If you’ve been using a 1080p monitor for a while and want a 1440p monitor, you’re in the right place because, in this article, we’re going to help you find the best 1440p monitor. The most obvious benefit of the 1440p resolution is the enhanced visuals, but it’s also worth noting that a higher resolution also makes larger screen sizes look good. (A large screen at a low resolution will look way worse than a small screen at a small resolution.)
Below, we’ve picked seven of the best 1440p displays we could find. Most are 27-inch and support some form of VRR, but some others break away from that mold. Whether you need the best 1440p G-Sync monitor or extra features like HDR, we think our selection has you covered. Even if you’re completely new to monitor tech, we’ve also included a buying guide at the bottom of the article.
Enough pretense, though. Let’s find the best 1440p gaming monitor for you!
In this section, we’re going to help you understand what all the specs we’ve mentioned for these 1440p (2560×1440) monitors are. Once you can translate the specs and jargon, it’ll be much easier for you to make a selection that suits your needs. These monitors start retailing in the ~$200 range, after all, and you shouldn’t spend that willy-nilly.
What is PPI, and why does it matter?
Unlike other display reviews around the web, we’ve made a point to include PPI measurements in our reviews. PPI stands for “pixels per (square) inch”, and it changes depending on the size of the display, even if the resolution stays the same. In the case of this article, the vast majority of our selections should have the same or similar ~109 PPIs, but you’ll notice that one of our picks is actually a bit higher.
To explain the difference a bit better, imagine 3 1440p monitors, side by side. 24 inches, 27 inches, and 32 inches. Despite the fact that these all have the same resolution, the 24-inch monitor will look the clearest, and the 32-inch monitor will look the blurriest.
Why? Well, you can think of it as each resolution comes with a certain amount of pixels. As such, smaller screens pack more of those pixels into a smaller space. Since you usually sit close to a computer monitor, this means you are less likely to see individual pixels.
Below, we’ll list a few common PPIs to help you better understand how this works.
- 40-Inch HDTV – ~55 PPI. This would be unacceptably low for a PC monitor at average viewing distance but looks great from a couch.
- 24-Inch 1080p Monitor – ~90 PPI. At average viewing distance, this looks just fine, with little noticeable blurring or pixelation.
- 24-Inch 1440p Monitor – ~122 PPI. At average viewing distance, this looks absolutely stellar. No noticeable blurring or pixelation.
- 27-Inch 1440p Monitor – ~109 PPI. At average viewing distance, this looks pretty good. It’s a respectable step up from 1080p, especially coming from a 24-Inch monitor. Most of the monitors on this list target this.
Panel type and the differences they make
What many people don’t consider– but should– is the panel type of your monitor. The panel type has a massive impact on just about everything else about your monitor, most importantly its: pricing, color reproduction, and responsiveness.
- TN – Cheapest and most responsive. Comes at the cost of much worse viewing angles and color reproduction. Recommended for very tight budget gamers or dedicated eSports pros.
- IPS – Most expensive, but offers the best color reproduction and viewing angles. Responsiveness varies, but most high-end IPS panels (especially running at 144 Hz), are only marginally less responsive than comparable TN panels. Recommended for the vast majority of gamers and consumers.
- VA – A curious middle-ground between TN and IPS in just about every way. Particularly favored among those who don’t like “IPS glow”, which is noticeable on the corners of many IPS displays. Tends to trend cheaper than IPS, but not as cheap as TN.
Refresh Rate and Display Overclocking
Refresh rate is measured in Hertz, and it counts the number of unique images your monitor can display in a second. This corresponds to framerate, or FPS, which measures the number of unique frames that your game can output in a second. While not the exact same measurement, these two are closely-related enough that you can only see a maximum of 60 FPS on a 60 Hz monitor, 70 on 70 Hz, and so on.
The higher your refresh rate, the smoother your gaming experience will be… provided your FPS is high enough to keep up.
Display overclocking in this context refers to increasing your refresh rate through, say, Nvidia Control Panel. Most displays can be overclocked by at least a few Hertz, and the ROG Swift has a guaranteed OC to 165 Hz from its base 144 Hz.
- 60 Hz – Basic and smooth.
- 75 Hz – Ever-so-slightly smoother.
- 120 Hz – A massive boost over 60 Hz, providing the level of smoothness needed for eSports-level competition. Mostly phased out by 144 Hz in the market, though.
- 144 Hz – Marginal improvement over 120 Hz, but the most popular high refresh rate by a considerable margin. Recommended for eSports gamers, or anyone who primarily plays online multiplayer titles.
- 240 Hz – While a massive leap over other refresh rates, the perceived change here will be much less noticeable than, say, the jump from 60 to 144 Hz. We couldn’t find any 1440p monitors with this refresh rate.
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), and why it matters
If your FPS exceeds your refresh rate, or dips erratically enough below it, you’ll notice screen tearing. Screen tearing can be fixed by triple-buffering or V-Sync, but these come at the cost of lost performance and increased input lag, which is particularly unwelcome for those playing high-precision action games or competitive multiplayer games.
Variable Refresh Rate technology allows a monitor and a GPU to more directly interact. This will result in refresh rate always matching FPS within an allotted range. G-Sync and FreeSync are the Nvidia and AMD versions of this technology, respectively, though G-Sync comes at a higher price premium and supports only Nvidia GPUs. While the above mainly handle FPS that fall short of your monitor’s refresh rate, solutions like Nvidia Fast Sync or AMD Enhanced Sync manage FPS that exceed it.
With a VRR-powered display, you’ll enjoy a much smoother gaming experience, even when you drop below 60 FPS on a 60 Hz display. If you can afford a VRR panel, we highly recommend it.
Response time and input latency
Response time is measured in milliseconds. The typical standard is GTG, or Gray-To-Gray, but a few manufacturers like to use MPRT for a lower number. Generally-speaking, 5 ms GTG or less is what you want in response time, though only TN panels can achieve 1 ms.
While response time is tied to input latency, it isn’t an exact measurement by any means. It’s difficult to quantify input latency without extensive testing, but we’ve verified that each and every one of the monitors listed above has little-to-no noticeable input lag. If you’re paying your bills with this, though, we recommend going for a 144 Hz, 1 ms, TN panel if at all possible.
Below, we’ve listed common ranges in GTG.
- 1-2 ms – Ideal for competitive gamers
- 3-4 ms – Great for everyone else
- 5 ms – Okay.
- 6+ ms – Not good
- 10+ ms – Awful