Best High-End Monitors for Gaming and Streaming
What good is a $2,000 PC if you’re pairing it with an ancient, 720p 60hz monitor that can’t show the true potential of your gaming rig… Especially if you’re thinking of starting your own streaming career to show off those mad skills of yours. If that sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place. In the next few paragraphs, we’ll be looking at the very best high-end monitors.
Before we jump straight to our list of the best high-end monitors, we’ll give you some basic ideas on what to look for. With so many options available, finding the right monitor (the best value for money) can be a cumbersome task nowadays. To save your precious time (and money), here are a few basic guidelines to follow when purchasing a brand-new gaming/streaming monitor:
Resolutions and Monitor Sizes
When talking about resolutions and monitor sizes, it’s important to note that there’s no such thing as the “perfect” monitor resolution/size. In our opinion, it all comes down to pixel density and image quality, factors that many people tend to overlook. Distance from the monitors is another important thing to mention, but for now, let’s focus on the technical side of the deal and inspect pixel density a bit further.
For those of you not in the know, pixel density is measured in pixel per inch (PPI) or pixel per centimeter (ppcm) and represents, the pixel density of monitors, TVs, cameras, scanners, and so on. The general rule of thumb is pretty simple – don’t go below 90-100 PPI or you’ll have to increase the viewing distance to get rid of that pixelated effect. 24” 1080p monitors have 91.79 PPI which is considered the bare minimum for today’s standards. If your rig can run higher resolutions, 27” 1440p monitors seem like a good way to go thanks to a slightly higher PPI (108.79).
According to the Steam Hardware and Software Survey (as of November 2018th), 60.74% of Steam users have 1080p as their primary display resolution. Even though that number keeps going down with each passing month, more than half of Steam users are using the good old Full HD resolution. There are no concrete stats on monitor sizes at the moment, but we can safely assume the majority of 1080p users own 19” to 24” monitors.
Higher Refresh Rate FTW
In addition to monitor size, resolution, and pixel density, the refresh rate is another important factor. Perhaps the most important one since we’re talking about the best high-end monitors for gaming here. Considering the fact that more than 60% of Steam users play on Full HD monitors, it’s safe to assume the majority of them own standard 60Hz panels. Don’t get us wrong – 60Hz is good if you’re a console peasant… but if you’re a hardcore PC player, don’t embarrass yourself. Up that refresh rate ASAP! 120Hz and even 144Hz are all the rage nowadays with the highest-end gaming monitors featuring buttery smooth 240Hz panels.
Keep in mind – the higher the refresh rate, the more work your GPU will have on its hands. Running 144Hz on 1080p and 1440p monitors requires a solid amount of GPU power, but if that’s too petty for your needs, feel free to explore the best high-end monitors featuring 4K at 120Hz… but first, make sure your GPU (or better yet – GPUs) can maintain the numbers without many issues.
Best High-End Monitors | Top 5 List
Now let’s check out the actual list of the best high-end monitors at the moment. We’re not working with a budget, just pure power worthy of the PC Master Race title!
5. BenQ Zowie XL2411P
Starting off at the 5th spot, we have the BenQ Zowie XL2411P; a real dream for FPS gamers due to its extremely low response time (1ms) and whopping 144Hz panel. As far as resolution and size go, you’re looking at a 1080p 24” monitor which won’t provide the best PPI but still delivers a decent image quality with vibrant colors and deep blacks.
This little bugger is the choice of many Twitch streamers thanks to its somewhat affordable price going around $250 for the base model. The biggest downside – huge bezels at look like they came out of 2012.
4. AOC Agon AG241QX
AOC is making quite a name for itself, pushing its way to the top of the food chain with their Agon models. This particular one (AG241QX) looks absolutely brilliant with medium bezels, easy to reach buttons, and a fully adjustable stand (height and pivot). This is a monitor that caters to everyone’s needs.
As far as the technicalities go, AGON AG241QX brings forth the perfect combination of size, resolution and refresh rate. It sports a 24” 1440p 144Hz panel with a 1ms response time that’s bound to deliver unparalleled performance even to the most demanding users. The price tag stands at $350, which isn’t half bad considering all the bells and whistles this thing sports, including FreeSync support for all you AMD users out there.
3. BenQ Zowie XL2540
Now we’ve gotten to one of those buttery smooth panels mentioned above. Meet BenQ Zowie XL2540, a true gaming monitor featuring a 240Hz panel for that silky smooth gameplay. Combine that with a 1ms response time (just like all previous models), vibrant colors, and easily accessible S-switch, and you’ll understand just how brilliant this model is.
Mind you, this is a 1080p panel; but you will still need a hefty GPU if you want to be at the FPS cap (240) without any hiccups. Last but not least, this 24” monitor has side-shields which block out distractions, allowing you to focus solely on the game you’re playing. The BenQ Zowie retails for around $499.
2. Acer Predator X34P
If you’re ready to splash out close to a thousand bucks for your next monitor, then it might as well be the Acer Predator X34P! At $999.99, this 34” ultrawide (21:9) curved beast is often referred to as the ultimate gaming monitor, not only due to its huge size but its curved panel, 100Hz refresh rate (overclockable to 120Hz) and solid response time (4ms).
The pixel density of this puppy sits comfortably at 110 PPI which means the ideal viewing distance is somewhere around 2 to 2.5 feet. In terms of additional features, the Acer Predator X34P sports Nvidia G-Sync, 100% sRGB wide color gamut and Acer’s EyeProtect technology to minimize eye-strain during prolonged gaming sessions.
1. Asus ROG Swift PG258Q
And finally, in the top spot, we have the brilliant Asus ROG Swift model. More precisely the PG258Q, which features a Full HD (1080p) 240Hz panel for buttery smooth gameplay and crystal-clear image quality. Of course, response time is brought down to the very minimum (1ms) meaning this is an excellent choice for streamers, hardcore gamers, and professionals alike.
The price isn’t bad either; at $549.00, this monitor is a steal. We shouldn’t forget that this thing sports Nvidia G-Sync, further improving the gameplay smoothness and eliminating stuttering and tearing. Furthermore, the ROG Swift has super thin bezels, allowing for seamless, multimonitor surround setup integration. Don’t even get us started on that sweet LED effect projected at the bottom…