The best gaming monitors under $500 include a surprising variety of G-Sync, FreeSync, Ultrawide, and even 4K displays.

The best gaming monitors under $500 include a surprising variety of G-Sync, FreeSync, Ultrawide, and even 4K displays.

The right gaming monitor can elevate your PC gaming experience, and you don’t need to spend a ton of money to do it. While you might sticking to budget would limit you to only the most basic Full HD displays, there’s a dizzying array of cheap choices to choose from including. Without spending too much you can easily pick up a 1440p screen, a curved display, and even a 4K gaming monitor with HDR.The bar for gaming monitors has never been higher, so this is a great time to pick up a cheap gaming monitor. Instead of having to think about setting the right balance between cost, features, and image quality, we’ve found all of the best budget gaming monitors for you.TL;DR These are the Best Budget Gaming Monitors:
1. AOC 27G2 Gaming Monitor
Best Budget Gaming Monitor
Screen size: 27″ Aspect ratio: 16:9 Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 Panel type: IPS FreeSync HDR compatibility: n/a Brightness: 250cd/m2 Refresh rate: 144Hz Response time: 1ms Viewing angle: 178(H)/178(V) Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 Color support: 118% sRGB, 88% Adobe RGB Inputs: 2 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 1 x D-Sub 3.0 Weight: 11.98 pounds Size: 24.11″ x 15.57″ x 8.95″
The AOC 27G2 gaming monitor is as flashy as it is affordable, and it rounds that out by also being perfectly suited for gaming. It delivers a 27-inch display at Full HD, so you’ll see plenty. And, it runs that display at 144Hz with support for FreeSync to keep your frames tear-free. The IPS Panel also keeps colors accurate and viewing angles wide, so you can enjoy all sorts of content or use the display for work when you’re not gaming.2. Asus TUF Gaming VG259Q
Best Budget 1080p Gaming Monitor
Screen size: 24.5″ Aspect ratio: 16:9 Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 Panel type: IPS FreeSync, G-Sync compatible HDR compatibility: n/a Brightness: 400cd/m2 Refresh rate: 144Hz Response time: 1ms Viewing angle: 178(H)/178(V) Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 Color support: 16.7 million Inputs: 2 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 Weight: 11.24 pounds Size: 22.16″ x 14″ x 8.7″
The Asus TUF Gaming VG259Q pushes the envelope for a budget gaming monitor. It’s still in a similar ballpark with its 24.5-inch, Full HD display running at 144Hz. But, it goes above and beyond by offering FreeSync and G-Sync compatibility on its responsive IPS panel. That means you’ll get clear images with wide viewing angles. Better still, the montior offers brightness levels up to 400 nits, making it one of the brighter monitors you can find at a budget price point. It even has small, stereo speakers if you need a little audio in a pinch.3. Dell S-Series 27-inch (S2719DGF)
Best Budget 1440p Gaming Monitor
Screen size: 27″ Aspect ratio: 16:9 Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 Panel type: TN FreeSync Brightness: 350cd/m2 Refresh rate: 155Hz Response time: 1ms Viewing angle: 170(H)/160(V) Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 Color support: 16.7M Inputs: 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 Weight: 9.4 pounds Size: 24.1″ x 15.5″ x 7.3″
Heavily discounted at Dell, the Dell S-Series 27-inch (read our review) lets you step up from a 24-inch 1080p panel to a 27-inch 1440p panel and still stay well within a budget price range. Its a fast TN panel with a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, along with AMD FreeSync. The monitor offers an attractive screen coating thats an effective blend of matte and glossy, and the display is so flexible it could enroll in a yoga class. With tilt, height, swivel and pivot adjustments, you can set up the display to your exact preferences.4. LG 27UL500
Best Budget 4K Gaming Monitor
Screen size: 27″ Aspect ratio: 16:9 Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 Panel type: IPS FreeSync Brightness: 300cd/m2 Refresh Rate: 60Hz Response time: 5ms Viewing angle: 178(H)/178(V) Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 Color support: 1.07b Inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 x Weight: 10.14 pounds Size: 24.5″ x 18.1 x 8.24″
There are precious few 4K gaming monitors that go for $300 as the 27-inch LG 27UL500 does. And it’s not just the low price that makes it so attractive either. It features a gorgeous IPS panel that displays vivid colors at almost any angle.This affordable 27-incher also supports FreeSync, which should bring relife to users concerned about screen tearing. It has some pretty basic specs for gaming with only a 60Hz refresh rate and 5ms response time, but it’s a great option for users to get into 4K at a affordable price.
5. Acer Nitro XV273K
Best Budget HDR Gaming Monitor
Screen size: 27″ Aspect ratio: 16:9 Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 Panel type: IPS FreeSync2 HDR Brightness: 400cd/m2 Refresh rate: 144Hz Response time: 4ms Viewing angle: 178(H)/178(V) Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 Color support: 100% sRGB, 90% DCI P3 Inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x DisplayPort 1.4 Weight: 8.8 pounds Size: 21.8″ x 16.6″ x 8.0″
We’re going to break my own rule about picking only gaming monitors that cost less than $500 temporarily, because the Acer Nitro XV273K (read our review) offers such a fantastic value. For $900, this gaming monitor offers up a 4K HDR and 144Hz experience that would typically be reserved for displays would normally cost $1,700 to $1,300.The Acer Nitro XV273K isn’t just meeting these specs on paper either. The screen looks magnificent with enough sharpness to let you see the individual grains of sand in Assassin’s Creed Origins. Meanwhile, turning on HDR adds a significant amount of depth to the shadows. It’s not a perfect gaming monitor, as grays can look a little dull and colors are oversaturated in SDR mode, but overall this is a fantastic gaming monitor for its price and picture quality.
6. ViewSonic Elite XG240R
Best Budget FreeSync Gaming Monitor
Screen size: 24″ Aspect ratio: 16:9 Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 Panel type: TN FreeSync Brightness: 350cd/m2 Refresh rate: 144Hz Response time: 5ms Viewing angle: 170(H)/160(V) Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 Color support: 16.7M Inputs: 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 Weight: 14.8 pounds Size: 22.3″ x 17.1″ x 9.4″
If you want an AMD FreeSync panel, the ViewSonic Elite XG240R wins our pick as the best 24-inch value gaming monitor available right now. You get a 1080p display with accurate colors and very good (1ms) response times that supports AMD FreeSync at 144Hz. The monitor includes one HDMI and one DisplayPort for hook ups, so you can connect two devices at once.7. Dell 24 Gaming Monitor
Best Budget G-Sync Gaming Monitor
Screen size: 24″ Aspect ratio: 16:9 Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 Panel type: TN FreeSync, G-Sync compatible Brightness: 350cd/m2 Refresh rate: 144Hz Response time: 1ms Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 Color support: 16.7 million Inputs: 2 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 Weight: 16.64 pounds Size: 22.24″ x 13.26″ x 1.97″
If you’re pushing your gaming computer to the edge in terms of visuals and frame rates, you’ll want a monitor that’s ready for whatever you throw at it. This 24-inch Dell gaming monitor is just the one, as its 1080p display will be easier to run at a high frame rate than a 1440p display would. And, thanks to the Dell S2419HGF’s support for G-Sync and FreeSync, you’ll be able to keep your visuals smooth even when you’re not delivering frame rates that match the displays 144Hz refresh rate. This monitor is only made better by Dell’s great stand design, which will let you position the display at a comfortable height and angle.8. Viotek GFT27DB
Best Budget G-Sync Compatible Gaming Monitor
Screen size: 27″ Aspect ratio: 16:9 Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 Panel type: TN FreeSync Brightness: 220cd/m2 Refresh rate: 144Hz Response time: 1ms Viewing angle: 170(H)/160(V) Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 Color support: 16.7M Inputs: 1 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 Weight: 8.6 pounds Size: 24.3″ x 7.9″ x 17.5″
The Viotek GFT27DB (read our review) is one of the least expensive 27-inch, 1440p displays youll find. It uses a TN panel to deliver a speedy 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. The downside of TN panels is poor color reproduction, but the Viotek GFT27DB still manages to display a wide color gamut for accurate colors and deep black levels. Not only is it one of the best FreeSync gaming monitors, it’s also an unofficial G-Sync Compatible monitor. You can manually engage Nvidias competing (and pricier) G-Sync to work on this screen for tear-free gaming.9. Acer Nitro XF252Q
Best Budget Esports Gaming Monitor
Screen size: 24.5″ Aspect ratio: 16:9 Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 Panel type: TN G-Sync Brightness: 400cd/m2 Refresh rate: 240Hz Response time: 0.3ms Viewing angle: 170(H)/160(V) Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 Color support: 8-bit 16.7m Inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 Weight: 8.73 pounds Size: 22″ x 15.1 x 9.21″
Buttery smooth visuals for a bargain, the Acer Nitro XF252Q is one of least expensive 240Hz monitors with G-Sync on the market. It only costs $349 and yet it’s one of the most full-featured high-refresh rate displays on the market that offers both FreeSync support and a 400-nit peak brightness, making it HDR capable.What’s more this fast Full HD panel breaks the 1ms response time barrier, lowering it all the way to 0.3ms. That’s about the lowest response time we’ve ever seen on a gaming monitior and it’ll give you that crucial extra edge in first-person shooters and Esports titles.
10. AOpen 32HC1QUR
Best Budget Curved Gaming Monitor
Screen size: 32″ 1800R Aspect ratio: 16:9 Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 Panel type: VA FreeSync Brightness: 250cd/m2 Refresh rate: 144Hz Response time: 5ms Viewing angle: 178(H)/178(V) Contrast ratio: 3,000:1 Color support: 16.7M Inputs: 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, DVI-D Weight: 13.45 pounds Size: 28″ x 20.7″ x 8.19″
AOpen might be a new name in the gaming monitor space, but it delivered a startling good and cheap curved gaming monitor with the AOpen 32HC1QUR (read our review). It serves up plenty of features you wouldn’t normally see in a budget model starting with its 32-inch display.What’s more, this monitor features a 1800R curvature, 1440p resolution VA panel,144Hz refresh rate, and a 4ms response time. Thats a lot of size and speed for just $300. It doesn’t feature lighting and its overall aesthetic is pretty plain, but you’ll be far more interested to hear it supports both FreeSync and (unofficially) G-Sync. So no matter what type of gaming PC or gaming laptop you plug it into, you’ll be able to enjoy variable refresh rate technology.
11. Pixio PX329
Big Screen, Small Money
Screen size: 32″ Aspect ratio: 16:9 Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 Panel type: VA FreeSync Brightness: 300cd/m2 Refresh rate: 165Hz Response time: 5ms Viewing angle: 178(H)/178(V) Contrast ratio: 3,000:1 Color support: 16.8M Inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x DisplayPort 1.2 Weight: 12.13 pounds Size: 28.5″ x 16.7″ x 1.67″
The Pixio PX329 (read our review) is a great value, packing a QHD resolution into a 32-inch VA panel with refresh rates up to 165Hz with DisplayPort. That refresh rate tops out at 144Hz if you enable FreeSync or use an HDMI cable, making this a great choice if you’re looking for ultra-high framerates. The only real knock against the Pixio PX329 as a gaming monitor is its 5ms response time, but you can usually find this gaming display on sale online for less than $400, so it’s a small sacrifice for a big monitor.12. LG 34UM68-P
Best Budget Ultrawide Gaming Monitor
Screen size: 34″ Aspect ratio: 21:9 Resolution: 2,560 x 1,080 Panel type: IPS FreeSync Brightness: 350cd/m2 Refresh Rate: 75Hz Response time: 5ms Viewing angle: 178(H)/178(V) Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 Color support: 16.7M Inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 Weight: 17.6 pounds Size: 32.7″ x 16.9″ x 9.4″
This 34-inch UltraWide monitor immerses you in your gaming experience with a panoramic scale, true-to-life color, and brilliant clarity. The IPS panel looks great from all angles too, so this is also a great choice for watching movies. This is a great choice for gamers who want a big screen, but dont care about a ton of features and or things like super-fast response times. The bezel-free design looks great, but the lack of height and swivel adjustment is disappointing. If you’re running a Radeon graphics card, it supports FreeSync too. If youre cash-constrained and in need of a 34-inch monitor then the LG 34UM68-P is the way to go.What to look for in a Cheap Gaming Monitor
Below I’ve sketched out what features are essential and what features can be cut to save a little money on a gaming monitorsomething especially relevant if you’re running an older rig that can’t do 1440p or 2160p anyway.Start your quest by selecting the right resolution for your platform and components, and your GPU’s horsepower will guide this area of your decision making. Sure, 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160) is the current high end, but you’ll need an RTX 2080 or RTX 2080 Ti for 4K gaming at high frame rates. If you don’t already have a baller GPU you’ll save a lot of money by going with a 1080p display. It isn’t cutting edge, but it’ll get the job done.
Once you’ve settled on a display resolution that’s appropriate for your GPU, refresh rate and response time are critically important for gaming monitors. Refresh rate tells you how many frames per second a monitor can refresh the display while response time is how quickly it can react to your input (i.e. moving forward, throwing a punch, etc). Manufacturers’ specs are usually representative of what to expect under ideal conditions so keep in mind that your mileage may vary depending on your hardware. Finally, make sure that youre getting the right type and number of input ports for your GPU. These days you usually can’t go wrong with DisplayPort, but not all monitors offer that, particularly on the low-end so be sure to do your research.
Start your quest by selecting the right resolution for your platform and components…
When it comes to the type of display to consider, the two most common panel types for gaming monitors are TN (twisted nematic) and IPS (in-plane switching). TN is the most common because they are the cheapest panels to produce and offer very low response times and high refresh rates. The only drawback to this type of panel is they typically have restricted viewing angles and dont exhibit the greatest color accuracy.In contrast (display related pun intended), the more expensive IPS panels provide more accurate colors at the expense of somewhat higher response times. The choice is yours and it boils down to price, response time, and color accuracy. If you’re just going to be gaming, TN is fine, but you wouldn’t want to do professional photo or video editing on them; that’s purely an IPS panel activity.
Youll also want to check out VA (vertical alignment) panels, which reside between TN and IPS panels. While some have 1ms response times, VA panels typically can’t hit as high refresh rates to push extremely fast frame rates as TN panels. However, they offer better colors, higher contrast ratios, and deeper blacks than a TN that are more akin to an IPS. And all curved gaming monitors use VA panels.
If youre like most gamers, youll want the largest monitor that will fit both your desk and your price range
There’s also adaptive refresh technology to consider, which is either Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync. These technologies sync the refresh rate between the monitor and graphics card to eliminate frame tearing when the two are out of sync. Another option to look for is High Dynamic Range (HDR), which is coming to more and more PC monitors to provide better brightness and color that pop when connected to equivalently equipped graphics cards and/or the most recent consoles.One more consideration is monitor size, and for the sub-$500 range, youll be looking at 40 inches and smaller. If youre like most gamers, youll want the largest monitor that will fit both your desk and your price range. For this buyers guide, we only considered monitors that are 24-inches or larger. You might want to look at smaller monitors to save money, although we would recommend this only as a drastic last resort.
Also, be sure to check out even more expert recommendations with our guide to the best 4K gaming monitors, the best graphics cards, and the best 4K TV for gaming.
Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark

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