As Fast As Possible
Deciding between a 1440p monitor and a 144Hz monitor mostly depends on what video games you play. Go with 144Hz if you want a smoother performance in competitive first-person shooters, and with 1440p if you want better visuals and graphics.
Unfortunately, not everyone can afford a high-end 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor with a variable refresh rate, HDR, and all the other bells and whistles – and the PC rig to properly power such a demanding display.
So, if you want to go one step further from the budget 1080p 60Hz monitors, you have a choice between a 1080p 144Hz and 1440p 60Hz/75Hz gaming monitor.
Update: Note that there are now 1440p 144Hz gaming monitors, such as the AOC CQ27G1, that are cheaper than older 1440p 60Hz displays!
60Hz vs 144Hz
First, you should decide whether or not you need a 144Hz gaming monitor.
If you mostly play undemanding competitive games such as CS: GO and Overwatch, a higher refresh rate will provide you with a smoother and more enjoyable gaming experience – provided that you can maintain a high FPS rate.
It will also provide you with a slight advantage against other players with regular 60Hz screens.
It’s not only competitive and FPS games that benefit from a high refresh rate. All video games will run smoother at higher refresh rates (unless the game itself is FPS-locked to 30FPS or 60FPS), but the difference between 60Hz and 144Hz is most noticeable with fast-moving objects.
On the other hand, if you’re mainly playing more graphically-oriented games and want the best visuals, go for a 1440p monitor instead.
1080p vs 1440p
So, what are you gaining by going for 1440p instead of 1080p?
The higher the resolution the more pixels there are in the image, however, the sheer number of pixels doesn’t determine the picture quality alone. This is where pixel density i.e. pixel-per-inch ratio comes into play.
A 24″ 1080p monitor has a pixel per inch (PPI) ratio of 93 which results in a decent amount of screen space and details.
That same resolution on a 27″ monitor will have a lower pixel density of 81 PPI which makes for less screen real estate and detail clarity; the picture gets more pixelated as it is easier to distinguish the individual pixels.
In contrast, 1440p allows you to have a bigger screen and still keep a high pixel density.
For instance, a 27″ 1440p monitor has a pixel density of 108.79 PPI which is the optimal ratio as you get plenty of screen space and maximum detail without any scaling necessary.
On a 32″ 1440p monitor, you get the same pixel density as it’s on 24″ 1080p displays (93 PPI), and so forth.
Price & System Requirements
Nowadays, 1440p 60Hz models go for as high as some 1440p 144Hz monitors, so we don’t recommend them. In fact, low refresh rate 1440p displays are quite rare nowadays and are mostly available as professional-use monitors.
Additionally, you will have to ensure that your PC system will be able to handle the desired frame rate at the resolution you’ve picked.
In order to do so, look for benchmarks of your GPU for video games you intend to play.
Overall, if you play a little bit of both competitive multiplayer FPS and the latest AAA titles, we recommend getting a 1080p 144Hz gaming monitor.
This way, you get the edge over your opponents in fast-paced games and you can still play demanding games at smooth frame rates.
In case you don’t care for competitive games and prefer an immersive single-player experience, 1440p will provide you with a better picture quality – just make sure your PC can maintain at least ~60FPS in the latest titles.