K gaming monitors, but the MSI’s offering feels like a treat even beyond the high resolution.

Samsung Odyssey G7

The best 1440p gaming monitor

Excellent color reproduction

Beautiful design

Great curve for gaming immersion

Fast 240Hz refresh rate

Broken adaptive sync

Low static contrast performance

Curve off-center

Why you should buy this: It’s the perfect 1440p gaming monitor.

Who’s it for: 1440p gamers who want something a little more premium.

Why we chose the Samsung Odyssey G7:

1440p monitors are a dime a dozen, with several displays gunning for 2K resolution with a 240Hz refresh rate (the HP Omen 27c is a prime example). None of them do the trick as well as Samsung’s tried and true Odyssey G7, however.

It’s more expensive than the competition, but Samsung puts the extra money to good use. The Odyssey G7 is certified with DisplayHDR 600 for solid HDR gaming, and it uses a quantum dot layer to enhance colors. Even better, it supports G-Sync and FreeSync so you can have adaptive refresh regardless of which of the best graphics cards are powering your rig.

Samsung’s OSD is one of the best in the business, too. It’s normally a chore to do something as simple as adjusting your brightness, but Samsung makes it easy with a simple OSD and a single joystick. It may seem small, but it makes a big difference.

Pricey as it is, the Samsung Odyssey G7 offers a great balance of image quality, gaming performance, and quality-of-life features in a space where monitors are too often slanted in one direction or another.

Asus ROG Swift PG259QNR

The best 1080p gaming monitor

Unrivaled motion clarity

Ultra-low input lag

Buttery smooth gameplay

Superbly stable stand

Includes desk clamp

Only 1080p

Limited mainstream appeal

Why you should buy this: It manages an insane 360Hz refresh rate for the most competitive gamers.

Who’s it for: Competitive gamers who need the highest refresh rate possible.

Why we chose the Asus ROG Swift PG259QNR:

There are loads of budget 1080p monitors (we’ll get to our pick there soon), so we wanted to focus on a premium 1080p option. The Asus ROG Swift PG259QNR is a monitor built specifically for competitive gaming, sporting a staggering 360Hz refresh rate.

That’s the main draw, allowing you to see superb clarify in Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, or even Fortnite (provided you have one of the best gaming desktops). The ROG Swift PG259QNR supports G-Sync all the way up to 360Hz, too.

Otherwise, the display is solid, if unremarkable. The IPS panel provides decent color accuracy, though not the wide gamut of the quantum dot monitors above. The 24.5-inch size helps the 1080p resolution not look too fuzzy, either, provided you want to sit up close to the display.

It’s a bit of a glass cannon, but for some gamers, the Asus ROG Swift PG259QNR will be the perfect esports monitor.

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Acer Predator X28

The best G-Sync gaming monitor

Excellent color accuracy and coverage

Nvidia Reflex and G-Sync

4K at 120Hz over HDMI

Superb gaming performance

Four USB ports, including two on the side

OSD is a bit technical

G-Sync adds a small premium

No HDMI 2.1 ports

Why you should buy this: It supports true G-Sync and Nvidia Reflex, and it’s under $1,000.

Who’s it for: 4K gamers with an Nvidia graphics card.

Why we chose the Acer Predator X28:

G-Sync monitors are known for being expensive, but the Acer Predator X28 proves that adage wrong. It comes with a proper G-Sync module inside, which also brings Nvidia Reflex support, and manages to pair it with a 4K panel for under $1,000.

Although it comes with a G-Sync module, the display supports FreeSync, too. The module isn’t necessary, but it enables Reflex to analyze your system latency. Latency plays a massive role in competitive games, and Reflex is a simple solution to find what’s causing your lag.

For specs, the panel sports a 4K resolution and a refresh rate of up to 152Hz. The panel comes factory calibrated, too, and based on our testing, it manages excellent color accuracy and coverage. It’s not as good as quantum dot display for color coverage, but it will get the job done.

Although the display lacks HDMI 2.1 support, it can still handle 4K at 120Hz for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. The Acer Predator X28 does a bit of everything, and at a price that no other display can touch.

Gigabyte M32U

The best budget 4K gaming monitor

One of the only 32-inch 4K monitors with a high refresh rate

Excellent post-calibration color accuracy

Two HDMI 2.1 ports

Built-in KVM switch


Poor HDR performance

Subpar stand

Bad pre-calibration color accuracy

Why you should buy this: It comes with all of the features 4K gamers need, but at a price much lower than the competition.

Who’s it for: 4K gamers on a tight budget.

Why we chose the Gigabyte M32U:

You can pick up the Gigabyte M32U for as little as $750, which is an insane price considering the specs. It’s a 32-inch 4K monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate, and it even sports dual HDMI 2.1 ports so you can hook up a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X.

All of the specs are right, and Gigabyte goes further with an IPS panel that boasts surprisingly good color accuracy. The M32U even comes with a KVM switch, allowing you to hook up some peripherals through the included USB ports to use them between multiple systems.

It’s in the odds and ends where the M32U lags behind more premium options. The stand is terrible and it doesn’t come with any gamer flare. Throw the display on one of the best monitor stands, though, and those issues are easy to overlook.

Acer Nitro XZ272U

The best budget 1440p gaming monitor

Excellent gaming performance

Good contrast

Suprisingly color-accurate

Curved, but not too much

Competitive pricing

Lacking build quality

Light smearing with fast motion

Unimpressive color gamut

Why you should buy this: It hits the marks that 1440p gamers monitors should, but for about $100 less.

Who’s it for: Gamers who want an optimal experience without spending too much.

Why we chose the Acer Nitro XZ272U:

The Acer Nitro XZ272U is a sweet-spot monitor, and it’s easy to recommend. For around $300, you’re getting a 27-inch 1440p display sporting a 1500R curve and a refresh rate of 165Hz. That’s all you really need for gaming, as native 4K is prohibitively demanding in most cases.

Its VA panel doesn’t come with great color coverage or contrast, but it still packs decent color accuracy out of the box. The display also comes with DisplayHDR 400 certification, though our testing shows the HDR experience isn’t the best.

As is typical of VA panels, the Nitro XZ272U shows some black smearing when at overdriven refresh rates, but it’s much less pronounced than competing options. And considering the panel’s already fast 144Hz base refresh rate, you don’t have to overdrive the display at all.

Acer Nitro XF243Y

The best budget 1080p gaming monitor


Low input lag and response time

Great gaming performance

Poor stand

Why you should buy this: It’s fast, accessible, and cheap.

Who’s it for: Gamers looking for a feature-rich monitor for around $200.

Why we chose the Acer Nitro XF243Y:

The Acer Nitro XF243Y isn’t the best monitor for gaming, but that’s hard to expect for around $200. For that price, you’re getting a 24-inch display with Full HD resolution and, critically, a 144Hz refresh rate. The display also supports FreeSync, allowing you to use adaptive refresh with an Nvidia or AMD GPU.

For specs, the Nitro XF243Y checks out. It shoots ahead with low input lag and an excellent response time, ensuring that you can hit your headshots and score your goals. The IPS panel means the display has solid color accuracy out of the box, even if it takes a hit when it comes to brightness and contrast.

The Nitro XF243Y doesn’t support HDMI 2.1 for the latest consoles, and the stand doesn’t offer a ton of room for adjustment. Still, it’s hard to argue with the price of the Nitro XF243Y, especially when it carries excellent gaming performance in tow.

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

BenQ Mobiuz EX3410R

The best ultrawide gaming monitor

Bright, vibrant colors

Solid DisplayHDR 400 performance

Excellent integrated speakers

Automatic source/preset mapping

Included remote

Decent overdrive settings

Menu is a little clunky

Not well-suited for color work

Why you should buy this: It goes far beyond other ultrawide gaming monitors despite costing less.

Who’s it for: Gamers who want a premium ultrawide experience without paying $1,000 or more.

Why we chose the BenQ Mobiuz EX3410R:

The best ultrawide monitors have always struggled to find a balance: Either they’re inexpensive and focused on office use or they’re massively overpriced and tailored toward gamers. Enter the BenQ Mobiuz EX3410R, an ultrawide gaming monitor that hits the marks it should and isn’t ungodly expensive.

Those features include solid HDR performance due to the BenQ’d HDRi filter, a 144Hz refresh rate, and a 1ms response time. In our tests, we were able to configure the monitor in half a dozen distinct ways and still come out with an excellent-looking image.

As is typical of BenQ monitors, the Mobiuz EX3410R goes further with built-in speakers that rival some of the best computer speakers, as well as a remote to bring everything together. Even better, the Mobiuz EX3410R is only $800, putting every other monitor in this class to shame.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of monitor is best for gaming?

This very much depends on the type of games you want to play. If you play competitive, fast-paced games, high-refresh-rate monitors are a must as they can reduce input lag and give you a smoother gaming experience. Higher resolutions and HDR are great for more cinematic, AAA experiences, while larger, curved screens add immersion for all sorts of titles.

Can you see the difference between 144Hz and 240Hz?

Yes, but it’s very minor. Above 144Hz, refresh rates start to show diminishing returns, so most gamers won’t notice a difference between 144Hz and 240Hz. The difference is that a 240Hz has less latency — it refreshes more often — which can make a difference in how a game feels, especially in a competitive setting.

Is there a big difference between 4K and 1080p?

Yes, there’s a massive difference. 4K has more than four times as many pixels as 1080p (two million compared to over eight million). 4K displays look sharper and provide better clarity. You’ll need a powerful gaming PC to render all of those pixels, though, so you may want to stick with a lower resolution if your rig isn’t up to snuff.

What is a good size monitor for gaming?

The size of your monitor largely depends on what resolution it is. As the screen size gets larger, lower resolutions will become more pronounced. For gaming, we recommend a 24-inch monitor for 1080p, a 27-inch monitor for 1440p, and a 27-inch or larger monitor for 4K.

Keep in mind the aspect ratio, as well. Ultrawide monitors are wider, and the screen size isn’t comparable to a standard 16:9 display. A 34-inch ultrawide monitor isn’t as large as a 34-inch 16:9 one.

Does response time matter for gaming monitors?

Yes, but not in the way you might assume. Response time on a monitor measures how long it takes from one pixel to transition to a different color, not the input lag. Faster response times provide clearer motion, so a low response time is ideal for gaming.

G-Sync versus Freesync: What’s the difference?

G-Sync and FreeSync are both adaptive refresh rate technologies. The main difference is that FreeSync is an open-source version, while G-Sync is exclusive to Nvidia graphics cards. That has largely changed in recent years, however, and most monitors with adaptive refresh will work with an AMD or Nvidia graphics card.

Can I use my TV as a gaming monitor?

Yes, you can use a TV as a gaming monitor. TVs have similar options for refresh rates, resolutions, HDR support, and connections like HDMI — plus, HDMI 2.1 added support for the open Adaptive Sync technology, and some TV brands, like Samsung, support FreeSync as well.

However, TVs are generally much more expensive than monitors, so you will likely end up paying a lot more for similar specifications. TVs may also lack certain modes, menu options, and customization features that monitors have for gaming.

Can I use a gaming monitor for PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X?

Absolutely. Look for a monitor that has HDMI 2.1 or later ports for the best results. The consoles support up to 4k resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate, so you can also be generous with specs and get great results.

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