PSA: It’s okay to pick up a 1080p gaming monitor on Prime Day

SAMSUNG Odyssey G3 monitor with blue/grey backdrop
(Image credit: Samsung)

I have a confession to make. I guess it’s less of a confession and more of a self-admission, but using a UHD gaming monitor stresses me out. That may sound weird considering I review the latest screens and graphics cards for a living. However, trying to run games at 4K even with a mid-range GPU in 2023 can be both difficult and distracting. So, I’m here to say out loud that it’s completely fine to pick up a 1080p gaming display during Amazon’s sale over a higher resolution one, and it might be a wiser decision anyway depending on your PC specs.

Just to clarify, I’m not saying you should ignore the very best gaming monitor options when browsing Prime Day monitor deals, nor am I throwing shade at 1440p and 4K setups. In fact, I use, and love, a UHD monitor now on a daily basis, and even the card I most recently tested for my RTX 4060 review can make use of higher res screens, albeit thanks to AI upscaling. What I am trying to stamp out is the notion that ‘bigger is better’ when it comes to resolution, as while we’re slowly sailing towards a 4K future, it’s far from being a mandatory standard.

That statement might raise an eyebrow or two given that new-gen consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X can make use of 4K 120Hz TVs, and the PC platform is supposed to be all about embracing higher specs. Well, actually, while many out there think that’s the case, the reality is that most players aren’t gaming using ultra-high spec rigs, and GPU price increases over the past few years mean that entry-level builds actually dominate the space. 

AOC 24G2 monitor on white surface

The AOC 24G2 - just one of our favorite 1080p gaming monitors. (Image credit: Future / Jeremy Laird)

Don’t believe me? Just look at Valve’s latest survey results. Sure, figures do indicate that players are slowly ditching 1080p monitors, but a whopping 62% of users are still playing at that resolution. In turn, just over 13% are playing games at 1440p, and just 3% are dabbling with 4K. Admittedly, those latter two percentages on all of Steam's database still equate to a lot of people, but there are a bunch of good reasons why 1080p still reigns supreme in 2023, and you’re not behind with the times for sticking with ‘Full HD’.

First and foremost, the main reason you might pick up a new 1080p display over 1440p and 4K in 2023 correlates with your personal PC or console specs. There’s absolutely no sense in investing in a UHD monitor if you’re rocking an older graphics card, gaming laptop, or something a Steam Deck dock, as cranking resolution up to suit will result in slideshow frame rates.

I’m risking preaching to the competitive PC gaming choir here, but the other main reason to opt for a 1080p screen relates to refresh rates. At the moment, 4K screens can only handle 144Hz max, and 1440p displays cap out at 240Hz. Look, if you’re not looking to boost fps in games like CS:GO far into triple digits, that isn’t going to matter, but if you are, you’ll want to trade resolution for a 1080p 360Hz panel instead. That way, you’ll harness every frame produced by your GPU, which matters when you’re looking for an esports edge. 

Samsung Odyssey G32A| $279.99 Save $90.88

Samsung Odyssey G32A| $279.99 $189.11 at Amazon
Save $90.88 - A great example of a good quality 1080p monitor deal ahead of Prime Day that offers a better refresh rate and specs than some of its 4K and 1440p rivals. A 165Hz screen like this could be a far better fit for your setup than QHD and UHD, especially if you're looking to pay less for either resolution anyway.

Price check: Best Buy $199.99

So, what’s all this got to do with buying a 1080p monitor during Prime Day? Well, I guess I’m trying to reassure a specific group of you out there. Whether you need a display for a new PC build or you’re upgrading your existing screen, opting for 1080p doesn’t mean you'll be investing in old tech. Actually, it’s the opposite, as Full HD displays often feature refined features, like higher refresh rates, that’ll arguably serve you better than cheaper 1440p and 4K options.

Truth is, high-resolution monitors are still ridiculously expensive, and the hardware required to make use of them is extortionate too. Don’t get me wrong, Amazon’s collection of Prime Day gaming deals will feature monitors of all shapes, sizes, and capabilities, but “good deals” aren’t objective. For example, there’s no point grabbing a huge amount off a 4K or 1440p model if there’s a discounted 1080p option that packs far more features for less.

Again, some of you will be well aware of this, but I feel like some things are important to say out loud. Otherwise, you may get comments left by high-spec gamers leaving some players thinking 1080p is already history when it’s actually still very much a go-to standard. So, if your only reason for picking up a 1440p or 4K display this Prime Day is the idea of futureproofing, I’d advise taking a second to consider how beneficial that’ll be. After all, if you’re not planning on picking up a high-spec GPU anytime soon, you could simply hold off and get a better deal when you need it most.

Best 1080p monitor deals ahead of Prime Day:

Looking for something portable? Check out our Prime Day gaming laptop deals hub for on the go rigs. Alternatively, we're actively hunting for the best Nintendo Switch Prime day deals if you're after a new handheld console.

Phil Hayton
Hardware Editor

I’ve been messing around with PCs, video game consoles, and tech since before I could speak. Don’t get me wrong, I kickstarted my relationship with technology by jamming a Hot Wheels double-decker bus into my parent’s VCR, but we all have to start somewhere. I even somehow managed to become a walking, talking buyer’s guide at my teenage supermarket job, which helped me accept my career fate. So, rather than try to realise my musician dreams, or see out my University degree, I started running my own retro pop culture site and writing about video games and tech for the likes of TechRadar, The Daily Star, and the BBC before eventually ending up with a job covering graphics card shenanigans at PCGamesN. Now, I’m your friendly neighbourhood Hardware Editor at GamesRadar, and it’s my job to make sure you can kick butt in all your favourite games using the best gaming hardware, whether you’re a sucker for handhelds like the Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch or a hardcore gaming PC enthusiast.