The optimal PC gaming resolution and refresh rate is a divine meeting between 1440p and 144Hz. Graphics cards keep getting stronger, capable of pushing even higher and faster, but with new tech like ray tracing, sticking with 1440p allows you to crank up the settings and keep that frame rate high. The LG 27GL850 gaming monitor provides those perks so you can enjoy that impressive visual experience while still backing it up with a speedy frame rate that’s both smooth and responsive. It sports a gorgeous image that pops with beautifully vibrant colors, and it’s relatively affordable for a monitor of its class.
Display and performance
Competitive shooters excel on the LG 27GL850’s IPS display thanks to the fluid movements and twitch aiming accuracy that the 144Hz refresh rate provides. Jumping from 60Hz to 144Hz, I noticed a jump in my K/D in Rainbow Six Siege immediately. I was able to catch enemies peeking around corners more effectively, picking them off before they could get an eye on me–and when an enemy would rush the objective, I was able to react more quickly and take action accordingly.
This performance boost extends to PC games locked at 60fps as well. The monitor’s response time is quick, getting as low as 1ms when set to its “Faster” mode. That 1ms response time is nice, though you may notice some very noticeable ghosting while using it–the slightly slower “Fast” setting works well, and I never found myself wanting for more. The 27GL850 is a great gaming monitor for both multiplayer and single-player experiences because of this adept blend of responsiveness and smoothness. In games that demand the utmost accuracy from its players, such as Sekiro, this gaming display handles it deftly. I noticed a big increase in my performance when I switched from my LG CX OLED TV to the 27GL850 monitor, easily parrying samurai swords and monkey arms as well as dispatching enemies that were previously kicking my butt handily.
As for its colors, the 27GL850 is a beautiful display, producing a vibrant mix of bright colors. Sekiro’s red pagodas clash with the winter atmosphere nicely, while the autumn breeze of the Senpou Temple delights with lovely browns and oranges–not to mention Sekiro’s orange clothes grappling around feudal Japan. Black and white images also look quite good, though they do tend to be a little grayer than is preferred in certain scenes–though that’s typical of most IPS displays.
The SDR presentation looks quite nice, but if you’re looking at this monitor for its HDR support, you’ll be disappointed. Enabling HDR in a compatible game delivers a weak, washed-out image. The 27GL850 just doesn’t boast a high enough contrast ratio or level of brightness to make its HDR support something worth buying the monitor for. If you snag one of these displays, it’s not worth turning on the HDR at all.
LG 27GL850 specs
|Display: 27-inch IPS|
|Resolution: 2560×1440 (1440p)|
|Refresh rate: 144Hz|
|Response time: 1ms (GtG at Faster)|
|Contrast ratio: 1,000:1|
|Adaptive sync: FreeSync Premium, G-Sync Compatible|
|Ports: 2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, 3x USB 3.0|
The LG 27GL850 features a near-borderless display with a thin bezel. The display is made mostly of plastic, and while not as sturdy as other options on the market, it doesn’t feel delicate. It’s held up by a very solid stand made of both plastic and metal, giving it a strong base to stay put on your desk. The stand is adjustable, allowing you to move the display up, down, left, and right. Because of its plastic shell, the adjustable neck looks flimsy at first, but upon using it, the sturdy metal innards made me feel confident in its design and security. The screen can also be turned clockwise from its 16:9 orientation to a portrait 9:16 if you want to use the monitor for livestream chat, vertical-scrolling shooters, or any other reason.
The LG 27GL850 almost matches the more expensive Razer Raptor 27 gaming monitor in performance, providing a nearly identical experience to that of the premium Razer display while costing $200 less. However, there are several monitors cheaper than the LG 27GL850 that perform well in the 1440p and 144Hz space. The MSI Optix MAG274QRF and Gigabyte M27Q are both solid options in the $350-400 range.
The bottom line
LG makes beautiful screens, and the 27GL850 is no exception to that rule. Its excellent colors paired with fast, fluid action makes the 27GL850 an excellent gaming monitor that does not disappoint–as long as you’re not looking for HDR. And while this experience is truly great, it was only one of the best when it first released. It’s still a superb gaming display, but since its release, several monitors have stepped in and provided comparable experiences for cheaper. If you can find the 27GL850 on sale, though, it’s absolutely worth picking up.
- Fast refresh rate works wonders with competitive shooters and more
- Sturdy stand belies its otherwise cheap look
- Beautiful SDR presentation…
- …but its HDR performance is severely lacking
About the author: Mat Paget has used the LG 27GL850 as his primary gaming monitor for the last eight months. He purchased the monitor himself for personal use.