You can have a great racing wheel, and be sat in a perfectly shaped sim cockpit, but if you don’t have the right monitor, you won’t experience the full potential of sim racing. With so many options available in all different shapes and sizes, it can be tough to choose the best sim racing monitor.
The 10 best sim racing monitors are:
- MSI Optix MAG301RF
- Philips 241E1SCA
- AOC CU34G2X
- Asus TUF VG32VQ
- Samsung Odyssey G7
- LG 27QN600-B
- Asus ROG Strix XG43VQ
- LG Ultragear 27GL83A-B
- Acer Predator CQ437K
- Samsung Odyssey Neo G9
It’s easy to get lost in the technological nuances of monitors, whether you are new to sim racing or have a few years’ experience behind you. Below, as well as discussing the very best sim racing monitors, we will discuss what to look for in regard to both their aesthetics and performance.
Types Of Monitors For Sim Racing
There are three main types of monitor that are commonly used for sim racing. These are standard single monitors, triple monitor setups, and ultrawide screens. All of these options offer different qualities beneficial for sim racing, from the space-saving simplicity of a single screen to the immersion and peripheral vision enabled by triple monitors and ultrawide screens.
BUYER'S TIP: Triple and ultrawide monitor setups are best for sim racers as they provide better peripheral vision than a single screen, which is ideal for close racing situations
Standard Single Screen
Most of us probably started our gaming journeys in front of a single screen. While upgrading to a triple-screen setup or an ultrawide screen may improve immersion as well as offering other performance benefits, using a single screen will still allow you to have a thoroughly enjoyable sim racing experience.
It may not be a setup that most aspire to using, but the screen resolution of some single monitors is mind-blowing, with 4K screens capable of displaying crisp, sleek and beautiful images. What they may lack in immersion, they’ll make up for in quality, and good quality single monitors will perfectly run your sim racing games without any trouble.
They’re also easy to set up and require far less space than the other two options, which is a huge bonus for those with limited room to race.
Triple-monitor setups are very popular within the sim racing scene as they give you the ability to angle the screens either side of you for great peripheral vision and immersion, helping you to feel closer to the action. Having three screens at the forefront of your setup will give you that feeling of being closed into the cockpit, like you would if you were sat in a real race car.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, a triple-screen setup will cost you triple the price of a single monitor, unless you find a multi-buy discount at your retailer of choice. Sometimes you do just have to bite the monetary bullet, especially when it results in a huge jump in sim racing realism.
TOP TIP: It’s important that you make sure you have enough room to set up three monitors as they can be quite space-consuming
You’ll also need to have three sturdy stands to mount them. Triple-monitor setups also require you to have a PC and a graphics card capable of powering three screens, so it’s vital you check your setup is compatible before you spend any money.
Ultrawide screens do a similar job to triple-monitor setups, providing you with a great level of peripheral vision, and a field of view reminiscent of what you would find when looking out of the front of a real car. They are often curved, which will benefit your vision and your neck muscles, as you won’t have to tilt your head as far when looking into your side mirrors.
Setting up an ultrawide screen is far easier compared to setting up three monitors, which will inevitably involve scouring the cupboards to try and find that old spirit level to make sure everything is lined up correctly! You’ll also have a wide view that is uninterrupted by screen edges (known as bezels), further adding to the realism that ultrawide screens offer.
One downside of using an ultrawide monitor over three monitors is the fact you won’t be able to adjust it to improve your peripherals like you would be able to with three moveable screens. It’s not necessarily too much of a compromise though, as you’ll still have the curvature at the side of the screen, but it may feel slightly less immersive at times if you’re used to having three.
If you choose to use virtual reality for sim racing, you won’t need a large, expensive monitor setup, as most of your screen time will be spent looking through the headset. However, you will still need a monitor to set up VR as well as having a backup if anything goes wrong with the headset. It’s not common for a PC to load straight into VR every time you turn it on, for example.
KEY POINTS• Ultrawide and triple screen setups provide the best immersion
• Single screens are the easiest to set up and most cost effective
• If you go the triple screen route, make sure your hardware can handle it
What To Look For In A Sim Racing Monitor
As well as looking at the immersive features of different types of sim racing monitors, it’s also important to take a deeper look into the technological aspects of different screens. Screen resolution, response time, and connectivity among other things are hugely important when deciding which monitor to go for, as they will have an impact on your overall experience.
As we’ve already discussed, you’ll have to choose which type of monitor you want to use for your setup. You’ll have to take space, price and screen quality into account when making this decision, as well as what the individual features of the screens will offer to your experience. Deciding this early will help to narrow down the options, making the whole experience less overwhelming.
We have structured our list of the best sim racing monitors in terms of experience level (not necessarily budget), with items 1-4 being perfect for those with less experience, items 5-7 for intermediate sim racers and 8-10 for more experienced sim racers.
The first technological aspect of sim racing monitors to focus on is the aspect ratio of the screen. Aspect ratios measure the proportions of the screen’s width and height. The most common aspect ratio, especially in single monitors, is 16:9. If you want to use a larger monitor, whether that be an ultrawide or just a bigger single screen, then it’s best to look for an aspect ratio of 21:9.
It’s easy to see screen resolution as the main selling point of a new monitor, as it will be the first thing you notice. There are three leading resolutions on the market: 1080p, 1440p and 4K. Screen resolution all comes down to the number of pixels on the screen displaying an image, with more pixels meaning sharper images. Therefore, a 1080p image will be less crisp than a 1440p image.
For a long time, 1080p was the desired resolution for sim racers and gamers in general. It was top of the tree in terms of quality. While it may still be commonplace in cheaper monitors, it has fallen down the pecking order since its heyday in the early 2010s, with many favoring the crisper graphics of 1440p and 4K monitors. It’s now considered as the base level of resolution quality.
However, 1080p screens will still offer you a very good display for a cheaper price, as well as applying less strain on your PC and its graphics card, meaning you’ll be able to achieve higher framerates with more ease. 1080p is still considered to be high definition, albeit not Ultra-HD. Triple-screen users may well want to look at 1080p screens to help keep costs down and framerates high.
They may not have the pixels to compete with higher resolution monitors, but 1080p resolution screens will certainly hold their own, providing you with a smooth gameplay experience with nice graphics and visuals to go with it.
1440p, or 2K, is a mid-range resolution, offering 2560 x 1440 pixels. It’s often referred to as Quad-HD as it is 4 times sharper than the original base form of HD (720p). It will offer you a sharp and clear picture, although the improvement from 1080p may not be instantly noticeable. 1440p is slowly becoming the standard resolution for monitors, but it’ll be some time yet before 1080p is obsolete.
4K is the current holy grail of screen resolutions but is yet to embrace cheaper monitors. 8K also exists but will cost you an arm and a leg if you want to experience it for yourself, and most hardware and software won’t keep up. 4K is wildly impressive as it is but will require a powerful PC and a very good graphics card to achieve its maximum potential with high framerates.
A monitor’s refresh rate is the number of times per second that it can display an image. Refresh rates are measured in Hertz (Hz), with more Hz resulting in smoother gameplay. A standard rate of Hz for a monitor would be 60 or 144 Hz, with some models having a rate of 75 Hz. Higher end, expensive monitors may have refresh rates of around 240 Hz, which makes for an impressive silky-smooth image.
If a monitor has a high refresh rate, you’ll need a strong GPU (graphics card) to be able to display the image on screen without any complications. Refresh rates are important when purchasing a new monitor for sim racing especially, as it is such a fast-moving form of gaming. If you have too slow a refresh rate, then the smoothness of the gameplay will be compromised.
BUYER'S TIP: 60 Hz is the minimum for refresh rates, but 144 Hz and above is best for sim racing
Response time is the time it takes for the monitor to shift between colors and is measured in milliseconds. Fast response times will mean that the colors on screen won’t appear blurry. This is especially important when sim racing, as it is such a high-speed form of gaming, with your surroundings constantly changing.
Response times are usually measured by the amount of time it will take for a screen to go from black to white to black again. The average response time for a monitor is 10 milliseconds, although more expensive monitors are capable of halving that time, if not more. LCD screens are very good in terms of response time.
When looking for a new monitor it’s good to check what the connectivity options are. Most monitors will come with a variety of options, including HDMI ports, USB-C ports and Display Ports (DP). These are important for convenience more than anything, as multiple ports will stop you from having to disconnect something every time you want to plug something else in.
The likelihood is that modern monitors will have the required ports for your PC, but it is always best to check before you buy.
Checking the price will be one of the first things you do when buying a monitor, and it’s completely natural to do so. However, low prices can tempt you into buying a lower-quality product when it lacks certain features that you want from a monitor specifically for sim racing.
It’s always good to have a budget when buying sim racing equipment, but make sure you note down some features that you want before entering the market, such as an ultrawide monitor with at least 1440p resolution for example, or maybe you need specific ports or software compatibility. This will ensure that you don’t compromise on what you really want just to save a little bit of money.
What Size Of Monitor Is Best For Sim Racing?
Monitors with a minimum size of 27 inches are best for sim racing, as smaller ones usually won’t provide you with enough immersion. On the other hand, you shouldn’t have a monitor that is too large, otherwise it will feel uncomfortable to look at, especially when mounted to the end of a rig.
For ultrawide screens, the minimum size will usually be around 34 inches. Having a wider model of around 40 inches will allow for even more improved peripheral vision, although you’ll have to make sure you have the space for it. The larger the screen, the more power your PC and graphics card will have to generate in order to display the images with a high framerate.
The 10 Best Monitors For Sim Racing
1. MSI Optix MAG301RF
Screen Type: Ultrawide | Size: 30” | Resolution: 2560×1080 | Refresh Rate: 200 Hz | Aspect Ratio: 21:9
This wide-screen monitor is perfect for beginners as it features the dimensions and aspect ratio of an ultrawide monitor with the price tag of a standard single monitor. It retails for around $280, and features IPS technology, so the screen will be visible from wide angles. It has a great refresh rate, meaning you’ll be able to race smoothly without any sign of input lag.
This monitor outdoes itself in most departments, even having a response time of 1 ms. It has a 1080p resolution, which although isn’t as sharp as 1440p, cannot be argued for the price you pay for it. One drawback is a lack of curve on the screen, which is usually a feature on wide-screen monitors.
While the screen is wide, it remains compact and will be easily mounted onto the end of a sim racing cockpit. The width will also guarantee great immersion when you are racing, as it will allow you to check your peripherals as though you were in a real race car.
- Fairly cheap
- Great refresh rate
- Features IPS technology
- No screen curvature
- Lower resolution than others on this list
2. Philips 241E1SCA
Screen Type: Single | Size: 24” | Resolution: 1920×1080 | Refresh Rate: 75 Hz | Aspect Ratio: 16:9
If you’re in the market for a cheap sim racing monitor, then the Philips 241E1SCA will be the choice for you, as it retails for around $150 per screen. This makes for a cost-effective triple-monitor setup. It’s also space-effective at only 24”, which understandably may be on the small side for many, but if you don’t have too much space to work with, then fitting 3 of these in will be easy.
The monitor features a 1080p resolution, which will provide a decent picture quality. The refresh rate isn’t that high at only 75 Hz, so you won’t be getting premium smoothness from this monitor, although it won’t require a super high-end PC to work three monitors simultaneously.
This is a curved monitor, which will help add to the immersion if tripled up, as well as providing for comfortable viewing if used as a single monitor (although it’s probably a bit too small for sim racing). It also has good viewing angles, lending itself for triple-monitor use.
Overall, this monitor lacks some obvious high-end features, but that is to be expected from a product at such a low price. However, for the price you pay, you’ll get a very reliable product from a reputable manufacturer, while not taking up a lot of space within a room.
- Reasonably priced
- Doesn’t require a high-end PC to use
- Good viewing angles
- Small screen
- Low refresh rate
3. AOC CU34G2X
Screen Type: Ultrawide | Size: 34” | Resolution: 3440×1440 | Refresh Rate: 144 Hz | Aspect Ratio: 21:9
For around $400 you can get your hands on this AOC ultrawide monitor. At 34 inches, it is one of the narrower screens on the ultrawide market, which has both positives and negatives. One of the positives is that you’ll be able to fit it into your rig easier, and your PC won’t have to work as hard to get the most out of it.
You will have to sacrifice a little immersion and peripheral vision, although you’ll still be able to see more than if you were using a single monitor setup. This monitor has a very strong 1440p resolution, so you’ll get sharp and clear images, and with the bonus of a 144 Hz refresh rate, your gameplay will be nice and smooth.
It is a curved monitor, as many ultrawide screens are, which is beneficial for utilizing the full width of the screen while racing. Mounting the monitor is easy, with a sturdy table mount included in the box, as well as the option to mount it to a sim racing cockpit.
- Quite affordable
- Good resolution
- Good refresh rate
- Not the widest screen
4. Asus TUF VG32VQ
Screen Type: Single | Size: 32” | Resolution: 2560×1440 | Refresh Rate: 144 Hz | Aspect Ratio: 16:9
The VG32VQ by Asus is a large curved single monitor, with a 2K resolution. It has a good 144 Hz refresh rate, so you’ll be able to experience smooth gameplay. It is designed specifically with gamers in mind, rather than all-round use, so it is already configured to give you the best possible sim racing experience. You get all of this for around $430, so ultimately, it’s not a bad deal.
The monitor features angle adjustments so you can achieve the perfect setup for your seating position and your field of view. The curved screen is another welcome touch, and as the screen itself is quite large, it makes the whole experience more comfortable. As well as adjusting the vertical angle, you can adjust the screen’s height and horizontal angle, making it very maneuverable.
The main drawback of this monitor is its speakers, as they lack the strength found in other monitor models. This problem can be solved with external speakers or headphones, which will unfortunately add to the overall price of purchasing this monitor.
- Good refresh rate
- Designed for gaming
- Poor speakers
5. Samsung Odyssey G7
Screen Type: Single | Size: 32” | Resolution: 2560×1440 | Refresh Rate: 240 Hz | Aspect Ratio: 16:9
The non-ultrawide single screen Samsung Odyssey G7 isn’t quite as impressive visually as the G9 (see the last one on our list), which is understandable as it’s only a single monitor. However, it still offers a brilliant 240 Hz refresh rate in addition to a high 1440p screen resolution. It is, at around $580, a more expensive option, although you will be getting a lot for your money.
At 32 inches, it’s too large to use in a fully functioning three-monitor setup as it would likely require too much power from your PC and graphics card. For single use it is a great gaming monitor, with rich and realistic colors on display, as well as dark blacks and bright whites. The refresh rate will ensure you race without blur or colors bleeding into one another.
Despite it only being truly viable to most as a single monitor, the G7 will still offer smooth gameplay with a brilliant 2K quality resolution. Although not as immersive as its ultrawide cousin the G9, it is a fraction of the price and will be a great investment for those who don’t feel they need an ultrawide or triple-monitor setup.
- Great resolution
- Good color grading
- High refresh rate
- Requires a good PC
- Narrow viewing angles
- Fairly expensive for a single monitor setup
6. LG 27QN600-B
Screen Type: Single | Size: 27” | Resolution: 2560×1440 | Refresh Rate: 75 Hz | Aspect Ratio: 16:9
For around $250, this monitor is one of the most affordable 1440p choices on the market. It’s rare for a 27” monitor with such a high screen resolution to be priced within this range, which makes it a deal worth looking further into. Another positive is the IPS technology within the monitor giving it a wide 178° viewing angle.
The screen’s bezels are narrow, which lends itself to a triple-monitor setup. The refresh rate is only 75 Hz however, which is slightly low, especially when playing fast moving sim racing titles. Depending on your requirements, you may have to make a compromise between having a screen resolution as good as this monitor has or trading it in for a 1080p monitor with a 144 Hz refresh rate.
Size wise, this monitor is right in the sweet spot for a triple-monitor setup, and you won’t feel like you’ve got too much going on in front of you. You also won’t be able to see any flickering due to the monitor’s IPS feature, although you may be able to see a slight glow around the screen edges, which is one drawback of IPS panels.
- Good screen resolution
- No flickering
- Low refresh rate
- Susceptible to IPS glow around screen edges when the screen is dark
7. Asus ROG Strix XG43VQ
Screen Type: Ultrawide | Size: 43” | Resolution: 3840×1200 | Refresh Rate: 120 Hz | Aspect Ratio: 32:9
This monitor from Asus will set you back around $1000, but in return will offer you great results straight out of the box. It has a high resolution, and although it’s not at the 4K mark, you’ll still get crisp, clear images displayed on the screen. The refresh rate is great, so when paired with a good PC and GPU, you’ll experience smooth gameplay.
The design of the monitor means it’s almost borderless, so you’ll get maximum screen for the overall width of the monitor. At 43 inches, the monitor lives up to its ultrawide tag, so you’ll experience great peripheral vision as well as being able to take in the magnitude of your surroundings.
It mounts well onto a desk or table and includes height adjustments to help you get the best field of view for your seating height. There are also mounting capabilities to the side of the monitor, which is perfect when mounting to a sim rig. The curvature of the monitor is good, but not severe, and if you’re seated at the right distance from the screen, you won’t have to stretch your neck at all.
- Good refresh rate
- Thin borders
- Good mounting adjustment
- Not the most obvious curve
8. LG Ultragear 27GL83A-B
Screen Type: Single | Size: 27” | Resolution: 2560×1440 | Refresh Rate: 144 Hz | Aspect Ratio: 16:9
If you’re looking for a triple-monitor setup, then this monitor will tick all the boxes. Available for $475 per monitor, it’s not cheap, but it will offer great reliability as well as a strong 1440p resolution. It also has a high 144 Hz refresh rate to keep gameplay smooth and jitter-free. At 27”, it fits in with the recommended screen size for a triple-monitor setup.
This will prevent the setup from being overwhelming to look at, providing you with comfortable, immersive viewing. The Ultragear also has very thin bezels, so you won’t have much blacked-out space in between the screens hindering the realism. The response time of the monitor is excellent, which will result in little to no blur during high-speed races.
The monitor has an IPS panel, meaning your vision of the screen won’t be impaired when looking at it from a wider angle. This is perfect for triple-monitor setups, as your peripheral vision won’t be hampered by the angle on which the screen is mounted.
One drawback with this monitor comes in the mounting, as there is no swivel option on the monitor’s stand. This won’t be too big an issue when the three monitors are aligned, although it will mean there will be limited moveability once everything is mounted.
- High refresh rates
- IPS panel helps when viewing at an angle
- Thin screen borders
- Not cheap when buying 3
- No swivel when mounting
9. Acer Predator CQ437K
Screen Type: Single | Size: 43” | Resolution: 3840×2160 | Refresh Rate: 144 Hz | Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Although wider than some ultrawide monitors, the 43 inch Acer Predator still falls within the single monitor category due to its 16:9 aspect ratio. Its 4K resolution means the picture quality will be breathtaking, partly due to the fact the screen is so large. It will cost you over $1500, as well as requiring a super high-end PC in order to experience its full potential.
While it may be out of reach for many sim racers, it offers a great example of what single monitors can achieve, as it offers users an incredible amount of immersion when speeding around the track.
It has a high refresh rate, although not quite at the magic 240 Hz mark. Its built-in speakers are very effective and provide sound to match the picture quality. Due to its size, it will be more difficult to mount to the end of a sim racing rig, and users will need to be sat a little further back than usual to avoid any eye strain. However, it can be mounted to a wall should you wish to do so.
- Incredible resolution
- Good refresh rate
- Quality speakers
- Difficult to mount to a sim racing rig
10. Samsung Odyssey Neo G9
Screen Type: Ultrawide | Size: 49” | Resolution: 5120×1440 | Refresh Rate: 240 Hz | Aspect Ratio: 32:9
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 and sim racing complement each other perfectly, with the screen’s extraordinary size allowing for extended peripheral vision, in addition to its (almost) 4K resolution which will make you feel as though you are inside the car. It does come at a price of around $1750, but it offers the power of two screens in one, without any borders.
At first, the curvature of the screen seems intense, but it’s something you’ll become very grateful for when you’re driving, as you won’t have to strain your neck to see what’s going on either side of you. You also won’t have to strain your eyes to see the screen in a bright room, as the monitor’s peak brightness levels are high, stopping any visual impairments at the source.
From a technological standpoint, there are few competitors to rival the Neo G9, as it has one of the highest refresh rates available at 240 Hz, so you’ll need a PC and graphics card capable of producing 120 fps at 4K to get the very best out of it. There is also an adequate amount of connectivity ports, including two HDMI ports, a headphone jack and a display port.
The monitor comes with a table mount, which supports the screen well, with further mounting adapters provided in the box. As it is so wide, you’ll need to make sure it is balanced when mounted, so adding extra support to the sides of the monitor is recommended. Overall, you’ll find it hard to top this monitor’s performance, but it really is just for those that only want the best.
- Ultrawide screen
- Almost 4K resolution
- Great refresh rate
- Extremely expensive
- Requires a high-end PC for best results
There is an abundance of options when it comes to monitors for sim racing, from ultrawide screens, to triple-monitor setups and standard single monitors. Although being spoilt for choice may make the search a little bit more difficult, there are options for all budgets and levels of experience, meaning you will be able to find the monitor that is perfect for you.
The absolute best option is the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9, with its incredible feature set. However, this is out of reach for most, and so something like the Asus ROG Strix XG43VQ is more budget-friendly if you want an ultrawide, or the LG 27QN600-B if you want a more affordable triple-screen setup that will still look great and perform brilliantly.