1080p 144hz vs 1440p 144hz – Is it worth the upgrade?

Updated: February 17th, 2018BrantonHardware, Monitors2 Comments

Are you considering an upgrade from 1080p at 144Hz to 1440p at 144Hz, but aren’t sure if it’s worth it? 1080p has been the standard for many years when the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 introduced the standard to the masses people were amazed. Since then, consoles have been upgraded a lot, and the upper echelon now supports well above 1080p. Now, there’s a lot of talk about 4K, but the reality is that running games at 144Hz in 4K is not yet possible for the average gamer.

Consequently, this means that 1440p is now potentially the sweet spot at 144Hz. Therefore, before making the jump from 1080p you need to consider the advantages and disadvantages, and only then will you have all the information at your disposal to make the correct decision.

Extra hardware requirements

Running 1440p at 144Hz is no joke, you need some serious PC components to run games at ultra settings. If you’re willing to turn down the graphical setting then you might be able to get away with cheaper PC components – it also depends on what game you’re playing

The screen size that you buy to run 1440p will typically be 24-27 inches. The extra screen real estate is great as you get to have a more immersive experience, and productivity for work will be better. However, running the extra pixels means more CPU and GPU power is required. The GPU to be able to run this setup should ideally be the GTX 1080 or an AMD Vega equivalent.

However, having said all of that running 1080p at 144Hz is no easy task either, you’ll need to get at least a GTX 1070 to get the job done. So you’ll need to decide if the more expensive GPU/CPU and monitor makes the jump worth it. Perhaps by considering some of the advantages that 1440p has to offer will make up the decision for you.

The advantages of 1440p

Simply put there are more pixels, and as a result, the image is crisper and more detailed when compared to 1080p. As an example, let’s assume you’re running a 1080p monitor right now. Now, take the last game you played in 1080p at 144hz, but imagine it much crisper looking and way more detailed. That’s 1440p.

For those of you that are very picky about the graphics you play at will certainly notice a jump in quality when switching to 1440p. After the transition you’ll feel that going back to 1080p will be out of the question as the shortcomings of 1080p will be much more evident.

1440p provides more pixels so it has more real estate to convey the graphical image. This provides more detail but can also improve gameplay. For instance, if you’re aiming down a sniper scope in Battlefield 1 and you’re trying to get a headshot, then there are more pixels to aim at. At 1080p the head of the target might be represented by 5 pixels, whereas at 1440p it would be represented by 10 pixels.

1440p monitors that run at 144Hz

Considering the different monitors that have the specific attributes of 1440p and 144Hz can also help make up your mind if the jump is worth it. If there is no specific monitor out there that you think represents value for money, then the entire conversation would be pointless.

Currently, these are the 4 best options that I would suggest looking at. Yes, there are more options available, but these 4 are all tried, tested, and true.

  1. Acer XG270HU w/ AMD FreeSync

Acer XG270HU

The first entry of the trio is from the trustworthy Acer, who has already impressed the gaming monitor marketplace with a number of options. The Acer XG270HU 27-inch has a 1440p resolution and can be enjoyed at 144Hz providing very smooth gaming.

It also provides a 1ms response time, a gaming feature that keeps input lag down to a minimum. It’s an ideal feature for those who enjoy competitive gaming and rely on the speed of input to win the match. Also, it’s perfect for those of you who are using AMD graphics cards as it comes with Freesync. A technology that keeps screen tearing and stuttering to a minimum while enjoy your games.

Overall, the Acer XG270HU 27-inch is a great gaming monitor that is a worthy contender in this category. The blend of gaming features and competitive price point means you get to have an uncompromising gaming experience.

  1. ASUS MG278Q 

ASUS MG278Q

Asus is another electronics company that has a wealth of options in the gaming monitor marketplace.  The ASUS MG278Q 27″ allows you to game at 144 frames per second and 2K resolution, which is impressive by anyone’s standard. Perhaps by taking a look at its features will help you decide if this monitor is for you.

Worried that your eyes will become tired after long gaming sessions? The Asus Eye Care technology helps you with that by delivering a more eye-friendly picture. Additionally, you can expect a stand that’s highly customizable allowing you to get the physical configuration you want.

Like the Acer monitor, this one comes with Adaptive-Sync technology to provide visuals that are buttery smooth while gaming. Finally, the 1ms response time keeps input lag to a minimum, which is perfect for those of you that are competitive gamers.

The ASUS MG278Q 27″ is very similar to its Acer counterpart, but comes in at a slightly higher price. If you’re a fan of Asus products, then you won’t be disappointed by this purchase.

  1. BenQ ZOWIE XL2730

BenQ ZOWIE XL2730

Interested in a gaming monitor that is consistently used in e-sports events around the world? Then the BenQ ZOWIE 27″ QHD is worthy of your consideration. This is by a small margin the most expensive option on this list of 3, but it comes packed with a bunch of features perfect for gaming.

The combination of 144Hz and 1ms response time makes this perfect for competitive gaming. The response time is fast enough to not leave you at a disadvantage. If you’ve been playing at 60Hz and upwards of 4ms response time for example, then you should notice the difference here.

Black eQuilizer ensures black screens have superior quality, and they are specifically optimized for e-sports game like Overwatch and CS:GO. Furthermore, the blend of low blue light and flicker-free technology means eye strain is kept to a minimum. Consequently, you can enjoy longer gaming sessions without worrying about damaging your eyes. Those who are interested in making the jump from 1080p to 1440p for the first time then the BenQ ZOWIE 27″ QHD is a solid option.

  1. Dell Gaming S2417DG w/ Nvidia G-Sync

Dell Gaming S2716DG

Dell’s Gaming S2417DG is one of the best options when it comes to a 1440p 144Hz monitor that supports Nvidia G-Sync. This advanced synchronization tech assists in lessening the amount of screen tearing and stuttering that happens when you’re not quite able to achieve the 144 FPS required to fully utilize the 144Hz refresh rate. It’s worth noting that the S2417DG is one of the cheapest options here while being one of the best.

This is my go-to monitor for recommendations when it comes to needing 1440p and 144Hz. It’s the monitor I use and I have never been let down nor disappointed. Well, I did have an issue with the very first one I received, but thanks to Dell’s top-of-the-line support, I had a replacement shipped out the next day, and it arrived shortly after that.

On top of being one of the best priced 1440p 144Hz monitors with G-Sync, the S2417DG also comes with a 1ms GTG response time (doesn’t get better) and is running a TN panel (the best for gaming). It’ll support all popular display connections and thanks to its nice thin bezel it works amazingly in multi-monitor setups – I’m running 3 right now.

Conclusion

Now that you have learned about the advantages of switching to a higher resolution, and the monitor choices available at the 1440p running in 144Hz you can make an educated decision regarding if this jump is for you.

In previous years you could have made the excuse that making the jump is quite expensive because running at 1440p at 144Hz is no easy task. However, with the release of AMD Vega and the GTX 1070/1080 offerings, it’s possible for the average consumer.

Keep in mind that for monitors using FreeSync you’ll need to use an AMD graphics card to take advantage of the variable rate technology. The release of Vega GPU’s means now you have powerful offerings that can run games at 1440p.

It’s the same for monitors utilizing G-Sync, only instead of an AMD GPU, you’ll need an Nvidia GPU instead. You can use an AMD GPU with a G-Sync Monitor and vice versa; you just won’t be able to take advantage of the advanced synchronization tech that these types of monitors employ.

You can learn more about G-Sync vs FreeSync, the different panel types, and pretty much everything else you need to know in my post about how to pick the best monitor for gaming.

Some are perfectly happy to play games at 1080p, while others say that once they make the jump to 1440p, they can never go back. It’s certainly worth the jump as the improvements in visuals are impressive. You should especially make the jump if you are planning to build a new system or need to upgrade PC parts anyway.

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Bobby

Thanks for the write up. This site is fantastic. I’ve been a PC gamer since the late 90’s but have been out of the game a few years. I’m currently interested in building another PC for casual gaming and possibly some twitch streaming/YouTube gaming channel. The monitor I’m going to purchase for this system is what’s holding me up. If it was just for my personal gaming sessions I’d get a 1440p 144Hz no question. All the research I’ve done concerning streaming and running a channel is swaying me to just pick up 2 1080p 144Hz monitors. What are your thoughts?