Earlier this year, I wrote an article about the best gadgets for gamers that included a brief overview of monitors. This is an extended article for all of you who keep asking about it (you know who you are).
First off, let’s start with the basics. We’ll be working on a budget so you’re not going find expensive monstrosities showing up on this list. If you have Daddy’s card with no credit limit, this review is not for you. Just order this $1,300 Samsung Gaming Monitor and call it a day!
Terminology for Budget Gaming Monitors
Let’s start with a round of education. Here’s what you need to focus on when buying a budget monitor.
Refresh rate: The higher the better. This is pretty obvious. It’s no good if your game runs at 140 FPS and your monitor can only display 60 FPS. Most of the monitors on this list will go high, but I’ve mentioned a few cheaper options as well. To each his own.
TN vs IPS vs VA: This is where things get messy. Some people say VA is the best and TN is the worst. Well, I respectfully disagree. There are great TN monitors out there, and their colors will usually work best for gaming. VA is more suited to fancy-pants graphic designers that need their fuchsia (is that even an English word?). IPS is kind of middle of the pack, and those usually trade image quality for response times.
Resolution: The more the merrier, generally. Most new cards have a higher capacity for higher resolutions, as you’d expect. 1080p was the standard bearer a decade ago, and you can still game well at that resolution today. 1440p is the new standard and most monitors now come in that range. Anything over that isn’t going to be cheap, so you won’t see a true 4K monitor on this list…
G-Sync and FreeSync: AMD cards use Freesync to improve image quality. Nvidia uses G-Sync instead. This choice will largely depend on what specs you’re using inside your gaming PC. No use for a G-Sync monitor when you have an AMD graphics card, is there? Also, this is completely optional anyway. You’re working on a budget and more features mean more money and stretching that budget.
Anyway, this is the list of my top 10 budget gaming monitors. I’ve done lots of research to compare so many good options (seriously, they need to stop coming up with new models, it’s hard to keep up).
Also, read my tutorial on how to install an emulator on the computer so that you can play, for example, Lords Mobile on a bigger device.
Top 10 Budget Gaming Monitors
Okay. Here’s my list of the top 10 budget gaming monitors that you can get in 2024 so far. Keep checking out this list. I’ll try my best to update it as the information changes.
1. Acer SB220Q (21.5-inches)
Price is $89 at Amazon.
Starting with the ultra-cheap stuff first, this Acer monitor offers the best bang for the buck when you have no bucks to spare. It’s pretty small at 21.5 inches, but you can upgrade to a larger size for not much more. It also has 75 FPS, which is better than the baseline 60 that you usually get.
If you want connectivity, this Acer has you covered, as it connects to the computer. Could you ask for anything more at less than $100? Didn’t think so.
- It works
- Eh… everything else?
2. Acer XF250Q (24.5-inches)
Price is $329 at Amazon.
Next up, we’ve upped the FPS to a whopping 240 and everything else might take a hit. The 24.5” monitor will do the job well. It’s also got FreeSync and G-Sync compatibility, maybe. At this price point, does it even matter if it works?
If you want to run cheap games at high refresh rates, this is your best bet. It won’t give you anything more than 1080p, but it will run fast. The TN screen won’t win any beauty awards, but the colors won’t really matter that much. It also has built-in speakers, even though we all know they’re going to be crap. I’m just covering all my bases.
The fact that this gaming screen is under $300 is a miracle!
- 240 FPS
- FreeSync and G-Sync compatible (reportedly)
- 24.5”, which is more than you have
- 1080p TN screen
3. AOC 27G2 27″ Frameless Gaming IPS Monitor
Price is $209 at Amazon.
This G-Sync ready monitor is great if you have an Nvidia graphics card to pair it with. It’ll cost a bit more than your regular models, but the superb image quality is worth it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with much more than 1080p unless you’re willing to shell out a few hundreds more. It also has 144 FPS, so even your fastest games will look crisp on this monitor. The IPS screen makes colors look sharper and allows you to view the monitor from different angles, as if you’ll ever need to.
- 144 FPS
- Tilt Adjustment
- Only 1080p
4. ASUS ROG Strix XG279Q (27-Inch)
Price is $709 at Amazon.
The next entry is from the Republic of Gamers (yes, that’s what that means; not making it up). The 27” monitor is G-Sync compatible, and we’ve upgraded our screen resolution to 2560 x 1440p. We’ve gone down to 170 FPS compared to the previous two monitors, but that refresh rate is still well above the norm, so you really won’t notice a difference. What makes the Asus ROG here special is that it has an IPS screen with impressive color capacity and a minimal 1ms response time, which is a rarity.
You also get some ambient lighting on the back of the monitor to really make you feel like a gamer. However, this monitor will break the bank a bit, so consider it a bit less budget-friendly.
- 27” IPS
- 170 FPS
- Ambient lighting
- A bit less budget than others
5. INNOCN 27G1R (27-Inch)
Learn more about the INNOCN 27G1R.
Price is $224 at Amazon.
The INNOCN 27G1R is a 27-inch gaming monitor that offers impressive features. It boasts a 144Hz refresh rate, ensuring smooth gameplay, and comes equipped with FreeSync Premium technology, making it compatible with G-Sync for Nvidia card users, and providing a tear-free gaming experience. Being a 27-inch 1440p monitor priced under $250, it offers excellent value. With a VA panel, it delivers a better contrast ratio compared to an IPS panel, enhancing the visual experience.
- 144 FPS
- Great price
6. ViewSonic ELITE XG270QC 27 Inch Curved
Learn more about the ViewSonic ELITE XG270QC.
Price is $399 at Amazon.
This monitor delivers an immersive gaming and entertainment experience with its 1500R curvature, 165Hz refresh rate, and Quad HD resolution. HDR10 compatibility and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro technology ensure stunning visuals and smooth gameplay. The sleek design, including the almost frameless bezel, adds a touch of elegance, making it a top choice for gamers and multimedia enthusiasts.
- 165 FPS
- Anti Glare
- 1ms (MPRT)
- Limited color accuracy
7. AOC CQ27G2 Super Curved Frameless Gaming Monitor (27-Inches)
Price is $289 at Amazon.
Next on our list of curved screens, this is a different take on a budget curved monitor. With 144 FPS and 1ms response time, it will get your games up to speed while making them look great. However, we’re sacrificing a bit of size here, as this monitor is only 27” compared to most curved monitors out there. There’s always a downside.
This model also comes with FreeSync Premium if you’re into AMD graphics, and it has a VA panel, which as said before comes with great color saturation so you can do both gaming and graphic design on this baby.
- 1ms response time
- 2560x1440p VA screen
- 27” curved screen
8. GIGABYTE G27QC 165Hz 1440P Curved Gaming Monitor (27-inches)
Price is $370 at Amazon.
With Gigabyte, you usually don’t get disappointed and this monitor is no different. While it’s still only 27” in diagonal, it delivers with a 2560x1440p well-built screen. It also improves the refresh rate to 165Hz compared to the standard 144 of today. The VA screen saturates colors well, but it does have some problems with viewing angles. The FreeSync makes it great with an AMD card, which you’re more likely to use on a budget. It’s also worth mentioning that the monitor comes with built-in speakers. You will need to decide if that is a pro or not.
You can also get the flat version of this monitor if you’re not into the curved experience, but you’ll be getting a bit less FPS as well.
- 2560x1440p VA screen
- Has a flat version
- 27” curved screen
9. LG 27GL83A-B Ultragear (27-Inch)
Price is $299 at Amazon.
If we can up the budget a bit as well as go back to flat screens, LG is one of the top names. The Ultragear offers extremely crisp gameplay. While the features may look standard, with a 27” size and 144Hz refresh rate, this LG comes with both FreeSync and G-Sync compatibility. It’s not going to let you down, and the improved IPS screen allows for great colors while maintaining the excellent 1ms response time every gamer needs to play at their best. Overall, what you’re getting from the LG is a higher quality build compared to most budget-friendly monitors, so consider this as an upgrade towards durability.
- IPS with 1ms response time
- 2560x1440p with 144Hz refresh rate
- Slightly more expensive
10. Acer XFA240 (24-Inches)
Price is $399 at Amazon.
As I’ve previously mentioned, I think the Acer XFA240 is one of the best budget monitors. You won’t get a better deal between the price and the performance wherever you look. The respectable 24” screen for the price features a pretty good 144Hz refresh rate. While it has the slightly outdated 1080p resolution, you get what you pay for. Overall, if you’re a budget gamer, consider buying one (or two) of these and call it a day.
- Great price
Final Re-Marks. Get it? “Re” and “Mark” – as in Marks Angry Review…
Ok. Whatever. That was pretty funny!
There you go, I’ve covered everything from no budget to a higher budget. If you’re a millionaire and still stuck around till this part, I really appreciate it!
Monitors are one of the key components for a gamer, but they don’t actually improve your skill. Thankfully, no amount of money can buy that, so you’re safe no matter your budget.