The Best 4K Gaming Monitors 2019

It’s quite fun, as a PC gamer, to watch console fans raving on about 4K and 60Hz. It’s the newest and coolest technique and is exclusive to the latest and most expensive consoles, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One X. Over on the PC side, 60Hz has been a standard for years and 4K have existed for 4-5 years as well. While 4K gaming monitors is not a standard for PC gamers, there is a lot of them and they have existed a few years as well. 

If I stop talking trash about consoles for a second (#PCmasterrace after all) and talk about those 4K gaming monitors I mentioned, we can have a much better discussion. 4K is about to be the standard for TVs and for computers, it’s only a matter of time before 4K is more standardized than Full HD. It might take some years but that is where I believe we are headed. So, if you want to futureproof and you want a new gaming monitor, purchasing a 4K monitor might not be such a bad idea. 

The big problem with 4K monitors, when it comes to games at least, is that we are stuck on 60Hz, for now. 2019 is supposed to be the year where we can get ahold of 4K gaming monitors with a higher refresh rate, but we are not there yet. 

In this guide, I’ve focused on finding the best 4K gaming monitors that you can find on the market today. In my own belief, I think I nailed it pretty good. There are 4K monitors with support for G-Sync and FreeSync, which is a necessity for gamers if they want to get rid of screen tearing and have a smoother gaming experience. There are 4K gaming monitors with IPS panels that will give you better viewing angles and handle colors better. All of these features can be found on these monitors. We are, after all, looking at the best 4K gaming monitors.

Short Introduction to 4K

4K is still a big buzzword for many consumers. Yet, many PC gamers and PC enthusiasts have been watching the market grow into 4K more and more during the latest years. It’s just now that other start to realize that 4K exist. But it is something that is worth having? One can wonder…

All monitors have a resolution. Essentially, it’s how many pixels that the display has. For years, we have had Full HD, which is 1920 pixels wide and 1080 high. That means that a Full HD monitor does have 1920 by 1080 = 2 073 600 pixels. That is a lot and has been the standard for years. There are hundreds of Full HD monitors on the market, many with extra features such as high refresh rate. 

4K is a much bigger resolution. The resolution is 3840×2160, which is four times as many pixels as a Full HD monitor. This means that there are 8 294 400 pixels on a 4K monitor. What the manufacturers are doing is basically adding 6 million more pixels to the displays. This will increase the pixel density a lot and that, in turn, means that the image will be much sharper. 

A 4K monitor is able to provide much more details and give a much sharper image on the display since it has all those extra pixels. This is the most significant change to 4K. If you spend some time with a 4K monitor, all Full HD monitors will look blurry to you and that’s because they don’t have that sharpness that 4K provides.

4K monitors are also able to handle colors in a better way. Since there are more pixels, it’s easier for the monitor to change from one color to another on the same image. If you have a 4K picture of a tree, for example, you can see many different variants of green on the leaves than on a Full HD monitor since the transition between colors is much more detailed and subtle. 

The third benefit to 4K is that you can have bigger displays. 4K is not just for gaming monitors but is very common on TVs as well. Having a 65-inch showing 8 million pixels versus 2 million is quite the difference. I am sure that this is something you have seen when you have visited an electronic store in recent years, how sharp the images are on the TVs. That’s because most of them have 4K resolution. 

But with a higher resolution, there are also problems. First and foremost, you will need a really good graphics card if you want to play games at 4K. There is a lot of pixels that need to be pushed and the only graphics card that can handle 4K at 60Hz today is the GTX 1080Ti, which cost more than my first car did (an old Volvo that I bought for $600). 

To make everything more confusing, there is also two versions of 4K. First, there is the consumer standard of 4K, which is 3840×2160 with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The 16:9 aspect ratio is the same as Full HD and that’s why the consumer version isn’t really true 4K. True 4K can only be found in the film industry and that resolution is 4096×2160. The aspect ratio is 256:135 and it’s mostly used for movies. There are some monitors with this resolution, but they are few. 

Top 5 Best 4K Gaming Monitors

We are still in the first generation of 4K gaming monitors. This means that there is no 4K monitor with a higher refresh rate than 60Hz unfortunately. It’s said that 2019 is the year where we will see HDR, 144Hz, and 4K in the same monitor but until then, this is what we have. 

There aren’t many 4K gaming monitors out there yet but there is a few and not all of them live up to the term “gaming monitor”. We have selected 5 monitors that we believe is great gaming monitors at 4K. They include G-Sync/FreeSync for smoother gaming and is using IPS (or equivalent) panels for a good display. They may cost you a small fortune, but I guess you are already aware of this if you are ready to purchase a 4K gaming monitor. But with that said, let’s take a look at the top 5 best 4K gaming monitors.

Asus ROG Switft PG27UQ Acer Predator X27 Acer Predator XB321HK LG Electronics 27UD68 HP Envy 27s
Screen Size 27" 27" 32" 27" 27"
Resolution 3840x2160 3840x2160 3840x2160 3840x2160 3840x2160
Refresh Rate 144Hz 165Hz 60Hz 60Hz 60Hz
Response Time (GtG) 4ms 4ms 4ms 5ms 5ms
Brightness 1000 cd/m² 1000 cd/m² 350 cd/m² 350 cd/m² 350 cd/m²​
Adaptive Sync G-Sync G-Sync G-Sync FreeSync FreeSync
Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ - Powerful & Pretty

Screen Size 27"
Resolution 3840x2160
Panel Type IPS
Refresh Rate 144Hz
Response Time (GtG) 4ms
Brightness 1000 cd/m²
Adaptive Sync G-Sync

It’s time for the big guys to join this list. Since 4K became a thinig in gaming, we have been wanting an IPS, 4K gaming monitors that can do 144Hz. They are now here, and Asus version of this type of monitor is the Swift PG27UQ.

This is a powerful 27” monitor with 4K resolution and does a great job showing colors that are true to life and crisp. Thanks to the G-Sync, gamers will enjoy a smooth experience in any game.

One problem that is really common for gamers to run into is eye strain and eye fatigue thanks to marathon gaming sessions, but this monitor is designed to combat that problem. It features a flicker-free backlighting, as well as impressive blue light filter so that gamers can keep playing without straining their eyes.

Because every player is different, Asus designed this monitor with pivot, swivel, tilt, and even height adjustments. In addition to the Eye Care technology, these features help users play for long periods of time and allows them to get lost in the game.

This means that the monitor is very good also for creative work where color accuracy is in need. It may not be the best but if you are both a creative person and a gamer, the PG27UQ will provide you with both worlds.

Local dimming allows high contrast during all games and makes darker scenes look more natural and less muddy. Since the LED backlight is controlled on 384 different zones, this monitor provides highly nuanced images that are crisp and clear, no matter how bright the game is.

The PG27UQ checks all the boxes. The big problem is the price, this is not a cheap monitor. I would argue that going with the cheaper brother PG227AQ, (click here for full review) is a better choice. But if you want the best gaming monitor, the PG27UQ is the go-to monitor.

Yes, this is something you can find on this monitor.

Yes, it’s possible to do with Asus RGB software called Asus Aura.

Yes and no. It has everything you want but also more that a console can’t take advantage of. However, if you want to get a monitor that will be good for next-gen consoles, this monitor is probably your best bet. Otherwise, going with the Acer Predator 321HK is a better idea in my opinion.

Acer Predator X27 - Fast & Responsive

Screen Size 27"
Resolution 3840x2160
Panel Type IPS
Refresh Rate 144Hz
Responsive Time (GtG) 4ms
Brightness 1000 cd/m²
Adaptive Sync G-Sync

27” is a popular size for gaming monitors and the Acer Predator X27 is no exception. This is Acer’s version of 4K, 144Hz, IPS and G-Sync in one monitor and you will have the same great experience as you would on the Asus monitor above here. Which one is the best? It’s very much up to you which brand you prefer, as both monitors are using the same panel.

The response time of the monitor is 4ms, which is standard for IPS monitors with high resolution. You’re not going to experience any ghosting at 4ms, and this is as good as it gets right now.

In addition to the response time, the Predator X27 has a 144Hz refresh rate. This is the big selling point for this monitor. With incredibly bright and realistic colors, as well as fast refreshing and responding, this monitor offers true-to-life gaming that goes beyond what was possible before.

The design of the Predator X27 is a little different from other Predator monitors, which is a breath of fresh, in my own opinion. However, the monitor still has a durable and supportive stand. It rests easily on any desk but can also be wall mounted through the built-in VESA 100×100.

With a peak brightness of 1000 nits, the monitor is HDR-ready, meaning that you can game in HDR (which isn’t something I would recommend at this point in time, there isn’t enough software support). Additionally, there are 384 LED backlight zones that are all individually controlled for best picture.

Gamers appreciate customizing visual settings for their games so that they can enjoy each game to its fullest, and the Predator X27 makes this easy with eight preset display modes. These are designed to optimize visuals on every game quickly, allowing gamers more time playing and less time working with settings.

This is really the new type of gaming monitors that we’ll see more of in 2019 and in the future. A monitor that checks all the boxes. As long as you are ready to pay the price, you will have a great experience. If not, you can still get the non-144Hz Acer Predator XB271HKK (click here for full review) and still get a good gaming experience.

Yes, it is. They are not on my default so you can just skip them if you want.

No, if you want to use G-Sync, 4K, 144Hz and HDR, you will need to use DisplayPort.

The best possible card you can get. A RTX 2080 Ti is recommended but some games will probably be enough with a GTX 1080 Ti. 

Acer Predator XB321HK – A Great 4K Gaming Monitor

Screen Size 32"
Resolution 3840x2160
Panel Type IPS
Refresh Rate 60Hz
Responsive Time (GtG) 4ms
Brightness 350 cd/m²
Adaptive Sync G-Sync

The first thing you notice when you see 4K for the first time is how small everything is. Since the 4K resolution is the same as 4 1080p monitors, all the icons and the text becomes much smaller, so it can fit. Windows 10 is okay at scaling up everything, so you can see what you are doing. However, it kind of destroys the purpose of having a high-resolution monitor. 

That is why I prefer big monitors when it comes to high resolution and the Acer Predator XB321HK is big. At 32”, 4K is much more justified. The monitor is beautiful to look at. When you then start a game, and start walking around and see the environment in 4K, that is when you know you made the right choice. To make it even better, the XB321HK support G-Sync so that you will not notice the frame drops that you are going to get (no matter the graphics card). 

The design is discrete if you remove the legs. I have my monitors on the wall and the only thing that would distract me then is the annoying Predator-brand. What’s wrong with having a simple Acer-logo in the front? If you do not have wall-mounts, the legs will come handy. They are big and take up a lot of space on the desk. It is forgiven since the monitor is huge and will need a strong base to stand on. 

To avoid reflections, manufacturers have anti-glare coating on their monitors. On the XB321HK, I can feel that Acer did a bit much and it is quite irritating the first few moments. However, just as the notch on the iPhone X, it doesn’t take long to grow accustomed to it and a few minutes later you don’t notice it as much. 

Overall, I believe that Acer did most of the things right with this monitor. It’s big, it’s 4K, it’s G-Sync and best of all, it has a beautiful image. The price will leave a big black hole in your wallet but it’s worth it.

No, it’s not possible with this monitor. The highest refresh rate is 60Hz.

No, the monitor support HDCP 1.2

Yes, this monitor supports both. 

LG Electronics 27UD68 – IPS and Sharpness for AMD

Screen Size 27"
Resolution 3840x2160
Panel Type IPS
Refresh Rate 60Hz
Responsive Time (GtG) 5ms
Brightness 350 cd/m²
Adaptive Sync FreeSync

If you are an AMD-fan and are using one of their graphics cards, you will have no use for any of the monitors above. However, 4K, IPS and great gaming aren’t patented by Nvidia (yet). This is where LG steps in with their 27UD68 which features all the above plus FreeSync. 

While LG might not be the biggest manufacturer or gaming monitors, their 27UD68 is, without competition, one of the sharpest and noteworthy 4K FreeSync monitors on the market today. It features many of the same specifications as the other monitors like an IPS panel with vibrant colors, good viewing angles, 60Hz refresh rate and much more. The brightness is a bit more at 350cd/m² which may be good for some types of games. 

Something that is nice to see on the 27UD68 is that it features HDMI 2.0. For some reason, many gaming monitors have DisplayPort 1.2 (which this one also features) but only HDMI 1.4. Having HDMI 2.0 means that you can use HDMI to get 4K at 60Hz. Of course, your graphics card will need HDMI 2.0 as well. You will not be able to use FreeSync over HDMI 2.0 though. 

The stand is the worst part of this monitor. It might look like metal but is in fact, plastic. This is making the stand very flimsy. On top of that, it’s not possible to change the height of the monitor, making it even worse. It has a standard 100×100 VESA mount in the back if you want to replace it or hang it on the wall. For those of you who are using your monitor as a USB-hub, will be sad to hear that there are no USB ports at all on the 27UD68.

No, there is no speakers on this monitor.

Matte. There is a layer of anti-glare coating on it.

No, if you want USB-C, you can look at the LG 27UD88. It has the same features as this one but comes with USB-C as well.

HP Envy 27s - Tear-Free Gaming

Screen Size 27"
Resolution 3840x2160
Panel Type IPS
Refresh Rate 60Hz
Responsive Time (GtG) 5ms
Brightness 350 cd/m²
Adaptive Sync FreeSync

The HP Envy 27s is a sleek and professional-looking monitor. It doesn’t feature all the plastic details or RGB that many other monitors have to make them look more gaming-ry It offers a clean setup with a sturdy stand that keep the monitor from moving during gaming sessions.

But the monitor is not just good to look at, it’s also good on paper and in games as well. It’s an IPS panel, giving you 178° degree viewing angle on each side. Together with the design, this monitor is great for multi-monitor setups.

The AMD FreeSync reduces stuttering and tearing that can be common with gaming monitors and ensures that gamers don’t have to suffer through tearing. This is made even better by the incredible sRGB color accuracy, resulting in true-to-life color and images that are clear and crisp.

The response rate on the Envy 27s is 5ms, which is on the limit of much ms you should have on a gaming monitor. Since it’s 4K, the monitor is also stuck at 60Hz, which means that this monitor is slow. However, the pricing is not ridiculous, and I feel that the monitor is still worth it’s money.

As mentioned, the monitor is great for multi-monitors, which of course also means that the stand is removable, and you can mount it with VESA 100×100. This means that the monitor should fit most (all) third party stands or arms. An adapter is used for it, but HP is sending one with the monitor, which is something that not everyone does

The really big feature on this monitor over many other one is its design. It looks amazing, coming from someone that prefers a clean desk than a gaming-desk. The panel is great to look at and while not being the ultimate gaming monitor, for its price, it’s a great gaming monitor (if you have an AMD graphics card for FreeSync).

Yes, it will work with any laptop that has a USB-C thunderbolt 3 port. You will get image on the monitor and the monitor will charge the laptop at the same time via USB-C.

What is the Power Output of te USB-C?

It’s a matte panel.

What Makes a Gaming Monitor a Gaming Monitor?

I common question I get a lot is what is making a gaming monitor a GAMING monitor. Is it those good-looking RGB details or the spaced-out design choices (that makes you wonder how old some chief designers are)? Maybe it’s the awesome gaming names that the manufacturers have (who doesn’t want a “Predator” monitor)? No, no and no. 

According to Webopedia, a “gaming monitor is the phrase used to describe a computer monitor designed for use in a computer gaming system”. I fully stand by that quote and in my opinion, manufacturers are a bit to lose on the word gaming. I’ve seen products with the word “gaming” in front of the product simply because it’s easier to sell something to gamers then. That’s a bad way to do it and if you would find a salesman that is trying to sell you a gaming monitor (or mouse or keyboard), ask them what is “gaming” about it. You either get the information you want or have a fun time seeing how the salesman is trying to come up with stuff. 

There are mainly two techniques that are making a monitor a gaming monitor today, a high refresh rate (more than 60Hz) and adaptive sync, such a s G-Sync and FreeSync. Notice that I didn’t mention anything about 4K or resolution at all. That’s because they are not unique to gaming. A 4K monitor can be a great monitor to play games on but it can also be great for video or photo editing. A resolution is something that all monitors have. Yes, resolution can make the game experience much better but if you want a gaming monitor with a high resolution, I’d recommend that you check out some game-specific features as well, so you get the most bang for your buck.

Different Connections on Monitors

Different types of connections have become more important in later years when more and more bandwidth needed to go through these cables. The bandwidth increased with higher refresh rates, higher resolution and sync technologies (G-Sync and FreeSync). Because of this, DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 2.0 came out. 

Many years ago, VGA was the main cable one needed to connect a monitor to a PC. It’s big, blue and bulky. However, VGA had limitations that needed to be broken and thus, DVI came. The DVI connector is even bigger and bulkier than the VGA connector but it did support a higher bandwidth running through the cable, thus giving the importunity to higher resolutions. DVI connectors can still be found on many new graphics cards but they are disappearing more and more. 

That is because HDMI and DisplayPort and the two new kids on the blocks. HDMI has long been a multimedia-connector and is being used on almost all home theater-receivers and on most TV models for many years. It’s a great cable for transferring sound and video in one small cable and quickly became popular over that old SCART connector. 

For PCs and monitors, HDMI was a popular option as well. However, the limitations of HDMI v1.4 was about to be reached and with 4K monitors, 165Hz refresh rates, and G-Sync coming up, a different connector was needed since no new version of HDMI would be released anytime soon. 

DisplayPort was actually designed to replace VGA and DVI from the beginning but for PC enthusiasts, DisplayPort became the standard. This was because DisplayPort was able to transfer a lot more data in one cable. When G-Sync was released in 2013, no other cable was able to provide the bandwidth needed except DisplayPort v1.2.

Since then, HDMI 2.0 has been released to support higher bandwidth as well and today, you have DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 2.0 as options when connecting your monitor. However, it’s worth noting that for it to work, both the graphics card and the monitor need to support this standard. Most monitors do support DisplayPort 1.2 but only the newer ones have HDMI 2.0 support. That is why I always recommend using a DisplayPort cable if possible.

In 2017, a new type of cable has become more popular as well and that is the new USB Type-C. This is the super cable that will replace all other cables. If the computer supports it, a single USB Type-C cable can run video signals, sound signals, common USB-stuff, and power as well, if you have a laptop. It will take some time before we get there but it is fascinating to see what a single cable can do.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Down below, I have collected the most common questions that I see when it comes to 4K gaming monitors. If you have one that isn’t answered, ask in the comments and I will get back to you. 

The reason there are no 4K 144Hz monitors yet is that the technology doesn’t exist yet to power such a display. First, there has to be a display that the manufacturers can use that will support both a such a high resolution as 4K is. Then, it has to be responsive and fast enough to be pushed up to 144Hz.

Second, there are very few connections that are able to transfer that amount of data to a monitor. 4K and 60Hz are already at the top of what DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 2.0 can handle. Add an adaptive sync technology (G-Sync and FreeSync) and HDMI 2.0 is out of the question. HDMI 2.1 is on its way but is not on any monitors or graphics cards yet. The only connection left is DisplayPort 1.4 which is the standard on graphics cards since 2017. Most cards from Nvidia’s 10-series and AMD’s Vega-series has DisplayPort 1.4. If you have an older graphics card, you are out of luck. 

However, it’s said that the first monitor with these specifications will come in Q1 2018. An example of such a monitor is the Acer Predator X27. We have to wait and see.

If you want to use any of the adaptive sync technologies, there are a few things that you must fulfill first. The first thing is that you will need a graphics card that supports it. That is almost all graphics cards since 2015 so that should be easy. 

The second part is that you will need to use DisplayPort 1.2, which is also a standard on most graphics cards. The third part is that your monitor will need to support the technology you want. If you have a graphics card from Nvidia, you will need a monitor with G-Sync. If you have a graphics card from AMD, you will need a monitor with FreeSync. 

These technologies are not compatible with each other. Thus, you cannot have a graphics card from Nvidia and use FreeSync and vice versa.

Nothing. If you use an AMD card on a display with G-Sync, you will still get all the benefits that the monitor provides, like the resolution and refresh rate. However, you will not have the smoothest experience and you will experience screen tearing, just like the old days before these technologies.

Most likely, yes. Consoles use HDMI as a video output and most monitors come with at least one HDMI port. You will not be able to use G-Sync or FreeSync with a console and you will never go higher than 4K 60Hz since that’s the maximum settings the latest consoles can handle. But it’s an option if you want to have your PC in the DisplayPort connection and the console in the HDMI connection.

This is a big topic to answer and deserves its own post really. It comes down to how an LCD panel works. An LCD gets its light from behind the panel, where the light source is. When darker images are shown on the display, the LCD tries to block the light. Backlight bleed occurs when the light isn’t fully blocked. 

Newer technologies such as OLED has solved this by turning off the light in that section. This means that backlight bleed is not possible because there is nothing that lights up from behind. This is not something that an LCD display can do. 

If you want to test your monitor, you can use Backlight Bleed Test. This website will show you a black screen and if you see that some areas of your display are brighter than others, you have backlight bleed. If you do the same test on an OLED, the whole display will look like it’s turned off. 

Some monitors can offer a slight bump in refresh rate if you go down in resolution. However, it’s often not more than 15Hz and that is not worth it. Running a monitor with a lower resolution than native is not a good idea, visually. Try lowering the resolution on your current monitor and see what happens. New monitors handle lower resolutions the same.

Some monitors can offer a slight bump in refresh rate if you go down in resolution. However, it’s often not more than 15Hz and that is not worth it. Running a monitor with a lower resolution than native is not a good idea, visually. Try lowering the resolution on your current monitor and see what happens. New monitors handle lower resolutions the same.

Wrapping Up

That was a lot of information. If you are going in thoughts of buying a 4K gaming monitor, you should now have much more information about what monitor will suit you. Any of the above monitors is a great purchase and if sharpness and colors are something that sounds attractive to you, 4K is the best option. Just make sure that you choose a gaming monitor with the adaptive sync that works with your graphics card. 

We may not be at 144Hz yet when it comes to 4K and that is the biggest drawback for us gamers. For anyone that is using a 144Hz monitor today, that’s quite a deal breaker and it’s perfectly understandable. If you are that person, maybe you should look at our buying guide for the best 144Hz gaming monitors where I feature monitors that have QHD resolution and support up to 165Hz refresh rate.

As always, you are welcome to ask your questions in the comment section below. Anyone of us or another visitor will give you the answer you deserve. You should also comment what 4K monitor you got and if it’s worth the money, partly for bragging what monitor you have (which we all love to do) and partly because you can help someone else out with their purchasing decision. 

All the monitors we mentioned can be purchased on Amazon. If you decide to purchase using one of our links, we will get a small commission from that which will not cost you anything extra. It will help us to keep doing what we love; Talk about gaming and hardware. So, thank you in advance. If you want to learn more about what this means, you can do so here. 

Be sure to check out our other gaming-related buyer’s guide that will help you make a better decision when it’s time to swipe that card of yours.


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