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The best gaming monitors under $300

You don’t need to spend a ton to get a great gaming monitor. ViewSonic, Dell, Asus, and multiple other manufacturers offer displays with high refresh rates, low response times, and features like G-Sync and FreeSync for a low price. We’ve rounded up the best gaming monitors under $300, with options for 1440p gamers, ultrawide enthusiasts, and everyone in between.

The best gaming monitors under $300 at a glance

  • The best gaming monitor under $300: ViewSonic Elite XG240R
  • The best ultrawide gaming monitor under $300: AOC CQ34G2
  • The best 27-inch gaming monitor under $300: Dell Gaming S2721HGF
  • The best FreeSync gaming monitor under $300: Asus Tuf Gaming VG24VQR
  • The best G-Sync gaming monitor under $300: Asus VG278Q

The best gaming monitor under $300: ViewSonic Elite XG240R

Arif Bacchus/Digital Trends

You usually have to give up features on a gaming monitor under $300, but the ViewSonic Elite XG240R sacrifices very little. It’s a 24-inch full HD monitor that comes with all the features gamers need. That includes a fast 144Hz refresh rate, 1-millisecond response time, and AMD FreeSync on a TN panel. The XG240R comes with some extras, too, including RGB illumination built into the back of the monitor.

The panel quality is surprisingly high, given the price. Although it still suffers from the poor viewing angles and color production that are typical of TN panels, the XG240R gets bright and produces natural colors. In our testing, the XG240R produced 98% of the sRGB spectrum out of the box and only improved slightly after calibration. It’s not great for photo or video editing, but for watching movies and playing games, the XG240R still looks great.

Additionally, the XG240R comes with 22 levels of black stabilization to balance high-contrast scenes, pre-calibrated game modes for different genres, and a refresh-rate cap. For connectively, The XG240R comes with two HDMI 1.4 ports, a DisplayPort Connection, two USB 3.0 ports, and a 3.5mm audio out.

Overall, the ViewSonic Elite XG240R is a budget monitor that never feels that way. It comes with all the specs gamers need to play at high frame rates and even goes further with RGB lighting and decent color accuracy.

Read our ViewSonic Elite XG240R review

The best 1440p gaming monitor under $300: Gigabyte G27QC

There are a lot of 1080p monitors under $300 but few 1440p ones. The Gigabyte G27QC is one of the better 1440p monitors on the market, even ignoring our price limit. It’s a 27-inch display with all the key specs gamers need: A 165Hz refresh rate, 1 ms response time, and solid connectivity options. The 1500R curve is nice, too, especially if you sit close to your monitor.

The VA panel still has poor viewing angles and black uniformity. Still, the color accuracy is good out of the box and even better after calibration. In addition to a black level equalizer, the G27QC comes with an overlay that shows your hardware information and frame rate, automatic updates, and a settings menu that you can actually use with your keyboard and mouse.

You can connect using one of the two HDMI 2.0 ports or the DisplayPort 1.2 connection, the latter of which has full HDR support. It doesn’t have a DisplayHDR certification, though, so don’t expect amazing HDR brightness.

Even with that quibble, the Gigabyte G27QC is a great 1440p gaming monitor that has features where they count.

The best ultrawide gaming monitor under $300: AOC CQ34G2

If you want an ultrawide gaming monitor under $300, you have to give up a little bit. Still, the AOC CQ34G2 manages to offer decent specs for gamers in a 21:9 format. It comes with a 75Hz refresh rate, 1 ms response time, and FreeSync support on a VA panel. Although the viewing angles aren’t great, the 1500R curve bends the extra horizontal screen real estate in to keep everything looking even.

The CQ34G2 is a 34-inch monitor, which is big. You really need the extra size for an ultrawide, though. There are multiple 29-inch ultrawide options under $300, but it’s important to remember the 21:9 aspect ratio — 29-inch ultrawide monitors don’t feel like a 16:9 monitor with some extra screen on the sides, but rather a 16:9 monitor with the top and bottom cut off. The CQ34G2 is large enough for the full ultrawide experience.

The port selection includes two HDMI 1.4 ports and a single DisplayPort 1.4 connection. For under $300, the AOC CQ34G2 is easily the best ultrawide you can buy. That said, if you’re interested in an ultrawide monitor, you may want to spend a little more (read our guide to the best ultrawide monitors for recommendations).

The best 27-inch gaming monitor under $300: Dell Gaming S2721HGF

The Dell Gaming S2721HGF is a great value if you’re in the market for a 27-inch display. It offers super-thin bezels considering the price, a nice 1500R curve, 144Hz refresh rate, 1 ms response time, and full HD resolution. It’s all you need for ultra-fast 1080p, and it comes in only slightly above $200.

On top of key gaming specs, the S2721HGF is G-Sync Compatible and certified for FreeSync Premium. Regardless of the graphics card you’re using, you can use adaptive refresh technology for tear-free gaming. Most monitors offer one or the other, but it’s rare to find both in the same display.

As for ports, you have access to two HDMI 1.4 ports, a single DisplayPort 1.2 connection, and a 3.5mm audio line out. Dell includes an HDMI cable in the box, but you’ll want to connect your PC with the DisplayPort connection to take advantage of the high refresh rate.

The Dell Gaming S2721HGF is an excellent monitor from top to bottom, which makes its low price all the more impressive.

The best FreeSync gaming monitor under $300: Asus Tuf Gaming VG24VQR

The Asus Tuf Gaming VG24VQR has no business being as cheap as it is. For around $200, you’re getting a 23.6-inch full HD monitor with a 165Hz refresh rate, 1 ms response time, and, above all, FreeSync Premium. FreeSync Premium still offers tear-free gaming with a variable refresh rate, but over the standard version, it also offers low frame rate compensation and a verified minimum refresh rate of 120Hz.

It comes with several unique features, too, including Asus Shadow Boost, which raises the brightness of shadows in a scene without affecting the highlights. Additionally, you have access to multiple levels of a blue light filter, GameVisual mode to optimize different genres of games, and verified flicker-free monitor technology.

On the back, you have access to two HDMI 1.4 ports — great for 120Hz on the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 — and a single DisplayPort 1.2 connection. The included monitor stand features 150mm of height adjustment, 62 degrees of swivel, 23 degrees of tilt, and a full 90 degrees of pivot.

The best G-Sync gaming monitor under $300: Asus VG278QR

There aren’t many gaming monitors under $300 with a G-Sync module inside. Nvidia’s proprietary hardware is expensive. Thankfully, there are G-Sync compatible monitors to fill the gap, and that’s what the Asus VG278QR is. G-Sync compatible monitors don’t use the Nvidia hardware, but they’ve been validated to offer a variable refresh rate with no visual artifacts.

As for the Asus VG278QR, it’s a 27-inch full HD monitor with a 165Hz refresh rate and 0.5 ms response time. That ultra-low response time comes from Asus’ Extreme Low Motion Blur (ELMB) technology, which reduces motion blur to provide more unique frames each second. It causes some ghosting, but thankfully, you can turn ELMB off and still achieve a very fast response time. Additionally, the monitor comes with an overlay timer so you can track your time while playing, plus a frames-per-second counter.

For ports, the Asus VG278QR comes with Dual Link DVI, DisplayPort 1.2, and HDMI 1.4. You can route your cables through the included monitor stand, which includes a full 90-degree pivot, 90-degree swivel, 130mm of height adjustment, and 33 degrees of tilt.

Frequently asked questions

What should I look for in a gaming monitor?

The two most important specs on a gaming monitor are resolution and refresh rate. Most gamers prefer a 1080p or 1440p gaming monitor, but there are 4K gaming monitors if you don’t mind paying extra — just be aware that you’ll need a powerful graphics card to play at that resolution. Refresh rate is how quickly the monitor refreshes the image. You want a high refresh rate for gaming (above 60Hz, at least, but 144Hz is ideal). Otherwise, pay attention to the response time — lower is better — and adaptive syncing features like FreeSync and G-Sync.

What type of monitor is best for gaming?

A monitor with a high refresh rate and low response time is best for gaming. Twisted nematic (TN) and vertical alignment (VA) monitor panels are generally best for gaming, as they offer high refresh rates at the cost of viewing angles and color accuracy. In-Plane Switching (IPS) monitor panels are popular, too. They have better viewing angles and color accuracy, though you’ll generally spend more for an IPS monitor with a high refresh rate and low response time.

Which is better for gaming, a 24- or 27-inch monitor?

Between a 24- and 27-inch monitor, there isn’t a better option for gaming. You can choose either size without any issues. That said, larger monitors look better with higher resolutions. As the size of the monitor increases, the pixel density goes down, making large, low-resolution monitors look blurry. That said, 24-inch monitors are good for full HD (1080p), and 27-inch monitors are good for 1440p.

Outside of resolution, pay attention to your viewing distance. The closer you are to the monitor, the smaller the monitor should be, and vice versa.

FreeSync and G-Sync: What’s the difference?

In practice, FreeSync and G-Sync are the same. They both dynamically adjust the refresh rate of your monitor to match the frame rate of your graphics card. However, FreeSync is meant for AMD graphics cards, while G-Sync is for Nvidia cards. Additionally, FreeSync uses an open DisplayPort standard, while G-Sync uses a proprietary hardware module, so FreeSync monitors are usually cheaper.

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