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Top 5 1440p Gaming Monitors

AOC Agon AG241QX
Best Choice

AOC Agon AG241QX

4.9

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ASUS PG279QZ
Premium Pick

ASUS PG279QZ

4.7

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Dell U2518D
Best Value

Dell U2518D

4.5

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With everything being about 4k these days, 1440p has almost been forgotten, like some kind of middle-child. It’s a shame because 1440p still offers a considerable improvement over 1080p, and without having to empty your bank account on expensive 4k monitors, and the graphics cards needed to run them.

So that’s my message to you today: don’t treat 1440p like the black sheep of the family, and if you’re looking for an upgrade to your 1080p set-up, maybe consider an upgrade to 1440p instead of 4k.

So, what are the best 1440p gaming monitors? 🖥️ 🤔

Best Choice: AOC Agon AG241QX

Pros & Cons

  • 144Hz refresh rate
  • Good response time
  • TN panel
  • Freesync only useful for those with AMD GPUs

Specifications:

  • Screen Size: 23.8"
  • Panel Type: TN
  • Refresh Rate: 144Hz
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Response Time: 1ms
  • Features: Freesync

AOC Agon AG241QX Review

Ok, so maybe you don’t have nearly $700 to spend on a gaming monitor, but still want to get 1440p. That’s where the AOC Agon AG241QX comes in.

Since it’s roughly half the price of the ASUS PG279QZ you do obviously miss out on a few features. For starters, the AOC Agon doesn’t come with an IPS panel, but with a TN instead, meaning you don’t get the same viewing angle and color range. You also don’t get up to 165Hz like, but rather “only” 144Hz (which isn’t bad at all, by the way).

Even though this can be considered to be a smaller screen, a great 24-inch monitor should be more enough for most gamers. Furthermore, it has a pretty high pixel density, so everything will look crisp and quite detailed.

That being said, high pixel density on smaller screens means that menus and text tend to be smaller, so you’re likely going to have to increase the scaling a little bit. Luckily, the color gamut is pretty good, at around 97% sRGB, which more than most monitors at this price range.

In terms of connectivity, you have a bunch of options; One Displayport 1.2, two HDMI 2.0s, one DVI, one VGA, and one jack each for headphones and microphone. Not really sure why they included the VGA... or the DVI come to think of it, considering that if you’re spending this much dough on a screen, you probably have a higher-end GPU. Either way, it’s there if you need it.

At this point, I’d also like to mention the little pull-out bar it has because I don’t think I’ve ever seen this on a monitor before. Basically, it’s meant as a place to rest your headphones. Again, not sure about this design decision, especially since I wouldn’t risk the headphones accidentally scratching the screen.

So yes, this monitor does have some weird inclusions, but overall it’s actually a great monitor for 1440p gaming, especially if you’re on a budget. It has a lot of features packed into it, from the useful to the not so useful, so you can’t fault it for trying.  If you're interested in seeing more 27" monitors, check our article on the best 27-inch gaming monitors.

Premium Pick: ASUS PG279QZ

Pros & Cons

  • 165Hz (with overclock)
  • Fully Adjustable, and with VESA mounts
  • Not calibrated out of the box

Specifications:

  • Screen Size: 27”
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Refresh Rate: Up to 165Hz
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Response Time: 4ms
  • Features: G-Sync

ASUS PG279QZ Review

Asus has made quite a name for itself within the gaming sphere and for good reason, they’re hardware is pretty awesome.

But let’s not focus on the brand and actually focus on the screen for a moment. The PG279QZ comes with an IPS screen, with some of the best color gamut and accuracy in the business. Unfortunately, though, it does suffer from IPS glow (a side-effect of almost all IPS screens), so if you play a lot of dark games, or in a dark environment, it can get a bit annoying.

Other than that niggle though, the screen has some great features, starting with the refresh rate, which can go up to 165Hz if you overclock it within the monitor’s menu. It also features G-sync, a useful feature to have, although with high refresh rates not as needed and it would have been about a hundred dollars cheaper without it.

Also, there is a little bit of screen tearing, but the ASUS PG279QZ has some features to counteract that such as Nvidia's backlight strobing in the form of the ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur).

Connectivity is reasonable, with one DP, one HDMI, one USB 3.0 and one headphone jack. The screen also comes with a couple of speakers, but nobody ever cared about monitor speakers. Oh, and speaking of the back of the monitor, you’ll be happy to know that this one comes with a VESA mount, and is fully adjustable in all degrees.

All in all, the ASUS PG279QZ is a great screen, even though it suffers from a couple of minor issues. The quality of the color representation also means that you can absolutely do image editing work, along with your normal gaming stuff. Sure it’s a bit expensive, but the versatility and quality all around are worth it if you're here for a high-quality gaming monitor.

Best Value: Dell U2518D

Pros & Cons

  • Cheap for a 1440p monitor
  • Great adjustability
  • HDR isn’t very useful due to brightness
  • Not many features

Specifications:

  • Screen Size: 25"
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Response Time: 5ms
  • Features: HDR

Dell U2518D Review

Gaming on a budget isn’t so bad, and if you’re looking for a screen below $300, the Dell U2518D isn’t a bad choice.

Interestingly enough, this is the only monitor from the previous few that actually has HDR, although it’s usefulness is somewhat suspect. That’s mostly due to the fact that the peak brightness on HDR is good, but not good enough to really get the effect across.

That being said, the screen is bright, even compared to the previous monitors, so it’s great for use in dark environments.

Overall screen performance is good though with about 98% sRGB coverage and very little to no color bleeding. Unfortunately clouding and IPS glow is pretty strong here, so watching darker content might be an issue for you. Contrast is also not that great, although middle-of-the-road in terms of IPS screens.

Aside from that, it’s a pretty standard fare for a monitor in this category. Connectivity is good with HDMI 2.0, Displayport 1.2 in, Displayport 1.2 out, Mini Displayport 1.2, USB 3.0 upstream, two USB 3.0 downstream (one of them with charging capacity) and finally a headphone jack.

As you can see, there’s actually more connectivity than the previous monitors on this list, especially if you’re prone to connecting stuff to your monitor, rather than directly to your PC.

Finally, I will point out that the 60Hz refresh rate is really not that great for a gaming monitor. Given how common it is not to see 100Hz+ monitors, I’m puzzled by the lack of inclusion, although I’d hazard a guess that it’s designed that way to bring the price down.

At the end of the day though, this is a good monitor for the price you’re paying. I would have preferred to see it without HDR which would have further brought the price down, or replacing it with a higher refresh rate. Nonetheless, if you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to get a 2k screen, this is the one you should probably aim for.

If you're interested in seeing more great budget options, check our article on the best budget gaming monitors.

Best Ultrawide: Dell Alienware AW3418DW

Pros & Cons

  • Great out of the box calibration
  • Jam-packed with features
  • Very fast screen
  • Very expensive

Specifications:

  • Screen Size: 34"
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Refresh Rate: 120Hz (overclocked)
  • Aspect Ratio: 21:9
  • Response Time: 4ms
  • Features: Gsync

Dell Alienware AW3418DW Review

Widescreen gaming has really started to come of age, so not including it in an article like this is just pure folly.

As you’d expect from Alienware, the screen is actually pretty great. The panel is IPS, which means great viewing angles as well as roughly 99% of the sRGB spectrum. The fast response rate coupled with G-sync, means you get very little screen tearing or ghosts. This performance is mirrored in the response rate, with minimal lag ensuring optimal gaming speed.

Unfortunately, the Alienware AW3418DW does suffer from IPS glow, much like other panels of its nature. It also tends to perform better with greys vs blacks, so again, if you play a lot of dark games, this might cause an issue for you at some point. This issue is exacerbated by the fact that it doesn’t use local dimming, probably to make the motions on the screen much smoother.

Screen build is amazing, as should be expected of Alienware stuff, although it does have a lack of rotation adjustability, which probably doesn’t mean much for widescreen. It does have VESA mounts though, which is a very big positive. Finally, it does come with LED lights on the back, but it’s a bit of a mixed bag, especially if you were expecting lots of different effects.

The Dell Alienware AW3418DW is a top-notch machine with a few minor issues here and there. Great out of the box calibration means that you don’t have to waste a lot of time finicking about with settings. Oh, and of course it has some of the best performance you’ll find on a monitor...that part’s important.

If you're interested in seeing more ultrawide options, check out our article on the best ultrawide gaming monitors.

Best Budget Curved: Dell U3417W

Pros & Cons

  • Great dark performance
  • Smooth motion
  • High input lag

Specifications:

  • Screen Size: 34"
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
  • Aspect Ratio: 21:9
  • Response Time:
  • 5 ms (typical) for FAST mode
  • 8 ms (typical) for NORMAL mode
  • Features: Freesync

Dell U3417W Review

Alright, so maybe not everybody has a thousand dollars to spend on a monitor. If you’ve been considering the first monitor on the list, the ASUS PG279QZ, but would like a widescreen option, this might be the monitor for you.

Of course, even though the price is the same, we’re talking about different technologies, so you do take a hit. For example, rather than an overclocked 165Hz on the Asus, the Dell U3417W only has 60Hz, which is pretty low for a gaming monitor. Similarly, the response rate is higher, even in fast mode at 5ms, vs the 4ms for the Asus monitor.

Thankfully, those two are the main compromises you have to make going from one screen to the other.

Interestingly, this screen goes with a VA panel, rather than an IPS or a TN one, which would probably explain the refresh rate. Thankfully, the picture quality is great, with coverage of roughly 95% of the sRGB, and a pixel density that’s only slightly lower than the Dell U2518D.

Unfortunately, you do get the same clouding as you do with IPS glow, so it seems the panel choice didn’t help there at all.

Finally, I really do need to call out the adjustability, which is abysmal. Tilt angle isn’t that great, and neither is height adjustability, which means you might not find a comfortable position for it unless you’re easy to please.

All that being said though, you’re actually getting a lot of value for your money. Widescreen monitors are expensive, as you can tell from this one and the previous one, so the hefty price tag is worth it. Whether you should go for the Dell U3417W or the ASUS PG279QZ, that’s a big matter of preference.

If you're interested in seeing more curved options, check out our article on the best curved gaming monitors.


1440p Gaming Monitors: Buying Guide

A lot of what your decision will be based on depends on what games you play. You don’t really need a super-high refresh rate and super low response times if you’re playing MMOs, or games that don’t require a high frame rate. While I won’t go into deep technical details, here are some of the general things you should keep in mind.

Panel Type

Panels tend to come in three varieties: TN (Twisted Nematic), IPS (In-Plane Switching) and VA (Vertical Alignment).

TN panels are the first panels that were commercially available. They’re relatively inexpensive and they can have high refresh rates, but their viewing angles are abysmal. Generally speaking, this panel type is great for FPS games on 24”-27” monitors, where viewing angles aren’t as important and refresh rates are.

IPS panels were created as a response to TN panel’s poor viewing angles and color reproduction. Of course, the downside is that they suffer from lower native refresh rates, with most IPS panels tending to overclock to get comparable numbers to TN panels.

ips vs va panel

For the most part, IPS panels are great for big, beautiful AAA games, where colors are vibrant and refresh rates aren’t important. IPS panels are also the standard for image editing work, so if you do a lot of that as well, this is a good option.

VA panels were created to be the middle ground between TN and IPS. They have better color reproduction than TN panels, higher refresh rates than IPS, and the highest contrast ratios of all three, which is great for HDR. Unfortunately, VA panels have terrible response rates. This is a good option if you don’t play a lot of games and would prefer something for general use.

Refresh Rate

As you’ve probably fathered, refresh rates tend to play a big part in monitor choice and the technologies behind them. Refresh rates dictate how many frames per second your monitor can handle, with each 1Hz equalling one frame per second. So 60Hz means that you get 60 frames per second.

The lowest refresh rate you’re going to find for a gaming monitor is 60Hz, with the highest being 175Hz. Generally speaking, 120Hz-144Hz is the sweet spot, with 144Hz native being the ideal. Any refresh above 144Hz tends to be a bit overkill, but it can actually help with having a smoother overall experience, and if you have money to burn through, then aiming for a screen with a higher refresh rate than you want is a good idea.

refresh rate

Of course, the big downside of higher refresh rates is that they need more powerful graphics cards to run.

Response Time

While this may sound similar to refresh rate, it isn’t. Response time deals with how long each individual pixel takes to go from one color to another. While there’s a whole technical field and arguments behind how it’s measured and how it works, what you need to know is that the lower the number, the better.

Adaptive Sync

Adaptive sync is the category of monitor technology that deals with synchronizing your monitor’s frame with your GPU. You might know it better from it’s two biggest types: FreeSync and Gsync.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need a Gaming Monitor with a High Response Time?

Not necessarily and in fact, anything at or below 10ms is good. While most e-sports pros aim for 1ms response time, for the majority of people it won’t really make a difference. This is even more so the case if you play online games where you might have a high ping. If you have a ping of 10ms, and the screen response time is 1ms, then those 9ms are basically not being used, so why spend the extra money for a faster screen?

Do I Need a Gaming Monitor with Adaptive-Sync?

This really depends on the specific monitor, but I would say if you have a screen that’s at 144Hz or higher, it becomes less important. The thing is that Adaptive-Sync raises the price of monitors, and in the case of Gsync, it’s around $100 extra. Unless you’re going for the ultimate experience, 144Hz without any adaptive sync isn’t bad at all.

Although, having 175Hz with Gsync would be crazy, overkill and awesome. I don’t even think there are any screens that can do both.

Is 2k the Same as 1440p?

Yes, in colloquial usage it is, but from a technical perspective that you don’t need to get it into (and nobody except tech nerds uses), a 2k screen isn’t exactly 1440p.

Just to clear up any confusion though, 1440p refers to the vertical resolution of the screen, whereas it doesn’t make any assumptions on the horizontal resolution. So a widescreen can have a horizontal resolution of 3440 and a non-widescreen could have a horizontal resolution of 2560, but both their vertical resolutions are the same at 1440.

Lenovo Legion Y27gq 1440p 240Hz G-Sync Monitor

People tend to shorthand 2k for 1440p though, because the majority of screens aren’t wide-screen, and the horizontal resolution is higher than 2k (2560 to be exact).

Are 1440p Monitors Good for Gaming?

Absolutely, and are basically one step up from 1080p. That being said, a higher resolution means needing a more powerful graphics card, so don’t expect to just buy a higher resolution monitor and still get the same graphical performance.

Is a Bigger Monitor Better for Gaming?

That depends a lot on personal preference, but I would say that anything at or between 24”-27” is perfect. Smaller than 24” and it detracts from the immersion, and anything above 27” means your eyes are going to travel a lot across the screen to see the information you need.


Conclusion

As you can see, 1440p gaming doesn’t have to empty your wallet while still offering a reasonably good upgrade to your 1080p rig. Granted, 2k may be out in 3-4 years, but until then, why not enjoy it while it lasts?

Otherwise, if you’re super dead set on the highest resolution possible, then why not check out the best 4k gaming monitors, reviewed by the talented Tim White.

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Albert Bassili
Written by Albert Bassili

Albert’s been a gamer for about as long as he can remember. Ever since then, Albert has been hooked on games, even going as far as doing his bloody best to work on the game industry, whether it’s writing articles, or writing game stories. In between gaming, he also really loves to check up on the latest tech news and see what awesome stuff humanity has come up with. Favorite Games: Dune II, MGS 1, FF X, Mass Effect 2

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