If you’re playing competitive games, a 144Hz gaming monitor is definitely worth it.
Not only does it provide you with a more enjoyable and responsive gaming experience, but you also get an advantage over your opponents who have regular 60Hz displays.
Wondering whether a 144Hz monitor is worth it?
You’ve probably heard how a 144Hz gaming monitor is a must-have for competitive gaming, that once you go 144Hz, you can never go back, and similar praises — but just how true is all that?
In this article, we’ll clarify what a 144Hz refresh rate exactly means and whether or not it’s worth your money.
Does 144Hz Make A Difference?
To understand the benefits of a high refresh rate display, play the embedded video above.
Now, if you were to pause that video, you would end up with a picture like this one:
Imagine that instead of a car, there’s an enemy player in a first-person shooter, and you’re trying to take him down.
Now, if you attempted to shoot at your target on a 60Hz monitor, you’d be firing upon a target that’s not even there as your display doesn’t refresh the frames quick enough to keep up with the fast-moving object/target.
You can see how this could affect your kill/death score in FPS games.
However, in order to utilize a high refresh rate, your FPS (frames per second) must also be as high. So, make sure you have a strong enough CPU/GPU for the refresh rate you are aiming for.
Additionally, higher frame rate/refresh rate also lowers input lag and makes screen tearing less noticeable, which also significantly contributes to the gaming responsiveness and immersion.
While you may not feel or notice any issues while gaming on your 60Hz monitor right now — if you were to get a 144Hz display and game on it for a while, and then switch back to 60Hz, you would definitely notice that something is missing.
Other video games that have uncapped frame rates and which your CPU/GPU can run at higher frame rates, will feel smoother as well. In fact, just moving your cursor across the screen will feel more satisfying at 144Hz.
Be that as it may, if you’re mainly into slow-paced and more graphically-oriented games, we recommend getting a higher resolution display instead of a high refresh rate one.
Ideally, it would be best if you got a gaming monitor that offers both a high refresh rate and a high resolution, but these are a bit more expensive.
240Hz monitors provide even smoother performance, but the jump from 144Hz to 240Hz is not nearly as noticeable as it’s going from 60Hz to 144Hz. So, we recommend 240Hz and 360Hz monitors only for serious and professional gamers.
Other Things To Consider
Moving on, besides the monitor’s refresh rate, you should also look out for its response time speed if you want the best performance in fast-paced games.
So, while a higher refresh rate does offer a smoother motion clarity, if pixels can’t change from one color to another (response time) in time with those refresh rates, you get visible trailing/ghosting and motion blur.
That’s why gamers opt for gaming monitors with a 1ms GtG response time speed, or faster.
Fast TN monitors are the most affordable, while IPS and VA monitors with a 1ms GtG response time speed are more expensive (~$350 – $550+).
Some gaming monitors address the ghosting issue via a backlight strobing technology, which provides a CRT-like motion clarity.
Last but not least, you might want to purchase a gaming monitor with a variable refresh rate (VRR) technology such as FreeSync or G-SYNC.
All in all, a 144Hz or higher refresh rate monitor greatly improves your gaming experience in competitive games as long as your CPU/GPU and the display’s response time speed can keep up with the monitor’s refresh rate.
If you’re looking for an economical 144Hz monitor, we highly recommend visiting our best gaming monitors under $150 buyer’s guide.