It goes without saying that monitors make or break the gaming experience. And if you’re tired of missing critical headshots and often find yourself driving straight into trees—or someone’s fist, for that matter—then it’s time to finally get a smoother-than-butter gaming monitor that could keep up with you and your souped-up gaming rig. Trust us; your K/D ratio will thank you!
And in this buyer’s guide, we’ve covered the cream of the crop for your reading pleasure. From the cheap-and-cheerful ASUS TUF Gaming VG279QM that punches well above its weight to the hyper-fast Dell Alienware AW2521H with an eye-watering 360 Hz refresh rate that’s bound to blow your mind, metaphorically speaking, we looked in every nook and cranny to find the best specimens.
But before venturing down this rabbit hole, let’s address the elephant in the room first:
What Is Low Input Lag on Monitor?
Input lag refers to the time it takes for the monitor to process a signal and display the image on the screen. For gamers, particularly those in the competitive eSports arena, achieving the lowest input lag possible is crucial as it results in more responsive game controls. Split-second reactions can be the deciding factor in these games, making it essential to minimize input lag.
TL;DR – Top Low Input Lag Monitors for 2023
● Samsung Odyssey Neo G8: The best low input lag monitor available with a 4K 240Hz VA panel and Mini LED backlight that provides a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and a response time of 1 ms.
● ASUS TUF Gaming VG279QM: A compelling budget option that features a 1080p 280 Hz AHVA panel with just 1ms pixel response time and 2.3ms input lag.
● GIGABYTE M32U: The best 4K 144Hz monitor for PlayStation 5 users featuring the newest HDMI 2.1 standard supported by 9th Gen. consoles with a 31.5” display.
● BenQ Mobiuz EX3210U: The perfect choice for Xbox Series X users looking for a capable 4K monitor featuring HDMI 2.1. The Mobiuz features a large 31.5” display with a fast 2ms response time.
● Dell Alienware AW2521H: The legendary Dell Alienware AW2521H features a blazing fast 360 Hz refresh rate at 1080p resolution with 1ms pixel response time and 2ms input latency.
● MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD: A capable HDR monitor featuring cutting-edge Quantum Dot technology for a wide color gamut. Perfect choice for MMO and MOBA buffs.
● Dell Alienware AW3423DW: Perfect choice for hardcore gamers looking for a low input lag ultrawide monitor with fast response time and native G-Sync Ultimate support.
● Samsung Odyssey G7 C32G75T: A great 240Hz 1440p monitor with an aggressive 1000R curvature for a truly immersive gaming experience.
- What Is Low Input Lag on Monitor?
- TL;DR – Top Low Input Lag Monitors for 2023
- How Do You Fix Input Delay for Seamless Gaming Experience?
- Best Low Input Lag Monitors for 2023: Our Call
- Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 – Best Overall Low Input Lag Monitor
- ASUS TUF Gaming VG279QM – Best Budget Low Input Lag Monitor
- GIGABYTE M32U – Best Low Input Lag Monitor for PS5
- BenQ Mobiuz EX3210U – Best Low Input Lag Monitor for Xbox Series X
- Dell Alienware AW2521H – Best Low Input Lag Monitor for FPS Gaming
- MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD – Best Low Input Lag Monitor for MMO Gaming
- Dell Alienware AW3423DW – Best Low Input Lag Ultrawide Monitor
- Samsung Odyssey G7 C32G75T – Best Low Input Lag Curved Monitor
- How to Choose the Low Input Lag Monitor
- Comparing Best Low Input Lag Monitors
- FAQs – Low Input Lag Monitors
How Do You Fix Input Delay for Seamless Gaming Experience?
These are some steps you can take to achieve optimal input delay for the best possible gaming experience.
1. Invest in a monitor with a low input lag, fast response time, high refresh rate, and adaptive sync technology such as G-Sync or FreeSync.
2. Lower graphical settings and use temporal upscaling technologies such as Nvidia’s DLSS (excluding A.I ‘Frame Generation’) or AMD’s FSR 2.0+ when available to increase your frame rate and reduce input lag.
3. Disable any background activity that is not necessary while gaming.
4. Choose the “Game Mode” or “Game Profile” option on your monitor when gaming.
5. Turn off VSync as it causes significant input delay. Instead, use FastSync (Nvidia) or EnhancedSync (AMD) on G-Sync and FreeSync compatible monitors.
6. Avoid post-process filters such as Depth of Field, Motion Blur, Bloom, Ambient Occlusion, Film Grain, and FXAA/SMAA anti-aliasing. These effects introduce input delay because they are applied after the frame is fully rendered.
7. Play games in native full-screen mode. Windowed and borderless modes introduce input lag due to the Windows UI actively running in the background.
8. Use a wired mouse and keyboard, as Bluetooth and 2.4G wireless technologies introduce a slight input delay.
Best Low Input Lag Monitors for 2023: Our Call
To bring you this buyer’s guide, we took a two-pronged approach: First, we delved into the depths of low input lag monitor Reddit threads and combed through the popular subreddits that pro gamers swear by – we’re talking about r/Monitors, r/BuildaPC, r/PCMasterRace, r/AskBattlestations, r/HardwareSwap, and more.
We wanted to get the inside scoop on the key specs and features that truly matter when it comes to low-input lag gaming monitors. And after meticulously combing through thousands of user opinions and reviews, we narrowed down the selection to 16 gaming monitors that truly stood out from the crowd.
To get our hands on these monitors, we employed various tactics – some monitors we splurged on and bought outright, while others were review samples kindly lent out by local stores and gaming cafes. With limited funds, we had no choice but to get a little creative in our acquisition methods, but in the end, it was all worth it to bring you this review!
Next up, we put these monitors through their paces in our test labs. We ran a number of tests to assess everything from color gamut and accuracy to response time and input lag and even ran adaptive sync tests to see how they hold up during intense gaming sessions.
But we didn’t stop there – we took these monitors on a wild ride through some of the most popular eSports titles out there, including CS: GO, DOTA2, Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0, Fortnite, and Valorant (to name a few). This gave us a real-world perspective on how these monitors stack up under serious gaming pressure.
And after all our research, testing, and gaming escapades, we shortlisted the top 10 low-input lag gaming monitors. And today, we’ll be delving into each and every single one of them!
Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 – Best Overall Low Input Lag Monitor
The legendary Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 is by far the best option for any gamer looking for a low-input lag gaming monitor. With its impressive specs sheet, it’s not hard to see why:
The Odyssey Neo G8 is a 4K gaming monitor with a screen size of 31.5”, which is on the larger end of the spectrum. Despite the larger size, the pixel density stays well above average at 140 PPI. Equally as remarkable is the contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, all thanks to the Mini LED backlight that dramatically minimizes color bleed over traditional W-LED backlights.
Now here’s the crazy part: Despite its 4K resolution, the refresh rate of the monitor is an eye-watering 240Hz. As a matter of fact, the Odyssey Neo G8 is one of the first 4K monitors to reach that milestone. Needless to say, even the beefiest of modern GPUs will struggle to keep up with this beast of a monitor, so you’ll be pretty much 100% future-proof!
As for the G8’s gaming chops, the monitor has a response time of just 1 ms with a peak brightness of 350 nits. Being a gaming monitor, it also supports AMD’s FreeSync Premium Pro adaptive sync technology and is also Nvidia G-Sync compatible, though there’s no native support for it.
In terms of connectivity, the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 comes with dual HDMI 2.1 ports, along with a solo DisplayPort 1.4. There are also dual USB 3.0 ports out at the back to connect your keyboard and mouse etc. Lastly, there’s a 3.5mm audio jack for the analog audio output.
In testing, the Odyssey Neo G8 took us by surprise, even though we were fully expecting to be surprised! The blacks were nice and deep, color bleeding was an absolute non-issue, local dimming was fantastic, and the viewing angles were remarkably wide.
FreeSync Premium Pro also worked smoothly, and as expected, we didn’t come across any hitches or stutters in performance. Everything was nice, crisp, and fluid. The same goes for GSync.
All in all, if money is a non-issue, then it doesn’t get much better than Samsung Odyssey Neo G8.
- Quantum Mini-LED, which achieves next-generation depth with Quantum HDR2000, delivers exceptional picture quality, placing Odyssey Neo in its own class.
- Mirroring the arc of the human eye, the 1000R curvature brings gaming worlds to reality, surrounding players for deeper immersion and more satisfying gameplay
- One misstep can be the difference between victory and defeat. Top the leaderboard with the world’s first 4K gaming monitor with a 240Hz refresh rate, along with 1ms response time and AMD FreeSync Premium pro.
ASUS TUF Gaming VG279QM – Best Budget Low Input Lag Monitor
Asus TUF Gaming VG279QM is a compelling budget option that manages to hit the sweet spot without breaking the bank! Here’s what we mean:
To start off, Asus TUF Gaming VG279QM is a 27” monitor with a resolution of 1080p, which is to be expected from a budget-oriented product. Unfortunately, that means the pixel density is a bit lackluster at just 81 PPI. What’s not to be expected from a budget-friendly monitor is the refresh rate of 280Hz!
The monitor comes with an AHVA panel with a W-LED backlight, good enough for 400 nits brightness with a contrast ratio of 1000:1. The AHVA panel in question aims to offer the color reproduction of an IPS panel, but the deeper blacks of a traditional VA panel, and hence can be considered the best of both worlds.
When it comes to gaming, the Asus TUF offers a response time of 1 ms with an input latency of just 2.3 ms. For connectivity, there are dual HDMI 2.0 ports at the back, accompanied by a DisplayPort 1.2. Given its budget price tag, there are no USB output ports. However, the monitor comes with dual 2W internal speakers, which sounded pretty decent for what they are.
For gaming, the Asus TUF supports AMD FreeSync and is also Nvidia G-Sync compatible. In testing, the monitor performed remarkably well, and we didn’t encounter any screen tearing or motion judder throughout the entirety of testing. All in all, a very compelling product for the price.
- 27-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) Fast IPS gaming monitor with ultrafast 280Hz refresh rate (overclocked) designed for professional gamers and immersive gameplay
- Aspect Ratio is 16:9; Viewing Angle (CR≧10) is 178°/ 178°; Brightness (Typ) is 400cd/㎡
- ASUS Extreme Low Motion Blur Sync (ELMB SYNC) technology enables ELMB together with G-SYNC Compatible, eliminating ghosting and tearing for sharp gaming visuals with high frame rates
GIGABYTE M32U – Best Low Input Lag Monitor for PS5
Gigabyte’s M32U gaming monitor is a compelling option for PlayStation 5 users looking for a low-input lag gaming monitor for their gaming escapades.
The M32U is a large 31.5” 4K gaming monitor with a fast 144Hz refresh rate. Just like the Odyssey Neo G8, the pixel density remains very high at 140 PPI. There’s an IPS panel out at the front with a W-LED backlight that’s good for 350 nits peak brightness with a contrast ratio of 1000:1.
For connectivity, the monitor comes with dual HDMI 2.1 ports, along with a DisplayPort 1.4. While the HDMI 2.1 supports 4K at 144Hz, the PlayStation 5 is limited to 120Hz, so you’ll lose the extra 24 refresh cycles. Not a huge problem as there isn’t that big of a difference between 120 and 144Hz (1.38ms) but worth mentioning.
There are also triple USB 3.0 ports at the back of the monitor for connecting various peripherals without relying on a USB hub. Not only that, but the M32 also comes with dual 3W internal speakers, which sound pretty good, though they start to get a little distorted at high volumes.
As for gaming, the Gigabyte M32U offers a pixel response time of 2ms with an input latency of 4ms, which is quite remarkable. The monitor also supports AMD FreeSync technology right out of the box, and though not officially certified, we didn’t have any trouble enabling Nvidia G-Sync on it either.
The gaming performance of the Gigabyte M32U was one of its highlights. We faced no issues connecting it with our PS5. Everything was basically plug-and-play, and it took us just a few moments to set it up. All in all, a great option for PlayStation 5 users.
BenQ Mobiuz EX3210U – Best Low Input Lag Monitor for Xbox Series X
BenQ’s Mobiuz is our top pick for Xbox Series X users looking for a low-input lag gaming monitor.
The Mobiuz EX3210U supports a 31.5” 4K display with a 144Hz refresh rate and a pixel density of 140 PPI. Just like the Asus TUF Gaming VG279QM in our test, the Mobiuz comes with an AHVA LCD panel with a W-LED backlight that offers a peak brightness of 600 nits with a 1000:1 contrast ratio and a wide 178-degree viewing angle.
In terms of connectivity, the Mobiuz supports dual HDMI 2.1 ports, as well as a solo DisplayPort 1.4. There are also four USB 3.0 ports at the back for peripherals, as well dual 2W internal speakers that are accompanied by a 5W subwoofer. To our surprise, the speakers sounded remarkable, with the little subwoofer providing a nice, deep bass.
When it comes to gaming, the BenQ Mobiuz supports AMD FreeSync Premium Pro with LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) for a fluid, buttery-smooth gaming experience with a pixel response time of just 2 ms.
To test Mobiuz’s gaming potential, we hooked it up with our Xbox Series X. In testing, we didn’t encounter any hitches or hiccups in performance. The Mobiuz chugged along nicely, no matter what we threw at it. So if you’re looking for a great monitor for your Xbox, it doesn’t get much better than the BenQ Mobiuz.
- Level Up the Game: 32 Inch UHD 4K IPS gaming monitor features Freesync Premium Pro and color optimizer settings.
- Experience Smooth Gameplay: Catch all the small details with a 1ms MPRT response rate and 144Hz refresh rate.
- Built-In Noise Cancellation Microphone: Reduce the background noise with one-click and shift the focus to what's important. Note: the microphone only works on laptops and other external PCs when connected via USB-C.
Dell Alienware AW2521H – Best Low Input Lag Monitor for FPS Gaming
The Dell Alienware AW2521H is a great option for eSports buffs looking for a hyper-refresh-rate monitor for competitive FPS gaming.
For starters, the Dell Alienware AW2521H features a 1080p IPS LCD with a blazing-fast 360 Hz refresh rate. The monitor is relatively small at 24.5”, which means the pixel density remains decent at 89 PPI.
The monitor has a W-LED backlight which is good enough for an above-average peak brightness of 430 nits with an equally above-average contrast ratio of 1300:1, along with a wide 178-degree viewing angle.
For connectivity, there are dual HDMI 2.0 ports, as well as a single DisplayPort 1.4. There are also a trio of USB-A 3.0 ports for connecting peripherals, as well as dual 3.5mm audio ports for analog audio.
Gaming is where the Alienware AW2521H absolutely shines, with a pixel response time of just 1 ms and an input lag of only 2 ms. That’s just 3ms of input lag in total! And as to be expected from a high-performance gaming monitor, there’s also support for FreeSync Premium, as well as Nvidia GSync.
All in all, the Dell Alienware AW2521H is, without a doubt, the best monitor you can get for competitive eSports FPS gaming.
MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD – Best Low Input Lag Monitor for MMO Gaming
While the name MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD may sound quite a mouthful, even by monitors’ standards, in practice, it’s a fantastic HDR monitor featuring the cutting edge ‘Quantum Dot’ technology, hence the “QD” suffix at the end. There’s also a ‘vanilla’ variant sans Quantum Dots, but here we will be reviewing the souped-up variant!
But let’s start with the basics first: The MSI Optix is a 27” 1440p IPS LCD monitor with a pixel density of 108 PPI and a refresh rate of 165Hz. There’s a W-LED backlight that provides a contrast ratio of 1000:1, along with 300 nits peak brightness. Pretty standard affair, all things considered.
But what makes the MSI Optix stand apart is its Quantum Dot technology that aims to provide superior high dynamic range and a wider color gamut compared to standard IPS panel technology, and it most certainly delivers!
For connectivity, the monitor features dual HDMI 2.0 (B) ports at the back, accompanied by a single DisplayPort 1.2. There are also dual USB-A ports at the back for peripherals, as well as a 3.5mm audio jack for analog output.
As for gaming, the MSI Optix supports FreeSync Premium with a response time of just 1 ms, as well as HDR10 support. In testing, Optix’s gaming performance was smooth and responsive, and the colors were nice, crisp, and vibrant, all thanks to the Quantum Dot technology. However, we did have to calibrate the colors as the monitor felt slightly oversaturated out of the box.
All in all, the MSI Optix is a great, high-speed monitor for MMO and MOBA buffs. It was an absolute joy to play games with HDR enabled!
Dell Alienware AW3423DW – Best Low Input Lag Ultrawide Monitor
The Dell Alienware AW3423DW is our top pick when it comes to low-input lag ultrawide monitors.
In terms of size, the Alienware has a 34.18” screen with QD-LED display technology that offers a near-infinite 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. The resolution of the monitor is 1440p (3440 x 1440) with a total pixel density of 109 PPI at a 175 Hz refresh rate.
While the 34.18” size may sound like a whole lot, in actuality, it’s comparable to a 27.5” 16:9 monitor. Despite that, it offers a 100 square-inch extra screen real-estate thanks to the taller (or wider) aspect ratio (423 vs. 323 square-inch).
Having an OLED panel, the Alienware AW3423DW doesn’t feature a backlight; hence the peak brightness is slightly on the lower side at 250 nits. But as long as your room isn’t overly bright, the low brightness won’t pose an issue.
As for gaming, the monitor has a pixel response time of just 0.1 ms, which is ten times lower than almost all other monitors in this test. Unfortunately, the input lag of the monitor is slightly on the higher side at 7.9ms but the 0.1 pixel response time helps alleviate that. Lastly, there’s support for Nvidia G-Sync ultimate with a super-wide sync range of 1Hz to 175Hz.
Thanks to the wide sync range, the Alienware AW3423DW never missed a beat in our testing, even when things heated up and the performance tanked to the bottom. All in all, a great ultrawide option.
- IMPECCABLE DESIGN: Featuring a sleek QD-OLED curved 1800R panel with the new Legend 2.0 ID, customizable AlienFX lighting, 360° ventilation, improved cable management, and a centralized OSD joystick.
- INFINITELY IMMERSIVE: Quantum Dot Display Technology enables a slim panel design and delivers a superior color performance with a higher peak luminance and greater color gamut range vs white OLED.
- STUTTER-FREE SPEED: Experience ultra-low latency gameplay, support for HDR and cinematic color, plus smooth, tear-free gaming thanks to NVIDIA G-SYNC ULTIMATE certification.
Samsung Odyssey G7 C32G75T – Best Low Input Lag Curved Monitor
The Samsung Odyssey G7 is a fantastic gaming monitor with a super aggressive 1000R curvature for an immersive gaming experience. But first, let’s go over the specs:
The Odyssey G7 is a 27” 1440p SVA LCD monitor with a pixel density of 109 PPI. The refresh rate is a blazing fast 240 Hz with a pixel response time of just 1 ms. The SVA panel has a W-LED backlight that provides up to 350 nits of peak brightness, along with an above-average 2500:1 contrast ratio and 178-degree viewing angle.
For connectivity, there’s a solo HDMI 2.0 port, accompanied by dual DisplayPort 1.4 ports, which was interesting considering almost all monitors in this test have dual HDMIs with a single DisplayPort. Lastly, there are dual USB 3.0 ports for peripherals.
For gaming, the Odyssey G7 features AMD’s FreeSync Premium Pro adaptive sync technology and is also Nvidia GSync certified, so all the bases are covered here.
In our testing, the Odyssey G7 was one of the best monitors when it came to input lag. The response time was excellent, FreeSync and GSync both worked without a hitch, the contrast ratio was nice and crisp with deep blacks, and overall, the input lag was kept to an absolute bare minimum for a terrific gaming experience.
- UNMATCHED IMMERSION: Get your head in the game with Odyssey’s 1000R panel, which matches the curvature of the human eye for maximum immersion and minimal eye strain
- WQHD RESOLUTION: Make your gaming world, more lifelike than ever before. Packing in 1. 7 times the pixel density of Full HD, WQHD resolution boasts incredibly detailed, pin-sharp images. Experience a fuller view with more space to take in all the action
- NVIDIA G-SYNC & FREESYNC: Dropping frames means dropping chances to put your enemy in the dirt. With G-SYNC and FreeSync Premium Pro support, Odyssey matches every frame from your graphics card, so you’re never caught short from moment to moment
How to Choose the Low Input Lag Monitor
Here are all the specs and features that a user must consider while buying a low-input lag monitor:
● Refresh Rate: Monitors with higher refresh rates have reduced frame times, resulting in a more responsive gaming experience. To ensure smooth gameplay, it’s recommended to choose a monitor with a refresh rate of 144Hz or higher.
● Response Time: Response time refers to the amount of time it takes for the pixels to change from one color to the next. For gaming, a response time of 5ms or less is ideal.
● Input lag: Input lag refers to the amount of time, in milliseconds, the monitor needs to visualize the input signal. Just like response time, an input lag of 5ms or less is ideal.
● Display Panel: Each display panel has its strengths and weaknesses. TN panels, for example, offer fast response times, but their viewing angles tend to be lackluster. On the other hand, IPS panels tend to be slower but offer wider viewing angles and superior color reproduction. Lastly, VA panels aim to fill the gap between TN and IPS panels.
● Adaptive Sync: Adaptive Sync technologies such as Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync not only eliminate screen tearing and motion judder but also dramatically reduce input lag. For gamers, adaptive sync is an absolute no-brainer.
Comparing Best Low Input Lag Monitors
|Monitor||Size(Inches)||Refresh Rate (Hz)||Resolution(Vertical)||Rating(/10)|
|Samsung Odyssey Neo G8||31.5”||240 Hz||2160p||9.5|
|ASUS TUF Gaming VG279QM||27”||280 Hz||1080p||9.5|
|GIGABYTE M32U||31.5”||144 Hz||2160p||9.0|
|BenQ Mobiuz EX3210U||31.5”||144 Hz||2160p||9.5|
|Dell Alienware AW2521H||24.5”||360 Hz||1080p||9.5|
|MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD||27”||165 hz||1440p||9.0|
|Dell Alienware AW3423DW||34.18”||175 Hz||1440p||9.0|
|Samsung Odyssey G7 C32G75T||27”||240 Hz||1440p||9.0|
FAQs – Low Input Lag Monitors
Does Higher FPS Reduce Input Lag?
Increasing the frame rate doesn’t reduce input lag, but it does reduce frame latency. For instance, going from 60 to 120 frames per second will reduce frame time latency by 8.33 milliseconds, resulting in smoother graphics and more responsive gameplay. However, to actually minimize input lag, you’ll need a monitor with a quick response time and minimal input latency.
How Much Input Lag is OK for Gaming?
For competitive eSports gaming, an overall input lag of 15 milliseconds or less is ideal. If the input lag is greater than 30 milliseconds, the controls will feel sluggish, and it will be difficult to keep the crosshairs on the target.
Does 4K Have More Input Lag?
No, 4K monitors don’t have more input lag than 1440p or 1080p monitors. While 4K monitors have higher pixel density and, in theory, should require more time to render a complete frame, in practice, that’s a non-issue. 4K monitors that are designed for gaming are equipped with faster image processing hardware to keep the input latency in check.
Will Better HDMI Cables Reduce Input Lag?
The answer is no. HDMI cables are designed to transmit binary data in the form of 1s and 0s, which means the signal is either ‘on’ or ‘off’ and hence is not affected by the quality of the cable. As long as the cable isn’t damaged, it’ll transmit digital signals without any impact on image quality or latency.
And there you have it, folks, the top 8 best low input lag monitors! Just like picking your weapons in a Battle Royale game, choosing the right monitor is all about your play style. You get to decide which monitor meets your specific needs, which, frankly, is half the fun!
Whether you prefer the high refresh rate of the Dell Alienware AW2521H, the unbeatable price tag of the ASUS TUF Gaming VG279QM, the razor-sharp pixel density of the Gigabyte M32U, or the near-infinite contrast ratios of the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8, you can’t go wrong with any of these puppies!
The options are laid out before you like a fully-stocked armory. So, it’s time to select the weapon – er, monitor – and slay pixels with razor-sharp precision and accuracy like no tomorrow!