The latest 4K Ultra HD monitors have four times as many pixels as older Full HD monitors and boast superior picture quality. A 4K resolution is excellent for gaming because the added detail creates a more immersive experience.
Modern 4K gaming monitors start at 27 inches and go all the way up to 65 inches. Most players stick to the smaller models since the price goes up drastically as the monitor size increases. But advances in technology brought down the cost of 4K monitors, and there are now some affordable options available.
If users want to get the best out of their 4K monitor, they’ll need a high-performance graphics card to handle the resolution. Gaming in 4K resolution requires lots of processing power, and the requirements increase with the monitor’s screen size. Users should have a compatible graphics card before buying a 4K monitor to ensure they get the best resolution and frame rates possible.
Here are the best 4K gaming monitors.
Best overall monitor
LG’s 27GN950-B tops this list thanks to its versatile design and performance. It’s strong in every area, including performance, design, and value.
When it comes to performance, the 27GN950-B knocks it out of the park. It has a 27-inch in-plane switching (IPS) display with 4K UHD resolution. For a 4K monitor, it has a fast refresh of 144Hz and a grey to grey (GtG) response time of one millisecond. There’s also G-Sync and FreeSync compatibility to reduce stuttering and screen tearing. This monitor also has 16 local dimming zones, which contribute to its DisplayHDR 600 certification.
Another area where the 27GN950-B stands out is its design. It might not be as flashy as other monitors out there, but the subdued look gives it a classy appearance. The front looks like a regular monitor, but its gaming prowess is hinted at by the red accents and some of the slimmest bezels of any monitor. Things are more exciting at the back of the monitor, with a ring of RGB lighting and an Ultragear logo.
LG makes it easy to connect the 27GN950-B to other devices. All the ports are rear-facing instead of underneath or on the side. The ports on the 27GN950-B include a DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and three USB ports. There’s also a 3.5-millimeter audio jack.
Considering the 27GN950-B’s specs, it’s an excellent option for 4K PC gaming. Console players might find it a bit too small to use at a distance and might be better off with a larger monitor.
Best high-end monitor
Some buyers want the biggest screen possible to enjoy the incredible detail offered by 4K gaming. Alienware’s AW5520QF is the answer, thanks to a 55-inch OLED screen and other gamer-friendly features.
The AW5520QF blurs the line between a TV and a monitor. Its huge screen size and the inclusion of built-in 14-watt speakers and remote control are all features expected from a TV, but there is no tuner for receiving a signal or ports to connect an antenna. On the other hand, most TVs don’t come with DisplayPorts or a 120Hz refresh rate.
For such a large monitor, the AW5520QF is capable of impressive performance. Apart from the 55-inch screen and 120Hz refresh rate, it’s also compatible with FreeSync and G-Sync. Dell claims this monitor has a 0.5-millisecond GtG response time, but the figure seems very optimistic.
There’s no doubt that the AW5520QF is a niche product that won’t appeal to most gamers. Its high price presents a barrier to entry, especially when compared to a similarly sized TV. For those who can afford it, the AW5520QF provides an incredible gaming experience due to its size and high resolution.
Best mid-range monitor
Most monitors have a single DisplayPort which can inconvenience users who want to connect multiple devices. Instead of plugging and unplugging their devices, you might consider the ASUS ROG Swift PG43UQ 43, which comes with two DisplayPort 1.4s. It also has two HDMI 2.0 ports, three USB ports, and 3.5-millimeter audio ports.
Apart from the port selection, the PG43UQ stands out by having a massive 43-inch VA panel with 4K UHD resolution that brings out the finer details of games. Compared to the VG289Q and the 32UN880-B, the PG43UQ has a fast refresh rate of 144Hz and a one-second response time. FreeSync and G-Sync are also standard features.
As a quality monitor, the PG43UQ has a premium design that stands out. Like many ROG monitors, there are angular patterns and a huge ROG logo on the back. One of the more unique features is the logo projector tucked under the monitor’s bottom bezel. This projector displays an image of the ROG logo on the desk, and users can adjust its color with either the Aura software or the OSD menu.
The best thing about this monitor is that it’s big enough to double as a TV, so buyers can use it for other media besides gaming. While the PG43UQ is an excellent monitor for console players, it may be too large for PC gamers who sit closer to the screen at a desk. Another disadvantage for PC players is that they’ll need a graphics card with enough power to push the high resolution. While the PG43UQ doesn’t come cheap, it still offers superb value, thanks to its massive display, high resolution, and fast refresh rate.
Best budget monitor
Getting a 4K monitor doesn’t have to cost much. The ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q comes in at an affordable price, but it still includes features like 4K resolution and HDR10 compatibility.
Asus cut a few corners when designing the VG289Q to keep the price down. It looks like a general office use monitor because of its discreet styling and lack of accents or lighting. Despite its generic looks, it still has acceptable connectivity options, like a DisplayPort 1.2 port, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and an audio out port. There are no USB ports, but the VG289Q makes up for it by adding a pair of two-watt speakers.
While the design isn’t anything special, the VG289Q punches above its weight when it comes to performance. For a budget monitor, it has a 28-inch IPS panel instead of a cheaper vertical alignment (VA) or twisted nematic (TN) panel. The VG289Q also has FreeSync compatibility, and it can work with G-Sync. While this monitor has a high resolution, the refresh rate isn’t anything special at just 60Hz, and the response time of five milliseconds isn’t very impressive either.
Despite its drawbacks, the VG289Q is a solid choice for gamers looking for a 4K monitor on a budget. While this monitor isn’t the best for competitive gaming, it’s fine for single-player games that don’t require the fastest speeds.
Best console gaming monitor
32-inch monitors are versatile enough for PC and console gaming as well as office work. The LG 32UN880-B takes versatility a step further with its mounting options by giving users outstanding adjustability and allowing them to have a large screen in a small space.
Instead of a regular stand like most monitors, the LG 32UN880-B attaches to the side of a desk using a C-clamp. The stand is connected to a hinged arm that attaches to the monitor with another hinge. This system frees up desk space and gives the LG 32UN880-B a wide range of adjustability options. It can move up and down, tilt forward and backward, and rotate up to 90 degrees.
Apart from the mounting options, the 32UN880-B also stands out in the performance area. Like the 27GN950-B, it has an IPS screen with 4K UHD resolution and Freesync compatibility, but that’s where the similarities end. The 32UN880-B has no G-Sync compatibility, and its refresh rate is locked to 60Hz. Despite the low refresh rate, the picture quality still looks fantastic, thanks to the HDR10 certification.
While the design of the 32UN880-B is more suited to office work, it also functions as a gaming monitor and even comes with FreeSync compatibility. Its 60Hz refresh rate isn’t the fastest, but most graphics cards aren’t hitting that mark when displaying 4K content.
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