The famous sweet spot for PC gaming – these are the best 144Hz monitors you can buy
Nowadays, the best 144Hz monitors aren’t what you might expect. It used to be the case that 1440p at 144Hz was widely recognised as the so-called “sweet spot” for PC gaming, the optimum output for the average gaming rig. As a result, 144Hz and 1440p walked hand-in-hand incredibly often.
And while it’s true that this combination of resolution and refresh rate is still ideal for a lot of machines, many monitor manufacturers now opt for higher refresh rates on comparable 1440p displays. This means that hunting for the best 144Hz monitor can leave you scratching your head at what appears to be a lack of choice.
The thing is, although it has been superseded in its traditional role, 144Hz is still one of the most common refresh rates around. Modern 4K gaming monitors, for example, tend to opt for a 144Hz refresh rate. These are expensive, high-end gaming monitors, however, and definitely not designed for the average gaming rig, which is why it’s vital you know exactly what you’re looking for.
We’re here to help with that. In this article, we’ve picked out our favourite 144Hz monitors from universally accessible 1440p models to the premium 4K kind and beyond. If you’re not sure where to begin, we’ve also included a detailed buying guide that explains exactly how to choose the best 144Hz monitor for your needs and budget.
READ NEXT: The best 4K monitors available
Best 144Hz monitor: At a glance
How to choose the best 144Hz monitor for you
Do I need a 144Hz monitor?
The average PC gamer might want to consider a 165Hz monitor over a 144Hz one, at least at 1440p. The difference isn’t particularly noticeable but you’ll have much more choice, because many manufacturers are opting for 165Hz these days.
To that end, we’ve also included our favourite 1440p, 165Hz gaming monitor on this list. If you’re dead set on 144Hz, however, that’s absolutely fine – as the next step up from a basic 60Hz or 75Hz, 144Hz is a great starting point for anyone realising that their rig can handle higher frame rates.
What resolution do I need?
This is the most important consideration here, as it will inform your budget and your choice of screen size. For the unaware, these are your options:
- Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 or 1080p) is commonly found on cheaper monitors. Driving higher frame rates on a low-resolution screen is less demanding on hardware, which makes 1080p, 144Hz a good combination for high-frame-rate gaming on a budget.
- WQHD (2,560 x 1,440 or 1440p) is the so-called “sweet spot” for PC gaming. This resolution is noticeably higher than 1080p but is nowhere near as demanding as 4K, which makes high frame rates achievable if you have a decent rig.
- 4K (3,840 x 2,160) is the high-end option. Only buy a 4K monitor if you have a top-of-the-line gaming PC or next-gen console, or you’ll be wasting the 144Hz refresh rate.
- Ultrawide monitors come in all manner of resolutions but often refresh at 144Hz, so it’s worth keeping them in mind if you value screen real estate. These are typically more expensive and demanding on your hardware than their 16:9 equivalents.
We’ve tried to include monitors that fit into all of the above categories on our list.
How much should I spend?
The answer to this question depends on the type of monitor you’re buying, but because 144Hz monitors tend to be aimed at gamers, there’s definitely a lower limit of around £250.
As so many high-end 4K or ultrawide gaming monitors refresh at 144Hz, however, the upper limit is feasibly over £1,000 – but it’s easy to make sure you’re not spending more than you need to. Just keep our resolution advice in mind at all times.
What screen size should I buy?
This depends on the resolution you choose. Assuming you’re after a 1440p monitor to enjoy the “sweet spot”, anything from 24in-27in is ideal, although this is applicable to 1080p monitors too. 4K monitors usually sit in the 27in-32in range. Think about how close you sit and how much screen real estate you need (if for example, you’re going to work on the same monitor).
What other specifications should I look out for?
Panel technology: There are now two main types of panel in use in modern monitors: VA and IPS. VA panels are cheaper and produce far superior contrast, but they have poor viewing angles compared to IPS, and they’re not quite as colourful or as responsive.
Don’t limit your search to a single panel type: we include this information simply so you know what to expect from the monitor you choose.
HDR: High dynamic range isn’t a huge consideration unless you have a big budget – most gaming monitors struggle to deliver anything resembling true HDR. If you want that, however, start by looking for monitors with a DisplayHDR 600 certification and some kind of local dimming.
Connectivity: Additional ports beyond the usual HDMI/DP/3.5mm are useful if you have a lot of wired peripherals. Gaming PCs are usually well-equipped in this regard which makes connectivity a secondary concern for most PC gamers. If you’re on a laptop, however, you may want to consider spending extra on a monitor with a USB-A hub or even USB-C connectivity.
Adjustability: We always recommend getting a monitor with a versatile stand. Height adjustment, tilt (back/forth), swivel (left/right) and pivot (portrait/landscape) will help prevent back issues while you game – try to at least get a monitor with height adjustment, if you can.
How we test 144Hz monitors
Monitors that pass across our desks for testing always receive the same treatment. First, we measure colour gamut coverage, accuracy and temperature, as well as contrast, black point, peak luminance and panel uniformity – this is achieved using an X-Rite colorimeter and calibration software from DisplayCal. Then, we check for ghosting, inverse ghosting and motion blur using Blur Busters’ suite of web-based tools; we’ll activate any overdrive/MBR settings to see how they affect the results. If a monitor uses HDR with local dimming, we’ll also attempt to catch the local dimming zones in action using a HDR video of a white, moving shape against a black background.
Once that’s done, we use the monitor for at least a week, working and playing on it to subjectively assess performance. We’ll test build quality and viewing angles and make a judgement on the number of ports and the versatility of the stand. It helps to compare the monitor with similar products here, to determine whether you’re getting the best possible bang for your buck.
The best 144Hz monitors you can buy in 2023
1. Gigabyte G27QC: Best 144Hz monitor alternative
Price when reviewed: £250 | Check price at Box
You caught us: this isn’t a 144Hz monitor. The Gigabyte G27QC is instead a 1440p gaming monitor with a 165Hz refresh rate, which to us is the current sweet spot for PC gaming and the best choice for most people.
The G27QC is 27in across the diagonal with a moderate 1500R curve that mitigates the poor viewing angles caused by the VA panel. It’s bright and colourful, with excellent contrast (3,100:1 out of the box) and decent colour accuracy for the price. This is a gaming monitor for casual players who enjoy a good RPG, rather than esports professionals looking for the most responsive panel around.
Elsewhere the G27QC is suitably practical, with a stand that offers height adjustment and backwards tilt and a two-port USB-A hub on the rear for your peripherals. This is a great-value monitor and frankly, a superior alternative to the 144Hz, 1440p display you might have been looking for.
Key specs – Screen size: 27in; Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440; Screen technology: VA; Refresh rate: 165Hz; Response time: 1ms; Video inputs: 2 x HDMI 2, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4; Other ports: 2 x USB-A 3.0, 1 x USB-B 3.0, 1 x 3.5mm
2. BenQ Mobiuz EX2710: Best 1080p 144Hz monitor
Price when reviewed: £322 | Check price at Amazon
The BenQ Mobiuz EX2710 is a well-equipped 1080p monitor that will suit anyone with a low-to-mid-range gaming PC, a fairly tight budget and a desire to hit 144Hz. At 27in, this is as big as you’d want a 1080p monitor to be. It’s bold, bright and colourful, with low response times and good motion handling and viewing angles courtesy of its IPS panel. It nailed our in-house colour accuracy tests and proved enjoyable to use both in work and on the virtual battlefield.
There’s an entry-level HDR 400 certification here, but it doesn’t mean much: this is a great-value monitor, but it’s not a miracle worker, and as such HDR is largely just for show. But you’re getting a decent stand with tilt, swivel and height adjustment (130mm of it), and a panel that delivers the goods in most ways, and that’s more than enough at this price.
Key specs – Screen size: 27in; Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; Screen technology: IPS; Refresh rate: 144Hz; Response time: 1ms MPRT; Video inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4; Other ports: 1 x 3.5mm
3. Asus ROG Swift PG32UQ: Best 32in 144Hz monitor
Price when reviewed: £849 | Check price at Currys
We’re in high-end territory now. The Asus ROG Swift PG32UQ is a 32in 4K gaming monitor that caters to beefy gaming PCs and next-gen consoles. It supports HDMI 2.1 for VRR and 120Hz on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S and has a DisplayHDR 600 certification backed by 16-zone edge-lit local dimming. The result is a higher calibre of HDR than most gaming monitors can achieve – it’s bright and punchy with at least some depth to dark corners.
On test, the PG32UQ performed very well indeed, producing a very wide gamut of colours with good accuracy. It’s a great monitor for gaming, with strong motion handling and good viewing angles. Vibrant to the point of excess and obnoxiously large, the PG32UQ is one of the best monitors we’ve tested for sheer immersion.
It also covers the more mundane stuff, with a versatile stand and two USB-A ports for peripherals. But we all know that’s not why you’re eyeing up this beast of a display.
Key specs – Screen size: 32in; Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160; Screen technology: IPS; Refresh rate: 144Hz; Response time: 1ms; Video inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4; Other ports: 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB-B 3.0
4. Philips Momentum 279M1RV: Best 4K 144Hz monitor
Price when reviewed: £860 | Check price at Amazon
At 27in, the Philips Momentum 279M1RV is a nice compromise for gamers who are cash rich but space poor. It’s another gorgeous 4K monitor built for Xbox Series X/S and PS5, with HDMI 2.1 support alongside the usual DP 1.4 port for PC. It’s ridiculously well-connected, with four USB-A ports and even a USB-C port for power delivery and video transmission, and it sits on a stand with height adjustment and swivel. It’s even got Philips Ambiglow lighting on the rear, so the wall behind the monitor is illuminated while you play.
The panel is excellent. It’s remarkably colour-accurate and produces a wide gamut for vivid colours both in and out of HDR. Speaking of which: this monitor has an HDR 600 certification with 16-zone edge-lit local dimming, which means you can expect a slightly higher standard of HDR performance from the 279M1RV than most gaming monitors. This is a vibrant monitor capable of detailed shadows and responsive, fluid gameplay – and believe it or not, it’s usually pretty decent value, too (although the price has shot up recently for reasons unknown).
Key specs – Screen size: 27in; Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160; Screen technology: IPS; Refresh rate: 144Hz; Response time: 1ms; HDR: DisplayHDR 600; Local dimming: 16 zone, edge lit; Video inputs: 3 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4; Other ports: 4 x USB-A, 1 x USB-C, 1 x 3.5mm
5. LG UltraWide 38WN95C: Best ultrawide 144Hz monitor
Price when reviewed: £1,270 | Check price at Laptops Direct
Although the LG UltraWide 38WN95C isn’t a gaming monitor per se, it has all the necessary credentials, including a 144Hz refresh rate, a 1ms response time and support for both AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync. It’s a 38in curved ultrawide monitor with a high resolution and a price tag to match, but that’s okay: this monitor earns its keep. With Thunderbolt USB-C support, a two-port USB-A hub and a versatile stand with height adjustment and swivel, there’s very little the 38WN95C can’t do.
This is another sensationally vibrant monitor that produces 94% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut with great accuracy. It’s responsive and bright, with the hallmarks of an IPS panel visible in its good viewing angles (made even better by the curvature) and great motion handling. Sure, the contrast could be better, but when there’s so much else going for this monitor it’s hard to complain too much – especially as there’s no HDR certification here.
Key specs – Screen size: 38in; Resolution: 3,840 x 1,600; Screen technology: IPS; Refresh rate: 144Hz; Response time: 1ms G2G; Curvature: 2300R; Video inputs: 1 x DP, 2 x HDMI, 1 x Thunderbolt USB-C; Other ports: 2 x USB-A, 1 x 3.5mm
6. LG UltraGear Ergo (27GN88A): Best 1440p 144Hz monitor
Price when reviewed: £435 | Check price at Amazon
LG’s unusual UltraGear Ergo has been a favourite of ours for some time. It’s a traditional 27in, 1440p, 144Hz gaming monitor with a twist: the stand is an ergonomic arm mount that can rotate, swivel, pivot, rise/sink and tilt to just about any conceivable angle. This saves desk space and keeps you in good posture at the same time.
The panel itself performed well on test, delivering good colour accuracy and a wide gamut (which means bright, vivid colours). It scored well for peak luminance and although contrast is lacking, it makes up for it in typical IPS fashion with great viewing angles and virtually no motion blur. This is a great monitor for most gaming scenarios.
It’s also supremely practical, with a two-port USB-A hub joining that remarkable stand to strengthen this monitor’s productivity credentials. Only a USB-C port would have sweetened the deal.
Key specs – Screen size: 27in; Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440; Screen technology: nanoIPS; Refresh rate: 144Hz; Response time: 1ms; Video inputs: 2 x HDMI 2, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4; Other ports: 2 x USB-A 3.0, 1 x USB-B 3.0