If you are looking to get into sim racing, you might think that choosing the right wheel and pedal setup is the most important part. However, the screen or monitor is what can really make or break it when it comes to immersion, and so you might want to consider going for an ultrawide monitor.
The 5 best ultrawide monitors for sim racing are:
- Samsung QLED Curved 49”
- ASUS ROG Strix Curved 43.4″
- Samsung Ultra WQHD 34.1”
- LG UltraGear 34”
- MSI Optix Curved 31.5”
Even if you are a more experienced sim racer, the monitor you use is still important. There are lots of options to choose from, so you will need to know what to look for in a good ultrawide monitor. But first, what are the benefits of using an ultrawide monitor for sim racing?
Why Choose An Ultrawide Monitor For Sim Racing?
Larger Field Of View
Perhaps the most important aspect of an ultrawide monitor that sets it apart from a regular one is the field of view (FOV) that it offers to users. In sim racing, FOV is a vital component not just in terms of the realism of the gaming experience, but also just for the general enjoyment factor. A larger FOV can make racing easier, and thus it can make the game more fun.
The field of view plays a big part in realism, as you will experience more immersion even if you are playing on a gamepad. You will have wider peripheral vision, which can help for being able to judge where cars are around you, and overall can improve your spatial awareness. This in turn will make it easier to improve your driving, which makes the game more playable.
Not only does an ultrawide monitor improve your racing experience in terms of realism, they can look excellent too. If the aesthetic of your sim racing setup is important to you, an ultrawide monitor is a clean and practical way to improve it. There are a lot of shapes and sizes to choose from, and so you will be able to pick one that fits in perfectly with your rig.
In terms of fitting in with your existing setup, an ultrawide monitor is also a compact way to enhance the realism of your sim racing experience. Ultrawide monitors are often pitted against a triple-monitor setup for comparison, and in this case the ultrawide options tend to take up less space than three. This makes them ideal if space is an issue for your setup.
Not only are ultrawide monitors often more compact than a triple monitor setup, they are usually compatible with more games and systems as well. Running three separate screens can put a strain on your hardware, and so if you don’t have the best graphics card, an ultrawide monitor may be a better option for you. In terms of processing power, ultrawide monitors are usually not overly straining.
The Price Isn’t That Important
Although we feel that price should never be the deciding factor when choosing sim racing equipment, it is still worth considering should you need to pick between a few similar options. Generally speaking, an ultrawide monitor can cost several hundred dollars, but the prices vary depending on the quality as well as other specific factors.
You might be able to grab three monitors for the same price or less, but then you also have to consider a stand as well. So, in terms of price, it is definitely best to only use it as a tie breaker between specific models, as there is too much variance to simply pit it against a triple-monitor setup.
Ultrawide vs Triple Monitor
If you want to know more about the differences between an ultrawide monitor and a triple monitor setup, you can check out our article about that here. We go into much more detail about the advantages of each, but for the purposes of this article we have only touched on these, and will instead focus on specific models of ultrawide monitors.
More Than Just A Gaming Monitor
Finally, although ultrawide monitors are great additions to any sim racing setup, they also present advantages outside of gaming. They are great for productivity, and you can fit multiple tasks on screen at once. This makes it a multifunctional tool, which unlike most of your other sim racing equipment, can be very useful outside of your gaming experience.
If you are looking for the most realistic sim racing experience, an ultrawide monitor is one of the best things you can add to your setup. When paired with a good wheel and pedal rig, an ultrawide monitor can increase your immersion and enjoyment when racing. So, what should you look for when choosing an ultrawide monitor?
What To Look For When Comparing Ultrawide Monitors
The first thing you will most likely have to consider when buying an ultrawide monitor is the size of the screen. This is where the action happens and is what makes these monitors ultrawide. They range from 27” to upwards of 49”, and you will need to pick a size that not only suits what you want to gain from it, but also one that actually fits where you want to put it.
The screen size will be a good measure of your potential when it comes to field of view. Obviously, a larger screen will give you more control over your effective FOV, and when you sit close to an ultrawide monitor and tune your FOV in-game to the right level, you can experience some of the most immersive sim racing possible. However, bigger isn’t always better.
No matter how big the screen is, you need to also consider its resolution. This is basically a measure of the quality of the picture that you will see on the screen. Higher resolution is better, but this is also related to compatibility which we will look at in a moment. There is no point having a 49” screen if the resolution is much lower than that of a 32” screen for example.
Likewise, the refresh rate of the screen is also relevant. This is a measure of how many times per second the screen updates the picture. This can range from 50 Hz to upwards of 100 Hz, and basically determines how smooth the picture is. The higher the refresh rate the better, as a lower one will make your gameplay seem jumpy, while a higher one will make it smoother.
The final technical aspect to consider is the contrast ratio. This is a measure of the difference between the darkest blacks that the screen can display and the brightest whites it can display. They are typically quoted as a ratio like 1000:1, and essentially allow you to gauge one aspect of how crisp the images will display on the screen. Once again, the higher the better, ideally around 2500:1.
Size & Weight
Moving on to the practicalities of the ultrawide monitor that you choose, it will obviously be worth your time to consider the size and weight of the entire monitor. If it has a large screen size but also weighs 30kg, it will be difficult to find the right place for it. Of course, the dimensions will also be a limiting factor, and so if you are tight for space, a 49” monitor might not be ideal.
Another aspect on the practical side of things involves the compatibility of the monitor. As we have said, they tend to be less power-intensive than triple monitor setups, but you still should make sure that your graphics card can handle it. Some racing sims will also not be compatible with the aspect ratios (the ratio of screen width to height) these kinds of screen can offer, so bear this in mind when choosing one.
Depending on which platform you are playing your sim racing games, you may also have to pay attention to the ports that the monitor has. Most will have an HDMI slot, making them compatible with consoles as well as PCs, but a lot also come with additional USB ports among others, which can be useful for charging devices and even connecting to other screens too.
How it looks is important, but not just aesthetically. There are a lot of curved ultrawide monitors on the market, and not only do they look great, but they also provide extra immersion, as they can extend around your field of view in a similar way to a triple monitor setup. These can be more expensive, but if you want maximum immersion you should consider curved ultrawide monitors.
This brings us onto our final point of consideration, and that is the price. Once again you should be shooting for the best quality screen for your setup and your specific requirements, and you should only consider the price as a way to break a tie between two or more monitors that you are struggling to differentiate otherwise.
Prices can vary quite a lot between ultrawide monitors, but the quality of the experience that can be gained from some of them makes them well worth the investment.
So now that you know why you need an ultrawide monitor and how to choose the right one for you, what are some of the best options on the market?
The 5 Best Ultrawide Monitors For Sim Racing
1. Samsung QLED Curved 49”
Screen Size: 49” | Resolution: 3840 x 1080 | Refresh Rate: 144 Hz | Contrast Ratio: 3000:1| Ports: 2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x Mini DisplayPort, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.0 Upstream, 1 x 3.5 mm jack | Weight: 15 kg
Here we have the largest screen on our list, with the Samsung QLED Curved 49” screen. This is just huge in terms of screen size, which makes for excellent levels of immersion that are only really beaten by large triple monitor setups or even virtual reality. This makes this screen one to consider if you are a more experienced sim racer looking for the ultimate in immersion.
Plenty Of Ports
Another advantage of the Samsung QLED ultrawide monitor is the number of ports on offer. With 2 HDMI ports, a DisplayPort and a Mini DisplayPort you will be able to connect it to almost any device you can think of. There are also several USB ports that you can use to charge other devices while you play, and you can connect your headphones or speakers via the 3.5 mm jack.
Aside from the huge screen, this ultrawide monitor has one of the highest refresh rates on our list, making for some very smooth gameplay. This is essential in sim racing, where you need to be on the top of your game at every moment. Alongside this high refresh rate is the high contrast ratio of 3000:1, making for some crisp graphics and adding to the realism.
Large & Curved
The Samsung QLED screen is also curved, which helps to create even more immersion. If you want to get the biggest field of view possible on a single screen, this is one of the best screens to offer just that. The size of the screen does mean it is a bit on the heavy side, coming in at 15 kg, but that is just to be expected with a 49” screen.
The monitor also comes with several different selectable modes, ranging from eye-saver to FPS mode, which means you can really tune it to your liking for the best racing experience. This option may be at the higher end of the budget range, but it is brilliant for those that want the ultimate wide screen experience for their sim racing rig.
- Massive 49” screen
- High refresh rate and resolution
- High contrast ratio
- A bit on the heavy side
- A little expensive
2. ASUS ROG Strix Curved 43.4”
Screen Size: 43.4” | Resolution: 3840 x 1200 | Refresh Rate: 120 Hz | Contrast Ratio: 3000:1 | Ports: 2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.0 Type B In, 1 x 3.5 mm jack | Weight: 15 kg
Next, we have the ASUS ROG Strix Curved monitor, which is the second largest screen on this list. At 43.4”, this ultrawide monitor will prove to be an upgrade for most sim racers, and if you are looking for lots of immersion and realism then this could be the one for you. The size of the screen is not the only thing this monitor has going for it, as it has plenty of other great features too.
High Resolution & High Refresh Rate
Starting with the resolution, you can enjoy the second highest on this list at 3840 x 1200. This combines with the ultra-high refresh rate of 120 Hz for some of the smoothest gameplay imaginable. Plus, you can also benefit from super crisp colors with its 3000:1 contrast ratio, making for some of the best graphics and visual experiences possible with a single screen.
Not only does the ASUS ROG Strix come with excellent graphical capabilities, it is also curved to give you even more immersion. Curved screens are becoming more popular as the years go on, and it is no wonder as to why. With such a wide screen, the curvature gives the monitor the equivalent viewing space of two 24” monitors lined up next to each other.
There are some other useful features built into the monitor as well, such as the ability to set up specific configurations for each game or application that you use. This means you can change certain aspects of the display, including brightness and contrast, for specific games, and then you can quickly change between these preset modes as and when required.
This ultrawide monitor is definitely geared towards the more experienced sim racer, or those with a large budget that want the best experience possible. When you consider the sheer size of the screen and the high-quality of display, it is well worth the money if you want a lot of realistic immersion.
- Large screen size
- High resolution and refresh rate
- Built-in speakers
- More expensive
3. Samsung Ultra WQHD 34.1”
Screen Size: 34.1” | Resolution: 3440 x 1440 | Refresh Rate: 60 Hz | Contrast Ratio: 3000:1 | Ports: 2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x 3.5 mm jack | Weight: 6.5 kg
Third on our list is another monitor from Samsung, with their Ultra WQHD model that comes in at 34.1”. This is the ideal size for those that want an upgrade from their regular screen, but don’t want to go to the extreme end of the scale quite yet. This makes it a good screen for those just getting into sim racing, or those that just feel like upgrading their current setup.
High-Quality, Low Price
This ultrawide monitor is geared towards those not looking to spend too much while, also benefitting from an ultrawide screen. It offers a high resolution of 3440 x 1440, but a relatively low refresh rate of 60 Hz. However, this is definitely still more than adequate for sim racing.
Where the Samsung WQH monitor loses out it more than makes up for with its contrast ratio, coming in at the high level of 3000:1. This means you will be able to get the crispest of colors, and it will make racing venues come to life. It also has FreeSync technology built-in, which means your frame rate will match the refresh rate to keep everything looking smooth.
Small But Mighty
Although it is one of the smaller screens on our list, the Samsung WQHD is definitely worth looking at if you are just starting out with sim racing. Its relatively small size means it is also very light, coming in at just 6.5 kg. This makes it ideal for temporary sim racing setups, and for those who want to be able to move the monitor around occasionally.
- FreeSync technology built-in
- High contrast ratio
- Very light
- Low refresh rate
4. LG UltraGear 34”
Screen Size: 34” | Resolution: 2560 x 1080 | Refresh Rate: 144 Hz | Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 | Ports: 2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x 3.5 mm jack | Weight: 11 kg
Next we have the LG UltraGear, which is a 34” ultrawide monitor specifically designed for gamers. This screen is wide enough for most people to gain a significant advantage when it comes to field of view. Position your seat in the right place and set your game up with the right settings, and you can get a highly realistic FOV in seconds.
The LG UltraGear has a high-resolution of 2560 x 1080, and is full HD so provides excellent graphical capabilities. This is good for sim racers that want their racing to feel that bit more realistic and just look better. Although the monitor itself doesn’t have built-in speakers, you will be able to use it with your favorite sound system by connecting to it via the 3.5 mm jack.
The LG UltraGear is even wall mountable, which means you can place the monitor up on the wall and remove the need to clear a space on your desk. The monitor is not too bulky anyway, and despite its ultrawide screen it weighs around 11 kg. This means it doesn’t need too much in the way of a special setup and isn’t too bulky to move somewhere else if need be.
The screen is curved, which can help to provide even more immersion as it wraps around your field of view. Its high resolution pairs with a high refresh rate of 144 Hz to provide a seamless racing experience. It also has built-in FreeSync technology, certified by Nvidia, which automatically matches your graphics card’s frame rate with the monitor refresh rate if you have an Nvidia graphics card.
You can get your hands on this screen for a price which is definitely worth it for the quality of the display.
- Curved for extra immersion
- High resolution and refresh rate
- Free Sync technology
- Relatively low native contrast ratio
5. MSI Optix Curved 31.5”
Screen Size: 31.5” | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Refresh Rate: 165 Hz | Contrast Ratio: 3000:1 | Ports: 2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x DVI, 1 x Kensington Lock, 1 x 3.5 mm jack | Weight: 6.63 kg
Finally, we have the smallest ultrawide monitor on our list, with the 31.5” MSI Optix Curved monitor. This one is definitely aimed at the less experienced sim racer, or those on a budget that would still like to upgrade their current setup. 31.5” may be smaller than the others on this list, but it still provides a reasonably high level of immersion with a wide field of view.
Smaller Screen, Higher Refresh Rate
The small size of this monitor is soon forgotten when you look at the resolution and the refresh rate. With a 1920 x 1080 screen, and the highest refresh rate on our list of 165 Hz, the MSI Optix provides some of the smoothest gameplay around. This is great for sim racing, and all of the cars and tracks will be crisp and clear, with no need to worry about jumpy gameplay.
This monitor also has a high contrast ratio of 3000:1, which helps to make colors more vivid as well. It also has AMD FreeSync technology built-in, which will sync the monitor’s refresh rate with any AMD graphics card that you use. The curved screen is also borderless, so you will have no distracting bezels at the sides to get in the way of your racing.
Overall, the MSI Optix ultrawide monitor is smaller than the rest of the options on this list, but this also makes it compact and light at just 6.63 kg. Ideal for more space-conscious sim racers, as well as those with a temporary racing rig that need put away when not in use. It is also the on the affordable end of the price range, ideal for those on a budget.
- Quite cheap
- Small and light
- High refresh rate
- Smaller screen size
- No USB ports
If you are looking for a new monitor for your sim racing setup, you might be looking to try out an ultrawide monitor. There are lots to check out, and some are even curved for extra immersion. However, there are other factors to consider when buying one that can really make or break your ism acing experience.
Each of the monitors on this list will fit the bill of an ultrawide monitor, but there might only be one that is suited to your particular level of experience and setup. Our best option for those on a budget would be the MSI Optix 31.5” monitor, while for those that want the best visual experience and the highest level of immersion, the Samsung QLED Curved 49″ is the one to go for.