The Best 144 Hz Monitor – 2021 Review

best 144hz monitor

In this article, we’re going to go over our top five picks for best 144 Hz gaming monitor. Our five picks run the gamut in budget, resolution, and even form factor. Regardless of what you’re looking for, we’re pretty sure you’ll find it here.

If you don’t already know what you’re looking for, we’ve also included extensive specs and a buying guide to help you pick which 144 Hz monitor is right for you. We aren’t going to assume you know everything.

If you aren’t familiar with monitor specs and what they mean, feel free to scroll down to the buying guide at the bottom of the article before checking out our picks. You can also ask us questions in the comment section, if you have any.

Now, though… let’s hop into it!

In this section, we’ll break down the specs that we use to evaluate a monitor– whether it is a 144-hertz monitor or not– and explain what they mean to you.

Refresh Rate and Overclocking

Refresh rate refers to the number of images a display can render in a single second. This corresponds closely to framerate, or FPS, which counts the number of frames a game can render in a single second. The FPS you can perceive is limited by the refresh rate of your display. So, to see framerates above 60, you’ll need a refresh rate above 60.

That is where 144 Hz monitors come in. The standard refresh rate for most displays is 60 Hz, which is well above most TV/film content and the target for most gaming content. 60 FPS is considered the minimum for a truly smooth gaming experience. The debut of 120 and 144 Hz displays revealed that even higher framerates can provide a better experience.

Overclocking in the context of this article refers to pushing your display to a higher refresh rate. If the display in question supports it without any significant compromises required, we’ll mention it in the respective review. Do note that overclocking may result in a slightly-shortened lifespan for your display, though.

Resolution, Screen Size, and PPI

Resolution measures the number of pixels that make up an image. Screen size refers to a diagonal measurement of a screen’s size, in inches, and PPI refers to pixels-per-inch.

PPI is derived from measuring resolution and screen size. In effect, PPI measures “actual” fidelity, at least in the way your eye will perceive it. With monitors at an average viewing distance, a PPI is roughly ~90 is required to achieve a clear image. This is met by 24-Inch 1080p monitors, and exceeded by 27-Inch 1440p and 4K monitors.

If you’re wondering how much different these displays will actually look side-by-side, keep in mind the PPI measurements we’ve provided for each.

G-Sync, FreeSync, and VRR

Note: G-Sync = Nvidia Graphics Cards; FreeSync = AMD and Nvidia Graphics Cards.

G-Sync and FreeSync may have different names, but they are fundamentally the same VRR technology. VRR stands for “variable refresh rate”, and it enables monitors to dynamically adjust their refresh rate in real-time to match with the framerate of the game being played. This results in a much smoother image and the utter removal of screen tearing, which would otherwise emerge without V-Sync.

V-Sync is the only available alternative if VRR isn’t supported, and it comes at the cost of reduced performance and increased input latency. FPS caps can also be a decent alternative but will result in more noticeable performance dips in intense scenes.

Panel Type

  • TN – This panel type prioritizes speed and responsiveness at the cost of color accuracy and viewing angles. Cheaper to manufacture, recommended for eSports pros.
  • IPS – This panel type prioritizes color and viewing angles at the cost of speed. More expensive, but a much better overall viewing experience. Recommended for most gamers.
  • VA – In-between standard. It’s alright.

Response Time

Note: While IPS panels do have slightly higher response times, this rarely manifests in a tangible difference in latency. The higher refresh rate of the IPS monitors in this article also help alleviate this issue.

  • 1-2 ms – The lowest possible latency. Only TN panels can do this.
  • 3-5 ms – The lowest latency achievable by IPS panels. Still fairly strong.
  • 6+ ms – High latency, especially on smaller displays.