Cheap Prime gaming monitors mean you can build the multiscreen '90s hacker setup of your dreams

Cheap gaming monitors

Stealing a march on Black Friday, Amazon Prime Early access is dealing out some supposed Early Access to its Prime members. A kind of mini Prime Day, if you will, and it's actually got some pretty great deals. It's also meant every retailer out there is sniffing the chance to get virtual people through its virtual doors over the next couple of days.

But hey, if it gets everyone access to a selection of discounts on the good PC gaming stuff that's all good. I'm an ardent multi-monitor proponent, and so every sales season is just an excuse to find space to add another screen to my own desktop in the desperate search to ape the '90s hacker movies of my youth.

But you don't have to spend a fortune to get a good cheap gaming monitor, or even a bargainous second (or third, or fourth) screen for your rig. And you definitely don't need some thousand dollar OLED. You do, however, owe it to yourself to ensure you're looking at either an IPS or VA panel for your budget screen.

I can't stress enough how disappointed I will personally be if you choose not to heed my advice and buy yourself a TN screen. No matter how high the refresh rate is. You will be disappointed in yourself, too.

But that brings me to my second point. Whether you're going to be gaming on it or not, you should grab a display with a refresh rate of at least 120Hz. All the sub-$200 screens I'm recommending here come with a refresh of at least 144Hz, and it just makes for a smoother PC experience whatever you're doing with it.

Cheap Prime gaming monitor deals

Gigabyte G24F | 24-inch | 1080p | IPS | 180Hz (OC) | $179.99

Gigabyte G24F | 24-inch | 1080p | IPS | 180Hz (OC) | $179.99 $129.99 at Newegg (save $50)
24-inches might seem a bit small to some, but for a 1080p screen that does give you a really tight pixel pitch. Which is a good thing, btw. Another good thing is that 180Hz refresh rate, which will make the Gigabyte display super slick to use.

Acer Nitro XF243Y | 24-inch | 1080p | IPS | 165Hz | $219.99

Acer Nitro XF243Y | 24-inch | 1080p | IPS | 165Hz | $219.99 $139.99 at Best Buy (save $80)
The Acer Nitro is another budget IPS screen with genuine gaming credentials. It's got a super low response time at 0.5ms, but a 165Hz refresh rate. It may only be a 24-inch panel, but there's a lot to like about this bargainous display.

MSI Optix G272 | 27-inch | 1080p | IPS | 144Hz | $352.60

MSI Optix G272 | 27-inch | 1080p | IPS | 144Hz | $352.60 $155 at Walmart (save $197.60)
Normally, a $150 IPS monitor would be, at best a 1080p 75Hz panel. But this is a proper gaming monitor, with a 144Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time on its IPS screen. It's also sporting a nicely restrained design, with a narrow bezel making it all but frameless on three sides. It's not the brightest, so don't expect any retina-searing visuals, but this is a fantastic budget gaming option.

Samsung Odyssey CRG5 | 24-inch | 1080p | VA | 144Hz | $249.99

Samsung Odyssey CRG5 | 24-inch | 1080p | VA | 144Hz | $249.99 $159.99 at Best Buy (save $90)
Samsung gaming monitors are hugely popular, and this high refresh rate 1080p screen is a great entry-level panel. I prefer IPS displays, but VA panels still deliver good color vibrancy, and actually have superior contrast than IPS. One thing to note, however, is that this isn't the cheapest the CRG5 has ever been. Earlier in the summer it was available for $150, so might be due a further discount.

Asus ROG Strix XG256Q | 24.5-inch | 1080p | IPS | 180Hz | $249

Asus ROG Strix XG256Q | 24.5-inch | 1080p | IPS | 180Hz | $249 $179 at B&H Photo (save $70)
Asus may not make the panels itself, but it still makes some of the best gaming monitors out there. And to find it for well under $200 is a definite win. That high 180Hz refresh will make for a smooth experience, and the IPS panel will deliver better colors than either TN or VA tech.

Viewsonic Omni | 27-inch | 1440p | IPS | 144Hz | $239.99

Viewsonic Omni | 27-inch | 1440p | IPS | 144Hz | $239.99 $189.99 at Best Buy (save $50)
Of course, you couldn't bag a 27-inch 1440p gaming monitor for less than $200, could you? Turns out, yes you can. This big-screen, high resolution, high refresh rate IPS screen is a bit of a bargain right now, and as cheap as it's ever been, too.

Monoprice Zero-G | 27-inch | 1440p | VA | 144Hz | $189.99 at Newegg

Monoprice Zero-G | 27-inch | 1440p | VA | 144Hz | $189.99 at Newegg
Not technically a deal, but the Monoprice Zero-G delivers 1440p high refresh rate gaming for the same price as the discounted Viewsonic above. It's rocking a VA panel, so the colors might be as vibrant as the IPS display, but it will offer superior black reproduction and contrast.

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.