The 2015 PC Gaming Monitor Mega Guide

All the screen you actually need?

Is capitalism in all its ghastly splendour is to blame? Or is it just us, we first-world punters, who have a problem with our priorities? I’m not sure. But what I do know is that, while parts of the world can’t get the basic human rights thing worked out, we’ve sure as hell nailed it when it comes to choice in the PC monitor market. 4K, adaptive-sync, 144Hz, curved screens, superwide aspect ratio – where to begin? And how can you end up with the right screen for you?

You see, I’m no latter-day socio-economic sage. But I can tell you which of this new-fangled monitor malarkey actually matters. So, who’s with me for some LCD-themed retail therapy?

As I perused the lovely new BenQ GW2765HT the other day, it did rather strike me that this was surely good enough. 27 inches. 2,560 by 1,440 pixels. A pitch-perfect IPS panel. And all for £275 / $375. I’m in.

BenQ’s GW2765HT is probably all the monitor you actually need

Hence the hand wringing and sudden surge of social conscience. Thing is, I also can’t deny that some of the latest monitor technology is rather tasty. It’s awful lot to keep up with, too. So here’s everything you need to know about all the latest screen-based stuff you can buy.

4K screens:

4K is now affordable. Affordable as in £300 / $350 for a 28-inch TN effort (don’t let the TN thing put you off, they’re great panels. Here’s our guide to the various different types of panel available, in case you’re not sure what TN even is) or even less for a 24-inch panel (check out this eye popping IPS Acer job from eBuyer, remarkable).

But here’s the catch. At this kind of panel size, you’ll probably need to change the scaling in Windows. That cocks up anything based on bitmap graphics – so that’ll be a lot of the internet. The benefit in terms of visual detail in games compared to a 27-inch 2,560 by 1,440 screen is marginal, too.

Hooray for 4K. Kinda

I do have a soft spot for 4K. But it needs to be something like the 40-inch Philips BDM4065UC, which is a bit of a bargain at a whisker over £500 / $800. Even then, you’ll need the mother of all graphics cards to drive the panel smoothly in all games. And you can forget about high refresh rates beyond 60Hz.

Status: Early adopter

5K-plus screens:
As above, only worse. Some early 5K models with 5,120 by 2,880 pixels are now available for about £1,500 / $2,000. But that’s even more pixels crammed into a 27-inch form factor and even more work for your graphics card. Forget it.

Status: Somewhere, over the rainbow

Ultrawide 21:9 aspect monitors:
When the original 29-inch superwides appeared with 2,560 by 1,080 pixel grids, the downsides of the limited vertical panel size and resolution outweighed the cinematic upsides. But now you can get 34-inch efforts with 3,440 by 1,440 dots and that little bit more vertical space.

34-inch ultrawide screens like this AOC effort kick off around £525 / $700

No question, they’re glorious things for gaming and very usable for everything else. Critically, with five million pixels to the eight million of 4K, the GPU load is more manageable for affordable graphics cards. Pricing ain’t cheap at around £525 / $700 for something like the AOC U3477PQU. But as a long-term investment, it’s awfully tempting.

The downside is that they’re all limited to 60Hz and don’t support adaptive syncing tech currently. Or do they? Hold that thought.

Status: Premium priced but awfully pretty

Curved screens:
What’s wonderful for games can be a bit weird for everything else…

As above, but curved. Yeah, curved! My instincts scream ‘gimmickry’. In practice, the wrap-around appeal is absolutely real. The downside is a slightly wonky feel when you’re not playing games. Oh and the aforementioned high-refresh and adaptive sync limitations apply.

Status: Great for games, a bit pants for everything else

High refresh – 120Hz-plus:

If there’s a single screen tech that’s making panel picking a pain, this is surely it. Once you’ve tried 120Hz-plus high refresh monitors, once you’ve experienced the silky smoothness, you just don’t want to go back to 60Hz chugatrons.

Problem is, attempting to combine high refresh with all the other good stuff like IPS panel tech, various screen sizes and shapes and indeed resolutions at best reduces your options dramatically. More likely, it usually just cannot be done.

Asus’s RoG: 144Hz but no IPS panel

To take one example, you can’t have 4K and 120Hz-plus as far as I am aware. And even if you could, imagine trying to drive eight millions pixels at 120 frames per second or more. It’s a non starter with today’s graphics cards. Likewise, even with a 2,560 by 1,440 monitor, you’re going to need one hell of a GPU to drive it at 100Hz or more.

Long story short, I remain hugely conflicted on this. I totally want high refresh. As yet, I haven’t been willing to compromise in other areas to have it.

Status: Glorious for gaming, but usually demands some kind of compromise

Adaptive sync tech:

Yep, we’re talking Nvidia’s G-Sync and AMD’s Freesync. Last time I checked, AMD’s Freesync didn’t feel quite finished. Meanwhile, G-Sync does exactly what it says on the tin, but locks you into Nvidia graphics tech end to end.

Like high refresh, this is another tech that I can’t quite decide on. The benefits are real, if subtle. It does make gaming feel smoother and given the option, I’ll take it.

G-Sync genuinely works, but locks you into to Nvidia graphics

But it’s not an absolute deal breaker and I would buy a monitor without it if all my other boxes were ticked. Put it this way, if I had to pick between it and high refresh, adaptive sync would be sleeping on the floor.

Status: Nice extra. But not a must-have feature

Size and resolution:
Inevitably, there’s overlap here with some of the other categories. But if 4K is too many pixels, what exactly is the sweet spot? Those 3,440 by 1,440 34-inch panels are sweet, no question.

But in the real world, I think 2,560 by 1,440 is the best compromise between cost, detail and GPU load right now. 27 inches is where it’s at in terms of value, currently. That said, if you can find a 30-inch 2,560 by 1,600 panel at the right price, they’re super all-rounders, too.

As for big screens in the 27-inch-plus range with 1,920 by 1,080 pixel panels (AKA 1080p), I’m not feeling them. The pixels are big and ugly at typical PC viewing distances. Big enough to make games look a bit grainy and everything else look downright blocky.

Status: If in doubt, go with 27-inch and 2,560 by 1,440

Panel types – TN, IPS and VA:

We’ve been here before. But suffice to say that my preference remains with IPS. There will be exceptions. Those 28-inch 4K panels prove TN can look great. But IPS is still the best overall compromise.

Acer’s 27-inch Predator does 1440p, 144Hz, IPS and G-Sync in a single screen…

The latest IPS screens are quick enough and have fabulous colours. VA screens usually have response problems and sometimes wonky colours. And TN screens look sludgy and still lack really good viewing angles.

These are, as ever, brutal generalisations. If you could get the panel quality of the 4K TN screens in other form factors, I might change my tune. But you can’t. So it’s academic.

Status: Choose IPS

TL;DR

Buy a 27-inch IPS 2,560 by 1,440 panel for about £275 / $375

95 Comments

  1. aircool says:

    The biggest factor in your decision making has to be your current GFX card. I’m still using my GTX680 from over three years ago quite happily on my 1920×1080 24″ monitor. If I bought a 27″ 2560×1440, then whilst my games would look pretty, they’d have a really crappy framerate.

  2. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Sad lack of a budget option, unless I’ve skipped a bit.

    I don’t like spending more than £100 on a monitor.

    Jeremy.

    • BooleanBob says:

      I’m disappointed more of the comments in this thread didn’t follow your lead and sign off with a pointed, seemingly accusatory reiteration of the author’s name.

      Jeremy.

      • FreeTom says:

        I assumed it was actually his name and he signed off with it through force of habit from writing emails.

        My name’s Tom.

        Jeremy.

        • Premium User Badge

          steves says:

          You messed up that last image.

          There is a little grey blob just above ‘single screen’.

          I can’t stop seeing it, on my monitor.

          Jeremy.

        • Unclepauly says:

          He hasn’t refuted either one of you yet so I’m going to assume it’s neither.

          Jeremy.

      • caff says:

        Hi Jeremy,

        Maybe the person who wrote this note is called Jeremy?

        Regards,
        Jeremy

    • Jeremy Laird says:

      Sorry – the piece was more a guide to all the latest available technologies than a list of best buys at a given price point. I provided examples to give an idea of the cost of the various tech options.

      If you’re going very low, budget wise, most of the techs mentioned aren’t on the menu.

      • Unclepauly says:

        Seemed like a bang for the buck on the latest tech guide. Cheap monitors do not have these features afaik.

      • Harvey says:

        Oh, the missed opportunity is so palpable. I suppose your reply is still good as a combo breaker.

        • Jediben says:

          If you can’t afford more than £100 for a NEW monitor I would suggest selling the pc and finding a thoroughly cheaper hobby.

          • iainl says:

            Particularly given the number of monitor articles in which Jeremy talks about how it’s worth spending a bit more because they’re a longer term investment than the GPU you’ll be feeding it with. My experience with monitors in the £100 range is that panel quality is extremely variable, and even when I managed to get acceptable ones both died in less than half the time my £200 Dell equivalent has being going strong for.

          • Sin Vega says:

            aaaand that’s why people hate “pc gamers”.

      • DrZhark says:

        Hey Jeremy a question, you didn’t mention 3d vision anywhere. And I KNOW that mostly nobody gives a damn about it, but I like it. If I were to choose a new 3D ready monitor, do you have any suggestions?

        • Foulplay says:

          3D Vision has been dying a slow painful death for ages now. NVidia support is barely there and developers either don’t know 3D Vision exists, or they have no incentive to support it directly, and hardware manufacturers probably aren’t willing to pay NVidia for 3D Vision 2 licencing because of these reasons.

          I’m keeping my ROG Swift for 3D, but I’ll be doing most of my gaming now on the Acer X34 instead.

    • MacPoedel says:

      Your monitor is probably the component you’ll be using the longest. To me, it makes no sense to spend more on your graphics card than on your monitor, if all the images you’re going to render have 6 bit colors and no black. Graphics cards cheaper than $100 don’t make much sense either, the iGPU in a modern processor performs almost the same. It depends on what you’re willing to spend on your pc, but I see all to often people want a fast GPU and CPU skimping on the monitor and power supply that are actually the more critical parts of the pc.

  3. yogibbear says:

    Dell U2713H (27″, IPS, 2560×1440)
    OR
    Acer Predator XB270HU 27″ G-SYNC 144Hz IPS

    Hm…..

    OR get 1 of EACH!

    • Premium User Badge

      Wisq says:

      I’ve definitely been eyeing the XB270HU. It’d be absolutely great for gaming, and if that was all I was using it for, I’d have no reservations.

      My only problem is, I have one desk, but two computers (work and gaming). I’m really not keen on manually re-plugging the monitor each time I want to change the input source — I did that for years and finally got away from it — nor on buying a DisplayPort switchbox that will cost at least $200+, has resolution/bandwidth limitations, and might not fully support 2560×1440 144Hz with G-Sync.

      Right now, I’ve got the aforementioned BenQ GW2765HT, and it basically has four independent inputs that are all negotiated and remain connected independently — DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, VGA. For a time, I had both computers plus a WiiU attached to the same monitor, all working great. If a work emergency comes up in the middle of a game and the laptop screen doesn’t cut it, I can pause the game and switch the monitor input — the game doesn’t freak out because the monitor doesn’t “disappear” like it does if I have to manually unplug it. Etc.

      I totally get that monitor manufacturers want to make it clear that you must use DisplayPort if you want G-Sync to work. But why can’t they give us a monitor that does G-Sync via DisplayPort and just behaves normally via HDMI/DVI? Or just have multiple DisplayPort inputs? It seems like supporting G-Sync means you automatically reduce yourself to 1x DisplayPort and that’s it.

      • Premium User Badge

        Jiblet says:

        I’m in exactly the same position. Currently I have a gaming machine and a work machine, each plugged into a shared central monitor and a separate secondary monitor each, giving me 3 screens.

        The Acer Predator X34 (34 inch super wide, curved monstrosity) is the first monitor I’ve seen GSync and more than a single input. It’s a £1000.

      • Frosty_2.0 says:

        Well the Asus ROG PG279Q (1440p, 144/165Hz, same AH-IPS panel as the Acer) is due November in the US for $799 USD retail with Display Port & HDMI 1.4 – Actually, all new G-Sync monitors will be using the new G-Sync revision with DP & HDMI, such as the Acer X34 mentioned.

        I actually bought the Acer XB270HU before; be warned, if you do most of your gaming at night with lights off/low, then the combined IPS glow && OR backlight bleed may annoy you when viewing any dark content.
        Not sure how good the QA/Manufacture is now, I actually tried 3 samples then a refund, in hindsight the first was technically “good enough” but the other two had dead pixels & trapped dust/flaws in the panel (and these were the “better QA” second batch manufactured May).

    • Premium User Badge

      Severn2j says:

      I bought the Acer Predator myself a few months ago and it’s one of the best PC purchases I’ve made. Truly awesome monitor, I cant say enough good words about it.

  4. kwyjibo says:

    I really wish there were some high pixel density screens at sub-27″ sizes. And I don’t want a fucking Mac.

    • gwathdring says:

      Yeah, I still care about having a good quality screen … but I don’t need crazy high resolutions and and flat out don’t want a gigantic screen. I want something in the 17 to 23 inch range that doesn’t hog unnecessary desk space or make me feel like I need to scooch my chair back a few whole feet. I’m not looking for a small television or a large monitor–just a monitor that’s fast and crisp with nice colors.

      Hard as heck to find, though. Everything even remotely marketed at gaming or other high-quality audiences tends to be MASSIVE for my tastes.

    • Pixy Misa says:

      Samsung and Dell have 24″ 4K IPS models. And the Samsung version is has FreeSync.

    • Malcolm says:

      Didn’t Jeremy link to exactly that in the article? 4K/IPS/24″: link to ebuyer.com

  5. aoanla says:

    As always with these articles, I look at my (dual, thanks to destined-for-recycling rescued second monitor) 1440×900 monitor setup and raise an eyebrow generally. I mean, it seems fine to me, I can’t really see the pixels that well, etc.

    • Alecthar says:

      For me it’s not an issue of pixel pitch, really, but real estate. The amount of screen you have to play around with on a 27′ or 30′ monitor is simply awesome. With two, even better. At work we run on strictly corporate provided hardware, so I deal with dual 1280×1024 monitors daily, and it’s always shitty to deal with compared to my home setup.

      But it’s also a YMMV situation. You might go to your local brick-and-mortar, if they have at least a couple 1440p monitors on offer you’ll be able to see if it’s the kind of thing you might like.

      • mukuste says:

        That’s only important if you plan to work on it and a complete non-issue for gaming, though.

        I may be even more modest than aoanla here because I have a 1920×1080 Dell which went for around €200 and I think it’s great. 60fps seems plenty smooth to me and I don’t have the feeling I’m missing anything for not having spent €600+ on a monitor.

        Makes the bizarre monitor fixation of the “week in tech” column even more incomprehensible to me, seems like every second article here is about monitors.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      I think it’s one of those things, that if you spent an hour or so with a bigger, high res, high refresh rate, monitor, then your current one would no longer seem acceptable. As it is though you’re happy with what you have.

      Basically, don’t try out any expensive monitor setups or you’ll start to get envy, be happy with what you have.

  6. Zaxwerks says:

    Yeah I’d say the article is spot on, been gaming on a 27 inch Dell Ultrasharp IPS for a couple of years and it’s great. Having said that my Acer Predator X34 arrives tomorrow which I’m totally stoked about (however I’m trying to forget how stupidly expensive it is in addition to the SLI cards I need to drive it).

    If I had less money and more sense then I’d go for the Acer Predator XB270HU – that’s the sweet spot.

    • VFRHawk says:

      If you don’t mind me asking, where did you get a Predator X34 from, and did you go for the Freesync or G Sync variety? I want to order one for a new high end rig I’m about to build but can’t find anywhere that has them in stock…

      I’m in the UK, so anywhere in Europe would work I suspect!

      • Foulplay says:

        I got my Acer X34 from Scan, but I pre-ordered it months ago. OCUK apparently have (or had) stock as well.

        Have to say, the X34 Gsync is amazing so far.

        • VFRHawk says:

          Yeah, I managed to find stock in Very (what used to be Littlewoods catalogue basically) surprisingly. In stock though they can’t deliver it for a few weeks. Doesn’t matter, gonna take me a while to build the rig. Now just need the Samsung 950 Pro M2 SSD to come into stock somewhere!

  7. internisus says:

    Once I can afford it, I plan to purchase the Asus ROG SWIFT PG279Q, which is finally coming out very soon. It checks all the boxes: 2560×1440, IPS, 144 Hz, and G-sync. It’s the monitor I’ve been waiting for my whole life.

    • Smagma says:

      Asus ROG PG279Q is actually 165 Hz. But yeah, I’m also saving money for this one.

  8. hermitskull says:

    This article seems about right. I have a BenQ GW 2765 27″ IPS (probably the same as the one pictured at the start of the article) and it’s been amazing, especially for the price.

  9. rawhammer says:

    or buy a 1080p ips for £100 and save a lot of moneyz

  10. MattM says:

    Thanks for making this. I keep up pretty well on CPU/GPU, but when I need a new monitor its hard to get good info.

  11. Chmilz says:

    21:9 Ultrawide

    I received my Acer XR341CK 21:9 34″ 3440×1440 curved screen on Monday. 75hz with Freesync. Absolutely glorious.

  12. SingularityParadigm says:

    You neglected a particular display technology: low-persistence aka Ultra Low Motion Blur. The Acer X34 would tick all of the boxes if it just included that in addition to G-Sync, or even instead of G-Sync.

    • Zanchito says:

      I’ve got one and it’s glorious. It doesn’t have ulmb, though, but 100hz,ips,gsync and excellent colour. If you’re not a pro player, 21:9 is awesome, can’t see myself going back to anything narrower, ever.

    • Premium User Badge

      steves says:

      I thought anything modern that did G-SYNC also supported ULMB, though as an either/or option – can’t have both running at the same time.

      This here ROG swift thing does, and if you can hit a solid 120Hz (easily done on old games) then ULMB is the better option. Is looking very nice on Deus Ex Revision…

      • SingularityParadigm says:

        That is what I thought as well, but the TFT Central review indicates otherwise: link to tftcentral.co.uk

      • OmNomNom says:

        The thing about ULMB is you really notice microstutter and momentary framerate drops because of how much less blurry the picture is with movement, it can also make the picture look more ‘flickery’ at lower refresh rates especially, because it is strobing after all.

        For me, the difference ULMB makes is night and day on many fast moving games but you really need to make sure your system can push 120hz with those games and settings or you may end up being disappointed.

        The other thing to watch out for with ULMB/Blur reduction monitors is how much the luminance and brightness takes a hit while the blur reduction mode is enabled. Newer screens such as the Benq XL2730Z are starting to overcome this however and have decent brightness and luminance in ULMB mode so things are looking good for upcoming monitors as well, the best place to get this info is probably TFT Central since they are the only site I know of that do such in depth tests.

  13. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    The BenQ GW2765HT? Why that’s the very monitor I’m looking at as I type. Tis a great display, lovely 1440p gaming and IPS colours. The only gripe I have is some pretty extreme light bleed in 3 of 4 corners. Reduced to negligible with some tweaking (I’m using the recommended settings here: link to tftcentral.co.uk). But when I want to see the Witcher 3 in maximum brightness glory, the bleed on dark scenes is quite distracting. Otherwise a superb monitor, and for under £300 an absolute winner.

  14. Frings says:

    I gamed on a 17″ laptop for so many years of my life (my friends constantly in awe of my “laptop on couch, mouse on thigh” playing methods) that just making the skip to a 21″ (and now 24.5″ or something) monitor once I put my current desktop together felt awfully hard to go with.

    I honestly cannot fathom playing on a 4K, and looking at the price for monitors is enough to make me balk.

    I didn’t even buy my current monitor, I just borrowed it from a friend who hackles on constantly about how bad it is. It doesn’t do the awful screen tearing and stripes that the AOC I was using did, and the colors are faithful enough, so it’s fine by me.

    I guess I’m just not fit for this kind of discussion, no matter how much into gaming I am. (I find I’m that way about most peripherals discussions, now that I think about it.)

    • rumtotinggamer says:

      Not alone, spent 150 quid on this 1080p Benq 2420HDBL in 2010 and its looking the only way its going to be replaced is if it breaks, all this new tech is great and all but its expensive, media is 1080p and gaming at 1080 looks big enough to me.

    • ansionnach says:

      I got the BenQ GW2750HM two years ago. It’s 27″ but “only” does up to 1080p. Looks great to me. I still do a lot of my computing with the laptop screen and use the monitor for watching films. It cost £170, which I considered quite a lot. Only went for it because I’d read so much about how you got great quality for a “budget” monitor provided you could live with the “low” resolution. Would usually pick up these things for free as people cast them off (like the 17″ CRT monitor I got for playing light gun games on the Dreamcast). Still, the vivid colours and blackness of the black are a lot better than I’m used to and I wouldn’t call it a waste of money. How’s that for a review?!?

  15. melnificent says:

    The 40″ philips is so nice to use. Web browsing on one half of the screen, video in a top quarter and I still have a 20″ 1080p screen for work.

    • celticdr says:

      I also went with the Philips 4K 40″ monitor as I only buy a new monitor every 5-10yrs and this one seemed (back to the) future-proofed… it’s true what they say “Once you go 4K/40 inches everything else looks pixelated and tiny”… they don’t actually say that but it’s true nonetheless.

      I have to thank Jeremy for his article that bought this to my attention.

      And for prospective purchasers of this monitor – you need a displayport cable version 1.3 to see the glorious 4K at a sane refresh rate of 60hz, otherwise you’re stuck in 30hz – didn’t find this out until after I bought it and had to wait a week to get one shipped in because none of the PC shops sold it in my city :/

      • melnificent says:

        I used the one it came with and changed the displayport setting on the monitor itself. Why it shipped set to 1.1 I’ll never know.

        Have to agree with you… once you go 40″/4k everything else looks pixellated and tiny.

    • caff says:

      This. I’ve been using the “40-inch Philips BDM4065UC, which is a bit of a bargain at a whisker over £500 / $800” yes GOOGLE IT for a few months now. It’s flipping beautiful, performs well with most 4K games (or looks good scaled at 1440p if you’re playing Witcher 3).

  16. Premium User Badge

    Dorga says:

    Nice as always but budget options wouldn’t go amiss

  17. Kuipo says:

    Unless you either love AMD or don’t have the budget (both of which are valid), I would never recommend getting anything that isn’t using G-Sync, IPS, and isn’t 1440 or more vertical lines.

  18. neotribe says:

    I prefer 5760×1200 w/three 24″ IPS panels. I have a couple HP ZR24Ws and one ZR2400W. (Replaced a failed ZR24W.) A better use for the power of today’s GPU’s for my purposes.

  19. deanimate says:

    Bit of caution about the Acer Predator XB270HU 27″ G-SYNC 144Hz IPS
    I want to get a gaming monitor and was seriously looking at this. Thankfully did some research and it sounds like the quality control is absolute crap. Dead pixels and light bleed galore. Some must be ok but there’s a lot of complaints on the internet so take it into account.

    • TheApologist says:

      I got one of these. I’d read bad reports, but that the manufacturing had seemingly got better in recent months. For me, no dead pixels but there is light bleed in the bottom right of the monitor. I was a bit worried at first, but in practice it’s only been noticeable if I’m playing a dark game in a really quite dark room, which it turns out isn’t that often. Other than that, I’m delighted – colours are lovely, resolution looks fab, and my GTX970 is running everything I’ve thrown at it at or near 60fps at native res at high if not ultra settings.

      And, I really think gsync is worth it. The minute after I clicked send I was worried I’d regret spending the extra cash on it. But personally, I think it’s fantastic. It just works, and the difference is really noticeable.

      (Bear in mind with all of the above, my previous monitor was an excellent at the time Dell 1920×1200 bought over a decade ago. So, maybe any more modern monitor would have blown my little mind!)

      • Kipex says:

        Posted longer reply of my experiences below, but yeah I echo what you’re saying. No dead pixels, slight light bleed if you really look for it, but in normal use it’s never visible. Love it.

      • Frosty_2.0 says:

        I actually bought the Acer XB270HU July/August to replace my old dying monitor. I specifically waited for the “improved” second batch, and tried Three samples before a refund.
        Now I do most of my gaming at night with lights off/low, and I found the combined backlight bleed & IPS glow was very annoying when viewing any dark content. Under day or typical ambient light however, it was not really an issue.

        Quality wise, trying 3 samples (all from the ‘supposedly better quality’ second batch manufactured in May):
        – The First sample was actually the best but the combined White-blue glow+bleed on the Left & Yellow glow+bleed on the Right side was still really bugging me when viewing any dark content with lights off/low, such as The Witcher 3. Technically it wasn’t too bad, probably should’ve kept it in hindsight.
        – Second sample; worse backlight bleed and 2 dead pixels.
        – Third sample; 1 Dead pixel and 2 other pixel-flaws/trapped-dust in panel; Couldn’t check the backlight in my normal night conditions as I decided to check this replacement immediately in-store. Opted for refund as both the retailer & I were tired of dealing with it.

        The salesman then checked the one they had on display, that also had dead pixels, hah!
        So YMMV.

        I would also recommend <a href="link to strony.toya.net.pl; title="PixelRepairer" for a fast & portable test at any res, the test patterns in particular helped me quickly see flaws.

        I was waiting to see how Asus RoG PG279Q quality would be but my current monitor is giving up the ghost, just the other day I bought a stop-gap 1080p Dell P2414H which is actually really good for a "budget" IPS, Dell full adjustment stand & excellent response too.
        Hopefully there'll be more competing 1440p+IPS+G-Sync models and improvements over the next 12 months, so I can take the plunge with a proper upgrade then. Silky 1440p+IPS+G-Sync is the sweet-spot but I can still live with 1080p @ a solid 60 FPS V-Synced, just don't put them side-by-side ;)

        • TheApologist says:

          Sad to hear you’ve had a crap time with it – now I feel lucky!

          I suspect how much light bleed will annoy you is down to individual playing circumstances and taste. I gather it’s pretty common on other IPS panels too.

          • Frosty_2.0 says:

            Yes, the backlight is OK in day or typical lighting, however I have had less visible IPS Glow & Bleed with other IPS panels I’ve used (including various 24-27″ Dells at work), even my old TN Samsung that had been knocked on the floor once has less.

            The current Dell P2414H I’m using at home is also AH-IPS and has less IPS Glow & Bleed than the XB270HU’s I tried.

            I’d also say, test for dead pixels immediately & in-store if you can, could save some trouble and Acer has different pixel warranty policies for different countries.. For us they added an insert noting there is a 7 Day 0-Pixel Defect warranty here -due to our Consumer Guarantees Act IIRC-.

  20. Person of Interest says:

    What’s the difference between a 34″ ultrawide and, say, letterboxing the output to the Philips 4K 40″? All else being equal, I think I’d rather have the taller display for more flexibility, not to mention compatibility with games locked to 16:9.

  21. diseasedcrow says:

    I always stuck to cheap monitors before my friend convinced me to buy a monitor.

    I don’t know how he did it, but I ended up spending £400 on a monitor, and after playing it, oh my, I will never go back

    G-Sync is wonderful, and combined with 144Hz it’s beautiful.

    link to amazon.co.uk

    For a link to the monitor I bought.

  22. suibhne says:

    I was just looking into a new monitor yesterday, and the market is exceedingly frustrating. I remember the extraordinary luck of finding a classic IBM CRT that could be clocked to 100Hz with fantastic color fidelity, but, despite the CRT’s extraordinary picture quality, my current BenQ V2400W still felt like a welcome upgrade from that boat anchor. Now I’ve run this BenQ for about 8 years, and I’m ready to move up…but the market is so crowded and so uncertain that I don’t see a clear choice.

    Seems a waste to go in on any screen that isn’t a night-and-day improvement over what I have, but this BenQ has performed extraordinarily well, even in competitive shooters – ghosting is non-existent as far as I can tell, and I’ve been pretty sensitive to it in the past. Backlighting isn’t perfect, but I’ve never noticed it in-game. Pixels are 100% great. Any new screen will have to be pretty awesome to outcompete this.

  23. HigoChumbo says:

    I bought a cheap 170ish € VA pannel (Iiyama XB2483HSU-B1), fearing for the “response issues” everyone talks about, and in all honesty I just can’t tell the difference, not even when I play fast paced games like Battlefield 3, no issues with them whatsoever.

    The colours are quite good, the blacks are great (and they are way more important for immersion than 100% accurate colours) and I see none of the huge bleeding problems IPS pannels suffer, even the expensive ones, and those are much more of a deal-breaker than 4% more accuracy in colours (which are going to get a lot more distorted anyways because of the bleeding). The colour quality is difference in my VA is minimal and you just won’t tell when sitting in front of it. The only reason why I’d choose an IPS over this is if you are a graphic designer or something like that and you need 100% accurate colours (instead of ninety-something) over immersion and price-quality ratio.

    I honestly couldn’t be happier.

  24. Danny says:

    It is possible – for me at least – to come close to the perfect monitor. I’ve searched a long long time, but decided to buy the Asus MG279Q. It’s basically the same screen as the ROG Swift, but instead of TN you get a great IPS display.

    1440p, IPS, 27″, 144hz (and Freesync for the people who want it).

    I bought it for 599 euro, and the only other option I had (didn’t want the cheap looking Acer) was to wait on the new ROG Swift with IPS, which is close to 800 gbp only for it’s G-Sync capability.

    For me this was a great choice, as the 144hz refresh helps on lower FPS as well causing less blurriness and tearing.

  25. Tony M says:

    I’m currently well served by my Dell 2405FPW. It’s a 24 inch widescreen from 2005-6. Will I notice much difference upgrading to a BenQ GW2765HT?

    • deanimate says:

      Ahhhhh :(
      One of the reasons I’m in the market even moreso is because my 2405 died on me about a week ago. About a decade of solid service. So sad :(
      Fixable as well no doubt but the amount of time I’d spend pissing around with it probably isn’t worth it.

  26. mao_dze_dun says:

    I was going to buy that 144Hz Free Sync monitor from Asus (forgot the model). Then backed out in the last minute and decided to opt for the Acer k272hul which is less than half the price and definitely a budget solution. I’m very happy I did so. It’s great for work and gaming and I have no complaints. The input lag and the 6ms reaction time might be a problem for a pro CS gamer, but for me – a 30 year old person, who has gamed as a main hobby since I was five, I don’t feel a damn difference.
    Maybe 120Hz gaming is really nice, but at this point I feel very comfortable with 1440p at 60fps. In a few years when 4K gaming becomes more affordable I’ll probably just jump up the resolution as opposed to upping the max fps.

  27. mikmanner says:

    There was a flash sale on Ebuyer for a 34 inch Samsung curved 21:9 3440×1440 screen (S34E790C) 750 down to 450, so I got it and it’s great, took a while to calibrate, but there’s no issues with it being a VA. I use the monitor to work in audio / game dev and tbh I hardly notice the curve unless I’m super close to the screen. The curve isn’t a big deal / worth the money I don’t think. However that massive high res screen has been one of the most significant upgrades I’ve made in years. However it’s not worth the full retail price but at 450 I think it’s defo worth it.

  28. RuySan says:

    I’m always disappointed that in this articles there aren’t recommendations for cheaper and reasonable sized monitors (i.e. something around 200€, 22”).

  29. Poppis says:

    So what would be the appropriate screen size for a 1080p then?

  30. drewski says:

    These articles always make me feel a little better about not spending the kind of money it takes to get the latest tech.

    • Cederic says:

      His recommended 27″ 2560×1440 IPS isn’t ‘latest tech’ these days.

      I bought mine a couple of years ago, when they weren’t down to the current price level. It’s excellent and I’m planning to keep it for another decade or more.

      It’s not cheap, but it’s the third monitor I’ve ever bought, and I was running dual-screen for much of the 21 years since I bought my first computer that didn’t connect to a TV. 15 years on cheap crap monitors or save up for something that’s just lovely out of the box and will stay lovely for just years?

  31. reyn78 says:

    But, but, but… Jeremy you said…

    link to rockpapershotgun.com

    So WTF?

  32. Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

    Call me a fool, but I still think the 23 inch aluminium Apple Cinema Display is the best monitor that money can buy. Sure you’re limited TO 1080p, but the fidelity is second to none. A lot of my gamer friends have bought themselves snazzy-ass monitors recently, but every single one I’ve seen I’ve thought “still not as nice as the ACD”. Plus they’re old enough now that they’re cheap as chips.

    • melnificent says:

      That could be a koolaid issue ;)

      • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

        I appreciate you’re joking, but it really isn’t. I did away with my Mac two years ago, since the whole ecosystem is just stupid. I have however been hard pushed to find something that looks and works better. Maybe when 60hz is finally on its last legs it may be time for a change, but I really don’t see myself needing to change until then.

        • Danny says:

          I understand how you feel, as there are not many displays equal to Apple’s cinema display. However, there are certainly a few out there, including Dell’s Ultrasharp U2515H and the Asus MG279Q.

          Not saying that they’re *better* perse, but when it comes to contrast, vibrance and quality overall they’re certainly on par (I’ve worked with all three). I’ve bought the Asus only recently, and it’s 144hz functionality has certainly made it my favorite screen so far. At least in the sub 600 euro price range ;)

  33. OmNomNom says:

    I’m still holding out for a magical ultra-wide ? x 1200+ monitor with 120hz+

  34. pillot says:

    eh, 4k at anything less than 60 inches is a complete waste

  35. Kipex says:

    As someone who owns and paid 900€ for the 27″ Acer Predator XB270HU with 144hz/IPS/Gsync I’m very happy with it. So much so, that my friend ended up buying one aswell and pretty much echoes my opinion. One word of caution, the cable that comes with the monitor is crap and we both had to buy a better one from Amazon to access the 100hz+ range and stop the screen from flickering.

    I was sceptical about running games at 2560×1440, but if I turn down a few details I am usually still able to get a solid 120fps+ in most games.

    I’m running it together with 2 older 24″ Dell U2412M displays on the sides and while I was extremely happy for a long time with those 60hz IPS Dell monitors, the difference is obvious. Feels like an all around upgrade and especially moving from 60hz to 120-144hz is kind of eye-opening. I’m never going back. No dead pixels etc.

    The reason I never went for 120hz+ monitors before was the fact that this is the first monitor that actually has the magical combination of IPS+144hz+Gsync. Not only that, but I did my research and it’s generally considered to be the best gaming monitor on the market today and it’s hard not to agree. Personally I think it’s fine to spend a lot of money on the monitor, as it usually lasts longer than the components inside your PC and is integral in having a good all around experience using your PC.

    That said, I’m a webdesigner so I consider IPS a requirement. For gaming alone, you can probably get a good monitor for half the price.

    • Frosty_2.0 says:

      I agree your monitor is integral, it should be right up there in your first few priority components; it determines the quality and size of your workspace & window into your games/media + you’ll likely use it more than any other component so it’s worth some research time & cash – esp. given the options we have now.
      I see many just going for lower price range, End of story – I guess people generally accept & acclimatise to the lower quality/performance, and ignorance (or faded memories) can be bliss ;)

      And yeah, high refresh rates & G-Sync down to the bottom end really make a difference, you feel it. Over 120Hz doesn’t really concern me much.
      I think people undervalue monitor height/ergonomic adjustments too.

      I actually had the Acer XB270HU also (detailed post about it above) but got a refund after going through 3 samples from the “improved QA” May batch, all with backlight | pixel/dust flaws. Never had any problems with the DP cables provided though, with Sync On or Off @ 144+ FPS. Interestingly the first sample had a gold plated DP cable but the replacements’ had different DP cables with plain connectors.

  36. Cei says:

    Don’t get it.
    I’ve got a Dell U3415W (the 34″ 3440×1440 21:9 curved) and there’s literally nothing “wonky” about day-to-day work on it. The curve is very subtle and doesn’t make my eyes bug out when I’m browsing the internet or anything.

    The size and resolution is perfect. It’s a 27″ 2560×1440 screen but with an extra bit on the sides for more content. It doesn’t ruin your GPU with 4K pixel counts. The image quality, being IPS, is superb. Sure, no G-Sync, but I can live with that.

    2560×1400 27″ screens were the things to buy back in 2010. We’re five years down the line, time to upgrade.

  37. Delicieuxz says:

    What about 16:10 ratio 4K+ monitors? PC Gaming Master Race only uses 16:10 monitors, because 16:9 is peasantryish.

  38. JamesTheNumberless says:

    I spent about £1000 on my current monitor, in 2007, it’s a 30” 2560×1600 jobby and it still rocks. However, I’ve already carted it half way accross Europe in one direction and it looks like I’ll be moving back again soon but I’m reluctant to take it with me a second time. I’m finding it a bit disappointing that 2560×1600 panels haven’t really come down at all in price in all this time.

  39. Solidstate89 says:

    I’m just waiting for this monitor to go on sale. I’ve heard pricing somewhere between 700 and 800 dollars. It’s exactly what I want.

    link to tftcentral.co.uk

  40. KastaRules says:

    Triple Screen Forever !!!

  41. john_silence says:

    I bought a 25″ 2560×1440 monitor in the Dell U2515H. Review here. Very high pixel density, glorious IPS panel. Only set me back 330€/£240.
    Adaptive sync is great, high-refresh is great, but they’re not mature enough. My R9 290 is taxed enough as it is, I couldn’t drive 100, let alone 120 fps in the modern games where it would look spectacular. As to tying myself with one GPU brand or the other for years, it sounds absolutely mad.
    When 400€ panels integrate both routinely and PC GPUs routinely push 120 or 144 fps at high resolutions and max detail, I’ll upgrade again.

  42. suibhne says:

    I can’t help but notice that practically everyone ’round these parts says stuff like, “In the future, when GPUs can finally push 144Hz (and we all have ponies)…” The thing is, that’s a bit daft. The goalposts are constantly getting moved in PC gaming, notwithstanding the slight plateaus caused by console generations, and there’s nothing in the last 20 years of the industry that should lead anyone to expect a future period in which affordable GPUs will easily handle newly-released, big-budget games at 100, 120, or 144 fps. It simply won’t happen, unless big developers and publishers choose to target their games at a lower spec than they’ve traditionally adopted.

    This isn’t an issue of immature technology, but rather of consistent development priorities across the (mainstream side of the) industry. So yes, there’s every reason to think 2019 GPUs will enable you to run 2015 games at 144Hz in all their splendor, but it’s nutty to expect that 2019 GPUs will similarly handle 2019 games.

    • Foulplay says:

      People also forget that the main reason for buying 144hz monitors is mostly to escape screen tearing and avoid using v-sync, rather than to actually play games at 144fps all the time.

      A high refresh rate screen with variable sync gives you the best of all worlds, no stuttering, no tearing, no need for vsync and you make the most of your GPU power all the time.

    • john_silence says:

      Getting back to this, and for the record I love poneys but I’m more of a unicorn man myself.
      We’ll see about the 120 fps thing. I agree that there are many more barriers left to be pushed and the road to uber-fidelity will still tax GPUs for a few years to come, I am also aware that GPU manufacturers always make absurd claims when they announce the next gen of products. However with the shift to 16/14 nm, VR requiring high fame rates, the consoles plateauing again and the push of monitor manufacturers towards high refresh rates, I’m thinking there will be upwards pressure on our fps count.
      As to what Fouplay replied, it’s a good point but I’d reiterate that these technologies remain difficult to find combined within a monitor that also ticks the other boxes like having an IPS panel etc. – it will still set you back over 700€ I believe, and lock you down with either Nvidia or AMD. But those techs will soon be commodified I’m sure.

  43. arniejock says:

    i like my benq xl2411z, got it recommended at link to 144hzmonitors.com