Gone are the days when 4K gaming monitors were reserved for high-end gamers. If you accept small cuts, you can get the high-resolution screens for less than 300 euros. But are they really worth it for gamers?
A few years ago, 4K monitors were only on the desks of well-heeled gamers and there were two main reasons for this: First, the screens themselves were very expensive and second, gaming computers needed particularly powerful (and expensive) graphics cards to run the high-resolution screens to fuel. Over time, the price of 4K screens has fallen and at the same time the performance of graphics cards has increased.
In the meantime, even mid-range GPUs like the Nvidia RTX 3070 triple AAA titles can be calculated smoothly on the monitors in medium detail levels. For most gamers, the question of switching to 4K resolution is (almost) not a question of if, but rather of when. However, it is still doubtful whether 2022 will mark the year of the change. There are 4K screens under 300 euros that are suitable for gaming, but with compromises.
Because gamers – whether competitive or role-playing – appreciate a high refresh rate of at least 144 Hertz. It ensures that games flicker smoothly across the screen. And that puts a strain on the wallet, the higher the resolution of a monitor. Enough theory, let’s take a look at what the different price categories have to offer for gamblers.
Tip: You can save a lot on monitors with a Saturn voucher.
4K gaming monitors under $300
Yes, there are 4K monitors under 300 euros and they even have fast response times. The reason for this is that most manufacturers of displays under 300 euros rely on TN panels (Twisted Nematic). TN panels offer the fastest switching times, which is why they are particularly popular with professional gamers. On the other hand, they offer the smallest viewing angle and weak color reproduction, which is why they are neither suitable as an office monitor nor as an image processing monitor. 4K gamers are now dying an ugly death: there are only screens with a refresh rate of 60 Hertz for less than 300 euros.
This is mau even for gamers who only play from time to time. For less than 300 euros, it is personal feeling that decides: 144 Hertz for QHD or 60 Hertz for 4K. However, the vast majority of budget gamers are better off with 144 Hertz with QHD, because it cannot be assumed that they have really powerful graphics cards that can handle the 4K resolution in games.
If you still want a 4K monitor on your desk, for example because you want to connect your next-gen console to it, you can take a closer look at the BenQ EL2870UE gaming monitor. It is one of the cheapest 4K gaming monitors on the market, but impresses with a 28-inch screen diagonal (70.9 centimeters) and a fast response time of just 1 millisecond.
Of course, BenQ uses a TN panel. As a reminder: mediocre viewing angles, bad colors, fast response time. The screen works with a refresh rate of 60 Hertz. It offers AMD Freesync to synchronize the images. It is nice that it offers two HDMI and one DisplayPort input.
The AOC U2879VF gaming monitor is confusingly similar to the BenQ. The AOC also has a screen diagonal of 28 inches (70.9 centimeters) and of course with 4K resolution and a response time of 1 millisecond. How it works? AOC also gives its budget monitor a TN panel. Both screens also agree on image synchronization, because the AOC model also uses AMD’s Freesync technology for this.
There is one difference, however, and it lies buried in the connectors: Unfortunately, the AOC U2879VF only offers one HDMI and one DisplayPort socket. If you want to connect two consoles to the screen, you can use the BenQ monitor. Curious: you can connect a screen to the AOC U2879VF via DVI-D or VGA. In 2022, however, this is no longer up-to-date.
If you don’t want a TN panel for reasons that are more of a pleasure gamer, it is better to use monitors that are built according to IPS or VA construction. But buyers then have to pay a good 40 to 50 euros more for this. An interesting 4K gaming monitor that its creator has given an IPS panel to is the Acer Nitro KG282K. Thanks to the design, you can also see the image on the if you look at it from the side.
According to the manufacturer, it covers 90 percent of the DCPI-P3 color space. Value is okay for the price. However, its response time of 4 milliseconds is significantly slower than both TN panels in comparison. If you’re not exactly a competitive player, you can live with it. Nice: The monitor offers two HDMI inputs and a DisplayPort socket. Its screen diagonal also extends over 28 inches (70.9 centimeters).
4K monitors for gamers under 500 euros
At least 120 hertz should be in there for less than 500 euros – one might think. If you do, the offering is disappointing. Even in 2022, the cheap 4K monitors with a high refresh rate will cost around 600 euros. If you want to switch to UHD resolution at a reasonable price, you have to be patient. For less than 500 euros, gamers are currently getting pretty much what is also available for less than 300 euros – just a little larger. And yet this price range has a very special monitor ready.
And that very special screen is the Samsung Smart Monitor M7B S32BM700UU. It’s not an advertised gaming monitor, but if you can do without the marketing talk, you can easily immerse yourself in games on it. At 4 milliseconds, its response time is still just within the acceptable range, even if competitive gamers will tend to avoid this monitor. In addition to the response time, this is also due to the 60 Hertz refresh rate. Samsung uses VA (Vertical Alignment) for the panel, and the diagonal of the screen is 32 inches and thus 80 centimeters.
The screen stands out from the crowd because it is a so-called “smart monitor”. In 2022 almost everything that can be connected to the internet is smart. A smart monitor is a mix of Smart TV and PC. The smart monitor connects to the wireless LAN at home and is ready for a series marathon without having to connect a laptop or computer. Practical if the study is used as a place of retreat when the argument about the remote control escalates.
You can also surf the Internet on the Samsung Smart Monitor or connect your PC, smartphone or tablet to the monitor via WiFi. Remote access, which allows you to work on the monitor on a computer that is, for example, at the workplace, is particularly convenient. On top of that, Samsung integrates a webcam at the top of the screen. Video call apps like Google Duo also do not require a connected computer. And of course Samsung also integrates loudspeakers into its monitor hybrids. However, the screen has one shortcoming: it does not have a DisplayPort input, but instead has two HDMI and three USB-A 2.0 sockets.
The iiyama XB3288UHSU-B1, on the other hand, is less smart. The manufacturer equips it with a VA panel. The design ensures good contrasts and thus a bright white and deep black. Its response time is 3 milliseconds at a refresh rate of 60 Hertz. Unfortunately, under 500 euros is no longer possible. On the other hand, the numerous connection options are nice. In addition to two HDMI sockets and a DisplayPort input, the screen also offers two USB-A 3.0 ports. If required, AMD Freesync ensures smooth gameplay. In addition, iiyama built two loudspeakers into the monitor, whose screen diagonal measures 80 centimeters and thus 32 inches.
4K monitors under 700 euros
Only in the category under 700 euros can gamers expect their beloved 120 Hertz and more – at least with a resolution of 4K. As usual for technology, it is to be expected that the first 4K 144 Hz monitors around 500 euros will come onto the market in the next few years. If you look at the money, you have to be patient.
The Samsung Odyssey Gaming G7A S28AG700NU offers a lot of what makes gamers’ hearts beat faster: 144 Hertz refresh rate with 4K resolution and over a screen diagonal of 70 centimeters and thus 28 inches with a response time of just 1 millisecond. Samsung uses IPS for the panel type and AMD Freesnyc for the synchronization technology. There are two HDMI inputs and a DisplayPort socket on the back. Samsung also installs a USB hub with two USB-A ports.
If 28 inches is too small for you and you are looking for a 4K, 144 hertz and 43 inch gaming monitor for a moderate price, the iiyama G-Master G4380UHSU-B1 could be something for you. The screen extends over 108 centimeters (43 inches). Nevertheless, it offers 144 Hertz. Compared to the Samsung monitor, however, iiyama relies on a VA panel. The manufacturer specifies the response time as 0.4 milliseconds. Nice: The monitor offers two HDMI, two DisplayPort and four USB-A sockets.
This article contains so-called affiliate links. There is more information here.