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The best cheap 144Hz monitors you can buy
If you’re looking to jump back into gaming, you’ll want to ensure your rig is up to the task. You can splurge on a new desktop, robust components, or a fancy keyboard and mouse, but don’t forget your display is just as important. Luckily, you don’t have to spend big bucks on a solid monitor these days. We’re here to save you some green. Here are the best cheap 144Hz monitors you can get right now.
In our case, we’re limiting cheap monitors to those costing less than $250, including sale options. Regardless of the cutoff, all of our picks pack a smooth 144Hz refresh rate, and many include FreeSync technology. Ready to upgrade your battle station? Let’s go!
Why do you want a 144Hz refresh rate?
Do you need a 144Hz monitor? Many of you may not even know what this spec is all about. The refresh rate determines how many times a display changes the image per second. In the world of HDTVs and smartphones, we commonly refer to this number as the “frames per second.” In summary, a 144Hz monitor is a screen that can display 144 frames per second.
A higher refresh rate will produce smoother video. In gaming, this can help you see what happens faster, enabling you to react accordingly in as little time as possible. It may seem trivial to be worrying about seeing something some milliseconds before, but serious gamers care for these tiny amounts of time.
144Hz seems to be the sweet spot between performance and value. There are monitors with 165Hz, 240Hz, and even 360Hz, but they tend to be significantly more expensive. Not to mention you might not even notice the difference, as a monitor can only display the frames a computer can output. Running a 360Hz at true 360Hz requires a very beefy computer.
That said, 144Hz is still quite a bit, so make sure you have a computer that can handle 144fps.
The best cheap 144Hz monitors
Editor’s note: All of these monitors were available at the time of writing, but we’ll be sure to update this list as we find new options regularly.
Acer Nitro XF243Y
Even though Acer’s Nitro monitor may not be one of the largest on this list, it’s loaded with specs that match the pack. It measures 23.8-inches across, and AMD’s Radeon FreeSync technology pairs perfectly with your graphics card. The Acer Nitro may be a cheap 144Hz monitor, but you can overclock it to 165Hz. Acer also added plenty of room for angle adjustments.
See also: The best gaming laptops you can buy
The Nitro XF243Y monitor offers a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080p resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio. And while the current high-end standard is a 1ms response time, this one can offer 0.5ms (gray to gray).
Lenovo G25-10 144Hz monitor
This Lenovo 144Hz monitor is slightly larger than Acer’s option at 24.5-inches, but a tiny real estate can go a long way. It keeps up with a Full HD resolution and AMD’s FreeSync technology. Lenovo also added a blue light filter so you can stay in the game for longer with less stress on your eyes.
See also: The best gaming PC desktops
The ultra-fast 1ms response time nearly eliminates lag and time-to-screen. You can pack in peripherals thanks to HDMI and DisplayPort options too.
MSI Optix G24C4
MSI builds gaming laptops with the best of them, so it only makes sense that it can churn out some solid monitors too. This 24-inch model is a perfect example, and it’s also one of the very few options on this list with a curved display.
See also: The best MSI laptops to buy
Other features include a 1080p resolution, 1ms response time, and AMD FreeSync technology. Of course, this is also one of the best cheap 144Hz monitors, so you’ll get smooth video.
Samsung Odyssey G3
It’s hard to get a good Samsung monitor cheap, so this is your best chance to get Samsung quality without the usual high price tag. It’s an excellent option in terms of cheap 144Hz monitors, too. The Samsung Odyssey G3 comes with a large 27-inch 1080p panel, a 1ms response time, and AMD FreeSync technology. It also happens to look really good!
Our small budget means that many of these 144Hz monitors are limited in size. This AOC monitor is a perfect example, though the three-sided frameless design helps make the 23.8-inch display feel larger. It offers everything you’d expect — Full HD resolution, AMD FreeSync, and a 1ms response time. AOC’s G2490VX is also VESA mount ready, so you can add the monitor anywhere you want it. The VA panel ensures 170-degree viewing angles, so feel free to grab a few and build a proper battle station.
Also, those who care about color accuracy might prefer this option over most others on this list. The AOC G2490VX can reproduce 126% of the sRGB color spectrum and 93% of the DCI-P3 gamut. These are impressive numbers for such an affordable screen.
BenQ ZOWIE XL2731
This 144Hz monitor from BenQ technically busts our budget, but it’s often found on sale, and you can get it for $249 as of the time of this writing. You’ll have to accept some thicker bezels with the Zowie, but the exclusive Color Vibrance and Black eQualizer technologies should make your games look picture-perfect. Response time is also nearly instant at 1ms.
Dell S2421HGF 144Hz monitor
Alienware may be the most famous element of Dell’s gaming lineup, but the mothership brand is a competitor in its own right. Just look at the G5 laptops, or this affordable monitor, for all the proof you need.
See also: The best Dell laptops to buy
It may only measure at 24-inches across, but Dell managed to slim the bezels down to almost nonexistence. FreeSync and a 1ms response time are must-haves, and you can even customize three different color profiles for your favorite games.
LG’s screens are great, and its selection doesn’t end with its great televisions. The LG 24GN650 is a great 144Hz monitor. It may only have a 24-inch screen, but it’s a pretty good one with a Full HD resolution, 1ms response time, and AMD FreeSync support.
If you can be patient, there’s a more expensive option from LG that can often be found on special under $250. It’s the LG UltraGear 27GN600-B. This one has a larger 27-inch screen, is G-Sync compatible, and features HDR.
Q: What’s the right monitor size to get?
A: Just because you can have more screen, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should. The largest options on this list are 27 inches, but pretty much all monitors here have a 1080p resolution. This means the pixel density will be smaller, so you might notice more pixelation in the larger monitor. Especially if you’ll be sitting relatively close to it.
Additionally, how far the monitor is matters. A larger monitor will force you to move your head or eyes around when sitting too close to it, as your peripheral vision might not cover the whole panel. This will eventually cause fatigue and strain. We would stick to a 24-inch monitor for standard desk configurations.
Q: Is 144Hz too much?
A: Some might argue 144Hz is too much. Some experts claim the human eye can only see 30-60fps, after all. We’re not eye experts, but we can notice the difference between 60Hz and 144Hz in real-life scenarios. 144Hz screens have also become pretty affordable, and they usually come with other features that also make a difference when gaming. Why stick with the basic 60Hz?
Q: Curved or flat?
A: Curved screens can usually offer a more immersive experience, as they fill more of your peripheral vision. This can also help avoid distractions. Of course, there’s also a “cool” factor to them. That said, we believe other factors make a more considerable difference when gaming. Curved monitors tend to be pricier, and we would prefer to spend that extra money on additional features like better color accuracy, faster response time, or higher refresh rates.
Q: Can you game on a 60Hz screen?
A: Of course! You might not even need a specialized gaming monitor. There are some super affordable monitors with a 60Hz refresh rate, and they arguably do very well in gaming. Especially if you’re not playing fast-paced titles, which is where more Hz make a difference.