The best gaming monitors for PS5

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Over a year after its release, the Sony PlayStation 5 remains an elusive item to find on the open market. If you persevered (or just got lucky!) and managed to get your hands on a PS5, you might just be playing it on a big screen TV. And that’s great for a lot of players.

But maybe you’re running out of space for a giant screen? Or maybe you’re playing competitive shake-reaction PS5 games at high framerates? Then you will need a proper gaming monitor to match. Accessories like extra PS5 storage come in handy, of course, especially if you’re playing epic titles like Call of Duty: Warzone. But one of the best improvements you can make to your console gaming and content viewing experience is a better display.

The thing is, the PS5 has a specific set of resolutions and refresh rates that it supports. So you have to know the nuances of its video output to figure out which monitors will serve the PS5 well and which would just be overkill. Let’s break down the details.


What resolutions will the PS5 run at?

First, there’s the issue of screen resolution. Currently, the PlayStation 5 only supports two of the most popular gaming screen resolutions: 1920 by 1080 pixels (aka Full HD or 1080p) and 3840 by 2160 pixels (UHD or 4K). Console technically also supports 8K output, but anyone expecting an 8K gaming experience (or even a robust 4K experience) is grossly overestimating the gaming power in the PS5 chassis. As of April 2022 writing, anything related to the PS5’s theoretical 8K video playback or gaming capabilities is locked down by system firmware.

Sony PlayStation 5 front side

(Photo: Will Greenwald)

While the resolution is popular with PC gamers, 2560 by 1440 pixels (aka 1440p) isn’t an option for the PS5, although many developers have claimed that enabling it should be as simple as tweaking a parameter. The medium resolution has become a sweet spot for many competitive single-player PC gamers, who want the higher pixel density of 1080p while maintaining the responsiveness that only sub-4K monitors can deliver in competitive esports gaming. At least for now, forget it: no 1440p support from Sony.

That’s why all of our monitor picks, at least this year, fall into just two resolution categories. Microsoft Xbox consoles, on the other hand, support a multitude of resolutions depending on the model and the task. Here’s a look at how this particular messy mix shakes…

On the other hand, the PS5 remains very simple: games in 1080p or 4K, period (with 8K perhaps, in theory, one day).

Considering that games like Fortnite have been optimized to run up to 120 frames per second (fps) on Xbox consoles at 1080p, gamers of this and similar titles may want to watch monitors that regularly hit refresh rates ( i.e. the peak screen redraws) of at least 120 Hz or more. But there are also PS5-specific nuances. Now let’s get to that key question.


Refresh Rate: Why Screen Speed ​​Matters

The PS5 supports various resolutions and refresh rates, including a monitor refresh rate of up to 120Hz at 1080p or 4K resolution. The thing is, only a few games can run at frame rates as high as 120fps in 4K.

With the PS5, support for refresh rates above 60Hz is game-dependent. And besides, it’s not consistent at all! Here’s a list (as of April 2022, courtesy of PlayStation Universe) of PS5 titles offering 120Hz gameplay:

  • Borderlands 3 (in 1080p)

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (lower resolution)

  • Call of Duty: Vanguard (in lower resolution)

  • Call of Duty: Warzone (at lower dynamic resolution)

  • Centipede Reloaded (In Native 4K)

  • Destiny 2 (at lower resolution, especially in Crucible matches)

  • Devil May Cry V: Special Edition (in 1080p)

  • Dirt 5 (at a lower resolution)

  • Eternal Doom (at 1584p)

  • Fortnite (at a lower resolution)

  • Ghostrunner (in lower resolution)

  • Gunborg (at 4K upgradable)

  • Jumanji: The Video Game (in upgradable 4K)

  • Knockout City (at dynamic 4K)

  • Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom (in native 4K)

  • Nioh 1, Nioh 2 and their DLC (at a lower resolution)

  • Olli Olli World (at a lower resolution)

  • Earthquake (at 4K)

  • Rainbow Six Siege (in low resolution)

  • Rocket League (at lower dynamic resolution)

  • Rogue Company (at dynamic 4K)

  • The Touryst (in native 4K)

  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 (at 1080p)

  • Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection (at 1080p)

  • WRC 9 (in performance mode)

As you can see, 120Hz support may vary depending on the resolution or even the game mode in-game.

Most gaming monitors belong to one of the following maximum refresh rate levels: 60Hz, 120Hz, 144Hz, 165Hz, 200Hz, 240Hz, or 360Hz. If you plan to only play on your PS5 (i.e. with no PC gaming planned in your future), picking a model that tops out at 120Hz or 144Hz is sufficient; beyond that, you could be paying for additional frame rate potential that you’ll never see on screen.


Display cables (may) count to connect your PS5

Then, a little detour to talk about cables. While previous consoles usually maxed out at HDMI 2.0, the PS5 and the latest Xbox Series X support HDMI 2.1.

HDMI 2.1 certificate

Our primer on the current state of HDMI 2.1 will help you better understand why this is such a crucial distinction. The HDMI 2.1 specification supports up to 120 frames per second at 1080p or 1440p resolution. However, if you’re trying to play PS5 games at 120fps in 4K, you’ll need a 4K monitor that’s compatible with the HDMI 2.1 spec and supports at least a 120Hz refresh rate. at 4K. You will also need an HDMI 2.1 compatible cable, called an “Ultra High Speed” HDMI cable. (More on this at the link above.)

Monitors that support HDMI 2.1, 4K resolution and 120Hz refresh or higher are pretty rare so far, although we tested one, the MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD.


What are VRR and ALLM? (Hint: Sony keeps you competitive)

Finally, over the past month, Sony has delivered firmware updates for the PS5 that enable two essential features if you’re serious about competitive gaming: Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode. (ALLM).

VRR is the console version of Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync, two technologies that sync the graphics chip inside your console with your TV to ensure they’re on the same page. For games like Fortnite that can occasionally go over 60fps or 120fps, VRR ensures that game frames are in sync with your monitor’s screen refresh timing, reducing screen artifacts and a known issue as “screen tearing”. With tearing, partial frames from two different screens become misaligned during action sequences. VRR protects your image from visual tearing and stuttering during fast movements.

ViewSonic XG270QG

(Photo: Zlata Ivleva)

ALLM, on the other hand, helps reduce input latency between your console and the display. Input latency affects the time it takes for an action such as a button press to be reflected on the screen. The lower the number, the faster you will be able to react to what your character is doing in response to your inputs.

Look for monitors that support these features. Several of the models we’ve listed in our roundup will have VRR, ALLM, or both buried somewhere in their settings for you to enable and take advantage of during high-intensity multiplayer battles. Since these features are new to the PS5, we haven’t covered them at the time of reviewing the monitors, but you should look for them on the monitor manufacturers’ spec sheets for any models you’re considering.


So what is the best monitor for PS5?

Ready to make your PS5-centric choice? Above and below we’ve provided a guide to some of the best gaming monitors we’ve tested that work well for the latest PlayStation. Keep in mind that some of the high refresh rate 4K displays are only compatible with DisplayPort 1.4b connections (i.e. PCs only), although they do support regular HDMI for PS5 playback at 60Hz. (We’ve included these in case you want to connect to a PS5 Where a very powerful gaming PC.) With that out of the way, let’s dive into the list. (Also, you might want to check out our favorite PS5 games to hang on to.)

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