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Updated May 31, 2022 8:00 PM

Great graphics are among the biggest benefits of being a PC gamer. If you’ve been playing in 1080p, a 1440p 144Hz monitor will make your games look better and, potentially, run smoother. And here’s the best part: If you’re already using a moderately powerful graphics card, you probably won’t need to upgrade your PC to enjoy it.

Even after picking two of the most important decisions, poring over monitor specs can be a confusing chore. There are lots of good options, each touting impressive arrays of features, that may cost wildly different prices for reasons that aren’t immediately clear. What’s the best 1440p 144Hz monitor for you? We’ve done the research to help you pick it.

How we selected the best 1440p 144Hz monitors

I’ve been a tech journalist since 2015. During this time, I have tested some of the best gaming monitors and computers for websites like IGN, Tom’s Hardware, Reviewed, and MMORPG.com. I have a deep knowledge of what makes monitors great, the PC components you need to run them, and how games benefit from different displays.

I selected the best 1440p 144Hz monitors through deep testing and research. To begin, I examined the key specifications for dozens of potential candidates: screen size, brightness, response time, panel type, and ergonomics. After narrowing down the list, I filtered that further through extensive research of supporting features, professional critiques, impressions from real users, brand and model reputation, and warranty support. In the end, I was left with a much smaller selection of truly exceptional 1440p 144Hz displays.

Things to consider before buying a 1440p 144Hz monitor

There are an overwhelming number of 1440p 144Hz monitors to choose from. It has become a sweet spot for a large swath of players with mid-range to powerful gaming PCs. To separate out the acceptable from the incredible, you need to be able to see past the basics of resolution and refresh rate to see each display more holistically. Here are some elements to keep an eye on when you compare spec sheets.

Do you need a 1440p 144Hz monitor?

Before we dig into the nitty-gritty of gaming monitor specs, let’s ask the question: Is a 1440p 144Hz monitor going to make sense for your system?

Quad HD, or 1440p resolution, shows 77% more pixels than 1080p on screen. It’s a visual upgrade you’ll notice immediately, which means you’ll need a powerful graphics card to run games at that resolution.

The jump to 144Hz also helps more or less, depending on your hardware. Refresh rate, measured in Hertz (Hz), indicates how many times your monitor can update your screen each second. A 144Hz monitor can draw and redraw the image on your screen up to 144 times each second. 

In games, where refresh rate corresponds directly to frames of animation, a higher refresh rate makes games run more smoothly, reducing motion blur and improving the flow of character movement. It also has the side benefit of making your mouse pointer feel like it’s gliding on air across your desktop. As with resolution, though, you can only play games at your monitor’s top frame rate if you have a PC that can handle it. Most players probably won’t be able to play every game at 144Hz, especially in 1440p. Still, there’s a wide range of games with varying technical demands, and we generally recommend 144Hz for most players.

If you’re willing to adjust settings to achieve the best possible performance, anything more powerful than an Nvidia RTX 2070 or AMD RTX 5700 XT should allow you to play most games easily at 1440p and hit around 90fps in many games.

Panel type

Computer monitors generally come in three different varieties: Twisted Nematic (TN), In-Plane Switching (IPS), or Vertical Alignment (VA). There are others, such as OLED screens, but they are less common. While the performance of these panels is closer than ever, it’s important to keep in mind the following general strengths and weaknesses of the three types:

TN: Twisted Nematic panels are the fastest of the three main types used for gaming monitors. It features the lowest input lag and has the least chance of ghosting. For years, TN panels were the top choice for gaming due to their speed. However, IPS and VA panels have closed that gap and can also deliver a great gaming experience. TN panels are fast but tend to suffer from reduced color depth, contrast, and viewing angles, making their final picture less rich than the competition.

IPS: In-Plane Switching panels have long been the go-to choice for creative professionals due to their deep colors and great viewing angles. Broadly speaking, IPS panels are the slowest of the three types and have the highest chance of ghosting, though this isn’t a given when the monitor has been designed for gaming. Because IPS panels utilize a backlight, they have reduced contrast and can appear to glow around the edges of the screen. This is most noticeable in dark rooms where blacks can appear dark gray. 

VA: Vertical Alignment panels split the difference between TN and IPS. They offer better colors and viewing angles than TN monitors, but aren’t quite as rich as IPS displays. They’re also faster than IPS but slower than TN. Like IPS, however, VA monitors designed for gaming can still be fast and free of ghosting. VA panels excel in contrast, delivering better blacks and improved visuals in dark settings.

With those differences in mind, it’s always best to look at the specifications for any monitor before you buy. Many VA and IPS gaming monitors feature 1ms response times that are competitive with TN panels. These ratings are often based on ideal circumstances with the highest overdrive settings, but usually still indicate strong overall performance.

HDR support and overall brightness

High dynamic range, or HDR, is technology that allows your monitor to show a wider range of colors and brightness. You’ll see it as a feature on many monitors, but the extent it’s able to display that wide gamut depends on your monitor’s maximum brightness and color depth.

On PC monitors, HDR support is measured in easy-to-understand steps. HDR400, HDR600, and HDR1000 are the most common, and the number in each indicates its peak brightness, measured in nits or candela per meter (cd/m). The best monitors are DisplayHDR certified by VESA and have been verified to meet certain criteria to ensure reliable picture quality.

It’s important to understand these ratings because each one corresponds to a different level of HDR support. And that impacts the picture quality of your screen. Confusingly, there are monitors that “support” HDR, but not to a degree that it will impact how games look.

HDR400 displays can process HDR content, allowing you to turn on that mode in Windows, but aren’t bright enough to make a big difference to your viewing experience. HDR400 monitors can still get brighter than most SDR monitors, however, so it’s still a nice feature to have.

For the best HDR experience, look for a monitor with the highest HDR rating you can find. Modern televisions often feature peak brightness levels of 1000 nits or more and have local dimming zones for localized contrast. Right now, HDR1000 ratings are rare among monitors, so we generally suggest HDR600 as a baseline for HDR performance in games.

Additional features

The market for gaming monitors is incredibly competitive, and manufacturers regularly include extra features to make their displays more appealing. Some monitors offer extra gaming features, picture modes, or software suites to add value beyond simply processing an image. Always take a little extra time to look at these and figure out whether or not they’ll make a difference in your setup.

One of the most common features found on gaming monitors is Variable Refresh Rate, called Freesync for AMD or G-Sync for Nvidia. This technology allows your monitor and PC to adjust their target frame rate in unison, eliminating screen tearing and creating a smoother gameplay experience. 

Other features are less ubiquitous. The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD uses quantum dot display technology to make its colors more vivid and improve viewing angles. The Gigabyte M32Q allows you to tie gaming features and screen settings to hotkeys so you can turn them on with your keyboard. Others, like the Alienware AW2721D, feature improved ergonomics through a highly adjustable stand. 

When shopping for the best 1440p 144Hz monitor, it’s usually in the final steps of making a decision where things get difficult. If you’re stuck between two monitors with similar features and reviews, these special features may steer one way or the other.

The best 1440p 144Hz monitors: Reviews & Recommendations

The market for 1440p 144Hz gaming monitors is bigger than ever. Even when you know what to look for, you still may find yourself with a few choices that look great on paper. We’ve done the research to pick out some true gems.

Best overall: Samsung Odyssey G7

Samsung

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Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The Samsung Odyssey G7 is fast, color-rich, and curved, with an HDR experience that will keep your eyes glued to it.

Specs

  • Price: $699.99
  • Screen size: 27 inches
  • Panel type: QLED
  • Brightness/HDR: VESA DisplayHDR600
  • Response time: 1ms

Pros

  • 240Hz maximum refresh rate
  • Deep 1000R curved screen
  • LED screen enhanced with quantum dots 
  • HDR600-certified

Cons

  • 1000R curve may be too deep for some
  • Firmware update may be necessary
  • Potential stuck pixels

The Samsung Odyssey G7 is one of the most impressive 1440p monitors you can buy. Whether you’re a competitive esports player or just want to get lost in your favorite MMORPG, its outstanding balance of price and features will draw you deeper into your favorite games. 

We have to admit: We kind of cheated here: The Odyssey G7 can actually run all the way up to 240Hz, adding esports-caliber smoothness and reduced motion blur to your gaming experience. When you see its QLED screen which offers deeper, richer colors and higher brightness than most displays.

The Odyssey G7 is also deeply curved, allowing it to take up more of your field of view and add immersion to your gaming experience. We’ve found that curved displays tend to be an acquired taste, so we suggest putting a little time in with it or another 1000R monitor before taking the leap.

Considering its many elite luxuries, the Odyssey G7 is an incredible value at $699. While hardly cheap, that’s still a great price on such a fully featured high-performance monitor. We recommend picking this one up from a retailer with an easy returns process, as some early users report issues with screen flickering or stuck pixels. Those users are in the minority, however, and don’t mar the fact that this is a tremendous gaming choice.

Best 32-inch: Acer Predator XB323U

Buy it used or refurbished: Amazon

Why it made the cut: The Acer Predator XB32U is a fast, bright, and big 1440p display that’s able to clock all the way to 170Hz.

Specs

  • Price: $799
  • Screen size: 32 inches
  • Panel type: IPS
  • Brightness/HDR: VESA DisplayHDR 600
  • Response time: 1ms

Pros

  • Spacious screen
  • Exceptionally good HDR
  • Great colors
  • 170Hz refresh rate

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited local dimming
  • Inverse ghosting around 60 FPS

The Acer Predator XB323U features a spacious 32-inch IPS panel with better color coverage than any other monitor we could find in this category. It covers 99% of the AdobeRGB spectrum and 95% of DCI-P3, which translates deeper, richer colors to enhance your enjoyment. 

The XB323U is also one of the best 1440p 144Hz gaming monitors you can find for HDR. It’s DisplayHDR 600 certified and features 16 local dimming zones to add depth and gradients to dark areas of the screen. That isn’t enough to completely counteract the ambient glow of the backlight, so you may notice some around the edges. Even with a bit of shine-through, though, this is one of the most vibrant gaming displays you’ll find right now.

However, it comes with one major caveat: Using variable refresh rate (AMD Freesync or Nvidia G-Sync) locks the prevent using overdrive mode, and testers at DisplayNinja discovered that doing so can lead to ghosting when the frame rate is around 60 FPS. If your system isn’t powerful enough to push your games to higher frame rates, it may be best to look elsewhere. On the other hand, if your system has a great graphics card, the XB323U can run all the way to 170Hz giving you an extra dose of clarity. 

Even with its ghosting window, the Acer Predator XB323U is an outstanding choice, even for the most discerning gamer.

Best 27-inch: ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ is well-rounded, feature-rich, and fast.

Specs

  • Price: $499
  • Screen size: 27 inches
  • Panel type: Fast IPS
  • Brightness/HDR: VESA DisplayHDR 400
  • Response time: 1ms

Pros

  • Fast response time
  • 170Hz refresh rate
  • ELMB can be used with Freesync/G-Sync
  • Lots of gaming features

Cons

  • Disappointing HDR
  • ELMB reduces brightness (but not as much as others)

The ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ is one of the most well-rounded 1440p 144Hz monitors you can buy. It delivers a fast, color-rich IPS panel encased in one of the most stylish frames of this whole line-up. In addition to eye-catching looks, it’s able to produce an exceptionally colorful picture that works hard to overcome the lower contrast inherent to IPS monitors. 

Users and professional critics agree that the ASUS XG27AQ does just about everything. ASUS’s Fast IPS technology operates at up to four times the speed of a traditional IPS display, which makes ghosting a thing of the past. Tom’s Hardware also highlighted its surprisingly great dynamic contrast mode, which enhances the deepness of blacks in games. Competitive players will appreciate that the panel can clock all the way to 170Hz and features an Extreme Low Motion Blur mode to improve clarity even further. If that weren’t enough, it features optional crosshairs and even a screen magnifying Sniper Mode to give you an even greater edge.

Its one weakness is HDR. As expected from a DisplayHDR 400 monitor, HDR performance isn’t anything to write home about. With only 400 nits of peak brightness and no local dimming, HDR content will display with standard dynamic range. That doesn’t mean it looks bland, though. With 95% DCI-P3 color coverage, it presents incredibly vivid and saturated colors.

Best ultrawide: LG UltraGear 34GP950G-B

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The LG UltraGear 34GP950G-B offers an ultra-high refresh rate, great HDR, and G-Sync Ultimate, but at a high price. 

Specs

  • Price: $999
  • Screen size: 34 inches
  • Panel type: Nano IPS
  • Brightness/HDR: VESA DisplayHDR 600
  • Response time: 1ms

Pros

  • High peak brightness
  • 56 local dimming zones
  • G-Sync Ultimate Certified 
  • Outstanding color coverage 

Cons

  • Extremely expensive
  • Limited connectivity
  • Requires better hardware for gaming

If you’ve got extra money to burn and only the best ultrawide will do, the LG UltraGear 34GP950G-B should be at the top of your list. It features an impressive 34-inch, 21:9 screen that will stretch wide over your desk with a gentle 1900R curve. Its Nano IPS panel enhances color coverage up to 98% of the DCI-P3 color spectrum, making this a good fit for creators who need extra space to work. 

The UltraGear 34GP950G-B really shines when you boot up a game, though. Its screen can be overclocked with an OSD setting to hit 180Hz for improved motion clarity and supports Nvidia G-Sync to ensure extra-smooth gameplay at any frame rate. If you don’t have an Nvidia GPU, you can still use AMD FreeSync through its DisplayPort connection. It’s also DisplayHDR 600 certified and features 56 dedicated local dimming zones to deliver one of the best HDR experiences available in 1440p gaming monitors. 

All of that performance comes with a very, very high $999 price tag. If that’s too expensive, we recommend the ASUS ROG Strix XG349C as a strong mid-range compromise. You’ll give up local dimming zones and HDR-grade brightness, but it’s a very worthy alternative at $799.

Best G-Sync: Dell Alienware AW2721D

Buy it used or refurbished: Amazon, eBay 

Why it made the cut: The Alienware AW2721D is an outstanding monitor in its own right, and it’s one of the only 27-inch G-Sync Ultimate displays.

Specs

  • Price: $829.99
  • Screen size: 27 inches
  • Resolution: 2560×1440
  • Panel type: Nano IPS
  • Brightness/HDR: VESA DisplayHDR 600
  • Response time: 1ms

Pros

  • Up to 240Hz refresh rate
  • DisplayHDR 600 certified
  • 32 local dimming zones
  • Excellent color coverage

Cons

  • Screen glow can be an issue
  • 1ms response time only possible in “Extreme Overdrive” mode

The Alienware AW2721D is one of the only G-Sync Ultimate-certified monitors that comes in a 27-inch, 1440p form factor. Nvidia’s high-end G-Sync designation is reserved for hardware-enabled G-Sync monitors with a handful of elite specs, including 144Hz or higher, P3 wide color gamut, and a VESA DisplayHDR 600 rating or higher. In fact, it’s actually one of only a few 1440p monitors to use a dedicated G-Sync chip at all. So you can count on an exceptionally smooth gaming experience all the way to the top of its refresh rate.

The “ultimate” rating isn’t just for show. The AW2721D is incredibly fast. It features a response time of as little as 1ms (2ms outside of Extreme mode) and can be set to run as quick as 240Hz. There’s no low motion blur mode, but you won’t miss it with a refresh rate that high. Since the display is also based on LG’s Nano IPS technology, it also has outstanding color coverage of up to 98% of the DCI-P3 color spectrum for outstanding colors. 

HDR fans also won’t find much to complain about with the AW2721D. It’s DisplayHDR 600 certified for improved brightness and color gamut. It also utilizes 32 local dimming zones to enhance blacks, though RTINGS notes that there’s still a fair bit of glow around the height of the screen due to the backlight. Even though it doesn’t completely solve the contrast limitations inherent to IPS monitors, this is still a top choice among 1440p gaming monitors.

Best budget: Monoprice Zero-G 32-inch Curved Gaming Monitor 

Monoprice

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Why it made the cut: The Monoprice Zero-G 32-inch Curved Gaming Monitor is an affordable option with a high refresh rate and a wide color gamut.

Specs

  • Price: $249.99
  • Screen size: 32 inches
  • Panel type: VA
  • Brightness/HDR: 300 nits 
  • Response time: 6ms

Pros

  • Large screen
  • High refresh rate
  • Low price 
  • Good contrast and color gamut

Cons

  • Low brightness 
  • Very limited stand adjustment
  • High response time leads to some ghosting 

Leave it to Monoprice to somehow sell a decent 32-inch curved gaming monitor for $300. The Zero-G 32-inch cuts out a lot of the frills, focusing on delivering big-screen PC gaming for less. At such a low price, it’s an easy gateway to playing in 1440p at up to 165Hz. It also delivers a bold, vibrant image with 100% sRGB and 89% DCI-P3 coverage. That’s far from perfect color accuracy but very high at this price.

It’s worth noting that some reviews mention HDR support but, with a max brightness of only 300 nits, it isn’t truly capable of even system-level support. It also has a higher response time than more expensive gaming monitors, so you may see some minor ghosting in dark scenes, but should still be fast enough to avoid distracting screen artifacts. Whether you’re gaming or editing, we recommend investing in a good monitor arm, as the Zero-G’s stand only offers tilt adjustment.

FAQs

Q: Is 1440p good for gaming?

Absolutely. Among PC gamers, 1440p is often considered the sweet spot between visual fidelity and performance. 1440p, also called Quad HD (QHD) or 2K, is noticeably more detailed than 1080p, but doesn’t require the same expensive hardware as 4K. You’ll still need a good graphics card (anything above an Nvidia RTX 2070 or AMD Radeon 5700 XT should do the trick) but upgrading to 1440p is a cost-effective way to enhance your gaming experience. 

Q: Is 1440p worth it over 1080p?

In a word, yes. Upgrading to 1440p from a 1080p display offers an immediate jump in clarity and detail, no matter what game you’re playing. It’s important to remember that running any higher resolution increases the demand on your graphics card. If you’re running an older GPU, you may need to turn down settings to achieve the same frame rate you were used to at 1080p.

Q: Is 1440p the same as Ultra HD?

No, 1440p is shorthand for 2560 x 1440 resolution, which manufacturers also refer to as Quad HD (QHD) or “2K.” Meanwhile, 4K Ultra HD screens have 3840 x 2160 pixels, more than double what you see on a 1440p display.

The jump from 1440p to 4K is impressive but requires much more powerful hardware to play games at high frame rates. For many players, 1440p provides a better balance of the two, offering a significant jump in clarity from 1080p without giving up the smooth animation.

Final thoughts on the best 1440p 144Hz monitors

The crisp visuals and silky smooth gameplay of having the best 1440p 144Hz monitor can change how you look at PC gaming. This exceptional balance between visuals and performance makes one a great choice for gamers looking for an upgrade but that don’t need 4K. You’ll still need a moderately powerful graphics card to run it at full speed. But, if you do, these monitors are easily one of the best upgrades you can make from a 1080p 60Hz monitor. 

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