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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  • Spunjji - Sunday, December 9, 2018 - link

    "Who are you guys writing for?"

    You answered your own question. 5% of Steam users run 1440p or above - that's more than 6 million people. Seems a reasonable target market for an online publication aimed at hardware enthusiasts; not the average gamer but someone who actually wants to tinker at the boundaries of technology. You're also talking about what people *actually have*, which is not the same as what they want (or want to read about).

    Honestly, nothing you said brings any analytical value to this discussion. Yes, most people play at 1080p, but even at high refresh rates there's virtually no point in them buying anything above a GTX 1060 / RX 580. That some people choose to spend more on their graphics card than their monitor doesn't really tell us much about what is a good idea, just that lots of people have different ideas about what is good.
  • ads295 - Sunday, December 9, 2018 - link

    It would be great to have a breakup of whether these high refresh rate monitors are G-SYNC or FreeSync or neither...
  • Average Joe - Monday, December 10, 2018 - link

    Very happy with the LG32GK850G. The PPI is identical to 24" 1080P bur 1080P would be too grainy for this size screen. I'm old, so it nice lean back in my chair and still read emails. Being a flat panel it takes up less room on the desk than the Samsung CHG70. The LG is way more responsive the Samsung has better color. I'm driving it with 1070TI which is only getting me FPS in the 70's but the Gsync is really impressive technology.
  • Average Joe - Monday, December 10, 2018 - link

    The trouble with HDR screens is twofold. The HDR standard is embedded in the adaptive sync standard so to drive it in a game you really do have to have the matching card and monitor set or you get nadda. You need freesync GPU and monitor or a nvidia gpu and gync monitor which locks you into a gpu brand for several cards since we don't buy monitors as often as we do cards. Also HDR requires a wider color gamut (arguably 10 bit color or 8 bit +frc), 1000 nits of brightness, and local dimming which really haven't been common features on monitors. This makes the screens bulky and slower in response. As far as I'm aware 144hz and HDR are mutually exclusive you have to drop to 60hz two run HDR games or turn it off for higher frame rates. So its still pretty early in the development of HDR PC Gaming to be buying a screen that will last you 10 years. Samsungs CH70 is pretty good but hard to find and it looks very shoddily made on the back at least. display ports were crooked and its got to be like 4 inches thick. the 10 bit color was really lovely though.
  • Average Joe - Monday, December 10, 2018 - link

    one more thing. all these VA panels are really only good to about 120hz then they start to smear GTG even if they can be driven faster. 120hz is plenty fast though. find me a video card that can hold 120hz or better at 1440p in every title.

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