Gaming Monitors – 4K & 144hz Capability
To get the best possible gaming experience, it is not only important that a fast CPU and graphics card works in the computer. Besides a good gaming mouse and keyboard, the monitor is one of the most important hardware for gaming. After all, the monitor represents the gaming experience. A fast reaction time and a low input lag are important for fast games. However, the refresh rate of the monitor is at least as important. A higher refresh rate leads to a smooth and jerk-free display. This results in better precision and faster response time. The most popular devices among gamers are monitors with 144 Hz.
The market for 144Hz monitors seems to be flooded. In addition to the popular Full-HD and WQHD screens, 4K monitors with 144Hz have joined the market last year. Our editorial team has battled their way through a large number of test reports and user experiences and has picked out the best 144Hz monitors with Full-HD, WQHD and 4K Ultra-HD resolution in our opinion. The result of the research is summarized on this page.
Gamer monitors usually cost significantly more than standard or office monitors. You can basically play your games on any monitor. The advantage of gaming monitors often lies in the support of variable refresh rates (Freesync, G-Sync), high refresh rate and very low latency (reaction time).
Our Test Results
First: The Acer Predator X35 bmiphzx
- Excellent image quality
- First class equipment
- Good energy efficiency
- High price
About the Acer Predator X35
At the time of testing, the Acer Predator X35 is the best gaming monitor we’ve had in the test so far. The device scores with an excellent image quality, as it offers a very good chessboard contrast as well as an outstanding brightness. Furthermore, the 35-inch display also scores with HDR support, RGB lighting including music sync and a blue light filter. However, so much technology has its price, because the monitor is very expensive.
Acer Predator X35 in review: outstanding image quality
If you play on your PC and keep investing in up-to-date hardware, you need the right screen for it. After all, what good is a current graphics card with 4K support and HDR feature if the monitor cannot display this? With the Acer Predator X35 we have tested one of the best gaming monitors you can buy at the moment. However, the 35-inch device also has its price: Acer asks for around 2000 Dollar for the device at the time of testing.
In terms of image quality, the X35 barely has to surrender to the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ. Thanks to its quantum dot color filter, it nevertheless delivers outstanding image values in its UWQHD resolution of 3,440 by 1,440 pixels at a refresh rate of 180 Hz (200 Hz overdrive) and a response time of 4 milliseconds. It therefore displays the image with this resolution in 21:9 format. With around 760 candela per square meter, the display currently delivers the best brightness value of all tested monitors. It also delivers a top score in chessboard contrast with 224:1 – only the Samsung C49HG90 offers an even better result. Furthermore, the monitor also has HDR1,000 certification. Small white areas can therefore shine brightly up to 1,000 cd/m². To increase the immersion in the game, the curved display has a 1,800R curvature – R indicates the radius of curvature in millimetres.
In our test, the Acer X35 was also fully convincing in terms of color space coverage. It achieved the best score of 100 percent for the standard RGB color space and still achieves 98 percent for the extended Adobe color space. For this reason, the 35-inch display would also be suitable for demanding tasks like image editing or video editing. The display also scores good to very good in terms of viewing angle stability.
All this lead to the display having received Nvidia G-Sync Ultimate certification.
Excellent energy efficiency despite bright displays
For such a large display with such excellent brightness values, the power consumption without the HDR function turns out to be quite moderate with 51.9 watts – in comparison to the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ, which is considerably smaller, the power consumption is 58.4 watts. Of course, you have to reckon with a higher consumption when HDR is enabled. You can neglect the standby mode with 0.4 watts. Furthermore, the device has a power saving mode. Overall, the display achieves a good energy efficiency in terms of size and performance. In our test field you’ll find smaller devices that consume considerably more power.
Verdict: A lot of quality for a lot of money
Granted, there are significantly cheaper gaming monitors than the Acer Predator X35. However, the display offers almost everything a passionate gamer can currently wish for in a monitor. If you’re looking for a widescreen alternative, you can take a closer look at the Samsung C49HG90. The 49 incher is even bigger with a width of over 1.20 meters and currently costs around 750 Dollar. Another alternative is the Acer Predator XB3 XB273KP, which also delivered an excellent test result and costs only half as much at 1,240 Dollar.
- Outstanding image quality
- Very good ergonomics
- Lush RGB lighting
- Very expensive
- Equipment could be better
- Average energy efficiency
The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ
The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ is by far the gaming monitor with the best image quality in our best list at the time of testing. With its excellent brightness, great colors and HDR support, the Asus display can even compete with professional graphics monitors – but it also costs a comparable amount, namely around 2,100 Dollar. We also find the ergonomics very good, but the equipment and energy efficiency turn out only satisfactory. The Asus ROG Swift is an excellent monitor for gamers who want to treat themselves to luxury. However, good alternatives are available for half the price. In the video, we explain what you should keep in mind for gaming monitors.
Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ in review: What a picture!
A passionate gamer needs a good monitor, and that can certainly cost a lot of money. We already had several 1,000 Dollar displays in the test and although we thought they were expensive, as a supplement for a strong 3,000 Dollar gaming computer, this can be a worthwhile investment. However, Asus demands twice that for the gaming monitor ROG Swift PG27UQ: around 2,100 Dollar. This is an order of magnitude that we’re used to from high-end graphics monitors, but not from 27 inch gaming displays. The Asus monitor admittedly blurs this distinction, though.
The image quality of the ROG Swift PG27UQ LCD monitor is indeed outstanding, and at the time of testing it was by far the best model in this area (to the top of the list): The Quantum Dot IPS panel offers Ultra HD resolution (3,840 by 2,160 pixels) at 144 Hz and a response time of 4 milliseconds. We measured a maximum brightness of a high 493 candela per square meter when displaying a white area that fills the entire screen. This is by far the best value in our gaming monitor best list. According to Asus, the peak values in HDR mode are even higher when illuminating single details with around 1,000 cd/m². The monitor got the fairly high Vesa DisplayHDR-1000 certification for this. The chessboard contrast is also good with 211:1.
The color space coverage is almost perfect, 100 percent for the standard RGB color space and 99 percent for the extended Adobe color space. In this respect, the ROG Swift is indeed suitable for demanding graphics editing. The viewing angle stability of the LC display is good to very good.
Average energy efficiency – even without HDR
An economical power consumption is probably less in the focus of the manufacturer in a bright 2.000 Dollar HDR monitor, the Asus ROG Swift is at least satisfactory in this regard. We measured a power consumption of 58.4 watts in the test with factory settings, but power-hungry HDR isn’t active there. Radiant colors in HDR mode naturally increase the consumption. The standby mode is inconspicuous and a power saving mode is available. The energy efficiency is within limits among gaming monitors; we already had more power-hungry devices in the test.
Verdict: A great monitor for enthusiasts
We’ve already mentioned the high price several times, at the time of testing you’ll get the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ for about 2000 Dollar. The runner-up in our gaming monitor best list is a lot cheaper and we found it quite expensive in the test. The Asus monitor’s image quality is enormous, and few competitors can keep up. However, they don’t normally produce gaming monitors worth 2,000 Dollar. Nontheless, the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ is one of the best gaming monitors you can get right now.
Third: Acer Predator XB273K
- Good equipment
- Including monitor cover and headphone holder
- Good chessboard contrast of 205:1
- Only one HDMI and one Displayport connection each
- High energy consumption
Acer Predator XB3 XB273KP: Great graphics quality in bright rooms
The 27-inch Acer Predator XB3 XB273KP can boast excellent measurement results. The brightness value is a good 400 candelas per square meter. The screen has 8 bit color depth including FRC (frame rate control), which raises the display quality to 10 bit level as far as possible. If you connect the monitor to a suitable Nvidia graphics card via the display port, the display in 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) reaches a refresh rate of a maximum of 144 Hz thanks to G-Sync Ultimate – by default this is a maximum of 120 Hz. A value that ensures a comfortable gaming experience, provided your graphics card is strong enough.
The display achieves a peak value of 205:1 in chessboard contrast. Here, only a few monitors are better than it. The Acer screen also scores with the color space coverage. Thus, the value for standard RGB is a very good 99% and for Adobe RGB still 84%. The latter value isn’t enough for a top position, but is still solid.
For gamers the decisive point: the reaction time. This is 4 milliseconds for this display. However, the reaction time is often claimed to be 1 ms. In this case, however, this does not refer to the usual changes between the grayscales, but to the so-called Moving Picture Response Time. This improves the Acer display by quickly switching the backlight on and off, which reduces motion blur. However, this does not change the switching speed of the liquid crystals.
The IPS panel provides a good viewing angle stability, so that you can still see the content on the screen from the side. A welcome feature if you’re sitting in front of the Acer Predator XB3 with several people. To be able to watch games in even better quality, the display is also HDR-400 certified and supports HDR10.
Numerous features with moderate power consumption
In terms of display connections, the display is rather spartanly equipped – it has an HDMI and a Displayport connection. Acer could have been a bit more generous here. Fortunately, things look better with the USB ports: A USB 3.0 port for connecting the PC and four more 3.0 ports for connecting possible peripherals. You’ll have to do without a USB 3.1 type C port for charging the smartphone, though. All ports are quickly and easily accessible, making it easy to connect to other devices.
Like the professional graphics monitors, Acer also ships the Predator XB3 XB273KP with a fold-out bezel that attaches to the monitor frame. This is ideal if you place the monitor in a location where sunlight hits the screen from the side or top.
Of less interest to gamers is the blue light filter, which is supposed to make productive work or surfing in the evening hours more gentle on the eyes, but also changes the colors during gaming accordingly.
If you regularly sit in front of the monitor with a headset, you’ll be happy to know that the monitor comes with a specially made headphone holder. This will help you keep your gamer’s seat tidy at all times and prevent you from accidentally stepping on the headset cable, among other things; and you will have the headphones within easy reach. Speaking of sound, the monitor has built-in speakers that do their job properly. But if you value sound, you should invest a little more money in a gaming headset or a separate sound system.
In terms of power consumption, the Acer Predator XB3 comes up with rather moderate values: With the factory settings, the monitor’s power consumption averages 67.2 watts – fortunately, it has an eco mode with which you can save power, at least temporarily – but all in all, it’s only enough for the classification in energy class D.
The Acer Predator XB3 XB273KP could fully convince in the test. The 27 inch monitor has a standard resolution of 4K-UHD at 120 Hz – thanks to G-Sync Ultimate in combination with the appropriate graphics card, it also reaches 144 Hz at the refresh rate via the display port. In addition to a very good picture, the monitor offers excellent features. This includes HDR10, blue light filter and a light protection screen. You have to do without the possibility to turn the display. The price of around 1.300 Dollar is quite high, though.
Fourth Rank: Samsung C49RG90
- Giant curved panel
- Extremely high luminosity
- 120 Hz, FreeSync & HDR1000
- Ergonomic stand
- Very high price
- No Type C / Thunderbolt 3
The Samsung C49RG90
The C49RG90 represents Samsung’s second generation of ultra-wide gaming monitors. How well the current 49-incher can sell, which comes up with an increased resolution, is something we will clarify in our review.
49-inchers are certainly the most extreme spawn of current monitor trends. Initially, models with an aspect ratio of 21:9 and a diagonal of 34 inches looked huge, but devices like the Samsung C49RG90 have only a tired smile for that. However, the first generation still had to struggle with a comparatively low resolution. 3,840 x 1,080 pixels on a panel width of more than one meter, which was not always impressive in operation, limited the sharpness of the image and ensured that the productivity benefits did not materialize to the extent hoped for.
The second panel generation represents a significant advance. The VA panel installed by Samsung brings it to a resolution of 5,120 x 1,440 pixels. So 2x FullHD now becomes 2x WQHD, which is clearly noticeable in practice. But the 49 incher can also come up with a well-rounded configuration beyond that. DisplayHDR 1000 is supported, so that not only a peak brightness of 1,000 cd/m² is achieved, but also local dimming is included. The QLED technology known from Samsung is supposed to provide excellent colour reproduction. Gamers on the other hand can look forward to a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz and FreeSync 2. But a rich gaming equipment is also offered beyond that.
None of this is available at a bargain price. Currently, the Samsung C49RG90 is changing hands at a price of about 1,000 Dollar. Whether a coherent overall package is offered for this, we will clarify in our review.
The Samsung C49RG90 offers many positive aspects, but unfortunately not all features can convince in detail.
The actual picture format is once again impressive and the increased resolution of the second generation is a big step forward. The picture is sharper, the space on the desktop is considerably larger, making multi-monitor systems definitely superfluous. The curvature not only has advantages in productive use, but also offers extremely high immersion during gaming, which is a lot of fun.
The VA-panel could be even faster for our perception, though, as pull-over effects are easily visible and you shouldn’t overdo it with the overdrive. The maximum possible 120 Hz provide a direct gaming experience, but those who want to use HDR are limited to 100 Hz. Those who don’t primarily want to play high-speed shooters will have fewer problems with it. The input lag turns out relatively high, which also speaks against the shooter use.
The measurements could fall further, but there is a restriction. Only if the very roughly structured Local Dimming is activated, the maximum brightness is available, otherwise the backlight is turned back considerably – but very few users will need the maximum brightness for SDR content. Due to the coarse structure it is clearly noticeable when a zone is activated or deactivated – this is not much fun. For normal SDR use the reduced brightness is also sufficient. The panel also has a high contrast range.
The covered color spectrum is large thanks to the QLED panel, and the DCI color space is largely covered ex works. The white point, which hardly needs any readjustment, is very pleasing. The case is comparatively simple, but well made and equipped with good ergonomic adjustment options. The connectivity could turn out even more extensive, especially a type C interface is sorely missed. The user benefits from the very good OSD, but the joystick could be better positioned. Overall, the Samsung C49RG90 offers a largely good performance, but especially the very roughly structured local dimming leaves a bland aftertaste.
Fifth Rank: BenQ EL2870U 28
- Brilliant image thanks to 4K resolution and HDR
- Very fast panel response times
- Intense brightness
- Integrated loudspeakers
- Higher power consumption
- Poor adjustability
The BenQ EL2870U 28
The design is typical for BenQ. A stable base on which the display stands securely and does not wobble. The edges are relatively wide by today’s standards, but that’s not at all disturbing. On the bottom right are the menu buttons. When the monitor is in front of you, they are not visible. So that you can find them immediately, small inconspicuous dots are embedded in the front. Simple and effective.
The connectors are all located on the back and lead away downwards. With a 100x100mm VESA mount you can mount the monitor on the wall. Nothing will disturb the monitor. Even if you set your desk into violent vibrations, it will only wobble for a short time and then stand still again.
Unfortunately you cannot adjust the height of the monitor. The BenQ EL2870U can only be tilted between -5° and +15°. However, the mechanism is a bit stiff, so you will need both hands to adjust the monitor.
There’s nothing to complain about in the workmanship. The gaps are even and there is nothing loose or creaking. The monitor is made of polished plastic, which leaves a high-quality impression. The base gives the impression of brushed aluminium. The front strip and partly also the base are kept in a light grey, the edges are set off a bit darker.
The display itself has a good and natural looking color reproduction even without HDR. Black is displayed beautifully dark, the other colors are strong. There is also nothing to complain about in terms of sharpness. All contents are crisp and thanks to the 1ms reaction time, there are no annoying artifacts in fast scenes.
The HDR mode works well and displays everything well without the colors looking artificial. If you have no HDR content, the HDR is emulated. This also works quite well.
The viewing angles are also decent at 170°. If you look sideways, the display darkens a bit. You can see the screen content well, but a movie isn’t really fun when you look sideways. But it’s also unlikely that you’ll use the screen sideways. That’s why this can be neglected.
Otherwise, the monitor is simply fun. Films and games have vivid colors. The black value is absolutely okay and thanks to the reaction time of 1ms, even fast games are no problem. If you have an AMD graphics card, you also use FreeSync and have no problems with tearing at all. If you don’t use FreeSync, you should better not use this monitor for FPS titles. The 76 Hz refresh rate might not be enough for this purpose.
The Smart Focus is a nice feature for those who really want to concentrate on one point. It darkens a part of the monitor. You can still see the rest of the display, but the attention is still drawn quite strongly to the remaining bright area.
A quick note about Brightness Intelligence: This is a useful feature in itself. It adjusts the color temperature on the monitor to your environment. But you should deactivate it if you edit photos or videos. I found it annoying if the colour temperature changes during editing.
Let’s not talk about the sound in detail at this point. It is loud and clear enough that you can Skype with it and understand your counterpart. If you want to listen to music, watch movies or have sound while gaming, you should get external speakers. But this is not a unique selling point of the monitor, but applies to just about all loudspeakers built into the display.
If you’re looking for a compact all-rounder and can do without height adjustability, you can get The BenQ EL2870U 28 without hesitation. The monitor is compact enough to fit on smaller desks. The colours are well displayed and the monitor offers numerous adjustment possibilities, so that almost every application can be served. If you want to use the monitor for shooters, you should make sure that you can use FreeSync. Otherwise this monitor is only conditionally suitable for this purpose.
We hope this in-depth test and review helps you to find the right 4K 144hz monitor. Although not every monitor in this test has 144hz every product is definitely recommended by us. If you have any questions regarding monitors or if you have any other hardware or software problem feel free to contact us. We would love to help you out.