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The best 144Hz monitors for 2021

There are lots of exciting features about modern monitors for gamers, but one of the most impactful is a high refresh rate. It makes everything look smoother and can even make you a better gamer by improving the rate at which your inputs are recognized. 60Hz is the standard, but because of how powerful modern graphics cards are, a 144Hz refresh rate is really where you want your best monitor to be.

We’ve gone through more than 100 monitor reviews in our time, and we know exactly what to look for in a gaming monitor. For this guide, we’ve chosen our favorite 144Hz models with a variety of features, from 4K resolution to ultrawide displays. Take a look!

Best 144Hz monitors

LG UltraGear 27GN950-B

Why you should buy this: With UHD, 144Hz, G-Sync, and FreeSync, there’s nothing this monitor doesn’t do.

Who’s it for: Buyers who want the complete package.

Why we chose the LG 27GN950-B:

If you want a 144Hz monitor that does everything, you can’t get much better than this 27-inch UltraGear. The UHD Nano IPS display is impressive enough on its own, but the 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time add ideal specs for serious gaming. We also really like the design, a durable approach with a borderless screen and minor RGB lighting options for the back (height, tilt, and pivoting are all fully supported, as is wall mounting). Maximum brightness, meanwhile, sits at a comfortable 400nits.

But inside, this monitor is even more impressive. The Delay Stream Compression support will help gamers enjoy ultra-HD content with compatible GPUs, and this is one of the few displays to offer both G-Synch and FreeSync Premium Pro — the more advanced version of FreeSync with HDR support. If you have plans to use the monitor for content creation as well, then you’ll appreciate the high color accuracy and optional calibration options, too.

Then we come to the plentiful ports on this monitor, which include two HDMI HDCP 2.2 ports, DisplayPort 1.4, and three USB 3.0 ports. USB-C is about the only thing missing on this monitor, so we suggest making sure your accessories are all compatible.

While this UltraGear offers a premium gaming experience in every way, the price also reflects that. Support for so many high-end technologies boosts the price significantly, so this monitor is only for those comfortable with spending around $1,000 on their display.

Asus ROG Swift PG279Q

Why you should buy this: It’s the G-Sync version of our favorite 144Hz display.

Who’s it for: Nvidia graphics card owners who want the best of the best.

Why we chose the Asus PG279Q:

The Asus PG279Q is similar to the MG279Q but with G-Sync technology — very useful for Nvidia GPUs, but also more expensive. If that’s worth it to you, then the PG279Q is a fantastic high refresh rate monitor that ticks all of the same boxes — albeit with the same weaknesses. It has a 1440p, 144Hz IPS panel (that can be overclocked to 165Hz) with great viewing angles and contrast. It’s our favorite gaming monitor.

It’s not the brightest of monitors at 350 nits maxed out, but then it doesn’t support HDR, so those pops in brightness and color aren’t as important. While that is something we miss when using a display like this one, it doesn’t detract from how great a high refresh rate monitor this one is. It looks fantastic at 1440p and leaves enough graphical headroom for even AAA games to get over 100 frames per second if you have a decent graphics card to power it.

It’s not a cheap gaming monitor by any means, but it’s cheaper than many of its 4K contemporaries. The Asus PG279Q offers value for money while ticking almost every box we want to see on a high refresh rate display. It’s one of the best G-sync monitors you can buy right now

Acer Predator XB273K

Why you should buy this: It’s one of the best dedicated gaming monitors available.

Who’s it for: Those with powerful graphics cards and deep pockets.

Why we chose the Acer Predator XB273K:

The Acer Predator XB273K is the pinnacle of modern screen technology, built from the ground up for performance as one of the best 4K monitors.

While the design may be a little clunky, it’s designed to maximize the extra-bright display and cut off ambient light with a shade shield. The quantum dot screen that runs at 4K resolution has a 144Hz refresh rate and supports HDR and G-Sync. While the 400-nit brightness doesn’t quite hit the range of some of its cousin Predator monitors, there are very few monitors that can even come close to matching the specifications and real-world performance of this display. It also provides three separate gaming modes that you can switch between depending on what you’re playing.

You will need one of the best graphics card (or even a pair of them) to take full advantage of the XB273K’s resolution, detail, and frame rate, but even if you don’t, there are many lower-end titles and older AAA games that will look absolutely fantastic on it. The Predator Gameview software also makes it easy to set specific display points like tweaking color or adjusting the dark boost if you prefer not to dive into the GPU settings.

There are also non-gaming functions that can benefit from such a gorgeous screen. Photo editing and movie viewing are enhanced by the fantastic color accuracy and wide color gamut support of this monitor, and its contrast ratio is strong enough to contend with some of the best monitors we’ve ever tested.

The Acer Predator XB273K is the best 4K, 144Hz gaming monitor we’ve ever tested. The only thing the current generation lacks is a USB-C port, but it does offer HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB 3.0 upstream/downstream connections.

Read our review of the similar Acer Predator XB3

Samsung CHG90

Samsung CHG90 Ultrawide Monitor review
Riley Young/Digital Trends

Why you should buy this: Its enormous wraparound panel is immersive and beautiful to look at.

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants to ditch the bezels of their multi-monitor setups.

Why we chose the Samsung CHG90:

If physical screen space is the most important factor for you when gaming or working with a high refresh rate, there’s nothing that can beat Samsung’s CHG90. It is absolutely enormous, stretching 49 inches diagonally before you factor in the bezels. While it is “only” 3840 x 1080 (so more like a pair of 27-inch 1080p screens side by side without the bezels), that resolution still looks fantastic. With so much screen real estate, games are incredibly immersive (the 1800R curvature helps there, too), while work is enhanced with the ability to sit multiple windows side by side on the same screen.

Alongside its 144Hz refresh rate, the Samsung CHG90 also supports HDR for popping colors and deep whites and blacks, and it has a 1ms response time, so you needn’t fear ghosting on this screen. It does lack G-Sync, but FreeSync is available for AMD gamers and Nvidia users willing to jump through a few hoops for frame synchronization.

Although this isn’t a cheap monitor, it is nearly unparalleled at this size and price. If you want to ditch a dual monitor display or just want the most immersive, wraparound gaming experience money can buy, the Samsung CHG90 is one of the best high refresh rate options among the best ultrawide monitors.

Read our full Samsung CHG90 review

ViewSonic Elite XG240R

Arif Bacchus/Digital Trends

Why you should buy this: It’s affordable and great to look at with a fast, 144Hz refresh rate.

Who’s it for: Those who don’t mind sacrificing certain features to get an affordable 144Hz screen.

Why we chose the ViewSonic Elite XG240R:

You don’t have to spend a lot to get a great 144Hz monitor, and, in fact, you can spend relatively little without making any major sacrifices if you know where to look. The ViewSonic Elite XG24R might not be particularly large, but its 24 inches is more than enough for 1080p gaming. It still supports the 144Hz high refresh rate of its contemporaries, and it does so for well under $300.

As a TN panel, it’s no surprise that this display has a response time of just 1ms, so there’s no need for concerns over ghosting. It also supports brightness levels up to 350 nits, which is comparable to some of our favorite non-HDR gaming displays. It even has AMD FreeSync, so those with AMD graphics cards can enjoy tear-free gaming without the need for V-Sync.

The RGB backlighting is a nice touch, and the overall image of this display is pretty solid, too. You do have to put up with thicker bezels and a rather boring design, but for less than $300, you get a blazingly fast, 1080p, high refresh rate monitor. That’s hard to beat, making the Viewsonic Elite XG240R the best budget 144Hz display we’ve ever come across.

Read our full ViewSonic Elite XG240R review

Research and buying FAQ

Do you need a 144Hz monitor for gaming?

Don’t think of it as a requirement. Instead, think of it as a nice addition that grows more important for specific types of games. A high refresh rate doesn’t just make gameplay look and feel smoother, it also updates on-screen data faster and more accurately, and it lowers input lag.

That means that competitive gamers often prefer at least 144Hz to help their reaction times and keep all the details of fast-paced games as clear as possible. It’s also a welcome feature for gamers that like atmospheric games with rich visuals, which are processed more smoothly on higher refresh rates.

What’s the real difference between 144Hz versus 240Hz versus 360Hz?

This specification only affects refresh rate data and how quickly a monitor/GPU can successfully process frame data. Higher rates mean your monitor can support higher frame rates, and more frames equal more visual data on your monitor display. This is especially noticeable during fast movement, where the additional frames make moving images look clearer, smoother, and more realistic.

However, human eyes can only see so much, and we’re talking about milliseconds worth of frames here. At a glance, it can be difficult to see the difference, and the leaps from 144Hz to 240Hz to 360Hz can get progressively harder to notice at all. Upgrading from 144Hz to 240Hz, for example, only shaves around two to three milliseconds off a frame. It’s understandable that professional and competitive gamers will want to reach 240Hz, but it’s not really a priority for others. 360Hz is even harder to reach with fewer benefits. They are there; they’re just less tangible.

Ultimately, the most noticeable difference happens when moving from 60Hz to 120Hz or 144Hz, and it’s an upgrade worth prioritizing if you take your gaming seriously.

How is the refresh rate connected to the resolution?

The refresh rate and resolution are in direct conflict with each other. The higher the resolution, the more data each frame includes, requiring more from the CPU and GPU. That can make it challenging to transmit frames at greater speeds if you aren’t fortunate enough to have a powerful PC, which indicates a slower frame rate or lower frames per second. A GPU demands more processing power to make up the difference, which is the reason why graphics cards that have elevated refresh rates and fantastic resolutions can become very costly.

Another thing worth mentioning is that some cables can carry only a certain amount of data. There are some monitors and televisions with HDMI 2.0 that might be able to provide 4K resolution and a max of 120Hz. Still, you’ll have to use a DisplayPort connection to reap the benefits of them both simultaneously, as HDMI 2.0 just doesn’t have the bandwidth. HDMI 2.1, though, is quicker still than DisplayPort 1.4 and can efficiently handle high refresh rates and resolutions.

How do you choose a 144Hz monitor?

We recommend checking out the categories for our favorites and discerning the most significant aspect to you. If you just upgraded your G-Sync graphics card, for instance, you’ll need to ensure that you have a G-Sync 144Hz monitor to match. If you’re using a monitor for immersive gaming or running more than one window at once, an ultrawide model may be the best option for you. Our Acer Predator pick is an outstanding selection if you’re searching for the most reliable visual clarity strictly for gaming.

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