By virtue of its curvature, a curved monitor’s ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio will provide for more immersive visuals and a broader field of view. Since a curved gaming monitor has no other objective benefits, the question of whether or not to invest in one is ultimately a personal one.
On the other hand, you won’t get any of those perks from a curved monitor that uses the more common 16:9 aspect ratio.
There are numerous considerations that must be made prior to making a purchase of a monitor. It’s easy to get caught up in the specifics of a gaming monitor, such as its refresh rate, pixel response time, and maximum display resolution, and overlook the monitor’s curvature, which can have a significant impact on gameplay.
Curved monitors for gaming have been around for a while, and like anything else, they have their benefits and drawbacks.
We’ll examine all of these factors and conclude whether or not a curved monitor is worth it for gaming.
Curved Monitor Basics
Since the circuit boards, transistors, and LED layers in curved gaming monitors must adapt to an angled surface rather than a uniform flat rectangle, their production necessitates more advanced technology than that of flat monitors. For this reason, curved displays of equivalent size and specifications always cost slightly more than their flat counterparts. Having that knowledge is the first step. Everything else is the same apart from the rounded shape. Both curved and flat monitors share the same essential features and technologies. There is no functional benefit from the curve; rather, it provides a different viewing experience that some find more aesthetically pleasing.
An important distinction between flat and curved screens is the presence of a number and letter combination, such as 1000R, 1800R, 1900R, etc.
This value indicates how much the screen has bent or curved. The R in this case represents the radius, which is given in millimeters. When we say a radius is “in millimeters,” we’re referring to the distance along the curve’s outer edge. Remember the number does not indicate the width of the monitor but rather the radius of the monitor.
Monitors with a lower number are curved. 1000R, for instance, is more curved than 4000R and makes up a portion of the very popular 1000mm radius. Therefore, the curve becomes less pronounced as the number increases.
That’s a generalization; it is possible to manufacture a 49-inch 1000R display, but the resulting curve would be very severe, with the screen’s sides coming close to colliding as a result of its extreme width.
The aspect ratio and resolution of the screen are two other considerations. Ultrawide 21:9 or 32:9 aspect ratios are now the norm for curved monitors. That’s not the same as the 16:9 aspect ratio of most modern flat screens. Remember that the native resolutions of curved monitors are extremely high, such as 3440 x 1440 or 3840 x 1600. These are essentially modified versions of QHD and 4K resolutions, and while they look fantastic, not all games support them and many desktop apps may not display properly. Keep that in mind as you shop for a curved screen.
Advantages Of A Curved Monitor
One of the main draws of curved monitors is the increased sense of immersion they provide, which is second only to virtual reality headsets at this point. In particular, as the monitor “bends” around your line of sight, the displayed image takes on a more natural appearance.
Plus, the ultra-wide aspect ratios found on most curved monitors come with their own set of benefits. Their width largely accounts for the enhanced field of view they provide during gameplay. It’s also much simpler to switch between different desktop windows now that there’s more room on the screen.
Disadvantages Of A Curved Monitor
The cost of a curved display stands out immediately when in the market for one. And yes, curved screens do cost significantly more than their flat counterparts. It’s true, at least, of the good ones.
When not paired with an ultra-wide 21:9 or higher aspect ratio, the curvature of a monitor serves only as a gimmick, as any user can attest. Such displays are not only costly, but the higher resolution may also have a noticeable impact on your in-game performance, especially if your PC is powered by a mid-range graphics card.
Best Curved Monitor 2022
1. Asus TUF Gaming VG32VQR
The Asus TUF Gaming VG32VQR has a ton of awesome features and is surprisingly affordable. This 31.5-inch, 1440p display will keep your images looking sharp, and the 1800R curve will make it so that more of the screen is facing you.
Asus has included a powerful VA panel, and the high contrast is unaffected by the 400-nit maximum brightness. Your games (and everything else) will look stunning and run smoothly as silk thanks to FreeSync Premium’s support for refresh rates of up to 165 fps.
2. Gigabyte G32QC A
When taking into account its many features, the Gigabyte G32QC is reasonably priced. This 32-inch 165Hz display has a nice combination of features, including a 1500R curve, FreeSync Premium Pro, and the ability to run G-Sync with an Nvidia graphics card.
The screen’s DisplayHDR 400 certification and 93% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space make it ideal for watching TV and movies.
3. AOC C27G2
The AOC C27G2 is an upgraded version of the AOC C27G1, and it’s still one of the cheapest curved gaming monitors you can buy.
Its 1080p 1500R curved screen curves more tightly than some other monitors on the market, but its 165Hz refresh rate and FreeSync support guarantee a fluid gaming experience.
4. LG UltraGear 34GP950G-B
The LG UltraGear 34GP950G-B is a great monitor for those who enjoy fast-paced video games. The ultrawide 34-inch display provides a lot of room to spread out, and the 3440×1440 resolution, HDR 600 support, and 400 cd/m2 brightness (with local dimming) ensure that your games will look fantastic.
The inclusion of G-Sync Ulitmate and the retention of FreeSync for AMD users guarantee faultless VRR performance. If you really need even more, you can overclock the monitor to 180Hz, but that seems like overkill given how great this screen already is.
5. MSI Optix MAG342CQRV
The MSI Optix MAG342CQRV is an excellent monitor that features a powerful curve, a sharp display, a large viewing area, and FreeSync. Video games will look and feel silky smooth on a display with a refresh rate of up to 100 hertz and a response time of 1 millisecond. The monitor stand features a cutout for cable management and is equipped with two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort.
Although QLED and Nano IPS tend to get more attention, VA panels offer excellent contrast ratios and deep blacks at a reasonable price, and the 34-inch ultrawide VA panel has a 21:9 aspect ratio to boot. There is a colorful RGB ring around the monitor’s back, connecting the stand to the screen, for the fashion-conscious gamer.
6. Asus TUF Gaming VG35VQ
The Asus TUF Gaming VG25VQ is an excellent curved monitor for gamers that supports G-Sync. This ultrawide 35-inch screen has a 21:9 aspect ratio and 3,440 x 1,440 resolution, and its 1800R curvature gently but firmly embraces your field of view.
Although it only reaches 300 nits of brightness, the screen’s 2,500:1 contrast ratio ensures that colors pop even at their lowest settings. The screen supports HDR10 and has support for refresh rates of up to 100 fps.
7. Alienware 34 Curved Gaming Monitor
The Alienware W3418DW’s successor, this ultra-wide, curved, 4K display is sure to impress. This monitor has a cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio and a sharp 3,440×1,440 resolution at up to 120 Hz, making games look fantastic without the need for a secondary display.
The display is capable of displaying 98% of the DCI-P3 color space and has an impressive response time of 2ms. It also supports GSync.
8. Samsung Odyssey Neo G9
If you’re looking for the widest widescreen available, look no further than the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9. This 48.8-inch screen’s resolution of 5,120 by 1,440 pixels is equivalent to that of two 1440p displays placed side by side, but instead of an ugly black bar between them, you get a seamless QLED panel with Mini LED backlighting.
This monitor has it all: a stunning 2,000 nits of peak brightness for breathtaking HDR (up to HDR10 ) content and rich color, a massive 240 Hz refresh rate, and a 1 ms response time.
9. MSI Optix MAG301CR2
The speed of your monitor should be one of your top priorities when purchasing a system for esports play. The MSI Optix MAG301CR2 is a curved, ultra-wide monitor that won’t slow you down in your gaming. It’s cheap, too, so you won’t have to skimp on other, more important parts of your PC.
The 1ms response time and 200Hz refresh rate are the show stoppers, giving you the edge you need in a competitive environment, and the FreeSync support ensures that you won’t be distracted by screen-tearing in the middle of a match. In addition to a resolution of 2,560 by 1,080, the 300 nits brightness of the 30″ screen make for a picture as clear as day.
10. Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ
The Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ is the best gaming laptop of 2019, and it’s still a cut above the competition in 2021, despite the fact that it’s more expensive than most of its competitors. Its 35-inch, 3,440 by 1,440 curved screen conceals a wealth of functionality. Among the fastest on this list, its 200Hz refresh rate and G-Sync Ultimate compatibility make for a silky smooth gaming experience.
This display is not only fast, but also one of the brightest, which is its main advantage. The display’s 512 local dimming zones allow it to achieve a stunning 1,000 nits of peak brightness and greatly improve the contrast ratio. This is how it earned the DisplayHDR 1000 certification. You’ll have to shell out a pretty penny to bring this monitor into your home, but rest assured that it’s worth it.
Conclusion – Is A Curved Monitor Worth It?
How do we respond to the central question in light of the foregoing?
From our perspective, curved monitors are only worthwhile if you are in the market for a luxury item. They don’t offer many benefits, and it’s debatable whether or not those benefits are worth the added expense.
The bottom line is that it’s a good idea to get one if you have the means to do so. However, we do not think it is a particularly wise investment if you are building a PC from scratch or upgrading an older model and are on a tight budget because there are so many other components and peripherals that could offer more for less money.
But if you are in the market for a new display, you may find this buying guide useful. Whether you prefer a curved or flat screen, you can find a monitor that suits your needs.