Science

Best monitors for PS5: How to get 4K/120Hz for less

Sony’s PlayStation 5 is the latest and greatest home console, topping gamers’ wish lists all over the world. With an 8-core CPU and custom AMD graphics chip, the PS5 offers incredible fidelity. According to Sony, it’s capable of running games at 120 frames per second and will be able to show them at 8k resolution. If you’ve been lucky enough to snag a PS5 and plan to play it using a PC-style desk setup, then you’ll want a compatible monitor that can take advantage of all that power. We’ve rounded up the best monitors for PS5 to help you find the right panel and make that happen.

How we selected the best monitor for PS5

Through testing, reading monitor reviews, and a lifetime of experience in both console and PC gaming, we surveyed modern monitors on the market right now and drilled down on those capable of showcasing the PS5’s graphical specs. We selected monitors that are all well-reviewed and offer solid value for their price, including both overall top choices as well as products that selectively cut corners to reduce cost, depending on whether you care more about framerate or resolution.

What to consider before buying the best PS5 monitor

Even if money is no object, picking one of the best monitors for PS5 takes a little doing. Not every monitor will be able to take full advantage of the console’s output, so it’s important to check for compatibility. Unlike PCs, which can output graphics at a much wider and more customizable range of settings, the PS5 is limited to a few resolution and framerate options, and so you need a monitor capable of meeting those needs. Moreover, if you can’t afford to spend more than the price of your new console itself on a monitor for it, it’s important to know your priorities–namely, whether you care more about framerate or resolution.

What is HDMI 2.1?

At bare minimum, you’re going to need an HDMI-compatible monitor. While many of the best gaming monitors have followed PC gaming’s shift to DisplayPort cables, the PS5 (and the Xbox Series X) call for HDMI 2.1, the latest iteration of the more ubiquitous HDMI cable. Despite the fact that it looks the same as previous HDMI cables, HDMI 2.1 greatly increases how much data moves from computer to screen. HDMI 2.0 has a maximum data transmission rate of 18 gigabits per second, allowing for output at 4K resolution at 60Hz, or 1080p resolution at up to 240Hz. HDMI 2.1 bumps that up significantly to 48 Gbp/s, allowing computers – including game consoles – to output 4K video at up to 180Hz, or 8K at 50Hz.

For the PS5 specifically, using an HDMI 2.1 cable and monitor opens the door for the PS5 to run games at 4K resolution and 120fps (and, eventually, 8K/30fps). Legacy HDMI 2.0 monitors will still be able to choose between either 4K/60fps or 1080p/120fps, but you’ll need HDMI 2.1 to enjoy both at the same time.

Monitor aspect ratio and resolution

Resolution refers to the number of pixels on screen, with higher resolutions being capable of more fine-grained detail and smoothness. The PS5 outputs at two resolutions: Standard HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) and the richer, more pixel-dense 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels). As you might expect, 4K monitors are newer and more powerful, so they tend to be considerably more expensive than their 1080p counterparts. 

In this PS5 FAQ, Sony says the PS5 hardware is also capable of running games at 8K resolution, but not with the current firmware. Meanwhile, there are no PS5 games that can run in 8K yet, so we currently advise you to avoid spending thousands of dollars to get ahead of the pack.

Since most gaming monitors are built with PC gaming in mind, there are more choices out there. Many monitors offer up 1440p (2560 x 1440) pixels. There’s also a growing number of ultrawide monitors that differ from the usual 16:9 “widescreen” dimensions used for most modern screens. The PS5 doesn’t support 1440p. It can work with an ultrawide screen, though that may present problems from game to game. Realistically, if you’re buying a monitor specifically with the PS5 in mind, you’ll want to stick to standard widescreen monitors with a maximum resolution of either 1080p or 4K.

And while part of the PS5’s appeal is its ability to run games in 4K at better framerates, its sharper, more detailed gameplay shows up on a 1080p monitor as well. If “better” is good enough, settling for 1080p may be a good concession when shopping for a new monitor on a budget.

Refresh rate, response time, and input lag

To judge how games look, resolution goes hand in hand with a second monitor spec, refresh rate, which determines the highest possible framerate at which a game “runs.” Refresh rate, expressed in hertz (Hz), refers to the number of times per second a monitor can “draw” an image on your screen. The higher the refresh rate on your monitor, the more frames of animation your computer or console can animate each second.

Framerate rarely matters for TV and film, which are still traditionally filmed at 24fps but, in games, more frames means smoother animation and, often, more information. Being able to more quickly and subtly perceive motion can give you an edge in playing anything at all action-oriented, which becomes even more important in competitive gaming. During the PS4 and Xbox One era, framerates between 30fps and 60fps were the standard. The PS5 and Xbox Series X have now raised the bar to between 60 and 120fps.

Thus, in order to get the most out of your console, you’re going to want a monitor with a max refresh rate of 120Hz or higher. As with resolution, there are other options available aimed at gaming PCs. You can find monitors that go up to 240Hz or even an absurd 360Hz, which really pushes the border of what the human eye can perceive. For the PS5, though, 120fps is the limit. Luckily, there’s a standard refresh rate for monitors just over that cap – 144Hz – that gives you exactly what you need.

What about HDR?

Both PS4 and PS5 games support High Dynamic Range, or HDR, a TV and monitor feature that creates a wider range of in-game darkness and light on 4K monitors with high brightness and color contrast. HDR monitors are brighter overall, with richer, more accurate colors and more nuance in both shadows and bright areas, making images pop more overall. 

There is such a thing as “good” and “bad” HDR. Some monitors support the feature, but lack the maximum brightness to create a true range of lighting conditions. When considering a monitor’s HDR, you want to check its brightness settings: Look for a maximum brightness of at least 500-600 NITs, and that it features full-array local dimming, which determines how much the monitor can change the brightness of specific parts of the screen.

Best monitors for PS5: Our recommendations

The best monitors for PS5 vary quite a bit. Some focus on framerate. Some focus on resolution. A couple of them have everything you need. (One is actually a TV). Depending on what you need and how much you have to spend, we’re confident that you’ll find that at least one of these monitors is a great fit for you and your new console.

Best PS5 monitor overall: Acer Nitro XV282K 

Full-force next-gen gaming

Acer’s Nitro XV282K is one of the best HDMI 2.1 monitors currently available for getting the most out of your PS5. Acer

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Why it made the cut: In the relatively new and small field of HDMI 2.1 gaming monitors, Acer currently leads the pack with an expensive, but solid panel that perfectly complements the PS5.

Specs:

  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Refresh Rate: 144Hz
  • Size: 28”
  • Ports: HDMI 2.1 (2) DisplayPort 1.4, USB 3.1 Type C
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • HDR: Yes
Pros Cons
4K Expensive
144Hz
HDMI 2.1
Low lag

With a 144Hz refresh rate, 4K resolution, and 2 HDMI 2.1 ports, Acer’s Nitro XV282K feels like a very comfortable fit for the PS5. (Along with any other consoles or gaming PCs you might want to hook up). It also boasts an impressively low 1ms response time for smooth and ghost-free gaming. The only drawback is a slightly sub-par contrast ratio, which suggests that blacks may look a bit gray in a dark room. Otherwise, the image is about as fast and as clear as you could hope for the time being, given the PS5’s high demands.

Best value PS5 monitor: Gigabyte M28U

Everything you need at a lower price

The Gigabyte M28U is impressively inexpensive for the high spec it hits. Gigabyte

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Why it made the cut: The Gigabyte M28U meets all the same overall specs as our top choice, but at a drastically lower price, with compromises that only the most hardcore gamers will notice.

Specs:

  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Refresh Rate: 144Hz
  • Size: 28”
  • Ports: HDMI 2.1 (2) DisplayPort 1.4, USB 3.1 Type C
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • HDR: Yes
Pros Cons
4K Slight input lag
144Hz Minor backlight bleed
HDMI 2.1
Lowest price for full range of specs

The Gigabyte M28U offers the most bang for your buck among the relatively small number of HDMI 2.1-compatible monitors available right now. Like our top choice, it has a 144Hz refresh rate, 4K resolution, and a low 1ms response time, making them functionally equivalent in many situations. The main differences between the two come into play in specific scenarios, like some noticeable backlight bleed if you’re playing in the dark, and higher input lag than comparable 144Hz monitors. More specifically, M28U’s input lag measured around 10ms, while the Acer Nitro XV282K clocked in closer to 4ms. That looks like a big difference on paper, but we’re talking about fractions of a second. While the most framerate-sensitive gamers may still notice the difference, the M28U is a very strong choice for most players.

Best PS5 monitor for esports competitors: BenQ Mobiuz EX2510

When 1080p is plenty

If you care more about fast and smooth gameplay than high resolution, the BenQ Mobiuz EX2510 is the best value we could find for a 1080p, 120Hz monitor. BenQ

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Why it made the cut: The BenQ Mobiuz EX2510 is the best entry-level PS5 monitor, sacrificing 4K in exchange for smooth and solid HD gameplay.

Specs:

  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Refresh Rate: 144Hz
  • Size: 24.5”
  • Ports: HDMI 2.0 (2) DisplayPort 1.2
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • HDR: No
Pros Cons
144Hz Not 4K
Smooth performance
Solid build

While 4K is the more headline-grabbing resolution, lots of people are more than fine playing in 1080p. In competitive PC gaming circles, framerate is king. Premium esports monitors are often 1080p, but hit incredibly high framerates upwards of 300Hz. Given the PS5’s cap at 120fps, that’s a bit much for our needs, though. BenQ’s Mobiuz EX2510 sits at a more reasonable 144Hz, allowing you to still get as many frames as possible out of your PS5 without sacrificing image quality for less than you might expect.

Best 4K/60 monitor for PS5: ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q

The people’s 4K

If you’re on a budget and prefer to focus on resolution, the ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q offers rock-solid 4K images at 60Hz. Asus

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Why it made the cut: 4K monitors are still fairly expensive across the board, but the ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q is a great entry-level 4K monitor that strikes a balance between quality and cost.

Specs:

  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz
  • Size: 28”
  • Ports: HDMI 2.0 (2) DisplayPort 1.2
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • HDR: Yes
Pros Cons
4K Middling HDR
Great value

When games first made the jump from 30 to 60fps, some people claimed that the human eye wouldn’t even be able to discern the difference, but anyone who’s tried them side by side can confirm that we absolutely can, and it makes games look substantially better. People are likewise capable of noticing the jump from 60 to 120, but with noticeably diminishing returns. The ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q delivers excellent, color-accurate 4K graphics at a steady and still-generous 60Hz, which is less than perfect for PS5, but still looks buttery-smooth to the average eye. It isn’t perfect: With low overall brightness–350 nits–its HDR doesn’t keep pace with other, more expensive monitors. Still, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better 4K monitor at this price.

Best monitor for PS5 that is actually a TV: LG C1 OLED 

The best consumer screen available

If you want an OLED screen, the LG C1 is the way to go. LG

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Why it made the cut: If cost is not a concern, LG’s OLED TVs are the gold standard for incredible image quality with no compromise in responsiveness.

Specs:

  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Refresh Rate: 120Hz
  • Size: 48”
  • Ports: HDMI 2.1 (4), USB 2.0 (3)
  • Panel Type: OLED
  • HDR: Yes
Pros Cons
120Hz on a TV Very expensive compared to monitors
HDMI 2.1 Burn-in risk
Incredible blacks and color range
Wide viewing angles

Where all of the above monitors use the current standard LCD technology, which requires a backlight, the next generation of screens are starting to shift over to OLED, which requires no backlight because every pixel is self-lit and independent. OLED screens allow for rich, perfect blacks and nearly infinite contrast, as well as much slimmer form factors without the need for a backlight. 

It turns out that the best OLED screen to pair with the PS5 is a TV, not a monitor. LG’s C1 OLED, the best PS5 TV, offers these benefits, along with all the top specs you need to get the most out of the PS5: 120Hz, 4K, HDMI 2.1, and extremely low input lag. Obviously, the C1 is much bigger and more expensive than the average PC monitor, but its screen quality is top sharp to ignore.

FAQs

Q: Is it better to play PS5 on TV or monitor?

There’s a strong argument for playing console games on a PC monitor. Older televisions traditionally have significantly more input lag than monitors, making them less ideal for contemporary gaming. However, as the LG OLED TV on our list demonstrates, that isn’t a hard and fast rule. 

For most people, the choice between a TV and a monitor comes down to size, price and setting. If you want to play games on your couch in the living room, go for a TV. If you prefer sitting at a desk with your face right in front of the screen, a monitor is just as viable.

Q: Is a 1080p monitor good for PS5?

Yes, while the PS5 has been highly touted for its ability to output 4K gameplay at up to 120fps, there are still relatively few monitors out there that support HDMI 2.1. The PS5 still looks substantially better than the PS4 on a 1080p display, and it’s possible to get a 1080p/144Hz monitor for a relatively affordable price.

Q: Is 144hz good for PS5?

Not only is 144Hz good, it’s the “right” refresh rate for PS5 owners. While the PS5 tops out at 120fps, 144Hz is a standard maximum refresh rate for gaming monitors. Unlike resolution, monitors can run at any framerate under that cap, so any 144Hz monitor will show 120Hz gameplay without any issues.

The final word on the best monitors for PS5

If you’re already managed to get a PS5, despite its limited availability, then you’re going to want to ensure you have a monitor that’s up to the task. Fortunately, once you understand the specs, it’s fairly easy to narrow down the options and find the best monitors for PS5. Take into account what’s most important to you, whether that’s smooth, 120fps gameplay or crisp 4K images, and choose accordingly based on your budget.



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