If you have one of the best gaming desktops, think about getting one of the best G-Sync monitors to go with it. What does G-Sync do and how does it affect your gaming? A G-Sync monitor will eliminate screen tearing and display stutter by synchronizing refresh rates to new frames, all thanks to Nvidia's adaptive sync display technology. Essentially, it produces smooth gameplay on your favourite fighting game or first-person shooter.
As you might expect, you'll need an Nvidia graphics card and a G-Sync capable monitor to reap the benefits of this technology but there are other options. There are a several "G-Sync Compatible" displays that utilise AMD's competing FreeSync technology, and it's gaining popularity thanks to broader support and lower implementation cost.
As a result, Nvidia has tested a number of these monitors and certified some of them to work with G-Sync but there isn't always the same quality you'd get with a true G-Sync monitor. Something else to note is that although some FreeSync displays might work with Nvidia's G-Sync technology, the reverse isn't true—G-Sync panels won't work with the variable refresh rates from AMD GPUs.
Your Nvidia graphics card will make the most out of the best G-Sync monitors and that includes the newer RTX Super cards that were released early last year. Aside from G-Sync capability, we've taken price, panel, size, and design into account, and chosen our favourite monitors.
Best G-Sync monitors
1. Asus ROG Swift PG279Q
Best G-Sync monitor for gaming at 1440p
Screen size: 27-inch | Panel type: IPS | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Response time: 4ms | Refresh rate: 144Hz (overclocks to 165Hz) | Weight: 15.4 lbs
We think this is not only the best gaming monitor with G-Sync that you can get your hands on at the moment, but the best gaming monitor period. This 27-inch monitor has a 2560x1440 resolution which we think is just about perfect for high-end gaming: offering much more than a standard HD display, but not being as potentially draining or demanding as a 4K screen. This results in super sharp looking games that won’t demand a ridiculous GPU setup. Plus you can still get the ‘usual’ refresh rates as standard that we’re all used to which is still a bit lacking in 4K screens (unless you have a seriously healthy budget to burn). However, the IPS panel can be overclocked to a hyperfast 165Hz.
As for its more utilitarian qualities, its inputs include DisplayPort 1.2a as well as HDMI 1.4 (one of each), a nice addition over our previous best monitor pick. If you want the best performing screen at the highest resolution, but without the staggering price tag (see: Acer Predator X27—though this is an excellent screen) then this is the monitor for you. It’ll last you ages and get you a fast, responsive display, with a great resolution and with that great G-Sync tech thrown in too.
Best G-Sync monitor for 4K HDR gaming
Screen size: 27-inch | Panel type: IPS | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 **Response time:** 4ms | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Weight: 28 pounds
This is a great G-Sync display, packed with features and goodness that does demand a high price of admission, but remains a monitor we get behind and can recommend as one of the best G-Sync monitors going. It is an incredibly high-specced 27-inch display that has both glorious 4K resolution and HDR technology within it providing some of the crispest images you'll see on a monitor, and the inclusion of G-Sync means it’ll be as smooth as anything too—even at 144Hz. This makes this a truly wonderful screen that, providing you have the machine to make the most of it, will give you probably the best images you can get on a gaming monitor.
Coming with the ports that you need—an HDMI 2.0 input, DisplayPort 1.4, 3.5mm audio and two USB 3.0 ports—its one detractor is a criminally high list price. This might cause others to look elsewhere, but if you dive into this and commit, you’ll be set for years and delighted with your purchase.
One of the highest quality and best bang for buck G-Sync monitors
Screen size: 27-inch | Panel type: IPS | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Response time: 4ms | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Weight: 15.9 pounds
Nevermind G-Sync monitors, this is one of the best monitors you can buy overall. Housing Nvidia’s screen tech alongside a 4K resolution and HDR tech means that this is an absolute beast of a monitor that will give you the best of, well, everything. And by everything, we mean everything. Its 144Hz IPS panel is made better by Acer’s own integrated VisionCare technology that will aims to protect your retinas—plus it looks damn good. This is one for those who want everything, now and who also want to future proof them into the years ahead. It might not have the same HDR heights that its predecessor, the X27, had, but it offers everything else for a much reduced pricetag. Therefore, the value it offers is incredible, even if it is still a rather sizeable investment.
It almost seems too good to be true, and how can you know for certain it makes good on its promises? Well, the G-Sync technology will allow the monitor to refresh at a variable rate, syncing with your in-game refresh rate, further limiting the chances of tearing. It really is a top-performing behemoth of a display and one of the very best G-Sync monitors you can get.
4. Acer Predator XB321HK
Best G-Sync monitor for high-end graphics setups
Screen size: 32-inch | Panel type: IPS | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Response time: 4ms | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Weight: 24.91 lbs
The obstacle or challenge that has to be addressed when searching for a new display—especially in the 4K panel realm—is the trade-off a higher refresh rate for a greater pixel count. This is again the case here with the Acer Predator XB321HK with its refresh rate of 60Hz, the same as most 4K TVs.
The 32-inch, IPS panel, is laudably bright and clear, giving you vivid images and a large enough screen to make the most of the 3840x2160 resolution. It doesn’t have HDR, however. And while you’d probably expect that on a 4K TV, its non-appearance here is not really a problem, and only serves to keep the cost down. At the end of the day, Acer is offering a sublime value for a 4K, G-Sync monitor. If you’re not put off by the compromise in refresh rate, this is still a great gaming G-Sync monitor that’ll be a worthy upgrade option.
5. Alienware AW3418DW
Best G-Sync monitor for reliability
Screen size: 34-inch | Panel type: IPS | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3440 x 1440 | Response time: 4ms | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Weight: 16.02 lbs
A tremendous curved option, the Alienware AW3418DW is on the more compact end of the spectrum. It’s of course G-Sync enabled, has a 100Hz refresh rate—that can be overclocked to 120Hz—and it boasts a gorgeous 34-inch display, ideal for playing all the latest games beautifully and smoothly.
Away from the cold hard specs, this is one of the monitors that really wins on the design. It’s very sleek and impressive in its design aesthetic, with its ultra-thin bezels and a stand that doesn’t impose on your desk in finish or size. If you’re after a super smooth and sleek G-sync monitor from a recognised manufacturer with high standards then Alienware's screen is undoubtedly worth your consideration.
6. AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition
Best G-Sync monitor for gaming on a curved display
Screen size: 35-inch | Panel type: VA | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3440 x 1440 | Response time: 4ms | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Weight: 26.01 lbs
It’s not unreasonable to say that, right now, the sweet spot for gaming is at a 1440p resolution—in fact that’s what we currently think. Whether it’s the usual 16:9 ratio or at super-wide 3440x1440, the crispness provided by that mid-ground between 1080p and 4K is absolutely ideal, providing the best way to enjoy the the latest big-name games. This is what the AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition offers.
Mixing the widescreen resolution with some of the latest tech, it's a quality product worthy of consideration for that upgrade. It has that glorious VA panel, a decent 4ms response time, G-Sync and has bumped its refresh rate to 120Hz, enabling frame rates to be of an impressively high level, given its got that widescreen resolution. On top of that it has a flicker reduction setting and a blue light mode, reducing the strain of those long, nighttime gaming sessions.
This all results in a monitor that produces excellent colours on a widescreen setup; and it still has that decent refresh rate of 120Hz. It’s also simple in its design: it’s lovely curved screen is supported by a two part aluminum base; itself having three legs providing stability—this is fine, but there are certainly better looking monitors out there, if that's a point of contention for you.
Freesync monitor alternatives
1. ASUS MG279Q
The best FreeSync gaming monitor going
Screen size: 27-inch | Panel type: IPS | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Response time: 4ms | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Weight: 15.9 lbs
This is the best monitor for AMD users who area after a FreeSync display; there's no real competition in it. It's a 1440p IPS screen that can refresh up to 144Hz so your frame rate will be going like the clappers and your pictures will be gloriously smooth. But because it uses the open FreeSync technology instead of G-Sync, it does not demand quite so high a pricetag (though prices have inevitably become closer in recent years and months).
The monitor's bezel is lovely and thin, which is great considering its base is chunky—but in a good way. It is sturdy and allows for plenty of manipulation in terms of adjusting height, tilting etc. The contrast ratio is also great, and the MG279Q offers great support when it comes to connectivity and ports, easily offering enough to those who need connections for extra auxiliary systems, like consoles. This is aided by the monitor's internal scaler—a notable difference between G-Sync and FreeSync panels. With no other IPS FreeSync displays that can match the MG279Q on specs, this is a great monitor and a particularly easy choice for those with an AMD GPU.
2. BenQ EL2870U
An excellent budget FreeSync 4K monitor
Screen size: 28-inch | Panel type: TN | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Response time: 1ms | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Weight: 15.87 lbs
The BenQ EL2870U is one of our favorite monitors across a number of criteria right now. For starters, it is generally a good quality and solid monitor (strong start), but it is also 4K and HDR—and it does those very well—and, it is very affordable. This means it offers an affordable (and quality) route into the latest and greatest in gaming screen techs. This has the knock on effect of allowing you to redirect funds into other areas of your setup while embracing 4K glory.
Although it is only a TN panel and thus constrained to the limited viewing angles they offer it more than compromises for this. Its response time competes with the best of them at 1ms, for example. Lastly, the HDR that the BenQ EL2870U features is operated by a sole and designated HDR button that toggles the tech on and off. This is generally handy, and simply adds another easy level of customisation or and opportunity for preference.
Since it regularly goes on sale for less than its already-reasonable list price, the fact that it is a FreeSync monitor bothers us very little. If your search is limited to FreeSync monitors, then this would absolutely be our top 4K pick, and challenge for our top overall pick.
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 specific technicalities 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, hooking it up to a notebook or desktop PC and checking out the Lagom pages is a critical effort.