Let’s take a look at our experts recommended Best 1440p 165hz Monitors for gaming and PS5 console , and Xbox Series X, including cheap and budget options.
A displays tend to have at least double the contrast ratio of IPS or TN panels, making them particularly desirable for watching video. This extra visual depth can also add atmosphere to games and is preferred by some people to the slightly more washed-out look of other LCD panel types.
The downside is that their response time is much slower than IPS or TN panels, making for sluggish gaming performance characterised by detail-destroying, ghostly trails behind fast moving objects. For this reason, we generally don’t recommend them for competitive, fast- paced gameplay, although they can still hold their own in esports titles if you’re just playing casually, and they’re fine for single-player gaming.
We start our testing by assessing the fit, finish and features of the monitors, looking at the quality of materials, adjustability of the stand connections on offer and any other extra features. Next, we look at image quality, subjectively assessing the viewing angles and color reproduction before moving onto testing color accuracy, contrast, panel uniformity and more with a colorimeter.
We then assess the gaming potential of the screen subjectively by playing games on them. We look at the responsiveness and whether the screen offers any clarity-improving modes for fast motion, such as backlight strobing blur reduction, adaptive sync (FreeSync and G-Sync) or overdrive options in the on-screen display (OSD) control system. We also assess the response time using the BlurBusters UFO ghosting test, taking pictures of the screen to determine the level of ghosting or smearing.
Most of these displays offer HDR modes but they don’t boost native contrast or color range, instead just employing dynamic adjustments to the overall backlight brightness and color balance. None are what we would consider worth using at all, so we’ve not recorded test results for these modes.
List of Best 1440p 165hz Monitor
- AOC CQ27G3S 27″ QHD 165hz Curved Gaming Monitor
- MOBIUZ EX2710R 165Hz Curved Gaming Monitor
- GIGABYTE G27FC 27″ 165Hz 1080P Gaming Monitor
- MSI Optix MAG322CQR 32″ 1440 165Hz Monitor
- Samsung Odyssey G5 165hz Gaming Monitor
1. AOC CQ27G3S 27″ QHD 165hz Curved Gaming Monitor
AOC has a solid track record when it comes to more budget-focused gaming monitors, with them often offering a great balance of performance and features for a great price. Those qualities are highlighted perfectly with this latest model.
Where this display is perhaps less impressive is with its design. There’s nothing much wrong with its nearly all-black plastic color scheme – other than the little red highlights on the lower bezel and back of the panel – and its generally slim look. However, it lacks just that final sense of clean finesse that the MSI and Samsung displays on possess.
Another less than perfect showing is the OSD control system. AOC has improved the controls slightly over some of its other recent lower-cost displays, by making the power button a different size and shape from the other buttons, so it’s not so easy to accidentally turn off the display midway through changing a setting. However, the row of buttons on the underside of the bezel is still a clunky choice compared with the mini joysticks on the other displays tested here.
These issues aside, though, the AOC hardly misses a beat. For a start, the stand offers height, rotation and tilt adjustment, which is more than most others on test, leaving only the option to pivot into a portrait orientation (not much use with a curved display anyway) as a move this stand can’t perform.
You can, of course, also remove the stand and attach an alternative via the 100x 100mm VESA mount beneath it.
Connection options are solid too, with a standard selection of one DisplayPort 1.2 and two HDMI 2 video inputs, along with a headphone out joined by a whopping count of four USB ports, one of which is rated to the 3.2 standard.
There are speakers too. They’re rated at 3W a piece, which is higher than the typical 2W units, but they’re not a significant upgrade to our ears.
As for image quality, this panel is astonishingly good. Other than a slightly high gamma rating, it basically offers perfect image quality right out the box. Just choose your brightness and away you go. All that, and the panel provides by far the highest maximum brightness and contrast on test.
The display uses a wide color gamut by default (127 per cent sRGB), but you can clamp the gamut to 100 per cent sRGB with an sRGB mode. This fixes the brightness at a rather bright 248 nits, though, so it’s not ideal for any setting other than brightly lit rooms.
Gaming performance is also impressive, with the sharpest image in fast motion on test, even without an overdrive setting.
With overdrive cranked up and the backlight-strobing blur reduction mode engaged, it romps home with the win. Fast IPS and TN panels still hold a significant lead in terms of response time, with reduced trailing shadows and improved clarity in fast motion, but the AOC is still impresses for a VA panel in this respect. The blur reduction doesn’t work while adaptive sync is enabled, though, which is a shame.
The AOC CQ27C3SU is a fantastic VA gaming monitor, offering capable gaming performance while delivering exceptionally high contrast and color-accurate, sharp image quality. Add in the simple but smart design and plenty of features and you have a winner.
An exceptionally good VA gaming monitor, with great image quality out of the box.
2. MOBIUZ EX2710R 165Hz Curved Gaming Monitor
The BenQ EX271 OR walks a different path to the other displays, as it not only focuses on gaming performance but multimedia too. To this end, BenQ has added uprated 2.1 speakers, a remote control for the OSD and a host of different settings to get the most from the display, depending on whether you’re gaming or watching video.
It’s not the slimmest or most dainty-looking display on test. Its stand is decidedly chunky and the edges of the panel don’t taper to a particularly fine point. The addition of silver and red to the stand, along with a cross of RGB lighting on the back, also means this display lacks the subtle, understated charm of the MSI and Samsung models.
This display impresses in terms of features. Its stand offers height, rotation and tilt adjustment, while around the back are one DisplayPort 1.4 and two HDMI2 video inputs, plus a 2-port USB 3 hub.
Then there’s that remote, which has a quality feel, with a directional pad in the middle for menu navigation, along with shortcuts for speaker volume and brightness controls, both of which are handy for multimedia use. It’s good the remote is included too, as the OSD control buttons on the underside of the panel aren’t the easiest to use, although they’re far from terrible.
Disappointingly, the much vaunted 2.1 sound system sounded tinny and hollow when we first fired up the display. Image quality wasn’t great either, with a lack of smoothness to color gradations. That’s because the display defaults to its FPS gaming mode, which applies a profile designed to highlight in-game sounds and boost the gamma of the image.
Thankfully, much better performance all round can be engaged by a (slightly hidden) single menu setting. Switch to the Standard input mode rather than Game input mode and the audio switches to the much better Pop mode and a host of image quality settings are changed. With this mode engaged, the audio sounds genuinely impressive. It’s still not at the level of even desktop speakers, but you could happily watch a movie with them.
As for image quality, gamma is too high in the default modes but this can be fixed by switching to the gamma 2 setting rather than gamma 3.
Otherwise, color balance is okay and contrast is impressively high, although panel uniformity is disappointing, resulting in an uneven-looking image. You also get an extended color gamut of up to 127 per cent sRGB in FPS mode, which is reduced to 114 per cent in the Standard mode.
In games, the BenQ held up well, with a faster native response time than most of the other panels on test, making for shorter ghosting trails in fast motion. The fastest overdrive mode also didn’t introduce too much inverse ghosting, while tightening up the response. Add in the blur reduction mode and you have a viable fast-motion gaming display.
The relatively high price of this display is largely justified by its uprated speakers and included remote control, assuming those features appeal to you. This display also provides solid image quality and excellent gaming performance. If you’re not fussed by the extra features, though, other monitors offer better value.
A great movie-watching and gaming display, with genuinely good speakers and a convenient remote control.
3. GIGABYTE G27FC 27″ 165Hz 1080P Gaming Monitor
Dropping to a lower resolution than the other monitors on test, the 1080p Gigabyte G27FC can’t compete with its competitors in terms of pixel density and general image sharpness. However, its lower price and 27in screen size should make it a decent entry level gaming monitor if performance holds up.
If sleek looks are a requirement for your budget display, though, the G27FC falls at the first hurdle. The stand for this display has a very wide-footed base that looks decidedly dumpy compared with the slender bases of most other models on test. The sides of the housing are thick too, measuring 11m thick all the way around – that’s forgivable on a high-end panel with a fancy, ultra-uniform backlight, but surprising on a modest panel such as this one.
Thankfully, the stand offers more in the way of practicality, providing height and tilt adjustment. You miss out on little in the way of core features either. For video inputs, you get one DisplayPort 1.2 and two HDM11.4 connections, plus there’s a 2-port USB 3 hub, a headphone jack and even a pair of 2W speakers. They’re decidedly tinny, with none of the bass that the BenQ can offer up, but they’re fine for watching the odd YouTube clip out loud.
A single mini-joystick on the back right of the panel controls the on-screen display. The stick is a little fussy to use, often registering a left or right movement (moving between menu items) rather than an up or down movement (adjusting each setting) but it wasn’t too much of a problem. The menus themselves are intuitive enough and include all the settings you’ll need.
The big story when it comes to image quality is, of course, the reduced resolution, which does make for a limited experience, particularly for desktop work. However, we actually preferred reading text on this screen than the huge, higher-resolution MSI, as the text stayed sharper while scrolling.
Although image quality out of the box didn’t look too bad, our tests showed a consistently low color temperature and slightly low gamma. These needed tweaking via the OSD, switching to manual color balance and dropping the red and blue channels to 94/100 and 96/100 respectively, then changing to the gamma 4 option rather than the default 3.
With these changes, the display put in a solid performance. Meanwhile, contrast is consistently high, peaking at 3,270:1, although it did notably drop to 2,540:1 once our tweaks had been made. Panel uniformity wasn’t great either, resulting in noticeable variance in the image across the screen’s expanse.
In gaming, the most obvious omission is support for a backlight-strobing blur reduction mode. However, we found the response time of this panel to be natively decent anyway, resulting in a surprisingly snappy-feeling response in gaming. The BenQ and AOC outclass it here, but the Gigabyte does well for its modest price.
If you’re after a high-contrast gaming monitor that doesn’t break the bank, or ruin your gaming with overly slow, ghosting-riddled image quality, the G27FC is a solid option. Its 1080p resolution is limiting for many applications, but you won’t need an expensive graphics card to run games at this resolution, and it’s fine for watching HD video. It’s just a shame about the rather lumpen design of the housing and stand.
A solid option for those seeking a high-contrast gaming monitor, although its 1080p resolution limits sharpness and it looks a bit dumpy.
4. MSI Optix MAG322CQR 32″ 1440 165Hz Monitor
Considering the MSI offers you a panel with a diagonal that’s fully 5in wider (corner to corner) than the 27in monitors on test, the reasonably low asking price of this 32in display immediately heightens its appeal. What’s more, there’s plenty else to like about this display.
Despite its large screen size, the MAG322CQR cuts a fine figure thanks to its slim housing. The entire upper half is only 8mm thick, and although the bottom half is much thicker towards its middle, it still has reasonably thin-looking sides. The overall clean, matt black plastic aesthetic is also smart and unobtrusive. Meanwhile, the rather elegant pointy-footed stand offers height and tilt adjustment but not rotation or pivot.
There aren’t many extra features – there aren’t even speakers, but there’s a smattering of RGB lights on the rear that can be controlled using MSI’s Mystic Light app. You also get a headphone jack, along with one DisplayPort 1.2, one HDMI2 and USB Type-C video inputs. The latter will be a major boon for those connecting up a laptop, and there’s also a 2-port USB 2 hub.
On the underside of the monitor is the power button, while around the back is a single mini joystick for controlling the on-screen display (OSD). The control works well in conjunction with the speedy and intuitive menus.
Out-of-the-box image quality is decent, with near-perfect color balance, a decent contrast ratio of 2,912:1 and a perfect gamma setting. This display has a wider than usual color gamut, stretching to 122 per cent of the sRGB color space, so colors technically look over-saturated, but it s not too obvious. Unlike with some displays, there’s no way to reduce this back to 100 per cent coverage though.
We then switched to the manual color balance setting to calibrate this display, and found we couldn’t dial in a better color balance than the default ‘Normal’ color option, so we’d leave it set to that and rely on software calibration for any final tweaking – this monitor is good to go at its default settings.
In terms of gaming performance, this display maxes out at a 165Hz refresh rate and has a 1ms MPRT response time, plus it includes adaptive sync support and a blur reduction mode. However, the blur reduction doesn’t work with adaptive sync, as is the case with most of the displays on test.
With or without blur reduction, though, this panel’s response time was noticeably worse than that of some of the monitors. We really struggled in fast-paced games, with a smeared image and loss of detail.
This response time also seemed to affect the overall clarity of the screen for desktop use, with text all but disappearing into a blurry mess when scrolling through a document – we really wouldn’t want to use this display for regular writing duties, for instance.
When watching video, though, this panel comes into its own. The strong high-gamut colors and high contrast give a real punch to the image,while the large panel size gives it real impact and makes it versatile as a display to view while sitting back on the bed or sofa, assuming you’ve got a decent speaker system.
This large 32in display offers decent value and makes for a great panel for watching video and playing slower paced games. However, its response time is slow even for a VA panel so it struggles with fast motion.
Great for video, but its image smearing makes it less accomplished for games and desktop work.
5. Samsung Odyssey G5 165hz Gaming Monitor
The Samsung is the most basic of the monitors in several ways. Its stand offers no adjustment, it has no extended color range and there’s next to nothing in the way of extra features, which is why it’s also the cheapest 2,560 x 1,440 display on test.
Open up the notably small box and the lightness of the entirely plastic stand is also striking, as is the complete lack of adjustability – not even tilt is on offer, so you can’t angle the display up or down for taller or shorter users. The feet of the stand also stretch nearly the entire width of the monitor, which seems unnecessarily space-hogging considering the lack of adjustability.
While it’s basic, though, this is a smart looking display. It eschews any flashy extras and instead has a muted black plastic finish throughout, with slim bezels around the screen. The panel also has a particularly tight curve, with a radius of 1,000in (as does the AOC), compared to the 1,500in radius of most of the other panels on test.
Curving a display in theory makes for a more consistent viewing angle across its width, and the tight 1,000in curve is even better attuned to a normal desk-sitting position than 1,500in curve, although it’s less ideal for viewing elsewhere in a room (such as from a sofa or bed).
Around the back of the panel is a 75 x 75mm VESA mount for attaching alternative stands, along with a single DisplayPort 1.2 input, an HDMI 2 connector, a headphone out jack and the power supply input. You don’t get speakers or a USB hub.
On the underside of the monitor’s bottom bezel is a mini-joystick controller for controlling the on-screen display (OSD). The controls are fast and intuitive, as is the OSD, which also includes all the options you should need. However, the display strangely defaults to a maximum 60Hz refresh rate in its OSD, so you’ll need to change this to 144Hz.
Image quality is generally quite good, with a fairly accurate color balance and gamma response straight out the box, although dark grey tones can look a bit blocky/stepped (it took a full software calibration to smooth out these gradations).
There’s also no extended color gamut. This means colors lack the extra vividness that can be desirable when watching video or playing certain games, but it also means you don’t have to worry about making sure the display is in the correct higher or lower gamut mode for different uses.
Maximum brightness is low atjust259 nits and, for a VA panel, contrast isn’t all that impressive at a peak ratio of 2,451:1. The former is particularly problematic for the blur reduction mode. These reduce peak brightness, and you get just a peak brightness of just 130 nits with this mode engaged.
When it comes to gaming, the blur reduction does work well at sharpening up fast motion but again the brightness is a problem. Otherwise, the display’s performance is typical for a VA panel, with rather noticeable ghosting, but we could still play most games on it happily
The Samsung could make for a decent choice for people seeking a very low-cost panel with high contrast and a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution. It has solid overall image quality and acceptable gaming performance. It’s just a shame its maximum brightness is so low.
A decent low-cost 2,560 x 1,440 monitor, but you can get quite a few more features by spending just a little more.