The number of news stories about gaming displays that we post has increased significantly in the past couple of years. Established suppliers have broadened their lineups of gaming LCDs, and meanwhile new players have decided to join the party. Apparently, our coverage has been reflecting market sales trends, as sales of such monitors have been increasing at a rapid pace. According to WitsView, shipments of displays with a 100 Hz refresh rate or higher (i.e., gaming LCDs) will exceed five million units in 2018. Moreover, over half of them will be curved monitors.

Curved Gaming LCDs Leave Flat Displays Behind

Global sales of gaming displays with high refresh rates are expected to reach 5.1 million units in 2018, an annual growth of 100%, reports WitsView, a division of TrendForce. This is still a small fraction of the 126 million total LCDs projected to be sold in 2018 (up 1.5% year-over-year), according to the company. The researchers attribute the growing demand for displays with high refresh rates to recommendations from game developers, with groups such as the PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds devs recommended 144 Hz+ displays. Meanwhile, it is evident that as the number of available models on the market is increasing, their prices are getting lower and gamers are more inclined to buy them.

One interesting point about gaming displays in general is that 54% of gaming LCDs sold this year will be curved monitors, leaving only 46% of them to be flat. Last year 77% of gaming displays were flat and only 23% were curved, according to WitsView. Shipments of around 2.75 million units is a big win for curved LCDs at large. In fact, keeping in mind that there are even more numerous curved models with refresh rates below 100 Hz, it is safe to say that sales of such displays in general will clearly surpass 5 million units, up from around a million in 2015. Since price difference between curved and flat monitors is diminishing, curved displays are no longer penalized with a price premium.

ASUS Leading the Pack

When it comes to suppliers of gaming displays, ASUS has been leading the pack for quite a while now, and this year was no exception. Acer maintained its second spot in 2018. By contrast, BenQ left the Top 4 and the third place now belongs to TPV, which sells products under AOC and Philips brands and is particularly successful in the Chinese, European, and APAC markets. Samsung moved up to fourth place (from the No. 5 spot) after expanding its gaming lineup with numerous new models in 2017 – 2018 timeframe, including the world’s first FreeSync 2-supporting monitors and numerous curved models of various sizes. It is noteworthy that 95% of Samsung’s gaming displays are curved.

Top Suppliers of Gaming LCDs in 2017 - 2018
Data by WitsView, December 2018
Ranking 2017 2018
2 Acer Acer
3 BenQ AOC/Philips
4 AOC/Philips Samsung
Shipments 2.5 million 5.1 million

Other vendors with impressive sales growth in 2018 noted by WitsView are MSI, HKC, and SDC. The latter two are particularly successful in China, whereas MSI is promoting its Optix gaming displays globally. Meanwhile, general LCD market leaders like Dell, HP, Lenovo, and LG are not exactly among the frontrunners on the market of gaming monitors.

Top LCD Suppliers: 2017 - 2018
Data by WitsView, October 2018
2017 2018
Ranking Brand Market Share Ranking Brand Market Share
1 Dell 18.5% 1 Dell 19.6%
2 AOC/Philips 13.5% 2 HP 13.8%
3 HP 12.7% 3 AOC/Philips 13.1%
4 Lenovo 9.8% 4 Lenovo 9.6%
5 Samsung 9.6% 5 LG 8.7%
6 LG 9.3% 6 Samsung 7.6%
7 Acer 6.0% 7 Acer 6.8%
Others - 20.5% Others - 20.8%
Shipments - 123.7 million Shipments - 125.6 million

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Source: WitsView/TrendForce

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  • StevoLincolnite - Sunday, December 9, 2018 - link

    My current display is 32", IPS, 1440P and wasn't pricey though.
  • Spunjji - Monday, December 10, 2018 - link

    Right, but it's not high refresh rate. My comment still stands.
  • Jad77 - Sunday, December 9, 2018 - link

    LG 32GK650 or 32GK850, either in Freesync or G-sync, the latter is (low grade) HDR.
  • gglaw - Sunday, December 9, 2018 - link

    No TN, No VA, largest common desktop size, fast refresh. Lol you want every premium feature for a low price. Easier to just state what you want since you basically don't want anything that coincides with low prices. You want an expensive panel type which has no mass market 144hz options for budget conscious monitors - that alone already rules out any good prices. Kinda like saying I want a cheap laptop but my only requirement is it has to be a brand new MBP.
  • Bp_968 - Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - link

    Except thats not really true. I picked up an acer 27" IPS 144hz 1440p monitor last year for under 300$. This BF I saw a 1440p 32" 144hz for slightly more (though its possible that model was a VA). A good VA panel has colors good enough for most editing work. If your doing major color correction as your job you should probably just use a multi monitor setup and use a nice 4k IPS as your work panel and something else as your gaming panel.

    Personally the next monitor I get will probably be an ultrawide. 4K is just to "costly" in framerates. Not that 3440x1440 is really that much "cheaper" but man does it look good.
  • Average Joe - Monday, December 10, 2018 - link

    LG 32GK850G - G for Gynsc there is a Freesync Variant, which is cheaper but AMD doesn't really have a card to drive it.
  • hanselltc - Sunday, December 9, 2018 - link

    I do want a flat 27" 1440p 144hz monitor that doesn't break the bank. Don't really care if it is VA or IPS, but there doesn't seem to be much choices still.
  • Hixbot - Sunday, December 9, 2018 - link

    Yea if you want a VA gaming panel, all you can get are curved. Personally I don't want curved, but it's all you can get. I don't why anyone would want geometric distortion on a display.
  • HollyDOL - Monday, December 10, 2018 - link

    I tried one and went away from that after two days, either there was something broken with the screen I haven't been able to figure out or the geometric distortion was the cause I was getting mild nausea after just half hour playing (about same I get after full length movie in IMAX 3D).

    First sight the deformation isn't really noticeable though, but guess it's enough for brain to expect something else than is being seen.

    Thinking back I should have done some testing (for example try multi-view rendering, if I remember well you can do up to 4 planar views at different angles so instead of bending one big rectangle on curved area there would be 4 of them, reducing the geometric error alot), but I was just way too disappointed at that point to think properly.
  • Flunk - Friday, December 7, 2018 - link

    I can't wait for everything to go back to the level of curve we had with CRTs, that's totally the way forward.

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