The best FreeSync monitors in 2022
The best FreeSync monitor gives you tear-free gaming without costing you a fortune. It’s really that simple. Imagine playing a brand new, beautiful game and getting shafted with visual turmoil, because your monitor isn’t up to the job your GPU has entrusted it with. A FreeSync monitor will mean synchronized, variable refresh rates for AMD graphics cards, or an Nvidia card for that matter, so you can rest easy.
The FreeSync standard is split into three grades: FreeSync, FreeSync Premium, and FreeSync Premium Pro.
Basic FreeSync nets you the standard variable refresh rate. It’s smoother than standard gaming, but that’s about it. Premium ups this with the requirement for 120Hz at FHD, as well as support for low framerate compensation. The top tier is FreeSync Premium Pro, which delivers everything Premium does while also offering HDR support.
We’ve extensively tested each of the FreeSync gaming monitors recommended in this guide, in order to find the monitors that are worth your time and money. We’ve also done the same for the best G-Sync gaming monitors, so if you’re rocking an Nvidia graphics card then we’ve also got you covered. Furthermore, we’ve wrapped up all of the best gaming monitors regardless of budget or setup.
Best FreeSync monitors
4K gaming is a premium endeavor. You need a colossal amount of rendering power to hit decent frame rates at such a high resolution. But if you’re rocking a top-shelf graphics card, like an RTX 3080, RTX 3090, or RX 6800 XT then this dream can be a reality, at last.
The LG UltraGear is the first 4K, Nano IPS, gaming monitor with 1ms response times, that’ll properly show off your superpowered GPU. Coming in with Nvidia G-Sync and AMD’s FreeSync adaptive refresh compatibility, this slick slim-bezel design even offers LG’s Sphere Lighting 2.0 RGB visual theatrics.
And combined with the crazy-sharp detail that comes with the 4K pixel grid, that buttery smooth 144Hz is pretty special.
While it does suffer from a little characteristic IPS glow. It appears mostly at the screen extremities when you’re spying on darker game scenes, but isn’t an issue most of the time. The HDR is a little disappointing as, frankly, 16 edge-lit local dimming zones do not a true HDR panel make.
What is most impressive, however, is the Nano IPS tech that offers a wider color gamut and stellar viewing angles. And the color fidelity of the NanoIPS panel is outstanding.
The LG UltraGear 27GN950-B bags you a terrific panel with exquisite IPS image quality. Despite the lesser HDR capabilities, it also nets beautiful colors and contrast for your games too. G-Sync offers stable pictures and smoothness, and the speedy refresh rate and response times back this up too.
And while the lack of HDMI 2.1 and USB Type-C is a little limiting, especially looking forward, right now it’s one of the best monitors going.
Read our full LG 27GN950 review.
The G27Q proves that you don’t need to spend a fortune for a decent IPS 1440p display. At around $330, Gigabyte’s 27-incher packs in plenty of sought-after features, but more importantly, it provides rich color and smooth gameplay.
As a flat, 27-inch display with a design that wouldn’t stand out in an office environment, it looks pretty pedestrian. But it’s actually one of the best gaming monitors I’ve had the pleasure of using this year. Not only does it have a gorgeous, vibrant IPS panel, with 8-bit color with 92% DCI-P3 coverage, but it’s also HDR capable.
As someone who loves visual fidelity, I appreciate this resolution for clarity and performance. Even the humble GTX 1660 Super in my desktop is comfortably driving games at 60FPS at high settings. If you spend all your time playing CS:GO or Valorant, then the 144Hz refresh could hold you back a bit, but that 1ms response time sure helps.
The Gigabyte G27Q handles gaming with aplomb thanks to adaptive sync via AMD FreeSync Premium. It’s also G-SYNC Compatible so whether you are team Green or Red, the G27Q plays nice.
It’s a bit of a plain Jane compared to other more pricey options, but it packs plenty of useful features designed to enhance your gaming pleasure.
It gets eye-searingly bright thanks to its VESA Display HDR 400 Certification, but in gaming, sunny skies and other bright spots tend to blow out and lose definition at max brightness. Dark areas also sometimes get crushed.
Movies and videos on Netflix and YouTube fair a lot better though. Sadly, my Xbox One X wouldn’t recognize the G27Q as HDR-capable. But even the SDR mode on the G27Q is excellent, so I didn’t miss much.
Connection-wise, you’re looking at two HDMI 2.0 ports and a DisplayPort 1.2, along with a pair of USB 3.0 Type-A downstream ports and one USB 3.0 Type-B. Oh, and it also comes with a pair of 2W speakers integrated into the monitor.
The OSD on the G27Q opens you up to a ton of profiles and monitor settings. You navigate with the little joystick on the back and I love that you don’t need to press the joystick to activate menu options. There’s also the OSD Sidekick, a handy Windows app that gives you the same menu access but you navigate with your mouse instead of the joystick, which is neat.
Black Equalization, Aim Assist, Blue Light filtering, and more. The Dashboard feature is one of my favorites. It’s a built-in hardware monitor that displays framerates, temps, voltages, and more—all without extraneous software. Perfect for you overclockers.
Whether you use it for work or play, the G27Q excels with a sharp, vibrant, and smooth picture.
Read our full Gigabyte G27Q review.
Much like the mystical ways of the Force, PC gaming is all about balance. There’s little point weighting your system too heavily in one direction without paying attention to the whole package. Why bother pairing your RTX 3080 Ti with a 60Hz 1080p screen? Likewise why spend big on a 4K monitor when you’re only sporting a Radeon RX 6600?
The classic 27-inch Dell S2722DGM marries that screen real estate with a 2560 x 1440 native resolution, which gives you a great pixel pitch for fine detail. At 1440p it’s also a decent resolution for getting high frame rates without the GPU demands of a 4K display. It’s also capable of delivering that resolution at 165Hz, which is appreciated.
At 2ms grey-to-grey response, it’s just a hair behind the 1ms and 0.5ms ratings of the best IPS panels, so you’re covered when it comes to speed.
As for picture quality, the Dell S2722DGM is a reasonably punchy and vibrant monitor considering it’s a pure SDR panel. The strong inherent contrast certainly helps with that, ensuring you don’t feel short-changed running games like Cyberpunk 2077, which support HDR, in SDR mode.
We’d steer clear of MPRT mode, which hammers the panel’s brightness and vibrancy. ‘Extreme’ mode, which is rated at 2ms, does suffer from a whiff of overshoot, but that’s only just visible in-game, while ‘Super fast’ resolves the overshoot but allows just a little smearing of darker tones.
USB Type-C connectivity, for instance, doesn’t feature. But the dual HDMI and single DisplayPort connections are just fine, even if the HDMI ports top out at 144Hz rather than 165Hz.
This VA panel also means it has a far higher contrast ratio, too, given the technology’s inherent strong contrast. It’s also a great price. Dell delivers high quality gaming panels, with all the features you need and few extraneous ones to bump up the price. And that makes it one of the best gaming monitors for most PC gamers today.
Read our full Dell S2722DGM review.
It may have once been a niche, but 240Hz gaming has become more widespread, and Alienware has set itself ahead of the pack with the gorgeous AW2521HF gaming monitor. While not the cheapest on the market, it has the style and performance to make you want it on your desk.
Here we have a G-Sync compatible FreeSync monitor that really makes for a smooth, stutter-free gaming experience on either Nvidia GeForce or AMD GPUs. Alongside that immense 240Hz refresh rate, the AW2521HF comes packing a lightning-fast 1ms gray-to-gray response time. In games like Valorant and Destiny 2, it chugs along with little to no ghosting or artifacts.
This ones viewing angles are a little iffy with certain colors, but otherwise, there’s a strong, balanced color consistency. Rich, natural colors come out not too oversaturated in-game. The static contrast leaves a little to be desired, with blacks not the darkest of the lot, and there’s a noticeable IPS bloom toward the bottom and left, depending on the viewing angle.
It’s nice and bright, however, and if you work or game in a bright room, the Alienware 25 handles even the most obnoxious glares. More importantly, the AW252HF has some impressive viewing angles regardless if you have it set in the middle of your desk for gaming or off to the side as a second monitor in portrait mode while you work.
Our only real complaints are the lack of HDR support, along with a lack of contrast, but it remains one of the best gaming monitors.
We’d all love to have a thousand bucks burning a hole in our back pockets to blow on a new gaming monitor. But back in the real world, the Dell S3222DGM wants a crack at the kind of budget most of us actually have.
It’s a 32-inch beast with a VA panel running at up to 165Hz and delivering 2560 by 1440 pixels. Yup, the tried and tested 1440p resolution, the sweet spot for real-world gaming according to many, the perfect balance between performance and visual detail. The catch is all that normally applies to 27-inch models. 32 inches? That makes for a pretty big panel for 1440p in terms of pixel density.
To put an actual number on it, you’re looking at just 93 pixels per inch.
Where the low pixel density hurts most is actually in Windows. If you like crisp fonts and lots of desktop real estate, this isn’t the monitor for you. For everyone else, well, it comes down to the value proposition. There are faster monitors. There are monitors with superior IPS-powered image quality. There are monitors with all kinds of HDR support not found here. And others with far more pixels or more dramatic aspect ratios.
This is a gaming-centric monitor without any HDR support but based on VA panel technology. So, the peak brightness is 350 nits, static contrast is about as good as it gets at 3,000:1, and there’s official AMD FreeSync Premium certification.
Dell quotes 8ms gray-to-gray in ‘fast’ mode, 4ms gray-to-gray in ‘super fast’, 2ms gray-to-gray in ‘extreme’, and finally, and somewhat confusingly, 1ms gray-to-gray in ‘MPRT’ mode. The ‘MPRT’ setting is, for us, a non-starter since it crushes brightness so comprehensively. ‘Super fast’ it is, then, and the result is good but not absolutely great response with no overshoot. Pretty much what you’d expect given the 4ms rating for ‘super fast’.
But add in the 165Hz refresh and you have a pretty convincing monitor for response-critical online shooters. To be sure, if that is your number one priority, you’d be better off with a higher-refresh 1080p IPS monitor with a faster response. But if you want something for a broader remit, the Dell S3222DGM does a decent job at the low latency stuff.
If you want a larger panel like this, 4K isn’t an all-around win. It comes with a huge additional GPU load and that in turn requires mega-investment levels in a good graphics card
It’s worth remembering that pricing for this class of display—a 32-inch 165Hz 1440p panel—extends all the way up to $800 in the Corsair Xeneon 32QHD165. So, while the Dell S3222DGM isn’t all that exciting from a technical point of view, for the money, it’s pretty convincing.
Read our full Dell S3222DGM review.
The M28U ticks all the boxes for both the PC gamer and the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 owner looking for an affordable 4K resolution gaming solution.
It features a stunning 28-inch IPS panel, which delivers excellent picture quality and depth of color. However, its 28-inch screen size is a touch smaller than I’d usually recommend to get the most out of the 4K resolution.
You’ll want some scaling enabled in Windows or your operating system of choice to get the most out of it, but it’s still a superb size for pixel density and detail to shine through without overpowering the desktop—next to my 32-inch monitor it feels far less imposing.
The big sell for gamers will be the 144Hz (120Hz on console) refresh rate, and 2ms MPRT response time. That’s certainly quick enough for our tastes, and to look good while delivering that speed is a huge deal.
This monitor is also rated to DisplayHDR 400, though its brightness is the fairly standard 300 cd/m2. I wouldn’t consider its HDR capabilities a big deal either way, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend you pick up this monitor specifically for its HDR capabilities.
As for the design, we found the monitor stand to be a little cheap.
It’s sturdy but limited in its movement to just height and tilt adjustments. It’s also a little bit cheap-looking, and the underside relies on pads that are glued on for grip to the desk. On my review sample, these pads have already started to peel away with the small adjustments I’ve made over time and may end up having to be replaced just to keep the screen steady.
This is where Gigabyte may have cut corners to make the M28U as inexpensive as it is, however. But features like the inclusion of an HDMI 2.1 port mean it’s quite multi-faceted for its price. Gigabyte has made no major sacrifice to tick all the checkboxes with the M28U, and although it’s still quite a lot of money to throw down on a monitor alone, other 4K monitors with this sort of feature set are usually found at a much higher price point.
Read our full Gigabyte M28U review.
Best FreeSync gaming monitor FAQ
Should I go for a FreeSync or G-Sync monitor?
In general, FreeSync monitors will be cheaper. It used to be the case that they would only work in combination with an AMD GPU. The same went for G-Sync monitors and Nvidia GPUs. Nowadays, though, it is possible to find G-Sync compatible FreeSync monitors if you’re intent on spending less.
Jargon buster – gaming monitor terminology
Refresh Rate (Hz)
The speed at which the screen refreshes. For example, 144Hz means the display refreshes 144 times a second. The higher the number, the smoother the screen will appear when you play games.
Graphics tech synchronizes a game’s framerate with your monitor’s refresh rate to help prevent screen tearing by syncing your GPU frame rate to the display’s maximum refresh rate. Turn V-Sync on in your games for a smoother experience, but you’ll lose information, so turn it off for fast-paced shooters (and live with the tearing). Useful if you have an older model display that can’t keep up with a new GPU.
Nvidia’s frame synching tech that works with Nvidia GPUs. It basically allows the monitor to sync up with the GPU. It does by showing a new frame as soon as the GPU has one ready.
AMD’s take on frame synching uses a similar technique as G-Sync, with the biggest difference being that it uses DisplayPort’s Adaptive-Sync technology which doesn’t cost monitor manufacturers anything.
When movement on your display leaves behind a trail of pixels when watching a movie or playing a game, this is often a result of a monitor having slow response times.
The amount of time it takes a pixel to transition to a new color and back. Often referenced as G2G or Grey-to-Grey. Slow response times can lead to ghosting. A suitable range for a gaming monitor is between 1-4 milliseconds.
Twisted-nematic is the most common (and cheapest) gaming panel. TN panels tend to have poorer viewing angles and color reproduction but have higher refresh rates and response times.
In-plane switching, panels offer the best contrast and color despite having weaker blacks. IPS panels tend to be more expensive and have higher response times.
Vertical Alignment panels provide good viewing angles and have better contrast than even IPS but are still slower than TN panels. They are often a compromise between a TN and IPS panel.
High Dynamic Range. HDR provides a wider color range than normal SDR panels and offers increased brightness. The result is more vivid colors, deeper blacks, and a brighter picture.
This refers to the maximum brightness of a monitor or television and is measured in nits.
Shorthand for monitors with aspect wider aspect ratios like 32:9 or 21:9
The number of pixels that make up a monitor’s display, measured by height and width. For example: 1920 x 1080 (aka 1080p), 2560 x 1440 (2K), and 3840 x 2160 (4K).