Dell S3222DGM

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 32 inches, 16:9

Resolution: 2560 x 1440 @ 165 Hz

Panel Type: VA

Refresh Rate: 165 Hz

Response Time (GTG): 4ms

Adaptive-Sync: FreeSync Premium Pro

However, Dell really knocks it out of the park with the S3222DGM's contrast ratio. VA panels are known for their excellent contrast, but the S3222DGM is rated at an impressive 3,000:1, easily blowing away IPS competitors. But our sample managed to better that figure by a third, coming in at 4,000:1 in instrumented tests.

This 32-inch monitor offers plenty of vertical screen real estate without the need for scrolling and 1440p resolution,the current sweet spot between image quality and gaming performance. And while the S3222DGM is targeted primarily at gamers, we found that it is also great for general productivity and anything in between. 

While the S3222DGM lacks HDR support, its excellent contrast doesn't detract from that missing "bullet point" and its overall performance is hard to beat at this price point. Throw in Dell's usual solid build quality, and this represents a great monitor for enthusiasts looking to build out a mid to high-budget gaming PC.

MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 32 inches / 16:9

Resolution: 4K

Panel Type: IPS

Refresh Rate: 144 Hz

Response Time (GTG): 1ms

Adaptive-Sync : FreeSync & G-Sync Compatible

The MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD offers an excellent combination of good performance that is backed by a wealth of features at a price tag that comes in below $900. In its favor, the 4K gaming display has excellent color saturation, is well-calibrated out of the box and it delivers stunning HDR quality at this price point.

In addition, it rocks HDMI 2.1 and a 144Hz refresh rate along with a 1ms GTG response time. We measured peak SDR brightness of 424 nits and over 700 nits with HDR content. Likewise, its color gamut came in at 117% of DCI-P3.

Although the Optix MPG321UR-QD was one of the most colorful monitors we've ever tested, we do wish that that monitor had gamma presets, and properly calibrating the display resulted in drop-offs for contrast and light output.

Viotek GNV34DBE

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 34 inches, 21:9

Resolution: 3440 x 1440

Panel Type: VA

Refresh Rate: 144 Hz

Response Time (GTG): 4ms

Adaptive-Sync : FreeSync

But it’s not just about the GNV34DBE’s curve. You also get a 144 Hz refresh rate and response times and input lag that kept up with 144 Hz rivals during our testing. On the battlefield, we realized the high pixel density of a 1440p screen and smooth gaming without any screen tearing, thanks to FreeSync. Color and contrast were competitive with pricier gaming displays too. 

Advertisement

With its edge-lit backlight, the GNV34DBE also makes a good HDR display, offering a noticeable improvement over your typical SDR monitor. At its low price, the build quality of the stand is lacking. But for a speedy gaming monitor with an effective curve, the Viotek GNV34DBE is a solid deal. 

The Viotek GNV34DBE is a well-performing and affordable curved gaming monitor. Its 1500R curve proved to add an immersive touch while gaming, helping to fill our peripheral vision. Despite its tight curve, we still found the GNV34DBE fit for working. There was no distortion, and we enjoyed having multiple windows open for boosted productivity.

Monoprice Dark Matter 42770

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 25 inches, 16:9

Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Panel Type: IPS / W-LED, edge array

Refresh Rate: 144 Hz

Response Time (GTG): 1ms

Adaptive-Sync: FreeSync & G-Sync Compatible

The Dark Matter 42770 offers a 1ms GTG response time and tops out with a 144 Hz refresh rate. Another feather in its cap is that the monitor supports both AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync Adaptive-Sync technologies.

Although the monitor doesn't support HDR, its native dynamic range is excellent, and it features a wide color gamut and excellent gamma tracking. Its deep blacks are welcome here given that this is an IPS panel, with its color and contrast on part with monitors that costs hundreds of dollars more.

While the Dark Matter 42770 hits many high notes, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that it lacks USB ports or speakers. But given its attractive pricing and performance, we'll gladly accept those negatives for the great overall performance brought on by this 25-inch monitor.

MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches / 16:9

Resolution: 2560 x 1440

Panel Type: IPS

Refresh Rate: 165 Hz

Response Time (GTG): 1ms

Adaptive-Sync : G-Sync Compatible

Color purists, however, will lament the lack of an sRGB mode, considering the MAG274QRF-QD’s sRGB coverage is at 166.33%. Its backlight strobe for fighting motion blur is also a disappointment. You can’t use Adaptive-Sync with it, the brightness goes down by about 50% and it created ghosting that resulted in a parallax effect with fast motion. In addition, this is yet another gaming monitor to offer HDR but without any noticeable image boost over SDR.

But if you can get past those caveats, you’ll enjoy the most colorful monitor to ever hit our lab. 

If you like your games to look extra colorful, the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is the best gaming monitor for your rig. This monitor posted the widest color gamut we’ve ever recorded: 112.19% of DCI-P3 after our recommended calibration. 90% of DCI-P3 would be impressive, so this is one color-saturated screen. 

Contrast is also strong for an IPS panel, hitting 1,129.1:1 after our calibration. And for those concerned about speed, this 165 Hz screen kept up with the 170 Hz Gigabyte M27Q in our testing

Asus ROG Strix XG279Q

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9

Resolution: 2560 x 1440

Panel Type: IPS

Refresh Rate: 144Hz (170 Hz with overclock)

Response Time (GTG): 1ms

Adaptive-Sync: G-Sync Compatible

Out of the box, we recorded solid IPS contrast (1,158.4:1). Of course, you’ll want to calibrate to get rid of some visible grayscale tracking errors, but our recommended settings can help you there. This is also an excellent HDR monitor, thanks to a dynamic contrast feature that bumps contrast up to a whopping 22,506.9:1. 

Not only does it have the sharper resolution of your dreams, but it’s one of the rare monitors to allow you to run blur reduction alongside side screen tear-fighting Adaptive-Sync. 

Alternatively, the Asus ROG Strix XG279Q is another fantastic 1440p option with similar performance. But for slightly less money as of writing ($500 versus $570, respectively), the XG279Q features one of the best motion blur implementations we've seen and the rare ability to run motion blur alongside Adaptive-Sync. 

If you have extra room in your budget and want to squeeze out that additional drop of performance from your 1440p screen, the Asus ROG Strix XG27AQ may be the best gaming monitor for you. This screen is ready to compete with the speediest of screens, competing well against other 165-170 Hz screens in our response time test and falling just 1-3ms behind in our input lag test.

Aorus CV27Q

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 27 inches, 16:9

Resolution: 2560 x 1440

Panel Type: VA

Refresh Rate: 165 Hz

Response Time (GTG): 1ms

Adaptive-Sync: FreeSync Premium Pro

With a VA panel offering 3,000:1 contrast, image quality is no joke either. The CV27Q has a low black level that made image depth look great, particularly with HDR titles. But as far as HDR goes, this monitor only goes up to 400 nits brightness; we prefer HDR displays that hit at least 600 nits.\ \ Bonus features include Aorus’ active noise cancellation (ANC) feature, which uses two mics on the front bezel to reduce background noise others may hear coming from your gaming headset, a 1500R curve and RGB lighting on the back. The Asus ROG Strix XG279Q on this page is a hair faster. 

Gigabyte’s Aorus CV27Q is the best 1440p gaming monitor when it comes to high-speed gaming performance. With its impressive specs, it shined in our input lag and response time tests when pitted against 144 Hz rivals. Sure, you could get slightly better performance from the 1080p version, the Aorus CV27F, but then you wouldn’t be getting that sharper QHD resolution or higher pixel density (109ppi).