Choosing the right monitor for gaming and watching videos is super important. There are a lot of options out there, so it can be overwhelming.
One big debate is whether to go for a 144 Hz or 165 Hz monitor. These numbers represent how many times per second the screen refreshes to show you new images.
Today I thought, How about we break down the differences between these two options, their benefits, and which one you should buy for yourself.
So, if you’re a gamer looking for the best performance or someone who wants really sharp visuals for creative work, understanding 144Hz vs 165Hz monitors will help you pick the right one for you. Let’s dive in and make sense of this refresh rate battle.
144Hz vs 165Hz: What’s the Actual Difference?
First things first, let’s understand the actual difference between these refresh rates.
The real gap between a 144 Hz and a 165 Hz display is just 21 Hz, meaning you get 21 more screen refreshes per second with the 165 Hz option. This results in an overall 14.5% boost in performance, which can be really good, especially for gaming.
But switching from 144 Hz to 165 Hz isn’t as mind-blowing as going from 60 Hz to 144 Hz, as the difference isn’t much.
However, it’s still a pretty big deal for competitive gamers. They understand that even small improvements can make a big difference when you’re trying to be the best.
So, in short, not everyone can actually notice the difference when going from 144 Hz to 165 Hz. It’s mostly the folks who play fast-paced games who can pick up on the change.
Now let’s talk about some more differences between these two refresh rates:
Animation and Image Quality
The first difference is in animation and image quality. Both refresh rates provide a smooth gaming experience.
However, 165 Hz feels better than 144 Hz when playing high-graphic games like Call of Duty MW2 and Spiderman Miles Morales. It will be simple for you to declare 165 Hz the winner.
At 165 Hz, you’ll see crisper images, smoother transitions, and more vibrant colors. You’ll also notice finer details that 144 Hz can’t match due to the higher frame rate.
A high refresh rate makes your games look better and play smoother, which is perfect for competitive gaming. But for less demanding games, 144 Hz is still perfect.
Number of Frames per Second
I have mentioned this difference in the previous section; however, let’s talk about it in more detail.
First of all, a 165 Hz panel will go up to 165 frames per second, whereas a 144 Hz panel locks at 144 frames per second.
This means that on a 165 Hz panel, you’re going to get 21 frames more, which is no doubt advantageous.
Yes! Advantageous because it’ll shape your whole gaming experience by reducing motion blurring, ghosting, and screen tearing.
And it makes sense – when your screen is refreshed 165 times, it can display the visuals with more details and better clarity compared to 144 Hz.
Response time is how fast a pixel on your screen can change colors, measured in milliseconds (ms).
Interestingly, the response rate has been somewhat affected by the refresh rate, but not directly.
If the time it takes for pixels to change is too slow, your fast-moving images can look blurry. This means that a slow response time can ruin the main advantage of having a higher refresh rate, which is smoother and clearer motion.
For 144 Hz (and lower) monitors, it’s best to aim for a response time of 5 ms or lower. If you’re using a 165 Hz (or higher) monitor, you need an even quicker response time of 2 ms or lower to really see the benefit.
I say that if you really want to spot the difference, 1 ms can be ideal.
Faster (Shorter) response rates mean smoother controls and better overall performance with fewer visual glitches.
Overall Gaming Experience
Jumping from 144 Hz to 165 Hz offers a minor 21 Hz increase. There are only 14.5 percent more frame rates at 165 Hz, so it’s hard to tell the difference.
For online multiplayer games that have less graphics, 144 Hz works well. AAA titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Last of Us Part I benefit from 144 Hz.
In contrast, 165 Hz easily handles rich 3D environments. It suits mainstream gamers, while pros and enthusiasts prefer even higher rates for aesthetics and competitiveness.
In price, there is quite a huge difference. The 165 Hz monitor comes at a higher cost as compared to the 144 Hz monitor. The main reason is that 165 Hz monitors offer superior performance at a higher cost.
Whether they’re worth it depends on your gaming commitment. Competitive gamers who favor demanding, high-quality titles should opt for pricier 165 Hz monitors.
However, if your GPU can’t handle it or you enjoy less demanding games, 144 Hz monitors are sufficient. Ultimately, the decision hinges on your GPU and gaming preferences.
Which Should I Prefer?
It matters for your gaming dedication. If you’re a serious gamer and things like performance and quality are really important to you, then 165 Hz is your top pick.
But if you want good performance and can’t stretch your budget for 165 Hz, 144 Hz remains a good choice.
Let’s check out the benefits of each of them so that you can easily make a decision.
Benefits of 165 Hz
A 165Hz monitor, like the MSI Optix MAG272QR, shines for demanding and high-quality games, reducing motion blur and delivering smoother gameplay. It’s a boon for competitive gaming, elevating FPS and reducing input lag.
Also, there aren’t many 4K gaming monitors with a 165 Hz refresh rate on the market.
Besides that, 165 Hz comes at a higher price point, so it’s not a budget choice. It excels in detail-rich games like RPGs, offering better HDR, panels, response, colors, and sharper visuals.
Benefits of 144 Hz
If you’re into less visually dynamic or budget-friendly gaming, a 144Hz monitor is your go-to choice. It’s more affordable compared to the pricier 165 Hz options.
Also, 4K monitors with a wide 144 Hz frequency range are available. You have a lot of great options.
Most regular gamers discover that 144 Hz handles their favourite games just fine, especially if those games aren’t super demanding visually.
So, if you’re not playing ultra-high FPS games that need lightning-fast response times, a 144Hz monitor is plenty for you. There’s no need to waste extra money on a 165 Hz panel.
Hardware Needed for High Frame Rate Performance Other than the Monitor
For the highest frame rate possible on a monitor, it’s important to have hardware that supports both 144 Hz and 165 Hz.
This refresh rate battle isn’t just about the monitor but also about your entire PC setup, which supports high refresh rates like 144 Hz or 165 Hz for competitive gaming.
Let’s check what kind of hardware you should require.
This is where things start to get interesting. The graphics card is like the muscles in your PC that make games look smooth and detailed by increasing FPS.
So you need a kind of GPU that can perform at a superb level. These are some recommendations.
- Nvidia RTX 4060 founders edition
- ASUS ROG Strix AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT
- ASUS ROG Strix RTX 4090 OC
- MSI RTX 4070 Gaming X Trio 12G
- ASUS TUF GAMING Radeon RX 6800 XT OC 16GB
- AMD Radeon RX 7600
A good CPU is also important to attain 165 fps. Moreover, a CPU has the ability to handle 165 or 144 fps without overheating issues. This point seems small, but it has a huge impact on gaming.
You can choose from the Intel Core i9 10th Gen, Core i7 11th Gen, or Core i5 13th Gen for this. There are also some AMD options, like the AMD Ryzen 7 5700G or AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS.
For a smooth gaming experience with fast loading and no lags, 16GB of RAM is recommended. If you have a bit more money to spare, you can go for 32GB of RAM.
Higher RAM bandwidth also boosts performance for 144Hz or 165Hz monitors with faster refresh rates.
Hard Drive/Solid-State Drive
Traditional hard drives can slow down your computer’s boot-up time and game loading. Solid-state drives (SSDs) are now the preferred choice due to their speed.
They won’t improve your framerate or graphics, but they make your PC start up quickly and load games in seconds. SSDs are affordable and come in various storage sizes.
A 1TB addlink M.2 SSD offers fast read/write speeds of up to 3,400/3,000 MB/s, while a 1TB WD_BLACK NVMe SSD, though pricier, boasts premium speeds of up to 7,000/5,300MB/s.
Is the Difference Between 144 Hz and 165 Hz Really Noticeable?
The difference between these two refresh rates is 21 Hz, so it’s not extremely noticeable for everyone. It’s more pronounced in fast-paced games, and competitive gamers tend to appreciate the boost in performance.
Does a Higher Refresh Rate Affect Image Quality?
A higher refresh rate, like 165 Hz, can improve image quality in terms of smoother transitions, reduced motion blurring, and more vibrant colors. It’s especially noticeable in graphically demanding games.
What Response Time Should I Look For in a Monitor?
For 144 Hz or lower monitors, aim for a response time of 5 ms or lower. If you’re using a 165 Hz or higher monitor, go for 2 ms or lower for optimal performance.
Is a 165 Hz Monitor Worth the Extra Cost Compared to a 144 Hz Monitor?
Whether it’s worth it depends on your gaming preferences and GPU. Competitive gamers and those playing graphically demanding games may find the extra cost worth it. If your GPU can’t handle it or you play less demanding games, a 144 Hz monitor is sufficient.
What Hardware Do I Need for a High Refresh Rate Monitor?
You’ll need a monitor with a compatible refresh rate (144 Hz or 165 Hz), a powerful graphics card (e.g., Nvidia RTX 4060, AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT), a capable CPU (e.g., Intel Core i9 10th Gen, AMD Ryzen 7 5700G), at least 16GB of RAM, and an SSD for faster loading times.
So, choosing between a 144 Hz and a 165 Hz monitor ultimately depends on your gaming preferences, budget, and the types of games you play.
While 165 Hz offers a slight advantage in performance and image quality, it comes at a higher cost. If you’re a competitive gamer or enjoy graphically intensive titles, the extra investment may be worthwhile.
However, for more casual gamers or those with budget constraints, a 144 Hz monitor can still provide an excellent gaming experience.
Best 144Hz Monitor I can recommend:
I’m sure you want to know which is the best 144Hz Monitors so here you have my pick:
The LG UltraGear UHD 32-Inch Gaming Monitor 32GQ950-B is your gateway to an immersive gaming experience. With its expansive 32-inch screen and stunning UHD resolution, every detail comes to life. Its lightning-fast refresh rate and response time ensure fluid, tear-free gameplay, while advanced features like G-SYNC compatibility and HDR10 support guarantee you’re always at the top of your game.
Best 165Hz Monitor I can recommend:
Well, if I recommended a 144Hz screen monitor, I should also give you the best 165Hz, right? So here’s my pick:
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 is like a gaming buddy you’ve always wanted. This screen is built to make your games look awesome. It’s got a super cool design, and the colors and action on the screen are just incredible. With it, you’ll have a blast playing your games without any annoying blurriness. It’s the perfect addition to your gaming setup to take your gaming to the next level!