Just because a monitor is good for gaming, it doesn’t mean it isn’t good for watching movies or other forms of media. In fact, many top gaming monitors work really well for other media and you can rest assured that with the right monitor, you can still enjoy all your favorite movies and television.
Top Gaming Monitors for Also Watching Movies:
- Acer Predator XB3
- ViewSonic XG240R
- Samsung C49RG9
- LG 27UK850-W
- Razer Raptor 27
- Dell 24 S2417DG
- Alienware AW5520QF
- Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ
Everyone needs to take a break from gaming and chill sometimes. But you want to know that your films will look just as good on the monitor as your favorite games. Read on to find our favorite monitors that excel for both gaming and movie watching.
What Is a Gaming Monitor?
Before we get into our favorites, let us take a moment to define what qualifies as a gaming monitor and sets it apart from standard monitors. A gaming monitor will have features that lend them to be more appealing to gamers, such as a quicker response time and high refresh rates.
A faster response time means less blur, resulting in a crisper image that can be advantageous in games requiring high attention to detail and the ability to quickly assess and process your surroundings. If you are in a public battlegrounds game, you don’t want to lose precious seconds trying to figure out if the blobby shadow is an enemy or a decoration. In the time it takes to figure it out, you will likely have already lost.
A higher refresh rate means a much smoother, less choppy display. A lot of video cards made for gaming are designed to process high frame rates, and if your monitor isn’t set up to handle the same amount of frames, it can result in screen tearing. Screen tearing occurs when your processor is attempting to display multiple frames but your monitor cannot handle it, so it displays parts of multiple frames.
So, if you intend to have a system that is built for gaming and own a good quality video card, it is vital to have a monitor that can handle the same output. This is where gaming monitors have a definite advantage over traditional monitors. Many of the monitors on this list are able to utilize NVIDI G-SYNC, which can help boost performance and smooth out refresh rates for dedicated gamers.
Gaming monitors are often classified by their refresh rate, which is categorized in Hz. Most gaming monitors fall into a range of 120 to 240 Hz. Gaming monitors also occasionally feature improved resolution, such as 4K, ultra-high-definition pixel displays, but many of these options come with significantly higher price tags.
The Acer Predator XB3
Our list starts with a top-notch powerhouse of a monitor, the Acer Predator XB3. It boasts a 4K resolution, so you’ll have a beautiful, high definition display for both gaming and movies, as well as a 144Hz refresh rate. With its 27-inch monitor, you won’t be struggling to see your movie on this choice.
The Acer Predator XB3 also has an impressive level of brightness and a wide color spectrum, meaning both your games and your movies will be more vivid and realistic.
Many 4K monitors on the market today, which boast an appealing overall image resolution, often don’t have the refresh rate to make them viable options for gamers. The Acer Predator XB3 is therefore a bit of an anomaly, offering a 4K viewing experience but without sacrificing much on the refresh rate. This makes it a perfect pick for any gamer who wants a monitor that can pull double duty for watching movies.
A unique feature to the Predator line is that underneath the monitor is a strip of lights that can pulse, scroll, or remain steady in six different color options. While the monitor comes with speakers that are idealized for gaming, for those intending to watch a lot of movies, it might be a good idea to purchase a decent set of headphones or an external audio system.
The Acer Predator XB3 also allows for five different levels of blue-light filtering, which means it can be modified to reduce eye strain and fatigue. Increased amounts of blue light absorption, like those from monitors and mobile screens, have been linked to increased eye fatigue, dryness, and disrupted sleep cycles, so this handy filtering feature can make both gaming and movie watching a more pleasurable experience.
The ViewSonic XG240R
At its price point of under $300, the ViewSonic XG240R boasts some impressive features that can appeal to a budget savvy gamer. While the monitor has a 144Hz refresh rate and HD display, it also has an impressive color spectrum and adjustable RGB lighting on the backside of the monitor. This allows you to project an ambient light behind the screen, which can improve your gaming and viewing experiences.
The screen itself is 24-inches and overall the design of the monitor is fairly nondescript. This is a monitor that doesn’t necessarily announce itself as a gaming monitor by its appearance, having a relatively low-key aesthetic of plain matte black plastic. It has a relatively thin profile, which makes it great if you don’t have a lot of desk space available with which to work.
The monitor comes with a matte, anti-glare surface that helps diffuse emitted light and reduce glare, but it can make the images displayed seem slightly less vibrant and clear when compared to other screens. Reduction of glare is appealing for any users looking to log a lot of hours on the monitor, such as by gaming or movie watching, and so the slight improvement in colors won’t outweigh the benefit of a less strained display.
The ViewSonic XG240R has a rich, well-balanced image that can be further tweaked by selecting specific “View Modes.” There are several “Game Mode” presets which modify the image output to favor gaming, and these presets can also be further customized by users. This means that you can find the ideal image output levels for your desired activity, whether it be gaming or movie watching, and then save these settings.
The Samsung C49RG9
If your main concern has been having a monitor that feels too small for comfortable gaming and movie watching, then you should look no further than the Samsung C49RG9. It boasts a massive 49” screen, which is basically like placing two 27” monitors side by side. The ultra-wide screen is curved, giving you a truly immersive experience whether you are playing the latest game or watching a blockbuster movie.
In addition to its ultra-wide curved screen, the C49RG9 has an impressive refresh rate of 120Hz, meaning you can expect smooth, crisp frame rates even in the most demanding of action sequences.
The Samsung C49RG9 features a quantum dot enhanced film, which means the screen has a layer of nanoparticles between its panel and the LED backlight. This gives an overall wider color spectrum and a brighter display. This can really improve the quality of the content you are watching and lead to a much more vibrant, lifelike display.
One caveat of note is that if you are planning on running the monitor in its 120Hz setting for gaming, you will need to limit the color depth to 8-bit. At 100Hz, you can increase to 10-bit. 100Hz is still plenty fast of a refresh rate to run most games smoothly, and most games on the market are limited to 8-bit color so you aren’t missing out if you run in 120Hz mode.
That being said, for some movie watching it might be more advantageous to lower the refresh rate in order to gain a broader spectrum of color.
The LG 27UK850-W
While the LG 27UK850-W does not have as high of a refresh rate as other gaming monitors, peaking out at 60Hz, it still makes our list due to its amazing 4K resolution and wide viewing angles. The wide viewing angles of the 27” screen means that it is ideal for watching movies with friends, as no one will have a bad view, even if they have to sit off-center from the screen.
The 60Hz refresh rate is still fast enough to decently handle most games, especially since many current games designed to run on 4K systems do not have high refresh rates. The refresh rate is also still plenty quick enough to keep up with rapid, fast action sequences in movies and television series.
The LG 27UK850-W also comes with multiple ports, including two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort, meaning that you can hook up multiple devices to the monitor. This is ideal for gamers needing to hook up several gaming consoles or a streaming device.
If the LG27UK850-W just doesn’t quite seem large enough to fit your viewing demands, keep in mind that LG also has a near-identical model that boasts a whopping 34” screen size, the LG 34WN80C-B. You’ll have the same features and performance of the smaller variant but the benefit of a much larger viewing space. However, the larger screen does come with a larger price tag.
The Razer Raptor 27
This company doesn’t just build awesome (and arguably, deliver more quality than the price) gaming headsets, mouses, and keyboards. If you’re looking for an all-around, well-balanced gaming monitor that also has the capability of streaming all your favorite movies, look no further than the Razer Raptor 27. The DCI-P3 display is rich and vibrant, with cinematic quality color display and deep, rich blacks. Prepare to be completely immersed in the lifelike color display and be pulled into your movies and games.
The 27” screen is definitely a bit smaller than other monitors on this list, but the Raptor 27 more than makes up for that with its features. It has a stunning refresh rate of 144Hz, meaning you won’t miss a beat even in the quickest of action scenes. It’s response time is also 1ms, so you don’t have to worry about any lagging input during your gaming sessions.
The monitor comes with a few display presets to modify the output to benefit different types of gaming, such as first-person shooter or racing games, but it also includes a default setting for streaming. Another unique feature of the Razer Raptor 27 is that its cables are flat and correspond with grooves in the back of the monitor so you can tuck the wires away and avoid a cluttered mess of cables sitting on your desk.
On top of all that, the Razer Raptor 27 has a smooth adjustment dual-rail design that allows you to set the monitor height that works best for your setup and comfort. The screen can also tilt up to 90 degrees, so you can be sure that you will be able to easily watch anything from a super comfortable viewing position.
Finally, with the Razer Raptor 27 you can enjoy complete edge to edge screen space. There is no bezel so you take advantage of the maximum amount of space with a sleek, streamlined style.
The Dell 24 S2417DG
If you are looking for a top-quality gaming monitor but you don’t have a lot of space, the Dell 24 S2417DG might be the ticket. While its screen is only 24”, there is still plenty of viewing space and it boasts a lot of the same perks as other monitors on this list.
Perhaps most notably, this monitor has a max refresh rate of 165 Hz, which is fantastic. You can play games with crisp clarity and no ghosting images or stuttering, and your movies will stream seamlessly, allowing you to become fully immersed in the media.
In addition, it has a wide color spectrum that makes for beautifully vivid viewing of your favorite movies and video games. The monitor also comes with several preset display modes, meaning you can alter the color and brightness to better suit your viewing needs.
The screen pivots easily and can even rotate into portrait orientation if desired. The ultra-thin side bezels mean you can comfortably combine monitors to make a dual or multi-monitor setup with minimal disruption between screens. The flicker-free screen also means less eye discomfort with extended viewing.
Finally, the Dell 24 S2417DG also gives the option to customize settings and utilize 3D playing features, meaning you can achieve the ultimate, custom viewing experience of your dreams.
The Alienware AW5520QF
Alienware was perhaps one of the first companies that really started marketing towards making specific PC components geared towards gamers, and the Alienware AW5520QF is therefore no surprise on this list. This monitor is made for the dedicated gamer, but it also works beautifully for watching television or movies.
With its 55” display, the AW5520QF is actually as large if not larger than most standard televisions and it weighs nearly 90 pounds, leaving you wondering whether this is actually a monitor at all and rather just a very expensive television set. But the AW5520QF is so much more than a television. It’s mammoth OLED display produces rich, vibrant scenes with accurate colors in both brightly lit and dark rooms, and as a gamer, the visual depth and quality truly stuns me like none other. You really have to see this for yourself.
This monitor is able to impressively display 4K UHD streaming content, with lifelike color accuracy and remarkably beautiful contrast. It can easily rival 4K television sets that are meant for only watching media and don’t have the AW5520QF’s additional gaming capabilities. That being said, you can rest assured that you will be able to truly enjoy any movie you decide to place on this screen.
In addition, the Alienware AQ5520QF comes with a remote, perhaps even further encouraging its comparison to a television. The remote allows you to easily control brightness settings and navigate on-screen menus. The monitor also has a fairly impressive built-in speakers, meaning you might not have to immediately invest in a separate speaker system.
This monitor, even with its 4K screen, still has a 120Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time, which makes it an ideal choice for a gamer and movie buff.
The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ
Another monitor with a 4K display, the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ is an appealing selection for anyone wanting top quality gameplay as well as remarkable movie viewing capabilities. The 27” screen also comes equipped with a blue light filter and flicker-free backlighting, meaning much less eye strain with prolonged viewing.
Its 4K display features a dramatic spectrum of color and a massive contrast ratio, making for vivid hues and deep, detailed shadows. The screen also permits a 178-degree viewing angle, so you can sit well off-center and not worry about distortion or chromatic aberration ruining your viewing. This means you can watch movies with friends and no one will complain of a bad viewing angle.
This Asus monitor has a lower max refresh rate than other monitors on this list, topping out at 60Hz, but for most games this still allows for seamless and smooth gameplay. The monitor can pair with NVIDIA G-SYNC, which will synchronize the monitor’s refresh rate to that being output by the PC, meaning you won’t experience the stuttering or screen tearing inherent with lower refresh rates.
Another perk for gamers is that the ROG Swift PG27UQ comes with Asus’s GamePlus features. One of these features is the ability to use a crosshair overlay, making shooting games slightly easier even in the most difficult of levels. You can also place an on-screen timer in order to track how long you’ve been playing.
The monitor also comes with several preset display modes, including one for cinema-style viewing. This means you can find an ideal display mode for gaming, and then switch to a display with more contrast and color saturation in order to better enjoy movies.