The most used monitors by CS:GO players
The most popular monitors are calculated based on 587 professional players.
It used to be that a monitor wasn’t an often spoken about piece of equipment at all. Sure, there were monitors made specifically for gaming and all of that, but you were perfectly fine getting by with a regular old monitor either way. Pro gamers even swore by their old CRT monitors because new (at the time) flatscreen panels couldn’t reach the framerates that CRTs could reach.
That all changed around ten years ago when the first the LCD computer monitor capable of pushing 120Hz was released. As the technology got better and better it also got more and more mainstream, and today we have dozens of 144Hz monitors on the market, as well as models capable of pushing 240 frames (and even 360 frames) per second.
It goes without saying that having a monitor with a higher refresh rate can not only greatly increase the fluidity of your games but also your performance, as fast moving objects become much easier to track. If this all sounds new to you feel free to check out our article on framerate (and why it matters) by clicking here. If you’re already up to speed and looking for what monitors are favored by our analyzed CS:GO pros then read straight ahead!
The Pro Usage Top 5 gets updated continuously and instantly so that you can always get an accurate overview of what the pros are using at any given time. In the body of the article itself, we go over the five most popular pro products in no particular order and, when relevant, we also give you some extra options in the form of products that fall just outside of the top 5 or are otherwise relevant.
What makes a monitor good for CS:GO?
CS:GO is a very pure shooter. There’s deep mind games and a ton of strategy involved in high level matches, but in essence CS:GO is all about ‘point, click, and win’ in the sense that there are no abilities, shields, extra lives, or anything like that involved in the game. You get shot in the dome by an AK and you’re out of the round. It needs no explanation, then, that having great aim and the ability to spot players in an instant can really enhance your gameplay. The monitor, in a sense, should become your window into the world of the game and it should display whatever is happening in that world with the utmost fluidity and precision, as well as seamlessly translate whatever you do on your desk to the game.
You can play for hours upon hours (and you’ll need to if you want to get to the highest ranks) but if you’re playing on a slow, washed out monitor you’re going to be at a disadvantage in a game where a split second can mean the difference between a round that’s won and a round that’s lost.
According to our analyzed professionals (and our CS:GO analysts) you’re going to need a monitor that’s capable of pushing at least 240 frames per second. If you’re on a budget, or you’re a more casual player who wants to combine higher resolution gaming with high(er) framerates then 144Hz is also fine, but if you’re even a little bit serious about CS:GO we don’t recommend going below that. CS:GO isn’t a very heavy game to run at all so it’s quite easy to reach the required amount of frames to get the best out of a higher refresh rate panel.
All of the monitors in this list have a max resolution of 1920×1080, and even that can be considered too high for this game, at least when looking at the pros. A lot of pros lower their resolution in order to get higher framerates, for example. With GPUs becoming more and more powerful, we might see a time where 1440p is the standard resolution for competitive gaming, but that day isn’t here yet, so 1080p monitors are where it’s at.
We realize that people also like to game on higher resolution monitors, or even curved or ultrawide displays, but those are usually not ideal for high tier competitive gaming for a variety of reasons. If you want to play FPS games at the highest level, you want the fastest response times and most fluid gameplay, so eye candy isn’t of importance when we talk about competitive gaming.
The XL2546K is the successor to the wildly popular XL2546, featuring a number of improvements over its predecessor. When the people over at BenQ Zowie made the original XL2546 monitor, they set out to make the ultimate gaming monitor for CS:GO and according to our reviewer they did that perfectly, and the newer version shaves off some of the rougher edges of its predecessor in order to present a close to perfect product for competitive gamers.
The XL2546K packs a mean punch and with its 240Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time and perfect ‘sweet spot’ size it already sounds like a top product, but BenQ Zowie decided to really go all out on this one.
It’s not only the horsepower under the hood that matters. The XL2546K features a host of extra additions which are meant to make the life of any (travelling or non-travelling) serious gamer easier. The stand is super sturdy and easy to manipulate and features little markings all throughout the body so that you immediately set up your monitor exactly how you like it.
Aside from that there’s the fantastic S-Switch, which makes navigating the OSD a breeze and helps you navigate between up to three different profiles with the touch of just one button, which is very handy to switch between a more neutral productivity setting and a brighter, more colorful gaming setting, for example. It also has on-board memory so you can plug your personal S-Switch into any compatible monitor and just load up your own personal settings with the touch of a button. If you don’t want to use the S-Switch there’s a handy joystick to navigate the OSD.
The XL2546K also comes with BenQ’s Setting to Share feature. This means you can upload (and download) specific settings profiles so that you can always play with the exact settings that you want, no matter where in the world you are. This also allows you to try out any player’s settings for yourself.
The XL2546K is a great monitor for overall gaming, but it has a number of features that are going to sound really good to CS:GO players in particular. There is the possibility to tweak the color vibrance on the monitor itself so you no longer have to download additional software to get your game to look a little less drab, for example. That’s important, since a lot of players artificially raise the color vibrance of the game in order to make enemies stand our clearer. The fact that you can just do this on your monitor is an excellent addition.
There’s also the Black eQualizer function which lights up darker areas of the map without overexposing the brighter areas to help you spot enemies hiding under palace on Mirage, for example. Then there’s also the unique selling point of the XL2546, which is BenQ Zowie’s proprietary DyAc (Dynamic Accuracy) technology. It’s a form of motion blur reduction, and DyAc combined with the unbelievably smooth 240Hz refresh rate makes for a super crisp and clear image when you’re trying to (for example) control your AK’s spray.
If you are looking for a 240Hz monitor that was basically tailor-made for CS:GO, then the XL2546K is the one.
ZOWIE XL2546KUsed by 227 CS:GO players ()
❝If you’re looking for a competitive gaming monitor this is a fantastic option, and it’s without a doubt one of the best monitors you can buy right now.❞
- Stand has a small footprint
- Subtle design
- Markings on all adjustable points to help with achieving the perfect panel position
- S-Switch and joystick make navigating the OSD a breeze
- Lightning fast response times
- Myriad of gaming-focused options to configure and use
- Viewing angles aren’t great
- Picture quality isn’t the best due to the usage of a TN panel
This is the predecessor to the XL2546K so unless you’re getting a crazy deal on this one, we would recommend going for the more up-to-date ZOWIE monitor. The K version brought a number of improvements over this monitor: it has a thinner panel and a smaller, more rounded stand, so it has a much smaller footprint. The K also has a better looking panel when it comes to picture quality and has all the controls (including a joystick for navigating the OSD, which the older version doesn’t have) on the back for minimal distractions.
As you can read, there’s not a massive difference between the two, so if you already have this monitor there’s really no need to upgrade, but if you’re considering a ZOWIE monitor the K is definitely our choice for the reasons mentioned above.
ZOWIE XL2546Used by 117 CS:GO players ()
❝The BenQ Zowie XL2546 is, without a doubt, one of the best gaming monitors money can buy right now. From the careful attention to detail (the monitor position markings, the headphone holder, …) aimed at esports enthusiasts to the absolutely superb performance in games; the XL2546 is a complete package for anyone who wants to up their game with a rockstar monitor.❞
- Very fast response times
- 240Hz is a noticeable improvement over 144Hz, though the jump is smaller than when going from 60Hz to 144Hz
- Subtle design
- S-Switch makes controlling the OSD extremely easy
- DyAc works as advertised
- TN panel doesn’t make for the best picture quality
- Viewing angles aren’t good
This monitor is the predecessor to the XL2540K. We would recommend going for the latest version instead of this one unless you’re getting a big discount on the older version. As far as the performance and build goes, this 2540 is basically the exact same monitor as the XL2546, with the only difference being that this one comes without DyAc.
Whether you like DyAc or not seems to come down to personal preference. We here at ProSettings use it for competitive gaming, but there are professionals out there who turn it off, so if you can live without the DyAc technology it’s a perfectly good idea to go without it, though we would recommend going for a monitor with DyAc if you’ve got the cash to spare and you haven’t been able to test the technology beforehand. It’s always easier to just turn DyAc off in your monitor settings in case you don’t need it. If you do go for a DyAc-less monitor and you decide that you want it, you will have to buy an entirely new monitor.
- Subtle design
- S-Switch is amazing to navigate the OSD and change settings
- Very fast response times
- Viewing angles aren’t great
- Picture quality could be better
- Lack of DyAc (see towards the XL2546 for that)
ASUS ROG Swift PG259QN
If you really want to go all out (and you have the PC to match your ambitions) then you’ve got to take a look at this one. The ROG Swift PG259QN was one of the first 360Hz monitors to hit the market, and it definitely packs a mean punch even today.
This monitor is G-Sync compatible, has a 360Hz IPS panel, a response time of 1 ms and has HDR packed into it as well. You’ll pay a very pretty penny for this monitor, but if you get it you can rest assured that you’re on the bleeding edge of technology.
As is the case with other ROG monitors, this PG259QN does not make a secret of the fact that it’s a gaming monitor. You can tell by the way it looks, and while the aesthetics might not be for everyone you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who finds it lacking in features.
This monitor comes with ROG’s GamePlus technology, allowing you to do things such as place a crosshair or a timer directly on your screen. On top of that it has seven built-in settings profiles for a variety of different games and use cases. Features such as the anti-glare bezel, the joystick to control the OSD and the indicator LED being on the bottom of the bezel (to minimize distractions) shows that ASUS have really been thinking this product through.
If you want to go for a top tier 360Hz monitor with a good picture quality this is one to consider. There is the argument that there are diminishing returns when it comes to framerates (the jump from 60Hz to 144Hz is way more noticeable than the jump from 240Hz to 360Hz, for example) but if you’re keen on squeezing out every last drop of performance you should take a look at the PG259QN.
ASUS ROG SWIFT PG259QNUsed by 17 CS:GO players ()
The ASUS ROG Swift PG259QN was one of the first 360Hz IPS monitors to hit the market, and it hit the mark straight out of the gate. The quick response times combined with the IPS panel make this a great choice for gamers who want to focus on both performance and aesthetics.
- Picture quality is great for a high refresh rate monitor
- Comes with a number of extra gaming-focused features
- Quick response times
- Stand has a large footprint
- Design won’t be for everyone
It took ZOWIE a while to really dive into the 360Hz world with their own monitor, but the wait was definitely worth it. The XL2566K offers that signature ZOWIE responsiveness in combination with their amazing motion clarity, making this one of the very best purely competitive gaming monitors that you can buy. We say ‘purely competitive’ because ZOWIE goes for performance over anything else, and that is something that’s noticeable with the XL2566K.
This monitor uses a TN panel, for example, while many other gaming manufacturers have gone for IPS panels since those offer a better looking image over TN. With that said, the XL2566K is one of the fastest and clearest gaming monitors in the world, so if you’re laser-focused on getting the very best performance out of your setup then this monitor should definitely be the cherry on top of your PC gaming pie.
The XL2566K is the spiritual successor to the XL2646K, so it shares the same design. If you’re someone who doesn’t want a 360Hz monitor (because your PC can’t handle it, or because you’re on a budget, or …) you can still go for the XL2546K as a perfectly valid option, though the XL2566K is the better choice for hardcore competitive gamers.
If winning duels, games, and climbing the ladder is your sole focus and is all you want out of a monitor then the XL2566K should be very high on your priority list.
ZOWIE XL2566KUsed by 145 CS:GO players ()
❝If you are a competitive gamer who takes their game extremely seriously and you want to get the fastest and smoothest gaming monitor to help you be the best player you can be, then you have to get the ZOWIE XL2566K right now.❞
- 360Hz refresh rate along with fast TN panel makes it one of the smoothest monitors out there
- Subtle design
- Small footprint of the base
- Lots of QoL features such as the stand markings, the S switch, the included (and detachable) glare panels, …
- Picture quality is great for a TN panel…
- … but it doesn’t match IPS panels when it comes to quality
- Expensive for a 1080p monitor
- Low viewing angles
Best Monitor for CS:GO – Conclusion
There’s one conclusion that’s clear as day if we’re following the pros on this: you’ll need a monitor capable of pushing at least 240Hz in order to compete at the highest levels. That’s going to be an investment, and you can certainly get by with a 144Hz monitor if you’re not that serious about competing, but if you truly want to be the best you can be you’ll need a high refresh rate monitor, and with the entry level options becoming better and cheaper each day there are plenty of possibilities for gamers to step into the realm of high refresh rate gaming.
We hope that you found this article useful, but as always we encourage you to do your own research (feel free to browse around the website, we do a lot of research ourselves) in order to find what best suits you and your budget. If you have any questions or remarks, please feel free to reach out to us!