As Fast As Possible
To output 1080p content at 144Hz, you will need either a Dual-Link DVI, a DisplayPort, or an HDMI 1.4 or higher (though some monitors with HDMI 1.4 are limited to 60Hz or 120Hz) cable.
For 144Hz at 1440p, you will need at least an HDMI 2.0 or a DisplayPort 1.2 while for 4K 144Hz you are going to need an HDMI 2.1 or alternatively, a DisplayPort 1.4 which maxes out at 120Hz without compression.
VGA (Video Graphics Array) or D-Sub is an old analog connector which maxes out at 1920×1200 and 75Hz. Most of the newer graphics cards and displays don’t feature this port. It can still be found on some monitors though which can be useful if you want to connect it to an older GPU or use it for a multi-monitor setup.
DVI (Digital Visual Interface) is a more common and widespread connector, but keep in mind that not all DVI versions are the same. Only the Dual-Link DVI-D port can do 1920×1080 at 144Hz or 2560×1440 at 75Hz while the other DVI ports max out at the same bandwidth as VGA.
Nowadays, most of the monitors, TVs, and graphics cards feature at least an HDMI 1.4 port which is enough for 144Hz at 1080p, 75Hz at 1440p, and 30Hz at 4K.
However, keep in mind that some monitors have limited bandwidth over HDMI 1.4 making it max out at 120Hz or even at 60Hz in some cases (mostly G-SYNC and older monitors).
In fact, most 144Hz monitors are limited to 120Hz over HDMI 1.4, but some monitor manufacturers will use custom timing parameters, pixel rates, etc to use the full potential of the HDMI 1.4 bandwidth thus getting 144Hz at 1080p.
So, make sure that the exact monitor you’re looking at supports 144Hz or at least 120Hz over its HDMI 1.4 port – or just look for a 144Hz display with HDMI 2.0.
HDMI 2.0 is also fairly standard and can be used for 240Hz at 1080p, 144Hz at 1440p, and 60Hz at 4K. The latest HDMI 2.1 adds native support for 120Hz at 4K UHD and 60Hz at 8K.
Apart from an HDMI port, most gaming monitors also come with a DisplayPort 1.2 port which offers native support for 240Hz at 1080p, up to 165Hz at 1440p, and up to 75Hz at 4K.
DisplayPort 1.3 and DisplayPort 1.4 provide the extra bandwidth required for 240Hz at 1440p, 120Hz at 4K, 60Hz at 5K, and 30Hz at 8K. The main difference between DP 1.3 and DP 1.4, is that the latter supports DSC (Display Stream Compression) which allows it to deliver 144Hz at 4K, 120Hz at 5K, and 60Hz at 8K – but with compression.
A mini-DisplayPort (or Thunderbolt) connector can output the same amount of bandwidth as the DisplayPort implementation it is based on. So, mini-DisplayPort 1.2 can do 75Hz at 4K, 240Hz at 1080p, and so on.
Furthermore, mini-DisplayPort is now being replaced by the USB Type-C port on newer displays. The USB-C port sends the DisplayPort signal for audio and video and can simultaneously charge (if the device supports power delivery) and transfer data to the connected device.
|DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable (Standard)|
|DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable (DP8K)|
|DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cable (Standard)|
|DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cable (DP8K)|
|HDMI to HDMI Cable|
|Dual-Link DVI-D to Dual-Link DVI-D Cable|
|Thunderbolt 3 Passive Cable (20 Gbit/s)|
|Thunderbolt 3 Active Cable (40 Gbit/s)|
Adapters For 144Hz
In case your 144Hz monitor and graphics card don’t support 144Hz over the same port type, you may be able to use an adapter.
In the table below, you will find all the currently available adapter combinations for 1080p 144Hz or higher. Keep in mind that when using an adapter, the output/input order is important.
For instance, with an HDMI (output/PC) to DP (input/display) adapter, you can connect a computer with an HDMI port to a monitor with a DisplayPort port – not vice versa as these adapters aren’t bi-directional. In order to connect your computer with a DisplayPort to a monitor with an HDMI port, you will need a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter.
When it comes to DVI adapters, the DVI-D adapter needs to be active, not passive which means it will usually use a USB connector for power. Moreover, for 144Hz, you will need a Dual-Link DVI-D adapter, Single-Link won’t work.
The available active adapter combinations are (Mini) DisplayPort to HDMI (and vice versa), DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI-D, USB-C to DP, and USB-C to HDMI. An active HDMI to Dual-Link DVI-D adapter doesn’t currently exist.
Note that these active adapters are fairly expensive and that some manufacturers will falsely advertise passive adapters as active and/or Single-Link DVI adapters as Dual-Link.
Also, double-check whether your monitor/GPU supports 144Hz over the port you’re trying to convert before buying an expensive active adapter.
|Adapter (PC -> Dislpay)|
|HDMI to DisplayPort Adapter|
|DisplayPort to HDMI 1.4 Cable/Adapter|
|DisplayPort to HDMI 2.0 Adapter|
|Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter|
|DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI-D Adapter|
|Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI-D Adapter|
|USB-C to DisplayPort Cable/Adapter|
|USB-C to HDMI Cable/Adapter|
Does HDMI 1.4 support 144Hz at 1080p?
Yes, HDMI 1.4 can support up to 144Hz at 1920×1080. However, not all monitors with HDMI 1.4 necessarily do as well.
Older 144Hz gaming monitors such as the Acer GN246HL, BenQ XL2411, BenQ XL2411Z, BenQ XL2430T, ASUS VG248QE, AOC G2460PF, etc are all limited to 60Hz over HDMI. Many monitors with HDMI 1.4 are also limited to 120Hz at 1080p.
Moreover, all monitors with G-SYNC are limited to 60Hz over HDMI.
My laptop/PC only has an HDMI port, but my monitor supports 144Hz over DisplayPort.
You will need an active HDMI to DP adapter. Note that this adapter allows for up to 120Hz at 1080p only.
My laptop/PC only has an HDMI port, but my monitor supports 144Hz over Dual-Link DVI-D.
You will need an active HDMI to DL-DVI-D adapter. Unfortunately, no such adapter currently exists. You will need a monitor that supports 144Hz over HDMI or at least over DisplayPort in which case you could use an HDMI to DP adapter.
My laptop/PC only has a Mini DisplayPort port, but my monitor supports 144Hz over DisplayPort.
You will need a standard Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable.
My laptop/PC only has a Mini DisplayPort port, but my monitor supports 144Hz over Dual-Link DVI-D.
You will need an active Mini DisplayPort to DL-DVI-D adapter. Note that this adapter allows for up to 120Hz at 1080p only. Using a passive or Single-Link DVI-D adapter will limit you to 60Hz at 1080p.
My laptop/PC only has a Mini DisplayPort port, but my monitor supports 144Hz over HDMI.
You will need a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. A passive adapter will be enough for 1080o 120Hz.
My laptop/PC only has a USB-C port, but my monitor supports 144Hz over DisplayPort.
Given that the USB-C port on your laptop supports Thunderbolt 3 or DisplayPort Alternate Mode, you will need a USB-C to DP adapter/cable.
My laptop/PC only has a USB-C port, but my monitor supports 144Hz over Dual-Link DVI-D.
You will need a USB-C to DL-DVI-D adapter. Unfortunately, no such adapter exists. There are USB-C to Single-Link DVI adapters, but these are limited to 1080p at 60Hz.
My laptop/PC only has a USB-C port, but my monitor supports 144Hz over HDMI.
Given that the USB-C port on your laptop supports Thunderbolt 3 or DisplayPort Alternate Mode, you will need a USB-C to HDMI adapter/cable.
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.