Are you currently in the market for purchasing a new monitor for your sim racing rig, but there are just too many options? In this article, we will be analyzing consideration factors and breaking down the best monitors for sim racing.
Whether you’re a gamer or a sim racer, then you know how important it is to have a high quality monitor to elevate your sim racing experience. However, if you have been in the market looking for a monitor, then you know how saturated the market is. Be at ease, the team at The Downforce has taken the time to make the definitive list of the best monitors for sim racing. In this article, we will be going through the most important features to consider before you make your purchase, the best options under each purchasing category and a section to answer the most frequently asked questions.
Gone are the days where choosing a monitor was as easy as picking a design that you liked and selecting the right screen size. These days, there are so many more factors to consider when purchasing a monitor. This includes looking into the technical specifications of the unit such as response time, refresh rate, adaptive sync technology, resolution and the list goes on. We have delved into each category for you, to break down
There are many factors to consider when purchasing a new monitor for sim racing. Below are some of the considerations you should look out for.
Refresh rate refers to the number of times your monitor updates with new images per second. For example, a 144hz refresh rate screen means that the display updates 144 times per second. Inadvertently, this means your monitor will output smoother visuals. However, there are many considerations to take into account when purchasing a monitor with a high refresh rate. There are many variables at play, including whether your hardware can support the maximum refresh rate or whether the program allows you to exceed a certain refresh rate threshold. When you have a more powerful graphics card (GPU), this means that it can send data to the screen more quickly, hence providing a higher refresh rate. There are some other hardware considerations as well, including the type of input your laptop/desktop supports. For example, certain HDMI cords can only support up to 60hz, thus if your laptop only has HDMI support, then you won’t be able to utilize the maximum amount of frames offered by the monitor.
When selecting the screen size, this is totally up to your own preference. However, an ultrawide monitor is definitely recommended as the immersion is truly night and day compared to a traditional 27″ monitor. With an ultrawide monitor, there are many added benefits such as increased field of view (FOV). FOV refers to the area that you can observe when looking at the game in front. Consequently, this means that you will have better peripheral vision, adding to the immersion of your favorite sim racing games. Outside of sim racing, if you do decide to use your monitor for everyday usage, it’s also advantageous for multitasking as you will be able to open multiple windows at once. I’m currently using an Alienware 34″ Ultrawide monitor as a daily driver for both sim racing and productivity work and it’s been revolutionary for both!
Screen resolution refers to the number of horizontal and vertical pixels on a display. For reference, a 2560×1440 display means that it has 2560 horizontal pixels and 1,440 vertical pixels. Usually when people refer to 1080p, 1440p, 2160p or 4320p, they are referring to the amount of vertical pixels supported by the display. How does this translate to gaming? The more pixels the display has, the sharper and clearer the image will be.
In 2022, the industry standard monitor is at least 1080p. This display delivers clear and concise visuals for gaming and usually comes in at a budget friendly price range. The next significant step up is 1440p, where the visuals delivered are much sharper and crisp. The price range for these monitors have dropped in recent years, making it more affordable for the everyday consumer. The next range is 2160p, which is usually referred to as 4K. 4K resolution monitors are a fantastic choice for clarity and sharpness. However, unless you have the best gaming hardware and a deep wallet for a high refresh rate 4k monitor, then the cost to benefit ratio just isn’t worth it.
Personally, I would recommend buying an ultrawide 1440p monitor, usually referred to as WQHD monitors. These monitors are fantastic for sim racing as it offers a wider resolution, giving you a better field of view and immersion and also there are many WQHD monitors that support 144hz refresh rate. From a pricing perspective WQHD monitors are the best price to performance ratio-wise.
When deciding on the best monitor for sim racing, you will definitely need to take into account the panel type of the display. There are various panel types available in the market including TN, IPS and VA. There are many stark differences between each of them, and choosing the right one will directly impact the experience of your display. Below, we will be breaking down each of the different panel types.
IPS (In-Plane Switching) panels have the highest color gamut, meaning that the display outputs superb visuals, color representation and viewing angles. The target audience of an IPS panel is steered towards users who appreciate higher quality images and viewing angles. However, the downside of an IPS display is that the refresh rate tends to be slower than its rivals, usually around 5-to-10 milliseconds. In recent years, 1millisecond IPS displays have become more common in 1080p gaming, making it more affordable to every day consumers.
TN (Twisted Nematic) panels typically have higher refresh rates, faster response time and come in at a relatively cheaper price compared to its counterparts. However, a stark contrast between a TN and IPS display is the color accuracy. TN panels usually have poor color reproduction as the colors do look more washed out and less accurate. Another limitation is the limited viewing angles when you are not directly facing the monitor. TN panels are a fantastic option if you are on a budget and only care about faster pixel processing times. I don’t recommend TN panels for sim racing games as you won’t be able to appreciate the graphics especially on games like Forza Horizon 5.
VA (Vertical Alignment) panels is the middle ground between IPS and TN. The color accuracy range is close to an IPS display panel and the viewing angle is usually slightly smaller compared to an IPS screen. Above all, the clear advantage of a VA panel is that it has excellent contrast ratio, meaning you will be able to distinguish between light and dark very easily. Additionally, VA panels have arguably the best price to performance ratio, as they’re not too expensive and they can offer you a highly immersive sim racing experience. One of the limitations of a VA panel is that, by default it has the slowest response time amongst the two other panel types. However, there are many VA panel displays on the market now that have 1millisecond response time, making it the perfect sim racing panel.
Response time refers to the time it takes for a pixel to shift from one color to another. This is typically measured in the time it takes to go from black to white and vice versa. In simple terns, the faster the response rate, the quicker the response for images to update. You will see manufacturers typically list GtG response times or grey to grey as an indication of monitor speed. An acceptable refresh rate is typically around 5ms depending on the type of panel. The fastest response time you can get on a panel in today’s market is 1ms. To be completely frank, if you’re solely sim racing and doing productivity work, 5ms will be sufficient.
Another factor to consider when purchasing a monitor is the included synchronization technology. Synchronization technology in the monitor serves to improve monitor performance by matching the performance of the screen with the graphics card. This leads to the elimination/reduction of screen tearing and stuttering on the display when gaming.
The two main ones are G-SYNC and FreeSync. G-SYNC is a technology that is developed by NVIDIA which synchronizes the graphics card to the display, enabling hyper smooth gaming performance. On the other hand, FreeSync is a synchronization technology developed by AMD, which also aims to reduce screen tearing and stuttering resulting from the monitor not being synced with the content that’s displayed. While both technologies work great, G-SYNC technology is generally more consistent and polished, hence it does come with a premium usually. The most important aspect to consider is compatibility as not all GPUs are compatible with FreeSync and G-SYNC.
Below is a table which shows compatibility support across GPUs.
|AMD R7 Series and Above||Yes||No|
|AMD RX Series||Yes||No|
|AMD 6th Generation APU and Newer||Yes||No|
|NVIDIA GTX Ti and Above||No||Yes|
|Nvidia GTX 960M and Above||No||Yes|
|Nvidia GTX 10- and 20- Series||Yes||Yes|
|Nvidia RTX 20- and 30- Series||Yes||Yes|
Samsung Odyssey Neo G9
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is an ultrawide monitor which features a 49 inch screen and 32:9 aspect ratio. This curved monitor features a maximum refresh rate of 240hz, 5120×1440 resolution and G-SYNC compatibility. The distinctly sharp curvature makes it the perfect monitor for sim racing as it elevates the immersion like no other monitor. The flagship monitor from Samsung offers design, performance and features that is directed towards those who want to experience a fully immersed gaming experience. Whether you’re driving a formula car or drifting through the city in Forza Horizon 5, you’ll definitely want a monitor like the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9.
If you’re thinking of running a triple monitor setup, then you’ll want to consider the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 due to the simplicity of operating one instead of three, while having almost the same amount of visual estate. Additionally, when running a one monitor setup, this will mean that there won’t be any bezels blocking your vision. This is a monitor that just makes perfect sense if you’re looking for a high end monitor.
Samsung Odyssey Neo G9
The LG 38GL950G-B, is the perfect option for those who are looking to elevate their sim racing setup. This monitor is one of the best monitors for sim racing as it features LG’s breathtaking NANO IPS technology with a 1ms response time on a 38 inch display, enabling hyper realistic visual immersion. The Nano IPS VESA Display HDR 400 enables precise color accuracy and broader contrast ratio. With the superior visual clarity and high-fidelity color, you won’t be able to separate simulation from reality. This monitor also has native G-SYNC support and FreeSync Compatibility, reducing screen tearing and minimizing stutter and input lag. You’ll be experiencing ultra smooth gameplay, regardless of whether you’re running a NVIDIA or AMD GPU.
Other neat features is that the monitor also includes personalized Lighting FX through the Sphere Lighting 2.0 technology. This enables the built in RGB Sphere Lighting to adjust according to the dynamic sounds or visual effects from your game, making you fully immersed. Additionally, the LG 38GL950G-B is overclockable to 175hz, delivering ultra-fast, surreal visual fluidity.
Pinnacle of Ultrawide Monitors.
The LG 27GP950-B is a fantastic option for those who are looking for a 4k resolution display which offers superior color accuracy, low response time, high refresh rate and supports NVIDIA G-SYNC compatibility and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro. This monitor is for serious sim racers who want to experience highly color accurate image processing while racing in their favorite sim game, without any motion blur from slower response times. As the bezels are super thin in design, it will feel like a virtually borderless display, meaning that there will be no obstruction between you and your sim racing game.
Enter The New Era Of Clarity.
Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ
The Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ is a 43inch display that features 4k High Dynamic Range technology with DisplayHDR 1000 certification, producing exceptional contrast and color performance that you just won’t find in many other monitors. Other technical specifications include 144hz refresh rate, G-SYNC Compatible, 1ms response time and Aura SYNC technology. This monitor is a fantastic option for those who are looking for a massive display that outputs exceptional color accuracy for their favorite sim racing game.
Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ
4K Gaming Unleashed.
The LG 27GL850-B is one of the best monitors for sim racing at 27 inches and 1440p resolution. This monitor makes a great impression right out of the box as it is easy to setup and the included monitor stand is rigid and offers great height and lateral adjustment. Outside of the fantastic design and build quality of the display, this monitor also showcases accurate and vibrant colors that look great from any angle. Thanks to the IPS panel, 1440p pixel density. 1ms response time and G-SYNC compatibility, this monitor makes it a fantastic choice for any sim racer who’s looking for a single or triple monitor setup.
Catch The Details.
Dell Alienware AW2721D
The Dell Alienware AW2721D features a 27 inch display, 1440p resolution, 240hz refresh rate, 1ms response rate and an IPS panel. If you read the ‘Considerations’ section of this article, then you would know that this monitor features all the prime specifications that you would want from a high-end monitor for sim racing. The thin bezels and precise color output makes this monitor an outstanding choice for those who wish to run a single or multi-monitor. Right out the box, you will notice that this monitor is constructed using premium materials that will last years. The included stand is also sturdy and offers a wide range of ergonomic adjustments such as height, swivel, pivot and tilt adjustment. This monitor truly showcases modern day technology that you will appreciate on your favorite sim racing game.
The AOC 27G2 is a fantastic 1080p option for those who are looking for a more budget friendly option that packs a punch in terms of performance. Featuring a 1920 x 1080p Full HD resolution, IPS panel, 144hz and Nvidia G-SYNC Compatibility, this is a fantastic option for those who are looking for hyper smooth gameplay. Apart from the appealing specifications, this monitor also features superb design, ideal for sim racers. The narrow borders and frameless design offer minimal bezel distraction, ideal for those who are looking for a multi-monitor setup. Additionally, out of the box, the monitor features a height adjustable stand that allows the monitor to tilt, swivel and pivot to your ergonomics. Overall, this monitor is a fantastic pickup option for those who don’t have the right hardware to achieve ultra graphics on 1440p, but are still looking for super smooth gameplay at 1080p.
Fast. Reliable. Affordable.
The AOC 24G2 is an unrivaled option for those who are looking for a 1080p option that has impeccable price to performance value. This monitor features a 24 inch frameless design, IPS display, 1080p resolution, 144hz, 1ms response time and AMD FreeSync for ultra smooth gameplay on your favorite sim racing game. Similar to its 27inch counterpart, both monitors come with a height adjustable stand that enables you to pivot, swivel and tilt the display. This is the best option you can get if you want a monitor that is compact, doesn’t leave a hole in your wallet and provides you with a highly immersive visual experience.
If you’re looking to take your sim racing experience to the next level, then having the right monitor should be at the top of your priority. We’ve broken down all the factors that you should consider before purchasing your monitor including, choosing a high refresh rate monitor, low response time and choosing a panel and resolution that caters towards your hardware and budget. Though there are many options available on the market, we strongly believe the options we chose are the best monitors for sim racing under each resolution category!