While most of us would love to have the most advanced gaming monitors on the market, sometimes, we’ll just have to make do with the best budget gaming monitor we can find.
Unfortunately, finding a good model at an affordable price point isn’t easy.
With so many products that seem good on paper, sifting through the dozens if not hundreds of offerings from various manufacturers can take a lot of time and effort.
Lucky for you, we’ve put in the hard work so you don’t have to.
Below, we’ve rounded up a list of value-packed options to help you choose the best budget gaming monitor based on your own taste and preference.
Best Budget Gaming Monitor in 2021
1. Acer XFA240
As far as gaming monitors go, the Acer XFA240 looks like anything but budget-oriented.
The multiple adjustments, including height, pivot, swivel, and twilt, as well as relatively thin bezzles, and of course, the 144Hz refresh rate, all feel like they belong to more expensive offerings. But, make no mistake, the XFA240 is far more affordable than you’d think it would be, and the best part is that this monitor is compatible with both AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync.
With a 1ms input lag and excellent colors right out of the box, the XFA240 is a plug-and-play budget gaming monitor.
Dare we say, it’s the best 144Hz budget monitor out there today.
The MSI Optix G27C4 might be stretching the definition of what a “budget” gaming monitor is, but as far as what we can tell, it’s still not something that you can consider expensive, especially given the features that it has.
It might just be a 1080p gaming monitor at 27 inches at that, but it has a 1ms response time with a whopping 165hz refresh rate.
Sure, the resolution could be a tad sharper and brighter (250 nits is okay, but it could be better), but its combination of vibrant colors and high contrast, as well as the fact that it uses a curved 1500R VA panel, means that it’s capable of delivering surprisingly accurate and eye-popping colors.
Again, being a gaming monitor, you give up a bit on pixel density and sharpness. However, in terms of performance, the G27C4 is the ideal choice for those looking to game with no compromise at 27 inches.
1500R Curved Gaming Display
165Hz refresh rate with 1ms response time
Wide Color Gamut
178-degree wide viewing angle
165Hz refresh rate with blur reduction
Runs AMD FreeSync with unofficial support for Nvidia Gsync
If the Acer XFA240 looks too “plain” for you, its more aggressively-designed cousin, the Acer KG251Q, might be more right up your alley.
The design of the KG251Q just screams gaming monitor. The slim bezels and sleek design pair extremely well with the red and black aesthetics, as well as that of the V-shaped stand. However, it doesn’t just look the part. It delivers too.
The 24.5-inch display comes with a bright, accurate, and colorful display that even creatives can appreciate. But, more importantly, it’s something that gamers will love. This is thanks to its 144hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and of course, support for AMD FreeSync monitor technology.
While the KG251Q might not work perfectly out of the box — the monitor is at its best when it’s been fine-tuned and tweaked- it’s an entry-level monitor that doesn’t give up a lot compared to pricier models.
AMD Radeon FreeSync Technology support
144Hz refresh rate via HDMI and/or DisplayPort
1ms response time
2 x 2-watt speakers
Acer VisionCare Technology
1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, and 1x DVI
Comes with a DisplayPort cable out of the box
Very slim bezels
Compatible with VESA mounting solutions
Sleek and modern design
Needs to be calibrated for ideal display performance
The Samsung 27-Inch SF354 could very well be the best cheap gaming monitor on the market today.
It’s a basic package, all things considered. The display measures at 27 inches with a 1080p resolution. It also only has one HDMI port and maxes out at a relatively average brightness of 250 nights. But, the thing is, it doesn’t look bad, nor plain for that matter.
Truth be told, the SF354 is actually quite attractive. More importantly, the display quality is above average, thanks to its PLS panel, and of course, it’s affordable.
The SF354 might be winning any design or performance awards anytime soon, but it checks all of the right boxes and very few of the wrong ones if any at all.
If you’re looking for a cheap 1080p gaming monitor, we don’t really recommend going any cheaper than the ASUS VS228H-P.
At its price point, you’ll have a hard time finding anything else worth considering.
Compatible with VESA mounting solutions with surprisingly good color accuracy, as well as a built-in audio jack, the VS228H-P might not have a refresh rate higher than 60Hz or a response time lower than 5ms nor does it have a better display panel (it has a basic TN panel), but it’s not half-bad when you’re building a system and hard-pressed for money.
Simply put, the ASUS VS228H-P is all about being an affordable gaming monitor.
Let’s face it. Not all gamers want ultrafast monitors with low input lag.
Most are content with 60Hz and 5ms, which many if not all monitors worth considering on the market. Some would rather give up smoother gameplay for more real estate and a brighter display, which doesn’t come quite easily nor cheap.
Thankfully, options like the LG 32MA70HY-P exist.
At 32-inches with a 1080p display, the 32MA70HY-P comes with 70% more viewing area compared to the average 24-inch gaming monitor. It also comes with a suite of features geared towards productivity, including built-in split-screen options, as well as on-screen controls that make it easier for you to adjust inputs and content as you deem fit.
The 32MA70HY-P has multiple available display connectors. This includes HDMI, D-Sub, and DisplayPort.
Lastly, it’s compatible with VESA mounting solutions.
If you prefer gaming and watching movies at higher resolutions but don’t necessarily want to put more into your build than you already have on your graphics card, then BenQ EL2870U is an excellent compromise that doesn’t really give up a lot on other more expensive 4K gaming monitors.
This budget 4K gaming monitor offers 4K resolution on its 28-inch anti-glare screen with support for HDR support and surprisingly good color accuracy with BenQ’s very own Eye Care comfort for a more comfortable viewing experience. It even has a 1ms response time with support for AMD FreeSync, which means that it’s not just good for gaming, but great.
Save for the lack of USB ports and a faster refresh rate, the EL2870U is as good as it gets as far as 4K gaming monitors go at this price point.
Just make sure that you have an HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4 cable.
HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4
Supports VESA wall mount
2 x built-in speakers
Integrated cable management system
Monitor stand comes with a neat cable management system
Put your hands up again if you’re willing to pay $200 for it.
Now, put your hands up again if you could afford it if it were more than $200.
While the specs of the Samsung 24-inch CRG5 doesn’t look impressive on their own, the fact that it offers as much at a sub-$200 price point is commendable, to say the least. This is especially true once you consider that it has a decent contrast ratio and a beautiful 1800R curved VA panel for added immersion.
The fact that it comes with a neat-looking stand is just an added bonus at this point.
If you’re on the lookout for a cheap curved gaming monitor, the CRG5 is definitely worth a look.
Basically, it’s got everything a gaming monitor should have, except a high asking price. It has a fast refresh rate of 144Hz and supports AMD FreeSync Premium. It’s also got a high contrast ratio and surprisingly enough, rich and accurate colors. It even has some RGB lighting that you can toy around with.
While you do have to download third-party software to customize the RGB lighting, the fact that this monitor has them is a neat feature.
As an added bonus, the XG240R comes with a multitude of connections. It has a DisplayPort and HDMI connections, as well as its own USB hub.
Lastly, the XG240R is backed by a 3-year industry-leading warranty by ViewSonic.
AMD FreeSync Premium
Multiple adjustment options via the ergonomic stand
Pre-set visual modes for a variety of game genres
Numerous display connection ports
AMD FreeSync Premium
Customizable RGB lighting
Comes with multiple connectivity options
Extensive 3-year aftersales warranty and customer service
While you definitely won’t find the fastest gaming monitors at the budget range, 240Hz is still plenty fast for most people, and you’d be glad to know that it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to get such a gaming monitor for yourself.
The Viotek GFT27CXB is the answer to gamers who want to go fast but don’t want to punch a hole in their wallets.
Priced right around what many consider “budget” and reasonable, the GFT27CXB comes with a 27-inch display panel(TN) with a 400-nit peak brightness and above-average sRGB color space coverage. This means that, despite having a TN display panel, you won’t be left wanting in terms of display quality.
Besides, those are mere bonuses when you consider that this monitor’s main selling point is its 240Hz refresh rate, as well as support for both AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync.
Uber-fast, smooth, and tear-free gaming, here we come.
Both are excellent choices, as well as are the other 144Hz gaming monitors included in our round-up. However, when you consider their respective value-to-performance ratios, these two just can’t help but stand out.
The Samsung 24-inch CRG5 has its curved VA display panel going for it. The only problem is that it’s not wall-mountable. Not to mention, its stand can’t be adjusted as much as that of the Acer XFA240. This means that you’re pretty much left with the same viewing position out of the box save for a couple of minor adjustments.
If you want something that you can adjust accordingly and mount to a wall if need be, then the XFA240 is an excellent choice.
Just keep in mind that you’ll be giving up quite a bit in terms of display quality if you go that route.
The best budget gaming monitor depends on what kind of performance you expect from your gaming monitor.
If you prefer to play competitive and fast-paced titles, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t get yourself a gaming monitor with high refresh rates The reduced input lag and higher refresh rate results in an overall smoother gaming experience, which can often translate to a much better in-game performance.
For a more immersive and/or cinematic feel, you can opt for either higher resolutions, a larger screen, or a curved display, and perhaps even all three combined.
Then there’s the panel type dilemma, which, if you’re on a budget, means that your choice is either a VA panel or a TN panel as IPS panels, despite offering much better contrast and richer colors, are also much more expensive.
With that said, we did try to make sure that our recommendations catered to as many preferences as possible.
This way, gamers have multiple options to choose from. More importantly, we tried to make audiences aware of why a specific gaming monitor is the best gaming monitor for the price or why it’s better suited for a particular gaming purpose compared to others.