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Is 1440p Worth It? Most gamers are familiar with resolutions and refresh rates. If you aren’t, then you should know that the standard aspect ratio for monitors is 16:9 and 1440p is the next step up from 1080p in that aspect ratio. 1080p is also called Full HD, so 1440p is one step up from Full HD, but isn’t quite up to the quality of 3k or 4k resolutions. Below I’ll discuss in-depth the pros and cons of a 1440p monitor and whether it really is worth getting. If you are a gamer with an AMD GPU then you’ll want a good FreeSync monitor. And just to be clear about it, check out our FHD vs HD article on the subject.
Is 1440p Worth It?
Whether or not you should get a 1440p resolution monitor depends a lot on what kind of equipment you are working with. Your Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) determines what kind of graphical quality your machine can handle, so if your GPU can’t handle resolutions higher than 1080p then you definitely shouldn’t be getting a 1440p monitor. If you have a monster GPU and you are looking for a new monitor then 1440p may be worth picking up.
Before the costly upgrade, most folks are wondering how to use laptop as monitor before footing the bill for a 1440p unit.
Resolution isn’t as important as other specs when it comes to gaming. What you are really after is a fast response time and a high framerate, the higher resolutions are just icing on the cake. If you can find a 1440p 144hz monitor with a fast response time and your GPU can handle that resolution then it would certainly be a good idea to pick it up.
If the GPU you already have isn’t good enough then you have to tack on the price of a decent gaming GPU on top of the cost of the monitor which will get extremely expensive very quickly. In this circumstance it probably isn’t a good idea to be going for a 1440p monitor.
Really, what determines whether a 1440p monitor will be worth buying is how much value you place on image quality over performance. In truth, if you are considering 1440p vs 1080p then you should know that a 1080p monitor is more than sufficient for most gaming purposes. I have been using a 1080p monitor for 6 years and have had no problems with any of the games I play.
That said, a 1440p monitor will certainly look better than a 1080p monitor, there is no denying that. High resolutions result in higher image quality which means your pretty games on 1080p will look even prettier on 1440p.
If you are considering a 1440p vs 4k situation, then you have to realize that 4k monitors are much bigger than 1440p monitors are. If you don’t have the space for an absolutely gargantuan monitor on your desk then a 1440p monitor is definitely the better route to go with. Of course, there are also nice monitors:
The Advantages of 1440p
I’ve talked a lot about “p this” and “p that”, but what even does p stand for and what resolution is 1440p? Well, the p stands for “pixel” which is the unit of measurement for resolutions and 1440p is the common name for a 2160 x 1440 resolution size.
A 1440p resolution gives you a higher image quality than 1080p or full HD which naturally makes it an excellent choice for those people that place a lot of value on how their games look. That is certainly a fair perspective, especially for those gamers that prefer the single-player experience. The performance of your monitor matters less for non-competitive games and the graphical quality matters more. Also, before you buy, you may want to know is 1440p 4K resolution.
You also have to consider that a 1440p monitor provides a better image quality in an overall similar size and weight range to a 1080p monitor so you don’t have to deal with as much wobbling or risk of tipping as you would with a massive 4k monitor. If you are operating in a small location, like I do, then a bigger monitor is more of a detriment than a help.
Something else worth noting is that the specs you are going to find on monitors will often change based on their display panel type. TN displays will have faster response times, IPS panels will look prettier but perform slower, and VA types will have less in the way of weaknesses but won’t perform as well as either in their respective specialties. Click here to learn more about TN vs IPS.
I don’t have a lot of space for all of my computer equipment, which means I need a monitor that isn’t going to take up so much room that there’s no place for my speakers or my input devices. If you are in the same situation, but you are still looking for an upgrade, then 1440p is a great choice.
Why Get 1440p Monitor That Run at 144Hz
A 144hz 1440p monitor is a display that has been specifically designed for gaming. If you are a gamer or a gaming developer, then this is exactly the monitor you are looking for, provided it also has a fast response time.
Refresh rate determines how many times per second your monitor will refresh the images on your display. This is comparable to framerate and the two are often discussed together. This is because, for gaming, you want your refresh rate and your framerate to be as close together as possible, and as high as possible. The closer your refresh rate is to being the same as your frame rate, the smoother the game will look and the less tearing or graphical artifacts you will experience.
144 Hz is the ideal refresh rate for gaming as long as your GPU is powerful enough to match that framerate, otherwise you will have to lower the refresh rate to be comparable to your frame rate which means you aren’t using your monitor to its fullest potential.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t get a 144hz 1440p display, though, because there is something to be said for futureproofing. Computers are expensive, which means it is best to upgrade them in stages. You might be able to afford the monitor now, and then you can get the upgraded GPU later to make full use of your monitor.
Remember though, that resolution is the least important of the big 3 specifications you should be looking at for gaming monitors. The most important thing is the response time followed closely by the refresh rate. You want a response time that is less than 5 milliseconds and a refresh rate of 144 Hz or as close as you can get to it.
There are monitors out there that can operate at even higher refresh rates like 165 Hz, but unless you have an extremely powerful machine they aren’t worth getting.
The Cost of Gaming At 1440p
A 1440p monitor 144hz refresh rate with a fast response time is going to be expensive. Prohibitively so, in some cases. What you are really weighing here is the value of performance vs aesthetic. 1440p resolutions look nicer, a lot nicer, but they require more powerful equipment which will cost a lot more money if you aren’t willing to sacrifice performance.
You could, theoretically, grab a 1440p monitor with a refresh rate of 60 Hz and a response time of 5 milliseconds and be able to game on it, but despite the higher image quality it still won’t perform as well as a 1080p monitor with a 144 Hz refresh rate and a 1 millisecond response time for the same price.
You have to decide what is more important to you. This can largely depend upon what kind of games you are playing. If you play less competitive games or even non-competitive like Dragon Age then the increase in image quality will probably be worth the loss in performance, but if you are a very competitive Rainbow Six Siege player then the image quality won’t be as important as making sure your enemies don’t have an advantage over you because of their equipment.
You also can’t consider a monitor purely on its own merits when it comes to cost. Sure, a 1440p monitor sounds nice and looks like it could be affordable by itself, but if you are using a rinky-dink little GTX 960 graphics card there isn’t much point in getting such a high-quality monitor. You’ll be having a hard time keeping up a 60 Hz refresh rate at 1080p, let alone 1440p. So you have to consider the cost of increasing the quality of all of your equipment, not just the monitor.
More Demanding Games Will Require More Expensive Hardware
So, I made mention of Rainbow Six Siege and Dragon Age, but that doesn’t tell you much about which games require what kind of equipment, so let’s delve a little deeper into that subject.
I am an RPG player. I love a good story and those are most often found in RPG games which means I’m more familiar with that style of game and what kind of equipment you need for it. That said, I’ve been known to dabble in games like Siege or Gears of War and I can say that the two require that you consider different specifications when you are looking into your equipment.
An RPG or a Turn-based Strategy game isn’t going to require much in the way of a rapid response time or a super high refresh rate. Really, you just need a response time that is comfortable, something that isn’t going to give you too much input lag. These games certainly benefit from higher refresh rates, but you can still get the most from your experience with 60 Hz just fine.
Resolution is going to matter a lot more here than it does for other game types, because the higher your resolution is the crisper the images will be and the higher your field of view can be without it feeling awkward.
For more competitive, fast-paced games like Shooters and Fighting games response time is king. You don’t want to settle for anything less than a 1 millisecond response time. For fighting games especially, the refresh rate is important. You don’t want to be seeing as many frames as possible because 1 or 2 skipped frames could be the difference between victory and defeat.
If you are more of a racing game enthusiast then the size of your monitor matters more than these other specifications, the wider your screen the more immersive your experience and the more you can see.
The Tradeoffs of Higher Refresh Rate or Higher Resolution?
You can save yourself a lot of money by deciding to make some sacrifices in one area to get improved performance in another. Deciding whether a higher resolution or a higher refresh rate is more important to you means that you can save possibly a hundred dollars or more on your purchase.
1080p monitors are going to be cheaper than 1440p monitors. So, if you care more about the refresh rate then you might consider going with a 1080p monitor with 144 Hz instead of the 1440p with 60 Hz. Or you could decide the other way around, but either way, going with one of those options is going to be a lot cheaper than trying to get a 144hz 1440p display.
So, Is 1440p Worth It? If you read the section before this then you know that one specification can be more important than the other based on what kind of games you play, so maybe that will help you make the decision, but ultimately it can’t be decided for you. If you want to get the perfect monitor for you specifically then you’ll have to make the decision yourself based on what you know about your equipment, your budget, and your priorities.