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Best Gaming Monitors On A Budget

Gaming is one of the greatest actives of the modern age – it’s a majestic mix of challenge, entertainment, community, competition, and technology. Getting the chance to enjoy the latest and greatest video game titles whilst getting your hands on some seriously impressive tech is a joyful thing - much like a gaming mouse or keyboard, a dedicated gaming monitor is one of the most exciting instances of this, allowing you to see in full resplendent beauty the power of your machine, be it console or PC.

Though, like everything ‘TECH’, picking up the latest and highest-spec gaming monitors can get expensive – but with a little bit of savvy shopping, this doesn’t have to be the case. If you’re on the hunt for a budget gaming monitor to one-up your gaming life, then we’ve got the goods for you.

The list that follows is a collection of affordable, bank-friendly monitors that’ll eliminate your gaming blur, lag, and tearing, whilst delivery crisp colours and vibrant graphics. They are ‘cheap’ gaming monitors by the market standard, all coming in at £200 or lower, but that isn’t to say that they are low quality. These are tried and tested models from renowned and respected manufacturers, with a selection of offerings which boast 144Hz refresh rates, 1ms response times, and big screens without the extortionate price tag – there are even 4K UHD HDR and ultrawide options.

It turns out that if you’re on a budget, you’re actually a little spoilt for choice – it’s a good place to be.

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Technical Spiel

Resolution

Resolution refers to the number of pixels that are available on the screen – the more pixels, the better the image. Full HD resolution sits at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, but many gaming monitors hit higher than this, with 4K monitors topping out at 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. It is worth considering that, if you plan on jumping above standard Full HD resolution, you’ll need to make sure your GPU hardware can handle the extra work. If in doubt, always check with manufacturers.

Resolution guide:

HD: 1280×720

Full HD: 1920×1080

Ultra HD/4K: 3840×2160

Response Time

Response time is a measurement that tells users the amount of time a pixel takes to change colour – it’s measured by manufactures as grey-to-grey. A good response time reduces blur and increases graphical clarity. A quality gaming monitor will usually have a response time between one and four milliseconds.

Refresh Rate

Refresh rate is to monitors what frames per second is to film. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the image – low refresh rates can make fast paced displays appear to jump, stutter and jolt. Refresh rate is measured in Hertz (Hz), and most monitors will sit at 60Hz. This is fine for most situations, but as games are only getting more graphically intense, 144Hz gaming monitors are quickly becoming the minimum standard for high quality, stutter free displays, with 75Hz operating as the general affordable alternative. If you’re into Counter Strike: Global Offensive or Apex Legends, you’ll certainly want a higher refresh rate – it’ll really help with scoping in. For player who prefer single player campaigns, a slightly lower refresh rate is an acceptable compromise for a monitor with greater definition – but this all comes down to personal choice.

Console gamers won’t need anything about 75Hz – that is, unless the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 offer something more later this year.

AMD FreeSync

This bit of technology from AMD is implemented to support a monitor’s refresh rate by reducing stuttering and ‘tearing’, which is when multiple frames' information is displayed at once, showing a splice, or tear, for one or more frames. This typically occurs during fast or busy gameplay segments, and FreeSync simply works its magic to keep everything squared away and ordered.

Contrast Ratio

Contrast ratio relates to how black the darkest points of an image are compared to its brightest elements. Typically, you’ll want a monitor to sit between 1,000:1 and 3,000:1 – anything less and the image is poor, anything more and you probably won’t notice.

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