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Best curved monitors for gaming

Best Curved Monitors for gaming
Immerse yourself in your favorite world with the best curved monitors for gaming. (Image credit: PCGAMER)
Getting specific

(Image credit: Future)

Check out our guide to the best gaming monitors for those who want some non-curved awesomeness.

The best curved gaming monitor not only looks pretty sci-fi, it also makes sense physiologically to wrap the best curved monitor around your curved eyeballs. But before you go splashing out, make sure you have hardware that can handle a good curved gaming monitor.

 If you're planning on picking up a massive ultrawide display like the AOC Agon AG493UCX, make sure you have the best graphics card that can easily support gaming on the demanding 5120x1440 resolution at 120Hz.

Gamers on a budget or those who don't have the 49 inches of desk real estate could look at something like the Pixio PXC273 for a fraction of the cost (when it's in stock). You'll get the speed for the competitive games you usually play, if you don't mind going smaller and losing out on some features.

Below you'll find a list of some of the best curved monitors for gaming we've tested, so you can treat your eyeballs to some immersive, responsive gaming action.

Best Curved Monitors for gaming

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1. Samsung CRG9 Ultrawide Monitor

The best curved monitor for gaming

Screen size: 49-inch | Panel type: VA | Aspect ratio: 32:9 | Curvature: 1800R | Resolution: 5140x1440 | Response time: 4 ms | Refresh rate: 120 Hz | Weight: 33 lbs | G-Sync/FreeSync: Freesync

Stunning HDR 
1000 nits peak brightness
Superfast 120Hz refresh rate

You might think that a 49-inch 32:9 aspect ratio curved monitor might be a bit of overkill. And you know what? It is, and we are okay with that. The Samsung CRG9 is may be the best premium curved monitor for gaming you can buy.

While you'll notice that the 2019 model of the CRG9 is 120Hz, which is lower than last year's 144Hz model (a trade-off we'll happily take for a higher resolution, HDR 1000, and FreeSync 2). As much as all these fun features make for a killer gaming session, it does jack up the price to where some folks can't reasonably afford.

As far as gaming is concerned, the Samsung CRG9 is a beast, and seeing games like Apex Legends or Street Fighter are a sight to behold. The colors pop. For productivity, picture-in-picture works excellent even if it does knock the refresh rate to 100Hz and disables FreeSync. If you're a streamer, this is a superb way of having a multiple display set-up without multiple displays.

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2. Acer Predator X34

Best curved monitor for immersion

Screen size: 34-inch | Panel type: IPS | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Curvature: 1900R | Resolution: 3440x1440 | Response time: 4 ms | Refresh rate: 120 Hz | Weight: 21.4 lbs | G-Sync/FreeSync: G-Sync

Great Design
Vivid Picture Quality
Strong G-Sync Performance
Low latency

Acer makes good monitors. So, it's no surprise that the Acer Predator X34 made it to the list. The Predator X34 provides high brightness (for a curved monitor) and great colors on a 34-inch IPS panel with a 3340x1440 native resolution.

What can't be understated is the X34's killer design with its built-in LEDs, speakers, and thin aluminum legs. The under-glow of the monitor's bottom facing LEDs provide a nice ambiance to whatever you're playing. 

The 3440x1440 resolution gives you a wide field of view, especially in shooters where expanding the battlefield could give you a strategic edge. We've also seen the X34 drop in price (retails for $1,000 normally) more than a few times, so this should be one curved monitor to keep your eye on. 

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3. Pixio PXC273

Best budget curved 1080p 144Hz gaming monitor

Screen size: 27-inch | Panel type: VA | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Curvature: 1800R | Resolution: 1920x1080 | Response time: 4 ms | Refresh rate: 144 Hz | Weight: 13.9 lbs | G-Sync/FreeSync: G-Sync

Affordable
144Hz refresh rate
VESA Mounts

The Pixio PXC273 is about as barebones as they come in regards to gaming monitors. This 27-inch curved 1080p panel provides frames at a solid 144Hz and is also FreeSync certified. The screen itself is advertised as being anti-glare and holds up in most brightly lit environments—and the thin bezel is always a plus in our book.

The biggest draw to the PXC273 is its low price point. It's a great entry-level option for those looking for a larger screen with a high refresh rate and don't want to be left completely broke. As this is a budget display, you'll lose out on a lot of the extra features you'd find in higher-end curved monitors. 

You may have noticed that the PXC273 sells out every time stock is available. You can always check back on our handy price widget will let you know when it's in stock again. 

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4. Alienware AW3418DW

The best curved monitor for rapid response

Screen size: 34-inch | Panel type: IPS | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Curvature: 1900R | Resolution: 3440x1440 | Response time: 4 ms | Refresh rate: 120 Hz | Weight: 26.4 lbs | G-Sync/FreeSync: G-Sync

Excellent Color
Cool design

The impressive yet pricey Alienware 34 curved monitor is a gorgeous and speedy ultrawide display. While it doesn't have the same LED light show as the Acer Predator X34, you might argue that the Alienware AW3418DW's stylish design doesn't need it. Following the space-ship aesthetic that they are known for, it's a good looking curved monitor.

What we like the most is the game-type specific display mode that'll crank up the brightness in FPS mode, oversaturate colors in RTS mode, and an RPG mode that'll show deeper, richer blacks without too much of a fuss. This curved monitor reproduces a deep 127.2 color on the sRGB color gamut, which is one of the highest we've seen. 

The AW3418DW is one of the best premium ultrawide displays you can buy, and its overall performance slightly edges past the Acer Predator X34. Finally, that is essentially the same as the 3418DW, except it has a 2ms response time instead of 4ms, which is stupid fast for a screen of this size and resolution. 

Best computer speakers | Best gaming headset | Best gaming laptop | Best wireless gaming headset | Best PC controller | Best capture card

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5. Acer XR382CQK

The best widescreen curved gaming monitor

Screen size: 37.5-inch | Panel type: IPS | Aspect ratio: 24:10 | Curvature: 1900R | Resolution: 3840x1600 | Response time: 5 ms | Refresh rate: 75 Hz | Weight: 23.61 lbs | G-Sync/FreeSync: FreeSync

Extra wide curved screen is immersive
75Hz FreeSync enabled

The Acer XR382CQK is a massive 38-inch curved screen that looks absolutely stunning. It features a QHD ultrawide panel with a 3840x1600 resolution, with an aspect ratio of 24:10 that's slightly wider than the 'standard' 21:9 AR on other UW displays. The IPS panel looks great, and the size means gaming from the comfort of your couch is a viable option.

Not content to end there, the display also features FreeSync technology with up to 75Hz variable refresh rates. It's a big, bold, and beautiful looking display, and the zero-frame bezel-less approach is another welcome addition. If you're looking for something to really turn heads, this is the best widescreen gaming monitor. And boy, is it wide.

The cost for the best ultrawide display is steep, but at least you won't need to upgrade again for many years. Over $1,000 for the XR382CQK may be a bitter pill to swallow, but the beauty of this screen will wash away the nasty taste in your mouth the instant you boot up your favorite games in 21:9 glory. And barring hardware failure, this display should keep you gaming happily until 2025.

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6. Dell S3220DGF

The best curved monitor for the working professional

Screen size: 32-inch | Panel type: VA | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Curvature: 1800R | Resolution: 2560x1440 | Response time: 4 ms | Refresh rate: 165 Hz | Weight: 34.2 lbs | G-Sync/FreeSync: FreeSync

Great price
High Contrast
Speedy 165 Hz Refresh Rate

The 32-inch Dell S3220DGF is one of our favorite curved monitors for work and play. For less than $500, you can pick this 165Hz Freesync 2 HDR gaming monitor which makes for ultra-smooth gameplay. For professionals, the high contrast and color accuracy is what you need for editing photo and video. We also love the fact that it has five USB 3.0 ports where you can plug in a ton of devices, making this Dell a wonderfully versatile monitor without costing an arm and a leg even if it doesn't have the greatest viewing angles. 

Best curved gaming monitor FAQ 

Q. What do I need to consider when buying a curved gaming monitor?

A. If you're considering ditching your flat screen lifestyle for all-encompassing visuals, there are a few things to consider. First off, the three Rs: resolution, refresh rate, and response time.

Higher resolution means more load on your graphics card, but more detailed images. A higher refresh rate means speedier visuals. And response time can be useful for bolstering your in-game reflexes. 

The final consideration is curvature.

Q. What level of curvature should I choose?

A. Your panel's curvature, or curve radius, is key to your viewing experience. Most curved panels are rated across a range: roughly 4000R to 1500R. The lower the number, the higher the curvature of the panel.

The distance you sit from your monitor will also play a part in choosing which curvature is ideal for you. You'll generally find gaming monitors around the 1800R mark, right in the sweet spot for desktop gaming. A more pronounced curve, viewed at a greater distance, could negatively impact viewing angles and your overall experience.

Q. How do you test gaming monitors?

A. There are two main ways to test out our screens to determine the best gaming monitor. The first is by playing games on it, obviously. Subjectively testing the gaming performance of each panel isn’t necessarily going to give you the lowdown on the specifics of a particular screen, but it will let you test the functioning aspect ratio, native resolution, and any particular gamer-centric technologies they’re sporting.

Side-by-side comparative testing in this manner is also incredibly valuable for keying into the sometimes subtle differences between each panel. When you use a screen in isolation it’s easy to become blind to its comparative faults as you simply get used to them. Testing screens back-to-back allows us to discover and highlight specific issues between them.

Objective testing can be great, but it's also far more difficult. To do it properly, you need hardware for testing the true latency, color accuracy, and other metrics. Most gamers don't have access to any of this, but you can do a semblance of objective testing using the LCD calibration pages here. This site offers several test screens you can bring up on any web-connected panel to make some qualitative assessments. The days of actual retail space for such things are dwindling, but if you can get a look at a screen before purchasing it, plugging a notebook or such into it and checking out the Lagom pages is very handy.

Jorge Jimenez is a Hardware Writer from the enchanted lands of New Jersey. When he's not filling the office with the smell of Pop-Tarts, you can find Jorge streaming bad games with his dog or binge-watching an irresponsible amount of superhero TV shows.