PC gamers had possessed the capacity to run games at 1920 x 1080 for a long time but the console world has now taken a shift to 4K gaming. Newer consoles such as the PS4 Pro, Xbox One X, and Xbox One S need ultra-high definition displays in order to give the best performance. 4K monitors are the ideal companions.
If you mostly game on PS4 or Xbox One, or you have a relatively powerful PC, you can still stick to your old 1080p display. But, for the avid gamers who crave for smoothness, excellent picture quality, high refresh rate, fast and fluid gaming, then a 4K monitor is all you need.
4K monitors have been around for the past few years but initially, they used to be very expensive; in the region of $1000 upwards. That changed over time with drastic price drops and these days you can find budget models that cost around $300, such as the LG 24UD58-B 24-Inch 4K UHD IPS Monitor with FreeSync.
To be fair, this is not an intensive buying guide but we’ve narrowed down the key aspects to consider when shopping. Speaking of buying, here is our line-up of the best 4k monitors in the market:
LG is known for designing aesthetically appealing products and the 24UD58-B 4K monitor is a great example. The screen is 24 inches and uses a UHD IPS panel (3840 x 2160 pixels) plus AMD’s FreeSync to deliver vibrant colors and eliminate tearing.
The IPS panel displays bright colors and shades accurately even when viewed from extreme angles up to 178 degrees.
Featuring On-Screen control, you’re able to adjust volume and picture modes, including working other settings such as Screen Split 2.0 and Dual Controller. Speaking of brightness, the display has a maximum brightness of 250 cd/m².
The aspect ratio is 16:9, response time 5ms, and refresh rate is 60Hz. The Screen Split 2.0 feature allows you to multi-task on-screen by splitting your screen up to 4 windows.
There’s additionally the Game Mode feature with 3 different modes for optimal gaming conditions. Every setting is accessible through On-Screen Control by a few clicks of a mouse instead of the hard buttons on the monitor. Serious gamers can activate the Black Stabilizer feature, which reveals excellent detail in darker scenes.
When it comes to connectivity, the monitor offers 2 HDMI ports and 1 DisplayPort. There’s not a single USB port and that’s a major downside in itself. A black cabinet encloses the screen while being supported by a curved stand that allows only height and tilts adjustments.
There are four VESA mounting holes that can be used to mount the monitor onto a wall if needed. A mounting kit is optional though.
Overall, this is a stylish 4K monitor with entry-level features alongside an affordable price range.
The VIOTEK GN27D 27 Inch 1440p 144Hz monitor brings total immersion into reality through its curved design plus 16:9 aspect ratio. Featuring a refresh rate of 144Hz and 4.8ms response time, this gaming monitor can cope very well with the most demanding games and video playback.
The featured FreeSync technology will ensure flawless gaming without lags and tearing. From movies to MMOs, urban maps to sprawling forests, this monitor stuns and captivates every scenery, thanks to 16.7 million colors and 1m: 1 DCR.
What’s more? VIOTEK has made multi-tasking a breeze through PIP and PBP functions. These functions allow you to enter a match, stream live and video chat with your mates during the play.
In addition, this 4K monitor allows you to customize your gaming rig through 2 HDMI input ports and a Display Port without shuffling things around. Another important aspect of this monitor is its anti-glare screen and low blue light setting, which can help reduce eyestrain for when playing for long hours.
Worth mentioning is that this VIOTEK model has four variants in terms of size, including this 27-inch monitor. From the low-end 24-inch to the larger 32-inch and 34-inch monitors, this means you can choose the right monitor depending on your preference and budget. The 27-inch is the sweet spot for most gamers though. Note that the curved monitor offers a viewing angle of up to 178 degrees for genuine immersion.
To sum up, the VIOTEK GN27D 1440p monitor boasts some amazing features for fluid gameplay with the real selling point being the 144Hz refresh rate.
ASUS partnered with ROG (Republic of Gamers) to build innovative products that meet the needs of high-end gamers. The ASUS ROG SWIFT PG248Q is one of the kind with 144Hz refresh rate, which can overclock up to 180Hz. Combined with NVidia’s G-Sync display technology, it means you can experience smooth, fast and thrilling gaming. Moving visuals pose no issue and neither do motion blurs or frustrating lags.
In addition, ASUS GamePlus hotkey grants the best in-game add-ons so you can get the best of your entertainment. There’s also the GameVisual technology with 6 pre-set display functions for optimizing visuals of different content. These unique features can be accessed through OSD (On-Screen Display) settings menu or via hotkey.
This monitor has a narrow profile and that makes it ideal for multi-display layouts. You are also guaranteed to stay focused on your game without eye-strain, thanks to ASUS Eye Care technology with blue light filter and flicker-free backlighting.
Another impressive thing about this monitor is the flexible connectivity options, which include HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2 and 2 x USB 3.0 ports. An earphone jack is also available for you to feel the real sound effects from your favourite games. Simply plug in your headphones and you’re good to go.
There’s a Smart Cable Management compartment at the back of the monitor for hiding the power cable when not in use. Power consumption can be managed through Power Saving mode, which can make the monitor consume less than 0.5W.
ASUS designers also ensured that this machine is quite ergonomic and flexible. The monitor can pivot 90 degrees clockwise, tilt within +20 and -5 degrees, and adjust in height up to 4.7 inches. That said, the ASUS ROG SWIFT PG248Q is an ideal monitor for advanced gamers, however, the screen size is a bit on the downside.
The Dell S2716DGR is an upgrade of the former S2716DG model and today it’s one of the most popular 27-inch monitors. Hardcore gamers love the G-Sync compatibility combined with 144Hz refresh rate, which eliminates lags and motion blurs.
Other listed features include 1 ms response time, 1000:1 contrast ratio and 350cd/m2 peak brightness. The monitor also boasts QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440, which is equal to 3.68 million pixels and delivers twice more details than Full HD.
Manipulating the monitor has been made easy with tilt, swivel, pivot, and height adjustment features. This means you can find that sweet viewing spot especially when gaming for long hours.
The monitor connects easily to other devices and peripherals such as a mouse, keyboard, and headphones with its variety of ports. There’s HDMI 1.4 port, DisplayPort 1.2 and 4 USB 3.0 ports. The DisplayPort will let you connect to your PC whilst your console can connect to the HDMI port for simultaneous gaming options.
The monitor panel is a TN type featuring Anti-Glare properties for absolute entertainment without eyestrain. The viewing angles are also something that interests gamers and this one offers 160 degrees on vertical view and 170 degrees when viewed horizontally.
On the downside, the monitor has no card reader nor speakers. Nonetheless, the Dell S2716DGR has a superb build quality with simple functions. If you’re running an NVidia GPU, this is one you should consider for fast gaming.
The BenQ EL2870U gaming monitor is specially designed for high-end gaming due to provision of UHD (3840 x 2160) resolution combined with the ability to handle HDR content. In addition, it has a TN LCD panel with a 16:9 aspect ratio, 300 cd/m2 maximum brightness and 1000:1 contrast ratio.
As a matter of fact, the monitor is designed to adjust colour temperature and brightness according to the on-screen content and ambient light conditions. The technology is known as Brightness Intelligence Plus and it helps minimize eyestrain in any lighting environment.
The 4K HDR support maximizes the comprehensive dynamic range between genuine black and bright white to mimic what your eyes see in the real world. Pixel response is just 1ms but it’s enough to eliminate video lags and motion blurs for smooth gaming. Coupled with AMD’s FreeSync technology, you’re sure to enjoy flawless gameplay with no tearing and broken frames.
The 4K resolution will also ensure crystal-clear images and ultra-realistic details. Another quality feature is the Smart Focus, which when turned on, it highlights the area of importance for better concentration by minimizing background distractions.
When it comes to the design, the BenQ EL2870U boasts a matte-black cabinet with a stand that can tilt but no pivot, swivel or height adjustments. External connectivity is possible through 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, 1 DisplayPort 1.4, USB 3.0 and headphones output. These multi-device connectors are located at the back panel of the monitor.
In conclusion, this 4K monitor offers unmatched picture quality and its HDR support is worth the money. Gaming features are a bit limited but it’s the viewing experience that sets this model apart from the crowd.
You can check the full review of this monitor further down plus other top-quality 4K monitors. Below is a glimpse of our best 4K gaming monitor:
Which 4K monitor should grace your desk? Let’s narrow down the aspects to consider when shopping for the best 4K monitor.
Bigger looks better because it offers a more immersive gaming experience by filling up your field of view. However, a large screen demands plenty of space so you must ensure that there’s just enough for it. The cost of a big screen will also be on the higher side. Note that display size is measured in terms of diagonal length.
A major factor that relates to monitoring display is aspect ratio. Most widescreen 4K displays have an aspect ratio of 16:9, while you can also find ultra-wide screens with 21:9 aspect ratios. Aspect ratio determines how much detail you can view on your screen and 16:9 is the standard ratio these days.
There are three kinds of 4K monitors; TN, IGZO, and IPS. These terms might confuse beginners but here are how the three compare;
This is ideal for beginners because it has straightforward features plus is usually inexpensive. You can expect fast response time, however, color accuracy in objects is compromised.
This type offers improved color reproduction and image sharpness. The response time of IPS monitors is 4 milliseconds, thus better performance. IPS panels also offer great viewing angles. In other words, you can view IPS display from shallow angles and still be able to clearly see what’s on screen. IPS, therefore, becomes the best option when you want to enjoy gaming with friends around.
These are ultra-fast and offer unmatched resolution and pixel density regardless of the size of the monitor. IGZO offers the benefit of low power consumption because of limited need for illumination. IGZO is the next-gen display technology and you can read more on it here; IGZO: what it is, pros and cons.
This is where you need to pay attention to your game’s requirements because refresh rates hugely impact smoothness. A 60Hz monitor offers sufficient speed for most games but you can go up to 144Hz if you’re a heavy gamer.
On the lower end, you can find 30Hz monitors but these will be quite slow and won’t cope well with the demands of video and image editing.
Also termed as DPI, this determines the size of the menus and readability. It may not be an important factor because PC’s are usually designed with high pixel densities.
This shows the difference between the brightest and darkest scenes on your display. A high contrast ratio is better because it offers great differentiation between the bright and dark parts on the screen. In any case, there’s no standard rating for this feature.
It’s important to pay attention to the connection cables. Some manufacturers provide inferior cables, which usually affect the bandwidth, whereby the 4K resolution functions below par even at 60Hz. The refresh rates can also reduce to some extent. Therefore, make sure to purchase a monitor with 4K HDMI support for high-quality video and images.
Each 4K monitor features either G-Sync or FreeSync technology. Collectively, the technology is known as adaptive sync. The two settings help enhance system performance relating to graphics mismatch, refresh rate mismatch, and screen tearing problem.
For instance, screen tearing usually happens when you switch to fast games since the monitor refresh rate fails to stay in sync with the graphics card output. With a built-in G-Sync or FreeSync-enabled 4K monitor, you can never experience screen tearing.