Best monitor 2017: Top gaming monitors and buying guide

Monitor buying guide header

Your monitor is one of the most important parts of your PC, so finding the best monitor to suit your needs and budget is vital. Take a look at the display section of any electronics retailer, though, and you’ll find hundreds of screens costing anything from £70 right up to £1500. The range of models and prices can be overwhelming, but this guide is here to help.

We’ll take you through everything you need to know about screen sizes, resolutions, refresh rates, panel types, inputs and adjustable stands, as well as provide a few recommendations of our own based on our own testing. By the time you’re done here, you’ll be fully equipped to find the best monitor for you. Let’s begin!

Below, we’ve got a list of our current best monitors, ranging from entry-level displays all the way up to fancy, high-refresh rate mega monitors. We’ll be adding more monitors to this list as we get more in for testing, but if you’d rather skip straight to our monitor buying guide, hop on over to page two right here.

AOC G2460PF

Key features: 24in, 1920×1080, TN, 144Hz, AMD FreeSync

This 24in gaming monitor was a steal when it was just £170 over Black Friday, but even at its more regular price of £215, this is still an outstanding 24in display. Image quality is superb for a TN monitor, and its high 144Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync support help make games appear smoother and less juddery to play. It’s also got a full suit of inputs (VGA, DVI-D, HDMI and DP), a four-port USB hub and a flexible, height adjustable stand.

Read our full AOC G2460PF review.
Buy now from Amazon UK or Newegg

Philips 273V5LHAB

Key features: 27in, 1920×1080, TN

The Philips 273V5LHAB is a pretty straightforward 27in Full HD monitor. While its resolution of 1920×1080 isn’t ideal for a screen this size, you certainly can’t argue with its price. At just £150, this is an excellent way to get a big screen without spending an arm and a leg on something like our current favourite 27in monitor, the Acer XF270HUA (below). Image quality is also excellent for a TN panel, and you’re unlikely to find a better-looking screen for less.

Read our full Philips 273V5LHAB review.
Buy now from Amazon UK or Newegg

Acer XF270HUA

Key features: 27in, 2560×1440, IPS, 144Hz, AMD FreeSync

Acer’s XF270HUA has been out for a while, but this 27in 2560×1440 monitor is hard to beat. Its IPS panel produces a stunning picture (as you’d expect when you’re spending £500), and its 144Hz refresh rate gives your graphics card plenty of headroom to push past that all-important 60fps mark. Throw in a range of inputs, a highly ergonomic stand and a blissfully tasteful ‘gamer’ design, and you’ve got yourself a winner.

Read our full Acer XF270HUA review.
Buy now from Amazon UK or Newegg

27 Comments

  1. battles_atlas says:

    No offense to RPS’ efforts, but I found this to be an excellent resource for information when picking a 27in 1440 GSync monitor before Black Friday: wecravegamestoo.com/forums/monitor-reviews-discussion/

    • milligna says:

      Yes, very useful. Worked for me as well.

    • Premium User Badge

      Don Reba says:

      This is great, thanks!

    • Beebop says:

      Wow, you made Avast scream in a way that it rarely does…

      Edit: seriously, that site is riddled with malware…

      • battles_atlas says:

        I have Avast and haven’t had a peep out of it on that site. Mind you I disable anything which involves letting Avast itself act like malware by hijacking my home page etc.

        Seriously, had no problems using that website.

      • LessThanNothing says:

        This website is riddled with garbage – it is using your computer for javascript bitcoin mining behind the scenes. Fuck you very much to the person that posted the link. Please delete it RPS

        • battles_atlas says:

          That website is literally the *only* decent detailed repository of monitor information and reviews I could find whilst researching my buy. Concrete example – it was the only place I could find a discussion of the relative merits of the 1080 upscalers (for console use) on the multiple 1440 IPS displays using the AU Optronics panel.

          Its also a site I accessed several times with zero issues apparent to me. My understanding is that Ad Block Plus (which everyone has right?) now blocks mining scripts anyway.

          So unless you’ve a good alternative site for such information, fuck you right back buddy.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    This was an interesting read. I’m so rarely in the market for PC hardware that I’m constantly falling behind. So it was good to see some of the terms explained and this and that.

    Thanks, RPS.

  3. Daugvolf says:

    I still say if GSync/FreeSync/144hz+ aren’t that important to you then you’re better off getting a nice TV for gaming instead. A panel is a panel, other than the refresh rate, and 4K TVs, especially OLED models, make PC games look fantastic.

    Not that we couldn’t have nice refresh rates on TVs, it’s just not something your average TV buyer thinks about considering most video content is 29fps. But for giving that up you’re potentially getting a much bigger monitor for generally a lower price.

    I just tend to think these “gaming” monitors have pretty outrageous prices for nothing more than the simple fact that they’re intended for “gaming”.

    Just if you’re considering a TV for gaming make sure you read up on it – Lots of mid-range TVs employ filtering and smoothing which can make games look pretty bad, but even then you can often disable that on many models.

    • Sakkura says:

      TVs usually have terrible input lag.

    • nuttyjawa says:

      rubbish I’m afraid mate, I was in the same frame of mind as you, then I purchased an Acer x34a and now I am using the monitor for everything instead of a 4k OLED TV

    • Agnosticus says:

      I have to step in as well: If you have any inclination to play games that are relying on reaction times in any way, DON’T BUY TVs!

      You’ll be at a horrible disadvantage at the best of times, because of your high input lag.

      At least for me a responsive, fast and smooth experience is much more important than 4k, HDR and what not! There are only a few games where this doesn’t hold true like grand strategy games and point-and-clicks.

      • obscured says:

        I have a 65″ LG B7 oled tv and the input lag is 20ms, cant’ tell the difference between that and my monitor that has 3ms. Games look amazing on the oled and it will do 120mhz @ 1080p, I would never go back to a small led screen again.

        • Agnosticus says:

          120 mhz, I’m impressed! :D

          21 ms don’t seem all that bad, still it’s 11ms slower than the monitor I’m currently using. BTW there is no 3 ms monitor. Check the other monitors time here:
          link to displaylag.com

          I’m guessing it’s got a similar input lag than your OLED.

    • Kefren says:

      Of course, as someone with no TV and therefore no need to have a TV licence, if I bought a TV as a monitor I bet the TV Licensing people would still be wanting me to pay an annual fee for a feature I didn’t use. I’ll stick to monitors!

  4. Verio says:

    No love for 16:10? It saddens me that the PC gaming market is so readily switching to 16:9 across the board. Just because tv’s are going that way doesn’t mean we have to :/

    • wackazoa says:

      Us people who hold onto things always get no love….

      I have 4 old monitors that are all really decent (2 1080p,1 900p, & 1 720p) that all run VGA.:( Thankfully one of them has DVI so I can use that for my spare PC, but what if I wanted to run 2 monitors? Because every GPU moved to DVI or better Im either stuck with integrated graphics off the motherboard or finding a adapter, and those can be a bear to get right.

    • ColonelFlanders says:

      I think Apple are your best bet if you wanna stick to 1200p

  5. Beebop says:

    I don’t understand how RPS has opened a full-on hardware department and yet the quality of coverage has gone DOWN.

    • Katharine Byrne says:

      Sorry to hear you think the quality’s gone down – any feedback you could provide on how we could improve would be very helpful.

  6. phenom_x8 says:

    LG 24MP59G, 24″ IPS 1920×1080 40-75Hz Freesync Monitor, great pair for My 6GB 1060 (sadly the freesync are the one that unusable)

  7. shagen454 says:

    Oh yeah, definitely need a new monitor to play NMS…

  8. Carra says:

    Five years ago, I bought a 27″ 2560×1440 IPS screen from Korea for €320. It’s still running and creating pretty pictures.

  9. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    I’ve been itching for a pretty new monitor recently and did a bit of research, and it seems like, to me at least, the problem currently has no solution. Any combination has drawbacks, any monitor feels like it’s gonna be a sidegrade at best, so why bother?

    I mean, you want both IPS and G-Sync, cause what kind of upgrade would that be otherwise? But those 2 features only occur together in panels that are at least 27″, 1440p and 144Hz. And 1440p resolution is something no videocard south of high-end is guaranteed to push to even 60Hz on highest settings.
    Monitors at this level cost an arm and a leg, which would be fine if you could also count on a certain level of quality, but according to the word on the streets, pretty much all panels are afflicted with backlight bleed, and it depends on your luck how bad it will be in your particular case!

  10. HiroTheProtagonist says:

    Bought a AOC G2460FQ on sale during Black Friday, and despite some color issues (that can be pretty easily fixed with some tweaks) it’s a pretty decent monitor if you want 144hz for cheap. Doesn’t have the fancy bits the G2460PF like USB ports or certified FreeSync, but it’s a decent high refresh panel.

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