Best Monitor for Arcade Cabinet Reviews in 2022 – Top 5 Picks
When planning to build a custom arcade, there are various types of monitors you can use. On one hand, purist video gamers prefer CRT arcade monitors. On the other, some gamers don’t mind using LED or LCD monitors.
Either way, you will have to select the best monitor for arcade cabinet. CRT monitors have been around for more than 30 years. Unfortunately, they aren’t being produced anymore.
Thus leaving you with 2 monitor options for restoring or building a new arcade cabinet; LCD and LED. Both options are compact, eliminating the issue of bulkiness associated with CRT monitors.
However, choosing between LCD and LED monitors isn’t a task either. Especially since they come with many different features and resolutions. This is where we come in! In this article, we’ve listed some of the best monitors for your DIY arcade cabinet build.
Let’s check them out!
Our Selected Best Monitor for Arcade Cabinet Reviews in 2022
#1. ACER SB220Q Ultra-Thin Monitor
At a glance:
- Ultra-thin design
- IPS display provides a better viewing angle
- AMD free sync technology
- Includes VGA & HDMI inputs
ACER SB220Q is by far the best monitor for arcade cabinets in the market at this moment. Thanks to its light and ultra-thin design, ensuring it takes up less space in your gaming room.
On top of that, its image resolution displays your content in HD. Not to forget that it has excellent viewing angles. For those reasons, you’ll enjoy a better video game experience from any part of the room. And even with all these features, this screen comes at a very affordable price.
Considering this unit’s affordability, its performance will exceed your casual gaming expectations. To start with, the display provides a full High Definition with its 1920 x 1080p (21.5”) resolution. While the short 4ms response time ensures speedy pixel response.
Besides, this screen utilizes Radeon-free sync technology to prevent stuttering. Thus ensuring the monitor’s refresh rate will match the graphics card’s frame rate. As a result, you’ll have a smooth viewing experience on games like Graft Theft Auto (PS5) and Cyrsis 3 (PC).
Ports and expandability
Another thing you should note about this display is that it’s compatible with both VGA and HDMI inputs. However, due to the ultra-slim design, there are no USB ports. For that, you can’t use this monitor to expand your setup.
At first glance, the SB2290Q is a frame-less, black cabinet, with the thinnest point being ½” thick. It’s supported by a circular base, giving it tilt adjustability of about 20 degrees. While its IPS panel features a non-reflective coating.
As for construction, its shell is crafted from hard plastic to enhance its durability. Nonetheless, you still need to be extra careful when moving it around.
Due to the ultra-thin design, this monitor doesn’t have USB ports and inbuilt speakers. Also, the 75hz refresh rate will only apply to HDMI connection, but not to VGA.
Why is ACER SB2290Q the best monitor for arcade cabinets on our list as compared to others?
Among the 5 arcade cabinet monitors we’ve reviewed, many reasons have made ACER SB2290Q top our list.
First, it has a 21.5” ultra-wide display, making it the largest monitor in this article. Yet it’s very affordable and the screen has a 1920 X 1080P resolution, giving you a full HD experience. Also, this arcade cabinet screen has a 75hz refresh rate and uses Radeon-free sync technology. This, plus the 4ms response time prevents stuttering. Thus providing a smooth arcade gaming experience.
Lastly, the ultra-thin design makes it fit perfectly in your arcade cabinet. Not to forget that you can tilt it to enjoy a comfortable and personalized view.
#2. VSDISPLAY LTA149B780F LCD Screen
At a glance:
- 14.9” Ultra-wide LCD screen
- Allows HDMI, USB, & VGA connection
- Comes with a controller board
- 60hz refresh rate
If you want the best LCD monitor for arcade cabinet with a controller board, this unit is a great option. Unlike other displays, this screen is specifically designed for arcade cabinets. Best of all, it’s compatible with various types of LCD controller boards from VSDISPLAY.
For those reasons, it’s an excellent option for gamers that intend to create a customized arcade. In addition to the LCD screen, you’ll get a keyboard with cable, LVDS cable, and a controller board. Better still, the package includes an instruction manual to help you set it up with ease!
LCD controller board
The most unique feature of this product is that it includes an LCD controller. Therefore, you can conveniently control various aspects of the LCD screen. As a result, you can display videos and images on the LCD panel in high resolution. Besides, you can connect this board to Raspberry Pi models as well.
Display and resolution
As we’ve already stated, this monitor has a 14.9” ultra-wide screen. While its brightness can be adjusted up to 400 cd/m2 and it has a contrast ratio (CR) of 500:1. In simpler terms, it produces white that’s 500 times brighter as compared to black. Although this isn’t the best contrast ratio out there, it’s good enough for your gaming needs.
Multiple input ports
Lastly, the VSDISPLAY controller board is fitted with various connection ports. For instance, it has an HDMI port, USB port, and VGA port. Moreover, it’s fitted with Audio output, earphone output, and a speaker connector. You can connect it with various consoles and enjoy the ultimate video gaming experience.
The only problem with this LCD screen is that the package doesn’t come with a power adapter. Therefore, you need to purchase it separately to start using this monitor.
3. ASUS VS207D-P LED Monitor
At a glance:
- Available in various screen sizes
- High contrast ratio (80,000,000:1)
- 3 years warranty
- Inbuilt speakers
Due to the slim & stylish design, this LED arcade monitor will enhance your machine’s appearance. Even better, it has a response time of 5ms to make your gameplay stutter less and smooth.
And as you’d expect, the included sturdy stand increases the device’s stability. Besides, the inbuilt stand allows you to safely place the device on a table. However, you can buy and mount and use it to install it on a wall instead.
High contrast ratio
First, the resolution of the panel fitted in this monitor is 1600 by 900. Moreover, the screen is 19.5” wide, so it can fit 2 pages side by side. So, it has sufficient screen space to display different contents.
Moving on, this monitor produces white that’s 80 million times brighter than black. As a result, you’ll get real-life-like images.
As far as dimensions are concerned, this monitor measures 7.28 by 14 by 18.83”. While its weight is about 5.7 pounds. To make it easy to operate, this unit comes with convenient key controls.
Moreover, you can tilt the monitor backward at an angle of 20 degrees or forwards at 5 degrees. This means that you can tilt it up to 25 degrees to give you a better viewing experience.
Video intelligence technology
To optimize image fidelity and performance, this monitor has 6 preset video modes. They include; games, sRGB, Night view, Theater, and scenery. You can choose your preferred model using the hotkey to ensure less strain on the eyes. This will allow you to enhance sharpness, brightness, color, and contrast.
On the downside, this monitor has a very limited port selection. However, it has a power input port and a D-sub port.
#4. RetroArcade.us Arcade Game LED Monitor
At a glance:
- Compatible with MAME & JAMME boards
- XGA (1024 by 768p) resolution
- 17” LCD screen
- 450: 1 contrast ratio
- Fits most Cocktail Arcade game systems
JAMMA and MAME are the most popular companies that design arcade cabinets. MAME refers to the Multiple Arcade Machines Emulator. Whereas JAMMA is for the Japan Amusement Machines & Marketing Association.
Regardless of the arcade cabinet you choose, this monitor works with both models. Moreover, you can install it in Cocktail Game Cabinets as well.
17” LCD screen
Weighing about 9 pounds, this package comes with a 17” LCD screen. More notably, it is crafted from 16-gauge galvanized steel so it’s quite durable. Additionally, it’s simple to mount on the arcade cabinet, thanks to the mounting holes. And you’ll even get a VGA cable and a power supply cable.
450:1 contrast ratio
Moving on, this gaming monitor has a contrast ratio of 450:1. So, its non-matted screen delivers very vivid color. Best of all, unlike a desktop computer, you can view the LCD monitor at an angle. This is a very essential aspect when building an arcade game system.
That aside, the device has a 16ms response time and produces a brightness of up to 250 cd/m2. Not to forget that it uses XGA (1024 X 768P) resolution.
Compatible with old & new systems
Interestingly, you can install this monitor on both old and new arcade systems. For instance, it comes with a CGA to VGA converter that you can use for older systems. Hence making it a great option for replacing the CRT monitors in your old arcade game system.
But as for the modern arcade systems, you can simply use the D-sub or VGA connection options.
Some assembly will be needed to install this monitor in your arcade cabinet. That shouldn’t be an issue though since it comes with all the hardware you need for that.
#5. VSDISPLAY 10.4” LCD Monitor
At a glance:
- 1000:1 contrast ratio
- 10.4 inch LCD screen
- Comes with an LCD control board
- HD & XGA resolution
VSDISPLAY has been manufacturing LCD screens, modules and control panels for more than 10 years. So, you can rest assured that you’re buying your arcade cabinet from a reputable manufacturer. Besides, this is the 2nd product from VSDISPLAY that we’ve included in our list. And you’ve not found the ideal monitor for your arcade cabinet yet, perhaps this 10.4” monitor will suit your needs.
Like the VSDISPLAY monitor we had looked at earlier, this unit comes with a control board as well. Thus helping you control various elements of the screen with ease. Besides, the control board has various connection options like HDMI, VGA, USB, and DVI.
Generally speaking, this LCD monitor’s overall performance is above average. For instance, it produces a brightness of up to 600 cd/ m2. While its contrast ratio is 1000:1, making it ideal for media and gaming use.
As for dimensions, the entire monitor measures 220.53 by 166.02 by 1.03”. However, the display area is 210.43 by 157.824, and its resolution is 1024 X 768p. All things considered, this monitor will certainly meet your arcade gaming expectations.
Easy to set up
Installing this monitor and the control board to your arcade cabinet is simple. For starters, the monitor comes with mounting holes that you can use to fix it on the arcade gaming machine. Even better, it’s compatible with various arcade cabinet models out there. So, regardless of the arcade cabinet you’ve, chances are this monitor will fit perfectly.
In addition to that, the package comes with everything you need to get started. As an example, you’ll get an inverter board, LVDS cable, and a keyboard with cable.
Note, this package doesn’t come with a power adapter. Other than that, it’s a great monitor for arcade cabinets.
Comparison Table of Monitor for Arcade Cabinet
1920 X 1080
1280 X 390
1600 X 900
Monitor for Arcade Cabinet Buying Guide
As you look for the best monitor for arcade cabinet, there are certain things you should consider. Otherwise, you may choose a monitor that doesn’t work well with your arcade cabinet. Some of those factors are;
Refresh rate & response time
The refresh rate plays a crucial role in determining the smoothness of your gameplay. If possible, choose a display with a higher refresh rate, such as 60hz or 75hz. As a result, your gameplay will gain extra smoothness with ease.
Response time, on the other, helps to prevent stuttering. Most gaming monitors in the market today have a response time of about 5ms. However, you can still find a display with faster response times of up to 0.5ms.
Monitor size & resolution
As you’ve realized, monitors have different sizes. For instance, some have 10.4”, while others have 21.5” or more. In essence, the ideal monitor size will depend on the arcade cabinet’s monitor cover.
In addition, you need to consider the resolution of the display as well. In most cases, 2K and 4K are the preferred resolutions for gaming monitors. However, for arcade gaming, make sure you choose a screen with a minimum resolution of 1080p.
Type of display panel
In general, manufacturers use 3 types of display panels for gaming monitors. These panels can be categorized into; VA, TN, and IPS panels. TN is the most affordable option, but its viewing angles are very poor. While VA and IPS are almost similar, but VA display panels have better color spectrums.
Lastly, make sure the monitor you intend to buy has connection ports. For instance, check whether it has a display port and HDMI port.
People Also Asked
1. What’s the most important aspect to look for in an arcade cabinet monitor?
Refresh rate is one of the most important factors for any gamer. The refresh rate of most gaming monitors is at least 120hz. Note, the fastest refresh rate available at the moment is 36ohz. Also, you want a monitor with a maximum response time of about 5ms.
2. Why use LCD/ LED for arcade cabinets over CRT displays?
LED and LCD monitors are much lighter and thinner as compared to cathode-ray tube (CRT) monitors. Moreover, they don’t emit electromagnetic radiation and consume less energy. Yet they deliver high resolutions, clearer images as well as flicker-free displays.
3. What are the components of an arcade machine?
All Arcade 1 Up panels are mainly made up of 2 large sides with a classic overhand. Additionally, they have a screen panel with a monitor and a front panel. More importantly, they have a control board with buttons and joysticks.
Choosing the best monitor for arcade cabinet can be a very difficult task. Especially since they’re so many details you should put into consideration. Hopefully, this article has simplified those technical details for you. Thus helping you find the ideal display for your arcade cabinet.
Remember to check out your cabinet’s monitor cavity as it will determine the ideal display. More importantly, this will prevent you from buying the wrong arcade cabinet monitor. Thankfully, by going through our reviews, you’ll find the perfect monitor with ease.