Best 144Hz Monitor for Gaming: Our Comprehensive Buying Guide!
There are 2 types of buyers in the modern monitor market. Those who use them to play games, and those who use them to do work. If you are looking to play games on your monitor then you should be getting a monitor that has least 144Hz refresh rate. Any lower and you will be disappointed.
The 144Hz refresh rate means the monitor redraws the picture on screen 144 times per second instead of 60 times per second. This gives you a smoother image and faster reaction times. Since the picture is redrawing faster you can notice any changes before someone on a 60 Hz monitor could notice. Because your monitor has faster reactions, you too have faster reactions. Getting those headshots in CS:GO can come down to something as small as how quickly your monitor updates itself.
Any fast paced game can benefit from the 144Hz upgrade.
Before I upgraded to a 144Hz monitor I didn’t believe the hype. I knew I was going to upgrade because I needed a new monitor and I wanted to future proof it. But, now that I have a 144Hz monitor I can’t imagine how I ever survived on a simple 60 Hz. Switching between my laptop and my desktop is like night and day. The only game that I play on my laptop is Day of Defeat: Source. It is a FPS meaning every split second matters. I have stopped sniping when playing on my laptop because it feels painful. 60 Hz has become painfully slow to me.
Best 144Hz Monitors for 2018 (Comparison Chart)
|Category||Monitor||Image||Screen Size||Panel Type||GTG Response Time||Resolution||Adaptive Refresh Tech||Price|
|Entry Level||AOC G2770PQU||27”||TN||1 ms||1920 x 1080||N/A|
|Entry Level||ASUS VG248QE||24”||TN||1 ms||1920 x 1080||N/A|
|Entry Level||AOC G2460PF||24”||TN||1 ms||1920 x 1080||FreeSync|
|Entry Level||BenQ Zowie XL2411||24”||TN||1 ms||1920 x 1080||N/A|
|Mid Level||Acer Predator|
|24”||TN||1 ms||1920 x 1080||G-Sync|
|Mid Level||ViewSonic XG2701||27”||TN||1 ms||1920 x 1080||FreeSync|
|Mid Level||Benq Zowie XL2720||27”||TN||1 ms||1920 x 1080||N/A|
|Mid Level||ASUS MG278Q||27”||TN||1 ms||2560 x 1440||FreeSync|
|High End||Acer Predator XB271HU||27”||IPS||5 ms||2560 x 1440||G-Sync|
|High End||ASUS ROG PG279Q||27”||IPS||5 ms||2560 x 1440||G-Sync|
|High End||BenQ Zowie XL2735||27”||TN||1 ms||2560 x 1440||N/A|
|High End||Dell S2716DG||27”||TN||1 ms||2560 x 1440||G-Sync|
TN vs IPS Panels: Which Panel is More Effective?
There are lots of features and specifications that are going to come up in this article. And instead of taking the time with each individual monitor to weigh the pros and cons lets do that now. If you already know the difference between the two and just want recommendations then refer to the 3 monitors at the top of the article. If what was said about those monitors made no sense then read on.
There are several different types of panels that manufacturers use to power their screens. We are not going to delve into the technology behind each panel, but are simply going to weigh the pros and cons of TN panels and IPS panels. Those are the only 2 that come up when discussing 144Hz monitors.
This is the bread and butter of monitors. While they are getting replaced by IPS panels, those panels come with a premium and are just now managing to push the 144Hz boundary. TN panels are built for speed. If you are a gamer then you should be looking at TN panels. Unless money is no issue. If you MUST have the best then go for one of the IPS panels that has a 144Hz refresh rate.
For most people you are going to be looking at getting a TN panel. There are relatively few cons and a single massive pro.
The biggest pro for TN panels are their cheaper price. Usually over $100 of a difference. Since TN panels have been around for longer they can have a higher refresh rate and faster GTG response times. A Gray to Gray response time is how quickly an individual pixel can go from Gray to another colour and back to Gray again. Most monitors aim to have under 5 ms of response time. But some aficionadas will swear that they notice the difference between 5 ms and 1 ms. I personally cannot notice that difference. Not unlike the 144Hz and 60 Hz.
Which brings us to our other pro.
Speed is the thing that most gamers should be most preoccupied with. If you are playing just about any game then speed will give you a competitive edge. Any game. Literally every game is played better at a refresh rate higher than 144Hz. And with a TN panel we are now able to push even 240 Hz. Which is a massive boost in how quickly you can react and how quickly you see things happen. It can make the difference between life and death.
IPS panels are still playing catch up in terms of their refresh rates for how cheap they are. If you are a gamer on a budget then you should look at getting a TN panel with 144Hz refresh rate.
The colour gamut on TN panels is, on average, worse than IPS panels. For most users that difference isn’t that noticeable unless you are looking from anywhere besides in front. If you are planning on using more than 1 monitor, or if you are planning on gaming with friends then you should be looking at IPS panels exclusively. Other thing to keep in mind is that if you are getting a screen larger than 27” you should get an IPS panel.
Because the screen is so large, the colour discolouration is noticeable when looking at the edges of the screen. On widescreens, when using peripheral vision the screen experiences a slight disfiguration. The colours gets all weird.
The new kid on the block, IPS panels are sweeping the monitor market and slowly edging out TN panels in their own space. It will take another couple years before TN panels are completely displaced; but the process is well underway with IPS panels finally breaking the 144Hz barrier and getting cheaper. As soon as IPS panels get cheap enough they will completely replace TN panels on the market. They have better colours and better viewing angles and as soon as the pros of the TN panels get replaced there will be no reason to get a TN panel.
Without going into the tech of monitors, the big thing to know is that IPS panels are the opposite of TN panels. The pros and cons chart is reversed. But that chart is changing quickly. Looking at the Acer Predator XB271HU and ROG Swift PG279Q they are 2 IPS panels that are offering 144Hz speeds (and you can overclock them to go faster). This is making IPS panels more viable for gaming every day. Those 2 panels are very high end but in a couple of years there will be monitors that are offering nearly the same thing for a lower price.
At the end of the day there is only one way to know what monitor to get. Look at your budget and then prioritize speed or colours. Its that simple. Personally, I prioritize speed but my favourite games are FPS and I am slowly trying to climb the Overwatch ranked ladder. So speed is essential for me.
Best Budget 144Hz Gaming Monitors (Updated Feb 2018)
Without further ado. Here are the best 144Hz monitors that you can buy.
The Asus VG248QE will get you into 144Hz gaming without breaking your bank. The monitor offers everything that you would need in a monitor, including 144Hz and great inputs. Asus has a history of making quality screens and this one is no different. It is featured on our homepage article as well, simply because it is so good. As of writing this article the monitor sits around $250.
It is one of the cheapest monitors that you can buy to get 144Hz. The monitor came out in 2013, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t up to snuff. Just that its original price has dropped. And the fact that Asus hasn’t updated it also proves just how effective the monitor is at its job. That job being giving you a gaming edge.
It was one of the first true 144Hz monitor released, and there had never been one for so cheap. Even to this day there aren’t a lot of monitors that are as cheap as this one. But cheap doesn’t mean poorly built. At least not in this case. This time around it just means you are going to get great value for your money.
There are no better options for getting 144Hz out of a monitor. Especially around this price point. If you want a little bit of brand name and some stunning speed then this is the monitor for you.
This monitor offers:
Looking at these features you can understand that this monitor was built for speed. Much like a Bugatti isn’t good at much else, this monitor does one thing. But it does it well.
Most of the newer monitors come with 1440p resolution and screen sizes are on average moving up to 27”. But that doesn’t mean that this monitor isn’t a contender for best monitor of the year. At least not for its price. The thing you have to realize with this monitor is that it is the best at what it does. Any monitor with a higher price is giving you more features, but there is only 1 thing that this monitor is missing that can actually impact your gameplay.
These are the adaptive refresh rates made by Nvidia and AMD respectively that get rid of screen tearing. What they do is sync up your refresh rate with the FPS that your computer outputs. We will not go into how this is done, but if you are interested there is plenty of documentation on the internet. All you need to know for this article is that they are awesome pieces of technology that make your gaming experience smoother and overall better.
Every other feature that a monitor is nice and awesome. But if you are going for a speedy display then it is just icing on the cake. This monitor is not for the people that want the best uncompromising screen. This is for people who know what they want and are willing to make sacrifices to get it.
The TN panel gives you horrific viewing angles. When looking at the screen from anywhere but straight on you will get discolouration and in some cases you won’t even be able to make out what is on the screen. If you are gaming then this won’t be an issue. Seeing as you sit in front of your screen. But if you want to play with friends then you may need to look at getting an IPS screen or they will not be seeing the same things that you are seeing. Their whole image will be different, literally.
The speakers aren’t great but they will work in a pinch. I would rather that monitor makers would stop adding speakers to their screens and just drop prices. I am going to use my own speakers anyways. I have yet to find a screen that has good enough speakers to warrant not spending $20 on a better sound system. For most screens just about any stand alone speakers are better than what they offer. Same here.
Asus knew who they were targeting when they made this monitor. All they wanted to do was capture the 144Hz demographic. They care about gamers, and that’s who this screen is made for. If you can spend the money then you should look at some of the other monitors in this guide; but if you looking for the best budget 144Hz monitor. Look no further.
The Overall Best: Acer Predator XB271HU & ROG Swift PG279Q
This is the best monitor that you can buy right now. While there are 2 monitors that are jostling for position of kingpin, I think this one wins out. On style only. Both the Acer Predator and ROG Swift PG279Q are incredible monitors that compromise on nothing.
If you compare these 2 statistics, then you will understand why I included them as a single item. However, let’s have a look at them individually and then we will compare the 2 monitors side by side.
Not only is this monitor stunningly gorgeous. But it perfectly combines every feature that a gamer would need or want. The only current feature that this monitor is missing is a curvature. That has been the latest trend but the Acer Predator has foregone that.
Lets look at the features:
- IPS Panel
- 1440 Resolution
- Overclockable to 165 Hz
- 4 ms response time
- 2 x 2W speakers
- 4 USB 3.0 ports
- 1x DisplayPort
- 1x HDMI 1.4
- VESA Compatibility
- ULMB technology
As you can see, this list is extensive. Acer took everything that they could get their hands on and put it I this monitor. And boy oh boy is it ever a great monitor. This is my personal monitor for when I am not testing out a monitor. Which means it has been through some serious stress tests and means that I have extensive experience with it. With that experience comes a few gripes. But those are few and far between. 99% of my experience with this monitor has been pure bliss; it does everything I need it to do and then some, I swear this monitor is the reason that I managed to rank up in several of my competitive games.
Starting with the 144Hz. Normally you had to make a sacrifice or two to get a 144Hz. Not anymore. This screen offers you an IPS panel with a 144Hz refresh rate. Which makes everything look so damn good. Most other 144Hz monitors run on an TN panel which offers less vibrant colours and horrendous viewing angles. Looking at those monitors from anywhere but directly in front of it is awful. The images are nothing like what they are supposed to be. But if you wanted speed then that was a sacrifice you had to make.
Now you can get the best of both worlds; great colours, great viewing angles, and lightning fast speed. The only thing that is slower than those TN panels is the GTG response time. But a difference of 3 ms is so miniscule that it isn’t noticeable for everyone but the pickiest monitor aficionados. That Gray to Gray response time is how quickly an individual pixel can go from Gray to another colour and back to Gray. It is almost never an issue, as long as you are getting response times under 5 ms then you won’t notice it at all.
For those of who need to push their equipment to the very edge, you can overclock this monitor to push the 165 Hz boundary. While Acer hasn’t guaranteed that you will be able to get 165 Hz; they state that you “should be able to”. Overclocking isn’t something that the manufacturers can guarantee and you should look at the warranty before you decide to do that. Some warranties will become void if you attempt overclocking.
One of the things that drew me to this screen was the fact that it is a 27” screen at 1440 resolution but still offers 144Hz. 27” screens with a 1440 resolution are the sweet spot. They offer enough screen realty with the perfect amount of pixels. You don’t get pixilation and you aren’t straining your eyes to make out what is on screen. If you have too many pixels on too small of a screen then you can’t really make out what is on the screen. Everything is scaled down to accommodate the extra pixels. But if you have too big a screen with too few pixels then you get pixilation.
Pixelation is the name given to the effect of physically seeing individual pixels. This image is an extreme example, but if you have a screen that is too big for the resolution you get an effect similar to this. The pixels can’t cover enough screen reality and so they have to be made bigger to fit into the screen.
1080 on a 24” screen is one of the other sweet spots. But I like having more screen realty and therefore, I prefer the 27” screens. Also 27” screens look better on your desk. And that’s why we are buying these monitors. To look good.
The 2 speakers are one of my gripes with this monitor. Acer decided to put 2 speakers onto this monitor and I wish they wouldn’t. It would lower the price and you can get better speakers for less money than what they charge. While speakers are nice for in a pinch, I would honestly rather be forced to wear headphones than have monitors come with speakers. Most monitors speakers aren’t good for sound quality nor do most gamers actually use them. Every person I have talked to who owns a desktop uses different speakers. So can manufacturers please stop putting them on monitors.
That being said, for monitor speakers these aren’t bad at all. They do the job and can decently fill a room. Not the worst monitor speakers I have heard, and not the best. A solid effort but nothing to get excited by.
What is really nice about this monitor are the 4 USB 3.0 ports that the monitor has. This lets plug in your mouse, keyboard, and 2 other USB items of your choice. I personally use them for my mic and my Bluetooth headphones. When using the headphones at home I use the cable, but if I can just plug them into my monitor to charge then they can charge while I am using them. But if I didn’t have those then it would be my tablet. I need lots of USB ports so the more the better. I also really like the fact that they are 3.0. The charging speeds are noticeable between 2.0 and 3.0.
If you are looking at getting a multi-monitor set-up then this is the perfect monitor for you. The IPS panel gives you awesome viewing angles from the side which makes setting up more than 1 monitor awesome with this monitor. Another plus for setting up multiples of this monitor the VESA compatibility. This lets you set up the monitor on any VESA stand and get your perfect configuration.
The ROG Swift is my other pick for the best 144Hz monitor that you can get. And part of that reason is because it isn’t actually a 144Hz. It can be overclocked to 165 Hz which will give you that extra edge in FPS and fast paced games like CS:GO and Overwatch. Having your monitor redraw the image those extra 20 times per second is a surprisingly big deal.
Whenever anyone asks the question of whether it is worth the upgrade or not the answer is a resounding yes. The difference between 60 Hz and 144Hz is so substantial. Its like being blind for the first 5 years of your life and then putting on glasses. And that is a feeling I know.
Having a look at its features and you will notice that it has something in common with the Acer Predator. Just about everything in common actually.
- 1440 Resolution
- IPS Panel
- VESA Compatibility
- 1x HDMI
- 1x DisplayPort
- 2x USB 3.0
- ULMB Technology
- 2x 2W speakers
Just like the Acer Predator, Asus didn’t skimp on any aspects of this monitor. It is expected to be the perfect, or as close to perfect monitor. Nothing should be able to compare to it. Except for the other monitor built to be incomparable.
For the purpose of this article lets have a look at the monitor without acknowledging the Acer Predators presence.
The monitors default speed is 144Hz but this can be bumped up to run at 165 Hz. Faster than nearly every other monitor on the market. The only other monitor that can run faster is another one from Asus’ Republic of Gamers line. It runs at an absurd 240 Hz. But that monitor is sacrificing things that this monitor doesn’t have to. For example this one has an IPS panel whereas the 240 Hz monitor runs on a TN panel.
Is an IPS Panel Worth Buying? (Breakdown)
Yes. The image quality on an IPS panel is heads and shoulders above that of a TN panel. That and anyone who wants to create a multiple monitor set up will need to get a IPS panel. Since you will never be looking directly at your monitors you are going to suffer from viewing angles. Getting an IPS panel will fix that. Its that simple. You need an IPS panel.
IPS panels are also much better for getting good colours. Even when looking at the monitor from head on the IPS panel will produce better colours. And those colours matter a lot. I know I have been harping on the fact that IPS is better than TN; but they aren’t all that much better. There is a noticeable improvement in colour performance and the viewing angles. But if you are only using one monitor then it shouldn’t be an issue.
The screen size is 27” with a 2560 x 1440 WQHD resolution. WQHD stands for Wide Quad HD. It is just a 1440 resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The 27” screen with a 2560 x 1440 is the sweet spot between pixels and screen realty. You aren’t going to get too many pixels nor are you going to nasty pixelation.
One issue with the 2560 x 1440 resolution is the computing power needed to power those pixels. Every individual pixel needs to be rendered and that takes computing power. Don’t look at getting a monitor with a resolution this high if you aren’t sure that your rig will be able to the stress that you are about to put it under. If you aren’t sure whether or not your computer will be able to run it, see what kind if FPS you are getting on high graphics games. Don’t play a game like CS:GO and look at your +100 FPS and say your rig is great. I consistently get +250 FPS on CS:GO but I don’t think I would be able to run Mass Effect: Andromeda on ultra at this resolution. Sadly I had to lower the quality of ME: A to get steady FPS at this resolution. Otherwise it was impossible to play. There is nothing I hate more than FPS drops.
However, playing on a 1080 screen gives me 100 FPS on Ultra with my personal rig. Despite the Ultra settings, I found that the game looked better on the larger screen with a higher resolution. This is just Mass Effect however, other games such as Call of Duty looked better on higher settings with a lower resolution. This is because the game settings make such a big difference whereas in Mass Effect the settings didn’t actually make that big of a difference in the game. In general it is better to get a resolution that you know your computer can handle. Otherwise you could get screen tearing, which is why GPU manufacturers have started licensing adaptive screen refresh rates to monitor manufacturers.
G-sync and Freesync are THE best way to eliminate the screen tearing problem. Check out our other post on Freesync vs G-Sync to understand the intricacies between the 2. Usually the choice comes down to what GPU you are using but in general G-Sync is the higher end option of the two. I personally use a Nvidia GPU and therefore am a big fan of monitors with G-Sync and Asus has given this monitor G-sync to completely get rid of screen tearing. Despite the fact that once you get above 120 Hz you don’t really suffer from screen tearing as the refresh rate is so high that you won’t really suffer from that issue.
G-Sync usually comes with a price premium as manufacturers have to pay Nvidia for the right to use it. But the software works really well and can be worth the price. Just for the peace of mind.
Asus built this monitor with the hardcore gamer in mind. They knew that people who were using this monitor would be gaming for hours at a time, putting in huge amounts of time behind the screen. Therefore they gave the screen Eye Care technology so that your eyes don’t get tired or irritated. Personally, this tech actually worked.
The Eye Care Technology is just a bunch of little things that Asus has done to reduce the eye strain on your eyes. Things like reducing the blue light that the monitor emits, making the monitor swivel (which almost every monitor can do), and giving the monitor flicker free technology. Most monitors flicker really quickly to maintain their brightness and adjust things. Asus found a way to have a normal monitor that doesn’t flicker. This reduces eyes train because your eyes pick up on those tiny flickers. Your brain doesn’t register it but your pupils do. Without going into neuroscience and how the brain, brain stem, and spinal cord work this is because the pupil dilation is determined by a reaction and not by your brain.
You don’t notice the flickers, but your eyes do. And this flickering can fatigue them.
I have poor eyes and when I use a computer with my contact lenses in I notice fatigue. But not once did I feel like I needed to take a break from using the computer when I was using this monitor. Whether that is because of the Eye Care technology, or because it is a high quality screen I don’t know. It could be either. But it certainly doesn’t hurt the monitors case for best monitor.
Since this monitor is an IPS panel, it is perfect for a multi monitor set up. What also gives this monitor an advantage in multi monitor set ups is the VESA compatibility. Nearly every monitor stand is a VESA stand and needs VESA compatibility to be used. This means you can set up your monitors in whatever way you want to. Including have 3 of them surrounding you.
While the monitor comes with an HDMI input you are going to need to use the DisplayPort to get more than 60 Hz refresh rate. So basically, use the DisplayPort. It is a superior input and you will need to use it if you want to get the higher refresh rates. And why else would you buy this monitor if you don’t want to use the higher refresh rates.
The monitor comes with 2 USB 3.0 ports allowing you to connect your gaming mouse and keyboard to the monitor. A quality of life feature that will keep your cables cleaned up and make your battlestation look even better.
My only problem with the monitor are the speakers. Speakers on monitors are unnecessary and shouldn’t be included at all. Just get rid of them and lower the price. I am going to buy my own speakers anyways.
Those are 3 of our picks for 144Hz monitors. But the market is full of them. 144Hz is the new 1080 resolution. Manufacturers are getting in on the trend. And while 2 of the above monitors are pricey high end monitors, there are other options. You don’t have to spend and absurd amount of money to get a 144Hz monitor anymore.
First we are going to go through the budget monitors that will get you 144Hz without breaking your bank. Often they will use TN panels and have fewer features than you would get from the higher end monitors. But if you aren’t willing to drop so muchmoney on your computer set up then these will easily, and comfortably, get the job done for you.
Best 144Hz Monitors Under $300: Entry Level
This is one of the better monitors for its price. At around $300 you can get a solid 144Hz monitor. While it may not have all the bells and whistles that other monitors have. It will certainly produce great colours and give you a great experience.
- 1080 resolution
- 27” screen
- TN Panel
- 1 ms GTG response time
- VGA input
- DisplayPort input
- DVI Dual-Link input
- HDMI input
- 4x USB 2.0 (1 charging port)
- Headphone jack
Reading the other reviews of monitors and it should be clear that I have strong feelings regarding monitors that come with speakers. This one doesn’t. Instead the price is lower and it can deliver more for a better budget. What a good design choice by AOC.
Starting off, the resolution is at 1080 on a 27” screen. My worry was that there wouldn’t be enough pixels to cover the whole screen adequately. And while it isn’t the most HD. Not once did I think “this needs more pixels”. Sure I would want more. But it isn’t necessary. The difference is noticeable when I put my Macbook next to the monitor. However, this is a great monitor. And for the price, the 1080 is more than enough for 27”. I would rather have the bigger screen. It makes the games more immersive.
Moving on to the panel. For a TN panel, the viewing angles aren’t atrocious. And when looking at the monitor from directly in front of it. It doesn’t look bad at all. AOC has managed to give solid colours in this monitor. While I wouldn’t recommend it for professional use, for everyone else (gaming, and general users) the colours are more than good enough.
NOTE: If you are looking for a professional monitor then you aren’t going to want 144Hz. Or you will need to look at the higher budget portion of this guide.
What this monitor does excel at is being fast. It has a 1 ms GTG response time. It couldn’t be any faster. The only aspect of this monitor that could be speedier is the refresh rate. We recently saw a monitor by Asus that is pushing 240 Hz refresh rate. However, this one has 144Hz and that difference is huge. If you are going from 60 Hz then you will be so happy with 144Hz. Refresh rate will never be fast enough but 144Hz is a huge step for anyone upgrading.
The GTG combined with a fast refresh rate leads to a great monitor that will perform faster than you can react (almost). GTG response time is how quickly a pixel can go from Gray to white and back to Gray. It reflects how quickly a monitor can react to changes that your GPU sends. When you are using a 60 Hz monitor having a monitor with 5 ms or lower is fine as the screen won’t refresh fast enough for the GTG spec to make a difference. But when you are using fast monitors such as these 144Hz monitors then you should be looking at getting as low a GTG response time as possible. Having a fast GTG response time will prevent ghosting and a laggy image. An issue that is also solved with Freesync and G-Sync.
This monitor knows what it is. It is a speedy budget monitor, and it does its job so well.
It doesn’t feel cheaply made nor does it under deliver anywhere that you expect it to deliver. The stand doesn’t take up too much room on your desk but is also big enough to easily support the screen.
What most impressed me about this monitor was the build quality. Looking at the price tag, I fully expected the monitor to feel cheaply made, as if one wrong move would cause the monitor fall apart. But, AOC was able to surprise me. The monitor felt that, while made out of plastic, it was sturdy and would be able to withstand typical life. Even travel, for those who want to bring this monitor to LAN parties.
One odd aspect of this monitor is the plethora of inputs. It perplexes me that you would make a 144Hz and then include a VGA input. VGA died a while ago. It doesn’t support 144Hz (only one of the inputs actually does) and is the worst of all 4 inputs. Also included is HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort. 1 of which is actually capable of running at 144Hz. The DVI cable will only be able to run at 1080p at a 120 Hz. But if you want the true speed that you can have then use the DisplayPort input.
Surprisingly this monitor also comes with 4 USB ports. This is surprising because the USB ports are often something that lower end monitors overlook. While USB ports don’t change the performance of a monitor; they are a great quality of life improvement. It help keeps the desk clean and clutter free.
AOC is fast gaining a reputation for making solid screens for great prices. Delivering some of the best quality that can be delivered. They aren’t fancy and are usually found on the lower end of the price lists. But the basics are so good on these monitors; things like contrast and brightness numbers are what separate the great from the good and that is what AOC excels at.
But they don’t make high screens like the Acer Predator. You won’t see them sponsoring an esports tournament like IEM or OGN. They are found on the desks of every day users.
And that’s where we find the AOC G2460PF. A monitor geared towards gamers (just like nearly every 144Hz monitor) that fits perfectly in the entry level part of our article. It runs a TN panel on a 24” screen with some decent colours after you have fiddled with the settings.
- 24” screen
- TN panel
- 4 USB Ports
- DisplayPort input
- HDMI input
- VGA input
- 1 ms GTG response time
What separates this monitor from the other AOC monitor above is the screen size and the fact that this one has Freesync. Freesync is the adaptive refresh rate from AMD that prevents screen tearing. It effectively syncs up the FPS that your computer is outputting with the refresh rate of the monitor. Thanks to these technologies, screen tearing is a thing of the past. It no longer is an issue. As long as you get one of the monitor that offers either G-Sync or Freesync.
On top of that, this monitor has a smaller screen than the above monitor. If you are looking for a FreeSync monitor at 27” then have a look at our mid-range section. You will not be able to get a monitor that has both of those features for below $300.
The monitor has TN panel and the colours could use some work. Setting up the monitor is a real pain and you need to calibrate all the colours properly.
My settings, and the general census on best settings, is
- Gamma= Gamma3
- Color Temp= User
- R= 50
- B= 50
- G= 50
This was all at 144Hz; the refresh rate will influence the settings. Since just about everyone should be using this monitor at 144Hz I didn’t find that there was point in setting it up at 60 Hz.
All of these settings are optimized for gaming and general use. If you want to use other settings, or have a low light mode, places such as Toms Hardware has great resources for perfect settings.
However, I found that I didn’t need any other settings and that these were more than enough for what I wanted the monitor for. It worked for everything from competitive Overwatch and CS:GO to reading and doing research. There wasn’t a single moment where I wanted to change my settings to accommodate what I wanted to do. That being said, I am notoriously lazy and would suck up a lot of discomfort if it meant I didn’t have to change my settings.
This is a great entry to the 144Hz field. If you are looking for a pure gaming monitor for as cheap as possible, this is the monitor for you.
The Freesync range is 35-144Hz meaning within those ranges you will experience no screen tearing. If you push below that range you may experience jittering and screen tearing; pushing above that range won’t be an issue because the monitor will be running at 144Hz and screen tearing will be minimal and a non-issue.
The monitor also comes with a VGA input, an HDMI input, and a DisplayPort. However, you should be using the provided DisplayPort cable as it is the only input that can provide 144Hz refresh rate. The other 2 do not transfer enough information to allow your monitor to run at 144Hz refresh rate.
The AOC G2770PQU has a 1080 resolution on a 27” screen whereas this one has the same resolution on a 24” giving you more Pixels Per Inch. This will make images look sharper and seem more HD than they would on the other monitor. This doesn’t mean that the other AOC monitor looks bad, far from it. But this monitor is running the sweet spot of a 1080 resolution on a 24” screen.
Earlier in the article I talked about how each resolution has a sweet spot for PPI. You don’t want too many and you don’t want too few pixels per inch. Too much and everything becomes small and tough to read. Too few and everything is big and resembles the picture of the Mona Lisa earlier in the article.
24” with a resolution of 1080p is the perfect spot for PPI and 27” with a resolution of 1440p is another perfect spot. The only problem is that 1440 is more expensive and more difficult for computers to run. My own personal rig at home would struggle getting 150 FPS on anything but the lowest of settings. So I would rather have a lower resolution with some faster speeds. As long as my computer could run games at speeds high enough to make a difference.
If you watch esports then you may know the name BenQ. They are a notorious sponsor of esports events, providing monitors and high end screens. Luckily they also make a sub $300 esports screen for the player who is just getting into hardcore gaming and doesn’t have the cash to spend on a professional monitor. Because lets be real here. There can be so many better things to spend money on. At least that’s what my girlfriend tells me. Im not sure I agree with her though. But, if someone wants to compete at the highest level, and wants to support esports in an indirect way then this is the best way to do it. Later on in the article there are more BenQ ZOWIE screens, but this is the most budget friendly one.
With BenQ you have to be aware that you are paying a premium for the name. At least a little bit. That doesn’t mean that their screens are over priced. It does mean that they could be offered for cheaper. There is some value that you are paying for though. Build quality. With the BenQ name you are going to get great quality assurance and stunning build quality. Using their monitors is a treat. I love it.
The ZOWIE XL2411 is their cheapest entry to the ZOWIE line up and it isn’t cheap monitor. It is for 144Hz but most of these monitors are going for a premium price because of the 144Hz. That 144Hz is 100% worth paying extra though. So worth it.
Specifications for this monitor look a lot like the other 3 entry level monitors:
- TN panel
- 24” screen
- 1080 resolution
- VGA input
- HDMI input
- DVI-D input
- Headphone jack
- Easyviewing technology
Having established why you may want this monitor over the other companies; we are going to look at what this monitor offers besides build quality.
It has height adjustability and all the basic things that nearly every monitor at this price range has. This means that you will be able to put the monitor any way you want, except for portrait mode. This isn’t unique to this monitor only. Every monitor on this list has the same functionality; some of the other monitors even allow you to flip it to portrait mode so that you can do reading and other things that help when you have a monitor set up in portrait mode. This monitor does let you tilt it to about 45 degrees so that you can make yourself comfortable.
It is clear that BenQ designed this exclusively for gamers and esports. It isn’t suppose to be used for anything other than gaming.
BenQ included technology that makes it easier to look at the monitor for long periods of time. Things such as flicker free technology and a low blue light. This makes it easy to stare at the screen for long periods of time, as gamers are wont to do. Another great feature is the black equalizer.
If you have ever raged because of a camper sitting in a dark corner and constantly killing you then you might want to consider this. What BenQ did is make dark areas brighter but without overexposing the bright areas. I am not sure how the technology works and in all honesty, I didn’t notice it. The dark areas are never so dark that I can’t make people out. The feature never really made a difference for me.
Best 144Hz Monitors Between $300-$500: Mid-Level
These are the screens that will offer more features and better build quality than the section before. You are getting into IPS panels with larger screens and maybe even pushing into 1440p resolution area. You are unlikely to get all of these features in a single monitor in this section.
These screens are where prioritisation becomes most important. Do you want a high resolution, do you want good viewing angles, or do you want some size? There are other options out there, but those are 3 big ones. Before we get onto the monitors in this stage, lets discuss those 3 things. And which you should prioritise for what you want to do.
We won’t go too much into the difference between the 2 panels because we already went over that in the beginning of the article. Just as a quick refresh, IPS panels will give you better viewing angles and better colours than the TN panel. For that difference you do have to pay. But thats why those panels are going to be here in the mid level screens section.
There was only 1 27” screen in the previous section. This one will feature more as, for the extra money you are able to get a larger screen. But when looking at the difference between a 27” and a 24” you also need to take into account resolution. You can’t just make a screen bigger without adding more pixels to the screen.
We discuss this issue earlier in the article as well. So I will be brief in stating that a 27” screen with a 1440 resolution is the perfect spot. Otherwise you run the risk of having pixelation. However, I use the AOC G2770PF as my 2nd monitor. It is a 27” with a 1080 resolution. I don’t notice the pixels at all until a stream gets bad quality or the video that I am watching isn’t good quality. Thats when I notice it. Thats when I complain, but then I complaining about my internet and not the monitor.
This is the most important aspect for picture quality. This is what is going to control how sharp the images on your screen look. Resolution is how many pixels are on the screen, and pixels are what make up an image. The images on a screen are made up of pixels that change colours to make up the images that we see.
Having a higher resolution means the you have more images which gives you more individual pixels to change leading to a better image. The difference between 2 resolutions is easy to see.
In that small image it can be difficult to spot the difference between the 2. However, when you are looking at that image on a 27” it will be easy to discern the difference. 1440p is also known as 2K resolution and will soon be the new standard for monitors. Soon every 24” will also have 1440 resolution I think. This is because manufacturers need something to constantly sell their monitors, they need a reason for us to buy them. And resolution is an easy reason to sell it.
Now onto the monitors within this range.
Moving into this section you are going to notice some similar names between the middle range and the high end monitors. Most of these monitors are from the same line-up as the high end monitors but will be missing a couple of the features from the most expensive monitors. Things will be different, like the high end may run on an IPS panel whereas those in this section will use a TN panel. Thats the case here. This monitor comes from the same lineup as our best monitor choice. The Acer Predator line is their high end lineup. It is the monitors for gamers.
This one comes with a host of gamer centric features (as do all of these monitors).
- TN Panel
- 144 Hz
- 1920 x 1080
- 2x 2W speakers
- HDMI Input
- DisplayPort input
- 1 ms GTG response time
- 24” screen size
As you can see, this monitor isn’t all that different from some of the cheaper models. But what it does have that those don’t is a better base capability. It might not be as feature heavy, but its contrast numbers and brightness numbers are superior. The monitors builds off of its awesome base and then delivers on some of the most important features.
Obviously it is 144Hz, but it is that on a TN panel with better than normal viewing angles and 1080 resolution on a 24” screen size. This gives you optimal PPI and some great colours.
Buying a monitor from a line up like the Acer Predator line up means you get some spillover benefits. This monitor is nearly perfectly calibrated straight out of the box. Unlike my personal AOC monitor, this one didn’t need to be calibrated or have any adjustments made to it. It just worked and displayed great colours.
If, however, you find yourself needing to change the settings then the menu is easy to navigate and chock full of features.
On top of that, this monitor has got G-Sync. There is no cheaper monitor with G-Sync. Acer bought the rights and that is why they aren’t offering IPS or 1440 or 27”. Because instead they are offering G-Sync. Which is better than Freesync. If you are a gamer using a Nvidia graphics card and you want to get a good G-Sync monitor but don’t want the absolute best. Then this is the one to get. It won’t hurt your pockets nearly as badly as the other monitors prices will.
Just about my only gripe is that it has speakers. Why would you include speakers on the budget version of your gaming line up? You know that gamers are going to use headphones or have their own speakers. Why even bother?
If it weren’t for the inclusion of those speakers, this monitor might have been in our entry level section. More people would be able to get the G-Sync that they deserve.
Because this is an Acer Predator monitor, the build quality is supreme and the monitor looks sleek. The 24” is nearly a perfect size for any desk and only those who have the room should be springing for a 27”. The numbers can be deceiving as a 27” is quite a bit bigger than a 24” monitor. Actually, a lot bigger.
A glance at the stand will tell you everything you need to know about the Acer Predator monitor line-up. It is flashy, gaming centric and is going to look cool. The lineup has tons of different options such as 4K resolutions or 240 Hz or 32 inch screens. This is their entry level monitor without any of the flashy specs that the other monitors in the product line have.
However, it is still a great monitor that is sure to satisfy anyones gaming needs.
- 1920 x 1080
- 1 ms GTG
- HDMI input
- DisplayPort input
- 2x USB 3.0
- 2x USB 2.0
- 1x USB 2.0 Type B
- TN panel
- 2x 3W speakers
This monitor from ViewSonic is perfect for the gamer looking to get a large FreeSync screen. It offers tons of USB connectivity all on a speedy screen.
ViewSonic made sure to let everyone know that this monitor was for gaming. The bezel has red stripes around the base with a single red line going up the stand behind the screen.
As with many of the other monitors on this list, this one also comes with HDMI connectivity. Useless for 144Hz gaming. If you want to achieve refresh rates higher than 60 Hz you will need to use your DisplayPort cable.
And again, the manufacturers decided to include speakers; these however, don’t sound like garbage. They aren’t bad speakers, for a monitor. You can still pick up better ones for like $20 at your local store.
The TN panel does a pretty decent job of colours and having good brightness without looking washed out. ViewSonic gave decent contrast specs despite the fact that they are slightly lower than advertised.
We had another BenQ monitor in this list in the entry level section. This is the slightly better monitor in that it has a larger screen. If screen size doesn’t matter at all then go with the cheaper one. Or take that money and invest it in Freesync or G-Sync if you want to spend the same amount of money.
This will give you more value for your money IF you don’t care about screen size. But if you want a larger screen then go with this ZOWIE monitor. The entire ZOWIE is my favourite looking monitor. Unlike the Acer Predator line or ROG Swift line, this one isn’t too flashy nor bathed in red. I appreciate monitors that look good but personally find that some of the other monitor product lines overdo it. Not BenQ.
They are down to business. Their monitors say that you came here to win and play your games. Thats it. Simple, but elegant nonetheless. While the monitor isn’t as flashy as the others, don’t take this to mean that it is boring. Because it most certainly isn’t; it just doesn't have the same colours and fancy striping.
This monitor is just as full of features as the other ZOWIE monitor, but with a larger screen:
- TN Panel
- 1920 x 1080
- 27” screen
- DVI-DL input
- DisplayPort input
- 2x HDMI input
- 1 ms GTG response
- Black eQualizer technology
- S Switch technology
- Flicker Free
- Low Blue Light
Since this monitor was designed for the professional, the person who makes money playing video games, the screen was also given technology to prevent eye strain and fatigue. Things like flicker free tech.
There are features such as Flicker Free technology, Low Blue Light, and Black eQualizer. Little things.
I have used the Flicker Free technology on monitors that I have tested, and it works. It actually works. I don’t normally sit in front of the screen for more than 3 hours in a row (which for some people is a long time) but occasionally marathons happen. And thats when you notice it. You don’t want a winning streak to be broken up by a headache or other pesky ailment.
Another thing that I love about BenQ is that they know their audience. They don’t include silly things such as speakers or embellishments that raise the price but don’t improve performance.
This is one of those monitors that offers a lot of bang for your buck.
A perusal of the specs will show you why:
- 2560 x 1440
- TN panel
- 1 ms GTG
- DVI input
- DisplayPort input
- DVI-D input
- 2x HDMI
- 2x USB 3.0
- 2x 2W speakers
Asus have knocked it out of the park with this monitor. They packed so many features in a sub $500 monitor. If you are wanting to get nearly high end screens but don’t want to spend premium amounts of money. Get this one.
It will offer nearly everything that you could want. Just about the only feature that it is missing is an IPS panel. But if you are looking at the computer from head on then you shouldn’t even notice the difference between the two. Obviously an IPS panel is much preferred, but of all the things to sacrifice; many would argue that it should be panel type.
A 27” monitor with a 2K (1440) resolution is right in the sweet spot of screen size and resolution. The Goldilocks zone. If you can run games at that resolution then you need to get yourself a 2K resolution. Games look so stunning at that resolution. And when you are using the FreeSync tech at 144Hz the gameplay is so smooth and so good looking. Sure, 4K is the next big thing but for now you won’t find a screen that can 4K and 144Hz that doesn’t break the bank.
At the end of they day, this is one of those monitors that offers nearly everything. It is so close to perfect but also about $200 cheaper.
Best 144Hz Monitors Above $500: High End Displays
In this section we discuss the absolute top end. The cutting edge of monitor technology. Included in this section are the best monitors that money can buy with no compromises.
I won’t reiterate the 2 monitors that I already mentioned from the ROG Swift and Acer Predator product lines. The Acer Predator XB271HU and the Asus ROG Swift PG279Q. Instead we are going to talk about the other IPS, 2K, 4K, curved, what have you. These monitors will have it all. But the price tag may make some of you cringe. There are several monitors from Acer and Asus that are going to take 144Hz into 4K gaming and massive screens. But, those screens were only announced this year and we do not know when they will be produced, or for how much. With those specifications you can guess that the prices won’t be cheap.
Lets go on to what is actually available now. We will update the article when those products become available, but you can expect it to take a while for those to get released.
This is the highest end monitor that BenQ offers. Bringing 144Hz gaming to new levels, and professional gaming to new heights. It has a 27” screen with a 2K resolution. This brings an awesome level of detail. What sets this monitor apart from the others is the resolution, and the BenQ name.
The IPS panel brings great colours to this monitor, allowing you to truly see the games; on top of this you get all the other things BenQ offered in their other monitors, plus a couple of others. Things like a shield that surrounds the monitor. This is perfect for if you are bringing your monitor to LANs.
It prevents you from being distracted and really immerses you in the game. What I don't understand is how someone could get distracted when staring at a 27” screen. They are huge screens that cover just about everything that could distract you. You can’t see a lot when this monitor is sitting in front of you, even without the shield.
Personally, the shield feels a little bit like overkill; but each to their own. If you don’t like the shield then you don’t have to use it. Simple.
It has some amazing specifications:
- TN panel
- DyAc technology
- Easy viewing technology
- Black eQualizer
- Color Vibrance
- 1 ms GTG
- 1x D-Sub input
- 1x DVI-DL input
- 2x HDMI inputs
- 1x DisplayPort input
DyAc technology is BenQ’s choice to prove that all they care about is performance. It adds a lot to the price but does actually do something for the gamer. The technology basically acts like a blur reduction feature allowing you to see enemies and make crisp headshots despite move fast.
This monitor also has all the other features that every other BenQ ZOWIE monitor has. But what bugs me about this monitor is the TN panel. There are other monitors on the market that offer the same thing with an IPS panel and much better out of the colours.
Monitors like the Acer Predator and Asus monitor both run an IPS panel with the exact same specs. Except for the GTG response time. Those 2 screens have a 5 ms response time whereas this monitor has a 1 ms response time. However, you pay a steep price for that extra speed.
You pay in the colours and quality of the screen. It just doesn’t look good out of the box and takes a lot of calibration to look semi-decent. Even then some of the colours look washed out and not as good as other monitors that are similarly priced.
- TN Panel
- 4x USB 4.0 ports
- 1x DisplayPort
- 1x HDMI
- 1440 resolution
- 1 ms response time
This monitor is quite similar to the BenQ mentioned above. It offers everything that the Acer Predator and Asus ROG monitors offer; on a TN panel. The problem with that is the viewing angles and colours. If you are spending this amount of money then you should really be getting the absolute best that is being offered right now. And while this is a great monitor, it isn’t the best.
Lets look at what makes this monitor so good and expensive. It has a 27” screen with a 1440 resolution making everything really crisp and clear while giving you lots of screen realty. It also offers G-Sync to get rid of screen tearing and giving users with Nvidia’s graphics card an adaptive refresh rate tech.
Beyond that. The colours aren’t stunning nor are they great out of the box. If you buy this monitor you will surely be happy with your purchase. But, there are better monitors for nearly the same price.
Asus MG279Q Review
If you have used Asus MG278Q, this new Asus MG279Q is its successor which comes with an IPS panel instead of TN display Panel. If we look at the reviews and ratings, it is among the best and top rated gaming monitors in the market right now. There are a lot of features that make this monitor the beast among other similar ranged gaming monitors. No doubt it is one of Asus’s best creation till date in the mid-ranged gaming monitor vertical.
Panel: IPS Panel
Screen size: 27-inches
Screen Resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixels
Dimensions: 29.7 x 8.9 x 17.8 inches
Screen Refresh Rate: 144 Hz
Screen Response Time: 4 ms
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Brightness: 350 cd/m2
Adaptive Sync: FreeSync
Connectivity: 1 x Display Port, 2 x HDMI Port, 1 x Mini Display Port, 3 x USB Ports
Warranty: 3 Years
First of all, we are going to highlight the main feature of this gaming monitor and that is its refresh rate. Asus MG279Q features the screen resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and a massive refresh rate of 144Hz to handle even the heaviest of games. You may find screens with better resolution at this range, but the FreeSynch technology addition covers up for that. Asus has designed this monitor for delivering perfect and the best quality images for the best gaming experience. The static contrast ratio is 1000:1, whereas the dynamic ratio is around 100 million:1, and all this along with pixel pitch of 0.233 mm is produces brilliant images for the users.
The monitor makes use of the 8-bit color spectrum perfectly producing accurate, white, blacks and greys. You get 4 ms of gray-to-gray response time and refresh rate of 144 Hz reduces any lags that might occur. However, if you are using the FreeSync, you frame rate will limit to just 90 Hz.
Asus has included a preset overlay along with a timer in the monitor which is really value for money. You can easily find the difference while playing heavy games especially first-person shooter. The overlays offered by the monitor makes the heavy games with heavy graphics very smooth, and if not, the player also has an option to tweak it as per his or her requirement.
There are different preset game display modes that could be used for different types of games. The game modes just tweak the screen’s display settings so that you get best out of the type of game that you are playing. It creates a game environment that suits the best to your personal requirements and tries to bring the best out of the game images that you see on the screen.
You will find Low Blue Light as well as Flicker-free technology in the Asus MG279Q that keeps your eyes safe as well as your mind stress-free for long gaming marathons or when you are gaming or using the monitor at night time. The light coming out of the monitor have the wavelength that is closer to the wavelength of UV light. In order to eliminate it, the color is reconstructed using various other colors that are not harsh on your eyes. This light won’t cause burning in eyes or a headache even when you are glued to it for hours.
The Asus MG279Q is backlit by a LED panel and produces excellent images when compared to other LED monitors falling in the similar price range. The LED backlighting is very important because it brings the dark as well as the bright spots with distinction at once on your monitor screen. In case you are playing a first-person shooter with high frame rate, you will need accuracy and clear environment display two distinct different object in a much better way.
Talking about the design, Asus MG279Q is a very ergonomic design. The screen size is 27 inches stretching diagonally and the monitor weighs around 16.1 pounds. Asus has preferred AG coating on the panel over matte coating because it is anti-glare as well as does non-reflective. The AG coating fuses with the ambient light falling on it instead of reflecting it. The monitor dimension is 29.7 x 8.9 x 18.8 inches to be precise.
Asus MG279Q makes use of hard durable plastic for the outer chassis with very narrow screen bezel making it the perfect choice if you wish to install a multi-monitor setup. You can adjust the screen by swiveling it to 120 degrees and 25 degrees vertical tilt. You can increase the height of the monitor to 5.9 inches. All in all, this Asus monitor has a perfect design which has been build keeping the hardcore gamers in mind.
There are many ways provided by which you can connect your monitor to different devices. You get 2 USB 3.0 ports that are also capable of charging your devices. So, the players can easily get their phones or speakers charged while they are busy gaming. There is 3.5 mm headphone port available on the downside of the monitor. However, the two front speakers offer good music from the gaming point of view, but they are not that much great too. There is a Display Port, Mini Display port, AMD FreeSync support. There are two HDMI ports and two normal downstream USB ports which are placed on the downside too. But, there are very hard to reach. The OSD feature makes sure that your gadgets charging even when your screen is turned off.