Refresh Your Game: Why Choose a 144hz Monitor

Knowledge Base

As CPUs and GPUs get more powerful and are able to process more actions per minute, the “classic” refresh rate limit of 60hz has been shattered. Now, if your rig is even slightly above average, you should be able to power your games at 144hz, meaning crisper, cleaner images and smoother gameplay. Not only does this make your games look better, it also improves your performance – especially when playing pixel-perfect games like FPS.

If you’re looking for a cheap 144hz monitor, here are the answers to some common questions about what to think about.

Are High Refresh Rate Monitors Worth the Money?

In short, yes. And probably above any other single upgrade.

As long as your rig can already handle the high refresh rate performance monitors, then many gamers would consider upgrading to a 144Hz the biggest single upgrade you can make to improve your game. The added clarity and smoothness make more competitive and casual gaming more of a joy.

However, even though there is a growing number of modern higher resolution panels with high refresh rates and more features, it can get confusing trying to determine what works best. With a high refresh rate your monitor will provide better visuals., however above 144hz you get diminishing returns with little noticeable difference. 

What’s a Good Response Time for a Gaming Monitor?

This entirely depends on the average FPS that your GPU can provide. Also, your monitors refresh rate can help and here is how.

If you plan to use Nvidia Gtx 980 to play a game like Battlefield 4 at a 1920 x1080p resolution, the best you will achieve is an FPS of roughly 87 frames per second. If you use this set up with a monitor with a response time above 5ms you are going to get image tears since the graphics card is faster than the monitor.

The best response time therefore is a lower number preferably lower than 5ms.

Think carefully about the power output of your machine and get a monitor than can align with it effectively.

Is a Sub-$200 Gaming Monitor Any Good?

Even though the market is full of fancy and expensive looking monitors, you can still be a pro gamer without the need of an expensive monitor. After all, if you are a competitive gamer, the best way to improve your performance is to stick with a monitor that can work well with your rig.

The general rule is the more expensive the monitor, the more expensive the hardware needed to power images to it effectively. Going overkill on the monitor can, in some cases, compromise your performance. So for an average rig, a $200 dollar monitor will be more than sufficient.

Framing the Narrative

The consensus is clear. If you already have a moderately powerful rig and are looking to upgrade – and you don’t already have a 144Hz monitor – then this should be your next step. Ultimately, even the most stacked machine will not provide a good experience if it’s trying to push the visuals through a low framerate monitor. Thankfully, under $200 will get you a monitor that allows your hardware to express itself and show you everything it is capable of.