So, if you’re looking to play PC games with a buttery frame rate, these monitors are ready to deliver a great experience, and it gets even better when paired with Nvidia’s G-Sync or AMD’s FreeSync. If you’re browsing in the UK, click here to find out where you can pick up all 144Hz monitors mentioned below.
TL;DR – These are the Best 1080p 144Hz Gaming Monitors:
1. Asus TUF Gaming VG259Q
Best 1080p 144Hz Gaming Monitor
If you’re shopping for a 1080p display with a 144Hz refresh rate, there’s a good chance you’re trying to get a solid competitive edge in gaming without going for some over-the-top display that is going to put as much hurt on your wallet as you put on your in-game opponents. The Asus TUF Gaming VG259Q makes for a strong option that’s not a bank breaker but still delivers 1080p at 144Hz without sacrificing quality.
The Asus TUF Gaming VG259Q goes the distance with an IPS panel where other budget monitors might have used TN panels, so it can deliver clear colors and viewing angles. Asus didn’t skimp on the monitor stand either, which can adjust the monitor’s height, pivot, swivel, and tilt. And, with a VESA mount, you can put the monitor on a different stand if you want. Perhaps best of all, this monitor will work with FreeSync and G-Sync, letting you ensure the fast frames you’re getting are also clean. A pair of HDMI ports and a DisplayPort make it possible to use this with two consoles and a gaming PC, so it can sit right in the center of your gaming battle station.
2. Pixio PX248 Prime S
Best Budget 1080p 144Hz Gaming Monitor
Pixio keeps the hits rolling in the value monitor space. We’d already been big fans of the PX247 (read our review), and Pixio has effectively upgraded that monitor twice now while leaving the price below $200. The latest upgrade comes as the Pixio PX248 Prime S, which leaves much the same as the prior, non-S version, with one exception: speed. The Pixio PX248 Prime S isn’t a 1080p 144Hz gaming monitor, technically speaking, because it can actually zoom at up to 165Hz.
What you’re getting with the Pixio PX248 Prime S is a speedy monitor with an IPS panel supporting FreeSync Premium Pro, so you can enjoy fast frame rates, rich color, and avoid screen tearing. And, unlike many other ultra-cheap monitors, this display is actually fairly bright, with a 400-nit peak brightness. With three inputs, you can use this monitor just as well for console gaming as for PC gaming.
3. Viewsonic Elite XG270
Best 144Hz Gaming Monitor with G-Sync
OK, so maybe we’re cheating a little bit with this one. But for the price and what you’d be getting, you might want to cheat here, too. The ViewSonic Elite XG270 is indeed a Full HD display, so it checks that box. It can also achieve a 144Hz refresh rate, but the truth is you’d be missing out on what it really has to offer since it can actually go as high as 240Hz. That’s right, this monitor has an IPS panel that can hit 240Hz, letting you game with ultra-smooth visuals if your computer has the muscle for it.
Beyond the high refresh rate, the ViewSonic Elite XG270 boasts a bright display that can hit 400 nits, which is verging on HDR territory. This display also has FreeSync and official G-Sync compatibility, so it can offer clean visuals for both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards. There’s a lot going on for this monitor at $400.
4. MSI Optix G27C5
Best Curved 1080p 144Hz Gaming Monitor
One part of immersion might be the speed of the monitor, but you can get another step into your game world with a monitor that curves around your field of view. The MSI Optix G27C5 offers up both features with a 1080p panel that can run at up to 165Hz for fluid gameplay while wrapping around your view with a tight 1500R curvature.
The MSI Optix G27C5 costs a little over $300, but it’s ready to offer you a display for up to three devices thanks to dual HDMI ports ideal for consoles and a DisplayPort connection perfect for a PC. The large VA panel provides a strong contrast ratio to give your games a bit more cinematic flair, and MSI boasts of a compelling 90% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space. To keep all the frames clean, MSI also includes support for AMD’s FreeSync technology.
5. ViewSonic Elite XG240R
Best FreeSync 1080p 144Hz Gaming Monitor
FreeSync comes at a much more affordable price than G-Sync, and that makes the ViewSonic Elite XG240R an excellent value. You’re getting a 24-inch TN panel with a decent 350-nit brightness level. It may not have the best viewing angles, but you’ll have an easy enough time finding a good view thanks to a highly flexible stand. This monitor also throws in an exciting extra with RGB lighting on the back to provide some stylish bias lighting, a pleasure and a comfort to your eyes.
Where to Get the Best 1080p 144Hz Gaming Monitors in the UK
Getting that delightfully smooth experience while gaming is important no matter what continent you’re on. UK readers should be happy to hear all the brilliant monitors we’ve mentioned across the length of this article, are also available on the British side of the pond. You’ve got a few options to choose from here, with our favourite currently the Asus TUF Gaming monitor, perfect for those fast paced gaming experiences. But, all the options on show will impress even the most avid gamers, so take your time and consider the options.
Why you should consider a 1080p 144Hz Gaming Monitor
By sacrificing resolution, you gain speed. A 1080p monitor isn’t as crisp as a 1440p monitor, and it hardly holds a candle to a 4K display. However, without a powerful graphics card at the heart of your gaming PC, you probably won’t have an enjoyable, or even playable, frame rate at those higher resolutions. Keeping things at a Full HD resolution means you can enable some more graphical effects like tessellation and ambient occlusion.
Refresh rate is a measure of how fast a monitor can display a new image. A 60Hz monitor redraws the image 60 times a second, and a 144Hz monitor does so 144 times a second. Variable refresh rate is important because it puts a cap on how many frames per second you can achieve when syncing your GPU’s output to your monitor’s refresh rate via G-Sync or FreeSync to prevent tearing.
If you play fast-twitch shooters or engage in Esports competitions, then refresh rate is often a more important figure than a monitor’s pixel count. A refresh rate of 144Hz is in the sweet spot between the two most common 60Hz, which are too slow for serious gamers, and 240Hz gaming monitors, which you should only consider if you have a super high-end GPU that will let you push frame rates to their limits.
Why Not 240Hz Instead?
Beyond 144Hz there’s a growing range of ultra-fast 240Hz monitors, which are clearly going to be faster than any of the monitors on this list. However, 240Hz monitors almost exclusively use only TN panels that display poor color depth and low levels of contrast compared to 144Hz displays, which often use either VA or IPS panels.
That said, 240Hz monitors will display many more frames of action than any 144Hz display, so you’re basically getting a constant stream of crisp images, which can help you aim better as nothing appears on the screen as a blur.
240Hz monitors also tackle their way through any tearing issues as these ultra-fast monitors will be able to keep up with all the frames your graphics card can (or could ever) possibly render. Of course, G-Sync and Freesync will fix screen tearing issues as well.
Variable Refresh Rate and You
A fast 144Hz refresh rate isn’t the only thing you need for smooth gaming. All that speed can lead to some ugly screen tearing. Screen tearing is when your GPU and screen are out of sync, and you see a partially-drawn frame before the previous frame is gone.
You’ve no doubt seen this effect before, especially if you played games on older consoles. You can turn on V-Sync in most games to eliminate the problem, but in the process, you add an extra strain on your hardware. A variable refresh rate monitor eliminates the hardware strain while making sure the only complete frames are drawn on your display.
G-Sync is Nvidia’s proprietary solution and works with Nvidia graphics cards. FreeSync is AMD’s solution and works with its GPUs, but unlike G-Sync, it doesn’t require special hardware built into the monitor.
Well, at least that was the way it did until January 15, 2019, when Nvidia announced it was bringing enabling G-Sync on select FreeSync monitors. So far, out of the hundreds of displays Nvidia has been testing, there are 49 officially G-Sync Compatible FreeSync monitors.
The waters on compatibility are a bit muddied now because even if some monitors aren’t officially recognized and listed as being G-Sync Compatible, they still might be.
Just look at our roundup of the Best FreeSync gaming monitors for Nvidia GPUs, and you’ll see we’ve picked quite a few that aren’t on Nvidia’s list of G-Sync compatible display. That said, we’ve tested and confirmed that every FreeSync monitor on our list will support Nvidia’s version of variable refresh rate.
If you’re really worried about getting the best possible experience with 144Hz, you’re going to want a G-Sync or certified G-Sync Compatible monitor.
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Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark