The Cheapest 144Hz Monitor: Fast-Paced Gaming on a Budget

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Cheapest 144hz Monitors
Cheapest 144hz Monitors

If you play fast-paced first-person shooters like Fortnite and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, you must gain every advantage you can get over the competition. A split-second can make the difference between winning and losing, and since these games are susceptible to motion blur, one of the most effective ways to expose your opponents is to have a high refresh rate display.

Back in the day, high refresh rate panels were usually reserved for top-tier esports tournaments as their prices weren’t appealing to consumers, similar to how expensive 4K UHD monitors are nowadays. Fortunately, their prices have since dropped significantly, and you can now get the cheapest 144Hz monitors for a fraction of the cost.

In this guide, we take a look at some of the most affordable 144Hz monitors available today. 

AOC C24G1

Aoc C24g1

 

Panel Technology VA
Screen Size 23.6”
Display Resolution Full HD (1920×1080)
Refresh Rate 144Hz
Adaptive Sync Technology FreeSync (48Hz-144Hz)
Ports 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 

2 x HDMI 1.4 

1 x VGA

Response Time 1ms (MPRT)
Input Lag 4ms
Pros
  • High contrast ratio for deep blacks
  • Good viewing angles
  • Remarkable backlight strobing technology implementation
  • Fully ergonomic design
Cons
  • No joystick for on-screen display navigation

While most budget 144Hz monitors compromise on design quality to pack as much hardware as possible, the AOC C24G1 manages to excel in aesthetics and performance. It features a high contrast VA panel that provides sharp and clear details in a reasonably-sized screen for adequate real estate.  

Out of the box, the C24G1 boasts excellent colors without the need for manual calibration. It features a high static contrast ratio to deliver much deeper blacks compared to IPS and TN panels. You will immediately notice a vivid relation between the darkest and brightest shades when using this monitor. 

When it comes to gaming performance, the C24G1 has an imperceptible input delay, making it viable for hardcore competitive gaming. It is also capable of achieving ultra-fast response times using backlight strobing technology. However, it cannot be enabled simultaneously with FreeSync, so it should only be used when playing fast-paced game genres. In the on-screen display menu, you can adjust the intensity of the backlight strobing depending on how much you want to reduce motion blur. Increasing the frequency will reduce the maximum brightness, so you have to calibrate it manually to find the sweet spot. 

The C24G1 has a FreeSync range of 48Hz-144Hz, but it also features low framerate compensation technology to automatically double or triple the frame rate to deliver a consistently smooth viewing experience. Moreover, AMD FreeSync works seamlessly with NVIDIA G-Sync compatible graphics cards.

The C24G1 has an option in the on-screen menu called AOC Low Input Lag, and you have to make sure it’s enabled so you can take advantage of its impeccable input lag performance. While the on-screen menu is easy to use and well-organized, navigating through it is less than ideal since the monitor doesn’t have a joystick. Instead, you are forced to sift through the options using five hotkeys beneath the bottom bezel. Additionally, the buttons are not illuminated, so navigating through the menu in a dark room can be a bit of a hassle. Fortunately, you can download the AOC G-Menu desktop application and make your display adjustments using the software. 

Acer XFA240

Acer Xfa240

 

Panel Technology TN
Screen Size 24”
Display Resolution Full HD (1920×1080)
Refresh Rate 144Hz
Adaptive Sync Technology NVIDIA G-Sync

AMD FreeSync (48Hz-144Hz)

Ports 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 

1 x HDMI 1.4 

1 x DVI-D

Response Time 1ms (GtG)
Input Lag 6ms
Pros
  • Low input lag and quick response time suitable for competitive gaming
  • AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync compatible
  • Fully ergonomic design

Cons
  • Poor viewing angles

The Acer XFA240 offers an excellent mix of high refresh rate along with fast response time and low input lag to give you a smooth visual gaming experience without perceivable ghosting. It is one of the most responsive monitors on this list, giving you that extra edge you need to destroy the competition. Moreover, it is compatible with both AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync technology to eliminate any stuttering not addressed by the 144Hz refresh rate.

The XFA240 may not be on par with other IPS and VA panel monitors in terms of image quality and viewing angles, but it has its upsides like a flicker-free backlight and a low-blue light filter to prevent eye strain and headaches. It also has a fully ergonomic design that supports height adjustment, tilting, pivoting, and swiveling.

AOC G2460PF

Aoc G2460pf

 

Panel Technology TN
Screen Size 24”
Display Resolution Full HD (1920×1080)
Refresh Rate 144Hz
Adaptive Sync Technology AMD FreeSync (35Hz-144Hz)
Ports 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 

1 x HDMI 1.4 

1 x DL-DVI-D 

1 x VGA

Response Time 1ms (GtG)
Input Lag 4ms
Pros
  • Fully ergonomic design
  • Extensive connectivity options
  • Low input lag and quick response time fit for competitive gaming
  • Wide FreeSync frequency range

Cons
  • Bulky
  • Poor viewing angles

The AOC G2460PF is one of the most popular budget options for high refresh rate monitors because of the premium features it offers at a very reasonable price range. Some of its most noteworthy features include an ergonomic design, rich connectivity options, and integrated FreeSync support. 

Out of the box, the G2460PF has an image quality that comes standard with similar TN panels. It can be improved by calibrating the settings to your liking, but it will still have narrow viewing angles and less accurate colors compared to IPS and VA monitors. 

Nevertheless, the G2460PF lives up to its potential when it comes to gaming performance. It has an imperceptible input lag, making it ideal for competitive fighting games and first-person shooters. Moreover, it has an ultra-fast response time to eliminate ghosting and trailing in fast-paced games.

In the on-screen display menu, you can choose between five different response time settings: Weak, Light, Medium, Strong, and Off. Depending on your frame rate, you can adjust this setting accordingly, but the Medium setting works best for most applications. You can also choose among the pre-calibrated image presets for specific game genres like FPS, RTS, Racing. There are also presets for various multimedia uses, including Standard, Text, Internet, Game, Movie, and Sports. 

Arguably the most disappointing aspect of the G2460PF is the lack of a low blue light filter. If you have trouble sleeping at night after using a bright display, you will have to manually lower the brightness or use the night light feature in Windows 10 to address the issue. Nevertheless, this monitor has a flicker-free backlight, so you don’t have to worry about using it if you’re sensitive to flickering.

The G2460PF also comes with three handy applications. The most useful for multitasking is Screen+, which allows you to partition the desktop into different layouts. i-Menu lets you calibrate the image settings through a desktop software instead of the on-screen menu, while e-Saver enables you to set the timer for screen savers, sleep, shut down, and more. 

The G2460PF has a bulky design that may not be to everyone’s liking, but it is highly ergonomic. It has a versatile stand that allows you to elevate, swivel, tilt, and pivot the monitor to get the perfect viewing angle. Moreover, it has extensive connectivity options, including a wide range of display outputs, four USB ports, a headphone jack, and even built-in speakers.

BenQ ZOWIE XL2411P

Benq Zowie Xl2411p

 

Panel Technology TN
Screen Size 24”
Display Resolution Full HD (1920×1080)
Refresh Rate 144Hz
Ports 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 

1 x HDMI 1.4 

1 x DVI

Response Time 1ms (GtG)
Input Lag 4ms
Pros
  • Low input lag and quick response time suitable for competitive gaming
  • Remarkable motion blur reduction implementation
  • Fully ergonomic design

Cons
  • No adaptive sync support
  • Poor viewing angles

The BenQ ZOWIE XL2411P offers incredible gaming features intended for serious and aspiring competitive gamers. You can expect no less than a smooth gaming performance for your favorite fast-paced titles from this monitor, thanks to the high refresh rate combined with low input lag and ultra-quick response time.

The ZOWIE line of monitors from BenQ is known for its frequent appearance in high-level esports tournaments like DreamHack, ESL, and MGL. The XL2411P carries the same prestige with its remarkable motion blur reduction implementation for enhanced motion clarity in exchange for reduced maximum brightness. It also features Black eQualizer to help increase visibility in dark environments, making it easier for you to spot your enemies. All of these gaming-oriented features make up for the lack of support for adaptive sync technology. 

Since the XL2411P is based on a TN panel, it doesn’t have the color accuracy nor the deep blacks of IPS and VA monitors, but it performs much faster than either panel technologies. It is also highly ergonomic, consisting of extensive adjustability options like height-adjustment, pivot, swivel, and tilt. Moreover, the screen is coated with an anti-glare finish while the frame is specially designed to reduce reflections.

Acer Nitro VG240YP

Acer Nitro Vg240yp

 

Panel Technology IPS
Screen Size 23.8”
Display Resolution Full HD (1920×1080)
Refresh Rate 144Hz
Adaptive Sync Technology AMD FreeSync (48Hz-144Hz)
Ports 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 

2 x HDMI 2.0

Response Time 1ms (MPRT)
Input Lag 4ms
Pros
  • Vivid and accurate image quality
  • Low input lag and quick response time suitable for competitive gaming
  • Good viewing angles
Cons
  • Tilt-only design

The Acer Nitro VG240YP is a well-rounded monitor that is ideal, not only for gaming but also for content creation and multimedia owing to its vibrant image quality, wide viewing angles, and accurate color reproduction. It uses backlight strobing technology to achieve quick response times and eliminate perceived trailing on fast-moving objects. 

The Nitro VG240YP also performs exceptionally well when it comes to input lag, making it fit for fighting games where button presses need to be registered instantaneously. The only downside on this monitor is the stand, which provides limited adjustability. A fully ergonomic design would have complemented the thin bezels perfectly, but you really can’t ask for much more at this price range.

MSI Optix MAG241C

Msi Optix Mag241c

 

Panel Technology VA
Screen Size 23.6”
Display Resolution Full HD (1920×1080)
Refresh Rate 144Hz
Adaptive Sync Technology AMD FreeSync (48Hz-144Hz)
Ports 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 

2 x HDMI 1.4

Response Time 1ms (MPRT)
Input Lag 5ms
Pros
  • High contrast ratio for deep blacks
  • Remarkable motion blur reduction technology implementation
  • Elegant thin-bezel curved panel
  • Extensive connectivity options
  • Good viewing angles
Cons
  • Tilt-only design

The MSI Optix MAG241C is a curved gaming monitor that features a high refresh rate without compromising too much on color quality and viewing angles. It is based on a high-contrast VA panel that delivers deep blacks for better immersion in games and multimedia. 

Although VA monitors are notorious for having slow response times owing to such deep blacks, the MAG241C manages to address this issue through backlight strobing technology. It achieves a quicker response time by inserting a black frame in between each actual frame to reduce perceived motion blur significantly. However, enabling this feature will also reduce brightness, and it can’t be used at the same time as AMD FreeSync. The best approach would be to enable backlight strobing only when playing fast-paced genres like first-person shooters or racing simulation. 

Color may not be as accurate and consistent compared to IPS monitors, but the MAG241C has vibrant and rich tones nonetheless. Moreover, the deep blacks make up for the slight lack in detail to give you a captivating viewing experience.

The MAG241C has input lag that amounts to less than 5ms to make it suitable for competitive multiplayer gaming. It also has a flicker-free display and a low blue light filter so you can play on this monitor for hours without having to worry about eye strain. 

On paper, the MAG241C has a FreeSync range of 48Hz-144Hz, but it also features low framerate compensation technology, which automatically doubles the display refresh rate to maintain smooth performance. Moreover, FreeSync has been known to work fine with NVIDIA G-Sync certified graphics cards. 

The on-screen display menu of the MAG241C is user-friendly and hosts a variety of useful settings. Navigating through the options can be done using either the joystick behind the monitor or through a desktop software application using your keyboard and mouse. You can also download the MSI Optix mobile application if you want to change the settings remotely via your smartphone. To activate the backlight strobing technology feature, you must set Response Time to Fastest to automatically enable anti-motion blur. 

In terms of design, the MAG241C has a gaming appeal without being over the top. It has thin bezels that effectively contrast the aggressive 1500R curvature. You can even put two of these monitors side by side for a highly immersive multi-display setup. However, the stand is its drawback as it is tilt-only. Nevertheless, it features a dedicated headphone hanger and an anti-glare screen coating to compensate for the limited ergonomic capabilities of the display.

Sceptre C248B-144RN

Sceptre C248b 144rn

 

Panel Technology VA
Screen Size 23.6”
Display Resolution Full HD (1920×1080)
Refresh Rate 144Hz
Adaptive Sync Technology AMD FreeSync (48Hz-144Hz)
Ports 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 

1 x HDMI 2.0

1 x HDMI 1.4

Response Time 3ms (GtG)
Input Lag 4ms
Pros
  • High contrast ratio for deep blacks
  • AMD FreeSync support over DisplayPort and HDMI

Cons
  • No backlight strobing feature
  • Tilt-only stand

The Sceptre C248B-144RN is one of the cheapest 144Hz curved gaming monitors on the market that features a high static contrast ratio and support for variable refresh rate. It has ultra-thin bezels that complement the screen curvature exceptionally well to deliver a more immersive viewing experience. 

The C248B-144RN is no slouch when it comes to gaming performance. If you play fast-paced fighting games that require your button commands to register immediately on-screen, this monitor is a top-contender. However, if you primarily play first-person shooters, you might want to go for an alternative with faster response times, since some trailing on fast-moving objects will be noticeable on this monitor, especially when dark pixels are predominant in the picture.

The C248B-144RN supports AMD FreeSync over HDMI and DisplayPort with a variable refresh rate range of 48Hz-144Hz to eliminate screen tearing and stuttering with virtually zero impact on input lag. NVIDIA G-Sync compatible graphics cards should work with FreeSync as well. However, unlike most of the VA panel monitors on this list, it doesn’t have a backlight strobing feature to address motion blur.

If you’ve had trouble with eye strain and headaches after prolonged monitor use, the C248B-144RN is suitable for you since it has a built-in low blue light filter and a flicker-free backlight. The biggest downside of this monitor is clearly the tilt-only design, but it is compatible with a  VESA mount. 

Overall, the C248B-144RN is a reliable curved gaming monitor that lives up to its hype and delivers an immersive viewing experience.

ASUS VG248QE

Asus Vg248qe

 

Panel Technology TN
Screen Size 24”
Display Resolution Full HD (1920×1080)
Refresh Rate 144Hz
Ports 1 x DisplayPort 1.2

1 x HDMI 1.4 

1 x DL-DVI

Response Time 1ms (GtG)
Input Lag 5ms
Pros
  • Fully ergonomic design
  • Low input lag and quick response time suitable for competitive gaming

Cons
  • No adaptive sync support

The ASUS VG248QE is targeted at the hardcore gaming market or those who want rapid response times at the expense of color accuracy and viewing angles. It is capable of eliminating any ghosting and image trailing issues with its ultra-fast response time. As long as you face the display directly, you shouldn’t be bothered by the image quality produced by this monitor.

When it comes to input lag performance, the VG248QE has a virtually undetectable delay, which makes it ideal for professional gaming. Its responsiveness, along with its high refresh rate gives you a competitive edge over your opponents, especially when you’re up against users of 60Hz or 75Hz monitors. 

The image quality of the VG248QE requires some calibration out of the box to get the optimal picture. Nevertheless, this process is made easy by the intuitive and user-friendly on-screen menu.

Since the VG248QE is relatively old, it has some exciting features from its time, including NVIDIA 3D Vision and NVIDIA 3D LightBoost. The former delivers a 3D viewing experience for compatible content using active-shutter glasses. It works simultaneously with the latter to increase screen brightness and eliminate ghosting. While these technologies seem impressive on paper, they are mostly obsolete by today’s standards. Moreover, this monitor doesn’t support AMD FreeSync or NVIDIA G-Sync, which are way more beneficial for gaming. 

The VG248QE doesn’t have a flicker-free display since it uses pulse-width modulation to regulate brightness. It also doesn’t have a built-in low blue light filter, so you might want to avoid this option if you suffer from eye strain or headaches when using a monitor for extended periods.

Design-wise, the VG248QE has rather unattractive thick glossy bezels that may not appeal to everyone. On the other hand, it has a fully ergonomic stand that supports height adjustment, swiveling, tilting, and pivoting.

The VG248QE was once touted as a cutting-edge monitor, but some of its features are blatantly useless today. However, it is reasonably priced and should serve you well if you can overlook the lack of contemporary features like variable refresh rate and an eye-friendly screen.

Acer XG270HU

Acer Xg270hu

 

Panel Technology TN
Screen Size 27”
Display Resolution Quad HD (2560×1440)
Refresh Rate 144Hz
Adaptive Sync Technology NVIDIA G-Sync

AMD FreeSync (40Hz-144Hz)

Ports 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 

1 x HDMI 2.0 

1 x DVI

Response Time 1ms (GtG)
Input Lag 5ms
Pros
  • Detailed image quality
  • Low input lag and quick response time suitable for competitive gaming
  • AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync compatible

Cons
  • Tilt-only design

The Acer XG270HU is one of the cheapest available options if you want to play in 1440p resolution at 144Hz. While it is more taxing on your processor and graphics card to achieve higher frame rates at this resolution, it will give you the benefit of sharper details in addition to more screen space. 

The XG270HU is both AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync compatible, which means supported graphics cards will allow for a much smoother pixel transition. Moreover, this monitor uses a TN panel, so it produces the fastest response times compared to IPS and VA displays for more fluid motion clarity and minimal screen-tearing. 

In terms of image quality, the XG270HU suffers from narrow viewing angles, which is prevalent with most TN panels. It may not have the color accuracy of an IPS monitor nor the high contrast ratio of a VA display, but the overall picture quality is respectable, especially for gaming. Additionally, the input delay on this monitor is virtually imperceptible, making it ideal for fast-paced competitive games.  

If you have issues with eye fatigue, strain, or headaches when using a monitor for too long, the XG270HU features a flicker-free backlight along with a built-in low blue light filter so you can game for long durations without a hitch.  

The biggest drawback of the XG270HU is certainly its lackluster tilt-only design, which significantly affects the ergonomic capabilities of the monitor. It also looks rather plain and devoid of any appealing features aesthetically.

Acer GN246HL

Acer Gn246hl

 

Panel Technology TN
Screen Size 24”
Display Resolution Full HD (1920×1080)
Refresh Rate 144Hz
Ports 1 x HDMI 1.4 

1 x DL-DVI 

1 x VGA

Response Time 1ms (GtG)
Input Lag 10ms
Pros
  • Ultra-fast response times

Cons
  • No DisplayPort
  • Poor viewing angles
  • No flicker-free backlight
  • Tilt-only stand
  • High input lag

The Acer GN246HL was once known as the highest-rated gaming monitor because of the cutting-edge features that were ahead of its time. These include NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 and NVIDIA LightBoost, which are no longer utilized today in favor of variable refresh rate technology. 

Like most monitors based on a TN panel, the GN246HL has narrow viewing angles, but this shouldn’t be too much of an issue if you face the screen directly when gaming. If you play video games in a dark room, you may notice that the black shades appear grayish on this monitor because of its lackluster contrast ratio. 

In terms of picture quality, the GN246HL requires manual calibration to get the best possible image. While it doesn’t achieve the superior color accuracy of IPS panels and the deep blacks of VA panels, it is decent enough, especially for competitive gaming. 

The GN246HL lags behind most of the alternatives on this list when it comes to input delay, but it shouldn’t be an issue for casual gamers. Moreover, it features an ultra-fast response time to ensure that there is no trailing visible in fast-moving objects. It also features backlight strobing technology to decrease perceivable motion blur further, although it comes at the expense of a lower maximum brightness and higher input lag. 

Unlike most of the monitors recently released on the market, GN246HL doesn’t have a flicker-free backlight and a built-in low blue light filter. If you’re sensitive to flickering, you might want to consider some of the other options to deter eye fatigue and headaches. 

The GN246HL has a sturdy stand that is stable enough to support the monitor and prevent it from wobbling. However, it has a tilt-only design, which hampers the ergonomic capabilities of the monitor significantly. 

How to Choose the Best Budget 144Hz Monitor

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There is an overwhelming number of cheap 144Hz monitors on the market, and it can be quite a chore to go through all of them to the one that fits your gaming needs the best. That is why we actively took the initiative to create this guide and help you choose the most suitable monitor for you. 

Refresh Rate

A monitor’s refresh rate tells you the number of times it refreshes or shows a new image per second. For instance, a 60Hz refresh rate display updates 60 times per second, while a 144Hz display refreshes 144 times per second. A higher refresh rate delivers smoother image transitions for a more enjoyable viewing experience overall. 

What is the Best Refresh Rate for Gaming? 60Hz vs. 144Hz

Ideally, you want to push the highest frame rates possible for your games, and accordingly, you want a monitor that is capable of displaying these high frames. Currently, the highest refresh rate is 240Hz, but the monitors that come with this feature are rather expensive and often compromise on image quality and viewing angles.  On the other hand, 60Hz monitors are relatively affordable, but they are best suited for console games, which are often capped at 30 FPS. Thus, if you want the best value for your money, 144Hz monitors are the way to go. They offer exceptional gaming performance at very reasonable prices.

Display Resolution

Full HD (1920×1080) is ideal for budget builds since it isn’t as taxing on your processor and graphics card compared to Quad HD (2560×1440) and 4K UHD (3840×2160). Moreover, Quad HD and 4K UHD monitors are generally more expensive and take a lot more computing power to run video games smoothly.  

Variable Refresh Rate Technology

Adaptive Sync is the standard for variable refresh rate established by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA). It is a technology that allows monitors to adjust their frame rates dynamically according to the frame rate being rendered by the graphics card to provide the maximum frame rates without screen tearing and stuttering. AMD and NVIDIA both take advantage of Adaptive Sync but take very different approaches in their implementation of the technology.

NVIDIA G-Sync vs. AMD FreeSync

FreeSync is AMD’s implementation of VESA Adaptive Sync. It essentially uses the same standards as Adaptive Sync, but with a catchier marketing name. While monitor manufacturers are required to comply with additional certification to advertise a panel as FreeSync, they are relatively minor. Furthermore, manufacturers can use any scaler module they want, often limiting the supported frame rate range (i.e., 40-75 FPS).

On the other hand, NVIDIA is much stricter with their licensing for G-Sync. That’s because they use a proprietary scaler module, that is, in most cases, more effective than FreeSync. This module allows G-Sync monitors to support an exceptionally wide frame rate range (i.e., 1-144 FPS).

Quick Round-Up

  1. AOC C24G1
  2. Acer XFA240
  3. AOC G2460PF
  4. BenQ ZOWIE XL2411P
  5. Acer Nitro VG240YP
  6. MSI Optix MAG241C
  7. Sceptre C248B-144RN
  8. ASUS VG248QE
  9. Acer XG270HU
  10. Acer GN246HL

Final Words

In a nutshell, this guide has proven how saturated the market is for cheap 144Hz gaming monitors. You have an abundance of choices, and all it boils down to is your preference for features. If you think there’s another monitor that deserves to be on this list, let us know in the comments section below!

I am a gaming enthusiast with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge in the world of technology. In addition to being a resident contributor to this website, I am currently pursuing a degree in political science while flipping gaming systems on the side.

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