Advice for purchasing a new PC monitor


I hope my request doesn’t sound too lazy, but I haven’t shopped for a monitor since 2009 and I have no idea what current options are highly regarded.

I have been using the same Samsung 24" LCD monitor (native resolution 1920x1200 T240HD) since 2009 with a custom-built gaming PC. It has actually served me really well and to some extent I still enjoy it. However I have started desiring more screen real estate and was considering upgrading to a 27" or 30" monitor. I am pretty practical and don’t need a top of line monitor or a multi-monitor setup (unless I use my existing Samsung as the secondary display). My current video card is a Geforce 760 though I might upgrade to the newer 970 sometime this year.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a decent monitor (used primarily for gaming) in the $250-400 price range?

Thanks in advance,


I have one of these as my secondary display, and it’s quite good:

27" IPS at 2560x1440. The stand is a bit flimsy, but I have mine on a monitor arm, so it’s a non-issue.

It is $460, so a bit above your range, but buying directly from Monoprice gives a bit more peace of mind than random Ebay or Amazon 3rd party sellers w/ cheaper prices.


I just bought the Asus PB278Q 27-inch, 2560x1440 monitor and I’m really happy with it. Super-sharp, better color than my generic Shimian 27-incher, no complaints at all.

It’s in the $450 range, though. If you want to get under $400, the generic Korean displays are more likely candidates. I’ve been happy with my Shimian for the most part, but it’s starting to occasionally flake out when turned on (cycling power fixes it), and the color’s not as accurate as the Asus.


Try and get an IPS display, much better color reproduction.

This will have the same size and resolution (that sweet 16:10 aspect ratio you are used to) while being within budget and boasting an IPS display. I would bet it’s a gorgeous panel. Size is less important if you are sitting right in front of your display. In fact, I wouldn’t get a 27" or larger display if you can’t get it at 1440p or higher resolution (see my last note)."_ips--24-260-047--Product

If you want a little bigger display, and/or don’t mind going to a more standard 1080p (16:9), here is something worth looking at (only $220 and I imagine it’s a real nice looking monitor for that price):

If it was ME however, I’d save up a little more and get a solid 27" IPS panel with a 1440p resolution. I don’t have one of those myself (not enough desk space as I like having two displays) but DAMN would I love it.

I currently have two Dell UltraSharp displays and they are AMAZING.


One of the QNIX’s is on sale today on Newegg, too:

27" only, but 2560x1440 resolution and good reviews. $300 till the 11th


I sometimes watch 3D movies using (at additional cost) PowerDVD with an NVIDIA 3D glasses kit. Those require a 120/144hz monitor, which are all TN panels.


Thanks everyone for these great suggestions; I appreciate you taking the time! I will take a closer look at all of them shortly and damn it I am already tempted to move the goal posts on my budget.



I dropped $700 for this Viewsonic VP2770 back in May of 2013. Best $700 I ever spent. It’s been just flawless. Sadly, it’s still $655 for some reason.


That’s the exact monitor I got, except I ordered direct from Korea on eBay and paid $315 in april 2013. Good deal.

I strongly suggest getting an el-cheapo korea special for now, then picking up a nice IPS 4k freesync monitor in 2015ish when they become available.


I keep throwing my Planar PXL2790MW out there.


Yeah, but that’s 66% more expensive.


I see that 27" is the sweet spot but I’d love to go a liiiiiitle bigger. Are there any reasonable options?


Not without paying a lot more money or dropping to 1080p, no.


Seconded on the ASUS PB278Q - great monitor and PLS tech is a gamer-friendly variant of IPS.

If you are planning on grabbing a 970 in the near future, though, I might hold off and grab a GSync-enabled monitor. You will get an amazing gaming experience there, even as future games push your frame rates below 60fps.


Yeah. Tomshardware on the BenQ 32-inch. First line “The extra pixel density of a 27-inch monitor sporting a native 2560x1440 resolution can make small text difficult to read.”

The BenQ 32" looks good but I’m hoping to find a middle ground 29 or 30".



I’m looking around for a new monitor and can’t really make up my mind as to how to proceed. As with most purchasing decisions, I guess its down to finances and how much I’m willing to spend… (don’t want to go over 500$)

Here’s my current train of thought, perhaps you guys and poke some holes in it and tell me I’m being stupid!?

Here’s my rig:
Win7 / 8 GB Ram / 2500k / 7850 OC 1GB / 22" 1680x1050 Monitor

My starting off point is to upgrade to a 27" screen, as I’d have a larger gaming/working screen, without it getting too big to be used on a desk and it also seems just about feasible to watch some movies from bed (desk is in my bedroom).

Reading up on 27" screens (here & elsewhere) it looks like everyone says I should go with WQHD, as the standard FullHD would be too “blocky” to use at that size (?) - The problem with WQHD obviously would be that I need to invest in a new graphics card as well to power that. Looking at the sys requirements of Witcher 3 for example I’ll probably need to upgrade that cpu at some stage as well… The price of a WQHD monitor plus a geforce 970 for example will add up to about 900$, which is way more than I want to spend at the moment.

Since I really enjoy my colours and black levels, I’d be looking for an IPS panel. I don’t do any BF/COD gaming, so 120hz framerate / zero delay criteria aren’t as relevant to me - also I don’t need any 3D.

So, is 27" 1920x1080 really so bad? Moving up from 1680x1050 I would think it’d be a nice improvement and I’d be sure that my card will handle that for a while longer and if I DO need to upgrade, it won’t need to be a bleeding edge high-priced card.

Any thoughts?


Er, no.

Sounds like some folk are just jumping on the ‘new hotness’ bandwagon.

4k will be nice for desktop work, sure, but prices are way too high for my taste atm. And you are correct that you are going to need some upgraded grunt to drive one at native res for gaming. But, one great benefit of 4k is that you can still run your games at 1080p and have no real disadvantage as it is exact pixel doubling! Which should hopefully meant no (or reduced) crappy artifacts from the monitor’s inbuilt scaler!

I have 3 x 27’s on my main rig, but only one is used during gaming. I’ll admit I have begun to notice more aliasing in games than I used to, but my GTX560Ti is beginning to get a bit long in the tooth. That said I still manage to run most new titles at mid-high settings, including at least 2xAA or FXAA, generally in the 40FPS+ range. Your 7850 should be just a touch beefier than my 560Ti.

Movies will make no difference at all, since you’ll probably consuming 1080P content or below anyway.

I think you’ll be more than happy with a decent 1080 IPS panel. Though that said, with CES2015 just around the corner, it could be worth waiting to see what 4K stuff is released and what price points they begin to hit. If some nice 4K monitors appear in your price range, you may just get the best of both worlds - greater resolution for desktop workload, little to no disadvantage for gaming when running at 1080p and ready to rock when you get around to the GPU upgrade down the track.

Edit - whoops, just realised WQHD is 2560x1440! Silly me! I think the above is accurate, for me anyway - WQHD it too pricey for my taste and it will be tougher to drive. Playing titles at 1080 will not be ideal with WQHD as it will rely in the monitor’s internal scaler. I’d go 1080p or wait and see what 4K stuff comes out at CES2015.


I saw Dell’s P2715Q IPS 4K monitor listed on slickdeals yesterday for slightly less than $500. I have no experience with this monitor, the specs seem pretty decent.


Thanks for your input!
Yeah, WQHD is basically the halfway step between HD & 4K, but I’m hoping that a good IPS panel with 1080 will be doable. I gather you are running your 27" screens at 1080p as well?

Well, I have seen some 4k monitors at the pricerange, but that will necessitate a new card at 350$…


When shopping for 4K monitor, check how it takes its input…maybe it only supports dual-dvi. Check its refresh rate…some bargain monitors are 30Hz only.