Is 144Hz Better Than 165Hz?

is 144hz better than 165hz

In the high-stakes world of PC gaming, every millisecond counts. Refresh rate, measured in Hertz (Hz), is a key player, dictating how many times your monitor updates the image on screen per second. For years, 144Hz reigned supreme, offering a buttery smooth experience compared to the standard 60Hz. But a new contender has emerged: the 165Hz monitor.

Does this slight bump in refresh rate dethrone the 144Hz champion, or is the difference a mere technicality? Dive in as we explore the nitty-gritty of refresh rates, analyze the impact of 165Hz, and help you decide which monitor frequency fits your gaming throne.

144Hz vs 165Hz

Before diving into the nitty-gritty, let’s establish some ground rules. Refresh rate, measured in Hertz (Hz), refers to the number of times your monitor redraws the image on the screen per second. Think of it like flipping through a flipbook – the more flips per second, the smoother the animation appears.

Now, the contenders in our ring: 144Hz and 165Hz monitors. A 144Hz monitor refreshes the image 144 times per second, while a 165Hz monitor boasts 165 refreshes. This translates to a 13% increase in frame rate for the 165Hz option. But does this seemingly small difference translate to a noticeable improvement in everyday use?

Perceivable Difference

The human eye is a remarkable piece of biological engineering, but it does have limitations. The ability to perceive individual frames depends on various factors, including lighting conditions and personal visual acuity. Studies suggest our eyes can distinguish frame rates up to around 240Hz.

However, the jump from 144Hz to 165Hz represents a relatively small increase. In most cases, casual users and even some gamers might not perceive a significant difference in smoothness between the two refresh rates. This becomes especially true for slower-paced games or everyday tasks like web browsing.

When Does 165Hz Shine?

So, when does the extra 21 frames per second of a 165Hz monitor truly make a difference? Here’s where the competitive edge comes in.

Esports and Fast-Paced Games

In the high-octane world of esports, every millisecond counts. Games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or Overwatch demand lightning-fast reflexes and precise aiming. Here, the extra frames of a 165Hz display can give you a slight edge in tracking opponents and reacting to split-second decision points.

Professional Gamers and Content Creators

For professional gamers and content creators who push their hardware to the limit, a 165Hz monitor might be a worthwhile investment. It can offer a slight responsiveness advantage and potentially smoother gameplay recording for viewers.

Beyond Refresh Rate: Other Monitor Factors

Now, hold on a sec, refresh rate enthusiasts! While it’s a crucial factor, it’s not the sole king of monitor specs. Here are some other key considerations when choosing between a 144Hz or 165Hz display.

Panel Type

There are three main panel types – TN (Twisted Nematic), IPS (In-Plane Switching), and VA (Vertical Alignment). Each offers distinct advantages and disadvantages in terms of viewing angles, color accuracy, and response time. Choose a panel type that aligns with your priorities, whether it’s vibrant colors for creative work (IPS) or super-fast response times for competitive gaming (TN).

Response Time

Measured in milliseconds (ms), response time dictates how quickly the pixels on your monitor can change color. A lower response time translates to less ghosting or blurring during fast-paced motion. Aim for a response time of 4ms or less for a smooth gaming experience.

Color Accuracy

For creative professionals and those who prioritize vibrant visuals, color accuracy is paramount. Look for monitors with high coverage of the sRGB or DCI-P3 color gamuts for lifelike color reproduction.


Higher resolutions like 1440p and 4K offer sharper images with more detail. However, keep in mind that achieving high frame rates at these resolutions requires a powerful graphics card. Balance your desired resolution with your graphics card’s capabilities.

Choosing the Right Monitor

is 144hz better than 165hz
For casual titles and slower-paced genres, a 144Hz display might be sufficient

The battle between 144Hz and 165Hz isn’t a clear-cut victory for either side. Here’s a quick recap.

For casual users and gamers who don’t prioritize esports

A 144Hz monitor offers a significant leap in smoothness compared to traditional 60Hz displays. It’s a fantastic choice for most people, balancing affordability with a great viewing experience.

For competitive gamers and professionals

If every millisecond counts and you have the hardware to push high frame rates, a 165Hz monitor might be worth considering. It can provide a slight edge in responsiveness, especially in fast-paced games.

What type of games do you play?

For casual titles and slower-paced genres, a 144Hz display might be sufficient. However, for esports and fast-paced games, the extra frames of a 165Hz monitor could be beneficial.

What are your hardware capabilities?

Can your graphics card consistently output frame rates above 144fps for the games you play? Pushing a 165Hz monitor beyond your hardware’s capabilities won’t provide any additional benefits.

What’s your budget?

144Hz monitors tend to be slightly cheaper than their 165Hz counterparts. If budget is a major concern, a high-quality 144Hz display remains a fantastic option.

Optional: Additional Considerations

For the refresh rate enthusiasts among you, let’s explore some additional thoughts.

Higher Refresh Rates (240Hz and 360Hz)

Monitors boasting even higher refresh rates like 240Hz and 360Hz are available. These options cater to professional esports players and those seeking the absolute smoothest possible experience. However, the benefits become increasingly marginal for most users, and achieving high frame rates to utilize these displays requires top-tier graphics cards.

The Frame Rate Conundrum

Remember, a 165Hz monitor won’t magically unlock higher frame rates in your games. You’ll still need a powerful graphics card capable of pushing frame rates consistently above 144fps to fully benefit from the increased refresh rate.


Q. Is a 165Hz monitor worth the upgrade over a 144Hz monitor?
A. For casual users and some gamers, the difference might be negligible. However, for competitive players and professionals who prioritize every millisecond, a 165Hz display can offer a slight edge.

Q. What panel type should I choose with a 144Hz or 165Hz monitor?
A. The best panel type depends on your needs. TN panels offer the fastest response times, ideal for competitive gaming. IPS panels provide excellent viewing angles and color accuracy, suitable for both gaming and creative work. VA panels offer a good balance between response time and viewing angles but might have slightly lower color accuracy compared to IPS.

Q. How can I tell if my graphics card can handle a 144Hz or 165Hz monitor?
A. Check online benchmarks for your specific graphics card and the games you play. These benchmarks will indicate the average frame rates achieved at different resolutions. Ensure your card can consistently deliver frame rates above 144fps (or 165fps for a 165Hz monitor) for smooth gameplay.

Q. Do I need a special cable to connect a 144Hz or 165Hz monitor?
A. Most modern display cables like DisplayPort 1.2 or HDMI 2.0 can handle refresh rates of 144Hz and above. Double-check your cable specifications to ensure compatibility.

Q. Is there a noticeable difference between 1440p and 4K resolution on a 144Hz or 165Hz monitor?
A. Absolutely! Higher resolutions offer sharper images with more detail. However, achieving high frame rates at these resolutions requires a much more powerful graphics card compared to 1080p. Consider your graphics card’s capabilities before opting for a higher resolution monitor.