Lowest Input Lag Monitor for Competitive FPS Gaming

The first-person shooter is the most demanding genre in terms of hardware and peripherals. There’s no two ways about it. If you want to dominate in Battlefield 1, Overwatch, Doom, Call of Duty WWII, Far …

The first-person shooter is the most demanding genre in terms of hardware and peripherals. There’s no two ways about it. If you want to dominate in Battlefield 1, Overwatch, Doom, Call of Duty WWII, Far Cry 5, Halo, or Prey, you have to make sure neither the internal nor the external hardware is holding you back.

All too often, a few milliseconds determine whether your team will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat or you will kiss the cold ground and take the blame for not having planted the bomb earlier.

This time around, we will talk about the best gaming monitors for FPS and one of the main culprits for the delay between pressing a button and seeing the game react – the so-called input lag. As a matter of fact, the term “input lag” is a bit generic. When it comes to monitors, it is adequate to talk about “display lag” or “output lag”.

Anyway, if you are looking for a gaming monitor that will help you elevate your gaming, get to know the best devices on the market right now. Superb quality, however, always comes with a price, and if you are looking for cheaper alternatives, check out also our best budget 1440p monitor guide. Also, don’t forget to jump to the last section of this guide to check out the specs you need to look for before you make your final decision.

Lowest Input Lag Monitors for FPS Gaming

BenQ Zowie XL2540

For better or worse, many manufacturers release monitors designed to be many things to many people. Some of them succeed, others hit a brick wall. BenQ Zowie, however, is a completely different story. Not until I put my hands on a Zowie series’ monitor did I understand why it is the top choice of pro gamers. As for the XL2540 model, it is a demonstration of BenQ’s attention to detail. It possesses all features a gamer would need to conquer the competitive FPS scene – vibrant colors, mind-blowing refresh rate, streamlined design, and non-existent input lag. That being said, if you need a monitor with more bells and whistles (most of which you will never use), you’d better look elsewhere. In case you agree that “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”, get to know the benefits you will reap from owning a BenQ Zowie XL2540 monitor.

As a monitor, geared towards pro gamers, the XL2540 comes at a pretty high price. As a matter of fact, it costs twice as much as the Asus VG248QE, but the Zowie monitor price is higher for all the right reasons.

The 24-inch size might put you off but if you are taking part in tournaments, or you travel often, you need a portable, yet high-quality monitor you can carry around with you. One perk I particularly like is the “shields” on both sides of the monitor that minimize the ambient light so that you can enjoy even better color accuracy.

In terms of connectivity, the XL2540 is equipped with two HDMI ports (one of them is 2.0), a DisplayPort 1.2, two USB 3.0 ports, a DVI-DL port, as well as a headphone and mic jack. The Black Equalizer ensures optimal brightness, and the TN panel guarantees a low response time of 1ms.

What makes the XL2540 monitor superior to the other Full HD, 24-inch monitors, is the insane refresh rate of 240Hz. If you are a semi-professional player, and you play Overwatch, CS: GO, or any other fast paced shooter, and you want to upgrade from a 144Hz monitor, the difference will be astonishing. To make the most out of your purchase, you need to pair the monitor with a powerful NVIDIA or an AMD graphics card, though.

BenQ has not included many fancy features but managed to release a monitor that ticks all the right boxes as far as competitive FPS gaming is concerned. Still, the XL2540 is not everyone’s cup of tea. Some might consider the price an overkill, others might not like the fact that BenQ sacrificed the resolution for a higher refresh rate. Ultimately, the BenQ Zowie XL2540 is a worthwhile investment as long as your GPU will not struggle running a game at a 240Hz refresh rate, and you are a serious gamer striving to get unprecedented in-game smoothness.

BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 24.5 Inch 240Hz Gaming Monitor
  • Lightning-fast 240 Hz refresh rate performance
  • 1ms response time (GTG)
  • Exclusive color vibrancy and black equalizer technology. Power consumption (On mode)‎:55W
  • Multiple connectivity options Featuring DisplayPort Dual-link DVI-D HDMI and headphone/Microphone jack input Brightness 400 cd/M2
  • Full height tilt and swivel adjustment with VESA compatibility 100mm x 100mm Manufacturer limited 3 years

Dell Gaming S2716DGR

If I had to point out the perfect all-rounder for FPS gaming and everyday tasks, it would be the Dell S2716DGR monitor. As the saying goes: “Without data, you are just another man with an opinion”, so let’s take a deep dive into S2716DGR specs. Apparently, it was the low input lag that secured it a spot in this list, but what are the other advantages of owning one?

The S2716DGR is a 27-inch, monitor that comes with a TN panel, rapid refresh rate of 144Hz and G-Sync capabilities. Yes, G-Sync enabled monitors cost a pretty penny, but I have been keeping an eye on the S2716DGR for the last few weeks, and it regularly went on sale.

Design-wise, the S2716DGR is a sleek-looking device. Dell has not included built-in speakers for the sake of keeping it slim, but you can plug a pair of headphones. My most honest opinion is that Dell hasn’t rocked the boat with the button layout, but the menus and sub-menus are easy to navigate, to say the least.

The monitor sports a TN panel, which translates into a 1ms response rate, a resolution of 2560 x 1440p and display lag of 5ms. I used a NVIDIA GTX 1080 during my tests and graphics-intensive FPS titles ran beautifully; no blurring, jitter or ghosting whatsoever. The pixel transitions were so smooth that I felt as if I am playing my favorite titles for the first time. No, that’s not an overstatement, you will see for yourself.

To sum up, the S2716DGR is a great monitor that has everything you might need to conquer the FPS gaming scene. The 1440p resolution, the G-Sync, the low input lag, and the decent 144Hz refresh rate, make it an option to consider. The TN panel ensures outstanding response time, and the best of all is that the image quality does not suffer too much.

Dell Gaming S2716DGR 27.0
  • Vibrant, jitter free graphics, Fully adjustable setup, Premium support and reliability
  • Built in Devices: USB 3.0 hub
  • Aspect Ratio : Widescreen : 16:9
  • Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
  • Input Connectors: HDMI, Display Port

Asus ROG Swift PG348Q

If you have considered the purchase of an Asus ROG piece of hardware, raise your hand. If you haven’t, raise your standards! The ROG line is heavily focused on serious gamers, and my personal favorite is the Zephyrus laptop but this time around, I would like to bring to your attention the PG348Q gaming monitor and explain why it can be a worthy addition to your setup.

First things first. The PG348Q is a huge monitor that takes a lot of real estate on your desk, but the pleasure of the unbroken image and the immersive atmosphere the curved design brings, hardly compares to anything you have experienced so far. Once you have your monitor up and running, you will be captivated by the 34-inch curved display, the 100Hz refresh rate, and the 3440 x 1440p resolution.

You have plenty of physical adjustment options available. The monitor tiltable, swiveling. Design-wise, my only criticism is that the I/O ports are a bit difficult to reach, and until you figure out where the ports are, you will have to make a wild guess. Speaking of connectivity outputs, the monitor has a headphone jack, an HDMI port, a DisplayPort, a USB 3.0 upstream port and four USB 3.0 downstream ports. If you use the HDMI cable to activate the G-Sync, the max refresh rate you will get is 50Hz. The DisplayPort allows you to squeeze PG348Q’s full potential (100Hz refresh rate). Still, you can use the HDMI port to connect your Xbox One or PS4. Although you can downclock if needed, the monitor performed admirably with my GTX 1080 at 100Hz. It worked flawlessly with a variety of shooters, from the demanding Battlefield 1 to all-time classics like Doom. No screen tearing or blurring, no awful output lag. The PG348Q monitor uses an IPS panel type and it is not surprising that it comes with a plethora of color adjustment settings.

If you have ever had a monitor with in-built speakers, you should know that you’d better not count on them to deliver first-class sound quality. Well, I admit that Asus has gone an extra mile with the speakers, but the audio is far from perfect. Other than that, the PG348Q is a superb addition to the setup of every self-respecting gamer. It is totally capable of running the latest titles in 3440 x 1440p resolution at 100Hz. The G-Sync functionality requires no explanation. So, if you are looking for an elegant, curved FPS gaming monitor, the Asus PG348Q is a safe bet.

ASUS ROG Swift PG348Q 34
  • 34 inches 1440p IPS panel with NVIDIA G SYNC Technology and 100 Hertz Refresh Rate deliver superior resolution, color, and smoothness
  • Curved Ultra wide 21:9 Aspect Ratio maximizes immersion by expanding the display right to the peripherals of your vision
  • ASUS Eye Care technology lowers blue light and eliminates flickering. When coupled with ergonomics, gaming marathons just got a lot easier. 
  • 5 Way OSD Joystick delivers the most intuitive control scheme for a monitor.

Acer Predator XB252Q bmiprz

Keeping in mind the similarities and differences between the ROG and the Predator series’ devices, I would suggest that Asus and Acer are fiercely competing against one another for the title “Gamers’ favorite brand”. What’s more, the battle for supremacy will probably get more intense and the best of all is that the end users can only benefit from it.

Now, let’s talk about one of Acer’s powerful weapons against the ROG series – namely the Predator XB252Q bmiprz. The latter sports a 25-inch screen, a TN panel, G-Sync, and the mind-blowing 240Hz refresh rate.

The TN panel might seem a bit outdated, especially if you do not believe that the IPS ones are not yet another manufacturers’ hype, but if the monitor had an IPS panel, I doubt it you would be able to reach 200 fps.

This is a 24-inch display, which means it would be a struggle to notice the difference in image quality between a TN panel and an IPS panel. You will get a 1ms response time and the viewing angles will not suffer much. However, if the off-axis quality is your major concern, then, you’d be better off with an IPS panel.

As for the connectivity options, the Predator comes with a DisplayPort 1.2, an HDMI port 1.4, a headphones jack, an upstream USB port, as well as two downstream USB ports.

To exploit the full potential of the Predator monitor, you need a suitable motherboard, powerful graphics card, and RAM. Still, the main interaction is between the graphics card and the monitor. In this respect, if you pair the Predator with a GTX 1080, you will get a performance that has no equal.

The Predator achieves 240Hz refresh rate without overclock, the FHD resolution keeps the input lag at the lowest possible level. Well, I don’t think anyone would turn down a better resolution, but even with a 1920 x 1080p, the Predator ensures image quality very few displays can beat.

Acer Predator XB252Q Bmiprz 24.5-Inch Full HD Monitor
  • 24.5" full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen with NVIDIA G SYNC technology
  • Refresh Rate: 240Hz using display port
  • Response Time: 1ms. Flicker less technology reduces annoying screen flickering that can cause eye strain when viewing the monitor for long periods
  • Pixel pitch: 0.283 millimeter
  • Signal inputs: 1 x Display Port 1.2 & 1 x HDMI

ViewSonic VX3258-2KC-MHD

If you have a tight budget but buying a 24-inch monitor is not an option, you will totally fall for the ViewSonic VX3258-2KC-MHD. It features a VA panel, maxes out at 144Hz refresh rate and has a FreeSync technology, courtesy of AMD. In addition, you get a 32-inch screen size and 2560x1440p resolution and the best of all is that you will not have to spend your monthly salary to get an adequate monitor to fuel your FPS passion.

The VX3258-2KC-MHD is the only monitor in this list that has a VA panel. If you are a first-person shooter fan, you will probably stick to the TN panels, but don’t settle for a model before you get to know what the advantages of the VA panels are. The VA panels are praised for the excellent static contrast ratio, the lack of the irritating IPS glow, and the beautiful, deep black tones. On the downside, they fall behind their TN and IPS counterparts in terms of motion blur issues.  In other words, the VX3258-2KC-MHD can be a brilliant budget addition to your setup as long as you do not aim for the competitive gaming scene, but you are a casual player looking for a bargain.

If you are an AMD user, you will massively benefit from the FreeSync technology that allows you to avoid the screen tearing without increasing the input lag. If you are a NVIDIA user, you can still get the VX3258-2KC-MHD monitor, but you will not be able to match the dynamic refresh rate with the GPU frame rate.

As for the connectivity options, the monitor offers one HDMI 1.4 port, one HDMI 2.0 port, a DisplayPort, a VGA port, an audio jack, and integrated speakers. If you choose the VX3258-2KC-MHD, you will enjoy the 2560 x 1440 resolution, which combined with a good graphics card, does miracles in shooters.

The ViewSonic monitor has something to offer for everyone. Some of you might take delight in the rapid 144Hz refresh rate that guarantees excellent image clarity even if the game action unfolds at a fast pace; others may enjoy the 32-inch screen size, and the FreeSync that eliminates lag, screen tearing, and stuttering. No matter if you need a monitor solely for gaming, or you want it to be a bit more versatile and suitable for picture editing, web browsing, movies, etc., you will you will be pleased with the ViewSonic VX3258-2KC-MHD performance.

ViewSonic VX3258-2KC-MHD 32 Inch 1440p Curved 144Hz Gaming Monitor
  • Immersive 1800R curved viewing experience with panoramic images, vivid color, and incredible detail in 2K resolution
  • Fast response time, and amazing 144Hz refresh rate give you the edge in all your gaming quests
  • AMD FreeSync technology enables smooth frame rates to aid you in battle
  • An arsenal of pre set customizable visual modes keeps you ready for any FPS, RTS, eSports, or MOBA games
  • The VX3258 2KC MHD supports laptops, PCs, and Macs with HDMI and DisplayPort inputs

How to Choose the Lowest Input Lag Monitor for FPS Games?

What is Low Input Lag?

To define one monitor as lag-free, the display lag should be around 10ms although unless you are not competing at a pro level, a monitor with 15-20ms input lag will suffice.

Input (Output, Display) Lag and Response Time

The display lag is the time your monitor needs to process the signal to your graphics card. The graphics card detects that signal and sends it to the screen. In other words, if you push the sniper button, your action is registered by the graphics card. Then, that action is sent to the monitor, it appears on the screen and you land a precise headshot. The lower the input lag is, the higher your chances of dealing a damage to the enemy are.

The response time is the time it takes a pixel to shift from one color to another. If your graphics card processes the actions quicker than your monitor can handle, the result is a motion blur, that is especially bothersome in fast-paced games. The response time is significantly lower than the input lag, but manufacturers rarely state the input lag of the monitors because it depends on the monitor settings and the type of source. If you want to minimize the input lag in a game, the best thing you can do is to disable the picture enhancement settings you think you can go without or select a Game mode. You can also take your time to fiddle with the settings and ultimately, you will find a mode and setting that strikes a balance between good image quality and low input lag.

Refresh Rate. Is a 60Hz Monitor Good for Gaming?

If you are looking for a gaming monitor on a budget, the bare minimum you have to stick to is 60Hz, 24 inches, TN panel, Full HD (1080p) resolution. The monitors in the lowest price range rarely have a FreeSync, let alone a G-Sync technology but they are capable of meeting the needs of the casual gamer who shakes off stress by beating a few levels after work. However, if you have a burning ambition to polish up your skills and be recognized as a professional or a semi-professional gamer, the abovementioned specs are incompatible with that ambition.

In this case, you need a monitor with at least 144Hz refresh rate or better yet -240Hz. You should also be looking for a resolution of at least 1440p and a monitor size of 27”. “Add-ons” such as FreeSync, G-Sync, and panel type are a matter of personal preference. The 144Hz/ 240Hz monitors have lowest input lag out there.

Panel Type. Are IPS Panels a Gimmick?

As we have thoroughly explained, TN panels have the lowest response time, but the IPS panel technology is preferred because of the wider viewing angles and color accuracy. However, you will have to put up with a response time of 5ms. Is that a fair trade-off? Isn’t it better for get a TN panel type monitor for first-person shooters or in some cases, you’d be better off with an IPS panel?

The TN panels offer an unbeatable response time of 1 ms, but if you are viewing the display from an angle, the image quality will not be that good. IPS panels, on the other hand, ensure wider viewing angles, but the response time jumps to 5ms. Well, is that a drastic difference, and does it really matter when you will be sitting right in front of the screen? Isn’t it better to get a TN panel type monitor and save a few bucks without sacrificing the image quality too much?

If you are looking for a 24 or 27-inch monitor for FPS gaming, you should not think twice whether to settle for a TN panel or not. However, if you picky about colors, and you are looking for a 32-inch monitor, the color consistency, and the overall image quality might be disappointing. In this case, you’d better go with an IPS panel. 1440p is a golden standard, and if this resolution matters to you, and TN responsiveness not so much, then check out our best 27 inch 1440p monitor guide.

FreeSync or G-Sync?

The most popular graphics card makers are NVIDIA and AMD. If you have a powerful NVIDIA graphics card and you get a G-Sync-enabled monitor, you will get crystal clear images even in the fast-paced shooters. Still, there is one small yet important detail. The G-Sync technology pumps up monitors’ price by $150-$200 on average. Plus, if you don’t have at least GTX960, it is a bit pointless to get a G-Sync monitor. If you have an AMD graphics card, a G-Sync monitor won’t work for you, either.

As for the the FreeSync technology, it does not add up so much to the price, but the trick is that a FreeSync monitor is only compatible with AMD graphics cards.

Andrew is arguably the geekiest member of our team. He has a knack for new gaming hardware and awesome gadgets. Although Overwatch is his current favorite, he thinks the Counter Strike Global Offensive is the best shooter of all times. He is constantly hunting for news about new hero releases and patches. Andrew believes that playing video games is not just a hobby but a way of life. He regards his job at RealGear as a way of helping fellow gamers make the most of their gameplay by writing reviews about the hardware he uses and the FPS/ RTS he plays.

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