We spent more than 35 hours researching and testing various products to come up with a list of the best gaming monitors with 1ms response times. To do this, we narrowed down our choices based on refresh rate, response time, adaptive sync, panel technology, resolution, and size.
Of more than 20 gaming monitors we checked out, the Acer XFA240 24” G-Sync Monitor stood out of the pack because of its superior visual quality for a TN display, multiple gaming features topped by FreeSync and G-Sync compatibility, and ergonomic design. Discover more about our #1 pick and three other recommended models for the best gaming monitor (1ms) below.
- 1 Top 4 Best Gaming Monitor 1ms Compared
- 2 How We Decided
Top 4 Best Gaming Monitor 1ms Compared
#1 Acer XFA240 Gaming Monitor – Top PickWHY WE LIKE IT: This Acer monitor is perfect for gamers especially with features like a full HD widescreen TN panel, VisionCare technology, and adjustable stand. With six hotkeys, this FreeSync and G-Sync-compatible unit can be rotated 90 degrees for either portrait or landscape mode.
This gaming monitor (144hz, 1ms, 24-inch) has a 1080-pixel resolution and a maximum brightness of 350 nits. With its low response time of 1ms combined with its low input lag of 6ms – which is how long it takes for a monitor to react to a command – avid and competitive gamers can execute actions more swiftly. , You can raise the display to 150mm, change its tilt from -5 degrees to 35 degrees, as well as swivel and rotate it.
The panel has six control buttons, including picture adjustments, overdrive setting to reduce ghosting, and volume adjustments. Its VisionCare technology ensures comfort to users with its low dimming and flicker-less capabilities. Moreover, it has a unique “black level” feature that can be adjusted to improve visibility in dark gaming environments and an “aim point” feature for customizing crosshair overlays. The two-watt speakers are also a nice plus to this Acer monitor. Believe me when I tell you that the best Xbox One games will look amazing on this monitor.
#2 BenQ GL2580H Gaming Monitor – Honorable MentionWHY WE LIKE IT: What sets this 24.5″ monitor apart from the others is its universal ports and advanced Eye-Care technology, which lowers blue light and reduces eye fatigue.
The BenQ GL2580H has a TN-type LCD monitor with a 1080-pixel resolution and a maximum brightness of 250 nits. It has a refresh rate of 60hz and an input lag of approximately 13ms. This BenQ gaming monitor is VESA-mount compatible, and you can tilt it from -5 degrees to 20 degrees. Minimalists will enjoy its clean cable management system at the rear that hides all the wires inside its stand.
BenQ has an Eye-Care technology that’s ideal for gamers who play for extended hours because of its low blue light and flicker-free technology. This protects your eyes from fatigue, irritation, or damage. Its blue light filter has four settings: multimedia, web surfing, reading, and office use. The GL2580H is also equipped with two one-watt built-in speakers and DVI, HDMI 1.4, and VGA ports. If you are buying this monitor as a gift, you may want to throw in some other gaming accessories like the best wireless gaming headset.
#3 Sceptre E255B-1658A Gaming Monitor – Best for eSportsWHY WE LIKE IT: Gamers who want a reasonably priced monitor for competitive play will want this FreeSync unit with a 165hz refresh rate. Its 1080p resolution, overdrive feature, and anti-flicker technology produce crisp and seamless on-the-spot movement.
Those into eSports will appreciate this TN display’s LED backlighting and input lag of just 5ms. This 24.5-inch Sceptre model can tilt from -5 degrees to 15 degrees. Its anti-flicker technology, brightness of 300 nits, and high refresh rate of 165hz all work together to generate smooth and premium gameplays. For demanding games with FPS of around 60 and higher, you should disable the overdrive option to avoid inverse ghosting. Keep in mind though that this will affect your response time and vary from game to game.
The Sceptre monitor is equipped with 160 to 170-degree viewing angles and two two-watt speakers. It features five control buttons, which include picture presets and custom crosshairs. This FreeSync monitor is also compatible with Nvidia graphics cards of the GTX 10 series or newer. The speakers are weak, so it’s probably a good idea to use the best gaming headset with this.
#4 AOC C24G1 Gaming Monitor – Best BudgetWHY WE LIKE IT: This pick has a 1500R curved VA display, the only curved monitor in this review, offering gamers a more “real-life” experience. The C24G1 offers a top-notch setup and immersive gameplays with its adjustable stand, full HD display, and frameless style.
Like our top pick, this 144hz 1ms gaming monitor that is also FreeSync compatible renders sharp and smooth images. Its narrow bezels reduce distraction, turning your screen into an ultimate battle station, especially if several AOC screens are closely lined up together. The C24G1 has a curved 24-inch monitor. Unlike flat screens, curved monitors can direct the light toward its viewers and allow you to take in all images at once, without straining your vision.
This AOC product has an input lag of 4ms and a brightness of 250 nits. Its direct current backlight panel minimizes flickering, providing less eye strain during prolonged play. The monitor can tilt (-4 to 21.5 degrees) and swivel (34 degrees) on its triangular stand. It comes with a DisplayPort 1.2 slot, two HDMI 1.4 ports, and a VGA port. It is the perfect screen size for a PC gamer, allowing you to use the best gaming mouse at your desk while at the perfect distance away while in the best gaming chair.
How We Decided
We made sure that the products included in our list of the best gaming monitors provided smooth gameplay without sacrificing the graphics quality. All the gaming monitors in the article have a 1-ms response time.
We also considered the input lag because of how it can mean the difference between losing or winning a fighting match, achieving a perfect line in a racing game. To this end, we selected products that have an input lag of 13ms or shorter for optimal responsiveness.
All the products reviewed have a screen size of at least 24 inches, the size preferred by most gamers. During testing, we sat less than 3ft away from the screens, which is the usual distance for most competitive games. The best gaming monitors (1ms) we picked are all VESA-mounting compatible. They also have 1080p resolutions and a refresh rate of at least 60hz.
Best Modern Buyer’s Guide
The Most Important Factors to Consider
- Refresh rate
The refresh rate refers to the number of times a monitor refreshes the image on the screen per second. This also determines your FPS (frames per second). The higher your refresh rate, the smoother your image and the more responsive your game will appear. This motion clarity is an advantage when you need to hit targets and execute actions quickly. The baseline or minimum refresh rate is 60hz, but most gaming monitors on the market are 144hz.
- Response time
The response time is very crucial to smooth gameplay It refers to how fast an image can be displayed, particularly how quickly a pixel changes from one color or shade to another. Monitors with low response times of 5ms and below are preferred, but 1ms is the best. Longer response times cause ghosting or a fading silhouette that follows a moving object, which can be distracting for gamers in a very fast-paced environment.
- Input lag
Input lag is usually confused with response time, which is concerned only with the speed at which shades of color change. Input lag is the delay between an inputted command and the time it took for the corresponding action to appear on the screen. Unlike response time, input lag is not usually advertised, but video signal input lag testers can help you determine this.
- Adaptive Sync
Adaptive sync aims to remove screen tearing (the appearance of horizontal lines on your screen), stuttering, and input latency (the delay between clicking your mouse and seeing your cursor actually move). All these happen when your monitor’s refresh rate isn’t synchronized with your graphic card’s frame rate.
Hence, technologies such as AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync are used so your graphic card and monitor can communicate with each other better. FreeSync is compatible with any monitor that has a DisplayPort 1.2a and up. G-Sync, on the other hand, needs a special hardware from Nvidia that must be incorporated into the display to function.
- Panel Technology
PC monitors currently on the market mainly use three LCD technologies: twisted nematic or TN, in-plane switching or IPS, and vertical alignment or VA. TN screens, made of nematic liquid crystal sandwiched between sheets of polarized glass, are the most popular of the three. They operate the fastest due to their low response times, low input lag, high refresh rates, and minimal motion blur. Meanwhile, IPS monitors have slower response times than TN but faster response times than VA. They offer the best color and best viewing angles. They work best for image and video editing and content creation. VA panels are made almost the same way as TN displays, but they’re able to block light from the backlight, so they produce the best image depth and contrast. These monitors offer better viewing angles compared to TN screens but generally have slower response times compared to TN and IPS monitors.
A monitor’s resolution is represented by the number of pixels that goes into each square-inch of your monitor. The higher the pixel density (pixel per inch), the smoother the image comes out on the screen. However, more pixels can slow you down when gaming if you don’t have a powerful card. The most common HD resolution and the most ideal for 24-inch monitors and smaller panels is 1080 pixels.
Gaming monitors range from 22 inches to 43 inches. Picking the right size will depend on what games you play, how much space you have for your monitor, and where you will place it. But most gamers still go for the smaller 24 to 25-inch monitors. The general rule for healthy viewing is to sit away from your monitor at the same distance as its size. For games that need quick reflexes and refresh rates, such as first-person games, a 24-inch monitor will give you the speed required for quick maneuvers. Meanwhile, a 27-inch monitor will work better for you if you play RPGs or other games with cinematic views and sharp details.
- Is it advisable to buy a 4K monitor for gaming?
The pixel count of monitors with a 4K resolution is four times greater that of 1080-pixel displays, making it ultra HD compared to the full HD 1080p. This means a more immersive experience resulting from intense and sharper colors and a larger field of view. If your priority is graphics over performance, then going for 4K is all right, but keep in mind that 1080p displays still have a higher refresh rate than 4Ks. Moreover, should you go for a unit with a 4K resolution, choose a display that’s 27 inches and higher so the text will be easier to read. You also have to invest in a higher performance GPU (2060/vega 56 and higher).
- Which is better: FreeSync or G-Sync?
Most monitors used to come with the AMD FreeSync module installed in them, while only premium displays carried the G-sync module. But in early 2019, Nvidia released G-Sync compatible programs (driver version 417.71) that will allow their graphic cards and drivers to work on FreeSync displays.
G-Sync-compatible FreeSync monitors will, therefore, allow you to get the best cards from either Nvidia or AMD and see them produce smooth graphics and high frame rates on your display.
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