7 Best Gaming Monitor Under 400 USD Reviews | Amazing Models of 2020

Updated: July 28th, 2020By: BrantonMonitors, ReviewsLeave a Comment

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Gaming on PC can be a large drain on your wallet, especially compared to gaming on a console, so keeping your eye out for good deals on components and equipment upgrades is a must. Thankfully, you’re in luck! I did all the hard work for you to find the best gaming monitor under 400 dollars. That said, I understand that not everyone has a spare $400 laying around, so you might be more interested in these even cheaper monitors.

Favorite Gaming Monitor Under 400 Lineup

Editor's Rating: 4.4/5
  • Wonderful for Gaming
  • Is Compatible with G-Sync
  • Landscape Option Available
Editor's Rating: 4.3/5
  • Has VESA Mounting
  • Eye Protection Options
  • Compatible with FreeSync
Editor's Rating: 4.1/5
  • Ideal for Gaming
  • Mitigates Eye Fatigue and Damage
  • VESA Mounting Compatibility

What Specs and Features Can You Expect from a Monitor Under 400 USD?

No matter what your budget is or what kind of games you play you can definitely find cheap gaming monitors that will suit your needs for less than $400. Making sure you have a quick response time and an even faster refresh rate should be no problem. That said, you will have to settle in some places and, in this case, that will likely be the monitor’s resolution.

Finding a monitor that is capable of a 4k resolution is going to be extremely difficult. You are probably better off going with a monitor that has a smaller resolution, especially considering the cost. Finding a monitor under $400 that is designed for gaming at 4k will sound too good to be true, probably because it is. You can get by just fine with 1080p and have no issues. 

Will Gamers Be Satisfied with the Image Quality and Resolution at This Price

How nice your games look will mostly be based on what resolution you are working with. Higher is definitely better, as you go from lower resolutions to higher ones you will notice a drastic increase in image quality. This is not to say that there aren't decent resolutions but cheaper models like the ones here. So, we’ve covered why you want a higher resolution, but we haven’t covered what it is.

The resolution of a monitor is a quick way to see the maximum number of pixels that can be shown on the screen at the same time. You will probably be familiar with how to read it from school, the first number covers the width from side-to-side and then the second number is the height from bottom-to-top. 

That means the common standard for screen resolutions, Full HD, would have 1,920 pixels from left to right and 1,080 pixels from top to bottom. Sometimes you will see resolutions talked about using only the vertical value like this, 1080p.

The naming conventions for each of the different resolutions is a bit misleading. 4k is talked about a lot, and you can definitely get monitors with 4,000+ pixels horizontally, but 4k actually starts at less than 4,000. The standard resolution for 4k is 3840 x 2160. 

The reason that the standard starts there is because of aspect ratio. 4096 x 2304 is the first resolution that is actually 4k. Unfortunately, that resolution is completely impractical from a physical standpoint which means it isn’t used for computer monitors.

Best Gaming Monitor Under 400 USD Reviews

Editor's Rating: 4.4/5

One of the best options for gaming under $400 is Dell’s S2417DG YNY1D. It is a 24-inch screen and is capable of displaying a 1440p resolution. This is a TN type LCD monitor which is what gives it the super-fast response time.

It has one of the fastest refresh rates available in a monitor at 165 Hz. Most machines won’t be able to match that, which makes it an excellent choice for futureproofing. Because it is faster than most machines are capable of you should be safe to use it for years which makes it a good investment. For even more upgrade, go for the best 240Hz monitor.

The response time of 1 millisecond is extremely fast. With this monitor, input lag will be a thing of the past and not something you have to contend with.

G-sync is hard to find on budget monitors and as an Nvidia GPU user myself I appreciate seeing it supported. If your machine uses a GPU from Nvidia then you should be able to sync your refresh rate and framerate together for smoother gameplay.

This is a very versatile monitor with features galore, which is surprising considering its low cost and great specs. Both professional gamers and casual ones will appreciate the fact that this monitor uses technology that is flicker-free to keep fatigue down and let you play longer.

VESA mounting is an option with this monitor which should assist in adding this monitor to an existing setup or building one around it. If you find yourself browsing the web as often as you are gaming you might appreciate this monitor’s ability to switch from landscape to portrait mode. You don’t often see a feature like that in a cheaper monitor which seems to be a common theme with this one.

As an avid reader as well as a gamer, I thoroughly appreciated being able to display more text on my screen at once. This is also useful for work as I work with text daily. Having this as an option really shows that Dell took the time to think of their user's convenience and comfort, not just making a good gaming monitor.

This monitor has DisplayPort and HDMI available for connecting to other devices, which isn’t much but HDMI can be found on many devices and DisplayPort can handle speeds that HDMI struggles with. Having a very common option and a very specialized option means this monitor has it all covered even without having a lot of options.

Dell S2417DG YNY1D 24-Inch

Header

Screen Size

24-inch

Display Panel

LCD, Twisted Nematic (TN)

Max. Resolution

2560 x 1440 (1440p)

Refresh Rate

165 Hertz

Response Time

1 ms

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Speakers

No

G-Sync / FreeSync

G-Sync

Features

Genre Presets, Pivot Capability, Thin Bezel, Flicker-Free, VESA Compatible

Ports / Connectivity

DisplayPort, HDMI

The S2417DG YNY1D is a good candidate for the best gaming monitor under 400 bucks which is why it is placed first in the list. Few other monitors compare to this one in this price range.

VESA mounting is an option with this monitor which should assist in adding this monitor to an existing setup or building one around it. If you find yourself browsing the web as often as you are gaming you might appreciate this monitor’s ability to switch from landscape to portrait mode. You don’t often see a feature like that in a cheaper monitor which seems to be a common theme with this one.

As an avid reader as well as a gamer, I thoroughly appreciated being able to display more text on my screen at once. This is also useful for work as I work with text daily. Having this as an option really shows that Dell took the time to think of their user's convenience and comfort, not just making a good gaming monitor.

This monitor has DisplayPort and HDMI available for connecting to other devices, which isn’t much but HDMI can be found on many devices and DisplayPort can handle speeds that HDMI struggles with. Having a very common option and a very specialized option means this monitor has it all covered even without having a lot of options.

The S2417DG YNY1D is a good candidate for the best gaming monitor under 400 bucks which is why it is placed first in the list. Few other monitors compare to this one in this price range.

Pros

  • Wonderful for Gaming
  • Is Compatible with G-Sync
  • Landscape Option Available

Cons

  • Only has HDMI and DisplayPort

Editor's Rating: 4.3/5

This cheap monitor for gaming from ViewSonic is called the VX2757-MHD. This monitor comes with a screen that is 27 inches from corner to corner and supports Full HD for resolution. This LCD monitor comes with TN panels.

75 Hz is pretty good, better than the standard 60, but most gamers will want a higher refresh rate. If you are gaming on a budget then this monitor is a great option, but if you care more about performance than saving some cash you’ll want to look for something that has a 144 Hz refresh rate

ViewSonic VX2757-MHD 27 Inch

Header

Screen Size

27-inch

Display Panel

LCD, Twisted Nematic (TN)

Max. Resolution

1920 x 1080 (1080p)

Refresh Rate

75 Hertz

Response Time

2 ms

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Speakers

Yes

G-Sync / FreeSync

FreeSync

Features

VESA Compatible, Genre Presets, Flicker-Free, Blue Light Filtering, 3-year Warranty

Ports / Connectivity

DisplayPort, HDMI

The VS2757-MHD has a near-perfect response time for gaming of 2 milliseconds. It is unlikely to have any complaints from anyone that isn’t a professional gamer with the highest tier of equipment available to them. Rhythm gamers, which are the most likely to notice input lag of any kind, should be perfectly happy with this speed.

I am not a proponent of using monitor speakers as your primary audio device, but these ones performed pretty well. I still prefer to use a headset or traditional speakers when it comes to audio, but I can stand to use these in a pinch.

If your machine uses an AMD GPU then you will be happy to know that this monitor supports FreeSync. Us Nvidia users will have to get by with manually configuring the refresh rate and framerate for our games, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a good option for us.

You don’t have to worry about your eyes when using this monitor. It comes with technology specifically designed to shield your eyes from blue light damage and reduce fatigue which means you can extend your gaming sessions longer and your performance won’t suffer.

You can mount this monitor on a VESA stand which makes it a convenient choice and it can connect to devices using HDMI or DisplayPort so, much like the last one, it covers pretty much everything.

This is a great choice for gaming on a budget, but if you have a little extra cash to spare you might want to go with a better option.

Pros

  • Has VESA Mounting
  • Eye Protection Options
  • Compatible with FreeSync

Cons

  • Lower Refresh Rate

Editor's Rating: 4.1/5

This is a fantastic option for gaming from ASUS called the MG248Q. The screen is 24 inches and it can support Full HD for resolution. This is another LCD monitor that has a TN panel.

The MG248Q has an ideal refresh rate for gaming at 144 Hz. It doesn’t matter what games you play, this monitor should be able to display them with clarity and smoothness.

ASUS MG248Q 24-inch

Header

Screen Size

24-inch

Display Panel

LCD, Twisted Nematic (TN)

Max. Resolution

1920 x 1080 (1080p)

Refresh Rate

144 Hertz

Response Time

1 ms

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Speakers

Yes

G-Sync / FreeSync

FreeSync

Features

VESA Compatibility, ASUS Eye Care, Ergonomic Stand, Good Viewing Angles, Matte Screen

Ports / Connectivity

DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort

A 1 millisecond response time is fantastic and should be good enough for any game type. Whether you’re into racing or fighting you shouldn’t have any problems with this monitor.

FreeSync is much more common to find than G-sync and this is another monitor that supports one but not the other. That means syncing should be easy for AMD users but Nvidia users will have to put in a little extra work.

ASUS has its own proprietary eye protection mode that they have implemented with the MG248Q. It is VESA compatible and should be very convenient to include in your current setup.

The same connection options are represented here with DisplayPort and HDMI but it also has the added option of DVI which can also support higher refresh rates than HDMI. It is good to have options and this monitor provides them.

Pros

  • Ideal for Gaming
  • Mitigates Eye Fatigue and Damage
  • VESA Mounting Compatibility

Cons

  • Thick frame

Editor's Rating: 4.0/5

This is the C325B-144R from Sceptre. It can support Full HD resolution which should be extremely immersive when combined with the massive screen size of 32 inches. This is our first LED monitor and it is also the first option that is a VA panel type instead of a TN.

Sceptre C325B-144R 32”

Header

Screen Size

32-inch

Display Panel

LED, Vertical Alignment (VA)

Max. Resolution

1920 x 1080 (1080p)

Refresh Rate

144 Hertz

Response Time

3 ms

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Speakers

Yes

G-Sync / FreeSync

FreeSync

Features

Curved, Anti-Flicker, VESA Compatibility, FPS and RTS Presets, Tilt

Ports / Connectivity

HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort

Being a non-TN type panel is a point in this option's favor. A TN panel's response time is hard to beat, but usually, to get that speed you have to sacrifice the accuracy of the colors. VA panels usually don’t have problems like that and they only sacrifice a little on response time.

Most larger monitors have to make sacrifices on their specifications in this price range, but not this one. It has a 144 Hz refresh rate which is perfect for gaming. The response time is 3 milliseconds which is still very fast even if it doesn’t match the earlier options. It also supports FreeSync which means, altogether, this monitor is a fantastic option for gaming on a larger screen.

Combined with all of the other firsts of the C325B-144R it is also the first curved option. Many people are big fans of curved monitors, whereas some are still skeptical. No matter which side you fall on, it is agreed that it definitely doesn’t detract from the gaming experience and it can be looked at as a bonus if you like the idea of a curved monitor. I greatly enjoyed using such a massive monitor without having to sacrifice on the specs.

Despite all of the good things about this monitor, it isn’t perfect. The big sacrifice with the C325B-144R is the durability. It definitely suffers from the downfall of large monitors that I explained earlier. It tends to receive a little damage in-transit and there is a danger of it tipping over so make sure to secure it well in your setup. Once everything is set up and secure this should be a very exciting addition to your gaming experience.

Pros

  • Good for Gaming
  • Compatible with VESA Mounting
  • Supports FreeSync Technology

Cons

  • Heavy and unstable

Editor's Rating: 4.5/5

This is another monitor from ASUS called the VG248QG. This shares the same screen size and resolution as the previous option at 24 inches and Full HD respectively. 

Where this one differs is that it is an LED monitor though it shares the same panel type.

ASUS claims that this monitor has an 0.5 millisecond response time which sounds a little fishy to me. I’ve never heard of response times that fast, but if they’re making the claim then it should at the very least be extremely speedy. I certainly didn’t have any problems with it and I don’t expect anyone else will either.

Asus VG248QG 24”

Header

Screen Size

24-inch

Display Panel

LED, Twisted Nematic (TN)

Max. Resolution

1920 x 1080 (1080p)

Refresh Rate

144 Hertz

Response Time

0.5 ms

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Speakers

Yes

G-Sync / FreeSync

G-Sync

Features

Ergonomic Stand, Landscape Mode Option, VESA Compatible, Blue Light Filtering, Flicker-Free

Ports / Connectivity

DVI-D, DisplayPort, HDMI

This is another budget G-sync monitor that supports high refresh rates that cap out at 144 Hz. Very exciting for Nvidia users that want the smoothness and stability of syncing their framerate and refresh rate.

ASUS once again implemented its proprietary eye care technology in this model. It even comes with an extremely ergonomic stand to ensure that this is a convenient option that performs to a high standard. 

It is VESA compatible so it should be a simple matter to get it set up to your liking and you don’t have to use the stand if you don’t want to.

It has a variety of connection options including DVI-D, DisplayPort, and HDMI.

Pros

  • ASUS Eye Protection
  • VESA Mounting Compatibility
  • Ideal for Gaming

Cons

  • Thicker Frame

Editor's Rating: 4.3/5

This is Acer’s answer to the ASUS gaming monitors, the VG271. The display is 27 inches and it supports a Full HD resolution. This is another LED monitor but it is the first IPS panel option.

Acer Nitro VG271 Pbmiipx 27 Inches

Header

Screen Size

27-inch

Display Panel

LED, In-Plane Switching (IPS)

Max. Resolution

1920 x 1080 (1080p)

Refresh Rate

144 Hertz

Response Time

1 ms

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Speakers

Yes

G-Sync / FreeSync

FreeSync

Features

Acer VisionCare, Wide View Angle, VESA Compatibility, Acer Warranty, Tilt Capable

Ports / Connectivity

HDMI, DisplayPort

On paper, this monitor looks great with its very high refresh rate and extremely quick response time, but actually using the monitor reveals some things that aren't mentioned. The response time is definitely fast, but it isn’t 1 millisecond, it is more like 3. Not a huge problem and it begs the question of why the advertising doesn’t just say 3 milliseconds instead of 1. Well, the answer is because getting that fast response time requires that you enable a “fast response” option which will heavily impact the monitor’s visual quality.

This is a prime example of why you should avoid IPS panels when searching for a monitor for gaming. Problems like this are very common for IPS panels when you are looking for cheap equipment. They aren’t designed for gaming which means they often perform poorly for that purpose even if the specs are good.

If you have your heart set on using an IPS panel monitor then you will have to spend the extra money to get one that both has the specs you want and performs well.

Pros

  • Has Compatibility with FreeSync
  • VESA Mounting Compatibility
  • Acer Eye Protection

Cons

  • Not as advertised

Editor's Rating: 4.2/5

This is another good, cheap gaming monitor option from ViewSonic, the VX2458-C-MHD. The screen is a standard 24-inch size and also uses Full HD resolution. This is the first monitor option that is a combination of LCD and VA panel.

ViewSonic VX2458-C-MHD 24 Inch

Header

Screen Size

24-inch

Display Panel

LCD, Vertical Alignment (VA)

Max. Resolution

1920 x 1080

Refresh Rate

144 Hertz

Response Time

1 ms

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Speakers

Yes

G-Sync / FreeSync

FreeSync

Features

Gaming Presets, Curved, ViewSonic Warranty, Flicker-Free, Blue Light Filter

Ports / Connectivity

DisplayPort, HDMI

If you really want to have a curved monitor for gaming on a budget, this is a good choice. This monitor comes with all the specs you want for a gaming monitor including a 144 Hz refresh rate, 1 millisecond response time, and FreeSync compatibility.

It doesn’t have VESA mounting which can be a deal-breaker for some, but if you want the right specs for gaming and don’t care about optional features then this monitor will serve very well for your gaming needs. It might not be the best monitor under 400 dollars, but it is great for the price.

Pros

  • Uses FreeSync Technology
  • Fantastic Gaming Specs

Cons

  • No VESA compatibility

Monitor Size and Panel Type

As is the case with most things, the bigger it is the more it will cost. Fortunately for our wallets, bigger isn’t always better. The bigger a monitor is the heavier it will be, which isn’t always a good thing. If you are planning to mount the monitor on a wall, then heavier is bad.

Something else to consider is that a lot of monitors are top-heavy. This means that the heavier your monitor is the more top-heavy it will be, which could result in instability and possibly damage to it and other things if it tips over.

Computer monitors come in a few different types and you need to know about them if you are purchasing one. The different panels were created for different purposes. The most common panel type, and the best for gaming, is the Twisted Nematic (TN) type which usually has a very fast response time.

A fast response time is very important, but TN panels tend to have washed out colors and bad image quality. If that is a priority for you then you might want to consider a Vertical Alignment (VA) panel type.

Is the Response Time Good for Gaming?

A monitor’s response time governs how quickly the image it displays will respond to your inputs, like a keystroke or button press. If you slide your mouse across your desk and it takes 3 milliseconds for the on-screen cursor to move then the response time is 3 milliseconds.

The average human has a reaction time of 215 milliseconds, which is much slower than even the slowest monitor. If you are a gamer, however, then you will probably notice the difference between a slow monitor and a fast one, not with your eyes, but based on feeling. It can be a hard thing to put words to, but a gamer that has had that experience will know what I’m talking about.

The feeling I’m talking about is based on an interaction between your muscle memory and the response time of a monitor. This phenomenon is most commonly noticed in certain game genres, like shooters and fighting games. Playing on a monitor with a different speed than you are used to will throw off your timing and rhythm which can be the difference between victory and defeat.

In general, you want a response time that is faster than 5 milliseconds. Anything slower will have noticeable input lag, and faster is better.

How About the Refresh Rate

How many times your monitor can replace an image on-screen determines the monitor’s refresh rate. The unit of measurement for refresh rate is Hertz which is usually abbreviated as Hz. Flipbooks are a good analogy for how a monitor works. Essentially they are just replacing images that are slightly different from each other so rapidly that your eyes and brain interpret them as a moving image.

How many times your monitor can do that per second is what refresh rate measures. Most monitors today operate at a 60 Hz refresh rate. A casual gamer should be able to get by just fine with a 60 Hz refresh rate, but the more powerful your machine is and the more competitive you want to be the higher the refresh rate needs to be, up to 144 Hz. Anything higher than that is mostly wasted.

Framerate and refresh rate have a special relationship. Generally speaking, you want to keep the two as close as possible because the further apart they are the higher the chance is that you will notice graphical errors like tearing and stuttering. Thankfully, the most popular Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)  makers have developed software to keep the two synced up. If you use an Nvidia GPU, like me, then you are looking for a G-sync monitor. If you use an AMD GPU then you want a FreeSync monitor.

Design & Connectivity Options

When looking at two monitors with the same specs the only things that will mark one as better than the other are its design and the available connectivity options. How your monitor has been designed will determine your comfort when using it. 

Is it capable of adjusting height, angle, and direction to suit your needs? Does it have compatibility with stands for wall mounting and setups with more than one display? You’ll want to look for these things based on what you need for your setup and what will be convenient for you.

You don’t want a monitor that only uses DVI if the device you intend to connect it to doesn’t have a DVI port, that would be a total waste. Something else to be noted is that HDMI is a very common connection option, it is hard to find a monitor that doesn’t have it as an option, but HDMI does a poor job with refresh rates higher than 120 Hz, so you’ll want to consider using a different option like DisplayPort or DVI.

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Branton

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Hey there! I'm Branton, the founder and lead editor here at PC Game Haven. Since our launch in 2015, we've helped thousands upon thousands of gamers build their dream desktops, find the perfect peripherals, and more. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to get in tough!

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