The difference between winning and losing can come down to the refresh rate and response time of your gaming monitor. That’s why it’s important to invest in the best 4K gaming monitors, which can keep up with your honed reflexes. A decade ago, 4K resolution for home-gaming setups was almost impossible to achieve. But now these impressive graphics are available to just about any dedicated gamer looking to upgrade their display resolution. 

The best 4K gaming monitor for your gaming setup depends on the size of the desk or mount because even with the best graphics available, a monitor is only useful if you have enough space to set it up. We also considered the resolution, refresh rate, and response time of the monitor to help determine what products are suitable for different styles of gameplay. 

Best Overall: Acer Predator XB273K 27-Inch UHD IPS Monitor
Best Budget: ASUS ROG Strix 27-Inch 4K HDR 144Hz DSC Gaming Monitor
Best Climate-Friendly: Dell UltraSharp 27-Inch 4K UHD Monitor
Best 27-inch: LG 27GN950-B Ultragear Gaming Monitor
Best Mid-Priced Curved: LG 34-Inch UltraGear Curved QHD Nano IPS Gaming Monitor
Best Curved: SAMSUNG UR59 Series 32-Inch 4K UHD Monitor
Best Upgrade: SAMSUNG UR59 Series 32-Inch 4K UHD Monitor
Best Ultrawide: AOC CU32V3 32-Inch Super-Curved 4K UHD monitor
Best Premium Curved: SAMSUNG 49-Inch Odyssey Neo G9 G95NA Gaming Monitor
Best Value: Dell S3221QS 32-Inch Curved 4K UHD

How We Picked These Products

Many years of experience with building, tweaking, and re-building gaming setups helped to form the basis for the selection process. I also performed significant research to compare and contrast over 30 potential products, including the Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q, the Aorus FO48U, and the Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ gaming monitor. I considered key factors including the size and shape of the monitors, the resolution, refresh rate, response time, and any additional features that improved the experience for the user.

Size and shape are always an important factor. Some gamers prefer flat monitors, while others like the appearance of a curved monitor. Similarly, one person may find it easier to play on a large display, but an increased size can reduce the response rate, so bigger isn’t always better. To ensure the list was packed with top choices, regardless of play style, we included products with various sizes and shapes. However, resolution, refresh rate, and response time are not subject to the same split preference, so all products that made the list of best 4K gaming monitors have high resolutions, quick refresh rates, and rapid response times.

We further explain how we test gaming equipment here.

Best 4K Gaming Monitors: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Acer Predator XB273K 27-Inch UHD IPS Monitor

Outstanding Visuals. Acer

Why It Made the Cut: The stunning graphics, impressive refresh rate, and built-in shielding hood help players focus on the game and lessens distractions.

Specs:
Size: 27 inches
Resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160)
Refresh Rate: 144Hz

Pros:
G-SYNC helps eliminate screen tearing
Rapid refresh rate
Adjustable swivel, pivot, and height
Preset display modes for different types of content

Cons:
4ms (millisecond) response time

The Acer Predator XB273K has a smart design and suitable size for dedicated gamers who want high-quality graphics without sacrificing swift gameplay speed. It has a 27-inch display and comes equipped with a shielding hood that blocks the sides and top of the screen, allowing the player to focus on the game instead of getting distracted by everything else going on in the room. 

The Acer Predator XB273K Monitor features a 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution that rapidly refreshes at an outstanding rate of 144Hz, allowing gamers to get the jump on opposing players who use slower setups. Our pick for one of the best 4K gaming monitors can swivel and pivot, and the height can be adjusted so that it’s at the perfect height and angle for the player. It even has preset display modes that can be used to optimize the visuals depending on the content. The modes include Action, Racing, Sport, User, Standard, ECO, Graphic, and Movie. 

Just keep in mind that this gaming monitor only has a response time of 4 milliseconds, which shouldn’t impact the visual output for most players. But to help eliminate screen tearing and minimize stuttering, the monitor is equipped with NVIDIA’s G-SYNC system. If you buy a refurbished model, not only can you shave off a few hundred dollars off the purchase price, you can save a monitor from a landfill, making it a great sustainable option. Find out more about how we gauge sustainability

Best Budget: ASUS ROG Strix 27-Inch 4K HDR 144Hz DSC Gaming Monitor

Affordable and Effective. ASUS

Why It Made the Cut: Save on this affordable 4K gaming monitor without sacrificing speed or stunning visual displays.

Specs:
Size: 27 inches
Resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160)
Refresh Rate: 144Hz

Pros:
Anti-glare eye care design
Rapid refresh rate
Quick response time
G-SYNC compatible

Cons:
Reduced resolution on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S

The ASUS ROG Strix 27-Inch Gaming Monitor is the ideal option for prospective gamers who are looking for the best budget gaming monitor to take their gaming experience to a new level. The Asus ROG Strix XG27UQR has a brilliant 4K (3840 x 2160) display that effectively immerses the player in vivid visuals and seamless motion, thanks to its 144-Hz refresh rate. 

Players can also enjoy their favorite game without worrying about ghosting thanks to the 1ms response time on this 4K gaming monitor. It’s made with long gaming sessions in mind, helping to reduce eye strain with the anti-glare eye care design. Use the 27-inch gaming monitor with G-SYNC to improve the stability of transitions between visuals and reduce screen tearing effects that distract players from the game. However, it should be noted that the resolution output of this gaming monitor is reduced when it’s used with PS5 and Xbox Series X/S gaming consoles, so it’s best to stick to PC setups to get the most out of this monitor. 

Best Climate-Friendly: Dell UltraSharp 27-Inch 4K UHD Monitor

Environmentally friendly. Dell

Why It Made the Cut: This sustainably manufactured monitor also provides plenty of possible angles to game from.

Specs:

— Size: 27 inches
— Resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160)
— Refresh Rate: 60Hz

Pros: 

— Energy efficient
— Multiple screen display options
— Sharp screen, sharp color display

Cons:

— Slow refresh rate

If you want a great out-of-the-box option, the Dell UltraSharp provides wide-color coverage with the outstanding depth you expect from a 4K monitor. If your laptop is powered via USB-C, you can plug your monitor directly into the Dell UltraSharp to charge, making it one of the most efficient models. It’s also a prudent choice for folks who game on their MacBook.

The game-changing feature that sets the Dell UltraSharp apart is the fact that the monitor tilts and swivels to display both vertically and horizontally. If you’ve ever wanted to take your mobile games to a bigger screen, the vertical option would blow them up cleanly and beautifully. It’s also a great option for arcade-style classics like Donkey Kong, Centipede, or Ikaruga. And because it’s Climate Pledge Friendly, it meets special sustainability certifications, so you can feel game while feeling better about your carbon footprint. However, the refresh rate may be sluggish with more demanding titles. 

Best 27-inch: LG 27GN950-B Ultragear Gaming Monitor

Optimal Immersion. LG

Why It Made the Cut: Don’t get caught with a sub-par setup when this 27-inch gaming monitor boasts a refresh rate of 144Hz and a response time of just 1ms.

Specs:
Size: 27 inches
Resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160)
Refresh Rate: 144Hz

Pros:
Borderless display
Compatible with NVIDIA G-SYNC
RGB lighting on the back of the monitor
Fully adjustable

Cons:
Loud cooling fan

New and experienced gamers will enjoy the immersive experience that’s possible due to the impressive graphics and blinding speed of the LG 27GN950-B Ultragear Gaming Monitor. The LG 27GN950-B is one of the best 27-inch gaming monitors, with 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution and a 27-inch display that’s ideal for creating outstanding visuals without causing the game to lag or falter. In addition, this 4K gaming monitor boasts a refresh rate of 144Hz, improving the chance to act before opposing players. 

In addition, this gaming monitor can be adjusted in several different ways, including the height, the angle of the monitor, and even the orientation of the monitor, so players can make any necessary adjustments for the perfect setup. It has a fast response time of 1ms and it has a light ring on the back of the monitor to enhance the appearance of the entire gaming setup. That said, some users have mentioned that the cooling fan runs louder than their computer fans, which may be a problem for some players that are looking for a near-silent gaming experience.

Best Mid-Priced Curved: LG 34-Inch UltraGear Curved QHD Nano IPS Gaming Monitor

Fantastic Value. LG

Specs:

— Size: 34 inches
— Resolution: 4K (3440 x 1440)
— Refresh Rate: 160Hz

Pros: 

— Practically borderless 
— No ghosting or flickering
— Intense colors

Cons:

— Fast refresh rate requires overclocking

The way curved monitors practically surround you with visuals makes for seriously immersive gaming experiences. The LG 34 inch Ultra Gear Curved 4K gaming monitor’s Nano IPS display marries a mesmerizing picture with ultra-fast refresh rates modern gaming demands. At least, on its face. Ramping up to 160Hz requires overclocking. 

Despite this slight refresh rate asterisk, there are plenty of features to make this a great mid-priced model. The crosshair feature keeps enemies in first-person shooters perpetually in your sights, giving you extra accuracy on the battlefield. A Black Stabilizer also provides an extra edge attacking or defending against enemies who camp out in the shadows. 

Best Curved: SAMSUNG UR59 Series 32-Inch 4K UHD Monitor

Stunning Curved Display. Samsung

Why It Made the Cut: A borderless display on all four sides helps create an eye-catching visual display that players can get lost in while they experience their favorite game.

Specs:
Size: 32 inches
Resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160)
Refresh Rate: 60Hz

Pros:
A large, curved screen reduces eye strain
Borderless display
Anti-glare eye saver mode

Cons:
Slow refresh rate

The 4K resolution of this best curved gaming monitor doesn’t just help to improve player immersion. The shape of the screen actually reduces eye strain. The SAMSUNG UR59 Series 32-Inch 4K UHD Monitor has a borderless display and an anti-glare eye saver mode to relieve eye pain and fatigue after an extended period of gameplay. And at 32 inches, the display offers an extended point of view for the player, making it easier to enjoy expansive maps and compelling scenes. 

This Samsung 4K gaming monitor comes with a simple stand that blends into any gaming setup without taking up a lot of space on the desk. It’s designed for brilliant visuals, with over one billion colors and a contrast ratio of 2500:1 that allow it to produce crystal-clear images. However, this 4K gaming monitor may not be the best option for players that prefer first-person shooters and survival games because it only has a response time of 4ms and a refresh rate of 60HZ. 

Best Upgrade: SAMSUNG UR59 Series 32-Inch 4K UHD Monitor

Good Value for Curved. Samsung

Why It Made the Cut: This curved gaming monitor doesn’t sacrifice speed for graphics, and is a great splurge for any gaming rig. 

Specs:

— Size: 49 inches
— Resolution: 4K (5120 x 1440 pixels)
— Refresh Rate: 240Hz

Pros: 

— Size: Incredible amount of depth
— Bright QLED screen
— Great for gaming and as a workstation

Cons:

— Poor cable placement

Curved monitors are known for lagging behind flat 4K gaming monitors. Thankfully, the SAMSUNG UR59 Series 32-Inch 4K UHD Monitor is an outlier in this regard. It has an entire dedicated gaming mode powered by NVIDIA G-Sync, which works hand in hand with your PC’s graphic card, so the refresh and response rates remain as high as possible. This translates to you staying competitive, even with that put your rig through the wringer like Crysis 3 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

A flashy QLED screen means visuals truly pop, with brighter whites, darker blacks, and the most vivid colors possible. This makes the SAMSUNG Odyssey G9 not only a great gaming monitor but a fantastic monitor for those in the creative fields like graphic designers and video editing. Look at all that space!

Best Ultrawide: AOC CU32V3 32-Inch Super-Curved 4K UHD monitor

Extended POV. AOC

Why It Made the Cut: The AOC 4K gaming monitor improves gameplay and reduces eye strain with a curved display and extended player point of view.

Specs:
Size: 32 inches
Resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160)
Refresh Rate: 60Hz

Pros:
A large, curved screen reduces eye strain
LowBlue mode to prevent damage from blue light
VESA compatible for flexible mounting options

Cons:
Slow refresh rate

Color clarity is a key consideration when choosing a 4K gaming monitor. Modern games are made with stunning visuals that should only be experienced in true, vibrant colors, instead of getting stuck with bland colors that detract from the quality of the game. The AOC CU32V3 4K monitor boasts an impressive color range that includes 121 percent sRGB, 90 percent Adobe RGB, and 89.8 percent DCI-P3 for brilliant color and outstanding graphics. These visuals are only improved by the curved ultra-wide, 32-inch display that has a 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution. 

These factors alone make this gaming monitor the best ultrawide gaming monitor. What's more, this monitor also has a LowBlue mode that reduces the amount of blue light produced by the screen, saving the player’s eyes from excessive strain. This monitor can be used with VESA mounts, though it does come with a stand. However, it should be mentioned that the refresh rate is only 60HZ and the response time is 4ms, so this monitor is best for players that enjoy slower tactical or story-based games, like role-playing games (RPGs).

Best Premium: SAMSUNG 49-Inch Odyssey Neo G9 G95NA Gaming Monitor

Amazing Quality. Samsung

Why It Made the Cut: This monitor offers the most immersion and speed, so long as you don’t mind refinancing your house to get it.

Specs:

Size: 49 inches
Resolution: 4K (5120 x 1440)
Refresh Rate: 240Hz

Pros: 

— Lightning-fast response time
— Big, gorgeous, and bright
— Virtually future-proof

Cons:

— Astronomical price

The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 has the same screen space as two 27-inch monitors, only without the cumbersome screen gap. With NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro compatibility, you can rest easy that lag will never be a problem. If you’re looking for hard numbers, the response time is 1ms with a 240Hz refresh rate, which translates into lightning-fast gaming, especially with demanding titles like Forza Horizon 4 and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 offers up to four times the luminance, making the display much brighter than traditional gaming monitors. Along with the obvious tech upgrades, the stand is sturdy, swivels, and comes ready to mount to a desk or workstation. Because it has HDMI 2.1 inputs and frequent firmware updates, this gaming monitor will last you through this PC and console generation, and perhaps even then next. Plus, it’s just plain sexy. 

Best Value: Dell S3221QS 32-Inch Curved 4K UHD

Affordable Splurge. Dell

Why It Made the Cut: At less than $400, it’s an unbeatable value for a 4K curved gaming monitor.

Specs:

— Size: 32 inches
— Resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160)
— Refresh Rate: 60Hz

Pros: 

— Flicker-free screen made for extended viewing
— Built-in 5W speakers 
— Display content from two PCs at once

Cons:

— Refresh rate lags behind similarly priced flat monitors 

The immersive allure of curved gaming monitors is captivating, even with the clear perils of slower refresh rates. Dell 32 Monitors offer fine detail and clarity, which can only elevate a gaming experience. Better yet, these monitors are built for long gaming sessions because they cut down on harmful blue lights that can strain your eyes. 

Sadly, the refresh rate still lags behind many flat gaming monitors. 60Hz is pretty low, even with the built-in AMD FreeSync which helps cut down on screen tearing. It does have built-in 5-watt speakers though, and the ability to view two different monitors at the same time, so it may work for gamers looking to trade performance for QoL features.

Things to Consider Before Buying a 4K Gaming Monitor

Before choosing a 4K gaming monitor, you should think about your gaming preferences and then decide what you need in terms of the size of the monitor, the resolution, the refresh rate, the response time, and screen shape. 

Size and Resolution

One of the first things that you need to consider before deciding on the best 4K gaming monitor for your next tournament is the size and resolution of the monitor. While size usually refers to the dimensions of the screen, you should also pay attention to the overall size of the monitor to ensure that it can actually fit on your desk. Another factor to pay attention to is that while a larger screen may seem like a better option, this actually puts more strain on the computer and GPU (graphics processing unit), which could result in slower refresh rates and response times, so bigger isn’t always better in this case.

It’s important to match the size of the monitor to the resolution in order to get the best possible display without sacrificing speed. Monitors that are smaller than 27 inches can be used at 1080p and 1440p resolutions, but bumping these small products up to 4K or even 8K resolutions is pointless because the display is not large enough for a noticeable difference, despite the increased pixel density. If you are looking at gaming monitors that are 27 inches or larger, then 4K graphics are the ideal choice for speed and clarity.

Refresh Rate

The refresh rate of a gaming monitor refers to the number of times per second that a monitor can refresh the image on the screen; it’s typically measured in Hertz (Hz). This means that the faster the refresh rate, the sooner new images will appear on the screen, like an opposing player peeking around a corner. If you usually play survival, battle royale, or other first-person shooter modes in games like Fortnite or Call of Duty: Warzone, then a high refresh rate can mean the difference between a death or a kill.  

Most monitors will be able to support a 60Hz-refresh rate without a problem, but you can run into problems with higher rates, like 144Hz or 240Hz if the GPU isn’t capable of matching the speed of the monitor. So, before investing in the gaming monitor with the quickest refresh rate make sure that your computer can handle the speed, otherwise the refresh rate of the monitor will be limited by the GPU.

Response Time

Another important factor to consider is the response time of the 4K gaming monitor. Response time refers to the speed at which the screen can change the color of the pixels between various shades of gray with a gray-to-gray (GTG) transition. If the response time of a monitor is slow, then when the visuals on the screen change, the pixel response can be delayed, causing a ghosting effect that results in the human eye still perceiving the image that was previously displayed. This overlap causes smearing, blurring, and distortion, which can lead to eye strain and inaccurate movement and aiming during gameplay.

Typically, a 4K gaming monitor should have a response time that ranges from 1 millisecond (ms) to 5 milliseconds (ms) because the human eye struggles to detect any visual impacts when the response time is 5 milliseconds or less.

Curved vs. Flat Monitors

When you search for a 4K gaming monitor, you will need to decide on whether you prefer a standard, flat monitor or if you have a gaming setup that will benefit from a curved monitor.

Curved monitors are relatively new and currently fall behind flat monitors in response time and refresh rates, so they may not be an appealing choice for gamers that enjoy first-person shooters and survival games. However, the benefit of a curved monitor is that it puts less strain on your eyes during gameplay, allowing you to play for a longer period of time without experiencing the same fatigue.

Flat monitors are the most common style of gaming monitor and due to their prevalence they are typically more affordable than curved gaming monitors. On average, flat monitors tend to have better response times, refresh rates, and color accuracy, making them a great choice for avid gamers.

FAQs

Q. What monitor size is right for 4K gaming?

Monitors range in size, but finding the correct size for 4K resolution isn’t as difficult as some may think. Typically, you won’t see a lot of difference between 1440p and 4K resolution if the monitor is smaller than 24 inches. The higher pixel count begins to make a significant difference in clarity once monitors increase to between 24 to 27 inches, so the right size monitor for 4K gaming resolution is any size larger than 24 inches where the higher resolution is clearly noticeable.

Q. Is a 4K gaming monitor worth it for PC gaming?

Absolutely. Gaming monitors with 4K resolution used to have a much higher price point because this high-resolution display was cutting-edge technology at the time. But with the current popularity and availability of 4K monitors the overall price of these products has dropped, making them an affordable option to enhance your gaming experience.

Q. Can 4K run 144Hz?

There are computers that are equipped to run 4K graphics at a refresh rate of 144Hz, but whether your computer can handle the demand is a different question. In order for a computer monitor to produce 4K resolution at a refresh rate of 144Hz, it’s necessary for the computer to have a high-end graphics card installed, like the GeForce RTX3090, RTX 3080, or RTX 3070. Without a suitable GPU, the computer will struggle to keep up with the 144Hz demand.

Q. How much does a gaming monitor cost?

Gaming monitors have a significant range when it comes to the cost of a product. Some monitors can be incredibly inexpensive, though they often lack the same resolution, refresh rate, and response time as more expensive models, so it’s important to balance your need for quality with your available funds. On average you can expect to pay between $500 to $2,000 for a 4K gaming monitor. When you're ready to upgrade, find out how to recycle electronics.

Final Thoughts on the Best 4K Gaming Monitors

For its impressive design, ultra-high-definition resolution, and outstanding 144Hz refresh rate, the Acer Predator XB273K Monitor is an excellent option for any gamer. However, if you get headaches from eye strain, then the affordable ASUS ROG Strix Gaming Monitor is a good choice with built-in anti-glare eye care technology.

Related: Best Smart TVs of 2021 for Streaming and Gaming

This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.


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