High-end gaming monitors are designed to push the limits regarding resolution, refresh rate, response time, and overall panel size. As you can expect, these are the kind of displays you buy when money is not an issue. Many of these products are also pretty hard to find in stock sometimes.
With that being said, it’s not a great idea to just buy the most expensive model in the hopes that it is the best solution for your particular needs. Even high-end monitors can be split into different categories, so it’s still a wise choice to carefully consider your particular use case before making a purchase.
What to Look for in a High-End Gaming Monitor
There’s no ‘ultimate’ gaming monitor out there that can satisfy everyone, so it’s all about picking a specific niche. There are high-end 1080p monitors, ultra wides, and big format gaming displays (BFGDs), each one coming with certain drawbacks. Here are some of the things you should think about before deciding on what model to get:
- Resolution. This is by far the most important choice to make. Price jumps are pretty significant between 1080p, 1440p, and 4K, so you must make sure that your system can handle those resolutions in terms of frame rate.
- Refresh rate. 60Hz should not be in the same sentence as the term ‘high-end’ in 2020. Anything below 120Hz should be avoided if you are looking for the best gaming experience available.
- Response time. Even 8ms – which is otherwise acceptable on a typical monitor – does not quite cut it when talking about high refresh rate displays. Aim for something with 4ms or less in terms of input lag.
- Panel size and type. Super high refresh rate 1080p monitors can still get away with TN panels, but for anything else, you should stick with either IPS or VA.
- G-Sync/FreeSync support. Most high-end monitors offer G-Sync support, but you can probably get away with FreeSync as well. This is especially true if you own an AMD GPU, and you cannot make use of G-Sync anyway.
- Good stand ergonomics. Paying a premium for image quality and smooth animations doesn’t mean you should give up on being able to adjust your monitor’s position. Make sure your display comes with a sturdy and adjustable stand.
- Additional inputs. USB ports are important for gamers as well, even if they are perhaps not as vital as everything else. Being able to hook up your mouse receiver and a pair of headphones is the bare minimum.
The Best High-End Gaming Monitors in 2020
With all that out of the way, it is time to unveil our picks for the best high-end gaming monitors in 2020. The goal is to cover pretty much all the categories, so we will include options for 1080p, 1440p, 4K, and ultrawide. Here is what a no-limits budget can get you:
1. Best High-End BFGD Monitor – Asus ROG Strix XG438Q 43”
|Panel Type and Size||VA, 43″|
|Item Weight||45.00 lbs|
|Dimensions||38.37 x 24.85 x 9.54 inches|
Resolution and refresh rate. This BFGD from Asus is designed to be used as a couch-gaming alternative to your TV. However, it certainly doesn’t skimp out on specs. The panel can push up to 120Hz at 4K, which is pretty much what the next generation of consoles is going to require for the best triple-A games.
Input lag and extra features. The input lag goes as low as 4ms under ideal conditions, which is actually just enough for the 120Hz refresh rate. Other than that, this monitor also comes with FreeSync support, which is a very useful feature in a 4K display. You also get 600 nits of peak brightness for HDR content, plus 10-bit color support.
Input options and ports. To drive this monitor at its full potential, you need to use either DisplayPort 1.4 or HDMI 2.0, both of which are available. There are also two USB 3.0 ports, as well as a headphone jack. A pair of 10W speakers is built into the monitor as well.
Stand features. Since this is a 43” display, the stand is similar to what you get on a TV. There is no height adjustment and no pivot, but this is probably the only case where this is not actually a problem. With that being said, VESA mounting holes are available, so you can definitely customize this aspect as you see fit.
- Pretty big diagonal for a 16:9 monitor
- FreeSync and HDR support
- Goes up to 120Hz at 4K
- Comes with built-in speakers
- 3 HDMI 2.0 ports
- Has a headphone jack and a USB hub
- No G-Sync support
2. Best High-End Ultrawide Monitor – Samsung CRG9 49”
|Panel Type and Size||VA, 49″|
|Item Weight||33.00 lbs|
|Dimensions||15.08 x 47.36 x 20.68 inches|
Resolution and refresh rate. The CRG9 is an ultrawide panel, which means that the resolution does not adhere to typical 16:9 standards. Instead, this is a 32:9 panel running at 5120 by 1440, which means it falls just behind 4K in terms of pixel count. Even so, you still get a whopping 120Hz to play with.
Input lag and extra features. Since this is a VA panel, the input lag is not quite on par with IPS, so you’ll have to make do with 4ms. However, that’s not a drawback, so you definitely won’t notice too much motion blur anyway. FreeSync is included as well, although G-Sync would be much nicer to see at this price point.
Input options and ports. The monitor features 2 DisplayPort 1.4 ports and 1 HDMI 2.0 port, both of which are more than capable of driving 120Hz at 2160p. There are also 4 USB ports, which makes it very easy to connect various peripherals.
Stand features. Given the sheer size of this monitor, it’s no wonder that the default stand is very big as well. While it may occupy a good portion of your desk, the stand is surprisingly ergonomic, especially since it even allows you to adjust the monitor’s height. You can also swivel and tilt the display.
- 49 inches of pure immersion
- Great resolution and pixel density, even at this size
- High refresh rate
- FreeSync support
- DisplayHDR 1000 certification
- Four USB ports
- G-Sync is not supported
- The stand is pretty bulky
3. Best High-End 1080p Monitor – Asus ROG Swift PG259QN 24.5”
|Panel Type and Size||IPS, 24.5″|
|Item Weight||15.65 lbs|
|Dimensions||21.93 x 14.92 x 9.72 inches|
Resolution and refresh rate. If you crave high refresh rates, the PG259QN from Asus is the way to go. This is one of the first displays on the market to support 360Hz at 1080p, so you definitely do not leave any performance on the table. This is also an IPS display, which means that you do not have to put up with TN issues like with previous high refresh rate models.
Input lag and extra features. At 360Hz, the input lag is extremely important. Anything above 3ms would actually be slower than the refresh rate, so it’s a good thing that this monitor features only 1ms of input lag. Other than that, you also get full G-Sync support, as well as HDR10 and a few eye-care features.
Input options and ports. DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 are the only inputs that can support 360Hz, except, of course, for the newly released HDMI 2.1. The PG259QN includes both of these, as well as a couple of USB ports and a headphone jack.
Stand features. Asus has a great record in terms of stand ergonomics, and this model does not disappoint either. You can adjust the display however you wish, and the built-in stand is also very sturdy and robust. If you are still not happy with it, you can remove it and use the VESA mounting holes instead.
- The highest refresh rate currently available on the market
- Great image quality thanks to the IPS panel
- Supports G-Sync
- Comes with USB ports and a headphone jack
- Very low input lag
- Supports 10-bit color
- The HDR is pretty weak
4. Best High-End 1440p Monitor – Asus ROG Strix XG279Q 27”
|Panel Type and Size||IPS, 27″|
|Item Weight||21.40 lbs|
|Dimensions||24.06 x 10.63 x 16.61 inches|
Resolution and refresh rate. This is a 1440p panel running at up to 170Hz in OC mode, which makes it one of the fastest 1440p monitors on the market. The 27 inches also help a lot in terms of pixel density, which means that the image is pretty crisp even when you are sitting very close to the monitor.
Input lag and extra features. Asus uses the same ‘Fast IPS’ technology as in the 360Hz 1080p model, which means you are getting a very nice 1ms response time. G-Sync support is available as well, as is HDR and 10-bit color support. Extreme Low motion Blur Sync works together with G-Sync to offer even smoother animations as well.
Input options and ports. Perhaps surprisingly, the monitor works with DisplayPort 1.2 instead of the newer 1.4 version. Moreover, there are also 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, which means you can hook it up to a gaming console as well. A headphone jack and a single USB 3.0 port are included too.
Stand features. In terms of ergonomics, the stand on this monitor is very similar to the stands found on most high-end Asus displays. The difference is that this one also features a funky RGB projection at the button, which can be a plus for some people.
- Great refresh rate for a 1440p panel
- Supports G-Sync
- 1ms response time
- DisplayHDR 400 certification
- Very versatile stand
- Full of RGB on the back and even on the stand
- A single USB port
5. Best High-End 4K Monitor – Acer Nitro XV273K 27″
|Panel Type and Size||IPS, 27″|
|Item Weight||9.94 lbs|
|Dimensions||24.76 x 12.09 x 21.3 inches|
Resolution and refresh rate. 2020 is the year we say goodbye to 60Hz 4K display since they no longer cut it for our modern hardware. As such, this monitor from Acer can push up to 144Hz at 2160p, making it one of the fastest 4K panels on the market. This is also an IPS panel, which means that the image quality is very good as well.
Input lag and extra features. The IPS technology allows this monitor to score only 1ms of input lag, which means that motion blur is not a concern in the slightest. G-Sync support is available as well, not to mention that you also get a DisplayHDR 400 certification. A pair of stereo speakers is built into the monitor too.
Input options and ports. 2 DisplayPort 1.4 inputs and 2 HDMI 2.0 ports are available, making this one of the most versatile monitors you can find in this regard. Besides, there are also 4 USB 3.0 ports, which is a lot more generous than many office monitors.
Stand features. The stand is interesting, to say the least, especially in terms of design. Thankfully, the ergonomics were not ignored either, which is why you can freely adjust the monitor’s position as you see fit. Height adjustment is possible as well.
- 4K@144Hz is as good as it gets nowadays
- Very low input lag (1ms)
- Great color accuracy for a gaming display
- Supports G-Sync
- Great stand ergonomics
- 4 USB 3.0 ports
- Built-in speakers
- Some units suffer from nasty light bleed issues