PC hardware sales are at an all-time high, and even though 2020 was something of a weird and challenging year all-round, the arrival of new CPU and GPU hardware (alongside the release of some big titles) saw many people looking to upgrade their gaming rigs. Specifically, get a brand new GPU and a brand new display to match.
Outside of graphics hardware shortages (which have hit the display market too), choosing the right display is often one of the trickier propositions when it comes to upgrading. The decision goes beyond resolution and refresh-rate, things like response times and VRR (i.e. G-Sync and FreeSync) are more important now than they’ve ever been. Plus, you want a crisp image with vibrant colours and great contrast. And with that in mind we’ve gone through a range of new display announcements from CES -- with a look at some of the best looking monitors making their PC debut this year.
FHD and QHD Performance
MSI Oculux NXG253R
24.5-inch, FHD (1920x1080), IPS, 360Hz, NVIDIA G-Sync, NVIDIA Reflex Latency Analyzer
When looking for a competition-grade esports display there’s a few things that will define 2021’s offerings -- IPS panels with excellent colour accuracy, refreshing refresh rates, low response times, and VRR support. Out sometime later this month the MSI Oculux NXG253R
goes one step further by offering NVIDIA G-Sync, a 360Hz rapid-IPS display, 1ms GTG, and NVIDIA Reflex Latency Analyzer -- which is a mix of hardware and software that improves system latency to ensure the best possible performance. A serious esports display for those serious about competitive gaming.
: January 2021 Price
: $799 AUD
ACER Predator XB273U NX
27-inch, QHD (2560x1440), IPS, 275Hz, NVIDIA G-Sync, NVIDIA Reflex Latency Analyzer, HDR 400
When the ACER Predator XB273U NX
launches it will no doubt present one of the fastest 1440p IPS panels to date, something backed up not only by G-Sync and NVIDIA’s Reflex Latency Analyzer hardware but also HDR support and colour accuracy for an extra dose of cinematic presentation. A competitive beast this new Predator will also allow for high-end AAA gaming -- though we’re not sure if there’s a recent release that could even hit 275-fps at 1440p. That aside, this new Predator from ACER is looking to continue the company’s focus on premium high-performing displays that leverages cutting-edge tech.
: May 2021 Price
LG UltraGear 32GP850
32-inch, QHD (2560x1440), IPS, 180Hz, NVIDIA G-Sync Compatible, HDR
Not all QHD displays need to be purely about the competitive side, with the LG UltraGear 32GP850
adding a bit of big-screen gaming into the mix. This 32-inch display sees LG improve on its already impressive 2020 range of UltraGear displays by pushing performance up to 180Hz whilst retaining the crisp and vibrant nano-IPS panel that made it something of a dream QHD display last year. Something perfect for a few rounds of Rainbow Six Siege and an extended Horizon Zero Dawn session.
: May 2021 Price
ASUS ROG Swift PG32UQ
32-inch, 4K (3840 × 2160), IPS, 144Hz, HDMI 2.1, HDR 600
With the release of the PS5 and the Xbox Series X in addition to the latest in NVIDIA and AMD graphics supporting HDMI 2.1, this year we’re going to see a number of displays support the new format. The new ASUS ROG Swift PG32UQ
looks to be the sort of display versatile enough to handle high-end gaming no matter whether its via a PC housing an RTX 3080 GPU or a PS5, and would be perfect for those that see themselves switch between platforms in a small or office-like setup. With HDR 600 and excellent colour accuracy, no doubt this will be one of those ‘best of both worlds’ displays that many will be looking for this year.
: 2021 Price
ViewSonic Elite XG320U
32-inch, 4K (3840 × 2160), IPS, 144Hz, HDMI 2.1, HDR 600, AMD FreeSync Premium Pro
This new 4K panel from ViewSonic, like ASUS ROG Swift, ticks all of the right boxes. 4K, HDMI 2.1, 144Hz support, HDR, IPS, low 1ms response time, and a vibrant colour space that offers up to 99% of Adobe RGB. 32-inches is the sort of size where 4K presents a noticeable difference over QHD 1440p -- though to run games natively you’d want a PC with an RTX 3070 at a minimum to ensure there’s no real compromise in visual quality.
: Q1 2021 Price
LG UltraFine OLED Pro 32EP950
32-inch, 4K (3840 × 2160), OLED, 60Hz, Adobe RGB
Okay, so the UltraFine range from LG isn’t exactly aimed at the gaming audience, for that there’s the UltraGear line-up. That said, what makes the LG UltraFine OLED Pro 32EP950
stand out is that this is the company’s first pure OLED monitor, with a 32-inch size that should fit on most desks. Aimed at video professionals and graphic artists colour accuracy takes precedence over refresh-rate or response time, but the end-result would no doubt still impress in a way that only OLED can. With word that LG is aiming to develop a 42-inch model for its new OLED C1 TV range, here’s hoping we get a 32-inch revision too.
: 2021 Price
MPG ARTYMIS 343CQR
34-inch, QHD (3440 × 1440), VA, 165Hz, 1ms
Now we get to the good stuff, the one area where PC displays have come into their own in recent years -- the UltraWide. With their cinematic 21:9 aspect ratios and screen real-estate that feels like two screens in one, it should come as no surprise that when it comes to immersion there’s nothing quite like an UltraWide. With the MPG ARTYMIS 343CQR
set to launch soon, it presents an UltraWide with a 1000R curve, the closest angle to match how a human eye works -- which should take that immersion even further. And with a QHD, 1ms, 165Hz, HDr panel this new display from MSI is one we’re keen to see more of.
: 2021 Price
LG UltraGear 34GP950
34-inch, QHD (3440 × 1440), Nano IPS, 160Hz, 1ms
Featuring LG’s impressive Nano IPS panel in addition to NVIDIA G-Sync Ultimate support (which basically guarantees a premium G-Sync and HDR experience) the LG UltraGear 34GP950
falls into the ‘dream display’ category in that it’s a high-end UltraWide offering. Again, there’s just nothing quite like a proper UltraWide image -- and with its 160Hz refresh-rate and low 1ms response time, this is the sort of display tailor made for an RTX 3080.
: 2021 Price