Most people building gaming rigs focus their initial intent on finding the best CPU and graphics card around, but if you’re building a non-laptop gaming PC, the quality of your monitor is going to be just as important. But as monitor technology becomes gradually less expensive, you no longer need to spend a fortune for high-quality graphics.
$300 represents the best sweet spot between affordability and efficiency, but not every gaming monitor under $300 is going to be worth your time. For that reason, we’ve provided reviews for 10 challengers for the best gaming monitor under $300. We’ll also provide you with in depth information on the specs and features that are most important when shopping for a gaming monitor with a price tag of under $300.
Quick Look: 10 Best Gaming Monitors under $300
- AOC CQ27G1 27″ Frameless Gaming Monitor
- Dell S-Series 27″Screen LED-Lit Monitor
- MSI Optix G27C2 27″ Curved Monitor
- Asus VG278Q 27″ Adaptive Sync Gaming Monitor
- LG 32UK50T-W 32″ 4K UHD Gaming monitor
- Sceptre 30″ Curved Gaming Monitor
- Acer Acer 24.5″Gaming Monitor
- BenQ ZOWIE XL2411P 24″Gaming Monitor
- ViewSonic XG2401 24″Gaming Monitor
- Pixio PXC243 24″ 144Hz Premier Gaming Monitor
1. AOC CQ27G1 27″ Frameless Gaming Monitor
Curved monitors are often treated as the latest and greatest trend in the field of monitor design, which is why it's so refreshing to see a curved gaming monitor for under $300.The almost complete lack of a bezel further advances your gaming experience.
This is a fmonitor that will especially benefit serious gaming rigs since it supports an impressive 2K QHD resolution. The 144 Hz refresh rate is assisted by a lightning fast 1ms response time and AMD FreeSync technology to reduce tearing on the latest AAA games. An incredibly user friendly OSD allows you to switch up settings on the fly.
2. Dell S-Series 27″Screen LED-Lit Monitor
For the best and most competitive of gamers, a more accurate response is a whole lot more important than graphical fidelity. For that type of play, this monitor from Dell is going to be one of the top options. Its 155 Hz refresh rate provides a minor but valid edge in competitive playing, and it's well accompanied by a response rate of only one millisecond. And while this monitor doesn't offer the level of contrast you'd find in a VA alternative, it does provide some exceptional color quality without even having to make any manual adjustments. And this sleek and lean monitor looks great without being as dramatically embellished as many monitors.
3. MSI Optix G27C2 27″ Curved Monitor
MSI isn't one of the biggest gaming monitor manufacturers in the world, but they're off to a promising start with the Optix G27C2. This offers both the high contrast ratio of a VA screen with the immersive gaming experience that a curved monitor offers.
The experience of being right in the midst of your favorite games is made more immersive thanks to a bezel that's barely even there. The screen on this gaming monitor is also anti-glare, so you don't have to reserve your competitive playing to dark rooms. The color reproduction here also stands out, with MSI boasting 110% coverage of the sRGB color gamut.
4. Asus VG278Q 27″ Adaptive Sync Gaming Monitor
If you have a NVIDIA graphics card and are dedicated to finding inexpensive monitors for gaming, this ASUS gaming monitor is one of your best choices. Currently available for under $250, this monitor supports NVIDIA G-SYNC technology in a VA panel design.
You have multiple connectivity options, so this monitor can easily be hooked up to gaming consoles and gaming PCs at the same time. And you won't need to invest in an external sound system either. This gaming monitor includes a pair of two watt speakers for a better gaming experience without any further investment. And it all runs at a smooth 144Hz refresh rate.
5. LG 32UK50T-W 32″ 4K UHD Gaming monitor
Gaming monitors under $300 with a higher resolution than Full HD are rarer. Those that promise a full 4K resolution are even rarer still. With a 32 inch screen, this monitor is larger than average while offering an above average clarity in terms of graphics.
But with a refresh rate less than half that of the typical gaming monitors, it may be better suited for cooperative or solo play rather than more aggressively competitive online gaming. But if you're more interested in exploring worlds than in your K/D ratio, this is one of your best choices. This VA monitor promises 95% coverage of the Dci-p3 color gamut.
6. Sceptre 30″ Curved Gaming Monitor
Need a monitor that's built for competitive gaming but not happy with the relatively small size of most of the available monitors for under $300? This 30 inch Sceptre monitor could scratch your itch. It can achieve an absurd refresh rate of 200 Hz when connected by DisplayPort and a respectable 120 Hz refresh rate when connected via HDMI.
Longer sessions will benefit from the blue light technology, which can significantly reduce the strain long term gaming puts on your eyes. And don't doubt that this is a monitor for gaming through and through. It includes some highly dedicated preset modes for both first person shooters and real time strategy games.
7. Acer Acer 24.5″Gaming Monitor
With its TN panel design, the Acer XF250Q Cbmiiprx is a monitor built with efficiency above all else, even if that means sacrificing graphical fidelity. That allows Acer to keep pace with a Full HD resolution while still offering some of the highest refresh rate and a remarkable lack of motion blur.
Especially cool is Acer's proprietary ergo stand which allows you to rotate your monitor up to 90 degrees. Asus has also taken the fatigue that comes from longer gaming sessions into consideration. The inclusion of EyeProtect standards rely on blue lights and flicker-less technology.
8. BenQ ZOWIE XL2411P 24″Gaming Monitor
The BenQ Zowie is the best deal around right now. Normally retailing for almost $300, it's currently available for two thirds that price. And have no doubt about it: this is a monitor fully worth $300.It's a smaller monitor, but it includes a 144Hz refresh rate and a lightning fast response time.
But BenQ hasn't overlooked picture quality here either. It can run at a Full HD resolution, and special measures have been taken to tune the coloring for games. Customized settings and Black eQualizer technology allow you to create an environment that's perfectly suited to all the games in your library.
9. ViewSonic XG2401 24″Gaming Monitor
With a comparable price of $200 (at retail rather than on discount), the ViewSonic XG2401 is a monitor targeted towards budget level gamers. The combination of response time, refresh rate, and resolutions hit all the marks you'd expect from a more expensive monitor, and the fully adjustable ergonomic stand allows you to adjust the viewing angles to suit your needs.
And while you can adjust a wide variety of settings manually, this monitor also comes with a wealth of highly tuned genre specific presets. HDMI, USB, and DisplayPort connectivity is all supported and allows you to hook up multiple devices at once.
10. Pixio PXC243 24″ 144Hz Premier Gaming Monitor
This Pixio monitor may only cost you $150, but it's built with the needs of gamers in mind. It even sports a curved design to help you better evaluate the entire situation on the ground when you're in the middle of a tense game. Viewing angles extend to 178 degrees, and there's even an anti-glare coating to reduce the risk of distractions. And the health of pros is also taken into consideration here. This is a monitor that actively reduces flickering and employs blue light technology for reduced eye strain. It also supports the adaptive sync tech from both AMD and NVIDIA.
Gaming Monitor Under $300 Buyer’s Guide
Some features and specs, like panel size and aesthetic design, are either obvious or predicated on personal preferences. But gaming monitors fortunately have some pretty standard specs that can help you compare the best gaming monitors face to face. And the best gaming monitor in one category often means making sacrifices in another. We’ll help you understand the value of the primary specs for gaming monitors below.
- What it is: This spec refers to how sharp the actual picture quality of a panel is. Measured by the megapixels packed into the screen, there are a number of different formats available. If you want to play the latest games at the highest settings, finding a good res is one of the most important factors when shopping for gaming monitors.
- Who it’s for: This is going to be one of the most important qualities for AAA games. From highly ambient survival horror games to competitive shooters, a high resolution will allow you to better achieve the gaming experience the developers intended and better read the environment. This spec will be less important in older games and indie titles.
- What to consider: We consider FHD 1080p to be the middle of the road standing for gaming monitors under $300. Fortunately, gaming monitors in this price range typically don’t come with lower resolutions. If you really want the most immersive gameplay, you’ll also find 2K gaming monitors. Just keep in mind that normally means sacrificing other factors like refresh rate, and running at higher resolutions requires a fairly powerful gaming rig.
- What it is: While the action on the best monitors may look seamless, the fact is that they redraw the screen multiple times in a second. Faster rates mean a smoother gameplay experience and the ability to react to what’s happening on your monitor more effectively.
- Who it’s for: While all gamers will want a decent rate, it’s especially important for competitive gamers. A slower refreshing monitor can mean the difference between a kill and a death – and for competitive gaming, the ability to respond quickly is far more important than the detail of the game environments.
- What to consider: The bare minimum we recommend for refresh rate is 60Hz, and we generally only recommend that for single player games. If you’re a competitive gamer, getting a 144Hz refresh rate is more important than visual acuity. If you want the best of the best, you can check out our guide to the best 240Hz gaming monitors in 2020. Monitors with a TN panel tend to offer the best refresh rates.
- What it is: Response time is similar to refresh rate, but there are some important distinctions. Where refresh rate refers to the time it takes for a whole screen to refresh, response time refers to the amount of time it takes for a single pixel to change from white to black. A high response time can typically lead to ghosting or blurring in more modern games.
- Who it’s for: Players who prefer modern games. A slow response time will most affect AAA 3D games that require more complex rendering. It’s especially important for competitive gamers who can be distracted by a slow response, but it can also quickly take you out of a single player environment as well.
- What to consider: The best gaming monitors are going to offer a response time of at least 5 ms or less. But for more competitive gamers, you should aim for something closer to 1 ms. As with refresh rate, a TN panel is the best choice here.
- What it is: Even with the best specs packed in, monitors used for gaming often results in jagged rendered edges as well as tearing and stuttering. Adaptive sync fixes that problem by automatically adjusting the vertical refresh rate in step with what’s happening in your game.
- Who it’s for: Gamers who want a smoother gaming experience. Adaptive sync is one of those nice bonuses that are generally expected when you invest in a monitor built for gaming, and it should be a minor but still present factor for most modern gamers.
- What to consider: There are currently two major adaptive sync technologies in production: G-SYNC by NVIDIA and FreeSync by AMD. Most monitors will support one but not both of these protocols. That means that the adaptive sync you should look for should be predicated on your graphics card. If you have an AMD GPU, look for monitors that offer FreeSync, and track down monitors with G-SYNC if you have a NVIDIA GeForce card.
- What it is: High color reproduction means more vivid environments. Blacks look blacker and gradations in color look more distinct. The result is the ability to better read your environment and more stunning looking game environments.
- Who it’s for: Mostly single player gamers. IPS panel designs offer the best color reproduction and viewing angles at the expense of responsiveness. That means that multiplayer games shoulf consider a TN rather than IPS panel and just recognize the cost of reduced color fidelity.
- What to consider: There are a number of different standards (or gamuts) that are used to measure color quality. You may need to dig a little deeper to truly evaluate the color quality on a lot of these monitors, but most manufacturers have these specs listed somewhere on their sites. If color reproduction is a top priority, you should consider an IPS panel.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Best Cheap Gaming Monitor?
The best gaming monitor for shoppers on a budget may very well be the Acer XF250Q Cbmiiprx. It recognizes the importance of responsive gaming and isn’t afraid to sacrifice image quality for the sake of some of the best refresh rates and response times.
What is the best 1440p 144Hz Monitor?
Unfortunately, no 144Hz monitors with 1440p support earned inclusion on our list. Fortunately, we’ve given you all the tools you need to shop smarter. Feel free to check out one of our other guides to monitor shopping if you’re looking for higher performance.
Is a 32 Inch Monitor Good for Gaming?
That really depends on the monitor itself. A 32 inch monitor gives you more real estate to deal with, but there’s a lot more to pay attention to. Our guide above can provide you with information on the specs you should be paying the most attention to.
The most important thing to consider when seeking out a monitor under $300 for gaming is that you get something that matches the capabilities of your computer. Monitors that offer a 144Hz refresh rate or 4K res isn’t going to be worth much if you don’t have the hardware in your computer case to keep up. But our list to the best gaming monitors can provide you with some context to better narrow down your choices for monitor gaming.