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When it comes to PC gaming, three components are critical to your battle station: the graphics card, the processor, and the monitor. While your GPU and CPU are doing things under the hood, you are using your monitor as the interface for that hardware, and a display that doesn’t meet specifications will quickly degrade your system’s functionality and spoil your gaming experience with lag, stuttering, or poor color accuracy .
Whether you’re building your own desktop computer or buying a good pre-built gaming PC, your monitor is one thing you don̵
Today’s best gaming monitor deals
- – – $ 140, was $ 180
- – – $ 195 after discount using code EMCDRFR46, was $ 250
- – – $ 199, was $ 289
- – – $ 240, was $ 300
- – – $ 300, was $ 450
- – – $ 380
- – – $ 385, was $ 510
- – – $ 900, was $ 1,000
How to choose a gaming monitor
When sorting through the myriad of gaming monitor deals available online, there are a few things to consider before handing out your hard earned cash. You don’t want to jump on the first cheap gaming monitor that fits your budget because many of those advertised as “gaming displays” are missing some key features.
After you’ve decided how much you want to spend on a cheap gaming monitor, the first thing you need to do is decide on the size and screen resolution. Bigger isn’t always better – your ideal screen size has a lot to do with how close you sit to it, and for most desktop PC setups, the standard 24-27 inches is fine. Displays in this size range are great for 1080p too, though at 27 inches you should consider increasing it up to 1440p if your GPU can support it. Starting at 32 inches, you should probably stick to 1440p and even 4K gaming monitors, although for ultrawide panels that may depend on the display’s vertical resolution. An ultra-wide display that is the same height as a 24-inch monitor will still look great at 1080p.
An important feature that any good gaming monitor will have is some kind of vertical synchronization technology. The two prevailing standards are AMD FreeSync for use with Radeon graphics cards and Nvidia G-Sync for GeForce GPUs. Vertical synchronization ensures a fluid picture in fast-moving sequences by reducing (if not eliminating) screen tears. This is an annoying problem where the lines that make up the image don’t sync vertically. It is generally recommended that you purchase a gaming monitor that will match your graphics card, although Nvidia has recently increased cross-compatibility with FreeSync monitors. Just note that you need a DisplayPort cable to use G-Sync. FreeSync works with either HDMI or DisplayPort.
The third thing to look for in a cheap gaming monitor is a refresh rate of 120 Hz or higher. The general rule is that the refresh rate of your display should be at least twice the frames per second you plan to play at (e.g. 120 Hz or more for games at 60 frames per second). Modern HDMI and DisplayPort connections both support higher frame rates, but some older standards like HDMI 1.4 may not. You will see many displays that are marketed as “gaming monitors” and only have refresh rates of 60 Hz or 75 Hz. Even if these devices have FreeSync or G-Sync, they’re not ideal for gaming at 60 fps. This is the minimum we recommend for PC gaming in 2020. There are many cheap gaming monitor deals out there that meet these criteria.
One final thing worth mentioning is curved and ultra-wide displays, both of which have become hugely popular lately. Curved gaming monitors are nothing to worry about, but unless you get taller than 27 inches (more specifically, if you’re buying an ultrawide panel), you don’t pay any extra for this feature – you probably won’t notice it much if you do Sit at a normal distance from a standard-sized desktop display. However, ultrawide panels are an example that we definitely recommend bending. These gaming monitors are inherently expensive, but offer a stylish alternative to multi-monitor setups. They may not cost as much as you think when you add up the cost of buying multiple displays.
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