These days, the best PC games can take you to places and let you do things that you never thought possible, which is why you should think about picking up one of the best gaming monitors to bring your experience to the next level.

However, what separates the best gaming monitor from any old monitor. Well, it will probably depend on the kinds of features you need and your own personal preferences. There are all kinds of gaming monitors out there, and what you need will vary greatly on what kind of games you tend to play.

You may just want to get absorbed into your favorite single player game like Metro Exodus or Resident Evil 2. If so, you might want a 4K Ultra HD gaming monitor with HDR. But, if eSports titles are more your scene, battling head to head with strangers on the internet in Overwatch, you’ll want one of the best gaming monitors with a high refresh rate and low response time.

This is admittedly a lot to absorb, but we’re here to help. We’ve gathered up all the best gaming monitors we’ve ever used. So, no matter what kind of PC games you want to play, we’ll help you find the best monitor for gaming. 

HDR has been a major selling point for the best TVs for a little while now, but it has been suspiciously absent from the best gaming monitors. Until now. The BenQ EX3501R takes HDR and runs with it, crafting a curved ultra-wide that is not only what we would deem ‘attainable’, but beautiful as well. BenQ bills this monitor as a ‘video enjoyment monitor’, but from the moment you launch your favorite HDR-enabled games, you’ll see straight away why it tops our list of the best gaming monitors.

Read the full review: BenQ EX3501R 

The Alienware AW3418DW is one of the few ultra-wide monitors that can offer the level of immersion that only 21:9 monitors offer, while also featuring a high refresh rate. With a gorgeous 3,440 x 1,440 display, lightning fast 4ms response times and a stunning 120Hz refresh rate, the AW3418DW is the best of both worlds. However, all these features come with a high price, so it may not be the best choice if you’re looking for a bargain. Still, it’s not hard to see why it’s one of the best gaming monitors 2019 has to offer.

Read the full review: Alienware AW3418DW

The AOC Agon AG352UCG was already one of the best gaming monitors we’d used, so when we heard that a new revision was coming out, with a higher refresh rate and better contrast, we couldn’t wait. The AOC Agon AC352UCG6 Black Edition takes everything the original did well and turns it up to 11, making it one of the best ways to experience ultra-wide gaming. It’s pricey, yeah, but if you have the hardware to back it up, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not buying it. 

Read the full review: AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition 

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ

The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ may just be the most advanced and best gaming monitor out there – as long as you have the cash. Not only does it feature a gorgeous 4K Ultra-HD resolution and HDR, but it also features G-Sync and a 144Hz refresh rate. These specs make for one of the most impressive gaming monitors that’s ever existed – and when you see it in action, your mind will be blown. The only thing that holds this thing back from true greatness is the insane price tag. But, then again, if you have this kind of cash lying around, you should be able to afford a PC powerful enough to drive it.  

Read the full review: Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ 

The BenQ PD3200U is primarily targeted at CAD professionals, but it’s still one of the best gaming monitors out there. This is because it has a rock-solid focus on graphic design, so it’s able to offer fantastic viewing angles – meaning your friends can watch you play in comfort. Plus, unlike a lot of 4K monitors on the market, you don’t need to mess around with the settings in order to get the best picture – every unit is individually calibrated by BenQ before it’s shipped. This is one of the best gaming monitors out there, even if it’s not actually a gaming monitor. 

Read the full review: BenQ PD3200U

There’s a certain subset of PC gamers out there that need the absolute best hardware money can buy, and the Acer Predator X27 may be the best gaming monitor for them. The list of high-end features packed into the panel is almost as long as our arm – 4K resolution, HDR-10, G-Sync, 144Hz refresh rate – you’d be hard pressed to find a more advanced monitor. And, once you get a look at this monitor in person, you’ll be sold. That is, until you see the price tag – at two grand, only recent lottery winners need apply. Still, there’s nothing wrong with dreaming. 

Read the full review: Acer Predator X27

You might not believe it at first glance, but the BenQ Zowie XL2540 is every bit the gaming monitor that the other monitors on this list are. And though it may not seem it from the outside looking in, it does its job remarkably well too, sacrificing dazzling lighting effects for a zippy 240Hz refresh rate and nigh-instantaneous 1ms response time. There’s no G-Sync or FreeSync, as this monitor assumes you already have a rig that’s plenty capable of eliminating screen tears on its own. Instead, this monitor keeps it simple by supplying you with lots of visual presets, an “S Switch” control pod for managing those presets and even a pair of adjustable light screens. If you’re a professional gamer, then this is the best gaming monitor for you.

Read the full review: BenQ Zowie XL2540

Display

With this display, Samsung not only brings QLED to gaming monitors in a big way, but they also offer the widest ultra-wide monitor on the market today. Coming in at 49.5 inches, this behemoth will take up a lot of space, likely peeping over the sides of your desk, but with its impressive 3,840 x 1080 resolution and HDR, you’ll at least be blown away by the image. Even if you decide not to play in this resolution (it will require a beefy rig), you can still use all of the extra screen real estate to have a browser or a movie playing on the same screen. The only real drawback is the monstrous price tag. But for a display this premium, it may very well be worth it.

Read the full review: Samsung CHG90 QLED

If you have a powerful graphics card that you want to take full advantage of, and you don’t mind missing out on 4K Ultra HD, Samsung’s got something just for you. The Samsung CHG70 is a curved 1440p monitor with a blazing fast 1ms response time and 144hz refresh rate, which makes this one of the best gaming monitors you can buy in 2018. And, considering it’s regularly going on sale, this screen is a bargain as well. Check it out.

Read the full review: Samsung CHG70 QLED 

When you’re playing competitive shooters like Overwatch or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, you’re going to need speed more than anything to stay on top of the leaderboards. That’s where monitors like the MSI Optix MAG271CR come in. With a 1080p resolution, 144 Hz refresh rate and 1ms of latency, you’re going to have fast, smooth gameplay as long as you have the hardware to drive it. After all, 60 Hz panels are so 2014 – the best gaming monitors embrace high refresh rates.

Read the full review: MSI Optix MAG271CR

 How to buy the best gaming monitor in 2018

When you are shopping for the best gaming monitor 2018 has to offer, there are a few things that you should consider before you decide on what display should grace your desk.

By studying the following terms and specifications, you can make sure you pick the best gaming monitor for your needs – which also means you’re not paying extra for additional features that you don’t need.

Screen size: When shopping for the best gaming monitor, one of the most crucial things to think about is screen size. Larger display sizes can contribute to more immersive gaming experiences, as the game fills more of your field of vision, but you’ll need to make sure you have the room to feature a large monitor. It also goes without saying that larger monitors will usually mean a higher price.

Aspect ratio: The aspect ratio of a gaming monitor determines the width and height of the screen. Most widescreen monitors have an aspect ratio of 16:9, while older monitors had a more square 4:3, which will likely look pretty outdated in 2018. Ultra-wide monitors with aspect ratios of 21:9 are quickly gaining prevalence – they offer a wide view of your games, and many ultra wides have made our list of the best gaming monitor 2018.

Resolution: Another important factor when looking for the best gaming monitor for your needs is resolution. Here, the higher the numbers, the sharper the picture.. You will, however, need a more powerful graphics card for anything over full HD (1,920 x 1,080), even if many gaming monitors feature resolutions as high as 2,560 x 1,400 (WQHD) and 3,840 x 2,160 (4K).

Refresh rate: When you’re looking to primarily play Counter-Strike, or shooters like it, refresh rate is especially important. The higher the refresh rate, the more frames per second (fps) it can support, which lends to a smoother experience on high-refresh-rate displays. A 60Hz refresh rate is most common, with refresh rates rising to 144Hz and even 200Hz.

Response time: The best gaming monitors have low response times, which means the action remains fast and fluid, with little to no input lag. The lowest response time for TN monitors (we explain this in the next section) is 1 millisecond, whereas the newer IPS monitors usually have more delayed, 4ms response times. When you’re playing games competitively, it’s crucial to keep this number as low as possible in order to combat lag.

Panel type: This is where things get a little technical. The type of panel the gaming monitor uses will largely contribute to its response time and image clarity. TN panels (twisted nematic) have the lowest response times, and they are usually cheaper as well, but they generally don’t have great viewing angles. IPS panels (in-plane switching) have fantastic viewing angles and color reproduction, but usually  higher response times. Meanwhile VA panels (vertical alignment) sit between the two, though the slow response times makes these panels rare amid the best gaming monitors.

Viewing Angle: Most people play games while positioned in front of their gaming monitor, but this may not always be the case, particularly when you’re among spectators. A monitor’s viewing angles tell you what angle you can look at the monitor from and still clearly make out the image. The closer these numbers are are to 180, the better your viewing experience will be when standing further to either side of the monitor or looking at it from above or below.

G-Sync and FreeSync: You’ll likely notice that many of the best gaming monitors in 2018 come with either G-Sync or FreeSync technology – sometimes both. This helps keep frames per second (fps) smooth, combats screen tearing and diminishes input lag. G-Sync is developed by Nvidia, so you’ll need an Nvidia GPU, and the tech is built into the monitor, which can bump up their price tag. Meanwhile FreeSync was developed by AMD but, as it is free to use by manufacturers, the monitors usually cost less.

Check out our HDR Explained video below.

  • Image Credit: TechRadar

Gabe Carey and Bill Thomas have also contributed to this article

  • Looking for a more general monitor? Check out our list of the best monitors

While they won’t make your computer run faster, the best monitors can still make your computing experience better by reducing eye strain – which will inturn improve productivity. And, the way we look at it, monitors should be cost effective, too, so anyone can find a decent monitor no matter the budget. With high resolutions, speedy refresh rates and every screen size you can imagine, you can make your work easier on the eyes.

Whether you’re looking for a gaming monitor to keep up with the gaming PCs, or if you just bought a MacBook Air and you need one of the best USB-C monitors, you’ve come to the right place. And, you can trust our picks – we’ve tested and reviewed them all ourselves.   

Now that the best PCs can handle 4K easier than ever before, the best 4K monitors are everywhere. That’s why BenQ launched the PD3200U, a massive 32-inch Ultra HD display, as part of its Designer Monitor range. Marketed to creatives and professionals, BenQ has crafted, seemingly by mistake, a panel that gamers can get behind, too – as long as they can find room on their desks. However, 3D designers especially will love this display, thanks to the factory-calibrated color accuracy and CAD/CAM mode. 

Read the full review: BenQ PD3200U

The AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition is marketed as a gaming monitor, but if you need an ultra-wide monitor, you really can’t do much better. With its sublime color support, strong contrast ratio and lightning-fast 120Hz refresh rate – everything you do on your PC is going to feel quick, snappy and it’ll look good while doing it. It’s kind of expensive, but this ultra-wide monitor can significantly boost productivity, so it’s totally worth it – it’s one of the best monitors you can buy today, as long as you have the hardware to drive it. 

Read the full review: AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition 

When it comes to the best monitors, sometimes we’ll come across something that manages to combine so many high-end features that it seems almost alien – the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ is one such display. Not only does this gorgeous display feature an Ultra-HD 4K display, but it tops that off with HDR and Nvidia G-Sync tech – a trifecta of high-end features that makes this the best monitor you can buy today, if you have the cash. If you’re doing any kind of photo or video editing work, you really can’t go wrong with this display.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ 

Display

When you start to grow weary of the same old 16:9 aspect ratio, nothing hits the spot like a cinematic 21:9 display. It’s probably not the best for watching Netflix or YouTube, but the Acer Predator X34 is a great example of what an ultra-wide monitor can do. Boasting an attractive aluminum bezel and polygonal stand that resembles a bird’s foot, this massive 34-inch monitor is a wonder to look at. More importantly, armed with Nvidia’s G-Sync tech, you won’t need V-Sync stressing out your graphics card. The Acer Predator X34 does all the heavy lifting for you. This is about as immersive as a gaming monitor gets. 

Read the full review: Acer Predator X34

We don’t often run into technology that’s so far ahead of the curve that we’re left dumbfounded. The Dell UltraSharp UP3218K is the most recent example. Finding a monitor that can reach the raw beauty this one does should be impossible. It’s not just the resolution, either – Dell went a long way to make sure that the build quality and color reproduction are the best in the business, and well, it is. The Dell UltraSharp UP3218K is aimed at professionals, obviously, so if that sounds like it’s up your alley, it’s probably the best monitor for you. 

Read the full review: Dell UltraSharp UP3218K 

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the BenQ PD3200U 

If you’re looking for a great 1440p monitor with HDR for multimedia and gaming, the BenQ EX3203R might be the best monitor for you. This monitor is notable because it manages to bring in a ton of high-end features into a monitor that is extremely affordable. And, while 32 inches might sound like a bit much for a monitor, the 1800R curvature on this BenQ panel means that it’s easy to use, both for productivity and for immersion in your games and media. 

Read the full review: BenQ EX203R 

  • This product is only available in the US at the time of writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Acer S277HK  

Depending on your budget, it might break the bank – like any Alienware product – but Dell’s 25-inch gaming monitor will all but eliminate screen tearing. Whether you have an AMD Radeon VII or an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, there’s a configuration for you. With G-Sync or FreeSync taking away some of the heavy lifting from the GPU that would otherwise be spent on VSync, the Alienware 25’s 120Hz refresh rate may actually be viable. And, the 1ms response time is just the gravy on top.  

Read the full review: Alienware 25 

You might not believe it at first glance, but the BenQ Zowie XL2540 is every bit the gaming monitor that the Asus Predator X34 is. And though it may not seem it from the outside looking in, it does its job remarkably well too, sacrificing dazzling lighting effects for a zippy 240Hz refresh rate and nigh-instantaneous 1ms response time. There’s no G-Sync or FreeSync, as this monitor assumes you already have a rig that’s plenty capable of eliminating screen tears on its own. Instead, this monitor keeps it simple by supplying you with lots of visual presets, an “S Switch” control pod for managing those presets and even a pair of adjustable light screens.

Read the full review: BenQ Zowie XL2540

If you’re running games using a weaker GPU and you’re looking to get into ultra-wide displays without spending a fortune, you might want to check the LG 34UC79G-B out. This monitor, measuring in at 34-inches diagonally, is equipped with AMD FreeSync for screen tear elimination and a 21:9 aspect ratio best suited for games and cinema. Despite its resolution being lower than other ultrawide displays out there, this LG monitor pulls off a crisp image nonetheless – and with stunning color accuracy at that. Plus, you can change the height, which is more than can be said for even some of the more expensive 4K monitors out there. 

Read the full review: LG 34UC79G-B

If you’re planning on picking up a new Nvidia Turing graphics card on launch (we can’t blame you), you’re going to want a monitor that can take advantage of that powerful graphics card. The HP Omen X 35, then, might just be the best gaming monitor for you. Rocking a WQHD panel with 98.7% sRGB coverage, the best PC games are going to just pop on this display. And, it’s G-sync enabled, so you don’t even need to worry about screen tearing or artifacting. 

Read the full review: HP Omen X 35 

Gabe Carey and Bill Thomas have also contributed to this article

  • Get one of the best monitors on sale this Black Friday
  • Image Credits: TechRadar

Unlike your traditional desktop towers, the best all-in-one PCs have the displays built into the chassis of the computer. You’ll often find a mix of desktop and laptop components in an all-in-one PC, and while that does make it harder to upgrade, there are certainly advantages to this approach.

One of the core advantages of the best all-in-one PCs is that they take up much less space than the best PCs typically do – you don’t need to set aside space for a monitor, a tower and all the other assorted peripherals. And, because you’re using fewer cables – only one power cable, and no display cables – it’s less likely you’ll trip over errant cables.

This makes the best all-in-one PCs perfect options for offices that want to maintain a sleek and professional image. It’s no coincidence that all-in-one PCs are favored by professionals in the creative industry, especially the Surface Studio 2 or iMac Pro. On the flipside, the best all-in-one PCs are often the most affordable desktops, and they’ll give users plenty of power and a decent screen paired together in one package.

Below are the best all-in-ones PCs handpicked and regularly updated in traditional TechRadar fashion.

Back when the original Surface Studio hit the streets, it was a game changer for artists and content creators alike. And, even in 2019, the sequel still stands in a league of its own. The Surface Studio 2 doesn’t just feature the same gorgeous display and unique functionality, but it also ups the power significantly, making it a much more future-proof device. It’s still extraordinarily expensive, but if your use case is right for the Surface Studio 2, then, it’s hard to think of a better all-in-one PC.

Read the full review: Surface Studio 2

The iMac Pro, more than any other computer on this list, is aimed squarely at professionals – and it has the hardware to back it up. Packed with up to an 18-core Intel Xeon processor and up to 128GB of RAM, there isn’t a single thing you could throw at the iMac Pro to slow it down. And, while it is, without a doubt, outrageously expensive – it doesn’t really matter. If you’re the type of person that needs this level of power (you know who you are) then the price is absolutely justified. 

Read the full review: iMac Pro

Resting atop an articulating stand, the Dell XPS 27 AIO comprises of a massive 4K Ultra HD touchscreen display with a whopping sextet of ear-numbing speakers. Not only is it attractive, but it’s also top-notch when it comes to delivering powerful specs. Whether you’re making your  own beats or vibing out to someone else’s; watching films or editing  them yourself, the Dell XPS 27 should be at the top of your list when shopping around for a new PC. 

Read the full review: Dell XPS 27 AIO

Not to be shown up by the 5K iMac or new Dell XPS AIO, HP has its own unique take on the all-in-one desktop. Though it also has all its components stored in its base like the Surface Studio, the HP Envy Curved All-in-One also adds in a booming speaker bar. Add in the ultra-wide curved screen and this is one of the best and most immersive PC for enjoying movies.

Best all-in-one PC: top PCs compared

While Apple’s iMac with Retina 5K display is one of the most impressive all-in-ones around, its price places it out of the reach of most people. However, if you’re up for the expense there’s no greater MacOS machine than this — that is until the iMac Pro arrives. It comes with Apple’s sharpest 27-inch 5K Retina display. Excellent build quality and hardy specs, also makes it a PC built to last, and a fine option for productivity work, watching movies or light gaming.

Read the full review: Apple iMac with 5K Retina display

  • Image Credits: TechRadar

The best computers are getting more advanced every day, featuring eight-core processors and high-end graphics that can render ray-traced lighting in real time. So, if you want to stay on the cutting edge these days, investing into one of the best PCs is absolutely worth it – even if all you do is browse Twitter.

The good news is that buying a PC has never been cheaper. You can easily get a capable PC or even an all-in-one desktop for 500 bucks. PCs are also easily upgraded, so you can keep your machine up to date with one of the best graphics cards, a bigger and faster SSD and more RAM.

Still, going out and buying the best PC can get confusing. So, we decided to gather up all the best PCs on the market, paying special attention to any that strike a golden balance between price and performance. So, keep reading, and you’ll find all the best PCs on the market right now.

Dell Inspiron 3000

For lack of a better word, the Dell XPS Tower Edition is stealthy. Looking quite similar to that old computer that your parents had hidden beneath the desk, this boring exterior belies an exciting array of components. Inside you’ll find your choice of the latest in GPU tech, in addition to a blazing-fast 7th generation Intel CPU and a spacious hard drive and/or SSD. Now, the Special Edition is only available in the US, but our readers in the UK and Australia will still be able to buy the regular Dell XPS Tower and beef it up to the same level through Dell’s configuration page. 

Read the full review: Dell XPS Tower Special Edition

The Microsoft Surface Studio was the best PC for artists when it first launched, so we were excited when Microsoft announced the sequel. Packed with Kaby Lake mobile graphics and Nvidia Pascal graphics, the Surface Studio 2 is way more powerful than the original, and should be able to handle everything you can throw at it for the next few years at least. And, it’s still got that gorgeous PixelSense display with Surface Pen support, making it retain the title of the best PC for artists.

Read the full review: Surface Studio 2

See more like this: The best all-in-one PCs

If you’re looking for a great desktop experience, but don’t have a lot of space, look no further than the Intel Hades Canyon NUC. In this tiny bare-bones PC, you have an insanely powerful 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, and discrete-class Radeon graphics – once you throw in some RAM and storage, you’ll be able to conquer the best PC games without a care in the world. Sure, it can’t really stand up against a full-sized desktop, but when space is short, or you’d rather just have a PC that looks like a set-top box – it’s totally worth it. 

Read the full review: Intel Hades Canyon NUC 

The Alienware Aurora R7 isn’t just a great gaming PC, but it’s one of the best PCs you can buy today. Not only does it feature fantastic performance with its 8th-generation Intel Core processor and GTX 10 series graphics, but this power is conveniently stored away in its compact chassis. It’s even surprisingly affordable, considering the power on offer, and it’s even easily upgradeable, despite its unique build. With the Aurora R7, Alienware continues its journey back to the top of the best PCs.

Read the full review: Alienware Aurora R7 

See more like this: The best gaming PCs

If you’re on the market for a computer with an absolutely unbelievable amount of power, but will also look good in your living room, look no further than the Corsair One i160. Packed with Coffee Lake Refresh processors and Nvidia Turing graphics – not to mention a whopping 32GB of RAM, this computer is an absolute beast, and will chew through any game you throw at it – even on that nice 4K TV you just bought. Just prepare yourself before you jump on it – it’s not cheap.

Read the full review: Corsair One i160 

It’s easy to associate Apple with inflated pricing, but the Mac Mini avoids that altogether. The Mac Mini 2018 isn’t just an attractive small form-factor PC, it’s also crammed full of high-end desktop parts, making it a great purchase for anyone that already has a slew of Mac-ready peripherals. Plus, as opposed to Apple’s recent products, you can upgrade the Mac Mini. Well, just the memory, but you can kit the Mac Mini with up to 64GB of RAM.

Read the full review: Apple Mac Mini

See more like this: The best Macs

HP Pavilion Mini

Though at first you might confuse it for a fabric-woven Mac Pro refresh, the HP Pavilion Wave is anything but. This compact Windows machine packs in 6th-generation Intel Core processors and optional discrete AMD graphics with a uniquely integrated Bang & Olufsen speaker. Wrapped in a handsome fabric exterior, this is the perfect PC to have on the desk, as it radiates crisp sound while you browse the web or watch movies.

Read the first look: HP Pavilion Wave

HP 260 G1

It may look like a thumb drive at first glance, but the Intel Core Compute Stick has more than meets the eye. It’s actually a palm-sized PC that can plug into any screen with an HDMI input. It starts out with a lowly 1.33GHz Intel Atom cpu running Linux, but it is configurable up to an Intel Core m5 processor – which makes this one of the best PCs if you need to get some work done on the go, without having to haul around a laptop.  

  • Image Credits: TechRadar

Bill Thomas and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article