Gaming monitors are an essential component of any gaming setup, as you quite literally can’t play games without a display output.
A high-quality gaming monitor can make a significant difference in the overall gaming experience, offering great image quality, variable refresh rate, low input lag, minimal screen tearing, and an overall competitive gaming performance.
Some people put more stock into particular features than others; some people want a very high refresh rate, some prefer such a high resolution that they can’t separate real life and their games. Most gamers can find their ideal monitor, but it might not be within their budget.
In this article, we will discuss the best gaming monitors under $300 available on the market, so gamers on any budget can have an immersive gaming experience no matter that budget. But first, there’s
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Gaming Monitor Under $300
I’m going to get a little technical when explaining this, but here is a list of what you should keep an eye out for when looking for a gaming monitor, especially a gaming monitor under $300:
- Resolution: The resolution of a gaming monitor determines the number of pixels on the screen. The higher the resolution, the greater the image quality. Common resolutions for gaming monitors include 1080p (FHD or Full HD), 1440p (QHD or Quad HD), and 4K (UHD, or Ultra HD), but it’s likely you won’t see many 4K monitors at this price range.
- Refresh rate: The refresh rate refers to how many times per second the monitor updates the image on the screen. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the gameplay will be. A refresh rate of 60Hz is common for most monitors, but many gaming monitors offer higher refresh rates of 120Hz, 144Hz, or even 240Hz.
- Response time: The response time of a gaming monitor refers to how quickly the pixels can change from one color to another. A lower response time means less motion blur and smoother gameplay, as where a higher response time means more motion blur and more stutter-y gameplay. Most gaming monitors have a response time of 1ms or 5ms, with 1ms being minimal motion blur. It’s likely you’ll be able to find a monitor within your budget with a 1ms response time, so don’t settle for 5ms if you don’t have to.
- Panel type: There are three main types of panel technology used in gaming monitors: TN (twisted nematic), IPS (in-plane switching), and VA (vertical alignment). TN panels are known for their fast response times, but poor viewing angles and color accuracy. IPS panels offer better color accuracy and wider viewing angles, but slower response times. VA panels offer the best contrast ratios and deep blacks, but can suffer from motion blur.
- Connectivity options: Ensure that the monitor you choose has the right connectivity options to match your gaming setup. Most monitors use HDMI or DisplayPort, but older models may use DVI or VGA. If you’re snagging an old monitor just because it’s under $300, expect at least one of these ancient ports to be on it.
- Screen size: The screen size of the monitor can also affect your gaming experience. While larger monitors can provide a more immersive experience, they may also require more desk space and be more expensive. For example, a 32 inch monitor will be quite a bit more expensive than that same monitor at 27 inches. For an average, shoot for around 27; 27 inches is enough for great gaming performance, but not too much where it takes over your desk or is too big for your range of sight.
- Gaming features: Nowadays, many monitors come with features geared specifically towards PC gaming. For example, FreeSync or G-Sync compatibility, in order to synchronize your GPU’s frame rate with your monitor’s refresh rate and eliminate screen tearing, stuttering, and input lag. Any monitor that is FreeSync or G-Sync compatible will make your gaming experience much smoother, especially if you have a mid-range or lower-end graphics card that might not be able to make the most out of your monitor. Thus, variable refresh rate is similarly helpful as well.
Overall, choosing the right gaming monitor depends on your preferences and budget, and with a budget of $300, expect to make a compromise in at least one area. For example, if you’re looking for your monitor’s refresh rate to be over 144Hz, then expect to get a resolution of around 1440p or limited screen size. In total, it’s important to consider all the above factors and choose a monitor that offers the best combination of features for your needs.
What is the best gaming monitor under $300?
Here is my shortlist for the best gaming monitors under $300:
- ASUS Tuf Gaming VG289Q1A
- Samsung Odyssey G40B
ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q1A: Best 4K Gaming Monitor Under $300
Resolution: 4K (UHD)
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Response time: 5ms
Panel type: IPS
Screen size: 28 inches
When writing this article, I was completely unaware that you could get a 4K gaming monitor withinin the same price range as the 2K gaming monitor I use today. So, take my mistake as a lesson: you can get some of the best gaming performance a gaming monitor can offer for less than $300, and that is best displayed by the ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q1A.
The VG289Q1A has a larger screen than some of the other monitors on this list; a 28-inch, 4K IPS display at a 16:9 aspect ratio. For all of the picture quality of this monitor, however, it has to make compromises somewhere at this price point. Its refresh rate is locked at 60Hz, producing a frame rate not unfamiliar to console gamers.
Nonetheless, the VG289Q1A is still one of the best monitors available for PC gamers and console gamers alike.
It provides gaming features like AMD FreeSync to provide gamers with a tear-free gaming experience,
The design of the monitor is stellar as well, with range to tilt back-and-forth and side-to-side. As for connectivity, the VG289Q1A has two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort port, and a headphone jack.
Additionally, the monitor is VESA compatible, meaning that you can detach it from its stand and mount it on the wall.
In my personal opinion, this is the best gaming monitor under $300 if you care about resolution more than frame rate.
It may not give you the competitive edge in competitive esports gaming titles like CSGO, LoL, DotA et cetera, but this gaming monitor provides such good image quality at its price that you might want to upgrade some parts of your gaming PC to get your money’s worth out of it, namely your graphics card.
ViewSonic XG2431: Best 240Hz Gaming Monitor Under $300
Resolution: 1080p (FHD)
Refresh rate: 240Hz
Response time: 0.5ms
Panel type: IPS
Screen size: 24 inches
On the exact opposite end of the spectrum from the ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q1A, you have the ViewSonic XG2431. Where the VG289Q1A was all about high resolution, the ViewSonic XG2431 is all about high refresh rate and response time.
At a staggering 240Hz refresh rate and 0.5ms response time, this is easily the best gaming monitor for a competitive gamer.
The ViewSonic XG2431 is a 24-inch fast-IPS panel and, as expected of an IPS display, has a contrast ratio of 1,000:1. Additionally, it has a viewing angle of 178 degrees both horizontally and vertically.
As for gaming-oriented features, this HD monitor has FreeSync compatibility and is the first monitor certified by Blur Busters 2.0, meaning that you can potentially achieve a response time of as low as 0.1ms with some settings tweaking. Unfortunately, this monitor isn’t G-Sync compatible for those with NVIDIA graphics cards.
When it comes to refresh rate, this monitor has all of its competitors beat at its price point. 240Hz is still great for monitors above $300, so the fact that you can get that kind of competitive gaming experience on gaming monitors under $300 is incredible to say the least.
Of course, with its insane refresh rate and response time, there are compromises. First, the panel size. 24 inches isn’t bad by any means, but some might prefer a bigger monitor for ergonomics and ease of use. Second, the resolution. The panel has a 16:9 aspect ratio as usual, but doesn’t provide the best gaming experience when it comes to detail as it is locked at 1080p.
Overall, if you’re a gamer looking to play competitive titles and aren’t too concerned about resolution, then I’d highly recommend the ViewSonic XG2431.
Samsung Odyssey G40B: Best 24-Inch Gaming Monitor Under $300
Resolution: 1080p (FHD)
Refresh rate: 144Hz
Response time: 1ms
Panel type: IPS
Screen size: 24 inches
You might have heard of the Samsung Odyssey line before if you’re into gaming monitors, likely because of the absolutely ridiculous Samsung Odyssey Ark, their 4k 165hz gaming monitor spanning 55 inches. That’s double the screen real estate of standard 27-inch gaming monitors, which is generally accepted as the best monitor size for gaming.
However, that’s not the monitor I’ll be recommending here, because that behemoth costs an arm and a leg at $3,000. No, here I’ll be talking about it’s much more reasonable cousin, the Odyssey G40B.
At a reasonable $149.99 (on sale at time of writing, normally $249.99), the G40B boasts a 1080p display at 144Hz, which should be enough to satisfy almost any PC gamer. The G40B is a VA panel monitor, meaning that it offers a much higher contrast ratio compared to an IPS panel, at 3,000:1 compared to the IPS panel’s 1,000:1.
This comes at the cost of two things: a narrower viewing angle, and a higher response time (4ms on the VA panel, 1ms on an IPS panel). The response time difference results in a slight increase in motion blur.
The G40B offers a decent peak brightness of 200 nits (average is around 250 – 400), but the incredible contrast ratio can make up for this by providing the brightest whites at this monitor’s price point.
Additionally, the G40B is one of many FreeSync monitors, which helps to reduce screen tearing. Note: if you have an NVIDIA graphics card, this monitor also has G-Sync support.
Overall, the Samsung Odyssey G40B is a small but potent gaming monitor well under $300 (at the time of writing), offering tear-free gaming and a responsive gaming experience at an incredibly low price.