We cover a lot of monitors on this site and you may be struggling to know where to start! On this page we round up some recommended monitors to help get you going. Now clearly the recommended monitors here might not be quite right for you but our goal is to help you get started, we’ll give you a few ideas and you can read and investigate further to make sure you buy the right gaming monitor for you.
The goal of this website is to help people who hadn’t bought a monitor for a few years and need a brief introduction to what you need to know to buy the best monitor for your PC whether your main use is gaming or professional graphical design.
Let’s go through the key points to consider.
What’s the best screen size for gaming? In my opinion, 24″ is the minimum size you should consider and most, if not all, monitors on MonitorsUK are bigger than this size. But you might be thinking is bigger better? Well not necessarily. If you are sitting close up to your monitor at a smaller desk then you probably don’t want a 34″ ultra wide screen – you’ll be straining your neck to take it all in! I don’t think there is anything wrong with sticking with a 24″ screen if that’s your preference, just because bigger screens are becoming cheaper and more affordable it doesn’t mean you have to get one. But, there is a further consideration – resolution.
What’s the best screen resolution for gaming? Following on from above, screen size becomes more important when you start moving to higher resolution screens. If you are running with the higher resolution standards, for example 1440p or 4K then you really need a bigger screen to make the most of the extra pixels. Similarly, if you want a big screen, it’s going to look much better if it can run at QHD or above.
So what’s the best? At 24″ then good old 1080p full HD will look good and is perfectly acceptable. As you move to 27″ or 28″, or an ultra wide 34″ screen then you might want to go for 1440p QHD. After that, you can start thinking about 4k. Of course monitors come in all variations and we all have our own preferences so there is no right or wrong answer here.
This comes at a price though, as you move up through the higher resolutions the amount of work your graphics card has to do to move all those extra pixels around rises exponentially. So make sure you have a top line graphics card if you want good performance on a high res monitor.
What refresh rate is best for gaming? Most of us are used to running at 60hz, but I can assure that even small increments above this make a real difference. In fact the biggest gains come from when you move to 75hz, 120hz and then as you go from 144hz to 165hz you won’t be able to notice so much. But again you will need a good graphics card as it will have to generate that number of frames every second to feed your monitor and get that smooth rate. There is an additional piece of technology that can help here if you don’t have a beefy GPU that can consistently deliver 144 frames per second!
Do I need adaptive sync? Adaptive sync is gaining in popularity and it can produce good results. Do you need it? Not necessarily, if your graphics card is consistently able to produce the maximum number of frames your monitor is capable of displaying every second then you won’t get a lot of benefit. But it can produce great results where your card struggles to maintain the highest rate needed. The monitor will adapt to the frames being sent and will display them as and when it needs to resulting in a smooth and consistent image that won’t break up (or tear).
What’s the best monitor for a graphics artist? Professional PC users will have other considerations. For you, the colour reproduction and range along with the pixel density of the monitor will be critical. Professionals working with graphic design applications or photo editing suites such as Photoshop, will need top quality image reproduction. Typically you will need to look at IPS based screens, and investment in large high res monitors (QHD or 4K) will also pay off.
Hopefully you are starting to get a feel for what’s important when buying a modern PC monitor for gaming or professional use. Let’s take a look at some models.
Recommend me a Monitor
Don’t know where to start? Here’s some to get going with. I suggest getting your head round the different terms and thinking about what you want from a monitor. It takes a little thought to get the one right for you so do take your time to get familiar with the specs and talk to your supplier if you have queries about the model you are about to supply.
Recommended 21.5-23″ 1080p IPS/PLS
Monitors in this bracket are all fairly similar, personally I find this size a little small and would go for 24″ as a minimum.
- Asus VX239H: Matt
- Dell P2317H: Matt black bezel which increases the perceived black depth
- LG 23MP68VQ: 75hz, FreeSync.
Recommended 24-25″ 1080p IPS/PLS
The 24-25″ bracket is very mainstream right now, these monitors are well priced and are a decent size for day to day use and playing games.
Recommended 24″ FreeSync 144hz
There’s nothing wrong with 24″ if that’s your preference, it’s perhaps better suited to 1080p gaming though but you can get 1440p models. FreeSync is for the AMD owners but these monitors will work fine with Nvidia cards if you don’t wish to use Adaptive Syn at this time.
- Samsung C24FG70: This uses a VA panel giving it the best colour accuracy, the curved screen might not be to everyone’s liking.
- Viewsonic XG2401: Confession – I bought one of these for my home office. Makes good use of the TN panel and super low latency.
- AOC G2460PF: Should be cheaper but not as good as the Viewsonic.
- Asus MG248Q
- AOC AG241QX: A rare 1440p 144z screen in a 24″ frame
Recommended 24″ 1200p IPS/PLS
What’s a 1200p monitor you might ask? This is essentially like a normal HD screen but with an extra 120 pixels at the bottom, making it a 16:10 screen ratio compared to the normal 16:9. The overall affect is to make the screen slightly squarer in appearance. If you like the traditional squarer monitors of old, like I do, then this is a good compromise and I recommend buying one, like I did. The extra pixels do make a real difference and I just like the squarer shape too!
Recommended 25″ 1440p
Personally, I find 27″ a bit on the large size, there’s just too much monitor to take in when sat in front of my desk. On the other hand, maybe my 24″ screen could do with a little more space to play with? Well how about a 25″ monitor? This isn’t a common format so there aren’t many to filter through, so here are the ones worth a look right now.
Recommended 27″ 1080p IPS
The go to format for many gamers right now, you like the larger size and your PC can cope with 1080p resolution. If you like this large size over 24″ and you’re not ready for 1440p then you’ll want to pick one a 27″ HD model.
- Acer R271
- Dell S2715H
- Dell SE2717H
- Dell S2718H
- HP 27es
- HP 27er
- HP 27XW
- LG 27MB35PH-B
- Viewsonic VX2776
Recommended 27″ 1440p FreeSync 144hz
27″ is a popular size for gamers. But some might find it too big to take in when sat up close. 1440p will look great at this size and 144hz refresh rate ensures a smooth ride. These are best suited for those with powerful AMD graphics cards that can push up the frame rate and make use of FreeSync.
- ASUS MG279Q: Based on an AHVA panel (listed as IPS)
- BenQ XL2730Z
- ASUS MG278Q: Based on a TN panel
- AOC AG271QX
Recommended 4K TN Monitors
4K monitors are fast gaining in popularity thanks to their amazingly clear pictures. It’s not all plain sailing though, if you want to play games on a high resolution monitor like this you will need a very powerful graphics card to run it. If you are just interested in running applications then this won’t be such as issue, but do check your card will be compatible. TN based monitors are lower in cost, so going for one of these will save you a few pounds. However the lower cost comes with reduced viewing angles and no professional quality colour accuracy. Neither should have to put off a home gamer, but do bear it in mind.
- Acer XB280HK
- ASUS PB287Q
- Iiyama B2888UHSU
The Newest monitors
Looking for this year’s new releases? Here are the newest monitors available to buy right now. Click through to read our reviews and find out where you can purchase one for yourself. Newer models should have the latest game ready technology, the fastest refresh rates and best resolutions.
|ASUS ProArt PA32UC||32"||2018/03/06||60hz||IPS||FreeSync||4096 x 2160||78%||£1,979.98
|Viewsonic XG2402||24"||2017/11/01||144hz||TN||FreeSync||1920 x 1080||84%||£283.40
|ViewSonic XG2530||25"||2017/06/09||240hz||TN||FreeSync||1920 x 1080||84%||£399.99
|AOC AGON AG322QCX||32"||2017/06/06||144hz||MVA||FreeSync||2560 x 1440||80%||NA
|Samsung C32HG70||32"||2017/05/15||144hz||VA||FreeSync 2||2560 x 1440||78%||£459.99
Good luck with your purchase, do let us know what you buy, we’re always interested in what are readers are buying! Tweet to us here.