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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)

When looking for the best curved monitors for gaming, there are a few things to consider over traditional monitors. Curved displays offer a more immersive gaming experience by providing the ideal viewing angles, especially on an ultrawide screen. Aside from that, you should pay attention to the three Rs; resolution, response rate, and response time when looking for a decent curved display.

Getting specific

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

Of course, the cost is a huge factor, and some of these monitors don't come cheap. That's why we compiled a handful of budget and premium curved monitors that we love for gaming.

In either case, to take full advantage of your fancy new display, you should make sure you have the hardware that's up to snuff. 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. 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 that we have managed to get our hands-on. 

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: 16:9 | Resolution: 5140 x 1440 | Response time: 4ms | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Weight: 33 lbs | G-Sync/FreeSync: Freesync

Stunning HDR 
1000 nits peak brightness
Superfast 120Hz refresh rate
Steep price 

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 ok 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 CHG90 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 most 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 from 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 gaming

Screen size: 34-inch | Panel type: IPS | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3440 x 1440 | Response time: 4ms | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Weight: 21.4 lbs | G-Sync/FreeSync: G-Sync

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

Acer makes pretty good monitors. So, it's no surprise that the Acer Predator X34 made it to top of the list. The Predator X34 provides high brightness (for a curved monitor) and great colors on a 34-inch IPS panel with 3340x1440 resolution. The X34 is one of the first curved monitors to support Nvidia's G-Sync tech to eliminate screen tears, along with the 60Hz refresh rate (overclocked to 100Hz).

What can't be understated is the X34's killer design with its built-in LED lights, 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 3340x1440 resolution gives you a nice 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) a few times in the last month, so this should be one curved monitor to keep your eye on. 

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Pixio PXC273

3. Best budget curved 1080p 144HZ gaming monitor

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

Cheap
144Hz refresh rate
VESA Mounts
Low default brightness
Feels flimsy
Few adjustment options

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 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. 

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4. Alienware AW3418DW

Screen size: 34-inch | Panel type: IPS | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3440 x 1440 | Response time: 4ms | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Weight: 26.4 lbs | G-Sync/FreeSync: G-Sync

Excellent Color
Cool design
Lackluster LED display

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 Alienware 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, over saturate colors in RTS mode, and an RPG mode that'll show deeper, richer blacks without too much of a fuss. This curved monitor reproduces an impressive 127.2 color on the sRGB color gamut, which is one of the highest we've seen come into the office. 

The AW3418DW is one of the best premium ultrawide displays you can buy if you don't mind shelling out some cash. It's overall performance slightly edges past the Acer Predator X34.

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

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5. AOC Agon AG271QG

The best curved monitor for esports players

Screen size: 27-inch | Panel type: TN | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Response time: 1ms | Refresh rate: 165Hz | Weight: 17.98 lbs | G-Sync/FreeSync: G-Sync

Reasonable price for G-Sync
Fast refresh rate and response
Inferior TN viewing angles

The AOC Agon AG271QG is a curvy 27-inch 1440p monitor geared towards esports. You'll see that AOC has got a couple of monitors on this list, mostly due to their competitive pricing and relatively high refresh rates.

We're focused on the G-Sync version here because it's rare to find a curved 27-inch QHD display featuring Nvidia's adaptive sync tech at such an aggressive price. Because its refresh rate is exceptionally fast at 165Hz, it leverages a TN panel rather than an IPS. We would have preferred a IPS panel, but we understand the sacrifice to hit the higher refresh rate, which is what you want if you're a hardcore competitor.

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6. Acer XR382CQK

The best widescreen curved gaming monitor

Screen size: 37.5-inch | Panel type: IPS | Aspect ratio: 24:10 | Resolution: 3840 x 1600 | Response time: 5ms | Refresh rate: 75Hz | Weight: 23.61 lbs | G-Sync/FreeSync: FreeSync

Extra wide curved screen is immersive
75Hz FreeSync enabled
3840x1600 resolution requires beefy GPU
Expensive

If your mantra for displays is to go big or go home, Acer hears you, and its 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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7. BenQ EX3203R

The best curved gaming monitor

Screen size: 32-inch | Panel type: VA | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 2560x1440 | Response time: 4ms | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Weight: 18 lbs | G-Sync/FreeSync: FreeSync

Gorgeous curved panel
144Hz refresh rate
Lower end of HDR support

If you're in the market for a big, bold, curved panel, look no further. BenQ's EX3203R is a gorgeous, vibrant 1440p display that's well speced for gaming. The 144Hz refresh rate means you'll likely never experience tearing or artifacts unless you're pushing absolutely obscene frame rates—though even in those cases, the thoughtful inclusion of FreeSync should mitigate all but the most extraordinary cases. 

Interestingly, BenQ has opted for a VA rather than an IPS (or, thankfully, a TN) panel. Compared to IPS, VA generally provides better contrast and probably contributes to the high refresh rate, though slightly sacrifices in viewing angle and color accuracy. Unless you have an extremely well-trained eye, however, you're unlikely to notice the differences in panel tech, for better or worse. Also, of course, being a curved panel, viewing angles are less of a concern. This is an amazing monitor that provides stunning visuals and fantastic in-game performance.

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8. AOC AGON AG493UCX

Best Curved Monitor for fast ultrawide gaming

Screen size: 49-inch | Panel type: VA | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 5140 x 1440 | Response time: 1ms | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Weight: 45.84 lbs | G-Sync/FreeSync: Freesync

Useful Built-in KVM Switch
Generous 4-year warranty
Blazing fast 1ms response time
Lower-end HDR

Much like the Samsung CRG9 Ultrawide Monitor, the AG493UCX has Dual QHD 5120x1440 resolution which is basically two QHD monitors sitting side by side. For gaming, the 120Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time makes this a blazing fast display that almost completely engulfs you.

What sets the Agon apart from Samsung's though is the built-in KVM switcher. For non-gaming applications, it's a switcher that allows you to use the same keyboard and mouse for two different PCs plugged into the monitor in case you use picture-in-picture support. Another big benefit is the four-year replacement warranty for any defect. 

Unfortunately, another thing that sets this display apart the this AOC ultrawide from Samsung's is you don't get anywhere near the picture quality of the Samsung.

Testing gaming monitors

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 Law & Order: SVU.