One of the best excessive refresh charge screens are constructed for blisteringly fast response instances and slick gaming. They are not solely nice for aggressive gaming, however for anybody trying to enhance their general system latency and get an edge over the competitors. Additionally they look mighty clean within the course of, which is an actual step-up in case you’ve not skilled excessive refresh charges earlier than.
What refresh charge must you be on the lookout for in a possible improve? You’ll be able to really feel the distinction between even 60Hz and 75Hz screens, although you begin to discover the advantages in-game round 120Hz. We contemplate the usual for gaming screens is 144Hz, although 165Hz is widespread sufficient with overclocked panels. Past that, you’ve gotten 240Hz and 360Hz, concentrating on aggressive players, comparable to twitch shooter gamers. These normally come alongside decrease resolutions and better worth tags, so that you need to make sure you will want that snappy response earlier than investing in a 240/360Hz gaming monitor. Do not even get us began on 480Hz gaming screens (opens in new tab)which might be supposedly coming fairly quickly.
Refresh charge is only one aspect of recent gaming screens, although, and what else you need is as much as you. Must you go for an IPS or VA panel, for example. And what about panel, dimension, form, and backbone? Is the 16:9 side ratio nonetheless probably the most versatile and suitable, or is ultrawide the way in which? Do curved panels add something? And what about decision? 4K? Or does 1440p strike a greater steadiness? Is 1080p out of date?
We have examined every of those excessive refresh charge gaming screens on this checklist to see whether or not their claims get up and ensure no compromise has been made to put up these sky-high refresh charge claims.
Finest excessive refresh charge gaming screens
The Alienware 34 QD-OLED curved gaming monitor utterly took us without warning. It made us believers in Samsung’s new QD-OLED panels, which we hope means the OLED PC monitor revolution has begun.
This monitor isn’t good. However it’s dramatically higher than any LCD-based monitor by a number of gaming-critical metrics. And it’s a real thrill to make use of. In fact, that’s getting forward of ourselves. First, we have to cowl off the fundamentals.
What makes the AW3423DW far superior to your typical LCD panel on a PC gaming monitor is the near-percent shade saturation and display screen brightness able to hitting a peak brightness of 1000 nits. It is performed all this whereas offering a ridiculously quick 175Hz refresh charge and a response time of .1ms. It’d simply be the perfect 3440 x 1440p gaming monitor we have ever used, and, boy, will we take a look at lots of ultrawide.
Frequent to all OLED tech are two essential benefits over any LCD panel, specifically distinction and response. Put merely, each pixel in an OLED panel is its personal mild supply, which will be turned utterly off, basically delivering ‘true’ black ranges and kind of infinite distinction. There’s no want for any of that sophisticated, problematic native dimming to cease the sunshine from leaking by an LCD panel. OLED is the actual HDR deal.
Not solely is it OLED, it’s additionally Samsung’s sizzling new QD-LED tech, which mixes the perfect RGB subpixel construction with quantum dot know-how to provide each wonderful shade saturation and a good brighter panel. Web outcome? Alienware is claiming each a powerful 99.3 % protection of the demanding DCI-P3 shade house and totally 1,000 nits brightness, albeit that brightness stage can solely be achieved on a small portion of the panel, not throughout the complete display screen.
In contrast to LCD screens with claimed HDR functionality, this OLED display screen must be in HDR mode to do its factor. And that applies to SDR content material, too. Alienware has supplied two HDR modes, HDR 400 True Black and HDR Peak 1000. The latter allows that most 1,000 nit efficiency in small areas of the panel however truly appears to be like much less vibrant and punchy more often than not.
As a substitute, it’s the HDR 400 True Black mode that typically provides the perfect outcomes. That features SDR content material. For SDR content material to look its greatest, you need to bounce into the Home windows Show Settings menu and crank the SDR brightness up, after which it’s a lot zingier throughout. That’s truly useful as a result of it implies that upon getting the AW3423DW arrange correctly, you’re all performed. There’s no want to change modes for SDR and HDR content material.
However for many sorts of gaming on that very platform, that is pretty much as good because it at the moment will get. Put merely, the Alienware 34 AW3423DW units new requirements for distinction, HDR efficiency, and response.
Learn our full Alienware 34 QD-OLED (AW3423DW) evaluation (opens in new tab).
For some time, it seemed like curved panels would assimilate the entire gaming market. Extra not too long ago, the recognition of curved LCD screens appears to have tailed off just a bit. For positive, curved HDTVs proved to be a fad. However with the MPG ARTYMIS 343CQR, MSI has clearly determined that if it’s going to maintain religion with curved PC screens, it’ll completely personal the problem. This factor has an extremely tight 1000R curve. Which means the arc of the panel is such that, when prolonged full circle, the radius of stated circle could be only one meter. That is one severely bent display screen.
Past that, essential speeds and feeds embody 34-inch ultra-wide panel proportions, 3440 x 1440 decision, 165Hz refresh, 1ms response, and VESA DisplayHDR 400 Certification. Underpinning all that’s the 343CQR’s different eyebrow tweaker, past the acute curve, specifically VA panel know-how. The response has been the undoing of many a VA panel, so it’s value noting the claimed response of 1ms is courtesy of the extra forgiving transferring image response time (MPRT) metric.
As a substitute, what actually stands out is the punch and pizazz of the 34-inch panel. VA inherently has higher distinction than IPS. Mix that with totally 550 nits-worth of backlighting, and this display screen positively zings. Because it occurs, the acute curve additionally received us over. For pure visible spectacle and gaming immersion, nothing else on this group of excessive refresh charge screens comes shut. It’s fabulous.
Why, precisely, does the AOC Agon AG273QXP run at 170Hz refresh? Is it a cynical advertising and marketing transfer designed to offer AOC’s newest gaming panel a superficial edge over the standard 165Hz suspects? Is there some particular technical purpose for the additional 5Hz?
One factor is for positive; there’s no likelihood of recognizing the distinction between 165Hz and 170Hz in-game. It’s laborious sufficient to select 165Hz from 144Hz and even 240Hz reliably. An additional 5Hz? No likelihood.
It’s a pity to be distracted by such trivia as a result of the AOC Agon AG273QXP has hundreds going for it. That 170Hz panel is a 1440p IPS merchandise, making it a goldilocks mannequin for contemporary gaming. Not too many pixels. Not too few. However simply the correct steadiness between visible element and body charge.
You’ll be able to add extras like adaptive sync help within the type of AMD FreeSync Premium Professional and Nvidia G-Sync Compatibility, plus VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification. Rounding all of it out is a claimed response time of 1ms.
Yup, this factor ticks lots of bins on paper. And so it proves in apply. It’s undoubtedly as punchy a panel because the 400cd/m2 spec implies. Is it appropriate for a 1ms response? Unlikely, in absolute phrases. However set the overdrive to medium, and it’s a speedy monitor with minimal blur and no ghosting.
CyberPunk 2077 appears to be like superb, that’s for positive. The Agon sports activities a reasonably respectable HDR implementation, too. At the least it does for an HDR 400 panel that lacks native dimming. Like every other HDR 400 display screen, it’s not a real HDR expertise. However that is nonetheless an incredible excessive refresh charge monitor.
1080p not your bag? Higher jog on because the Acer Predator XB253QGX received’t be for you. It isn’t actually for many of us, both, given 1440p is a greater all-around compromise for many players from a purely visible level. But when ultra-low latency and frames charges excessive sufficient to offer you a nosebleed appears like your factor, this 1080p 25-incher must be in your shortlist.
It’s similar to the Alienware 25 however clocks in at a mere 240Hz to the Alienware’s outrageous 360Hz. In reality, solely probably the most demanding esports addicts will be capable to inform the distinction. However if you’re that delicate to latency, the Acer’s 1080p decision truly is sensible. In spite of everything, the less the pixels, the upper your body charge.
Because it occurs, this Acer is barely extra vibrant than the ostensibly equivalent Lenovo Legion Y25-25, even when it isn’t as punchy because the a lot pricier Alienware. As with many screens of this kind, you possibly can fine-tune pixel response by an overdrive setting. Predictably, probably the most aggressive setting introduces some ghosting. However set to medium, it is a very fast IPS monitor. That stated, even with a claimed MPRT response time of simply 0.5ms, this isn’t a wholly blur-free monitor. That’s LCD know-how for you.
In fact, it’s in pure visible punch the place a 1080p panel like this stumbles. There’s considerably much less element on supply than a 1440p monitor, a lot much less a 4K display screen. This is able to not be our weapon of selection for absorbing the sheer spectacle of Cyberpunk 2077, that’s for positive.
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There’s an elephant on this excessive refresh charge monitor round-up. And it’s the inevitable query of diminishing returns. When, precisely, do they kick in? 165Hz? 240Hz? How about 360Hz? Oh sure, this up to date Alienware 25 is nice for the total 360. In purely experiential and subjective phrases, it’s not straightforward to separate it from in any other case related 1080p IPS screens that hum alongside at a relatively pedestrian 240Hz refresh. All of them really feel swift.
In fact, esports aficionados with ninjascopic reflexes will recognize the distinction. And there’s actually no penalty to pay, given this IPS panel. It’s not such as you’re compelled to undergo a dingy TN panel to have all these Hz. As for pixel response, it’s about pretty much as good as IPS screens get, although as soon as once more laborious to actually separate from the cheaper 240Hz brigade.
However it’s truly Alienware’s different qualities that set it aside. For starters, that is the brightest and punchiest of the 25-inch bunch. The built-in Nvidia G-Sync chip additionally makes for a noticeably smoother low-frame-rate expertise than a mere G-Sync ‘Suitable’ or FreeSync show. Ironic, given the 360Hz refresh is the primary attraction.
The Alienware 25 additionally helps Nvidia’s Reflex Latency Analyzer (opens in new tab), which helps you fine-tune enter lag with millimetric precision. Supplied you’ve gotten a suitable mouse and an Nvidia graphics card, that’s, and that you’re taking part in a recreation that helps it.
Given the extremely targeted remit, our solely main reservation is that the ‘Esports’ preset within the OSD menu crushes brightness to a reasonably insupportable extent. So, the Alienware 25’s best possible efficiency comes at fairly a worth, each actually and figuratively.
By no means thoughts a brand new era of GPUs you possibly can’t purchase, and consoles briefly provide; 4K stays a problematic decision for gaming. It’s simply sooo many pixels. Over eight million, the truth is. Even at a mere 60Hz, that’s 500 million pixels that must be rendered, rasterized, ray-traced—no matter—each second.
That works out at over a billion per second at 144Hz, which simply so occurs to be the refresh charge of the Acer Predator XB273K, Acer’s extra reasonably priced 4K gaming panel. In comparison with the pricier Acer Predator X27, it lacks native dimming, delivers decrease peak brightness, and is merely G-Sync ‘Suitable’. So, there’s no Nvidia G-Sync module onboard.
In fact, affordability is relative, and the XB273K continues to be a reasonably dear panel. Certainly, with 120Hz 4K OLED TVs obtainable for not all that rather more than this 27-inch monitor, the worth proposition isn’t precisely compelling.
None of which is to say this display screen lacks attraction. No, siree. When you’ve seen Cyberpunk 2077 working in full IPS-plus-4K glory, you received’t need to return to 1440p, not to mention crummy previous 1080p. The issue is the philosophical incompatibility between maximizing picture high quality and body charges on the identical time. You’ll be able to’t actually have each. Not even with, say, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (opens in new tab).
In different phrases, whereas this monitor is able to 144Hz, you’re not going to get close to these sorts of body charges within the prettiest video games. And in case you’re not bothered about prettiness, you most likely don’t want 4K in case you comply with. It’s a really good display screen, this Acer Predator XB273K, and higher worth than its Acer Predator X27 sibling, but it surely nonetheless doesn’t make a lot sense for this sort of cash.
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VA panel know-how used to spell sure doom when it got here to pixel response. Extra not too long ago, Samsung, amongst others, has confirmed that VA actually can ship. If not fairly an IPS-matching response, then actually ok efficiency for all however probably the most demanding esports players.
Sadly, the Viewsonic VX2718-2KPC-MHD is a VA display screen barely out of the old fashioned, regardless of delivering a 165Hz refresh. Crank this 27-inch, 1440p curved monitor over for the primary time, and it doesn’t bode properly. In actual fact, the VX2718-2KPC-MHD is a little bit of a blurry mess. It does enhance with somewhat time and temperature. However even totally warmed up, it’s merely not as fast as the newest IPS panels. Or, for that matter, the implied efficiency of the 1ms MPRT response specification.
By the way, the VX2718-2KPC-MHD ‘1ms’ mode does little to enhance response, but it surely does crush brightness and vibrancy fairly successfully. Whereas we’re beating on Viewsonic’s newest, we observe it lacks a refresh charge counter. It’s a small element, but it surely’s additionally a useful characteristic to make sure that you’re working on the proper refresh charge and ensure that adaptive sync is enabled.
Elsewhere, the stand feels a bit low-cost and solely provides tilt adjustment, whereas the exterior PSU provides to muddle. In the meantime, because the 250cd/m2 brightness ranking implies, this display screen received’t precisely sear your retinas.
This isn’t to suggest this display screen has nothing to supply. The 1440p native decision on a 27-inch panel is a candy combo for balancing body charges with in-game element, whereas the VA panel tech delivers loads of distinction. In fact, as 1440p 165Hz screens go, it’s competitively priced, however the mediocre response and lack of punch may really feel a bit too finances for many.
On paper, the Lenovo Legion Y25-25 is an absolute useless ringer for the Acer Predator XB253QGX. It’s a reasonably shut cousin of Alienware’s up to date 360Hz 25-incher, too. However it simply goes to point out the specs don’t inform the entire story as a result of that is clearly the bum of the 25-inch bunch.
That’s to not say the Lenovo Legion Y25-25 is an outright dud. Not with a 25-inch IPS panel that fires at totally 240Hz. Certain, it’s solely 1080p. However then so is the competitors and the purpose right here is most fluidity, minimal latency. Giving up the visible element and precision of 1440p or 4K goes with the territory, in different phrases.
The Lenovo additionally has fairly candy construct high quality with a lush alloy stand, full adjustability together with peak, tilt, rotate and swivel, plus styling that little bit slicker and extra grown-up than your common, fairly adolescent, gaming peripheral. The built-in, fairly than exterior, energy provide likewise soothes our collective OCD, and G-Sync compatibility is welcome if anticipated on this class of display screen.
To all that, you possibly can add wonderful pixel response with the overdrive set to medium (max it out and a few ghouls and ghosts flip up uninvited), predictably minimal latency, plus buttery clean rendering, as you’d anticipate for a 240Hz panel.
So what, precisely, is the issue? Primary picture high quality, that’s what. The Lenovo Legion Y25-25 is just a bit bit dingier, somewhat duller than the competitors. It’s unclear if it makes use of a unique panel from the Acer and Alienware. However for positive, its colours are much less vibrant, and video games look much less immersive. In isolation, and given the esports remit, that argument doesn’t matter. This actually isn’t a terrible-looking display screen, however when you possibly can have all of Lenovo’s upsides, plus higher primary picture high quality, elsewhere it’s a little bit of a non-starter of a monitor.
Excessive refresh charge gaming monitor FAQ
What’s the perfect PC monitor panel sort for gaming?
If doubtful, go IPS. There at the moment are VA screens with good response pace, just like the fabulous MSI MPG ARTYMIS 343CQR. However IPS extra persistently delivers the products and is now sufficiently quick by way of refresh charge that you just completely needn’t accept TN anymore.
What refresh charge do you really want for PC gaming?
When you’re asking the query, 144Hz might be loads. Esports fiends who will actually recognize larger refresh charges already know who they’re and what they need. And that reply is probably going getting on for 240Hz today.
What’s the perfect decision for a gaming monitor?
With the newest unobtainable graphics playing cards, 4K gaming at excessive triple-digit refresh charges is a stretch in probably the most demanding video games. So, 1440p (at both 16:9 or 21:9 side ratio) might be the higher compromise. 1080p is barely of curiosity to those that demand the very highest body charges for aggressive shooters.
Ought to I purchase a curved gaming monitor?
For our cash, curved panels take advantage of sense in bigger codecs and with super-wide 21:9 or wider panels. A curved panel on, say, a smaller 27-inch 16:9 panel is not essentially a nasty factor. However, nor does it actually add a lot to the expertise.
Does HDR matter for PC gaming screens?
The issue with HDR on this context is that few LCD screens supply a real HDR expertise. What’s extra, screens with HDR-boosting native dimming stay painfully dear and for what is de facto solely marginal profit. That stated, HDR certification normally ensures excessive brightness, and HDR 600 and past requires broad shade help.
G-Sync or FreeSync: which adaptive display screen tech is greatest?
We predict screens with Nvidia’s G-Sync module built-in have the sting in terms of clean efficiency at decrease body charges. At larger body charges, mere G-Sync compatibility is okay, and AMD’s FreeSync is likewise a lot of a muchness.