144hz vs 165hz Gaming Monitors - Which is Superior?

Lindsay Hayes

Unless you're playing a super fast game, you probably won't be able to tell the difference between a 144 and 165 HZ screen.

It's not hard to imagine why - 144 HZ screens have a response time of 6.94 MS/frame, while 165 HZ screens have a response time of 6.06 MS per frame. The 0.88 MS/frame difference is virtually nothing.

I got into competitive gaming recently and was looking to build a gaming setup. The first thing that I looked for was some good gaming monitors. I went with a 144 HZ screen, but if I had known better, I would have gone with a 165 HZ one.

I have taken you through what you should know to help you make this decision.


144Hz vs 165HZ - What is the Difference?

Hertz measures your screen's refresh rate. I've touched on this more in-depth in the latter part of my article. However, the higher the HZ, the more fluid the animation on the screen.

165 HZ monitors can play 21 more images per second than 144 HZ screens. So you might expect them to be more fluid.

However, these 21 more images per second are not that noticeable.

Let's take a look at the times it takes monitors to display different images/ frames.

As you can see, the display time gets smaller and smaller as the refresh rate increases. This is especially true from 144 HZ and above.

Sure, for very fast-paced games, you might notice less motion blur, but this all depends on how you see it.

Should You Buy a 144 or 165 HZ Gaming Monitor?

Most 165 HZ monitors are more expensive than 144 HZ ones. Even though you'll be paying more, you won't see much of a difference, other than marginally better motion blurring.

Also, it's not easy for a computer to constantly maintain a 165 HZ rate. If you end up buying a 165 HZ screen, you'll need a good rig for your display panel. I'm talking about splurging on a GPU and RAM. If you're on a budget, you won't like this.

What Hardware is Needed For High Frame Rate Performance?

Let's say you've bought a cool new 144 or 165HZ monitor. It's not wrong to be excited about this, but unless your computer can handle the new refresh rate, you would have wasted your money.

This is every gamer's nightmare, so I looked at everything you need to know to make sure you get a max frame rate.

1. CPU

There's no way you would be able to get the most out of your monitor without a good CPU. It is your PC's brain.

The Ryzen 5 5600X CPU is known for its competitive gaming standards, because of how much heavy lifting it does.

You can easily work high refresh rate monitors with it.

2. Graphics Card

Your graphics card is the part of your PC that gives it the power to render frames. If the CPU is your computer's main brain, the GPU is its second one. So it's important when it comes to getting the max frame rate.

The GPU is your computer's secondary brain, and the CPU is its main one.

You'll need a powerful GPU if you want to maintain a higher refresh rate. Options like the NVIDIA'S GeForce RTX 3090 are ideal, although more high-end.

3. RAM

Although RAM is not as important as your GPU or CPU, having enough means that your computer will run smoothly, and not cause your game to lag.

At a minimum, you would need 16 GB of RAM. High-performance RAM like Corsair Dominator Platinum is always a good choice. You can also check out the TEAMGROUP T-Force Xtreem RAM, however.

4. Hard Drive

Generally, hard drives don't affect refresh rates that much. However, it's still something that I had to mention.

Traditional hard drives are slow, which can affect how smooth your game loads.

Most likely, you already have a Solid State Drive installed. In case you don't, now is the time to change this.

You'll get a much better gaming performance, as the SSD speeds up everything your computer does.

Most users think that hard drives are expensive. This used to be true, however, it's not the case anymore.

What Does HZ Mean?

Now that we've run through the difference between both 144 and 165 HZ, let's take a closer look at what exactly HZ is.

It's defined as the frequency between two periodic events. So it represents one cycle of a particular function.

The refresh rate in a gaming monitor is the number of images that can be played every second. Thus, the higher the refresh rate, the more fluid the video on the screen.

Not only does HZ measure a monitor's refresh rate, but it's also used for other electronic applications.


Answered below are some popular questions.

Can a 165Hz Monitor Run 240 FPS?

You can run 240 FPS if your GPU supports it. However, if you own a 165 HZ screen, it would only be able to refresh 165 times per second. The other 75 HZ would completely be wasted.

Can I Use 144Hz on a 165Hz Monitor?

Yes, you can switch your 165 HZ monitor to 144 FPS. But there's no real reason for you to drop your refresh rate.

What is Screen Tearing?

It's an issue caused by your GPU settings. Your monitor and GPU's frame rates won't be synchronized. This is a major headache for most gamers, as you basically see parts of an image displayed on both sides of the screen (visual artifacts), as well as deal with input lag.

Is 240Hz Better Than 165Hz When Playing Games?

Let's say you have a 250 HZ monitor. You'll be able to notice a big difference between this and 144 HZ screens. You'll notice more rich environments in games, as well as have better image clarity and viewing angles.

But will you notice a large difference between 165 and 250 HZ screens? Once again, this depends on how good your eyes are.

Final Thoughts

So does refresh rate affect gaming? Yes, but only to an extent, especially when playing more dynamic or fast-paced games and immersive RPGs. All professional gamers will tell you that, with a higher refresh rate, you will get a more smoother gaming experience.

However, there is not much of a difference in response time between 144 HZ and 165 HZ gaming monitors. You won't notice anything if you run games that are slower, like horror games. Unless you are a competitive gamer with a super sharp eye, you probably won't need 165HZ monitors.

Also, you will need a powerful GPU if you are thinking about running higher refresh rates constantly. So it might be smarter to go for a 144 HZ monitor instead of a 165 one.

As mentioned, not only will you need high graphics settings to handle your perfect monitor, but also a capable CPU.

Hopefully you found everything that was discussed useful, and will be able to buy the ideal monitor.

Lindsay Hayes

Hi, I’m Lindsay, a techie from Kansas City. That’s right; I’m a born and bred Midwesterner. I learned to take electronics apart at my dad’s GameStop way back when, and I haven’t stopped since. I spend most of my time checking out new gadgets.
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