Last updated: Thursday, January 24, 2019
Beyond your gaming rig, your monitor ranks up there with your keyboard and mouse in having the greatest impact on your overall gaming performance. For hardcore pro gamers finding the best 1080 gaming monitor is a must have. While a lot of folks are looking at 1440p and 4K monitors, there’s still a ton of gamers sticking with the tried-and-true 1080p format to ensure they don’t sacrifice a shred of performance. New 1080p monitors are powerful and responsive helping the user compete in an environment where victory can be decided in mere milliseconds.
In this article, we take a close look at this year’s top 1080p monitors for gaming. After that, we discuss the benefits of upgrading to a gaming monitor.
Check out our other pages if you are looking for an ultra HD monitor:
7 Best 1080p Gaming Monitors of 2019
Here are the seven best 1080p gaming monitors of this year.
You can tell Dell is getting extra serious about gaming with their new Alienware gaming monitors. If money isn’t an issue, we highly suggest this monitor. Ninja is using this monitor right now and it had the best specs when it was released until Acer matched it with their Predator Series (seen below). A 240Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time will help you blow the competition away. True to its name, this monitor sports a futuristic, otherworldly design that will surely impress.
A very important thing to note about this monitor is that there are two distinct models: the AW2518H and the AW2518HF. You’ll see a significant price difference between the two. The AW2518H is Nvidia G-Sync enabled and the AW2518HF is AMD Freesync compatible.
Dell didn’t skimp out on the stand part of this monitor either. It is height adjustable, tilts, swivel, and even pivots. Whether you have the neck of a goose or a natural bobblehead thing going on, you can adjust this monitor to precisely the right height and angle to game comfortably all day long. You’ll also find that you can customize the lightning effects on the back side of the monitor panel with AlienFX, much akin to Razer’s Chroma software.
Some gamers may note the TN panel on this monitor, instead of the highly praised IPS panel. True enough, IPS looks better at different angles. But for gaming performance purists, TN panels are the way to go because they offer the absolute fastest refresh rates right now. This would indeed be more of a problem if you’re going for a multi-monitor setup, but if you want a single monitor you’ll be able to adjust this for a head on view so you’ll still be getting an optimal visual experience.
The Predator XB252Q is Acer’s answer to Dell’s Alienware monitor seen above. It also sports the best-in-class 240Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. Partnered with Nvidia G-Sync technology, you’ll have a seamless gaming experience with zero compromises. The built-in EyeProtect keeps the panel flicker free to help reduce eye fatigue.
Remember, you’ll want to hook this up via display port to get that ridiculous 240Hz refresh rate and to enable G-Sync. Another thing to keep in mind is that the odds you are able to run a modern game at a stable 240+ fps is very slim. Nevertheless, it’s always good to be future proof, and with those beastly new GeForce RTX cards now available, who knows? Of course, it will depend on the game you are playing and a variety of other hardware factors.
At the end of the day, this monitor is aimed at the competitive gaming scene. They have yet to fully embrace higher resolutions in favor of optimal performance. If you want to compete in the highest levels of your game, you can’t go wrong with this monitor.
3. BenQ XL2730Z
If you’ve got your sights set on a 27-inch monitor the XL2730Z LED monitor is the best in its class. You get the big screen without sacrificing performance As far as gaming monitors are concerned, BenQ sets the bar extremely high. We are big fans of BenQ, not just for the simple fact that their monitors are top tier gaming quality, but also because they incorporate professional gamers’ input when they develop their products. Their GROM (Gaming Refresh Rate Optimization Management) and Motion Blur Reduction technology is nearly unrivaled. Furthermore, their monitors are the official monitors used in the top leagues and global tournaments, if the pros are using them you know they’re good.
This is the ultimate gaming monitor that has optimal performance in every spec that’s important within the gaming niche. A blazing fast 1ms response time, the ability to customize the aspect ratio and screen size, technology that delivers the optimal refresh rate for your current situation (up to 144Hz), and a Black eQualizer color engine so you will be able to see those sneaky enemies hiding in the shadows. It is also NVIDIA 3D vision ready with the new NVIDIA 3D LightBoost technology.
It also has some pretty cool bonus features such as the “S Switch” that is a remote controller that comes with the monitor. It has three preset buttons enabling you to customize your visual experience and then save those settings and use the scroll button on the switch to quickly change between the 3. This eliminates the hassle of adjusting your settings on screen every time you want a change. It also has a headphones hook on the back which is nice for hiding your headset and keeping your desktop setup a clean look at all times.
There are only two downsides with this product. One is that is that with some games, the out-of-the-box preset colors can be underwhelming. With a little tinkering around it is pretty easy to optimize this screen for any game and get amazing color and calibration settings are usually just a Google away. The other downside is the price, but that’s expected of course… For the best your going to pay top dollar.
This is a less expensive, slightly smaller option from BenQ. It has a whole lot less features than the XL2720T we talked about, but it still has a 1 ms GTG response time. The 60Hz refresh rate isn’t optimal for hardcore action gaming, though it still performs well in most settings and quite frankly the price is hard to beat. It still is 1080p and has a beautiful picture that you’d expect from a BenQ monitor.
It also incorporates the Black eQualizer color engine allowing the player to have an exceptional level of visibility. If you’re looking for something a little easier on the wallet, this is a wonderful entry level gaming monitor that’s going to be leaps and pounds ahead of any pack in monitor.
5. ASUS VG248QE
The ASUS VG248QE is arguably the best 24-inch screen gaming monitor on the market (although the BenQ XL2420TE might have something to say about that). It’s a beautiful full 1080p display (16:9 aspect ratio). As with the other options, its LED lit so you can rest easy that you are doing right by mother nature. And saving $$ on your electric bill is always nice. Hey, it adds up. It has a 144Hz ultra-fast refresh rate delivering one of the best refresh rates a monitor can offer. Even fast-paced shooters will get seamless, smooth visual performance. It has a 1ms GTG response time eliminating any chance of ghosting or blurring. The low monitor latency of about 7ms provides hardcore gamers with a chance to improve their reaction times.
It comes loaded with a bunch of features. To name a few of the best: Speakers, video mode presets, built-in timer and cross hair overlays, all the ports you could need, and it supports NVIDIA 3D vision. The full tilt, height, and swivel adjustments are great for getting that perfect angle. If you’re looking for a responsive monitor that was built for gamers the ASUS VG248QE is one of the best.
This monitor is the 24” version of their gaming series of monitors. ViewSonic has been in the monitor game for quite some time, and they make excellent products. Particularly well-priced at about $150, this monitor still delivers on most of the critical gaming specs. It has a gorgeous full HD glossy finish display, with crisp colors and sharp grey scale. Another LED 1920 x 1080 screen, it’s a beauty that will be compatible with all games, applications, and movies. Furthermore it is engineered with gaming in mind, with a fast 2ms response time. The only negative is that it is a 60Hz monitor, a refresh rate a little slower than what is optimal for action gaming.
It has a straightforward game mode button that’s easy to access on the screen’s bezel. When activated, it will brighten up even the darkest areas of the game to give you an edge over your adversaries. We also like the VESA-mountable design allowing you to unscrew the base and then mount the monitor on a new stand or even a snazzy wall mount. If you’re looking for a dual monitor set up $150 x 2 is a little easier to manage than some of the other options we looked at.
If you like what ViewSonic has to offer, another great product is there VX2252MH which has the same specs as the 24” version but is 22” and $20 less.
7. ASUS PB278Q
If you’ve got wheelbarrows of cash sitting around you don’t know what to do with, dumping one into this monitor could be a great idea. We will say this monitor is designed for “professional graphics,” made for visual professional doing editing and the like, so it’s a little overkill for most current generation games. That doesn’t mean it isn’t wonderful for games, it is. The Wide Quad High Definition (WQHD) screen delivers jaw dropping visuals with a maximum resolution of 2560×1440 (16:9 aspect ratio). It steps outside our 1080p monitor list at 1440p, but it still maintains excellent gaming performance.
It includes 100% of the sRGB color spectrum so virtually every single shade of every single color is perfectly reproduced on the screen. The gray to gray response time is 5ms which just passes our mark for gaming grade, and is amazing considering this is not a TN panel but a PLS panel. This PLS technology allows the monitor to be dynamically viewed from any angle without sacrificing much visual quality, making it a great multimedia option for watching movies and the like as well.
It has all the adjustment and port options you’d expect of a monitor this quality. ASUS rounded out this monitor with a variety of color temp. modes, video preset modes, and advanced Quickfit and OSD controls. This monitor was designed for the graphics enthusiasts out there and it fully delivers. If you want to take your games to the next level and enter the realm of 2560X1440 unparalleled visual performance, this is an outstanding option for gamers.
General Thoughts on Purchasing a Gaming Monitor
Naturally, the greatest benefit of buying a brand new monitor will be in the beautiful, crystal clear visual experience that a high-end monitor delivers. But the advantages of improved motion resolution, fast pixel response time, and being able to distinguish the smallest visual details a high quality monitor provides cannot be discounted. Even for more casual gamers and those who enjoy single-player games, a nice monitor goes a long way in enhancing the visual experience. However, finding the best 1080p gaming monitors can be a challenge, so we’ve done the heavy lifting for you.
Without a doubt, monitors have become one of the most complex pieces of gaming equipment. If you are having trouble deciding what you want, or just a little bewildered by all the options out there, a good place to start is our guide to gaming monitors. It gives a great overview of the critical factors and vocabulary gamers should know to make an informed gaming monitor decision. If you’ve already done some research or know enough about monitors already, read on. In the review section we are going to a closer look at 5 of the best monitors for gaming.
Advantages of a Gaming Monitor
Of course, the main advantage of a high-quality gaming monitor is that it just plain makes things look prettier. Competitive gamers will spend extra money on gaming monitors that sport low input lag and a faster refresh rate.
- Better visual experience: one of the most enticing elements of purchasing a new gaming monitor is that you can fully experience every one of your games the way the graphics designers intended you to. The more vivid colors, blacker blacks, and whiter whites all in high definition detail not only looks pretty, but can help you notice neat details you would otherwise would have missed. Or locate that sneaky bastard that’s on a knifing rampage in full camo.
- More Responsive: There is a big difference between 240Hz and 60Hz, particularly if your computer is capable of pumping out a high FPS. Not only will it minimize the risk of screen tearing if you’re running at a high FPS, your screen is going to refresh twice as fast. In addition, gaming monitors usually feature a response time of less than 5ms meaning images can be redrawn on the screen every 5 milliseconds. The higher the response time, the more accurate and fluid graphics will appear.
- Latest features: 3D-ready, overlays, preset modes, fully adjustable, USB ports, panels with flexible viewing angles (though TN panels are considered best for gaming). Many of these gaming monitors have it all. These are engineering masterpieces that are made to deliver on all the factors that matter most to gamers.