As Fast As Possible
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 in the shortest and simplest way, 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 gun him down.
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) rate must also be as high. So, make sure you have a powerful enough CPU/GPU for the refresh rate you aim for.
Higher frame rate/refresh rate also reduces input lag and makes screen tearing less noticeable which also greatly 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, you should get a gaming monitor that offers both, a high refresh rate and a high resolution, but these are a bit more expensive.
240Hz monitors provide an 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 monitors only for serious and professional gamers.
Other Things To Consider
Besides monitor’s refresh rate, you should also look out for its response time speed if you want the best performance in fast-paced games.
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 trailing, ghosting, and motion blur.
That’s why most gamers opt for TN panel displays which have a 1ms response time speed and avoid VA panels which have the slowest response time. IPS panels are somewhere in between, they offer a good balance between image quality and performance.
Some gaming monitors address this issue via a backlight strobing technology which provides a CRT-like motion clarity – though for most people, a TN panel or even an IPS panel high refresh rate monitor will get the job done.
Last but not least, you may want to get a gaming monitor with a variable refresh rate (VRR) technology such as FreeSync or G-SYNC. Learn more about these technologies.
All in all, a 144Hz or a 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.
Finally, you may want to visit our comprehensive gaming monitor buyer’s guide which contains all the information you’ll need for buying the perfect monitor for you.
Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.