4K 60fps (or higher) gaming is finally achievable thanks to NVIDIA’s new GeForce RTX 3080, 3080 Ti, and RTX 3090, and AMD’s RX 6900 XT and 6800 XT graphics cards. In our review of the RTX 3080, we observed that the RTX 3080 performs better on higher resolutions. To be more precise, it performs better in 4K compared to its predecessors, like the RTX 2080 Ti. I’m glad that we can now play games smoothly using a 4K high refresh rate gaming monitor without any hiccups. If you are planning to get one, here are some of the best 4K gaming monitors, with high refresh rates, available in the market today.
Best 4K High Refresh Rate Gaming Monitors
Compared to 1080p and 1440p, 4K UHD resolution or 3840×2160 isn’t quite as popular or common to PC gamers compared to the first two monitor resolutions. That’s because playing games at 4K resolution requires a lot of GPU power. And previously, the only graphics card that could give you “playable” frame rates at 4K is the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti – a $1,000-$1,300 GPU.
That changes with the release of the GeForce RTX 3080 (Ti) and RTX 3090, and AMD’s Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6900 XT. These graphics cards are really powerful and can drive AAA title games at 4K 60fps or more depending on the graphics settings. While AMD RX 6000 series supports ray-tracing technology, NVIDIA is still better when it comes to ray tracing.
Anyway, going back to the main topic. I have listed here some of the best 4K gaming monitors. I narrowed down the list to a few since the other 4K monitors are already an old model and don’t come with the newer or latest technology or connectivity options.
Gigabyte M28U – 28″ 4K 144Hz
Gigabyte released several 4K monitors this year, and the M28U is one of them. The M28U uses an Innolux panel which performs well for its price. It’s capable of a 144Hz refresh rate with a 1ms GTG response time. Out of the box, the colors look nice and Gigabyte is using a “4K SuperSpeed IPS” display in this monitor.
When it comes to connectivity options, it has DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.1, and some USB ports. Unlike the previous HDMI version, HDMI 2.1 supports 4K 120Hz in consoles (PS5/Xbox). This means that you can also use this monitor as an output for your console.
The Gigabyte M28U uses FreeSync Premium Pro, but I’m positive NVIDIA G-Sync will work with this monitor as well. It also has a KVM feature, where users can control multiple devices. It’s only rated as HDR400 so don’t get this monitor if you want to enjoy HDR content. It doesn’t have flashy or aggressive aesthetics, but it’s an overall good performing 4K 144Hz monitor with a decent set of features for its price.
Check the latest pricing and availability of the Gigabyte M28U on Newegg.com here.
ASUS TUF VG28UQL1A
If the M28U is not available, another option is the Asus TUF VG28UQL1A. This is also a 4K 144Hz 28″ monitor with a similar set of features and performance as the Gigabyte M28U. Although, this one doesn’t have the KVM feature. But the TUF VG28UQL1A’s HDMI 2.1 connector is better compared to the M28U thanks to its higher bandwidth. This makes this monitor a better display for consoles, like the PS5. The M28U only does 4K@120Hz (4:2:0), while the VG28UQL1A can do 4K 120Hz gaming without chroma subsampling (4:4:4).
Although this monitor is also certified as DisplayHDR400, again, it’s best to avoid if you are planning to consume HDR content. HDR400 is not true HDR and will not give you the best HDR experience compared to HDR10. Compared to the M28U, the VG28UQL1A is also a bit more expensive.
Check the latest pricing and availability of the Asus TUF VG28UQL1A on Amazon.com here.
AORUS FI32U 4K 144Hz Gaming Monitor
The 4K monitors I mentioned so far are only 28″. If you want a larger 32″ 4K monitor, then Gigabyte has the Aorus FI32U. It features a 31.5″ SuperSpeed (SS) IPS panel, a GTG response time of 1ms, and a refresh rate of 144Hz with AMD FresSync Premium Pro support. Specs-wise, the FI32U is pretty impressive. When it comes to color accuracy, it covers 95% DCI-P3 and 123% sRGB with 10-bit (8 bits + FRC) color support. Its design is reminiscent of the Aorus AD27QD or FI27Q-P, but only larger and with better features.
Unlike Gigabyte’s previous Aorus gaming monitors, there are a few unique features that its new gaming monitor has. It comes with a built-in ESS SABRE HiFi DAC for the headphone output. It also has a KVM feature with USB Type-C to control multiple devices. Aside from that, it also features Flicker-free technology, DisplayPort High Bit Rate 3, Aim Stabilizer Sync, Black Equalizer, OSD Sidekick, and Active Noise Cancelling 2.0 for the headphone out.
MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD
MSI has a 4K gaming monitor. Most of MSI’s (previous) monitors were either 1080p or 1440p high refresh rate monitors. MSI’s latest 4K monitor is no slouch as well. Similar to the Aorus FI32U, the Optix MPG321UR-QD is a 32″ 4K UHD monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. This one is G-Sync compatible and features HDMI 2.1 as well.
Thanks to its Quantum dot technology, MSI’s Optix MPG321UR-QD features a wide color gamut and the color performance on this monitor is great. It is using an AU Optronics panel so its motion performance may not be as good compared to the 27-28″ 4K monitors. But unlike the previous monitors, this is HDR600 certified. Although it’s still not true HDR, the HDR experience is a bit better compared to HDR400-certified monitors.
Check the latest pricing and availability of the MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD on Amazon.com here.
Best 4K (True) HDR High Refresh Rate
Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX
If you want a true HDR experience, you have two monitors to choose from and these are currently the best 4K HDR option in the market. The first one is the Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX, a 32″ 4K HDR monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate and features G-Sync Ultimate. It is DisplayHDR 1400 certified, meaning it’s fully capable of delivering a true HDR experience. It also features Full Array Local Dimming backlights with 1152 LED zones.
The colors on this monitor are fantastic. It features a quantum-dot display with a wide DCI-P3 98% color gamut. Thanks to its wide color gamut and color accuracy; not only that this monitor is great for gaming, but for content creation as well. However, there are two cons that I see in this monitor. First, it only has HDMI 2.0, which is not good for the latest consoles. And second, this one is a very expensive monitor, with a price tag well above $2,000 USD. So, whether or not the set of features it offers is worth it or not, is up for you to decide.
Check the latest pricing and availability of the Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX on Amazon.com here.
LG OLED C1 – 4K HDR 120Hz
The Asus PG32UQX is not the only monitor that is capable of true HDR. There are a lot of 4K TVs in the market that offers a true HDR experience. However, most of them are not gaming-oriented and don’t offer a high refresh rate or variable refresh rate. Luckily, LG has the OLED C1 series Smart TV. While it is not a “desktop monitor”, the LG C1 offers superb color accuracy and a true 4K HDR experience thanks to its OLED panel. It’s also capable of a 120Hz refresh rate, making it great for 4K gaming as well.
The LG OLED C1 is way cheaper than the Asus PG32UQX, currently at around $1,100 for the 48″. This makes it a good option if you want to enjoy 4K HDR content. However, this is not a good desktop monitor since it’s too big. Not to mention, it uses an OLED panel, so it is not an ideal use for “static content” or non-moving objects due to OLED burn-in. Only get this for gaming and video consumption.
The LG OLED C1 Series is now available on Amazon.com here.
With a 4K monitor, you get crisp and clear text and images unlike in lower resolutions. Texts are noticeably sharper, just like when you look at your smartphones with HD display. In gaming, there is a noticeable improvement in visual fidelity and sharpness of the image. It’s simply on a new level compared to a 1080p or 1440p monitor.
On the flip side, a 4K resolution has 4x more pixels than a 1080p resolution or around 3x more pixels than 1440p. This means you need a fairly powerful graphics card to drive all those pixels and push all those frames especially when gaming. While many modern graphics cards can technically be used with a 4K resolution, gaming at 4K is a different story.
While many may opt for a 1440p monitor since it’s cheaper than a 4K monitor; text and images simply look better and sharper on a 4K resolution monitor. You can’t make out the individual pixels, not unless you put your eyes just a few centimeters away from the monitor.
Not to mention, those who are content creators by day and gamers at night would also benefit from a 4K monitor thanks to the real estate that it provides. I prefer to edit my photos and videos on a 4K monitor.
Currently, there are a few graphics cards that I can comfortably recommend for 4K gaming. And these are the GeForce RTX 3080, RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3090. If you want and AMD graphics card, there is the Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6900 XT. But their ray tracing performance is not as good compared to NVIDIA’s.