The Best Budget Gaming Monitors in 2022

In the world where top gaming monitors sell for four-figure numbers, you would think that a quality gaming monitor has to cost a small fortune. But the reality is different. Unless you demand the ultimate HDR experience there are excellent budget monitors out there that can offer most of the features found in high-end models. The thing is, the budget monitor market includes tons of models, and finding the best budget gaming monitor can be a tricky business.

Instead of scouring the internet for days to find the monitor that suits your needs, check out our list of best budget gaming monitors. It’s pretty diverse. We have high refresh rate models on offer as well as 1440p monitors. The list also includes a couple of niche picks such as ultrawide and curved monitors. And when it comes to refresh rate, they all have high refresh rate panels, which is the most important feature for many gamers. Let’s check them out.

asus tuf gaming vg279ql1a
  • Size: 27 Inches
  • Maximum Resolution And Refresh Rate: 2560 x 1440, 170Hz
  • Display Response Time (Advertised): 1ms
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Inputs: HDMI x 2, DisplayPort 1.2

The ASUS TUF Gaming VG279QL1A is quite impressive for its price. It comes with a 1440p IPS panel that has an amazing SDR color gamut along with a pretty solid wide color gamut, used with HDR content. Colors aren’t great out of the box but with a bit of tweaking, you should get quite good results.

As for the contrast, it’s below par, like on most other IPS gaming monitors. Still, it goes over 1000:1 value, better than on many pricier models. The regular peak brightness value is pretty good, making the monitor great for bright rooms. HDR brightness can almost reach 480 nits, which is enough for this model’s DisplayHDR 400 spec but the experience isn’t great due to just four edge-lit local dimming zones.

The usual issues with IPS glow and backlight glow are also here, resulting in poor black uniformity. That said, the ASUS VG279QL1A is great for gaming. Aside from great colors, it has excellent response time, ultra-low input lag, 170Hz max refresh rate (easily reachable with OC), and is G-Sync compatible. Finally, the monitor is well-built and it features a simple yet good-looking design.

Pros:
  • Excellent Colors After Calibration
  • Superb Response Time For The Price
  • Well-Built And Good Looking
  • 170Hz Refresh Rate And 1440p At A Very Attractive Price
  • G-Sync Compatible
Cons:
  • Contrast Is Below Par
  • Noticeable IPS Glow And Backlight Bleed
  • Poor Factory Calibration

ViewSonic VX2768-2KP-MHD

Great Budget 1440p 144Hz Monitor

viewsonic vx2768-2kp-mhd
  • 1440p 27’’ panel
  • IPS technology
  • Freesync/G-Sync compatible
  • 144Hz refresh rate

With the current advancement in PC hardware, playing on 1440p resolutions while also maintaining high FPS is no longer a dream. For many, this unlocks the possibility of using a 1440p monitor that has a high refresh rate for gaming and media consumption.

One such monitor is the ViewSonic VX2768-2KP-MHD which is a great 1440p 144Hz option for those that want a better image based on higher pixel density and higher refresh rate. A very popular piece of wisdom is that if you want to buy a 27’’ monitor you should be going for a 1440p monitor because at 1080p 27’’ you can see the grainy pixels resulting in a suboptimal experience.

Of course, this is not a deal-breaker for everyone but if you want to enjoy 27’’ monitors properly you should go for a 1440p resolution for sure.

In addition, this is an IPS panel which means that colors and viewing angles will also be great resulting in a decent media experience. The 144Hz 1ms response time also makes this a solid gaming monitor which benefits from Freesync/G-Sync compatibility. This will ensure that you can play games with no tearing resulting in a smooth gaming experience.

Because of the higher resolution and not-so-high refresh rate, this is not exactly a very super competitive monitor (1080p @240Hz is what most people play with competitively) but it is still possible to compete with this monitor with no issues.

Pros:
  • 1440p is great for image fidelity and quality
  • Having the 144Hz ensures that not only is your image clear but also is smooth
  • The variable refresh rate technology in this monitor adds to the quality of the gaming experience
  • IPS panels are generally great both for color reproduction and viewing angles while also being fast enough for 1ms response times
Cons:
  • 1440p means you will need a beefy PC to push 144FPS at all times
  • 144Hz is not enough to be considered competitive anymore

Dell S3222HG

High Refresh Rate 32’’ VA Panel

dell s3222hg
  • 1080p 32’’ panel
  • VA technology
  • Freesync/G-Sync compatible
  • 165Hz refresh rate

If you would like a more immersive experience then buying a curved monitor is the way for you. A great option for people seeking immersion is the Dell S3222HG. This is a huge 32’’ curved monitor that uses VA technology for the panel.

What this means is that you will get amazing color accuracy with very deep blacks and rich vibrancy so these panels are great for productivity work. VA panels are generally considered to be the best when it comes to colorwork and media consumption in general.

What is not so great is that the VA technology is the slowest between IPS and TN leading to problems when it comes to fast response times or high refresh rates. This specific Dell monitor boasts 165Hz and 4ms response times which is realistic for VA monitors.

At the same time in fast-paced motion games, you will still notice ghosting and blur depending on your overdrive settings of the monitor. How important this aspect is will vary from user to user but overall we feel that we should mention the fact that VA is not the best for competitive gaming.

The monitor of course has Freesync/G-Sync as well so you can still enjoy smooth gaming if you so desire. The conclusion is pretty simple with this monitor – if you are a casual gamer that just wants a huge monitor or you are someone that just watches a lot of YouTube and Twitch then this monitor will fit you well, otherwise look elsewhere.

Pros:
  • VA panels have the richest colors
  • 32’’ is just a huge monitor in terms of sizes
  • 165Hz and Freesync/G-Sync ensure a smooth gaming experience
Cons:
  • 1080p on a 32’’ monitor will inevitably look grainy
  • Expect a lot of ghosting in fast games – VA panels are just not great for gaming

AOC CQ27G2

27’’ 1440p QHD Curved Gaming Panel

aoc cq27g2
  • 1440p 27’’ panel
  • VA technology
  • Freesync/G-Sync compatible
  • 144Hz refresh rate

If you want a little bit of everything in your gaming monitor the AOC CQ27G2 would be an interesting choice. This is a 1440p VA panel that measures 27’’. This is overall an interesting combination of things when you also take into account that the monitor is capable of 144Hz so calling it a jack of all trades fits quite well.

Because of the VA panel, you get amazing color reproduction with 120% coverage of the sRGB spectrum and with the curved monitor, the immersion is surreal. At the same time because of the same VA panel, you should not expect the cleanest image when playing fast-paced shooters because VA panels are notoriously slow.

Even though AOC rates this monitor at 1ms that is with the overdrive cranked to 1000% which will most likely make the monitor unusable. This monitor is then good for casual gaming where people do not move around a lot or simply people that do not care that much.

This conclusion is further cemented by the fact that this panel is 1440p which means it has great image quality but requires a super beefy PC to keep up with the frames. Under normal usage scenarios, you will most likely not manage to maintain 144FPS at all times and will be in the 60-120FPS range which is still fine for casual gaming.

Overall if you are a competitive gamer this is not for you, but if you enjoy playing some games casually and also watching Netflix or Twitch then this is a perfect choice.

Pros:
  • Great color reproduction in the sRGB spectrum
  • Has 144Hz 1ms response time which is nice for gaming
  • Freesync/G-Sync that enhances gaming further
  • 1440p coupled with 27’’ monitors is great for productivity and media consumption
Cons:
  • VA technology is not the best for gaming since it is slow

Acer Nitro KG272 Sbmiipx

Best Budget 165Hz Gaming Monitor

acer nitro kg272 sbmiipx
  • 1920×1080 27’’ panel
  • IPS technology
  • Freesync/G-Sync compatible
  • 165Hz refresh rate

Monitor technology has come a long way and it can be seen quite clearly when observing what kind of monitors you can purchase right now for great prices. For example one such monitor is the Acer Nitro KG272 Sbmiipx and we will tell you why.

This is a great choice both for gaming and media consumption because this monitor uses a 1920×1080 IPS panel and is 27’’. What this means is that you have a pretty big panel that is also color accurate and has good viewing angles.

The good news does not stop here as the monitor runs at 165Hz which is extremely nice for gaming and also has low input latencies with a 0.5ms GTG response. This obviously should be taken with a grain of salt since 99% of monitors can achieve the 0.5ms response time by cranking the overdrive to maximum levels rendering the panel unusable.

Another thing that needs to be taken with a grain of salt is the HDR10 capability since once again this is more of a spec sheet point and is quite irrelevant to your actual experience. A true HDR display needs to go up to 1000 nits of brightness and you can bet your socks this KG272 does not.

On the brighter side, you also benefit from AMD Freesync/G-Sync which means you will be able to play with no tearing allowing you to fully enjoy a buttery-smooth gaming experience. The overall package here is great and will fully satisfy both casual users and competitive gamers alike.

Pros:
  • 27’’ is a great size both for gaming and content consumption
  • Freesync/G-Sync does have a great impact on your gaming experience eliminating tearing
  • Although not quite 0.5ms the inputs are crisp and fast making for a good FPS monitor
  • The fact that this is an IPS panel and not a TN one is already a huge bonus
Cons:
  • No monitor really has 0.5ms response times and is usable
  • HDR10 just like the 0.5ms response time is just a marketing gimmick that should be ignored

BenQ MOBIUZ EX2710

Trusted BenQ Features in a Good Monitor

benq mobiuz ex2710
  • 1920×1080 27’’ panel
  • IPS technology
  • Freesync/G-Sync compatible
  • 144Hz refresh rate
  • Built-in speakers

BenQ is known for making great competitive eSports monitors that are extremely fast and responsive. If you are a more casual user and do not need the full spec range or simply do not have the money to buy the top-of-the-line products you can opt for a BenQ MOBIUZ EX2710.

This is a 27’’ 1920×1080 panel that is great for gaming and media consumption. This statement is further cemented by the fact that this is an IPS panel that offers better colors and viewing angles than a TN panel.

The reason this is a great gaming monitor is the fact that the BenQ MOBIUZ EX2710 runs at 144Hz and has a 1ms response time. Adding the fact that this monitor is also Freesync/G-Sync capable means that you will be looking at a crisp and fast image that will be buttery smooth and tear-free.

The main reason to buy this 144Hz monitor over any other one on the market though is simply the fact that it comes with the tried and true BenQ features like black equalizer and other image filtering that is simply the best around.

If you simply want a great all-around monitor that will never let you down then opting to purchase a BenQ monitor is a very wise choice.

Pros:
  • Fast and fluid panel with 144Hz and 1ms response times makes it great for gaming
  • The IPS technology makes watching content on this monitor great
  • This specific model also has built-in speakers
  • The image optimization technologies for BenQ are truly the best
Cons:
  • BenQ monitors are quite often more expensive than any other monitors on the market
  • 144Hz feels a bit outdated on such a monitor

Acer KG241Q

Extremely Affordable 24-inch 144Hz Gaming Monitor

acer kg241q
  • Size: 24 Inches
  • Maximum Resolution And Refresh Rate: 1920 x 1080, 144Hz
  • Display Response Time (Advertised): 1ms
  • Panel Type: TN
  • Inputs: HDMI x 2, DisplayPort

The Acer KG241Q is a very affordable 24-inch monitor that comes with a 144Hz refresh rate, making it an excellent choice for esports gamers who are on a tight budget. Gaming performance on this monitor is pretty good thanks to the low response time, solid brightness, and Freesync support. Color performance is average, as is the contrast. But in fast-paced games, this doesn’t matter much and what is important is that high refresh rate and the Acer KG241Q definitely delivers in that department.

The build quality is only decent and the provided stand is very limited. You get tilt and that’s about it. The design is also dated, with thick bezels and visible OSD buttons on the front. On the flipside 1080p on a 24-inch monitor looks pretty good so there isn’t any pixelation, especially if you turn antialiasing in games on.

Overall, this is a pretty good and very affordable budget 144Hz monitor. It doesn’t have the best color performance but its gaming performance is superb for the money. And for gamers on a tight budget who prefer playing fast-paced esports titles, that’s all that matters.

Pros:
  • Excellent Gaming Performance
  • Very Affordable
  • 144Hz Refresh Rate
  • Freesync And G-Sync Compatible
Cons:
  • Average Color Performance
  • Poor Contrast Even For A TN Panel
  • Barebones Stand
  • Dated Design

How To Choose A Budget Gaming Monitor

Picking a budget gaming monitor can be a drag because there’s a huge difference in performance and image quality between different budget models. When in the market for one you should focus on what you need the most since you can’t get everything in a budget monitor.

If you’re a fan of fast-paced esports games focus on gaming performance, response time, Freesync and G-sync compatibility, refresh rate, and input latency. Color performance and stuff like HDR should take a backseat.

If you rather play single-player games and an occasional multiplayer title you don’t need an ultra-fast response time. Even something like 100 or 120Hz should be enough. Also, image quality should be an important factor if your games of choice are single-player titles. Below you’ll find other important things to focus on when in the market for a budget gaming monitor.

Don’t Forget About Brightness

The maximum brightness on a monitor shouldn’t be overlooked. Some budget models are quite dim and can ruing gaming experience if you play games in a brightly lit environment. The best way to test this is to watch the monitor in person. But if you cannot do that, know that something like 240-250 nits of brightness should be enough to enable pleasant gaming in a brightly lit environment. In a dim room and during the nightly gaming sessions, even 230-240 nits can be too bright for some users. If you want to give your eyes some protection against bright screens and long gaming sessions, the thing about getting some gaming glasses.

You Can Find 1440p 144Hz Displays In The Budget Market

While the budget high refresh gaming monitor market was limited to 1080p models there was a shift some time ago and 1440p models started entering the market. Prices are affordable enough these days that you can find a quality 1440p 144Hz budget gaming monitor. Just do your research and look for expert and user reviews and don’t forget to check out the monitor you’re interested in person if possible before buying it.

Most Gamers Shouldn’t Go For Anything Higher Than 144hz

While a high refresh rate does drastically improve the gaming experience, these gains become academic once you pass the 120Hz mark. Most gamers don’t need anything more than 120Hz or 144Hz in order to enjoy high refresh rate gaming in all its glory. Focus on 165Hz or higher refresh rate monitors only if you play esports titles on a semi-pro basis since there are some gains (although very small) to be had when running a 240Hz monitor.

Make Sure That The Monitor You’re Interested In Has Enough Video Inputs

This can creep behind you and ruin a perfectly fine monitor. Before even thinking of buying one check out whether the said monitor has all the video ports you need. Some users maybe want to run the same device on two PCs or to hook up their gaming PC along with multiple consoles and in the budget market, many monitors come with only two ports, three at best.

Many Budget Gaming Monitors Support Both Freesync And G-Sync

While the full G-Sync support is reserved for high-end monitors (the G-Sync adapters cost a pretty penny), many budget models include Freesync support along with G-Sync compatibility. This isn’t official G-Sync support but it does mean that the monitor in question will work fine with adaptive sync and an Nvidia graphics card.

Some models do have certain issues (image flickering, weird image artifacts) when running adaptive sync on Nvidia cards so make sure to read expert and user reviews that tested Nvidia cards and adaptive sync feature on the monitor you’re interested in.

1080p On A 27-Inch Display Can Help When Playing Esports Titles

Look, the truth is that 1080p resolution on a 27-inch monitor doesn’t look great. The image can be grainy when you look closely at it but during frantic scenes in most competitive multiplayer shooters, you’ll hardly notice the pixelation.

On the other hand, those who prefer single-player games and visuals over high refresh rates should definitely check out a 27-inch 1080p monitor in person before buying it. Antialiasing definitely can help but in slower-paced games and titles focusing on visuals, the image can look a bit too blurry (if using antialiasing) or overtly grainy (without AA).

Differences Between TN, VA, And IPS Panels

Last but not least, let’s talk a bit about the differences between the three types of panels in the budget gaming monitor market. If you want an in-depth article about different display panels, here’s a good one.

TN (twisted nematic) panels offer the best response times, lowest input lag, and no ghosting. On the other hand, they don’t have the best color performance, they lack in contrast, and have poor viewing angles. Just remember that viewing angles on modern TN panels aren’t as bad as before. They look fine when viewed from an angle and show color degradation only when looked from extreme angles that are near their maximum viewing angles. TN-based monitors are the best choice for esports gamers and those who prefer response times and refresh rates over image quality. In fact, most budget gaming monitors under $200 use TN panels.

Next, we have IPS (in-plane switching) displays that offer the best colors and viewing angles but also excellent response times (on high-end panels) and very high refresh rates. In fact, the first 360Hz gaming monitor features an IPS panel. Even IPS panels found on budget monitors offer very good response time and virtually zero ghosting. That wasn’t the case back in the day when IPS panels had very slow response times on average.

But even modern IPS panels suffer from poor contrast (even high-end models have low contrast ratios) and IPS glow, which is usually less prevalent on more expensive monitors. They are also the most expensive to make so they are usually reserved for mid-range and high-end monitors although you can find budget gaming monitors with pretty good IPS panels.

Finally, we have VA (vertical alignment) panels. These come with excellent colors and the best contrast out of all three popular panel types. They offer deep blacks and great image quality. But they are the slowest when it comes to response time and cheaper panels can show noticeable ghosting even when you turn on the response time overdrive setting.

VA panels also have poor viewing angles that are present even on high-end models. They can also exhibit black smearing (lack of details in dark scenes). But response times are perfectly acceptable on quality VA panels and VA monitors can offer high refresh rates, up to 240Hz. They are more suited for 60Hz gaming but you can find budget VA gaming monitors that offer excellent response times and virtually zero ghosting.

About The Author

Goran Damnjanovic

Goran studied psychology but video games and PC hardware were much more interesting. On top of that he likes writing so he decided to become a writer. And it was the right choice. Other than games and hardware, Goran is interested in basketball, Sci-Fi literature, and music.

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