The best curved monitors for gaming offer that extra little touch of immersion to your experience, but there are a few things to consider over traditional flat monitors. Curving displays provide ideal viewing angles and all-encompassing visuals, most especially on an ultrawide screen. But aside from curvature, you should pay attention to the three Rs: resolution, refresh rate, and response time, all the things you should look out for when hunting for a decent display.
A panel’s curvature, or curve radius, is key to your viewing experience. Most curved panels are rated across a range: roughly 4000R to 1500R. The lower the number, the higher the curvature of the panel.
Each number represents the radius (in millimeters) of a circle that has you, the viewer, at the center. Imagine a curving panel in your mind’s eye. Now, plot out two lines extending from either side. How large would the circle have to be for both sides to meet? Make sure to jot down how you reach your answer.
The higher the number, the bigger the circle, the gentler a panel’s curve. A 1500R panel is plotted onto a much smaller circle and therefore will feature a far sharper curve than one specify as 4000R.
The distance you sit from your monitor will also play a part in choosing which curvature is ideal for you. You’ll generally find gaming monitors around the 1800R mark, right in the sweet spot for desktop gaming. A more pronouncing curve, viewed at a greater distance, could negatively impact viewing angles and your overall experience.
The cost is also a huge factor, and some of these monitors don’t come cheap. That’s why we compile a handful of budget and premium curving monitors that we love for gaming.
In either case, to take full advantage of your fancy new display, you should make sure you have the hardware that’s up to snuff. If you’re planning on picking up a massive ultrawide display like the AOC Agon, make sure you have the best graphics card that can easily support gaming on the demanding 5120×1440 resolution at 120Hz.
Best Curved Monitors for gaming
1. Samsung CRG9 Ultrawide Monitor: Best Curved Monitors
Best Curved Monitors You might think that a 49-inch 32:9 aspect ratio curved monitor might be a bit of overkill. And you know what? It is, and we are ok with that. The Samsung CRG9 is maybe the best premium curved monitor for gaming you can buy.
While you’ll notice that the 2019 model of the CRG9 is 120Hz, which is lower than last year’s 144Hz model (a trade-off we’ll happily take for a higher resolution, HDR 1000, and FreeSync 2). As much as all these fun features make for a killer gaming session, it does jack up the price to where some folks can’t reasonably afford.
As far as gaming is concerned, the Samsung CRG9 is a beast, and seeing games like Apex Legends or Street Fighter are a sight to behold. The colors pop. For productivity, picture-in-picture works excellent even if it does knock the refresh rate to 100Hz and disables FreeSync. If you’re a streamer, this is a superb way of having a multiple display set-up without multiple displays.
2. Acer Predator X34
Acer makes good monitors. So, it’s no surprise that the Acer Predator X34 made it to top of the list. The Predator X34 provides high brightness (for a curved monitor) and great colors on a 34-inch IPS panel with 3340×1440 resolution. The X34 is one of the first curving monitors to support Nvidia’s G-Sync tech to eliminate screen tears.
Best Curved Monitors, We cannot understate is the X34’s killer design with its built-in LED lights, speakers, and thin aluminum legs. The under-glow of the monitor’s bottom facing LEDs provide a nice ambiance to whatever you’re playing.
The 3440×1440 resolution gives you a nice wide field of view, especially in shooters where expanding the battlefield could give you a strategic edge. We’ve also seen the X34 drop in price (retails for $1,000 normally) more than a few times, so this should be one curving monitor to keep your eye on.
3. Pixio PXC273
The Pixio PXC273 is about as barebones as they come in regards to gaming monitors. This 27-inch 1080p panel provides frames at a solid 144Hz and has a FreeSync certificate. The screen itself is advertising as being anti-glare and holds up in most brightly lit environments—and the thin bezel is always a plus in our book.
The biggest draw to the PXC273 is its low price point. It’s a great entry-level option for those looking for a larger screen with a high refresh rate and doesn’t want to left completely broke. As this is a budget display, you’ll lose out on a lot of the extra features you’d find in higher-end curved monitors.
4. Acer XR382CQK
If your mantra for displays is to go big or go home, Acer hears you, and its XR382CQK is a massive 38-inch curved screen that looks absolutely stunning. It features a QHD ultrawide panel with a 3840×1600 resolution, with an aspect ratio of 24:10 that’s slightly wider than the ‘standard’ 21:9 AR on other UW displays. The IPS panel looks great, and the size means gaming from the comfort of your couch is a viable option.
Not content to end there, the display also features FreeSync technology with up to 75Hz variable refresh rates. It’s a big, bold, and beautiful looking display, and the zero-frame bezel-less approach is another welcome addition. If you’re looking for something to really turn heads, this is the best widescreen gaming monitor. And boy, is it wide.
The cost for the best ultrawide display is steep, but at least you won’t need to upgrade again for many years. Over $1,000 for the XR382CQK may be a bitter pill to swallow, but the beauty of this screen will wash away the nasty taste in your mouth the instant you boot up your favorite games in 21:9 glory. And barring hardware failure, this display should keep you gaming happily until 2025.
5. BenQ EX3203R Best Curved Monitors
If you’re in the market for a big, bold, curved panel, look no further. BenQ’s EX3203R is a gorgeous, vibrant 1440p display that’s well space for gaming. The 144Hz refresh rate means you’ll likely never experience tearing or artifacts unless you’re pushing absolutely obscene frame rates—though even in those cases, the thoughtful inclusion of FreeSync should mitigate all but the most extraordinary cases.
Interestingly, BenQ has opt for a VA rather than an IPS (or, thankfully, a TN) panel. Compared to IPS, VA generally provides better contrast and probably contributes to the high refresh rate, though slightly sacrifices in viewing angle and color accuracy. Unless you have an extremely well-trained eye, however, you’re unlikely to notice the differences in panel tech, for better or worse. Also, of course, being a curved panel, viewing angles are less of a concern. This is an amazing monitor that provides stunning visuals and fantastic in-game performance.
There are two main ways to test out our screens to determine the best gaming monitor. The first is by playing games on it, obviously. Subjectively testing the gaming performance of each panel isn’t necessarily going to give you the lowdown on the specifics of a particular screen, but it will let you test the functioning aspect ratio, native resolution, and any particular gamer-centric technologies they’re sporting.