I'm enduring the pain of this knowledge as a Black Friday service to you.

The 1440p gaming monitor I bought for $500 a couple years ago is now $280

(Image credit: Acer)

I had no idea what a good purchase I was making when I bought a GeForce RTX 2070 Super from Newegg in early 2020. The card isn’t anything special, but months later it was impossible to get any new GPU for a reasonable price. It’s nice to see a good purchase choice from past me, because online shopping’s interminable record keeping can also cause pain—I’m looking at you, monitor I’m currently using, and not just because I’m looking at the words I’m typing.

Along with the 2070 Super, I bought a new 27-inch Acer Predator XB271HU monitor in early 2020. I clearly didn’t wait for a sale, or even a small discount, because I spent $495.37 on it, even though the model was already a few years old at that point. The exact same display is currently $279.99 on Amazon (opens in new tab). That’s not quite half what I paid, but it’s close enough to hurt.

It’s a good monitor, though! The 1440p resolution is still the sweet spot for gaming, and while 144Hz is starting to feel like a small number next to the 280-360Hz displays out there, it’s plenty fast. OLED monitors are finally becoming a thing, so this display’s IPS panel can’t be called cutting edge, but if you’ve still got a washed out old TN panel it’ll feel like a sheet of frosted glass has been removed from your games.

    To add insult to injury, today’s $279.99 price isn’t even some Black Friday doorbuster deal. It’s been that price since mid-October. That said, Amazon did briefly try to sell the XB271HU for $529 back in August, which is more than I paid in 2020. That’s why we suggest using a site like CamelCamelCamel (opens in new tab) to look at price histories—they’ll try to get ya sometimes.

    If you want to spend a little more, you could get a big 32-inch LG display on sale for $396.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab) right now. It’s got a faster refresh rate, too, at 180Hz. I like 27-inches for a gaming monitor, though, because I play competitive shooters where it helps to be able to keep the whole image near the center of your vision. Some serious FPS players use 24-inch displays for that reason.

    There are other decent Black Friday monitor deals out there, but I wouldn’t say any are way better. If I were going to buy a new 1440p monitor today, it’d probably be the Dell S2721DGF, which was a good deal last year at $330, and is much cheaper this year. We haven’t reviewed it ourselves, but RTings says (opens in new tab) it has “a remarkable response time at the max refresh rate, resulting in clear motion with almost no noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects.”

    There are some other options under $300. The Samsung Odyssey G5 Series is similar to my monitor, but curved and a little cheaper at $248.43 from Best Buy (opens in new tab). It’s got a VA panel instead of an IPS panel, though, which will provide better contrast but a slightly worse picture overall. Still, not a bad choice. Much better, in my opinion, than buying any cheap 1080p display. Save for a 1440p screen, if you can. It’s like updating your glasses prescription at this point.

    Now that I really consider it, the $215.38 difference between what I paid for my Acer Predator XB271HU and its price today isn’t all that painful given how well it’s performed for me over the past few years. I still recommend it today, especially given the price drop. Just get some black electrical tape to cover up the subtle but mildly embarrassing “Predator” logo on the front.

    Tyler Wilde

    Executive Editor

    Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call “boomer shooters” now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he’s focused on the site’s news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.

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