Looking to pair your PS5, Xbox Series X or Series S or even Switch with the ideal console gaming monitor? We have you covered in this handy guide
If you have or are planning to buy a new Xbox Series X or Series S console or a PS5, you may also be considering hooking them up to a monitor. After all, most of us have a PC of some sort, laptop or desktop, and those naturally work great with monitors. Why not make the most of a purchase and have multiple devices hooked up to one display? That’s good logic. We’re here to help, and the bottom line is that gaming monitors nominally designed for PC have a lot to offer console gamers. And that applies to PS5, Xbox, and Switch. But each console has slightly different monitors we’d recommend, and much of the decision depends on the kinds of games you play. Let’s begin.
First off, it needs to be said that monitors have distinct advantages over TVs. Since you sit close to them, you get more “bang for pixel” so to speak. Even an 8K TV looks like regular HD from common living room viewing distances, but a PC gaming monitor? By and large everyone sits just a few feet away from those, meaning every pixel counts – and is accounted for. Further, monitors come in much more affordable prices. If you don’t need a massive screen, then monitors simply deliver better value for money. By the same token, monitors don’t take up a lot of space, so depending on your circumstances, that could be a major consideration.
Finally, gaming monitors in many cases act as pioneers of new technology later picked up by televisions. For a fraction of the cost of a good 4K TV you get a monitor with 144Hz refresh (TVs just recently arrived at 120Hz), FreeSync, HDR, and powerful audio. Monitors also don’t have all the complicated electronics and post processing of TVs, meaning very low latency. Your typical gaming monitor has 1ms response (grey to grey and/or moving picture response time, GtG or MPRT), while very few TVs come even close to that. Most TVs are happy to deliver 8ms with game mode engaged. Monitors don’t need game mode.
Remember HDR, audio, and connectivity. No matter what monitor you go with, make sure official HDR support and performance are included. That’s because all consoles now have games running with HDR, so might as well enjoy them fully.
Good audio is up next, and all BenQ gaming monitors offer superb sound. Look for 2.1-channel audio whenever possible, meaning two speakers and a subwoofer for deep and resonant sound. Whatever brand of monitor you choose, don’t take audio for granted because modern consoles depend on HDMI to output sound.
And that brings us to connectivity. Ideal monitors have two HDMI, one DisplayPort, and one USB-C. The more the merrier, but with that layout you can have two consoles and two PCs (desktop and laptop, for example) all connected to the same monitor.
Whether you prefer competitive multiplayer or single player makes a huge difference. The former needs high frame rate while the latter tends to favor resolution. In other words, if you gravitate towards reflex-based first/third person shooters and arcade racers, you’re best off with a 144Hz panel. But if your cup of tea are open world titles and graphics-intense exploration games, then a gorgeous 60Hz 4K console gaming monitor would be more appropriate. Think of it as a performance or fidelity balance, which is how many games refer to this equation in their graphics settings. Performance has come to mean lower resolution with higher frame rate, fidelity the opposite.
Now on to pairing specific consoles with optimal monitors.
Compact and streamlined, the Series S was made for 1080p or 1440p resolutions, not 4K. That’s fine, because at up to 1440p the Series S can handle refresh as fast as 120Hz. High speed full HD console gaming monitors like the MOBIUZ EX2510 and EX2710 offer 144Hz with HDR, FreeSync, and treVolo audio to make the most of the Series S. Interestingly, the EX3203R may work well for fans of curved displays, since it’s native 1440p, which is fully supported by the Series S. We’d recommend against connecting a Series S to a 60Hz monitor as the console is supposed to be all about lower resolutions and higher frame rates, so 60fps would soon prove to be a limiter.
The one caveat is that the Series S can upscale to 4K, so if you want to connect the console to a 4K monitor, that’s definitely possible. It won’t be as good as native 4K, but not bad. The Series S supports variable refresh rate, as in FreeSync, which most gaming monitors nowadays also support.
Here we have a more interesting situation. Three times more powerful than the Series S, the Series X generally aims for 60Hz in native 4K. But it’s definitely capable of 120Hz in lower resolutions, such as 1080p. It also supports 1440p and FreeSync, so you have a lot of options with this one. Again, if you prefer console gaming monitor with native 4K and are fine with 60Hz, then the EW3280U takes the proverbial cake. This is a lovely 32” IPS panel with great HDR and strong audio, plus FreeSync. The monitor has everything you need for 4K gaming, basically.
But if you prefer high speed in 1440p, then the EX2780Q is your best bet, going up to 144Hz, which is more than the Series X is expected to achieve in its lifespan in terms of refresh rate. Other high speed console gaming monitor options include the MOBIUZ EX2510 and EX2710, also rated for up to 144Hz. All three models offer HDR, FreeSync, and treVolo sound. Again, if you crave the curve, then the EX3203R is for you, because the Series X offers native 2560 x 1440 support.
Bit of a simpler situation than with the Xbox consoles due to less supported variables. As of this writing, PS5 doesn’t offer FreeSync, and most importantly has yet to implement 1440p (QHD) as an official, selectable resolution. That leaves full HD 1080p and 4K as the two resolutions of PS5. However, as far as gaming goes, the situation is very similar to Xbox Series X, because the PS5 is roughly the same as compute power goes.
Most titles are roughly 4K 60Hz, with some offering a lower resolution 120Hz mode. So, you can choose high refresh console gaming monitors like the MOBIUZ EX2510/EX2710 and have fun with high frame rate titles, or go with the EW3280U for the full 4K 60Hz experience. Once more, that depends on your preferred play style and genre.
Somewhat of an outlier here but worth a mention, especially as a second console to accompany an Xbox or PlayStation. The humble Switch is all about 720p and 1080p in docked mode to the monitor via HDMI, so you don’t need a mighty monitor. However, good HDR and 10-bit color are a must because Nintendo games do color so well and deserve good presentation. The MOBIUZ EX2510 and EX2710 will do great for the Switch.
We know there’s demand for connecting ultrawide screens with PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. However, as of spring 2021, none of the newer consoles have native support for ultrawide 21:9 and 32:9 resolutions. Having said that, if you connect a PS5 or Xbox Series X/S to a monitor like our own MOBIUZ EX3415R via HDMI, all three consoles will display an image that fills the screen without any issue, and in the case of PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, you will be able to take advantage of 120Hz gaming. For the most part, you can expect the monitor to take the highest-resolution output available and stretch or scale it accordingly to fill the entire scree. While this obviously distorts the image on the horizontal axis, you might find this to be a small cost to pay for a more immersive gaming experience. If you are interested in seeing how the PS5 performs on our MOBIUZ EX3415R, you can check our tests in this other article.
Based on our own experience so far with the new generation of consoles, some of the biggest games work best in lower resolution/high refresh. Therefore, going with a 1080p or 1440p console gaming monitor may not be as outdated as you may initially think in the supposed age of 4K. Having said that, the higher resolution has indisputable advantages with regards to detail and image quality.
And whatever you do, please avoid ultra-wide monitors or any monitor not 16:9 in aspect ratio. None of the consoles support anything but 16:9 resolutions right now, so you’d be wasting your money.
You can always find us on social media so please feel free to get in touch, and happy gaming!
Based on feedback from competitive gamers and esports pros while leveraging BenQ’s legacy of high performance gaming monitors, we’ve created MOBIUZ. What is MOBIUZ? It’s defying conventional thinking and creating a new generation of gaming monitors that make every pixel count better.
Current MOBIUZ gaming monitors include the EX2710 and EX2510, or 27” and 25” respectively, as you probably guessed. We’re talking 144Hz with 1ms MPRT and FreeSync Premium for super responsive gameplay and sharp visuals on IPS panels that let colors come to life from wide viewing angles. Get close to the action and see every detail, helped along by real HDR. For gaming audio, MOBIUZ delivers the power of treVolo sound, with dual 2.5W speakers.
MOBIUZ monitors meet the demands of gamers that want fast and accurate response with a high degree of visual fidelity. Check out the MOBIUZ lineup.
Thanks for your feedback!