I can’t help but upgrade my monitor just about every other year. The improvements in technology, as well as eye candy from my favorite AAA titles, are too strong for a tech geek like myself to ignore. As a competitive gamer, not every monitor that simply has eye candy will do. For me, low input lag is first while having an IPS panel and G-sync come secondary. Other options like FreeSync may be preferable to some.
If you have the right budget, you can own it all. Isn’t that always the case?
That being said I recently did a post on cheap and good monitors for gaming with low input lag options under $150. These monitors are fine for all types of gamers and eliminate any worry about losing a competitive advantage. For those that don’t care as much about the eye candy, I’d recommend that article. For those that do, here are my favorite high-end gaming monitors of 2016.
The Best Gaming Monitors of 2016
Our Favorite IPS, 144Hz, and G-Sync Gaming Monitors
If you’ve followed the trend of gaming monitors in the past, you’ll know that a lot of IPS panel monitors were left out of the question simply because their response times created too much ghosting. TN panel monitors were cheaper, had faster response times, and became the portal of choice. When the move to higher refresh rates happened manufacturers chose these same TN panels, at least initially, to use for gaming monitors.
Enter the Acer Predator XB271HU.
Modern technology brings the best of all worlds together in the Acer XB271HU. ULMB or ultra low motion blue technology in an IPS panel along with a 4ms gray to gray response time gives us a responsive monitor with wide viewing angles and color accuracy.
What’s more is that the Acer XB271HU incorporates G-Sync from NVIDIA to eliminate tearing. While I don’t have the exact input lag numbers of the XB271HU, the unbelievably low input lag classification of 2.75ms by TFT central of the XB270HU, gives you an idea of what to expect from this monitor.
If you can get last year’s model, the Acer XB270HU, at a good price, it’s a good option as well. Here’s how the Acer XB270HU IPS monitor compares to the Asus PG278Q TN panel G-sync monitor.
Acer Predator XB271HU Vs Asus PG279Q ROG Swift
If you’re in the market for a 1440p g-sync gaming monitor, you’ll more than likely be comparing Acer’s XB271HU with Asus’ PG279Q ROG Swift. Last year we reviewed the PG278Q TN panel monitor. The backlight bleed we got with our first two models was simply too much for us to look past.
Unlike the TN panel used in the previous generation, the PG279Q uses an IPS panel with beautiful colors and wide viewing angles. The contrast is nothing short of fantastic. In addition, the 144Hz refresh rate technology that was present in the first model has been pushed to 165Hz with a turbo mode on the PG279Q.
With that in mind, we were more than curious to look at the updated PG279Q in hopes that it eliminated any of these problems we saw with the first generation.
For the menu screen, Asus has improved upon the old design by adding a joystick design that makes it easy to navigate the menu. The Acer, on the other hand, is much more difficult to navigate. As far as design, the PG279Q is the better-looking monitor when compared to the XB271HU. In addition, the bezels are extremely thin.
In terms of overall color both the PG279Q and the XB271HU are good while the PG279Q seems slightly more vibrant to me and especially out of the box.
With all of that being said, if I had something bad to say about the PG279Q it’s that there is some slight IPS glow on most models. Then again, many haven’t so it may just be luck of the draw. For some, that will be a dealbreaker while many others may not even be bothered by it.
Other than the backlight bleed issue, the monitor itself is one of the more fantastic I’ve ever witnessed. It’s definitely worthy of consideration.
Best 4K G-Sync Gaming Monitor
Acer Predator XB271HK
Any time you’re gaming in 4k you’re going to get fewer frames per second and, therefore, need to rely on technologies like G-Sync or FreeSync to get you through. While I prefer a 1440p monitor at 144hz, I certainly understand why many are going towards 4k monitors.
If you’re going that direction in 2016, take a look at the Acer XB271HK. I feel like it’ll be the monitor this year to beat in this category. It has fantastic color and viewing angles with its IPS UHD panel and is responsive enough for competitive gaming. A gray to gray response time of 4ms limits any issues you might have with it being IPS.
While this monitor is really good I really could only recommend it to the crowd that’s either playing low-end titles and enjoying movies or those who have a powerhouse gaming PC like this one we benched with 980ti’s in SLI. If you’re not in that category, I’d recommend you start with XB271HU as 1440p is much easier to drive.
A Good and Cheap FreeSync Monitor Around $150
While I certainly would have argued in the past that you end up paying for FreeSync, this year it seems that a lot of that has been eliminated. Case and point is the Viewsonic VX2457-MHD FreeSync monitor which comes in at around $150.
The monitor itself also has a couple very nice modes for gaming including a low input lag mode that is basically a built-in process reducer. In addition, rather than your typical 60Hz refresh rate, the VX2457-MHD comes in at 75Hz which is impressive for a monitor at this price point. For response time, it features an ultra-fast 2ms gray to gray blur-free option.
Versatility on the VX2457 comes in the form of a VGA, HDMI, and DisplayPort input.
If there’s one negative on the VX2457-MHD, I’d say that the colors and brightness of the screen are very average. Still, there’s a lot to like in a gaming monitor with all these features at this price point. This monitor is also available in a less expensive 22″ size as well as a $230 27″ size.
Viewsonic XG2401 – a Budget FreeSync 144Hz Option
If having a refresh rate of above 75Hz is a priority for you, you can get a slightly better quality option in the Viewsonic XG2401 for about $100 more (the 27″ option is $150 more). It comes with a 1ms response time and negligible input lag as well as the included freeSync.
The XG2401 also comes with 2 x HDMI connectors as well as a DisplayPort and 2 USB 3.0 connectors.
Asus VG248QE – A Great Budget 144Hz Monitor
If you’re looking for for fluidity and low lag at a decent price, try the Asus VG248QE. The responsiveness of this monitor won’t leave you behind and if you decide you want G-sync you can always upgrade by adding a kit later.
In addition, it’s a great looking TN panel overall. The look and feel aren’t as great as some of the monitors above; however, the additional money you pay for those monitors is still not worth it to many gamers.
BenQ XL2430T A Strong Alternative to the VG248QE:
Following BenQ’s recent update to their original model there is another 144Hz monitor that I’d highly recommend. While it costs a little more than the VG248QE, the XL2430T has more features and comes ready with G-Sync. If you have to have G-Sync go with that rather than upgrading overall. Still at a $100 less than the XL2430T, the VG248QE will probably continue to be the more popular option.
Best Console Gaming Monitor
Looking to Go Pro? The BenQ RL2455HM is a 75Hz response time, 1 ms GTG response time, super low lag option that is regularly used for MLG tournaments.
It has black eQualizer for better clarity in dark scenes as well as smart scaling for quick size screen adjustment. In addition, the screen color and brightness are simply fantastic at this price point. In addition to that, it works incredibly well with consoles out of the box.
While I’ve had some issues with other monitors in the past, this one is ideal for console gamers. Use the low lag mode for even better responsiveness.
Overall, I can’t say enough about this monitor. No it isn’t IPS and no it doesn’t have 144Hz but yes, it will give you a competitive advantage while gaming.
A Cheap and Good IPS Gaming Monitor
A monitor I recently recommended in our post on the best cheap and good FPS gaming monitors is the Asus VS239H-P. For Under $150, you get an e-IPS panel monitor with great color accuracy and viewing angles. In addition, the input lag is very good at under 1 frame.
For an IPS panel it also has a low response time with 5ms GTG.
Overall, it’s the only cheap IPS gaming monitor I’d recommend and well worth a look if you’re not willing to fork over the kind of money it takes to buy one of the G-Sync options above.
|Model||Pic||Highlights||Connectivity||G-Sync, FreeSync, None|
|Acer Predator XB271HU||The XB271HU is the successor of my favorite monitor of 2015, the XB270HU. It has incredible responsiveness, negligible input lag, an overclockable refresh rate of up to 165Hz, and is reasonably priced for these features.||1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 4 x USB 3.0||G-Sync|
|Asus PG279Q ROG Swift||The Asus PG279Q is one of the better looking monitors I've ever seen. Color reproduction as well as viewing angles are fantastic. This is a huge leap from the PG278Q TN panel of last year. It has a few additional premium features when compared to the XB271HU and also has an overclockable refresh rate of up to 165Hz.||1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x USB 3.0||G-Sync|
|Acer Predator XB271HK||If you're looking for a 4k G-sync option, the XB271HK from Acer is what you should go with. It features 100% sRGB color reproduction as well as a 4ms response time.||1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 4 x USB 3.0||G-Sync|
|Viewsonic VX2457-MHD||The VX2457-MHD is a budget FreeSync option. The color and brightness are average, but the price gives you a lot of features for the money you spend.||1 x D-Sub, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort||FreeSync|
|Viewsonic XG2401||If you're looking for a 144Hz FreeSyc option that won't break the bank, the Viewsonic XG2401 is a perfect option. It's about $100 more for the 24" than the VX2457 model above, but is better quality overall.||2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x USB 3.0||FreeSync|
|Asus VG248QE||This monitor was originally released to showcase NVIDIA's G-sync technology along with a kit. While the kit is probably something of a secondary option at this point, the monitor itself is still very good with a low input lag and 144Hz refresh rate.||1 x DVI-D, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort||G-Sync with Kit|
|BenQ RL2455HM||If you're a console gamer and want something to use for competitive tournaments, this is what I'd recommend. It's responsive, looks great, has a lot of gaming modes and features, and will work with your console easily.||1 x D-Sub, 1 x DVI-D, 2 x HDMI||None|
|Asus VS239H-P||Want a responsive IPS monitor but don't care about all the extras? The VS239H-P is what you want. It's responsive e-IPS panel has low lag and a fairly low response time of 5ms GTG. It's a great deal at around $130.||1 x D-Sub, 1 x DVI, 1 x HDMI||None|
Vote for Your Favorite Monitor
Voting here helps me to know what you think is the best overall, most practical, or most responsive monitor. Don’t forget to leave a comment with your thoughts.
Now Closed. Here are the results from our 2015 gaming monitor poll.
What's the Best Gaming Monitor of 2015 so far?
- Asus PG278Q ROG Swift (24%, 229 Votes)
- BenQ RL2455HM (10%, 99 Votes)
- Asus VE247H (10%, 94 Votes)
- BenQ XL2420G (9%, 83 Votes)
- Asus VG248QE (9%, 82 Votes)
- BenQ XL2430T (9%, 82 Votes)
- Asus VG248QE (8%, 76 Votes)
- Eizo Foris FG2421 (8%, 71 Votes)
- Other (Leave a Comment) (7%, 66 Votes)
- Acer XB280HK G-Sync 4k Monitor (4%, 36 Votes)
- Asus VE278Q (3%, 28 Votes)
Total Voters: 946