The best high refresh rate monitors deliver crisp and smooth visuals during your gaming sessions. That doesn't just mean a more enjoyable experience; it also means you'll have a winning advantage as a fast display is able to deliver more images per second to keep up with your fast movements, making them great for competitive gaming.
60Hz and 120Hz monitors are hardly obsolete and will more than suffice for most of your viewing needs. However, some situations do call for a higher refresh rate. The best monitors that offer refresh rates 144Hz and faster are the cream of the crop, especially where gamers are concerned. If your PC’s graphics card is putting out higher frame rates, for example, or if a smoother, screen tearing-free gaming experience is much more important than higher resolution gameplay, then a higher refresh rate monitor is a better solution.
We've tested many gaming monitors in the last few years, so we know which ones are worth your money. To help you, we found all the best high refresh rate monitors available right now, considering size, budget, and different needs. From 165Hz panels that will serve you well when playing the latest fast-paced PC games to those monitors with a whopping 360Hz refresh rate that will help you rise to the top of the leaderboards, here are our top picks.
The best high refresh rate monitors 2023
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High refresh rate monitors may typically cost more, but that doesn’t mean that there aren't excellent affordable options available. Out of those, the Gigabyte Aorus CV27Q may be the best, offering that fast refresh rate in a QHD package for less than you'd expect. You can count on its reliable 165 Hz refresh rate and adaptive sync to deliver a smooth gaming experience.
Just in case that isn’t enough to convince you, Gigabyte also throws in 1500R curvature, 3000:1 contrast ratio, VESA-certified DisplayHDR 400 should, and 1ms response time. That’s a lot of impressive features for gaming immersion that you won’t find in some of the more premium panels. The color support is limited to 90% DCI-P3 and the input ports don’t include a USB-C, but at that price, we’re not complaining. Especially if you need something fast yet affordable for gaming.
The AOC CU34G2X is similar to the Samsung Odyssey G7 in that you get a refresh rate of 144Hz, 1ms response time, and a 1440p resolution. Unlike the Samsung panel, however, this one is much lower in price point, which makes it a fantastic budget option for those who need something cheap.
Just because it's a budget monitor, however, that doesn't mean there's very minimal features here. On the contrary, you're getting an ultrawide 21:9 monitor with a curvature, a brightness of 300 nits, and a solid port selection with two HDMI 2.0 ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, two DisplayPort 1.4, and two USB 3.2 Type-A ports.
On test, we found that its 144Hz and 1ms response time deliver some impressive gameplay when it comes to more hectic genres like first-person shooters and action games. And the curved panel means no details in the UI are cut off or difficult to see during gameplay.
Read our full AOC CU34G2X review
The Corsair Xeneon 32QHD165 comes at a premium, but you’re also paying for more than just its fast refresh rate. A 1440p resolution, DisplayHDR 400, 100% Adobe RGB and 98% DCI-P3 color gamuts, and all the ports you could ask for including one USB-C port — they all make this an impressive display and not just for gamers.
We found that its core image quality bright, vibrant and punchy, while also being natural looking and nicely calibrated right out of the box. Thanks to its fast refresh rate, there’s also almost no visible overshoot or inverse ghosting and very minimal blurring.
It’s also an ideal option for those who do content creation or want to also connect an Ultrabook to it. And, while the HDR performance suffers a bit as there’s no local dimming, there’s not much else to fault here. Good thing too, as this display isn’t the most economical option.
Read our Corsair Xeneon 32QHD165 review
While it may need some calibrating out of the box, the Samsung Odyssey G7 is quite the panel. An incredibly fast 240Hz refresh rate paired with a 1440p resolution will make you forget all about those 4K options as this is the sweet spot for a lot of gaming. Even if you don't notice the difference, but still you'll have the peace of mind knowing that if you're hitting up to 240fps in games, your monitor is keeping up.
It also has a 1000R curvature, which is a much tighter curve than most curved monitors out there, delivering a much more immersive gaming experience. It also comes with DisplayHDR 600 and a 2,500:1 contrast ratio to really give your favorite titles a bit of depth. In our Samsung Odyssey G7 review, we were disappointed that there’s no USB-C here, but a display at this price has to cut corners somewhere to hit its price point.
Read our full Samsung Odyssey G7 review
The first thing you’ll notice with the Alienware 27 Gaming monitor, aka the AW2721D, is how hefty its stand is. While that can be a problem for those with cramped desks, it’s sturdy and full of ergonomic adjustments for a more comfortable experience. It’s also quite attractive, especially with its sports RGB lighting in the back that you typically see on Alienware products.
But, none of that matters if the performance isn’t there. Luckily, the Alienware AW2721D is fast, thanks to that 240Hz refresh rate, delivering sharp, clean, and smooth picture quality. That's certainly an advantage during fast and hectic gameplay when crisp visuals are crucial to winning.
It’s gorgeous as well, sporting DisplayHDR 600 and a 98% DCI-P3 color gamut. And, thanks to its 27-inch size, that 1440p translates to a pretty high pixel density for a sharp and detailed image.
The Asus TUF VG259QM might be the a speedy little monitor you want if you're looking for display that can deliver exceptionally smooth performance. Not only does it boast an incredibly fast 280Hz refresh rate, but it also allows you to use G-Sync at the same time as the Asus’ own ELMB or Extreme Low Motion Blur Sync. What you're getting, therefore, is picture quality that’s incredibly crisp and smooth no matter how fast you’re pushing it.
Unfortunately, it does have limited color coverage and doesn’t have any way to adjust gamma. So, while it does come with a solid 99% sRGB, if you’re looking for a gaming monitor that can moonlight as a photo or video editing display, the Asus TUF VG259QM is probably not it. However, if your sole focus is getting sharp gaming visuals, this one's certainly a winner.
The MSI Oculux NXG253R is yet another affordable monitor if you're looking for something that's incredibly fast. Its 360Hz refresh rate at this price point, however, is especially uncommon, but it does mean don’t have to break the bank to gain access to these blazing fast speeds.
MSI’s ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur) technology keeps fast-moving images silky smooth. And, its variable backlighting allows you to dramatically increase the contrast ratio.
Compromises are made, however. You won’t find speakers or USB-C ports on this monitor. And, you’re only getting a 1080p resolution. But, you're also getting excellent ergonomics and good reflection handling. Also considering the price tag on the MSI Oculux NXG253R and the fact that you can’t really get any faster than this makes up for any shortcomings this display has.
The ASUS ROG Swift PG259QNR might be light on features, but it comes with everything necessary to make the most of its lightning fast performance. That 360Hz refresh rate is already impressive. But, the inclusion of ULMB or Ultra Low Motion Blur, Nvidia G-Sync, and Nvidia’s Reflex Latency Analyzer allows you to fine-tune that speed.
So, what you're getting here is an ultra smooth experience that's advantageous for gaming. It even has a large custom heatsink to keep things cool when you’re playing for hours on end.
It comes with one particular extra that sets it apart as well. And, that’s an included, though optional, mounting bracket, which allows your to attach the monitor to almost any flat surface, saving you some extra desk space.
The Alienware AW3423DW is a fantastic option if you're looking to merge fast refresh rates with OLED technology, which has only recently come to computer and gaming monitors. This display delivers an almost impeccable gaming performance, thanks to its smooth motion processing, 175Hz refresh rate, and quick response time, which makes it a great proposition for gamers who love fast-paced games or do competitive gaming.
Its speed isn't its marquee feature, however. Its color reproduction is, thanks to its cinema-grade color coverage of 99.3% DCI-P3, Delta E color accuracy of less than 2 out of the box, and infinite contrast ratio. An OLED panel, you're getting deep blacks and vivid colors, which when combined with its sharp and smooth visuals, deliver a stunning image.
You are paying quite a sum for all of that. However, if you can afford it, rest assured you're getting your money's worth.
How to choose the best high refresh rate monitor for you
There are a couple of caveats to know before you invest in a high refresh rate monitor, however. First, these panels tend to be pricey – or at least, more expensive than their 60Hz and 120Hz counterparts – for the simple reason that they’re more expensive to make. Second, you’ll be sacrificing high resolution to get that high refresh rate.
While there are now 4K displays with 144Hz refresh rate, there are only a few of them out there as it’s fairly new. And, if you want one with an even higher refresh rate, you’re stuck with 1080p and 1440p options. At least, for now. So, if you have a tight budget or if having a 4K screen is a priority, this might not be the best option for you.