When Asus released their PG279Q back in 2015, the excitement topped off. We finally had a monitor with a high resolution and 144Hz refresh rate. Since then, this has become some form of standard and today, gamers don’t have to choose between high refresh rate and high resolution. Some monitors have even moved on from 144Hz to higher refresh rates like 165Hz and 240Hz.
Because high refresh rate is so common on gaming monitors today, it’s important to take note of the other specifications on the monitors. Does it have HDR? Does it have adaptive sync? What type of panel does it use? There is a lot of questions that go into a new purchase and we have done our best to answer them.
In this guide, I have selected the top 5 best 144Hz gaming monitors that you should consider when you are looking for a new monitor for gaming. This guide is updated regularly to feature the most recent releases from manufacturers and provide the latest information. Things such as pricing, display, and quality are always considered and choosing five monitors that stand out is getting harder by everyday and choosing one monitor to actually purchase is even harder. Hopefully, you should be able to filter out some of the monitors and get one that you will actually enjoy, whether it is the resolution, refresh rate or color that is the main factor for you.
Top 5 Best 144Hz Gaming Monitors
As the technology progresses, we are blurring the lines more and more between monitors. A couple of years ago, there were very few 4K monitors, very few high refresh monitors, and very few high-resolution panels. In 2019, we have monitors with all of these features and if you are ready to pay, you can get all of it.
But not everyone wants to play their games in 4K. They are looking for a high refresh rate monitor that their graphics card can push. In this guide, I’ve selected the best 144Hz gaming monitors and there should be a monitor for each of you, no matter the other demands that you have. However, 144Hz monitors is simply a category today, with many of these monitors reaching higher refresh rate than 144Hz. Most people won’t notice the difference between 144Hz and 165Hz but if you are a hard-core FPS gamer, having 165Hz might be life and death. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top 5 144Hz gaming monitors that are available today.
|Samsung CHG70||Acer Predator XB271HU||Benq ZOWIE XL2540||Asus ROG Swift PG279QZ||Alienware 25|
|Response Time (GtG)||1ms||4ms||1ms||4ms||1ms|
|Brightness||350 cd/m²||350 cd/m²||400 cd/m²||350 cd/m²||400 cd/m²|
|Adaptive Sync||FreeSync 2||G-Sync||-||G-Sync||FreeSync|
|Buy on Amazon||Buy on Amazon||Buy on Amazon||Buy on Amazon||Buy on Amazon|
Samsung CHG70 - The Best 144Hz Gaming Monitor
We are at the point where we have monitors with 240Hz refresh rate. The problem is that we have to lose quality on other aspects of the monitors as well. For example, there are no IPS monitors with 240Hz, they are stuck at 165Hz as of right now. The Samsung CHG70 is a monitor that has 144Hz refresh rate but there are so much more to this monitor, which is making it the best 144Hz gaming monitor right now.
Starting with the specifications on the CHG70, it’s a 27” curved panel. The curve is subtle at 1800R. For a 27”, I don’t a curve is needed but it does help to stay focused on the game and gives that feel of an immersive experience. The resolution of the monitor is 2560×1440, something that is great for open word-games where the scenery is important. There is no IPS display in the CHG70, Samsung prefers to have VA panels on their monitors. The colors might look a bit duller when comparing side by side with an IPS panel but on the other hand, the contrast ratio is much better on VA panels.
When it comes to refresh rate, there is 144Hz which is good enough. There aren’t many people that benefit from a higher refresh rate than this because they simply don’t see the difference. Next, we have two new features which are where the CHG70 stand out. The monitor support HDR, which will make dark areas darker and bright areas brighter. HDR is a game changer for monitors and TVs and something that you will have to experience yourself. It’s simply a new way of looking at gaming and movies.
The CHG70 does also support FreeSync 2 which is a new version of AMD’s FreeSync. FreeSync 2 is not meant to replace the first version of FreeSync but more to complement. In the 2nd version of FreeSync, there is support for HDR on a whole new level. A monitor that support FreeSync 2 will have better HDR support for gaming and Windows in general. While it’s not perfect, the CHG70 handle HDR perfectly and the limitations are more in the OS than in the hardware.
Gaming on the CHG70 is a new experience for most people. The 144Hz refresh rate is great for fast-paced games. Running a game like Battlefield 1 is great with high refresh rate. Because of the HDR and the CHG70’s overall good contrast handling, the game has more depth than playing on the PG279Q, for example.
I would like to see this monitor with an IPS display as that is what I prefer. VA-panels can’t be trusted as much in terms of consistency. HDR is also at the beginning of its implementation and Windows and some games can have a hard time to handle HDR, making the image look… weird. But it’s clear that the Samsung CHG70 is one of the top gaming monitors on the market right now.
Acer Predator XB271HU - Great for Marathon Gaming
Gamers looking for one of the most powerful gaming monitors available today shouldn’t be turned off by the higher price of the Acer Predator. This monitor features an impressive 144Hz refresh rate, which isn’t the highest. But thanks to the other great features of this monitor, results in an impressive piece of equipment that any gamer is sure to appreciate.
At an impressive 27”, this monitor is sure to blow any gamer away thanks to the incredible graphics and large size. It has 2560 x 1440 SQHD resolution that is great for high-speed gaming and showcases all hues and tones of colors.
The fast refresh rate of the Acer Predator means that it offers a smooth gaming experience without any lag or jerkiness. Because it’s such a highly responsive monitor and offers great performance, it can be used for any type of game without problems.
While other gaming monitors often have problems with blurring and ghosting, the Acer Predator features Nvidia G-Sync technology. This tech does an incredible job at reducing blur when you move quickly through worlds, resulting in sharp edges and high definition, no matter how quickly you move.
Many conventional monitors have thick edges that take up a lot of the screen and result in a smaller space to work and play on. The Acer Predator, however, features a zero-frame design. This means that you have more space to work and play and, when paired with the large size of this monitor, produces an incredible and overwhelming screen.
The base may not look as sturdy as other options on the market, but the two sides are designed to offer plenty of control and to prevent the monitor from shifting. The red accents are typical of Acer and will complement the rest of your setup. With one display port and one HDMI input, you never have to worry about unsightly cords running to your monitor, as you can easily tuck them behind for a clean look.
While the screen is delivered with 144Hz refresh rate, it’s actually possible to overclock to 165Hz. This ensures that users get the best and smoothest gameplay possible. By overclocking the refresh rate, gamers enjoy incredible motion without any blurring or fuzzy edges.
Gaming on the Acer Predator is great for users who struggle with eye fatigue, as this monitor is one of the first on the market to directly address this common problem. Thanks to the EyeProtect technology included on this computer, gamers can enjoy low dimming, a blue light filter, a screen that never flickers, and ComfyView technology to reduce eye fatigue and strain.
There are some users who have reported that the monitor will get a vertical tear in the middle of the screen that is about six pixels wide. When this occurs, the monitor has to be turned off and then back on again to repair the issue, which can be really distracting during the middle of a game.
No, it does not. You will need to use DisplayPort.
Yes, up to 165Hz, which can be done in the settings. If you want to go further than that, you are on your own.
Yes, it is. The monitor support VESA 100×100 so if your other stand support that (which it most likely does), this monitor will fit on there.
BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 - 240Hz Right in Front of You
IPS-panels and high resolution in all honor but if we are going back to the basics with TN-panels and Full HD, the refresh rate can go through the roof. BenQ has made a monitor that is like a wet dream for FPS-players. The BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 is a 240Hz refresh rate monitor.
BenQ made this monitor for e-sport and enthusiast gamers which is noticeable when you look at it. It has shields on the sides to help you focus on your game and keep distractions away. The 240Hz is like nothing else when you compare it side by side. In of the promotion videos, one player says that when you have tried 240Hz, you never go back. For an FPS-player, that is true. For an old MMO-gamer like myself, I prefer my high resolutions.
The design is great on the XL2540. When other manufacturers are making a gaming monitor, it’s usually a lot of “cool” plastic details, lightning and what not. BenQ has chosen to do none of it. It’s a black monitor with a black stand to it. They have made it a bit easier to navigate through the monitor menu by having a small little controller connected to it that you use. BenQ has done this on many of their monitors and I can’t help to wonder why no one else is doing it, it’s great.
The XL2540 comes with the normal problems for TN-panels like bad colors and bad viewing angles but it is definitely something else to play Battlefield at 240Hz. If you are an FPS-gamer and want to spend a lot of money, the BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 is a great choice.
There is no adaptive sync on the XL2540, just a really high refresh rate.
No, you will be limited to 144Hz. Use a DisplayPort for optimal refresh rate.
Asus ROG Swift PG279QZ - Going Strong
The Asus ROG Swift PG279Q has been in the game for a while now. It was first released back in 2015 and up until this day, it’s still one of the top performers when it comes to high refresh rate gaming. The 1440p resolution and 165Hz refresh rate are what many consider to be the optimal gaming experience these days. With IPS for better colors, Asus is showing that their monitors can keep up for more than a year.
Unboxing this monitor is an experience in itself. If you have never had a 27” monitor before, let me tell you: it’s huge. It’s just 3 inches more than the standard 24, but it feels like 10 inches. The base is big and sturdy and keeps the monitor from wobbling when typing on the keyboard. The bezels are slim and don’t bother me at all. I like the trend of small bezels on gaming monitors. Asus was one of the first manufacturers to start with this back in the day.
It should go without saying that the crown jewel on this monitor is the display itself. The little brother PG278Q was the first model to take 144Hz to a 1440p monitor. The problem was that the PG278Q had a TN-panel. That’s why it’s so nice to see that in this new monitor, Asus has been able to push an IPS-display. This will give better colors and viewing angles, something that is very welcome when you are dealing with a high-resolution monitor.
The refresh rate is an astonishing 165Hz. Most people were amazed when the 120Hz monitors started showing up and that was then pushed to 144Hz. I would say that 144Hz is still the standard for gaming monitors today but here, Asus did that little extra and pushed it even further. For a trained eye, it will be an even smoother experience when playing fast-paced games. However, most people will not recognize it.
The monitor does support G-Sync which means that the FPS drops, and screen tearing will not be noticeable if you fulfill the other requirements for G-Sync. If you have a graphics card from AMD, Asus got you covered with the MG279Q which have almost the same specifications but is stuck on 144Hz.
This is not a cheap monitor. There is a high price to it if you want the PG279Q on your desk. But it gets worse. If you want to play a game at 165Hz and 2560×1440, you will need some serious graphics power. The only option if you want to max out all the settings is the Nvidia GTX 1080Ti which comes with a matching price tag. If you are willing to turn down a few settings, the 1080 (Non-Ti) version would do but it’s still a hefty price to pay.
Unfortunately, just as many other IPS monitors, the Asus PG279Q does have some BLB (Black Light Bleed). It is not noticeable during normal use but in darker scenes of a game, you can see a small hint of it in one of the corners. It’s nothing unique to this monitor and something you will have to deal with on most IPS monitors. However, the BLB is far from a deal breaker if you take a look at what you get.
Alienware 25 - Perfectly Customizable
The Alienware 25 has been available for almost two years now and is known for providing a lightning-fast refresh rate which, when combined with the 1ms response time, offers incredibly smooth gameplay. This is great for serious gamers who don’t want to suffer from any lag and who tend to get frustrated with lower quality graphics. Users enjoy undistorted images that make it easy to fully immerse themselves in the game.
This is a huge 25” monitor on a sturdy tripod base that is designed to prevent any wobbling when you’re playing. Since the legs are made from a single die-cast metal, they are durable and sturdy, no matter how furiously you are typing on the keyboard. Additionally, it has a solution to conceal cables, resulting in a streamlined design that is really neat and will prevent you from becoming distracted while playing.
There are six preset modes on this monitor which means that you can easily optimize your visuals without taking a long time to manually adjust settings. Since you can customize three of these preset modes, it makes it simple to create a mode for each game that you play, resulting in the best settings and alignment each time. It goes without saying that this is a wonderful feature designed to make switching between games and other tasks faster and easier than ever before.
Since this monitor has a special display alignment, you can easily set up multiple monitors for a truly immersive experience without worrying about whether or not your screens are aligned correctly. By eliminating the guesswork of creating a multi-display setup, this makes it easy to spend more time playing.
This monitor was clearly built for gaming and is loaded with great features that hardcore gamers are sure to appreciate. One great feature is that it has an on-screen timer that makes it easy to keep tabs on and watch out for respawns, drops, and other events during a game. Additionally, the Alienware 25 displays the FPS when you are playing a game. Gamers know that higher FPS result in smooth game mechanics and motion and being able to track FPS during a game makes it easy to change settings and configurations for the best possible results.
Loaded with AMD FreeSync technology, this monitor goes above and beyond what other gaming monitors are able to do (learn more about AMD FreeSync here). Gamers who enjoy real-time strategy games, first-person shooters, and racing games will appreciate the mouse tracking, flick shots, and aiming. Being able to better track your shots and motions clearly elevates the gaming experience. Gamers can easily tilt, pivot, and swivel the stand as well as adjust its height, without worrying about the monitor becoming unsteady or rocking, ensuring the best experience.
Like a lot of TN-monitors (which this is), the Alienware 25 does have some fading on the sides of the monitor. While this generally isn’t noticeable when playing brightly lit games, the fading can be a problem when gamers are enjoying darker games and ones with a lot of shadows. While not extreme, some users have reported the fading getting worse over time.
No, you will need to use DisplayPort.
The monitor itself is about 6cm (2.3 inches) thick. Add the stand and it is a total of 21cm (8.7 inches).
Yes, it can. You will still be able to use the 240Hz refresh rate but you will not be able to use FreeSync as that is an AMD feature.
Who Will Benefit from a Gaming Monitor with High Refresh Rate?
When someone says, “gaming monitor”, most people start thinking about high refresh rate monitors. High refresh rate and gaming is the same thing for many and thus, when they look for a new monitor, the refresh rate is the most important thing to look at. The problem is that many games don’t benefit from high refresh rate and if you play those types of games, it’s better to go for another type of monitor that suits your playstyle better.
The biggest gaming genre where this matter is in the FPS genre. Playing FPS games like Battlefield, Overwatch or CS: GO on a monitor with higher refresh rate can, and will, make a difference in the way you play. Why is that? Well, since the monitor will show more frames per second, you can see things happen faster and you can get a better accuracy.
I don’t mean that purchasing a 144Hz monitor will make you better at the game you play. The hard fact is that if you suck now, you will probably still suck even if you have a 144Hz monitor. However, if you are good at a game, your reactions could be improved with a higher refresh rate.
This is not to say that FPS games are the only games that are benefiting from high refresh rate. If you play any other game as well, you will experience a smoother gameplay with 144Hz. For example, if you are in a game of your choice and start to look around quickly, like dragging the mouse left and right fast, you will notice that the game will be blurry. The more hertz you have on your monitor, the less blur you will see. That is why I usually say that the best games where high refresh rate is really benefiting, is fast-paced games.
The monitor you have today is a 60Hz monitor, that has been the standard for many years. Because of this, it’s hard to show a good example of the difference between 60Hz and 144Hz since your monitor will only show the 144Hz image in 60hz anyway. However, you can go to Ufotest.com to see the difference between 60Hz and 30Hz. You will notice that 30Hz is much slower, almost stuttering. This is what 60Hz feels like when you are used to 144Hz. If you have a high refresh rate monitor already, the website will automatically add a third UFO showing 120Hz as well.
What is Refresh Rate?
When talking about refresh rate for a monitor, you are talking about how fast the monitor can update the image. The standard refresh rate for a monitor is 60Hz and that is good enough for almost anything you do on a computer, except fast-paced games. When you are playing a fast-paced game like CS: GO or Battlefield, you want the monitor to update as often as possible so that you get a smoother playing experience and see more details on what’s going on.
When a monitor has a 144Hz refresh rate, it can update the image on the monitor up to 144 times per second. Compare that to a 60Hz monitor, which is updated 60 times per second. A player with a 144Hz monitor will see double the frames and can act faster than a player with a 60Hz monitor. In a gunfight between two players, where one is using a high refresh monitor while the other doesn’t, it can be the difference between life and death (in the game that is).
There is some controversy about how the human eye can’t see more than 60 FPS, thus making monitors above this unnecessary. Some people are even going as far as to say that the human eye can’t see more than 30 FPS, but those people are most often console players (who just got the option to play at 60 FPS with the PS4 and the Xbox One S – How cute). PCGamer has talked to researchers that give some different opinions on the subject. It is well worth a read. But whatever they say, it’s clear that some people are able to see the difference between 60Hz and 120Hz. Here is a video from 2012 by Linus at NCIX Tech Tips where they make a blind test on 60Hz vs 120Hz.
What Does Pixel Response Mean?
Response time for monitors is something that you really don’t have to bother with anymore. Response time is measuring how fast a pixel can go from white to a color. In the old days, monitors could have 15ms or more. This was a problem because the image could be perceived as blurry. This was because the pixels didn’t change colors fast enough. Today’s monitors are usually 5ms or less and not something that most people will notice.
For a gaming monitor, I would say that 5ms or under is acceptable. It is simply no longer a problem with newer monitors. Something that some people seem to think is that response time and refresh rate goes hand in hand but that is not true, they are two separated techniques. So, if gaming will be your primary goal, you should focus on refresh rate. If you are not going to game (why are you here?) then you don’t have to worry about any of this.
Lagom.nl has an LCD-test where you can run a fun little test to see if the response time on your monitor is noticeable by you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
As always, there is a lot of questions when it comes to purchasing a monitor for a lot of money. In this section, I have tried to cover the most frequently asked questions. As always, you are welcome to ask your question in the comments if you can’t find your question here.
The simple answer is no. Having a monitor that support a high refresh rate will not give you motion sickness. There may be a case or two but I have never heard of it.
Yes, you can. You can also turn down the refresh rate in Windows and in games to 60Hz if you want. However, I don’t see any reason for this as a higher refresh rate is always better. Go for the maximum instead.
Most of the times, yes. You can often see a little difference in the smoothness when browsing, moving the mouse cursor and such but games are the general purpose for 144Hz monitors. They will not make it easier to edit videos, for example.
If you are not using G-Sync or FreeSync, you might see screen tearing and notice stuttering when you go below a certain FPS. How low is very individual. Some people don’t notice it until the FPS is only 30, while other notice it already under 100 FPS. This is because the monitor is still updating in 144Hz and if you can’t push 144 FPS, that is the result.
If you use G-Sync or FreeSync, the graphics card can communicate with the monitor and as the FPS drops, the monitor will also update less, giving you a smoother gaming experience, even if you don’t have 144 FPS in the game.
Hz Monitor Worth for *Insert Game Here*?
Every game will handle 144Hz differently. Say a game like Overwatch, CS: GO or Battlefield, where there is fast movements and quick reactions, a 144Hz is like night and day.
If there is a game like Guildwars 2 or World of Warcraft, a 144Hz monitor isn’t really needed. For those type of games I would rather go with a high-resolution monitor. They are open world games and the scenery is much more detailed and beautiful with a high-resolution monitor.
No, that is not possible. The max refresh rate of the monitor is the maximum of that monitor. The only thing that you do when lowering the resolution is to make the picture look good, which is a shame since you have spent a lot of money to get a nice monitor.
We spend a lot of time on our guides and there are two reasons for this. Firstly, we love to talk about gaming and new tech and people in our lives are getting tired of it so writing is a great way to get it out. On the other hand, it’s a great for to let you know which monitor might suit you and what you should think about when purchasing a new monitor. In that way, I hope that this guide has been of use to you and you now have a better understanding of why 144Hz monitors are great for gaming.
Because, when it comes to gaming, it’s always better to go for a monitor with a high refresh rate than to go with high resolution. Sure, it’s nice to have both and that is why monitors with 2560×1440 and 144Hz have become so popular. We haven’t taken the step to 144Hz and 4K yet, but we will soon be there. However, that will require beefy graphics cards and will have prices up to $2000 or more. If that’s not something you want to pay, buying a monitor with 1440p is still a good investment.
As always, you are welcome to ask your questions in the comment section below. Anyone of us or another visitor will give you the answer you deserve. You should also comment what 144Hz monitor you got and if it’s worth the money, partly for bragging what monitor you have (which we all love to do) and partly because you can help someone else out with their purchasing decision.
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Be sure to check out our other gaming-related buyer’s guide that will help you make a better decision when it’s time to swipe that card of yours.