With so many technological advances happening in the world of gaming, it can be hard to keep up. It is hard to know what combination of specifications makes the most sense for your particular gaming style. Added to this, the pricing bands and what can be expected within each changes with each company. You start to question: what is the best, decent and cheap 144Hz monitor being touted today? And what will slow my gaming down? What can help optimise my set-up? This is where we come in! Today, we are looking at the 7 best budget 144Hz gaming monitors in 2020.
We will take a look at why you need a 144Hz monitor in your life, and discuss compatibility with a wide range of other technical specs you will see alongside this. We tell you what you need to get the best out of your 144Hz monitor, and how to spot the good from the weak screens. Join us on our deep-dive into the world of refresh rates, screen sizes, and resolution, making the view a little clearer all-round!
7 Best Cheap 144Hz Gaming Monitors
A high refresh rate when gaming is desirable when playing fast paced graphics intensive games. It points to the amount of times your screen is updated per second, or frames per second seen on screen. The higher the number, the clearer and crisper the image becomes.
This is where the support of the screens TN, VA or IPS panel also comes in. Alongside a host of technical features above. Reduced response time, adaptive sync, and screen resolution in comparison to its size, these all inform the value of the 144Hz refresh rate. Stacking these features will pay dividends, improving overall performance, reducing blur and screen tear. We look for the best cheap 144Hz monitor below, to really see how these features work with other specialist brand-based features.
ASUS TUF VG24VQ
As one of the latest Asus models, the VG24VQ boasts a Full HD 1080p resolution within its 23.6″ screen. It also has a 1500mm radius (R) curve, which is fairly tight but achieves a greater level of eye-comfort when gaming, allowing for extended usage time. This is an LCD VA panel, and marketed as having a 1ms response time, though actual response time is between 2 and 4ms higher than this when measured. Still, with the 144Hz refresh rate, supported by FreeSync and UHD (ultra high definition) 2160p resolution, 4K video becomes a joy to watch. So, this minor lag in response time shouldn’t make too much of a difference to those graphics intensive games.
Asus have also brought you Extreme Low Motion Blur (ELMB), which aims to produce perfect images by strobing the screens backlight. As the name suggests, it reduces blur by switching the backlight on and off in quick succession as the frame is refreshed. There are a few different levels for this, ranging from standard up to turbo. Though some have reported headaches as the settings ramp up, and strobing can be distracting to some users, overall it is one of the better models supporting this technology.
One problem with this is that FreeSync doesn’t work when ELMB is enabled, and vice versa. This can be switched off, however, and the image doesn’t suffer without ELMB enabled. Plus, there is another trick up Asus’ sleeve. Shadow Boost technology is designed to improve the overall quality of darker areas of the screen, so you can see those enemies lurking! And it does this without rendering brighter areas of the screen over-exposed!
The overall look and feel of the monitor is well done. Asus have pulled out all the stops to ensure this is a beautifully produced, ergonomically designed unit. With height adjust, tilt, swivel and portrait mode, all capabilities and viewing angles are catered for. Its narrow bezels also supports a multi-screen set up, and connectivity is fairly good one DP and two HDMI ports.
Overall for the price point it is ok. Though the AOC model in this review is a better cheap 144Hz monitor, and functions just as well. Albeit without the curved screen. It just depends if a flat monitor is a deal-breaker for you personally.
- 1500mm radius screen curve
- Shadow Boost
- AMD FreeSync technology
- Extreme Low Motion Blur
Acer Predator FHD XN253Q
The Acer Predator was built for gamers, right down to the aesthetics. Distinctive design, tripod stand base with sleek brushed metal appearance and cable tidy loop at the rear. The whole thing gives the impression that some serious gaming is about to go down. The ZeroFrame border gives the 24.5″ screen near uninterrupted views when using a multi-screen setup. The anti-glare coating also improves overall image quality in ambient lighting, and tilt, swivel, pivot and portrait mode support a variety of uses. It is worth bearing in mind, though, that as this is a TN model the viewing angles aren’t going to be as good as an IPS panel can afford.
The TN screen also has a contrast ratio of 1000:1. This is decent, but at the lower end of the scale in terms of performance. However, the depth of the shadows on darker games is fairly accurate, and with the support of NVIDIA G-Sync technology, a 1ms response time and refresh rate of 144Hz, the overall picture is mostly crisp and clear. There is also the option to employ ‘Overdrive’ mode, reducing the response time to an insane 0.4ms!
The wide colour gamut, colour reproduction has an authentic feel, putting you right into the action. Whilst the Predator monitor does have some unfortunate minor issues with viewing angles, the supporting 0.5ms response time and up to 340Hz refresh rate of a TN panel does make this a solid option when it comes to reducing input lag and creating a seamless gaming experience. The cheaper production costs of the TN panel also make this a good cheap 144Hz monitor option!
The connectivity is fairly basic, with one DP and one HDMI port at the rear of the screen. Though Acer have also included a USB hub for the option of souped-up connectivity. The speakers included give a basic overall sound output with limited base-notes. This is to be expected generally, with an external audio set-up brought in if you are wanting a higher quality, well-rounded experience.
- 1ms response time
- NVIDIA G Sync
- ZeroFrame narrow bezels
- USB Hub
Here we have another curved, 144Hz monitor measuring 24″ in our cheap or budget run-down. Both the curved screen and the higher refresh rate can save your eyes a fair bit of strain, and allow for extended gameplay. However, what Samsung have skimped on is the ability to achieve the 144Hz refresh rate within all connectivity ports. HDMI1 has the ability to support up to 144Hz, as does the DP port. However, the HDMI2 port only allows a refresh rate of up to 120Hz.
Still, there are a handful of reasons why this could be a good option for you. The FHD 1080p resolution is improved by the 1800R curvature of the screen (300R more than the Asus model). AMD FreeSync technology reduces screen tearing to almost zero on those fast-paced games. However, the Asus VG24VQ curved model has UHD capability and a 2160p resolution. And at a cheaper price.
Samsung have also included Quantum Dot technology in this panel. The aim is to improve sRGB colour coverage to around 125%. Colours are rendered smoother, sharper, and truer to life. The 3000:1 contrast ratio is great. Plus its VN panel supports superior depth and colour contrast. Leaving you with an immersive overall look and feel in those graphics-heavy games. With a wide viewing angle of 178 degrees, the colour-shift is only slight from different angles. Additionally, multiple gaming modes and the OSD dashboard allow you to fully customise the look and feel of your content at a moments notice.
Samsung have advertised this model as having a 1ms response time, though in the nature of VN panels this could be dramatically higher in fast-paced games and esports. You can of course upgraded the model to include QHD. This improvement image quality, boosting the pixels per square inch in the 24″ screen. This is going to add around 1/3rd to the cost, however, knocking it out of the running as a budget option.
- AMD FreeSync technology
- Curved screen for improved eye-care
- Quantum Dot technology
ViewSonic Elite XG240R 24-inch
ViewSonic have been quietly producing a sub-set of monitors expressly aimed at the gamers of the world. The 24 inch is great value for money, whilst the wider, curved Elite XG350R-C model is there for those who want to spend a little extra cash to get a few extras, like QHD technology. But, the XG24OR model has FHD capacity with 1080p resolution and a 1ms response time, supporting that 144Hz refresh rate. It also has AMD FreeSync technology, but that is not all.
One other underground feature of this Elite model is it also has capability to support NVIDIA G-Sync too! That’s right, the ViewSonic have confirmed that the option is available, though a few extra steps are involved to make this happen. Conversely, NVIDIA have not confirmed the model in their list, but one quick glance at various forums will show that this function has been utilised by a handful gamers using the ViewSonic model. An updated version of NVIDIA’s database of supported monitors is available on their website.
In terms of build, the monitor stands to last, with a thick sturdy base and zero distracting wobble if you were to shake or knock the desk. As with most products in this cheap 144Hz monitor review, tilt, swivel, and pivot functionality are great, as is portrait mode. As a TN panel, you might be thinking that the viewing angles will be sub par, but ViewSonic seem to have though of this, and this sub-set of Elite models is designed to give you wide viewing angles with very little change in depth of colour.
Incorporating 22 levels of ‘black stabilisation’ in this monitor allows for improved vision whatever the on-screen lighting. Pick out those sneaky bad-guys lurking in the shadows and dominate your opponents! And for those who like game-specific set-ups, there are a wide array of pre-set, customisable gaming modes. Additionally, the promise of flicker-free technology stands up to extended gameplay, with blue light filter caring for your eyes no matter how long you have been playing.
But we have to say, the inclusion of RGB Elite Lighting with this model is one of the finer touches. ViewSonic have partnered with a few companies to bring you synced backlighting. Teaming your various peripheral RGB products has never been easier. With this model, you can bathe in the uniform glow of your lighting ecosystem. Without having to install any fiddly software!
Connectivity is fairly standard, including two HDMI and a DisplayPort. But, the addition of one USB 3.0 hub (as with the Acer Predator) does allow for extra connectivity. A USB 3.0 and DP cable are included with the model.
- AMD FreeSync technology
- 1ms response time
- Pre-set customisable gaming modes
- 22 levels of black stabilisation
BenQ ZOWIE XL2411P 24 Inch
Whilst advertised as an e-Sports gaming monitor, the overall look and feel during game-play is immersive for FPS, RPG and all your fast-paced graphics intensive games. The 144Hz refresh rate is supported by its 1ms response time, and the TN panel has a decent capacity to render the full sRGB colour gamut. As a cheap 144Hz monitor, this does have a lot of features that puts it in line with some of the more expensive models.
20 different settings of Colour Vibrance are also present, to maximise the look and feel of different games and settings. Additionally, flicker free and low blue light technology are employed with your eye-comfort in mind. The bezels are on the larger side, at around 17mm on each side. This does, however, serve to reduce distraction by eliminating light reflection on the frame. the result is uninterrupted images on the screen, free of glare. Which some users sensitive to light could find a god-send.
One caveat of this model is that it does not have Adaptive Sync technology. However, with the TN panel’s wide colour array and Colour Vibrance, customisable pre-sets, plus the 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, this is still a solid model. Screen blur is almost negligible, especially when employing the blur reduction function on the monitor. And, despite the absence of Adaptive Sync, screen tearing is a thing of the past. Plus, Black eQualizer promises to bring you the best rendering of darker scenes and shadows within gameplay, and it delivers. Brighter areas of the screen are not compromised and the depth of image is, for the most part, beautifully rendered.
Connectivity is fair, with a DP, one DVI-DL and one HDMI, though with no USB ports, this could turn a few gamers away. Lack of Adaptive Sync could hold them back in general gamer personal preference. But, actual game-play on the XL2411P is strong. Fast paced games holding up with the help of blur reduction. The monitor is also fully adjustable, with tilt swivel and pivot supported, allowing for a multi-screen set up with ease.
At any rate, the Zowie models have been advertised by BenQ as the adoptive model as used by professional PC e-Sports players, and tournaments such as the ESL-ONE 2017 in Cologne. This might do well to quell the fears that a couple of missing features could stir.
- Black eQualizer
- FHD 1080p resolution
- 1ms response time
- Colour Vibrance technology to customise colourisation
AOC 24G2U/BK 23.8″ Widescreen
The first thing most would notice about this model is the design. A sleek black tripod stand with red accents at the base, bottom and back of the panel. The narrow bezel border allows for a multi-screen setup for near uninterrupted views. The whole panel is also adjustable via tilt, pivot and swivel functions. As with many screens, portrait mode is also available, and the IPS panel supports wide viewing angles.
But these are not the only features that cater to gamers. This cheap 144Hz monitor is great value for money as it employs an array of great internal features along with decent connectivity. This AOC model is FHD with 1080 resolution, and AMD FreeSync technology. Similarly to the ViewSonic model, this monitor does have the capacity for G-Sync adaptive technology as well! This is certainly something to consider as it works very well.
The model does boast a 1ms response time, though as with some models in this review, the rate measures a couple of seconds higher in most cases. Input lag was also fairly decent, at a measurement of around 3ms. This is not apt to bother even the most sensitive of users. Another area where this model comes into its own is in colour production. A variety of shades and shadows are impressively rendered via the ample colour gamut and a decent 80000000:1 contrast ratio.
Perhaps one of the best things about this model is the insane amount of connectivity options. With one HDMI, one DP, a VGA and four USB 3.0 ports you can support a multitude of devices and peripherals! One USB ports even supports fast charge for devices. The two 2W speakers included are a nice touch, though this only affords a basic level of audio. they leave a lot to be desired for audio definition and those base-notes. As is generally accepted, an external audio setup would be required for fully immersive audio.
As an IPS panel with 144Hz refresh rate and near 1ms response time, this is apt to be one of the better options within this cheap 144Hz monitor review. Although closer to the top end in price point, the features and connectivity included certainly make it worth your time.
- Superior connectivity with four USB 3.0, VGA, HDMI and DP
- IPS screen
- 1ms response time
- AMD FreeSync technology
LG UltraGear 24GN53A 24 Inch Gaming Monitor
With a 1080p FHD resolution supporting 1 ms response time and the 144Hz refresh rate, this is a fairly standard model. However it is mid-priced in our review of cheap 144Hz monitors of a 24″ size. The name UltraGear packages a range of features we have seen in many gaming displays. We have, however, included it as the resultant experience meets the expected higher standards.
The FreeSync technology works well, practically divorcing screen tearing from your experience. Images are rendered well overall with ‘Black Stabilizer’ and ‘Dynamic Action Sync’. These respectively serve to maintain a crisp depth of colour with an impressive range of blacks in the shadows, and reduce input lag to an impressively low level. Alas, the TN panel’s max viewing angles of 170 degrees and a contrast ratio of 1000:1 reduces viewing quality. Perhaps something they will fix with later models.
The overall design of the model lets it down slightly. Whilst the design and look of the monitor is a slick red and black with a v-shaped base stand, it only comes equipped with a meagre two HDMI and one DP connection. It also only supports tilt function. No pivot, height or swivel function as with other models reviewed here. It’s a shame, but doesn’t negate the UltraGear’s place in the top 7 budget monitors.
Gaming is still smooth, with the high refresh rate supported in all connectivity ports. Black Stabilizer and Dynamic Action Sync also serve to smooth-out the look and feel fast paced games. The TN panel as impressively renders colours, albeit at a lesser viewing angle than some other superior models.
- TN display panel
- AMD FreeSync Premium technology
- 1ms response time
- 2 HDMI and 1 DP connectivity
Do I Really Need a Cheap 144Hz Monitor?
As we now know, a refresh rate of 144Hz or above is optimal when playing fast paced games with lots of graphics. This also gives a low input lag. When combined with a higher spec screen panel such as IPS, it reduces blur, screen tearing and ghosting. If you are going to go for a 144Hz monitor, it is worth noting the following. A high refresh rate is only as good as the central processing unit (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU) of your PC or console. Make sure you know what your are working with.
Ideally, for optimal gaming you want a high refresh rate and a high resolution. However, for slower paced games a higher refresh rate isn’t always necessary. So, if you are looking for budget options, it is worth compromising on a lower refresh rate for a higher resolution and an IPS panel.
In any case, as the image quality of games and consoles increases, and the technology of monitors improves alongside, it is worth going for the best refresh rate possible. A 144Hz screen not only improves the look of games, it can improve picture quality whilst watching films and 4K videos as well.
As advances continue, more and more brands will incorporate more responsive technologies into their cheap 144Hz monitor screens. Now is a great time to upgrade if you are thinking of doing so. And once you that that 144Hz screen for a spin, you will never want to go back.
If you have found this useful, share this with other gamers in your life! And remember to keep checking back as we update our sit with tech gamin guides and reviews.
|ASUS TUF VG24VQ||ASUS||View on Amazon|
|Acer Predator FHD XN253Q||Acer||View on Amazon|
|Samsung C24FG73FQU||Samsung||View on Amazon|
|ViewSonic Elite XG240R 24-inch||ViewSonic||View on Amazon|
|BenQ ZOWIE XL2411P 24 Inch||BenQ||View on Amazon|
|AOC 24G2U/BK 23.8" Widescreen||AOC||View on Amazon|
|LG UltraGear 24GN53A 24 Inch Gaming Monitor||LG||View on Amazon|
Best Cheap 144Hz Monitor: Features to Look out for
The term 144Hz refers to the refresh rate of the screen. This is effectively how many frames per second you are seeing. The higher the number of frames, the more robust the image will feel. More crisp, with less tendency to blur. But when choosing a 144Hz monitor, there are a few things you need to look out for to assist with optimal output.
There are three panel types to consider when choosing a cheap 144Hz monitor. Twisted-Nematic (TN) panels are used fairly frequently as they are cheap to produce. They represent good value for money as panels support up to 360Hz refresh rate, and 0.5ms response time. The caveat of these monitors is the viewing angles and contrast display, both of which are fairly weak.
An IPS, or In-Plane Switching panel is the newer and fresher of the three options, and often selected out of hand. A wider colour gamut means you get crisper, deeper images overall, and far superior viewing angles of up to 178 degrees. Perfect for those multi-screen set ups. There are some occasional backlight issues in some models, and the price is generally higher, though the overall quality is excellent and well worth the price and caveats.
A Vertical Alignment (VA) panel has unwittingly become a hybrid form between TN and IPS panels. Whilst VA outperform both in depth of colour and contrast, refresh rates and response time is often far higher, causing an upthrust in screen tearing, blurring and even some image ghosting. This is especially frustrating when playing fast paced esports, racing and RPG games.
Resolution & Size
These are two important factors to consider together as one informs the other. If the screen is bigger, you most certainly want a higher resolution, or else the image will suffer. Manufacturers historically have increased resolution with the size of the screens. However, it has become common in the last few years to focus instead on increasing the resolution on smaller screens, creating superior quality. The standard HD ready 1280x720p resolution has given way to the 2K or ‘Quad HD’ resolution of 2560x1440p. Lately, the 4K ‘Ultra HD’ 3840x2160p resolution has become more common. This has 4 times more pixels than a standard HD screen.
Another way this can be described in product specs is ‘pixels per inch’ (PPI), and many would therefore assume that, the higher the number of pixels in the screen the better. This is true to a point. But, as the number of pixels increases, the change in the image quality becomes harder to discern by the naked eye. So, bigger isn’t always better, and it is always worth comparing to screen size and price to see if you are getting value for money. And, as always, you must take into account certain accompanying features and factors.
This term refers to the way the screen utilises its frame-rate when compared to the graphics card. If your graphics processing unit (GPU) or graphics card has a lower frame rate than your monitor it can create issues with smooth gameplay. Previously technologies like V-Sync would reduce the refresh rate of the actual game to match the monitor, and this would often result in screen tearing. This is where the screen effectively splits to show two out of kilter angles of the same image. In recent years, however, there have been some developments to save the gamer from these hideous moments. And this is what adaptive sync does.
There are two front-runners in this game, aiding the two types of graphics cards out there. AMD’s FreeSync technology and NVIDIA’s G Sync technology actually works as a go-between to the graphics card and the monitor, syncing the frame-rate within the screen to that of the GPU. Not the other way around. Of course this means that the adaptive sync is only as good as the GPU that gamer has, so this is always something to consider! But if you invest in some good equipment, you can always find a great cheap 144Hz monitor to bring all the elements together. As we shall see in our 7 best budget monitor run-down, coming up very shortly!
Of course, this is a very valuable thing to consider. Whilst you can opt for extension ports, it is great to know that you have a decent set of ports as standard. This can often inform the quality of screen output. Having a number of connectivity options is also great for seamlessly switching between devices.
Newer ports such as USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 allows for better imaging, and is great for both hosts and devices. The earlier USB-A and USB-B options can often only connect peripheral devices (keyboard, mouse, graphics card, mic, etc), but will not work for input/output based devices.
Whilst VGA ports used to be the go to, and chances are you will recognise its wide plug with signature collection of pins inside. Advances in flat panel LCD screens has made this a less desirable but still common feature. Still, it is good for gaming, though inputs like Digital Visual Interface (DVI) are more well-rounded in their ability to support 144Hz screens and a resolution of 1080p.
HDMI ports are a stalwart feature in most modern monitors, and have huge functionality. Higher resolution HDMI options also support the ability for 3D and high definition imaging. It is always great to have at least on HDMI port in your monitor. The DisplayPort (DP) is also a great option as it also supports audio and visual media, and has the capability to support 144Hz refresh rate and 4K video.