Buying a monitor? Please refer to this post before purchasing.
October 14, 2020 at 4:19 pm #61602astro
Cant tell you how happy i am to come across this forum. The support and detailed reviews and answers are exactly what some of us need lol.
So i have been giving myself migraines on which monitor to buy for the PS5 and XBX. Hopefully I can get some genuine thoughts and suggestions here.
I dont consider myself a “competetive gamer” when it comes to games like Call of Duty etc, but i do play hours upon hours. Sports games as well, and of course the gorgeous RPG and the such. What I BELIEVE I am looking for is definitely a 4k monitor, minimum size 30 inches and my budget is in the ~$600USD range. I have come across a couple options and was hoping to get some thoughts on them, or any other suggestions/recommendations for maybe some monitors I havent seen yet. Here is what I have found to be “appealing”….
2 hdmi ports would be ideal as well since it will be running both consoles.
Thank you in advance for any help/advice provided!October 14, 2020 at 4:32 pm #61605PCM2
Hi astro and welcome,
It’s probably worth looking a bit beyond this thread and doing a forum search for those models. They’re both mentioned in various threads here, I’ve included a search for these models below for your convenience:
The BenQ EW3270U doesn’t offer a compelling HDR experience as the backlight simply isn’t powerful enough and it doesn’t offer local dimming. My general recommendation is to avoid it and simply look to a superior alternative without HDR like the Philips 328E1CA or Dell S3221QS. That’s covered extensively on these forums and I make it clear why I prefer it to competing models with the flat Innolux panels (good summary post). The LG 32UL750 is more interesting – it uses the same CELL (panel minus backlight) as the BenQ, but uses a more powerful backlight that includes local dimming. It’s compared to the largely similar Philips 326M6VJRMB (which we’ve reviewed in detail) in this thread. It doesn’t offer a good atmospheric dark scene performance, but for brighter scenes it’s nice and lively and can provide some good HDR enjoyment. The backlight isn’t flicker-free which is a key reason I tend to recommend alternatives such as the Philips 326M6VJRMB and ASUS CG32UQ. However; not everybody minds that a bit of PWM on the backlight and given the current price and availability of the LG I can certainly see its attraction. Might be worth giving it a try.
Edit: Good summary of the ‘paths’ users could potentially go down when considering the latest games consoles in this post.October 14, 2020 at 5:13 pm #61606astro
Ok so BenQ out of the question.
The LG is def an option, and I have now taken a look at the Philips 328E1CA and its definitely appealing as well. 4ms decent for it and 75hz which i havent seen much of. I guess my only “doubt” on this one is the price point? Why is it much lower than others even with the 75hz compared to others which are mainly 60hz?
“Only downside is, if you use it at full 4K ( 30Mhz , there is no 60Mhz ) you get significant mouse lag, to a point where it becomes annoying. You’ll have to scale down to 2K resolution where you have the 60Mhz rate, and there is no lag. Still pretty sharp picture, but not the 4K you paid for.”
Does this guy know what he is taking about? And if he does, im assuming “mouse lag” is referring to PC obviously – will this monitor supports PS5’s 4k60?October 14, 2020 at 5:17 pm #61610PCM2
As covered in the review, the Philips 328E1CA is a 60Hz monitor via HDMI 2.0 (for consoles and PC) or DP 1.2a (PC only). You can’t run it at 75Hz at the native resolution or indeed Full HD. Perhaps at some very low resolution you could, but that’s not going to be of any real practical use.
Using “MHz” instead of “Hz” to describe monitor refresh rates doesn’t inspire much confidence. Say nothing for using the term ‘2K’, but that’s another story and more understandable given how manufacturers are guilty of throwing the phrase around as well. Running any monitor at 30Hz gives a horrendously laggy experience just because the refresh rate is so low. But as per my previous paragraph this is a 60Hz monitor via HDMI or DP (suitable revisions used), so that person just connected it up incorrectly and that’s not a limitation specific to this monitor.October 19, 2020 at 8:53 pm #61675ObeyyEvan
Hello Everyone im glad I came across this forum!
So after reading a bunch of these posts im still not sure on what monitor to get for the PS5. Im guessing theres no need for 4k right now. Because im looking for good frame rates with a good picture that will be able to support the console.
Any help would be great because I am very new to all the terms used in this forum. But I would love to get a good gaming monitor that can keep up.
Im looking for anything in the 24-27inch display.October 19, 2020 at 10:01 pm #61686PCM2
I’d stress an important point made in our article on console gaming monitors. And that is that modern games consoles like the PS5 are essentially mid-range PCs, with a few added restrictions due to hardware used. So you essentially have three main paths:
1) 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) at 120Hz+. The PS5 supports 120Hz, but to take advantage of that you need a suitable frame rate – you’re most likely to get that in games at the Full HD resolution but not above that. Models like the Acer XB253Q GP, AOC 24G2(U) and AOC C24G1 are key ones to consider, depending on your personal preferences.
2) 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD) at 60Hz. Future monitors (edit: now current monitors such as these ones) will offer HDMI 2.1 which could potentially grant VRR support to the PS5 (mentioned in the article) and also allow ‘4K’ and high refresh rates to be used simultaneously. But realistically you should expect 60fps at most with a PS5 or even the slightly more powerful Xbox Series X in most cases. Dynamic resolution scaling is commonly used in ‘new generation’ console games so a 3840 x 2160 signal can be used and the rendering resolution lowered to improve performance and potentially target 120fps. Our own recommendations at this resolution are covered in various threads of the forum (e.g. general thread and ~32″ thread) and made clear in the recommendations section.
3) 2560 x 1440 (WQHD) at 120Hz+. This one’s primarily for the Xbox side, because the PS5 doesn’t support ‘1440p’ (2560 x 1440 or WQHD) output. It’s an interesting middle ground for Xbox Series X users between the more demanding ‘4K’ resolution and easier to drive ‘1080p’.* Even on the PS5, this path would potentially allow you to choose between 1920 x 1080 @120Hz or 3840 x 2160 @60Hz depending on the game. Of course it would be a bit of a compromise compared to either an actual Full HD monitor or an actual UHD monitor, but it would allow you to get some enjoyment from both resolution and refresh rate combinations. You’d need to look for a model with good interpolation performance so the Full HD resolution is displayed reasonably well and you’d also need a model that can use a ‘4K’ signal – in other words, offers a ‘4K’ downsampling mode. The BenQ EX2780Q is our current recommendation and it ticks these boxes. Models with LG’s Nano IPS panels could also be considered, sacrificing contrast for stronger pixel responsiveness. Or competing models with AUO panels. The key contenders are covered in this thread. Or if you prefer strong contrast from VA models, the 27″ options and ~32″ options both have their own dedicated threads.
*The recent Xbox models support 2560 x 1440 @120Hz which appears to be a popular option for such systems as it is with PC gamers. It would also mean you could consider models like the AOC CQ27G2(U) as you don’t need to rely on a monitor that supports ‘4K’ downsampling (this one doesn’t).October 20, 2020 at 9:46 pm #61700gunner7
PC Monitors, you do a great job of providing accurate information for us to learn from; I appreciate it!
I want to purchase a gaming monitor for the series X, and was hoping you could recommend me some of the best monitors. I play competitive fps and would like a 1080p 24-25″ that is super low in response time and input lag at 100-120 fps. I am torn between the 2020 IPS 240hz monitors or a little older TN 144hz or 240hz. Any advise would be great. Almost all esports pros still play on TN panels from what I can tell.October 20, 2020 at 10:01 pm #61702PCM2
I appreciate the kind words. Competitive gamers will largely go with what they know or what they are given by their sponsors. Highly responsive TN models are nothing new, but highly responsive IPS-type alternatives are. BenQ ZOWIE are a major sponsor of E-Sports events and their models are popular. They only have TN models and some of their newer models are certainly very responsive with good strobe backlight settings to boot. But I frequently engage with competitive gamers and they’re generally very happy with the 24.5″ models using AUO AHVA panels competitively speaking – professional E-Sports players will come around eventually, but only when their sponsors and in some cases egos allow. 😉
My recommendation for a highly responsive monitor for the Xbox Series X is the Acer XB253Q GP. It’s admittedly best tuned for 144Hz, but works well at 120Hz. We specifically compare it to the the ViewSonic XG240R in the review (albeit at 144Hz) and you can see that there’s really not a huge amount separating the two when it comes to responsiveness. But a lot when it comes to colour quality. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need or will notice a more responsive experience than that, even if you play competitively. But if you really only care about responsiveness and nothing else then go for the ViewSonic instead. There’s no reason to go for a 240Hz model, the Acer XB253Q GP will give you a similar 120Hz experience and you’d just be wasting your money going for a 240Hz alternative and running it at 120Hz.October 21, 2020 at 7:24 am #61704gunner7
Thanks so much! I am leaning towards the ViewSonic if I went with a TN panel, and for IPS, either the XB253Q or AW2521HF. Since the game I play is crossplay so I compete against some PC players with around 200 fps, should I prioritize an extremely low input lag monitor to give me a little edge? and which is a stand out in this department? I wouldn’t mind spending a little more on a 240hz to future proof a little in case I switch to PC in the near future.
I forgot to mention that I was originally looking at the AW25 because of the Freesync Premium, since the series X supports Freesync 2. Do you think Freesync over HDMI is all I need, or will I see a competitive advantage with a 2020 IPS in this regard?October 21, 2020 at 7:36 am #61713PCM2
All of those models offer a very similar and imperceptibly low signal delay at high refresh rates. That is the element of input lag you ‘feel’. The super-tight pixel responses of the XG240R are still worth considering if you want every edge you can get, but I’m not convinced you’d actually benefit compared to the snappy IPS-type alternatives mentioned here. It’s too subjective to say for sure, but the margins are really so slight. Your skill will determine your success rather than one monitor or the other in this case. Another model that performs well (same panel as the Acer and well tuned for 120Hz) is the EX2510 (or larger EX2710). I consider the Acer better for 144Hz due to how it’s tuned and I’m more comfortable recommending products I’ve tried myself, but the BenQ is slightly cheaper and user and reviewer feedback so far suggests it would be a good model for fluid gaming. And it defintitely supports FreeSync via HDMI (due to certification confirming this for certain – see below). If you feel it’s likely that you’ll go for a gaming PC in the future then the AW2521HF becomes easier to justify as an alternative – in the meantime, it provides a good solid 120Hz performance and will certainly allow FreeSync over HDMI.
The ‘FreeSync Premium’ certification isn’t necessarily important and ‘FreeSync 2’ is a deprecated standard now replaced by ‘FreeSync Premium Pro’ (which includes HDR capability, no matter how basic it is). Since Nvidia added ‘G-SYNC Compatible Mode’ to their drivers, which simply requires a monitor supports Adaptive-Sync, a lot of monitors will advertise that instead of FreeSync. That’s because more PC gamers have Nvidia GPUs and manufacturers aren’t allowed to have a monitor officially certified for FreeSync and ‘G-SYNC Compatible Mode’. There are certainly barriers to what they can market – for example, ‘FreeSync Premium’ and the FreeSync logo is not to be used alongside the ‘G-SYNC’ logo. If you see any monitor with ‘G-SYNC Compatible Mode’ it means it supports Adaptive-Sync and therefore FreeSync.
This is certainly the case via DP and I’ve been working on the assumption that it’s the case over HDMI as well. That’s because only the OG FreeSync monitors (hello, 2015) would support FreeSync via DisplayPort only – I don’t think we’ve gone back to a state where FreeSync would be available via DP but not HDMI. However maybe I’m wrong with this assumption, I simply don’t know for certain at this stage. I can’t remember if I explicitly tested FreeSync over HDMI on the XB253Q GP or whether I was working on the assumption that it would support it – I review in so much detail and only have limited time with each monitor, so sometimes things like that get missed out during testing. The number of things I need to assess as a reviewer has increased massively over the years, but the time I typically have to produce the reviews has not changed. 😉 I may have quickly plugged it into my AMD GPU via HDMI and checked FreeSync was useable, but I can’t remember now if I definitely did that. As a PC gamer it’s not really relevant so I suppose I haven’t given it much thought or a high priority to test, but it’s definitely something I’ll check for future monitors.
Edit: It seems the XB253Q GP might not support FreeSync via HDMI – see this post.October 21, 2020 at 8:34 am #61716PCM2
This isn’t relevant for you specifically, gunner7, but certainly for users who are interested in a mixture of image quality and responsiveness for more casual play on the Xbox Series X. One of the models I intend to review in the not too distant future is the Acer XB323U GP. On paper at least it seems very well-suited to immersive PC and ‘next gen’ console gaming with a decent level of HDR support, large screen, decent resolution and refresh rate all rolled in with an IPS-type panel. Whilst I assume FreeSync will work over HDMI (as the monitor has Adaptive-Sync and that’s generally how things work), I don’t yet know for certain. I’ll definitely check – I know this doesn’t help you out, but sometimes things like this which cause confusion amongst users can cause a real headache for us reviewers as well!October 24, 2020 at 7:57 pm #61804gunner7
I decided to go with the XG240R to fit my needs, but a concern I have is it is only HDMI 1.4 and I was wondering if this matters for next generation consoles – I will only be playing competitive at 1080p at 120fps, so 4k doesn’t apply to my needs. Other people are probably also wondering this same thing, and there seems to be a lot of misleading information regarding this. I’ve read for console gaming, you will need at least 2.0, and have also read before that you will have to have it for 1080p 120hz, but I was hoping you could confirm what is actually correct. Does HDMI 1.4 offer all we need for max performance out of the xbox series x at 120hz? Thanks so much!October 24, 2020 at 7:59 pm #61807PCM2
I can see there is confusion about this from recent comments I’ve received on my YouTube channel and by email. HDMI 1.4 supports the full capability of the XG240R as covered in the review and there would be no benefit whatsoever from the monitor having HDMI 2.0. HDMI is fully backwards compatible and if a relatively recent monitor has HDMI 1.4 it’s almost invariably because it has no need for a higher revision. The XG240R can run 1920 x 1080 @120Hz via HDMI 1.4 even if the GPU (or console) supports HDMI 2.0/2.1.October 28, 2020 at 7:52 am #61825gunner7
Thanks for the explanation. I purchased and received the XG240R from your Amazon referral link and tried it out today. I changed my X1X to 120hz and went to the monitor’s OSD to change it to “Fast” per your recommendation. I am wondering about the AMD Freesync, as even if I enable it “on”, the top of the OSD menu in larger letters says Freesync “OFF”. Did you experience this also? or is it just because I’m using it with the 1X – I did notice you can’t enable VRR if you select 120hz in the xbox settings. I read on the Blurbusters forum that “Your optimal XB1 settings is 1080p + 120Hz + Variable Refresh enabled (FreeSync). That will lower lag of even 60fps games too.” I suppose I’m mainly confused because I thought this monitor supports HDMI-VRR with a range of 144hz – 20hz, and LFC, so I’m wondering if Freesync adds value being on. For playing on the 1X, Should I enable Freesync on my monitor, even if it shows “off”? and for the upcoming series X, should I also turn it on, or just enable VRR in the consoles settings?October 28, 2020 at 7:55 am #61828PCM2
FreeSync would need to be on in the monitor and console settings, if that’s not possible then I’m not sure why that would be. There seem to be some people suggesting you can’t actually use FreeSync at 120Hz on the Xbox One X, only at 60Hz. If you don’t notice stuttering or find it bothersome (the consoles use VSync when FreeSync isn’t in use) then frankly there’s no point worrying about the technology anyway. You can see what my unit said in our OSD video. It was a long time since I used the XG240R, but it said ‘ON’ for FreeSync when it was enabled in the monitor, connected via DP and running at 144Hz at least.November 4, 2020 at 10:44 am #61888Jsnip
PC Monitors thank you for the informative content.
Im hoping you can clear something up for me: Im looking to get the PS5, I play games like Demons Souls, Witcher 3 and Farcy (so not competitive fast paced First Person Shooter). I understand that these games wont make it past 60FPS. I would like the best image quality I can get (and a good certification of HDR if possible) so I was thinking of getting a 4k 60Hz monitor. But of course smooth gameplay is important as well.
My question is – will a monitor with a higher refresh rate (eg 144Hz) actually benefit me on 60FPS? And therefore should I scale down to 2560×1440 if the smoother gameplay is worth the drop in image quality? Can a high refresh rate actually make a game smoother with the game capped at 60FPS?
I have also been looking at PPI. 4k 32inch gets me 140 PPI and 2560×1440 27 inch gets me 108 PPI. Will this difference in image quality be noticeable? I dont want to go lower than 27inch.
Also by the way I understand that VESA HDR 400 certification is a waste of time, is it true that I need VESA 600 or nothing ?
Thank you so muchNovember 4, 2020 at 10:58 am #61890PCM2
To see or ‘feel’ the benefits of a high refresh rate monitor, you need a frame rate that matches. For the PS5 you can’t use a 144Hz signal, you’d be restricted to 120Hz maximum – but if the game is running at 60fps maximum then you may as well have a 60Hz monitor instead. You will see in our FreeSync or G-SYNC sections of reviews that we talk about the fact low frame rates are low frame rates regardless of the technology being active or not. And that there’s a drop off in ‘connected feel’ and increase in perceived blur as the frame rate drops. Whilst you can’t use G-SYNC or (so I’ve been told) FreeSync on the PS5, the drop off in ‘connected feel’ and increase in perceived blur that accompanies drops in frame rate is there all the same. Having a high monitor refresh rate without a suitably high frame rate doesn’t help there.
The difference in pixel density (PPI) is subjective and depends on your eyesight and viewing distance. I’d recommend reading suitable sections of some of our reviews of ~32″ ‘4K’ UHD models (example) as we specifically mention the advantage compared to a model with lower pixel density. This would include a 27″ WQHD model. We also mention that the overall look is quite similar to a ~27″ ‘4K’ UHD model – so the analysis provided in this article also applies. But these are observations made when sitting ~70 – 80cm from the screen from people with a keen eye for detail and strong eyesight. Mileage may vary if these factors are different. You also need to be aware that this lovely detail largely disappears during motion, especially with 60fps in mind. On some games where you spend less time admiring the scenery the differences aren’t necessarily so important. It isn’t like 2560 x 1440 on a 27″ (or even ~32″ model for that matter) is a poor pixel density, either, there are still some nice details you can enjoy if you like admiring the scenery in your games.
With respect to VESA DisplayHDR 400, I wouldn’t say it’s useless. Not all models at that level are made equal. Take the ViewSonic XG270QC for example, which delivers higher luminance than is required for that certification level as well as a wider colour gamut. It also puts both things into practice in a rather dynamic way. The Acer XB253Q GP offers the same VESA DisplayHDR 400 ‘level’ but has a much worse colour gamut, lower peak luminance and doesn’t even use Dynamic Contrast – so dark scenes appear quite flooded. The key advantage of the VESA DisplayHDR 600 level isn’t just higher luminance but local dimming. Yet like VESA DisplayHDR 400, there are good and bad implementations. It’s why we spend so long exploring the HDR performance on monitors. I don’t like it when reviewers simply dismiss VESA DisplayHDR 400 as ‘useless’ or state the level of support and a few basic specifications without detailed testing. That isn’t enough to give you a good picture of the HDR performance of a monitor, as the likes of the ViewSonic XG270QC demonstrate.November 4, 2020 at 9:41 pm #61891Jsnip
Thank you for the detailed reply
I didnt realise the PS5 wont support Freesync. Do you think a TV with VRR would be better ? But I suppose its not an issue when the game is 60FPS and the refresh rate 60 Hz, although a lot of RPGs still run on 30FPS..
Lastly I know HDR and resolution are different and have different impacts but would you say a 2560×1440 monitor like the ViewSonic XG270QC is preferable with its good HDR performance over a 4k monitor with mediocre HDR performance? Or vice versa?
Thank youNovember 4, 2020 at 9:46 pm #61893PCM2
Not everyone is sensitive enough to tearing and stuttering for a VRR technology to be a big deal. And indeed if the frame rate matches the monitor refresh rate then it’s not going to be an issue anyway. Monitors will eventually offer HDMI 2.1 as something of a standard, which allows VRR to be used on the PS5. But they’re not there just yet. I’m not absolutely certain that the PlayStation 5 won’t support FreeSync, it’s something Sony are being rather coy about and the assumption is it won’t be supported – but I’m not entirely sure. We’ll know soon enough. 30fps to me feels horrible and juddery in games even with VRR in play. It’s nicer to have it than not, but 30fps is still a very low frame rate and looks and feels that way – again, subjective. It’s easy for me to say that as a PC gamer who is used to triple digit frame rates, of course.
Your second question is very subjective and something you’d have to decide for yourself. It might partly come down to how far you’re sitting from the monitor. Because the pixel density difference might not be so easy to notice if you’re sitting some distance from the monitor. But if you find yourself enjoying using HDR where possible then it’s something you could enjoy even from a distance, so a decent HDR implementation as seen on the XG270QC could be worthwhile.November 6, 2020 at 7:00 am #61907Anonymous
I am wondering if somebody can give me some advice, I need a new monitor for my next-gen Xbox coming next week, I play mainly fps games and I have chosen two monitors which are within my budget. The first is the Asus vg27aq and the second is the Asus xg27wq, The VG27AQ is an IPS monitor and the XG27WQ is a VA monitor which is curved.
Which of these two monitors would you suggest? I did have a third selected but it’s not in stock the dell s2721dgf. I know these aren’t 4k but I am happy gaming on 2k (mod edit: avoid this term). I play a lot of competitive games. I can build computers and such but monitors have always been a weak point for me. In the last generation I bought a freesync monitor for my one X and found out freesync was only available through the display port.
Any advice is welcome.
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