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The Best Budget Gaming Monitors for All Gamer Types

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If you’re shopping for a gaming monitor, the price tags can ramp up quickly, especially if you look at models with the latest display technologies like OLED or Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). However, there are still quite a lot of monitors under $500 that are an excellent deal, without sacrificing (too much) image quality. There are even high-refresh and 4K monitors that you can get for pretty cheap these days.

TL;DR – These Are the Best Budget Gaming Monitors:

When I set out to pick a great budget gaming monitor, obviously price plays a huge role. Every monitor here is under $400, with some getting as low as $210. While there are definitely monitors cheaper than that, I don’t believe that getting a $100 monitor is worth it for pretty much anyone. After all, if you put things on a long enough scale, a $100 monitor that dies in a couple months or makes your eyes actively hurt while gaming, is going to do more harm than good in the end.

Instead, the best budget gaming monitors will provide an excellent display, along with solid features that fulfill some kind of niche. You shouldn’t need to completely swear off an ultra-wide monitor just because you don’t have $1,000 lying around, after all. However, just like any other gaming accessory, you will get much nicer gaming monitors if you’re willing to spend extra cash. You’re not going to find many OLED displays here.

Additional contributions by Danielle Abraham, Matthew S. Smith

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1. HP Omen 27q

Best Budget Gaming Monitor

HP Omen 27q

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For budget-minded buyers in search of a crisp, vibrant 1440p monitor with a high refresh rate and gaming features.

Inputs

2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4

Speedy 165Hz refresh rate in 1440p

Combining affordability and quality features, the HP Omen 27q might make you wonder why you ever paid more. It totes an IPS panel with a 400 nit peak brightness, making it possible to take advantage of HDR, albeit basic. Whatever you’re viewing will look rich, vibrant, and colorful, while the 1440p resolution hits the sweet spot with the 27-inch display, ensuring crisp, clean graphics in every frame. The contrast ratio isn’t the best out there, but it’s no worse than other monitors of this type. Still, at a typical retail price below $300, those flaws can be forgiven.

If you’re into playing fast-paced games on your gaming PC, you’ll welcome the screen’s 165Hz refresh rate and adaptive sync technology. That, along with the 1ms response time, means games should remain silky smooth and tear-free, no matter how graphically heavy they become. HP also throws in a sturdy, height-adjustable stand and a VESA mount while packing in a DisplayPort 1.4 for an easy connection to your PC and two HDMI 2.0 ports that let you play games on console at 144Hz.

2. Asus TUF Gaming VG259QR

Best 1080p Gaming Monitor Under $250

Asus TUF Gaming VG259QR

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For around $200, this 1080p monitor rocks a 165Hz refresh rate, G-Sync compatibility, and wide viewing angles.

Inputs

2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort

Handy shadow boost feature

The Asus TUF Gaming VG259QR has an IPS panel over a VA panel, so you’re in for some incredible motion performance. With a refresh rate up to 165Hz and Nvidia G-Sync compatibility, games will be smooth and stutter-free. A shadow boost feature also helps to expose enemies lurking in the shadows. Clearly, it’s great for gamers who want a budget display for competitive titles.

This 1080p gaming monitor offers up a wide viewing angle of 178 degrees, so you can see the screen whether you’re sitting or standing. Plus, an anti-flicker feature and ultra-low blue light prevent eye fatigue, making you good to game for hours. It does have a less than stellar contrast ratio though.

The VG259QR ticks off the required quality-of-life boxes with a height-adjustable, pivoting stand. Plus, there are two HDMI ports, and one DisplayPort for ample connectivity opportunities.

3. LG UltraGear 27GN800-B

Best 1440p Gaming Monitor Under $250

LG UltraGear 27GN800-B

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Get speeds up to 144Hz in 1440p on this monitor that doesn’t forget adaptive sync technology and excellent color accuracy.

Panel type

IPS FreeSync and G-Sync

Inputs

2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort

Stand isn’t height adjustable

The LG Ultragear 27GN800-B is a great upgrade for gamers on a budget. For under $300, you get a boost in resolution to 2,560 x 1,440, which brings a serious increase in sharpness compared to a 1080p monitor. Those crisp visuals will pop even more thanks to great color accuracy on a 27-inch screen, though the contrast ratio is a bit disappointing in dark scenes. And, even if you’re gaming in a sunny room, the display is plenty bright to still enjoy your content.

This 27-inch gaming monitor excels in other areas, too. It has a 144Hz refresh rate and is compatible with AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync for smooth, tear-free HDR gaming. The LG Ultragear 27GN800-B also manages to be virtually bezel-less on three sides, helping keep you further immersed in the action.

There’s just one major flaw worth noting, and that’s the lack of a height-adjustable stand. The monitor has a 100mm x 100mm VESA mount, however, so you can add a third-party stand or monitor arm if needed.

4. Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q

Best 4K Gaming Monitor Under $300

Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q

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Enjoy a sharp 4K resolution on the cheap with this display, though you only get a 60Hz refresh rate.

Inputs

1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort

Refresh rate is limited to 60Hz

4K resolution is not easy to find on a tight budget, but the Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q makes it possible. It has a 4K IPS panel with support for AMD FreeSync. The 28-inch display provides a sharp, smooth look that will blow a 1080p budget gaming monitor out of the water. With good color performance and reasonable contrast for an IPS display, there’s really no comparison after you see the under $300 price tag.

The impressive resolution does mean you sacrifice refresh rate, as this monitor is limited to 60Hz, but anything higher will be difficult for most graphics cards to hit anyways. There is, however, a stunning HDR gaming mode as well as a shadow boost feature, helping you to get the most enjoyment out of your games.

The TUF Gaming VG289Q includes an ergonomic stand that’s height-adjustable, swivels, and tilts, so you can find your ideal viewing angle. It’s rich in connectivity, as well, with two HDMI ports, and one DisplayPort. Asus has an alternative model, the VG289Q1A, which ditches one HDMI port and the height-adjustable stand to reach an even lower price.

Dell S3422DWG

5. Dell S3422DWG

Best Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Under $400

Dell S3422DWG

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Immerse yourself in the action with a cheap, ultrawide curved monitor delivering a 1440p/144Hz refresh rate.

Inputs

2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort

Immersive wide, curved display

An ultrawide curved monitor is a great choice if you want an immersive gaming experience, and the Dell S3422DWG stands out as the best budget ultrawide. It has a contrast-rich VA panel with a resolution of 3,440 x 1,440 that provides a vibrant, sharp image that looks great in any genre of game. The 21:9 aspect ratio and slight curvature of the screen wrap around your field of vision, so you can focus on the action occurring in your games rather than outside distractions.

The monitor features a solid 144Hz refresh rate and supports AMD FreeSync. This means your games should play butter smooth. The S3422DWG can suffer motion blur behind dark objects. Motion clarity is otherwise strong.

Despite its competitive price, the S3422DWG is an attractive monitor. It has a height-adjustable stand, two HDMI ports, one DisplayPort, and can even be used as a USB hub.

6. Alienware AW2523HF

Best 360Hz Gaming Monitor Under $300

Alienware AW2523HF

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Blazing fast frames up to 360Hz alongside FreeSync support, G-Sync compatibility, virtually no motion blur, and low input lag make this monitor ideal for esports.

Panel type

IPS Freesync and G-Sync compatible

Inputs

2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, 4 x USB 3.2

Fast 360Hz refresh rate in 1080p

Forget 240Hz gaming monitors with the blazing-fast refresh rate of the Alienware AW2523HF delivers. You’ll get insanely speedy frames up to 360Hz, while AMD FreeSync support and Nvidia G-Sync compatibility ensure your screen and graphics card play nicely for some next-level silky smooth action in 1080p when playing the best PC games. It’s a fantastic monitor for competitive E-sports players, as you experience virtually no motion blur and will also enjoy super low input lag.

The Alienware AW2523HF doesn’t stop there, delivering decent color accuracy and better-than-average contrast performance for an IPS monitor. The 1080p resolution is not the sharpest, but that’s an acceptable trade-off given the monitor’s high refresh rate and an easily attainable price under $400. The solid display also lives on a robust adjustable stand offering great ergonomics and a subdued look to fit perfectly in any environment.

HP Omen 32q – Photos

7. HP Omen 32q

Best 32-inch Gaming Monitor Under $400

HP Omen 32q

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Go big for less with this 32-inch,1440p monitor that hits a 165Hz refresh rate, supports FreeSync, and handles color like a champ.

Inputs

2x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.4

Sometimes you want to go bigger to see all of the action of the game a bit closer, and the HP Omen 32q has you covered for a budget price. The 31.5-inch display features a 1440p resolution with a 165Hz refresh rate and supports AMD FreeSync for supreme motion clarity.

This monitor uses an IPS panel that delivers great color performance, though its contrast is not the best. That means darker games may look flat or dull. HP claims there’s HDR support with the display’s max brightness being 400 nits, though it’s not VESA DisplayHDR 400 certified, and like other similarly priced monitors, don’t buy it for the HDR.

The HP Omen 32q has one DisplayPort 1.4 and two HDMI 2.0 ports but lacks USB connectivity. It rests on a sturdy, compact square stand that’s adjustable to get the ideal viewing angle.

Where to Get the Best Budget Gaming Monitors in the UK

You don’t always need to spend above and beyond to ensure you’re getting a decent gaming monitor. There are plenty of brilliant, and affordable, options available to those in the UK, with all the big brands set and ready to take your orders.

Dell 2721HGF

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Best Budget Gaming Monitor

Dell S3422DWG

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Asus ROG Swift PG329Q

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Best Budget HDR Gaming Monitor

Dell S3222DGM

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Best Budget 32-inch Gaming Monitor

ASUS TUF Gaming VG249Q

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ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q

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ALIENWARE 25 GAMING MONITOR – AW2523HF

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How Much Should You Spend on a Gaming Monitor?

If you’re looking for a budget gaming monitor, a good sweet spot to aim for is around $300-$400. You can find plenty of gaming monitors that are cheaper than that, but then you start running into issues with quality. You’re going to have to make compromises either way, but in general, a gaming monitor should last 3-5 years, and a $100 gaming monitor probably isn’t going to do that.

In order to find a gaming monitor that hits that price tag, you’ll need to know what to look for in a gaming monitor, and figure out which areas are most important to you, so you can make the right compromise for your needs.

Gamers on a tight budget don’t have to make as many sacrifices as they once did, but there’s still a need for some compromise. In general, you can go for a higher resolution, or you can go for a higher refresh rate, but you sadly won’t be able to snag both in a budget gaming monitor.

1080p remains the standard go-to resolution in budget displays. It certainly lacks the clarity of modern 4K TVs, but on the plus side, the low display resolution means you won’t need high-end hardware to play new games. 1440p resolution is a nice upgrade, and a better overall value if you can stretch your budget. A 1440p monitor with a 27-inch screen actually has a higher pixel density than a 48-inch 4K television. However, this means a 240Hz refresh rate will no longer be affordable.

4K is available on a budget but only at a 60Hz refresh rate. Some gamers might contend a 4K 60Hz display doesn’t truly qualify as a gaming monitor. In any case, this is the compromise you must make if you want to play at 4K for as little cash as possible.

The refresh rate of budget gaming monitors is generally 60 to 240Hz, with most landing at 144Hz or 165Hz. A refresh rate of 144Hz is a great all-around choice that can handle most games with ease, but 240Hz is a noticeable upgrade for players who only care about competitive titles. 360Hz is also now in reach for cheaper gaming monitors.

It’s important to note a monitor’s maximum refresh rate may not be supported by every input. For example, many monitors that reach up to 165Hz will only support 144Hz over HDMI. DisplayPort is the best bet if you want to use a high refresh rate.

A monitor’s display panel technology is an important and often overlooked factor. All the monitors we recommend use either an IPS or VA panel. IPS panels are prized for motion clarity, vibrance, and responsiveness, all of which makes them great for competitive gaming. VA panels have a much better contrast ratio and far superior dark scene performance, so they’re better for games with immersive, high-end graphics.

Panel Types

TN (twisted nematic)IPS (in-plane switching)VA (vertical alignment)OLED (organic light-emitting diode)

Screen size is less of a limitation than it used to be. Our budget gaming monitor guide includes options for 24-inch, 27-inch, and 32-inch monitors, and a 34-inch ultrawide. Smaller monitors tend to be less expensive and are also preferred by competitive gamers, who want the entire display to be firmly within their focus. Larger monitors are more immersive and a better choice for immersive gaming. With that said, it is possible to buy a monitor that’s too large for your desk, so make sure to measure if you’re unsure. If in doubt, a 27-inch monitor with a 16:9 aspect ratio is a safe bet.

It’s wise to buy a monitor with Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync support, depending on whether you have an Nvidia or AMD video card. Many budget gaming monitors support both. Our picks all list the standards they support.

Finally, a note about HDR. We only recommend one HDR monitor on this list, and while it’s a great value, it’s also by far the most expensive recommended here. While HDR is available on other affordable monitors, it unfortunately remains unimpressive on most as they only get up to a maximum 400-nits of screen brightness. We suggest looking for a monitor that’s at least VESA DisplayHDR 600 certified if HDR matters to you.

Budget Gaming Monitor FAQs

Is a cheaper TN Gaming Monitor worth it?

It used to be that TN (twisted nematic) panels were the go-to panel type for high refresh displays, but the technology has largely fallen out of favor due to its lackluster color reproduction and viewing angles. However, that just means any gaming monitor using a TN panel is likely going to be much more affordable than an IPS counterpart. If you’re just after the best monitor at a low price, grabbing a TN display is absolutely worth it, just keep in mind you’re not going to get the richest display experience.

Jackie Thomas is the Hardware and Buying Guides Editor at IGN and the PC components queen. She’s been writing about gaming PCs for almost a decade and has been building them even longer. You can follow her @Jackiecobra.

Kaynak

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