With new brands, features, and capabilities, curved gaming monitor options continue to expand. It’s an exciting time to be a PC gamer, but choosing an affordable curved gaming monitor for your setup is becoming more difficult by the day. With that said, what is the best budget curved gaming monitor available right now?
The AOC C27G1 is designed to be the best budget to midrange curved monitor sitting around the $280 to $320 range; AOC has made excellent budget monitors for a long time and is well known. The C27G1 is a brilliant option if you’re searching for a cheap 1080p, 144Hz curved gaming monitor.
AOC monitors always met expectations when it comes to the gameplay experience, product durability, and quality. It’s not surprising that you would find AOC on many top 10 lists in the budget-friendly gaming monitor categories. With that said, what about the AOC C27G1 makes it the best? Let’s take a closer look:
AOC C32G2 Curved Gaming Monitor: Design And Features
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The monitor has a clear ” gamer ” look with jagged edges on the stand and red highlights on the front and back of the display panel. It doesn’t have any LEDs or other flashy features, so it’s more of a “gaming monitor” than an “alien spaceship.” The display is height-adjustable and can tilt up to 4 degrees forward and 21.5 degrees backward.
It can also swivel up to 34 degrees in any direction. It also boasts a “frameless” design, meaning the bezels are integrated into the screen rather than thick plastic borders.
With one DisplayPort 1.2 connector for your PC, two HDMI 1.4 connections (for gaming consoles or other devices), and a VGA port for older devices, the C27G1 boasts a respectable IO setup. If you want to transfer audio through your graphics card’s HDMI port to speakers or headphones, it also features a 3.5mm audio out connector.
The curved VA panel has a 1920×1080 resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate, and AMD’s FreeSync technology to prevent screen tearing. With a screen size of 27 inches, you won’t get super-sharp pixel density, which is noticeable in desktop work but not in gaming.
The brightness, at just 250cd/m2, is also a touch low. But, for less than $300, it’s challenging to grumble too much, especially when you consider the other features. I’m ready to overlook a lesser resolution in exchange for 144Hz FreeSync on display built for gaming rather than productivity.
The on-screen display has a lot of options, but they’re all controlled via a standard row of buttons at the bottom, which makes it sluggish and inconvenient to use. However, if you’ve tuned in all of your options, you shouldn’t have to go back to the menu very frequently.
AOC C27G1 Curved Gaming Monitor: Testing
I put the C27G1 through its paces using Lagom’s LCD patterns, and despite its low price, the black and white levels were excellent, with no banding in grey-to-white gradients. Colors appeared to be pretty correct in my test clips, so you shouldn’t have to do much editing to get a nice image.
Gamma was a little low with a value of 2.1 (the target is 2.2), but colors were entirely accurate in my test clips, so you shouldn’t have to do much tweaking to get a good image. Response time was the primary area of contention, which AOC estimates to be 4ms for grey-to-grey transitions, which is average for a VA panel.
In Lagom’s test patterns, I saw a lot of flickering, consistent with other VA panels I’ve tried. (The 1ms reaction time on the box refers to Moving Picture Response Time, rather than the grey-to-grey figure most displays claim.)
In practice, though, you may utilize an Overdrive setting to lessen the ghosting produced by the poor response time (more on that in a bit). I observed some small backlight leakage around the borders of the monitor, which is characteristic of VA and IPS panels, but it’s not the worst I’ve seen.
You shouldn’t notice it until the screen is completely dark, and I didn’t find it a bother in gaming or movies. The viewing angles were decent but not exceptional, which is to be expected—still, it’s better than a TN display.
AOC C27G1 Curved Gaming Monitor: Gaming
To put it gently, my first gaming experience with the C27G1 was disappointing. At factory settings, this monitor has a lot of ghosting, and even in a slower-paced game like Assasin’s Creed Valhalla, little motions convert the entire screen into a fuzzy mess.
Thankfully, AOC’s Overdrive function (which is off by default) made a significant difference: I recommend switching it to “Medium” or “Strong.” Strong generates less blur overall, although it does so at the expense of artifacts that may offend certain users. To discover which you prefer, try both.
This monitor also has a Motion Blur Reduction (MBR) function. However, it only works if you switch off FreeSync and play your games at a very high framerate. Overdrive was sufficient in reducing motion blur for me.
Gaming became a lot more enjoyable when I had Overdrive in the perfect setting. While the motion was not perfect, it was far better than most displays, and the VA panel’s color accuracy and 3000:1 contrast ratio provided a great-looking image with darker blacks than other displays.
I didn’t find the lesser 1080p resolution detrimental to the gaming experience since it produced a sufficiently sharp image, and FreeSync, due to my RTX 2060 GPU, I avoided any horrible screen tearing. (Note: To use the full range of FreeSync on this monitor, you’ll need to utilize DisplayPort rather than HDMI.)
In a display this size, the 1800R curve is minor, so I can’t claim it boosted immersion, but it also didn’t have any significant adverse effects. Overall, this display ticks all of the essential boxes and performs well for the money.
The AOC C27G1 isn’t going to blow your mind. Still, it does have superb gaming capabilities, and the extra flexibility of the stand puts it ahead of other similarly specified monitors in this price bracket, making it the best option so far.
It is the best economical option for product quality and dependability if you want a 1080p curved gaming monitor in 2021.