How to Choose the Right Gaming Monitor for Your PS5
When choosing a gaming monitor for your PS5, the first thing to remember is that Sony designed the PS5 knowing it is primarily used in living rooms (via BBC). This means displays best suited for the console align with standard TV resolutions and 16:9 or 21:9 widescreen aspect ratios.
In particular, Sony has targeted 4K Ultra HD (UHD) TVs with High Dynamic Range (HDR) support for gaming and entertainment on the PS5, although it will also support video output at up to 8K resolutions. 8K TVs, however, are still prohibitively expensive for the most part, and frame rates at this resolution will take a substantial drop when full support for native 8K resolutions is added by Sony in a future update.
However, there are also many PS5 owners who will prefer to take their console into a bedroom or a study, in which case a gaming monitor might be the best solution. In fact, serious gamers may prefer a well-specified widescreen gaming monitor over a TV. Monitors in the 24-inch to 27-inch range offer a smaller field of view, which means your eyes don’t need to travel far to take in every piece of action being displayed.
Other gamers may prefer larger monitors up to 32-inches in size, or even one with a curved display, depending on their preferred gaming genre. However, it’s best for PS5 gamers to avoid 1440p gaming monitors, as this is not a resolution natively supported at present (via AV Watch) or other ultra-widescreen gaming monitors which are designed for gaming PCs.
A Couple of Our Picks for the Best PS5 Monitor
To get the most out of your PS5, you will want a widescreen monitor that can fully leverage the console’s support for native 4K HDR gaming at up to 120 frames per second (fps). The PS5 is equipped with an HDMI 2.1 port that enables the console to output at the necessary bandwidth, which means that you will need to pick up a 4K HDR gaming monitor with an HDMI 2.1 port. As you might expect, none of the new HDMI 2.1 monitors are particularly cheap, but choosing one is the best to ensure you will enjoy every single polygon that your PS5 can muster.
At the top of our list is the Samsung 28-inch Odyssey G7 4K HDR Gaming Monitor priced at $800. Not only does it feature the necessary HDMI 2.1 connectivity, but it also supports both AMD’s Freesync and Nvidia G-Sync technology, meaning it will do double duty as a gaming PC monitor, too. This model sports a 144 Hz refresh rate (which will comfortably accommodate gaming action at 120fps) and has HDR400 certification.
It is an IPS panel with a fast 1ms response rate, meaning colors are going to look vibrant and the action will be sharp. Another option is the 28-inch 16:9 Gigabyte M28U 4K HDR gaming monitor, which has very similar specifications to the Samsung Odyssey. It is priced more affordably at $649, but misses out on G-Sync support.
There are some quite spectacular PC gaming monitors out there like the 49-inch Samsung Odyssey G9 monitor with its 32:9 aspect ratio that could be tempting. Unfortunately, as we mentioned earlier, the PS5 console has been designed around standard TV resolutions and aspect ratios.
As a result, it won’t play nicely with some of the more extreme ultra-wide gaming monitors out there. If your budget can’t stretch to a 4K HDR gaming monitor with HDMI 2.1, you may want to consider a regular 4K gaming monitor with HDMI 1.4 and a standard 60Hz refresh rate. You won’t get the most out of your console, but you will still enjoy a high resolution.
Cheaper still are 1440p gaming monitors, but Sony hasn’t announced any plans to support the resolution. The PS5 will work with 1440p monitors, but it will only display the content in upscaled 1080p, which is less than satisfactory. That leaves plenty of excellent 1080p Full HD (FHD) monitors out there that you could also choose from, but again, you aren’t going to be getting the most out of the PS5.
In fact, at those resolutions, you might as well stick with a Sony PS4 unless you plan on upgrading to a 4K HDR HDMI 2.1 monitor in the future. However, if you do choose a 1080p monitor for your PS5, make sure you pick one that supports at least 120Hz refresh rates and select the ‘Performance Mode’ in the PS5 settings to enjoy higher framerates.
Panel types – TN, IPS, VA or OLED?
Something else to consider is the panel type, which is getting less straightforward these days. You will find a lot of gaming PC monitors that are fitted with a TN (Twisted Nematic) LCD panel. The main benefits of these panels are that they are relatively inexpensive to produce (and are more affordable as a result) and offer ultrafast refresh rates for crisp image reproduction.
The main downsides are their color reproduction is limited as are their viewing angles. If you want a wider color palette and wider viewing angles, you should opt for an IPS (In-Plane Switching) LCD panel, which has also started to match TN panels for fast refresh rates.
Also rising in popularity in recent years are VA (Vertically Aligned) LCD panels, which typically offer higher contrast than IPS panels, but have slightly narrower viewing angles. Both IPS and VA panels can sometimes also feature Quantum Dot technology, or other similar technologies, to improve the color gamut displayed.
Another technology that is making its way into gaming monitors is mini-LED backlighting, which provides finer control over local area dimming to improve contrast and helps colors pop like OLED displays — the just-announced Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 (pictured) is a new HDMI 2.1 monitor with both mini-LED and Quantum Dot tech. OLED panels still aren’t especially prevalent at the moment and remain quite expensive.
Audio and wrap-up
Another thing that can be easy to overlook as you are trawling over monitor specifications in your search for the best monitor for your PS5 is whether it includes a set of built-in speakers. For many people, this is not an essential feature as built-in monitor speakers aren’t typically very powerful – at best, built-in speakers usually top out at around 5 – 10 watts. Buying a set of more powerful speakers, either stereo or surround-capable, is usually the preferred option. That said, built-in speakers are still handy to have as a fallback option.
There are undoubtedly many things to look out for when looking to buy the best monitor for your PS5. The resolution, aspect ratio, panel type, display size, refresh rates, display response time, dynamic range, and HDMI version will all impact how enjoyable your PS5 gaming experience will be. However, we would certainly recommend that you opt for a 4K HDR monitor that features an HDMI 2.1 port and supports at least a 120Hz refresh rate as your starting point. It won’t be cheap, but this will be your best bet to get the most out of what the PS5 can offer.
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