Sim racing has exploded in popularity in recent years.
With the advancement of simulation technology, it’s easier than ever to have an immersive and realistic racing experience right from your home setup.
Choosing the right monitor can greatly impact your sim racing enjoyment.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to find the best monitor for your virtual driving needs.
What to Look for in a Sim Racing Monitor
One of the most important specs to consider for a sim racing monitor is the refresh rate.
This determines how many frames per second (FPS) the monitor can display.
A higher refresh rate leads to smoother visuals and less motion blur. Look for a monitor with at least 144Hz refresh rate, with 240Hz being ideal for serious sim racers.
Response time measures how quickly a monitor can shift from one color to another.
Lower response times reduce ghosting and produce clearer images during fast movement. Aim for response times of 1ms or lower when shopping for a sim racing monitor.
Bigger screen sizes increase immersion in your racing simulation. Look for a monitor in the 27-32 inch range to fill your field of vision.
Curved screens can also help enhance the wrap-around feel. Just make sure to get a monitor big enough for your setup space.
Higher resolutions like 2560×1440 or 4K will display more detailed graphics.
This leads to a more realistic and visually stunning sim racing experience.
If your computer can handle it, opt for the highest resolution that fits in your budget.
Most sim racing monitors have a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. An ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio can further expand your peripheral vision for increased immersion.
Just note that some games may not support ultra-wide resolutions.
Having a monitor you can adjust for angle, height, and rotation is helpful to get the ideal view from your driving position.
Ergonomic stands with plenty of flexibility provide the best experience.
Best Monitors for Sim Racing
Here are our top picks for monitors to level up your at-home racing rig:
Best Overall – Samsung Odyssey G7
With its gorgeous 1000R curved VA panel, 165Hz refresh rate, and 1ms response time, the Samsung Odyssey G7 is our top choice for the best overall sim racing monitor.
It provides an incredibly immersive experience and vivid colors that make your games come to life. The 32-inch screen size hits the sweet spot for maximizing field of view without being overwhelming.
Best Budget – Acer Nitro XV272U
The Acer Nitro XV272U packs impressive specs like a 144Hz refresh rate and 1440p resolution into a more affordable 27-inch IPS panel. Responsiveness is top-notch with a 1ms response time. It’s a great option for getting premium gaming performance on a budget.
Best Ultra-Wide – Samsung Odyssey G9
The massive 49-inch curved display on the Samsung Odyssey G9 fully engulfs your peripheral vision for unparalleled immersion. The dual QHD resolution (5120×1440), 240Hz refresh rate, and 1ms response provide buttery smooth visuals. It’s the ultimate ultra-wide for next-level sim racing.
Best 4K – LG 27GN950-B
If you want maximum detail, the 4K resolution and vibrant colors of the LG 27GN950-B are hard to beat. The 27-inch Nano IPS display has a rapid 1ms response time and 144Hz refresh rate. It’s also NVIDIA G-Sync compatible for super smooth gameplay. A great high-end 4K racing monitor.
Best Value – Dell S2721DGF
With premium gaming features at a mid-range price point, the Dell S2721DGF delivers excellent value. You get 165Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and 2560×1440 resolution on a vibrant 27-inch screen. Dell’s 3 year warranty provides peace of mind too.
Tips for Configuring Your Sim Racing Monitor
To get the best experience from your new racing monitor, here are some setup tips:
- Position it correctly – Place the center of the screen at your eye-level and about an arm’s distance away. Angle it to reduce glare and reflections.
- Calibrate the settings – Change the monitor’s settings for optimal picture quality. Enable gaming modes or overdrive to get the fastest response times.
- Tweak the FOV – Adjust the field of view in your racing game’s settings to match your monitor’s dimensions and distance. Wider FOVs increase immersion.
- Reduce distractions – Close other programs and apps when sim racing to maximize framerates and responsiveness. Disable notifications as well.
- Get proper gear – Pair your monitor with a high-quality steering wheel, pedals, cockpit and VR headset for the full experience.
- Set frame caps – Use Vsync or FPS caps to prevent screen tearing and unnecessary frame rates over your monitor’s refresh rate.
Frequently Asked Questions
What size monitor is best for sim racing?
27 to 32 inches is ideal. This provides enough screen real estate for immersion while still being manageable on your desk. Curved monitors in this size range further increase the wraparound effect.
Do I need high resolution for sim racing?
Resolution matters more for display clarity than sim racing performance. That said, higher resolutions like 1440p or 4K will deliver sharper and more detailed visuals that can further enhance realism.
Is 1080p enough for sim racing?
1080p or Full HD resolution is still sufficient for sim racing. However, higher resolutions will look crisper and more life-like. Prioritize refresh rate and response time over resolution.
Is a TV good for sim racing?
TVs are not well-suited for sim racing due to slower response times that cause input lag. Smaller computer monitors with faster refresh rates and response times provide a much better experience.
Is OLED or LCD better for sim racing?
LCD is usually better for sim racing. OLED can suffer from temporary image retention with static content. LCD monitors also tend to have faster response times overall.
Choosing the right display can be the difference between an immersive, smooth sim racing experience and a blurry, disjointed one. When shopping for a new racing monitor, focus on response time, refresh rate, and screen size.
Curve, resolution, and adjustability also play key roles. Any of our top picks will serve you well.
Just be sure to fine-tune your FOV and hardware configuration too. With the right monitor as your racing cockpit centerpiece, you’ll be off to the virtual races in no time.