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PC gaming has always been a couple of steps ahead of what’s happening in the console space, and 4K monitors for gaming can help high-end titles live up to their full potential. The extra pixels—roughly quadruple what you’d get on an HD screen—will help you see titles released in the past few years in incredible detail. You’ll still need a gaming PC powerful enough to play games at high settings, but even new game consoles have started supporting native 4K gaming. The best 4K monitors for gaming will let you experience your catalog like never before without leaving your desk.

How we chose the best 4K monitors for gaming

The world of 4K gaming monitors is vast, but recognizing that resolution is the most important factor for you makes the search a lot easier. This guide pulls together many of the 4K monitors we’ve recommended in our other buying guides, in addition to some fresh picks to give you a good cross-section of what’s available right now. Drawing on our own personal experience with everything from gaming laptops to flagship consoles, combined with peer recommendations and extensive online research, we’ve narrowed down the options. Connectivity, screen size, refresh rate, and port selection heavily influenced our decisions. You should be able to use your 4K gaming monitor with a PC and PlayStation 5 without an adapter. The genre of game you play and whether an ultra-high frame rate is critical to your success were also factored in heavily.

The best 4K monitors for gaming: Reviews & Recommendations

Manufacturers release new 4K gaming monitors rapidly, so we organized our recommendations into categories to simplify your decision. If you value color reproduction, display size, or speed, you’ll know exactly which suits your needs best. We’re pleased to see the prices of 4K gaming monitors falling, with the lowest-cost option coming in at well under $400.

Best overall: ViewSonic Elite XG320U




  • Size: 32 inches
  • Refresh rate: 150Hz
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Ports: DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, HDMI 2.1


  • Gorgeous picture
  • Accurate colors out of the box
  • High-performing at all resolutions
  • HDMI 2.1 compatible


  • Expensive

Pushing your PC rig budget to the limit? If so, Viewsonic’s Elite XG320U is a no-compromise 4K gaming monitor with incredible performance in a big, beautiful package. The 32-inch display has a 150Hz refresh rate and support for AMD’s FreeSync variable refresh rate tech so that games will run buttery smooth—especially on machines outfitted with an AMD graphics card. Colors will look vibrant and accurate because the XG320U’s panel supports HDR (high dynamic range), though they won’t be quite as vivid as they would be on the OLED option we recommend later.

Viewsonic packed the XG320U with ports, including DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, and 2.1 inputs, which are required for 4K gaming at 120Hz. These video ports are complemented by USB-A and a USB-B port, which will turn this display into a hub for your other computer accessories. If you’re gaming on a laptop with only one USB-A port, the XG320U’s input selection will make your life a lot easier and clean up your desk clutter simultaneously. ViewSonic focused on visual fidelity, but it didn’t neglect practical ergonomics in that process. The XG320U supports tilt, swivel, and height adjustment, so you can comfortably use this 4K gaming monitor regardless of your height and the height of your desk. Spending nearly $1,000 on a display seems silly when you have to set it on a stack of books.

Our only knock against ViewSonic’s XG320U is its high price, which may put it out of reach if you’re on a more limited budget. That said, it’s worth its $899.99 price tag if you want to play the latest PC and console games without compromises.

Best curved: Gigabyte M32UC




  • Size: 31.5-inch 
  • Refresh rate: 160Hz
  • Response time: 1ms 
  • Ports: DisplayPort, HDMI 2.1 ports, USB-C port, USB-A ports


  • Large viewing area
  • Ultra fast refresh rate
  • Very wide port selection


  • Curved monitors aren’t for everyone

Curved 4K monitors are an acquired taste, but if you like the look of gaming on an angled panel, Gigabyte’s M32UC should be the first display you consider. The monitor maxes out at 160Hz, which most games released today won’t even be able to take advantage of. Getting the M32UC today will provide some future-proofing as games released in the next few years begin running at over 120FPS.

The other spec that caught our eye when considering the M32UC was its wide port selection. This is one of the few 4K gaming monitors with a USB-C port, which can connect to gaming laptops—and Macs—without an adapter. USB-C ports can carry power in addition to audio and video data, so a single cable can charge your gaming laptop while you play games. Gaming is a particularly resource-intensive task, so your portable machine probably won’t charge very quickly. However, this is a nice feature to have when you’re using your computer more casually.

If you’ve become a curved monitor convert, and want to use your computer primarily to play games in 4K, we can’t think of a better display than the M32UC.

Best ultrawide: Samsung Odyssey G9




  • Size: 49 inches
  • Refresh rate: 240Hz
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Display ports: DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, HDMI 2.1


  • Beautiful ultrawide display
  • QLED panel
  • Unmatched refresh rate


  • Cost
  • Requires a lot of desk space

Okay, so technically, Samsung’s Odyssey G9 is also a curved monitor, and it’s not technically 4K, but let us explain. Ultrawide monitors are all curved because their extreme width is designed to take up all of your peripheral vision. Additionally, while this display has more horizontal pixels than any of the other 4K gaming monitors we’re recommending, it doesn’t have as many vertical lines of resolution. If it did, this would simply be a 49-inch TV.

Still, the technicalities here didn’t disqualify the Odyssey G9 because of its incredible features. This display has a refresh rate of 240Hz and support for both AMD FreeSync and Nvidia’s G-Sync. If your gaming PC has a high-end dedicated graphics card, the Odyssey G9 can take full advantage. Similarly, the G9’s QLED panel will make modern games look stunning thanks to its advanced color reproduction. Let’s put it this way: If your game looks bad, that’s the fault of either the game developers or another weak link in your PC gaming chain.

Samsung equipped the Odyssey G9 with a good selection of ports, opting to favor DisplayPorts over HDMI—a telltale sign this gaming monitor was designed for PC gamers first, alongside some USB ports. While this is one of the most expensive 4K gaming monitors we’re recommending, its most limiting factor is its extremely large size. You’ll need a wide gaming desk to comfortably fit the Odyssey G9, though you’ll be rewarded for allotting it that much space.

Best OLED: LG 27EP950-B


  • Size: 27 inches
  • Panel type: OLED
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Display ports: DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, HDMI 2.1


  • Incredible color reproduction and contrast
  • Wide port selection
  • Height-adjustable stand


  • Slow refresh rate
  • Cost

If you’re willing to give up some fidelity for the best-possible color reproduction and contrast, LG’s 27EP950-B is the 4K monitor to get for light to moderate gaming. Yes, its 60Hz refresh rate is an Achilles heel, but all will be forgiven when you start playing games on an OLED screen. This display technology leaves even the best LED and QLED panels in the dust, although it contributes heavily to the 27EP950-B’s high cost. This monitor is for video and photo editors who like to play games on the side. Don’t get us wrong, playing games on a high-fidelity 60Hz display can still look incredible. Many games have a 60FPS cap—especially on consoles—so you may not even miss the high refresh rates available on other displays.

Like Gigabyte’s M32UC, the 27EP950-B has a USB-C port, which can be used for data and power transfer. That input sits alongside a nice selection of DisplayPort, HDMI, and USB ports. If you want to connect accessories to your machine, you won’t encounter any issues. We’ve mentioned it before, but this 4K gaming monitor’s biggest strength is its OLED panel. This screen has been sitting at the high end of the TV market for several years now, but it’s just beginning its creep into the monitor space. Because it’s such a niche feature, the panel drives up the price of this display significantly, but if you’ve gotten used to the look of an OLED TV, you’ll know it’s hard to return to an LCD.

Best budget: BenQ EW3270U




  • Size: 32
  • Panel type: VA
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Ports: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4; 2 x HDMI 2.0; 1 x USB Type-C


  • AMD FreeSync support
  • Built-in speakers
  • Price


  • 60Hz refresh rate

If cost is your concern, BenQ’s EW3270U is the 4K gaming monitor to get. Again, this is a 60Hz display, but in BenQ’s case, this actually leads to significant cost savings, as the EW3270U is roughly half the price of the second-least expensive monitor in our guide. This monitor is perfect for more casual gamers who want to play high-resolution console games or stick to role-playing and platforming games where there’s less of an emphasis on frame rate.

Refresh rate aside, there’s a lot to like about the EW3270U. It supports AMD’s FreeSync and has built-in speakers, which are a nice surprise for any monitor in this price range. BenQ didn’t skimp on its inputs either, as the EW3270U has a healthy array of ports—including our much-discussed USB-C port. The EW3270U is even height-adjustable, which proves BenQ cared as much about ergonomics as providing a decent gaming experience. On a similar note, this display actually has built-in blue light reduction technology—this will impact color reproduction and can be toggled on and off—which can make late-night gaming sessions easier on your body.

The availability of 4K gaming monitors under $500 is pretty slim, but of that group, BenQ’s EW3270U is an excellent choice. BenQ made the tough—but right—decisions on which features to compromise and focus on, and gamers who want to play their favorites in 4K are the beneficiaries.

What to look for when choosing the best gaming monitor


Most 4K gaming monitors fall within the 27- to 32-inch size range, which is the sweet spot to accommodate desks of all sizes. Ultrawide monitors are the exception, which makes them a specialized case. Ironically, the larger the screen, the lower the pixel density, so a bigger 4K monitor will actually look (very slightly) worse than a smaller one. This isn’t a huge deal when buying a TV since you’re sitting several feet away, but the difference will be slightly more noticeable on a display about a foot away from your face.

Refresh rate

A monitor’s refresh rate determines how quickly it can display new information on its screen every second. This tech spec isn’t important in most applications. Still, it does matter when playing fast-paced games like first-person shooters, where every millisecond of latency (lag) gives your opponent—digital or real—a distinct advantage. A 4K gaming monitor’s refresh rate is only one piece of the puzzle, though, as you’ll be limited by the maximum frame rate the developers built into their game and the power of your PC.


This may not seem like an important tech spec, but your 4K gaming monitor must have the right inputs for the best experience. Our recommendations have a mix of DisplayPorts and HDMI ports so that you can hook up all of your gaming hardware to them simultaneously with no problems.

What is HDMI 2.1?

The shape of HDMI ports hasn’t changed since its introduction in the mid-2000s, but the internal technology has advanced quite a lot. The current-generation HDMI version is 2.1, and it differs from its predecessor in one big way: Bandwidth. If your device and monitor both have HDMI ports—and you use an HDMI 2.1 cable—data can be transferred between them at up to 40GBps (gigabytes per second). This bandwidth is required to play games at 120Hz or higher in 4K, whether you turn HDR on or not. You can also play games in 8K at 60Hz, but we’re not quite there yet. Many monitors, graphics cards, and game consoles support HDMI 2.1, and we’re pleased that the correct cable isn’t too expensive.


Q: Is 4K 144Hz good for gaming?

Yes. Any refresh rate over 60Hz is good for gaming.

Q: Can a 4K monitor run 120 FPS?

If a monitor has a refresh rate of 120Hz, it can play games with a frame rate of 120 FPS with no slowdown.

Q: How long do 4K monitors last on average?

A current-generation 4K monitor should last a decade or more, but you may be tempted to upgrade as new games can be played at a higher resolution.

Q: What aspect ratio should I go for with 4K monitors?

Most of our recommendations have a 16:9 aspect ratio, standard for widescreen displays. The ultrawide monitor we’re recommending has a 32:9 aspect ratio. Both are fine as long as your go-to games were designed to support an ultrawide monitor.

Q: How much does a 4K gaming monitor cost?

Value is important in the world of PC peripherals, so we made sure to have an option that costs less than $400. Displays with higher-end specs can cost several times that price.

Final thoughts on the best 4K gaming monitors

The proliferation of 4K gaming monitors and capable PC and console hardware proves game developers are pushing far beyond the HD limits. We’re especially pleased that all the major monitor makers have jumped into this space, so options are available at all prices. It’s also worth pointing out that you can hook up your gaming consoles or a PC to a 4K TV if you’d prefer the living room gaming experience to sitting at a desk. But if you’ve decided you want to play PC games the “old-fashioned way” on one of these amazing monitors, we recommend getting a comfortable, ergonomic gaming chair to avoid back pain after long, repetitive sessions.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.