The best category on the market for budget gamers remains the 1440p 120hz to 180 Hertz, a sort of zone which we call the medium refresh rate category. Now that there are 360HZ 1440p displays, typically, if you want to get into PC gaming for the first time or upgrade from an older 1080p display, it’s this 1440p category that provides the best bang for buck and offers the most choices.
Pricing continued to fall slowly in the 1440p category a few years ago. I’d be sitting here saying a price around $400 to $500 for a 1440p 144Hz Gaming monitor is very reasonable. In the later parts of 2023, there are enough good options priced below $280 that, personally, I believe that to be the ceiling at the moment. Typically, if you spend more than $280 on a monitor with these specs, you’re in the diminishing returns category where it’s hard to justify the higher price tag.
There are several options priced at or below $280 that I think are pretty good. So, there is no standout monitor here, and depending on when you go to purchase, pricing may have shifted slightly, or the pricing structure might be different in your region.
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Best 144Hz gaming Monitors
1. Gigabyte M27Q Pro and MSI G274QPF-QD
Right now, you can get both the Gigabyte M27Q Pro and MSI G274QPF-QD for around $280, and I think it’s pretty hard to choose which one is superior. Both are 27-inch 1440p 170Hz IPS LCD monitors, and while they use different panels, overall performance is quite similar. Take motion performance, for example; both have the same refresh rate, and while the MSI model is slightly better tuned, it’s pretty much a negligible difference in the end, and I’d say both deliver a good, though not amazing, response time experience.
Variable refresh rates are supported with both models, and it functions well with all GPU brands. Both options have near-identical brightness and contrast. The MSI version has a wider color gamut, the Gigabyte model has a more accurate sRGB mode. The Gigabyte model also offers a KVM switch, which isn’t found on the MSI model, though both have USB-C inputs. If one of those feature differences is important to you, that could be the deciding factor; otherwise, I’d get whichever was cheaper in your region.
They are great bang-for-buck monitors that offer a nicely balanced experience across all the categories that are important for a gaming display. In the past, I’ve recommended the Gigabyte M27Q in this category (the older model, not the QP model), but these days it’s just $10 cheaper, and I believe the M27Q is better. So unless the old variant was significantly cheaper, I’d give it a pass.
2. LG 27GL850-B and LG 27GP850-B Gaming Monitor
I’ve also recommended several LG 1440p mid-refresh models over the years, including the 27GL850, 27GL83A, 27GP83B, and 27GP850, which are all reasonably similar. The 27GP83B, for example, is $20 more than the MSI and Gigabyte models discussed previously but isn’t all that different. It has a notably worse contrast ratio and, compared to the G274QPFQD, a more limited color gamut. But it does have slightly better response time tuning, if that’s of great importance to you. Unless one of these LG monitors was a similar price to the Gigabyte or MSI models, or better yet cheaper, I think they’re a bit hard to justify at the moment.
3. Gigabyte G27Q 1440P 144Hz Gaming Monitor
If you want to go dirt cheap, there is the Gigabyte G27Q priced at $220 to $230, which is a reasonable saving relative to the other models I’ve been discussing. I haven’t tested this model personally, so it’s a bit of a risk, but it does seem to be a decent candidate if you are willing to sacrifice features and performance relative to the other options. It has a lower refresh rate, weaker response times, lacks a KVM switch, and has a slightly smaller color gamut. Worth considering though if your budget is very tight.