6 Best Cheap Gaming Monitors

By | April 7, 2022

If you’re a PC gamer, the screen is an important part of the experience. PC gamers shouldn’t just go for random monitors. Instead, it’s best to buy a gaming monitor, and luckily there are several inexpensive gaming monitors available for purchase.

What to Know Before Buying a Gaming Monitor

Gaming monitors focus on a few things that regular monitors or TVs don’t have. Here is a short list of the important things you need to know when buying a gaming monitor:

Refresh rate: Higher refresh rate is better. The standard monitor has a refresh rate of 60Hz. Gaming monitors have a refresh rate of 144Hz, sometimes going up to 240Hz.

Response time: Lower response time is better. This is a measure of how quickly a pixel can go from black to white to black again. Gaming monitors typically have a response time of 5 ms (milliseconds) or lower.

HDR: It’s good that the monitor has it, but it’s not a violator. HDR (High Dynamic Range) makes colors pop, but in budget monitors this can often look oversaturated.

FreeSync vs. G-Sync: FreeSync and G-Sync are competitive technologies from AMD and Nvidia to improve image quality and reduce lag. AMD supports FreeSync monitors, Nvidia supports G-Sync monitors. There are good budget graphics cards for gaming from both.

Apart from choosing a good gaming monitor, there are a few tips and tweaks you can use to optimize gaming on your Windows 10 machine.

Monitors and Size 4K

The biggest question you need to ask yourself is about monitor size. As a rule of thumb, “bigger is better” can work, but that’s not always true. As with choosing the right TV for your living room, calculate the distance from the monitor to where your eyes are, and buy the right one. For most people, a 24-inch or 27-inch gaming monitor is ideal.

It’s also hard to escape the temptation of UHD or 4K gaming monitors these days. If one fits your budget, get it. But 4K resolution is not a must-have feature. Resolution doesn’t make graphics better, there are other things that matter on a monitor, such as the factors listed above. For example, a cheap 4K monitor with HDR will still not give you a satisfying experience if the refresh rate is low and the response time is high.

There is a lot of debate about PC gaming at 4K and upgrades. The bottom line is that while it improves visuals, it’s not a deal breaker if the monitor doesn’t support 4K. And this is especially important for a budget gaming monitor.

Cheapest 24-Inch Gaming Monitor: BenQ Zowie RL2455

The most common size for desktop monitors is 24 inches. For that, the no-frills recommendation is the BenQ Zowie RL2455. It gets the basics right with a clear, vibrant screen, 1ms response time, and multiple ports for input. But BenQ’s small additions make a difference.

For example, the monitor is equipped with preset modes for different types of games, such as strategy games, shooters, and so on. BenQ also has a smart built-in software called Black eQualizer, which makes dark areas slightly brighter for clear viewing, without turning the entire screen bright. Several customers and reviewers have greatly appreciated this feature.

Best Cheap Gaming Monitor with IPS: ViewSonic VX2476

The BenQ Zowie has a TN panel. When you buy a gaming monitor, you have to decide between an IPS screen or a TN screen. In general, IPS screens have better viewing angles and colors, while TN panels have faster refresh rates and response times. But this is an outdated myth about monitors.

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When it comes to budget gaming monitors, the IPS display doesn’t give any extra oomph. But if you still prefer it, then the ViewSonic VX2476 is an inexpensive option to go with. It is available in a variety of sizes (22, 23, 24, 27, and 32 inches) for a fantastic rate.

Buy this if watching movies is more important than playing games, but you still want a good gaming experience.

Best Cheap Gaming Monitor With 144Hz Refresh Speed: Asus VG248QE

If your budget allows for it, don’t settle for anything less than a monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate. This is the most visually striking feature when it comes to modern games. The best cheap option with that feature is the Asus VG248QE.

There’s nothing special about this Asus model other than a 144Hz refresh rate. It’s just a solid device that does all the basics as perfectly as possible. Make sure you buy a 144Hz model with a TN panel, as there is also a 75Hz model with an IPS panel.

Best Cheap Gaming Monitor With FreeSync: Samsung 390 . Series

Whether it’s a 24-inch version or a 27-inch version, the Samsung 390 series is a good choice for those with AMD graphics cards that support FreeSync. Samsung uses a VA panel, which is kind of a compromise between IPS and TN.

Best Budget Gaming Monitor With G-Sync: Dell S2417DG

Nvidia’s G-Sync works differently than AMD’s FreeSync, as it requires the monitor to have a chip. This raises the price, but also increases the quality. And if you have an Nvidia card, the much-loved Dell S2417 is the way to go.

Even with a TN panel, colors appear just like on an IPS panel. It has a refresh rate of 165Hz, and a response time of 1ms. You get even higher resolution at 2560×1440 pixels.

Almost everyone agrees that this is the best budget gaming monitor right now. It’s so good that you should buy it even if you have an AMD graphics card and won’t get FreeSync.

You can also get a 27-inch version of this Dell model, which has all the same features.

Best Cheap Curved Gaming Monitor With HDR: BenQ EX3203R

For most gamers on a budget, the Dell S2417DG should be the maximum they spend on a monitor. But if you want some extra oomph, check out the BenQ EX3203R.

It’s a curved gaming monitor that supports HDR, along with FreeSync. The resolution is again 2560×1440 pixels, which is plenty for a gaming monitor when the rest of the image quality is excellent. Forget 4K.

Of course, you get a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time at this price. This model also comes with a USB-C port, which you don’t often see on monitors. We are very impressed with the review of the BenQ EX3203R

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