How Much Should You Spend on a Gaming Monitor?
A gaming monitor is one of the important parts of a gaming setup. It’s responsible for converting your graphics card’s output into stunning visuals. It can also be a core factor in how competitive you are when gaming online. But of course it can be all too easy to spend either too much or too little in pursuit of the perfect monitor. So, how much should you really spend on a gaming monitor? Keep reading and we’ll tell you the answer…
What is a gaming monitor?
Before we delve into the world of prices and costs, we first want to define what we mean by the term ‘gaming monitor’.
We want to do this because it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that every monitor is a gaming monitor.
Because that’s not true!
Sure, it’s theoretically possible to play games on any monitor, but there’s a huge difference between those everyday monitors you see in workplaces and homes and monitors which have been designed with gaming specifically in mind.
So, what is a gaming monitor?
A gaming monitor is a monitor which is designed to make the output of your computer’s graphics card and processor look as good as possible.
Gaming monitors also have higher refresh rates and faster response times than your average monitor. This is important because high refresh rates and fast response times can make a huge difference to the way you experience games.
If you want to enjoy your games at the highest possible standards (both visually and in terms of performance), you’ll want to buy a gaming-specific monitor.
Which brands make gaming monitors?
Just as some brands are more gaming focused than others when it comes to PCs and laptops, the same is the case for monitors.
Among the top gaming monitor brands are AOC, ASUS, LG, MSI, iiyama and Samsung.
Demand for gaming and eSports specific monitors has become so great in recent years that some monitor manufacturers have launched gaming-specific sub-brands to cater to this market. A great example is BenQ which has launched its gaming-focused BenQ Zowie brand to target the eSports market.
What you should pay for a gaming monitor
So, onto the big question – what should you pay for a gaming monitor? The answer depends on a number of factors; mainly your own individual budget, and what level of performance you require.
To make things clearer then, we’ve split our answer into three categories; budget gaming monitors, mid-range gaming monitors, and high-end gaming monitors.
What should you pay for a budget gaming monitor?
Although it’s perfectly possible to pick up a monitor for under £100, we’d advise against this.
Instead, if you’re working to a budget, but still want the best value monitor that’s going to do a decent job of displaying your games, you should be willing to spend around £150 to £450.
At this price you’ll generally be able to get a monitor between 24-inches and 31.5-inches in size, with an IPS or VA panel type (generally IPS at the lower end of this price range), between 5ms and 1ms response times, and refresh rates in the 144Hz to 280Hz range.
As those figures go to show, you really don’t have to spend a fortune to get a gaming monitor that’s got decent performance.
But, you may wish to push the boat out a little more. In which case, you’ll be entering the realm of the mid-range gaming monitor.
What should you pay for a mid-range gaming monitor?
Step up into the next category and you’ll be looking at mid-range gaming monitors. What will one of these set you back? Between £450 and £1,500.
For this sort of money you’re firstly looking at much larger monitors. You’re in the territory of the 32-inch plus display. At the upper end of this price band, you can pick up monitors as large as 43-inches.
Other features and tech you can expect at this price point include ultra-HD, 4K and UWQHD displays, lightning-fast sub-1ms response times, excellent refresh rates, as well as other features such as curved displays, support for FreeSync or G-Sync, as well as different input types such as HDMI and DisplayPort.
What should you pay for a high-end gaming monitor?
When it comes to what you can pay for a high-end gaming monitor, the sky really is the limit.
For the purposes of this article, we’ve put the bar at anything over £1,500. Once you breach this number any monitor is going to offer you excellent visuals and gaming performance.
At this level of spending you’ll be getting into cinema screen territory. We’re talking enormous 49-inch, DQHD, 4K or UWQHD displays, lightning fast response times, the best possible refresh rates, G-Sync or FreeSync support, curved display types, multiple port options, high-quality in-built speakers and more.
Over to you
You’ve read this article, now the choice is yours.
Whether you want to keep things modest, or splash the big bucks, you know roughly what you should be paying for a gaming monitor.