Updated at: 21-04-2023 - By: Leo Hall
You may be wondering if an HDR monitor is still worthwhile for gaming in light of the rising popularity of FreeSync 2 and G-SYNC HDR. In this manual, we will explain everything you need to know to get started.


If visuals are your top priority, then an HDR monitor is a must.

It’s supported by the vast majority of premium monitors and some mid-range models. Unfortunately, TN panels and a significant number of games still do not support HDR.

Although “HDR” has been bandied about in the gaming community for some time, it is only relatively recently that monitors capable of displaying true HDR have become widely available to consumers.

Just what is high dynamic range, then? Is it a good idea to spend the money? Do you need HDR more than a higher resolution?

Below, you’ll find the detailed explanations to all your inquiries.

What Is HDR?

High dynamic range is the meaning of the acronym HDR. This term has been in use for some time in photography, and its sole purpose is to present images with realistic lighting.

How does it manage to do that, exactly?

HDR basically enhances the lighting and the appearance of the displayed colors while also improving the contrast between light and dark areas. It does this in a way that’s supposed to make colors more true to life and striking.

Is An HDR Gaming Monitor Worth It? [2023 Guide] - DisplayNinja

The end result is a much more vibrant image that, despite being rendered in-game, could easily be mistaken for a real-world scene.

HDR Hardware and Software Requirements

Contrary to popular belief, HDR can run on even a modest graphics processing unit. HDR is supported by GPUs from both Nvidia and AMD as of the GTX 950 and R9 380, respectively.

Keep in mind that the earliest HDMI and DisplayPort versions that support HDR are 2.0 and 1.4, respectively. Also, TN panels are incompatible with HDR, so monitors must have either an IPS or a VA panel.

Additionally, HDR is supported by Windows 10, the PlayStation 4 (base, Slim, and Pro), and the Xbox One (base, S, and X).

Simply selecting Display from the context menu that appears when you right-click the desktop will enable HDR in Windows. Only when an HDR-capable display is plugged in will the HDR option be visible. The process is nearly identical on consoles; to enable HDR, head to the system’s display settings.

However, keep in mind that not every game has HDR support. Console games will display the HDR option if they detect an HDR display, while Windows games will do so if the user has the HDR option enabled in Windows. It goes without saying that in order to enjoy HDR’s benefits, you’ll need a game or media that supports HDR.

Is HDR Better Than QHD or UHD Resolutions?

It’s natural to wonder whether HDR is worth it if it means sacrificing resolution.

That’s a question with no easy answer. Both of these factors affect image quality, but in different, independent ways. Sharpness, aliasing, and depth perception all improve with higher resolutions, and HDR adds a new level of realism to the image’s contrast and lighting.

Since many premium and even budget displays now have HDR support, it’s unlikely you’ll have to decide between the two. Keep in mind that a higher resolution will necessitate a more powerful GPU, while high dynamic range (HDR) will have no impact on performance.

Therefore, which panels support HDR should be your primary concern when shopping for an HDR-capable monitor.

IPS vs VA vs TN

IPS (in-plane switching), VA (vertical alignment), and TN (twisted nematic) panels are the three main types of LCDs used in modern monitors. There are other distinctions between the three technologies, but the bottom line is that IPS and VA support HDR while TN does not.

Other than that, the following are the most notable distinctions between the two technologies:

  1. The lowest pixel response time that IPS can achieve is 4ms, while TN can achieve is 1ms.
  2. While TN panels can reach up to 240 Hz, IPS only goes up to 144 Hz.
  3. The color accuracy of IPS panels is higher.
  4. IPS panels can be viewed from more angles.

VA offers a compromise between the two extremes. Its performance is comparable to that of an IPS panel, but it typically costs less. Additionally, a VA panel performs better than an IPS one in terms of contrast, albeit with inferior color accuracy.

This can be summed up as follows: IPS is ideal for those who value visuals more than performance, TN is best for those who want every possible advantage in competitive multiplayer, and VA is a good and usually cost-efficient compromise between visuals and performance.

Types of HDR

There is a huge gap between TVs and monitors when it comes to the HDR levels available. Standard High Dynamic Range (HDR10) TVs were the first to implement HDR, which aimed to specify wide color gamut support, local dimming, and brightness levels up to 1,000 nits. Since then, TV manufacturers have expanded and redefined this specification under a variety of monikers, including Dolby Vision, HDR10 , HLG, and others. We will not delve into any of these, however, because they are not currently relevant to monitors.

The same trend can be seen in monitors, with many early models supporting HDR10. There were many products that used the specification more as a marketing term rather than an indication of correctly implemented support because, unlike TVs, there was no regulation on what monitors had to support in order to slap this label on the box. Instead, VESA’s HDR standards govern any modern monitor with even rudimentary HDR support, beginning with VESA DisplayHDR 400 and continuing all the way up to VESA DisplayHDR 1400.

A display’s maximum advertised brightness is indicated by the number, making it the simplest way to differentiate between the various specifications. For instance, the brightest DisplayHDR 400 screen will reach 400 nits, while the brightest DisplayHDR 1000 screen will reach 1,000 nits. When it comes to televisions, 1,000 nits is generally considered the optimal brightness for HDR content (this varies between LCD and OLED panels, but that’s a different discussion altogether). The fact that a monitor meets the DisplayHDR 400 standard is no guarantee that it will provide the best HDR experience.

Each DisplayHDR gradation has its own set of supplementary brightness standards in addition to the maximum brightness. Even though they aren’t accurate HDR representations, monitors without local dimming and emulated wide color gamut can still use DisplayHDR 400. The restrictions imposed by DisplayHDR 600 include the need for local dimming and a large 10-bit color gamut. Better HDR performance is guaranteed at higher resolutions, which is why there is a wide selection of DisplayHDR 400 displays in a variety of price points but fewer, more expensive monitors at the next resolution level up.

One of the most crucial aspects of higher-quality HDR specifications is local dimming, which prevents bright areas of the screen from accidentally washing out darker ones. DisplayHDR 600 only requires simple edge-lit local dimming, allowing the screen to be divided into segments whose brightness can be adjusted independently of one another. This can work in some situations, but it can be distracting in HDR content if even a single pixel is meant to be at the maximum brightness of the display.

FALD (full-array local dimming) is essential for DisplayHDR 1000 and higher resolutions. This allows the screen to be divided into hundreds or thousands of zones, each of which can have its brightness customized for optimal contrast. This is the closest thing LCD TVs can get to an OLED display (the ideal panel for HDR because individual pixels can turn on and off), but monitors are still years behind. Despite the fact that FALD is a requirement of DisplayHDR 1000, the specification does not guarantee that enough zones will be present to make it as useful as implementations on TVs. If you can, you should strive for this instead of edge-lit local dimming.

All DisplayHDR requirements are listed below for your perusal. DisplayHDR True Black can only be used with OLED displays, which have lower average brightness but excellent contrast. You may want to wait before making your purchase decision based on this feature, as there are currently almost no gaming monitors using OLED.

Specification luminosity (nits) Colour range Regional dimming
HDR Display 400 400 RGB, 8 bits 0 / No Logo Displayed
ExhibitHDR 500 500 Ten bits, ninety percent DCI-P3 Edge-Lit
ExhibitHDR 600 600 10-bit resolution, 90% DCI-P3 Edge-Lit
LED Display HDR 1000 1,000 10% DCI-P3 10-bit resolution Full-Array
ExhibitHDR 1440 1,400 10-bit, 95%-DCI-P3 Full-Array
True Black DisplayHDR 400 400 Ten bits, DCI-P3 at 95% Full-Array/OLED
True Black DisplayHDR 500 500 Ten bits, DCI-P3 at 95% Full-Array/OLED

What you need for HDR

Now that you know what High Dynamic Range (HDR) is and how it can be used, you may be wondering what equipment is required to get started. Your monitor, graphics card, display cable, and, of course, the game you’re playing must all be HDR-compatible for you to get the full HDR experience.

HDR-compatible displays

The number of HDR-compatible displays is in the hundreds; however, you should prioritize those that comply with the VESA DisplayHDR specification. A monitor labeled simply “HDR” or “HDR10” can receive an HDR signal but makes no other adjustments to the image. In such cases, it is best to use only SDR.

DisplayHDR 400, 600, and 1000 range monitor recommendations are provided below. It stands to reason that a monitor’s price would increase in proportion to the quality of its HDR implementation. Here you will find a full catalog of VESA-approved HDR desktop and portable displays.

Display cables

If you’re using a high refresh rate monitor, you may want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your GPU, but HDR is supported on most display cables you probably already have. A standard high-speed HDMI cable will suffice for 4K at 60Hz, but for higher refresh rates (including the latest in monitor technology, HDMI 2.1), an ultra-high-speed cable is required. The PS4 and Xbox One also switch to YCbCr442 from full RGB output when displaying HDR content, so you may need to do the same if you’re using a standard HDMI 1.4 connection to display HDR at 4K without any problems. High frame rates and HDR are supported with a DisplayPort connection.

HDR-compatible graphics cards

Fortunately, an ultra-modern GPU is not required to experience HDR (although more power does help). All AMD graphics cards newer than the Radeon R9 380 and all Nvidia graphics cards starting with the GeForce GTX 950 support high dynamic range. Many new laptops include HDR support because Intel integrated GPUs introduced with their 7th generation of CPUs also support HDR. If you’re willing to shell out for the top-tier displays currently available, the newest graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD also support HDMI 2.1.

Turning on HDR in Windows 10

HDR in Windows 10 must be activated, and if you haven’t done so before, this setting is surprisingly buried. To enable it, select “Play HDR games and apps” in Settings > Apps > Video Playback. The transition from standard definition to high dynamic range will be indicated by a rapid on and off of the screen. HDR on Windows 10 has been criticized for making the desktop look strange (possibly washed out), but games that make use of HDR will still look good. Unfortunately, not all games can activate HDR on their own, so you’ll need to get in the habit of double-checking your settings before jumping into a game.

When it comes to games, the software that is compatible and how it handles HDR will vary greatly. Some programs will not function properly with Windows 10 HDR enabled, while others will require it. Some programs automatically enable HDR if it is available when launched, while others require you to activate it manually. There is no foolproof method of telling the differences between all these possibilities; instead, players should try out a few different strategies when learning a new game.

The titles on this list all look fantastic in high dynamic range (HDR), and they’re all available right now if you want to give HDR a try. This page also features a comprehensive catalog of PC games that are HDR-compatible.

  • Combat Arms V
  • Modern Warfare – A Call to Duty
  • Destiny 2
  • Play Devil May Cry 5
  • Forever Doomed
  • Gears 5
  • Hitman 3
  • Forza Horizon 2
  • Andromeda: A Massive Effect
  • Subway Migrates
  • The Last of the Wisps (Ori)
  • Dead Space 2
  • Jedi: The Fallen Order from Star Wars
  • Impact of Tetris

Best True HDR Monitors

The following displays have the high peak brightness, high contrast ratio, high resolution, and wide color gamut necessary for an engaging HDR viewing experience. Unfortunately, they’re not cheap.

Dell AW3423DW

Excellent HDR Gaming Display

Size: 34”
Dimensions: 3440 x 1440
QD-OLED Discussion Panel
A Refresh Every 175 Hertz
VRR: The Pinnacle of G-SYNC

The Pros:

  • Unlimited brightness range, high contrast, and vivid hues
  • Immediate feedback
  • Plentiful extras, including G-SYNC at frequencies up to 175Hz
  • Standing bracket with USB ports

The Cons:

  • No MBR
  • Possible burn-in

About The Monitor

The good news is that the Dell Alienware AW3423DW, the best HDR gaming monitor currently available, is less expensive than many lower-quality displays.

Image Quality

The AW3423DW is based on an OLED panel, which means that its pixels are self-emissive and can be turned off individually, resulting in infinite contrast and perfect blacks with no backlight bleeding, blooming, or glowing.

OLEDs are great for fast-paced games because their pixels can change colors instantly, leaving no visible trailing behind fast-moving objects.

Quantum dot enhancements to the color gamut, brightness, and burn-in resistance of the QD-OLED panel used in the Dell AW3423DW.

It has a gamut size that is roughly equivalent to 149% sRGB, covering 99.3% of the DCI-P3 color space and 95% of Adobe RGB. The HDR content looks as the creators intended, with vivid and rich colors.

If you need to do color-critical work or watch SDR content without experiencing oversaturation, you can switch to the dedicated sRGB or DCI-P3 color modes, each of which comes with its own brightness and gamma controls.

In addition, the screen’s peak brightness of 1,000-nits and its ability to sustain nearly 300-nits when displaying a 100% white window are both brighter than any other OLED screen on the market.

The potential for image burn-in is the biggest drawback of OLEDs.

Overexposure to a still image can cause some of its brighter parts to become permanently fixed in place. In any case, you shouldn’t have any problems so long as you employ a screen saver and the monitor’s built-in features like Pixel Refresher and Panel Refresher. Dell’s three-year warranty includes protection against burn-in.

The 34-inch display on the Dell Alienware AW3423DW has an ultrawide resolution of 3440 by 1440 pixels, for a pixel density of 110 PPI. Overall, you get a large playing area with crisp, unscaled details, and the ultrawide format gives you a wider field of view in games that support it. It also doesn’t require nearly as much processing power as 4K UHD.

While the monitor’s RGB subpixels are standard, their triangular arrangement causes some colored fringing around small text. It’s fine for video games and movies, but may cause headaches if you spend a lot of time staring at text (as in, say, programming or writing). It would be great if the new QD-OLED panels were supported by updated versions of Windows ClearType and MacOS HiDPI scaling.


The Dell AW3423DW can reach speeds of up to 175Hz/FPS in VRR (variable refresh rate) mode, thanks to its built-in G-SYNC module.

Instantaneous response time, imperceptibly low input lag, and G-SYNC support at refresh rates up to 175 fps combine to make for an engaging and responsive gaming experience. Unfortunately, there is no support for MBR (Motion Blur Reduction), which would have used backlight strobing to mitigate the effects of the inevitable perceived motion blur.

In addition to the Dark Stabilizer, crosshair overlays, in-game timers, a refresh rate monitor, RGB lighting, and more are also available.

Design & Connectivity

The sturdy and adaptable monitor stand allows for height adjustments of up to 110mm, tilt adjustments of -5°/21°, swivel adjustments of /- 20°, pivot adjustments of /- 4°, and is compatible with VESA mounts of up to 100x100mm.

The screen has an anti-reflective semigloss finish and a gentle 1800R curvature. Therefore, the picture is more distinct than on screens with matte anti-glare coatings but less so than on completely glossy screens.

There is a line-out jack, a headphone jack, a line-in jack, a quad-USB 3.0 hub, and a DisplayPort 1.4 port. You can only use 175Hz 8-bit or 144Hz 10-bit because there is no DSC support.

You can use either 10-bit or 8-bit color, and either 144 or 175 frames per second, because the differences between them are negligible in practice. Games where 10-bit color could make a noticeable difference are typically too resource-intensive to play at frame rates higher than 144 FPS with high quality visual settings.


However, Samsung is expected to release a monitor based on the same panel, the Odyssey G8QNB, though there is currently no word on pricing or a release date for this product.

Even the $3,000 ASUS PG32UQX with its 1152-zone mini LED full-array local dimming (FALD) backlight can’t compare to the HDR image quality and performance of the Dell AW3423DW.

The PG32UQX is more expensive, but it has a higher peak and sustained brightness without the risk of burn-in. However, its FALD implementation results in blooming, and its slower response time results in trailing artifacts behind fast-moving objects.

Other LED-backlit HDR monitors, such as the ASUS PG35VQ and the Acer X35, or the ASUS PG27UQ and the Acer X27, are similarly overpriced despite providing subpar visuals and response times.

To compete with the 34-inch, 3440 by 1440 Dell Alienware AW3423DW, upcoming mini LED monitors will need to be significantly cheaper.


The Ultimate HDR 48″ Gaming Monitor

Size: 48”
Dimensions: 3840 by 2160
OLED Display Panel
Refreshing at 120 hertz
Virtual Reality: G-SYNC Ready

The Pros:

  • High color gamut, decent brightness, and infinite contrast ratio.
  • Rapid reaction time
  • VRR and BFI up to 120Hz are just two of the many features available.
  • Extensive selection of interfaces and an intelligent operating system

The Cons:

  • Burn-in danger
  • Compared to LED or QD-OLED panels, it’s not very luminous.

About The Monitor

Compare the AW3423DW to LG’s C1 48″ OLED TV if you prefer a larger screen with a more traditional 16:9 aspect ratio.

Image Quality

The C1 is built around LG’s OLED panel rather than Dell’s AW3423DW, which uses an OLED with quantum dots. So, it has the same inherent benefits of OLED technology like instantaneous response time and infinite contrast ratio, but it isn’t as bright, has a narrower color gamut, and is more susceptible to burn-in.

Except for the top-tier G1 and Z1 models, LG’s warranty does not cover burn-in.

LG’s gamut covers 98% of the DCI-P3 color space and 87% of the Adobe RGB; 135% of the sRGB gamut, whereas the AW3423DW’s gamut covers 99.3% of the DCI-P3, 95% of the Adobe RGB, and 149% of the sRGB.

It’s also not as bright, coming in at a peak of around 800 nits and a sustained level of around 150 nits for a completely white window. Because of the low sustainable brightness, the Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL) is activated more often.

When ABL is activated, the panel is protected. Therefore, if you’re using the C1 at around 250-nits, ABL will reduce the brightness to around 150-nits once you display an image that is primarily white/bright. This brightness shifting can be distracting depending on the program you’re watching.

You can prevent or alleviate this by lowering the brightness (or contrast) setting, but the ABL implementation on the Dell AW3423DW is less aggressive because it is brighter overall.

The LG C1 may have a higher native 4K UHD resolution, but its 48-inch viewable screen results in a lower pixel density (92 PPI vs. 110 PPI for the AW3423DW).

Still, you won’t be able to make out individual pixels from where you’ll be sitting. Small text on the C1 is not as crisp as on monitors with a regular RGB subpixel layout, but this is not noticeable in games or videos due to the monitor’s high frame rate and high resolution.

The OLED48C1 supports G-SYNC and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, allowing for fluid VRR performance at up to 120 frames per second. Black Frame Insertion (BFI) is also supported for smoother motion at the expense of overall brightness.

Design & Connectivity

The display’s stand is fixed, but the monitor is VESA mountable thanks to its 300x200mm pattern. The screen’s glossy coating makes the displayed image more vibrant (albeit more reflective).

We have integrated dual 10W speakers and a 20W subwoofer in addition to WiFi, Bluetooth, RJ45, a tuner, composite-in, analog and digital audio jacks, three USB 2.0 ports, and WiFi.


Keep in mind that LG’s TV panel is also used in Gigabyte’s 48-inch monitor. It’s more expensive but doesn’t include TV features and doesn’t add much. Therefore, you should only think about it if it is less expensive where you live. If you have a powerful graphics card like the RTX 2080 but don’t have HDMI 2.1 and don’t plan on upgrading anytime soon, this monitor is also a good option because of its DisplayPort 1.4 input.

Is an HDR Monitor Worth It? (The Rundown on HDR Displays)


The Top HDR 42″ Gaming Monitor

Size: 42”
38402160 is the pixel count.
OLED Display Panel
Rate of 120 Hz Refresh
G-Sync-Ready Virtual Reality

The Pros:

  • High color gamut, decent brightness, and infinite contrast ratio.
  • Immediate feedback
  • VRR up to 120Hz, among many other features.
  • Wide variety of available connections, highly evolved operating system

The Cons:

  • Burn-in danger
  • Compared to LED or QD-OLED panels, it’s not very luminous.
  • Not a 120Hz BFI

About The Monitor

A smaller screen and higher pixel density of 106 PPI make the 42-inch model of the LG OLED C2 series more suitable for regular desktop use.

While the C2’s processor is slightly faster than that of the 48″ C1 TV, it does not support 120Hz BFI and is currently more expensive.

Design & Connectivity

The LG OLED42C2 has a leg design so it can be used on a standard computer desk, but it lacks any sort of ergonomic adjustments beyond being VESA mount compatible. The LG C2 series, like the C1 series, features a reflective, glossy screen finish that improves image quality.

The C1 series’ four HDMI 2.1 ports, RJ45, tuner, composite-in, analog and digital audio jacks, three USB 2.0 ports, WiFi, Bluetooth, and dual 10W integrated speakers (but no subwoofer) are all included in this model as well.


We don’t know the price or release date for the upcoming 42-inch monitor from ASUS that will use the same panel, but it’s expected to be released in 2022. In any case, the ASUS PG42UQ is a device to consider.

Samsung Odyssey Neo G9

Top-Rated Compact LED HDR Gaming Display

Size: 49”
5120 x 1440 pixels.
The VA Panel
A 240-Hertz Refresh Rate
Virtual Reality: G-SYNC-Ready

The Pros:

  • Excellent color gamut, high peak brightness, and contrast ratio
  • Quick reaction time
  • Comprehensive support, including vertical refresh rates of up to 240 hertz (VRR)
  • Sturdy base, multiple USB ports

The Cons:

  • Expensive
  • A blatant flowering in a few instances

About The Monitor

As we discussed before, mini LED FALD monitors offer a subpar HDR gaming experience due to their lower contrast ratio, blooming artifacts, and slower pixel response time, despite being brighter than OLEDs and not being susceptible to burn-in. The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is the only 49-inch super-ultrawide gaming monitor that offers decent HDR picture quality.

Image Quality

This massive 49-inch display boasts a powerful 400-nits sustained brightness for SDR (600-nits for HDR) with a 100% white window, as well as up to 2,000-nits peak brightness for brief periods and small windows. In other words, the monitor’s brightness has increased, allowing for more vivid highlights.

Even though it has one of the best FALD implementations with 2048 zones, it still has over 7 million pixels, which means that the zones won’t always be able to effectively dim the parts of the image that are supposed to be dark, resulting in blooming or the halo effect.

If you’re not viewing an especially taxing scene, like a starfield, this probably won’t be a problem for you.

The colors on the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 aren’t as vivid as they are on OLEDs that cover 95% of the DCI-P3 gamut (85% Adobe RGB, 125% sRGB gamut size).

Moving on, the monitor’s response time is decent for an LED-backlit display, but some users may notice minor ghosting and overshoot with fast-moving objects.

Text on the 49-inch display is crisp and legible thanks to the monitor’s regular RGB subpixel layout and high-resolution (5120 x 1440) resolution, which translates to a pixel density of 110 PPI.

Finally, the monitor is G-SYNC compatible and supports a FreeSync Premium Pro range of 96-240 fps; however, some users may experience micro-stuttering due to VRR.

Black Equalizer, Pixel-Per-Pixel, and RGB lighting are a few additional helpful features.

Design & Connectivity

The screen’s aggressive 1000R curvature enhances immersion, and the monitor’s matte anti-glare coating reduces reflections. The stand of the monitor is sturdy and flexible, allowing for up to 120mm of height adjustment, -5°/15° of tilt, /- 15° of swivel, and compatibility with 100x100mm VESA mounts.

There is a dual-USB 3.0 hub, a headphone jack, and two HDMI 2.1 ports (both of which are capped at 144Hz).


The high cost is the Neo G9’s biggest drawback. We’ll also go over the older Samsung Odyssey G9 model, which is identical to the Neo G9 except for the absence of the mini LED FALD backlight and costs $2,500. Those two monitors provide superior HDR picture quality.

A 49-inch 5120 x 1440 240 Hz panel with a 5000-zone local dimming solution from TCL/CSOT has been reported in development, but its price and release date remain unknown.

Best DisplayHDR 1000 Monitors

The following displays have been certified as VESA DisplayHDR 1000, but they do not utilize full-array local dimming. Instead, they have a limited number of dimming zones that aren’t nearly as effective as those in OLED or FALD screens when it comes to producing a wide range of brightness levels. Still, they have the potential to provide a noticeable improvement in picture quality over SDR.

Gigabyte FV43U

The Greatest 43-Inch 4K 144Hz Gaming Display

Size: 43”
Dimensions: 3840 by 2160
Speakers: Veterans Affairs
Display Frequency: 144 Hz
The FreeSync VRR

The Pros:

  • Superior luminosity and color range
  • High contrast in the wild
  • With a refresh rate of 144Hz, FreeSync is possible.
  • Abundant methods of connection

The Cons:

  • There is some ghosting in fast-paced games, especially in darker areas of the screen.
  • BGR subpixel arrangement

About The Monitor

The Gigabyte Aorus FV43U, a 43-inch 4K monitor with HDR support and HDMI 2.1, is the best option for gamers right now.

Image Quality

The Gigabyte FV43U is an ultra-wide monitor with 4K resolution, 1000 nits of peak brightness, a 99% Adobe RGB color gamut, and a native contrast ratio of 4,000:1.

There are many considerations, however.

To begin with, it has relatively few levels of dimming. While this number of zones is better than the 1152-zone or 2048-zone solutions of the previously mentioned monitors, the contrast ratio can still only be increased to about 7,000:1.

As a result, the visual quality of a video game can vary greatly depending on the scene, with the most demanding scenes yielding the best results.

That is to say, your HDR experience is not authentic. Nonetheless, the picture quality is top-notch because of the high-quality display.

With support for both HDMI 2.1 and 4K at 120 frames per second, this 43-inch monitor is the best value for the Xbox Series X and PS 5.

You should also be aware that the BGR subpixel layout used by this monitor, as opposed to the more standard RGB, causes text to look smeared when viewed at 100% scaling (no scaling).

The display must be scaled to at least 125% to make the text appear sharp and clear, but this will reduce the available screen space; this isn’t noticeable in games.


The Gigabyte FV43U is compatible with AMD FreeSync over a range of 48 to 144 hertz in VRR and performs admirably (might vary from unit to unit regarding VRR brightness flickering) with suitable NVIDIA GPUs over the same range.

Aim Stabilizer Sync (concurrent backlight strobing and VRR), Picture in Picture, Picture by Picture, Black Equalizer, crosshair overlays, and various picture presets are also available.

For more information, read our Gigabyte FV43U review.

Design & Connectivity

The monitor’s fixed stand is sturdy and VESA mount compatible (200x200mm), but it lacks any adjustment options.

DisplayPort 1.4 with Display Scaling and Control (DSC), two HDMI 2.1 ports, USB-C (DisplayPort 1.4 Alt Mode), a headphone jack, a dual-USB 3.0 hub, two 12W built-in speakers, and a KVM switch are just some of the available connections.

This monitor’s HDMI 2.1 ports support only 24 Gbps, DSC, and 10-bit RGB color at 4K 144 Hz. Xbox and PC users won’t have this problem, but PS5 owners will have to settle for a lower color depth of 4:2:0.

Text on colored backgrounds may look a little smudged, but that’s something you get with the PS5’s default 4:2:2 chroma subsampling at 4K 120Hz, so it’s not really noticeable in games.


The LG OLED42C2 is an alternate option. While it has a higher contrast ratio and faster response time, it cannot reach the same brightness levels and burn-in must be considered.

Samsung G9

Top-Rated Super-Ultra-Wide Game Display

Size: 49”
5120 x 1440 pixels.
Speakers: Veterans Affairs
Refreshing at 240 hertz
DMR: FreeSync Pro Premium

The Pros:

  • Superior luminosity and color range
  • High contrast in its natural state
  • Local dimming for 10 zones
  • Freedom of Sync up to 240 Hz
  • Comfortable layout and numerous connection choices

The Cons:

  • The HDR picture isn’t worth the price, and the monitor’s other strengths don’t make up for it.

About The Monitor

Super ultrawide 32:9 aspect ratio, 5120 x 1440 resolution, 240 hertz refresh rate, and 1 millisecond GtG response time all contribute to the Samsung Odyssey G9’s impressively immersive gaming experience.

Image Quality

This 49-inch super ultrawide monitor is the same as having two 27-inch 1440p monitors side by side with no space between them.

Next, on 27-inch monitors, the pixel density is the same as 1440p, so you’ll enjoy crisp details and plenty of viewing area. Of course, the higher the frame rate, the more demanding such a high resolution is.

The monitor’s high resolution is complemented by other desirable features, such as a static contrast ratio of 2,500:1, a color gamut covering 95% of the DCI-P3 space, and a strong peak brightness of 1000 nits.

Local dimming, however, is not very useful on such a large screen because there are only ten dimming zones. Even though you aren’t getting the full HDR experience, some video game sequences will look stunning.

The HDR support is nice to have, but the large screen size, high resolution, and fast refresh rate are the main selling points for this gaming monitor.

There are better monitors and TVs in this price range that can be used solely for HDR content.


The DisplayPort interface supports the 60-240Hz variable refresh rate (VRR) of both AMD’s FreeSync Premium Pro and NVIDIA’s G-SYNC Compatible.

Also, a graphics card with DisplayPort 1.4 Direct Scaling Compatibility (DSC) and the ability to drive a resolution of 5120 by 1440 at 240 frames per second is required. Otherwise, you can only use 120Hz with a resolution of 5120 x 1440.

Games that don’t support the 32:9 aspect ratio will be displayed with black borders on the sides, so be sure to check how your favorites handle it.

In addition to Black Stabilizer (which enhances contrast in low-light games) and Picture by Picture, you can also use custom crosshairs and pre-calibrated picture presets.

For more information, read our evaluation of the Samsung C49G95T.

Design & Connectivity

The monitor’s stand allows for height adjustments of up to 120mm, swivel adjustments of /- 15°, tilt adjustments of -5°/15°, and VESA mount compatibility with holes measuring 100x100mm.

The monitor’s RGB backlighting and extreme 1000R screen curvature contribute to a more immersive experience.

Two DisplayPort 1.4 inputs, one HDMI 2.0 port, a headphone jack, and three USB ports (two USB 3.0 downstream and one USB upstream) round out the array of connections available.

5120 x 1440 at 60 fps and 3840 x 1080 at 120 fps are the highest resolutions supported by HDMI 2.0.

Best DisplayHDR 600 Monitors

DisplayHDR 600-certified monitors are bright enough to read by, have a wide color gamut, and use local dimming. Although they are not as bright as HDR1000 models, they are a significant upgrade over regular monitors and come in at a (usually) affordable price.

Samsung G7

The Top-Rated 1440p 240-Hertz HDR Gaming Display

Sizes: 27″, 32″
2560 x 1440 pixels.
Roundtable Discussion: VA
A 240-Hertz Refresh Rate
FreeSync Premium Pro VRR

The Pros:

  • High luminosity and a rich color palette.
  • High contrast in the wild
  • Dimming in 8 separate areas
  • Supports FreeSync at refresh rates of up to 240 Hz
  • Convenient and numerous connections

The Cons:

  • Curvature of 1000R is too extreme for some users.

About The Monitor

The Samsung C27G75T and the Samsung C32G75T are the 27″ and 32″ versions of the Samsung Odyssey G7, respectively.

The features and functionality of both monitors are identical, but the 27-inch model has a higher pixel density (108 PPI) for sharper details and costs less than the 32-inch variant.

Image Quality

These 1440p gaming monitors have a static contrast ratio of 2,500:1 and a wide 95% DCI-P3 color gamut in addition to a peak brightness of 600 nits.

They also offer local dimming, though it’s limited to just eight zones.

Due to the lower power requirements of 1440p compared to 4K, the 240Hz refresh rate of these gaming monitors makes them ideal for fast-paced games.

And there will be no ghosting or smearing of fast-moving objects thanks to the Samsung G7’s lightning-fast 1ms GtG pixel response time speed.


The 60-240Hz VRR range is compatible with FreeSync Premium Pro, and the 80-240Hz VRR range is ‘G-SYNC Compatible.

There are also a number of pre-calibrated picture presets, RGB lighting, and a Black Equalizer that makes it easier to see in games’ dark areas.

If you want to learn more, check out our Samsung C32G75T review.

Design & Connectivity

The monitor has a steep 1000R curvature and is supported by a sturdy stand that allows for a variety of ergonomic adjustments (height adjustment up to 120mm, tilt -9°/13°, swivel /- 15°, pivot 90°). It is also compatible with VESA mounts of 100x100mm.

Two DisplayPort 1.4 ports, HDMI 2.0b, a dual-USB 3.0 hub, and a headphone jack are among the available connections.

In order to get the most out of the screen, you’ll need a graphics card that supports DP 1.4 DSC. Older graphics cards can only handle up to 1440p 240Hz at 8-bit color depth.


Among the features of the forthcoming Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 series are 32-inch 4K 240Hz and 32-inch 4K 165Hz 1000R curved VA panels with 1ms GtG response time, FreeSync, HDMI 2.1, and 1196-zone mini LED FALD.

Dell AW2721D

G-SYNC IPS 1440p 240Hz Gaming Monitor

Size: 27″
Pixels per inch: 2560 x 1440
Group: IPS
240 Hz Refresh Rate
G-SYNC plus Adaptive-Sync = VRR

The Pros:

  • Up to 240 Hz G-SYNC
  • Superior pixel density, color gamut, and maximum brightness
  • Lights can be dimmed in 32 different areas.
  • Completely user-friendly layout with a wide variety of input and output devices

The Cons:

  • No DSC
  • No sRGB limiting
  • As is to be expected from an IPS panel, the contrast ratio is low, and the panel itself glows.

About The Monitor

Would you rather have a 27-inch, 1440p, 240Hz, IPS flat-screen with good HDR image quality for gaming?

The Dell Alienware AW2721D is a great option.

Image Quality

The static contrast ratio of the Dell AW2721D is 1,000:1, which is lower than that of the Samsung G7 by 1,000:1.

However, the wider viewing angles and greater color accuracy provided by its 98% DCI-P3 color gamut make up for this.

With such vivid hues, a high peak brightness of 600 nits, and a 32-zone local dimming solution, the HDR picture quality is superb.

Unfortunately, there is no sRGB mode to provide you with a constrained sRGB color gamut of 100%.


The monitor has a built-in G-SYNC module, which, when used in conjunction with an NVIDIA graphics card, allows for VRR performance at up to 240 frames per second.

If you have an AMD graphics card, you can also use the industry-standard Adaptive-Sync for VRR.

Next, the G-SYNC component’s variable overdrive successfully eliminates ghosting at high frames per second and overshoot at low frames per second.

In addition, there are several picture modes to choose from, Dark Stabilizer, AlienFX RGB lighting, a built-in timer, and a refresh rate monitor.

For more information about the Dell AW2721D, read our review.

Design & Connectivity

The monitor’s stand is sleek and sturdy, and it offers a wide variety of ergonomic adjustments (up to 130mm height adjustment, /- 20° swivel, 90° rotation, -5°/21° tilt, and VESA mount compatibility, 100x100mm).

A quad-USB 3.0 hub, a headphone jack, a line-out jack, and two HDMI 2.0 ports (maximum 144Hz) round out the array of connections available.

Due to DP’s lack of DSC support, you’ll be stuck with either 8-bit color at 240Hz or 10-bit color at 144Hz, whichever is lower. However, in games, the difference between 8-bit and 10-bit color depth is negligible.


No word yet on when the $700 Cooler Master GP27-FQS 27″ 1440p 165Hz 1ms IPS monitor will be available, but it will boast a 576-zone mini LED FALD.

In addition, a handful of 27-inch 1440p 300Hz 1ms IPS gaming monitors with G-SYNC and 576-zone mini LED FALD systems will be released in 2022, though details such as price and availability are currently unknown.

Acer XB323UGP

A 32-Inch, 1440p, 170Hz, IPS Gaming Display

Size: 32″
Dimensions: 2560 x 1440
Group: IPS
Updates Every 170 Hertz
Video-Real-Time: FreeSync (G-SYNC Compatible)

The Pros:

  • High luminosity and a wide color gamut in Adobe RGB
  • There are 16 separate light levels.
  • With 170Hz of FreeSync!
  • Ergonomic layout and numerous interface options

The Cons:

  • As is to be expected from an IPS panel, the contrast ratio is low, and the panel itself glows.

About The Monitor

Need a 32-inch, 1440p, 240Hz, DisplayHDR 600 gaming monitor?

The Acer Predator XB323UGP is a fantastic laptop.

Image Quality

The Adobe RGB color gamut of 99% (160% sRGB) covered by this gaming monitor is even wider than the DCI-P3 gamut of the Dell AW2721D, resulting in a wider range of blues and greens with slightly less saturated reds.

In addition, its peak brightness is a robust 600 nits, but it only has 16 dimming zones, which, combined with the subpar 1,000:1 contrast ratio, results in somewhat drab blacks when compared to VA panels.

The Acer XB323UGP’s HDR picture quality is stunning, and its emphasis on color is a major selling point. If you need an accurate sRGB color output, you can switch to the factory-calibrated sRGB mode, and the colors will always look the same.


The monitor is G-SYNC Compatible and supports a Vertical Refresh Rate (VRR) of 48-170 Hz for AMD FreeSync.

Additionally, there will be no ghosting behind fast-moving objects because the monitor has a 1ms response time.

In addition, you can use the custom crosshairs, refresh rate monitor, and Black Boost features.

To learn more, check out our Acer Predator XB323UGP review.

Design & Connectivity

The monitor’s stand is sturdy and flexible, allowing for adjustments of up to 130mm in height, /- 20° swivel, -5°/23° tilt, 90° pivot, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

There is a quad-USB 3.0 hub, a headphone jack, two 3W built-in speakers, and a DisplayPort 1.4 port.


  • Based on the same panel, the ASUS ROG Swift PG329Q is $100 less expensive and features ELMB-Sync backlight strobing technology. However, it has a DP 1.2 input that only supports 10-bit color depth up to 120Hz at 1440p, and it can only display an HDR image for 60 to 90 minutes before turning off (as a lifespan preserving feature that cannot be disabled). Therefore, the XB323UGP is preferable for HDR.
  • The Acer Predator XB323UGX, which costs an extra $100-$200, is a 240Hz (270Hz OC) variant of this screen. It’s only worth it if the frame rate can be increased to over 170FPS; otherwise, the XB323UGP is still the better option.

LG 27GP950

The Finest 27-Inch 4K HDR Gaming Display Under $1000

Size: 27″
Dimensions: 3840 by 2160
The IPS Panel
Infinite Refresh at 160Hz
AVR: FreeSync Pro Premium

The Pros:

  • True to life and energizing hues
  • Having a lot of pixels
  • FreeSync at framerates of up to 160 fps, HDMI 2.1, and lots of other features.
  • Rapidity of response time
  • Comfortable dock with numerous input and output ports

The Cons:

  • Lack of swivel functionality in the design.
  • The typical IPS glow and low contrast ratio (for an IPS panel)

About The Monitor

Under $1000, no other 27-inch HDR monitor with an IPS panel can compare to the LG 27GP950.

Image Quality

The Nano IPS panel in the LG 27GP950 allows for a wide color gamut of 98% DCI-P3 (135% sRGB), resulting in vivid and accurate colors.

Blacks won’t be as deep and vivid as on the aforementioned DisplayHDR 600 monitors with VA panels, as the contrast ratio is capped at 1,000:1 and there are only 16 dimming zones.

The IPS panel not only provides more accurate colors and more consistent tones, but it also offers wider viewing angles and quicker pixel response times.

When it comes to fast-paced video games, the LG 27GP950’s 1ms response time and 4K IPS display ensure that no ghosting will occur.


The monitor is also G-SYNC compatible and has been certified as such by NVIDIA, ensuring a fluid VRR experience across a refresh rate range of 48 to 160 frames per second.

It’s perfect for the PS5 and XSX thanks to its HDMI 2.1 support.

The monitor also has fancy 48-LED RGB lighting at the back and user-adjustable crosshairs, Black Stabilizer (for better visibility in dark games), and advanced picture adjustment tools and presets.

If you’re interested in learning more about the LG 27GN950, the same monitor without HDMI 2.1, check out our in-depth review.

Design & Connectivity

The LG 27GP950 features cutting-edge borderless design on all sides thanks to its ultra-narrow bezels.

The mount is compatible with VESA standards (100x100mm) and the stand has a height adjustment range of up to 110mm, a tilt range of -5° to 15°, a pivot range of 90°, and a 90° pivot.

Two HDMI 2.1 inputs, a DisplayPort 1.4 port with Display Stream Compression (DSC), an audio out jack, and a pair of USB 3.0 hubs round out the array of connections available.


Consider future options such as the Cooler Master GP27-FUS (576-zone) 27-inch 4K 144Hz IPS mini LED FALD gaming monitor.


The Finest Sub-$1000 4K 144Hz HDR Gaming Display

Size: 32″
Dimensions: 3840 x 2160
Group: IPS
Frames Per Second: 144
AVR: FreeSync Pro Premium

The Pros:

  • True to life hues that pop
  • Having a lot of pixels
  • FreeSync MBR up to 144 Hz, HDMI 2.1, and a slew of other features.
  • Rapidity of action and reaction
  • With its adjustable height and numerous connection options, KVM

The Cons:

  • Inability to pivot in design
  • Contrast ratio is lower than that of VA panels.

About The Monitor

The MSI MPG321UR-QD is our top pick for a 32-inch 4K 144Hz gaming monitor.

Image Quality

Beautiful and accurate hues are produced by the monitor’s 32-inch IPS panel, which covers the entire Adobe RGB color space. Depending on what you’re watching, you can switch between sRGB and DCI-P3 color modes.

It has a peak brightness of 600 nits (typically 400 nits), a contrast ratio of 1,000:1, and 16 zones of dimming, all of which are HDR-compatible. Since it has the same number of dimming zones as the 27-inch 27GP950, you can expect the same level of effectiveness.

However, the MPG321UR-QD provides a more immersive viewing experience and better value for money due to its larger screen and wider color gamut at the same price.

There is some minor overshoot at low FPS with VRR enabled, and the pixel response time speed isn’t quite as fast as the LG 27GP950, but it’s fine for casual gaming. Due to its large size and demanding resolution, the monitor is not designed for serious competitive gaming.


The MSI MPG321UR-QD is a reliable G-SYNC compatible monitor that supports AMD FreeSync with a refresh rate (VRR) of 48-144 hertz. In addition, it allows for the use of backlight strobing (MPRT-Sync) in conjunction with virtual reality realism.

The monitor has a Mystic Light RGB LED strip on the back, crosshair overlays, and an ambient light sensor in addition to Night Vision, PiP/PbP, and picture presets.

Read our in-depth review of the MSI MPG321UR-QD to learn more.

How to buy an HDR monitor | Engadget

Design & Connectivity

The monitor’s stand is sturdy and ergonomic, allowing for height adjustments of up to 100mm, tilt adjustments of -5°/20°, swivel adjustments of /- 30°, and VESA mount compatibility of 100x100mm.

Two HDMI 2.1 ports, DisplayPort 1.4 with Display State Control, USB-C (DisplayPort Alternate Mode 15W Power Delivery), six USB-A 2.0 ports, three USB-B 3.0 ports, a microphone jack, a headphone jack, an audio combo jack, and an integrated KVM switch are just some of the connectivity options.


The Acer X32 FP (576-zone) and other forthcoming 32-inch 4K 144Hz IPS gaming monitors with mini LED FALD backlights are worth keeping in mind.

Dell AW3821DW

Top-Rated UltraWide 38-Inch Display for Gamers

Size: 38″
3840 x 1600 pixels.
The IPS Panel
Rate of 144 Hz Refresh
G-Sync HDR and FreeSync for Virtual Reality

The Pros:

  • Vivid and spot-on hues
  • Having a lot of pixels
  • Many options, including G-SYNC with refresh rates of up to 144 Hz
  • Rapidity of response time
  • Comfortable dock with numerous input and output ports

The Cons:

  • As is to be expected from an IPS panel, the contrast ratio is low, and the panel itself glows.
  • sRGB mode cannot be emulated.

About The Monitor

The Dell AW3423DW is a much better ultrawide HDR monitor than the AW3821DW, despite being significantly cheaper.

Some users may prefer the Dell AW3821DW because of its larger screen size, higher sustained brightness, and lack of risk of permanent burn-in.

If you’re looking for the “best HDR monitor,” the AW3423DW is your best bet, but the AW3821DW is a good option if you’re more interested in a 38″ ultrawide monitor with respectable HDR performance. You could also wait for a 38-inch QD-OLED model, though its existence has not been confirmed as of yet.

Image Quality

The monitor uses LG’s 37.5-inch, 3840×1600 Nano IPS panel, which offers a wide 178-degree viewing angle, 1ms GtG response time, and 95% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space.

You’ll need a colorimeter to profile the monitor so that sRGB content is displayed accurately and without oversaturation because there is no sRGB emulation mode.

Although the expanded color space was not intended by the content creators, some users actually prefer it.

The AW3821DW’s static contrast ratio of 1,000:1 is also a drawback. There are 32 different levels of dimming, but it doesn’t help much with the contrast.

In HDR, the maximum luminance increases to 600 nits from 450 nits.


The monitor’s built-in G-SYNC module ensures faultless VRR performance, and it also has Adaptive-Sync support for AMD GPUs.

For 144fps, however, you’ll need to reduce the color depth to 8 bits due to the lack of Direct Color Support (DSC). Reducing the frame rate to 120Hz will allow for 10-bit color.

The 3840 x 1600 resolution is quite demanding, so you won’t have to worry about exceeding 120 frames per second even when using ultra settings and 10-bit color in the latest games.

In fact, most casual games don’t even require 10-bit color, so you can use the monitor at 144Hz without any noticeable drop in quality.

Dark Stabilizer, a number of in-camera picture adjustments, and RGB backlighting are a few other features worth mentioning.

Design & Connectivity

The design includes a 2300R screen curvature and decent ergonomics, including a 100x100mm VESA mount and a tilt range of -5°/21°, /- 20° swivel, and up to 130mm of height adjustment.

There is a quad-USB 3.0 hub, a headphone jack, a DisplayPort 1.4 port, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and a headphone jack.


  • The LG 38GN950 utilizes the same DisplayHDR 600 panel as the company’s other monitors, but it has fewer dimming zones (6) and no G-SYNC module (0). It’s more expensive than the AW3821DW by about $400, but it supports sRGB.


There’s no denying that high dynamic range (HDR) video is here to stay. It’s not a passing fad like stereoscopic 3D was and it’s crucial to making games look more like they were made in real life, which is something the gaming industry has been working towards for, oh, well over a decade now.

What are your thoughts on HDR displays? We’re leaning toward saying yes, though you should definitely consider the limited availability of support before making a purchase. Having an HDR monitor will, of course, make it more future-proof, but if you’re considering spending more money just to get HDR, you may want to wait.

Furthermore, as was previously mentioned, only TN panels can support that level of performance, so you cannot get a monitor that packs HDR together with a 240 Hz refresh rate and a 1 ms response time.