The term “144Hz monitor” may not be an everyday one, but gamers and people who work with fast-moving animations will benefit from this newer type of display.
The majority of flat-panel displays update the display up to 60 times per second. This update translates into a 60hz refresh rate. When shopping for a new monitor, the refresh rate tells you as a buyer how often the screen is changed with new information.
Faster refresh rates are useful when watching (or creating) animated features, strobe lighting effects or simply playing fast-moving games. One doesn’t want an unintentional motion blur, which is when something moves on the screen faster than it’s updating, causing something akin to skipped frames from an animation where the image jumps.
Now a number of manufacturers have stepped up the plate with a 144hz product line of modern, sleek displays that are capable of keeping up with graphic cards that have 100+ frames per second (FPS) rates. As both the games and video cards capable of utilizing the 100+ FPS feature explodes, these monitors will continue to grow in demand with it.
We took a look at the best five monitors that offer Full HD, 144Hz gaming, and desktop use options. Our review of them starts below:
1. LG 24GM77 B gaming monitor
List Price: $349.99 Price Disclaimer
The LG24GM77 B is a 24-inch 1080p widescreen LED monitor is an ideal one to play modern games due to its 1ms response time. The latest moves are displayed on the screen in real-time. What LG has dubbed “Clear Motion 240” is their process for eliminating the motion blur effect by utilizing 100Hz or higher refresh rate technologies (subject to the use of a video card that supports it).
The broader range of colors shown (72% based on the CIE1931 rating system) is more color accurate than many displays of this type. The enhanced 350cd/m2 of brightness is also easier to see under bright florescent lighting in a corporate office (or home office) environment.
The LG monitor is discreetly designed with a black border styling complimented by a slight red accent on the rear at the left/right edges of the indented part of the back panel. Therefore, the gaming red color is present, but anyone not into gaming would barely notice it making this a discreet monitor for work and personal use after hours.
There are two powered USB ports at the back on the left side, and a headphone jack too. The rear lower section holds a D-sub, DVD-D input, DisplayPort input, Full HDMI 1 and Full HDMI 2 sockets, and a square USB UP connection.
Control buttons with arrow selectors for on-screen access, along with several quick mode selectors, including a “Game Mode,” are present just below the LG logo near the bottom center of the panel. A Dynamic Action Sync (DAS) mode is also selectable. The feature aims to cut down on input lag. With the Motion 240 blur reducing feature turned on, DAS is turned off by default. Effectively, DAS is a desktop user mode for non-gaming users who require a display that responds to fast input without any ghosting or lag time.
The stand can hold the monitor either in landscape or portrait orientation which will suit writers and other business people who prefer a tall, slim screen orientation.
To round out the features of this LG monitor, there is a Black Stabilizer feature for improved visibility when playing at night and three gaming modes. The first two modes relate to first-person shooters like Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty games. An RTS mode is also available to complete the display options.
2. Acer GN246HL
The Acer GN246HL 24-inch TN gaming monitor with a Full HD resolution of 1980 x 1080 and a 144Hz refresh rate. When matched with a capable graphics card like a NVidia or ATI with above 100Hz refreshing capabilities, you’ll never be caught lagging behind in a game again.
Acer produces both a 24-inch and 27-inch model with similar features. We’re reviewing the 24-inch display version here. It uses smart technology like LED backlighting to manage energy levels to keep electricity bills lower when powered up, but not in use. The Acer EcoDisplay offers a nearly 70% power saving in some situations. The 350 nits of brightness are plenty too and the viewing angles are around 160-degrees vertically and horizontally.
There is a sturdy stand in the shape of an “X” that matches the black color of the display but adds red accents on the left and right edges. The stand allows tilting back or forwards a few degrees only. The lack of a flashy appearance lets this monitor double for business use during the day without attracting comments.
The contrast ratio of 100m:1 is impressive; it shows off the whites brightly and the deep blacks well too. The response time is under 5ms which is quick enough to keep up with rapid-fire gaming and avoids motion blurring.
Along with NVidia’s 3D Vision Ready feature, the NVidia 3D Lightboost feature improves the amount of light emitted during 3D movies and gaming experiences. The Active Shutter technology is supported for more immersive 3D gaming too. Acer 3D glasses are available separately that make use of these NVidia’s 3D technologies.
Several types of video display inputs are catered for here. There’s an old-style VGA port, a DVI port for digital video (no sound), and a full-size HDMI port. It’s a shame that there aren’t two HDMI ports, instead of including the VGA port (how many gamers buying a high-end 144Hz monitor will be hooking up to a VGA port?).
3. Asus VG248QE Price Disclaimer
The Asus VG248QE is a gaming monitor that doesn’t shy away from confirming it is built for 3D. A 3D logo is displayed on the top side of the oval-shaped stand. Elsewhere, the monitor is subtler in its design cues with a basic Asus logo at the bottom center of the bezel, accessible monitor controls on the right front, and an HDMI related logo on the bottom left.
The 24-inch Asus model (there’s also a 27-inch one) is 1080p Full HD version with a 1ms response time supporting up to 144Hz refresh rates. Its built-in 2-watt stereo speaker provides a reasonable sound for its tiny footprint, but won’t rival a surround sound or Dolby Surround sound headphone setup that many gamers opt for.
The stand is lightweight but provides some good height changes, tilt, swivel and pivot at an angle setup options. It is also height adjustable to bring the monitor level to something that’s comfortable for day or evening use.
The NVidia 3D Vision is fully supported for 3D gaming and watching 3D movies in all their glory. The ability to fully adjust the stand positioning provides an ergonomically-comfortable viewing angle. The NVidia 3D LightBoost feature also supports increases in brightness when in 3D mode. The addition of NVidia’s 3D Vision 2 glasses (not supplied) would only add to the enjoyment.
The pleasing 80m:1 contrast ratio is backed by dynamic adjustment to the display’s luminance to ensure the backlight allows for clearer whites and darker blacks.
The Asus Splendid Video Intelligence feature offers 6 preset modes to present night viewing, scenery, games, theater, standard use and purer sRGB accuracy better. There’s a hotkey to make swapping between modes both easier and faster. For gamers, the GamePlus hotkey offers a choice of cross-hairs and an elapsed timer to use in-game.
The input ports include an HDMI, Dual-link DVI, a DisplayPort, a PC audio line-in, and a 3.5mm earphone jack.
The combination of features and support for various NVidia 3D technologies is impressive.
4. Viewsonic XG2401-2 Price Disclaimer
ViewSonic isn’t as well-known as some of the other brands with monitors reviewed in this guide. Nevertheless, their FreeSync 24-inch TN gaming monitor impresses.
The 120m:1 contrast ratio operated dynamically delivers purer whites and darker blacks through its color stabilization feature. It has a 1ms response time coupled with a 144Hz refresh rate which helps it keep up with the fastest gaming action. The low input lag is also important for this display to keep up with user changes. The monitor itself comes in 24-inch, 25-inch and 27-inch versions, which is a little more flexible than some other gaming monitor brands which usually skip the 25-inch model.
The appearance of this black monitor includes red gaming accents along the rear spine of the stand. The same coloring surrounds the border at the base of the stand too. The monitor’s bezel is a standard size and has the ViewSonic branding at the bottom center like most monitor designers opt for. The product includes a VESA-compatible mount for a wall as a nice extra. There is also a Kensington lock. The stand is height adjustable, and it can tilt, pivot and swivel as needed.
The monitor has two full-sized HDMI ports, a single DisplayPort, two USB 3.0 ports, a headphones jack, and a hook to place a pair of headphones in between uses. The two built-in stereo speakers are nice to have, but won’t match surround sound ones. It also comes with some convenient cable management too.
5. AOC G2460PQU Price Disclaimer
AOC is making quite a solid reputation for itself as a provider of excellent monitors. Their Ultimate Performance gaming monitor continues this tradition. The panel, in this case, is a TFT Active Matrix version offering a 1080p resolution with an 80m:1 contrast ratio and a response time below 1ms. This 24-inch monitor also has a 144Hz refresh rate to match any graphics cards that drive frame rates this fast.
There are several sizes and versions of this monitor, including this 24-inch model and a couple of 27-inch ones either with AMD’s FreeSync or G-Sync. The 24-inch model offers a 350-nits of brightness and a 170-degree viewing angle from all sides. This model also has two speakers for a couple of watts of sound output per speaker. Seven preset modes are also provided to change how the display is used.
The appearance is quick slick, as is common with many AOC monitors. There is a gamer red accent along the lower edge of the bezel which stands out in a minimalistic way. The monitor controls are on the bottom right of the bezel in front of the red background and the AOC logo is in the usual bottom center position.
The round stand is sturdy. It’s able to change height, tilt, pivot and swivel enough to position the monitor ergonomically. Mounting the monitor on the wall is also possible with the existing design elements on the rear and a rear wall mount bracket setup.
The ports are generous, with a USB hub complete with four USB 2.0 ports, a VGA, a Dual-link DVI, a DisplayPort, and an HDMI port too. The monitor is also EnergyStar compliant for lower energy usage.
One must spend considerably more to move up from a 1080p monitor display to a 4K UHD version with an IPS display. All of the models above lack the wider IPS viewing angle. Several of the models only have a single HDMI port, but a DisplayPort is often provided too. More advanced, pricier models must be selected to get multiple HDMI ports and step up to 4K visuals.
We feel many gamers are perfectly happy with a 1080p resolution to keep frame rates up in the 50-144 FPS level that’s comfortable on the eyes. It’s also true that when wanting to get up to 144Hz refresh rates with game frame rates to match that, it’s currently a tall order to achieve it when running a 4K resolution. As such, these 144Hz monitors offer great performance that’s suitable for the majority of gamers looking for faster action.
The LG 24GM77 B monitor is an excellent one that ticks many boxes. It offers some enticing gaming-ready features without looking too obvious as it does so. The Acer GN246HL 24-inch gaming monitor includes a wealth of NVidia 3D features that’ll be real crowd pleasers. It’s also good value for money, which is typical of the Acer brand.
The AOC monitor is a TFT display, not a TN panel as the other models are. However, it does offer some good features in the package.