The best 4K gaming monitors may demand a lot from the best gaming PC, but if you want the level of detail a gorgeous 3840×2160 resolution can offer, you need a mix of the top panel technology and the latest high-end gaming features.
You’re going to want a VA or IPS screen, a refresh rate above the 60Hz baseline, and preferably some form of frame-syncing capability, whether that’s G-Sync or FreeSync. You also have to decide whether you want to go really big with one of the best gaming TVs instead. They might take up a load of space, but larger screen sizes will have you feeling much more immersed.
The main thing to consider is whether you have a gaming PC capable of making a 4K gaming monitor worth it. Upgrading to one of the best graphics cards will ensure your machine will not just be rendering a gaming slideshow with the step-up to 4K. It would help if you also aimed for a larger screen size too. The first 4K monitor we ever tested was glorious but was only a 24-inch panel, so we couldn’t quite appreciate the 8.3 million pixels we were generating.
Top 10 the Best 4K Gaming Monitors 2021
If you’re ready to dive into high-res gaming (lucky you), below are the best 4K gaming monitors of 2020, based on our own testing.
1. LG Electronics 27GN850
With speed, accurate color and high contrast, the LG 27GN850 is the best 4K gaming monitor and our top recommendation. There’s tough competition on this page, but the 27GN950-B stands out with some of the best input lag scores we’ve seen of a 144Hz monitor (tying with the Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ below) while also keeping up with its rivals in our response time testing.
Image quality is also a sight to hold. With an edge array backlight with a local dimming feature, the 27GN850 doesn’t quite hit FALD-level HDR but still brought stellar performance with 8,475.3:1 contrast ratio.
LG also implemented its Nano IPS panel, the answer to Samsung’s Quantum Dot tech, to achieve massive color coverage (94.5% of DCI-P3 and 133.9% of sRGB after our recommended calibration) that really made games pop.
2. BenQ EL2870U
If you’re on the lookout for a quality way into the field of 4K gaming monitors, but haven’t got a huge pile of ready cash to throw at the situation, then the BenQ EL2870U is one for you to seriously consider. The overall picture quality is surprisingly good, especially considering it’s a TN monitor. There’s also a delicate balance between the capabilities and offerings of the EL2870U.
As a budget-level monitor, it does top out the refresh rate of its glorious 4K resolution at 60Hz, but that’s fine for most and indeed excellent for the price and the 4K-entry point it represents. Unfortunately, there’s no G-Sync, but FreeSync is present to help smooth out the experience, while a 1ms response time gives it a speedy edge.
Also present are BenQ’s original screen technologies incorporated to aid users’ eyes when using the monitor for long periods. These consist of the Low Blue Light Technology and Brightness Intelligence + (B.I.+), which changes the brightness and color temperature of your on-screen images based on your surroundings.
We can confirm that these are not just gimmicks and do truly benefit you. Combine these with the brilliant picture quality and speeds the EL2870U offers as a whole package, and this is an impressive point of entry to 4K monitors and offers fantastic value with an impulse-purchase good price point.
3. LG 32UL500-W
The LG 32UL500-W is the best 4k gaming monitor in the budget category that we’ve tested. It has a massive 32 inch screen that feels incredibly immersive, great for playing atmospheric games like RPGs. It’s better suited for a dark to moderately room because it has a high contrast ratio to produce deep blacks but doesn’t get very bright, so glare might be an issue in well-lit settings.
Viewing angles are quite good for a VA panel, fine for playing co-op games, although not ideal for sharing work that requires precision.
The response times are decent, resulting in reasonably clear images with only a short blur trail behind fast-moving objects. It has native FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing. Input lag is excellent and remains so when gaming in HDR. Unfortunately, the overall HDR experience is mediocre at best because it simply doesn’t get bright enough.
There are only a few extra features. It has speakers built-in if you don’t have dedicated ones, and there’s a blue light filter to help reduce eye strain. The stand only allows for tilt adjustment, so it’s best to VESA-mount it if you have trouble getting a comfortable viewing position. Overall, while it isn’t the most feature-rich, it’s a good, large-size monitor that should please most people shopping on a small budget.
4. Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q
Just $329 for a 4K gaming monitor? Your eyes do not deceive you. The Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q packs the eight million odd pixels of 4K into an affordable display with a 28-inch viewing area. You might think that means that Asus must have made some serious trade-offs elsewhere in the display, but you’ll actually find a rather capable gaming screen.
The Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, but that’s still plenty smooth, and most gaming hardware will be lucky to hit 60fps when playing at 4K anyway. So, this monitor will make a good ally for your games. Beyond the resolution, this monitor actually also offers an IPS panel for solid viewing angles and colors, even supporting a 10-bit color depth.
Asus threw in FreeSync support as well, so you don’t have to worry about screen tearing if your computer or console doesn’t maintain a constant 60fps.
5. Alienware AW3418DW
The Alienware AW3418DW is one of the few gaming monitors that deliver a level of immersion that only a 21:9 aspect ratio can, while also offering up a high refresh rate. With a dense 3,440 x 1,440 resolution, ridiculously fast 4ms response times and a speedy 120Hz refresh rate, this ultrawide monitor gives you the best of both worlds.
All these features don’t come cheap though, so budget-minded gamers might want to look elsewhere or start saving up.
6. Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q-X
The £645 Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q-X is part of a new breed of monitors which marry a 2560×1440 resolution with an extremely high 240Hz refresh rate, allowing them to shine in a wide range of games, from fast-paced shooters to leisurely turn-based strategy games.
There are a few other features of note here. The metal stand is excellent, offering a good range of tilt, swivel and rotation, and the thin bezels make this a good choice for multi-monitor setups.
The OSD is also comprehensive, with a wide range of game modes and features available, although I was disappointed to find that enabling the ‘black equalizer’ setting to lighten dark areas (to highlight hiding enemies, for example) drops the refresh rate down from 240Hz to 165Hz.
In our testing, we found this monitor offered a noticeable competitive advantage over more ordinary 144Hz and 165Hz monitors, while offering a much sharper picture than 1080p 240Hz options. That’s definitely a winning formula, and therefore we’re happy to make the Aorus FI27Q-X our new top recommendation for this category.
7. Acer Predator XB273K
While the price of the X2B273K could still, justifiably make you baulk a bit, the value it offers overall makes it our number one pick.
It’s relation, the X27 used to be the benchmark for how awesome a 4K monitor for gaming could be, but the price tag of that is even higher than the ASUS below on this list, so is firmly in the prohibitively expensive category. The XB273K, however, is a little more affordable and, as a result, offers some great value as a premium gaming monitor.
8. Razer Raptor 27
The Razer Raptor 27 is currently our selection for the best gaming monitor overall. This 27-inch screen displays gorgeous colors with stunning accuracy, at crisp quad HD resolutions. You can run games at more than 100 frames per second, thanks to the Raptor 27’s fast 144 Hz refresh rate.
At 2560 x 1440 pixels, the screen is high-res enough to display gorgeous images, but not so high-res that you’ll need an incredibly powerful PC to make the most of it. In other words, it’s a nearly perfect midpoint of performance and accessibility.
The only real downside to the Raptor 27 is that it’s extremely expensive, especially compared to other quad HD monitors. But you’re also paying for the monitor’s excellent physical design, which makes the ports extremely easy to access, and the cables very simple to manage.
9. Samsung Odyssey G9
A massive gaming monitor with a massive price tag to boot. However, don’t let that put you off, the monitor from Samsung is one of the best in its class – compromising nothing for outstanding gaming performance.
The Odyssey G9 is one of the best, if not the best, all-round gaming monitors Samsung has designed. It offers a 49inch 1000R curved display that offers only the highest level of immersion during gameplay and work.
With great response, excellent colors, and fantastic overall gameplay, the Samsung G9 is a must-have for people in the super ultrawide monitor category.
10. ASUS VP28UQG
This 28-inch UHD monitor supports AdaptiveSync and AMD FreeSync, perfect for gamers. It also comes with ASUS Eye Care technology that lowers the blue light and eliminates flickering to reduce eyestrain. There is a red joystick on the back of the monitor, similar to those found on ThinkPad laptops, the red TrackPoints.
This is used to navigate the on screen menu and controls letting you access options such as ASUS GamePlus and GameVisual settings for enhanced game play.
How to choose the best 4k gaming monitors
While 4K monitors are still more expensive than 1080p ones, they have actually come down in price a lot in recent years, so you can now go 4K without spending a fortune. Of course, there are still some expensive 4K screens out there as well, which not only feature high resolutions, but are also professionally calibrated for the best possible colour accuracy.
If you’re going to be embarking on any kind of colour work with your new display then you’ll be looking for precise colour accuracy. Most entry-level 4K monitors still do a fairly decent job, but designers will want to look for a monitor that offers full coverage of the AdobeRGB or DCI-P3 colour space(you’ll want to invest in the best monitor calibrator as well, by the way).
Investing in a colour-accurate display – and it is an investment – will bag you an excellent screen for black levels and brightness that’ll be brilliant whether you’re working on images or video.
Size is obviously an issue. 27-inches is now very common but the 32-inch size is seen more often than it was a year ago. If you want something more affordable then take a look at the Philips Brilliance 272P7VPTKEB, which offers great value and image quality as well. If you’re looking for a display specifically for image editing then check out our roundup of the best monitors for photo editing too.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best 4k gaming monitors currently available. They’re adapted to be valid for most people, in each price range. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price, and feedback from our visitors.
If you would prefer to make your own decision, here is the list of all of our 4k monitor reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. Most monitors are good enough to please most people, and the things we fault monitors on are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.