Choosing a good monitor for CS:GO can be intimidating at first for many people due to the fact that there are so many options to choose from and all the different specs that a monitor can have, such as refresh rate, screen size, response time, FreeSync/G-SYNC, resolution, panel type, input lag and even more so. We made this guide to aid you in the process of choosing the best gaming monitor for CS:GO for you, without you needing to read up on all the technical specifications first. The list is updated as of 2016 to reflect the latest additions to the gaming monitor market.
Just to make it clear to you, these handpicked monitors are for serious players that are playing CS:GO in a competitive level, or a casual level and just want to get a better visual gameplay experience. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is an FPS game where every millisecond count. If you have a good gaming monitor, you will gain an advantage over opponents who don’t. These monitors that we have selected can also be used properly for games like Call of Duty (CoD), League of Legends (LoL) and Dota 2.
It doesn’t matter if you are a hardcore or casual CS:GO gamer, the hardware that you use affects your gaming performance. Your monitor, mouse, keyboard, graphics card, headset and mousepad are all important hardware that you need to pay attention to if you want to increase your performance in games and gaining an advantage over your opponents in the competitive gaming scene. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a very competitive game and your monitor is a very important aspect of how well you can perform. In this buying guide, we will help you choose the best monitor for CS:GO.
Pro gamers use these monitors too since it allows them to achieve the lowest reaction time possible and with a low input lag, their actions will become faster as well. A must-have for any pro CS GO player is the famous 144Hz refresh rate. Without it, you can’t call it a CS:GO monitor. We have looked at a lot of professional CS:GO players and have collected data about which gaming monitor they use. We will start off by presenting this list of pro player monitors and then later include our own recommendations as well. Lastly, we will present a short guide in which aspects of a monitor you should look at when choosing a gaming monitor if you want to be able to choose a proper CS:GO monitor yourself.
The list presented below is valid as of October 2016.
Now that you know which monitors that competitive CS:GO players use, you can go right ahead and choose one of them if you would like. We have also done our own research by checking numerous sources, such as Reddit, Amazon reviews, forums, pro CS:GO player advice, press releases and even more so. We even tested some of the displays, since we are the leading 144Hz monitor site and CSGO is all about 144Hz. The monitors that we will now discuss (and can also be found on the table above) are highly-rated products of great quality. They are used by pro CS:GO players and we have certified them to be worthy of competitive CS GO gaming (and casual CS GO gaming as well for that matter).
We have also included some of our own picks that we deem worthy of being used for pro CS:GO gaming.
First up, we have the AOC G2460PF, which we find to be the best 144Hz monitor for the money. First of all, it costs only about 200 USD to 210 USD on Amazon. Released in February 2016, this monitor blows the competition away, and is certainly the best CS:GO Freesync monitor out there. If you have an AMD graphics card that is FreeSync-compatible, then this monitor is certainly the best budget CS:GO monitor for you. Newer panels are simply better and it even costs less than its many older competitors.
We have this 144Hz FreeSync monitor at our office and we’ve tested it thoroughly. Our testing showed very positive results and we personally find it to be the best CS:GO monitor for the money.
The very popular BenQ XL2411Z – the highest rated 144Hz monitor on Amazon – was developed jointly by BenQ and professional gamers for FPS games exclusively. Players like Happy, ScreaM, kioShiMa, adreN, flamie, cajunb, karrigan and shox are using this incredible monitor. If you take a look at Reddit, this 144Hz monitor has gained the best feedback in there. It is an extremely good CS:GO monitor that you can practically use for any FPS game.
Boasting a 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time and a 24-inch TN panel, this monitor ensures the minimum response time possible currently (1 millisecond). This monitor also features BenQ Black eQualizer that will improve lighting in dark areas, and Low Blue Light mode to help against eye strain and to protect your eyes against harmful blue light. This CS:GO monitor has been rated 4,5/5 over at Amazon.com. If you wish to read these user reviews, then simply click here and you will be directed to the reviews in an instant.
ASUS VG248QE is the name of the most popular 144Hz gaming monitor in the world. This gaming monitor is widely used by professionals and casual players alike and is well-known in the industry. It is well-priced 144Hz monitor, although not the cheapest option out there. This monitor is well-suited first-person shooter games (FPS games) with its 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, which is why many casual gamers and pro gamers use it. Of course, you can use it properly for everyday work, watching movies and just browsing the internet as well. Connection options include HDMI, DisplayPort and DVI-D. You can use either the DVI-D or DisplayPort connector to enable 144Hz on the monitor.
This monitor has gotten very good and positive reviews by people everywhere, including Reddit, forums, Professional CS:GO players (such as Tarik and nitr0) and by various review websites including ourselves. We have this monitor at the studio and we love it and so does 1500 people over at Amazon.com who have bought this gaming monitor and written a positive review about it over there.
If you decide to get this entry-level 144Hz gaming monitor for CS:GO gaming then we highly recommend calibrating it by following this Reddit guide. We think this is the best ASUS gaming monitor for the money.
EIZO FORIS FG2421: 144Hz VA 1ms 24-inch Gaming Monitor
The EIZO FORIS FG2421 is a well-known monitor among professional players. The monitors are sponsored by EIZO at popular e-Sports events, such as LCS and Dreamhack. The main difference between this 144Hz monitor and the other picks is that this one boasts a VA panel, which stands for Vertical Alignment. It will provide superior black levels to any other panel type and contrast ratio, but the colors will shift when viewed from different angles.
All in all, this is a great 144Hz VA gaming monitor that pro CS GO players like Friberg and Allu use. It even features a 2-port USB hub. The price tag is a bit on the hefty side though and up there you’ll want to invest in an IPS panel anyways. Another thing is that this monitor has gotten a lot of criticism and under a professional eSports event, the players using it complained and had to have them switched for BenQ gaming monitors with a frame above with the EIZO logo (the sponsor of the monitors). So yeah, keep that in mind before purchasing this monitor.
The next one in line is the AOC G2460PQU. If you don’t have a FreeSync-capable AMD GPU then there’s no point in getting our first CS:GO monitor recommendation, the AOC G2460PF. This product is similarly priced as the very popular ASUS VG248QE, so which one you prefer is completely up to you. They have very similar specs as well. Now this monitor is well suited for playing CS:GO because it has a 144Hz refresh rate and 1 ms response time.
You can connect this gaming monitor to your PC via VGA, DVI, DisplayPort and HDMI. It has it all! Inbuilt speakers are included in the monitor as well. Pro CS:GO players like Zeus and Hiko use this monitor for competitive gaming in CS GO. If you wish to read more user reviews about this monitor then click here to see them at Amazon.com
The favorite monitor for pro players like byali and Snax, pasha and Taz is the BenQ XL2430T. BenQ makes some high-quality gaming monitors that are very suitable for competitive games such as CS:GO, Battlefield, League of Legends, DOTA 2 and Call of Duty. With the provided 1ms response time and 144Hz refresh rate, you will gain a smoother gameplay that you have not experienced before if you haven’t tried using a 144Hz monitor.
The design of this monitor is very good as well with an aluminum base. On the back side of the gaming monitor, you will find two HDMI ports, one DisplayPort, one DVI port and one VGA port. Furthermore, a headphone and microphone jack stick is provided. This monitor has all the connectors you could ever need. Let us know if this your favorite gaming monitor for CS:GO.
If you are on the hunt for a good 27-inch gaming monitor, then we can delightfully say that the BenQ XL2730Z is the favorite CS:GO monitor of choice for gamers like JW and flusha, and that’s with good reason. This monitor differs from the others by being larger first of all, and also for having a 2560 x 1440 resolution, also known as 1440p or WQHD. This resolution will make it harder for your GPU to hit higher frame rates, but since CS:GO requires so few GPU resources, this won’t be a problem for you. 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time are included as well like the other TN monitors described above.
The BenQ XL2730Z is a well-known gaming monitor in the eSports scene. It also supports AMD FreeSync technology, so if you have an AMD GPU then this sure is a good pick for a 27-inch monitor. The BenQ Motion Blur Reduction (which is an enhancement of LightBoost) will also increase visual clarity in fast gaming actions and thereby reduce motion blur significantly. The BenQ eQualizer technology will also help you locate enemies in dark areas by illuminating them as they appear on your screen. Certainly a handy feature that will help your shooting and KD ratio. This monitor is a very good choice for playing matchmaking (MM) games in CS:GO. If you want IPS panel, then refer to the section below.
For high-demanding FPS games and other games, you might want to ensure that your GPU can handle it before investing in this 144Hz monitor. This screen costs about $500 after all.
High-end CS:GO Monitors
If you want the whole package then you are also going to spend way more money on a gaming monitor. The best pick for you depends on whether you have an AMD graphics card or NVIDIA graphics card. We’re not biased or anything, but ASUS seems to be having more problems with Quality Control than Acer does. The other major reason is that Acer’s products are also cheaper than ASUS’ premium gaming monitors. Both of the monitors listed below are 27-inches large.
The Acer Predator XB271HU is the ultimate gaming monitor for CS:GO right now if you have an NVIDIA graphics card. Since a monitor is a hardware that you won’t be replacing in the next four to five years or so, investing in a good gaming monitor can be worthwhile the investment.
Let’s start off with the 165Hz refresh rate which is achieved with G-SYNC enabled only via an overclock straight from the factory. You probably won’t notice a big improvement from 144Hz, but it’s nice to know that it’s there. By using a DisplayPort cable, you can enable the NVIDIA G-SYNC feature, which will sync your GPU and monitor, and thereby eliminate screen tearing. Lastly, the WQHD resolution is amazing. It will be a major improvement from Full HD and it won’t affect your performance. If you have the money then you should definitely go for this monitor.
The price tag for this monitor is currently around 750 U.S dollars, which is a bit more than its FreeSync counterpart.
Now if you have an AMD GPU then our top recommendation for a CS:GO monitor is another monitor: the Acer Predator XF270HU. This is also from the Acer Predator series, which consists of other hardware as well, such as tablets, PC’s and laptops. If you have a FreeSync-compatible GPU then simply turn on the feature when connected via DisplayPort and you can enjoy a tear-free and smooth gaming experience.
This monitor is certainly one of the best CS:GO monitor out there on the market and it is fairly priced as well with a price tag of $550 currently. The good thing about FreeSync is that it does not add a cost to the price of the monitor while G-SYNC adds around $150 to the total cost. Connection options include DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0 port, DVI port and one MHL signal input. A 0.233mm pixel pitch is also specified, which is the distance between the center of two pixels next to each other. They highlight this spec in the Amazon sales page, but it is really not a specification that most people think about when choosing their next monitor for CS:GO gaming or console gaming (PS4 and XBOX One)
CS:GO Gaming Monitor Buyer’s Guide
If you wish to learn more about the most important specifications when choosing a monitor for CS:GO, then we’ve made this short buyer’s guide to help you in the process. If you wish to get more information about monitors or ask for advice by other enthusiasts, then we highly recommend visiting the Reddit monitor subreddit. We will now list the most important specifications when choosing the best CS:GO monitor or the best FPS monitor too for that matter, and then go further into details with them and tell you what you should look after.
This is the most important spec. A high refresh rate is a must! Simply said, the refresh rate of a monitor is the number of times the screen refreshes per second to display a new frame. Most monitors out there have a 60Hz refresh rate, but that is not recommended for gaming in 2016.
You need to get a gaming monitor with a 120Hz refresh rate, 144Hz refresh rate or even higher if you can. Just have in mind that the higher the refresh rate, the less improvement you will notice. Almost all e-Sports players use 120Hz or 144Hz monitors. Some even use 200Hz monitors, such as the Acer Predator Z35! A good thing is that you don’t need to be on a budget to be able to afford a 144Hz monitor these days. For around 200 USD, you can get a very good 144Hz gaming monitor that you can use for competitive CS:GO gaming. The one that we highly recommend everyone is the amazing AOC G2460PF, which costs around $200-$210 right now.
To sum it up quickly, there are three major panel technologies that are available today: TN, VA and IPS. Each panel technology has their positive and negative sides, but for competitive CS:GO gaming, you should get a TN panel if you are on a budget. This is because TN panels offer the lowest response time: just 1ms (millisecond). If money is not a problem for you, then you can get a newer monitor with IPS panel since the IPS technology has improved over the years and almost offer the same low response time as TN panels and are somewhat equal in terms of input lag. And also, just in case if you were thinking about it, don’t get a CRT monitor by all means.
The following table shows the differences between the three leading panel technologies.
Organic Light-Emitting Diode
- Least expensive
- Low response time
- High brightness
- Lower power consumption
- Best color reproduction
- Best viewing angles
- Good color reproduction
- Best black levels
- Best contrasts
- Thinnest and most flexible panel type
- Best brightness
- Consume least power
- Insane contrast ratio
- Very high brightness
- Least accurate color reproduction
- Bad viewing angles, especially from up and down
- IPS glow
- Colors shift when viewed from different angles
- Bad viewing angles
- Short lifetime
- Most expensive
- Can easily be damaged by water
- OLED Burn-in
A gaming monitor for CS:GO and other FPS games should have a low response time. If you are playing CS:GO, a gaming monitor with a low response time and input lag is crucial to your performance. Our professional advice is that you should aim for a 1ms response time with your new monitor since they are the best for FPS games such as CS:GO and Battlefield. Of course, this is only achievable by TN panels in reality, so a 4ms response and below is the number you should aim for if you plan on getting a gaming monitor CS:GO and you don’t want it to boast a TN panel.
You are most likely already familiar with the 1920 x 1080 resolution, also known as Full HD or 1080p. This is also the 2560 x 1440 resolution, which is also called 1440p, WQHD or just QHD. This resolution is becoming increasingly popular, and with good reason. Finally, there’s the 3840 x 2160 resolution, which is also referred to as 4K, 2160p, UHD or Ultra HD.
Generally speaking, a higher resolution means a higher price. Therefore, for a budget CS:GO monitor, you should get a 1920 x 1080 monitor. You can then spend the extra money on a nice gaming mouse for CS:GO to improve your aim and shooting. If you have the money, then you should go higher and invest in a 2560 x 1440 monitor, such as the very popular 165Hz ASUS PG279Q gaming monitor, which is very good for gaming purposes and offers great color quality as well, or perhaps the BenQ XL2730Z that many pro players in CS:GO already use. This WQHD resolution makes it more difficult for your graphics card to output the desired 144FPS, but thanks to the low GPU requirements and system requirements for CS:GO, you don’t have to worry about getting 144FPS in-game whilst using the WQHD resolution in CS:GO.
The screen size for a CS:GO monitor is not important. The only thing you should keep in mind is that you should not get a monitor below 22-inches if you can. We don’t find monitors that small suitable for gaming and it will ultimately result in a poorer gaming experience. Most CS:GO players prefer a 24-inch monitor due to the simple fact that you have to move your eyes less compared to a 27-inch computer screen for instance. Therefore, we recommend CS:GO players to get a 24-inch monitor or something close to that. You are going to sit close to your screen anyway so you can easily detect your opponents whenever they appear on your screen.
We don’t recommend you to get a 4K monitor since they can not offer high refresh rates just yet, so you will miss out the most important FPS gaming monitor spec on that end. They are also very expensive!
Adaptive-Sync (NVIDIA G-SYNC and AMD FreeSync)
NVIDIA G-SYNC and AMD FreeSync is the name of two technologies accomplishes the same thing: eliminating screen tearing. This so-called screen tearing artifact occurs when the refresh rate of the monitor is not in sync with the system’s graphics card. These Adaptive-Sync technologies sync the refresh rate of the monitor to the output of FPS that your GPU produces, and thus eliminates screen tearing altogether. If you have a compatible NVIDIA graphics card, then you can invest in a G-SYNC CS:GO monitor, but this feature adds about $150 to the price tag of the monitor. FreeSync, on the other hand, adds nothing to the overall cost of the monitor, so if you have a FreeSync-compatible AMD GPU, then you should definitely get a FreeSync CS:GO monitor.
This feature is a good thing to have, but it is not essential and will not boost your CS:GO performance or FPS performance, and it does not give you a competitive advantage over other players without Adaptive-Sync.
Your next gaming monitor should have the necessary input connection options that are required by your PC. It is very likely that your graphics card has an HDMI connector and a DVI connector, so your future gaming monitor should have these connection options as well. Most new gaming monitors have one of these two connection options anyway.
Since this is a buying guide for a CS:GO monitor, you will be getting a 144Hz monitor anyway, so you are going to use DisplayPort to connect your PC and monitor. You can also use DVI-D or HDMI 1.3 (and above) for 144Hz refresh rate to be accessible for you. Most, if not all, 144Hz gaming monitors have a DisplayPort connector, so you shouldn’t worry about input options that much.