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  • Other 32-inch Gaming Monitors We Tested

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Best 32-inch Gaming Monitors of 2021

  1. Best Overall

    Samsung Odyssey G7 LC32G75TQSNXZA

    Pros

    • High brightness

    • Great image quality

    • 240Hz refresh rate

    Cons

    • Mediocre HDR performance

    Skip to the full review below
  2. Best Value

    Dell S3222DGM

    Pros

    • Affordable

    • High contrast ratio

    • Good luminance uniformity

    Cons

    • Mediocre color performance

    Skip to the full review below
A computer monitor sitting on a desk near a keyboard, mouse, headset, and tower PC
Credit: Samsung
Best Overall
Samsung Odyssey G7 LC32G75TQSNXZA

The Samsung Odyssey G7 (32-inch) is a high-end gaming monitor with 1440p resolution, a 240Hz refresh rate, and support for AMD FreeSync Premium Pro. It also has an aggressively curved screen some gamers might find immersive. This monitor has a VA panel, which you can read more about in our info section.

Refresh rate is the monitor’s key specification. Most 32-inch monitors have a refresh rate of 60Hz to 165Hz. The Odyssey G7 significantly improves on this with its 240Hz refresh rate. Samsung manages to deliver this increased refresh rate without compromising on motion clarity. On the contrary, the Odyssey G7 delivers the best overall motion clarity of any 32-inch monitor we tested. This adds up to a smooth, responsive gaming experience.

Image quality is great, as well. The monitor has a wide color gamut, good color accuracy, and a slightly above-average contrast ratio. It looks vibrant in most titles and provides added detail to dark scenes. The monitor is VESA DisplayHDR 600 certified, so it can add punch to bright scenes in HDR-compatible games. However, its overall HDR performance is mediocre compared to a similarly priced television.

Gamers craving a flashy monitor will like the Odyssey G7’s design. The rear panel and stand mount seem inspired by a jet fighter and the aggressive curve stands out from other, less dramatic curved displays. However, gamers who don’t like a curved display may find the G7 too extreme. The monitor has good connectivity including two USB ports and it includes a stand that adjusts for height, tilt, and swivel.

A quick warning: Samsung offers this monitor in 27-inch and 32-inch varieties. They look almost identical aside from size, so check that you are ordering the 32-inch model before making a purchase.

Pros

  • High brightness

  • Great image quality

  • 240Hz refresh rate

Cons

  • Mediocre HDR performance

A computer monitor
Credit: Dell
Best Value
Dell S3222DGM

The Dell S3222DGM is an affordable gaming monitor with 1440p resolution, a VA panel, and a 165Hz refresh rate. It delivers good image quality for the price and easily crowds out competitors to secure our top value pick.

This monitor’s strength is its contrast ratio and uniformity in dark scenes. Its contrast is just shy of competitors like the BenQ EX3203R and Acer Nitro XZ322QU. Where Dell takes the lead is luminance uniformity, with fewer bright spots along the edges of the monitor. That’s great if you enjoy games that frequently show dark scenes.

Color performance is solid. The S3222DGM has good color accuracy and a reasonably wide color gamut, though it’s not wide enough to be considered a wide gamut display. It lacks the vibrant, punchy look of BenQ’s EX3203R, but its overall performance is good for the price. The monitor does not support HDR but it’s very bright in SDR content.

Dell has settled on a simple, robust design for its affordable gaming monitors. It’s not attractive but it feels solid in hand. The sturdy stand keeps the monitor stable. However, it only adjusts for height and tilt. This is a curved monitor, but the curve is subtle and doesn’t have a significant impact on gaming or day-to-day use.

Pros

  • Affordable

  • High contrast ratio

  • Good luminance uniformity

Cons

  • Mediocre color performance

Related content

How We Tested 32-inch Monitors

An HP monitor on a desk, turned on
Credit: Reviewed / Lee Neikirk

We test monitors using the same suite of scientific equipment we use to test TVs.

The Tests

We prioritize image quality when testing a monitor. A great monitor will offer a realistic sense of depth with a strong contrast ratio and good detail in dark scenes. We also like to see a broad color gamut and good color accuracy, both of which help a monitor display content as its creator intended. A uniform image and high maximum brightness are also considered, though monitors tend to do worse in these areas than a television.

While image quality is also a top priority, we consider it especially important for a 32-inch monitor. A display this large will dominate a desk and could be used as a television replacement in small rooms. A 32-inch monitor must look great when playing games and streaming movies.

We investigate the quality of each monitor with a Datacolor SpyderX Elite display calibration tool. It includes numerous image quality tests that gauge how a display’s color accuracy, gamut, gamma, brightness, and color temperature compared to industry standards. Conducting these tests means we can accurately judge the relative strength of each monitor. If these terms mean nothing to you, however, don’t worry: we won’t bore you with the details of every test.

Objective tests are essential to eliminate bias and prevent mistakes. However, we balance them with at least several days of real-world testing. This can reveal problems or strengths that don’t come across in objective tests or can’t be objectively measured. We also examine and handle each monitor to judge its build quality, durability, and design.

What Resolution Do I Need—1080p, 4K, or Something Else?

A 32-inch monitor can be purchased with 1080p, 1440p, or 4K resolution.

1080p resolution looks grainy on a 32-inch monitor at the distance most people will use it, so we recommend you avoid it. You will only find this on extremely inexpensive 32-inch monitors. The low pricing of such monitors can be tempting but trust us: it’s not a good value.

1440p resolution can still appear grainy, especially when used on a desk as a monitor, but it’s a huge upgrade over 1080p. Games that have an effective anti-aliasing solution will look sharp. This resolution only modestly increases the strain on your video card so you won’t have to upgrade to a high-end video card.

4K resolution looks superb and is the ideal resolution for a 32-inch display. Unfortunately, this resolution often goes hand-in-hand with a standard 60Hz refresh rate. 4K is also demanding on PC hardware when playing games. You’ll need a top-tier video card to get the most from the monitor.

The Three LCD Panel Types: IPS, VA, and TN

A monitor produces an image with an LCD panel positioned in front of an LED backlight. The LCD panel changes to create the image and the backlight makes it visible. Nearly all monitors use an LED backlight. However, the type of LCD panel can vary.

  • IPS: This stands for “In-Plane Switching.” It’s the most common type of panel for monitors overall, but a bit less common among 32-inch monitors. IPS panels are bright, have great viewing angles, can provide accurate color, and can reach extremely high refresh rates. However, they are plagued by relatively low contrast. This can make an IPS panel monitor look flat and lack detail in dark scenes.

  • VA: This means "vertical alignment." VA panels are found in a variety of displays but are especially common among 32-inch gaming monitors. A VA panel can deliver a solid contrast ratio and good detail in dark scenes. That’s important for games, movies, and streaming content. They also can provide accurate color and a wide color gamut. VA panels have a narrow viewing angle and can’t match IPS in motion clarity.

  • TN: This means "twisted nematic." This ancient LCD panel technology is inferior to IPS and VA panels by nearly every metric. TN panels are hard to find in 32-inch gaming monitors and are essentially obsolete for this category. We recommend you avoid this technology when buying a monitor of this size.

Want more general help in buying the right kind of monitor? Check out our guide to buying a monitor.


Other 32-inch Gaming Monitors We Tested

Product image of Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX
Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX

Asus’ ROG Swift PG32UQX is not your average gaming monitor. Your games will look better than ever before.

The PG32UQX achieves this with a Mini-LED backlight system that has 1,152 individual dimming zones. These zones can turn off entirely in dark scenes but ramp up to eye-searing brightness when required. The result is a high contrast ratio, extremely high brightness, and great luminance uniformity that banishes the hazy spots found at the corners of many large gaming monitors. This monitor delivers 4K resolution, too, so it’s sharper than most.

HDR content is where the PG32UQX literally shines. This monitor can deliver a maximum brightness that rivals today’s best HDR televisions. You’ll feel the urge to turn away from an in-game sunrise or a flashlight shone in your character’s face.

This is a good gaming monitor for motion clarity. It has a 144Hz refresh rate and Nvidia G-Sync support for smooth gameplay. However, the Mini-LED backlight can cause halos to appear around bright objects in dark scenes. This is often more distracting in motion than with static scenes.

The PG32UQX is heavy, thick, and built to exacting standards. It has a large stand that adjusts for tilt, swivel, and pivot. Its size and weight means it can truly dominate small desks. The monitor has a small display on its chin that can display a game’s framerate or the current temperature of your GPU, among other things.

So, what’s the catch? Price. Asus’ PG32UQX has an extremely high MSRP of $2,999 , and you may have to pay more if you want one right now. This makes it impractical for many gamers. We deeply hope the monitor’s technology filters down to more affordable displays in the coming years, as it’s clearly superior to today’s mainstream gaming monitors.

Pros

  • Class-leading HDR

  • Outstanding contrast

  • 144Hz refresh rate

Cons

  • Some ghosting behind bright objects

  • Heavy, large

Product image of BenQ EX3203R
BenQ EX3203R

BenQ EX3203R delivers great image quality at a mid-range price. It serves up 1440p resolution from its VA panel, a curved screen, a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz, and supports AMD FreeSync.

The BenQ EX3203R looks fantastic. It scored among the highest contrast ratios of any monitor in our tests. It also has a wide color gamut and great color accuracy. Games look realistic, yet vibrant, and the monitor’s strong contrast provides good detail in dark scenes. Games have a better sense of depth and texture than on competing monitors. The monitor is bright enough to provide added brilliance to HDR games but, as usual, it can’t match any decent HDR television.

We noticed two small problems. The EX3203R scored poorly in image uniformity, which means the corners of the display were noticeably brighter than the middle. This can be distracting in dark scenes. The monitor also suffers a “screen door effect” caused by a significant gap between each pixel. This is less of an issue if you sit more than four feet away, however.

The EX3202R is an attractive monitor with a highly adjustable stand and a great, all-around build quality. Its design walks the line between office and gaming use without leaning too far toward either. The screen has a gentle curve that provides some added immersion in games but will likely fade from your mind after a few hours using the display. The monitor even has a USB-C port, which is rare for this category.

Pros

  • Great color accuracy

  • High maximum brightness

  • 144Hz refresh rate

Cons

  • Image uniformity could be better

  • Suffers from “screen door effect”

  • Mediocre HDR performance

Product image of ViewSonic XG3220
ViewSonic XG3220

The Viewsonic XG3220 is a mid-range monitor with 4K resolution and a VA panel. It has a 60Hz refresh rate and supports AMD FreeSync for smooth gameplay on AMD video cards. Resolution and price stand out most. Sticking with a 60Hz refresh rate allows Viewsonic to deliver a 4K resolution at an obtainable price.

You may expect that to mean mediocre image quality. On the contrary, this monitor scored well in most tests. It has good color accuracy, a very wide color gamut, and a great contrast ratio. Games have a sense of depth and realism that is surprising at this price. Brightness is a weakness, however. The monitor can display HDR content, but it’s not bright enough to do it justice.

Motion clarity isn’t great. The 60Hz refresh rate won’t satisfy competitive gamers who want low input lag and a responsive feel. This monitor suffers significant “smearing” when dark objects move across the screen.

Build quality, like image quality, is better than expected for the price. The monitor has a sturdy ergonomic stand that can be adjusted for height, tilt, and swivel. Some gamers will find the monitor’s design a bit plain, but it’s unobtrusive and will fit in on most desks.

Pros

  • Good contrast

  • Attractive image quality

Cons

  • 60Hz refresh rate

  • Disappointing HDR performance

Product image of Asus ROG Swift PG329Q
Asus ROG Swift PG329Q

The Asus’ ROG Swift PG329Q attempts to offer a good HDR experience at a reasonable price. It has a 1440p resolution, a maximum refresh rate of 175Hz, and supports Nvidia G-Sync for smooth gameplay on Nvidia video cards. The monitor has an IPS panel.

The monitor’s focus on HDR is delivered through its high maximum brightness. It’s not the brightest we’ve tested, falling behind rivals like the Asus PG32UQX and Odyssey G7, but the PG329Q’s MSRP is lower than those alternatives. It’s bright enough to deliver a real visual punch in HDR games.

Color performance is fantastic. The PG329Q has a very wide color gamut, excellent color accuracy, and a well-calibrated color temperature. Most monitors we tested handled bright, vibrant games well, but the PG329Q stood ahead of the pack.

Unfortunately, the monitor has a flaw: contrast ratio. This monitor delivered the lowest contrast ratio of any we tested. The monitor’s lackluster contrast can be blamed on its failure to lower luminance when required. Dark scenes look gray, hazy, and lack depth. That’s a problem if you play dark games or watch movies.

On the plus side, this monitor is well built. It has Asus’ typical corkscrew design, which can look out of place if your desk isn’t packed with gaming gear. The ergonomic stand adjusts for height, tilt, and swivel.

Pros

  • Good HDR performance

  • Great color accuracy

  • 175Hz refresh rate

Cons

  • Lackluster contrast ratio

  • Disappointing in dark scenes

Product image of BenQ PD3220U
BenQ PD3220U

The BenQ PD3220U is a professional monitor that is also a great pick for gamers who crave outstanding image quality and don’t care about motion clarity. It has a 4K resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate. It does not support AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync and has an IPS panel.

This monitor delivers overall image quality that’s a cut above most gaming monitors of any size. It has a sharp 4K resolution, good color accuracy, and a very wide color gamut. The monitor also has a spot-on color temperature. Its contrast ratio is not the best, though this is mitigated by good luminance uniformity that reduces noticeable bright spots along the edges of the display.

Brightness was not as high as other monitors we tested. It’s bright enough to use in most situations, but it does poorly with HDR content. As mentioned, this is a 60Hz monitor and does not support adaptive sync, so it’s a poor choice for fast-paced esports titles.

The PD3220U’s strong scores in image quality and high resolution provide an enjoyable experience that stands out in games with detailed and colorful art. It’s best for single-player games that have lavish, beautiful worlds, such as open-world role-playing games. It’s also excellent for strategy and simulation games.

Build quality is excellent. This monitor is built for professionals, not gamers, so it looks sleek and modern. The included ergonomic stand feels sturdy and adjusts for height, pivot, and tilt.
The monitor has a wide range of connectivity, including USB-A and USB-C, and comes with a puck control that lets you change inputs or adjust settings without leaning forward.

Pros

  • Wide color gamut

  • Accurate color

  • Lots of connectivity

Cons

  • Mediocre contrast

  • Lackluster HDR performance

  • No gaming features

Product image of Acer Nitro XZ322QU
Acer Nitro XZ322QU

The Acer Nitro XZ322QU is an affordable gaming monitor with 1440p resolution, a VA panel, and support for AMD FreeSync. This is the most affordable 32-inch monitor we tested, but a few issues prevent this monitor from reaching its full potential.

Acer’s Nitro XZ322QU delivers attractive image quality. It has good color accuracy and a slightly wider color gamut than the similarly priced Dell S3222DGM. The monitor’s contrast ratio is also respectable. The Nitro XZ322QU looks vibrant yet also provides a realistic sense of depth to movies and games. Its objective image quality is a tad better than the Dell and not far off more expensive alternatives.

The monitor’s good performance in these areas is spoiled by its poor luminance uniformity. Obvious bright spots creep across the display in dark scenes. Motion clarity is also disappointing due to a problem known as “smear” which results in obvious streaks behind dark objects. Neither problem is unique to the XZ322QU, but both were more noticeable on this monitor than on competitors.

Build quality can be described as functional. The monitor’s stand adjusts for height and tilt and the display seems reasonably durable, but it doesn’t feel premium or luxurious. This is understandable given the price, but Dell’s S3222DGM has the XZ322QU beat in this area.

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Good color performance

  • High contrast ratio

Cons

  • Poor luminance uniformity

  • Disappointing motion clarity

Meet the tester

Matthew S. Smith

Matthew S. Smith

Contributor

@Matt_on_tech

Matthew S. Smith is a veteran tech journalist and general-purpose PC hardware nerd. Formerly the Lead Editor of Reviews at Digital Trends, he has over a decade of experience covering PC hardware. Matt often flies the virtual skies in Microsoft Flight Simulator and is on a quest to grow the perfect heirloom tomato.

See all of Matthew S. Smith's reviews

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