What is the best curved monitor for gaming? When you want total immersion in a computer game, it’s hard to stress just how much curves matter. We’ve picked six sweeping screens that reside rightfully in the sweet spot for every type of gamer, whether you’re after a big-screen experience or a budget panel.
Why buy a curved monitor? Humans see in 3D, taking in length, height, and depth, and even the best gaming monitors (being 2D) don’t quite play to the powers of our ocular perception. This leads to a lack of immersion and, sometimes, achy eyestrain that could seriously curtail your punchy fun time with the best PC games.
The best curved gaming monitors use three dimensions to create a viewing experience that’s much more comfortable and also generates less distortion by aiming all their light directly at the player and not haphazardly at and past them.
We’ve listed the concave curvature of each model in this guide, labeled with an ‘R’ for ‘radius’, to help you compare them. Generally, the lower the ‘R’ number, the better. Science tells us that panels with a concave curvature of 1000R are as close to ‘eyesight perfect’ as it gets; but other industry standards that open up further to 1500R, 1800R are still much more immersive than basic flat monitors.
We recommend that you take resolution, refresh rate, response rate, and size into account, too. Below you’ll find our pick of the best curved gaming monitors on the market right now, and we’re adding more as we test them.
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The best curved monitors for gaming in 2023:
- Alienware AW3423DWF – our top choice
- Samsung Odyssey G5 LC34 – best value
- MSI G274CV – best budget curved monitor
- AOC AGON AG493UCX2 – biggest monitor
- Gigabyte M32UC – best compact 4K monitor
- Acer Predator X38 – best widescreen monitor
1. Alienware AW3423DWF
The best for seamlessly smooth action.
Alienware AW3423DWF specs:
|Resolution||3440 x 1440|
|Connectivity||USB, DisplayPort, HDMI|
|Weight||15.26 lbs (6.92 kg)|
- Excellent overclocked refresh rate
- Incredible response time
- Not the best all-purpose monitor
Probably the best-known name in gaming circles, the Dell subsidiary has been delighting gamers with its Alienware wares since 1996 and its latest 34-inch monitor is a masterpiece of curve. A QD-OLED (quantum dot) affair that packs in the most cutting-edge tech, here your eyes will be elated by a resolution of 3440 x 1440-pixels, a very gentle curve of 1800R, 1000 nits peak brightness, infinite contrast ratio and VESA DisplayHDR TrueBlack 400 certification.
All this, combined with a remarkable refresh rate of 165Hz and an all-competition-beating response time of 0.1ms, adds up to the most amazing graphics and gameplay you’re likely to witness this side of ‘the future’. Port-wise there’s plenty to play with too, including an HDMI, 2x DisplayPort, and ample USB connectors, plus audio out, all capable of being neatly funneled through the built-in cable management system.
And keeping you firmly in the hot seat, ‘ComfortView Plus’ keeps blue light low to protect your eyes and Alienware’s advanced ventilation system stops the whole sexy shebang from ever overheating. Pricey? Yes, but also magnificent and a must for anyone with the means who wants to up their gaming experience ante way above the average.
2. Samsung Odyssey G5 LC34
The best value curved monitor on offer.
Samsung Odyssey G5 LC34 specs:
|Resolution||Ultra WQHD, 3440 x 1440-pixels|
|Connectivity||DisplayPort, HDMI, Headphones|
|Dimensions||27.2 x 80.6 x 47.5cm|
- Up to 165Hz
- Flimsy stand
It’s a looker, of that there’s no doubt. It also delivers an epic Ultra WQHD resolution for incredibly sharp images, a rapid 1ms response time, and a 165Hz refresh rate for video and gameplay smoother than an otter’s velvet smoking jacket, and that all-eye-encompassing 1000R curvature to truly suck you into whatever game you’re playing and keep you there, fully ensconced in its utter immersiveness.
At 34 inches, it’s a good size too – though you’re going to make sure you have plenty of space on your gaming desk, plus room to the sides to make sure you can accommodate it, so don’t forget to measure up before ordering!
Connecting via DisplayPort or HDMI, your main options for console or PC are covered, while a headphone socket takes care of all audio needs (it doesn’t have speakers).
Performance-wise, buckle in because the Odyssey G5 delivers visuals at a tremendously rapid rate, all free from discernible lag, while the inclusion of HDR10 means the brights are bright and darks darker than the heart of Elon Musk, but also detailed enough to let you see what lurks within.
3. MSI G274CV
The best curved monitor for newbies on a budget.
MSI G274CV specs:
|Resolution||FHD 1920 x 1080-pixels|
|Connectivity||HDMI, DisplayPort, Headphones|
|Dimensions||61 x 21 x 43cm|
- Good response time
- Low refresh rate
Because not everyone is made of money or needs a monitor that dominates the room, MSI gave the gaming world the G274CV back in August of 2022, a 27-inch option that may not have the top-end specs demanded by ardent next-gen gamers, but still has the chops to give you good, immersive gaming with a nice 1500R curve to suck you right into the action.
Offering Full HD with a 1920 x 1080-pixel count, the G274CV holds its own with a response time of 1ms, while the 75Hz refresh rate makes this monitor ideal for more casual gaming, but not the intense action doled out by many PS5 or Xbox Series X games, for which you’ll want that rate ramped up considerably.
Compatible with anything you want to throw at it, thanks to HDMI and DisplayPort connectors, the MSI also comes packing AMD FreeSync tech which lets the monitor lock to the refresh rate of your graphics card to help do away with tedious tearing and stutter.
4. AOC AGON AG493UCX2
The best curved monitor with 49 inches of screen real estate.
AOC AGON Gaming AG493UCX2 specs:
|Connectivity||3 x HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, USB-C 3.2, USB-C 3.1, 3.5mm headphone out|
|Dimensions||1194.4 x 369.4 x 153.24 mm (excl. base)|
- Excellent resolution
- Immersize size
- Built-in speakers aren’t powerful
For some people, only the biggest gaming screen will do. If that’s you, then the AOC AGON AG493UCX2 offers a whopping 49 inches of 1800R curved beauty and an improved 165Hz refresh performance from its predecessor’s 120Hz.
On top of this comes a 1ms response time to eliminate stutter, plus excellent connectivity with three HDMI 2.0 ports and a DisplayPort 1.4. The AG493UCX2 curved gaming monitor has an aspect ratio of 32:9, but is it too big? For a gaming monitor of this size, you’ll need a giant gaming desk, as well as a gaming laptop with a power delivery of 65W.
This AOC monitor has 2x 5W speakers built-in, which are okay for everyday play, but you’ll want to invest in the best computer speakers to ensure the audio can keep up with the immersive visuals.
5. Gigabyte M32UC
The best curved monitor for more compact 4K.
Gigabyte M32UC specs:
|Resolution||3840 x 2160-pixels|
|Connectivity||1x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.1, 1x USB Type-C, 4x USB 3.2|
|Dimensions||18.4 x 71.1 x 55.5 cm|
- Affordable UHD
- Great connection options
- Speakers are awful
Just because you’re short on space doesn’t mean you have to miss out on monitors with all the bells and whistles. Take the M32UC from Gigabyte for excellent example, a 32-inch option with a fine 1500R curve that comes packing the pixels to give you a full-on 4K picture married to a next-gen gaming-perfection refresh rate of 144Hz and response time of 1ms.
Featuring AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, the bar is well and truly raised as is the user experience to ‘exceptional’. Yep, graphics are richly detailed, colors are stunningly accurate, darks are deep and detailed and the whole thing flows effortlessly thanks to the Gigabyte’s SuperSpeed VA panel. On the sound side, there are also 2x 3W speakers, but I’ll say no more about those and simply refer you to the ‘Cons’.
With a wealth of connection possibilities available too, the M32UC can hook up next to anything you want it to, plus the spec and the 2x HDMI 2.1 ports means it plays perfectly with the PS5 and the Xbox Series X, making for a dream gaming set-up whatever your weapon of choice.
Completing the convenience, the Gigabyte also comes equipped with KVM so you can flip between your input sources free from faff, jumping from console to PC in the blink of an eye. Very reasonably priced too, the Gigabyte M32UC could well be the best upgrade you make all year.
6. Acer Predator X38
The best widescreen curved monitor for big budgets.
Acer Predator X38 specs:
|Resolution||UWQXGA 3840 x 1600|
|Response time||1ms up to 0.3ms|
|Connectivity||1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.0, 4x USB Hub 3.0|
|Dimensions||29 x 90 x 59cm|
- Affordable UHD
- Great connection options
- Speakers are awful
With a 2300R curvature, the Predator X38 from Acer is so subtle and so sizeable (ultrawide) that not only does it physically sweep it also has the ability to sweep you away into utter immersion. Okay, there’s no avoiding it, it is very expensive, but for your considerable cash outlay you get a 37.5-inch UWQXGA (Ultrawide Quad eXtended Graphics Array) display that lets you play with some 3840 x 1600-pixels for 4K thrills served up at a 144Hz refresh rate, but capable of being overclocked to a killer 175Hz.
It’s not just the refresh rate that impresses either, with a response time of 1ms up to 0.3ms too, and G-Sync certified to buddy up seamlessly with your graphics card, the performance of the Predator X38 is super-smooth, quick, slick, and free from any lag whatsoever.
With plenty of ports available, including a USB 3.0 Hub, the X38 also comes complete with 2x 7W speakers but, as ever, you’ll probably want to make use of something meatier in order to get the full sound and vision experience.
Speaking of vision, seeking to keep your eyes safe from strain, the Acer also features ‘Flickerless’ and ‘BlueLightShield’, both of which work to stop eye strain from ruining your fun, and with three game modes comprised of ‘action’, ‘racing’ and ‘sports’ to choose from, you’re always going to be completely on top of the action.
The Acer Predator X38 is hideously expensive but nothing if not epic.
How to choose the best curved monitor for gaming
Naturally, you now desperately want a curved monitor; and who can blame you after such a compelling argument? But as I’ve shown, there are many different options out there, so my advice is to start by looking at your budget, then once you’ve worked out what you can afford, buy the one with the highest spec you can. It may sound a bit blunt, but even if don’t initially make full use of what it can do, it’ll be game-ready if and when you upgrade.