If you’re looking for the best budget gaming monitor in 2018 then keep reading.
In this buyers guide and review, we’re going to show you what to look for in a gaming monitor, as well as the best gaming monitors for under $200 and $100.
Everything you need to know is in this guide!
What To Look For In A Gaming Monitor:
When you’re looking for a top quality gaming monitor that fits your particular budget, what you need to do is look at a few key areas…
1. Monitor Type
One question we’ve heard a lot is ‘What’s the best monitor type for gaming?’.
The reason this question is fairly persistent is because when you’re looking for a good quality budget monitor, you’ll often see that there are a lot of LCD monitors popping up in your searches.
Well, LCD monitors are LED monitors. The difference is whether or not the LCD monitor is LED backlit or CCFL. Generally LED backlit displays are cheaper than CCFL displays. CCFL is a better quality, but you’re going to want to go for a LED backlit monitor if you’re on a budget.
In terms of picture quality there isn’t a huge difference, so it doesn’t matter too much anyway.
As for aspect ratio, most monitors today are 16:9 or 1.78:1 and it’s generally a good idea to stick with this, especially if you want to have a multi-display setup at some point in future.
2. Max Display Resolution
A higher max resolution is generally better, especially when buying a budget monitor. If you’re running out of resources to build a new system, or if you’re generally just short of some extra cash then a higher max display resolution allows you to stick with the same monitor as you upgrade your graphics card.
As we explained in our guide, what’s the best resolution for gaming, it’s a good idea to make sure that your graphics card is capable of supporting a larger monitor. So it’s best to check this as well when you’re looking at some of the larger 27″ and up monitors that support a higher display resolution.
The higher the resolution, the more pixels you are packing into each square inch of the monitor. While this makes the image more realistic and motion far smoother. The counter-point to this is that the more pixels you have on your screen, the more processing power is required from your video card.
Operating Systems such as Windows perform best at 90-100ppi (pixels per inch). High resolution monitors can far exceed this. At these higher PPI values, objects and text become much smaller which can be a negative for many end-users.
3. Refresh Rate
The most common refresh rate for gaming monitors is currently 60Hz.
Again, if you’re going to be going for a bigger screen with more PPI then you’re going to want to ensure you have a refresh rate of 60Hz as 120Hz or 240Hz are going to be extremely difficult to run unless you’ve got an extremely high end graphics card, are crossfiring / using SLI.
Spending out extra money on a better refresh rate is probably not going to be the best option for those on a budget, and the general consensus is that you’re better off spending money on improved image display rather than improved refresh rate.
So for this reason we’d recommend 60Hz monitors for those of you looking for the best budget gaming monitor as well. Remember we’re mentioning refresh rate here as you need to make sure you’re not paying for a monitor that requires more power than what your PC has.
4. Panel Technologies
When it comes to getting a quality budget monitor for gaming this one is actually fairly simple, and this is down to the price factor.
The best bang for your buck definitely comes from TN-based monitors. You can easily get monitors that are using FreeSync in 1080p (Full HD) for $200 or under.
As there are a lot of people looking for 27-inch and higher monitors, it’s worth mentioning that the IPS and VA displays are better at this size. That being said, it’s extremely difficult to get one of these monitors at a reasonable price for those on a budget with the way the market is at the moment.
5. Adaptive Refresh
Okay, so this one is important so pay attention closely.
FreeSync monitors work best with AMD graphics cards, while G-Sync works exclusively with Nvidia graphics cards.
Both of these technologies are intended to help sync the monitor with the graphics card. This was quite revolutionary, and is a double-edged sword for those looking to buy a quality budget monitor or graphics card.
Adaptive refresh technology syncs the framerate of the graphics card and monitor to prevent tearing (frame tears). These generally occur when rates are mismatched, so the computer sends a new frame before the monitor finished drawing the previous one. This control that’s given to the graphics card eliminates tearing.
G-Sync monitors are generally better for consistency reasons, so if you’re using an Nvidia GPU then you should have nothing to worry about. Operating from 30Hz up to the monitor’s max.
FreeSync (AMD) is not nearly as consistent. Many monitors bottom out at 40 – 55Hz and this can be an issue if your graphics card doesn’t keep frame rates above those figures. So if the monitor you’re looking at fits in one of those categories and you have a lower – mid-range graphics card with G-Sync / FreeSync features, you want to choose a monitor with a lower minimum refresh rate.
Best Budget Gaming Monitors:
In this list, you can take a look at some of our Breech recommended top 6 gaming monitors for those on a budget in 2017.
|Acer GN246HL Bbid||24″||144Hz||1080p||4.5/5|
Samsung S27E330 Review
- 27" FHD gaming monitor
- Smooth game play with 1ms Fast response time
- Darker blacks with game mode. DVI:no , headphone: no, display port: no
- More natural viewing comfort with eye saver mode
- Mounting type: Wall Mount 75 x 75 mm
AOC G2460PF Review
- 24" Class LED Monitor (24" Viewable) Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, 144hz Response Rate
- AMD FreeSync technology provides the smoothest gaming experience. Height adjust amount- 5.1 inches. Pixel Pitch (H) (V)- 0.276
- Brightness - 350 cd/m2, Dynamic Contrast Ratio - 80,000,000:1, Response Time - 1ms
- Connectivity - VGA, DVI, HDMI w/MHL, Display Port, (4) USB, (1) USB Hub, Headphone Jack
- Wall Mountable 100mm, Speakers, Height & Swivel Adjustable. Compatibile with Windows 10. Active screen area (HxW) - 531.36 x 298.89 mm
ASUS VS228H-P Review
- Slim Design 21.5-inch Full HD Wide Screen LED display and Quick 5 ms response time delivering smooth video display. Pixel Pitch- 0.248mm. Viewing Angle (CR≧10) - 170°(H)/160°(V)
- Aspect Control function allows users to select a preferred display mode among Full and 4:3 for true-to-life gaming or movie watching without any data loss or image distortion.
- Smart View Technology can adjust color parameters to deliver the same image quality and colors with straight viewing.
- Splendid Video Intelligence Technology optimizes video performance and image fidelity by enhancing color, brightness, contrast, and sharpness. Compliance and Standards- EPEAT Gold Certified, Energy Star , UL/cUL, CB, CE, ErP, FCC, CCC, BSMI, Gost-R, C-Tick, VCCI, PSB, EK, J-MOSS, RoHS, WEEE, Windows Vista and Windows 7 WHQL
- 50,000,000:1 ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio dynamically enhances the display's contrast to delivering lifelike images. Inputs of D-Sub, DVI, HDMI.
Best Gaming Monitor Under $200
Selecting the best gaming monitor for under $200 out of our list wasn’t easy, there are four solid choices there… The two that really stand out though are the Samsung S27E330 and the AOC G2460PF.
The difficulty in separating the two comes down mainly to preference, as aside from the size and refresh rate there really isn’t a lot to separate the two.
Both monitors have a 1ms response time which is fantastic for gaming, both have rave reviews and for the money they are both great value.
Personally, we like a bigger monitor, but not at the expense of performance. There’s just no hiding from the fact that 144Hz is a lot better than 60Hz if your graphics card can handle it.
Being that these two were just too hard to separate we’ve named them jointly as the best gaming monitor for under $200.
If you’re looking for the best value for money monitor then this has to be it. Not only is it a 27″ display, but the Samsung S27E330 is Full HD ‘1080p’. All of this for roughly $150 is a complete steal!
Put it this way, our best monitor for under $100 is just $50 less, far smaller and has a 5MS response time. The Samsung is far larger, offering a 1MS response time despite also being a 60Hz monitor. Which is the only real downside to this monitor!
The monitor comes with a gaming mode, which can really help you get the best out of this monitor if your mainly going to be using it for gaming purposes. If you’re going to be using the monitor for various purposes though, you can easily switch out of gaming mode. Making it a very robust and multi-functional monitor.
The design is extremely smart and looks very clean and professional, which is a big plus for us since we really do care about how our setup looks. The only design flaw is that it doesn’t have a DVI port, but really if you’re looking at gaming monitors you should be using HDMI!
Is It Worth It?
If you’re looking for a larger monitor that is well equipped to deal with gaming then the Samsung S27E330 offers that. Fast 1ms response and 1080p at this price is ridiculously good.
This monitor is a beast that comes in at just over $200, but it’s well worth the price if you’re looking for a high-performance monitor… AOC have done an outstanding job with this monitor, giving you a solid 24″ display that operates at 144Hz with 1MS response times.
This makes other monitors at the $200 range look stupid, which is also why we thought the Samsung was such a steal at the $150 range!
The monitor comes equipped with AMD Freesync technology built in, so if you’re using an AMD GPU then you’re going to be able to operate at high FPS’ with no tearing or blurring. This monitor can deliver crystal clear displays and is a joy for those of us whose gaming experience is enhanced by the quality of the graphics on display.
There are a bunch of extras built into the monitor as well, such as inbuilt speakers and a USB which will work for certain headsets. It’s not really needed, but it’s a cool little additional feature.
This is one of the most bought monitors on Amazon, so it’s clear that a lot of people agree with us about this monitor being awesome for the price. Our only personal issue with the monitor is that we wish it was bigger and stripped out the extra features in order to do that and keep it at the same price.
Is It Worth It?
Bottom line – If you want a monitor that provides the absolute best display for around $200 then this monitor wins hands down and will give you a great gaming experience that’ll give you an edge on your 60Hz competitors (most gamers).
Best Gaming Monitor Under $100
For us the best display in this category is the ASUS VS228H-P, without a doubt it’s got to be the best quality monitor we’ve seen in use for under $100 in 2017.
This monitor is our top pick for the best monitor for gaming under $100 category. Unlike so many other monitors for this budget, it maintains 1080p with a fast 5MS response time. Making it a great gaming monitor for the price!
The ASUS VS228H-P also offers a 50:1 color contrast ratio, Aspect Control, and SmartView Technology.
These features may seem meaningless to you if you’re new to learning about monitors, but they all combine to create a better quality picture for whatever you’re using the monitor for. If it’s gaming or movies you can easily switch between the 4:3 ratio without any quality loss.
This is really essential as a lot of gaming monitors create tearing during movies, the hobbit being a well-known movie to cause issues with gaming monitors.
It comes with D-sub, DVI & HDMI inputs, and the best color contrast in this price range. It’s essentially a very solid monitor for those who value a smooth, clear display.
One complaint about the ASUS VS228H-P in some reviews has been that the stand isn’t the greatest, but when we tried it out we didn’t think it was any worse than most monitors at this price range. If you have a sturdy desk, it’ll be fine.
Is It Worth It?
Bottom line – this monitor delivers high-quality performance for people on a budget, so it’s our top choice without a doubt.
We’ve gone over all the critical considerations that you could possibly need to think about when looking for your next gaming monitor. So you should be ready to get out there and make a decision!
We’ve also given you our personal recommendations based on the most common budgets, and we’ve narrowed this down to as few monitors as possible to keep things simple.
Hopefully you found this guide and comparison of the best gaming monitors on a budget useful!
Last price update on 2018-11-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API