Are you researching your next gaming monitor and starting to get a headache?
There are a million different specifications, a billion pieces of jargon, and a price range that goes from under $100 to well over $1,000. How do you pick a monitor that meets your needs without bleeding your wallet dry?
We’re not going to explain every step of monitor shopping in this article. But we are going to explain a common monitor dilemma: 144hz vs 4K.
144hz vs 4K: Explaining the Dilemma
It’s not quite accurate to say you must choose between 4K or 144hz. There are computer monitors that boast both labels at once.
But 4K monitors and 144hz monitors are more expensive than their generic counterparts. Monitors that feature both labels are even more expensive. Many people prefer to pay for one feature or the other, rather than both.
Which label is worth the investment? It depends on the kinds of games you play, what else you use your monitor for, and other hardware components in your gaming setup.
4K: What It Means and What It Does
4k monitors get their name from their pixel count. They show just under four thousand (about 3,840) horizontal pixels and 2,160 vertical ones. That’s double the pixels of standard HD monitors, which are 1920 pixels horizontally.
A 4k monitor is a great investment for graphic designers and artists who need crisp, accurate images. And a lot of the beautiful artwork in modern gaming looks its best on 4k screens.
Graphics cards vary in how well they interact with 4k displays. A cheaper card creating 4k images will render fewer frames per second, sometimes resulting in jagged movement. That’s not a big deal for Photoshop, but it can get annoying fast when you’re gaming.
144hz: When Is It Worth It?
4K measures pixels. 144hz measures hertz—a frequency unit. One hertz equals a frequency of one cycle per second.
A standard 60hz monitor refreshes its pixels sixty times per second. That’s more than fast enough to keep up with most movies and TV shows, which are generally shot 24 frames per second.
144hz monitors can refresh their pixels over twice as fast as 60hz monitors. But that doesn’t always mean you’ll get 144 distinct frames per second.
If you’re using a cheaper graphics card or playing a visually intense game, your monitor is likely receiving fewer than 144 frames per second. Many gamers don’t notice a difference between 60 and 144 frames per second. Others claim the higher frame rate creates a smoother experience.
Popular first-person shooters like Call of Duty rely on hair-trigger responses to your in-game environment. Designers for these games keep the art simple enough that graphics cards can keep up.
A good graphics card running these games can easily produce more than sixty frames per second. And while a 144hz monitor will display sixty frames per second fine, a 60hz monitor will struggle to display more than sixty frames per second.
You may experience screen tearing, ghosting, and other unpleasant visual effects.
Do Your Research for Your Best Gaming Experience
A good gaming experience doesn’t have to break the bank. All you need is research into what gaming essentials are out there and what your gaming habit needs. This research can clear up your 144hz vs 4K deliberations.
4K Monitors: Best for high-resolution requirements, such as, graphics, photography, etc.
144hz Monitors: Best for responsive gaming and a smooth experience
Once you’ve got your new gaming monitor, of course, you’ll need to get some new games to try it out. Take a look at our PC game review archives to find the next play for your new monitor.