Hooray! High-refresh 4K gaming monitors are affordable at last

PC Gamer Black Friday 4K monitor deal
(Image credit: Acer)
Acer Nitro XV273K | 27-inch | 4K | IPS | 144Hz | $499.99 (opens in new tab)

Acer Nitro XV273K | 27-inch | 4K | IPS | 144Hz | $499.99 $379.99 at Amazon (save $120 (opens in new tab)) (opens in new tab)
A couple of years ago when the Acer Nitro XV273K launched, it was a $899 monitor. It currently has an MSRP of $499. But it's now yours for just $379.99. For a proper 4K, 144Hz, IPS gaming panel. It's also good for 1ms response and 400 nits of brightness. So, the question is, can you afford not to go 4K...?

It's been a long time coming. But that ultra-crispy, high refresh 4K gaming experience is affordable at last. At least, the monitor part of the hardware package is, even if the graphics card might not be. We give you the Acer Nitro XV273K, yours for a piffling $379 (opens in new tab) in one of the best Black Friday gaming monitor deals (opens in new tab) we've found yet.

OK, that's not throw away money. But the XV273K launched at $899 a couple of years ago, which gives you an idea of just how much monitor you're getting for your money. It's a proper IPS panel with 144Hz refresh, 1ms response, and 400 nits of brightness. This is no cheapo, smeary, overshooting VA lump. It's the real, high-fidelity IPS deal.

Of course, to make the most of a 4K monitor and the incredible image detail it offers, you're going to need some serious graphics fire power. But not quite as much as you might think. For that we all have Nvidia to thank, even if you buy or already own an AMD GPU. The reason is upscaling technology, largely pioneered by Nvidia's DLSS tech and now emulated by AMD FSR. With upscaling, 4K at decent frame rates is now possible on a wider range of graphics cards than ever before. Put simply, 4K is now viable in way it never used to be.

GIGABYTE M32U | 32-inch | 4K | IPS | 144Hz | $799.99 (opens in new tab)

GIGABYTE M32U | 32-inch | 4K | IPS | 144Hz | $799.99 $519.99 at Newegg (save $280) (opens in new tab)
We've been hoping that 32-inch, 4K, 144Hz, IPS gaming monitors would hit $500 for some time. Now, it's finally happening, just about. The GIGABYTE M32U is awfully close to that $500 dollar mark and it's an awful lot of screen. Also worth noting that it supports HDMI 2.1 as well as DisplayPort 1.4, making it ideal for tag teaming a gaming PC with a console.

The one catch with that Acer panel is that it measures just 27 inches. In outright terms, that's hardly puny. But 4K is arguably overkill for gaming on a 27-inch monitor. Which is where the Gigabyte M32U comes in. It's the full 32-inch deal and matches the Acer Nitro is all other regards.

So, the Gigabyte M32U is a quality IPS panel with 144Hz refresh. However, it has one extra trick that the Acer can't match, namely HDMI 2.1 connectivity, allowing high-refresh gaming on not just PC but also console. If you want to tag team a gaming PC and console on a single screen, the GIGABYTE M32U could be the 4K panel you've been waiting for.

Aorus FO48U | 48-inch | 4K | OLED | 120Hz | $1,499.99 (opens in new tab)

Aorus FO48U | 48-inch | 4K | OLED | 120Hz | $1,499.99 $779.99 at Amazon (save $720) (opens in new tab)
If you're looking to go big, check out this Aorus 48-inch OLED 4K 120Hz gaming monitor. Now that a larger model has been announced, this one got another price cut. Indeed, it's been cut even further from $899. Plus it's an OLED, ie. a peak gaming monitor (opens in new tab).

In an absolutely ideal world, of course, your high-refresh 4K gaming panel would also be OLED. Only with OLED technology do you get proper per-pixel lighting control and true sub-1ms response. LCD panels simply cannot compete.

And you know what? 4K high-refresh OLED technology is also more affordable than you might think. OK, at $779 the Aorus FO48U is a significant investment. But in the context of the current price of graphics cards, it's not exactly outrageous.

So, there you have it. A trio of surprisingly affordable high-refresh 4K options thanks to Black Friday. Grab 'em while they last.

Jeremy Laird
Hardware writer

Jeremy has been writing about technology and PCs since the 90nm Netburst era (Google it!) and enjoys nothing more than a serious dissertation on the finer points of monitor input lag and overshoot followed by a forensic examination of advanced lithography. Or maybe he just likes machines that go “ping!” He also has a thing for tennis and cars.