144hz vs 165hz Monitors: Which Should You Choose?

By | August 15, 2023

If you’re in the market for a new gaming monitor, two of the most popular refresh rates you’ll see are 144hz and 165hz.

But what’s the difference between them and which one should you choose?

Keep reading as we dive into everything you need about 144hz vs 165hz monitors.

144hz vs 165hz Monitors: Which Should You Choose?

What is the Refresh Rate?

Before we can compare 144hz and 165hz, it’s essential to understand a monitor’s refresh rate.

The refresh rate determines how many times a monitor updates the image on the screen per second. It’s measured in hertz (hz).

For example, a 60hz monitor refreshes the image on the screen 60 times per second.

A 144hz monitor refreshes 144 times per second. And a 165hz monitor refreshes 165 times per second.

The higher the refresh rate, the smoother motion will look on your screen.

This is especially important for gaming, where you want the action to look fluid and natural as you move through virtual worlds.

Key Differences Between 144hz and 165hz

Now let’s look at the key differences between 144hz and 165hz monitors:

1. Smoothness

At 144hz, the monitor refreshes the image 144 times per second. At 165hz, it’s refreshing 165 times a second.

Those extra 21 refreshes with a 165hz monitor lead to a smoother, more fluid gaming experience.

2. Frame Rates

To take full advantage of a high refresh rate monitor, your graphics card needs to be able to push frame rates that match or exceed the refresh rate.

For 144hz, you’ll want frame rates of at least 144 fps consistently.

For 165hz, you’ll need 165+ fps. Higher end GPUs are required to hit those frame rates at higher resolutions and settings.

3. Competitive Gaming

Every little bit of smoothness matters for competitive gaming.

Those extra 21 refreshes with a 165hz display could give you an edge over 144hz players.

Esports players looking for any advantage often choose 165hz or even 240hz monitors.

4. G-Sync/FreeSync Support

144hz and 165hz monitors are commonly equipped with variable refresh rate technologies like G-Sync or FreeSync.

This matches the monitor’s refresh rate with the in-game frame rate to eliminate stuttering and screen tearing.

5. Price

Higher refresh rates come with a higher price tag.

On average, 165hz monitors are $50-$100 more expensive than comparable 144hz monitors. You’re paying extra for that added smoothness.

When to Choose a 144hz Monitor

After looking at the differences, you may wonder which refresh rate you should choose.

Here are the cases when a 144hz monitor makes the most sense:

  • You’re on a tight budget. 144hz saves you money over 165hz.
  • You play more single-player/non-competitive games. You’ll still benefit from 144hz but likely won’t notice the difference up to 165hz.
  • You game at 1440p or 4K. At higher resolutions, reaching 165+ fps is difficult even with high-end GPUs. 144hz is more realistic.
  • You don’t have the hardware to run 165fps. A GPU like the GTX 1060 or RX 580 is fine for 144hz gaming but would struggle to benefit from 165hz.
  • You want to save processing power and GPU resources. Pushing 165fps uses more resources than 144fps.

For most casual gamers looking for an affordable high refresh rate monitor, a 144hz model is a great fit.

When to Choose a 165hz Monitor

Here are the cases when stepping up to 165hz makes the most sense:

  • You play fast-paced competitive games like PUBG, Fortnite, CS:GO, Call of Duty, etc. Every bit of smoothness matters, so 165hz gives you an edge.
  • You have a high-end GPU capable of running 165fps consistently at your desired resolution. Think RTX 2070 Super and above.
  • You don’t mind paying extra for the very smoothest experience. 165hz models demand $50-$100 premiums over 144hz.
  • You already have a 144hz monitor but want an even faster refresh rate for competitive gaming. Time to upgrade to 165hz.
  • You want to future-proof your setup. Higher frame rates are only getting more achievable with new GPUs.

Competitive and professional gamers who want every advantage will find 165hz worth the investment.

Casual gamers can enjoy flawlessly smooth gameplay as well at 165hz.

What to Look for in a New Gaming Monitor

Beyond just refresh rate, there are a few other things to keep in mind when shopping for a new gaming monitor:

  • Resolution – Common options include 1920 x 1080 (1080p), 2560 x 1440 (1440p), and 3840 x 2160 (4K). Higher resolutions put more load on your GPU.
  • Size – Bigger monitors become more immersive but also more expensive. 24-27″ models are ideal for most desks.
  • Panel type – IPS panels offer the best color accuracy and viewing angles. TN panels feature faster response times. VA panels deliver good contrast and blacks.
  • Adaptive sync – G-Sync and FreeSync match the monitor’s refresh rate to your GPU’s frame rate to combat stuttering and tearing.
  • Response time – Measures how quickly pixels change colour. Look for 4ms or below.

Considering factors beyond the refresh rate will ensure you have the right monitor for your needs and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions people have about 144hz vs 165hz monitors:

Ques 1: Is a 165hz monitor worth it over 144hz?

Ans: For competitive gamers, the extra smoothness of 165hz is worth paying extra. More casual gamers can save money with 144hz monitors while still getting excellent performance.

Ques 2: How much more expensive are 165hz monitors?

A: Expect to pay a $50-$100 premium for 165hz monitors over comparable 144hz models. The extra refresh rate demands more processing power and that cost gets passed along.

Q: What GPU do I need for 165hz gaming?

A: To take full advantage of 165hz, you’ll need a GPU capable of consistently delivering 165+ fps. Some good options include the RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070, RTX 2070 Super, and RX 6700 XT or higher.

Q: Can I tell the difference between 144hz and 165hz?

A: Most gamers can notice the increased smoothness going from 60hz to 144hz. The jump from 144hz to 165hz is subtler but still beneficial for competitive play. The higher the frame rates, the smaller the returns.

Q: Is 1080p still good for 165hz monitors?

A: Absolutely. At 1080p resolution, it’s realistic to drive 165+ fps even without the most expensive graphics card. Competitive esports titles thrive at 1080p 165hz.

The Verdict: 144hz or 165hz?

While both 144hz and 165hz deliver incredibly smooth gaming experiences, 165hz comes out on top if budget allows.

The extra 21 refreshes each second leads to the most fluid motion for fast-paced competitive gaming. Casual gamers will still be very happy with 144hz while saving some money.

Ensure you have a powerful GPU to drive frame rates to match your chosen refresh rate. And take into account factors like resolution, size, and panel type for the ideal gaming monitor. The refresh rate alone isn’t everything.

With either 144hz or 165hz, your games will look and feel better than ever before. It’s about choosing the right balance of visual fidelity and performance for your needs and budget. Both are great stepping stones from traditional 60hz displays.

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