I only ever use a gaming monitor with Mac, and you should too

Philips Evnia 42 OLED review
(Image credit: Future)

As a Mac user, I've never felt the pull of Apple's Studio Display or had the cash to splash on a Pro Display XDR. In fact, despite the fact it defies convention, I've always opted to use a gaming monitor as the external display for my Mac.

If you're anything like me, a Mac isn't the only piece of technology you own, and anyone serious about gaming will know the draw of a good gaming panel. With higher refresh rates, good resolution, and strong HDR performance, a good gaming monitor can in fact be the perfect partner for a Mac if you know where to look. What's more, with Apple silicon now offering hardware-accelerated ray-tracing and dynamic caching, gaming on a Mac is more serious than ever, so buying a gaming monitor to pair with your Mac is a better idea than it has ever been before.

Apple's Studio and Pro Display XDR monitors are quite niche in their appeal, and while there are some serious monitors for Mac on offer that don't offer good gaming performance, on balance I don't see why you wouldn't opt for a gaming monitor given how much bang for your buck you get on the spec sheet. With the right combination of ports and features, you can find a monitor that can be used seamlessly with your Mac day-to-day but also offers great performance when connected to an Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, or even a gaming PC. 

The best gaming monitor for Mac

My absolute top pick for a gaming monitor that can be used with the Mac is the Philips Evnia OLED Gaming Monitor.

PHILIPS Evnia 42M2N8900-42 Inch 4K Gaming Monitor | $1,391 at Amazon

PHILIPS Evnia 42M2N8900-42 Inch 4K Gaming Monitor | $1,391 at Amazon

With a 4K resolution, 138Hz refresh rate, HDR10, and more, this Evnia gaming monitor is one of the best 4K panels money can buy, which is reflected in the price tag. 

This smashed five stars in our full Philips Evnia 42M2N8900 review thanks to its incredible 4K display, a 138Hz refresh rate, and excellent built quality. While it is very expensive, it has a 1,500,000:1 contrast ratio, HDR 10, and a plethora of ports. That includes USB-C which makes connecting a Mac incredibly easy. With a bit of tweaking you can get an excellent Mac monitor that will also excel when connected to any console or gaming PC. 

As mentioned, the Evnia is pretty expensive retailing at around $1,500, but if the thought of using a gaming monitor for Mac has piqued your interest, there are some rather excellent Black Friday deals going around on some cheaper gaming monitors that will also expand your Mac screen real estate while also serving the purpose of gaming. 

Where to find the best Black Friday Gaming Monitor deals

Given not all Macs have HDMI ports, all of our choices have USB-C ports that are capable of displaying your Mac at a high quality. If your Mac has a HDMI port, these will still work so should function well for any setup. 

Dell S2722DC 27-inch WQHD | $369.99$277.99 at Amazon

Dell S2722DC 27-inch WQHD | $369.99 $277.99 at Amazon

At 25% off, the Dell S2722DC is a brilliant 27-inch 4K USB-C monitor. It does lose out a little in comparison to others in this list due to the 75Hz refresh rate but makes up for it with a very pretty WQHD screen and a super adjustable stand that allows you to pivot it to any angle. 

Price Check: $399.99 at Best Buy | Not available at Target 

Gigabyte M27Q 27-inch 170Hz |$299.99$259.99 at Amazon

Gigabyte M27Q 27-inch 170Hz | $299.99 $259.99 at Amazon

If the last monitor’s refresh rate puts you off then the Gigabyte M27Q’s 170Hz should solve that problem. It comes with a super quick 0.5ms response time which is perfect for gaming, a 2560 x 1440 IPS display, and two USB 3.0 ports means you can charge your phone and mirror your screen at the same time. 

Price Check: $259.99 at B&H Photo | $259.99 at Best Buy

Razer Raptor 27 |$799.99$349.99 at Best Buy

Razer Raptor 27 | $799.99 $349.99 at Best Buy

Gaming paraphernalia have a habit of looking a bit over the top and Razer is one of the worst culprits yet the Razer Raptor looks surprisingly great and well refined. With a QHD 2650 x 1440 27-inch screen, 165 Hz refresh rate, and 1ms response time, it is specifically designed for gaming and shows it. If you find yourself gaming a lot, the low blue light filter should help too. 

Price Check: No longer available at B&H Photo | $468.95 at Amazon

ASUS ROG Strix 34-inch | at Amazon

ASUS ROG Strix 34-inch | $799 $699.99 at Amazon

The most expensive on this list, the Asus ROG Strix 34-inch curved monitor pulls its weight with a UWQDH screen, 180Hz refresh rate, and Extreme Low Motion blur sync. That curved display comes with IPS which makes every inch of that wonderful screen even easier to see. It’s a pretty big cost upfront but well worth it for a truly excellent monitor. 

Price Check: $777.99 at B&H Photo | Not available at Best Buy

Black Friday
Save money with Black Friday sales

Grab bargains on Apple devices this Black Friday

If you're looking for the best Black Friday Apple deals as the annual sales season kicks off, we've got you covered. From now right through to Cyber Monday on November 27, we'll be serving up the best offers on iPhone, MacBook, Apple Watch, iPad, HomeKit smart home devices and more. Save a small fortune by checking back on our daily deals coverage.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9