The Best Gaming Monitors Under $200, Plus Some Tips On How To Pick The Right One For You

Perfect for those budget-friendly builds and entry-level PC gaming.
As cool as curved ultrawide monitors are, they can be so pricey that they end up accounting for more than half of your PC budget.
As cool as curved ultrawide monitors are, they can be so pricey that they end up accounting for more than half of your PC budget. Amazon

While building your own gaming PC, it’s often easy to overlook other components outside of the main tower itself. Sure, it’s essential to get a decent CPU and GPU, RAM, motherboard, power supply, cooling solutions and a case to fit them all, but all of your hard work is null and void unless you can see how it performs in real world situations.

For entry-level PC gaming, that means investing in a decent, but relatively cheap, monitor that can dish out the frames you’ve been collecting so far with that rig. However, not all monitors are created equal, and there will be a lot of them that might be perfect for some people, but would be horrible on your rig, and vice versa.

Fortunately for you, instead of just rushing in and giving you a list of the best gaming monitors under the $200 price point, I’m also here to give you some tips on how to choose the right one for your needs. To do that, here some very basic terms you should know when it comes to monitors and PC gaming in general.

Frames per second, VSync and screen tearing

Everyone getting into PC gaming should know this already, but here is a reiteration just in case. Frames per second refers to exactly just that: how many frames are being produced per second in order to create a scene in-game. For reference, a movie runs at around 24 frames per second. Consoles, for the most part, run at around 30 frames per second, and the standard for PC gaming – and why you’re looking to get into it in the first place – is 60 frames per second. Here is a helpful link to help you distinguish framerate between 30 and 60 fps. Remember to turn stretching off, and to focus on the sky and the clouds to let you know the difference.

Now how do frames relate to monitors? Most monitors tend to run at a refresh rate of 60Hz, which means that you will be able to utilize up to 60 frames per second on it. However, you’ll notice that in a lot of PC games you can exceed those numbers quite a bit, especially if you’re playing older titles or just have a better overall rig. What does this mean exactly?

Well, in general, you wouldn’t want your frames going over what the monitor can utilize, due to a term called screen tearing. This is an unwanted effect of higher frames over the monitor’s refresh rate, in which you see parts of the screen tear up and appear glitchy. There’s two ways to combat this: turn on VSync in the game you are playing, which locks your framerate to your monitor’s refresh rate; or the even better solution of getting a monitor capable of higher refresh rates.


Resolution is how many pixels there are on the screen at any given time. The more pixels you have, the better it looks. Past a certain point, it starts to look better the bigger the size of your monitor is.

For example, the standard of 1080p on most platforms refer to 1,080 pixels down the screen vertically, and 1,980 pixels across the screen horizontally. 4K is a resolution referring to 3,840 pixels across, and 2,160 pixels down. The aspect ratio for both of these is 16:9, which is also the standard for most monitors. It won’t be uncommon, though, to see other aspect ratios, which are more commonly seen on Ultrawide monitors. These typically stretch the horizontal pixels while keeping the vertical ones, in turn using the resolution name Ultrawide.

How do I choose the right monitor?

Your choice in monitors can mostly be gleaned from the two aspects listed above. It does, however, usually depend on what kind of frames your CPU can push out, with your personal preference also taken into consideration. A 1080p 60Hz monitor is a great starting point, especially if your rig is targeting just that. You can take a look at this selection of great budget graphics cards which can be perfect to pair with some of the monitors you’ll see here.

If you’ve got frames to spare, meaning that your system can handle better than 1080p 60Hz, then you proceed in two routes. On one hand, you can utilize those extra frames and invest into a monitor with a higher refresh rate. Below you’ll find good choices for 75Hz or even 144Hz ones. There is a significant difference going from 60 to above a hundred frames, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

If you find framerates higher than 60 to be overkill – for now, at least – then you can move towards higher resolutions and trade 1080p for 4K. This comes at the cost of frames, so you’re basically evening it out – higher resolution for lower framerates. However, 4K monitors are pricier, so you would probably end up adjusting your budget by about a hundred dollars or so.

Bonus: G-Sync vs. Freesync

You’re also likely to hear two competing technologies from two different graphics card companies: G-Sync from Nvidia and Freesync from AMD. These are names for adaptive sync technologies for monitors that eliminate screen tearing altogether without resorting to VSync. Not all monitors come with these, but it’s important to note that you can only utilize them if you have the right card in your rig. A G-Sync-enabled monitor can only be utilized with compatible Nvidia cards, and the same can be said for AMD and Freesync.

Now that that’s all out of the way, let’s take a loot at some of the best gaming monitors you can get for under $200.

NOTE: If you buy something through this post, Player.One may get a share of the sale.

Dell Gaming D2719HGF 27” 1080p 144Hz Monitor with Freesync

Dell monitors are some of the safest bets when you want something that’s relatively cheap, but with exceptional quality. The D2719HGF is no exception, as this one comes under $200 but still comes packing with an LED-lit 27” screen, 144Hz refresh rate and Freensync capability. It’s looking pretty slick as well, with extremely thin bezels on the sides and a nice sturdy base at the bottom.

The D2719HGF also comes with integrated speakers, which may not sound the best, but is useful for if you don’t have your own set yet. You can also mount it to a wall with the standard VESA mounts, and you get the usual DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0 slots.

Asus VG245H 24” 1080p 75Hz Monitor with Freeesync

While a bit pricier than other brands, Asus does offer some quality and brand experience to go along with it; the same applies for their ridiculous gaming monitors. The VG245H is one of their entry-level offerings, but you can’t really question its feature set either; for this price point, you get 1080p gaming on a 24” monitor, with evenly distributed thin bezels all around. The adaptive Freesync refresh rate is rated for 75Hz, which is a good number to hit for some titles within the budget gaming range.

Like other Asus monitors, the VG245H also offers the Asus Eye Care technology that boasts a flicker-free screen with an optional blue light filter to minimize eye fatigue. The VG245H also comes with dual speakers, plus two HDMI ports, making it a great monitor to play consoles on as well.

Acer XFA240 24” 1080p 144Hz Monitor with G-Sync

This next one is an amazing pick-up if you’ve got a capable Nvidia GeForce card, and it’s under the $200 price point as well. Acer’s XFA240 is a very solid pick if you prefer frames over resolution, as it comes capable of 144Hz refresh rate under the 1080p resolution. It also boasts amazing viewing angles, within 170 degrees horizontal and 160 vertical viewing angles.

The XFA240 can be adjusted in a myriad of ways, including height, pivot and tilt, making it very versatile in terms of how you use it. Couple that with VESA mounts and you have a very decent entry-level high refresh rate monitor boasting very good brightness levels as well.

BenQ ZOWIE RL2755 27” 1080p 75Hz Monitor

While a lesser-known brand, BenQ and its Zowie lineup of monitors are very popular within the entry-level and mid-range PC gaming crowd for their unbeatable prices and quality monitors. The RL2755 is one such amazing option, giving you access to FHD gaming via its 1080p resolution. It also boasts a refresh rate of 75Hz free of G-Sync or Freesync lock-ups, making it a popular entry-level monitor for those looking to dip their toes into higher refresh rate-gaming.

The RL2755 also boasts an amazing 1ms response time, which is great news if you’re looking for monitors with the least input lag possible. In addition to this low response time, there are also several presets available for RTS, FPS, and fighting games, as well as a Smart Scaling/Display Mode to create custom screen sizes and give users a complete customized viewing experience.

HP 2018 N270h 27” IPS LED 1080p 60Hz Monitor

Those looking for cheaper solutions while still maintaining some premium features should check out HP’s offering, the N270h. For a hundred and fifty bucks, you get a basic monitor capable of 1080p at 60Hz, but what that screen is comprised of is where it shines. Unlike most of the entries in this list, the N270h uses an IPS LED screen, which is miles better than a regular LED-backlit or a TN panel.

The N270h is also worth noting if you value visual clarity over frames, as IPS LED offers much better viewing angles than its contemporaries at 170 degrees horizontal and vertical. It also comes with ports for HDMI 2.0 and VGA, and comes with a flicker-free, low blue light-capable screen.

BenQ ZOWIE RL2455S 24" 1080p 75Hz Monitor

Here’s another BenQ Zowie monitor which is from the same family as the RL2455S, but at a much more affordable price point. The RL2455S comes in at a smaller size of 24”, but it’s still perfectly capable at a resolution of 1080p and with a relatively low response time of 1ms. This ensures minimal amounts of ghosting and lag, and is perfect for first-person shooters where fractions of a second are integral to winning games.

The RL2455S also boasts exclusive Color Vibrance and Black eQualizer technology, which is certainly useful in maintaining visual quality in low-light situations that call for deeper blacks. Like its predecessor on this same list, the RL2455S has a refresh rate of 75Hz.

BenQ ZOWIE XL2411P 24” 1080p 144Hz Monitor

The third Zowie on this list is also one of the best cheap 144Hz monitors to get, solely because of how it handles its colors even with a TN panel. The XL2411P has a resolution of 1080p and a refresh rate of 144Hz, but it also has BenQ’s proprietary Color Vibrance and Black eQualizer technology, which makes colors really pop out on the screen. Sure, the bezels are a bit thicker than what most are used to, but it more than makes up for it with its other premium features.

The XL2411P also gives you multiple connectivity options, including a DisplayPort, Dual-Link DVI-D to reach 144Hz, HDMI, and even a headphone and microphone input jack. The XL2411P is also fully adjustable for height, tilt and swivel, with VESA compatibility also featured.

Acer KG251Q 24.5” 1080p 75Hz Monitor with Freesync

One of the features I’m looking out for when picking a monitor is its bezel size; the smaller, the better. If you’re thinking like me, possibly for a multiple monitor set-up in the future, then the Acer KG251Q is a great investment at a very good cost. It’s built with 1080p gaming in mind, but the screen is bigger by half an inch when compared to regular 24” screens, simply because of its ultrathin bezels at the top and sides.

The KG251Q also comes with AMD’s Freesync technology, which gives it a 75Hz refresh rate when paired with Radeon cards. It’s also pretty slick with a 1ms response time, and has built-in 2W speakers for when you want to opt out of using your headset for a bit.

ViewSonic XG2401 24” 1080p 144Hz Monitor with Freesync

ViewSonic is another underrated brand, with a good selection of budget monitors that usually end up with amazing feature sets, too. The XG2401 is one such monitor, and coming in at just under $200, it’s one of the best deals you can get from this list. It has a resolution of 1080p and the high refresh rate of 144Hz, achievable through the implementation of AMD Freesync.

The XG2401 also comes with an ergonomic base, which means that you can set it up for height, pivot, swivel and tilt all at the same time. There are also a handful of display preset available from the start, including for FPS, RTS, or MOBA titles.

Acer Nitro RG270 27” IPS 1080p 75Hz Monitor with Freesync

The final spot on this list is a well-deserved recommendation for the Acer Nitro RG270, which ticks all the right boxes for me, save one. It’s got an IPS panel with a 1080p resolution, ultrathin bezels, a great refresh rate of 75Hz and it’s still under $200. Now, if only I had a Radeon card to utilize that Freesync. For those who are, this is one of the best choices on this list.

The Nitro RG270 also has two 2W speakers, plus quite the varied port selection of a DisplayPort, VGA or HDMI. It also follows Acer’s obsession with ultrathin designs, as the monitor itself is pretty thin, not to mention those ridiculous bezels utilizing the Zero Frame technology.

So, what do you think? Which monitors caught your fancy? Let us know if you want to see more of the best monitors at higher or lower price points, and we'll be sure to give you the best deals and choices available.

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