How to Find the Best Cheap Gaming Monitor This Year

Video games – it’s what makes the world go ‘round. At least, that’s how it is in the life of a gamer. There are a whopping 155 million Americans playing video games. This is about two gamers per household.
And what’s surprising is that 27% of gamers are under 18 and 26% are over 50 – crazy, right? And there’s no sexism here – 59% of players are men and 41% are women.

If you’re a part of this gaming population, then you’re likely always looking for the next best console or computer system for your games. PC games are quite popular, given the freedom of upgrading your system to perform optimally.

Consoles are restricted with lower memory, hard drive space and processing speeds. Building a super gaming computer is possible and oftentimes done by avid gamers. One of the major pieces to this puzzle is the monitor.

Fortunately, you can buy a cheap gaming monitor that offers an amazing gaming experience. Here are some tips for shopping for a monitor.

Select the Right Size and Resolution

Those who are new to PC gaming may think the bigger the screen the better. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. The majority of the larger monitors and TVs are limited in processing speed. This translates to a glitchy gaming experience.

Who wants that? So to avoid this, you need to get the right panel size and resolution. It’s recommended that you buy a cheap gaming monitor that is 27 inches. This gives you ample space for viewing game environments.

Make sure it’s also equipped with wide, quad high-definition resolution, or WQHD. Your PC will need a powerful graphics card that can give you enough FPS (frames per second). This will determine how quickly the game processes, offering you a real-time experience.

There’s nothing worse than shooting at the ghost of an online player that’s already moved across the screen because your FPS is too slow. Or dying because you didn’t see an online player coming at you in time.

As a rule of thumb, you want to avoid screens that are under 23 inches, but no larger than 34 inches. Also, high resolution doesn’t equal better gameplay. So you can skimp on the resolution output to save a few dollars.

Look at the Panel Technology

Ideally, you want a monitor that’s going to provide fast response time and refresh rates, so you can see your game in real time. There are reasons why may gamers like Twisted Nematic panels.

For one, it offers quick processing of images. And second, it’s a cheap gaming monitor. So you get the best of both worlds.

But there is a flaw – the colors look washed out if you’re not looking straight into the monitor. So the viewing angles aren’t so great.

However, there are other options. For example, you can go with vertical alignment panels, which have high contrast ratios, great color and allow easier viewing of deep levels of blacks.

The downside is they have annoying ghosting effects, which can negatively affect your gaming performance.

Another option is the in-plane switching panels. These offer the highest color accuracy and provide great viewing angles. The gray-scale performance is also strong. The cons about this it’s unable to match pixel response times, so it’s common for blurs to occur.

Aim for High Pixel Response Time and Refresh Rate

Hands down, you want a cheap gaming monitor that’s going to offer quick pixel responses and high refresh rates. Together, these offer a smooth gaming experience.

The way to know if a monitor’s any good is to look at the specs. What you’re searching for is GtG, which stands for Gray-to-Gray. This is measured in milliseconds, telling you how long it takes for transitions from one gray shade to another.

Not all manufacturers use the same calculations for GtG, so there may be some bias. An ideal speed would be 4ms or below. However, the absolute best would be 1ms.

As for the refresh rate, this determines how quickly the screen refreshes to display new images. This is measured using Hertz or Hz. Typical monitors have a 60Hz refresh rate. These monitors aren’t fast enough to process quick movements, which will look like a blur.

There may also be issues with screen tearing and chopping gameplay. To avoid this, you want to aim for a monitor that has a 144Hz refresh rate. Those using 3D technology should get a monitor with a refresh rate of 120Hz or higher.

Two brands that worth noting are AMD and Nvidia. These companies created GPUs that don’t have screen tearing issues. The key was to synchronize the monitor with the GPU. But you’ll need to find a monitor that has a technology called FreeSync or G-Sync.

Other Features to Look for in Your Cheap Gaming Monitor

You’re going to need the right input options to ensure you can use it. You may even want a monitor that has two HDMI ports, so you can connect it to two different units at once.

It’s a good idea to connect to your 144Hz monitor using a Display Port connector or DVI-D, since DVI and HDMI can’t handle the high refresh rate.

Features you want to have include an adjustable height, swivel and tilt abilities.

What’s a Good Price?

That changes with time, depending on what specs you’re looking for and from which brand. Right now, you can probably find a 24-inch twisted nematic panel with fast GtG for under $170. But if you want extra features, such as FreeSync, then you’ll pay more.

For $1,440, you can get a 27-inch monitor with top-notch features, like 144Hz refresh rate and G-Sync. Here’s a quick list of some of the top monitors for gaming:

  • LG 38UC99-W for $1,600
  • Acer Predator XB271HK for $880
  • Dell 24 Gaming Monitor S2417DG for $430
  • ViewSonic XG2700-4K for $540
  • AOC C358FQ for $600

Get Your Gaming Setup Right

At Computer Desk Guru, we help customers set up their gaming experience. We offer advice on buying the best gaming chairs, computer systems, monitors and desks.

Stop by our blog today to find out more about getting the perfect setup for a flawless gaming experience.